DVD Review: 'The Yellow Sea,' 'The Hidden Face,' 'Miss Bala'

4/18/2012 8:12pm EDT | Jason Coleman By: Jason Coleman

The Yellow Sea photo

Ready to check out some flicks outside both the comfort zone and the U.S. – welcome to the Fox World Cinema Brand!  In an attempt to provide a little culture to the movie masses, the film friendly folks over at Fox have released some titles under a new international logo and we’re gonna check three of them out here!  So for reviews of the Korean import "The Yellow Sea," "The Hidden Face" from Spain and the Mexican offering "Miss Bala" all available now on DVD keep reading!


The Yellow Sea DVD




   Title: "The Yellow Sea"

   Grade: 4

   Cast: Ha Jung-woo, Kim Yun-seok, Cho Seong

   Director: Na Hong-jin

   Rating: R

   Runtime: 137 minutes

   Release Company: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment




The Flick: "The Yellow Sea" is a well-crafted thriller and even seamlessly jumps genres half way through by going from a suspense flick to an action vehicle – think the cunning of De Palma mixed with the action of "The Bourne Ultimatum."  Ha Jung-woo plays a tormented husband and ailing father with a gambling problem who gets a final reprieve from a powerful mobster – make one kill and the debt will be erased.  Problem is nothing is as simple as it seems and things don’t go exactly as planned.  Full of double-crosses, decadent drama and kick ass action, "The Yellow Sea" is the kind of cool and layered work all films should strive to be – Hollywood take notes.  

Worth the Moola: Think early John Woo with a little Hitchcock thrown in for good measure – well worth checking out.


The Hidden Face DVD



   Title: "The Hidden Face"

   Grade: 4

   Cast: Quim Gutierrez, Martina Garcia, Clara Lago

   Director: Andi Baiz

   Rating: R

   Runtime: 96 minutes

   Release Company: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment





The Flick: What I loved about "The Hidden Face" (aka "La cara oculta") is how strange and hard to pinpoint the first half of the film was – which is then explained and made even more chilling in the second.  Told with a careful craftsmanship, Director Andi Baiz takes a simple premise of testing a lover for adultery to some pretty harrowing and disturbing lengths.  If you don’t know the premise and have not seen any trailers and what not then a word to the wise – don’t.  Going into this dark rollercoaster cold is the only way to ride.

Worth the Moola: Like your thriller with both a cunning and clever story?  Then forget hiding – face this one head on.


Miss Bala DVD



   Title: "Miss Bala"

   Grade: 0

   Cast: Stephanie Sigman, Noe Hernandez, James Russo

   Director: Gerardo Naranjo

   Rating: R

   Runtime: 113 minutes

   Release Company: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment





The Flick: The only bad egg of the bunch is "Miss Bala," a painful and arduous ride through dark territory that’s void of entertainment.  (And what the hell is James Russo doing in this thing?!)  I already took this one on theatrically (check out my very candid review HERE!), but needless to say this one should be crowned Miss-guided 2012.

Worth the Moola: Not unless you’re in the market for a new torture device.

Photo Credits: Photos Courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

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