[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Prison" 2017/04/08,
The year is 1995. Yoo-geon (played by Kim Rae-won) is a bad dude- so bad, he even gets a special color nametag on his prison jumpsuit. Soon after arrival Yoo-geon manages to get into a fight with top dog Chang-gil (played by Shin Sung-rok), who is also a bad dude that does not know the meaning of surrender. Once the baddest dude in the room has been established, it's then on to the baddest dude in the whole prison, Ik-ho (played by Han Suk-kyu) who takes the meaning of the term "bad dude" to a whole another level,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2017.03.31 ~ 2017.04.02 2017/04/03,
Foreign fairytale narrowly outplays "The Prison" for the top spot...
"Beauty and the Beast", Bill Condon's re-imagining of Disney's classic fairytale, fended off a flood of new entries last weekend to secure a second week at the top. Now in its third weekend, the film once again narrowly retained pole position by capturing 32.51% of the sales (650,185 admissions). That sum moves its bottom line in Korea now to over 4 million admissions ($30.1 million) and is currently the third highest-grossing film of the year behind "The King" (5.3 million) and "Confidential Assignment" (7.8 million). Worldwide, "Beauty and the Beast" is closing in on a billion dollars in sales: $876.3 million,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2017.03.24 - 2017.03.26 2017/03/27,
A flood of new entries fail to subdue "Beauty and the Beast"...
Despite the flood of new entries, foreign and domestic, Disney's musical fantasy "Beauty and the Beast" narrowly retained pole position by capturing 40.98% of the sales. With the million admissions the film scored over the weekend, Bill Condon's remake now moves its total tally in Korea to 3.1 million, or $23.1 million; "Beauty and the Beast" is only 500,000 short of becoming the third highest-grossing film in Korea this year,...More
[Interview] Kim Rae-won from 'youth star' to 'actor' 2017/03/17, Source,
"All I had was passion and spirit in my 20s. I was proud of the title, 'youth star' and I only had eyes for what was mine. Now that I'm near 40, I want to be an actor. I want to act for real".
Actor Kim Rae-won spoke these words with sincerity and in a quiet tone. He's been in romance, comedy, mellow, action, noire and now criminal action. He's been successful so far and many may think he's quite an intelligent actor but that's not all,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" 2017/02/11,
"Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" might sound like another round of hospital romance, but the deceptively titled series is a bit quirkier than you would expect. A human drama at its core, the story looks at the humanity in medicine and the ethical implications of it as a business. At the same time, the drama has trouble living up to that original potential, so let us look at it in more detail,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "A Bloody Aria" + DVD Giveaway 2017/01/28,
Married opera professor Yeong-seon (played by Lee Byung-joon) is having a leisurely drive with former student In-jeong (played by Cha Ye-ryun), making a few misguided attempts to impress her. It isn't long before we learn that Yeong-seon is a complete jerk, and actually kind of monstrous even. So it's with a sense of gratification that Yeong-seon ends up getting waylaid in the middle of nowhere, and forced to make conversation with various rural Korean rednecks,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" Episode 19 2017/01/10,
Hurray for a fresh and interesting twist which fixes some of the mistakes of episode eighteen. "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" has pulled these before and it is good to see it do the same near the end, especially after the previous few shaky episodes and their erratic character developments. As Dong-joo comes to terms with his new information about the past, Doldam prepares for one last fight with the relentlessly shameless Yoon-wan,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" Episode 18 2017/01/10,
With Chairman Sin still unconscious and his daughter, Hyeon-jeong still being manipulated by Yoon-wan Doldam's future is put in grave danger. Reporter Oh is still looking into Teacher Kim's life as Boo Yong-joo and some secrets of the past are revealed, which cause great tension. They also temporarily sacrifice a character to the altar of plot progression, making the transition to the next episode crucial,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" Episode 17 2017/01/03,
Somebody give Yoon-wan a mustache to twirl and a cat to pet, because he is reaching high levels of cartoon villainy. The man is getting desperate and more dangerous. A nosy reporter with shady intentions shakes Teacher Kim while Woon-yeong finally gets a chance to shine as his top doctor's story comes to light and his future is endangered by everyone's favorite person to hate,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" Episode 16 2017/01/03,
As we reach the final episodes of the series, things get unsurprisingly fast paced and dire. The Doldam crew for Chairman Shin's surgery is doing their best to cut down on time while Yoon-wan tries to use the inevitable surgery as a means of asserting his position and destroying Teacher Kim. With time and aggressive hospital politics against them, the crew prepares for their biggest surgery yet,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" Episode 15 2016/12/27,
Gone are the days of exploring difficult matters of hospital ethics and injecting social commentary into subplots. "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" has become comfortable with its romance and its political power games, so much that there is little to distinguish it from any other similar drama at this point. Our villain is back and meddling, our new character has no real function in the plot yet and the story is gearing up for a big battle,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Forbidden Quest" + DVD Giveaway 2016/12/24,
