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The Host (DVD) (Japan Version) DVD Region 2

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The Host (DVD) (Japan Version)
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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7.9 out of 10 (9)

Technical Information

Product Title: The Host (DVD) (Japan Version) 韓流怪嚇 (DVD) (日本版) 韩流怪吓 (DVD) (日本版) グエムル−漢江の怪物− スマイルBEST 〜漢江の怪物〜 The Host (DVD) (Japan Version)
Artist Name(s): Song Kang Ho | Lee Jae Eun | Bae Doo Na | Park Hae Il 宋 康昊 | Lee Jae Eun | 裴斗娜 | 朴 海日 宋 康昊 | Lee Jae Eun | 裴斗娜 | 朴 海日 ソン・ガンホ | イ・ジェウン | ペ・ドゥナ | パク・ヘイル | ピョン・ヒボン | イ・ドンホ 송 강호 | 이 재은 | 배 두나 | 박 해일
Director: Bong Joon Ho 奉 俊昊 奉 俊昊 ポン・ジュノ 봉준호
Release Date: 2008-02-08
Publisher Product Code: KBIBF-7002
Language: Japanese, Korean
Subtitles: Japanese
Country of Origin: South Korea
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?
Publisher: Happinet
Other Information: DVD
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1005136791

Product Information

[アーティスト/ キャスト]
ソン・ガンホ / ピョン・ヒボン[邊希峰] / ポン・ジュノ (監督、原案、脚本) / イ・ビョンウ (音楽)


製作国 : 韓国 (Korea)
公開年 : 2006

ソウルの中心を南北に分けて流れる雄大な河、漢江(ハンガン)。休日を、河岸でくつろいで過ごす人々が集まっていたある日、突然正体不明の巨大怪物<グエムル>が現れた! 河川敷の売店で店番をしていたカンドゥの目の前で、次々と人が襲われていく。気付いた時には遅かった!カンドゥの愛娘、中学生のヒョンソがグエムルにさらわれたのだ!さらに、カンドゥの父ヒボン、弟ナミル、妹ナムジュのパク一家4人は、グエムルが保有するウィルスに感染していると疑われ政府に隔離されてしまう。 しかし、カンドゥは携帯電話にヒョンソからの着信を受け、家族と共に病院を脱出、漢江へと向かう。 果たして彼らはヒョンソを救えるのか? そしてグエムルを倒すことはできるのか!?

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "The Host (DVD) (Japan Version)"

November 24, 2006

This professional review refers to The Host (DTS) (Limited Edition)(Korea Version)
Asian monster movies live with The Host. Director Bong Joon-Ho (Memories of Murder) delivers this year's finest commercial vehicle, a polished creature feature that manages to be thrilling, funny, and sometimes even moving. That's a tall order for any film, not to mention one that seems to derive its inspiration from Japanese monster movies and Hollywood blockbusters. Aping someone else's formula is frequently a recipe for disaster, but The Host triumphs by taking a well-worn premise and doing the unexpected with it. Bong Joon-Ho manages humanity (if not heart) with his monster movie, and serves up just as much fun as he does fright. The result is a movie that seems as fresh and unique as it is an obvious spawn of kaiju films from years past. Good game, Bong Joon-Ho.

The Host goes for the throat almost immediately. After a few short groundwork-laying interludes, the titular creature makes its presence known. Part slug, part Stan Winston creation, and all ugly, it's first seen suspended from a bridge above the Han River by a group of onlookers including dopey Kang-Du (Song Kang-Ho), a single parent slacker who works at a snack shop run by his father Hee-Bong (Byeon Hee-Bong). After the onlookers throw trash at the creature's submerged form, it shows up on the riverbank, sending everything and everyone into chaos. It runs over civilians, trashes vehicles, and starts to chew up a person or two. Kang-Du tries to play hero briefly, but soon does the smart thing: he flees with daughter Hyun-Seo (Ko Ah-Seong) in tow. But due to a major miscommunication, Hyun-Seo gets captured; the creature grabs her with its tail, whereupon she gets dragged underwater leaving Kang-Du a shell-shocked mess of a man.

But Kang-Du's problems are just beginning. With Hyun-Seo presumed dead, he and his family, including unemployed brother Nam-Il (Park Hae-Il) and amateur archer Nam-Ju (Bae Doo-Na), are soon detained in a hospital by the Korean government, who suspect that the family - and anyone else who gained exposure to the creature - is carrying a deadly virus. Kang-Du is under exceptional observation because he actually got some creature blood on him, but he and his family soon get super-restless of their containment. The reason: Kang-Du gets a cell phone call from Hyun-Seo, who describes that she's trapped underground in the sewers by the creature. That's all the motivation Kang-Du and his family needs; they instigate a hospital break and load up to whup some mutated amphibian ass. Once out, they search for Hyun-Seo, encountering despair, dodgy military bureaucracy, laughable teamwork, and more than a few sly swipes at the troubled times we live in. Oh yes, they also fight the monster.

