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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Action > Thriller > Robots > Natural City (Tartan/DTS/Sci-Fi)

Natural City (2003/Science Fiction Thriller/Tartan/DTS)


Picture: C†††† Sound: B†††† Extras: C+†††† Film: B



The Science Fiction genre is in a state of disrepair.The genre is confused with the Fantasy genre all the time, it has become sadly infantilized by bad Action films dressed in Sci-Fi designs and the situation is just getting worse and worse.There is also the myth that you need huge budgets to do such a film, and though Byung-Cheon Minís Natural City (2003) does have some money in it, that money is on the screen.Fortunately, he also wrote a good script.


The story tales place in 2080 and involves cyborgs with advanced artificial intelligence.Some are military models with a multiple of the reflexes and skills of the best all-human soldiers, soldiers who are ordered to eliminate all of them before a rebellion can begin.The main soldier is R (Ji Rae Yoo) who has actually fallen in love with his non-military cyborg ďdollĒ Ria (Rin Seo) and is stealing any A.I. brain segments from fallen cyborgs to keep her alive.Without any such help, a silent cyborg who is the most skilled of the military models plots to kill every solider Rís people can send in.


Visionary is more than just some digital buildings, it is about showing and seeing a future for better and worse.This film, despite the obvious influence of the Alien films, Blade Runner, Terminator films and even The Six Million Dollar Man, becomes its own well-rounded film, as it knows what it is doing and what to do with the subject matter.The acting is better than usual for a film in this genre and the idea of having the leads killer cyborg having advanced martial arts skills like the troops is pulled off very well.This is a great moment for South Korean cinema, a cinema that just gets more and more interesting.


The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 x 1 image is color-drained to begin with, but not as bad as many films we have seen in the genre lately.However, this transfer has some detail troubles on top of that and slight digital hazing in the Video Black area, which is not what cinematographer Jun Kyu Lee intended.The sound is much better, with the DTS 5.1 mix outdoing the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix and delivering a mix with some character.Extras include the trailer for this and other Tartan titles, a story of featurette, cast interviews and deleted scenes that are interesting.I wonder if Hollywood will remake or rip-off this film, but they will not do as good a job, so catch Natural City for that reason as well as the others before someone ruins it.


Now if only Tartan could make this one of their early Blu-ray releases.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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