In Joseon, erotica is banned, and can only be obtained in illegal markets. Incidentally, Yoon-seo (played by Han Suk-kyu) is a royal inspector who is a total weenie and also a dishonor to his family. Close proximity to official tough guy Gwang-heon (played by Lee Beom-soo) can only do so much. But a chance encounter with the erotica market slowly leads Yoon-seo on to the path of manly self-confidence, casually tossing aside lowly deocrum that he may better lust for Queen Jeong-bin (played by Kim Min-jung),...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" Episode 14 2016/12/21,
Love is in the air in episode fourteen of "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim", which is a far better thing to have airborne than MERS. The crisis is resolved and Seo-jeong has to make some decisions on her feelings. In-beom's bluff is called and Teacher Kim gives the young man some honest advice. The episode brings back familiar faces, but it also adds a new mysterious figure and probable enemy of Doldam and Teacher Kim,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" Episode 13 2016/12/19,
Episode thirteen of "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" tackles the highly dangerous MERS and the responsibility medical care professionals carry in such potential outbreak situations. Sadly, the episode also uses this serious topic to kick its romance into a forced high gear through the heavy hand of danger. Doldam is in major trouble and someone I thought we knew makes a horrible decision and betrays a colleague,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" Episode 12 2016/12/14,
The battle between the two hospitals rages on and Dong-joo finds himself in another dilemma over his latest patient. Things only become worse when a past mistake makes a haunting return and bares Dong-joo's shame for everyone to see. Different people give the young doctor their opinion and try to push him toward the right decision while Teacher Kim chooses to once again observe and respect his pupils' personal decisions,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" Episode 11 2016/12/13,
There is little peace to be found for Doldam Hospital ever since the new staff arrived, and things keep escalating for the worse. A very delicate situation forms when the military becomes involved with a patient and Seo-jeong faces the threat of a lawsuit by the family of the DUI perpetrator. Meanwhile Teacher Kim tries to keep everything under control and observe how his two most trusted pupils react to the power games,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" Episode 7 2016/11/29,
The battle between Geodae and Doldam is as vicious as expected and I fear these conflicts may be our new reality. Gone are the days of a tight-knit group of medical rejects fighting for patients with Dong-joo's whining as the only hindrance. If power games are not enough excitement for you, how about a hostage situation? Yes, cliche gangsters are everything a medical show needs,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" Episode 6 2016/11/22,
Episode six of "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" brings big changes. Teacher Kim's plans are still not entirely clear, but his personal demons start to show as Yoon-wan closes in on the hospital. The Teacher and Dong-joo become so busy with their personal plans and persistent enemies that they irresponsibly leave the hospital at the same time, forcing Myeong-sim, Seo-jeong and the staff to take desperate measures,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" Episode 5 2016/11/21,
Teacher Kim's past is finally revealed and his enemies close in on Doldam Hospital. Dong-joo becomes determined to learn from his unwilling mentor, but takes on more than he can handle to impress and follow him. Seo-jeong tries her best at her new job, but her routine is shaken by a surprising fan whose motives are still a mystery and whose involvement is worrisome,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" Episode 3 2016/11/14,
Oh boy, Dong-joo's journey back from the self-absorbed pity party he is throwing for himself is going to be a long one after all. Our spoiled antihero continues to place his own emotions and needs first, but Teacher Kim will have none of it. Seo-jeong wakes up, but an equally honest treatment from their mentor awaits her. Dong-joo has no time to reflect, as the ER floods with patients and he must make an important decision,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" Episode 2 2016/11/09,
Romantic male lead and viewers alike get a hefty dose of disillusionment in episode two of "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim", as it reminds us that it takes more for romance than one person who wants a mate. The time is five years later and Dong-joo has been reassigned to the small hospital of a rural area after being used by his peers. That is when he reunites with Seo-jeong and meets our titular character,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" Episode 1 2016/11/08,
Are you tired of romantic shows which hold the kiss hostage until the end? Getting sick of last minute forced drama? Have you had enough of slow burn love? Then "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" is here to save the day! We get forced kisses, forced drama, forced trucks of doom and other manner of over the top goodness right off the bat. What? This is not a romantic soap opera, you say? Oh... Well then we need to have a talk,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Preview] "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" 2016/11/05,
There are fans of romancing in the non-romantic genres and then there are those who wish to see stories without OTPs, but good dramas can be found on both sides. "Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim" is still a mystery in terms of where it belongs as a genre, but perhaps it can find its own identity.
