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Korean DVD Special Editions/Packaging (Why so good?)

Old 04-25-04, 12:11 PM
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Korean DVD Special Editions/Packaging (Why so good?)

Hey folks,

I know, a rather random and silly question, but I continue to be amazed time and time again by the quality of the packaging and supplements often included on Korean R3 releases. Is the market there THAT big? How come packaging there is often superior to larger markets like the US and even Japan?

Titles that comes to mind is the rare Dogville limited Box set (how in the world would this movie be that big in Korea) and the Hulk 3 Disc Boxset and Black Hawk Down Superbit. The Wonderful Days 3 Disc Boxset is also ridiculous, although that's a Korean movie.








Any ideas or thoughts?

Last edited by UKingdom; 04-25-04 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 04-25-04, 12:14 PM
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I don't know, but they should keep it up! I have started to get more Korean releases than any other region. They always have very good to fantastic subtitles in English (if needed), nice packaging and at least near reference quality audio/video.
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Old 04-25-04, 03:08 PM
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Well, it could be a cultural thing, presentation is a big thing in Asian countries and thus this seems to have translated into their DVD packaging.
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Old 04-25-04, 05:28 PM
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Well, it is indeed a cultural thing.

Presentation is a big thing in Asian countries, but Japanese are perhaps the first to translate that into their DVD packaging. Since DVDs are very expensive in Japan, special packagings attract the non collectors to buy them.

Because Korea is so close to Japan, some of the Korean companies started adopting this packaging idea around 2 years ago. This happens to coincide with the recent popularity of Korean TV drama in SE Asia. Considering the prices of DVDs there and the average income in Korea, Korean DVDs are actually more expensive to Koreans than Japanese ones to Japanese. So Korean companies are doing this to attract customers from other countries in SE Asia as well as to boost the sagging market in Korea.

Many of the DVDs in Korea are now released with the "first- release special packaging" (similar to Japanese DVDs). Sometimes, the Korean release of European films are a direct port of the best version found in Europe, plus English and Korean subtitles.
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Old 04-25-04, 07:33 PM
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I don't know, but they should keep it up!
I agree and think they will as long as we continue to buy. It's getting to the point where I spend almost as much on foreign retailers as I do domestic ones.
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Old 04-25-04, 08:32 PM
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I asked the same question when i lived there last year (as i was buying my 5 copies of The Two Towers in the Cool movie TIN case!)...

Part of the reason is becuase pirating is SO HUGE.

Korea is the most "Connected" country in the world per population , and with supercheap Broadband and internet. It is very cheap and easy to get, and online gaming/internet use is a way of life for most koreans young and old.

So it would only go that downloading movies would also be hugely popular, and it is. As well as the sale of Pirated movies.

One way the movie distributors fight it is with packaging and special editions. It makes people want to buy the originals rather than downloading and burning discs.

I'm sure there are other reasons too, but thats just one point of view.
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Old 04-25-04, 08:49 PM
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imo, it is b/c korea (and japan) doesn't treat movies as a commodity to the extent that the US does. that is, the attitude is that a movie is something that is relatively special. the korean film industry pales in comparison to the US film industry.

so, i ask, why are (almost all) dvds in the US in the same boring case? to minimize costs, sell as many as possible, etc. i remember looking at the "Yellow Submarine" dvd and it came in a black dvd case... if any dvd deserved to come in a yellow case, i think it would be that movie (in britain, it came in a yellow case).

the very fact that you ask this question means that you are part of the reason why the US doesn't have special editions. no one really expects it.
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Old 04-25-04, 11:33 PM
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I think squint brings up an EXCELLENT point and one I didn't think about earlier: PIRACY (although doubtful that's the primary motivation)

Hong Kong has done the same thing with CDs (at least I saw that trend a few years ago); since so many people were buying bootlegs, the industry made every CD in some fancy packaging with bonuses like photobooks, fancy boxes, etc., to entice the buyers to buy originals...for people like me, it worked like a charm. However, if this was the case I'm surprised why Hong Kong and southeast asia doesn't have more special editions. I guess bootlegs there are so rampant it's not worth the trouble.

