Korean Korner

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Re: Korean Korner

Postby trevor826 » Wed Aug 24, 2005 5:26 pm

To be added.

Re: Korean Korner

Postby A » Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:53 pm

Where do you actually get to see all these Korean films. Are they regularly available on DVD? I didn`t find any info on Imdb...

Re: Korean Korner

Postby trevor826 » Sat Aug 27, 2005 2:45 pm

All the ones with BBFC ratings have been released in the UK on DVD, the others have been imported.

I still have around 30 to go through including replacing all my lost reviews.

Cheers Trev.

Re: Korean Korner

Postby trevor826 » Sun Aug 28, 2005 5:37 pm

Oseam (2003)

Directed by Baek-yeob Seong


A tearjerker but not the best.

Based on a novel by Chae-bong Jeong, this is the second interpretation although Im unsure whether the first was animated or live action.

A Buddhist fable telling the story of 5 year old Gilson and his older blind sister Gami, they wander looking for their mother and are taken care of by Buddhist monks. Gami knows the truth of their mothers disappearance but finds she cannot tell Gilson because of the pain it would bring.

At the monastery, Gilson continuously gets himself into trouble until he is taken under wing by one of the monks and they head off to a nearby mountain retreat to meditate and learn, things go fine until the monk is caught in a furious snowstorm as hes heading back from the local town market and Gilson is left at the retreat by himself.

This is a tear jerker but cannot compare with Grave of the Fireflies for unadulterated misery, one weak point though is the character animation, its not bad but it is pretty bland especially compared to the backgrounds, some of which are amazingly beautiful. The only songs are Korean folk songs sung by the brother and sister plus of course you have the Buddhist monks chanting

All in all a worthy peace of work, the story will touch you and the animation while not outstanding is fine. Recommended viewing for all ages except the very young.

Cheers Trev

No BBFC rating but certainly no higher than PG.

Once again, thanks to hengcs for his initial (now lost) review and recommendation.

Re: Korean Korner

Postby trevor826 » Mon Aug 29, 2005 9:11 am

Saekjeuk shigong (2002) Sex Is Zero

Directed by Je-gyun Yun

Starring Ji-won Ha, Chang Jung Lim, Jae-yeong Jin

If you enjoy gross out comedies such as American Pie or Road Trip and the many other films of this ilk all the way back to Porkeys then youll probably appreciate this.

One of several films that have earned the Copywood title, an extremely tacky infantile comedy with some untimely drama tagged onto it. If the idea of someone eating fried sperm thinking its egg white or of course the obligatory shots of girls working out and/or guys jerking off appeals to you then this will probably please you, although the sudden switch to more serious subjects like abortion etc may put you off.

One interesting fact though, there is a scene where a girl is drunk and wretches up, after being sick she french kisses a boy. In reality for this shot, the girl had drunk a large quantity of water and some packet noodles, she made herself vomit and then kissed the guy, all done in a single take, yuck!

In all honesty I personally don't like this form of cheap comedy where ever it's from so in my opinion I find it pretty sad that Korea is making this sort of film. It won't get any recommendation from me.

Cheers Trev.

No BBFC rating but probably 15

Re: Korean Korner

Postby trevor826 » Mon Aug 29, 2005 9:16 am

Haepi-endeu (1999) Happy End

Directed by Ji Woo Chung

Starring Min-sik Choi, Do-yeon Jeon, Jin-mo Ju

This is one hell of a film, we start off with a couple meeting up for an extremely passionate session. Switch to a middle aged man sitting in a second hand book store thumbing through some romantic novels, the owner of the shop asks him if hes going to buy the book hes reading, the man Min-ki says no, because to him A real love story, its so sad it breaks your heart and the book wasnt good enough.

Why should I quote what Min-ki said? Because I think its one of the most important lines in the film, people comment that the film despite its title doesnt have a happy ending, Id say for Min-ki it has a literal (in every sense of the word) Happy End.

It turns out that the couple we first met are old lovers, the passion is red hot but the problem is, the woman Bo-ra is married to Min-ki and they have a baby daughter. Bo-ra works at a school for teaching English as does her lover. Min-ki a former banker is unemployed and gives the impression that hes more than happy spending his days in the book shop and his evenings watching soaps. Hes pretty useless around the house too leaving most of the work for his wife; he comes across as lazy and uncaring so its no real wonder that Bo-ra is having an affair.

But not everything is as it seems, the overall story has started before we join it and Min-ki is aware of more than he lets on and is not the tame cuckold we are lead to believe. Little fragments of evidence add up and another important change occurs in the bookshop as he switches from reading romance to mystery novels.

