Michael Scott

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Apr 4, 2017
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Satellite Girl and Milk Cow


Movie: :4stars:
Video: :4stars:
Audio: :4.5stars:
Extras: :2stars:
Final Score: :4stars:


Usually when we get a “new release” the movie is within a year (maybe a year and a half) old, with most films being much shorter between the theatrical release date and the home video release. Satellite Girl and Milk Cow is one of the outliers in that bell curve, being a 2014 Korean film that has JUST been released in the U.S. thanks to Gkids and Shout Factory. I’ve become a huge fan of Korean film making over the last decade, as they have been filling in the gaps from where the Hong Kong and Chinese market has slowly started to fail us. In the animation world I’m an even BIGGER fan of Japanese Anime and animated films, as Gkids has given us pretty much all of the Studio Ghibli films over the last few years, and even some new upstarts to enjoy. But this is the first time that I’ve seen them delve into the Korean animated market, and I was more than a bit intrigued when I heard that Satellite Girl and Milk Cow was coming to the United States. It’s a bit of an oddball film for the U.S. market, but it’s a quirky little film with a lot of heart and quite a good bit of fun at the same time. The movie may not ALWAYS hit 100% out of the park, but it is a fun little romp that is well worth watching if you’ve enjoyed previous works by Gkids in the Asian market.

Explaining Satellite Girl and Milk Cow is almost an effort in futility despite the simplistic nature of the plot. Kyung-chun is a bit of a hot thing these days. He was a struggling musician trying to make ends meet, but due to his heart break over his failures as a musician, he has been turned into a milk cow. With that being said, it’s not exactly out of the ordinary for a 20+ foot tall walking furnace to want to burn him alive. Lets just add in a black market organ harvester who can transport through mirrors jumps in to take his liver (with a plunger I might add), and the great Wizard Merlin (who is trapped as a roll of toilet paper) jumps in to lend a hand (or should I say tri-ply square?) with the poor guy’s dilemma. A curious satellite in orbit above Korea has taken an interest in the powerful emotions from the anthropomorphic milk cow, and has transformed herself into a girl to come down and observe these powerful emotions first hand. But she is no less strange than anything else I’ve described, complete with a rocker powered right hand, jet boots, and an AC adapter on her back. Yes, I’ve only just STARTED to describe the insanity that is Satellite Girl and Milk Cow.
Director Hyeong-yoon could have turned this project into a mindless gonzo film about lunacy on screen, but instead he actually crafts his insanity into a focused story about love, acceptance, and interpersonal relationships. The film is quirky, insane, and has more strange characters than a Japanese rendition of Icchi The Killer, but it’s surprisingly focused and charming at the same time. Once you get past the crazy characters and the hilariously awkward one liners (Merlin making magical enchantments about poop for one), the movie really starts to resonate with the viewer.

I actually had to watch Satellite Girl and Milk Cow about 2 times in the last 24 hours. The first time I was a bit off put by the insanity, but I had these glimpses of sincerity and kindness throughout the movie. Little glimpses that were initially glossed over by me trying to make sense of the hilarity and bizarrreness of the premise. It wasn’t until the second viewing that I really started getting into the film, watching as Kyung-chun and Il-ho forming their relationship, and using the giggle worthy moments to actually show their humanity and complexity. Again, I have a hard time explaining the movie, as it is much more of a visual treat than it is simply regurgitating plot points. Needless to say Hyeong-yoon Jang’s animated film is a lot of fun, but one that takes a couple viewings to really get into due to the lunacy of the premise.


Not Rated by the MPAA

Video: :4stars:
Shout Factory’s Blu-ray release is quite stellar for the most part, with a bright and shiny digital encode that really shines in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Colors are bright and vibrant, with good color saturation, as well as some incredible amounts of detail. You can see the lines and “fur” of our good Milk cow, as well as lapping flames from the furnace, as well as little bits of clothing and background debris that shows up on screen. The only real major complaint that brings the score down a bit is the heavy banding that’s present throughout the picture. I was originally going to blame Shout Factory for this one, but upon viewing a digital release of the film, it’s present in that format as well, making me think that it’s source related vs. actually something wrong with the encode. Besides that, the disc is quite stellar and it makes from some wonderful eye candy.

Audio: :4.5stars:
Like usual, we have TWO DTS-HD MA tracks to choose from today, both in the original Korean language and an English dub. The disc defaults to the English dub, but the Korean track is my personal favorite as it just feels “RIGHT” for the movie. Either way, both tracks are exceptional, really getting the listener into the movie with all sorts of activity. The hustle and bustle of city streets roar around you, as does the sounds of rockets flying off, or the roaring of a furnace as it tries to consume our young lovers. Il-ho ransacking the tiny apartment where Kyung-chun lives is quite exciting, especially when you consider how many times her rocket arm flies off the handle. The bass is punchy and clean, adding weight to a lot of action that permeates the film, and even allows for some truly impressive “shock” moments. Dialog is always completely intelligible and spot on loaded in the front center of the room. Both tracks are simply superb, but like I said, I tend to lean towards the original language track due to how much more authentic it feels over the English dub.

Extras: :2stars:
Coffee Vending Machine and It's Sword: Short Film
• Trailers

Final Score: :4stars:

Satellite Girl and Milk Cow seems like a movie I would recommend as “not for everyone”, but in reality, it really is. The movie is whimsical, playful, crazy, but still ever so focused on the sweetness and simplicity of star crossed lovers in a tale of friendship and redemption. It’s happy, sweet, kind, and so insane that most people WILL enjoy the film, as long as they’re willing to give up some preconceptions about typical characterizations in an animated film. Gkids and Shout Factory have given this a great looking home video Blu-ray release, with great video and even better audio. Extras are (like usual) a tad slim, but the movie itself and high audio/video marks still allows me to recommend it with a full thumbs up.

Technical Specifications:

Starring: Ah-In Yoo, Yu-mi Jung, Ryan Bartley
Directed by: Hyeong-yoon Jang
Written by: Hyeong-yoon Jang
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: Korean: DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French
Studio: Shout Factory
Rated: NR
Runtime: 81 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: June 5th, 2018

Recommendation: Fun Watch



AV Addict
Jul 13, 2017
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Thanks for the review. Never heard of this but after reading the review, I am interested in checking it out. :)
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