Kim's first ever onscreen role was in the critically acclaimed A Muse (2012). Her daring and naturalistic performance in the film won her accolades in South Korea. She now returns to the screen in the crime thriller Monster (2014) and in the upcoming high-profile period revenge drama Memories of the Sword (2014).
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cheese in the Trap" 2016/03/12,
Like all adaptations of successful original works, "Cheese in the Trap" had been under quite a bit of scrutiny in the time leading to its airing date. Things eventually turned out well and everyone was happy. Unfortunately, everything went awry again when the controversy sprung up. The drama's troubles started way before that, however. "Cheese in the Trap" deserves to be looked at like any other work, isolated from outside production debacles and scandals. When looking at it that way, its problems begin way before the infamous ending. What do I think about said ending? Well, read on,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cheese in the Trap" Episode 16 Final 2016/03/01,
Given all the fuss about how "Cheese in the Trap" was preproduced, I'm a little surprised that the finale manages to fall into traps generally associated with the live shooting system. Characters make major decisions in the blink of an eye, critical plot information falls out of nowhere, huge life-threatening accidents terrify half the cast, and the epilogue just sort of tapers off into mundane life with no real kick. "Cheese in the Trap" is the rare drama that manages to feel too short- I feel like we're missing at least four episodes of context here,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cheese in the Trap" Episode 15 2016/02/29,
With Seol's encouragement at his back, Jeong is finally able to make a sincere effort to not take a scorched earth policy to his enemies. This ends up not being all that helpful. Jeong's icy personality has always been the real problem rather than the way he lashes out, because Jeong has always been pretty good about only lashing out against people who deserve it. So unfortunately this potentially interesting character conflict doesn't have much hope of being resolved, given how this is the penultimate episode and all,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cheese in the Trap" Episode 14 2016/02/23,
Second leads never have it easy in dramas, but In-ho knows more than most that he really is in a completely impossible position. At best all he can do now is try not to act creepy. In-ho forces Seol to acknowledge the awkwardness and makes a request that's probably more unreasonable than it sounds. His position is a pretty good argument for why it's better to just keep your mouth shut when it comes to confessing to someone you like and see on a regular basis,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cheese in the Trap" Episode 13 2016/02/22,
In my first review for "Cheese in the Trap" I incorrectly described Seol's friend Eun-taek as being the boyfriend of her best friend Bo-ra. My assumption was presaged on how they act ridiculously flirty around each other, such that I was surprised to finally realize they weren't actually dating. Why? Well, because Bo-ra's mostly arbitrary requirements regarding possible boyfriends rule Eun-taek out. In this episode, that issue is finally realized,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cheese in the Trap" Episode 12 2016/02/16,
I struggle with trying to decide whether the Yeong-gon storyline is overdone or not. The thing is, there are people in real life who will do that- just keep doing the same action and somehow expecting different results, not realizing that certain effects are cumulative. In this case, even after getting an opportunity to smooth social relations over with fellow students who have turned very cold to Yeong-gon over his stalking behavior, Yeong-gon is still at risk of being sabotaged by an unseen enemy,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cheese in the Trap" Episode 11 2016/02/15,
Early on Seol ends up choosing which antagonistic character to support when a fight unexpectedly breaks out. What's significant about Seol's thought process is that she could just choose not to get involved. But in the end Seol makes a moral decision to the effect that that deliberately manipulative behavior is more deserving of public censure than performing worse on the arbitrary metric of social rules,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cheese in the Trap" Episode 10 2016/02/02,
Even though "Cheese in the Trap" was filmed completely in advance of airing, I get the impression that the editing part of the production team still messes around with the presentation. A scene from the episode nine preview only shows up now in episode ten, and the timing is much better given how the drama will be on break next week. Min-soo finally breaks down. And even after having apparently "won", Seol is not in any kind of victorious mood. There's just no cause for it, when Jeong isn't around,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cheese in the Trap" Episode 9 2016/02/01,