Two doctors who work for selfish reasons, one for rivalry and the other for recognition, meet an oddball mentor and through their experiences with him rediscover the humanity in medicine,...More
Han Suk-kyu, prisoner or general? 2015/06/25, Source, Actor Han Suk-kyu is considering his next role.
He's been offered a role in the movie "Prison" as the leader of prisoners. "Prison" is the story of a prison warden who schemes with the prisoners and takes care of business outside,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Villain and Widow" 2015/02/28,
Black comedy is a genre that requires an extremely delicate touch to succeed. It takes great skill to make dark topics funny and it takes even greater skill to make the characters in such stories likable. 'Villain and Widow' has its issues, mainly with its length, but it manages to not only be funny and feature some nice social commentary, but also be a work with characters that are just so easy to enjoy,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Royal Tailor" 2015/01/03,
Dol-seok (played by Han Suk-kyu) makes fancy clothes for royalty, having risen up in the proper way, through official connections. Up-and-coming talent Gong-jin (played by Go Soo) is more crude, using clever advertising schemes to showcase the popularity of his product. Gong-jin gets his chance to break into the big leagues when the Queen (played by Park Shin-hye) has to look for support outside of official channels,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 24 (final) 2014/12/14, "Secret Door" gave me the ending I want although that can't be said for everyone. I was looking for how Seon's life, and subsequent death, had meaning in the grand scheme of things. That is exactly what I was given. While the politics of the drama had a cyclical quality, the relationship between father and son drove the show to its bitter, and then hopeful, end. The ending made something good out of Seon's tragic death,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 23 2014/12/11,
This episode marks the beginning of the end. Seon has been trapped between his powerful convictions and the complexity of Joseon politics. Those who wish to retain power will do anything to keep it, which puts Seon at a severe disadvantage when he refuses to do wrong by his people. Throughout the drama, his father, King Yeongjo, has tried to teach him that to live and maintain power is to compromise. Compromise is not what Seon does. In comparison to the cruel, insane lecher that Crown Prince Sado is historically known to be, this fictionalized Sado is an idealistic hero who eventually will uphold his convictions at the cost of his life,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 22 2014/12/10,
We're down to the wire. The last two episodes are ahead of us and the crown prince's fate is known. How it will be sealed is what "Secret Door" has to deliver. Seon is a hero in this rendition of Crown Prince Sado; a hero who is fighting forces greater than himself. Seon has been determined to maintain an academy of brilliant minds comprised of people deemed by the ruling class as traitors, criminals, and too low born to be allowed to study and become government officials,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 21 2014/12/09,
Five years have passed since the start of "Secret Door's" timeline. King Yeongjo is older, frailer and more concerned with passing on his crown than protecting it. Seon is older, but still hoping and pushing for change. The ministers are fighting to keep the ways of old, which means finding ways to get rid of Seon. The ending of this story is known,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 20 2014/12/03,
This episode dispelled the sense of fatigue I felt while watchin the past few episodes. It focused on the real love story of the drama, that between father and son, and helped to strengthen the pulse of "Secret Door". The central conflict came back to the one established early on: differing ideas on how Joseon should be ruled,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 19 2014/12/02,
