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[Review] My Wife is a Gangster (Korea), The Nameless (Spain)

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[Review] My Wife is a Gangster (Korea), The Nameless (Spain)

Old 07-17-02, 04:14 AM
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[Review] My Wife is a Gangster (Korea), The Nameless (Spain)

My Wife is a Gangster

This is a black comedy of sorts about a woman who is a gangster boss that is feared by many because she is deadly with a pair of knives that look like a pair of shears split in half. She is reunited with her sister who is very ill. In order to fulfill her sister's dying wishes, she decides to get married... I don't want to give too much away...

This film is hilarious. It's also got plenty of brutal moments as well as emotional moments. This film has it all. The main character - Mantis - kicks alot of ass and it's just really funny to watch her little fish out of water scenarios. I think I may have liked it more than My Sassy Girl. The cinematography is great and the fight scenes are well choreographed. The acting is fantastic and everyone is so well cast. Some of the comedy borders on being too slapstick, but most of it is subtle. It's hard to say that this is a comedy because there's so much more to this film. It really does have it all. I can say that I haven't laughed that hard in awhile.

The DVD I have is the one from Korea. It's a 2-disc special edition with a second disc full of supplements. It says that it is region 3, but I think it might be Region 0 although I haven't tried to confirm this with another player. I can check if someone wants to know. The case is a thick amaray style case with an extra flip tray that's attached to the inside spine to hold the extra disc. The video is anamorphic widescreen and it is flawless as far as I could tell - but I wasn't being hyper critical. The sound is either Korean DTS, DD5.1 or DD2.0 - both the DTS and 5.1 sound amazing, I never listened to the 2.0 track. There are of course removable English subtitles. For the most part, they are well done. They are certainly easy to read and there wasn't really a time that I didn't know what was going on. I never checked the second disc, but it's supposed to contain stuff like Interviews, Outtakes and a Making-Of. It's safe to assume the extras aren't subtitled I think.

Verdict: 8.5/10 Highly recommended. Wonderful film. One thing to note is that if you are planning to pick up the Korean DVD, I'd pick it up soon because I think it might be going OOP... krdvd had a little trouble obtaining a copy for me. There is a new HK DVD from Edko, but I doubt it's as good as this and it costs almost as much - it's also Region 3. Either way - you really ought to buy this.


The Nameless

Los Sin Nombre... should've been called Los Sin Punto. It's about a woman whose abducted and missing daughter is found dead. Five years later, she starts receiving calls from someone claiming to be her daughter and asking her for help. She resumes her search for her missing child which leads her into the den of hell! Sorry about that last bit.

The Pointless manages to generate lots of suspense and it contains plenty of creepy scenes and scary moments. Most of the techniques used to freak the audience out were lifted from other films, but they were indeed still effective anyway. It was well filmed and the acting was a little mixed, but mostly good. The main character was great. The story unfolded at a perfect pace - keeping the audience in utter suspense the entire time. This could've been a really good movie had it not been for the ending. It's like when you have all this buildup of anticipation and then just when you can't take it anymore and you pull back the curtain, all you find there is a bowl of oatmeal with some lint in it. I was really let down by the ending.

The DVD from Universe is good. It provides a DTS track and a DD5.1 track in Spanish and removable English subs are provided as well. They are pretty accurate. The sound is great, but the video is less than perfect. The print is clean, but there is some ghosting here... mostly due to it being a fairly dark movie. It's not all that bad though and I'd say it's easily worth picking up.

Verdict: 7/10 (barely) Despite having a stoopid ending, I really enjoyed this picture. It's solid entertainment. The ending may be effective to some people - maybe I'm just too jaded to buy it as a good conclusion. Recommended to those who like creepy suspense horror.
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Old 07-17-02, 06:59 AM
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I own the MWIAG: SE and agree that it's an excellent film. I had bought it cause I was looking for a Shiri-type movie and while it's quite different, it was quite good.
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Old 07-17-02, 09:23 AM
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Actually I rather liked the ending to the Nameless, it made the film more effective for me. Stunning DVD all the way around I thought... I would give it a solid 8/10.
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Old 07-17-02, 10:15 AM
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I agree with Trigger on the Nameless. For example, the freaky shaking, rattling head is lifted from Jacob's Ladder.

BTW, would you believe that the Spanish DVD of this (Spanish) movie is non-anamorphic? Yuck.
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Old 07-17-02, 04:06 PM
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...sigh... there's always something to bitch about, isn't there!?!... ...sigh...

. . . . . .
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Old 07-17-02, 04:53 PM
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Originally posted by Hendrik
...sigh... there's always something to bitch about, isn't there!?!... ...sigh...

