Mighty Chroma Logo
Mighty Chroma Logo

The Yellow Sea

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 1 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Intense, brutal action film by Na Hong-jin, sadly DVD-only in the U.S. but a must-watch. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

    The Yellow Sea Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • The Yellow Sea on Blu-ray features a 2.35:1, MPEG-4 AVC, 1080p transfer with varying contrast, evolving color-scheme, excellent detail, and no major anomalies, offering a commendable viewing experience. Note: Region-B locked.

  • Audio
  • The Blu-ray features a pristine Korean DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio with optional clear English subtitles. It excels in dynamic, immersive action sequences without any technical flaws, ensuring crisp dialogue and excellent translation.

  • Extra
  • A collection of Korean trailers and a making-of featurette, all with English subtitles. Trailers vary in length (2-3 mins), while the featurette is extensive (77 mins), all in standard video quality (480/60i).

  • Movie
  • Na Hong-jin's awarded film 'The Yellow Sea' on Blu-ray captures a gripping journey of survival and crime, enriched with intense action and deep character arcs. Region-B, with extras.

    Video: 64

    The Blu-ray presentation of Na Hong-jin's "The Yellow Sea," courtesy of Bounty Films/Eureka Entertainment, is offered in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio with a 1080p transfer, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC. This video presentation showcases a visual journey that is as dynamic as the film's narrative. As the protagonist traverses different locales, the video contrast and clarity exhibit some variability, yet they enhance the storytelling by reflecting the changing environments and circumstances. The color palette shifts adeptly, maintaining a base of cool grays and blues that contribute to the film's overall atmosphere. Despite continuous camera movement, the level of detail remains impressively high, ensuring that textures and nuances are captured with precision. The fluidity of panoramic shots adds to the cinematic quality, immersing viewers in the expansive landscapes.

    During scenes set in darker environments, the clarity is notably satisfying—a testament to the transfer’s quality—even when viewed on screencaps, such as screencapture #4. The absence of post-production digital enhancements like sharpening is a commendable aspect of this Blu-ray edition, preserving the film's original cinematic texture. Additionally, the transfer is free from common digital flaws like banding, aliasing, and compression artifacts, which speaks to the meticulous effort put into this release. Viewers should experience no distracting flicker or stability issues, making for a smooth and engaging viewing experience.

    Technical viewers will appreciate knowing that this release is Region-B locked, necessitating a compatible Region-B or Region-Free player for access. The preservation of the film's visual integrity, combined with a high level of technical attention to detail in the transfer process, ensures that this Blu-ray rendition of "The Yellow Sea" admirably serves its fans and cinephiles looking for a high-quality home cinema experience.

    Audio: 64

    The Blu-ray release of "The Yellow Sea" presents its audiences with an exclusive Korean DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track, ensuring an immersive auditory experience. This singular option underlines the precision given to delivering high-quality sound, complemented by optional English subtitles. The subtitles' design, thoughtfully integrated, may split the visual frame and lower black bar, yet this consideration allows for a seamless viewing experience without detracting from the cinematic presentation.

    The audio track itself is a testament to the filmmakers' commitment to auditory excellence. It ranges dynamically, particularly shining during intense action sequences where the surround channels are put to strategic use. This creates an enveloping atmosphere, particularly noted during a standout scene involving the destruction of several police vehicles—an unequivocal challenge to any home audio setup. The clarity of dialogue remains uncompromised, crisp and stable throughout, allowing for easy follow-along without the common pitfalls of high-frequency distortion, synchronization issues, or undesirable dropouts.

    Of notable mention is the quality of the English translation, which complements the film’s high standards in auditory presentation. The loseless audio's meticulous balance ensures that whether in the throes of action or during quieter, dialogue-driven moments, viewers are afforded a consistently clear and engaging auditory experience. This attention to detail in the audio track of "The Yellow Sea" Blu-ray not only enhances the viewing experience but also sets a high standard for home cinema audio presentations.

