Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Swindlers (2017) and The Island (2018) - BLU RAY REVIEW


The Swindlers was a film that took a little while to finally drop on Blu Ray. Blood Brothers originally ran a review for its theatrical release back in 2017. This is rather unfortunate because The Swindlers is a fun movie. It’s out there. It’s silly. It’s a popcorn flick that South Korea loves to make about charming characters doing outrageous things in a plot that is more inspired by Hollywood than anything else. Its charms do tend to wear off when the plot relentlessly pummels its audience with twists and turns that rarely make sense. The Swindlers hopes that its viewers are willing to take things with a grain of salt as the story unravels and that they not worry too much about the detailing or potential plot holes that arise. It does have a lot of fun set pieces and characters though which makes it entertaining enough for people who enjoy films like Mission: Impossible. For a more in-depth analysis of the film, please see our full review HERE.

Unfortunately, the latest Blu Ray release of The Swindlers doesn’t have any special features on it to speak of to entice viewers. The film itself, like most releases from Well Go USA, is presented impressively with great audio and visual aspects that will keep Korean movie fans happy. There is a slick Hollywood flair to it that is helped by the Blu Ray high definition which is how I would suggest watching the film, but overall the release itself isn’t spectacular. For those Korean movie fans though, it’s nice that The Swindlers did finally get that home video release and if you enjoy entertaining con man/heist mystery action flicks, it comes recommended. Plus, the release itself gets some brownie points for featuring a pull quote from our review on the cover artwork.



Of many of the recent films that Well Go USA has licensed for distribution in the United States, The Island was one that I was perhaps most excited to add to my collection. Although all of the writers here at BB tend to be franchise fools, The Island not only garnered some great word of mouth from critics, but the film looked like it was going to have tons of re-watchability. I can now verify this. The Island is a fantastic genre spinning film. It’s a wild mix of drama, comedy, adventure, romance, and whatever else director Huang Bo wanted to throw into the stew is just a strange and impressive concoction. It has strong visuals, great performances, varieties of style, and – like our previous review of the film for its theatrical release said (which you can read HERE) it deserves the love.

Despite some fantastic new artwork to grace the recently released Blu Ray of the film which does weirdly embrace the somewhat fantastical adventure tones of the film, the Blu Ray itself is not nearly as adventurous. Like the other portion of this review, this latest release is a movie only kind of release. That’s okay though. It might have been fun to have something to dig into the behind-the-scenes or conception of The Island, but the film itself is layered enough that it deserves a purchase to watch and tease out all of the great material here.


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