Hwang Dong-hyeok is a rising film director who is well-known for his previous works "My Father" and "The Crucible". After studying for a M.F.A. in Film Production at the University of Southern California, his graduation thesis film Miracle Mile (2004)screened at over 40 international film festivals and won several awards, including the DGA Student Film Award and Student Emmy Award. His feature film debut was "My Father" (2007), and his second film "The Crucible" (2011) became one of the biggest stories in Korean cinema in 2011. The movie became a huge box-office hit attracting 4.7 million viewers.Hwang’s third film Miss Granny (2014) is his first comedy film. Unlike his past serious and heartbreaking movies like "My Father" and "The Crucible", Hwang is coming back with a wickedly funny comedy to show a different perspective as a dynamic movie director. Hwang stated that he is normally a funny person, which led him to direct a comedy movie.
[HanCinema's Digest] Cinema Snippets 2016/02/27,
Recently discovered films from Russia and Germany show Japan's colonial activities, "Spirit's Homecoming" depicts the tragic fate of Korean comfort women, the Japanese version of "Miss Granny" to be released in April, and is South Korea's push for blockbusters threatening smaller productions?,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.03.06 ~ 2015.03.08 2015/03/09, "The Kingsman"'s reign continues unchallenged… Last weekend British spy flicks "Kingsman: The Secret Service" and "The Imitiation Game" ruled at as the country's number one and two, claiming just under a million admission between them. The later lost its footing and fell to third, but Matthew Vaughn's "Kingsman" managed to retain its place as Korea's film of choice despite the arrival of Ahn Sang-hoon's period drama, "Empire of Lust",...More
[HanCinema's Feature] Korea's Top Five Favorite Films of 2014 2014/12/20,
2015 is nigh upon us, a fresh year with its own host of hits waiting to entertain and be enjoyed. There is still a little time before 2014 passes us by, and before it does I wanted to glance back and take stock of this year's most successful spectacles and see what rose to top in terms of ticket tallies.
Last year Korean cinephiles were treated to an array of awesome attractions ("The Face Reader", "Snowpiercer", "The Attorney", "Miracle in Cell No.7"), but still Bong Joon-ho's 2003 hit "The Host" remained the nation's cash king with over 13M admissions. It would take something supremely special (historic) to rally such record-breaking support and slay this iconic stub-guzzler,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2014.09.26 ~ 2014.09.28 2014/09/29, "The Maze Runner" remains unchallenged at the top…
Wes Ball's science fiction film "The Maze Runner" managed to remain Korea's top showing over the last week of September. Ball's adaptation has been a huge success, and has already grossed over $148m worldwide. The film's second weekend in Korea was less than stellar, but the 572K admissions (43%) it claimed was enough to secure its place at the top of pile,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "My Father" 2014/05/30,
James Parker (played by Daniel Henney) is in a similar position to many other internationally adopted Koreans. He wants to find out what happened to his birth parents. From the beginning "My Father" does a good job establishing the ambiguity of this goal. The first thing his adoptive family does is worry, and his sister, also adopted from Korea, points out that James may not like what he finds. A father on death row? Yeah, that's trouble.
"My Father" is in the strange place of seeming too preposterous and melodramatic to be plausible, yet as the credits sequence clearly illustrates, the basic outline of events here was in fact based on a true story,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2014.03.28 ~ 2014.03.30 2014/03/31, "Captain America" strikes, "Noah" sinks...
Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" sunk to second as Marvel's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" rallied 1.1M admissions to its cause. The American superhero opened to a massive 1,106 screens to capture 61% of the market and dislodge the biblical epic from pole position. Last weekend "Noah" opened its account with 950K, but was unable to see out the storm and managed just 326,746 (16.6%) stubs here in week two. Only three local films featured in the top ten ("Elegant Lies", "Miss Granny", and "Monster - Movie") as Korea's volatile box office continued its fickle favouring of new entries,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2014.03.21 ~ 2014.03.23 2014/03/24, "Noah" floats to the top with a torrent of tickets...
