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Korean movie recommendations [Part Deux]

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Korean movie recommendations [Part Deux]

Old 01-01-03, 02:01 AM
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Oasis

Released by CJ Entertainment
Korean R3 (Only)
NTSC Colour
133 Mins

OAR 1.85:1 Anamorphic
DVD-9
Korean DD2.0, DD5.1 and DTS
English (Excellent) and Korean Subs

Extras (2nd Disc DVD-9)
- Director Profile, interview, making, synopsis and production note
- Director Of photography Profile and Interview
- Actor/Actress Profile, Interview and making
- Music Profile and Interview
- Art Director Profile and Interview
- Producer Profile, Interview and easter egg (Interview)
- CGI Profile and before and after samples
- 59 La Biennate Di Venezia photos and award film
- Preview screen with special guests short
- Exclusive message (Interview)
- Trailer
- Still Gallery with music


A fantastic package with great DTS sound and clean sharp picture. A mountain of extras which aren't subbed ...

Lee Chang-dong (Green Fish and Peppermint Candy) returns with the same actor and actress he used for his last movie Sol Kyung-gu and Moon so-ri. Moon So-ri picked up the 59th vienna film festival award for best young actor/actress, the first such award for a Korean movie.

Moon So-ri plays a women with cerebral palsy who is ignored and abused in life until simpleton Sol Kyung-gu comes into her life.

The idea is simple but the excution for a film like this is difficult. Keeping a film like Oasis from being cliche ridden is a mean feat in itself but to turn it into a film as watchable as some of the best Korean romances I've seen is watching a true master at work. You will laugh. you will cry and you will be shocked by whats on screen. The performances by the two leads will endear them to you forever.

A film like Oasis will make art directors squirm in their seats because it is able to get messages across on so many levels without making audiences go WTF??? and yet it is still fresh and original in everyway.

A Korean Movie must see.

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Old 01-01-03, 04:05 AM
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This is a great thread. Thanks everybody for the reviews! I will be a lot poorer because of this thread.
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Old 01-01-03, 10:52 AM
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I received Oasis and Sympathy for Mr. Vengance last week. Looking forward to watching them.

I was looking for Peppermint Candy online. Couple of places seem to have it but it's listed as 4:3 "full screen". Is this the original OAR?
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Old 01-01-03, 06:10 PM
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Cirrus888, I tip my hat to you. Your brief but to-the-point reviews in this thread have been a huge benefit to myself, and no doubt many others. My next batch of Korean DVDs will include many of the ones you've recommended, in particular Sympathy For Mr Vengeance which you've really got me psyched about.

Thanks again and keep 'em coming!
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Old 01-02-03, 06:07 AM
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Peppermint Candy's original OAR is 1.85:1. I saw it in the cinemsa, and it was not shown in full-frame. A real shaem too, sinc eI would love a good DVD of the film.
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Old 01-02-03, 06:14 AM
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Cirrus888 - where did you get the "Oasis" DVD? I live in HK as well, and I'm dying to see this film.

Also, "The Way Home" just came out on DVD. I'm thinking of getting it, but I dunno how the tranfer is. I already know I like the film
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Old 01-02-03, 06:41 AM
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Grimfarrow - If you live in HK then you can get Korean DVDs for quite cheap in Mong Kok. There is a place right near ladies street market, other side of mong kok computer centre and next to the Mong Kok Hi-fi centre.

You have to go downstairs where you will find at least 3 well stocked and most competitively priced DVDs in HK.

I order mine from Korea because its cheaper for someone who orders 5-6 at a time.
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Old 01-02-03, 08:50 AM
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Cirrus88,

This may be a large undertaking, but is there any chance you could tell me which of the non-anamorphic Korean discs have the subtitles displayed INSIDE the frame? I have a widescreen display that will cut off any subtitles that don't lie within a 1.77 frame. Thanks.

I'm getting around to watching the DVDs I got for Christmas now. I picked up the Ring Virus (haven't seen the Ring), Barking Dogs Never Bite (love Bae Doo-na), Ditto (I liked aspects of this, but still prefer Il Mare), the Foul King (GREAT film, hilarious), Christmas in August (beautifully made), and Love Letter (not Korean, but I loved April Story, so hopefully I'll like this one).

