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Taegukgi (Brotherhood) - Korean film

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Taegukgi (Brotherhood) - Korean film

Old 02-10-04, 02:18 AM
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Taegukgi (Brotherhood) - Korean film

http://www.asiandb.com/browse/movie_....pfm?code=5541

Directed by the the director of Shiri - this film is breaking all sorts of box office records in Korea. It's getting really good reviews as well. I'm curious if anyone has seen it yet. I'm for sure picking up the DVD whenever it comes out. You can access the trailer from that link - it's a war movie, but it does look pretty good.
Old 02-10-04, 02:04 PM
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http://www.koreanfilm.org/kfilm04.html#taegukgi

Darcy tends not to go for the blockbusters very often (with a few exceptions - ie. My Sassy Girl), so ymmv. Still, probably entertaining enough.
Old 02-10-04, 08:16 PM
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Interesting - most of the other reviews I've seen are quite positive - my Korean friend who usually hates Korean movies said this was his favorite film. Better than Friend and better than JSA. Alot of people are calling it Saving Private Lee indicating that it's somewhat of a Saving Private Ryan ripoff.
Old 02-10-04, 10:16 PM
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Originally posted by Trigger
Interesting - most of the other reviews I've seen are quite positive - my Korean friend who usually hates Korean movies said this was his favorite film. Better than Friend and better than JSA. Alot of people are calling it Saving Private Lee indicating that it's somewhat of a Saving Private Ryan ripoff.
Well, compared to say kfccinema.com (Joe six-pack) or something, Darcy's the "film snob" (no offense intended). He's a bit more critical in general, but he also has an eye for the more obscure and interesting flicks -- also a bit more schooled as far as film in that regard.

Which in fact means that I'd probably be vastly entertained by the flick only really noticing some "issues" on later viewings
Old 02-14-04, 10:43 PM
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I've seen it. A LOT of people were crying at the end. It's not a Saving Private Ryan ripoff but it takes the same kind of plot: the main part of the movie is in the past and is book-ended by the present. It's very well-made and very intense. The action scenes are huge, and really surprised me considering this is Korean movie. The drama never really gets heavy-handed, which is good, but I'll say that Mr. Jang doesn't like war, and especially doesn't like Korea being divided. I preferred Shiri but that's just me. Many people here prefer this one.

I thought it was a great flick and I'll definitely look for the DVD. I'm guessing June if the movie doesn't stay in theatres too long.

(By the way, for anybody who cares, Taegugki is the name of the Korean flag, and the name of the movie in Korean is, I think, Taegugki Waving or Taegugki Flapping.)
Old 02-15-04, 06:45 AM
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I've seen it called "Brotherhood" in English, but that was on asiandb where sometimes they seem to just make up names for these movies when no English title exists.
Old 02-17-04, 08:37 PM
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Yeah, the English title on the poster is just 'Taegugki'. Sometimes the difference between the English and Korean titles of movies is very strange. Like the Korean name for Japanese flick 'When the Last Sword is Drawn' is more or less 'Sword of the Wind'. I don't know which is closer to the Japanese title, though.

Something I find quite funny also is that there's a Korean movie that's called 'Scandal'. That's the phonetic title (it's in Konglish if you know what that is), so when you read the title in Korean it's 'Scandal', but the English title on the DVD box is 'Untold Scandal'. There are so many other stange differences like that.

Anyway...
Old 06-28-04, 08:43 AM
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Thought I'd bump this since the VCD is up for preorder and the DVD should be along shortly and the DVD for Silmido is up for preorder (and already being discussed).
Old 06-28-04, 09:55 AM
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Didn't really care for Shiri, but I am totally looking forward to seeing this.
Old 10-10-04, 05:30 PM
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"The love of a man for a woman waxes and wanes like the moon...but the love of brother for brother is steadfast as the stars, and endures like the word of the prophet." ...Arabian Proverb (also used as the prologue text to the 1939 version of the film "Beau Geste").

