Tag Archives: south korea

Seoul Station (2016)

Day 4  – Seoul Station

Director:  Sang-ho Yeon.
Starring.  Ryu Seung ryong, Shim Eun-kynug, Lee Joo. South Korea. 1h  32m.

Set in modern day South Korea around the main Seoul station a homeless man wanders around feeling unwell, people shun him away and assume he’s just on drugs, his concerned friend to realise the dire situation after he dies and returns as the living dead with a thirst for human body parts. The main story centres on a young fragile girl Hye-sun who’s run away from home and is living with her scumbag boyfriend, who’s aiming to pimp her out, while fighting over this her violent and pissed off father enters town and close behind him the zombie outbreak wreaks havoc and it’s every person for themselves.

Continue reading Seoul Station (2016)

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La Weekend August 1

 

District 9 (2009) – I was flabbergasted when I realised just how much this film was hated, I got my copy for free when I asked if anyone has seen it, people were giving it away.. so I was a bit dubious about watching it, but I was hooked within seconds.. it’s a mockumentary look at a group of alien (workers) who have go stuck in South Africa. The effects are brilliant, both the alien technology and “Prons” design look and “feel” impressive. Obviously the setting is key, the messages are deep an poignant. The film is elevated by the amazing and life changing performance from ?? who plays Vikers he goes through every emotion and reacts in non Hollywood’s way, giving a more interesting and diverse story. Personally I find it so attuned and turned on, I was really hoping for a sequel, but I guess I’ll have to sit quite tight. [REVIEW]10/10 Continue reading La Weekend August 1

Snowpiercer/ Seolgungnyeolcha/ 설국열차 / 雪國列車(2013)

snowpiercer

Director: Joon-ho Bong. Starring: Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, John Hurt, Ewen Bremner, Octavia Spencer. Korea/USA. 2h 6m.

Based on: Le Transperceneige by Jaques Lob, Bengamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette.

I was so psyched about this film, literally from the moment I heard about the comic going on the big screen I was up for it, and to know what it would have some Korean input would ensure that the artist and style of the movie would be safe and despite a few lapses and removal of original content that blew the shit out of the Korean team, it’s a pretty good adaptation.

The story remains one that depicts not only a dismal future but our own current state of affairs, the injustices of the classes and in typical French style an amazing bloody and violent revolution. Continue reading Snowpiercer/ Seolgungnyeolcha/ 설국열차 / 雪國列車(2013)

Chugyeogja the Chaser (2008)

Chugyeogja the Chaser (2008)  – (Thriller, Crime, Horror, Drama,  2008) (18) D: Hong-jin Na W: Won-Chan Hong, Shinho Lee P: Sujin Kim, In-Boem Yoon C: Yun-soek Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Yeong-hie Seo. 2h 5m. South Korea.

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I have had a long adoration of South Korean cinema and as much as I had seen this title floating around in recommendations and trailers sent to me it took AGES for me to get around to it but eventually I got my head out of my ass and I was blown away. This is an incredibly stylish serial killer film with a gruesome and intriguing plot.

Eom Joong-ho (Kim Yoon-seok) is a dodgy ex detective turned pimp but he’s experiencing some financial problems and two of his girls have gone missing, after sending, Mi-jin (Seo Young-hee), one of his remaining girls out to a customer and losing track of her, he realises that it’s to the same address that a missing girl was sent too. He goes in search for Mi-jin asking for backup help from the force but they are all busy protecting the mayor who has recently been attacked and are making their presence known as the humiliation is too much to bear. Continue reading Chugyeogja the Chaser (2008)

Hangul: 텔 미 썸딩/ Tell me something (1999)

aofa31days2016

Day 6 of 31

Director: Yoon-Hyun Chang , Chang Yoon-hyun , Chang Youn Hyun
Starring: Han Suk-kyu, Shim Eun-ha. South Korea. 1h 56m

So often have the Koreans fantasied with violent and psychotic serial killers, and often these cinematic gorefests are shrouded with mystery and loaded with grotesque skin crawling violence. The only film to date that had any real life connection is Memories of Murder (2003) which details the first properly documented serial killer in South Korea (correct me if I’m wrong, i’m just going by the details in my DVD cover), a case filled with blunders and much embarrassment. But in all fictional accounts the often flawed cops usually get their man.. Continue reading Hangul: 텔 미 썸딩/ Tell me something (1999)

Dalkomhan insaeng – A Bittersweet Life (2005)

bittersweet life

Dalkomhan insaeng – A Bittersweet Life  (Action, Crime, Drama,  2005) (18) D: Kim Jee-woon W:  P: Park Dong-ho, Eugene Lee C: Lee Byung-hun, Kim Yeong-cheol, Shin, Min-ah, Hwang Jung-min, Kim Roi-ha, Lee Ki-young. 2h. South Korea.

Synopsis :  When doing right goes very, very wrong… Things go wrong for a high ranking mobster when he doesn’t proceed by his boss’s orders.Ruthlessly violent, it illustrates the ethical codes in the Korean mob and how they clash with personal morality.

TAGLINE : When doing right goes very, very wrong.