The Host earns points for scaling down the cliches. There are no flag-waving displays of Korea's military might as they mobilize to take down the creature. In fact, there's no flag-waving at all. Bong Joon-Ho goes out of his way to tweak the political and cultural climate, serving up minor-to-major barbs on the media, the Korean government, student counterculture, recent Asian health crises, and - most obvious of all - the good 'ol United States of America. As revealed early in the picture, the creature's mutation is due to the dumping of gallons of formaldehyde into the Han River, an action instigated by a smarmy American coroner dispensing orders to a Korean subordinate. The scene is based on a real-life event that actually occurred in Korean back in 2000. Bong Joon-Ho and company simply appropriate the incident, turning it into the cause of their fictional beast and thumbing their nose at Uncle Sam at the same time.

Americans also get roasted mercilessly in numerous scenes depicting the gross duplicity of their military and government. However, the Korean government doesn't come off looking that good either. In fact, almost nobody does, except perhaps Hyun-Seo, who displays an intelligence and bravery not marred by the stunted emotions of adulthood. In some of the best scenes in the film, Hyun-Seo tries to escape from the clutches of the beast while protecting a fellow prisoner, an orphaned boy (Lee Dong-Ho) who got kidnapped along with his older brother. But her game attempts reveal the beast's unexpected intelligence, leading to the frightening prospect of The Host not actually following convention. You know the drill in monster movies: the dog doesn't die, kids don't die, and only old people and smarmy bastards bite it. The script does fulfill some of those cliches, but it also subverts many others, and carries a sense of mortal peril at each and every turn. In The Host, nobody seems safe, and it's that sense of the unexpected that allows the film to thrill and unnerve as it does.

The film is funny too, the satirical nods being as blackly funny as they are obvious in their source. Many moments that carry the expectation of pathos turn into comic farce instead, especially an early scene where the family explodes in overdone histrionics over the supposedly dead Hyun-Seo. The cast is uniformly excellent, each revealing their characters as innately flawed and yet ultimately admirable -- though they're not really the most sympathetic bunch on the planet. The main characters are damaged goods who bicker and behave uselessly, but still manage to find that ounce of strength or bravery that marks them as human, if not actually exceptional. Despite all the clever satire, the ultimate feeling of The Host seems to be one of dogged, against-all-odds human survival. Basically, nobody is going to help you, you may not be that capable, and you may even fail. But if you struggle hard enough to survive, then maybe your next meal is all the reward you'll need. That message may not be glamorous, but there's a human honesty to it that lasts beyond the end credits.

But forget the inspirational mumbo-jumbo. Does the film thrill with a good old fashioned man versus monster matchup? Yes, it does -- though that's also where The Host partially falters. There aren't actually many clashes with the beast in the film, and there's certainly little that matches the kinetic chaos of the opening creature attack. The monster itself is fun to watch onscreen, and seems to react with an almost recognizable emotion. Frankly, given the creature's intelligence, it deserves more, um, character development than the film allows. But the monster never really gets its due. At the film's climax, we get more satire involving biological agents and crappy law enforcement, and we also get a man vs. beast match-up that only surpasses Hollywood because they don't go for the mega-mega happy ending. But these are minor quibbles. Overall, The Host is as impressive and admirable as you could ever expect a movie of its sort to be. It's paced exceptionally well, and delivers an odd mix of humor, melancholy, and CGI-assisted blockbuster panache. It's hard to give that sort of filmmaking a name, but Bong Joon-Ho does it with substance and style to spare. Maybe we'll just call it "good".

by Kozo -

October 12, 2006

This professional review refers to The Host DTS (Limited Edition Gift Set)(Korea Version)
It may still be too early to say, as other reviews have yet to roll in, but I have a feeling that Bong Joon Ho's The Host will be this year's Sha Po Lang - at least as far as the Twitch crew is concerned. And suffice to say, this review will be yet another singing the movie's praises. Simply put, The Host is a rock-solid genre film filled with scares and (perhaps more importantly) laughs, a decent amount of political and social commentary, solid visual effects, and last but not least, strong characters whose plight is instantly involving.

Park Gang Du (Song Kang Ho) is the rather dim-witted proprietor of a food stall along the banks of the picturesque Han River. He's not a bad guy, just a little slow on the uptake, and very lazy - something his father constantly berates him about. The only thing that Gang Du really cares about is his teenage daughter Hyun Seo, who really can't stand her old man. Life seems relatively normal - until a giant mutant salamander emerges from the river and begins wreaking havoc. In the ensuing chaos, Gang Du loses track of Hyun Seo, only to see the creature snag her with its tail before plunging back into the river.