There are some hard lessons to learn in "Secret Door" for our young prince. His ideals have carried him this far, but the opposition has become near insurmountable unless he gives it. It is this point that steer all politicians onto gray moral ground. Without compromise, Seon will get no where. But that compromise comes at the expense of his people's rights. It's a hard lesson to learn. Watching Seon learn to navigate the political minefield is the strongest point of the show save for his loaded interactions with his father,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 18 2014/11/27,
This episode was a little awkward, but it was full of wonderful stuff all the same. The episodic format of the plot is working for now. It gives episode long examples of how hard Seon tries to do right by his people and change the system, and how mightily the system fights back. Yoon So-hee continues to be as effective as a piece of corrugated cardboard while Kim Min-jong finally gets to step up and really add to the plot texture. The greatest thing about Seon is that he has the innate ability to sweep others up in his passion, including those who are against him, like his father,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 17 2014/11/25, "Secret Door" is both keeping its streak of excellence and taking a few jaunts into the unnecessary. The prince is very deeply involving himself in politics and making very dangerous, but clever, moves to reform the government towards equality of classes. His father and the reigning nobility are firmly against this, but that's what puts the meat and potatoes on "Secret Door"'s proverbial plate. Politics can quickly spiral into very boring stuffs in a drama,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 16 2014/11/17,
This is the episode where Seon shines. It is the result of well-laid plans on the writer's part and immense acting on Lee Je-hoon's part. The potential for Seon as a monarch is sky high, and he has proven that to his father, the Joseon officials and China. He has even proven it to the vengeful Ji-dam. What makes the episode so powerful is that Seon did not do anything impulsively like he led everyone around him to believe,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 15 2014/11/14,
Seon is back in the political arena with plans to change Joseon for the better. But those he faces are ready for him and they are much more experienced. Another formerly friendly face has now turned into that of an enemy and now the prince has fewer true allies than ever before. It's an engaging episode that mimics the fast-paced rhythm of the very first episode. It shoves us into the scary world of politics along with Seon who really doesn't know what hit him. While Seon is very clever and he is well-prepared, Minister Kim has the advantage of experience and no moral shackles,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 14 2014/11/14,
The inevitable time jump has happened and it has brought about some interesting changes for our Prince, his goals, and the king's desperate desire to keep his crown. Since the political slaughter and the revocation of the prince's governing powers, Seon has become more keen, more determined, and more wily. This change is mirrored in everyone, the sad effect of tragedy. The most interest change is in Seon,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 13 2014/11/11,
This episode is particularly brutal, both emotionally and physically. After twelve episodes of Seon hoping that his father will do the right thing by his people, he is crushed by the reality of his father's ambitions. King Yeongjo himself is again confronted by how far he will go when motivated by fear and ambition. Ambition and power make a deadly combination as those beneath Yeongjo discover. That combination is enough to snuff out the lives of many and make Seon, the light and stalwart soldier of his people, waver,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 12 2014/11/03,
The relationship between Seon and is father is both simple and twisted. It guides this episode through the political game played. As it journeys through the obstacles of palace life, politics, and years of fearful living, it has difficulty remaining pure and true as this episode proves. As a result, Seon's heart is broken yet again.
