- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4 (2D), MVC (3D)
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: Korean DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit),Dolby Digital 5.1 & 2.0; English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
- Subtitles: English
- Subtitles Color: White
- Region: A (Region-Locked)
- Rating: NR
- Run Time: 112 Mins.
- Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray 3D & Blu-ray)
- Studio: Shout! Factory
- Blu-ray Release Date: June 26, 2012
- List Price: $29.97
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The Korean film market is just getting the 3D bug and Sector 7 (7광구, 7-gwang-goo) joins what is the first Korean blockbuster filmed in 3D, Shock Labyrinth, as one of the few but growing 3D films heating up the nation’s theatres. Unlike the former film, however, Sector 7 is not a native 3D production, but, rather, like many a film purported to be 3D in this country, no more than a 2D-to-3D conversion. This can have varying results, some worse than others. In the case of Sector 7, the 3D conversion is not the worse that I’ve seen (that honor still goes to Clash of the Titans), but it can’t hold its own against the really strong native 3D productions like the paragon of modern 3D, Avatar, or the recent Underworld: Awakening.
As a film, however, Sector 7 has a lot going for it. It breaks new ground in its native land becoming the first action film to feature a female lead in the well cast Ha Ji-won, who is not only beautiful, but more than believable in the role as Hae-jun, a gung-ho oil rig worker who can stand toe-to-toe with her male counterparts.
The film is a sci-fi action thriller that is part Alien, part The Host (Gwoemul), set on a large deep sea oil platform. As the crew drill in hopes for discovering oil, they also discover tiny incandescent creatures no one has ever seen before. The odd creatures, however, just may hold a connection to one crew member’s past. Hae-jun, the only female member of the oil drilling crew, lost her father as child and now her Uncle, the ship’s Captain Jeong-man (Sung-kee Ahn) is on board and things have started going badly. The crew is being attacked by a giant sea monster and Jeong-man knows more than he is letting on. They are all in a fight for their lives, with no one around to help and a relentless creature that seems unstoppable.
Sector 7 seems slow to get going, but when it does, it is good. There’s great tension that builds to an inevitable conclusion with Ji-won Ha (who reportedly did most of her own stunts) suitably in the Ripley-esque role as the heroine standing strong against the “alien.” Dark corridors, flickering lights, warning sirens – it is sci-fi heaven. The thing that hinders the film the most is that, despite a five-year production time, some of the CG effects look a little cheap and take you out of the illusion.
The 2D AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 transfer is strong with a thin layer of grain, good blacks and no evidence of compression artifacts. Contrast is rather wide and shadow details are nuanced. Some spots look just a little soft, perhaps due to a combination of factors that include the lenses, film stock and visual effects. Otherwise, its a good looking film.
The 3D effects is something else entirely. While it is one of the cleanest 3D images I have seen recently, not losing too much detail or contrast going from 2D to 3D, the conversion (the film was done on a combination of Super 35mm and Phantom HD cameras) doesn’t exactly yield the best 3D effects. While the opening underwater scene has some promise, it never achieves the level of pop-out that a true 3D production would have. The 3D breaks down even further in the darker scenes that dominate the majority of the second half of the film. On the positive side, much of the brighter, daylight scenes impart the most natural dimensionality, especially the aerial views of the drilling platform.
Sector 7 gets an excellent Korean DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack that has pretty active surround channels from the opening moments. Balance between front and rear channels is handled well while dynamic range is rather wide. Bass is big without being unwieldy and high frequencies are airy and natural. Dialogue is clean without clipping. There are also Korean Dolby Digital 5.1 & 2.0 options available as well as an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) dub.
The behind the scenes featurettes offer the most information here, but don’t expect a lot of detail, they are mainly fluff, even though they do offer lots of on set footage and interview segments with the cast and crew.
- Trailer (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 3D)
- Making Of (1.33:1; up-scaled HD; 00:05:26)
- Teamwork (1.33:1; up-scaled HD; 00:02:00)
- Workers (1.33:1; up-scaled HD; 00:03:09)
- Actress (1.33:1; up-scaled HD; 00:02:03)
The Definitive Word
A generally effective sci-fi thriller that evokes the Alien films with a mixture of The Host, Sector 7 joins the growing list of Korean 3D action films hitting that nation’s theatres. The casting here is strong helping to overcomes some weaknesses in visual effects and a middling 3D conversion for satisfying experience.
Additional Screen Captures
Additional Screen Captures