04/23/2014  
Shelter Island on DVD May 13Pennsylvania Ballet at 50 on DVD May 13Flying Tigers & Home of the Brave on Blu-ray & DVD May 13Stalingrad on Two-Disc Blu-ray with 3D, DVD & Digital May 13The Dave Clark Five And Beyond: Glad All Over on DVD & Blu-ray May 13Longmire: Season 2 on DVD May 13Transformers Energon: The Complete Series on DVD May 6

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Shelter Island on DVD May 13...
Box Office Charts From Yahoo! Movies Apr 18- 20...
Pennsylvania Ballet at 50 on DVD May 13...
Lara Spencer Promoted to Co-Host on Good Morning Americ...
'Heaven Is For Real': The Reviews Are In ...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

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

Zeitgeist Video presents
The World (2005)

"Give us a day, we'll show you the world."
- A sign in World Park

Review By: Jeff Wilson  
Published: March 02, 2006

Stars: Zhao Tao, Cheng Taisheng, Jing Jue, Jiang Zhongwei, Huang Yiqun, Wang Hongwei, Liang Jingdong, Ji Shuai, Xiang Wan, Alla Chtcherbakova
Director: Jia Zhangke

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for adult themes, language
Run Time: 02h:19m:38s
Release Date: February 14, 2006
UPC: 795975107433
Genre: foreign


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A AAA- B-

DVD Review

A film about the effects of capitalism and globalization doesn't normally sound like an evening's hot entertainment, but Jia Zhangke's The World isn't your normal film. Jia uses one of the more bizarre theme parks as its setting, located just outside Beijing. The park, known simply as World Park, presents visitors with an array of sights from around the world; want to see that famous New York City skyline? It's there, Twin Towers and all, along with 105 other places of note from around the globe, reproduced in small scale. The Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, the Great Pyramid at Giza, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and others dot the map, which visitors travel through by monorail, while also viewing stage shows starring park employees. There's something inherently weird about the idea, assuming that people will want to visit a model, even a big one, of a famous place rather than actually go there. Beyond any questions of the park's intent, it serves as a rich metaphor for the forces of commerce and globalization creeping into Chinese life, as we come to see in the lives of the park employees.

Though many people pass through the film's loose narrative, the main focus is on one couple, Tao (Zhao Tao) and Taisheng (Cheng Taisheng), as they make their way through typical days at the park. The venue's day to day function isn't Jia's main interest; he spends much of the film looking at the lives of the employees and their circles of relatives, friends, and acquaintances, including their lives in the park, looking at the ways in which they adapt to new surroundings and jobs. Tao is a dancer, moving about the park from "country" to "country," and Taisheng is a security officer. They both hail from rural China, hoping to make their fortunes in the big city. Neither has gone very far, and the same holds true for most of their coworkers, who seek bigger things but remain trapped in positions that will go nowhere. The only one of Tao's friends to get a promotion only does so by sleeping with the boss, and then admits that she still has no real authority.

The setting of World Park obviously serves as a stand-in for the larger world, one seemingly close at hand, yet still unreachable. And in the midst of this encroaching yet still distant world, those who have left their homes and emigrated to the city find themselves disenchanted and finding they belong nowhere. A more sinister undercurrent is witnessed when several Russians join the Chinese park's staff. Under subtle pressure, they are forced to give up their passports, effectively trapping them. Tao's friendship with Anna (Alla Chtcherbakova), one of the Russians, is an oasis of real feeling amidst the surreal, phony atmosphere of the park. The end lesson, however, for all these transplants to the big city is that the old world is gone forever. We see more than once that old bonds between families slowly disintegrate once divorced from the villages where such bonds mean more and are able to be maintained.

The film also makes heavy use of the most ubiquitous item of the new century: the cell phone. Characters interact as much on their phones as they do face to face, and text messaging plays its own role, functioning as a transitional device into animated sequences that allow the characters freedom they never possess in reality. It's a bold switch from the somewhat drab world the characters inhabit, and it works well. Mention should also be made of the musical score, comprised of thumping electronic music as used in the staged shows put on in the park. The distinct lack of human presence within the electronics indirectly hints at the lack of individuality and personality these people endure. All in all, it isn't a cheery film, and the ending underscores that, at least in my view. It's a bit of an unexpected twist, but perhaps a humane one in some ways.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A

 

Image Transfer

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


Image Transfer Review: The box trumpets the transfer as being a pristine new high-def transfer, and it does little to disappoint, though the image retains a certain amount of haziness. The animated sequences are fairly spotless.

Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Mandarinno


Audio Transfer Review: A Dolby 2.0 mix of the original soundtrack is provided, which is in a mix of Mandarin, Shanxi dialect, and Russian. It sounds good, and the electronic score by Lim Giong thumps solidly through the speakers.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 21 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Insert interview with Jia, character sketches, World Park overview
  2. Photo gallery
Extras Review: The most interesting extras are contained in the insert, which has a guide to the characters with a sentence or so of background information on each, details about the World Park, and a series of quotes from Jia about the film and its subject matter. On the disc, a Canadian trailer for the film, based solely on an interview with film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum, is so brief it doesn't give as much analysis of the film as most would like. There is also a photo gallery, which includes tantalizing shots of deleted scenes not included on the disc.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

The World is a fascinating, moving, and engrossing film, taking us to the other side of the world to see how changes wrought by the emerging capitalism in China have affected people there. The disc looks excellent, and contains relatively minimal, but still interesting extras.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


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

 





Covered California

Keywords

documentary, box office, movies, television, good morning america, abc, lara spencer, josh elliot, nbc sports, george stephanopolous, robin roberts, movie, heaven is for real, connor corum, greg kinnear, thomas haden, books, gabriel garcia marquez, nobel laureate, one hundred years of solitude, war, cannes film festival, grace of monaco, nicole kidman, kristen stewart, robert pattinson, maps to the stars, julianne moore, foxcatcher, the homesman, tommy lee jones, hilary swank, mrs. doubtfire, robin williams, fox 2000, chris columbus, david berenhaum, drama, brad pitt, general stanley mcchrystal, the operators, afghanistan war film, david michod, gone girl gillian flynn, ben affleck, rosamund pike, elvis costello, she, nine inch nails, trent reznor, atticus ross, gone girl's score, celebrity, ultimate warrior, james hellwig, wrestler, heart disease, world wrestling entertainment hall of fame, animation, hbo, game of thrones, jack gleeson, king joffrey baratheon, the purple wedding, horror, fantasy, sci-fi, shailene wookley, veronica roth, allegiant, divergent, insurgent, the croods, nicolas cage, joe, david gordon green, tye sheridan, late night, late show, david letterman, stephen colbert, comedy central, the colbert report, julia louis-dreyfus, seinfeld, heep, rolling stone magazine

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too
Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact