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Sandglass (SBS TV Series)(US Version) DVD Region 1

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Sandglass (SBS TV Series)(US Version)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.1 out of 10 (7)
All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.6 out of 10 (31)

YesAsia Editorial Description

One of the first genuinely unmissable Korean dramas, Sandglass became a cultural phenomenon when it first aired in 1995, and the yardstick by which all subsequent productions would be measured. The show was a talking point at water coolers around the country, captivating households with its thrilling story of organised crime and political upheaval. Sandglass secured a staggering 65% audience share, with reports of stores and businesses closing early so workers could be home in time to watch each week's new episode.

Sandglass is the story of two best friends, their differing roads in life, and the political turmoil that inevitably pits them against one another. After getting rejected from military school because of his father's affiliation with the Communist party, Tae Soo (Choi Min Soo) enters a dark underworld filled with violent gangsters and corrupt politicians. Woo Suk (Park Sang Won) sees his family suffer under political oppression, and becomes a prosecutor to fight for social justice. Painfully torn between the two men is Hye Rin (Ko Hyun Jung of Spring Days), the ambitious successor to her father's successful casino business.

Sandglass powerfully explores the conflicts between friendship, loyalty, and duty. Don't miss this intense and unpredictable 24-episode television masterpiece… and prepare yourself for a thrilling and truly unforgettable ending.

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  • © 2005-2020 Ltd. All rights reserved. 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

    Technical Information

    Product Title: Sandglass (SBS TV Series)(US Version) Sandglass (SBS TV Series)(US Version) Sandglass (SBS TV Series)(US Version) 砂時計 (US版) 모래시계 (SBS TV 시리즈)(미국판)
    Artist Name(s): Choi Min Soo | Ko Hyun Jung | Park Sang Won 崔民秀 | 高賢廷 | 朴相元 崔民秀 | 高贤廷 | 朴相元 チェ・ミンス | コ・ヒョンジョン | パク・サンウォン 최 민수 | 고 현정 | 박상원
    Release Date: 2005-12-21
    Language: Korean
    Subtitles: English
    Country of Origin: South Korea
    Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
    Disc Format(s): DVD
    Region Code: 1 - USA, Canada, U.S. Territories What is it?
    Publisher: YA Entertainment
    Other Information: 8 DVDs (24 episodes)
    Package Weight: 420 (g)
    Shipment Unit: 3 What is it?
    YesAsia Catalog No.: 1004076030

    Product Information

    * Screen Format : Standard
    * Sound Mix : Dolby 2.0
    * DVD Type : DVD-9

    * Director : 김종학

    각기 다른 삶을 사는 태수, 우석, 혜린이 80년대 암울했던 시대를 통해 살아온 흔적을 '모래시계'는 담고 있다. 아버지의 사상이 문제되어 사관학교에 직학하지 못한 태수는 조직의 일원이 되면서 정치판에 뛰어들고, 우석은 사법고시에 합격하여 검사로서 사회정의 실현을 위해 노력하지만 두터운 현실의 벽 앞에서 좌절도 맞본다. 혜린은 아버지 윤회장이 카지노계의 대부로 군림하면서 권력의 핵심부와 거래를 시작하고 결국 권력으로부터 추방되어 죽음을 맞게 되자 카지노 사업을 물려받으면서 한편으로는 태수에 대한 사랑의 감정을 가슴 깊이 간직한다.

    '모래시계'는 바로 이들 삶을 통해 벌어지는 일련의 사건, 정치적으로는 80년대 5.18 민주화운동과 새로운 공화국의 출범 등 역사적 사실과 궤를 같이 한다. 또한 여기서 파생되는 조직간의 암투와 카지노업계를 장악하려는 음모가 한데 섞이면서 종도와 태수의 대결,혜린을 지키려는 재희의 모습 등이 역동적으로 펼쳐진다. 검사의 신분인 우석 앞에 친구와 죄수로서 다가오는 태수의 그림자는 모든 사건이 마무리되는 시점에서 극에 달하고 찬란했던 이들 삶의 기로는 끝내 돌아올 수 없는 태수의 죽음으로 막을 내린다.

