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The Magician (2015) (DVD) (Taiwan Version) DVD Region 3

Yoo Seung Ho (Actor) | Kwak Do Won (Actor) | Jo Yoon Hee (Actor) | Lee Kyung Young (Actor)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Director Kim Dae Seung (The Concubine) takes the audience into a romantic magical world in The Magician, which is Yoo Seung Ho's first film after his military discharge. Adapted from Kim Tak Hwan and Lee Won Tae's novel, the fantasy romantic period drama starring Yoo Seung Ho (Blind) and Go Ara (Papa) unfolds the love story between a magician and a princess in the Joseon dynasty. Kwak Do Won (Tazza: The Hidden Card) co-stars as the Qing Dynasty's top magician and Jo Yoon Hee (The Traffickers) as a gisaeng.

Hwan Hee (Yoo Seung Ho) and his elder sister Bo Eum (Jo Yoon Hee) grew up in a brothel. Bo Eum becomes a gisaeng, while Hwan Hee learns magic from Qing China's top magician Gwi Mol (Kwak Do Won) and soon rises to be an outstanding wizard himself. However, Hwan Hee and Gwi Mol fall into conflict and become enemies. On her way to the Qing for a diplomatic marriage, Princess Cheong Myung (Go Ara) meets Hwan Hee and the two quickly fall in love with each other. However, their relationship is threatened not only by Cheong Myung's impending marriage but also vengeful Gwi Mol, leading to a fierce showdown between the two powerful magicians.

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Technical Information

Product Title: The Magician (2015) (DVD) (Taiwan Version) 情遇魔法師 (2015) (DVD) (台灣版) 情遇魔法师 (2015) (DVD) (台湾版) 情遇魔法師 (2015) (DVD) (台湾版) 조선마술사
Also known as: Joseon Magician 朝鮮魔術師 / 傾城魔法師 朝鲜魔术师 / 倾城魔法师 Joseon Magician Joseon Magician
Artist Name(s): Yoo Seung Ho (Actor) | Kwak Do Won (Actor) | Jo Yoon Hee (Actor) | Lee Kyung Young (Actor) | Go Ara (Actor) | Park Cheol Min (Actor) | Son Byung Ho (Actor) | Jo Dal Hwan (Actor) 俞承豪 (Actor) | 郭道遠 (Actor) | 趙 胤熙 (Actor) | 李璟榮 (Actor) | 高雅娜 (Actor) | 朴哲民 (Actor) | 孫秉浩 (Actor) | 趙達煥 (Actor) 俞承豪 (Actor) | 郭道远 (Actor) | 赵 胤熙 (Actor) | 李璟荣 (Actor) | 高雅娜 (Actor) | 朴哲民 (Actor) | 孙秉浩 (Actor) | 赵达焕 (Actor) ユ・スンホ (Actor) | クァク・ドウォン (Actor) | チョ・ユニ (Actor) | イ・キョンヨン (Actor) | Ara(コ・アラ) (Actor) | パク・チョルミン (Actor) | ソン・ビョンホ (Actor) | Jo Dal Hwan (Actor) 유승호 (Actor) | 곽 도원 (Actor) | 조윤희 (Actor) | 이 경영 (Actor) | 고 아라 (Actor) | 박철민 (Actor) | 손병호 (Actor) | 조달환 (Actor)
Director: Kim Dae Seung 金大勝 金大胜 キム・デソン 김대승
Release Date: 2016-07-27
Language: Korean
Subtitles: Traditional Chinese
Country of Origin: South Korea
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format(s): DVD, DVD-9
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Duration: 123 (mins)
Publisher: Cai Chang International Multimedia Inc. (TW)
Package Weight: 100 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1051135056

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "The Magician (2015) (DVD) (Taiwan Version)"

July 28, 2016

This professional review refers to The Magician (2016) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)
Korean director Kim Dae-seung is well known for his historical dramas, including the likes of Blood Rain back in 2005, and his last outing The Concubine in 2012. Kim sticks to his guns with his new offering The Magician, based upon Kim Tak-hwan and Lee Won-tae's online novel Joseon Magician, following the forbidden romance between a princess and a lowly court conjurer. With popular young actor Yoo Seung-ho (Blind) taking on his first role since military service and actress Go Ara (Papa) as his co-lead, the film also stars Kwak Do-won (Tazza: The Hidden Card) and Jo Yoon-hee (The Traffickers).

The film opens in the red light district of Uiji of the Joseon Dynasty, where Hwan-hee (Yoo Seung-ho) works as a magician, famed for being one of the best in the business, having managed to escape a troubled past growing up in brothel with his sister Bo-eum (Jo Yoon-hee) under the abusive heel of Gwi-mol (Kwak Do-won). One evening on a clifftop Hwan-hee meets Princess Cheong-myung (Go Ara), on her way to China for a diplomatic marriage to the Qing and deeply unhappy at the prospect, and the two immediately become close. Their blossoming relationship is made more complicated by both her coming nuptials and the reappearance of Gwi-mol, who turns up in town looking for revenge and plotting against Hwan-hee.

The Korean box office continues to be flooded with handsome period dramas, so much so that it's getting a little hard to tell some of them apart, directors having to really go the extra mile to make their films stand out. Sadly, with The Magician Kim Dae-seung doesn't quite achieve this difficult feat, and it's hard not to feel a sense of over-familiarity throughout, as can probably be gleaned from the above synopsis. The film really doesn't stray far, if at all, from the well-trodden path, offering up the usual racy romance, court intrigue and revenge plots, and while there's plenty going on, there's nothing original or particularly inspiring. To be fair, lack of creativity aside, Kim is an above-average storyteller, and as with The Concubine he does succeed in fleshing out an interesting set of characters, enough so to keep viewers engaged, fans of the form at least. The film is never dull, and does manage a reasonable amount of emotional impact as it builds towards its predictable third act, tying things together in a vaguely satisfying fashion as well as working in a few tense scenes once the evil Gwi-mol's schemes are revealed.

Unfortunately, the film is also let down by a couple of rather bland lead performances, both Yoo Seung-ho and Go Ara never really convincing in their roles or hitting the kind of emotional notes necessary to make the film as moving as it might potentially have been. Not helping matters is the fact that the two come across throughout as TV idols, impeccably dressed and made-up and with the film going out of its way to make them look as gorgeous as possible, something which undermines any believability or grit, realism clearly not having been high on the list of priorities. This is true of the film as a whole, and while it looks good, with some luxurious sets, costumes and production design, it comes across as far too glossy and polished to ever ring true.

Whether or not this is enough to sink The Magician is largely down to the viewer, and anyone looking for a lustrous slice of historical fantasy romance could certainly do far worse, especially fans of the two leads. However, Kim Dae-seung is capable of better, and while undoubtedly a solid and perfectly respectable offering, the film is simply too routine to make much of a splash outside the already-converted.

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