Parasite Blu-ray review

Feb 01, 2020- Permalink

South Korean film Parasite made history when its cast won Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, marking the first time a foreign language film took home that statuette. The Academy Award Best Picture nominee is now available from Universal Home Entertainment. I had an opportunity to review the Blu-ray edition.

The 1080p AVC-encoded video presentation is presented in the theatrical release’s 2.39:1 aspect ratio. Shot digitally, the transfer is crisp and detailed. Skin details show off every pore and hair, while environmental and textile surfaces have great detail in the various settings of wealth and squalor. The colour palette does have many muted elements, but there are splashes of colour in some places that pop off the screen. Contrast is excellent and the black levels are deep. There is a smattering of digital noise in some of the low-light scenes. All in all, this is an excellent video presentation.

On the audio side, the Canadian version I reviewed had Korean and French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio tracks and subtitles in English and French. It’s my understanding that the U.S. version lacks the French audio track and subtitles. The use of the surround channels is very good at providing ambient details that put you in the story’s environment. The musical score is dynamic and while mostly in the front speakers does make use of the surrounds and subwoofer. The dialogue is clear, centred and well prioritized.

The U.S. version of the movie comes with a digital copy code for Movies Anywhere, while the Canadian version does not. The disc also comes with a roughly twenty minute question and answer featurette with director Bong Joon Ho.

Critically-lauded and featuring an excellent video and audio presentation, Parasite is a worthy addition to your home library. Though some may be wary of a foreign language film without an English dub, it’s important to be reminded of director Bong Joon Ho’s words when he accepted Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes: “Once you overcome the 1-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films. I think we use only just one language, the cinema.”