[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] "Enemies In-Law" 2015/05/09,
The plot is typical star-crossed lovers stuff. First, Cheol-soo (played by Hong Jong-hyeon) is the son of two supervillains. Well they're not really supervillains but Dal-sik (played by Sin Jeong-geun) and Yeong-mi (played by Park Eun-hye) have crime-committing abilities so superpowered they might as well be. Luckily "Enemies In-Law" is a comedy, so I don't need to do anything as ridiculous as criticize this movie for featuring a small army of crime dogs- that is, dogs that commit crimes, not dogs that solve crimes,...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
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Clash of the Families" 2014/10/18,
As popular as the romantic comedy genre is in drama, Korean movies are not a medium that has really focused on it much. There are some nice films of course, but few and far between. When they get things absolutely spot on, however, it is a very entertaining and satisfying experience. 'Clash of the Families' takes a comedic turn at a Romeo and Juliet type of romance and its best qualities really make it one heck of a fun film,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Grandpas Over Flowers Investigation Team" Episode 11 2014/07/18,
The title card gives away the ending. And while I'm fully assuming there's some sort of ridiculous gimmick involved to explain that this was all elaborately staged somehow, that's not enough to make the whiplash in "Grandpas Over Flowers Investigation Team" any more obnoxious. This is supposed to be a comedy. It has a silly premise, and for most of the drama they haven't even been dealing much with the question of how they got turned into old people. And now, at this of all times, we're supposed to be seriously worried about life and death situations?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Grandpas Over Flowers Investigation Team" Episode 9 2014/07/04,
For the large part of this episode, it's unresolved as to whether Won-bin has actually turned traitor to the team or whether his actions at the previous cliffhanger were part of some more convoluted scheme. For most of the filler period until we finally get to the point that Won-bin's loyalties are cleared up once and for all, we're treated to jokes about Won-bin enjoying his young person body, mingled with hate and resentment toward all those people who treated him as a weird old guy before,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Grandpas Over Flowers Investigation Team" Episode 8 2014/06/27,
The drama appears to have given up on being an episodic mystery altogether here, as the conflict is built entirely around the nefarious forces that are conspiring against the team due their fateful agebending shenanigans from the first episode. It takes a moment to actually get to his point. First the good guys have to engage in customary silliness over their dumb ideas to try and acquire an important lead. Then there's an excursion at the water park. Then we finally get to the actual story,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Grandpas Over Flowers Investigation Team" Episode 6 2014/06/13,
If this drama's going to insist on making everything into a murder mystery, it at least manages to set the tone for the proceedings properly here by quickly introducing an element of silliness- a great deal of the invesigation revolves around a fortune teller. He's a pretty elaborately dressed one, too, and appears to have knowledge of events that should be impossible to know,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Grandpas Over Flowers Investigation Team" Episode 5 2014/06/06,
The tone takes an odd shift here- opening sequence notwithstanding, the first third of the episode doesn't actually deal with a criminal investigation at all, but rather the team's attempts to figure out who the spy is. As usual, they all quickly get so caught up in their imaginations that...I can't think of a way to finish that sentence, and neither can the drama. For all the goofiness these zany antics inspire there's not really any obvious consequences,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Grandpas Over Flowers Investigation Team" Episode 4 2014/05/30,
This episode the team is investigating a murder. Multiple murders, actually, which sullies the waters here right from the get-go. The essential conceit of this drama is that the investigation team, for all their comedic quirks and in spite of the fact that over half of them have been transformed into old men, are very good at their job. Yet here they're apparently so non-threatening that a murder unfolds right in front of them. That the murdered is eventually unveiled is besides the point. A team this good should be some kind of deterrant,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Grandpas Over Flowers Investigation Team" Episode 3 2014/05/23,
Oddly enough I never for a minute got the impression that the ghost was actually real. Apparently the willing suspension of disbelief can tolerate magic water that turns young people into old people, but ghosts too? Well that's just crazy. Although it's possible Joon-hyeok is just making a very persuasive argument. Not really an argument, actually, more like he mocks everyone else on the team for even entertaining such a ridiculous idea.
"Grandpas Over Flowers Investigation Team" is not, at this point, about much in the way of serious investigation,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] Korean Weekend Box Office 2012.12.07 ~ 2012.12.09 2012/12/10, HanCinema's Korean Box Office Review (2012.12.07 ~ 2012.12.09)Jo Geun-hyeon's drama "26 Years" managed to hold onto another first place position at the box office this past weekend. Heun-hyeon's latest entered the chart at the end of last month where it was the choice film with almost 700,000 admissions. Its second week almost matched that performance with 606,882, putting it on a total admission count of 1,815,882. In addition to Geun-hyeon's "26 Years", the romantic comedy "Whatcha Wearin'?" was released along with the new and improved "Dredd 3D",...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] Korean Weekend Box Office 2012.11.23 ~ 2012.11.25 2012/11/25, HanCinema's Korean Box Office Review (2012.11.23 ~ 2012.11.25)
"Breaking Dawn: Part 2" once again struggle to surpass Jo Sung-hee's popular fantasy drama "A Werewolf Boy" as the battle for supernatural supremacy continued at the box office. "A Werewolf Boy" claimed some 550 880 admissions, and only narrowly dodged the big Hollywood hit which itself claimed 468, 965. Still admissions were lower this week with both these two powerhouses attracting half of what the weekend of the 24th bestowed upon them. Jo Sung-hee's film is also on the verge of overtaking "The Dark Knight Rises" as the fourth highest grossing film released in Korea this year. The latest Batman scored 6,396,528 admissions and currently "A Werewolf Boy" has stormed to 6,015,700 since its release at the end of last month,...More
[HanCinema Korea's Diary] Subtitles: Reading between the Frames 2011/12/31,
It's an obstacle that some are not able to overcome in order to appreciate foreign films. A permanent divide that marks a film as 'alien' and not of your own tongue or cultural frame of reference. It's an intrusive necessity that simultaneously invites and imparts difference on one's viewing experience. 'Reading' a foreign film tampers with the message in order to bridge the language barrier that exists between the spectacle and the spectator. But film is a medium made up of two languages, that which is spoken and heard and that which is seen, but it is the experience as a whole that matters most,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] Korean Weekend Box Office (2011.03.25-2011.03.27) 2011/03/28,
Korean Weekend Box Office (2011.03.25~2011.03.27)
Tom Hooper's "The King's Speech" creeps up to the top spot with 173,231 admissions. The critically acclaimed film stars Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter. It's the story of King George VI's as he overcomes personal obstacles to fulfill his duty of taking up the throne of England.,...More
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