Gifted AKA Gipeuteodeu (Blu-ray) [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray B - United Kingdom - 88 Films
Review written by and copyright: Rick_Curzon (25th May 2018).
The Film

Director Juhn Jai-hong (who reached critical acclaim and feminist approval with 2008's shattering BEAUTIFUL) produced another instant classic with 2014's riveting and shocking GIFTED. In this tense thriller an everyday Joe, laid off from his job, finds a freelance gig that involves nothing in the way of pay but plenty in the way of murderous pleasure! A tense and twisted tale of life and death in modern South Korea - 88 Films is proud to give this underseen (at least in the West) story of shock and awe an HD British debut!

Video

A grim, slow moving psycho drama about a man driven to seek alternative employment and finds he has a skill and taste for killing.

This digitally shot feature has a rich, vivid colour palette, particularly in exteriors set during the day and it overall sports a naturalistic look. I prefer a natural but bright colour grade and am sick and tired of the modern propensity to desaturate, especially in horror and thrillers. There’s no bleeding and the film has good colour values.

We have good black levels, with no crush in daylight scenes; darker scenes have a muted low-contrast look with detail suffering as a result although there is still no crush. The encoding is decent enough with darkness handled well. That said it’s not high grade with the occasional holes in the grain if the image is scrutinised up close or projected. I also suspect that some low-level DNR has been applied as very fine detail is occasionally lacking with flesh occasionally appearing a tad too smooth.

However, this is fairly low key and shouldn’t bother anyone but the most pernickety techno freak; to the vast majority this will be a pleasing presentation without blowing anyone away. I couldn’t detect any more egregious digital tinkering nor flaws like macro-blocking, edge enhancement or mosquito noise.

Contrast is decent and although the image is soft and diffused (a stylistic choice) some detail is present in close and medium shots and courser fabrics show great texture. Skin has pleasing detail in closeups.

A fine transfer all round; fans should be happy and feel confident in picking this one up.

1080/24p / MPEG-4 AVC / 1.85:1 / 102:23

Audio

Korean DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Korean DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo
Subtitles: English (optional)

A fairly subdued lossless 5.1 soundtrack most of the way with good use of subtle ambiance. The piano score is very low key and rarely has a commanding presence so dialogue is always crisp and well delineated. Being a recent soundtrack there are no distortions and other issues that I could detect.

The 2.0 is a down mix but is also highly pleasing albeit it lacks the depth, warmth and range of the 5.1 which is the original used in theatrical engagements.

Subtitles are welcome.

Extras

Trailer (1:31)

Short, on-point trailer sells the film well giving minimal details bar some choice dialogue that imparts the plot.

Reversible sleeve with a choice of artworks

What it says; two choices. I preferred the default version.

Overall

A fine if barebones release of a very modern South Korea horror-dama. It has generally excellent picture and topnotch sound quality. Although the extras are very light in the end the film’s thing thing wherein lies the conscience of the king .... to paraphrase Shakespeare via Star Trek.

Fans should feel confident in picking this one up.

The Film: C+ Video: A Audio: A+ Extras: E- Overall: B

 


DVD Compare is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and the Amazon Europe S.a.r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.co.uk, amazon.com, amazon.ca, amazon.fr, and amazon.de.