Train to Busan (Busanhaeng) (Blu-ray) (2016)

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Released 15-Mar-2017

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action / Horror None
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2016
Running Time 117:55
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Yeon Sang-ho
Studio
Distributor
Icon Entertainment Starring Gong Yoo
Kim Su-ahn
Jung Yoo-mi
Ma Dong-seok
Kim Eui-sung
Choi Woo-sik
Ahn So-hee
Park Myung-sin
Ye Soo-jung
Choi Gwi-hwa
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Korean Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In) Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

†††† Fund Manager Seok-woo (Gong Yoo) is a workaholic, divorced father with no time to spend with his young daughter Su-an (Kim Su-ahn). However on Su-anís birthday he agrees to take her to see her mother in Busan, about an hour away by Bullet Train. On the train is the usual mixed group of people including a very pregnant woman, Seong-kyeong (Jung Yoo-mi), her husband Sang-hwa (Ma Dong-seok), a high powered CEO (Kim Eui-sung), a school baseball team including Young-guk (Choi Woo-sik) and his girlfriend Jin-hee (Ahn So-hee), elderly sisters Jong-gil (Park Myung-sin) and In-gil (Ye Soo-jung) and, at the last moment, a homeless man (Choi Gwi-hwa). As the train is leaving the station, a bloodied and convulsing girl jumps on board and attacks the hostess. The young girl has been infected with a virus that has turned many of the South Korean population into ravening zombies, thirsty for blood. As the journey continues more passengers become zombies while small pockets of unaffected passengers try to seal themselves in to stay alive. How many will get to Busan alive and, in any case, is Busan free from zombies?

†††† Train to Busan (Busanhaeng) was a box office smash hit in South Korea, becoming the sixth highest grossing film of all time. It is co-written and directed by Yeon Sang-ho and surprisingly this is his first live action feature, his previous films being animation. He does a marvellous job; Train to Busan wastes no time on explanation but launches very quickly into almost two hours of zombie mayhem. Yeonís zombies are not slow and shuffling creatures; they are fast, active and very ravenous although, and perhaps thankfully for the passengers (and the film), they do have some weaknesses, for example, they donít know how to open the sliding doors between the carriages of the train and they cannot see in tunnels. The zombie action is continuous, furious and bloody and there are tense moments as the zombies attempt to break into carriages to attack the unaffected passengers. The sequences on the train are intense and claustrophobic, but on occasion Yeon does manage to open out the film staging one set piece sequence at a station where the train stops and the passengers try to find safety, and another where an engine and train are destroyed, a brave move by Korean Railways, an organisation which fully supported the film!

†††† Train to Busan is a belter of a film, exciting, spectacular, bloody and intense; there are characters one cares for, others to hate, and there are sad and poignant moments. Train to Busan proves once again, if proof were to be needed, that South Korean filmmaking is one of the most technically proficient, varied and vibrant in Asia.

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Transfer Quality

Video

†††† Train to Busan is presented in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

†††† Shot using Arri Alexa XT cameras, Train to Busan has a glossy sheen and digital flat colours but detail is firm, the blood and zombie make-up showing in all their glory. Blacks and shadow detail are pristine, skin tones fine and brightness and contrast consistent.

†††† I did not notice any artefacts or marks.

†††† The burnt in English subtitles are in a smallish white font but are easy enough to read and error free.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

†††† The Blu-ray cover states the audio is DTS-HD MA 5.1 when in fact it is a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1, which is disappointing given that the US release from Well Go USA, whose logo also starts our Regionís release, had Korean DTS-HD MA 7.1 and English DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio.

†††† Even so, the audio is impressive giving the hint that the lossless would have been something spectacular. Dialogue is clear, even amid the screams, and the surrounds and rears were always active with train noises, voices, feet, music and, during the action, thumps as zombies throw themselves against the doors, breaking glass, screams and the ďcrackĒ of zombie bones as they convulsed. The sub-woofer added boom to the impacts, the train crash and the music.

†††† There was no credit for the mainly orchestral score, which was effective.

†††† I saw no lip synchronisation issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

†††† There are no extras. The static menu offered Play Feature / Chapters.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

†††† The Region A US version of Train to Busan has Korean DTS-HD MA 7.1 audio, which is reported to be a doozy, and Korean Dolby Digital 2.0, English DTS-HD MA 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 as other options, plus a behind the scenes (13:01), a wrap video (4:35) and a trailer (1:55). The US release is a clear winner.

Summary

†††† Train to Busan is a thrill ride from start to poignant finish. Zombies are so popular on film at the moment that for some years now one could not turn around without finding another zombie film being released, from big budget Hollywood extravaganzas to very low budget independent films, in a wide range of genres including horror, comedy, science fiction or thrillers. So it is no surprise that a South Korean filmmaker would have a go at the genre, and make such a good go at it: Train to Busan is intense, bloody, chaotic and exciting, with no time wasted on exposition or explanation and interesting characters. Train to Busan will be welcomed by fans as a worthy entry into the zombie / action genre.

†††† The video is excellent. Icon Entertainment are to be commended for bring such fabulous Asian films to Australia but why the audio is only a lossy Dolby Digital, when DTS-HD MA options are available, is regrettable. Australia also misses out on the extras available in the US.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, July 24, 2017
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
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US BD - Anonymous REPLY POSTED
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