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I Saw the Devil

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 1 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • I Saw the Devil is a stylish, dark Korean film with intense violence, uncut on Optimum's Blu-ray. RECOMMENDED.

    I Saw the Devil Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • Kim Jee-woon's I Saw the Devil on Blu-ray boasts an excellent 1080p MPEG-4 AVC transfer with rich colors and detail, despite minor enhancement issues. Note: Region-B locked.

  • Audio
  • The Blu-ray of 'I Saw the Devil' features Korean DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 & LPCM 2.0 tracks, with well-translated English subtitles. Its rich, clear soundtrack by Mowg enhances the tension, free from audio flaws.

  • Extra
  • Korean film 'I Saw the Devil' content: trailer (2min), TV spot (1min), making-of featurette (19min), and interviews with cast & crew (20min), all with English subtitles, PAL format.

  • Movie
  • Korean film I Saw the Devil, intense & gory, explores darkness in men through a vengeful duel, impresses with style & acting. Blu-ray features insightful extras. Not for minors.

    Video: 58

    Kim Jee-woon's "I Saw the Devil" is presented on Blu-ray with an original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, utilizing an MPEG-4 AVC codec with a 1080p transfer, courtesy of Optimum Home Entertainment. The transfer generally boasts very good fine object detail and clarity, with contrast levels that maintain consistency across the board. The color reproduction stands out, with a palette that includes a variety of greens, browns, yellows, grays, and blacks all coming through as rich and well-saturated. This creates a visually appealing experience that remains faithful to the film's gritty tone and atmospheric depth, especially notable in its handling of nighttime scenes where depth and tightness are impressively maintained.

    However, the transfer is not without its minor issues. There is occasional mild sharpening and edge enhancement that becomes apparent in certain brightly lit scenes, particularly when the color blue is dominant (as indicated by screencaptures 7 and 8). While these instances are relatively isolated and don't significantly detract from the overall viewing experience, they are worth mentioning for those seeking a pristine visual presentation. Furthermore, it's crucial to note that this is a Region-B locked Blu-ray disc, requiring a compatible Region-B or Region-Free player for playback.

    Despite these minor qualms, the Blu-ray does not suffer from more severe compression artifacts such as heavy aliasing, banding, or intrusive noise reduction, which can often mar other high-definition transfers. This ensures that "I Saw the Devil’s" visual presentation remains largely commendable, allowing viewers to fully immerse themselves in the chilling narrative and striking visuals without frequent distraction. The balance between clarity and maintaining the film's original atmospheric intent makes this Blu-ray a worthwhile acquisition for fans of the genre or the film itself.

    Audio: 63

    The Blu-ray release of "I Saw the Devil" features two distinct audio tracks, providing viewers with options to suit their auditory preferences. First, there's the Korean DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, which presents a rich aural experience that closely mirrors the film's dynamic range and emotional intensity. The inclusion of a Korean LPCM 2.0 track offers a more straightforward, yet still high-quality, listening option. Both tracks come with optional English subtitles, furnished by Optimum Home Entertainment, ensuring that non-Korean speakers can still fully engage with the film's gripping narrative.

    The soundtrack, orchestrated by the talented Korean composer Mowg, plays a pivotal role in shaping the movie's atmosphere. Through the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, Mowg's composition is given a broad canvas, allowing for an immersive soundscape that subtly enhances the tension and drama unfolding on screen. The sound quality is notably sophisticated, delivering depth and clarity that draws viewers deeper into the film's meticulously crafted world. Dialogues are rendered with exceptional crispness and stability, making every word easily intelligible without any distractions caused by audio imperfections such as pops, cracks, hissings, or dropouts.

    Furthermore, the audio track maintains a commendable balance between dialogue, music, and ambient sound effects, ensuring that none overpowers the other. This meticulous mix effectively captures the nuanced emotions and escalating suspense, further testament to the audio production's quality. The English subtitles complement this experience by providing accurate and well-timed translations, allowing for a seamless viewing experience for an international audience. In sum, "I Saw the Devil" benefits immensely from its superior audio presentation on Blu-ray, with both the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 tracks showcasing the film's intense narrative and atmospheric score to full effect.

