Search Amazon.com:
Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«9 »
  • Post
  • Reply
Some Guy TT
Aug 30, 2011


The second thread is, strictly speaking, not dead yet, but since I have something new to offer and the last OP is over three years old, I figured this would be a good time to start anew. First, a primer on South Korean film.

Why should I care about South Korean movies?

South Korean film is at the forefromnt of Hallyu Wave. The details of Hallyu Wave are beyond the scope of this thread, but basically, South Korean movies currently enjoy a great deal of mainstream popularity internationally and are frequently imported by other countries, especially in East Asia. South Korea is the first country to accomplish this aside from the United States. Domestically, South Korean movies make up 70% of the overall box office gross and locally produced genre films have completely outmuscled every Hollywood equivalent save for the big-budget blockbuster, mainly because at present the South Korean film industry doesn't have enough money to compete on that front.

How the heck did they manage that?

There's plenty of complex reasons for this, but for the purpose of this thread we'll stick to a few simple ones.

Government Intervention: South Korean film is propped up to a significant extent by the government, which offers explicit funding to filmmakers. Because the government's objective is promotion of Korean culture worldwide, not profit, the process is much more meritocratic than in Hollywood. This leads to-

Quality: The nature of the industry is such that background in film is considered far important than marketability. For this reason, most filmmakers are given free reign to produce whatever they want. While advertising campaigns do exist in the Hollywood sense they're typically built around the projects of individual directors rather than the other way around. Which ironically leads to-

Market Appeal: Korean film takes this treatment to every film, genre, including such traditional "low art" as romantic comedies or melodramas. There's plenty of demand for quality movies in these areas, but because Hollywood doesn't make them there's been a vacuum that Korean movies have easily been able to fill.

Wow! What does this mean for me?

Surprisingly little, actually, assuming you're an American anyway. Pretty much any non-English film is, by definition, an art house movie by American standards so outside of the occasional cult mega-hit we don't really see this stuff too often. Obviously, as the existence of two prior threads indicates, plenty of movie lovers have discovered and love Korean film, and eagerly desire to share it with others. And so here we are.

Got any good recommendations?

I actually live in the country and study the industry's trends from a Korean perspective. As a result, my ideas concerning Korean film are skewed toward the local and genre level, so unless I know more about what you want I can't give much good advice, although I'd say roughly half of the movies I've seen have never been mentioned in any Something Awful thread before. If you want a starting point feel free to ask. I'm sure other goons will be listing their favorites in the posts right below my own as well, and they'll probably be closer to the perspective you're looking for.

Don't be a dick. Recommend something.

Right, then. Some Korean film representation by genre. I'm skewing toward modern times here, so as to highlight films that have not been greatly discussed in these forums before.

Action - War of the Arrows

Have you ever seen an action movie and wondered why everyone spent over half the time talking and not, you know, destroying everything? This is the movie for you. We start with an action scene, get maybe fifteen minutes of exposition, and then the rest of the movie is just more non-stop action.

Animation - Leafy, A Hen Into The Wild

The animation is absolutely gorgeous, very visually distinct from anything you've probably ever seen before. The story is beautiful, too, albeit quite sad at points. The setting is similar to Bambi in that these are all real animals, albeit ones that can talk to each other.

Documentary - No Name Stars

The Gwangju Uprising in 1980 is an important event in South Korean history that deligitimized South Korea's last dictator and paved the way for democratization in 1987. This documentary covers the ordinary people who were involved in the event and witnessed what happened.

Drama - Pieta

Full Review Here. I refuse to call this an independent film, given how well it did at the local box office following its winning of the Golden Lion award. A brutal debt collector gets his outlook changed when a woman appears claiming to be his mother. Whatever you're expecting this to be it probably isn't, which is about what you normally get from director Kim Ki-Duk.

Historical - Masquerade

Full Review Here. King Gwang-Hae is loud, abrasive, unlikable, and the target of frequent assassination attempts. Enter a body double, Ha-Sun, to cover for the real king while he recuperates from poison. A strong performance by Lee Byeong-Heon underscores an intriguing political allegory that came surprisingly close to highest overall gross at the box office this year.

Ripped From The Headlines - Unbowed

A professor confronts a corrupt judge with a crossbow. The system then conspires to find a way to send him to jail for as long as possible. This is complicated by the fact that the professor actually knows his way around a law book, and promptly makes a public mockery around a show trial clearly designed to railroad him. Maybe it's just because of how bad judges are in the US, but I got a heck of a kick out of seeing this guy actually call them on their bullshit.