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    YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

    Professional Review of "Sandglass (SBS TV Series)(US Version)"

    January 7, 2006

    The desolate streets and empty bars were the first signal. Walking around Seoul those nights in 1995 was like setting foot in a post-apocalyptic landscape, with only a few tent bars and stores still open in the evening. Many people rushed home from work early, lest they missed even one episode of the TV Drama that was setting the nation on fire. A metropolis of several million people becoming a desert of asphalt, parked cars, and lights.

    Sandglass seemingly had it all: a great producer/writer combo, the almost limitless budget SBS allowed, and the perfect ensemble cast, mixing young and old, popular and talented. But many dramas find themselves in similar situations, and later implode under the weight of expectations and/or lazy writing. It wasn't so this time, Sandglass was a success on all fronts. It had spectacular sets, props and costumes, special effects which went a notch above the ones seen in the epic Eyes of Dawn, politics, history and popular customs all rolled into one. It is still regarded as one of the best TV drama scripts of all time, combining the intricate and labyrinthine storytelling of the best historical and police procedural dramas, the realism and poignancy of family dramas, the good looking and popular stars of trendy dramas, and of course a big love triangle, with two of the most tumultuous decades in Korean history as its background.

    Tae Soo, who recently transferred to a school in Gwangju with his mother, becomes famous for his fighting skills, and he's soon feared all over school. But, strangely enough, he finds friendship in Woo Suk, one of the best students at Daesung High, not exactly the kind of person he used to associate with. Promising not to fight unless provoked, Tae Soo is helped by Woo Suk in his studies, and as he stops worrying about who disrespected him on any given day, he starts discovering the joys of learning. For the first time in his young life, he finds a dream, but it's short lived. When his mother reveals he's the son of a Partisan, he gives up his dreams.

    As Tae Soo participates in his first demonstrations, Woo Suk keeps focusing on his studies, which both makes him the center of his fellow students' criticism, and creates the first big rift in his friendship with Tae Soo. Now an adult, Woo Suk meets a student activist, Hye Rin. This is where the fateful destiny of these three figures will start to develop. So Hye Rin finds herself in the middle of Woo Suk, who dreams of becoming a prosecutor, and Tae Soo, who's getting closer and closer to becoming a fully-fledged gangster.

    In the course of this landmark drama, you'll experience several important moments in recent Korean history, like Park Jung Hee's assassination, the following coup d'etat by Jeon Doo Hwan, his 'brilliant idea' of re-educating the most sinister elements of society through the Samchong Camp, and most importantly the Gwangju Massacre of 1980. Although Jang Sun Woo's brilliant A Petal was perhaps even more visually striking in its depiction of the event, for emotional impact alone, the recreation you'll see in Sandglass has no equals. You'll feel as if you were there, and I'm not just talking about special effects or realistic street fighting.

    I'm talking about feeling the emotional, physical, social and political repercussions such an event had on Korean people. The first time I watched the drama, when I was probably too young to understand all that, my jaw dropped. I stood for 20 minutes hardly believing what I had seen, asking a friend who introduced me to this drama if they just took footage from the real event. Yes, it was that powerful. And, even though I had the chance to re-watch the drama via DVD a few years ago, the images and stories told in Sandglass are still in my mind, so much I didn't even need to watch the show again to write this review.

    You might be wondering why a simple TV drama raised such a fuss, how it became such an important cultural phenomenon, but its 60%+ ratings don't tell the full story. Considering the situation the country had been through in the previous few decades, few people even dared to come out in the open to discuss those problems. First, it was still too painful to reminisce about the situation, and second, most people kept painting the situation from a political perspective, which often left average people out of the picture. But Sandglass and its frank portrayal of the Gwangju Massacre, Jeon Doo Hwan's rule and the relationship between Korea and America ignited a sort of cultural chain-reaction, which led many people in the media to question those involved in the matter.

    It would be silly to say the series caused the arrest of people like Jeon Doo Hwan and all his puppets, but just the fact it was an important factor in re-awakening Koreans' sentiments about the matter, hidden behind the sorrow and pain of such events, is something incredible. So yes, the streets were deserted, just about everybody went home to watch the show, with even bars having to buy TVs and post stickers with 'We're screening Sandglass' on their entrance, in the hope their business wouldn't go belly up.