We open up with a replay of the class presentations. Seol has learned her lesson, and decides that it's better for her to be a cruel jerk than risk everyone's academic prospects on Professor Kang's whims. The gambit works, as far as the classroom is concerned. Unfortunately, such smart strategizing is of less help in Seol's personal life. The same can be said of just about every other character in "Cheese in the Trap", as they take stupid actions based on logical yet flawed premises,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cheese in the Trap" Episode 8 2016/01/26,
Min-soo (played by Yon Ji-won) used to be an apparently irrelevant background character in Seol's class, but she became more noteworthy last episode by taking the somewhat creepy step of trying to perfectly mimic Seol's personal appearance. This episode expands greatly on Min-soo's motivation. She's lonely, she wants friends, doesn't know how to get them, but Seol seems to be nice and she also has positive personality traits. Who does this remind you of?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cheese in the Trap" Episode 7 2016/01/25,
Yeong-gon (played by Ji Yoon-ho) is Seol's stalker. Initially he just comes off here as a somewhat vicious villainous character and after some flashbacks...well, Yeong-gon still doesn't come as particularly sympathetic. What makes these scenes awkward is that as obviously appropriate as it is for us to hate Yeong-gon, acting antagonistic doesn't really help. Yeong-gon has somewhat perversely managed to convince himself that his behavior isn't actually aggressive. So both sides of this dispute see it as based on one-sided attacks,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cheese in the Trap" Episode 6 2016/01/19,
The opening dream sequence demonstrates a lot of the contradictions at play in "Cheese in the Trap". Seol is paranoid that there's something not quite right about Jeong, yet the fears in her imagination frequently have little if anything to do with Jeong's actual character conflicts. Jeong is sweet and thoughtful even when Seol isn't around- but only when thinking about Seol. That's because Jeong genuinely doesn't seem to like any other character in "Cheese in the Trap",...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cheese in the Trap" Episode 5 2016/01/18,
Some very dark story elements come into play in this episode of "Cheese in the Trap". Surprising though it may seem, they don't actually have that much to do with Jeong, our oftentimes spooky first male lead, but rather In-ho, the second male lead who seems to be much more on the level. Director Lee Yoon-jeong appears to be making the point here that superficial appearances can be deceiving, and the point is well taken,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cheese in the Trap" Episode 4 2016/01/12,
I've seen the whole "awkward first date" trope play out so many times in fiction that I'm used to it being, well, theatrical, with everything going horribly wrong. Seol and Jeong's first date is more...real-life awkward. Like, the movie they end up going to watch is a little weird, there's odd little nitpicks about pricing which they don't discuss. There's never a conversation about actual date stuff. In short, Seol and Jeong don't seem to have any idea what they're doing. Why is that?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cheese in the Trap" Episode 3 2016/01/11,
In-ho (played by Seo Kang-joon) is the last central character in "Cheese in the Trap", and like the other characters in this drama In-ho struggles to serve any particularly obvious purpose in the story. This is mostly because "Cheese in the Trap" is quite light in the story department, something I appreciate much better now having read the first few chapters of the webtoon. One interesting change I've noticed- in the webtoon, Jeong is noticably less creepy and suspicious. At the beginning anyway,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cheese in the Trap" Episode 2 2016/01/05,
What a difference a mere change in tone can make...gone are the eerie, mysterious ominous musical chords that director Lee Yoon-jeong had been using to imply that Jeong is a creepy little sneak who's up to no good. Granted, Jeong still smiles like a serial killer but it's hard to be mad at a guy who's so aggressively nice. Jeong even manages to act pushy in a way that doesn't seem all that pushy by ackowledging how he's being a tad too forward,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Cheese in the Trap" Episode 1 2016/01/04,
Seol (played by Kim Go-eun-I) is a normal everyday college student, who has to deal with normal everyday college student pressures like being pressured to eat weird food, avoiding tardy penalties in class, and racing with other students to enroll in favored classes as quickly as possible. That may not sound like much in the way of conflict or excitement but then that's kind of the whole point of college- dealing with light responsibilities as long-term preparation for real ones,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Preview] "Cheese in the Trap" 2016/01/02,
The ever increasing popularity of Korean webtoons within and outside of Korea means drama adaptations of them are becoming a standard. These shows are also bringing in new genres, such as "Incomplete Life", "Last", "Awl" and more. At the same time, romance remains a drama staple and therefore a genre adapted often. "Cheese in the Trap" is tvN's latest live-action adaptation of a popular romantic webtoon.