Also, I saw Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, and being a rather squeamish movie-goer, I didn't really like it. I may give it a second chance at some point (which will require me buying it) as I've heard too many good things about it, and Bae Doo-na is in it, so...
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Old 01-02-03, 11:32 AM
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does anyone else with the edko (hk) version of il mare have trouble with the subtitles being cut off mid-sentence? (i saw someone say the korean version had subtitle problems, but this is the HK version of the disc). I'm playing it on a CH 500. Not sure if this is a hardware issue or it is just the way the disc is.

Thanks again for the opinions--so far we've watched Barking dogs never bite, My sassy girl, Il Mare and Christmas in August--all great choices.
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Old 01-02-03, 12:10 PM
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The problem on the HK Il mare is an issue with the disc.
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Old 01-02-03, 01:19 PM
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Yup, watched the Edko Il Mare last week and noticed the same subtitle problems. So it's definitely a disc issue.

Grimfarrow, thanks for the OAR info. Looks like I'll hold off on getting Peppermint Candy until (hopefully) there's a better release available.
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Old 01-03-03, 08:25 AM
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mlindber - I might have a problem with doing that as I am lucky to enough to be able to watch films on a Projector and i don't know if it is comparable to a TV when it comes to subtitles.

It will also take me ages to go through them one by one to make sure but most subs appear on the image but with 2.35:1 AR the subs can be very variable.
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Old 01-03-03, 10:47 PM
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Originally posted by cirrus888
mlindber - I might have a problem with doing that as I am lucky to enough to be able to watch films on a Projector and i don't know if it is comparable to a TV when it comes to subtitles.
Is it a 16:9 projector? Do you have to use "zoom" when using non-anamorphic sources?
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Old 01-03-03, 11:08 PM
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i just saw last witness. i give it a 6.5 out of 10.

it was sort of interesting, but a bit predictable. really casts well how corrupt the whole country was (and still is) during the war.

subtitles were generally decent, despite a few glaring typos. many of the shots were quite nicely composed. i had some difficulty believing the age of the actors.

note that in general, i'm not a big fan of mysteries or suspense movies, so it biased my opinion.

ps that one guy actor who plays seok is in 1/2 the korean movies i own...

--

technically, i'm not sure if it's my player, but the ending got skinny... that is, it looked right for most of the movie, but it looked like it switched aspect ratios slightly.

Last edited by young; 01-04-03 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 01-06-03, 07:34 AM
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Resurrection Of The Little Match Girl

I bought the DVD before I knew about the Subs.

Its a visual action packed cyber fusion spectacle ... not as confusing as its made out to be and it does have a good ending and definately worth watching.

I'll do a proper reveiw when I get the time ...



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Old 01-06-03, 09:09 AM
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Hey fellow citizens...

i need recommendations! Hoping for sumthing less sappy & more art-house....

so far i absolutely love Kim Ki-duk's works, like the un-contrived romantic plot of Il Mare and JSA for its arresting humanist drama.... for sum reason i didnt like Friend(Offers nothing new) and Shiri(ditto). sadly thats all the korean flicks i have seen, and hence....

*So is Tsai Ming Liang rite afterall? Is Korea the new Hollywood?


Last edited by blessthemess; 01-06-03 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 01-06-03, 09:18 AM
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Originally posted by dvdordie
every swat team members endorsed by Oakley.(Everyone wearing oakley goggles) I don't think any SWAT teams in the world wears oakley ski goggle on operations.
Hmmm.... Hahahaaaa.... actually they do. i kid u not. OAKLEY'S SKI GOGGLES. i know. i was surprised myself.
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Old 01-06-03, 04:24 PM
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Originally posted by blessthemess
Hey fellow citizens...

i need recommendations! Hoping for sumthing less sappy & more art-house....

so far i absolutely love Kim Ki-duk's works, like the un-contrived romantic plot of Il Mare and JSA for its arresting humanist drama.... for sum reason i didnt like Friend(Offers nothing new) and Shiri(ditto). sadly thats all the korean flicks i have seen, and hence....

Hmmm, more artsy. Try:

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
Oasis
Barking Dogs Never Bite
The Isle

Note: I'm not big on romantic comedies but I enjoyed Il Mare. Didn't care much for Shiri and Friends either.
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Old 01-07-03, 06:19 AM
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I just felt a lot of Korean nationalism watching "Shuri"...it made me feel sympathetic about their current state of the country. The same goes with "JSA". I liked them both.