The Korean government, under pressure from the U.S. military and fearful that the monster might be the harbinger of some virus, immediately locks everything down and moves everyone who was at the river to a containment facility. Gang Du and the remainder of his family - his father, brother (a student protester turned alcoholic salaryman), and sister (a world-class archer) - are constantly given the runaround by the authorities, who are frankly bungling the whole case and don't really give a damn about anything except saving their own skins. All hope seems lost until Gang Du receives a faint cellphone call from Hyun Seo, who apparently survived and is trapped in a sewer somewhere along the Han.

The authorities prove to be no help whatsoever, and so the family - a motley crew, to say the least - decides to take matters into their own hands and rescue Hyun Seo. Meanwhile, the Americans and the WHO have decided to take over the Koreans' attempt at containment, bringing in a new super-weapon that may destroy the monster... and much, much more.

The Host is currently breaking all manner of box office records in South Korea, and it's easy to see why. It's big, loud, and has plenty of flash. The monster effects are quite good, but are not absolutely perfect - which actually adds to the appeal of the film. There's something about the way the monster moves about on the screen, the way its various tentacles and orifices function that doesn't seem biologically feasible, but it looks really damn cool and creepy, and that's all that really matters.

The movie has several great "jump out of your seat" moments, and Bong Joon Ho (whose previous film, Memories of Murder, also won great acclaim) is great at setting up tension and delivering the shocks. The scene where the monster emerges from the river is fantastically done. Unlike most monster movies, which keep the monster's true appearance under wraps until the final reel, The Host shows the beastie wreaking havoc early on, and in broad daylight to boot - something that genre conventions say you never do, but it works brilliantly here, ramping up the tension right away and delivering the same old shocks in a new manner.

Of course, no decent horror/monster film should be without subtext, and The Host is no different. There are plenty of jabs at the military, specifically the American military. The movie's opening scenes depict hazardous chemicals being dumped into the river at an American military officer's behest, which references an actual event that took place in 2000. However, the Korean authorities are depicted as bumbling, inept, and insensitive, refusing to track down even the slightest of leads in order to save face.

Directly opposing that is the Gang Du's family. In the outset of the film, they can barely stand each other and are about as dysfunctional as it gets. The only thing that they have in common is Hyun Seo, and when she's taken away from them, they begin putting aside differences and band together. The movie goes to great lengths to flesh out these characters, giving us just enough back-story for all of them that we actually care for them when they begin drawing lines and making plans to take down the beast, as well as giving all of the characters "hero" moments that allow them to shine.

It's a simple thing, really, but so many genre films neglect the human element of the story and instead choose to focus on the monsters, carnage, explosions, and other gratuitous elements, with often-deleterious results. The Host's incredibly strong focus on the family element gives the film a depth that no effects budget could ever achieve, injecting an already solid genre film with plenty of humor, heroism, pathos, tragedy, and thrills.

by Todd Brown -

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Customer Review of "The Host (DVD) (Japan Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7.9 out of 10 (9)

See all my reviews

February 20, 2008

This customer review refers to The Host (DTS) (Limited Edition)(Korea Version)
Excellent package, but... Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7 out of 10
Yes, the movie is all that: just a little bit of the monster, more enphasis on the familiar drama (Cloverfield anyone?), great cast and a story that kind of drags during the second half - plus the most innacurate use of Agent Orange on a movie, but that's to be expected (well, if you can accept that chemicals dumped into the Han River gave birth to a nesting monster, you can believe ANYTHING).

This special edition is a marvel to be seen, but there is a SERIOUS catch: you better hone your korean-speaking skills, cause none, and I mean NONE of the extras are subtitled in English!
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May 14, 2007

This customer review refers to The Host (DTS) (Limited Edition)(Korea Version)
1 people found this review helpful

HELLO HOLLYWOOD Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7 out of 10
This movie has loopholes. but after you get past them, you would realize that this is almost as good as what you see in hollywood films. The thriller and the science-fiction all held this film together. Try see this.
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February 15, 2007

This customer review refers to The Host (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
Just OK Customer Review Rated Bad 5 - 5 out of 10
The first half was good. The 2nd half was terrible. Why didn't the govt go out to look for the creature. Why was the family treated as a criminal? Shouldn't the creature be the main target? Bad plot toward the end of the movie.
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January 6, 2007

This customer review refers to The Host DTS (Limited Edition Gift Set)(Korea Version)
super dooper Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10
I have never enjoyed a korean action sci-fi before until i found this film. This film is real great from the minute you started it up to the last. Get a copy and i assure you will not regret it.
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December 29, 2006

This customer review refers to The Host (DTS) (Limited Edition)(Korea Version)
Good Monster Action Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10
A surprisingly good monster film. Very good style, story and acting. The monster looked a bit fake at times, but that's no big deal.
Overall, definately as good as people say.
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