10,000 Bullets   Exploring the world of Cinema from the Arthouse to the Grindhouse™

No. 3 
Written by: on August 2nd, 2009

Theatrical Release Date: South Korea, 1997
Director: Neung-han Song
Writer: Neung-han Song
Cast: Eun-hee Bang, Min-sik Choi, Suk-kyu Han, Mi-yeon Lee, Kwang-jung Park, Sang-Myeon Park, Kang-ho Song

DVD released: August 10th, 2009
Approximate running time: 109 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: 15
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Korean
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: Third Window Films
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £14.99

The plot for revolves around a gangster named Tae-ju who quickly rises to third in command of his gang. He become dissatisfied with his position with his gang and aspires to become No. 1 (the Boss). In the film there are two main characters who pose a threat to Tae-ju’s dreams of being the boss of the Do Ka gang. A gangster named Ashtray (whose name derives from his fondness for using ashtrays as weapons) and a hard-nosed prosecutor named Dong-Pal. As if these two obstacles were not enough to deal with Tae-ju’s girlfriend Hyun-Ji is spending his money faster than he can make it and she is having an affair on the side with a poet.

The plot does tend to drag in some sections with the last forty minutes being the strongest section of the film. The characters are generally likable with the scenes between Tae-ju and Dong-Pal being some of the more enjoyable in the film. The humor in the film often falls flat. For a film that is billed as a comedy / parody, the film ended up being less about the laughs and more about the violence inflicted by the various characters.

The cast features many memorable faces Suk-kyu Han (Shiri), Sang-Myeon Park (My Wife Is a Gangster), Kang-ho Song (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Thirst), Min-sik Choi (Old Boy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance) and Mi-yeon Lee (Love Exposure). Performance wise all of the cast are extremely good in their respective roles with the standout performance coming from Eun-hee Bang, who portrays an oversexed gangster’s mistress. Ultimately No. 3 is an ambitious film that overcomes its flaws mostly because of its exceptional cast.

The DVD:

Third Window Films presents No. 3 in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. This is a clean looking transfer that looks detailed and colors and flesh tones fare well. Some of the darker / nighttime scenes look overly dark. Also this transfer has not been flagged for progressive playback. The interlaced image is not plague by an excessive ghosting / blurring.

This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Korean and removable English subtitles have been provided. The audio sounds clear and balanced throughout.

The main extra for this release is a twenty four minute making of documentary about the film that includes comments from the cast and crew. All the comments in this documentary are in Korean and English subtitles have been provided. The remaining extras are trailers for titles currently or soon to be released on DVD from Third Window Films. Overall No. 3 gets a well rounded DVD release from Third Window Films.

Disclaimer: Some of the reviews contained here at 10kbullets contain screenshots that may not be suitable for those surfing the website at work and discretion is advised while viewing these pages. All of the screenshots and other images used on this site are solely for promotional purposes and are copyrighted to their respective owners. All reviews, bios and interviews unless noted in the text of the review, bio or interview are original content that was written exclusively for 10kbullets and has never been published anywhere else. On occasion there may be typos or errors in the text and if you let us know we will be more then happy to correct all typos or misinformation in the text. All opinions expressed on this site are solely those of the author(s) and not that of any company or person referred to. All the written material contained on 10kBullets is intended for informational purposes only and it is copyright © 2004-Present by the authors.