Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 3rd, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: South Korea, 2012
Director: Dong-Hoon Choi
Writers: Dong-Hoon Choi, Lee Gi-Cheol
Cast: Gianna Jun, Hae-suk Kim, Hye-su Kim, Soo Hyun Kim, Yun-seok Kim, Angelica Lee, Jung-Jae Lee, Dal-su Oh, Kwok Cheung Tsang, Simon Yam
BluRay released: February 12th, 2012
Approximate running time: 136 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
The first thing that comes to mind, when someone mentions South Korean cinema. And though there is a vast ocean of cinema that often gets overlook by Western audiences from South Korea. This brings us to The Thieves, which at times bears a strong resemblance to the Ocean’s 10 film series.
Unfortunately to simply write off The Thieves as a Ocean’s 10 clone would be doing fast paced crime caper a great disservice, since in the end it proves to have a few tricks of its own that and more then stands tall on its own.
Content wise, all the ingredients that one would expect and want to see in a crime caper are in The Thieves and then some. Well rounded characters, all of whom have their own distinctive personalities and specialty skills which make them invaluable to scam at hand. Also the film does a superb job throwing into the mix a few well timed obstacles, including the ever reliable double cross story device.
And though the main objective of all the main players in this film is to obtain a 318 carat diamond. It quickly becomes apparent that it is the characters which populate this film that drive the story and the actual heist is nothing more than window dressing.
From a production stand pint there is not an area of this film that is lacking. The lush visuals reinforces the spectacle of the events which unfold, pacing moves along briskly from revelation to the next and performance the entire cast are pitch perfect in their respective roles. Especially Gianna Jun (My Sassy Girl, Uninvited) in the role Yenicall, a sexy young thieve with an uncanny ability to get into and out of the tightest of places. Ultimately The Thieves is a fast paced crime caper that will quickly draw you into its web of intrigue and hold you firmly in its grasp until its final frames.
The Thieves comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black and contrast levels look consistently good and details look sharp throughout. There are no problems with DNR or compression.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix. Though Korean is this film’s native language, throughout the film English, Mandarin and Japanese are also spoken. Both audio mixes sound great. With the DTS-HD 5.1 mix offering up a fully engrossing experience that is robust when it needs to be and the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented. Also included with this release are two subtitle options, English and Korean.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 38 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles), a brief ‘Making of’ segment (5 minutes 51 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles) and interviews with the cast (4 minutes 38 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles). Also included with this release are trailers for other titles also available from Well Go USA. Overall The Thieves gets a solid audio / video presentation from Well Go USA.
Note: This film is also being released by Well Go USA on DVD.