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The Face Reader (2013) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Song Kang Ho (Actor) | Kim Hye Su (Actor) | Lee Jung Jae (Actor) | Baek Yoon Shik (Actor)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Directed by Han Jae Rim (Rules of Dating), the blockbuster period drama The Face Reader chronicles the life of a man whose skills in physiognomy are so great that he earns the attention of the king. Song Kang Ho (Snowpiercer) stars as the eponymous face reader who can predict the character and fates of those he comes across. The acclaimed actor is supported by an all-star cast that includes Lee Jung Jae (The Thieves), Kim Hye Su (Tazza: The High Rollers), Baek Yoon Shik (Tazza: The High Rollers) and rising stars Lee Jong Suk (No Breathing) and Jo Jung Suk (Architecture 101). Besides winning big at the box office with over nine million admissions, The Face Reader has also won many awards including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor at the 50th Daejong Film Awards.

Despite being the greatest face reader of the Joseon dynasty, Nae Kyung (Song Kang Ho) chooses to live in quiet seclusion with his son Jin Hyeong (Lee Jong Suk) and brother-in-law Paeng Heon (Jo Jung Suk) because of their disgraced family background. It is gisaeng Yeon Hong (Kim Hye Su) who finds Nae Kyung and brings him to the capital for a business partnership. Word of Nae Kyung's amazing skills spreads quickly and soon he's brought to the palace to assess and investigate civil servants and officials. Even the king enlists Nae Kyung's services to identify potential traitors, pulling him into a court conspiracy involving Prince Suyang (Lee Jung Jae) who is plotting to usurp the throne.

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Technical Information

Product Title: The Face Reader (2013) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) 觀相 (2013) (DVD) (香港版) 观相 (2013) (DVD) (香港版) 觀相 (2013) (DVD) (香港版) 관상
Also known as: 觀相大師: 滅王風暴 观相大师: 灭王风暴
Artist Name(s): Song Kang Ho (Actor) | Kim Hye Su (Actor) | Lee Jung Jae (Actor) | Baek Yoon Shik (Actor) | Lee Jong Suk (Actor) | Jo Jung Suk (Actor) 宋 康昊 (Actor) | 金 慧秀 (Actor) | 李政宰 (Actor) | 白允植 (Actor) | 李鐘碩 (Actor) | 曹 政奭 (Actor) 宋 康昊 (Actor) | 金 慧秀 (Actor) | 李政宰 (Actor) | 白允植 (Actor) | 李钟硕 (Actor) | 曹 政奭 (Actor) ソン・ガンホ (Actor) | キム・ヘス (Actor) | イ・ジョンジェ (Actor) | ペク・ユンシク (Actor) | イ・ジョンソク (Actor) | チョ・ジョンソク (Actor) 송 강호 (Actor) | 김혜수 (Actor) | 이 정재 (Actor) | 백윤식 (Actor) | 이종석 (Actor) | 조정석 (Actor)
Director: Han Jae Rim 韓在林 韩在林 ハン・ジェリム 한재림
Release Date: 2014-07-14
Language: Cantonese, Korean
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Country of Origin: South Korea
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1, Widescreen
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 2.0
Disc Format(s): DVD, DVD-9
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Duration: 139 (mins)
Publisher: Deltamac (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1036301152

Product Information

Director: HAN Jae-rim

"Human face is the embodiment of nature and its order."

Nae-kyeong (Song Kang-ho) is the greatest face reader Joseon has ever known. He can see through people by looking at their faces. He lives with his son Jin-hyeong (Lee Jong-suk) and his brother-in-law Paeng-heon (Cho Jung-seok) in the mountains. After alluring courtesan Yeon-hong (Kim Hye-soo) proposes an offer, he moves to Hanyang to read faces in the courtesan house. Nae-kyeong quickly becomes the "go-to face reader" in town and even Vice Premier KIM Jong-seo hears about the new face reader. He appoints Nae-kyeong to government's Inspection Board. During his inspection, Nae-kyeong finds out about Prince Su-yang's plan to take the throne of his nephew. He decides to change the destiny of the country by changing what's written on Su-yang's face.
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "The Face Reader (2013) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

