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[HanCinema's Busan International Film Festival Movie Review] "Alive" by Park Jung-bum

2014/10/14 | | Permalink

Director Park Jung-bum has an obsession with long, largely static shots that mainly emphasize the distressing monotonous state of life that characterizes the action in "Alive". If you're one of those people that dislike the apparent pointlessness of such dismal recessions, you will absolutely hate this movie. It's a huge exercise insofar as trying the patience of viewer, and a person not obsessed with capturing every individualistic cinematographic detail of melancholy will just sit in frustration waiting for something to actually happen...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Night Watchman's Journal" Episode 21

2014/10/13 | | Permalink

Sadam gains yet another power this episode- the ability to teleport faraway people to other faraway places. I'm assuming that the faraway part is an important part of the skill, since there have been plenty of times up until now where he could have used this power to get nearby people away from him. But really, the man's long term plans are so inscrutable it's impossible to tell whether his long range thinking has any kind of basis in logic.

As for the heroes, well, it's been another mostly unsuccessful day...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Hotel" Episode 15

2014/10/13 | | Permalink

There's way more focus than usual on murders and murderous backstories here, mostly because the three leads are in absolutely no mood to discuss romance right now. Of the three Seong-gyeom has the best excuse. There's just so, so much going on his mind right now that being cute with Sang-hyo simply can't cut it any more. Relationship drama becomes a lot less fun once actual drama intrudes.

Weirdly, the best possible argument right now for Sang-hyo and Hae-yeong getting back together is their complete lack of ability to meaningfully engage on this front...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Mother's Choice" Episode 2

2014/10/13 | | Permalink

So-yeong has been forced into the choice that makes up the drama's title. She can either do what's right as a woman, and support the victim of a terrible crime, or she can do what's right by her son, which is prevent this incident from ruining his life. So-yeong chooses to do the wrong thing, and while it takes some time for her to face actual repercussions, in the immediate sense, the way she betrays herself as a woman is palpable...More

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Drama Special - The Suspicious 7th Ward"

2014/10/13 | | Permalink

Soo-jin (played by Shin-ee) is one of those fistfighting supercops. She's also married to Ji-hoon (played by Kim Jung-min), another cop on the force and they are now in her mid-thirties after over ten years of marriage, so the question of whether or not they should have any children is becoming a more prominent one in their daily lives. Their problems are apparently comically solved when the force orders Soo-jin to undergo in-vitro treatment, as to gain undercover access to the girlfriend of a crime boss...More

[HanCinema's Busan International Film Festival Movie Review] "Revivre" by Im Kwon-taek

2014/10/13 | | Permalink

Sang-moo (played by Ahn Seong-gi) is an old, apparently passionless man who somewhat incomprehensibly makes his living running the advertising section of a major cosmetics firm. His weary, tired voice is an odd contrast to the way he dramatically insists that customers must be convinced this product will grant them the glory and rejuvenation of youth beyond all wildest fantasies...More

[HanCinema's Busan International Film Festival Movie Review] "Half" by Kim Se-yeon

2014/10/13 | | Permalink


Our introduction to transgender woman Min-ah (played by Ahn Yong-joon) is quite literally an introspective one. The camera begins on her masculinely shaped face, and slowly pans out to the rest of her naked body. Min-ah looks like a woman, but doesn't really. The distinction is obvious both to us as viewers and to Min-ah personally, as is excellently reflected in the crestfallen look Ahn Yong-joon gives that quickly defines Min-ah's entire character...More

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