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Korean films to get, last 2 years

Old 04-10-09, 09:09 PM
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Korean films to get, last 2 years

Tonight I'm sitting down to watch A Dirty Carnival, the last unwatched Korean DVD on my shelf and I realize I'm two years (or so) behind the game. Work, school, home ownership has kept the funds and time low so I told myself I cannot buy anymore DVDs till I catch up on the ones I own. That time is now.
The Good, The Bad, The Wierd is definitely on the list but what else should I include in my order? I pretty much like all Korea flicks aside from horror (not a horror fan, I know, I'm such a wimp)

so please fellow dvdtalk friends, help a sista out with her long overdue Korean dvd order!



Thanks much

PS- Obviously I behind on HK/China as well but one country at a time.
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Old 04-11-09, 01:27 PM
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Re: Korean films to get, last 2 years

I haven't seen as many as I'd like, but my faves have been:

Hansel & Gretel
The Chaser
Our Town
I'm a Cyborg, But That's Okay (that is two or three years old, I'm not sure)

I'd be interested in other suggestions though, as well.
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Old 04-11-09, 06:14 PM
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Re: Korean films to get, last 2 years

How old is The Host?
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Old 04-11-09, 08:41 PM
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Re: Korean films to get, last 2 years

SECRET SUNSHINE is quintessential Korean viewing. SEVEN DAYS is excellent as well. Depending on your tolerance for artsy fare, I'd recommend Lee Myung-se's M (2007), a phenomenal piece of technical filmmaking that left me utterly cold and occasionally confused. Definitely worth looking at, though . . . FOREVER THE MOMENT (2008), the true story behind the Korean women's Olympic volleyball team, is a real winner that actually bends the done-to-death sports movie template extremely well.
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Old 04-11-09, 09:11 PM
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Re: Korean films to get, last 2 years

the chaser
the host
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Old 04-12-09, 01:58 PM
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Re: Korean films to get, last 2 years

Divine Weapon. Good film.
My Wife is a Gangster 3. I thought it was going to suck but it was pretty funny.
Cyborg Girl. Technically it's a Japanese film but was directed by the director of Sassy Girl.
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Old 04-12-09, 05:26 PM
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ROUGH CUT
PUBLIC ENEMY (part 3)
MY MIGHTY PRINCESS - though I do feel it could have been aided by another 10-15 minutes in the runtime thereby allowing for expansion on some of the film's plotline

And if the already mentioned CHASER, SEVEN DAYS, and OUR TOWN meet with your satisfaction, then maybe consider RAINBOW EYES too.

From the ones already suggested, I'll throw another vote especially towards M and HANSEL & GRETEL (I'd say that the label of this as a horror film should not be a deterrent against your giving it consideration).
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Old 04-13-09, 04:11 PM
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Re: Korean films to get, last 2 years

Originally Posted by The Valeyard View Post
How old is The Host?
Just about 2 years I think but I did see it already. I'm a Cyborg but that's Okay I have not seen yet - mainly because the reviews were so split.

They made a 3rd My Wife is a Gangster? Is it the same chick from the first two?
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Old 04-13-09, 09:43 PM
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Re: Korean films to get, last 2 years

Originally Posted by squidget View Post
Just about 2 years I think but I did see it already. I'm a Cyborg but that's Okay I have not seen yet - mainly because the reviews were so split.

They made a 3rd My Wife is a Gangster? Is it the same chick from the first two?
Different chick. I have it but haven't watched it yet, I hope it is better than part 2, that was pretty awful.
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Old 04-13-09, 11:54 PM
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Re: Korean films to get, last 2 years

Originally Posted by zombeaner View Post
Different chick. I have it but haven't watched it yet, I hope it is better than part 2, that was pretty awful.
It stars Shu Qi from "Gorgeous" and "So Close".
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Old 04-14-09, 03:42 PM
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Re: Korean films to get, last 2 years

Originally Posted by zombeaner View Post
Different chick. I have it but haven't watched it yet, I hope it is better than part 2, that was pretty awful.
Not much better, but some. My capsule review from somewhere else:

MY WIFE IS A GANGSTER 3 (2006) This is the one with Shu Qi in it, and she carrys her weight much better than Zhang Ziyi did with her overrated cameo appearance in the last few frames of the second film. Lee Beom-soo, a Korean funnyman whose comedic performances range from exceptional and controlled (in SINGLES) to irritating and unrestrained (in OH BROTHERS) is the Korean hood who, along with two dim pals, is charged with looking after Shu Qi when she arrives from Hong Kong to hide out from Chinese gangsters (led by Ken Lo!) who want her dead as part of a feud with her gang boss daddy (Ti Lung). Added in to the mix is the film's only ace, a withering daisy of a translator played by Hyun Young (from MARRYING THE MAFIA 2) who translates Shu Qi's nasty responses to her hosts' chauvinistic posturing into nice ones, and vice versa, supplying each side with amusing misperceptions about the other, some of which lead to unexpected gang strife as Young grows increasingly confident in the power her position affords her. It's a clever conceit (and a running gag) that creates some amusing setpieces. The casting of Shu Qi in a prominent role has both benefits and disadvantages: the filmmakers wisely underscore her streetfighting smolder with that crumply-chin-and-watery-eyes thing she does so adorably well, which really sells the uncertainty of being in a foreign land for reasons beyond her control, but her romance with Lee doesn't really click, I suspect because of the very same hurdle--the language barrier--that also provides the film's secret comedy weapon, Young's hyper-sensitive translator. It goes without saying that the film looks phenomenal (what Korean film doesn't?), and the Hong Kong sequences are refreshingly staged and shot through an outsider's keen eye. A couple of action bits involving Shu Qi, and choreographed by Kim Won-jin, are, for the most part, unencumbered by obvious tight framing, deceptive editing and film speed tricks, which makes them a joy to watch, although others, like the final confrontation with Ken Lo, are hobbled somewhat by these very same techniques, so it's a mixed bag all in all. A centerpiece car chase sequence, while fun, suffers from the same flaw as most car chases in Korean films: you can always tell the cars aren't going very fast. I really wish they'd do something about that! Considering how long Hollywood's been doing it, and how well, there's more than enough reference material out there!

