Sympathy For Mr Vengeance: Special Edition DVD Review
PictureThe anamorphically-enhanced 2.28:1 image is, for the most part, nicely detailed, although I did feel it could do with being a touch sharper... I sometimes thought it looked a little on the soft side and seemed to lack that depth of field quality that the latest mega bucks movies seem to achieve. I never noticed any signs of edge enhancement - during both sittings. The colour palette leans towards the slightly muted side of the scale at times, although perhaps unsurprisingly, blood reds are always particularly vibrant. The only really negative criticism I have regarding picture quality is the infrequent, but noticeable, amount of print damage that shows up by way of nicks and scratches throughout.
SoundThere are Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS or straight forward stereo audio tracks from which to choose, all in Korean - I bypassed the stereo side of things and concentrated on the Dolby Digital and DTS flavours. I certainly preferred the DTS offering, which is more “weighty” and authoritive than its Dolby counterpart. For example, at the beginning of the movie we are taken to Ryu's factory workplace where we are treated to some beefy sub woofer moments. The DTS track is undoubtedly louder, but is also more refined with a tighter, stronger lower end. The extra bass also seems to add a little weight to the vocal side of things, even if I couldn't understand a word that was being said! Having said that there are large chunks of this movie when audio wise nothing of note really takes place... then suddenly the crunch of metal baseball bat against human skull or some similarly unpleasant sound effect reminds you that your amp is still engaged in DTS mode.
Not up to reference quality, then but more than able to hold its own.
ExtrasThis is a two disc set with the movie and audio commentary on disc 1 and the rest of the supplemental features on disc 2. Sadly, the commentary is in Korean with no subtitles, as are all the extra features, so unless you can understand Korean...
VerdictSympathy For Mr. Vengeance is a stylish black comedy/psychological thriller with good picture and audio qualities, and receives “Recommended” status from me. Shame about those extras, though.
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