The Front Line Blu-ray review

  • Actors: Shin Ha-Kyun, Ko Soo, Soo Go

  • Directors: Hun Jang

  • Language: Korean

  • Subtitles: English  

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

  • Number of discs: 2

  • Rated: Unrated

  • Studio: Well Go USA

  • DVD Release Date: May 8, 2012

  • Run Time: 133 minutes

  •             South Korea is continually able to top their previous box office numbers, because their cinema has rapidly turned into one not unlike Hollywood. The epics are getting larger and the melodrama more convincing. The production values increase and the effects are increasingly realistic. There are few genres which haven’t been nationalized and recreated. The Front Line is a top-notch war film, telling the story of the men at the front line of the Korean War during the final days of peace negotiations. Award three nominations at the 2012 Asian Film awards and the country’s submission for Best Foreign Film at the Academy awards, The Front Line is also the second highest grossing domestic film in South Korean history.

                This film has everything that a war film should have, and then some. While the war battles on in the final days, the orders coming from the distant commanders are all to push for more territory before the final agreement is made. Even when the peace treaty has already been signed, there are still hours remaining in which the men can fight. Director Jang Hun is not afraid to show the brutal moments of war, with all of the appropriate violence and destruction, but he also allows us to know more about the characters. The film is not afraid to slow down and show the more tender side of humanity, even amidst war, and this is what makes it a great film.

                The Blu-ray is the perfect way to view The Front Line, outside of seeing it in a theater. The high definition enhances the visuals, but more impressive is the sound. There are many impactful moments in the film which have sound that greatly helps this experience, from explosions to sniper rifle. The Blu-ray only has a few special features, including a making-of featurette and a highlights reel. The real highlight is simply having this film in high definition and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.


    W/E Blu-ray review

  • Actors: Andrea Riseborough, James D'Arcy

  • Directors: Madonna

  • Language: English

  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

  • Number of discs: 3

  • Rated: R (Restricted)

  • Studio: The Weinstein Company

  • DVD Release Date: May 1, 2012

  • Run Time: 119 minutes

  •             Madonna has fought painfully, as well as very visibly, to remain relevant in the entertainment world. People have stopped lining up to but her music the way they once did, and the attempts at acting were unsuccessful, time and time again. Even having a successful director like Guy Ritchie as a husband to put her in films was not enough. It did seem to influence her stylistic choices when attempting her latest endeavor as a director. W/E may look somewhat like a Guy Ritchie film at times, and have costuming which is perfect for time and setting, but in every other aspect it is simply a mess.

                The storyline is two-fold, including some history along with some melodrama. The successful portions of the film are the historical moments, which what I though the entire movie was about. The real-life love affair between King Edward VIII (James D’Arcy) and an American woman named Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough), however, becomes secondary to the story of an abused New York woman (Abbie Cornish) who sees the love story as an escape from her own bleak existence. There is a kind security guard at the exhibit for the romance from 1998 in New York, and eventually the abuse subsides.

                I think the attempt was to take a feminist look at the historical romance. While this is somewhat admirable, the focus comes so strongly away from any relevance to the actual romance with the story of a physically beaten protagonist that it is hard for the film to recover. The screenplay which is co-written by Madonna and Alek Keshishian, is a jumbled mess. The former pop star shows no talent beyond the immediate look of the film. The costumes and the photography are beautiful, while all aspects of the content sincerely annoyed me.

                The Blu-ray combo pack also includes a DVD and digital copy of the film. The only special feature is a making-of video which features Madonna, which seems to be a primary selling point of an otherwise average movie.

    Strip Strip Hooray DVD review

  • Actors: Gay Dawn, Shirley Jean Rickert, Sunny Knight, Tempest Storm

  • Directors: Liliian Hunt, Robert C. Dertano, W. Merle Connell

  • Language: English

  • Number of discs: 2

  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)


  • DVD Release Date: May 1, 2012

  • Run Time: 432 minutes

  •             The world of burlesque is not like the world of strip clubs. There is no accurate association between the two. There isn’t even any truly exposed flesh that could be considered nudity in these burlesque dancing routines, and they are mixed in with other forms of entertainment. There are skits and comedy routines, and there are songs and dances, complete with showgirls. When the striptease actually does begin, it always ends before there is any real nudity to be seen. These are bits of entertainment history, more titillating that pornographic.

                This two-disc collection includes six feature-length films of popular burlesque shows. All six were made from 1949 to 1953, so there was a great deal of censorship which prevented any flesh from being shown. The back of this package refers to it as “Burlesque-style nudity,” but the late 1940s and early 1950s were still ruled by the Hays code, which did not allow much to truly be shown. This makes the comedy and the dance routines all the more relevant in this collection. Some of the greatest comedians got there start in burlesque shows, and these films help to show why.

                The three films included on the first disc are Midnight Frolics (1949), Everybody’s Girl (1950) and French Follies (1951). The second disc includes “B” Girl Rhapsody (1952), The A-B-C’s of Love (1953) and A Night in Hollywood (1953).