Hong Seol (Kim Go-eun-I) is a hardworking poor student. She meets Yoo Jeong (Park Hae-jin), a senior who is a seemingly perfect and a good looking young man with a good personality. However, Yoo Jeong is also hiding a dark secret,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Advocate : A missing body" 2015/11/14,
Ho-seong (played by Lee Seon-gyoon) is a somewhat eccentric lawyer. He uses his weirdly modulated tone of voice and tortured logical explanations to confuse juries into returning not-guilty verdicts. Ho-seong is kind of a jerk, and his semi-comedic powers of lawyering can only ever really be used to subvert justice for the sake of a paycheck. So matters take a turn for the strange when Ho-seong is forced to do battle against an elaborate corporate conspiracy more because he hates losing than because he actually cares about justice,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.10.09 ~ 2015.10.11 2015/10/12,
"The Martian" arrives and conquers...
After entering the fray last weekend in pole position, Nancy Meyers' "The Intern" had to take a step back in light of the next big space thriller to come out of Hollywood: "The Martian". Ridley Scott's adaptation of Andy Weir's novel was released in the States earlier this month, and has already grossed over $227 million worldwide, but arrived in Korea last Thursday and was given 1,132 screens to pool from. This epic space thriller has been well-received by critics and cinephiles alike (especially space junkies and science fans), and in Korea close to 1.5 million tickets were sold over its first weekend out,...More
Memories of the Sword (2015) 2015/08/14, Source,
Genres: Action and Epics
Running Time: 121 min.
Directed by: Park Heung-sik
Starring: Jeon Do-yeon, Kim Go-eun-I, Lee Byung-hun
Synopsis: Three warriors from the Koryo Dynasty lead a riot. Due to the betrayal of Deok-gi, Pung-cheon dies. Deok-gi then tries to persuade Seol-rang to join his side, but she refuses. She then flees with Pung-cheon's sword and his infant daughter. Some 18 years later, Seol-rang is now blind and she trains Pung-cheon's daughter to use the sword for revenge,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.05.22 ~ 2015.05.24 2015/05/25, "Mad Max" retains pole position...
The fourth film in the "Mad Max" series continued its reign atop the Korean box office, claiming additional 310K (31%) across 714 screens to move its total tally now to 1.8M ($15M). "Mad Max: Fury Road" has been peppered with praise from critics and filmgoers worldwide, and is quickly closing in on the estimated $150M it took to produce. Last weekend "Mad Max" (along with Spy) entered and dislodged Marvel's "Avengers" as the country's favourite flick; week two for George Miller's dusty dystopia saw that success continue as fans flocked to theatres to catch Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron in action,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.05.15 - 2015.05.17 2015/05/18,
"Chronicles of Evil" and "Mad Max" dislodges "The Avengers"...
While Cannes is playing host to the top stars and filmmakers from around the world, the South Korean public came out in droves over the weekend to catch two new features that recently made their way onto the chart. Baek Woon-hak's thriller "Chronicles of Evil" and George Miller's remake of "Mad Max" were the must-see films, and between them the capture over 70% of the box office pie; in the process removing "The Avengers" from its previous privileged position as South Korea's number one,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.05.08 ~ 2015.05.10 2015/05/11,
Marvel's massively successful "Avengers: Age of Ultron" continued its reign at the top of the pile over this past weekend. The $280 billion film added an additional 804 admissions (52%) to its cause, bringing its total tally in South Korea now to 9.3 million admissions (or $73 million). Currently, "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" has grossed over $875 million worldwide,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Coin Locker Girl" 2015/05/09,
Il-yeong (played by Kim Go-eun-I) was abandoned in a coin locker as a newborn infant. Literally, her name just means "one-zero". After a somewhat unpleasant life as a normal child bum, Il-yeong is recruited and sold to Mom (played by Kim Hye-soo), who runs a multi-faceted criminal enterprise. As it happens, Il-yeong the child has the right stuff to be promoted as one of Mom's children- a direct enforcer who somewhat incidentally gets to have a normal dinner with the rest of Mom's "family" every once in awhile,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2015.05.01 ~ 2015.05.03 2015/05/04, Marvel's might continues while newcomers stake their claim… There was some serious jostling for position going on at the box office this past weekend. Last weekend Marvel's latest "Avengers" film entered the fray and (righteously) dominated proceedings by capturing a mammoth 90% of the box office pie. And while this left little else for the rest of the pack to pounce on, a week later we find a string of new entries trying to make a move on Marvel's monster,...More
Coin Locker Girl (2015) 2015/05/01, Source, "Coin Locker Girl"
Genres: Crime and Drama
Running Time: 110 min.
