Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 3rd, 2012
BluRay released: May 8th, 2012
Approximate running time: 133 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 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
Synopsis: The South Korean army believes that there is a traitor in their midst. So they send to the Eastern front line of the Aerok Hills, a Lieutenant from the Defense Security Command to investigate the validity of this claim.
Set during the tail end of the Korean war, The Front Line gives an unflinching look into the horrors of war. And in the case of the Korean war, this is even more magnified due to the fact that conflict has yet to be resolved, though it has been almost sixty years since the two sides agreed to a cease fire.
When discussing war themed films, the battle sequences often draw the most attention. And it is in this regard this film delivers and then some. There is never a shortage of carnage unfolding on the screen.
Though the battle sequences often play an integral part to any film about war. It is this film film’s character’s and their actions that ultimately drive the story at hand. Especially the relationship between a Lieutenant from the Defense Security Command named Eun-pyo and the current person in charge of ‘Alligator Company’ Soo-Hyeok. These two characters have a past history together that plays a role in the evolution of the story at hand.
The one area that this film entrenches itself like other war films. Is how it clearly takes one side, in this case the side of South Korea. Fortunately this slant in perspective never detracts from the overall message that the filmmakers are trying to achieve.
Performance wise, the entire cast are all very good in their respective roles. With this film’s stand out performance coming from Ha-kyun Shin (Save the Green Planet!, Thirst) in the role of this film’s protagonist Eun-pyo. Another memorable performance comes from Seung-yong Ryoo (War of the Arrows) in the role of a North Korean commander Jung-yoon.
The Front Line comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. This transfer do a great job retaining the intended look of the film. Details look crisp throughout, there are no problems with compression and DNR is kept in check.
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 sound fantastic, with the DTS-HD 5.1 mix being the best of the two. Dialog comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced and robust when it needs too. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles that are easy to follow and error free.
Extras for this release include the original theatrical trailer (2 minutes 8 seconds – letterboxed widescreen), the U.S. release trailer for the film (1 minute 51 seconds – letterboxed widescreen), a brief ‘Making of’ segment (3 minutes 42 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles) and a 22 minute segment that contains highlights from the film. The extras are sparse and give no real insight into the film. Also included with this release are trailers for other titles also available from Well Go USA. Overall The Front Line gets a solid audio / video presentation from Well Go USA.
Note: Also included with this combo release is a DVD copy that has all the contents that are included on the BluRay counterpart.