Posts tagged "Korea"

Snowpiercer (Review)


aka 설국열차 aka Seolgugyeolcha
Story by Bong Joon-ho
Screenplay by Bong Joon-ho and Kelly Masterson
Based on Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand, and Jean-Marc Rochette
Directed by Bong Joon-ho

2013 saw three of the best directors of Korea produce English-language films. First was Kim Ji-woon with The Last Stand, an entertaining but forgettable Schwarzenegger comeback vehicle. Next was Park Chan-wook and Stoker, an amazing coming of age story covered in Hitchcock influences. The finale was Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer, which would have been an amazing capstone. Unfortunately, history repeated itself in the Weinsteins ruining everything, delaying the film and demanding a bunch of cuts and added narration. After a bunch of arguing, Snowpiercer got a limited run uncut in America, but by that time it had already hit BluRay in several foreign markets.

Having now seen the film, I have no idea exactly what would have been cut, as most of it was essential. Almost the entire film is in English, so this isn’t a case of people that would be turned off by subtitles. The only thing I could think of was to alter the film fundamentally to try to remove some of the class warfare aspects, which would only serve to protect the upper class and ruin the film by eliminating most of the motivation to revolt. The delay probably cost Snowpiercer a huge percentage of its audience, which will in turn be used as more evidence that films like this just don’t work as releases and lead to less good films getting releases. I hate to be pessimistic, but this has happened before and will happen again.
Go Ah-sung Snowpiercer
Shelving this film was all bunk because Snowpiercer is damn amazing. It’s better than Stoker, and Stoker was one of my favorite films from 2013. Not only is it a fun science fiction adventure with a unique premise, but it deals with the struggle of class inequality and revolutions against tyrannical governments. As the world lies frozen due to adverse effects from attempts to combat global warming, the only life left is on the unstoppable train known as Snowpiercer, which travels the world on an endless loop journey once every year. It has now been 16 years since the world froze, and things on the train aren’t very well.
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - June 28, 2014 at 10:13 pm

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Cat-it-tude Links!

Cat it tude forever 21
Above is a shirt I tried unsuccessfully to get my wife to buy. And below are a bunch of links I’ll successfully get you to click on, along with some random movie news that didn’t warrant their own updates.

**Fist of B-List meets Angelfist!

**Derek Yee Tung-Sing (爾冬陞) has begun work on his next director’s gig, a 3D film called The Sword Master (三少爺的劍), which is written by Tsui Hark! The Sword Master is about a retired master swordsman who returns to the martial world to try to settle a dispute with his longtime nemesis. It will star Lin Gengxin (林更新), Peter Ho (何卓榮) Jiang Yiyan (江一燕) and Jiang Mengjie (蔣夢婕). The lack of big name stars was apparently controversial, which caused Derek Yee to say “If a collaboration between Tsui Hark and I still need big stars to get you to waste your time and spend your money on a ticket, then we might as well pack up, go home, drink whiskey and shoot the breeze.”

** meets The Man From Monterey!

**The teaser trailer is out for High Heels (하이힐). The film stars Cha Seung-Won (차승원) as Detective Ji-Wook, who solves violent crimes and also desires to become a woman. The film will costar Esom (이솜) as mysterious woman Jang-Mi, and Oh Jung-Se (오정세) as Heo-Gon, who didn’t get a character description in English. High Heels is directed by Jang Jin (장진), who did the classic Guns and Talks and the more recent The Quiz Show Scandal .

**beyondasiaphilia finds That Demon Within!

**Have a nice list of the 100 best Mainland Chinese films to argue about!

**The Film Fiend is drafted into Frankenstein’s Army!

**Five cool Bengali directors

**Teleport City meets the 13 ghosts of Golgo-13!

**An Evening With Jim Henson and Frank Oz – July 1989 at the Puppeteers of America

**Jeremy Blitz feels that Black Torment!

**Newsreel archive British Pathé just released 85,000 films onto YouTube! Holy crap!

**The Vern watches Shorts!

**Reminder that Kate Mulgrew was tricked into narrating a documentary where it’s alleged that the Earth doesn’t revolve around the sun.

**FilmiGeek declares OMG – Oh My God!

**A cool essay about African American women in the silent film industry

**At Monster Island Resort the TCM Classic Film Festival Hosts TCM Party!

**RIP Pervert Dave

**The Horror!? makes bets with Daredevils of the Red Circle!

**Hey, Ju-On (The Grudge) is getting another Japanese installment!

**Hey, The Grudge (Ju-On) is getting another American reboot!

**Will there be a Gamera reboot? Probably if the Godzilla remake doesn’t bomb.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 23, 2014 at 8:12 am

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Robotstar Jjanga

Robotstar Jjanga

aka 로보트 스타 짱가 aka Roboteu seuta Jjang-ga
Robot Star Zangga jjanga
Written and directed by Kim Yeong-han

Robot Star Zangga jjanga

This is your brain being sucked out by Robotstar Zangga!

