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post #1 of 56 Old 01-21-2020, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Parasite Blu-ray Review



A volatile, symbiotic relationship between the uber-wealthy and the have-nots comes into full display in Parasite. Ralph Potts reviews the Blu-ray release from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

87



Details:

Studio and Year: Universal - 2019
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 132 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): Korean DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English
Starring: Song Kang Ho, Lee Sun Kyun, Cho Yeo Jeong, Choi Woo Shik, Park So Dam, Lee Jung Eun, Chang Hyae Jin
Directed by: Bong Joon Ho
Music by: Jung Jai Il
Written by: Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin Won
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: January 28, 2020


"Without A Plan, Nothing Can Go Wrong"


Synopsis:

A volatile, symbiotic relationship between the uber-wealthy and the have-nots comes into full display in Parasite from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

My Take:

In Parasite, meet the Park family, the picture of aspirational wealth and the Kim family, rich in street smarts but not much else. Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kim’s sense a golden opportunity. Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo, the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist to the Parks. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. The Kims provide “indispensable” luxury services while the Parks obliviously bankroll their entire household. When a parasitic interloper threatens the Kims’ newfound comfort, a savage, underhanded battle for dominance breaks out, threatening to destroy the fragile ecosystem between the Kims and the Parks.

Wow. I hadn’t heard of Parasite until a forum member suggested that I review it. Then it started to receive award nominations, winning a Golden Globe and SAG award. With that I was extremely anxious to see it. Co-writer/director Bong Joon Ho paints a tapestry of themes, a mix of genres and biting social commentary that rewards at every turn. The narrative’s layer peeling tale of class division and one poor family’s use of chicanery to insert themselves into the employ of a wealthy family by supplanting their current servants or passing themselves off as tutors for their children.

That’s the primary plot and where things springboard from. As the events unfold and you get to see its marvelous subtext which consists of tonal shifts that highlight its use of humor, satire, despair and later, a decidedly dark turn, you come to realize that Parasite is a visionary film that speaks with uncompromising clarity. What started out as one thing clearly ended as something exponentially different. I LOVED that about the film. The cast members that portray the Kim family are simply marvelous, sharing an incredible chemistry that thoroughly compliments the film.

Parasite has made history as the first Korean film to be nominated for an Oscar®. It has garnered six Oscar® nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best International Film, Best Production Design and Best Editing, a 2020 SAG Award® nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (for which it won) and was the winner of the 2020 Golden Globe® for Best Foreign Film. Additionally, the film has racked up over an astonishing 100 award nominations to date.

Parasite is among my favorite films released last year and has now been added to my top 25 favorite films of all time. Can’t say anything more than that….


Replay Value:


Parental Guide:

The rating is for language, some violence and sexual content.


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.**



Audio: 82
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA



Video: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



Parasite comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound.

Colors are effectively used in this film to help set the tone/setting based upon the mood of the scene. The chroma range isn’t broad and hues can vary from being sullen and inanimate to warm and inviting. Skin tones are warm with natural highlights and descriptive variation. Images onscreen are detailed and sharp with appreciable depth of field and visible texture during wide angle shots. Contrast is spot on and excellent shadow detail provides perceptibility during scenes shot at night or in lower lighting. The video has a pristine quality that is free of video related artifacts.

The DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround mix features dialogue that is full bodied with defining tonal characteristics and prominent soundstage position. High level detail is readily apparent as subtle sound effects, music and voices are rendered with superior clarity and depth. There is little call for active surround activity and extended dynamics however there is frequent use of atmospheric sounds that utilize the entire soundstage in support of the exterior/interior venues depicted in the film. The end result is an excellent audio presentation that renders the soundtrack’s elements with aplomb.




Bonus Features:
  • Q&A with Co-writer/director Bong Joon Ho
  • Digital Code




Final Thoughts:

Parasite is a compelling, engaging and superbly crafted film that is easily one of 2019’s best. It comes to Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring pleasing high definition video, clear lossless sound and a light supplemental package that offers insights from co-writer/director Boon Jung Ho. Parasite is a cinematic gem that gets my highest recommendation.






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 56 Old 01-21-2020, 02:32 PM
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Wow! I had heard a lot of positive buzz about this, but since your taste in films usually lines up with mine about 90% of the time....I need to see this soon!
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post #3 of 56 Old 01-21-2020, 03:04 PM
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The european release is in atmos for the Korean voice and it sounds very good.
The film is a must have and some scenes are really epic.
For those who discover the wonders of korean cinema you should try also « Burning » which is the best korean film in my opinion.
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post #4 of 56 Old 01-21-2020, 03:33 PM
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I agree with Ralph’s synopsis. Excellent cinema. I watched this Saturday night with 3 other couples. The ending was quite a surprise given the tenor of the preceding film And solidified a great film. Parasite is the perfect title for this gem. Really makes you think.