"Legend of Gingko" (aka Danjeogbiyeonsu) was disappointing...

I'll be seeing "Bichunmoo" this Thursday in theaters, I hope its good.

I've only started to pay more attention to Korean films, so I'm glad to see this type of thread.
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Old 01-07-03, 06:59 AM
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Resurrection Of The Little Match Girl

In a word - Good!

Not as confusing as your led to believe the film is very much a linear film until the end where it goes a little 2001.

However it maybe a linear film but its completely unconventional as it changes from scene to scene without explaination (or maybe because it doesn't have subs ).

The first 20 minutes sets up the main characters and for the following 20 mins another 10 characters from the "game" are introduce.

The characters are all 2-dimensional but its irrelevant as they all add colour and spice to a film that is never boring and visually stunning.

The film is described as Cyber Fusion Action and you get exactly that ... bringing in a HK team to design a multitude of wire-fu enhanced action is a big plus because if there is any proof that HK action cheorographers do action scenes (particularly with guns and fists) the best then its all in here.

I haven't seen 2009 : Lost Memories or Volcano high but I would gamble my left nipple that it won't be as exciting or visually stunning as this Korean Sci-fi.

The DVD by the way is excellent sound and picturewise. Contains a very good 15 min documentary on the making of the film that lets you jump into extended making of scenes ala follow the white rabbit ...



RESURRECTION OF THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL approaches the world through a combination of technology and Taoism; the great master of Taoism, China's Chuangtzu's teachings virtual reality. What we may call Technotaoism.. In the film, the cyber/game world will not be distinguished from the real world. Whether it is virtual reality or reality, both could be reality or a non-reality/pseudo-reality/virtual reality which in the film will be represented by a yellow butterfly quoted from Chuangtzu's famous literature.

Characters

The Little Match Girl/Hee-mee
They are the same person yet could be of different personalities...Hee-mee is the cashier who exchanges coins or cards at the Game Room. She does menial work, cleaning ashtrays and other things as well...

Ju
He is among the many teenagers who hang out in the Game Room because they don't have nothing important to do. However it is true that he is a first rate game player, perhaps not as good as his friend, Yi. In fact quite a few levels below. He has a crush on Hee-mee of the Game Room. It may be more correct to say that he is always at the Game Room because of her. For Ju it is better than being depressed all the time at home. Everything, his physical, mental....and especially financial level is almost hitting bottom, but he hang in there because of his passion and affection for the Little Match Girl. Futhermore, he also finds good samaritans on the way...

Yi
He is a close friend of Ju's but is hired by the System after winning a game tournament. He becomes a henchman of the System and shoots Ju and kidnaps the Little Match Girl. In the end he is terminated for being unable to ignore his friend, Ju.

The System
It cannot be seen. It just sends out its orders through mobile phones or monitors.... It could be disclosed in the end...but because it(?) is connected to the System...it doesn't die...as its death means the destruction of the System...

Bangjang
The master who developed the System. He is betrayed by the System and is in hiding now, fishing...waiting for his day to come, to recover the System. However, by helping the Little Match Girl escape, he eventually contributes to the System's destruction...

GA Juno
The cyber musician of the cyber cafe. He is a just a ghostly entity now, the ex-lover of the Little Match Girl, perhaps her first love. He is murdered by OH Bee-ryun which is why he has turned cyber now as a wandering spirit. From time to time he becomes the messenger of Bangjang. Meanwhile, the Little Match Girl cannot erase him from her memory. That is why she roams the streets. It is he who appears to the Little Match Girl as the ecstatic image she sees before freezing to death. This is why it is so difficult for the game players to win her love. Almost impossible. But sometimes things can happen ... like true love...

Lala
Think of Angelina Jolie, the warrior woman of Tomb Raider. But in this scenario she is a lesbian, sometimes competing and other times cooperating with Ju...over the Little Match Girl. At first, she despises Ju...like a real lesbian, she opposes to his every move, yet in time she begins to relate to him. Her mobility and agility level is excellent, yet she is easily distracted...her her striking power is inefficient...when she gains momentum, she is great...but when she lags, she is hopeless.

The Gang of Five
Under the banner of constructing the greatest form of organized crime, five muscles have come together as a team, one problem though is that none of them are that intelligent...They kidnap the Little Match Girl...and decide to gang rape her...until their boss appears out of nowhere and saves her, but this only the beginning of a series of failures. They waste most of their time at the fish cake shop. As game players, they are a disgrace...

