Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 18th, 2017
BluRay released: January 15th, 2018
Approximate running time: 135 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Korean, LPCM Stereo Korean
BluRay Release: Eureka Video / Montage Pictures
Region Coding: Region B
Retail Price: £12.99 (UK)
It was only a matter of time before Korean filmmakers put their imprint on the gangster film genre which had already achieved worldwide success in other Asian countries, like the Yakuza film in Japan and heroic bloodshed from Hong Kong cinema’s golden age of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.
Needless to say there is a rich history of gangster themed cinema that hails from all regions of Asian and not just from those aforementioned countries. And though there have been elements that one would associate in previous Korean films -most notably Man from Nowhere. None come close to putting their definitive imprint on the genre like New World.
Content wise the film that New World most resembles is Infernal Affairs. Narrative wise New World is an intricately laid out plot that fully exploits this film’s two hour plus running time and then some. All of the characters which populate this film are fully fleshed out and all of their motivations are crystal clear, even if they try to disguise from each other their true intentions. In all there is a lot of ground that is covered in this film and the rich detailed characters and superb performances of said characters reinforce the events which unfold in this film.
Pacing is never issues as the film’s moves a good and at times brisk pace that gives you just enough time to digest that terrifying revelation. Other areas of the production where this film’s excels are its rock solid visuals and it’s gruesome moments of bloodshed. Two scenes instantly pop into my mind in regard to the latter. The first moment involves a female informant who’s body is delivered to a mob boss bludgeoned, still alive and crammed into an oil drum. The other scene involves the attempted assassination of a mob boss where the bulk of the mayhem takes places in a elevator. This latter sequences is at times reminiscent of a gruesome hallway sequence from the movie Oldboy.
Overall though there are obviously going to be comparisons made between New World and Infernal Affairs and any number of other gangster films. The end result is a extraordinary film that stands on its own, quickly draws you into its brutal reality and will leave you speechless by its last shocking revelation.
New World comes on a 50 GB dual layer (36.4 GB) BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Black levels and image clarity remain solid throughout and there are no issues with DNR or compression. This film was released on Blu-ray in region A by Well Go USA and though that release featured a solid transfer. This region B release from Eureka Video devotes about 15 GB more of space to the main feature and the end release is a much better encode.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Korean and a LPCM stereo mix in Korean. Both audio mixes sound, clear, balanced and robust when they need too. Included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include, a trailer for New World (1 minute 35 seconds, in Korean with English subtitles) and a promo trailer for Montage Pictures.
Also, included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo.
Overall New World gets a solid audio / video presentation from Eureka Video.