Bo-ra on the other hand is finding her lover a little too clingy despite the fact that she is incredibly possessive with him and wants a break to put some effort into her marriage. But its too late, the plans are in motion and a few more nudges are all Min-ki needs to finish it.

Spoiler alert

What follows is one of the most brutally realistic totally premeditated murder scenes I can remember seeing, again Ive read reviews and comments suggesting he lost it and flipped, no chance! Everything he does is very carefully planned, not only the murder but also the incrimination of his wifes lover as the killer, there are tears after but these are the tears of his sad, broken hearted Happy End not tears of remorse. He is left with the one thing he does care about, his daughter, the strange thing about that is the baby probably isn't even his!

End of spoiler alert

Brilliant acting from the two leads, a well thought out if somewhat controversial plot and definitely only suitable for adults.

I thought it was excellent but give it a cautious recommendation.

Cheers Trev.

No BBFC rating but without a doubt an 18.

Re: Korean Korner

Postby trevor826 » Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:41 pm

Still to come.

Tears Unfair Life
My Wife is a Gangster
Last Present
Nowhere to Hide
Indian Summer
Woman is the Future of Man
Virgin Stripped Bare by her Bachelors
My Beautiful Girl Mari
The Way Home
Natural City
Take Care of my Cat
Musa the Warrior
The Quiet Family
A Tale of Two Sisters
The Day the Pig Fell Down the Well
Public Enemy .and more.

Re: Korean Korner

Postby trevor826 » Tue Sep 06, 2005 12:03 am

The Humanist (2001)

Directed by Mu-yeong Lee

Starring Jae-mo Ahn

A black comedy/thriller that falls far too short on the humour (as dark as it is) and fails as a thriller. One of the problems is it tries to be too clever, another is the cast, not convincing in any way at all.

This film is about a spoiled brat who while driving with his two retarded friends accidentally kills a policeman. The policemans partner sees a way of making a quick buck out of the death and demands a huge amount of cash to keep quiet. The only way he can find to raise the cash is to kidnap his own father and use the ransom to pay off the cop.

Of course, relying on his two buddies everything and anything that can go wrong does which leads to a lot of double crossing leaving nobody unscathed.

This type of film has been done far better with the likes of "Shallow Grave" and to be honest its one Ill never bother with again. Funnily this is one of two really bad Korean films where Chan-wook Park is listed among the writing credits, the other being A Bizarre Love Triangle.

So unfortunately one for the scrap heap, it didnt help that the transfer was absolutely diabolical. The subtitles hadnt even been checked, they contained innumerable translation faults some of which made no sense at all.

Cheers Trev

BBFC rated 15

Available on R1 ntsc and R2 Pal from Taiseng.

And a brief note to Taiseng, start double checking the subtitles on your releases, they're not good enough and not just for this film.

Re: Korean Korner

Postby trevor826 » Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:27 am

Geomi sup (2004) Spider Forest

Directed by Il-gon Song

Starring Woo-seong Kam, Jung Suh

Kang Min wakes up in a dark forest, bloody and physically battered with little if any recollection of how or why he is there, regaining some of his consciousness he makes his way through the trees and stumbles across a cabin. Once inside he discovers a mans corpse, copious amounts of blood splatter the floors and furniture, he also finds the near dead body of his girlfriend, again severely battered. As she dies in his arms she points, he follows the direction and sees what he believes is the killer, the chase begins until he is the one caught out and knocked out.

As he regains consciousness again, he sets off in pursuit of the murderer until he enters a tunnel and gets knocked over by a car. The story is then taken up as he wakes up in hospital having been comatose for a couple of weeks.

What starts as a fairly straightforward murder mystery is raised a few notches by the unfolding story which heads off on tangents that would please fans of David Lynch, a twisted path with some ends that lead nowhere and others that take intricate twists in oblique directions.

The murder scene itself is graphic and the film is definitely made for a mature audience, the performances are convincing and because of the innumerable twists and turns, the film has good rewatch value.

There is a chapter relevant to the film's title Spider forest which heads off into the realms of folk tales but I havent been able to find anything else to corroborate this mythology.

Well constructed, nicely paced but not for those who like to be spoon fed, this gets a thumbs up from me.

Cheers Trev

No BBFC rating but definitely 18

Available on Region 3 DVD.

Re: Korean Korner

Postby Sara » Wed Sep 14, 2005 4:10 pm

I just received 3-Iron! I hope it is as good as SFWS&S and The Isle...



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