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Breathless (Ddongpari) 
Written by: on May 10th, 2010


Theatrical Release Date:
South Korea, 2009
Director: Yang Ik-Joon
Writer:
Yang Ik-Joon
Cast: Yang Ik-Joon, Kot-bi Kim, Man-shik Jeong, Seung-il Hong, Lee Hwan, Sang-won Kim, Seon-bin Kim, Jin-suk Lee, Seung-yeon Lee, Byeong-eun Park, Jeong-sun Park

DVD released: March 22nd, 2010
Approximate running time: 130 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: 18 (UK)
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Korean
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: Terracotta
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £23.99


A chance encounter brings together, a debt collector who expresses himself through his brutality towards others and a high school girl who is battle her own demons.

Breathless was written , directed and stars Yang Ik-Joon in the role of the film’s protagonist a debt collector named Sang-Hoon. The plot is perfectly laid out and paced, with the two main characters Sang-Hoon and Yeon-Hue the school who befriends and their back stories fully fleshed out. Both of these characters come from broken homes. In which their views of the world was drastically altered by the tragic loses of their mothers and in Sang-Hoon’s case he also lost his sister. This film is never an easy journey with the majority of the film focusing on the violence which dominates the lives of the two main characters. In a film that features many memorable moments. The best moment is saved for last. With the film’s poignant ending providing a heartbreaking conclusion to the events which lead up to the finale. Performance wise the entire cast are exceptional in their respective roles. Ultimately Breathless is an extraordinary film that with stay with long after it’s haunting coda.

The DVD:

Breathless is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. The good news is that the transfer is in good shape with colors, flesh tones and black levels all faring well. The bad news is that there is noticeable combing that is present throughout. Even though the combing is most pronounced during scenes with a lot of horizontal movement. There is still many instances where the image exhibits combing even when there is no horizontal movement.

This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Korean and removable English subtitles have been included. The audio fares much better than the transfer as dialog is always clear, everything sounds balanced and robust when it needs to be. there are no problems with distortion or any other audio defect.

Extras on disc one include trailers for The Fox Family (1 minute 32 seconds  – letterboxed widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles), God Man Dog (1 minute 54 seconds  – letterboxed widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles) and Hansel and Gretel (1 minute 45 seconds  – letterboxed widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles).

Extras on disc two include the original Korean teaser trailer (2 minutes 1 second  – letterboxed widescreen),  UK teaser version 1 (37 seconds  – anamorphic widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles), UK teaser version 2 (40 seconds  – anamorphic widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles), UK trailer (1 minute 57 seconds  – anamorphic widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles), French trailer (1 minute 15 seconds  – anamorphic widescreen, in Korean with French subtitles), a stills gallery, s segment title “Korean Film Industry Special Screening” (8 minute 56 seconds  – 4:3 full frame, in Korean with English subtitles), a segment titled “London Press Junket” (14 minutes 15 seconds  – anamorphic widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles), a segment titled “London Korean Film Festival Q & A” (21 minute 34 seconds  – anamorphic widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles), a segment titled “Breathless Flies to Rotterdam” (12 minutes 46 seconds  – letterboxed widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles) and interviews with actor Yang Ik-Joon (19 minutes 35 seconds – 4:3 full frame, in Korean with English subtitles) and actress Kot-bi Kim (8 minutes 58 seconds – 4:3 full frame, in Korean with English subtitles). Also included with this release is a booklet with filmographies for and comments from Yang Ik-Joon and Kot-bi Kim. The extras are do a good job covering the various aspects of this production with the two stand alone interviews with Yang Ik-Joon and Kot-bi Kim being the two stand out extras. Overall the issues with the transfer overshadows what could have been a definitive release of this film.

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