1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Once Upon A Time In High School R3 (dts) DVD review

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by Phil Hinton, Jul 3, 2004.

  1. Phil Hinton

    Phil Hinton
    Editor Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2001
    Messages:
    9,717
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    AVForums
    Ratings:
    +6,984
    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="0" BGCOLOR="5A5A5A" ALIGN="CENTER"><TR><TD WIDTH="40">&nbsp;</TD><TD STYLE='font-size: 18px; color: white; text-align: center '>ONCE UPON A TIME IN HIGH SCHOOL</TD><TD WIDTH="40"></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="0" BGCOLOR="5A5A5A" ALIGN="CENTER"><TR><TD WIDTH="120"><TD><TD STYLE='font-size: 10px; color: white; text-align: center'>Reviewed July 2004 by <A HREF="http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?dvdid=Andrew Smith">Andrew Smith.</A></TD><TD WIDTH="120" STYLE='font-size: 10px; color: white; text-align: right'>

    </TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER"><TR><TD COLSPAN="2" VALIGN="TOP"><IMG SRC="http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/dvd/OnceUponATimeInHighSchool/SchoolR3.jpg" ALT="ONCE UPON A TIME IN HIGH SCHOOL" ALIGN="RIGHT"><B>ONCE UPON A TIME IN HIGH SCHOOL<B><TABLE BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2"><TR><TD WIDTH="65" STYLE="font-size: 10px"><B>Region</B></TD><TD STYLE="font-size: 10px"><B>3</B> <FONT STYLE="font-size: 10px">(KOREAN)</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN="TOP" WIDTH="65" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Supplier</TD><TD><FONT STYLE="font-size: 10px">CJ Entertainment</FONT></TD></TR>
    <TR><TD VALIGN="TOP" WIDTH="65" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Discs</TD><TD><FONT STYLE="font-size: 10px">2</FONT></TD></TR>
    <TR><TD VALIGN="TOP" WIDTH="65" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Format</TD><TD><FONT STYLE="font-size: 10px">DVD 9</FONT></TD></TR>
    <TR><TD VALIGN="TOP" WIDTH="65" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Time</TD><TD><FONT STYLE="font-size: 10px">116 mins.</FONT></TD></TR>
    <TR><TD VALIGN="TOP" WIDTH="65" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Chapters</TD><TD><FONT STYLE="font-size: 10px">12</FONT></TD></TR>
    </TABLE><TABLE BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2"><TR><TD WIDTH="65" VALIGN="TOP" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Picture</TD><TD STYLE="font-size: 10px">Anamorphic 1.85:1&nbsp;</TD>
    </TR></TABLE><TABLE BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2"><TR><TD WIDTH="65" VALIGN="TOP" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Sound</TD><TD STYLE="font-size: 10px">Korean Dolby Digital 5.1<BR>Korean <IMG SRC="http://www.totaldvd.net/images/dts.gif" ALIGN="ABSMIDDLE" BORDER="0" ALT="DTS Soundtrack"></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2"><TR><TD WIDTH="65" VALIGN="TOP" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Subtitles</TD><TD STYLE="font-size: 10px">Korean, English</TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2"><TR><TD WIDTH="65" VALIGN="TOP" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Case</TD><TD STYLE="font-size: 10px">Amaray</TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2"><TR><TD WIDTH="65" VALIGN="TOP" STYLE="font-size: 10px">Extras</TD><TD STYLE="font-size: 10px">Directors Commentary<BR>Actors Commentary<BR>Deleted Scenes<BR>Blooper Reel<BR>Trailers<BR>Photogallery<BR>Making Of Documentary</TD></TR></TABLE>
    </TD></TR></TABLE>

    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER" BGCOLOR="5A5A5A"><TR><TD WIDTH="100" STYLE="color: white; font-size: 10px"><B>The Movie</B></TD><TD STYLE="color: white; font-size: 10px"><B>6</B></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER"><TR><TD STYLE='text-align: justify; font-size: 10px'><P STYLE="font-size: 10px">I’ll be honest, when I asked to review this Korean movie (full title Spirits of Jeet Kune Do : Once Upon A Time In High School) I thought I would be watching a fusion of Bruce Lee (famous of course for the development of Jeet Kune Do) and Sergio Leone’s man with no name trilogy, a sort of a Noodle Western if you will. Alas this is not the case, as High School (as I will refer to it from now on) is much, much more about life as a teenager in High School than it is about kicking ass the Bruce Lee way.</p><P STYLE="font-size: 10px">Set in 1978 against the backdrop of a ruthlessly oppressive military dictatorship High School tells a powerful story about the difficulties of life as a teenager growing up in such a system. Hyun-soo (Kwon Sang-woo) is a painfully shy and quiet teenager who has just transferred to Jungmoon High School; a single sex school where military cadets, for whom the words corporal punishment could have been defined, uphold discipline. Beatings with a baseball bat occur at the school gate if your uniform is at all out of place, and teachers think nothing of taking off their glasses, rolling up their sleeves and beating seven bells out of students who under perform. Hyun-soo is a social misfit. His father who teaches martial arts at his own gym is bringing him up the hard way. He too believes in beatings to force home a point of view. Hyun-soo has to try to roll with the punches and survive. His life is made bearable by two things, his love of Bruce Lee, his idol, and his unrequited love for Eun-ju (Han Ka-in) a girl he sees regularly on the bus to school. He quietly adores her from afar, and dreams of being with her, but when his chances to talk or dance with her arise, he is too shy to act, and consequently sees her start a relationship with his best friend Woo-sik, who is everything Hyun-soo is not, bold confident and sure.</p><P STYLE="font-size: 10px">Building slowly like a simmering volcano, the story struggles along with little pace or enthusiasm. While it may be a realistic portrait of the 70,s in Korean High School not enough happens to warrant a two hour run time. The opening scenes and closing scenes are full of fraught emotion but a long and saggy middle third means the viewer loses interest long before the end. Hyun-soo is suuuch a drip that his character becomes unlikeable. By the time he strikes back at those who have wronged him, you can’t really find it in your heart to cheer for him. Ultimately, whether you view this film as a social commentary on modern Korean history, as a love story, or as a high school drama, the pacing kills it stone dead.</p></TD></TR></TABLE>

