Korean Animated Film ‘A Dog’s Courage’ Coming to Disc Aug. 18 From Well Go

The South Korean animated family film A Dog’s Courage will debut on Blu-ray and DVD Aug. 18 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

The title is already available on digital.

The film follows Jacob, a feisty and playful dog abandoned by his owners. He joins a pack of strays that embarks on a journey filled with adventures and life lessons in their pursuit to find a new and loving home, finding the perfect place of safety and peace, the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.

The film is available in both the original Korean and an all-new English dub.

Directed by Chun-Baek Lee and Oh Sung-Yoon (Leafie, a Hen Into the Wild), A Dog’s Courage was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the 2019 Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

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Comedy ‘Zombie for Sale,’ Thriller ‘Black Rainbow’ and Atomic Bomb Drama ‘Hiroshima’ Among Titles Due on Blu-ray in July from Arrow and MVD

The Korean comedy Zombie for Sale, the British thriller Black Rainbow and the Japanese atomic bomb drama Hiroshima are among the titles coming to Blu-ray Disc in July from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group.

In 2019’s Zombie for Sale, due July 7, the illegal human experiments of Korea’s biggest pharmaceutical company go wrong, and one of their “undead” test subjects escapes and ends up in a shabby gas station owned by the Park family — a band of misfits spanning three generations who hustle passers-by to make ends meet. When the family uncovers their undead visitor, he bites the head of their household, who instead of transforming into an undead ghoul becomes revitalised and full of life. The family then hatches a plan to exploit this unexpected fountain of youth, allowing locals to pay to be bitten, too, until things go wrong. Extras include an audio commentary with filmmakers and critics Sam Ashurst and Dan Martin; a Q&A with director Lee Min-jae from a 2019 screening at Asian Pop-Up Cinema in Chicago, moderated by film critic and author Darcy Paquet; “Eat Together, Kill Together: The Family-in-Peril Comedy,” a video essay by critic and producer Pierce Conran exploring Korea’s unique social satires; a making-of featurette; behind-the-scenes footage; the trailer; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Mike Lee-Graham; and for the first pressing only, a collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Josh Hurtado.

Also coming July 7 is the British thriller Black Rainbow (1989). Mike Hodges (Flash Gordon, Get Carter) wrote and directed this supernatural chiller as a meditation on the human race’s ability to destroy the world, a gothic tale of suspense and the occult. Martha Travis (Rosanna Arquette, Pulp Fiction, Crash) is a travelling clairvoyant on the road with her sceptic father (Jason Robards, Once Upon a Time in the West, Magnolia). During a séance, Martha communicates a message from a dead man to his wife in the audience. Shocked the wife insists her husband is still alive. Later that evening the husband is killed by a ruthless assassin. As Martha foresees more and more tragic events journalist Gary Wallace (Tom Hulce, Amadeus, Animal House) follows the pair in pursuit of a hot story with catastrophically eerie results. Sent direct to cable by its struggling distributor on initial release, Black Rainbow never got wide exposure. It is newly restored from the original negative. Extras include new audio commentary by film historians Kat Ellinger and Samm Deighan; archival audio commentary by Hodges; an archival making-of documentary; several archival featurettes; the trailer; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nathanael Marsh; and for the first pressing only, a booklet featuring new writing on the film by author Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Hodges and more, illustrated with stills.

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Also on tap July 7 is 1969’s Inferno of Torture. Japanese exploitation legend Teruo Ishii (Horrors of Malformed Men, Orgies of Edo) delivers one of his most extreme visions of violent eroticism in the sixth in his abnormal love series, in which tattoos and torture await women forced into servitude. Unable to repay a local lender, Yumi (Yumika Katayama) takes up an offer to serve as a geisha for two years with a promise of freedom once her debt is repaid. She quickly realizes that this is less a house of geishas than an extremely cruel brothel specializing in supplying Western visitors with tattooed playthings. Extras include audio commentary by Japanese cinema expert Tom Mes; “Erotic Grotesque Nonsense & the Foundations of Japan’s Cult Counterculture,” a condensed version of Jasper Sharp’s Miskatonic Institute lecture; the trailer; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Jacob Phillips; and for the first pressing only, a collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Chris D.

