Doomsday Book Blu-ray Review

From Korea (the dialogue is in Korean with English subtitles) comes a three part anthology called DOOMSDAY BOOK that attempts to look at our future, with results both humorous and horrifying.

Doomsday Book

Chapter One is entitled A BRAVE NEW WORLD  We meet a military scientist who, due to his military service, must stay home while his family packs for a vacation.  His mother gives him a list of chores to do but he forgets to do one:  empty a flowerpot full of the nasty remnants of decomposing food.  When he does throw it away some of the waste  accidentally comes into contact with a restaurant worker on his way to work.  Soon the city is full of diners slowly becoming zombies.  The premise is fun but the poor quality of acting makes the film seem sophomoric.  Young lovers are attacked by hoodlums who are quickly dispatched, then return as zombies, even though they haven’t been eaten the contaminated food.  I’m sure it read better as a script treatment but whatever was on the page doesn’t translate well to the screen.

Doomsday Book

Chapter Two is called THE HEAVENLY CREATURE.  In the near future there are robots that do pretty much everything for man.  Assigned to a temple, a robot amazes everyone when it appears it has reached religious enlightenment.  Needless to say this is cause for alarm for the owner of the corporation that created it.  This is the best segment of the trilogy.  The dialogue is sharp and precise…whether it is right to allow a machine that man has built to now claim to be more spiritual than man is a question that, with the advances being made daily technologically, the world may one day have to answer.

Doomsday Book

Finally, there is Chapter Three – HAPPY BIRTHDAY.  A young girl damages the 8-ball from her father’s billiard table and orders a new one from an unusual web site.  Soon the planet finds itself in the path of a large object with a collision eminent.  This is the funniest segment of the trilogy.  Here the cast are allowed to loosen up some and the humor on screen is somehow appropriate in spite of the soon to be catastrophe.

Doomsday Book

Writer/directors Yim (Chapters One and Three) and Kim (Chapter Two) have created an anthology that is both creative and, more importantly, thought provoking.  They have imagined various futures that at first seem appealing but are then undone by the unforeseen.  Their scripts are solid, though some jokes do lose their humor in translation.  Chapter Two, especially, is beautifully scripted.  No matter what language the messages being delivered come through.  Chapter Three has the best sense of humor.  As the clock on the fate of the earth shows less than 20 minutes left the male broadcaster vows to keep a still lip and deliver the news, much to the chagrin of two female colleagues who continually fight over him while on the air.  The production values and visual effects are top of the line, with the robot from Chapter Two looking like the offspring of the title character of I, ROBOT and STAR WARS Battle Droids.


Video:  DOOMSDAY BOOK Presented in a 2.34:1 aspect ratio, the 1080p picture transfer is very bright, making the various images of the future stand out.

Audio:  The audio for DOOMSDAY BOOK is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and is very sharp.  Though I don’t understand Korean the language was very clear to hear.

The only thing included is the theatrical trailer.


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