I really liked the film... but I liked it more after I had a day to think on it. The film runs over 2 hours and, personally, I thought it ran about 20 min too long. Particularly the drawn out epilogue.

I watched on Kaleidescape and the 4K UHD HDR picture was breathtaking. The sound was nuanced all the way through until the last 1/4 of the film where there was some increased effects and detail as well as mild bass.

A great film and nice spot on review. I don’t know if it’ll win Best Picture Oscar but it is a film that delivers a deep, powerful story that is so rare at the theater these days.

Like Ralph, I agree... highly recommended.

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post #5 of 56 Old 01-21-2020, 04:49 PM
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Definitely my favorite film of last year. I enjoyed his other films Snowpiercer and Okja but this is a cut above. The Wailing is another Korean film I hold in high regard.
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post #6 of 56 Old 01-21-2020, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassem77 View Post
The european release is in atmos for the Korean voice and it sounds very good.
The film is a must have and some scenes are really epic.
For those who discover the wonders of korean cinema you should try also « Burning » which is the best korean film in my opinion.
It is indeed a great film. I think the raining and flooding scenes will benefit from the ATMOS soundtrack. I watched Burning, but I personally don't like it as much as other Korean films.
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post #7 of 56 Old 01-21-2020, 07:19 PM
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One of the best films I watched last year. This films has so much symbolism, deeper meaning, and yes metaphorical stuff that it requires several viewings to comprehend it all. This kind of film can only be made by a foreign studio because I cannot recall a recent American film this nuanced and thought provoking in recent years.

I'm a bit puzzled as to how this movie is such a hit in America since most Americans cannot pass a basic civics exam nor can they point out their own country on a world map and their film tastes veer more toward Michael Bay.

Oh, and If you want to see another great Bong movie, watch Memories of Murder.

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Just watched the trailer...looks good.

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post #9 of 56 Old 01-22-2020, 06:48 AM
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Agree with the general sentiment. Brilliant movie from a brilliant director. I wish more movies like this are made in Hollywood. Superhero stuff is all well and good in its place but there is something special about watching a movie with layered story and unexpected twists combined with good direction and acting.

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post #10 of 56 Old 01-22-2020, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post
I agree with Ralph’s synopsis. Excellent cinema. I watched this Saturday night with 3 other couples. The ending was quite a surprise given the tenor of the preceding film And solidified a great film. Parasite is the perfect title for this gem. Really makes you think.

I really liked the film... but I liked it more after I had a day to think on it. The film runs over 2 hours and, personally, I thought it ran about 20 min too long. Particularly the drawn out epilogue.

I watched on Kaleidescape and the 4K UHD HDR picture was breathtaking. The sound was nuanced all the way through until the last 1/4 of the film where there was some increased effects and detail as well as mild bass.

A great film and nice spot on review. I don’t know if it’ll win Best Picture Oscar but it is a film that delivers a deep, powerful story that is so rare at the theater these days.

Like Ralph, I agree... highly recommended.

man, I can only hope the French 4k release will feature english subs and its AV is on par to standard.
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post #11 of 56 Old 01-22-2020, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by nonstopdoc1 View Post
Agree with the general sentiment. Brilliant movie from a brilliant director. I wish more movies like this are made in Hollywood. Superhero stuff is all well and good in its place but there is something special about watching a movie with layered story and unexpected twists combined with good direction and acting.

the Oscars nomination is a way overdue recognition to the long-overlooked Korean cinema. I can count at least a dozen Korean movies that are on par or even better than Parasite (not to put it down, just to set the caliber of Korean cinema) since the 2000s. like you said, the perfect combination of entertainment value, cinematography, brilliant writing and meaningful messages, and elements that set MPAA review board frenzy. It baffles me too, since Korean entertainment industry can also be highly streamlined production assembly, they can churn out K-pop stars faster to drown out Hollywood superheroes, but they also have this incredible excitingly visionary film industry, supported by such a tiny (by any means of comparison) language market. I don't know why, I don't know how, it's just incredible.
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post #12 of 56 Old 01-22-2020, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by ian c 2 View Post
the Oscars nomination is a way overdue recognition to the long-overlooked Korean cinema. I can count at least a dozen Korean movies that are on par or even better than Parasite (not to put it down, just to set the caliber of Korean cinema) since the 2000s. like you said, the perfect combination of entertainment value, cinematography, brilliant writing and meaningful messages, and elements that set MPAA review board frenzy. It baffles me too, since Korean entertainment industry can also be highly streamlined production assembly, they can churn out K-pop stars faster to drown out Hollywood superheroes, but they also have this incredible excitingly visionary film industry, supported by such a tiny (by any means of comparison) language market. I don't know why, I don't know how, it's just incredible.
Korean cinema has been putting out a steady stream of real gems over the last decade or so. I also love all the movies made by Park Chan-wook including The Handmaiden and the 'Vengeance Trilogy'
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post #13 of 56 Old 01-22-2020, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post
Parasite is a cinematic gem that gets my highest recommendation.