Romantic Comedy - Everything About My Wife

Full Review Here. A remake of an Argentinian movie about a man who's too scared of his wife to ask for a divorce, so he persuades a Casanova to seduce her into asking for it instead. Noteworthy for having a ridiculously wacky premise, yet paying off with both laughs and heart.

Sports - As One

A fairly traditional sports movie, but one with three tropes we seldom see alone, never mind togther. The game is ping-pong, the players are predominantly women, and there's reconciliating political undertones as this is the story of the combined North / South Korea team, which only lasted for one year's tournament.

Supernatural Romance - A Werewolf Boy

Full Review Here. The lycanthropy in this movie isn't supposed to be some cool superpower that makes all the ladies swoon for him. He's actually more of a feral child whose emotional instability makes for a surprisingly sweet reflection on adolescence and growing up.

Thriller - A Confession Of Murder

Full Review Here. A man claiming to be a famous serious killer emerges just as the statute of limitations runs out. Much tense scene plotting ensues as people try to figure out where each other stand, and the action sequences we build up to are well worth the wait.

What's with those review links?

I review Korean movies for a website called hancinema.net. Right now I do two a week. I try to do one that's currently running in Korean theaters and one older one. This, incidentally, is what the whole "with weekly updates" bit is about. Since I'm writing this stuff anyway, I can just give capsule paragraphs and links to full reviews like what I put above and it's no real skin off my nose. I don't know know whether this will make the thread more active than the previous incarnations, but at least it won't disappear for months at a time again.

Where can I watch these?

Han Cinema offers options for watching Korean movies online and has advertisements for websites that sell DVDs. Because a lot of the movies I note above are recent, as of this writing they may not yet be available. Obviously if you're reading this OP from the future, that isn't a problem, though the availability of Korean language DVDs is always at least a little problematic.

Where can I find detailed database styled information about a specific Korean movie?

If you're looking for IMDB level detail about a movie, http://www.hancinema.net is your best bet. Disclaimer- that's the website I work for. But for nearly every Korean movie of the last 15 years you've got a cast list, credits, picture gallery, synopsis, times it's appeared in the news, videos, and a review. Although we don't have reviews for every single Korean movie ever. Yet. Only way to know for sure is to type the movie's name into the search engine. It can recognize both the English and Korean alphabets.

(some other question)

Just ask it yourself. I or some other poster should be able to answer it. Anyway, here's to a New Year, and hopefully a more active thread.

Some Guy TT fucked around with this message at Dec 2, 2013 around 03:43

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Keanu Grieves
Dec 30, 2002

TEAM DYLAN


I liked Thirst, The Chaser and I Saw the Devil. (Curiously, I hated Oldboy.) Where do I go next?

EDIT: Also, I don't know if this was asked or explained in the last thread, but is there an obvious cultural reason for South Korean thrillers' incredibly graphic violence or am I just extrapolating a false idea from the few South Korean thrillers I've seen?

Keanu Grieves fucked around with this message at Dec 29, 2012 around 17:03

El Graplurado
Mar 24, 2004
I do backflips when you're not looking.

It would be good to keep this near the top, new thread, so here is a link to the Korean Film Archive's youtube page. A reminder that Korea had a film industry before 1995 or whenever it was that CJ entertainment started buying up all the theatres and the screen quota was enforced. And it occasionally produced some remarkable films, some of which are available here. It's all free, everything is English subtitled, some are in 720 or 1080p, and there's some fantastic stuff on there, including:

Black Republic
Chilsu and Mansu
A Fine Windy Day
Seaside Village
Aimless Bullet
Woman of Fire
Seopyeonje
The Day a Pig Fell Into The Well

They also sell DVD's of most of the films on there and more as well, packaged as thoughtfully for the English speaker (but no one else...) as their youtube page.

Alhazred
Feb 16, 2011

Just bring your ass to where they got me
So you can feel the hand of the dead body

Keanu Grieves posted:

I liked Thirst, The Chaser and I Saw the Devil. (Curiously, I hated Oldboy.) Where do I go next?

I liked I'm a Cyborg But That's Okay.

zandert33
Sep 20, 2002



Alhazred posted:

I liked I'm a Cyborg But That's Okay.

I'm sorry, but what does this film have to do with the others listed?

Keanu, have you seen Mr or Lady Vengeance? If not, they are an obvious place to go. Aside from the "The Man from Nowhere" and "Bittersweet Life" should be in the same ballpark.

Gringo Heisenberg
May 29, 2009



Keanu Grieves posted:

I liked Thirst, The Chaser and I Saw the Devil. (Curiously, I hated Oldboy.) Where do I go next?

