Attack the Gas Station (Juyuso seubgyuksageun) (1999)

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Released 17-Oct-2007

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Featurette-Making Of
Theatrical Trailer
TV Spots
Gallery
Trailer-Eastern Eye Trailers
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 112:56 (Case: 110)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (60:04) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Kim Sang-jin
Studio
Distributor
CJ Entertainment
Madman Entertainment
Starring Lee Sung-jae
Yu Oh-sung
Kang Sung-jin
Yu Ji-tae
Park Yeong-gyu
Lee Jeong-ho
Kim Su-ro
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Son Mu-hyeon


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Korean Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Korean Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

One night four young Korean men rob and smash up a petrol station. The next night, having nothing else to do, they decide to rob the same petrol station again. The four are leader No Mark (Lee Sung-Jae), slow witted Mad Dog (Yu Oh-sung), bleached blond haired Painter (Yu Ji-tae) and music loving Rockstar (Kang-Sung-jin). Finding no money, they take the station owner and three staff prisoner. In the course of the night, in a series of escalating confrontations with local punks, a take away delivery man, police, street racers and gang members, they add punks, various customers and the mistress of a gangster to their increasingly large number of prisoners. As dawn approaches, various groups converge on the petrol station for an all in brawl to free the prisoners and to extract retribution for wrongs real and imagined.

South Korean cinema may well be the most diverse, innovative and vibrant in East Asia. Koreans can deliver gritty crime drama, historical epics, Buddhist meditations, monster films, revenge drama, war, martial arts and an eastern / western. So why not a comedy? Of course, being Korean cinema it had to be a comedy with a definite hard edge. While there are slapstick moments in Attack the Gas Station, it is more a satire on materialism and disenchanted youth in modern Korea and the comedy is mostly to do with the physical humiliation and cruel treatment of the various individuals who inhabit the petrol station during one long night. It may be that some get what they deserve bullies are humiliated by bigger bullies for example although that does not make it right and in fact there is really no-one with any morality to like in this film. No Mark comes the closest. He has some compassion and understanding of what they are doing, but all too often issues are resolved only by the application of a beating or other violence. If violence inflicted on others is funny, then this film will appeal. Others may not see the joke but if one can look beyond the violence the film is fast paced, never dull and has something to say.

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Transfer Quality

Video

Attack the Gas Station is presented in a ratio of 1.85:1, which is the original ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced. The film has an overexposed look, which affects the sharpness of the print; shadow detail is acceptable and blacks reasonable. The film is also replete with strange camera angles (such as upside down) and sudden jump cuts which I guess is intended to enhance our sense of dislocation. There are a number of small artefacts and minor aliasing (such as at 12:16) but nothing distracting. There was a slight pause with the layer change at 60:04.

Subtitles are in a yellow font. They are in American English but otherwise contain no obvious spelling or grammatical errors. I did find that occasionally they went by too quickly to real fully. Lip Synchronisation is fine in the Korean audio track, but of course was wildly off in the English language version.

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

Audio

The film comes with a range of audio options: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kbps), Korean Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kbps) and Korean Dolby Digital 2.0 (192 Kbps). The default is the English dub. I listened to the Korean 5.1 in its entirety and sampled the English dub.

Dialogue in each was easy to hear above the numerous effects and the music. The surrounds were used constantly for effects such as breaking glass and music. The sub woofer supported the music. The score is a combination of a rock and rap songs that works well. The English dub was pretty poor, with the added distraction that in the scenes where characters sang, the singing was in Korean.

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

Extras

Making of Attack the Gas Station (8:30)

The Director and four main stars speak about the film, their characters and how much fun they all had making it. The audio contains some distortion and drop outs.

Theatrical Trailer (2:39)

TV Spots (0:54)

3 TV spots in total.

Stills Gallery

20 movie stills. No music, use the remote to progress.

Eastern Eye Trailers

Included are Shadowless Sword (2:58 min), The Quiet Family (2:42 min), Volcano High (2:02 min) and The Host (2:15 min).

R4 vs R1

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

There are a number of versions of the film in Asia and the USA. Most are not 16x9 enhanced and seem to have no more extras than our version. A win to Madman and Region 4.

Summary

Attack the Gas Station is a satire on materialism and disenchanted youth in modern Korea. The comedy elements are mostly to do with the physical humiliation and cruel treatment of the various individuals, some of whom get what they probably deserve. The DVD has acceptable video, good audio, and while extras are minimal the Region 4 release seems to be the best version of the film currently available.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def 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

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