. . . . . .
who is that directed towards?
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Old 07-17-02, 07:55 PM
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The HK DVD is no doubt cheaper and while it's not perfect, it does present a great sound and above average video. I thought the ending was stoopid... I can certainly see how some people would carry a different opinion. I don't have a short attention span or anything - I just thought it was a pointless conclusion.
Spoiler:
All that effort by this cult called 'the nameless' (like why even have a name for your cult if the name means the cult has no name, that's silly) boiled down to five years of training this girl to be brainwashed into hurting her mother emotionally... for what? There's just no point to it. Her husband's inolvement was completely unmotivated. The daughter shoots her father and then shoots herself in the face and that's how they leave it. No closing monologues or anything. So the woman gets to feel the pain of her daughter dying twice - the second time because she's brainwashed and she kills herself. Big whoop. At that point, I wouldn't feel as bad as the first time... I mean, it had been 5 years and she didn't really know her daughter very well anymore. At least now any doubt she had before is answered since she saw her daughter die with her own eyes. She had already moved on and was beginning to adjust to life without her family - still getting depressed a little on the anniversary of the daughter's death - but moving on. I mean, she was writing some freaky piercing book with pictures of pierced privates. It's just that all that planning by the nameless had amounted to not much IMHO and therefore I found the movie title "The Pointless (Los Sin Punto)" to be more appropriate. It may be cuz I don't have kids or because my background differs from yours. I don't know - my roommate felt the same way I did. I think it's one of those movies that will go either way with people.
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Old 07-17-02, 09:13 PM
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Originally posted by Hendrik
...sigh... there's always something to bitch about, isn't there!?!... ...sigh...

. . . . . .
Yes, as long as there are studios releasing widescreen movies without anamorphic enhancement, there will always be something to bitch about. There's no excuse for this at this stage in DVD's development.

Trigger: Sorry for the offtopicness.
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Old 07-18-02, 02:13 AM
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Hendrik - You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Well I'm not the only one here, so I can only assume!

Yes, I bitch about that, because, as codefree says, there's no excuse for it. The fact that the transfer is 'director approved' only adds insult to injury. And it's too bad, because colour rendition and shadow detail are very good. The DD5.1 track is also very good, with an effective and spooky use of the surrounds.

For the record, Spanish DVD companies have only recently learnt about the benefit of anamorphic enhancement. They're about three years behind the state of the art. For example, the excellent El día de la bestia (Alex de la Iglesia's second film) was released in late 2001 in a non-anamorphic Special Edition.

I agree on the so-what ending of Los sin nombre. As regards attention span, I've enjoyed much slower-paced movies. Heck, I even sat through Stalker.
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Old 07-18-02, 02:54 AM
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Originally posted by Grubert
I agree on the so-what ending of Los sin nombre. As regards attention span, I've enjoyed much slower-paced movies. Heck, I even sat through Stalker.
Dude, I sit through televised town meetings on public access as they discuss zoning restrictions and public school bus routes. I don't even have any kids and the information is useless to me. Talk about attention span.
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Old 07-18-02, 05:29 AM
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li'l ol' me: ...sigh... there's always something to bitch about, isn't there!?!... ...sigh...

Trigger: who is that directed towards?

Grubert: Hendrik - You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me?

...the 'inspiration' for my post: "BTW, would you believe that the Spanish DVD of this (Spanish) movie is non-anamorphic? Yuck."

...of course, we all know this NEVER happens with American DVDs of (American) movies... Hey! Guys! Ever heard of expensive, non-anamorphic Criterion Collection DVDs of widescreen movies, at least one of which is the non-anamorphic ('director-approved'!!!) transfer of a gazillion-dollar American blockbuster!?! I'm sure I could name a few other American offenders (STAR TREK movies from Paramount, anyone?) (the 'director-approved' non-anamorphic DVD transfer of a certain humongously expensive American movie about a big ship that sinks)...

. . . . . .

Last edited by Hendrik; 07-18-02 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 07-19-02, 02:00 AM
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The difference is that non-anamorphic Criterions and the "big sinking ship movie DVD" were released at a fairly early stage of the medium.

Criterion has been supporting anamorphic enhancement since the release of Insomnia in mid-1999. Los sin nombre was released on DVD in Spain almost a year later and still was only letterbox.

I honestly think that Spanish DVD companies aren't very aware of the technical requirements of a good DVD release. OTOH, the French are doing much better. And that's not a matter of national pride. After all, I'm Spanish.
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Old 07-19-02, 02:19 AM
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I don't really care either way whether it's anamorphic or non-anamorphic. I have a Hi-Def 61" 4:3 TV and anamorphic and non-anamorphic look the same on it. I opted to not buy a widescreen TV because it's not the standard and for the same price I can get a bigger standard screen that is the same width as a widescreen and it'll display fullscreen content or non-anamorphic content properly. I can see why others would care about it, so that's why I try to report whether it's anamorphic or not.
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