EDIT: Also, I don't know if this was asked or explained in the last thread, but is there an obvious cultural reason for South Korean thrillers' incredibly graphic violence or am I just extrapolating a false idea from the few South Korean thrillers I've seen?

It's pretty much mandatory viewing to watch Memories of Murder if you're going to get into South Korean movies. It stars the guy from Thirst too. It's not violent or anything though, it's more a crime procedural/mystery. You should try some of their gangster movies.

And yeah, the violence in Korean movies tends to be a lot more graphic than most, no idea why though.


Also, if anyone hasn't heard, three Korean directors are having their North American film debuts in 2013.
Chan-Wook Park is directing Stoker, Jee-Woon Kim is doing The Last Stand with Schwarzenegger, and Joon-Ho Bong is doing Snowpiercer (which sounds really interesting and Kang-Ho Song has a part in it).

Stoker:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brjtL-2kE9A

The Last Stand:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIersyq-Gt8




e: Oh yeah, the director/actors from The Chaser did another movie, The Yellow Sea. I think consensus in the last thread was that it doesn't come close to The Chaser, though.

Gringo Heisenberg fucked around with this message at Dec 29, 2012 around 22:51

Tars Tarkas
Apr 13, 2003

Rock the Mok


A Werewolf Boy became a surprise hit and scored a limited US release. As there is two versions of Werewolf Boy (including 2 endings) I don't know which one was released in the US, but probably the original as the new version came out later in Korea.

Pieta is the first Kim Ki-Duk film I've been interested in seeing in years. In general, Korean cinema stagnated for a bit but has been coming back for the past two years, though there are still notable huge duds like Sector 7.

Keanu Grieves posted:

I liked Thirst, The Chaser and I Saw the Devil. (Curiously, I hated Oldboy.) Where do I go next?

I'd suggest Memories of Murder and the other two Vengeance Trilogy flicks, as I like them and don't like Oldboy, either. Dirty Blood is another revenge flick, but I haven't seen it yet as there isn't a version with English subs I know about.

xzoto1
Jan 18, 2010

How's life in a bigger prison, Dae-su?

As the other two posts mentioned above, Memories of Murder is pretty much a must see film.

Anyone else find this year to be particularly lacking in quality SK films? There's definitely a few good ones, but overall, it seemed to be a pretty weak year.

FAT WORM OF ERROR
Feb 16, 2007

Menschliches! Allzumenschliches!!

Rewatched Address Unknown a few days ago and completely forgot how stupid (ending spoilers) Chang-Guk's face plant into the mud death is.

BubbleGoose
Oct 15, 2007

There are so many amendments in the constitution of the United States of America--I can only choose one!

Keanu Grieves posted:

I liked Thirst, The Chaser and I Saw the Devil. (Curiously, I hated Oldboy.)

Heh. I'm just the opposite. I Saw the Devil left me a bit depressed. I highly recommend Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. Some really rough scenes,, but the acting is great.

Some Guy TT
Aug 30, 2011


Gringo Heisenberg posted:

And yeah, the violence in Korean movies tends to be a lot more graphic than most, no idea why though.

A couple reasons. One is overcompensation because guns aren't used that often (mirroring South Korea's tight policy on this front), and pretty much any other weapon by definition is going to be much more brutal if you're depicting the violence honestly. The second is that the Korean film you see isn't representative of the industry as a whole. Park Chan-Wook, for example, is a famous name in Korea, and most people have at least heard of him, but his movies occupy roughly the same niche as Tarantino's do in American culture. Well-known and they sound familiar, but not exactly mainstream.

xzoto1 posted:

Anyone else find this year to be particularly lacking in quality SK films? There's definitely a few good ones, but overall, it seemed to be a pretty weak year.

Locally this has been considered an excellent year for Korean film. That 70% box office figure is based off of the strength of high quality films that did surprisingly well at the box office thanks to excellent word of mouth. Seven of the ten films in the OP are from 2012, and there's pleny of other big hits that I haven't mentioned or even seen yet.

If by quality you mean "international art house level", yeah, it's a shorter list than usual. I honestly find the genre films much more interesting, because they represent a significant improvement over American equivalents even though I'm dealing with a language barrier.

RoryGilmore
May 8, 2007

I'm just real happy to see you.


BubbleGoose posted:

I highly recommend Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. Some really rough scenes,, but the acting is great.

As amazing as most films mentioned in this thread are, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance is my absolute favorite, and one of my favorite movies period. I would put it up there with Memories of Murder as a necessary watch. There are just some amazingly beautiful shots in it.

