With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

TRAIN TO BUSAN reviewed; comes to BD & DVD today, January 17th

Well Go USA
Train to Busan / Busanhaeng
Directed by YEON Sang-ho
South Korea, 2016, 118 minutes

Train to Busan, the outstanding zombie thriller from South Korea, debuts on Blu-ray™ and DVD today, January 17 from Well Go USA Entertainment. (It's been available for digital download since December 13th.) This review is based on my watching the Blu-ray version.

SUH Seok-woo (GONG Yoo, The Age of Shadows) is a rather self-absorbed fund manager.  He's divorced and his young daughter Su-an (KIM Soo-an) must travel back to her mother by train. She wants to go by herself, but Seok-woo, more out of his need to exhibit control and power than for actual concern for her safety, insists on accompanying her. Unfortunately, there's been an outbreak at YS Biotech that's resulted in a zombie outbreak and one of the undead -- surprise! -- manages to get on the train before it departs. Soon there's a full-scale zombie infestation on the train and those not yet affected must use all their resources to remain so long enough to hopefully reach a safety zone.

Train to Busan was a huge box office across Asia, smashed box office records in South Korea and has become the biggest Korean film of all time. It recently received several nominations for the 11th Asian Film Awards, including GONG Yoo for Best Actor, MA Dong-seok for Best Supporting Actor, YANG Jin-mo for Best Editing, KWON Yoo-jin for Best Costume Design, and JUNG Hwang-su for Best Visual Effects. It has a 7.5 rating at IMDb and a 72 Metascore at Metacritic.

The film truly deserves all these accolades. It's a taut thriller that really delivers. And the ending had me on the edge of my couch, it was so smart and unpredictable. In fact, I found Train to Busan to be every bit as good as World War Z, which I loved. The two would make for a wonderful double bill on home video some weekend.

Disc Specs:
-- Audio
   -- Korean DTS:X
   -- Korea 2.0 Stereo
   -- English 5.1 DTS HDMA
   -- English 2.0 Stereo
-- Subtitles
   -- English
   -- Off
-- Bonus
   -- Featurettes
      -- Behind the Scenes (13:01)
      -- That's a Wrap (4:35)
   -- Trailer (1:55)
-- Previews
   -- Operation Mekong
   -- Tunnel
   -- Phantasm Remastered
   -- The Wailing

AsianCineFest Rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars; very, very highly recommended

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