The much-awaited Korean movie The Good, the Bad, the Weird
based on a spaghetti Western and nicknamed a "Kimchi Western" after the nation's signature spicy national dish, is expected to be the hottest pick of local theatergoers here but viewers overseas seem to want to get a taste of it as well.
The film, directed by Kim Ji-woon
and inspired by Sergio Leone's spaghetti Western The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, the classic 1966 film starring Clint Eastwood.
The story line follows three Korean men and their entanglement with the Japanese army, Chinese and Russian bandits, accompanied by many exciting action scenes set in Manchuria in the 1930s.
The movie was screened in the gala section at the Cannes film festival this year and it is reported to have received a standing ovation.
Derek Elley, a writer for the entertainment news magazine Variety, said in a review: "a Kimchi Western that draws shamelessly on its spaghetti forebears (Italo-Western) but remains utterly, bracingly Korean".
And as if it reflects the good reviews, the movie has been garnering interest from foreign countries even before hitting local theaters.
The distributor of the film, CJ Entertainment, announced a deal with the New York-based Independent Film Channel on July 15 to distribute "The Good, the Bad, the Weird
" in five major US cities including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago next year.
The release is slated for the first half of 2009, and will start off with the five biggest markets for a total of between fifty and a hundred screens nationwide.
The U.S. is not the only country that will show the film. "The Good, the Bad, the Weird
" is also being exported to 11 other countries such as the United Kingdom, France, China, Singapore and more.
The movie stars three of Korea's most endearing actors: Jeong Woo-seong
, Song Kang-ho
and Lee Byeong-Heon
, and has broken all domestic records in terms of budget and number of takes for shoots.
Set in the 1930s when Korea was under Japanese colonial rule (1910-45) and a network of independence fighters were stationed outside of the country, the movie tells a story of three "good, bad, and weird" guys on a wildly exhilarating cross-desert chase, while local Manchurian tribesmen and Japanese soldiers complicate things.
The film was released locally on July 17 and English subtitles are available at CGV Yongsan, Seoul (Open the link
By Han Aran
Korea.net Staff Writer