Leper Residue
Sep 28, 2003

To where no dog has gone before.


Keanu Grieves posted:

I liked Thirst, The Chaser and I Saw the Devil. (Curiously, I hated Oldboy.) Where do I go next?

EDIT: Also, I don't know if this was asked or explained in the last thread, but is there an obvious cultural reason for South Korean thrillers' incredibly graphic violence or am I just extrapolating a false idea from the few South Korean thrillers I've seen?

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Mother yet. A woman tries to find the killer who framed her mentally handicapped and fully grown son for murder. It's not as dark as say Chaser, but it gets up there.

Also, The Host is probably one of my favorite movies. It's just such a fantastic black comedy. The costume thread had a great write up of it, and it made me appreciate the movie even more.

And lastly I have seen The Man From Nowhere so many times now. It's my go to drunk movie. It's like the director saw Taken, said 'that movie is for pussies' and made it even more awesome and dark. Such great knife fights.

truther
Oct 22, 2008


Didn't realise we had a megathread for South Korean films! I've recently seen a few and was honestly blown away by their quality (I Saw The Devil, The Man From Nowhere especially).

Why have I wasted so many years on trashy American movies?

lil sartre
Feb 12, 2009

by Y Kant Ozma Post


Some Guy TT posted:

I'm sure other goons will be listing their favorites in the posts right below my own as well,

Since you asked,

I haven't seen too many korean movies (and none from the op), but I'm gonna list the ones I liked. I went into most of them without knowing what they were about and I think I enjoyed them more because of that, so I'm also not gonna give too many details

Great movies

Mother - I think it's the one I liked most, tho Bedevilled and Chaser came really close. It's about a woman who's mentally ill son gets framed for murder, and she starts an investigation trying to prove his innocence.

Chaser - A former cop turned pimp is in a race against time to find one of his girls who's been kidnapped by a serial killler. One of the best thrillers I've ever seen

Bedevilled - I think this one should be seen without knowing anything about it, I know it worked for me that way


Good movies

The Revenge Trilogy - I guess everybody knows them, I liked Lady best

The Host - Saw it a long time ago, it's probably the best example of Korean style 9001 film genres crammed into one movie

Memories of murder - Dropkicks!

The man from nowhere - It's Taken meets Leon, but better than both. Main actor has anime hair but, thankfully, he gets a haircut. Has the best knife fight I've ever seen in a movie

The Yellow Sea - I liked the first half way more than the second where it goes into action movie mode, but it was extremely enjoyable nonetheless

Thirst - Ridiculous and hilarious vampire movie. The girl was amazing

A Bittersweet Life - Very well executed gangster flick, had a few great scenes

Joint Security Area - Pretty good, except the parts in english or french which were cringeworthy but thankfully they were few

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring - Really well made little buddhist movie

I saw the devil - Great acting and cinematography, horrible script. Towards the end I couldn't bring myself to care and even laughed at the ridiculous ending. By far the most disturbing korean movie I've seen, probably only this chinese movie called Revenge: A Love Story was more disturbing out of what I've seen the past few years.

Crying Fist - I knew it was about boxing and thought it's gonna be some Rocky crap, but ended up enjoying it

My Sassy Girl - The only romantic comedy I liked so much, by the end I was almost crying heh. Maybe should have put this one up there in the Great category..


Movie so bad it's good, also what the christ at that second part

Sex is Zero - Saw this years ago when I was in college and had 2 girls over. There was no sex that night


Bad

Attack the Gas Station - Pointless and unfunny, didn't laugh a single time and hated everybody in it

City of Violence - Turned it off half an hour in

Gringo Heisenberg
May 29, 2009



lil sartre posted:

The Host - Saw it a long time ago, it's probably the best example of Korean style 9001 film genres crammed into one movie


You should see Save The Green Planet!, it's incredible how many different genres they use in it and how flawlessly they transition between them.

e: Had a few minutes and skipped through some parts in Arrow. Holy poo poo this thing is going to be annoying to watch with all the stupid shaky cam, it's almost as bad as the Bourne Ultimatum.

Gringo Heisenberg fucked around with this message at Jan 1, 2013 around 02:33

tatertot
Aug 29, 2003


Here's a few that haven't been mentioned:

A Tale of Two Sisters - horror

Oasis
3 Iron
Failan - All 3 of these are love stories, each with their own twist

Castaway on the Moon - Another romance, but this one is funny and not soul-crushingly depressing. A nice change of pace

Tars Tarkas
Apr 13, 2003

Rock the Mok


Leper Residue posted:

And lastly I have seen The Man From Nowhere so many times now. It's my go to drunk movie. It's like the director saw Taken, said 'that movie is for pussies' and made it even more awesome and dark. Such great knife fights.