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The dingy dark gangster lifestyle is split in two by love and obsession, ultimately driving a crime boss and his prized employee apart. Bittersweet delivers a story this is as simple as it is deep. Sun-Woo (Byung-hun Lee) is the main runaround, bodyguard, bouncer and confidant to Mr Kang (Kim Yeong-cheol) a masculine power boss who has fallen for a much younger beautiful musician who he is obsessed with and finds it hard to express his feeling to as he feels inadequate and fears that he is being strung along. So he sends his dedicated trustworthy henchman to fetch and carry his new squeeze while searching for clues for her infidelity. Once Sun-Woo discovers the truth and makes amends to keep everyone safe as he feels the need to protect everyone involved, things escalate and spiral wildly out of control.

The plot becomes more complex from this point on, not so much as new twists and turn but just simply by the depths that each party goes to while trying to right a wrong that wasn’t a wrong to start with. Even with the cultural differences aside it’s pretty easy to see the full extent of the inhumane extremes of hate and love that are displayed here. but as matters spiral out of control the lines get blurred,  prides takes over and it all becomes nonsense like an arguments when someone realises they are wrong but refuses to back down.

bittersweet life

As with a lot of South Korean movies, this film is also dark yet vivid with colours, burning with emotions and packed with fast paced violent action scenes. This style is enhanced by robust acting from Lee Byung-hun and Kim Yeong-cheol and the fun is backed up by colourful characters that are met along the way including Kim Hae-gon the crazy go-lucky gun dealer who has a short-lived but memorable candid scenes. Kim Roi-Ha (Memories of Murder (2003)) appears as Mun-suk, the ambitious, cocky sidekick who contributes as a streak of rude uber violence which doesn’t seem to amplified among the violent playground.

Director Kim Jee-woon whose previous works include another bittersweet story but in a guise of a ghostly horror movie Tale of Two sisters (2003), is never shy of flooding his audience with a combination emotions. The cinematography finds small quiet emotional scenes to slow down for in-between the chaos, keeping the film real and grounded. It sits very nicely on the fence between soppy drama and a fighting action quest, not letting up one side for the other.

bittersweet life

it’s pretty easy to chuck this film in the revenge series along with a lot of other Korean films such as Memories of Murder (2003) , Host (2006), and the Vengeance Trilogy (2002+) itself, but is it simply vengeance that’s going on here? Despite the Buddhist quote at the beginning of the film which does lay out the main plot, it should have been something from Hagakure.Sun-Woo acts more like a Samurai, showing great honour and obedience to his master Mr Kang. The film is more of a brutal stoney faced redemption story

It’s not often that a film this good comes along, and it’s hard not to lay out some lavish praise for every aspect.

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Rating –  10/10

V: A stunning film from every aspect, a perfect example of blending amazing action with quaint drama. Bringing an age-old story of master and servant from an obscure code of conduct into the modern light. Personally for me the film takes my breath away every time I watch it, it never loses that crisp, slick edge.

Q : “One late autumn night, the disciple awoke crying. So the master asked the disciple, “Did you have a nightmare?” “No.” “Did you have a sad dream?” “No,” said the disciple. “I had a sweet dream.” “Then why are you crying so sadly?” The disciple wiped his tears away and quietly answered, “Because the dream I had can’t come true.
BS : There are so many good scenes, one that I adore without giving away too much plot.. is when Sun-Woo is purchasing the guns from the strange fur coated dealer who plays a game with him, who can load the gun the fastest…
5B : 5 Best – Lee Byung-hun, Roe-ha Kim
L:Selected South Korean Films, Revenge films, BitterSweet Movies, My Top 30 films of all time.
PD : Post Discussion – to come

Pido nunmuldo eobsh/No blood no tears (2002)

PIDO NUNMULDO EOBSH : NO BLOOD NO TEARS

(Action, Crime, 2002)(18) D/W : Seung-wan ryoo W: Jin Wan Jeong. 1h 56m. South Korea

TAGLINE : Enough is Enough

She drives a cab on the night shift and meets every scum there is, Gyung-Sun lives a scant life day by day

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A single macho woman car driver vs the pretty trophy girlfriend of an out of work boxer… Actually they aren’t against each other they end up working together, taking down a bully and a small time gangster in their pursuit of freedom and happiness.

This has probably been classed as a girl power movie by many people. Fair enough two women manage to liberate themselves against male tyrants and gangsters and take a hell of a beating in the process. I’d imagine this is a Korean Thelma and Louise?

As a second full length feature from Rye Seung Wan who (for me) seems to have a hit and miss career, when he gets things right he makes two of my favourite movies of all time, this and City of Violence (2006) and when he gets it wrong he makes a total fuck up like Crying Fist (2005).

This film plays more like a Tarantino Richie pulp style movie as apposed to a “proper” action film and it’s loaded with small snippets of random surreal comedy that enhances the film all the way through. The film also features Doo Hong Jung (one of my favourite Korean actors) and his incredible fighting choreography is used throughout including the final showdown which is almost Riki-O (1991) tough and adds to the violent undercurrent of the film.

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Q: “You can stop pretending to be tough now…”

BS: The fight showdown between the boxer douchbag and the silent guy, there is some back stabbing, hanging, crazy beating goodness!!

R: Crying Fist (2005), City of Violence (2006), Thelma and Louise (1991).

9/10

09