... and with that I just preordered. I've seen so many positive comments about this movie that it makes the blind buy a good choice.



Thanks Ralph!
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post #14 of 56 Old 01-22-2020, 11:20 PM
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"marvelous subtext," "deeper meaning," "meaningful messages," etc. I've read so many generalizations like those about this movie but no one seems to want to expand on what they mean by it. I watched this and thought it was interesting and clever. But, it didn't knock my socks off with its deep wisdom or insight.

Can some of you who were impacted by it thusly please explain in more detail? I'm sincerely interested.

Thanks!

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post #15 of 56 Old 01-23-2020, 09:25 AM
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Does anyone know why this has not received a UHD release?
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post #16 of 56 Old 01-23-2020, 01:24 PM
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Does anyone know why this has not received a UHD release?
It is currently available in 4K HDR on Kaleidescape.

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post #17 of 56 Old 01-23-2020, 05:45 PM
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Does anyone know why this has not received a UHD release?
No idea, but one of the two countries that are getting a UHD release, France, the UHD version is being released about 3 months after the blu-ray. Ergo, maybe we'll get one later on.

I'm debating getting the digital copy on vudu until a UHD version comes out.
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post #18 of 56 Old 01-23-2020, 05:51 PM
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This is my favorite film of last year BTW. Reminds me of The Social Network, where the movie runs like a perfectly engineered machine.
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post #19 of 56 Old 01-24-2020, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by AaronTV View Post
"marvelous subtext," "deeper meaning," "meaningful messages," etc. I've read so many generalizations like those about this movie but no one seems to want to expand on what they mean by it. I watched this and thought it was interesting and clever. But, it didn't knock my socks off with its deep wisdom or insight.

Can some of you who were impacted by it thusly please explain in more detail? I'm sincerely interested.

Thanks!

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One ironic angle would be just who are the parasites - the rich or the poor, neither seems to be able to independently exist without the other. Then add in the other parasites in the basement.
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post #20 of 56 Old 01-24-2020, 10:09 AM
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man, I can only hope the French 4k release will feature english subs and its AV is on par to standard.
Unfortunately, neither the French nor the German UHD release have English subs.

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post #21 of 56 Old 01-24-2020, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post
.
.
.
Parasite is among my favorite films released last year and has now been added to my top 25 favorite films of all time. Can’t say anything more than that….

Ralph, sorry if this has been asked before: Do you have a link/thread of your Top 25 of All Time List? I know I see your annual lists, but I cannot remember seeing this one. Thanks!!
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post #22 of 56 Old 01-24-2020, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Ralph, sorry if this has been asked before: Do you have a link/thread of your Top 25 of All Time List? I know I see your annual lists, but I cannot remember seeing this one. Thanks!!
Greetings,

John, I haven't officially posted it. I may at some point in the near future. Stay Tuned!


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post #23 of 56 Old 01-26-2020, 11:35 PM
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Thanks for the review Ralph. Im excited to give this one a rent! Sounds like a great movie.
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post #24 of 56 Old 01-27-2020, 01:33 AM
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Does anyone know why this has not received a UHD release?
The films distributor Neon needs to comes up with money and then Universal would do one. Many independent films don't get 4K releases because of limited markets. Even Fox Searchlight rarely does them. Complain, plead, and buy all the indie films you can on 4K, money talks.Give yours a louder voice.
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post #25 of 56 Old 01-27-2020, 01:35 AM
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Thanks for the review Ralph , another one for the ever growing "Things to watch list"
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post #26 of 56 Old 01-27-2020, 01:50 AM
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This is a great movie overall. at least the story and acting is better than most recent commercial crap.

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post #27 of 56 Old 01-28-2020, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post
Greetings,

John, I haven't officially posted it. I may at some point in the near future. Stay Tuned!


Regards,
Good enough, Ralph. And just know, my PM's are always open if the list needs an outside opinion, vetting, comparison before a public posting muhahaha
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post #28 of 56 Old 01-29-2020, 07:51 AM
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I just finished reviewing this myself Ralph. I can't agree enough. This was a SUPERB film. Extremely thoughtful and managed to bridge the gap between general audiences and the arthouse fans without offending either group. Simply superb.
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post #29 of 56 Old 01-29-2020, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Manni01 View Post
Unfortunately, neither the French nor the German UHD release have English subs.
From your sigs, can I assume you're a ripper of movies? You can always add in the english subtitle file.
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post #30 of 56 Old 01-29-2020, 12:06 PM
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Does anyone know if discs will release at Redbox?

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