2013/02/23 | | Permalink
Film: "The King of XXX-Kissing" (아부의 왕)
Director: Jeong Seung-koo
Review Score: 3 / 5
Despite his past experience on films such as Lee Chang-dong's "Secret Sunshine" and the 2006 action film noir "A Dirty Carnival", Jeong Seung-koo has chosen to make his own entry into directing with the satirical comedy "The King of XXX-Kissing". Fans of Korean cinema will be familiar with Jeong's mocking encomium and witty humour as he critiques and exaggerates Korea's socio-political bureaucracy. Jeong promised that it would not be 'empty laughs' as audiences will surely recognise the pressure and frustration of challenging that misty glass ceiling that continues to loom over many of Korea's young minds...More
2013/02/22 | | Permalink
Jong-Seong (played by Ha Jeong-woo) is a ghost agent working for the North Korean government. When an illegal multinational weapons deal goes bad, he has to do clean-up. And part of that post-mortem involves figuring out who tipped off a third party to what was going on. This being a North Korean operation, the investigation is less genuine curiousity about what happened and more about finding an explanation that can be easily and succintly described to higher-ups in the North Korean government as quickly as possible...More
2013/02/22 | | Permalink
Hee-Joon (played by Lee Joo-seung) is a solitary young man. The son of deaf parents, he's used to not really paying attention to people. He's not really bullied or anything like that. It's just that most of the time he doesn't really see much of a point to it. However, by random chance, he ends up separately making close acquaintance with three members of the same family, who all sit together at Hae-Joon's funeral not discussing what kind of a person Hae-Joon was...More
2013/02/17 | | Permalink
HanCinema's Korean Box Office Review
(2013.02.15 ~ 2013.02.17)
After last weekend's fiercely contested race, it was Lee Hwan-hyeong's "Miracle in Cell No.7" that once again came out on top. Lee's popular comedy drama scooped around 1.1 million admissions (41.19%) to further cements itself as the highest grossing Korean film of the year. "Miracle in Cell No.7" is now approaching 9 million admissions, just ahead of this weekend's number two film: "The Berlin File" which also moves onto 5.9 million admissions of its own. Fresh to the charts are two new Korean films in the form of Lee Won-seok's "How to Use Guys with Secret Tips", as well as Lim Soon-rye's "Run to the South"...More
2013/02/16 | | Permalink
Film: "A Company Man"
Director/Writer: Lim Sang-yoon
Review Score: 3.5 / 5
"Don't take it personally" are the words Lim Sang-yoon's hero proclaims as he gives his young and enthusiastic partner the bad news of his expulsion from 'the company'. In "A Company Man" debutant writer/director Lim Sang-yoon probes Korea's obsessive desire with white-collar jobs that are perceived to be the measure of success and status. This ideologically charged film demonstrates the creative and cinematic talents of Lim as he questions Korea's current social discourse on modern measures of success, wealth, and personal responsibility.
Writer/director Lim Sang-yoon's first feature may not have set the box office on fire when it was release in the latter half of 2012, but what stands out most here is his creative competency and mastery over the more technical aspect of cinema and narrative. The popular So Ji-sub plays Hyeong-Do, a highly trained and slick assassin who comes to question his role and future within the underground company he has so faithfully served...More
2013/02/16 | | Permalink
I once read that the measure of a civilised nation can be ascertained by examining the way in which it treats its animals. In which case Korea might be considered as advanced as their technological innovations as more companies and stores are considering their customer's pets into the services they can provide. In addition, dog grooming has resulted in an array of alternations of a dog's appearance and look, all seemingly in service to their owner's pleasure and societies value systems. However, it's no secret that Korea also indulges itself with a few dog meat dishes every now and again, an industry operating within no functioning animals rights to speak of and often cited by animal rights groups as unacceptable and cruel. Both of these extremes have given animal activists and watch groups cause for concern, as animals (particularly dogs) in Korea continue to exist on the whims and wills of a society that can't seem to find a healthy middle ground for them...More
2013/02/15 | | Permalink
In times of yore, people commonly believed in crazy stuff like geomancy- the study of geographical formations and their relation to divination or feng shui. While this sounds weird enough today, a thousand years ago this was serious science with important political considerations at the higher forms of government. "The Great Seer" tells the story of soothsayers and their role in the rise of the Joseon era.
The strongest parts of this series, without a doubt, are the ones that focus on the geomancy. Even though the internal logic sounds weird, in the context of the times it's actually perfectly understandable why geomancy is considered such a respected science...More
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