The Pirates Blu-ray Review

     Actors: Son Ye-jin, Oh Dal-su, Choi Jin-ri
  • Director: Lee Suk-Hoon
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: Korean
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • Release Date: January 20, 2015
  • Run Time: 130 minutes

  •         I imagine that there were a lot of nuances in the humor of The Pirates that was lost on me due to the language barrier. Subtitles can only take you so far, and I although I can still infer more meaning from their actual tone and inflection than the voice-over dubbing, nothing can replace understanding the language in which the jokes are being told. The other aspect of this large-budget spectacle picture is the action at sea, which feels best suited for the big screen. Still, there are effects to be admired which are at their best in this high definition presentation, not to mention the spectacular HD surround sound, making you feel at sea.


            If you imagine this film to be a Korean Pirates of the Caribbean, you would not be far off. Replace the American stars with Korean ones, and the supernatural storyline with an eco-friendly narrative, and you would have The Pirates. Despite the title of the film, they are only one of the groups hunting for the same prize. After a whale inexplicably swallows the Royal Seal on the eve of the founding of the Joseon Dynasty, there is a race to be the one to catch the whale, in order to kill her for the rewards. Among them are the pirates (led by Ye-jin Son), a group of bandits who have ventured out to sea with the guidance of a former pirate, and government officials with agendas of their own.


            The action never takes over the film as it often does in Hollywood blockbusters, but what pirate action there is seems to rival the best of Pirates of the Caribbean. Much of this is thanks to the sound and cinematography of the film, helping simultaneously with the immersion into the experience. Some of the plot twists are a bit unbelievable and contrived, but nothing worse than you would find in an American counterpart. I also often found myself getting lost in the varied ensemble cast, especially in understanding who the protagonist was for the first half, though this also may be partially a result of my unfamiliarity with the cast.  


    Entertainment Value: 6.5/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 7/10

    Historical Significance:  5/10

    Special Features: 0/10



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