The Yellow Sea

This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week in DVD! It’s pretty slim pickings this week with the best release requiring a region-free player, but there are still a few titles worth a rental. Some of this week’s releases include David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, Angelina Jolie’s In the Land Of Blood and Honey, the 80’s shocker Don’t Go in the House and more. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Yellow Sea (UK) A man finds himself in over his head with gambling debts and decides to head to Korea to look for his wife who went there months prior. The trip’s financiers task him with an assassination to wipe his debt clean, but what should have been a simple act becomes something far more complicated and messy. This is the first Korean production to be co-financed by a major US studio (Fox), but thankfully it seems to have had no negative effect on the finished product. Hong-jon Na’s film is just as wonderful and brutal as his debut, The Chaser, but it benefits from a deeper, more political story. Not to say it shies away from the action and violence… there is some spectacular bloodletting here in addition to gun/hatchet/fist fights and chases. **NOTE – This is a region2 DVD which requires either a region-free player or the willingness to watch on your PC.**

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This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD and the last day of February! Well, what should be the last day but is instead actually the 2nd to last thanks to the shenanigans of the evil and gilled Leap Dave Williams. Only one big title hits shelves this week, but it’s an Academy Award winner! Other titles that aren’t named Hugo include a few fantastic and exciting foreign films (The Front Line, Rabies, The Yellow Sea), a few less exciting foreign films (The Conformist, Tomorrow When the War Began, Mandrill) and more! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. I Melt With You Four old college friends (Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe, Christian McKay, Jeremy Piven) get together annually for a drug-fueled weekend, but their latest reunion finds each of them at the lowest point of their lives. All four leads do a fantastic job in this energetic but terribly depressing movie that examines the ideas of failure, depression and expectations at the mid-point of a man’s life. Things tease the point of over-doing it, but the lasting effect is a powerful one as the men face the lives and mistakes they’ve made. Plus Carla Gugino, Arielle Kebbel, and Sasha Grey! Director Mark Pellington has a couple solid films under his belt (Arlington Road and The Mothman Prophecies), but his main career focus seems to be music videos so it’s fitting that his latest film matches the stylish visuals, heavy emotional toll and powerful […]

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The title of this post is pretty self explanatory, so no introduction is really needed here. But… I do feel compelled to point out the same thing I point out every year. Nailing foreign releases down to a particular year isn’t an exact science. Obviously every film has an actual date of initial release, but most foreign titles don’t hit our shores until the following year, if at all. I try to go by original release date whenever possible though which means some of my choices have yet to be screened in the US outside of film festivals and import DVDs. That said, here’s a list of my eleven favorite foreign films for 2011 in alphabetical order. (Be sure to check out my lists from 2010, 2009 and 2008 too.) And because I know someone will ask, yes, I did see Certified Copy.

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From a cinematic export standpoint, there is no greater thing coming out of Korea than pure and beautiful violence. Some of the brutality we’ve seen from Korea’s best and brightest absolutely blows away anything even dreamt about by American filmmakers. And with his second film, The Yellow Sea, Na Hong-jin has joined the legions of Korean blood auteurs with a film that is organic, fresh and full of some of the most dazzling hatchet-on-knife-on-hatchet violence to be seen on screens of any size this year.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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