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Commitment (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

March 9, 2014 by  



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“Commitment” may not break any new ground in Korean cinema but for a film starring a pop star, the action-packed story is actually quite entertaining and exciting .  No doubt, a major vehicle for Big Bang pop star, T.O.P. and allowing him to break out of the K-Pop mold and show that he can make it as an actor. If you are a fan of T.O.P. or Korean action films in general, then “Commitment” is a film worth watching.

Images courtesy of © 2013 Showbox/Mediaplex and the Lamp. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Commitment

FILM RELEASE: 2013

DURATION: 105 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Korean 5.1 DTS-HD MA, 2.0 Stereo, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Showbox/Well Go USA Entertainment

RATED: Not Rated

Release Date: February 25, 2014

Directed by Hong-soo Park

Written by Soo-young Kim

Produced by Duk-jae Lee, Eun-kyung Park

Co-Produer: Seung-hun Lee

Executive Producer: Jeong-hun You

Music by Hyung-woo Noh

Cinematography by Gi-tae Kim

Edited by Jae-beom Kim, Sang-beom Kim

Production Design by Bo-kyeong Shin

Costume Design by Jong-won Kim

Starring:

Seung Hyun Choi as Ri Myung-hoon/Kang Dae-ho

Ye-ri Han as Lee Hye-in

Ho-bin Jeong as Big Dipper

Sung Ha Jo as Moon Sang-chul

Yoo-Jeong Kim as Ri Hye-in

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 sisters 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.

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From director Hong-soo Park and writer Soo-young Kim comes a South Korean spy thriller starring K-Pop star T.O.P. (real name: Seung Hyun Choi) of the boy band Big Bang, in his latest film titled “Commitment”.

Released in Korea  in 2013, the film will be released on Blu-ray courtesy of Well Go USA Entertainment in March 2014.

“Commitment” begins with a North Korean agent who is shot and killed in South Korea.  The agent is killed while trying to reach for a photo of him and children.

We see the children, Ri Myung-hoon (portrayed by T.O.P.) and his younger sister Ri Hye-in (portrayed by Kim Yoo-jung) imprisoned in a labor camp because their father is deemed as a traitor to North Korea.

Ri tries to tell the warden that his father is not a traitor and in order to prove himself and save his sister, he has one way of escaping from labor camp and that is to become a trained killer.

Wanting to save his sister, Ri agrees to the deal and trains to become a killing machine in the next two years.

Fast foward two years later and Ri, now going by the name of Kang Dae-ho arrives in South Korea as a North Korean defector and is adopted by a South Korean family, who are really Korean spies.

As Kang is to live a normal life until he receives orders, he attends high school but notices the girl sitting next to him, Hye-in (portrayed by Ye-ri Han) being bullied as the guys try to get money from her.

When the bullies try to put a hand on Kang, he pushes it off and he is taken to the rooftops where he is beaten up and his wallet is stolen by the bullies.

As he befriends Hye-in, which happens to be the same name as his sister, he sees that she wants to become a professional dancer.  The same dream that his sister also wanted to become.  But unfortunately for Hye-in, she is not bullied just by the boys, but also the girls involved in the dance class.

Meanwhile, a North Korean agent is killing former North Korean agents from Unit 8 and as for Kang, he receives orders to kill the the agent known as “Big Dipper” (portrayed by Ho-bin Kung), who works for an opposing faction of the government.

But Kang apparently becomes a target for Big Dipper, but also the South Korean authorities.  Will he manage to survive and accomplish his mission, so he can ensure that he is reunited with his sister?

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VIDEO:

“Commitment” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:37:1 aspect ratio).  Picture quality is very good when it comes to close-ups, while colors are primarily more towards the cool side.  Black levels are nice and deep and while not a vibrant film, overall picture quality is good and did not see any significant banding or artifacts.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Commitment” is presented in Korean DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and in 2.0 Dolby Digital.  The film features good use of the surround channels for the fire fights and action scenes, while dialogue is crystal clear.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Commitment” comes with the following special features:

  • Making Of – (10:30) A behind-the-scenes of the making of the film.
  • Trailer – Theatrical trailer for “Commitment”.

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There are times where you see pop stars making a transition to the big screen.  We have seen pop stars such as Justin Timberlake accomplish in the U.S., Jay Chou accomplish it in Hong Kong and now, we are starting to see T.O.P of the popular K-Pop group, Big Bang doing more films and television.

And for T.O.P. (Seung-hyun Choi), this is a great chance to show that he can take on an action-role that requires a lot of action, fight scenes but also to show that he can take on a role of a closed-off individual who desperately wants to be reunited with his sister, even though it means he must be a used by North Korea as a killing machine.

For the most part, the film was no doubt a great vehicle for Seung-hyun as the film utilizes the young actor in a major action role. One that doesn’t require him to be flashy or romantic, if anything, the film is about his character trying to stay alive and doing the job in order for him to reunite with his sister Hye-in.

Watching the “making of” (included on the Blu-ray), we see how focused T.O.P. was as an actor but also taking some major hits and getting injured as he tried to pull of major fighting stunt choreography.  No double, he is doing his own scenes.

You have actor Je-Moon Yoon (“Fist of Legend”, “Doomsday Book”) as an agent trying to solve the murder case, while actress  Ye-ri Han as the bullied girl and friend of Ri/Kang, as she is the only girl he can turn to, during his time of need.

Fight choreography for the most part is well-done and while not a film that utilized a lot of location shots, for the most part, pacing was well-done and the story is easy to understand and is straightforward.

As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is good, with great detail for close-ups and lossless audio featuring good use of the surround channels for the action sequences.  And you get a “making of” and “theatrical trailer” included as special features.

Overall, “Commitment” may not break any new ground in Korean cinema but for a film starring a pop star, the action-packed story is actually quite entertaining and exciting .  No doubt, a major vehicle for Big Bang pop star, T.O.P. and allowing him to break out of the K-Pop mold and show that he can make it as an actor.

If you are a fan of T.O.P. or Korean action films in general, then “Commitment” is a film worth watching.

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