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[Review] Ditto (S. Korea)

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[Review] Ditto (S. Korea)

Old 10-21-01, 05:19 AM
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[Review] Ditto (S. Korea)

Ditto Donggam (2000) (South Korea)

Running Time: 110 minutes

DVD - Spectrum. All Region (R0), NTSC

Picture - 16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen

Sound - 2.0 Stereo & DD 5.1 Surround (Korean)

Subtitles - English, Japanese, Chinese (all removable)

Extras - Theatrical Trailer, Making Of, High-Light (selected scenes in post-production phase), Cast & Crew Bios, Music Video, Photo Gallery and Interviews. It appears as though none of it is subtitled, but it's still interesting.

The Film - Wow... what a beautiful film. Sure - it had some problems, but overall I have to admit that I liked it alot. If you've ever seen Frequency (with Dennis Quaid), the premise will seem familiar to you. However, this film doesn't focus on the same things. Where Frequency was more of a "guy's movie", Ditto was more of a romance/drama/girl's movie. Even so - I liked it more than I did Frequency. Just to warn you - the following may contain some slight spoilers (depending on your definition of a spoiler), but nothing that would ruin the experience for you.

Ditto is about two college students (a young boy and a young girl) from different times who (due to some strange and unexplained phenomenon) are able to communicate with each other by way of ham radio. They don't realize they are in different times at first... They go to the same school and agree to meet at a certain location. They both show up, but since they are in different times their paths don't cross. After talking for awhile - they figure out that they are indeed talking to each other despite the fact that he is living in present day Korea (2000) and she is living in a very different (war torn) Korea circa 1979.

Now - the romance isn't quite between these two characters as one would think... if I explain too much it would give away the surprises...

The production values are top notch - the film and transfer look beautiful - as they should - but exceptionally so. The cinematography is outstanding. There is some great use of color throughout the film - especially in the beginning. The music is tranquil and beautiful and fits with what's being shown. As with most Korean films, this one is very stylish. Not so much in a commercial way - but in an artistic way. I found a few scenes to be too slow - plenty of slow motion shots... a few were unnecessary, but overall it added to the tone of the film.

It is a slow moving drama, so don't expect any of the excitement from Frequency. There are no murders to thwart or dead mothers to bring back. It still manages to be a powerful film though. I can't recommend it enough actually. It's certainly not for everyone - but if you like drama/romance - you're in for a treat with this film... as long as you can handle films with such a leisurely pace.

I should add that the acting is good - there are a few characters that are a bit one dimensional, but since they aren't pivotal to the main storyline it's forgiveable. I'll be honest here as well and say that it didn't end the way I wanted it to - still, I was satisfied with the ending. After almost 2 hours, I was wanting to see more. I like films with a time-travel theme, so I was excited to see it in the first place.

Again - technically, the DVD is brilliant. Spectrum makes great DVDs. Anamorphic transfer, 5.1 sound, very clean print, and heaps of extras (only complaint is the lack of subtitles for the extras). The subtitles for the film itself were well done. There weren't as many grammatical or spelling errors as there are in a typical Hong Kong release. They didn't subtitle some things - like when a professor is talking maths to the class or when someone on the television is telling the news stories. This is a slight annoyance because these things are the focus of the particular scenes and nobody else is talking - there just aren't subtitles for those parts. It's not going to get you lost though, so it's also forgiveable. They don't subtitle written words either - so don't expect to know what signs say or handwriting (except in one instance).

My Score - basically I have to Highly Recommend this film and I give it a 9/10. The film itself probably deserves an 8/10, but the DVD is so excellent. I picked it up at PokerIndustries, but HKFlix has it as well I believe. It's the best film I've seen in months - that's for sure. Pick it up if this type of film is your bag.


