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Beat DVD Region All

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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.6 out of 10 (16)
All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.4 out of 10 (21)

Technical Information

Product Title: Beat Beat Beat Beat 비트
Artist Name(s): Ko So Young | Jung Woo Sung | Yoo Oh Sung 高素英 | 鄭雨盛 | 劉五性 高素英 | 郑雨盛 | 刘五性 コ・ソヨン | チョン・ウソン | ユ・オソン 고 소영 | 정우성 | 유 오성
Release Date: 2001-08-16
Language: Korean
Subtitles: English
Country of Origin: South Korea
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: All Region What is it?
Publisher: Bitwin (KR)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1001814376

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This film has won 4 award(s). All Award-Winning Asian Films

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Beat"

October 5, 2007

This professional review refers to Beat (1997) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
Beat is a belated Hong Kong DVD release of a 1997 film by Korean director Kim Sung-su, who later went on to helm the likes of Musa and Please Teach Me English. The film, which is an adaptation of a popular comic book by Huh Young-man, was a hit in its day, being one of the first to provide a truly scathing portrayal of modern Korean society by focusing on disaffected youths and vicious criminals, and featuring a hip young cast of up and coming stars, all of whom went on to bigger and better things. Although it may not seem like the most obvious choice for a reissue after nearly ten years, the film certainly holds up well, and whilst perhaps not as deep or sophisticated as others which later trod the same path, it makes for entertaining, if bleak viewing.

The plot follows Min (superstar Jung Woo-sung, later in the likes of A Moment to Remember and Daisy), a drop out who finds himself unable to conform to the harsh pressure and physical abuse of high school life. Disgusted by his alcoholic mother and disillusioned by the future which awaits him, he quits studying for the college entrance exams, trying to make a go of things by opening a restaurant with his friend Whan (Lim Chang-jung who, went on to comic sidekick roles in the likes of Sex is Zero and My Boss, My Hero). Unfortunately, almost nothing seems to work out for the hot-tempered Min, and he finds himself gradually being absorbed into the criminal underworld with his friend Taesoo (Yu Oh-seong, also in the hits Friend and Champion), who is trying to carve out a career as a mob boss. Complicating matters further is Min's love for Romy (Ko So-young, who recently headlined Ahn Byeong-ki's Apartment, an equally unstable young girl who cracks under the pressure of trying to get into college and threatens to go off the rails herself.

Beat is far more than a simple criminal life biopic, with Kim ambitiously combining action, drama, romance and tragedy in a semi-epic tale of wasted lives that follows the characters from their reckless youths to fruitless adulthoods. As should be pretty obvious, there is very little to smile about in the film, and the tone is nihilistic throughout, and as such it acts almost as a violent elegy for modern Korean society, steadfastly refusing to offer any hope for the future. This having been said, although the film does occasionally lurch into soap-opera territory, particularly through Min's somewhat unconvincing romance with Romy, it generally steers clear of too much melodrama, with the friendship and brotherhood of the male characters never being allowed to dominate. Kim works in a good number of subplots, which help to flesh out the story in a way which helps the film to transcend its essentially predictable narrative journey.

The characters themselves play a large part in the film's success, being unconventional and believable, something which adds a welcome layer of emotional depth. Min himself makes for an interesting protagonist, a sympathetic figure who is by no means a traditional hero, or indeed even a particularly good person, possessing a near-psychotic temper and a tendency to think with his fists. The supporting characters are drawn in similar shades of grey, with Kim passing a non-judgmental eye over their actions and choices, portraying them very much as a product of their time. Through this, he provides a deeply cynical view of modern Korean society, itself a mix of traditional and Westernised ideas, and the often unbearable pressure it puts on young people from an early age. This pressure is clearly seen on screen, and the film has a growing air of tension and barely controlled violence, which makes Min's frequent eruptions all too understandable.

There is a good amount of action, with plenty of brutal fight scenes and stabbings, which helps to keep things interesting. Kim directs almost in the manner of Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-wai, drenching the dark streets in neon and using a variety of technical tricks. Although he overplays his hand at times, particularly in the use of slow-motion, which detracts from the impact of several scenes, his style is thankfully more lively than Wong's, and the film is fast moving and kinetic despite its long running time.

As a result, Beat stands out as a strong early example of the Korean genre and deserves a place alongside later, higher profile films such as Friend. Although the same plot has been employed many times since, it has rarely been used with the same palpable sense of anger and pent up frustration, or indeed with such heart as it is here.

by James Mudge - BeyondHollywood.com

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 "Beat"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.6 out of 10 (16)
Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.4 out of 10 (21)

See all my reviews

January 27, 2008

This customer review refers to Beat (Give-Away Version)
Good movie Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
Jung Woo Sung really young in this movie. What a good looking actor...If not for him i would not have bought this movie.

Good acting nice action. Worth watching.
Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
linda lam
See all my reviews

September 8, 2007

This customer review refers to Beat (Give-Away Version)
1 people found this review helpful

one of the best film. Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
The story? Excellent! Supporting cast? Excellent! And Jung Woo Sung? Triple excellent! He brings a touch of romantic into this actions movies. You can't help but give your heart to him. This one you definitely must see, my friends.
Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
rosemary wong
See all my reviews

December 11, 2006

This customer review refers to Beat (1997) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
Why? Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
Given that customer reviews for the movie Beat are grouped under this movie, it means whoever is responsible knows that this JWS movie should be called Beat and not Great. On the jacket cover of this movie, the Eng name of the movie is labeled and it’s Beat, tho spelt with a small cap b. The Korean title is the Korean romanisation of the English word Beat.

So why is the anomaly not corrected?
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June 21, 2004

Great flick. Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
I fist saw this movie in 1999. Jung Woo Sung's character is given a CBR in the movie by his friend.
I had a 98' a year later than Mihn's 97'.I rode across
fremont bridge in Portland,OR. thinking of this movie.
This movie transecends racial barriers. Though most of
my friends are Asian, I am a Lakota Sioux. The problems of not fitting in or being at the top of your class, any one from any culture can feel. Though I've
seen many rascal films, especially from HK, this remains one of my favorite movies even after all these years.
Peace to all nations, wherever you are.
Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)

January 16, 2004

OMG Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
The fighting is awesome and dirty, and the girlfriend treats the guy like a slave. So good.
Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
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