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Lady Vengeance [DVD]
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 7 May 2016
This 2005 revenge horror thriller [aka: Lady Vendetta, aka: Sympathy for Lady Vengeance] revolves around the kidnap and murder of a 6 year old boy and the woman imprisoned for the crime. Thirteen years later and Lee Geum-ja (Lee Yeong-ae) is released after serving her sentence, but her soul is not at rest and she seeks vengeance, but who against, why and what for?
This is really difficult to discus without giving away major plot-lines, but suffice to say there are plenty of interesting characters [each with their own past] picked up along the way and the first 45 minutes have you wondering what Geum-Ja is up to, so it plays as a jigsaw type detective thriller. The middle is a complete turn around, while the final third contains the truly harrowing scenes and concluding actions of the participants in the entire escapade. A nice touch is seeing a ‘Christian’ religious angle as seen from a Korean perspective. The story is good with some surreal imagery to add interest and the music is suitably atmospheric.
The single disc offers play, scene selection, set-up [2.0, 5.1, 5.1DTS, English subtitles on/off] and extra features [Director interview, theatrical trailer, Asia Extreme trailer reel]. There are 3 sex themed scenes but most is suggested, there is no nudity and only mild swearing. What makes this an 18 are the really intense and disturbing scenes late in the film and the agonizing choices characters have to make. This isn’t an easy film to watch at the end, being quite dark and distressing.
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on 11 November 2014
Lady Vengeance Tartan Asia Extreme 5023965367129. Cert 18 Region 0. South Korean film 2006. Cj Entertainment presents a Park Chan-Wook film. From the makers of Oldboy. Bonus: interview, trailers, film notes, audio setup. I'm selling this. Follow the link in the title. Opening credits music is nice. The soundtrack from the previous film was awesome. First scene is during winter. A group of musicians in Santa Claus outfits play as Lee Guem-Ja leaves prison. I will be downloading the soundtrack. She was 20 when she'd been charged with the kidnap and murder of a child. In prison for 13 and a half years. I like the flashback scene explaining her background. Beautifully told story. Nicely edited. A good cast of actors. Powerful soundtrack. There is the boyfriend now ex that had stuck by her. He was fascinated by her as were the rest of the nation. He had bought her tofu. With world cinema it's good to hear the foreign languages.

A new inmate has been introduced as Kim Yang-Hee. She was a prostitute. Now works as a hairdresser. Guem-Ja is out for revenge. The main actor from Old boy is in this. There is an American film by this director called Stokes. Woo So-Young is another inmate, in for armed robbery. A few characters narrate the story. Some humour in the film. Ko Sun-Sook is an elder woman. She was a spy from North Korea. Oh Sue-He is in for adultery. First thing is she goes down on a fellow prisoner. There is some good Asian lesbian porn that you might like. The Infamous Witch is the one demanding oral. She killed her husband and his mistress. You see the characters as they are now and as prisoners. See the TV shows Wentworth and Orange Is The New Black. Won-Mo was the victim. She went to visit the boy's parents. The detective happens on a chance meeting with her. Some might see these films as controversial. Mainly positive reviews. I recommend this film.
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on 17 October 2006
In dissent to other reviews, I propose this as the superior part of the vengence trilogy. It is not a film intending to surprise or confuse, and has a straightforwardness not unlike Tarantino's, equally matched by stylistic flare. The message also is more subtle perhaps than the plot of the other two films, and is a little focussed not just on the protagonists views about vengeance, but also the world's view. In this, and in the theme of the film, and indeed in the denoument, the film owes a lot to Fritz Lang's M, with a modern pace, but not the frantic action required of the demented and inane. Violence and pain are a part of the film, but played in the Alienesque what-you-don't-see manner that conveys much more brutality than the more obvious approach in the other two films. i had anticipated something along the lines of Takashi Miike's Audition (disturbing in itself and decidedly excellent to boot), but this is played on a different level where the agonising build up that sets Miike's climax so jarring is in this made beautiful, whilst the torture is lingering off camera.

The final reflection must be cinematographic. The subtle blend of costume, character, lighting and CG make this an outstandingly beautiful film, and another one that is for owning, not for renting.
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on 7 November 2011
What I love about this film is how truly poetic it is. If Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance was highly abstract with barely any dialogue yet heaps of emotion, and Oldboy being for the 'bad boys' of the revenge film with a unique double twist (easily the most 'mainstream' of the three), this one takes a deeply poetic and feminist slant.

Sympathy for Mr. vengeance will always be my favourite of the 3 though.

Anyway, onto the blu-ray.

It's a superb transfer, but one thing that should be noted is that this is the 'fade to black and white' version, meaning the last half of the film is entirely in black and white.

It's an interesting effect, but I'm not sure whether or not it truly enhances the effect.

So if your going to buy this, be warned, make sure you also keep your dvd copy (as that version is in full colour).
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on 21 April 2013
Park Chan-Wook had me hooked on his Vengeance Trilogy. Although they are all amazing Old Boy remains #1 while Lady Vengeance and Sympathy for Mr Vengeance are tied at #2.

Lady Vengeance follows Lee Guem-ja after being released from prison after serving 13 years for the murder of a child. But, alas she did not commit the crime and throughout the film you see flash backs of her inside planning her revenge and gathering favors from fellow prisoners.

Throughout the film you see Lee's development as a person and how she slowly changes her image and personality from an innocent, loving lady to a more maddened, dark hearted woman. But she finds her daughter she had before the imprisonment and tries her best to be a mum.

The film made me think, and gave a very good ending. I don't want to go into too much detail as it may spoil it and you'll want to find out yourself anyway. If you like to think in your movies, this is for you.
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on 20 August 2015
And interesting and quite original storyline. There are moments in this film that really get under your skin particularly if you are parent. But there are too many slow scenes which seem to make little contribution to storyline.
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on 29 June 2013
If you go into thinking it's gonna be like old boy you shall be disappointed. But its a very good film in its own right, it feels calmer than old boy. But like old boy this has a fantastic sound track.

I would recommend this film why would I not. Do you self a favor and give it ago, expand your movie collection
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on 3 June 2017
Great film and more people should see this as soon as they can . Would have given it 6 stars if able.
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on 8 November 2006
If you're a fan of Sympathy for Mr Vengeance and Oldboy, I would urge you to watch this film. Equally as challenging, disturbing and beautiful as the first 2 films, Chan-wook Park yet again pushes the boundaries of film making. No mistaking this makes for very uneasy viewing, tackling some really sensitive issues, starting slowly, gradually building to a harrowing finale. I disagree with other reviewers that this film is disappointing. In many ways it does have a very different feel to the other Vengeance films, but I believe that's a strength. Park has taken a single theme and woven three very distinct and different films. Inevitably you'll have your own favourites, but it's refreshing to see something which is thematically so far removed from our predominantly sterile and predictable western fayre. Always a good idea to rent first, and then decide whether you want to buy. Don't be put off by negative reviews, you might be missing out!
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on 20 December 2016
Not for me, but still a good movie.
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