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The skinny on official, English-subbed Asian Films & TV
Welcome to AsianPopShock
Getting your Asian pop-culture fix can be pricey unless you know where to look, and even then, bargain shopping can be hit-or-miss when you're worrying about whether or not an item might be a bootleg rather than a legal, licensed product. AsianPopShock is designed to be a resource for when you're looking for the latest (often unadvertised) deals on licensed, English subtitled DVDs and Blu-rays for your favorite Asian media - like a perpetually updated, universal sale flyer.

It's also set up to let you know exactly what's available with news and features covering packaging, performers and more.

Have a tip about a film or drama solicitation or cool Asian media deal out there? Let me know via email or twitter, and I'll post about it ASAP.

Where to start in this community?
Upcoming North American Blu-ray & DVD Releases: A quick rundown of some of the major (and not so major) upcoming Asian film and drama Blu-ray and DVD releases.
Online Retailers: Reputable stores (both online and brick & mortar) that offer good deals and reliable customer service.
North American Asian Media Distributors: Companies that license Japanese and Korean titles from their home countries and release them with English subs in Region 1.
Actor and Actress Pages: Growing lists of Asian actors/actresses featuring their movies and dramas with official, English subtitled editions available. For details, see “Resources” in the sidebar.
The JE Connection: Specifically for fans of JE members. These are all the movies and dramas I know of with official, English-subbed editions. Most are Region 1 films, but a few (as indicated) are Region 2.
Packaging Spotlight Gallery: Index of all AsianPopShock's packaging spotlights.

DBSK - Changmin - Small Flail
By now, most of you know how much I love Gong Yoo, so it should be no surprise that my Pick of the Week goes to Finding Mr. Destiny. Besides the Gong Yoo factor, though, 5 Points Pictures does a great job on its debut home video release.

This DVD edition features extensive behind the scenes features and the option of either white or yellow subtitles - a bonus I wish more distributors would offer to fans. And, of course, there's the fact that the movie itself is a truly entertaining romantic comedy. It stars the "chemy king" after all!

For more on Finding Mr. Destiny, check out the Packaging Spotlight!


Other releases for the week of July 17:
Protect the Boss - K-drama - July 17 - DVD [U.S. Site]

See even more upcoming North American Blu-ray and DVD releases!

Not sure where to shop? Trying to avoid bootlegs? Check out my retailers page to get the skinny on reliable online stores out there!

July, 18th 2012, 08:36 am Trailer Tuesday: Deranged
KK Tsuyoshi Glasses
It was recently announced that K-movie Deranged (Kim Myung Min, Moon Jung Hee, Shinhwa's Kim Dong-wan, Honey Lee) will receive a limited theatrical release in selected North American cities, so I thought what better film to feature in this week's (albeit late) Trailer Tuesday.

Plot summary from AsianMediaWiki:
An epidemic of drownings, with victims jumping into the river causes panic around the country. The government declares a state of emergency. Medical supplies salesman Jae-Hyuk (Kim Myung-min) suspects his family is showing symptoms of the drowning victims. Through his brother, Detective Jae-Pil (Kim Dong-wan), Jae-Hyuk learns an antidote may be stored by at a warehouse.

I'm not always into films that look like they might give me heart failure, but this one looks pretty fabulously suspensful (rather than scary). Plus, there's Dong-wan. Here's hoping it makes it to U.S. home video release, too!

Not sure where to shop? Trying to avoid bootlegs? Check out my retailers page to get the skinny on reliable online stores out there!

Personal Taste - Snapshots
Hi, everyone! I'm finally back from my unexpected hiatus. Hopefully, today's post marks my return to AsianPopShock's regular schedule.

In any case, I'm hella psyched for today's packaging spotlight for the U.S. DVD release of Korean romantic comedy, Finding Mr. Destiny, which stars Gong Yoo ♥ and Lim Soo-jung.

I've been incredibly psyched about recently launched U.S. live-action distributor 5 Points Pictures and the films the company's been licensing. The movies are all over the place as far as genre goes - from caper films (Tazza: The High Rollers ♥) and romantic comedies (Penny Pinchers) to dramas (Bleak Night) and more (Punch ♥, The Suicide Forecast, The Happy Life). Finding Mr. Destiny is the first of its titles to receive a DVD release, and if it's any indication of things to come, we all have a lot of good things to look forward to.

As far as physical packaging goes, 5 Points' Finding Mr. Destiny is pretty simple, but what art is used, is excellent. I love the cover shot featuring Gong Yoo in all his ridiculously silly (and ludicrously charming) glory.

Where the release shines is its on-disc extras. We're given 30 minutes of special features, including a "Making Of," production shoot, poster shoot, Gong Yoo's "A Second First Love" music video, TV commercial, and original Korean trailers. It also offers fans the option to choose either white or yellow subtitles during the film. I absolutely hate yellow subs, but I know there are some fans out there who love them. The fact that 5 Points thought about this when almost no other company does, indicates (to me anyway) that the people behind the scenes over there actually know the Asian film audience.

Finding Mr. Destiny
More photos ahead...

