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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
54
4.4 out of 5 stars
A Bittersweet Life [2005] [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£9.98+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 18 February 2016
Not for the squeamish, but there's a great story behind all the blood and violence. I'm not a fan of gangster violence films, but East Asian cinema just seems to surpass Hollywood on so many levels. I bought this film years ago as I'm a fan of Byung-ho Lee, who is brilliant in this movie and I still regularly watch it today, love it.
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on 15 June 2017
A very moving story....albeit very gorily told
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on 20 August 2017
good quality and quick delivery
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on 13 April 2017
Good quality very happy with purchase
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on 8 November 2011
Very rarely a film comes along that 'changes' you. I don't mean to sound melodramatic here, but 'A Bittesweet Life' grabs you by the neck, plunges your head into a sink full of cold water and then makes you have a lingering look at yourself in the mirror.

'A Bittersweet Life' is the sort of film that goes beyond entertainment and really reaches out to the core of every human. Have you given up on your dreams lately? I probably had until Jee-Woon Kim chucked this across the living room at me!

You don't need me to tell you what an exceptional director Jee-Woon Kim is, but seriously, this is a masterpiece. What I love about his work is the precision in which every frame in every scene is carefully planned and exectuted. No Hollywood laziness here!

A rip roaring action thriller on one hand, a gentle love story on the other, 'A Bittersweet Life' wouldn't be half the film it is were it not for the equally exceptional Byung Hun-Lee who plays Sun-Woo. Hun-Lee plays the seemingly emotionless lead character so well and with every subtle facial expression he slowly wins your affection and opens his soul to the auidence. What a performance.

The last twenty minutes of 'A Bittersweet Life' are its most powerful. 'Pure Class' is the only way to explain how neatly and carefully the film knits itself together and that closing message, when everything becomes clear, will linger long in the memory.

A far cry from a 'Hollywood Star', CGI cheese-fest; this is how you make a film. Stunning. If I could give 6 stars I would as I can't recommend this masterpiece highly enough.
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on 10 July 2016
My issue is not with the film. The film is one of my favourites. That's why I ordered the DVD. However, this is not the same version that I originally watched. It is about 5 mins shorter at around 1hr 53mins in length. It also has different musical scoring towards the end of the film which I didn't like. I've experienced this before with a different seller too. Hopefully I'll eventually find the original cut.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 April 2016
"A bittersweet life" is a stylish gangster film from Korea. It is very well acted, with a great central performance.

------SPOILERS-------

Lee Byung-hun plays the cool and aloof "Sun-woo" a gangster who runs a hotel on behalf of his ruthless boss "Kang" (Kim Yeong-cheol). While he is out of the country, Kang tasks sun-woo with keeping an eye on his mistress "Hee-so" (whom he suspects of having an affair) and if he finds evidence to confirm she is being unfaithful, tells sun-woo to kill her.
Sun-woo, however, is beguiled by the delicate and rather sad Hee-so. When he discovers she is having an affair, instead of killing her, as ordered, he beats up her lover and orders them never to meet again.
This triggers a set of bloody and murderous events as Kang seeks to kill sun-woo for his disobedience and the vengeful aftermath.

There is just something about these Korean films that makes them so compelling. This one is no exception. It is stylish, has great action scenes and a great pacy story and characters. (The brilliant Huang Jung-min - of "New World" fame, also makes an appearance here as a suitably evil gangster "ally").
Lee Byung-hun is excellent as the anti-hero, seemingly compelled to seek revenge on his former boss, almost against his will, by motives he doesn't seem to fully understand. The action is both visceral and tense, (with the "grave scene" one of my favourites!).

Enjoyed it

In Korean with English subtitles
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on 12 May 2017
This is a great film, everything that needs to be said about it has been said. This is the directors cut version on bluray which to be honest I didn't spot any differences. Beware though I bought this blu ray on import which came from Spain, however there are no English subtitles on the disc so it's going back. This should be made clear on the listing as many fans of this film are looking for the bluray version with English subtitles. This is dubbed in Spanish with castelino subtitles. :(
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on 3 July 2017
This is the first film I have seen from South Korea and it has subtitles. The plot is straight forward and logical.
The acting and casting is very good too. The fight scenes are especially entertaining with great displays of martial arts.
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on 1 May 2017
Sublime masterpiece of cinematography that just oozes pure class. Wonderfully directed, superbly acted, a story of vengeance and absolution.
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