The Restless (2006/Genius
B- Sound: B- Extras: B- Film: B-
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 2006’s 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.
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-ho’s 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.
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