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JSA (Joint Security Area) (2000) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region All

Lee Byung Hun (Actor) | Lee Young Ae (Actor) | Song Kang Ho (Actor) | Park Chan Wook (Director)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.4 out of 10 (12)
All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.5 out of 10 (50)

YesAsia Editorial Description

From award-winning filmmaker Park Chan Wook, the director that brought us Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Old Boy, comes his earlier box office success, Joint Security Area (JSA)! Somewhere in the Demilitarized Zone dividing North and South Korea, two North Korean soldiers have been murdered outside their guard posts, and all signs point to a South Korean soldier as the prime suspect. However, when adding up the eleven bullets pulled from the corpses and the five bullets remaining in the suspect's clip, a glaring discrepancy is uncovered: the clip in question can only hold fifteen bullets, not sixteen. But unraveling the mystery of the double homicide proves difficult for Major Sophie Jean (Lee Young Ae, from Sympathy for Lady Vengeance), the leader of a neutral United Nations-type investigative team assigned to the case.

Stonewalled by authorities on both sides of the DMZ, Jean must sort out the differing accounts of the incident provided by the South Korean suspect, Sergeant Lee Soo Hyuk (Lee Byung Hun, from A Bittersweet Life) and the eyewitness testimony given by North Korean Sergeant Oh Kyung Pil (Song Kang Ho, from The Foul King). With the storm clouds of war looming on the horizon of this sensitive political situation, can Major Jean discover the truth before these age-old tensions give way to an all-out nuclear confrontation? And is there a vast conspiracy at work or something far simpler? Thanks to marvelous performances from its cast, Joint Security Area amounts to a gripping military thriller, one that went on to win multiple awards including Best Film honors at South Korea's Grand Bell Awards!

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Technical Information

Product Title: JSA (Joint Security Area) (2000) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) 安全地帶 (2000) (DVD) (香港版) 安全地带 (2000) (DVD) (香港版) JSA (2000) (DVD) (香港版) JSA (Joint Security Area) (2000) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Lee Byung Hun (Actor) | Lee Young Ae (Actor) | Song Kang Ho (Actor) 李秉憲 (Actor) | 李英愛 (Actor) | 宋 康昊 (Actor) 李秉宪 (Actor) | 李英爱 (Actor) | 宋 康昊 (Actor) イ・ビョンホン (Actor) | イ・ヨンエ (Actor) | ソン・ガンホ (Actor) 이 병헌 (Actor) | 이 영애 (Actor) | 송 강호 (Actor)
Director: Park Chan Wook 朴 贊郁 朴赞郁 パク・チャヌク 박찬욱
Release Date: 2002-03-26
Language: Korean
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Country of Origin: South Korea
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS Digital Surround
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: All Region What is it?
Rating: IIB
Duration: 120 (mins)
Publisher: Modern Audio
Package Weight: 170 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1001829037

Product Information

Director: Park Chan Wook

  Joint Security Area - JSA is sensitive film related to political issue. One night, two North Korea soldiers were dead by gunshot, the bodies lie within the area of JSA. This incident triggers the enmity between the North and the south. Both sides decide to resort to the help of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) (comprised of Swiss and Swedish delegates) to carry out the investigation. One of a suspect South Korean soldier was found and can start the investigation. At this moment, the witness to commits suicide......
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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Awards

This film has won 9 award(s) and received 1 award nomination(s). All Award-Winning Asian Films

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "JSA (Joint Security Area) (2000) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

View Professional Review:
April 17, 2008


Joint Security Area is the highest invested film in Korean film history, it is also one of the highest grossed films in Korea ever. It was released in Korea in 2000 and received immediate success due to its controversial subject and the director's decisive critique on the issue.

This film is about a mysterious murder case involving several soldiers who are camping at the border of South and North Korea, an area known as Joint Security Area. One night, two North Korean soldiers were shot to death. A South Korean soldier (Lee Byung-Heon) is the prime suspect. The investigation is carried out by a neutral party headed by Sophie (Lee Young-Ae). Sophie soon discovers that it is not merely a brutal murder, the case is more complicated than she expected as there is a clandestine relationship among several South and North Korean soldiers.

What makes this film interesting is that the director is able to break the political taboo and deal with the issue in an honest yet peaceful manner. Tension is turned to humors and then to suspense, the director is good at controlling the atmosphere of the story and revolving the reaction of the audience, hence, the film succeeds in raising certain discourse regarding the current situation in Korea and elicits positive responses from the Korean people. For instance, the ending snapshot is a very important motif of the film. It symbolizes the theme successfully. What the director wants to convey is that although South Korea and North Korea are separated, there is nothing that can stop the people of the two countries from getting together. Korea is one nation after all. Fate will put them together no matter what. From the depiction of the intimate friendship among the soldiers, Park Chan-Wook tells us how anxious the Koreans long for reunion of the nation.

