Tube (2003)

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Released 16-Jun-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Theatrical Trailer
Featurette-Making Of
Music Video
Trailer-The Medallion
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 111:33
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (68:26) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Baek Woon-Hak
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Seok-hun Kim
Sang-min Park
Du-na Bae
Oh-jung Kwon
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Well, this is certainly something different. It's a big action blockbuster bursting at the seams with explosions, gun battles, fights, goodies and baddies, romance and lots of action film clichés. 'What's so different about that?', I hear you scream. This one is made in South Korea, a fairly new entrant into the global film market, stars no-one you have ever seen before and features the Seoul/Pusan underground railway system, or tube.

    Tube is really quite a good action film, with some excellent set pieces, hair raising stunts and well choreographed fight scenes, however, the characters' back stories are a bit confusing. The film starts with an awesome explosion of action at an airport involving many car crashes, automatic gunfire and many good stunts. I think something may have been lost in the translation, because this almost felt like it was the sequel to a film which does not exist.

    Anyway, as far as I can make out, the main characters are Jay (Seok-hun Kim), a troubled detective whose wife/girlfriend was previously killed by T (Sang-min Park), a rogue government agent. It would also seem that Jay previously killed T's wife/girlfriend. Jay's current girlfriend, Kay (Du-na Bae), owes some money to a minor criminal who is supposed to be the film's comedy relief. Unfortunately, he is not funny, but to be fair this may have more to do with the annoying dubbed English voice used for his character than anything else. Kay seems to be able to look after herself from a fighting perspective but still seems to bear the brunt of significant amounts of violence in this film. Shortly into the film, T takes control of one of the trains on the underground system and it is down to Jay, Kay and the train control room to foil his dastardly plan.

   While the action sequences are very well done, the human interaction sometimes comes across as a bit mawkish, with much crying and staring deep into each others' eyes in moments of danger. Luckily, you don't need to sit through much of this stuff as the film is pretty much non-stop action from start to finish. Speaking of the finish, it was very refreshing to see a film which did not find it necessary for everything to work out for everyone at the end. Hollywood take note.

    The acting is generally quite good with the exception of the aforementioned comic relief and from Jay's Lieutenant who seems to veer wildly from hating Jay to loving him at the drop of a hat, while also over-acting as though his life depended on it.

    Basically, if you are looking for a well made action film with a difference, this might just be your bag.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is excellent. This is one of the best video presentations I have seen.

    The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio. NB: The cover incorrectly lists the aspect ratio as 1.85:1

    The picture was very clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was excellent with details in the dark train tunnels being clearly visible.

    The colour was very good throughout with all colours being well saturated and free from colour bleeding. The skin colouring was very natural.

    The one thing which I have to mention is that at 22:50 a thin short white line briefly flashed on the screen. Other than that I noticed no artefacts of any kind.

    There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired. Unfortunately, they did not translate any of the on-screen Korean which will remain a mystery to me, including most of the credits. I actually only found out which actor was which by watching the featurette which includes burned in English subtitles.

    This is a dual layered disc and the layer change is well placed at the end of a scene at 68:26.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is excellent with full use of all speakers and subwoofer. This is one of the best 5.1 tracks I have heard recently and certainly the best I have reviewed.

    This DVD contains only one audio option - a dubbed English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s. It is unfortunate that the original Korean could not be provided as I personally prefer to watch non-English films in their original language with subtitles.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand. There was no audio sync as it was dubbed.    

    The score of this film is not credited in English, so I cannot tell you who wrote it. It is very good, suiting the film well and adding to the overall feel of the film, especially in the action pieces. Some of the music during the character interaction section was a bit syrupy for my taste.

    The surround speakers were used constantly for train noises, bullets being fired and hitting their targets and many other directional sound effects.

    The subwoofer was used constantly to add to the action.

    

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu included a scene selection function and photos from the film.

Trailer - Tube (1:28)

    This trailer was made for the English speaking world and explains the film quite well.

Making Of (21:21)

    This featurette is actually made up of two parts strangely labelled 3. Making of and 4. Highlight sceans (sic). Part 3 runs for approximately 14:45 and Part 4 fills out the remaining time. The Making of is well worth watching as it explains that this is one of the biggest productions ever attempted in Korea with over 2 years of pre-production and 8 months of shooting. It features interviews with the director, stars, art director and computer effects director. The highlight scenes are just some highlights from the film, but in lesser quality.

Music Video (4:12)

    This music video would appear to be a performance by an artist called Ann although as every word on screen or sung is in Korean other than Ann, I am only guessing. It is fairly ordinary Asian pop music.

Trailer - The Medallion (1:37)

    Trailer for the Jackie Chan film, The Medallion, presented in 16x9 enhanced 1.85:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

R4 vs R1

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

    This movie is available on a very similar disc in Region 1 with the exception that the Region 1 gets a choice of the original Korean (but only in Dolby Digital 2.0 which seems to defeat the purpose) or a French dub in addition to the English dub presented here. For mine, this does not make a big difference, although if you are very keen to have the original Korean, the Region 1 is for you.

Summary

    This disc contains a big blockbuster action film from South Korea.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    The disc has a small selection of extras of variable quality.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Sunday, June 06, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Du-na Bae - Donkee