Taegukgi
Watched and enjoyed this epic Korean war film last night. If you take both the story structure and the style used in shooting the battle scenes of "Saving Private Ryan"; add the brotherly love theme of "Beau Geste" or as a more modern example the WW1 segment of "Legends of the Fall''; mix in the brutality and madness of war as shown in "Platoon"; and give it all an epic feel with the characters at the forefront while chaotic historical events serve as the backdrop such as in Zhang Yimou's 1994 film "To Live"...........then you get this film "Taegukgi". Director Kang Je-gyu (Shiri) like many of the current Korean filmmakers borrows heavily from the great cinemas of the world yet as is often the case still adds that certain intangible to create something that feels more unique than just a simple clone of other films. It is a big commercial war film and you do have fair helpings of melodrama, stock characters, and music designed to stir the emotions. Early on the film is near overboard in its jingoism but it pulls back before reaching the brink.

The battle scenes were the same in style as in "Saving Private Ryan" - shaky cam and all. Also, you'd be hardpressed to top Korean cinema when it comes to filming a fistfight. The film is more about the relationship between the two brothers with the war more a backdrop (though you get a lot of action in this movie). I liked "Taegukgi" more than "Saving Private Ryan" (of which I'm not as big a fan of as many others). While the opening battle scene of "Saving Private Ryan" was impressive I felt I'd seen the basic story many times before ("A Walk in the Sun"). I don't think any of the battle scenes in "Taegukgi" reached the scale of the opening in "Saving Private Ryan". The story in "Taegukgi" though not groundbreaking felt more inventive than the norm especially given the restraint that there is a cap to just how new and inventive things can get in the often-filmed war genre.

All that said, the pacing felt a bit uneven especially during the first half (after the opening scenes); I enjoyed the film and the last third is terrific and flys by, but in general I did perceive the longish 2 hour 30 minute runtime. I thought the film might bog down - and it sort of did - and just be a by-the-numbers war film but things get more interesting with the developments later on. I thought the performances were very solid but not great. My big complaint with the film is that a couple of times there were some leaps in the character development where I felt the behavior of the characters changed far too rapidly and perhaps the development should have been more gradual.

I love war films and - though flawed - I'd rank "Taegukgi" in my top 10 of Korean films. My initial reaction on first viewing was that I liked the recent "Silmido" just a very little bit more than "Taegukgi". Some favorites I might rank right ahead of "Taegukgi" would be "Oldboy", "Save the Green Planet", "Once Upon a Time in Highschool", and "Joint Security Area".

Final note: Beating out "Oldboy" and "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring", Taegukgi was selected as South Korea's entry into this year's chase for a hopeful Oscar nomination in the Best Foreign Film category. I think "Oldboy" would have had a better chance to secure a nomination.
Old 10-13-04, 02:06 PM
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Originally posted by flixtime
Final note: Beating out "Oldboy" and "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring", Taegukgi was selected as South Korea's entry into this year's chase for a hopeful Oscar nomination in the Best Foreign Film category. I think "Oldboy" would have had a better chance to secure a nomination.
I agree. Oldboy would have some nice momentum in the nomination race after winning at Cannes. Sounds like they went the safe route by choosing a patrotic blockbuster, but that's going to mean diddley to the Academy voters.
Old 10-13-04, 02:44 PM
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rented it, at times it really looks like a saving private ryan ripoff because of the way it's shot (cinematography at times looks almost identical) , but overall very high production value
Old 10-14-04, 01:54 AM
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The battle scenes are clearly inspired by Saving Private Ryan but Taegukgi is much better plot wise. Saving Private Ryan has a really, really silly story.
Old 10-14-04, 03:15 AM
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From what I hear, the final decision for the Oscar submission was between Taegugki and Kim Ki-Duk's newest one, 3-Iron. Haven't seen 3-Iron, but would've chosen it over Taegugki. Not that I don't like Taegugki, I just think 3-Iron would be a movie Academy voters like more.
Old 10-14-04, 11:33 AM
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I watched Taegukgi last night at home. I'm sure I'm in the minority but I didn't think it was a very good film. I think the comparisons to Saving Private Ryan are fair because it was very obvious to me that Kang Je-Gyu chose to mimic SPR in more than one aspect. Not surprising since Kang's Shiri seemed to be a rip-off of a Jerry Bruckenheimer action pic.