I would totally agree with the statements about presentation and the different attitudes towards film and packaging. In Japan, EVERYTHING is packaged all fancy, even erasers and bubblegum. I guess Korea is similar. I guess what still baffles me is why an obscure film like Dogville would warrant such a special edition, unless I'm guessing Koreans really like Nicole Kidman.

the very fact that you ask this question means that you are part of the reason why the US doesn't have special editions. no one really expects it.
No, that's the precise reason I started this thread; I EXPECT special editions but am surprised why this country doesn't have a more concerted effort to make them. On the other hand, it's pretty easy to see why; most average movie-goers don't care about packaging and extras, they just want the movie. It wouldn't make sense financially for US studios either, as we print out a lot more DVDs than smaller markets overseas do and there's no point wasting money and increased costs in making fancier packaging if most people don't care for it.

Last edited by UKingdom; 04-25-04 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 04-26-04, 12:54 AM
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Nice packaging is not the norm in US and that is why we get major hung over Band of Brothers Tin casing and Korea "
counter reacted" with their military pouch & dog tags.
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Old 05-31-04, 01:21 PM
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Can anyone recommend some good SE available currently? I've just discovered koreandvds.com and am very excited.

Thanks. Eric
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Old 05-31-04, 01:38 PM
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I bet we will see this here on this side of the Pacific soon...
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Old 05-31-04, 02:19 PM
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Squint basically said it all one of the reasons why Korean packaging is so cool. I remember reading a couple articles and message board comments on that issue. Anyways, I ain't complaining about paying the extra $$$ in getting packaging this nice. They should keep it up and I am hoping the Old Boy LE is going to be one of the coolest LE Korea has ever released.
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Old 05-31-04, 03:14 PM
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classwar, if you're a Herzog fan, the altomedia box set that koreandvds sells is good and contains two movies that I don't think are availalble elsewhere, though I could be wrong (werner herzog eats his shoe and burden of dreams are the movies).

the 40% off sale on the title ends today though. in addition, the site is incorrect in listing the title as all region. it's region 3.
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Old 05-31-04, 03:20 PM
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So, America's "Consumer Culture" pretty much bites the had that feeds it? As a great American once said, "What a country!"
That, coupled with the fact that piracy isn't as pervasive (as it is in Asia) due to our fairly strict anti-piracy laws means that distributors, for the most part, have a captive audience - they don't have to deal with luring consumers from the Big Bad Bootlegger. If distributors want to rake in more of the dough, all they have to do is make a newer, slightly improved version of a (barebones) product and it's a pretty good bet that a number of us will be pining for them (until their release day) like Pavlovian dogs. Ain't conditioning great?
That said, i can't wait to see what a Kill Bill Box will look like.
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Old 05-31-04, 08:44 PM
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It's to keep the fans from buying the bootlegs that are very prevalent, and cheap, but not nearly as nice.
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Old 05-31-04, 08:52 PM
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The Hulk DVD is same as the one in Japan!No changes!
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Old 05-31-04, 09:13 PM
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Anyone know when the Oldboy LE is coming out?
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Old 05-31-04, 09:40 PM
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Originally posted by RaMMaR
That said, i can't wait to see what a Kill Bill Box will look like.
You don't have a Kill Bill Set yet?
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Old 05-31-04, 09:49 PM
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Originally posted by Kumar J
You don't have a Kill Bill Set yet?

i'm holding off for a combined Volume 1 & 2 set... assuming there will be one. There IS going to be one, right?!?
Aaaurrrghhh!
Well, there better be a Vol. 1 & 2 combo box! Dammit!
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Old 05-31-04, 11:57 PM
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Maybe in USA but not in Japan I don't think so!Maybe not in another 3 years or so.I can still find those sets available at the stores but stocks are running out very soon.Might be OOP soon then you will really
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Old 06-02-04, 03:58 PM
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Originally posted by mensachicken
classwar, if you're a Herzog fan, the altomedia box set that koreandvds sells is good and contains two movies that I don't think are availalble elsewhere, though I could be wrong (werner herzog eats his shoe and burden of dreams are the movies).

the 40% off sale on the title ends today though. in addition, the site is incorrect in listing the title as all region. it's region 3.
Burden Of Dreams is also available in Germany, as the second disc of Fitzcarraldo. English and German spoken language, no subs.
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