    Extra: 48

    The extra section of the "I Saw the Devil" Blu Ray presents a succinct yet comprehensive exploration of the film's creation, offering insights from both behind the camera and in front. The extras include raw footage, promotional material, and in-depth discussions, all in Korean with English subtitles for wider accessibility. Particularly noteworthy are the interviews with director Kim Jee-woon and main actors Choi Min-sik and Lee Byung-hun, providing a deep dive into the movie's thematic elements, character dynamics, and the challenges faced during production. These additions ensure fans and cinephiles alike receive a well-rounded understanding of the film's intricate crafting process.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Trailer: In Korean, with imposed English subtitles.
    • TV Spot: In Korean, with imposed English subtitles.
    • Making of: A standard featurette with raw footage from the shooting.
    • Interviews: Director Kim Jee-woon and actors Choi Min-sik and Lee Byung-hun discuss the film.

    Movie: 58

    Kim Jee-woon's "I Saw the Devil," initially showcased at the Toronto International Film Festival and later at Sundance, solidifies the director’s reputation for fearless cinema that blurs the line between revenge thriller and horror masterpiece. Presented on Blu-ray by Optimum Home Entertainment, this Korean narrative deeply explores the abyss of human darkness through its tale of a relentless chase between a psychopathic killer (Choi Min-sik) and a vengeful government agent (Lee Byung-hun). The film's visual and auditory elements—meticulously polished cinematography combined with the haunting score by Mowg—create an atmosphere thick with tension, enhancing the brutal yet captivating showdowns. The inclusion of interviews and behind-the-scenes footage in the Blu-ray supplements offers viewers a deeper dive into Jee-woon's methodical approach and his cast's dedication, despite the film’s intense violent content that may not be suitable for all audiences.

    Set against a backdrop of grief and vengeance following the horrific murder of the agent’s fiancée, "I Saw the Devil" unfolds in three distinct, blood-soaked chapters that escalate in violence and moral ambiguity. The compelling performances by Choi and Lee anchor the narrative, their contrasting acting styles—Choi's unbridled rage versus Lee’s calculated coolness—adding layers to their cat-and-mouse game. This psychological depth, combined with Jee-woon's direction, crafts a narrative that is as thought-provoking as it is visually stunning. Despite its extended runtime, the film maintains its gripping pace through sharp editing and a script that smartly navigates its complex themes.

    The technical brilliance of the film is matched by its thematic depth, pondering the inherent darkness within all men when pushed to their limits. Jee-woon, known for his willingness to explore violence, reaches a zenith with "I Saw the Devil," pushing boundaries to the point of controversy in various markets. Yet, it's this unflinching embrace of the visceral and the violent, paired with profound emotional resonance, that sets the film apart. The Blu-ray presentation captures this essence, making it an essential acquisition for aficionados of Korean cinema and connoisseurs of the thriller genre alike, provided viewers are prepared for its uncompromising nature.

    Total: 58

    The Blu-ray presentation of "I Saw the Devil" by Optimum Home Entertainment offers an unfiltered glimpse into this dark and violent Korean narrative, a film that intricately weaves style with substance. This release not hesitating to include the uncut version, delivers an undiluted experience of the movie's intense and, at times, overwhelming brutality. Audiences considering this movie should brace themselves by previewing official trailers and teasers, as the film does not shy away from its graphic content, making it a challenging recommendation for the faint of heart.

    The technical aspects of this Blu-ray enhance the viewing experience, presenting the film in its raw and powerful form. Optimum Home Entertainment has taken care to ensure that the visual and audio quality complements the film's atmospheric tension and dramatic depth, capturing every detail with clarity. This, combined with the uncut nature of the content, ensures that viewers receive a comprehensive and immersive experience, faithful to the director's original vision. For aficionados of the genre and connoisseurs of Korean cinema, this makes for an invaluable addition to their collection.

    In conclusion, "I Saw the Devil" on Blu-ray is an excellent acquisition for fans of the darker, more visceral side of cinema, provided they are prepared for its intensity. With its uncompromising violence and profound narrative depth, enhanced by superior technical quality, it offers a captivating though disturbing viewing experience. While not easily recommended to all due to its graphic content, those who can appreciate its blend of style and substance will find it a remarkable example of filmmaking. The release by Optimum Home Entertainment is RECOMMENDED for those seeking the uncut embodiment of this challenging yet intriguing cinematic piece.