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Bestseller (VCD) (Hong Kong Version) VCD

Uhm Jung Hwa (Actor) | Ryu Seung Ryong (Actor) | Lee Jeong Ho (Director)
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Bestseller (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)
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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7 out of 10 (2)

YesAsia Editorial Description

Actress Uhm Jung Hwa (Insadong Scandal) takes on one of the most challenging roles of her career in the suspenseful thriller Bestseller. Uhm is given a chance to truly own the screen here, playing a disgraced author haunted by a mysterious force in an isolated forest home. Writer-director Lee Jeong Ho, making his directorial debut with a story that blends the moral dilemma of academic dishonesty with the thrills of a haunted house ride, keeps his audiences at the edge of their seats by concocting a labyrinth plot packed with unpredictable twists and genre switches. The hit thriller also co-stars Ryu Seong Ryong (Secret, Blades of Blood) and talented child actress Park Sa Rang (Parallel Life).

Hee Soo (Uhm Jung Hwa) was once a successful writer, but her name is tarnished when she is accused of plagiarism. To get out of the spotlight, Hee Soo takes her daughter (Park Sa Rang) and moves into a secluded forest house. There, she begins to hear mysterious sounds, and her daughter even passes on stories she hears from a mysterious woman in the house. Hee Soo decides to write down the stories and create a new novel from it, resulting in another successful novel. However, when she is again accused of plagiarism, she decides to go back to the house to search for the truth.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Bestseller (VCD) (Hong Kong Version) 詭書 (VCD) (香港版) 诡书 (VCD) (香港版) ベストセラー (VCD) (香港版) 베스트셀러
Also known as: 靈異小說 灵异小说
Artist Name(s): Uhm Jung Hwa (Actor) | Ryu Seung Ryong (Actor) 嚴正花 (Actor) | 柳承龍 (Actor) 严正花 (Actor) | 柳承龙 (Actor) オム・ジョンファ (Actor) | リュ・スンリョン (Actor) 엄정화 (Actor) | 류 승룡 (Actor)
Director: Lee Jeong Ho 李正昊 李正昊 Lee Jeong Ho 이정호
Release Date: 2011-02-25
Language: Korean
Subtitles: Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: South Korea
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Disc Format(s): VCD
Duration: 118 (mins)
Publisher: Asia Video (HK)
Other Information: 2VCDs
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1024072462

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Bestseller (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)"

September 20, 2010

This professional review refers to Bestseller (DVD) (2-Disc) (Director's Cut) (First Press Edition) (Korea Version)
Popular Korean actress Uhm Jung Hwa, recently in the likes of Insadong Scandal and the big budget disaster epic Haeundae returns with something a little different in the form of the twisting thriller Bestseller. Written and directed by Lee Jeong Ho, here making his debut, the film is certainly an ambitious affair, taking on a real mix of genres and themes as it tries to keep the viewer guessing through to the end. Although the film is Uhm Jung Hwa's show in a very real sense, she receives able support from Ryu Seong Ryong (also in Blades of Blood) and upcoming child actress Park Sa Rang (Parallel Life).

Uhm Jung Hwa plays Hee Soo, a top selling author who has taken an enforced hiatus from writing after being accused of plagiarism, something she cannot bring herself to admit. In an effort to get her back on track her agent sends her to stay in a lakeside house in a remote rural region. Hee Soo soon begins to experience all manner of strange events in the house, with her young daughter (Park Sa Rang) claiming that she is being told stories by a mysterious, unseen woman. These find their way into her new book, which though successful again sees her being hit with charges of plagiarism. Understandably dismayed, and more than a little unhinged, Hee Soo heads back to the house to try and uncover the dark secrets of the house and the seemingly pleasant small town.

It's a good job that Uhm Jung Hwa is not only one of the most popular, but also one of the best actresses working in Korean cinema at the moment, as Bestseller certainly gives her a run for her money. Initially coming across as a mix of A Tale of Two Sisters and the Johnny Depp starring Stephen King adaptation Secret Window, it's clear from early on that a large part of the film's drive will be the question as to whether or not she is crazy - or indeed, just how crazy she is. This kind of role is notoriously difficult to pull off, not only since it forces the character through the whole gamut of extreme emotions, which is certainly the case here, but as it makes audience sympathy much harder to win. Thankfully, Uhm Jung Hwa proves up to the task, capably carrying the film and turning in an impressive performance that manages to keep the viewer caring about her fate, no small feat given some of the plot's crazier twists and turns.

Lee Jeong Ho puts in every bit as much effort behind the camera, doing his very best to make the viewer as disoriented and tormented as poor Hee Soo. Although the film can be a bit exhausting at times it does work well, and whilst much of it feels familiar (from the creepy old orphanage, the mysterious madwoman who keeps showing up, through to the oddball and probably not very nice locals), it all comes together quite nicely in the end. The film does defy expectations on several occasions, and this really gives the proceedings a boost, with Lee showing the good sense to drop its major revelation around the halfway mark - definitely a good move, since most genre savvy viewers will have seen it coming for some time. This frees up the film to move off in a more interesting direction, and though essentially this just means swapping one kind of psycho drama for another, it helps to keep things exciting.

