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The Age of Shadows (DVD) (Japan Version) DVD Region 2

Song Kang Ho (Actor) | Gong Yoo (Actor) | Kim Jee Woon (Director) | Han Ji Min (Actor)
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The Age of Shadows  (DVD) (Japan Version)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

An exciting cat-and-mouse game between a double agent and a resistance fighter unfolds in the spy thriller The Age of Shadows by I Saw the Devil director Kim Jee Woon. Set in the 1920s during the Japanese occupation period, the Warner Bros-produced espionage action film was named the Best Film at the 36th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards, and was even selected as Korea's Oscar candidate for Best Foreign Language Film. After its world premiere at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival, the costume blockbuster was screened at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. In the spy tale, Gong Yoo (Train to Busan) fights for freedom with fellow independence activists, including Han Ji Min (The Fatal Encounter) and Shin Sung Rok (The King's Face), while being chased by Song Kang Ho's (The Throne) undercover agent and his partner played by Um Tae Goo (Coin Locker Girl), who was crowned Best Supporting Actor at the 53rd Grand Bell Awards. Lee Byung Hun and Park Hee Soon make cameo appearances in the film.

Once a Korean independence activist, Korean-born Japanese police officer Lee Jung Chool (Song Kang Ho) is assigned a mission to infiltrate a Korean resistance group. To collect intelligence about the secret organization, he approaches the leader Kim Woo Jin (Gong Yoo), who poses as an art dealer to conceal his true identity. As he works with his once good friends in the group, Jung Chool becomes increasingly dubious about his mission, and the Japanese government grows suspicious of his loyalty. Now both the hunter and the hunted, Jung Chool is thrown into a dilemma when the freedom fighters plan to bomb the key Japanese facilities in Seoul.

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Technical Information

Product Title: The Age of Shadows (DVD) (Japan Version) The Age of Shadows (DVD) (Japan Version) The Age of Shadows (DVD) (Japan Version) 密偵 The Age of Shadows (DVD) (Japan Version)
Artist Name(s): Song Kang Ho (Actor) | Gong Yoo (Actor) | Han Ji Min (Actor) | Tsurumi Shingo (Actor) | Shin Sung Rok (Actor) | Park Hee Soon | Kim Dong Young (Actor) | Um Tae Goo (Actor) | Seo Young Joo (Actor) 宋 康昊 (Actor) | 孔侑 (Actor) | 韓智敏 (Actor) | 鶴見辰吾 (Actor) | 申成祿 (Actor) | 樸熙順 | Kim Dong Young (Actor) | 嚴 泰谷 (Actor) | 徐英洙 (Actor) 宋 康昊 (Actor) | 孔侑 (Actor) | 韩智敏 (Actor) | 鹤见辰吾 (Actor) | 申成禄 (Actor) | 樸熙顺 | Kim Dong Young (Actor) | 严 泰谷 (Actor) | 徐英洙 (Actor) ソン・ガンホ (Actor) | コン・ユ (Actor) | ハン・ジミン (Actor) | つるみしんご (Actor) | シン・ソンロク (Actor) | パク・ヒスン | キム・ドンヨン (Actor) | オム・テグ (Actor) | ソ・ヨンジュ (Actor) 송 강호 (Actor) | 공유 (Actor) | 한지민 (Actor) | Tsurumi Shingo (Actor) | 신성록 (Actor) | 박희순 | 김동영 (Actor) | 엄태구 (Actor) | 서영주 (Actor)
Director: Kim Jee Woon 金 知雲 Kim Jee Woon キム・ジウン 김지운
Release Date: 2018-04-04
Publisher Product Code: TCED-3905
Place of Origin: South Korea
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?
Publisher: Saipro
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1064974286

Product Information

[アーティスト/ キャスト]
ソン・ガンホ / コン・ユ / ハン・ジミン / キム・ジウン (監督) / モグ (音楽)

[特典情報]
映像特典収録

[テクニカル・インフォメーション]
本編140分+特典34分
製作国 : 韓国 (Korea)

[ストーリー]
1920年代の日本統治時代。元朝鮮人の日本警察イ・ジョンチュル(ソン・ガンホ)は武装独立運動団体の義烈団を監視しろとの特命を受け、義烈団のリーダー、キム・ウジン(コン・ユ)に接近する。出処不明の情報が双方間で飛び交い、誰が密偵なのか分からない中、義烈団は日本統治下の主要施設を破壊する爆弾を京城(現ソウル)に持ち込む計画を進めていた。そんな中、日本警察は義烈団を追って上海へ。義烈団と日本警察のかく乱作戦が繰り広げられる緊張感の中、爆弾を積んだ列車は国境を越えて京城へ向かうが…。

[解説]
2016年に韓国で劇場公開後21日にして観客動員750万人を突破し、韓国映画史上に残る大ヒットを記録。日本統治時代の1920年代を背景に、独立運動団体「義烈団(ウィヨルダン)」と彼らを追う日本警察との攻防をスリル満点に描いた究極の秘密諜報サスペンス巨編だ。監督は『悪魔を見た』で知られる韓国映画界のヒットメーカー、キム・ジウン。主演は、数々のヒット作に主演し、『弁護人』で迫真の演技を見せたソン・ガンホ。本作では朝鮮人の日本警部を演じ、日本語のセリフにも挑戦している。義烈団を率いるリーダー役には、『新感染 ファイナル・エクスプレス』のコン・ユ。義烈団の団長役でイ・ビョンホンが特別出演し、圧倒的な存在感を放っている。また、日本警察組織のナンバー2である総督府警務局部長役で鶴見辰吾が出演、重厚な演技を見せている。