It was a spirited beginning for Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" as the crowds flooded the theatres for this biblical epic. Aronofsky's powerful, but controversial, account of Noah's Ark opened its account in first, claiming 950,864 admissions (54.2%) over 951 screens to secure the top spot. The Korean box office has been unstable these past six weeks as no film has been able to hold the highest honour for more than a weekend; with the latest dethronement being Lee Sook-yeon's "Elegant Lies" which sunk to second here with just 333,544 (17.9%). However "Noah" enjoyed the highest first place haul since early February and will hope its glory will be more than just a flash in the pan,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2014.03.14 ~ 2014.03.16 2014/03/17, "300" falls to "Elegant Lies"…
"300: Rise of an Empire" fell from grace this past weekend as "Elegant Lies" opened strong with 447,454 admissions (26.5%). Lee Han's last film, "Punch", attracted over 5 million filmgoers back in 2011, and now his latest has made the most of its 555 allocated screens to claim the top spot in week one. Last week the fantasy war epic "300: Rise of an Empire" took gold with over 6K admissions, however after that initial excitement the adaptation fell one place with just 303,280 (20.4%) to its name. Murro's hyper-stylised retelling of the Battle of Salamis now sits on an admissions stack 1.3 million high after two weeks in the chart,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2014.03.07 ~ 2014.03.09 2014/03/10, "300" rises as "Non-Stop" takes a knee...
It's been hard going for local flicks the past month. "Frozen", "Pompeii", and "Non-Stop" have all occupied the top spot but have been unable to hold onto that position. Now a new contender has come forth in the form of Noam Murro's "300: Rise of an Empire", an epic action fantasy sequel to the 2006 film "300". The film, which is based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller that is still to be released, claimed 661,909 (40.6%) over 720 screens to stand as the country's new number one. It was an epic start to its campaign as it dislodged "Non-Stop" at the top of the pile to take gold,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2014.02.28 ~ 2014.03.02 2014/03/03, "Pompeii" burns out as Neeson's latest soars…
Paul W. S. Anderson's disaster epic "Pompeii" failed to retain the top spot this past weekend as the mystery thriller "Non-Stop" flew into first without contention. "Non-stop" managed to capture 33.7% of the sales (704K admissions) as it open its account with more than double that of its nearest rival. The film, which stars Liam Neeson alongside Julianne Moore, Scoot MacNairy, and Michelle Dockery, was given 582 screens in week one and secured pole position with plenty of elbow room. The only other new features to make it into the weekend's top films were 20th Century Fox's "The Monument Man" and the Oscar-winning drama "12 Years a Slave",...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2014.02.21 ~ 2014.02.23 2014/02/24, Ice gives way to fire as "Pompeii" overthrows "Frozen" at the top…
Disney's Oscar contender "Frozen" was finally dislodged at the top of pile in a hotly contested tussle at the top. This past weekend saw Paul W. S. Anderson's disaster epic "Pompeii" entered in first position (542,060-21.3%), a film that has been struggling globally after poor reviews stunted its hopes of reaching the $100M it took to produce. Despite its unimpressive stats thus far, Anderson's indulgent 3D flick only narrowly outplayed Kim Kwang-sik-I's newly released "Tabloid Truth" (440,829-20%). "Tabloid Truth" is already looking good to overtake Kim's pervious effort with "My Dear Desperado", a romantic comedy that claimed nearly 700K stubs back in 2010,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2014.02.14 - 2014.02.16 2014/02/17, "Frozen" still chilling in first after five weeks…
Walt Disney's "Frozen" recently won the Best Animation award at this year's BAFTA, but Korean fans have known about its magic for weeks now. After five weeks the film is still running hot at the top of Korea's box office and, despite ticket sales falling somewhat, the film has now raced to more than 8.9 million admissions and is still going strong.
After regaining the crown last week from Hwang Dong-hyeok's "Miss Granny", "Frozen" has managed to remain Korea's movie of choice having racked up 747,416 admissions (29.9%) over the weekend. In fact, both Disney's latest and Dong-hyeok's drama remained unmoved at the top of the pile, and that's despite the release of the must-anticipated "Robocop" and two new local entries in the form of "Venus Talk" and "Apostle",...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2014.02.07 ~ 2014.02.09 2014/02/10, "Frozen" re-solidifies itself at the top while "The Huntresses" melts away...
