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Joint Security Area Blu-ray Review

“Joint Security Area” is a top tier Park Chan-wook film.

Based on the novel “DMZ” by Park Sang-yeon, “Joint Security Area” (or “JSA” for short) is a 2000 South Korean film about a violent incident that occurs in the Korean Demilitarized Zone (the border between North and South Korea). A Swiss Army Major (Sophie) from the NNSC (Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission) is conducting an investigation into what really happened, but nobody is talking initially. Will the truth come out or will it remain a mystery?

Directed by Park Chan-wook (who is perhaps best known for the original “Oldboy”), “Joint Security Area” is the type of movie that film fans treasure. It wastes no time and gets right to the point, it’s involving, it’s superbly directed by the now legendary Park Chan-wook, the script by Kim Hyun-seok, Jeong Seong-san, Lee Moo-yeong, and Park Chan-wook evokes “Rashomon” and is full of mystery and, above all, it delves into some really deep subject matters of nationalism, politics, and human connections. What really sets it apart from the average film is the way the story unfolds. You think it’s going one way at the beginning, but it surprises you and goes another direction as well. This is the type of film that is best seen knowing as little as possible because it’s so much more rewarding that way.

The cast is equally fantastic here with Lee Young-ae (Sophie), Lee Byung-hun (Sgt. Lee) and Song Kang-ho as Sgt. Oh (who is perhaps best known from “Parasite”) turning in deeply emotional (and sometimes intense) performances.


Presentation: 2.35:1 1080p. How does it look? This is a striking hi-def transfer. You can’t ask for a better one.

Audio Track: Korean 5.1 DTS-HD MA and 2.0 PCM. How do they sound? Both tracks deliver a quality sound experience.

* A booklet with credits, photos, and an essay by writer Kieran Fisher.
* Theatrical trailer, TV spot and image gallery
* Isolated music and effects track
* 2 music videos for “Letter From A Private” and “Take The Power Back.”
* “Stepping Over Boundaries”- A new 35 minute interview with Asian cinema expert Jasper Sharp who talks about “JSA” and Park Chan-wook’s filmography.
* Commentary by writer Simon Ward.
* Archival extras- Behind the scenes montage, making of featurette, intros by cast members, movie set donation ceremony, and a featurette on the film.

April 20, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I loved this movie.

    Comment by Dave Anderson | April 21, 2021 | Reply

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