The Fish Cake Man
He is the owner of the Fish Cake shop, he sells fish cakes and pig intestine sausages. But he also blackmarkets in firearms. A man of true abilities, there are rumors that he was under apprenticeship of Bangjang. At first, he is at the mercy of the gang of five...until he proves he is way above them...

OH Bee-ryun
The boss of the Bee-ryun Gang. His love for the little match girl drives him to murder GA Juno. He is despised by the little match girl, but continuously desires for her by kidnapping and imprisoning her, thinking this is his way of protecting her. He is the henchman of the System. He is protected by the System, and he provides loyal service in return. He tries to blame the System for GA Juno's death and this eventually brings about his death by the System Guards. He transmits a dangerous song.

The Rehab Center Men
They manage the 'House of Angels'...They are another group protected by the System...the range of their powers are actually quite enormous...wearing their uniforms, they kidnap the little match girl and imprisons her.

The System Guards
They are the private guards of the System...The vanguards...made up of the best men...a team for special missions, masters of martial arts, ace snipers etc. they are a group of terrorists with incredible powers. Yi is the middleman who is ordered to assassinate Ju. The leader, Scarface who resembles the Nazi leader , Goebbels. All street inspections and body searches are conducted by this group. Yi is shot to death by them.

Synopsis

To Chinese restaurant delivery boy 'Ju', the only joy in life is spending time at the electronic game room. One day, 'Ju' who was engrossed in an electronic game as usual, is advised to log-on to a game called RESURRECTION OF THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL. The match selling girl of Andersen's fairytale is revived through the game, and 'Ju' is drawn into the little girl's virtual reality.

As reality and cyberspace interchange, 'Ju', like in the famous fairytale, is given the mission to save the little girl from danger and lead her to a peaceful death. However, the two are not only confronted by a gigantic force called the System, that attempts to stop them, but other obstacles that place their lives in danger...

Production Note

If one were to present a story of a system and the conspiracies, various forms of oppression, conformity, violence and domination by the system and the attempts to challenge, attack, destroy and transgress it, RESURRECTION OF THE LITTLE MATCH SELLER as a type of conceptual mythology, a product of [social] conventions, is a challenge to escape from the ties that bind it and gain happiness in the end.

Assuming that the system is a type of matrix, too difficult to find a way out, RESURRECTION OF THE LITTLE MATCH SELLER is an attempt to observe how the system is presented, how it is developed and maintained, and generate profit for the privileged. It is also an examination of status quo whereby a system which used to be controlled by institutions, power and ideology now created it own mythologies of Technology, a world where technology and finance rules and people have not choice but to accept it and denounce it at the same time.

The film will maintain a simple storyline: the Little Match Girl who freezes to death in the Andersen's fairy tale is revived in an electronic game. She does not freeze to death, and eventually escapes the system that originally controls her fate, to a happy ending along with a good-for-nothing Ju who spends most of his time at the game room.

Although the film aspires to be an experience of sheer entertainment, RESURRECTION OF THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL will probably refrain from the conventions continuously reproduced in Hollywood and Hong Kong cinema.
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Old 01-08-03, 10:06 PM
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I just watched Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance again and it was just as great, not to mention highly depressing, as the 1st time I saw it. Anyway, here's a question for those who saw it:

Spoiler:

At the very end, what's written on that note that's pinned to his chest? Also he seems to be mumbling something but there are no subs. What is he saying?
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Old 01-09-03, 07:12 AM
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shiri, my sassy girl, volcano high
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Old 01-17-03, 07:03 AM
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Harry Knowles of Ain't it Cool has named Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance as his number 1 film for 2002 !
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Old 01-19-03, 02:37 AM
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Anybody seen Bae Doo-na's newest film, Saving My Hubby? Any good?
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Old 01-19-03, 04:18 AM
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Also, another good one to see is Chihwaseon, directed by Im Kwon-taek. I believe it is the first DVD of any of his movies to be released in Korea (even though he's done many, many films).

I really enjoyed the movie when I saw it in a theater. The director was also present during the screener, but I didn't get a chance to ask him any good questions.

The movie is available on region 3 Korean DVD, with an anamorphic image and DTS sound. (edit: also includes English subs)
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