Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 12th, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: South Korea, 2012
Directors: Jee-woon Kim, Pil-Sung Yim
Writers: Jee-woon Kim, Pil-Sung Yim
Cast: Doona Bae, Joon-ho Bong, Ji-hee Jin, John D. Kim, Kang-woo Kim, Jun-hee Ko, Dong-seok Ma, Hae-il Park, Seung-beom Ryu, Sae-Byeok Song
BluRay released: December 11th, 2012
Approximate running time: 114 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Korean, Dolby Digital Stereo Korean
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.98
Doomsday Book was co-directed by Jee-woon Kim (I Saw the Devil) and Pil-Sung Yim (Hansel & Gretel). The narrative for the film is essentially three separated stories that are ultimately linked by one common theme the end of the world.
The first story titled ‘A Brave New World’ revolves around a virus that turns everyone in Seoul into zombies. The second story titled ‘The Heavenly Creature’ centers around a robot that is set to be put out of order. Only there is one problem, this robot is believe to be a being of a higher power. The third story titled ‘Happy Birthday’ revolves who logs into a mysterious website to order her father a eight ball that she lost from his pool table. Unfortunately by doing this she sets in motion the end of the world.
Though these three segments are all linked by one common. The tone of each and the genre they fit into is what differentiates them from each other. The first segment ‘A Brave New World’ is rooted in the horror genre, while the segment ‘The Heavenly Creature’ in rooted in the sci-fi genre and the final segment ‘Happy Birthday’ places itself firmly in the comedy genre. With that being said, all three of these segments are also linked by one other common thread, their use of social commentary.
Tone wise the two segments which open and close this film have a more whimsical feel to them, while the middle segment ‘The Heavenly Creature’ has a very serious tone to it. And while all three segments have strong qualities which make them all enjoyable experiences. The strongest of these three segments is this films final segment ‘Happy Birthday’, which finds the best balance between message and entertainment.
From a production stand point one would be hard pressed to find many, if any faults in this film. The direction is solid, the visuals are give the appropriate amount of eye candy and pacing is never an issue. Performance the entire cast are all very good in their respective roles. With Ji-hee Jin (Hansel & Gretel) in the role of Min-seo, the young girl who’s ordering of a eight ball for her dads pool table proves to have dire consequences. It should be noted that an older version of the Min-seo is portrayed by Doona Bae (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance).
Doomsday Book comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. This is another strong transfer from Well Go USA that faithfully retains the intended look of the film. Colors look accurate, black and contrast levels look consistently good, details always look crisp and there are no problems with compression.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Korean and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Korean. Both audio mixes are in great shape, especially the DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Korean. Also include with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film and trailers for other titles also available from Well Go USA. Overall Doomsday Book gets a solid audio / video presentation from Well Go USA.
Note: This film is also being released by Well Go USA on DVD.