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Category:    Home > Reviews > Martial Arts Cycle > The Restless (2006/Genius Entertainment)

The Restless (2006/Genius Entertainment)

 

Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: B- Film: B-

 

 

For many Americans the Martial Arts genre is as foreign as the places they are made. With a few exceptions like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, very few do well in America. Others might slip through the crack as well, they usually star Jet Li or are directed by John Woo, but aside from those, they are just not popular. Another lost art is the Fantasy Genre, which had a small resurgence with the Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter series, but overall is a dying genre in film. For 2006s The Restless it already has these two strikes against it as it takes place in a fictional ancient Korea involving demon hunters and at the center of that is a love story. The love story though is set to a backdrop of an evil spirit who wishes to unleash demons upon the living world and a battle wages between good and evil.

 

The Restless has all the ingredients for disaster in many respects, but is executed better than expected by Jo Dong-oh and the visual eye candy by cinematographer Kim Young-ho never fails. The story remains interested for about 2/3 of the film, but falls short of being a solid film the last half hour or so. The film should find a nice following though of both fans of fantasy as well as sword play and martial arts.

 

The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 scope frame looks good considering the limitations that DVD has to offer being a standard definition format, but Young-hos camerawork still shines through, despite some poor digital effects at times. There is some softness with the image, but nothing overly distracting. The Korean 5.1 Dolby Digital mix is also fair and offers some decent surround activity that would have been really great in DTS, but maybe a future Blu-ray release will offer uncompressed sound, hopefully DTS-HD.

 

The extras include a making-of section, a featurette, and a design featurette that is the best of the three. Overall a nice little package for a film that most have not heard much about.

 

 

- Nate Goss


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