The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Well Go USA - 2013
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 113 minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): Korean DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Starring: Choi Seung-Hyun, Han Ye-Ri, Kim You-Jung
Directed by: Park Hong-Soo
Music by: Noh Hyung-Woo
Written by: Kim Soo-Young
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 11, 2014
After his father’s botched espionage mission, North Korean Myung-hoon (CHOI Seung-hyun, aka T.O.P) and his young sister Hye-in (HAN Ye-ri) are sent to a labor prison camp. In order to save his sister’s life, Myung-hoon volunteers to become a spy and infiltrates the South as a teenage defector. While attending high school in the South, he meets another girl named Hye-in (KIM Yoo-jeong) and rescues her when she is attacked. South Korean Intelligence soon discovers the plot and begins closing in on Myung-hoon, while his own government sends a vicious assassin to eliminate him.
As I was about to synopsize Commitment I stumbled upon Wikipedia’s description which literally took the words out of my mouth so I decided to include it:
Nineteen-year-old Ri Myung-hoon (Choi Seung-hyun) never imagined he would become a killer. Born to a privileged life in North Korea, his dream was to become a pianist. But when his father, a North Korean spy, dies disgraced, Myung-hoon and his younger sister Hye-in (Kim Yoo-jung) are sent to a "guilt-by-association" forced labor camp. Their father's superior, high-ranking military official Colonel Moon (Jo Sung-ha) proposes a deal to Myung-hoon: if he goes down to the South as a "technician" (an assassin) and finishes what his father had failed to accomplish, he and his sister will be released from the prison camp. Myung-hoon accepts the deal and undergoes two years of intense training.
Myung-hoon finally arrives in South Korea under the guise of a North Korean defector. He is adopted by a South Korean couple who are actually North Korean spies and enrolls at a local high school. He gradually befriends Hye-in (Han Ye-ri), a bullied schoolgirl who shares the same name as his sister and has aspirations of becoming a professional dancer. Myung-hoon then receives his mission: in order to rescue his sister and go back home to the North, he must locate and take out "Big Dipper" (Jung Ho-bin), a North Korean agent working for the opposing government faction. Meanwhile, a power struggle ensues in North Korea with the failing health of dictator Kim Jong-il, and Myung-hoon quickly becomes a liability and must ultimately cope with Colonel Moon's treachery.
When I read its plot outline Commitment looked like something that was right up my alley and it turns out my instincts were right. This is a very decent action thriller that has an integral sentimentality that compliments the narrative. This lies in the relationship between Hye-in and Ri Myung-hoon and the nature of the bond they come to share. I liked the entire cast but especially thought that Choi Seung-Hyun did a great job in the role of the ass kicking silent type who does more communicating through his actions than his words, although he did show some chops in the drama department.
The spy plot is pretty straight forward although it got a little fuzzy a few times. I think this may have had more to do with the language barrier but I did scratch my head once or twice. The pacing could have been a little smoother however I found the moderate use of suspense, slickly integrated (and not overplayed) martial arts/gun play and excellent cinematography to be rewarding. The screenplay consists of an engaging blend of drama, action, suspense and thrills which were underscored by apt direction.
Commitment turned out to be much better than expected and should appeal to a wider audience base thanks to its well crafted multi-genre components and complimentary performances by leads Choi Seung-Hyun and Han Ye-Ri. While I generally find films such as this can be hit or miss I am always pleased when one comes along that I consider worthy of adding to my collection.
The film contains action violence, thematic material, and teen bullying.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- *Low frequency extension (non-rated element):
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Commitment comes to Blu-ray Disc from Well Go USA featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 18 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.3 Mbps.
