Welcome to 2021! It’s double good to be stuck on the sofa between the cold outside and the pandemic so it’s a fine time to watch Blu-rays. While Arrow Video only has two Blu-rays for the month both are eagerly anticipated by cinephiles. First up is JSA: Joint Security Area about what happens when things go bed on the DMZ between North and South Korea. Director Park Chan-wook (Oldboy) caused a sensation when the film came out back in 2000. The tense investigative film was a box office smash in South Korea. While Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales had been previously released, the original 160 minutes cut that ran at Cannes is finally getting shown as part of this Blu-ray. The film was Kelly’s follow up to Donnie Darko with a look at a near future Southern California. The star studded production features a young Rock (Dwayne Johnson), a scared up Justine Timberlake, Curtis Armstrong, Janeane Garofalo and Miranda Richardson. Wallace Shawn is inconceivable as Baron von Westphalen. The bonus features might explain a few things that confused audiences back in 2007. Here’s the press release from Arrow Video:
New from Arrow Video US JSA: JOINT SECURITY AREA[Blu-ray] (1/19) SOUTHLAND TALES[Blu-ray] (1/26) via MVD Entertainment Group
Start 2021 with Exciting New Releases from Arrow Video!
Arrow kicks off the New Year by helping ease film lovers into things with just two new releases for the first month of 2021. A lack of quantity, however, does not mean a lack of quality. These January releases are sure to check off your New Year’s resolution to watch more great cinema.
The New Year’s party begins on January 19 with the release of JSA: Joint Security Area. This thriller from Park Chan-wook follows a Swiss-Korean Major as she leads an investigation in to a shooting incident at the North/South Korean border that results in two Korean soldiers’ death. The film was a smash hit, becoming the highest-grossing Korean film at the time and winning multiple awards for best film. In 2009, director Quentin Tarantino placed JSA amongst his top twenty films since 1992. This release from Arrow presents the film in high-definition and comes loaded with new and archival bonus features.
On January 26, Arrow is proud to release Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales. This ambitious story about a conspiracy involving an action film star stricken with amnesia, a porn star with reality TV dreams, and a police officer was panned during its 2006 release. Critics, and some of those involved in the film, weren’t entirely sure what to make of its long, sprawling nature. Yet, over the years, the film has maintained a strong, loyal fanbase that continues to grow, with many admiring the film’s attempt at doing something grand. To this day, Kelly insists it’s the work he’s most proud of, comparing it to “the misunderstood child.” Arrow gives this child a new lease on life with new 2K presentations of the film, approved by Kelly, in both the 145-minute theatrical cut and the 160-minute “Cannes cut.” The release also comes with a wide range of special features, including a brand-new documentary on the film’s making.
Before Oldboy, before The Handmaiden, visionary filmmaker Park Chan-wook helmed this gripping tale of deceit, misunderstanding and the senselessness of war. Gunfire breaks out in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, leaving two North Korean soldiers dead while a wounded South Korean soldier (Lee Byung-hun, The Good, the Bad, the Weird) flees to safety. With the tenuous peace between the two warring nations on a knife-edge, a neutral team of investigators, headed by Swiss Army Major Sophie Jean (Lee Young-ae, Lady Vengeance), is dispatched to question both sides to determine what really happened under cover of darkness out in no-man’s land. The recipient of multiple accolades, including Best Film at South Korea’s 2001 Grand Bell Awards, JSA – Joint Security Area showcases Park’s iconic style in an embryonic form, and demonstrates that humanity and common purpose can be found in the most unlikely places.
Bonus Materials High Definition Blu-ray™ (1080p) presentation Original lossless Korean DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and PCM 2.0 stereo soundtracks Optional English subtitles New audio commentary by writer and critic Simon Ward Isolated music and effects track Newly recorded video interview with Asian cinema expert Jasper Sharp The JSA Story and Making the Film, two archival featurettes on the film’s production About JSA, a series of archival introductions to the film by members of the cast Behind the scenes montage Opening ceremony footage Two music videos: Letter from a Private and Take the Power Back Theatrical trailer TV spot Image gallery Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Colin Murdoch FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Kieran Fisher
In 2001, writer/director Richard Kelly achieved cult status with Donnie Darko, an assured debut feature exploring deep existential questions through the lens of 80s nostalgia. Five years later, he followed up with a more ambitious and even more beguiling sophomore effort, in which forces of totalitarianism and anarchism collide against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic, near-future world – the beguiling and baffling Southland Tales. Los Angeles, 2008. As the city stands on the brink of social, economic and environmental chaos, the fates of an eclectic set of characters – including an amnesia-stricken action star (Dwayne Johnson, the Fast & Furious series), an adult film star developing her own reality TV project (Sarah Michelle Gellar, Cruel Intentions) and a police officer whose identity has split in two (Seann William Scott, TV’s Lethal Weapon) – intertwine with each other and with the whole of humanity. A darkly comic futuristic epic that speaks as presciently to our turbulent times as it did to the American socio-political climate in 2006, Southland Tales receives a fresh – and timely – lease of life with this new, director-approved restoration.
New 2K restoration by Arrow Films, approved by director Richard Kelly and director of photography Steven Poster
High Definition Blu-ray™ (1080p) presentations of both versions of the film: the 145-minute theatrical cut and the 160-minute “Cannes cut”, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006
Original lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and PCM 2.0 stereo soundtracks
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Audio commentary on the theatrical cut by Richard Kelly
It’s a Madcap World: The Making of an Unfinished Film, a new in-depth retrospective documentary on the film, featuring contributions by Richard Kelly and members of the original crew
USIDent TV: Surveilling the Southland, an archival featurette on the making of the film, featuring interviews with the cast and crew
This is the Way the World Ends, an archival animated short set in the Southland Tales universe
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jacey
Limited edition collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Peter Tonguette and Simon Ward
Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.