NOOOOooOOOoooOOooOOOOoooOOO!!!! It’s more awful Korean Children’s cinema! Why do I watch this? Okay, someone requested Robotstar Jjanga, and it’s also the first part of a film series that eventually featured a Korean Batman. But in this prequel, the actor who goes on to be Batman (or Betaman) is an awkward teen who wets the bed. The Dark Knight Returns was never so gritty….wait, I think Batman did wet his pants in some story….

As usual with Korean Children’s movies, the main event is a “funny” fat guy who acts like a giant baby man. He turns out to also be an intergalactic hero who lives on Earth in disguise (and unaware of who he is) until he’s called back to duty, at which point everyone becomes cartoons and character designs are stolen from The Transformers. Hey, this might be the only chance you will ever get to see toy accurate Reflector menace humans! The flying space carrier Fortress Maximus has been used by Transformers canon (a fact I learned thanks to the Transformers Wiki) so that’s not as unique as it seemed. As someone who had the Reflector toy as a lad, it was sort of fun watching him stomp around before he was defeated by a fat guy and an annoying robot. My toy would never suffer such indignity!

Robot Star Zangga jjanga

Who’s insulting the size of my Megapixels???

Said fat guy is named Dung-dung (I’ve found a few names for characters who went nameless back when I reviewed the sequel), and he enjoys chewing gum and stealing food. He lives with a scientist and his misfit family, which consists of bratty children and a grown daughter named Su-Ji. There is also a robot (a guy in suit robot!) named Robokong, who is tolerable only because Dung-dung is so intolerable. Giving and taking, that’s what Korean children’s cinema does. You give your time and it takes your life…

As usual for obscure gems like these, the synopsis portion of Robotstar Jjanga is much larger, to better accommodate people who don’t want to sift through terribly designed Korean blogs to find the streaming videos of these old school films dubbed from VHS tapes. I really, really hate Naver. Hate. Hate Naver. HATE! But not as much as I hate Dung-dung.

Robot Star Zangga jjanga

There’s not even stairs here for this guy to fall down on!

Robotstar Jjanga is written and directed by Kim Yeong-han, the very same maniac who brought us Super Batman & Mazinger V and Hwarang-V Trio! Clearly Kim Yeong-han is a cinematic monster who needs to answer to his crimes. But unfortunately anyone who goes up against him will be forced to turn into a cartoon character and battle giant robots. This is sadly becoming a trend among terrible directors, protected by guardian robots in the realm of animation. Time to bring back Judge Doom so we can get enough Dip to save cinema!
Robot Star Zangga jjanga

The worst part is she isn’t even close to being the worst Star Wars EU character!

Dung-dung (Kim Hyeong-gon) – A gum-chewing manchild who used to be an ace space ranger before he abandoned his duties to live out the seven deadly sins. Dung-dung is a fairly accurate name.
Robokong (???) – The family’s loyal robot, who can transform into a more action-oriented version, but only when he’s a cartoon. Will occasionally do the “Beedy beedy beedy” thing that Twiki from Buck Rogers does.
Princess Sara (???) – Sara is a princess of the Star Planet. What kind of name is that? At least she isn’t from the Moon Planet. Because that would be ridiculous! Like all space princesses, she gets kidnapped a lot. She reminds Dung-dung of who he truly is.
Su-Ji (???) – The eldest daughter of Scientist, which he must have fathered when he was 8 years old or something. She accompanies Dung-dung and Robokong on their adventure, but then doesn’t do much after that.
Rest of family (???, ???, ???, ???) – Scientist, Older Boy who becomes Batman, Younger Boy, Girl in Pigtails. All our fun friends. I hope they all die.
Rust Queen (???) – The Queen of Rust has blue hair for some reason (anime), and also there isn’t a lot of rust around her. Her name is totally inaccurate, this movie is a lie, SAVE YOURSELF! RUUUUUUNN!!!!!!
Gohura (???) – The evil Rust Queen’s henchman. I don’t know if this is a translation thing of if the aliens have rejected gender norms, but in any event Gohura leads the goons that have captured Princess Sara on Earth and is defeated by Dung-dung and the annoying kid squad, largely due to goon incompetence.

Robot Star Zangga jjanga Reflector
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - December 27, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , ,

In Korea, Pirates will roam the seas!

Korean movie Pirates
Pirates (해적: 바다로 간 산적) is an upcoming Korean film featuring bands of pirates that try to catch a gray whale that has swallowed a royal stamp. For those not in the know, the royal stamp will allow whoever owns it to give orders that have the official signature of the royal family, thus causing a whole bunch of trouble. Pirates stars Kim Nam-Gil (Portrait of a Beauty), Son Ye-Jin (Yobi, the Five Tailed Fox), and Sulli (member of K-pop girl group f(x)). It will be directed by Dancing Queen‘s Lee Suk-Hoon. There isn’t much else in English yet, but a nice high seas costume film could be a whole lot of fun!