That "shaky-cam" footage in Taegukgi was more of an annoyance than anything else. Most of the battles were shown within very tight frames, in quarters so close that the combatants were shooting each other at point blank range. At certain points it kinda reminded me of one of those Naked Gun/Police Squad episodes: Leslie Nielsen taking cover behind a trashcan and shooting at criminals behind the very next trashcan.

The battle scenes were utter mayhem, with the on-screen characters CONSTANTLY, AND I MEAN CONSTANTLY, under the barrage of enemy bullets, explosives, knives and fists. Yes, fists. I've never seen a modern war movie in which so many armed combatants abandon their firearms and resort to fist fights. During the scenes in which the soldiers actually held on to their weapons, it seemed like the directors told the actors that each bullet strike must elicit a separate and unique body spasm in the victim before collapsing. Lots of people doing spasmodic body jerks.

And what's with the extremely exaggerated, almost aping, overacting from the supporting characters? I noticed this with Silmido too. Very disappointing in a big scale picture if you only have a couple of decently developed characters and the rest are simply cartoon caricatures.

The story itself relies too much on a really contrived set of circumstances to be effective. It went from being mildly believable all the way to a "there's-no-fricken-way-that-could-ever-happen" climax. In the end, I was left wondering how two brothers could be so loving and yet not know each other at all.
Old 10-15-04, 01:52 AM
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Saw it tonight. Liked it. My biggest complaint is that it's split into two DVDs. Was I supposed to have an intermission? Bah.

I find it sad that people complain about it being too much like Saving Private Ryan when every war movie made in the last six years has been exactly like Saving Private Ryan. This one felt more natural. This one was more interesting. It was about a war on home turf and that made it a lot more effective.

I didn't find the ending contrived.

The DVD case is pretty cool.
Old 10-15-04, 10:59 AM
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I live in Korea and saw this movie Taegukgi in the theaters here early this year.

Each to his/her own but I thought this movie was a total ripoff of Saving Private Ryan with only the theme changed from trying to rescue Ryan to brotherhood torn by the Korean war.

7,000 won ( = U$6.50) I paid to see this movie was wasted for me. Only thing going for this movie was... well... nothing.

I say, rent this if you wanna see a lame war movie.

My 2 cents.

(*) BTW, I have just opened a site for Korean DVD, Movies, etc. Opened Oct.14th, so no topics yet but will be informing foreigners about the Korean dvd prices and stuffs so nobody get ripped off. dvdutopia.com
Old 10-16-04, 01:08 AM
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i thought it was one of the best war movies i've ever seen. it ranks right up there with SPR.
Old 10-16-04, 01:27 PM
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A Superb film 4 stars out of 5 for me, I was really into it and the longer it went on the better it got. The different settings and the way the weather changed the films battle scenes really impressed me, plenty to like in the film and not much I didnt like, fopr a war film its pretty much top stuff all round and cannot wait to get the Longer Directors cut, just hope its a lot longer, and not just a blatant cash in where they added a few minutes! I want 2 dvds full of the film and DTS next time as well

Superb packaging too, very interesting and very well made.
Old 10-16-04, 07:05 PM
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order the r2j dvd. it has DTS on it.
Old 10-16-04, 09:08 PM
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No way
I love the korean packaging, but is the Japanese version on 1 dvd? as that could be nice! a real shame the films split over 2 dvds when theres no need at all as theres only a few audio tracks! a real shame!
Old 10-19-04, 01:38 PM
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cheap HK disc out next week.
Old 10-19-04, 04:01 PM
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Superb packaging too, very interesting and very well made.
Although I obviously disagree with your assessment of the film itself, I also think the packaging of Taegukgi is very well done. The simple silkscreen on the textured box is very elegant and I love that magnetic "click" of the lids. I love the fact that it can be opened from either side; very useful considering the extra materials (book+postcards).

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