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Review: The Latest Criterion Release of 'Parasite' is Arguably the Best Yet

by Greg Vellante
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Oct 27, 2020
Review: The Latest Criterion Release of 'Parasite' is Arguably the Best Yet

At the beginning of 2020, which now feels like a distant dream, "Parasite" made history at the Academy Awards by becoming the first South Korean film to win Best International Picture, the first film in a non-English language to ever win Best Picture, and also picked up awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director. It was all rightfully so, and seeing the cast and crew light up with smiles at their unexpected victories was one of the greatest joys I felt before the entire year collapsed into a dumpster fire. While 2020 may currently suck, "Parasite" most certainly doesn't, and you can bring the movie home to watch again and again with its new Blu-ray release on The Criterion Collection.

But here's the problem. If you were a fan of "Parasite," odds are you might already own it. In April, shortly after the film's Oscar triumph, the film was quickly released on Blu-ray with limited bonus features. Then, months after that, it was re-released on 4K Ultra HD (again, with not a ton of supplemental material). So audiences have had two chances thus far to purchase "Parasite" for at-home consumption, but the newest Criterion Collection release is arguably the best one yet.

Two primary reasons exist for this release's superiority, and both are aspects that will appeal to collectors directly. The packaging, for one, is very cool and far more interesting than the standard design of the Blu-ray and 4K releases. But of course, the big draw here is the bonus material, of which there is a decent amount on the Criterion. The new audio commentary features Bong Joon-ho and critic Tony Rayns, and there are a collection of conversations and interviews that you won't want to miss.

But perhaps the best reason to pick this up is that it includes the black-and-white version of the film, which if you have not seen it admittedly adds an extra layer of sinisterism to the imagery and storytelling. The full list of bonus features includes:

• New conversation between Bong and critic Darcy Paquet
• New interviews with Hong, production designer Lee Ha Jun, and editor Yang Jinmo
• New program about the New Korean Cinema movement featuring Bong and filmmaker Park Chan-wook
• Cannes Film Festival press conference from 2019 featuring Bong and members of the cast
• Master class featuring Bong from the 2019 Lumière Festival in Lyon, France
• Storyboard comparison
• Trailers
• An essay by critic Inkoo Kang

"Parasite" is now available on The Criterion Collection Blu-ray for $31.96

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