The second highest grossing Korean film in Korean box office history, "Dodookdeul" (The Thieves) will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in Feb. 2013 courtesy of Well Go USA Entertainment
Directed by Dong-Hoon Choi ("Whoochi", "Tazza: The High Rollers" and "The Big Swindle") and co written by Choi and Lee Gi-Cheol, the film is known for its all-star cast from Korea and other Asian countries.
The film stars Jeon Ji-hyun/Gianna Jun ("My Sassy Girl", "Il: Mare", "Blood: The Last Vampire", "Windstruck"), Hae-suk Kim ("Wonderful Radio, "Sunflower", "Open City"), Hye-su Kim ("3 Extremes II", "The Red Shoes", "Tazza: The High Rollers"), Soo Hyun Kim, Yun-seok Kim ("The Yellow Sea", "The Chaser", "Woochi"), Angelica Lee ("The Eye", "Re-Cycle", "The Drummer", "20 30 40″), Jung-Jae Lee ("Il Mare", "The Housemaid", "Typhoon", "Sunaebo"), Dal-su Oh ("Oldboy", "The Host", "Thirst", "The Good, the Bad , the Weird"), Kwok Cheung Tsang ("Once a Gangster", "Dream Home") and Simon Yam ("Ip Man", "Ip Man 2″, "Election", "PTU").
The film has been nominated and has won many awards including "Best Cinematography - Choi Young-hwan" (2012 Korean Association of Film Critics Awards, 2012 Buil Film Awards), "Best Supporting Actress" (2012 Grand Bell Awards) and many more.
"The Thieves" is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:35:1 aspect ratio). The cinematography by Yeong-hwan Choi is absolutely beautiful and what really works for this film is the multiple locations and countries of where this film was shot. Locations were carefully planned and what you get is a very stylish film. While the outdoor scenes showcase great detail, there is a hint of softness in the indoor scenes but nothing major. I personally didn't catch any artifacts or problems with the overall video, but for the most part, "The Thieves" does look very good on Blu-ray!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
"The Thieves" is presented in Korean 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Well, actually while the package says Korean 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, because there are talent from different countries, there are also people talking in Chinese and English as well. But for the most part, the dialogue is crisp and clear and until you get to the final 30-minutes or so of the film, that is when the film becomes much more immersive with gunfire and gun shots going everywhere. So, expect more surround activity towards the second half of the film.
Subtitles are in English and Korean.
"The Thieves " come with the following special features:
Making of - (5:51) Interviews with the cast of "The Thieves" and behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the film.
Meet the Thieves - (4:33) Somewhat of a rehash of what was seen in the "Making Of" but showcasing each cast member talking about their character.
Trailer - (1:38) The theatrical trailer for "The Thieves".
I have watched a good number of Asian films about heists or thievery but not often do you find a film like "The Thieves" where the thievery and action is combined with an intricate story, beautiful cinematography in various locations plus an all-star cast.
I have to admit that prior to watching this film, I was excited to see the reunion of "Il Mare" stars Jyeon Ji-hyun and Jung-Jae Lee. But what captivates to you immediately is how stylish the film looks. You always hear about location is everything and for "The Thieves", just the choice of locations of where to shoot is important as the director Dong-hoon Choi gives cinematographer Yeong-hwan Choi, a chance to capture this blend of high-action reminiscent of "Mission: Impossible" but also a blend of parkour reminiscent of recent James Bond films.
And while the first 15-minutes gives you an idea of what kind of film this will be, it's not until you see the ensemble cast that you start to realize, while it has an "Ocean's Eleven" feel, there is no comparison. While these thieves must work together as a group, they are also backstabbing each other in order.
While you watch this film, you don't know who really to root for as everyone has their own style and technique.
Macau Park (portrayed by Kim Yoon-seok) is the master thief but at the same time, while he may seem as the film's antagonist, there is deep history involving his relationship with Pepsi and Popie that evolves throughout the film, that makes you change your attitude towards him.
Yennicall (portrayed by Jyeo Ji-hyun) is sexy but a mysterious woman that may have the looks and the moves to penetrate a location in order to steal an artifact, but it's her style that tends to make you wonder how far she will go in the film.
Pepsi (portrayed by Kim Hye-soo) is the jilted girlfriend who served timed in prison and is now out. You want to root for her because she is good-natured but at the same time, you try to understand her motivation and how she is integrated in the overall picture of this major heist and where her allegiance is.
Popie (portrayed by Lee Jung-Jae) is the Korean thief that is a leader but also a bit unstable, perhaps always feeling he is in the shadow of Macau Park.
And as you settle in with the Korean crew, then you are introduced to the HK crew and see their motivation. Chen (portrayed by Simon Yam) is not a loud person, he is rather calm but we get to see his motivation of why he is taking part in this job but also his blossoming romance with Chewing Gum (portrayed by Kim Hae-sook), which was rather fun.
You also have Angelica Lee as the undercover cop who is pretending to be part of the thieves in order to catch a notorious Hong Kong thief/fence.
And many more characters that really brings a good balance to the overall film.
And while the film tends to show a lot of thievery through strategy and tactics, the film also incorporates one heck of an action sequence towards the end of the film with bullets galore.
As for the Blu-ray release, picture and audio quality is great, with a few hints of softness in indoor scenes. Audio quality is crisp and clear and also get a few special features include as well. The film looks stylish, the cinematography is great and for the most part, definitely a solid Blu-ray release!
Overall, "The Thieves" is a stylish, action-packed film that I can see why it is one of the best box office films in South Korea, it's that good! Featuring an all-star cast that each compliment the film rather well, it's the balance of a fine-story and action with beautiful cinematography that makes "The Thieves" a must-watch film!