Seconding this.

RightClickSaveAs
Mar 1, 2001

Bear Witness


Nice to see a new thread for this, I haven't found any new Korean movies to watch in a while. I'm also really interested to see some recommendations from someone really close to the lesser-known titles.

Has anyone watched Howling yet? It stars the ubiquitous Kang-ho Song and looks interesting, it's up for streaming on Netflix but I haven't been taking the time to watch many movies lately so I haven't gotten to it yet.

Also I'm going to shamelessly repost a couple recommendations of mine from the old thread.

Seconding the recommendation for A Tale of Two Sisters, it's still one of my favorites.


This is probably the one that started me on Korean horror. I've seen it several times, and love it more each time I watch it. The art direction is fantastic, each scene feels like it could be framed as a painting. The basic story is, two sisters come back home from some unspecified hospital stay to live with their father and his new wife. The sisters don't get along too well with their new mom, and weird poo poo starts to happen. The stepmom is played brilliantly in this movie, she manages to be civilized and cheery yet cruel in her interactions with the two sisters.

Acacia


A husband and wife who are unable to have a child decide to adopt. The boy becomes obsessed with an acacia tree they have in their back yard, convinced that his biological mother lives on as the tree. After the wife finally becomes pregnant and has a child after all, the adopted boy ends up disappearing, and weird poo poo starts to happen.

Treeless Mountain


This is something in a different direction than most of the movies listed so far. I stumbled on this through Netflix, it's currently up for streaming. It's a movie I would have completely overlooked otherwise, but I found it to be a really well made, moving story. It's very quiet and slow paced, so it's probably not for everyone.

The story concerns two sisters who are left in the care of their aunt while their struggling mother goes off to try to find their deadbeat dad. The aunt in question is an alcoholic, and barely able to care for herself, so the two girls end up essentially fending for themselves. The film is basically just their day to day life as they try to survive and deal with the inevitable abandonment issues, as the days go by and they anxiously wait for their mother to return.

Aeka 2.0
Nov 16, 2000

Have you seen my apex seals? I seem to have lost them.



tatertot posted:

Here's a few that haven't been mentioned:

A Tale of Two Sisters - horror

Oasis
3 Iron
Failan - All 3 of these are love stories, each with their own twist

Castaway on the Moon - Another romance, but this one is funny and not soul-crushingly depressing. A nice change of pace

I hate horror films and A Tale of Two Sisters is great.

3 Iron is awesome. When you can make an entire movie with minimal dialogue and keep it interesting is good cinema. I can't wait to see Snowpiercer.

RightClickSaveAs posted:



Treeless Mountain


This is something in a different direction than most of the movies listed so far. I stumbled on this through Netflix, it's currently up for streaming. It's a movie I would have completely overlooked otherwise, but I found it to be a really well made, moving story. It's very quiet and slow paced, so it's probably not for everyone.

The story concerns two sisters who are left in the care of their aunt while their struggling mother goes off to try to find their deadbeat dad. The aunt in question is an alcoholic, and barely able to care for herself, so the two girls end up essentially fending for themselves. The film is basically just their day to day life as they try to survive and deal with the inevitable abandonment issues, as the days go by and they anxiously wait for their mother to return.


Havent seen this one but it kind of reminds me of a film I watched where a father escapes North Korea to find a better life for his family, poo poo goes wrong, kids are on their own wandering the desert. It tore me up.




Man of Vendetta is also pretty awesome.

Aeka 2.0 fucked around with this message at Jan 3, 2013 around 02:53

Some Guy TT
Aug 30, 2011


RightClickSaveAs posted:

Has anyone watched Howling yet? It stars the ubiquitous Kang-ho Song and looks interesting, it's up for streaming on Netflix but I haven't been taking the time to watch many movies lately so I haven't gotten to it yet.

Howling is a really good baseline movie for what's typical in Korean drama films. It has an interesting high concept, strong character performances, a focus on realism, explicitly portrays people in power as out for their own self-interest rather than as a higher-calling, and unapologetically brings up social issues. It's not an outstanding film, but it will definitely scratch your itch if that's what you watch Korean movies to get a hit of.

