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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The K2" Episode 2

2016/09/25 | | Permalink

The action thankfully calms down in episode two of "The K2" and the necessary emotional stakes to give it meaning are added. The music is still an issue, but it sees some improvement as well. Either that or I am getting used to it, which is sad as much as it is convenient. The episode delivers a little exposition and characterization, which is also welcome. It is still not a show I would call good at the moment, but we are getting somewhere...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Fantastic" Episode 8

2016/09/24 | | Permalink

A brief flashback fills us in on the question of how much Hae-seong knows, and also when he knew about it. It's noteworthy how just because Hae-seong is discretionary with the information he has doesn't necessarily mean that So-hye is happy with all the implications. While on the surface level it can seem rewarding to be dealing with a stand-up guy like Hae-seong, on the deeper level it can seem rather unfair if one and only one partner is making noble sacrifices...More

[HanCinema's Film Review] "Showdown"

2016/09/24 | | Permalink

Kang-ho (played by Lee Jeong-jin) and Poong-ho (played by Lee Joo-seung) are brothers who have always fought. Not in the general normal way brothers fight, but in actual straight-up fistfights. Kang-ho has usefully parlayed this skill into becoming an action movie detective, which is like a regular detective except they get into a lot more massive Hong Kong style action sequences. Through the mysterious disappearance of an Indonesian immigrant, the brothers run across Jae-hee (played by Oh Ji-ho), a wealthy businessman who beats people into disability and/or death mostly just for the fun of it...More

[HanCinema's Film Review] "Moonlight Palace"

2016/09/24 | | Permalink

Joo-ri (voiced by Kim Seo-yeong) is a young girl participating in a simple traditional children's play at Changdeok Palace. On the approach of adolescence, Joo-ri is of course mortified by the prospect of her parents coming to watch and embarrass her. Yet paradoxically, Joo-ri also dreams of dancing in the spotlight herself- this is the first of many wonderful animated fantasty sequences from director Kim Hyun-ju-I, and these only increase in prominence as a chance encounter thrusts Joo-ri into the spirit realm, with all the joys and danger that experience entails...More

[HanCinema's Film Review] "Dear Grandma"

2016/09/24 | | Permalink

One fairly disconcerting day, director Lee So-hyun learned that her grandmother had tried to commit suicide. If that opening line sounds morose and out of nowhere, well, just imagine how it felt to Lee So-hyun. Throughout "Dear Grandma", Lee So-hyun tries to capture her grandmother's unique and somewhat anachronistic personality which is constantly rather at odds with the documentary's premise. Far from seeming at all suicidal, the main character in "Dear Grandma" is oddly sarcastically acerbic...More

[HanCinema's Korea Diaries] "Jecheon" August 15th-16th

2016/09/24 | | Permalink

As this will be my last article this year about visiting South Korean film festivals firsthand, I'd like to take this opportunity to salute the volunteers. Any film festival you go to, odds are volunteers are doing most of the work, bless their souls, and they can always be easily identified by their matching t-shirts. The ones at Jecheon were especially exuberant. This is no small accomplishment, given the excruciating weather, even when it came to just having casual fun...More

[HanCinema's Digest] Cinema Snippets

2016/09/24 | | Permalink

See how South Korean horrors "reclaims the occult", Hangul Celluloid reviews Korea's highest-grossing film of the year, Korea gets its first mountain-themed film festival, and explore the history of Korean animation at the Animation Museum in Chuncheon...More

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