With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

NO TEARS FOR THE DEAD is available today on Blu-ray and DVD

 CJ Entertainment
No Tears for the Dead / U-neun nam-ja
Written and Directed by LEE Jeong-beom
Starring JANG Dong-gun and KIM Min-hee
South Korea, 2014, 116 minutes

No Tears for the Dead , a very fine action thriller from South Korean director LEE Jeong-beom (The Man From Nowhere), debuts today February 17th on Blu-ray and DVD from CJ Entertainment. This review is based on watching the Blu-ray version, which has some exclusive bonus features, described below, that are not included on the DVD.

JANG Dong-gun (FriendWarrior’s Way) is Gon, a top hit man for the criminal underworld. On one assignment he unintentionally kills an innocent young girl. He is then tasked with killing her mother, CHOI Mogyeong (KIM Min-hee, HelplessVery Ordinary Couple), who is one of three individuals who may have received a computer file that Gon's bosses desperately want retrieved. But Gon is filled with remorse and instead of taking out his designated target, he does all he can to protect her from the other bad guys who are also after her.

Gon (actor JANG Dong-gun)

The film has terrific action scenes. These involve lots of gun-play, some serious knife and unarmed fighting, as well as some vehicular mayhem. Some of the action scenes in No Tears for the Dead are right up there with great scenes in both of The Raid movies and John Wick, which is high praise indeed.

Disc Statistics
- Audio Options:
   § English 5.1 or 2.0
   § Korean 5.1 or 2.0 with English subtitles (Note that there is a good bit of dialogue, particularly at the beginning that is in English. So don't think that something's wrong if you select one of the Korean soundtracks and hear English being spoken.)
- Blu-ray and DVD Bonus Features Include: 
   § “The Making of No Tears for the Dead” featurette
   § Director’s Commentary
- Blu-ray Exclusive Features Include Everything on the DVD, plus: 
   § Deleted Scenes
   § Brian Tee Interview
   § Character Spot: Mogyeong
   § Character Spot: Gon
   § Behind the Scene
   § Action Highlights

Mogyeong (actress KIM Min-hee)

I must say that “The Making of No Tears for the Dead” featurette is one of the best I've ever watched. It really addresses interesting issues, ranging from how certain complex stunts were planned and filmed to how Director Lee chose using Danny Boy as the song that Mogyeong sings. Director LEE even says on camera that the film, as a theatrical release in South Korea, was not a hit.

The Blu-ray and DVD release of No Tears for the Dead should convince western viewers that it deserved a better reception. While the film has some minor faults, such as a somewhat lengthy section in the middle that has only two short action vignettes, overall it's a really good watch. And I'm very interested in watching it again with the Director's Commentary, something I rarely have any desire to  do.

AsianCineFest Rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars; highly recommended, most definitely on Blu-ray with its additional exclusive bones features.

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