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Ending of JSA? WTF?

Old 07-29-04, 02:41 AM
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Ending of JSA? WTF?

This is all spoilers so don't even read past this sentence if you don't want to be spoiled rotten. I'm not going to black out the entire post, so just stop now for your own good.

I'm not sure if this should go in the main forum or not. I figured more people here would be familiar with the movie so I'm posting it here.

I just finished watching JSA and the last scene made me do a doubletake, so much that I had to rewind to the middle of the movie and check the on-screen dates. Here's what bugged me:

The last scene is apparently the photograph that was taken during the American(?) group's tour of the DMZ where the wind blew the white girl's hat across the line of demarcation. The photograph showed that the soldier from the north who returned the hat was Seargent Oh and that marching in the background was his sidekick, Jeong Woo-jin. Both very much alive and both very much still in the service of the north korean army.

So, I rewound back to when the scene actually took place and it was right after the Swiss chick asked Nam Sung-shik if he knew what a lie detector was. There was no new time/date displayed when the scene changed to the tour group, just a line that said "security" presumably identifying the location.

Taken together, the photograph and apparent currentness of the tour group scene indicate that Woo-jin was not killed, as he is clearly alive doing the high-step march.

So, now I am left with a great big, "what the hell happened?" Was it really some trick by the North to mess with the guys from the South? Or was the editing just sloppy and the tour group scene really was from the past (in which case what relevance would the scene and photograph have to the story the movie was telling?). Or was the Tai Seng DVD that I watched just so crappy they left something important out??

My head is going to explode here. Can anyone with a solid understanding of the film clear this up for me?

PS, also what's the best edition of this film on DVD? The crappy Tai Seng disc wasn't even anamorphic and was very soft and muddy in the darker shots, lots of the Korean dialog was way too quiet (the English parts were generally audible though) and the subtitles had reasonably good grammar and so I assume were a fairly accurate translation).
Old 07-29-04, 05:18 AM
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Tai Seng

Terrible terrible DVDs! Amzon.com like to stock them.


I thought the ending of JSA was very emotional. The last scene was a closer look at the 'white hat' scene. It's that simple. It was just showing what had happened and what was going to happen to these people you did not know and then did know (showing you the power of just how similar all people are (especially 2 countries (North and South Korea) who are split in 2)).

I think you've gotten yourself into a bit of a mess with the film


As for good DVDs try the Region 0 Hong Kong www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=3794 or the Region 3 Korea http://www.thegline.com/dvd-of-the-w...08-12-2002.htm

If you search this forum you will find a few posts telling you where to pick up the HK disc cheap.
Old 07-29-04, 05:25 AM
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I believe the photograph contained all of them and it was just meant to be a little keepsake reminder of their friendship for the audience - it was an event that happened (I believe) before the shooting incident and after they all met and started hanging out (or perhaps not after that). Assume it's a different girl and a different hat.

I don't know which version to get - I just got the first one that came out. It's by a HK company called Modern Audio (says Modern over a red "M" at the bottom right). Anyway, Tai Seng probably rebadged this DVD release I would assume. There's a much better R3 Korean disc version out with extras and anamorphic and all that hubub. It's 2 discs. There's a Japanese version available for pre-order, but it's quite expensive and doesn't have English subs.
Old 07-29-04, 02:41 PM
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Buy this one:
http://www.koreandvds.com/dvddetail.html?id=824
Old 07-29-04, 05:27 PM
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tai seng slapped their sticker on the modern dvd release. go for the r3 korean release, it is DTS, and it is region 0 even though it says r3.

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