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Due July 14 is Hiroshima (1953), about the devastation wrought by the world’s first deployment of the atomic bomb and its aftermath, based on the written eye-witness accounts of its child survivors compiled by Dr. Arata Osada for the 1951 book Children of the A Bomb: Testament of the Boys and Girls of Hiroshima. Adapted for the screen by independent director Hideo Sekigawa (Listen to the Voices of the Sea, Tokyo Untouchable) and screenwriter Yasutaro Yagi (Theatre of Life, Rice), Hiroshima combines a harrowing documentary realism with human drama in a tale of the suffering, endurance and survival of a group of teachers, their students and their families. It boasts a score composed by Akira Ifukube (Godzilla) and stars Yumeji Tsukioka (Late Spring, The Eternal Breasts), Isuzu Yamada (Throne of Blood, Yojimbo) and Eiji Okada (Hiroshima Mon Amour, Woman in the Dunes), appearing alongside an estimated 90,000 residents from the city as extras, including many survivors from that fateful day on Aug. 6, 1945. Hiroshima was produced and distributed outside of the studio system by the Japan Teachers’ Union following the mixed critical reception to Children of Hiroshima (1952), directed by Kaneto Shindo the previous year, the first dramatic feature to deal directly with the atomic bombing. Although sequences from the film were used in Alain Resnais’ classic of French New Wave cinema, Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), it has been effectively out of circulation in Japan and the rest of the world since its original release due to the force and political sensitivity of its message. This new HD presentation is the complete version, restoring the footage from the international edit that was released in the United States in 1955. Extras include an archive interview with actress Yumeji Tsukioka; Hiroshima Nagasaki Download (2011), a 73-minute documentary featuring interviews with survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings now residing in the United States, with an introduction by the director Shinpei Takeda; a new video essay by Jasper Sharp; newly commissioned artwork by Scott Saslow; and for the first pressing only, a collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Mick Broderick.

Coming July 21 are two films from 1988, Bloodstone and Life Is a Long Quiet River.

In Bloodstone, a man of action and a cab driver pair up to save a young girl from the clutches of an evil criminal magnate. The Bloodstone, a priceless stolen ruby, accidentally ends up in the possession of American newlyweds Sandy (Brett Stimely, Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death) and Stephanie (Anna Nicholas, “Remington Steele”). Now, their honeymoon in India is interrupted as they become the target of international fence Van Hoeven (Christopher Neame, The Prestige) and his evil henchmen. When Van Hoeven kidnaps Stephanie and ransoms her for the jewel, Sandy joins forces with the cabby and dormant stunt-driver Shyam Sabu (Rajinikanth, 2.0) to rescue his young bride. Co-written and produced by Nico Mastorakis (Island of Death, The Wind), the film features a performance by legendary Tamil megastar Rajinikanth in his first English-language role. Extras include new audio commentary by Bryan Reesman; “Keeping it to Myself,” a new interview with producer and co-writer Nico Mastorakis; a new video essay on Rajinikanth by Indian cinema expert Josh Hurtado; trailers; an image gallery; the original screenplay; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys; and for the first pressing only, an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Mark Cunliffe.

Life Is a Long Quiet River is a fast-paced French satire. The radiantly bourgeois Le Quesnoys, with their immaculate children and perfect manners, and the grubby, disreputable Groseilles are thrown together in absurd chaos by an act of revenge as they discover that 12 years prior their babies were switched at birth. A witty send up of class relations and family ties, Life Is a Long Quiet River was celebrated with a host of trophies at France’s César Awards ceremony, winning best screenplay, best debut work and acting prizes for Héléne Vincent and Catherine Jacob. Extras include archival interviews with director Étienne Chatiliez, actor André Wilms, co-writer/co-producer Florence Quentin and producer Charles Gassot; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Scott Saslow; and for the first pressing only, a collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Jonathan Romney.

Korean Film ‘House of Hummingbird’ Flying to Digital and Blu-ray Aug. 4 From Well Go

The Korean coming-of-age story House of Hummingbird will debut on digital and Blu-ray Aug. 4 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Ignored by her parents and abused by her brother, 14-year-old Eun-hee moves through life like a hummingbird searching for a taste of sweetness wherever she may find it. In a rapidly expanding Seoul in 1994, she roams the neighborhood with her best friend, attempts romantic relationships with both girls and boys alike and is sent to the hospital with an unclear diagnosis. When a new teacher arrives, she becomes the first adult the young girl feels really understands her.

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Bora Kim makes her feature film directing debut in this acclaimed film that stars Ji-hu Park (The Witness), Sae-byuk Kim (The Day After), Seung-Yeon Lee (Alive) and In-gi Jeong (Chaser).