Two Hundred Pounds Beauty



An overweight woman named Hanna with a powerful passion for singing ends up having plastic surgery so that she can break into the industry. The concept sounds iffy as all heck, so I was really pleasantly surprised at how well this actually works. Unlike most stories that use a "true beauty is on the inside" moral, this one actually acknowledges the fact that no one would have ever cared about Hanna's singing talent and passion if she hadn't gotten the surgery first. In a lot of places the movie's pretty satirical about the way society will arbitrarily treat people better solely on the basis of their appearance. It's also one of the more well-known exports of Korean Wave, so worth a look on that basis too if this kind of humor's not your thing.

Some Guy TT fucked around with this message at Jan 7, 2013 around 08:03

Doktor Per
Feb 25, 2007

Look guys, I'm a lady!

lil sartre posted:

Movie so bad it's good, also what the christ at that second part

Sex is Zero - Saw this years ago when I was in college and had 2 girls over. There was no sex that night


Bad

Attack the Gas Station - Pointless and unfunny, didn't laugh a single time and hated everybody in it

City of Violence - Turned it off half an hour in

I have never felt as compelled to reply to anything on here before.

Sex is Zero is like South-Korea's answer to American Pie. It's one of my top five of all times sex comedies.

I can actually see where you're coming from regarding Attack the Gas Station, but I had a blast. It's one of those "one fateful night" films centering on 4 troubled youths as they rob a gas station the second time. I've watched it a few times with friends, most enjoy it, so this might be a cultural thing.

City of Violence - Turned it off before it began properly. It has some of the most gorgeous fighting scenes I have seen in years. It has the violence the Warriors promised.

qbert
Oct 23, 2003

It's both thrilling and terrifying.

Well I just watched Daisy. Ending spoilers Why is Korea so obsessed with depressing endings, Jesus gently caress!

Some Guy TT
Aug 30, 2011


So, this week's Korean box office results are in. I wouldn't normally consider these noteworthy enough to post in the thread, but this was the opening weekend for Cloud Atlas, a movie that's been hyped for its presentation of neo-Seoul and inclusion of Korean actress Bae Donna (one of the leads in As One, mentioned in the OP). Take a guess what place it opened.

Number 5. Above it are, in order, a comedy released the same weekend about a Gangster Shaman, a disaster movie released last Christmas by the name of Tower, Les Miserables and Life of Pi, both of which had their opening weekends before Cloud Atlas. Take from that what you will.



National Security is based on the real life story of a man who was imprisoned under South Korea's last dictatorial regime in 1985 for suspicions of connections with North Korean communists. The movie takes a grim look at torture by showing it to the audience through his perspective. There are multiple waterboarding scenes, and I don't care how much you've read about it or what kind of pictures you've seen, actually seeing it performed in person is a lot more grotesque and horrific than what you're expecting. Especially effective is the way we see the jailers. In another movie their frustrations would be sympathetic- in this one their complacency is utterly terrifying. If you ever wanted to know why Korean film is so down about the police, events like this in Korea's near past are why.

hypersleep
Sep 17, 2011





Tell Me Something is a thriller/mystery about a cop trying to find a serial killer with the help of a woman who might be the killer's next victim. It's difficult to say much more than that without giving anything away. I first saw it several years ago but recently watched it again on Netflix. I thought it was pretty drat good.



Also seen several years ago, I remember a mystery crime movie called Spider Forest being really drat good. I remember it being pretty surreal. It was about a man who gets hit by a car and loses his memory while investigating a murder that involved his girlfriend. He tries to piece together what happened, despite his memory loss.

RoryGilmore
May 8, 2007

I'm just real happy to see you.


For anyone living in NYC, Chan-wook Park is showing Stoker at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria next month, with a Q&A afterwards here

Gringo Heisenberg
May 29, 2009



Anybody seen The Last Stand yet?

Tars Tarkas
Apr 13, 2003

Rock the Mok


Okay but not great.

EDIT: It's an okay actioner but it isn't anything special. I was disappointed as I though Kim Ji-woon would do more, but the first 2/3rds of the film is pretty generic action movie and it's only during the last 1/3rd when things get exciting. Had the entire film kept up that pace I think I would have liked it better. There's a lot of ridiculous car stunts in the first 2/3rds and Forest Whitaker spends almost the entire film yelling into phones and angry tossing them away. The battle sequences in the last 1/3rd look more like Kim's prior work, with the same type of camera style as TGTBTW. But that's not enough to make up for what I expected would be something way cool. Hopefully it does well enough Kim can do some projects with more freedom.

