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During the Goreyeo era, there were 3 swordsman named Pung-chun, Sul-rang, and Duk-gi who were known as the The Three Great Swords. They began a rebellion against the tyrant Governor Lee.  They wanted the people to be free and at the point of their victory, Duk-gi betrays them but its Sul-rang who kills Pung-chun.  She ends up scarring Pung-chun’s daughter, Hong-yi, but ends up raising her in her guilt.  Angry and confused, Hong-yi decides she wants to take revenge on the people responsible for her father’s death.

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This film is really good but it does take a little bit to get a handle on things.  The backstory is very busy with betrayal and not hammering the character name’s home.  Once you get a handle on things, then it’s a fun movie to enjoy.  The choreography is on point and, along with the quick cuts in editing, making the action scenes realistic.  The two-standout actors for me are Byung-hun Lee and Go-eun Kim.  Lee has been in a lot of mainstream films like GI JOE: RISE OF COBRA as Storm Shadow and TERMINATOR: GENISYS as the T-1000.  He has a history of sword play so it makes him perfect in the role as a sword master.  Like I said, the other standout is Go-eun Kim.  Her charismatic personality goes excellent with her fighting & swordplay.  She goes from being your average mischievous kid to being blinded with revenge when she finds out the truth about her past.  When all of these things come together, the movie is rather good.  Does it break new ground?  Not really but new doesn’t always mean better.

-Byung-hun Lee as Duk-gi
-Do-yeon Jeon as Sul-rang
-Go-eun Kim as Hong-yi
-Jun-Ho Lee as Yool
-Kyeong-yeong Lee as Teacher
-Tae-woo Kim as Jon-bok
-Soo-an Kim as Gu-seul
-Kim Young-min as Wang
-Sung Yoo-bin as Gam-cho
-Soo-bin Bae as Pung-chun

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The film is a 1080p AVC film and it has a really smooth transfer.  The film was shot digitally and this makes adding the post-production effects and maintaining the level of saturation a fairly simple task.  The coloring of both the costumes and outdoor scenes look amazing with the rich hues of greens especially.  The opening scene shows a wide variety of the color use with a simple shot of a girl in a sunflower field.  The details are crisp and the lines are sharp which lends to the spot on contrasting that the filmmaker was trying to achieve.  Overall, this really is a beautiful presentation.

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The only track on the release is the lossless Korean DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track.  The effects have been well reproduced but it is quieter as a whole.  When there is action on the screen, the score and effects move around the theater.  There is no shortage of ambient sound, especially in the earlier market shots.  As for the LFEs, they’re subtle but relevant when they need to be.

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The only bonus feature on the release is the theatrical trailer for the movie.

Bonus Features:

Disc Details
Single Blu-ray Disc

Running Time
121 mins

Edition Ratings
Not Rated

Region Coding
Region A

Video Resolution
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Audio Mixes
Korean DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Korean Dolby Digital 2.0


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Like most of the Asian fantasy film in recent years, MEMORIES OF THE SWORD uses pieces of history to ground their story with a side of folklore.  This movie employs a lot of wirework and strong martial arts choreography along with fantastic swordplay.  The Blu-ray itself has a strong video transfer and the audio does the job well.  If you are a fan of the genre, this is an easy pick up from Well GO USA.

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memories of the sword cover

About the author

MEDIA JOURNALIST | Michael is a fanatic about all both cinema old and new. He collects anything from 1:6 Scale, 1:12 Scale, and vinyl Collectibles plus Slipcovers and Steelbooks. He loves pop culture, writing, reviewing films & collectibles, and journalism. An avid Batman, The Joker and anything comics junkie, he will also chat it up about pretty much anything. Go ahead and ask...