This is a reference quality Blu-ray offering from Well Go USA that looks terrific in high definition. Despite its relatively low bitrate this presentation has a pristine quality that is visually pleasing. Detail rendering is nearly flawless with lucid visual acuity and fine articulation that brings forth lots of subtle detail in the images onscreen. Colors are rich and delineated with oversaturated primaries and warm tonality that make them pop nicely. The palette of secondary hues appears vivid and warm. Flesh tones are natural with varying degrees of complexional separation among the cast. Boldly applied contrast and stable black levels provide excellent balance during bright scenes containing mixed content resulting in a dynamic and gradational image. Shadow detail is strong which brings out plenty of discernible texture in low/uneven lighting and dark backgrounds. Overall all this is a sparkling video presentation that will look great regardless of the size of your display.
The high resolution DTS-HD MA surround mix comes in both Korean and English dubbed flavors (I opted for the former) and delivers the soundtrack’s elements with aplomb. The higher fidelity inherent in this lossless audio presentation is readily apparent. Dynamic range is noteworthy which renders the film’s action based sequences with defining impact and energy. Dialogue is presented with crystal clear intonation, full bodied texture, and deep room penetration. Imaging across the front soundstage is excellent as sounds are integrated with precision.
This can be an involving surround mix that intelligently utilizes the entire system where appropriate. During the attack sequence on Section 35’s lair as well as the head on engagement in the finale the listening position is actively engaged by a mixture of spatial and discretely placed sound effects that place the listener in the heart of the action. Low frequency detail is clean, well articulated and deep as points of contact resonate with palpable impact. This isn’t a bombastic or overly aggressive soundtrack but its blend of intricate detail and room filling dynamics make for a rewarding home theater experience.
- Making of feature – 10 minutes
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
Commitment is a well crafted and executed multi-genre film that features solid casting and apt direction in the hands of Park Song-Hoo. It comes to Blu-ray from Well Go USA and features top flight high definition audio/video and a noticeably light supplemental package that consists only of a making of documentary and trailer. Turning out to be better than expected Commitment on Blu-ray is well worth your time and comes highly recommended.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
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Not directly related to this, but one of the best movies of this type I have ever seen was "The Man from Nowhere". Another South Korean movie that was beyond excellent.
Klipsch RF-62II, RC-500, RS-400, SVS PC12+,
Def Tech SC8000
Harman Kardon AVR 1600
PS3, Apple TV, Sharp 70" Qattron
I hope this one is any close to The Man from No Where, what do you say Ralph?
"The Man From Nowhere" is one of my all time action favorites! Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
My A/V Systems
- Panasonic P50S30, Panasonic BDT220, Apple TV 3, Firestick, Marantz SR5008, SVS Prime Bookshelf, SVS SB2000
- iMac (ALAC/FLAC files), Audioquest DragonFly DAC, Harman Kardon HK3490 (power amp only), NHT SuperOne
I liked both of them and would say that if you liked one you would like the other.
Thank you Ralph, you make my movie search smooth sailing. The only you like that I hate is Gravity , and I still don't like it after 7 Oscars .
Keep up the great work, which movie review is up next?
Hopefully it has subs that are a good combo of English and still remain culturally accurate (hate when English idioms are used inappropriately in subs).
Couldn't agree more. I absolutely loved that movie. Another favorite of mine from South Korea is "Old Boy". Excellent cinematography and acting, with a strange twist. I must say, Old Boy is the best I've seen out of South Korea, along with the "Sympathy" series.
Looks like I must add Commitment to my Asian cinema collection.
Thanks Ralph for bringing this movie to our attention.
I finally order and watched Commitment and The Man from Nowhere. Commitment was actually different kind of film. It move slow at some points and then BOOM action. I didn't particualary care for the little love story in there but the martial Art was great. Choi Seung-hyun action sequences were alot of fun thou for the main star his vocal presentation seemed lacking to me. I think they could have drawn out the story a little more between section 35 and unit 8 but all and all alot of fun.
Now The Man from Nowhere was AWESOME!!! A ton of fun with a little twist at the end it's pretty graphic but, not to the point where it was completly off putting. You hated the villians and rooted for the hero, it sounds cliche' but I loved it for this film. One of the best action thrillers I've seen.
Now time to check out Old boy !!!!!
|Commitment Blu Ray|