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "The Age of Shadows (DVD) (Japan Version)"

July 7, 2017

This professional review refers to The Age of Shadows (2DVD) (Korea Version)
Are there any directors more versatile than Kim Jee-woon? Looking at his CV, it would appear that there certainly can't be many, the Korean helmer having switched between action, comedy, horror, science fiction and quiet drama with assurance and ease, earning himself a slew of awards and a reputation as one of the country's most talented filmmakers in the process. Kim follows up his 2013 Hollywood outing The Last Stand with The Age of Shadows, which surely ranks as one of the biggest Korean films of recent years even if only due to the sheer amount of star power in front of the camera, including Song Kang-ho (The Throne), Gong Yoo (Train to Busan), Han Ji-min (The Fatal Encounter) and others, with Lee Byung-hun and Park Hee-soon showing up for cameo appearances. The film was another international success for Kim, premiering at the Venice Film Festival before going on to tour the world, as well as winning him a long list of awards and nominations, including Best Film at the Korean Association of Film Critics' Awards.

The film takes place in the 1920s during the Japanese occupation of Korea, with Song Kang-ho as Lee Jung-chool, a police officer working for the Japanese who has been tasked with hunting down and infiltrating the Korean resistance, which he was formerly a member of. His plan to do this involves befriending Kim Woo-jin (Gong Yoo), who works as a shady art and antique dealer as a front for his resistance activities, and who he hopes will let slip their schemes. Despite the fact that the two men are fully aware of each other's real identity, they form a partnership of sorts, trying to turn the situation to their own advantage. With the vicious Japanese officer Hashimoto (Um Tae-goo) smelling a rat, things start to become more dangerous after it becomes clear that Kim's smuggling route is being prepped to transport explosives from Shanghai to Seoul as part of an attack on the Japanese, pushing Lee to decide where his loyalties lie.

The Age of Shadows is nothing if not complex, being a cat and mouse thriller where the cat and the mouse roles are interchangeable and shift frequently, ambiguous identities and character motivations abounding throughout. Kim Jee-woon, who also scripted along with Lee Ji-min and Park Jong-dae, certainly tries to pack in a great deal of drama and suspense, and the film is relentless in its twists and turns, attempting to keep the viewer guessing as to who will end up on top, or at least alive. This works well enough, to an extent, and the film succeeds in creating an atmosphere of danger and deception, with treachery never far away, and Kim does a decent job of playing on both the moralities and psychologies of his protagonists in a vaguely Hitchcockian fashion. Unfortunately, at the same time he also overplays his hand, and the film gets needlessly caught up in its own chicanery, throwing in far too many characters and subplots to keep things focused. Clocking in at two hours and twenty minutes, the film is too long to maintain its momentum and tension, partly due to a middle section which for all its cleverness is essentially filler, never really adding much to the bigger picture. Kim's earlier films, though eccentric in places, were arguably tighter and more focused, and while The Age of Shadows does eventually build to a rewarding conclusion, it's hard not to feel that the film is bloated and takes too long in getting there.

Thankfully, the stellar cast all turn in great performances, and help lift the film during some of its more ponderous stretches. Song Kang-ho is fantastic in what amounts to the lead role, reigning in his over the top persona in favour of something more nuanced, and the film’s most satisfying aspect is arguably his multi-layered portrayal of a man confused by conflicting loyalties and driven to make a series of difficult and dangerous choices. Gong Yoo is also on great form, showing his usual likeability, though with a touch of ruthlessness, and while Han Ji-min doesn’t have much to do, the script at least spares her the indignity of being an eye-candy love interest. Special mention should go to Um Tae-goo, who's a great deal of fun to watch and who seems to have a fine old time chewing the scenery as the villainous Hashimoto, keeping his turn just the right side of pantomime hysteria.

The film also benefits from some impeccable visuals, clearly having enjoyed a sizable budget, no doubt partly as a result of having been produced by Warner Bros. The sets and costumes all look incredible, and the film is both stylised and convincing in its period detail, and cinematographers Kim Ji-yong and Kim Jae-hong give the production a suitably shady and moody look and feel. Kim has proved himself many times a director comfortable with large scale set pieces, and the film has its share of spectacular moments, most notably a virtuoso sequence on a train, and these do help to inject a very welcome shot of pace now and again. Things do get bloody and violent in places, and though there's nothing here to challenge Kim's brutal I Saw the Devil, the film is definitely all the better for having a hard edge.

There's certainly a lot to like about The Age of Shadows, and it's a shame that the film is let down by its overlong running time and overcooked plotting. It's more of a step sideways than backwards for Kim Jee-woon, and doesn't do his standing as one of the best film directors working in Korea today any harm, and as a big budget, all-star blockbuster it does entertain, if not quite enthral.

by James Mudge - EasternKicks.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.
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