Well Go USA’s Blu-ray release of The Man From Nowhere (aka Ajeossi) stands out from my previous High-Def run-in from the same company. The 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC transfer here is a real beauty, imbibing a very dark overtone throughout (it’s a crime drama after all, kids) but with some rich colors nevertheless. Contrast and black levels rarely disappoint here, and the amount of detail this release has been given is commendable.
In terms of audio, The Man From Nowhere has several options going for it. There’s your choice between the much-superior, original Korean-language track (in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 or Dolby Digital 2.0) or the rather unimpressive and poorly-made English-dubbed audio (also available in either DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 or DD 2.0). While both 5.1 tracks deliver the goods for your stereo setup, the Korean emerges as the definitive mix, especially once you hear the twentysomething actress they brought in to dub the lines of the nine-year-old heroine (!). Optional English subtitles are included with the 25GB disc.
The biggest disappointment with Well Go USA’s release of The Man From Nowhere lies in the illustrious special features department. A Standard-Def seventeen-minute behind-the-scenes featurette is divided up into four chapters. A five-minute highlight reel gives us an eviscerated version of the film for people with extremely short attention spans, and proves to be one of the most pointless bonus features I’ve seen in a long time. Two trailers for the film — one a teaser, one a theatrical — are also included with the release, as are previews for other Well Go USA titles that are tacked onto the beginning of the disc.
In short, Lee Jeong-beom’s The Man From Nowhere is an enjoyable (if drawn-out) crime drama from South Korea. Worth a look.