    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER" BGCOLOR="5A5A5A"><TR><TD WIDTH="100" STYLE="color: white; font-size: 10px"><B>Picture</B></TD><TD STYLE="color: white; font-size: 10px"><B>8</B></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER"><TR><TD STYLE='text-align: justify; font-size: 10px'><P STYLE="font-size: 10px">Having viewed several discs by CJ Entertainment I must commend them on the quality of their work. This disc is yet another that produces wonderful levels of clarity and sharpness. Colour fidelity is close to perfect, and primary colours are particularly vivid when they appear. I say when they appear because almost all of the film is based at the time of military rule, and as a result all the children wore uniforms of black and white. The detail remains high throughout despite requiring such a high contrast range. Digital artefacts are limited to some edge enhancement. This is noticeable to the right side of dark objects against white backdrops, such as the school uniforms against the light sky. Otherwise a crisp, clear and very pleasing print.</p></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <P STYLE='text-align: center'><IMG SRC="http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/makeimage.php?image=OnceUponATimeInHighSchool/School_1.jpg" ALT="ONCE UPON A TIME IN HIGH SCHOOL"></P>

    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER" BGCOLOR="5A5A5A"><TR><TD WIDTH="100" STYLE="color: white; font-size: 10px"><B>Sound</B></TD><TD STYLE="color: white; font-size: 10px"><B>6</B></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER"><TR><TD STYLE='text-align: justify; font-size: 10px'><P STYLE="font-size: 10px">The soundtrack boasts both a Dolby Digital at 448kbps, and a DTS at 768kbps. Both tracks are in Korean, and this dialogue heavy drama really does not require the heavy hitting of a DTS track, even at half bitrate, as the centre channel is really the only one to see any action. A few scenes allow the spaciousness that DTS is capable of to show through, such as Hyun-soo’s trip with Eun-ju to the countryside, when tinkling streams and twittering birds flow around your viewing room, but these moments are all to brief. Still both tracks are perfectly capable, if uninspired.</p></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <P STYLE='text-align: center'><IMG SRC="http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/makeimage.php?image=OnceUponATimeInHighSchool/School_2.jpg" ALT="ONCE UPON A TIME IN HIGH SCHOOL"></P>

    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER" BGCOLOR="5A5A5A"><TR><TD WIDTH="100" STYLE="color: white; font-size: 10px"><B>Extras</B></TD><TD STYLE="color: white; font-size: 10px"><B>3</B></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER"><TR><TD STYLE='text-align: justify; font-size: 10px'><P STYLE="font-size: 10px">This is a tricky one. The extras seem exhaustive and a second disc is provided) in order to fit them all on. The problem, as so often is the case with R3 discs for review, is that the subtitling does not extend to the extras and so if you can’t speak Korean, they are frankly useless. I tried to make sense of what was going on but rapidly became frustrated, and then bored. I suspect most of you will too.</p></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <P STYLE='text-align: center'><IMG SRC="http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/makeimage.php?image=OnceUponATimeInHighSchool/School_3.jpg" ALT="ONCE UPON A TIME IN HIGH SCHOOL"></P>
    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER" BGCOLOR="5A5A5A"><TR><TD WIDTH="100" STYLE="color: white; font-size: 10px"><B>Verdict</B></TD><TD STYLE="color: white; font-size: 10px"><B>6</B></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER"><TR><TD STYLE='text-align: justify; font-size: 10px'><P STYLE="font-size: 10px">This is a worthy and wordy drama that can stir up painful memories for anyone who has endured senior school. It provides a fascinating insight into 1970’s Korea, but the sloppy pacing and uninspired script makes it hard to recommend. Combined with a wealth of Korean only extras makes this one for a Korean audience only.</p></TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="2" ALIGN="CENTER" BGCOLOR="5A5A5A"><TR><TD>&nbsp;</TD></TR></TABLE>
    <TABLE WIDTH="100%" BORDER="0" CELLPADDING="0" CELLSPACING="0"><TR><TD ALIGN="CENTER">Review disc provided by and shipping from <a href="http://www.discemporium.com"><img src="http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/dvd/SuppliersLogos/DiscEmporium.jpg" ALIGN="ABSMIDDLE"></TD></TR></TABLE>
     

Share This Page

Loading...