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Natural City
Natural City
List Price: $22.95
Buy New: $16.30
You Save: $6.65 (29%)
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Avg. Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars(based on 4 reviews)
Sales Rank: 4295
Category: DVD

Director: Byung-chun Min
Publisher: Tartan Video
Studio: Tartan Video
Manufacturer: Tartan Video
Label: Tartan Video
Format: Ac-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, Ntsc
Languages: Korean (Original Language), English (Subtitled), Spanish (Subtitled)
Rating: R (Restricted)
Media: DVD
Running Time: 113 minutes
Number Of Items: 1
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Shipping Weight (lbs): 0.2
Dimensions (in): 7.1 x 5.4 x 0.6

UPC: 842498030349
EAN: 0842498030349

Release Date: April 18, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: November 30, 2002
Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days

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Editorial Reviews:

Rebuilt after a devastating war, the world of 2080 has given rise to advanced technologies including the creation of cyborgs. Created with artificial intelligence (AI), human-like emotions and great strength, they serve one master for their entire lifespan. When the cyborgs revolt, R (Yoo Ji-tae)and Noma (Yoon Chan), Rs best friend and commander, lead an elite military squad ordered to eliminate the rebellion. Unbeknownst to anyone, R has fallen in love with Ria (Seo Rin), his cyborg, and is illegally harvesting AI chips from dead cyborgs in order to save her life. Torn between his love for Ria and the battle to save mankind, humanitys fate hangs in the balance.

Customer Reviews:

5 out of 5 stars No English audio/subtitles on extra disk?   June 19, 2006
I LOVED this movie! However, my Extras disk has neither English audio nor English subtitles. Does a version of the Extras disk exist for people who speak English?

5 out of 5 stars No, it is not just a "Korean Bladerunner"   April 15, 2006
  16 out of 16 found this review helpful

I have to admit something... I really liked it. It gave that soft sense that Logan's Run did when I first caught it on the big screen. OK, I should be getting a more Casshern, Bladerunner, sort of feeling - there is that too. Research tells me that Natural City was a a box-office sensation - but only in Korea. Not sure why... neither did Casshern - but that is more a reflection of us in the US than the filmmaking in Japan and in Korea. The movie plays at or around AD 2080 where genetic and mechanical engineering has reached an apex - man is playing god in a very systematic way. In this space and time it is simple to alter human DNA, manufacture clones and fuse humans with "neuro-chips." An explanation is in order...a neuro-chipped human clone known as a `Combiner' has become basic part of everyday life. There are effectively two stories: a romance and one more akin to the Matrix and all its epistemological musings - yes, it is actually deep. Nonetheless, it does tend to fall into the tried and tested Tae Guk Gi drawn out battle scenes and the usual Korean flair for the over dramatic. Byung-chun Min he does a pretty good job - not up to Oldboy but it is good fun. Natural City comes at the whole mecha combined with human phenom from a different angle. Natural City Science gives personalities and a soul to machines. Moreover, it turns the table on conventionality - the story behind Natural City is more weighty a prophecy - as soon as humans opt to become more like equipment and even choose to "love" machines it can become somewhat disconcerting. It is no Matrix but it is 2 hours well spent.

Miguel Llora

4 out of 5 stars A great film with stunning impressive visuals   April 12, 2006
  2 out of 2 found this review helpful

When you pick up a Tartan DVD release you know that you're getting your moneys worth. I've seen so many great movie releases from Tartan Video that I just can't begin express how much I appreciate being able to watch their latest stuff. Just recently I got to check out a film called Natural City. A Korean science fiction picture filled with great action, drama, visuals and a damn good story that goes with it. Natural City takes place in the year 2080 after a deadly war. Advanced in technology the streets are filled with cyborgs, flying cars, and well you get the picture. We fallow a man by the name of R, who is a fellow police official. R is in love with his cyborg companion Ria. To keep Ria alive R illegally takes AI chips from other dead cyborgs. Little does R know he is about to face his biggest challenge. To fight a group of rebellious cyborgs who are hell bent on taking down the entire police force.