Last edited by Trigger; 10-21-01 at 05:21 AM.
Old 10-21-01, 04:51 PM
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Thanks for the review, Trigger! I've been considering getting this one for months!
Old 10-22-01, 09:29 AM
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I managed to see it on VHS this summer and here are my 2 wons ... err... 2 cents' worth to Trigger's excellent and informative review:

FYI, the '79 broadcast mentioned the assassination of Pres. Park.
I dont' remember if the characters talked about it later, but it is kinda important because that's when the girl becomes convinced that the guy's not joking around. As I recall, she did have a "shocked" expression on her face when she saw/heard the broadcast.

I'd say that there was more "political strife" rather than the country being "war-torn" during that time, due to the brief period of uncertainty following the death of Pres. Park (and whether the N. Koreans would launch an invasion).

To give some background, tollowing the truce/armistice in '53, there were no more battles and a DMZ delineating the borders of the two countries was established. All there were (and even up to the late '90s) were just small firefights following incursions of small groups of N. Korean armed infiltrators/spies and small naval skirmishes between S. Korean Navy and N. Korean spy vessels.

gopeglegs

I'd definitely give it a thumbs up as a good date movie, although, I'd prefer Si-Wul-Ae, another romantic melodrama between two people from different times. If you liked Ditto, then you'd probably like Si-Wul-Ae, perhaps even more. It's another stylistic film (perhaps more so than Ditto, because of it's awesome location) whose ending is less cheesy than Ditto, in my opinion.
Old 10-22-01, 05:23 PM
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Thanks Gopeglegs... thanks for the bit of history (as I'm a bit ignorant when it comes to Korean history) and the recommendation. Where can I find that film? Is it on DVD?
Old 10-23-01, 06:18 AM
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the movie that Gopeglegs was recomended is "il mare".
you can find it on Poker..
Old 10-23-01, 02:37 PM
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I have to seond that Ditto is a great movie. Very high quality, well done DVD. It gives some interesting insights into some of the political strife in Korea's past. Highly recommended.
Old 10-23-01, 10:34 PM
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Originally posted by Trigger
Thanks Gopeglegs... thanks for the bit of history (as I'm a bit ignorant when it comes to Korean history) and the recommendation. Where can I find that film? Is it on DVD?
Looks like that poker and yesasia stocks 'em. But it's kinda weird that http://www.dvdtitle.co.kr/dvddetail.html?id=5270 lists the dvd as being 4:3 while http://pokerindustries.com/acatalog/ilmaredvd.htm says that it's letterbox...

You can also see what others has to say at http://us.yesasia.com/prdDept.asp?se...001806537&aid=

Last edited by gopeglegs!; 10-23-01 at 10:42 PM.
Old 10-23-01, 10:50 PM
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Originally posted by gopeglegs!


You can also see what others has to say at http://us.yesasia.com/prdDept.asp?se...001806537&aid=

Yeah - compelling stuff... "I think that the two guy that play in the movie are soooooooooooooooooooooo cute.they are the cutes Korean guy i had ever saw before. But i think that the guy didn't get the gril I think he is the cutes one, but first time I saw him I think the another one was cuter,but later on I think that he is know the cutes one, but now they are both cute to me. That are I had to said."



Thanks though - I'd probably get it from poker when there's a few other titles I want there too.
Old 11-14-01, 09:58 PM
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I watched Il Mare last night... you guys were right... it was quite good. I preferred Ditto to this one, but Il Mare was still good. The Koreans sure know their cinematography and they have great locations too. I think that Ditto pulled on my heartstrings more and Il Mare was a little less impactful because it was only 2 years. I also didn't buy the ending. It was still very charming and with the Spectrum DVD - of course the presentation was excellent. I had to adjust my DVD player for a widescreen TV for it to display correctly on my standard TV without stretching... other than that it was excellent. I told my dad about this film and he seemed to think it was a nice story. Too bad he's sick or else I could get him to watch one of these foreign movies - he just can't stay awake long enough to sit through a whole movie and I think reading subtitles would be too difficult for him.

In any case - I agree with everyone that if you like Ditto - you're gonna like Il Mare. Great film

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