After a hectic Lunar New Year weekend "Frozen" has managed to recapture the lead and pack on the pressure as it moved on to 7.7 million admissions ($57.9M). Last week it was Hwang Dong-hyeok's "Miss Granny" that stole the show, but after the holiday rush Hwang's comedy drama was forced back a place with its 1 million haul (31.6%). These two films were the only ones in contention for gold, and together they captured over 70% of the market share. A few of the new entries ("I, Frankenstein", "Another Family", and "The Lego Movie") held their own in the middle order while "Hot Young Bloods" and "The Huntresses" fell viciously to the wrong end of the chart,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2014.01.24 ~ 2014.01.26 2014/01/27, "Frozen" remains solid at the top but local flicks still dominated...
The Oscar-nominated animation "Frozen" held its form at the top of the pile to secure its second weekend as number one. Despite the string of popular local features Walt Disney's winter wonderland was able to pack on another 1.2 million admissions (36.2%) to advance its total tally now to 3.1 million ($22.2M). However "Miss Granny", "Hot Young Bloods", "When A Man Loves A Woman" (aka "Man In Love"), and Yang Woo-seok's popular drama "The Attorney" all followed in close formation with respectable figures to collectively capture 59.3% of the ticket sales,...More
Miss Granny 2014/01/26, Source,
Genres: Comedy and Drama
Running Time: 124 min.
Directed by: Hwang Dong-hyeok
Starring: Nah Moon-hee, Sim Eun-kyeong, Lee Jin-wook
Synopsis: Seventy-year-old widow Mal-sun is considered a stubborn crank by everyone. Learning that her family plans to send her to a nursing home, she goes off to a photo studio that claims it captures the moments of one's youth. The next day, she wakes up in the body of her 20-year-old self. With no one recognizing her, Mal-sun calls herself Ji-mi and enjoys her youth again,...More
[HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound…. 2014/01/18, K-Films Coming Soon:
★★★★★ "When A Man Loves A Woman": A terminally ill low-level thug finds love and hope as he faces the end. (01/22)
★★★★★ "Stray Dogs": A reporter who lives an extreme life stumbles upon a countryside village and unravels the hideous secrets behind it. (01/23)
★★★★ "Miss Granny": A cranky grandmother wakes up to find herself in her younger body, then joins her grandson's band to live young once again.(01/23)
★★★★ "The Dinner": A trouble family, each with their own cross to bear, struggle to survive when further misfortune falls upon them all.(01/23)
★★★★ "Hot Young Bloods": Four country teens get caught up in romance, jealousy, and violence as their love and lust boils over. (01/23),...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Miss Granny" 2014/01/11,
What really sells "Miss Granny" is the sincerity of its dual performances. Nah Moon-hee and Sim Eun-kyeong both play Mal-Soon, a crabby old woman who randomly lucks into the gift of a twenty-year old body. Even though the main explicit character trait of Mal-Soon is that she has a smart mouth and doesn't care what other people say about her, Nah Moon-hee does not play an unconditionally bitter, mean old woman. She has doubts and regrets- and is coming off a fairly complicated emotional state when the movie's actual plot starts up,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Crucible" 2012/12/29,
A teacher, Kang In-ho, moves to a new school. His past is slightly checkered, but for the most part he's just a normal person like you or me, and just wants to get along with the rest of the staff at his new school. Their methods of discipline seem harsh. He's uncomfortable, but doesn't say anything. Then he starts hearing screams in the empty schoolgrounds. He backs off when people start pressuring him to stop asking questions. Then Kang In-Ho finds out the truth behind what's going on,...More
(42) Park Chan-wook: Director with blood-coated lens 2012/07/04, Source,
Director Park Chan-wook, left, waves as he is awarded with actor Choi Min-shik for the grand prix for the film "Old Boy" during the award ceremony of the 57th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes on May 24, 2004. / Korea Times file