    Extra: 44

    The Blu-ray release of "The Yellow Sea" is commendably equipped with a range of extras that are sure to enhance the viewer's appreciation of this gritty thriller. Among them, the inclusion of various trailers, each presented in Korean with imposed English subtitles, offers a glimpse into the film's marketing in both its domestic and international forms. The UK and Korean Theatrical Trailers, along with a Teaser Trailer, provide a diverse preview experience. However, the standout extra is undoubtedly the extensive "Making of" featurette. Clocking in at over an hour, this addition delves deep into the production process, featuring raw footage, insightful interviews with cast and crew, and more—all of which are presented in Korean with optional English subtitles, maintaining access for a wider audience. These extras not only complement the main feature but also provide a significant depth of insight into the film's creation and reception.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • UK Theatrical Trailer: In Korean, with imposed English subtitles.
    • Korean Theatrical Trailer: In Korean, with imposed English subtitles.
    • Teaser Trailer: In Korean, with imposed English subtitles.
    • Making of: A detailed featurette including behind-the-scenes footage and interviews.

    Movie: 64

    Screened at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and celebrated for its riveting performances, notably earning the Best Actor Award at the Asian Film Awards, "The Yellow Sea" by South Korean auteur Na Hong-jin is a compelling blend of action and drama. Presented on Blu-ray by Bounty Films/Eureka Entertainment, this cinematic piece stands out not only for its storytelling but also for its dedication to authenticity and gripping narrative. The disc is region-B locked and comes replete with notable extras, including theatrical trailers and a making-of documentary, ensuring that enthusiasts and cinephiles alike are offered a glimpse behind the curtain of this cinematic endeavor. With optional English subtitles, the film reaches a broader audience, inviting viewers into its intricately woven tale.

    Set against the backdrop of Yanbian, a Korean Autonomous Prefecture, the film introduces us to Gu Nam (played by Ha Jung-woo), a taxi driver caught in the throes of loneliness and desperation. The narrative thrusts him into a dangerous deal, offering an escape from his dismal existence but at a grave cost. As Gu Nam plunges into the underbelly of Seoul under the guise of a hitman, "The Yellow Sea" deftly explores themes of survival and desolation, all while maintaining a breakneck pace that keeps viewers glued to their screens. The director's cut, featured on this Blu-ray, spans approximately 140 minutes, providing an immersive experience into Gu Nam's tumultuous journey.

    Na Hong-jin proves once again that he is a master of suspense and action. "The Yellow Sea" is meticulously structured into four expansive chapters, allowing audiences to delve deep into Gu Nam's psyche as well as the chaotic world around him. The film's depiction of violence—both graphic and psychologically rattling—serves not as gratuitous but as a testament to the film's raw portrayal of life at society's margins. Coupled with exceptional character development and unexpected twists, this directorial masterpiece offers a relentless cinematic experience that dares viewers to look away.

    Total: 64

    Na Hong-jin's "The Yellow Sea" has been aptly celebrated for its relentless pace and bone-crunching action, an intensity reminiscent of Dante Lam's "Fire of Conscience". It embodies a raw, unfiltered cinematic experience that is both rigorous and exhilarating. The film's international financing deal with 20th Century Fox, while ensuring a broader audience, has curiously confined its U.S. release to DVD under the Fox World Cinema series. This decision is particularly frustrating for aficionados of high-definition cinema, given the movie's vivid action sequences and nuanced visuals that beg for Blu-ray treatment. For those with the capability to play Region-B locked releases, acquiring the Blu-ray version is a must — promising an unrivaled, high-octane viewing experience.

    The transition to Blu-ray not only elevates "The Yellow Sea's" viscerally charged action but also highlights Na Hong-jin's meticulous direction and the film's detailed production values. Superior audio quality accentuates the movie's dense soundscape, from its screeching chases to its hauntingly tense silences, framing its dark narrative with a palpable sense of dread and anticipation. The precise color reproduction and enhanced contrast of the Blu-ray format further immerse viewers in the film's intricate world, capturing the grim realities of its characters' lives with striking clarity. It’s a definitive upgrade over DVD, offering aficionados the closest possible experience to the director's thorough vision.

    In conclusion, "The Yellow Sea" on Blu-ray stands as an essential acquisition for any serious collector or enthusiast of Korean cinema and action-packed thrillers. Its absence in the U.S. market on Blu-ray is a notable oversight, underscoring a missed opportunity to fully showcase Na Hong-jin's exceptional talent and the film's dynamic visual and auditory identity. For those able to circumnavigate regional playback restrictions, this Blu-ray edition promises an uncompromising and deeply rewarding cinematic journey. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for its unmatched prowess in delivering one of the most intense action experiences available today.