Haeundae (2009)

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Released 10-Feb-2010

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Disaster Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Making Of
Trailer-Theatrical
Trailer-Eastern Eye
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2009
Running Time 102:34
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Je-gyun Yun
Studio
Distributor
CJ Entertainment
Madman Entertainment
Starring Kyung-gu Sol
Ji-won Ha
Joong-Hoon Park
Jeong-hwa Eom
Min-gi Lee
Ye-won Kang
In-kwon Kim
Case Alpha-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Byung-woo Lee


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Korean Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Korean Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Haeundae is South Korea's stab at the disaster movie genre. Appropriately for the region, it's all about whopping great tidal waves, specifically one great tsunami heading for the mile-long tourist beach in the city of Haeundae.

     Prior to the good stuff, Haeundae offers us an hour or so of bland comedic drama to establish a handful of characters for us to care about when the mayhem begins; a little like a week's worth of Home and Away before the effects from a Roland Emmerich opus. Those soapy threads include:

     At the time it was made Haeundae was the most expensive Korean film ever made and one of the country’s highest grossing films. The film employed the same effects houses that were behind A Perfect Storm and The Day After Tomorrow and they did not skimp. The effects are well and truly up to the standard of Hollywood fare. The final half hour of the film, which depicts the actual waves and flow-on explosions and stunts, is truly breathtaking. It is a shame the first hour or so of aimless melodrama needs to be waded through before the good bits get going.

     The version of the film offered on this disc is the shortened International version of the film, which runs around a quarter of an hour shorter than the South Korean domestic cut.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The film is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced. The video is quite watchable, but far from great.

     The image is reasonably clear, but focus a little soft. Edge enhancement is noticeable throughout, as is mild grain. There is relatively poor shadow detail, which makes following a handful of key night-time scenes somewhat more difficult than it should be. The colour palette is a little washed out, which is most noticeable during the daytime scenes although it is consistent throughout the film.

     Mild macro blocking is present in the image, although few are likely to notice it. There is no sign of film artefacts in the transfer.

     The film features bold yellow English subtitles which are quite easy to read and reasonably easy to follow, but are occasionally clumsily timed.

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

Audio

     The Film features a Korean Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kbps) audio track and a Korean Dolby Digital 2.0 (224 Kbps) audio track.

     The audio is clean and clear. Dialogue is at a good level in the mix and easy to discern.

     The film features a fairly stock standard orchestral score which fits the film well and is well represented in the mix.

     The film makes good use of the surrounds. There is good usage for environmental effects during the dramatic phase of the film and particularly exciting sound during the action parts. The subwoofer is fairly quiet save for the action scenes, where it is put to decent use for all manner of bangs and clangs.

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

Extras

Making Of Featurette (11:30)

Assorted on-set footage taken during of the filming of a number of the film's action sequences, along with a couple of brief on-set interviews with cast members (in some cases whilst they are still out of breath from completing stunt work). Short and to the point.

Theatrical Trailer

A South Korean theatrical trailer that largely plugs the action in the film.

Easter Eye Trailers

Trailers for other films.

R4 vs R1

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

    Haeundae is not presently available in Region 1, but is scheduled for a May 2010 release under the title Tidal Wave.

    Various editions exist in Region 3, most of which are purported to contain iffy subtitles. For now, Region 4 is the safest bet for an English-friendly release.

Summary

     Imagine watching a week's worth of Home and Away then changing the channel to see the half an hour of action from 2012 or A Perfect Storm and you will have a fair idea of what you are in for with Haeundae.

     Video is fair. Light scenes are a little washed out and dark scenes are muddy but it is certainly watchable. Audio is particularly good. The extras are limited but worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Friday, March 05, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
DisplayOptoma HD20 Projector. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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