The film won Best Feature Film at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival and the 2019 Seattle International Film Festival. The Korean Association of Film Critics’ Awards named it one of the Ten Best Films of the Year and it won the awards for Best Actress (Park), Best Cinematography (Guk-hyun Kang) and Best International Narrative Feature at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.  In addition, director Bora Kim has won numerous Best Director awards, including from the 2019 Athens International Film Festival, the 2020 Asian Film Critics Association Awards and the 2019 Korean Association of Film Critics’ Awards.

Well Go Joins Allied Vaughn MOD Service

Well Go USA Entertainment has joined manufacture-on-demand service Allied Vaughn, launching the deal with four Blu-ray releases available now in the Asian action and horror genres.

The Korean actioner Unstoppable stars Don Lee as a legendary gangster enjoying a quiet retirement. When his wife is kidnapped, he must once again become the brutal criminal he left behind.

In the Chinese actioner Line Walker 2, a car crash sparks a war between local police and an international terrorist organization. After Superintendent Yip (Francis Ng) and Inspector Ching (Nick Cheung) arrest a hacker named Yiu involved in the accident, the two police officers are suspected by Superintendent Cheng (Louis Koo) as double agents. Clues lead the three officers to the far foreign soil of Myanmar and Spain, but as the investigation continues the lines between good and evil become blurred.

The Chinese actioner Chasing the Dragon 2: Wild Wild Bunch is based on real-life crimes that terrorized Hong Kong in the 1990s. Logan (Tony Leung Ka Fai) is the head of leading a notorious human trafficking gang, abducting the children of the city’s elite. Police forces decide to send in Sky (Louis Koo), an undercover agent whose mission is to save the hostages, all while bringing the gang and their leader to justice in this action-packed thriller.

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The Chinese horror compilation Lucid Dreams presents four stories in which the director recounts four of his own dreams. The explored dreams are Tung, a down on his luck young man who decides to hold a fake wedding in order to pay his debt to a finance company; Fan, a depressed white-collar worker whose boss is trying to steal his girlfriend; Tung Tung, a writer who reunites with her long-lost mother; and Chun, a bus driver inspired by four ‘ghost ladies’ to believe in his musical talent.

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In other news from the MOD service, Allied Vaughn in its newsletter stated, “Despite the operating climate, our internet, food & drug, and catalog based resellers report brisk sales throughout the past month. General merchandise retailers along with specialty outlets have definitely been impacted by stay-at-home orders. But, overall home video sales for AV Entertainment titles remain strong.”

Korean Animated Adventure ‘A Dog’s Courage’ Due on Digital April 14

The South Korean animated family film A Dog’s Courage will debut on digital  April 14 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

The film follows Jacob, a feisty and playful dog abandoned by his owners. He joins a pack of strays that embarks on a journey filled with adventures and life lessons in their pursuit to find a new and loving home, finding the perfect place of safety and peace, the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.

The film is available in both the original Korean and an all-new English dub.

Directed by Chun-Baek Lee and Oh Sung-Yoon (Leafie, a Hen Into the Wild), A Dog’s Courage was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the 2019 Asia Pacific Screen Awards. 

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Oscar-Lauded ‘Parasite’ Best-Selling Foreign Language Film of All Time on FandangoNow

Best Picture Oscar contender Parasite is making history as both the best-selling foreign-language film of all time on FandangoNow and as one of the streaming service’s top five preordered titles of all time, following three superhero movies, Avengers: Endgame, Joker and Venom.

FandangoNow is movie ticketing service Fandango’s transactional video-on-demand service.

The Korean film also earned Academy Award nominations for the Best International Feature Film (formerly Best Foreign-Language Film), Best Director for Bong Joon Ho, Original Screenplay, Film Editing and Production Design.

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Parasite is undeniably one of the year’s most talked-about films,” said Fandango managing editor Erik Davis in a statement. “Director Bong Joon Ho and the great ensemble cast create a perfect recipe for a suspenseful story with humor, heart, horror and more. The film’s six Oscar nominations has only increased fan anticipation to watch and re-watch the film as it finally arrives at home.”

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Parasite is available for purchase on FandangoNow here.