Tars Tarkas fucked around with this message at Jan 18, 2013 around 05:48

Gringo Heisenberg
May 29, 2009



Oldboy will be playing at participating Cineplex movie theaters at the beginning of February (4th and 5th), as part of the Great Digital Film Festival
Battle Royale will also be playing those same two days.
http://www.cineplex.com/Events/Digi...ngTheatres.aspx

BioTech
Feb 5, 2007
...drinking myself to sleep again...

Recently started with South Korean movies.

Watched Oldboy when it was released and one of the Vengeance movies around that time as well, nothing else. Started with Welcome to Dongmakgol, The Host, Man from Nowhere and I Saw the Devil last week. War of the Arrows this morning.

I enjoyed most of them, but Dongmakgol got a bit too Disney for my tastes about halfway through, really playing up the desire for unification of the two Koreas and showing us how they weren't so different not too long ago, etc. It wasn't bad, just a bit overdone.

The Host seemed all over the place, never finding its comfort zone. It definitely had good moments, but it never really came together.

Man from Nowhere was brutal and the pretty unique shots of the POV knifefight but mostly the cameraman jumping out of the window were very cool.

I Saw the Devil was draining, but so good. It really felt like it lasted forever and just wouldn't let up, which makes me never want to see it again but still remember it as a very worthwhile ride.

War of the Arrows was disappointing. At no point did I ever really care about what was going on and my mind wandered most of the time. It definitely wasn't bad, it just felt like I saw this movie a hundred times before and it did nothing to change that.

Still have half a dozen others left, so I might be back soon.

BioTech fucked around with this message at Jan 27, 2013 around 12:20

Steve Yun
Aug 7, 2003

I
ANALYZE
CARTOONS


Which other Vengeance movie did you see, the one about the guy or the girl?

I'd like to suggest Memories of Murder for you. Also, the Chaser.

BioTech
Feb 5, 2007
...drinking myself to sleep again...

Pretty sure it was Lady Vengeance. I remember someone getting beaten with a hammer on a chair, with plastic surrounding them to catch the bloodsplatters. Also a fat woman in jail, drowning other women and forcing them to eat her out. Have to be honest and say I don't remember much else, it was an arthouse showing not longer after release, so I'm guessing almost 10 years ago. Might have to watch it again soon.

Both Memories of Murder and the Chaser are on my list, together with Pieta, Thirst, Brotherhood of War and Attack the Gas Station. Might be a while before I see all of those though, upcoming schedule is a lot busier than last week.

qbert
Oct 23, 2003

It's both thrilling and terrifying.

Recently watched The Thieves and I really enjoyed it. It's basically a mish-mash of Ocean's 11 and Mission: Impossible, with some standard heist film cliches built in, but it's all done fairly well. The actual main heist takes place like halfway through the film, which was surprising, as the movie still goes on for like 40 minutes after it, and has a whole separate big third act I wasn't expecting. Some pretty cool action sequences, fun characters, and basically a major plot twist every 10 minutes, I can totally understand how this became the highest grossing S. Korean film of all time.

lil sartre
Feb 12, 2009

by Y Kant Ozma Post


qbert posted:

Recently watched The Thieves and I really enjoyed it. It's basically a mish-mash of Ocean's 11 and Mission: Impossible, with some standard heist film cliches built in, but it's all done fairly well. The actual main heist takes place like halfway through the film, which was surprising, as the movie still goes on for like 40 minutes after it, and has a whole separate big third act I wasn't expecting. Some pretty cool action sequences, fun characters, and basically a major plot twist every 10 minutes, I can totally understand how this became the highest grossing S. Korean film of all time.

I watched it today after seeing your post and I really enjoyed it, it had some flaws (like the contrived plot and some minor melodrama) but the good heavily outweighed the bad. What I liked most and made the movie for me was the cat burglar girl, the one that the other girls refer to as "that bitch", besides being stunning she was also hilarious; I looked her up after the movie (for.. erm.. a project) and turns out she was also in My Sassy Girl, which made me slap myself for not recognizing her cause I loved that movie and she was amazing in there too.

Other korean movies I've seen the last few days:

Pieta - it was good I guess? but I dont ever wanna see it again, it was that hosed up. I figured out the big twist pretty early on, but that didnt help me from going jesus christ what the gently caress etc

War of the Arrows - pretty enjoyable little action movie with arrows and poo poo. Nothing special, but I guess I liked the manchurian elite guys

lil sartre
Feb 12, 2009

by Y Kant Ozma Post


BioTech posted:

Both Memories of Murder and the Chaser are on my list, together with Pieta, Thirst, Brotherhood of War and Attack the Gas Station. Might be a while before I see all of those though, upcoming schedule is a lot busier than last week.