Last edited by Brian T; 04-14-09 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 04-17-09, 03:59 PM
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Re: Korean films to get, last 2 years

Originally Posted by Brian T View Post
Not much better, but some. My capsule review from somewhere else:
yeah... I'll shy away from MWISG 3, the second was horrible and the 3rd doesn't seem that much better. I will hold the first one in my memory always.
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Old 04-19-09, 06:04 AM
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Re: Korean films to get, last 2 years

I liked "Truck" I thought it was a good popcorn flick - http://www.lovehkfilm.com/panasia/truck.html

I also found "The Good, The Bad and The Weird" to be entertaining.

"Can You See Seoul" aka "Unforgettable" has been recommend to me, haven't seen it yet.
http://www.hancinema.net/korean_movie_Unforgettable.php

"Black House" was a decent enough psychological horror movie that I've found elements of slipping into my dreams
http://homecinemasia.blogspot.com/20...-this-dvd.html

I'll also second "Secret Sunshine" - good drama from the director of Peppermint Candy and Oasis (my personal #1 movie of all time, for whatever that's worth).

Last edited by Jah-Wren Ryel; 04-19-09 at 06:06 AM.
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Old 04-24-09, 01:14 AM
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Re: Korean films to get, last 2 years

Originally Posted by Jah-Wren Ryel View Post
I liked "Truck" I thought it was a good popcorn flick - http://www.lovehkfilm.com/panasia/truck.html
I'll second this recommendation of TRUCK. Not necessarily a keeper in my view, BUT a solidly constructed, modestly-budgeted little frying-pan-into-the-fire horror thriller that routinely surprised me with it's story turns (which few K-horrors do any more, and God knows I've seen them all, with the likely exception of FORBIDDEN FLOOR, part of the dodgy "4 Horror Films" series, which is on the plate for this weekend). I also appreciated that, unlike the vast majority of Korean cinema, TRUCK runs an easily-digestible 90 minutes or so and doesn't once fall prey to unnecessarily protracted melodrama. Lead actor Yoo Hae-jin has one of the most instantly-recognizable faces in all of Korean cinema, but it's kept him in supporting roles for far too long, so seeing him as the hero here instead of one of the endless stream of pretty-boys that often front these things was refreshing.

TRUCK trailer:


This TRUCK teaser trailer is one of the more clever marketing tricks I've seen in a while. The sequence shown here on cell phone video is also in the film itself, only filmed with conventional cameras and equipment, thus this is a different POV than what's in the finished product:

Last edited by Brian T; 04-24-09 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 04-24-09, 09:49 AM
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Re: Korean films to get, last 2 years

Originally Posted by Brian T View Post
SECRET SUNSHINE is quintessential Korean viewing.
I'll second this -- Secret Sunshine is stunningly good -- and add in another very strong drama: The Old Garden.
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Old 04-30-09, 12:31 PM
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Re: Korean films to get, last 2 years

I see a couple 2006 releases mentioned in this thread (The Host; I'm a Cyborg but That's OK), so I'll use that as a cutting-off point for my recommendations.

Recommended from 2006:
Tazza: The High Rollers (aka The War of Flowers): Pretty good (not great) gangster-type film with Korean card gamblers double crossing and triple crossing each other. Too long at 139 minutes, but an enjoyable watch.

A Millionaire's First Love: As far as Korean rom-com's go, this is a pretty good entry for the genre. No "My Sassy Girl" but I liked it well enough.

Family Ties (aka Birth of a Family): Now this I highly recommend. Very good drama story and well acted. Three stories surprisingly interconnected; daughter and estranged mother; two young folks meet on a train; and rogue younger brother shakes up his sister’s life—touching and real.

Bloody Tie: Low-life detective and low-life drug dealer use each other in an effort to get what they want; good crime thriller.

The Art of Fighting: Wimpy kid learns courage and fighting from sage; gets back at school bullies. I gave it a pretty good rating but honestly don't remember the particulars.

Almost Love: Another one of those good but not great rom-coms. Story of "best friends who were made for each other"...goofy guy wants to be the next Jackie Chan and shy girl wants to be an actress. Fairly formulaic and predictable, but the girl sure is cute!

Recommended from 2007:
I'll fourth the recommendation for Secret Sunshine. This is a great movie. One of the best free DVDs I ever got from YesAsia.

Love Now (aka Changing Partners): Nicely done drama with two married couples unbeknowingly starting affairs with each other's spouse.

Recommended from 2008:
The Good, the Bad, and the Weird: I thought this was a lot of fun. Very enjoyable. I watched the Korean version but have yet to see the international version.

The Chaser: Gritty and intense. Good blind buy for me.

A few I have on the shelf from the above years I haven't watched yet are Puzzle, Righteous Ties, Arang, Paradise Murdered, and My Friend and His Wife.
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