Under the Radar DVD of the Week: 'The Good, the Bad, the Weird'
This week, the oddest DVD to appear on release lists is:
“The Good, the Bad, the Weird”
If you still think it a weird cultural warp that Sergio Leone’s classic series of so-called “Spaghetti Westerns” were shot in Italy, check out the South Korean horse opera, “The Good, the Bad, the Weird” coming out on DVD Tuesday.
Popularly billed as a “Kimchee Western” (after the Korean food made with fermented cabbages), the film, said on its 2008 release to be the most expensive movie in Korean cinema history, really puts a cross-cultural twist on the conventions of the classic American sagebrush saga.
Directed by Kim Jee-Woon, maker of the fine films “A Tale of Two Sisters” and
“A Bittersweet Life,” the action is set in 1930s Manchuria, where greed is in the air and a manic outlaw, a nasty holy man and a determined bounty hunter are all in hot pursuit of a treasure map. Add to the mix Chinese gangsters, the Japanese army and other rival factions also in pursuit of the priceless map, and it all comes down to a desert showdown worthy of Leone at his best.
During its theatrical run, “The Good, the Bad, the Weird” won the Asia Pacific Screen Award for its cinematography and the Asian Film Award for Best Supporting Actor (Jung Woo-sung).
The DVD (in Korean with subtitles) is rated R for non-stop violence and some drug use. It is being released by MPI Home Video and runs 130 minutes.
- Dennis King
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