Blu-ray Review “Parasite”

Directed by: Bong Joon-ho
Starring: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Lee Jung-eun, Jang Hye-jin
Distributed by: CJ Entertainment
Running time: 132 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
A/V: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

Director Bong Joon Ho has been on my radar since “The Host”, and “Snowpiercer”. Two amazing movies that the average viewers have never seen but hopefully that will change now. “Parasite” made history as the first Korean film to be nominated for an Oscar®. The film received six Oscar® nominations and ended up winning not only Best International Film but also Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay. This film is definitely the underdog and deserved everything it got. It is a very unique and original film and I am glad to see it get the attention it deserves.

Featuring incredible must-see performances from the entire cast including Song Kang Ho (Snowpiercer, The Host), Lee Sun Kyun (A Hard Day, Paju), Cho Yeo Jeong (The Servant, Obsessed), Choi Woo Shik (Okja, Train to Busan), Park So Dam (The Priests, The Silenced), Lee Jung Eun (Okja, The Wailing) and Chang Hyae Jin (Marine Boy, If It Snows on Christmas). Everyone in this cast does an amazing job. I am huge fan of Song Kang Ho and I am glad to see him back with director Bong Joon Ho. I would definitely call this film an ensemble cast. Literally outstanding.

Official Premise: 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.

Technically this release is amazing. The 1080p transfer is gorgeous. The colors are simply gorgeous. According to IMDB, this film was shot at a resolution of 6.5K and finished at 4K and then downscaled to 1080p. But simply, this film just looks beautiful. The Korean language DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack is the only audio option on the disc. There is no dub track only English subtitles are included. This is the way to watch the film anyway. I wouldn’t want to see this dubbed. The score works well with this track also. It is just simply perfect. Overall, in terms of technical merits this release deserves a big major thumbs up!

Despite the amazing A/V on this release, personally I am a bit disappointed in the Blu-ray release for “Parasite”, I feel like it was rushed to release. It also didn’t get a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release, which is a bit sad. With the way this film was shot it would be amazing in 4K. It is though available to stream in 4K Ultra HD if that is your thing, just not on disc. Also the special features aren’t very special. There is only one extra included on this Blu-ray disc, which is a Q&A with Director Bong Joon Ho. It is worth watching if you enjoyed the film but I was really hoping for more. I don’t think anyone expected this film to do what it did. Hopefully there will be a re-release of this film in 4K Ultra HD in a nice steelbook release in the future.

Joker, 1917 and Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood Lead Winners for the 9th Annual Media Mikes Awards

Now that the Oscars dust has settled, it’s time to take a look at how we here at Media Mikes, readers and writers alike, voted for our top cinematic achievements of 2019 in our 9th Annual Media Mikes Awards

“Joker,” Todd Phillips’s dark look at the origins of Batman’s greatest enemy, “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood,” Quentin Tarantino’s fable about the summer of 1969 and Sam Mendes’s enthralling WWI drama, “1917”, topped our lists with two awards each.

“Hollywood” took home the big prize as the year’s Best Picture and also nabbed Best Supporting Actor award for Brad Pitt. “Joker” earned wins for Joaquin Phoenix as Best Actor as well as Best Original Score, written and composed by Hildur Guðnadóttir. “1917” earned the award for Best Director for Sam Mendes and was also recognized for its cinematography by the legendary Roger Deakins.

Additional winners included Reneé Zellwegger as Best Actress for her portrayal of Judy Garland in “Judy” and Scarlett Johansson as Best Supporting Actress for her work in “JoJo Rabbit.”

“Toy Story 4” was chosen as the year’s Best Animated Feature.

This year saw more than 3,000 readers submit their choices in the seven top categories, check out the complete list of our winners below

Reader Voted Awards Went to…

Best Picture – “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood”
Best Director – Sam Mendes, “1917”
Best Actor – Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”
Best Actress – Renee Zellweger, “Judy”
Best Supporting Actress – Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”
Best Supporting Actor – “Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood”
Best Animated Feature – “Toy Story 4”

Awards chosen by our Media Mikes writers went to…

Best Original Screenplay – Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won, “Parasite”
Best Adapted Screenplay – Greta Gerwig, “Little Women”
Best Documentary Feature – “David Crosby: Remember my Name”
Best Cinematography – Roger Deakins, “1917”
Best Original Score – Hildur Guðnadóttir, “Joker”

Composer John Williams, who recently earned his 52nd Academy Award nomination, was name the recipient of this years Media Mikes Lifetime Achievement Award.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone who voted!

“Parasite,” Bong Joon-ho Make Oscar History

“Parasite,” the South Korean thriller directed by Bong Joon-ho, made Oscar history tonight when it became the first non-English language film to win Best Picture at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards.  In doing so, it took down more heavily favored films like “1917” and “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood.” 

Director Bong Joon-ho became the first person to take home four awards in one ceremony, winning Oscars as the director, co-producer and co-writer of the film.  He also received the award as the director of the year’s Best International Feature Film.   

Joaquin Phoenix was named Best Actor for his work in “Joker” while Renee’ Zellwegger took home the Best Actress award for her portrayal of Hollywood legend Judy Garland in “Judy.” 

Supporting Oscars went to Brad Pitt for “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” and Laura Dern for “Marriage Story.”  Dern paid tribute to her parents, former Oscar nominees Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd, in her acceptance speech.  

“Toy Story 4” was named the years Best Animated Feature.   Here is a complete list of tonight’s winners:  

BEST PICTURE  

“Parasite”  

BEST DIRECTOR

Bong Joon-ho – “Parasite”

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Joaquin Phoenix – “Joker”

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Renée Zellweger – “Judy”  

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Brad Pitt –  “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”  

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Laura Dern – “Marriage Story”  

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

“Parasite” – screenplay by Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won  

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

“Jojo Rabbit” – screenplay by Taika Waititi

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

“Toy Story 4”  

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM

“Parasite” – South Korea

DOCUMENTARY – FEATURE

“American Factory”  

DOCUMENTARY – SHORT SUBJECT

“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)”  

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

“The Neighbors’ Window”  

ANIMATED SHORT FILM

“Hair Love”  

ORIGINAL SCORE

“Joker” – Hildur Guðnadóttir  

ORIGINAL SONG

“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” from “Rocketman” written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin  

SOUND EDITING

“Ford v Ferrari”

SOUND MIXING

“Ford v Ferrari”

PRODUCTION DESIGN

“Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood”  

CINEMATOGRAPHY

“1917”

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

“Bombshell”

COSTUME DESIGN

“Little Women”  

FILM EDITING

“Ford v Ferrari”

VISUAL EFFECTS

“1917”