Mulholland Drive Korean DVD

147 mins. Regions: All. Languages: English (DD 5.1). Subtitles: English and Korean. Widescreen (1.78:1), 16x9 enhanced. RSDL dual-layered, singled-sided. Animated Menus. Keep case packaging.
Interviews (Theroux, Watts, Harring and Lynch), Film Highlights, Cast and Crew biographies and filmographies, Behind the Scenes clips, Photo Gallery, Music Video, Production Notes, US Theatrical Trailer, Scene Selection (aka chapter stops).

On April 9, 2002, Universal Home Video US released their DVD of Mulholland Drive. It was quickly rushed into release to try to cash in on the publicity surrounding its Academy Award nomination. Because Universal wanted to get it out quickly, and also due to the lack of space on the disc because of the inclusion of both DTS and DD tracks, the disc was released bare bones with no extras. While I personally feel the film should always be the first priority and extras are just icing on the cake, many were disappointed that there were no bonus materials. Made worse was the fact that as the specs were announced for Mulholland Drive DVDs in other countries, almost all of them included a fair amount of bonus materials. Unfortunately, importing those DVDs can be expensive, and playing them here in the US requires costly DVD players that will covert PAL and play all regions. But there's now a less expensive alternative: the Korean Mulholland Drive DVD. The disc is coded for all regions and is NTSC so it will play on any player in the US. Starmax is the official distributor of Universal product in Korea, so this disc is legit. And best of all, it can be had in most cases for less than the cost of the US disc!


The transfer of the film itself appears to be the exact same one as the Universal US disc (which makes sense, as Starmax is the official distributor of Universal titles in Korea). While I thought the compression would be pretty bad since they had to fit all the extras on the disc, it's actually not that different from Universal's US disc. There's no DTS track, just the English DD 5.1 one, so I suspect that's where they saved their bits. The video is about what we've come to expect from most Universal titles of newer films. The image is sharp and clear, with just a slight hint of compression visible. The picture is presented in about a 1.78:1 aspect ratio (The original Mulholland Drive pilot was shot with 16:9 HD in mind), so if you have a widescreen display it fills it up nicely. It also frames the image better than the 1.85:1 theatrical showings, which tended to cut off the tops of people's heads depending on where the projectionist put the matte. The color holds well and the picture image is sharp. It's not flawless, but pretty damn good. You'll want to make sure you have your TV calibrated to get the proper contrast on the film. You can buy DVDs such as Video Essentials or AVIA Guide to Home Theater for this job, or just pick up a copy of Lynch's short films DVD from his store, which includes some video calibration tests at the end. As a side note, the digital blurring present on the US disc is here as well. I'm pretty sure it's on the original master transfer and will probably be on every version. But if your display is calibrated properly it won't be noticeable.


The disc features only the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack from the US DVD. Like most of Lynch's films, use of the surrounds is subtile. But the track is crystal clear. The sound mix is the same one from the theatrical release. As with most of Lynch's soundtracks, there's a lot of dynamic range. The film features some excellent sound design, which thankfully is all preserved on the DVD.


Now we get to the new goodies that set this disc apart from its US counterpart. First up are three extras taken straight from Universal's video presskit, which was created for media outlets to take soundbites and footage from for their own news stories. You can find copies of the video presskit floating around on ebay, usually for around $50. But you get them all here, DVD quality, for less than half that. The four interview segments are with Lynch, Watts, Harring and Theroux. The actors mostly discuss working with Lynch, while Lynch talks about where some of the ideas for the film came from. The "highlight" segments are four clips from the film, which is kind of a silly thing to include on the DVD since you have the whole film anyway. But they were a part of the presskit so you get them here as well. The four scenes are: Rita remembering she was going to Mulholland Drive (Mulholland Drive), Adam and Betty making eye contact at the studio (Eye Contact), Adam and Camilla kissing in the car (Kill the Light) and Betty and Rita looking for Diane's apartment (Now You've Got Me Scared). Rounding out the video presskit extras is the "making of the film" segments. All are behind the scenes footage from the filming of the extra scenes for the film (no pilot material). Included are segments from the filming of scenes in Winkies with Diane, the limo "shortcut" scene with Diane and Camilla and dinner at Adam's house. All and all, this is a nice start to the extras, and while it's not up to the level of Blue Velvet's "Mysteries of Love" documentary, it's nice that this already existing material was included here. It's ironic that all three of these extras are taken directly from Universal's own video press kit, yet Universal itself didn't bother to include it on its own US DVD. The picture quality of the extras taken from the video presskit is outstanding. so they had to have used a master straight from Universal. All three of the presskit extras are presented windowboxed for 16:9 playback and, like the film, have Korean subtitles which can be turned off.

Now for the rest of the extras. The "music video" is the song "I've Told Every Little Star" with various scenes from the film edited together. The scenes don't really follow the music very well - almost any song could be played to the same scenes. The source video they used for it isn't very good and the colors are blurred. I suspect this was something put together as a promo for the film in one of the overseas markets, or possibly a promo created for the soundtrack. You can take a look at it here (quicktime - 6meg).
The photo gallery consists of publicity stills from the film. There are no behind the scenes images. The theatrical trailer is the US one, which was kind of a bummer as I was hoping it'd have the French one instead. There are cast and crew bios for Lynch, Theroux, Harring and Watts. I suspect they say the same thing as the US disc but as I don't read Korean I don't know for sure. There are also production notes, but again I don't read Korean so I have no idea what they say. The main menu screen is animated with scenes from the film. Also animated is the chapter selection menu (yes, there are chapter stops on this dvd), which allows you to select the various chapters using a blue key icon. Not much, but it's a nice touch. The disc comes with a two page booklet that has sections entitled "Behind Story," Storyline- Their Story," and "Director - David Lynch." All are in Korean. The cover of the booklet is the European style poster, while the cover of the disc box is the double Harring on top and Watts on the bottom image used in most of the US magazine ads for the film.

All and all, considering this disc is regionless NTSC, looks pretty much as good as Universal's, and you get the extra goodies to boot, all for $19.00 as opposed to Universal's $32.99 list price for the US disc, you might as well buy the Korean one. Unless you have to have a DTS track, if you haven't picked up a copy of Mulholland Drive yet on DVD, go with the Korean one over the US release.

Below are some images of the various menu screens from the DVD:

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