Check out The Yellow Sea and A Bittersweet Life too, as far as korean movies go they're up there with the best of them

qbert
Oct 23, 2003

It's both thrilling and terrifying.

lil sartre posted:

What I liked most and made the movie for me was the cat burglar girl, the one that the other girls refer to as "that bitch", besides being stunning she was also hilarious; I looked her up after the movie (for.. erm.. a project) and turns out she was also in My Sassy Girl, which made me slap myself for not recognizing her cause I loved that movie and she was amazing in there too.

Yeah, ever since My Sassy Girl I've been a fan of hers. I've seen pretty much all the films she's been in, although none were as good as that one. She was also the lead in Daisy, which I wrote about a few posts earlier, although you could probably figure out what I thought of that film from the spoiler.

She did another film with the director of My Sassy Girl called Windstruck if you want to check it out. It's kind of like a pseudo-prequel to My Sassy Girl.

Some Guy TT
Aug 30, 2011


Everyone always talks about how hosed up and gruesome Pieta is but I didn't really see it as that bad. The strange part is that if I describe the events of the movie literally, yeah, I can understand why people would be creeped out, but in context it didn't seem that awful. The whole movie to me was mainly a character study of what a brutal violent man would actually be like emotionally, and this blunt unromantic portrayal just came off to me a lot better than the overly idealized version of such characters that we normally get complete with a saccharine "love redeems all" ending. It reminds me of Samaritan Girl, another Kim Ki-Duk film that does something similar with sex as character development tropes.



Punch is a coming of age story about a teenager who lives on the margins of Korean society, along with several other people in his neighborhood who live on somewhat differently defined margins. The narrative makes a lot of statements about social issues in Korea- but in the very indirect way of relating them to how they interact with the lives of actual people rather than getting up on a soapbox. It grossed #4 at the year-end box office when it was released back in 2011, even though it was not predicted to do well at all due to the aforementioned issues. I consider this probably one of the best movies to watch as far as understanding mainstream Korean flm dramas, because it has a lot of the quiet strengths that are popular with Korean movie-goers.

Some Guy TT fucked around with this message at Jan 22, 2013 around 04:12

gmq
May 6, 2009

Mega Man has never looked so good.



lil sartre posted:

War of the Arrows - pretty enjoyable little action movie with arrows and poo poo. Nothing special, but I guess I liked the manchurian elite guys

The ambiguity of the ending redeemed it a bit in my eyes, even though I thought the first act was almost unnecessary.

On the other hand, a couple of weeks ago I watched Going by the Book and it's a pretty fun movie but the last scene seems like it was taken from other, worse, movie.

RightClickSaveAs
Mar 1, 2001

Bear Witness


gmq posted:

On the other hand, a couple of weeks ago I watched Going by the Book and it's a pretty fun movie but the last scene seems like it was taken from other, worse, movie.
I really enjoyed this, it's such a lighthearted movie with some really funny moments. The lead also starred in Castaway on the Moon, he does a great job playing a pretty obtuse guy without being too ridiculous.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

BioTech
Feb 5, 2007
...drinking myself to sleep again...

I had time for the Thieves, the Chaser and Memories of Murder this weekend.

The Thieves was very enjoyable. Qbert said it before, but it's a combination of Ocean's Eleven and Mission Impossible. I think the biggest thing I like about South Korean films so far is they are not bound by Hollywood rules and have the freedom to change formulas. Often this means that the ending won't necessarily be a happy one, but in case of the Thieves I was surprised by the violence. This isn't a violent movie at all, especially not compared to the other ones I've watched, but when I read the comparison to Ocean's Eleven I just never figured there would be deaths, gunfights, etc. You expect charming thieves, you get things going wrong. I guess it can take some people out of the story, not getting what you expect, but for me it was very refreshing.

The Chaser was amazing. It felt like a light version of I Saw the Devil, but only in regards to the gore/violence, which was cringeworthy in IStD sometimes anyway. It has the same driven or even obsessed characters and strong tension.

Memories of Murder didn't really do it for me. There were many small things that I liked, but it never really came together. It is hard to explain, I just felt the parts didn't work together that well despite there being great ideas, some good laughs and an interesting premise. That said, I really liked how the cop with his old-fashioned style, country wisdom and unofficial techniques didn't save the day when the by-the-rules citycop couldn't close the case. He failed and never redeemed himself. Also, credit for not being buddy cop movie where they both learn from each other in the end and bla bla bla. Guess this ties into the bit about refreshing movies.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply
«9 »