Via AsianWiki

Korean movie Pirates

Korean movie Pirates

Korean movie Pirates

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - December 21, 2013 at 3:09 pm

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Kim Ah-Joong is a famous cat burglar in Catch Me (캐치미)

Catch Me Kim A-Joong
Catch Me – 캐치미 (Kae-chi-mi) is an upcoming Korean film involving a elite criminal profiler who is chasing a famous cat burglar, who turns out to be his first love. My PS Partner‘s Kim Ah-joong (김아중) plays Yoon Jin-sook the famous burglar, while actor Joo Won (주원) plays the police officer Lee Ho-tae. Film newcomer Kang Min-jeong (강민정) also has a role as Na Min-jeong, though there is no other information as to what that role is. Lee Hyeon-jong directs his first feature with Catch Me.

The original filming title was Only You (온리유), and Catch Me will release in December.


Catch Me Kim Ah-joong Joo Won

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - October 28, 2013 at 8:27 am

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My PS Partner

My PS Partner

aka 나의 P.S. 파트너 aka Naui P.S. Pateuneo aka Whatcha Wearin’?
My PS Partner
Written by Byun Sung-Hyun, Kim Min-Soo, and Kim Soo-A
Directed by Byun Sung-Hyun

My PS Partner
Filthy talk with no filter mixed in a romantic comedy package gives us My PS Partner. But don’t be fooled, this film doesn’t lean on its frank sex talk, that’s just icing on the total package. The male character Hyun-seung is suffering from a recent breakup after seven years with the girl, complete with the mental trauma from all the highs and lows. Yoon-jung is coasting her way through her long relationship with a boyfriend who can’t be bothered to even propose after five years, and spends all his time at work (work sometimes being a female coworker’s vagina!) Her malaise as she follows the trajectory everyone and society has set for her is heartbreaking, and her fantasy sequences of actually standing up for herself just compound the sorrow.

Korean romantic comedies are one of my favorite genres, because they never just stick to romance and comedy, but their emotions run across the entire map. It’s not unusual for characters to be dealing with deep emotional trauma in between scenes of slapstick comedy. My PS Partner was on my radar while still filming thanks to the rumors it was going to be raunchy. It’s that in spades, but the portraits of the two damaged souls that are united by a simple misdial are vivid.
My PS Partner
In an attempt to spice up her love life (or at least get her boyfriend to stop spending all his time on spreadsheets), Yoon-jung calls him for some phone sex (the PS of My PS Partner) and demands he not talk, just listen. Thus some full-fledged sensual phone sex action takes place, except thanks to a misdial (Yoon-jung was unable to transfer her addressbook into her new phone and had to do them all manually) she instead dials Hyun-seung, who is confused and then thinks it is some sort of phone sex line.

What starts out as a misdialed phone call turns into much more as the two begin talking. Soon they become more connected, freed by the semi-anonymity afforded by the phone. Eventually they meet and get closer, but both of them are still on their own paths. It becomes apparent the two are meant to be together, but will that happen or will Yoon-jung sleepwalk her way into a terrible marriage and Hyun-seung live with regret? Also what color panties are you wearing?
My PS Partner

Hyun-Seung (Ji Sung) – Hyun-Seung first appears as strangely angry, though we quickly learn he’s recently broken up from a 7 year relationship with So-Yeon, and is not taking the fact she has a new (and successful!) boyfriend so fast very well. Hyun-Seung hits his bottom soon after getting the misdial from Yoon-Jung, and with her help begins putting his life in order.
Yoon-Jung (Kim A-Joong) – Yoon-Jung is first a voice on the phone, sexing up Hyun-Seung while mistaking him for Seung-Joon. But disappointment in her own personal life (as well as virtually being cut off from anyone to talk and share with) causes her to open up to Hyun-Seung during his drunk redial. The two bond over the shared pain of disappointment and frustration. But Yoon-Jung still stays with her man, who does nothing except the wrong thing, because she feels some sort of societal obligation.
So-Yeon (Shin So-Yul) – Hyun-Seung’s ex-girlfriend. The two dated for seven years, with So-Yeon often supporting Hyun-Seung and his unsuccessful singing career. The fights became too frequent, but the pair had real feelings and their relationship looms as a shadow over them both.
Seung-Joon (Kang Kyeong-Jun) – Yoon-Jung’s terrible boyfriend, who is too busy working, too busy being controlling, too busy cheating, and too busy not proposing. He’s a successful businessman and what Korean society says is an A+ choice, but he’s a real D – dull and a dick!

My PS Partner
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 1, 2013 at 10:31 am

Categories: Good, Movie Reviews   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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