11/22/2017  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Genius Products presents
Wide Awake (2007)

ďHe doesnít know Iím here. Itís a surprise.Ē
- Uk-hwan Gang (Yu Jun-sang)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: August 12, 2008

Stars: Kim Myung-min, Yu Jun-sang
Other Stars: Kim Tae-woo, Jung You-Seok, Kim You-mi, Kim Roe-ha
Director: Lee Kyu-maan

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (adult situations, violence)
Run Time: 01h:55m:00s
Release Date: August 12, 2008
UPC: 796019814560
Genre: foreign


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B BB+B+ B

DVD Review

Anesthesia Awareness is defined as a phenomenon where a patient appears to be under general anesthetic during an operation, but has, in fact, regained consciousness, thus experiencing the entire process of the operation. This is not exactly an experience anyone wants to have, but apparently itís not as uncommon as you think. Itís also, albeit quietly, becoming a common subject in films, both in Hollywood (the Hayden Christensen vehicle, Awake), and in international cinema. One such effort from South Korea is 2007ís Wide Awake, an effective piece that is more thriller than genre film that overcomes an often convoluted plot.

In 1980s South Korea, a young boy undergoes an operation, but isnít properly anesthetized and is able to feel every ounce of pain. 25 years later, those responsible for that horrible event begin to die, one-by-one at the hands of an unknown killer. Dr. Ryu Jae-woo (Kim Myung-min) suspects that the traumatized boy has matured and is seeking revenge for his painful memories, therefore is the serial killer at large. However, Ryu doesnít know who the adult version of this boy is, but he suspects it could be Lee Myeong-suk (Kim Roe-ha), a man who blames Ryu for his wifeís death, Uk-hwan Gang (Yu Jun-sang), who is a seemingly loose cannon visiting from the U.S., or Oh Chi-hoon (Kim Tae-woo), who specializes in hypnosis therapy. While Ryu is trying to solve this mystery to stop the serial killer, he also fears for the safety of his lovely wife, Hee-jin (Kim You-mi).

This is a film that pulls no punches from the get-go, asking a hell of a lot from the audienceís tolerance levels during the first reel. Not only do we see a young child experience anesthesia awareness, but the director makes a point to show a powered saw cutting through his chest cavity while we hear his screaming. Following the opening titles, we flash forward 25 years into the future and see a gruesome dream that just might be the epitome of foreshadowing. While there isnít the amount of gore or terrorizing visuals that the DVDís packaging and artwork might lead us to believe, the subject matter alone makes this a film thatís not for the squeamish.

Its biggest flaw is that languid pacing and a constant jumping from scene-to-scene make for a very confusing watch. You might need a road map to keep track of all of the characters and their relationships with each other. Such confusion lingers for at least the first hour of the picture, but those with patience that stick it out for the second half will be greatly rewarded. The film operates (no pun intended) on two different levels: as a murder mystery, and as an exploration of the anesthesia awareness phenomena. It works best as a mystery though, as we are kept in the dark as to the identity of the killer until the very end, with unpredictable twists and turns keeping us guessing throughout. When it comes to the anesthesia awareness portion of the story, it does its part as a major cog in two key sequences, but, aside from those 20 minutes or so, the film practically forgets about the subject as a major plot point.

Despite the confusing first half, the actors hold their own during the entire film. Kim Myung-min anchors much of the film as Dr. Ryu and Kim You-mi does a fine job with an almost thankless role. First-time director Lee Kyu-maan manages to get the best he can out of his cast, allowing the enigmatic Yu Jun-sang to let loose whenever Uk-hwan Gang is on screen. This is just a solid, eventually engaging effort from all involved that might even warrant a repeat viewing or two.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, this is a solid transfer with plenty of sharp, detailed images. The color scheme is bright and vivid, with nothing in the way of bleeding, while contrast and shadow levels are well-handled. Dirt and grain are kept at a minimum, and there arenít any other blemishes to speak of.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
Koreanno


Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio makes liberal use of the surrounds during the handful of action sequences. Some nice, tight, aggressive bass is also heard during these scenes, while crystal clear dialogue is a constant that works perfectly with the overall mix.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
3 Deleted Scenes
1 Documentaries
2 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Actor Interviews
Extras Review: The extras are surprisingly plentiful, beginning with Memory Returned: The Making of Wide Awake. This 38-minute piece is a comprehensive look at the behind-the-scenes aspects of the film, blending cast and crew interviews with on-set footage to give us a great look at what went into its production.

Next, we get a 13-minute featurette focusing on production design, via an interview with production designer Ji-U Kim. She does a great job shedding some light on the various locations that the film was shot at.

10 minutes of actor interviews are up next, with all of the main players giving their two cents worth as to their respective roles.

Anesthesia Awareness: About Interoperational Awareness is a five-minute piece that looks at the subject that the central plot of Wide Awake revolves around.

Lastly, we get 12 minutes worth of deleted scenes (three separate scenes) that include some rather graphic sexual content.

Extras Grade: B

 

Final Comments

If youíre looking for a scientific, thought-provoking story on the subject of anesthesia awareness, youíre not going to get it from South Koreaís Wide Awake. While thereís some information about it before the opening credits, thatís about as in-depth as this film gets in regards to that spooky topic. However, if youíre in the market for a deep, twisty murder mystery, then this is more than the movie for you and Geniusí nice DVD effort makes it even more of a no-brainer of a rental.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store