Directed by: Han Jun-hee
Starring: Kim Hye-soo, Kim Go-eun-I, Eom Tae-goo, Ko Kyeong-pyo
Synopsis: A baby is thrown into a coin locker. She is picked up by a beggar, who names her Il-young. When she turns 10, she is sold off to a woman referred to simply as Mother. She is raised by remorseless loan sharks until she is 18 years old, by which time she has become Mother's trusted right hand. One day, Il-young is given a task: to stay close to Seok-hyeon, the son of a debtor. Over the course of a few days, she becomes friends with the boy and is exposed to a world she never knew existed. She envies the normalcy that other teenage girls enjoy and opens her heart to Seok-hyeon. But when his father flees, Mother orders her to kill him,...More
"Coin Locker Girl" Kim Hye-soo, "Cold-hearted truth? That's us" 2015/04/28, Source, "Mom's life is a battle for survival. It's either you dominate from above or be abandoned until no further use. Survival is the goal and pending death is the life of this character".
"Coin Locker Girl" was released on the 29th and this reflects a completely different side of Kim Hye-soo. She plays the head of a gang and goes by the name of 'Mom'. She discovers a child named Il-yeong (Kim Go-eun-I) abandoned in locker 10 of the subway and the cold-hearted affection she develops for her is downright depressing,...More
Kim Go-eun-I and Kim Hye-soo don't mind the "Avengers" 2015/04/20, Source, "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" ticket sales has reached 90% and it's expected to clean sweep. However, there's something coming up that doesn't mind Hollywood. It's as mighty as "Iron Man", it's as strong as "Thor" and it's as scary as "The Hulk".
We're talking about Kim Hye-soo and Kim Go-eun-I. "Coin Locker Girl" has come out at last. The production presentation went over well and the audience cheered for the cast who challenged "The Avengers",...More
SHINee Minho to star in "Canola" 2015/04/15, Source, SHINee's Minho is coming out with a movie.
SM Entertainment claimed he will be appearing in the movie "Canola" which is about a girl who lost her memory, reuniting with her granny for the first time in 10 years. He stars in the movie with Kim Go-eun-I. He's been in several dramas before but this is his first movie,...More
Kim Hye-soo's new stills in upcoming movie "Coin Locker Girl" 2015/03/09, Source,
Stills of Kim Hye-soo starring in the movie "Coin Locker Girl" have been released. She plays the leader "Mother" of cold and cruel China Town, the background of the movie.
Anyone can call her mother but she can't be defied. She is an immigrant whose past and real name is hidden and she created her own gang to survive in the world of violence. She takes care of difficult matters without a flinch and takes care of people who can't pay their debt in her own ways, showing no remorse or feelings,...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
Monster - Movie 2014/03/15, Source,
"Monster - Movie"
Running Time: 114 min.
Directed by: Hwang In-ho
Starring: Lee Min-ki, Kim Go-eun-I, Yoon Jin-ha
Synopsis: Bok-soon is slightly lacking in intelligence, but is a brave and bright young woman. She has one younger sister whom she loves more than life itself. One day, her sister gets killed by Tae-soo, a heartless murderer. Later, Bok-soon joins Na-ri, another girl who is being chased by the killer, and goes after Tae-soo for revenge,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Monster - Movie" 2014/03/08,
Bok-soon (played by Kim Go-eun-I) is mentally challenged. She's intelligent enough to make a living as a street peddler, but that's the full extent of her abilities. The young woman has trouble keeping track of anything but the most simple short-term reasoning, although she does easily understand the concept of love. Ironically, the titular monster of this film, Tae-soo (played by Lee Min-ki) shares almost the exact same basic personality traits. It's just that where a bad day for Bok-soon means screaming like a crazy person and conking people on the head, a bad day for Tae-soo means brutally and violently murdering everyone in the room,...More
[HanCinema Feature] Historical Hysteria: Korean period films coming in 2014 2014/01/11, Joseon pirates, legends, swordsmen, angels and more coming our way in 2014...