Hit the jump for more pics...Collapse )

If you're a fan of Gong Yoo from Coffee Prince or the currently airing Big or you simply want to enjoy a romantic comedy that's genuinely romantic and funny, I definitely recommend picking this one up. The English-subbed Korean release is long out of print, and no other English-subtitled DVD/BD is currently available, so it's lovely to finally have another chance to own Finding Mr. Destiny.

From the back of the box:
Looking for your long-lost first love? Call the First Love Agency!

He's fussy, organized, and honest to a fault. When Gi-joon (GONG Yoo, Coffee Prince) is fired from his job, he opens the First Love Agency, a one-man organization dedicated to helping others find their long-lost first loves.

She's independent and feisty. Stage director Ji-woo (LIM Soo-jung, I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK) is dragged to the First Love Agency by her father, who is convinced she won't get married because she isn't over the handsome stranger she met during a long-ago vacation in India.

With a name and the dates of her trip as their only clues, can Gi-joon and Ji-woo work together to find her first love? Or will they discover that destiny has some surprises in store for them?

Special Features:
"Making Of" featurette
Production video
Poster shoot video
"A Second First Love" music video
TV commerical
Original Korean trailers

U.S. Region 1, NTSC
5 Points Pictures
$24.99 SRP
112 minutes, plus 30 minutes for special features
16:9, anamorphic widescreen
Korean audio
English subtitles (option of white or yellow)


Not sure where to shop? Trying to avoid bootlegs? Check out my retailers page to get the skinny on reliable online stores out there!

2PM Junho Smile
Continuing to pick up interesting and unusual (at least from a licensing standpoint) films for U.S. DVD distribution, 5 Points Pictures announced the license for 2007's The Happy Life from director Lee Joon-ik (The King and the Clown, Blades of Blood).

The film follows a trio of middle-aged men (played by some seriously familiar faces - Jung Jin-young, Brain, Love Rain; Kim Yun-seok, Punch, The Chaser; Kim Sang-ho, City Hunter, Princess Prosecutor) who decide to start up their old college band and end up recruiting a young guy (Jang Keun-suk) to be the new frontman.

5 Points hasn't yet announced a street date for the DVD release, but this is one I'm definitely looking forward to owning. The R3 DVD has been out of print for ages, so it'll be great to have the film back out in circulation.

The R1 DVD will include upgraded English subs for the film, as well as English subs for the video extras!

Hit the jump for the full press release...Collapse )


Not sure where to shop? Trying to avoid bootlegs? Check out my retailers page to get the skinny on reliable online stores out there!

June, 19th 2012, 10:30 am Trailer Tuesday: The Silent War
Inoue Mao Bright Light
The below is just a teaser trailer, but I'm already frothing at the mouth for Tony Leung's upcoming period spy film, The Silent War (a.k.a. Windseeker). According to the lovely folks over at aiyatheydidnt, the Alan Mak and Felix Chong directed film should see an "Asia, China and U.S." release this August 10, 2012.

The Silent War also stars Zhou Xun, Mavis Fan, Wang Xuebing and Carrie Ng.

The Silent War Trailer:

Not sure where to shop? Trying to avoid bootlegs? Check out my retailers page to get the skinny on reliable online stores out there!

Hello, AsianPopShock!

Welcome to another edition of the YAM Must-Watch Choice! In this edition, in honor of YAM Magazine's LGBT Blogathon this year, the pick of the week is none other than Chen Kaige's Farewell my Concubine (霸王别姬), which won a Palme d'Or in Cannes, a BAFTA award, and a Golden Globe. It was, of course, nominated for an Academy Award against stiff competition like Ang Lee's The Wedding Banquet (喜宴), Tran Anh Hung's The Scent of Green Papaya (Mùi đu đủ Xanh), and Fernando Trueba's Belle Époque.

Note: Product pictures coming soon

There have been a few releases of the film worldwide, which include VCD releases, DVDs in different regions, and just two recent Blu-ray ones. Despite some of the virtual ruckus suggesting a proper Criterion release of Farewell my Concubine, fans like me have to resign themselves to test out the waters.

But let's be honest, a beautifully shot film like this deserves a crisp and vibrant Blu-ray transfer, non?

These are the current releases of Farewell my Concubine with English subtitles:

1. US Regular Edition All Region NTSC DVD

2. Miramax Classics Regular Edition R-1 NTSC DVD

3. China Regular Edition All Region Blu-ray (pictured above), which includes:
  • Audio commentary

Farewell my Concubine depicts around 50 years in the lives of Dieyi (Leslie Cheung) and Xiaolou (Fengyi Zhang), who met as boys when Dieyi was left at a Beijing opera training school where Xiaolou was a member of. The boys go through hardships to become the stars of the time, but their lives and relationship are affected by historical circumstances like the Japanese invasion, their surrender, and the victory of the Communist party in 1949.

A story of hardship, love and tragedy.

The Trailer:

June, 11th 2012, 11:00 am Packaging Spotlight 043: SECTOR 7
Secret Garden Oska Oppa
This one is for all the monster movie fans out there!