February 24, 2014

This professional review refers to The Face Reader (2013) (Blu-ray) (First Press Limited Edition) (Korea Version)
Period drama The Face Reader emerged as one of the biggest and most critically acclaimed Korean films of the year, pulling in more than 9 million admissions and winning a slew of accolades at the 50th Daejong Film Awards. The film was directed by Han Jae Rim and reteams him with popular actor Song Kang Ho, who he worked with previously on gangster effort The Show Must Go On along with a remarkable supporting cast of heavy-hitters that includes Lee Jung Jae (The Thieves), Kim Hye Su (Tazza: The High Rollers), Baek Yoon Shik (The Taste of Money) and the up and coming Lee Jong Suk (No Breathing) and Jo Jung Suk (Architecture 101).

The film takes place in the 1450s during the Joseon dynasty, with Song Kang Ho as Nae Kyung, once the country's most talented face reader, the practice of physiognomy, whereby the face of a person is studied to reveal their character and future. With their family name still suffering from past disgrace, Nae Kyung is living in isolation with his son Jin Hyeong (Lee Jong Suk) and brother Paeng Heon (Jo Jung Suk), until he is tempted back to the capital by beautiful gisaeng Yeon Hong (Kim Hye Su). Initially working for her in her bawdy establishment, he quickly catches the eye of the palace, and is enlisted to assist with the hiring of officials and the rooting out of corruption, using his position to help Jin Hyeong find a position at the court. Soon enough, he finds himself caught up in a conspiracy to seize the throne, trapped between the ruthless and ambitious Grand Prince Suyang (Lee Jung Jae) and the powerful Vice Premier Kim Jong Seo (Baek Yoon Shik).

In narrative terms, The Face Reader sticks to the usual structure seen in Korean period set films of this type, its three acts progressing from light comedy through to drama and finally tragedy. Though it's an interesting and well-told story it does feel somewhat generic as a result, at least for audiences without knowledge of the period and events it deals with - it's fair to say that Korean audiences will likely take more from its historical detail in this regard. Still, there's always plenty of going on, and Han Jae Rim makes up for the air of familiarity by working in plenty of conspiracies, twists and revelations, and this keeps things engaging during a somewhat overlong two hours plus running time. Some excellent production values also help, and Han's direction is accomplished and nicely judged, showing a good grasp of what makes this kind of film appealing to local audiences. Though things do get melodramatic towards the end, it's never too drawn out, and does come to a conclusion that's both dramatically and emotionally satisfying, if perhaps unsurprising.

Where the film does stand out from the crowd is in its superb cast, its gang of A-listers giving it a considerable boost and adding an entertaining touch of prestige. The dependable Song Kang Ho is excellent in the title role and convinces as both a talented and ambitious sage like fortune teller and an everyman figure caught woefully out of his depth and in danger of being swept along by the tide of history. He's a likeable and essentially decent protagonist and gives the film a valuable solid core as well as giving the story a welcome human element. While a star name like Song might have been expected to dominate, the film is very much an ensemble piece, with the supporting cast all enjoying plenty of screen time and turning in commanding performances. Lee Jung Jae in particular is on great form, seeming to relish the part of the callous and driven Suyang, with Baek Yoon Shik also doing an impressive job as the possibly noble Vice Premier. Though they don't have quite as much to do, Jo Jung Suk and Lee Jong Suk do well in the expected comic relief and junior roles respectively, and while under-used, Kim Hye Su is always easy on the eyes and manages to steal a few scenes of her own.

Song Kang Ho and company go some way to lifting The Face Reader up from being an above average though fairly standard Korean historical drama, and lend a definite weight to the proceedings. Fans either of the genre or the cast will doubtless find much to enjoy, and it's certainly one of the better, not to mention mostly handsomely made recent examples of the form.

by James Mudge - BeyondHollywood.com

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