Song Kang-Ho is always a supporting character in other films. In JSA, he is finally able to take the lead role, and he gives excellent performance to substantiate his capability. His role as the North Korean officer beats Lee Byung Heon in terms of every aspect. The bodily gestures, emotions and dialogues are all carried out persuasively. It is no wonder why he could capture various best actor awards with this film. Lee Young-Ae speaks fluent English in the film and succeeds in building up a convincing image of the NNSC officer.

This film is shot in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The resulted image is so beautiful and serene that you will almost forget you are watching a narrative film. The filmmaker has created a tangible world for the film and heightens the artistic value brilliantly.

No matter you are Korean or not, there are always something you can gain from watching this film.

DVD (HK version) - The picture quality is not bad, I am not sure if it is in the original 2.35:1 format or not, but it looks like widescreen to me. Nevertheless, I don't have a 16x9 TV and I heard that this DVD is not real 16:9. For the sound, its ok, but I am not certain if it is my audio system or what, I have to turn up the volume quite a bit to get the desired quality. Overall speaking, with the region free coding, all the special features and bonus materials(postcards and booklet), this DVD is definitely worth to buy!

Cool guy(s) - Song Kang-Ho

Reviewed by: Kantorates - Cinespot.com

May 14, 2001

This professional review refers to Joint Security Area-VCD

Joint Security Area is the highest invested film in Korean film history, it is also one of the highest grossed films in Korea ever. It was released in Korea in 2000 and received immediate success due to its controversial subject and the director's decisive critique on the issue.

This film is about a mysterious murder case involving several soldiers who are camping at the border of South and North Korea, an area known as Joint Security Area. One night, two North Korean soldiers were shot to death. A South Korean soldier (Lee Byung-Heon) is the prime suspect. The investigation is carried out by a neutral party headed by Sophie (Lee Young-Ae). Sophie soon discovers that it is not merely a brutal murder, the case is more complicated than she expected as there is a clandestine relationship among several South and North Korean soldiers.

What makes this film interesting is that the director is able to break the political taboo and deal with the issue in an honest yet peaceful manner. Tension is turned to humors and then to suspense, the director is good at controlling the atmosphere of the story and revolving the reaction of the audience, hence, the film succeeds in raising certain discourse regarding the current situation in Korea and elicits positive responses from the Korean people. For instance, the ending snapshot is a very important motif of the film. It symbolizes the theme successfully. What the director wants to convey is that although South Korea and North Korea are separated, there is nothing that can stop the people of the two countries from getting together. Korea is one nation after all. Fate will put them together no matter what. From the depiction of the intimate friendship among the soldiers, Park Chan-Wook tells us how anxious the Koreans long for reunion of the nation.

Song Kang-Ho is always a supporting character in other films. In JSA, he is finally able to take the lead role, and he gives excellent performance to substantiate his capability. His role as the North Korean officer beats Lee Byung Heon in terms of every aspect. The bodily gestures, emotions and dialogues are all carried out persuasively. It is no wonder why he could capture various best actor awards with this film. Lee Young-Ae speaks fluent English in the film and succeeds in building up a convincing image of the NNSC officer.

This film is shot in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The resulted image is so beautiful and serene that you will almost forget you are watching a narrative film. The filmmaker has created a tangible world for the film and heightens the artistic value brilliantly.

No matter you are Korean or not, there are always something you can gain from watching this film.

DVD (HK version) - The picture quality is not bad, I am not sure if it is in the original 2.35:1 format or not, but it looks like widescreen to me. Nevertheless, I don't have a 16x9 TV and I heard that this DVD is not real 16:9. For the sound, its ok, but I am not certain if it is my audio system or what, I have to turn up the volume quite a bit to get the desired quality. Overall speaking, with the region free coding, all the special features and bonus materials(postcards and booklet), this DVD is definitely worth to buy!

Cool guy(s) - Song Kang-Ho

Reviewed by: Kantorates - Cinespot.com

Editor's Pick of "JSA (Joint Security Area) (2000) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

Picked By Sanwei
See all this editor's picks


November 30, 2006

The North-South Divide
Before delusional cyborgs and angry people seeking revenge, director Park Chan Wook announced his entry into the ranks of the region's greats in 2000 with Joint Security Area, a tightly wrought, politically charged story set on the North Korean border. To put things understatedly, North Korea is a common theme in South Korean films. From action thrillers to politically incorrect comedies, South Korean filmmakers spend quite a bit of time re-imagining their northern counterparts, obsessing over hypothetical political developments, and trying to make sense of the complicated roller coaster relationship on the peninsula.

JSA opens with both sides of the border caught in a dicey political dilemma. A South Korean officer has inexplicably killed two North Korean officers at the DMZ, and both parties are in a bind to not let the incident escalate into an international crisis. A third-party Swiss-Korean military officer played by Lee Young Ae is called in to investigate the incident. As she sorts out the conflicting reports and navigates the politics of North-South tensions, she unravels a bittersweet tale of rare friendship and profound tragedy at the 38th parallel.

