Gifted Blu Ray Review (88 Films)
Gifted (aKa Gipeuteodeu) is a 2014 suspense thriller film directed by Jai-hong Juhn (Beautiful, Poongsan, & One Step). Kim Min-soo (Kim Bum-Joon from Beautiful, 71: Into the Fire, Home Sweet Home, & Pieta) is down on his luck. Nothing is going right for him in his life. He recently lost his job of 8 years. He looks everywhere for new employment but he can’t find anything. During job interviews he tells them he voluntarily resigned but no one buys it. His fiancé Jeong Sujin (Junghwa Bae from El Condor Pasa, The Wanderers: The Quest of The Demon Hunter, & The Secret of My Love) has big plans to start her own business. He lies to her about still working & she asked for a loan to buy the shop to get everything ready. He turns her down because he has no money but she doesn’t know that. He just comes off cold & like he doesn’t care about her dreams. He’s beyond stressed & can’t sleep at night. He’s so desperate that he bribes his friend about getting a possible job. Sujin decides to buy the cafe without asking Min-soo. She needs a $300,000 loan from him so finalize everything. He is forced to confess that he lost his jobs months ago & that he can’t afford to help with her business. She feels betrayed & gets into a fight with him. The love of his life leaves him at his most vulnerable state of mind.
After struggling to deal with his recent situation, he gets help from ex fiance’s brother Jung Yeon-Woo (Beom-soo Jeon from Blood, Hwarang, & A New Leaf). He must leave his morals behind to start this new journey with this shady organization. There is no turning back once this is started. Desperate for money, Min-soo enters a world of crime where he has the task of stealing cars for his new crew. On one night that will change everything in his entire life, he runs into his ex boss & ends up being insulted by his former employer to the point where he can’t take it anymore! All of his current problems lead to him finally snapping & killing his boss in a moment of rage. Most people would freak out about something like this but Min-soo is surprised to find out that he enjoyed what just happened plus he’s really good at it! This sets off the new murder crazed killer to slip away further from his reality. He keeps testing his new found talent & it starts to take over his life. He is no longer struggling to make money & ends up winning back Sujin. She notices he is different from before & she doesn’t like this new version of him. Yeon-Woo finds out his dangerous secret & it causes problems with his family. He finally has the life he always wanted but one mistake can change it all. He wants to keep everything together but he can’t stop his violent urges. His gift is becoming a curse to the people around him. His dark side is completely exposed & he can’t control himself anymore!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation. This 1080p (1.85:1) transfer looks fantastic & the cinematography elevated this feature with it’s various locations. It was shot by the actual director which is a rarity today in cinema so I was very impressed by that. Jai-hong Juhn really put everything into Gifted & it really shows on the screen. 88 Films provides two different audio options for the film which include the DTS-HD Master Audio Korean 5.1 & the 2.0 Stereo track. Both have their strong points, it really depends on the viewer. English subtitles are obviously included. Both picture & sound are in top form for this blu ray.
It kinda had a Falling Down vibe to it at first. A normal man is trying to deal with his bad luck. He does everything to get his life back to normal but fails at every attempt. All the stress & pressure keep building up to the point where he’s pushed over the edge. He finally snaps because nothing he does is good enough for the people around him. He feels like a joke to them. This makes him do things that he would normally never even consider but he really doesn’t have a choice after struggling to keep a balance in his life. His past haunts him when he’s almost gets there managing two normal jobs just to get back on his feet but it takes a dark turn. He discovers something inside himself that he never knew existed. He learns that he has a dangerous gift that makes him feel better after what he’s been through. Once it’s turned on he can’t do anything to stop it. Gifted was a nice little psychological slow burn gem. It took you through the changes & elevation of a desperate man who discovers his true purpose on this earth. No one around him understands it but this is the most fun & excitement he’s ever had doing anything in his whole existence. Gifted is a great character study on how society & starting over can really break a person down. A monster could be inside anyone, it just hasn’t been motivated yet. I enjoyed how it had a small cast so you could really get to know the few people featured in this. The only thing I didn’t like was the ending. I thought it had more potential than that & it was going at a crazy direction before which was very entertaining. It kept you on your toes & your eyes focused. RECOMMENDED!!!!
Gifted is apart of the 88 Asia Collection from 88 Films. This blu ray is Region B. The extras include a Trailer for the feature & a reversible sleeve with alternate poster artwork. I am a big fan of Asian cinema & if it wasn’t for 88 I would have never heard of this little known gem. If you are into serial killer or psychological slow burn productions then I highly recommend that you check out Gifted from 88 Films ASAP! As far as I know, this is the only high definition release for Gifted in the entire world right now. It’s definitely the first English friendly version available. I am looking forward to other releases like this in the future from them. It’s available at various spots overseas, CHECK IT OUT!!!!