    Sandglass had the kind of action you couldn't see in Korean films of the era, the kind of intelligent social commentary which was avoided, to favor cheap commercial fare funded by Chaebols, more interested in making quick money and filling VHS than criticizing the past that helped them reach such heights. It had the kind of drama people of all ages needn't feel embarrassed about, because it was merely a re-enactment of the feelings they experienced years before. It used politics, but only at the service of the show, and to communicate something important, not to wage a demagogic war against those people. It was and still is a timeless masterpiece, with flawless writing and directing, powerful acting and an intensity you won't find in too many films or TV dramas nowadays. Turn the sandglass over, time to relive another moment of greatness.

    Review by X -

    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 "Sandglass (SBS TV Series)(US Version)"

    Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.1 out of 10 (7)
    Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.6 out of 10 (31)

    See all my reviews

    February 16, 2009

    A Great Series! Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
    I never thought I would write a review on this great series because the reviewers, joynara and Kat have said it all with their eloquent and insightful comments. I have great admiration for the director, script writer and whoever had the first inception of bringing history to the common people. The series gave me the feeling that everyone involved had a sense of mission and fervor to tell what happened. It is not flawless. I think the viewers can appreciate the series on different levels pertaining to their taste and backgrounds.

    On a lighter note: Choi Min Soo is a great actor and I did buy his solo album. You probably like it if you are an older Korean which I am not. One of the song was probably written by a composer heavily influenced by the group H.O.T's Wolf & Sheep if I'm not mistaken. I almost cracked up laughing. Anyway, I have great respect for Choi Min Soo as an actor! :)
    Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
    See all my reviews

    February 6, 2009

    Why? Customer Review Rated Bad 4 - 4 out of 10
    Despite the acclaim and loyal fans, I myself found this quite uninteresting (I can almost hear the 'boos' from fans of this...) and I really wanted to like it; I really tried to like it. I think many Korean people have an attachment to this as they themselves may have lived through that time in history or certainly every Korean knows people who have. Also, it may be a nostalgic thing going back to when this drama was first broadcast. Or - for its time maybe this drama was good but the writing has generally gotten so much better for almost all dramas.

    The plot is so 'all over the place' and jumps back and forth before really investing any real time in character development. Sometimes I found myself wondering exactly who the main characters were (if it weren't for their pictures on the box, who knows?) and what the real, 'main' plot was.

    There's a lot going on here as far as a big cast, many sub-plots, lots of flashbacks and 'time-skipping'. After a while it almost gets to be like the latest three Star Wars films (i.e. episodes 1, 2 and 3) in that there's such a huge cast it's hard to keep track of who's who and lots of them have no bearing on the main story anyway.

    Plus the tone is often rather miserable. This was obviously a dark, shameful part of recent Korean history and is reflected well in this drama. Still, not particularly inspiring to watch as entertainment.

    I had no attachment to the characters and just wanted it to be over after a while (maybe around episode 13 or so). I did force myself to finish it two months ago and can't even remember (nor do I care) how it ended.

    So...sorry to the fans of Sandglass; I am sure there are other things we may agree on.....
    Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
    Matt Walker
    See all my reviews

    January 8, 2007

    A Great Intro to Korean Dramas Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
    This drama is considered the godfather of Korean dramas, and it lives up to it. The acting in this drama is great, and it's fun way to learn about Korean history in the 1970s and 1980s. This drama will get you hooked, and it will leave you wanting more when it ends!
    Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
    ly tran
    See all my reviews

    August 21, 2006

    ADDICTION! Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
    This was my very first watching of Korean drama 10 years ago and it was my addiction. I think the cast was outstanding and the story is just simply getting better and better. I just bought this and watched it over again...loved it!
    Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
    See all my reviews

    March 5, 2006

    3 people found this review helpful

    The Very BEST. 10++++++++++++ Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
    It's so rare to see a drama presentation that is so
    real, perfectly written and beautifully acted by
    the entire cast. The direction was perfection. Everything was in its proper place and everyword was
    not wasted. The whole series was coherent, honest
    and deeply moving.
    The three main characters were superbly chosen.
    Choi Min Soo and Park San Won were fantastic and
    perfectly convincing. Go Hyun Jung was excellent
    as were the rest of the amazing cast.
    In the background of the political turbulence at that
    time, as in all other countries through history, it's always the students who were the bravest and the most idealistic. The story of the friendship and loyalty
    of two best friends are powerful and unforgettable.
    This is a classic. It deserves much, much more than a 10.
    Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
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