Shout! Factory was kind enough to send me an early copy of it's upcoming 3D/2D Blu-ray release of K-movie Sector 7, which hits retailers (it's on DVD, too!) this June 26, 2012. The film stars Ha Ji-won ♥ (King 2hearts, Secret Garden), Oh Ji-ho (Couple or Trouble Chuno), and Ahn Sung-ki (May 18, The Divine Weapon).

To be honest, my main interest in seeing this was the Ha Ji-won factor, but I'm definitely never the main demographic for monster or horror flicks. Sector 7 is for those who do love the old, campy monster movies from back in the day (and I know there are lots of fans out there). The monster CGI effects aren't quite up to what I was hoping for - there are some awkward looking greenscreen moments - but there's a lot of action going right from the start, and it does succeed in feeling like a very "big" movie.

For more information, check out our earlier solicitation post.

Sector 7
More photos ahead...

Hit the jump for more pics...Collapse )

Special Features:
"Making Of" featurette
Origial theatrical trailer

U.S. Region A, NTSC - containing both 3D and 2D versions of the film
Shout! Factory
$29.98 SRP
1 Blu-ray
112 minutes
16:9, anamorphic widescreen
Korean audio, English audio
English subtitles


A review copy of this 3D/2D Blu-ray was provided by Shout! Factory.

Not sure where to shop? Trying to avoid bootlegs? Check out my retailers page to get the skinny on reliable online stores out there!

KK Tsuyoshi Glasses
Well Go USA recently announced South Korean film director Kang Je-gyu's (Taegukgi) war film My Way will hit U.S. Blu-ray and DVD this July 24, 2012. The film stars a multi-cultural cast including Jang Dong-gun (Gentleman's Dignity, The Promise, Taegukgi), Joe Odagiri (Shinobi, Mushishi, Tokyo Tower: Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad), and Fan Bingbing (Buddha Mountain, Sophie's Revenge, Shaolin).

Synopsis (From the PR):
After emerging as bitter rivals and enemies as young marathon Olympic runners, Korean native Kim Jun-shik (Jang Dong-Gun) and Japanese aristocrat Tatsuo Hasegawa (Joe Odagiri) both find themselves in the Japanese army, fighting the Chinese and Soviets in a bloody battle. Jun-shik is there under duress, while Tatsuo is a powerful colonel. After both are taken prisoner by the Soviets, their mutual hatred and mistrust boils over into a violence that is only stopped by the continuing horror of the war. Forced to fight for the Soviets, the two eventually rely on each other for survival, making it to Germany, where they are in turn separated and forced to fight for the Nazis. They meet again at Normandy Beach, both unlikely survivors, bonded together by history as they struggle to survive one more terrible battle as the Allies arrive on D-Day.

Both the Blu-ray ($29.98 SRP) and DVD ($24.98 SRP) will feature Korean and English audio and English subtitles and include a "Making Of" featurette, a "Behind the Scenes" featurette, "Cast Interviews," and a "Director Interview."

Read the full press release...Collapse )

If the below trailer is actually a good barometer for the rest of the film, then this one looks like it may just live up to the "epic" description in the PR. I'm a big fan of the director's earlier Taegukgi (hello, Won Bin ♥), so I have high hopes for My Way.


Not sure where to shop? Trying to avoid bootlegs? Check out my retailers page to get the skinny on reliable online stores out there!

Gain - Shoulder
5 Points Pictures just revealed its official trailer for the upcoming 2-disc special edition DVD release of Korean movie Moss, and it looks pretty awesome. It's also nice to finally find a high-quality embeddable version of the English-subbed trailer (I had a hell of a time finding one earlier!).

The U.S. Region 1 edition of the film is set for release on August 21, 2012.

For more information, check out our earlier solicitation post!


Not sure where to shop? Trying to avoid bootlegs? Check out my retailers page to get the skinny on reliable online stores out there!

June, 2nd 2012, 12:32 am YAM Must-Watch Choice: Seediq Bale
Hey, AsianPopShock fans!

YAM Magazine's Amy here once again!

I'm really excited because I just got my copy of Taiwan's historical epic Seediq Bale (賽德克‧巴萊), aka. Warriors of the Rainbow. Written and directed by Wei Te-Sheng, this epic production is the most expensive Taiwanese film to date with a budget of $25M USD.

The ReleasesCollapse )

Seediq Bale depicts the Wushe Incident, in which the Taiwanese aborigines rose against the Japanese, killing over 130 of them — including women and children. Before watching this, one probably needs to read a little bit about Taiwan — a country as varied as any other with a rich historical background that includes the Taiwanese aborigines who inhabited the island way before the first Han Chinese arrived to make commerce, and definitely before the Emperor of China gave the island to the Japanese with the Treaty of Shimonoseki in 1895.

The Japanese developed railways and built villages with houses, hospitals and schools — in short, they brought civilization to the port cities, explaining why Taiwan doesn’t hold as big a grudge like other Asian nations. However, like any story in the world, some were happy, some weren’t.

The TrailerCollapse )
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