By Andrew Salmon Tension and violence sell, but this may not be apparent to the vast majority of fans of "hallyu", the much-discussed "Korean Wave" of pop culture that has swept outward from the shores of the peninsula since, roughly, the turn of the millennium. The two standout genres of hallyu, in sales terms, are clearly K-pop and K-soaps. Of the former, Korean management companies have come up with a winning formula, churning out a range of cute, well-trained and above all wholesome boy- and girl-bands whose appeal is very different from the rebellious, opinionated, drug-spattered figures who stagger across the stage of Western rock 'n roll. Soap is similarly sugar-coated: Most dramas are centered upon pretty boys and pretty girls in pretty clothes and pretty houses/landscapes engaging in genteel, "no-sex-please-we're-Korean" romances,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] Highest Grossing Korean Films of 2011 2011/11/26, Highest Grossing Korean Films of 2011
2011 has produced a range of successful Korean films that have captured the public's imagination, tugged at their heartstrings, caused a few laughs, and asked some serious questions. Although the year is not quite done, the big films of the year have largely had their say at the box office. This week I wanted to take a look at the top domestic films of 2011 and see just what type of films captured the public's interest in 2011,...More
The Crucible - Two Sides of The Netizen Coin 2011/10/01, Source,
Promotional still from The Crucible
An article has come out in The Korea Times and many other places since then, about the stir "The Crucible" has caused. Thousands of Korean netizens and bloggers, along with Daum have shown their support for the people who suffered through this case and also demanded for change.
I was very happy to hear about this. Netizens are not my favorite people, as the main volume of them I usually hear about or experience are ruthless, violent and brainless, but it seems decent people are active online as well. I've been following this movie ever since I heard news of it and it's been my hope that it would succeed in raising awareness on such a big issue. And unfortunately, it's a global issue. Children are the future "us" and we owe us both a better world,...More
'The Crucible' Brings Demons of Child Molestation Case Back to Life 2011/09/28, Source,
A slew of sex crimes against children with disabilities that took place from 2000 to 2005 at a special institute for deaf youngsters remain unsolved six years after they were first brought to light, sparking anger among social groups.
Author Gong Ji-young in 2009 published a novel inspired by the case that reignited public interest in it. Now a new film adaptation is once again stirring controversy among viewers, who are calling for the case to be reinvestigated,...More
True story: "The Crucible" shows the sexual harassment of a handicapped child 2011/09/06, Source,
A scene featuring the sexual harassment of a disturbed child in the movie "The Crucible", which is based on a true story, is expected to bring great impact.
At the movie premier on September 6th in Seoul, the movie debuted the scene of sexually harassment, which is a true case that caused a great social uproar in the past. With all but the ending of Gong Ji-yeong's novel which notified the world about this case, "The Crucible" shows various scenes with abuse and sexual violence to deaf children.,...More
Film examines child abuse case 2011/08/24, Source, "The Crucible" is a film based on the true story of hearing-impaired children being sexually abused by their teachers. / Yonhap
By Lee Hyo-won
Life is often stranger than fiction, and both director Hwang Dong-hyeok and actor Gong Yoo were shocked to discover that Gong Ji-young's bestselling online novel about child sex abuse was based on a true story.
The "Coffee Prince" actor, who read a hard copy of the book while serving in the military, proactively sought a way to turn "Dogani" into a film. Hwang on the other hand greatly hesitated about adapting the 2000-2004 case in which the teachers and principal sexually abused students at a Gwangju school for the hearing impaired,...More
Gong Yoo, Jeong Yu-mi cast in new film 2011/01/07, Source,
Actor Gong Yoo (left) and actress Jeong Yu-mi [N.O.A. Entertainment]
Actor Gong Yoo and actress Jeong Yu-mi have been cast together in a new film, announced their agency N.O.A. Entertainment on Friday.
According to a press release by N.O.A., film "The Crucible" ("Dogani"), whose title can be translated into 'a scene', is based on the 2009 best-seller of the same name written by Korean writer Gong Ji-young who looked into a sexual violence case committed in one of the schools for hearing-impaired people in Gwangju,...More
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