I was surprised to discover near the end of this film that main character On-Yoo (played by Lim Ji-gyoo) is actually 32 years old. There's a youthful energy and optimism to this man that certainly makes it seem like he's several years younger than that. On-Yoo is not exactly in a great situation right now in his life, yet seems to take every possible opportunity to be a smiling, cheerful, positive-thinking man.
Korean drama is not the medium for surprises, it has to be said. Predictable plots, character stereotypes and even similar dialogues are a large part of what gives it its identity. But every once in a while, a series will come out that will, in smaller or bigger ways, break the drama mold. "Salaryman", which is helmed by director Yoo In-sik and written by Jang Yeong-cheol and Jeong Kyeong-soon-I is mostly definitely such a drama. The trio behind hit melodrama "Giant" and 'Incarnation of Money' (with the two writers also currently working on "Empress Qi") is all about using a similar central idea in different ways...More
This episode of the Suspicious Housekeeper focused on the long arm of Park Bok-nyeo and she's influenced and helped the people around her. They, in turn, want to help her regain her smile and her happiness.
Before she can focus on herself, Bok-nyeo achieves her end with Seo Ji-hoon and the process was both exciting and aggravating. The dialogue and tensions between Bok-nyeo and Ji-hoon were spot on, but the settings and the atmosphere was off. He sets a fire and it doesn't spread. They aren't sweating...More
Animations are often branded as innocent dreams for young minds, vivid characters whose sugar coatings are as sweet as their own happy ever afters. This approach to the genre is the rough rule if commercial success is your emerald city, however most animated features contain subtle themes and references that fully-fledged filmgoers can quietly tapped into and enjoy. This matured shadow is often muted and obviously understated, but in "King of Pigs"(2011) Yeon Sang-ho reclaims some territory from the penguins and hens and opens up his own slaughterhouse filled with poisoned placebos and animated anarchism. In "King of Pigs", Yeon inverts the comforts of animation's anthropomorphic rule, and instead favours a disturbing zoomorphism that captures some serious social issues that dwell deep within Korea's concrete jungles...More
The documentary opens with a woman, beautifully silhouetted by the beach at sunset, in an entrancing rhythmic dance. While watching this the viewer is also exposed to similarly well-matched Cuban dance music. We don't actually learn much from this opening shot, nor from the various interviews, discussions, and further performances by the singers and dancers who practice this artform. Rather, we get a strong sense of the cultural identity that defines these individuals...More
2013/11/22 | | Permalink
I really admire the men in "One Step More to the Sea". Granted, they're not the main characters, but there's a persistence in their actions, a genuine desire for intimacy that breaks a lot of stereotypes about ideal masculinity. They're these kind figures with a surprising sense of restraint that makes for some inviting romantic subplots absent all the discomforting baggage common in genre films about love.
The main storyline in this film has a similar kind of easy, soft feeling that does a lot to relax the nerves...More
2013/11/22 | | Permalink
The film opens with up with a bit from the original "Friend". As if the title weren't enough, "Friends 2" makes a point of insisting that it is part of a legacy. But this isn't some sort of happy triumphant return to the silver screen for a storied franchise. "Friends 2" seems utterly determined to remind its audience that if there was any hope or sense of recovery from the end of the first movie, this is information that has long since fallen by the wayside. It's especially unknown for the new generation of gangsters who appear here.
This is the main problem with the film as a whole, though, is that it spends so much time in flashback providing context for everything that there's little in the present day storyline to grab onto...More
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