Cinematic journeys back to Joseon and beyond have rewarded the Korean film industry with a string of profitable historical yarns, a trend that has got producers drooling with the prospect of tapping deeper into this regenerative cash cow. Recently, it's been Han Jae-rim's "The Face Reader" (9.1M admissions) that has had locals flustered and, in 2005, it was Lee Joon-ik's "The King and the Clown" that became the first Joseon-era flick to pass the 10 million admissions mark. It's big business with a cultural twist that locals enjoy supporting, international audiences love lapping up, and a trend that 2014 is keen to take advance of as a host of new retrospectives are getting raring to go,...More
Who is the queen of the year? 2013/10/02, Source,
What's the exposure code at BIFF this year?
The 18th Busan International Film Festival is opening its festival door with the movie "The Blessing" on the 3rd of October.
The highlight of all openings is the relay of female stars' dresses. Domestic and foreign actresses alike will be decorating the red carpet with sexy to abstruse fashion,...More
Pieta Wins Top Prize at 33rd Blue Dragon Film Awards 2012/12/01, Source,
South Korean director Kim Ki-duk's "Pieta" won the award for best film of the year at the 33rd Blue Dragon Film Awards in Seoul on Friday night. While accepting the grand prix at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, Kim described his film as a reflection of extreme capitalism where money rules over all. He also expressed his hopes that the South Korean society would become one that's centered around people and not money,...More
Is Nudity Still a Box-Office Draw? 2012/11/09, Source,
Testing the legal limits of screen nudity can often be an effective way to publicize a new film, and getting a star to show as much skin as possible is a shortcut to wide media coverage. But increasingly there are signs that such marketing strategies no longer guarantee success. Evidence to the contrary might be provided by a look at the box office performance of movies released this year that drew a lot of attention for nudity. "A Muse", which drew attention for nude scenes by rookie Kim Go-eun-I, managed to pull 1.35 million moviegoers. "The Scent", starring Park Si-yeon, drew 1.25 million viewers, while "The Concubine" starring Jo Yeo-jeong attracted 2.64 million,...More
Unknown Starlet Gets Big Break as Korean Lolita 2012/04/21, Source,
The novel "Eun-gyo" by Park Bum-shin revolves around an affair between a poet in his 70s and a 17-year-old high school girl. It sparked heated debate as soon as it began to appear in serialized form on Park's personal blog, and now attention is focusing on the young actress who plays the female lead role in director Jeong Ji-woo's film adaptation. The movie, "A Muse", is scheduled to be released on April 26.
In fact, the role has already catapulted 21-year-old Kim Go-eun-I from obscurity to the center of much media buzz concerning whether she will be able to rise to the challenge,...More
Park Si-yeon and Kim Go-eun-I, who reveals more? 2012/04/19, Source,
▶ Newly wed Park Si-yeon, Exposure ★★★☆☆. Stimulation ★★★★★
Park Si-yeon's exposure in "The Scent" was shocking indeed. She took on the role of a mysterious beauty who seduces a detective in charge of a murder case.
She exposed her chest and important parts as well as her whole entire body with nothing to cover it in a shower scene, although it was her back only. Her well known beauty body seduced the audience,...More
Lotte announces new Jeong Ji-woo film 2012/02/13, Source,
Major Korean investor and distributor Lotte Entertainment has announced "Happy End" director Jeong Ji-woo's upcoming film "A Muse" (working title) at the European Film Market (EFM). The film is currently in post-production.
Based on PARK Bum-shin's bestselling novel of the same title, "A Muse" follows a 70-year-old poet who has an affair with a high school student and is inspired to write a book about her. However, his best student, jealous of the relationship, steals this work,...More
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