On a more basic level, Lee displays a good knowledge of what makes a genre film tick, throwing in plenty of shocks and some surprisingly effective scares and ghost scenes. He does a good job of generating an air of mystery and paranoia, with the camera prowling around the house, peering through key holes and the like, giving the building a character of its own. Although the soundtrack is a touch melodramatic, the film is suitably ominous and creepy, and remains tense even once all of its cards appear to be on the table. Of course, even then Lee can't help sneaking in a couple more twists, almost as if trying to play a game of one-upmanship with those viewers who think they can see the end coming. He doesn't quite succeed, though Bestseller is still a great deal of fun, and whilst it undeniably borrows from a number of other films it makes for an entertaining and slick ride. Everything else aside, it provides a great showcase for Uhm Jung Hwa, with her increasingly manic protagonist being very much worth the price of admission on her own.

by James Mudge -

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

Customer Review of "Bestseller (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7 out of 10 (2)

Kevin Kennedy
See all my reviews

January 21, 2011

This customer review refers to Bestseller (DVD) (2-Disc) (Director's Cut) (First Press Edition) (Korea Version)
1 people found this review helpful

Uneven tale of horror Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6 out of 10
In "Bestseller", Uhm Jung Hwa plays Hee Soo, a novelist who is humiliated by accusations that her latest book plagiarized an obscure novel from the early '90s. Distraught and unnerved by the allegations, Hee Soo seeks to regain her authorial voice by closeting herself in an abandoned orphanage outside a dying small town filled with the kind of weird rustic characters who inevitably populate horror films. The isolation compounds the intractable writer's block from which Hee Soo suffers.

Hee Soo has been worrying over her daughter, who has long conversations with an invisible friend in the old orphanage. Hee Soo begins to believe that the invisible friend is a ghost trying to relate the story of her tragic death to the little girl. Hee Soo transcribes the ghost's tale, as described by her daughter, and begins to turn it into her next novel. All of this is accompanied by the usual arsenal of horror movie manipulations: quick cuts, eery music, sudden appearances, bizarre camera angles, etc.

The tone of the story shifts from supernatural horror to "Deliverance"-style backwoods horror as we gain shocking news about Hee Soo's daughter and as her new novel is published to initial raves, only to be discovered to be another case of plagiarism. Stunned by the new allegations, Hee Soo returns to the small town only to become entangled in an attempt by the locals to cover up an old crime. In this sequence, the film ramps up the action to deliver edge-of-your-seat tension only to arrive at a rather preposterous culmination.

While "Bestseller" is slickly made, its shifts in tone are disruptive and its conclusion is unsatisfying. The usually reliable Uhm Jung Hwa makes the unfortunate choice to overplay her character's mental illness; it almost always is more effective to underplay madness. Nonetheless, "Bestseller" held my interest throughout and delivers plenty of scares and creepiness along the way.
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September 21, 2010

This customer review refers to Bestseller (DVD) (2-Disc) (Director's Cut) (First Press Edition) (Korea Version)
1 people found this review helpful

A Woman Plagued By Self-Duplicity Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
Plagiarism is the theme here amidst mystery, psychological trauma, metaphysical spookiness and a bunch of loopy psychotic locals in a village. The lass’s grief by plagiarism is Hee Soo (Jung-Hwa Uhm) a successful Seoul novelist whose career nose-dives when her latest publication is ostensibly inclusive of another author’s ideas. The stress of negative media exposure causes Hee-Soo’s marriage to break up and suffer writer’s block, so her distraught publisher tells Hee-Soo to chill out at a remote village for her privacy, career and health’s sake. Staying in a creaky old lake house with her young daughter, Hee-Soo begins redeeming herself by writing a new book. But ‘chilling out’ is put on hold when Hee-Soo’s daughter starts talking to a ‘ghost spirit’ around the house and Hee-Soo hearing voices and seeing a frightening vision of a dead woman. Later Hee Soo learns from her daughter’s ‘communications’ a dark incident of betrayal and murder at the house. In emotional flux, Hee-Soo writes her vindicating novel, mixing elements of her daughter’s ‘ghost friend’ story (and a proverbial strange old woman lurking about) with her own. But as Hee Soo’s new book is published, she’s again accused of plagiarism. This psychologically breaks Hee-Soo who ends up seeing a psychologist who insists Hee-Soo suffers mental blocks of denial and self-victimisation after the death of her daughter (who’d previously died in a freak accident and never at the lake house). But Hee Soo franticly returns to the loco village to prove her ‘daughter’ had communicated with a ghost relating her book story and that her book violation is totally false. So like a demented female detective Columbo, Hee-Soo searches for clues to locate the truth.

“Bestseller” is certainly unusual, mirror-playing reality/fiction with psychological trauma, ghost horror and some violent unhinged bits. The plot also steers in and out of black comedy satire with some of the male village locals (who are more like neurotic women). I wasn’t sure if Hee-Soo actually went through her traumatic experience or that the whole murder shenanigans was Hee Soo’s psyche attempting to deal with her block-mind plagiarism neurosis. But a provocative yarn and Jung-Hwa is as good as ever in difficult to act shades of frantic distress. Clichés, too, especially in the fight or flight finale, but clichés are relevant in a film about plagiarism. DVD features a slightly longer Directors Cut on bonus disk also with English subs.
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