The first thing that came in mind when I read the actual plot was the movie Blade Runner. For the simple fact that the stories are pretty similar. You can argue that perhaps director Byung-chun Min may had some inspirations prior to writing this film. Luckily in the special features of the DVD you get to hear from the director himself as to what really inspired him and what lead him to make the movie. Hearing about the real inspiration for Natural City makes total sense when you actually finish watching it. Natural City is a beautiful film which features some of the best looking visual effects I've ever seen. Watching some of the scenes were like watching cut scenes from a next generation video game. The movie blends in a nice mixture of computer and miniature visual effects. It helps give the movie a more realistic look behind all the CGI aspects of it. It's always best to combine CGI with the real thing or even just a hand built model. The presentation is just wonderful and it's much more than just eye candy. The film also has a great yet familiar plot which plays out mostly like a well made science fiction drama.

The story doesn't go too much into the past. In the beginning there is talk about the deadly war in the dialog but not much is really explained. Instead you just stay in present time and you fallow these characters in the year 2080. The lower class live in the ruined water filled parts of the city while the middle class and above are across the bay. What the film also includes are some brief and very entertaining action sequences. Although there are only a few real big action scenes they were all fun to watch. Not only were the action scenes well shot but they were just really entertaining and fun to watch. There's even some blood and gore thrown into the mix which had my head spinning from excitement. If you're into Sci-fi films then Natural City is just the movie for you. The only real downside about it is that it's nothing new. But that alone didn't keep me from enjoying it all the way through.

To understand the logic and meaning of everything you have to go through the bonus features, which by the way are also really good. There is a featurette called 'The Story of Natural City'. You get to hear from the cast and crew about the making of the project and as I mentioned before you also get to hear from the director and his inspirations for making the film. You get a good look behind the scenes on some of the visual effects and even some of the planned out action sequences. Features also included are deleted scenes, cast interviews and trailers. If you're into science fiction dramas then I highly recommend Natural City. It's a great film with stunning impressive visuals and very entertaining action. Sure it's nothing new but if you watch it all the way through it shouldn't disappoint. Natural City is a science fiction film I definitely recommend owning.

3 out of 5 stars To date, this is probably the most beautiful looking AND most vapid Korean science fiction film to date   February 20, 2006
  9 out of 9 found this review helpful

NATURAL CITY (2003) Directed by Min Byong-chan. Arresting production design and state-of-the-art visual effects can't disguise a dull plot that borrows so liberally from BLADE RUNNER and GHOST IN THE SHELL that the word 'tribute' could warrant legal action. To date, this is probably the most beautiful looking AND most vapid Korean science fiction film to come down the pipeline, and one feels almost guilty in knocking it in the face of the undeniable amount of craftsmanship that went into it.

Set in a futuristic megacity in the year 2080, it's about a sullen policeman (Yu Ji-tae) who wants to extend the life of his beautiful android dancer Ria (Seo Rin) by finding a new host for her brain-chip. As she's nearing her sell-by date, which requires her complete destruction, this puts him at odds with fellow cop Noma (Yun Chan) and evil android Roy Batty...err...evil uber-android Jeon Doo-hong, who has plans on accessing android headquarters and programming a massive robot uprising. Flying police cars, slow-floating dirigibles with gigantic projection screens, endlessly vertical skyscrapers forming a mountain of technology in a post-war wasteland.

We've seen all this before. And indeed, it all looks amazing here. But what's missing is any depth of character to make the story more convincing. The leading man is a complete cipher whose motivations for prolonging the life of his robot are never explained or explored, and while his robot clearly has functional difficulties with her impending doom, Seo underplays these scenes to a fault, generating neither tension nor sympathy, only indifference about her fate. To give credit where it's due, Korean is one of the few Asian countries - and one of the few countries outside of America and Japan - even attempting high-minded science-fiction films such as this, WONDERFUL DAYS, 2009 LOST MEMORIES, and YESTERDAY. One hopes that one day, the quality of screen writing will improve to meet the superb level of technical artistry already apparent on screen.

The Korean 2-disc special edition had a remarkable array of extras that may not all be included on the U.S. edition, but hopefully they'll at least include the cool easter egg that could be found on disc 2 by arrowing up on the main menu to highlight '*REC'. This gave you access to what appeared to be a 7-minute, effects laden music video about the plight of a country devastated by a nuclear attack, which almost feels like the backstory to the main feature.

Copyright 2006