The investigation begins with counter Rashomon-style scenarios of the incident, but it soon becomes clear that the core of the film is the development of the soldiers' friendship, revealed through flashback. Although the disastrous consequences of their secret camaraderie are known from the very beginning, this actually makes the film more tense and compelling. The stark contrast between the sterile coldness of the investigation proceedings and the warmth and humor of the soldiers' friendship underlines the tragic futility of the situation. A mix of military types and average Joes, the soldiers are a lot more similar to each other than their respective governments would like to admit. In a different time, a different place, these men would be throwing back beer together at a pub, but circumstances beyond their control have placed them on opposite sides. It is also this element of danger and volatility - both in the risk of getting discovered and the inherent uneasiness in their interactions - that makes their relationships all the more valuable. When the moment of violence comes, as we know it will, the impact is no less shocking.

JSA benefits mightily from some very fine performances. Lee Byung Hun, in one of his first films that marked him as a serious actor, gives an effectively subdued and tortured performance, while Shin Ha Kyun displays impressive range as his amusingly showboat comic trappings give way to a tragic breakdown. The always reliable Song Kang Ho plays it straight, solemn, and honorable, letting the emotions brew beneath the surface. Perhaps even more inscrutable than Song's character though is Lee Young Ae's military officer role. Hampered down by English dialogue, an underdeveloped character, and deliberately listless surroundings, it is to her credit that she still manages to bring life to her role.

Beautifully shot and edited, JSA is a powerful film with sentiments that resonate strongly with the current state of the Koreas. By telling both sides of the story without passing overt judgment on its players, the film brings humanity to a cold place in a painful mix of hope and fatalism. JSA left me emotionally drained, but if only for a moment, it also made me look at the world a bit differently.

Feature articles that mention "JSA (Joint Security Area) (2000) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

Customer Review of "JSA (Joint Security Area) (2000) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.4 out of 10 (12)
Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.5 out of 10 (50)

Kevin Kennedy
See all my reviews


August 22, 2007

This customer review refers to JSA - Joint Security Area (US Version)
1 people found this review helpful

Death at the DMZ Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
"JSA" is an exciting, if uneven, film about an investigation into the deaths of two North Korean soldiers at Korea's DMZ. Although entirely different in subject matter, the structure of the movie is remarkably similar to Norman Jewison's superb film, "A Soldier's Story".

Lee Byung Hun commands the screen as an impulsive young South Korean sergeant who reaches out to befriend two North Korean border guards who had saved his life when he became lost during a patrol. Song Kang Ho brilliantly portrays his older, more stable North Korean counterpart. This heart-warming relationship ultimately explodes in a shocking culmination driven by military duty and political tensions.

Lee Young Ae, who later became Asia's darling for her star turn in the "Dae Jang Geum" TV series, plays the lead investigator, an underwritten role that primarily serves as a device to move the story forward. The attempt to give her character a background story about her father is a confusing, but blessedly brief, distraction.

I wholeheartedly recommend "JSA" as a taut thriller that offers enduring insights into our human nature.
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Best Review
Rhoda
See all my reviews


January 17, 2007

This customer review refers to JSA (Joint Security Area) Special Edition
1 people found this review helpful

Wondeful Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
This is one of the rariest movies you must not fail to watch. Wonderfully done, good actors and very nice story. The story is about soldiers of north and south korea who happened to be good friends. Dont's fail to watch this one. Worth every minute.
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Kevin
See all my reviews


February 19, 2006

This customer review refers to JSA (Joint Security Area) Special Edition
1 people found this review helpful

Very good movie! Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
This was the first Korean movie I saw and was thuroughly impressed by the quality of action, drama, and story line. It stars young Lee Young Ae who was later popularized by the TV series 'Dae Jang Geum'.

It's an excellent suspense movie. I highly recommend it.
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mikah
See all my reviews


February 14, 2006

This customer review refers to JSA (Joint Security Area) Special Edition
1 people found this review helpful

Joint Security Area Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10
As a fan of Lee Byung Hun, I watched this movie, never expecting it to end the way it did. I continue to be impressed by the range of emotions he can show in a movie. The male leads did an outstanding job and showed how even in war, friendships are formed.

Unfortunately, Lee Young Ae's performance was quite weak and did nothing to enhance this movie.

I recommend it highly but be prepared for a hard ending.
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Jane
See all my reviews


December 30, 2005

This customer review refers to JSA (Joint Security Area) (Hong Kong Version)
Excellent Movie! Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
This movie really made me cry and I felt really touched! The story is not very complex, but it has many meanings. The entire case did a supreb job! For those who wanted to know if there are english subtitles are not...the answer is YES. The subtitles are a bit small, but you can still read them. The quality of the picture is not bad compare to DVD. Overall, if this movie is a must that everyone should see!!!
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