With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

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

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

BATTLE OF JANGSARI reviewed; now available on home video

Well Go USA
 Battle of Jangsari
 Directed by Kyung-taek Kwak
Starring: Kim Myung-Min, Minho Choi, George Eads, and Megan Fox
South Korea, 2019, 104 minutes

Battle of Jangsari, a fact-based Korean War film, has come to digital-on-demand, Blu-ray + DVD combo pack and DVD today, Tuesday, January 28th from Well Go USA Entertainment. I watched the Blu-ray version.

To support General MacArthur's planned landing at Inchon, several diversionary attacks were to take place elsewhere on the peninsula. One of these was at Jangsari in Yeongdeok, North Gyeongsang Province, on the eastern coast of the Korea peninsula. The attack was carried out by minimally-trained student soldiers who had not even been issued military service numbers. Basically they were being used as "cannon-fodder".

KIM Myung -Min portrays LEE Myung-Jun, the officer in charge of the attack. This character is based on Lt. LEE Myung-Heum, who spent years trying to get the student soldiers their well-deserved service numbers and recognition.

Megan Fox (Transformers, Jennifer's Body, and Prudence in a memorable episode of Two and a Half Men) portrays Maggie, a character inspired by Marguerite Higgins, an American reporter and war correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune, and, to a lesser extent, photographer Margaret Bourke-White. Fox does a decent enough job in her role, although she is perhaps a bit too eager and earnest in her portrayal.

George Eads has a small but significant role as an American general who does right by Maggie.

The film is well shot and edited. It makes effective use of Maggie's part of the story to occasionally take a break from the plight of the student soldiers. The Blu-ray version was visually stunning, a real godsend in immersing the viewer in the overall story, but especially in the combat sequences.

The Wikipedia entry for the film says that it is the second installment, after Operation Chromite,(a.k.a. Battle for Incheon: Operation Chromite), in a trilogy, though there's no source sited or information about the third film. Whether there actually is, or will be, a third film, Operation Chromite and Battle of Jangsari do make for a good home video double feature.

Disc Specs:
-- Audio
    -- Korean DTD-HDMA 5.1
    -- Korean Stereo
-- Subtitles
    -- English
    -- Off
-- Bonus
    -- "Making of" featurette
    -- Trailer A
    -- Trailer B
    -- U.S. Trailer
-- Trailers
    -- The Divine Fury
    -- T-34
    -- Swing Kids

AsianCineFest Rating: 3 out of 4 stars, good; a solid, interesting and well-made war film

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