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Man from Nowhere, The 
Written by: on March 11th, 2011

Theatrical Release Date:
South Korea, 2010
Director: Jeong-beom Lee
Writer: Jeong-beom Lee
Cast: Bin Won, Sae-ron Kim, Hyo-seo Kim

DVD released: March 8th, 2011
Approximate running time: 119 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: R
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Korean, Dolby Digital Stereo Korean, Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.98

Synopsis: A reclusive owner pawn shop, who was once a secret agent. Is forced to reconnect with his killer instincts. When a young girl that he had befriended and her mother are kidnapped.

Right off the bat this film firmly establishes a bleak tone. That is reinforced through it’s unflinching depiction of violence that is always brutal and at times sadistically executed. Outside of the film’s protagonist Tae-Sik Cha, a former government agent and So-Mi Jeong the young girl who he is trying to rescue. The remaining characters that populate this film are primarily driven by their own selfishness and unsympathetic. Even though the villains are one dimensional caricatures. That seem to enjoy their evilness a little too much. Fortunately that does not mean that they are any less entertaining to watch.

Plot wise there is a satisfying balance between the more character driven moments and its explosive action set pieces. And to further bolster the plot there is a satisfying amount of back-story. However the aforementioned action set pieces are all top notch. And they help propel the narrative along at a brisk pace. With the film saving its most memorable moment for the film’s blood soaked operatic finale.

From a production stand point this film does not have many weakness. The cinematography does a superb job capturing the mood and the performances from the entire cast are all very good. With the film’s standout performance coming from  Bin Won (Mother, Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War) in the role of Tae-Sik Cha. Another performance of note is Sae-ron Kim in the role of So-Mi Jeong. The scenes in which these two actors interact are by far and away the most compelling. Ultimately The Man from Nowhere is an exhilarating mix of heroic bloodshed and redemption through vengeance.

The DVD:

WellGo USA presents The Man from Nowhere in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original 2.35:1 ‘scope’ aspect ratio. This is a solid transfer that boasts nicely saturated colors, healthy flesh tones, black levels look constantly strong and details look sharp throughout. There are no problems with compression and edge enhancement while present, it is minimal.

This release comes with four audio options, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in Korean, a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Korean, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in English and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English. All four audio tracks sound clear and balanced throughout. Range wise they all do a good job with more ambient aspects of the soundtrack. With the more action oriented sequences benefiting most form these audio mixes. Also included with this release are English subtitles that are easy to follow and error free.

Extras for this release include a teaser and a trailer for the film and a five minute collection of clips from the film and a seventeen minute behind the scenes segment. The remaining extras for this release consist of trailers for other titles also available from WellGo USA. These extras are nothing more than your standard PR promo’s. That offer little insight into the actual aspects of this production. Overall The Man from Nowhere gets a first rate audio / video presentation from WellGo USA.

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