Korean War Film ‘Battle of Jangsari’ Due on Disc From Well Go Jan. 28

The Korean War film Battle of Jangsari will come out on DVD and Blu-ray combo pack Jan. 28 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

In the film, a small, inexperienced battalion of student soldiers are tasked with liberating the strategic locations of Incheon at a critical point in the Korean War in 1950. With little ammunition, low food supplies and second-hand weapons, the soldiers head for the frontlines of Jangsari beach. The film is based on the true story of a group of 772 student soldiers who staged a small diversionary operation at the beach to draw away North Korean attention from Incheon.

Co-directed by Kwak Kyung-taek (Friend) and Kim Tae-hun (Iris 2), the film’s cast includes Kim Myung-min (Detective K), Choi Min-ho of K-pop boy band SHINee and Megan Fox (Transformers).

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Netflix Extends Partnership With Korean Entertainment Company

Netflix has entered into a strategic partnership including a multiyear content production and distribution agreement with CJ ENM, a Korean media entertainment company, and its subsidiary production studio Studio Dragon.

As part of a three-year partnership beginning in 2020, Studio Dragon and its roster of creators will produce original series that will be available to Netflix members globally. Netflix will also receive distribution rights to other select Studio Dragon titles.

This arrangement extends and deepens the relationship between CJ ENM, Studio Dragon, and Netflix, which has already been streaming Studio Dragon titles such as “Stranger,” “Mr. Sunshine,” “Memories of Alhambra,” “Romance Is a Bonus Book” and “Arthdal Chronicles.”

“CJ ENM and Studio Dragon represent the gold standard in Korean entertainment and we are excited and honored to work with them,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer, in a statment. “This partnership with CJ ENM and Studio Dragon demonstrates our commitment to Korean entertainment and allows us to bring more top-tier Korean drama to Netflix members in Korea and all over the world.”

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“We’re thrilled to be partnering with both CJ ENM and Studio Dragon and look forward to a prosperous relationship for many years to come,” said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in a statement.

“CJ ENM is leading the market and expanding its huge achievement in Korea to overseas. As we have continuously focused on strengthening borderless content and expanding global distribution, the partnership with Netflix will introduce Korean content to global audiences, while providing new experiences and values,” said Minheoi Heo, CEO of CJ ENM, in a statement.

“Today’s announcement is a recognition that Korean storytelling and production capabilities are beloved by global audiences and reaffirms the content creation prowess of both CJ ENM and Studio Dragon,” said Jinnie Choi, CEO of Studio Dragon, in a statement. “Studio Dragon will try its best to leap forward as a global major studio.”

As part of the partnership, CJ ENM will have the right to sell up to 4.99% of Studio Dragon shares to Netflix.

Korean Action-Horror Film ‘The Divine Fury’ Due on Disc and Digital Nov. 19 From Well Go

The Korean action-horror film The Divine Fury will come out on Blu-ray plus DVD combo pack, DVD and digital from Well Go USA Entertainment Nov. 19.

After losing his father at a young age in a terrible accident, Yong-hu abandons his Christian faith and chooses to only believe in himself. Now as an adult, Yong-hu is a champion fighter and has everything he has ever wanted, that is until a mysterious wound appears in the palm of his hand. He solicits help from a local priest Father Ahn, hoping the priest can help relieve him of the painful markings only to find himself in the middle of a dangerous fight against otherworldly evil forces seeking to wreak havoc on the human world.

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Directed by Jason Kim (Midnight Runners), the film stars Park Seo-joon (The Chronicles of Evil), Ahn Sung-ki (Unbowed) and Woo Do-hwan (Master), with special appearances by Choi Woo-shik (Train to Busan) and Kim Si-eun (The Beauty Inside).

The film had a North American theatrical release Aug. 2.

Korean Crime Thriller ‘The Gangster, the Cop and the Devil’ Due on Blu-ray Oct. 1 From Well Go

The Korean action crime thriller The Gangster, the Cop and the Devil will come out on Blu-ray Disc Oct. 1 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

The film follows fierce gang boss Jang Dong-su (Don Lee) who is violently attacked after a fender bender on a rainy night. After fighting back, he barely escapes, however his reputation as a feared leader is damaged beyond repair. The only way to restore his image is to find his attacker and exact revenge. Jang teams up with Detective Jung Tae-seok (Kim Moo Yul) to find the assailant, but soon discovers the attacker is actually a serial killer. With no support from the police department, detective Jung is forced to use gang boss Jang’s resources in order to track down the killer. The two men must work together to find a man simply known as “K.”

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Sylvester Stallone’s Balboa Productions has confirmed plans for a remake of the film, according to Well Go.