There is a certain point when all of the heartbreak that Seon suffers is going to break down his spirit,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 11 2014/11/02,
Seon has picked up some political savvy and realizes that in order to beat the powers that be, he has to play their game. He has not hurt an innocent to achieve his goal as his enemies would, but he does manipulate the system in a very satisfying retribution against the vile Minister Kim. It is now only a matter of time before this fight for the truth gets ugly, or rather, much uglier. It's already smeared with the blood of the innocent. The document that incriminates King Yeongjo and a group of highly ranked Norons has come to Seon's attention as the possible motivator behind all the deviancy that has happened thus far,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 10 2014/10/28,
Manipulation of the most relationships allows for the politics of "Secret Door" to move forward. This kind of manipulation messes with commonly accepted morality and makes for intense, fascinating television. How can Seon win against those who are willing to forsake the lives of their loved one's for power? It is Minister Kim who shows a calculating thirst for power that dwarfs the kings ambitions to retain his throne,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 9 2014/10/24,
Thirst for power has consumed King Yeongjo's heart. He is such a fascinating and rich character. Despite the fact that he knows what he does is wrong and it goes against his conscience and his feelings for Seon, he does it anyway. He is willing to sacrifice even his own flesh and blood for the throne he gained through similar sacrifice. It seems like "Secret Door" is trying to make a martyr of Seon when history paints a darker picture,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 8 2014/10/19,
When the players in "Secret Door" are pushed to their limit, they turn into those they fear. It's a terrifying reality of the pressures of politics. Father turns against son. Mentor against student. Friend against friend. This is when Seon discovers the truths about those he trusts most and has to face reality: trust is something no one in his life is worthy of. Seon has relentlessly pursued the mystery of his friend Heung-bok's death despite the warnings of many,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 7 2014/10/14,
This episode of "Secret Door" was slower in pace than previous episodes, mostly because it focused on the sneaky ministers and greedy guards trying to manipulate the prince and the king. It is Seon's passionate drive to uncover the truth and the king's insane need to retain his crown that provides so much of the tension in the show. Those were not as prominent in this episode. When the king did make an appearance, however, it was completely charged by his obsession with the document that could dethrone him, and his terror at its potential discovery,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 6 2014/10/10, "Secret Door" is such a well-rounded show. It incorporates historical elements, moving character beats, intense character development, intricate background music, and beautiful cinematography to create a thickly textured plot fabric. We gain insight into the complex character that is King Yeongjo and into the very strictly structured palace life and politics that prevent royalty from having any kind of normal relationship. The precarious position of "king" is what keeps Yeongjo in a state of constant fear,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 5 2014/10/07,
What makes "Secret Door" such a rich drama is how is plays up both sides of every situation and every relationship. A murder mystery that could've been solved in two episodes span five as people insert themselves into the investigation, using it to achieve their own ends. It is not only an investigation, but a political vehicle. Or the relationship between father and son. King Yeongjo loves his son as a father, but as a king he sees Seon as a threat. It's a rich dichotomy that keeps the world of "Secret Door" full of intrigue. The twisted relationship between father and son is a favorite part of the show,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 4 2014/10/03,
A prince who felt all alone in life gains a few comrades he can trust in a world saturated with power-hungry people who would do anything to retain that power. He learns that greed can trump the pride of the most upstanding people and that to beat people who work behind the scenes, he has to work in secret himself. Lee Je-hoon is doing a magnificent job as Crown Prince Lee Seon,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 3 2014/09/30,
The murder mystery is heavily under way as it creates layers of depth in the characters and in the plot that is fraught with tension. Father is pitted against son; Noron against Soron; truth against lies. Power warps even the most upright of men. Seon and Ji-dam fight it, but those with power will do anything to keep it, which allows manipulation and treachery to run rampant and foster deceit in nearly everyone. For now, Seon remains relatively unswayed by the temptation of power,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 2 2014/09/27,
The battle between the clever King Yeong-jo and his idealist son has begun in earnest after only one episode of intense setup. Yeong-jo is a wily, crafty old man who years on the throne and innate intelligence have kept him alive against nearly insurmountable odds. Against such a far-sighted man, Lee Seon has a very long a difficult battle ahead of him. The strange beauty in the on screen relationship between Yeong-jo and Seon is that there is affection between them, and Yeong-jo empathizes with his son,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Secret Door" Episode 1 2014/09/26, "Secret Door" is based on one of the most famous stories in Korean history: the story of Crown Prince Sado and his father, King Yeongjo. It is a tragic tale that has been re-created many times. The circumstances surrounding the lives and deaths of the father and son pair are shrouded in mystery despite multiple (differing) accounts of Sado's contemporaries. "Secret Door" is putting its own spin on the story, which thus far is exciting and fast-paced. All the well-known figures in history have made their appearance, played by a remarkably strong cast,...More
Digital Video Network DramaFever Celebrates Fifth Anniversary with Exclusive Fall Premieres 2014/09/19, Source,
Hefty Line-up of the Hottest New Asian Series Includes Romance, High School and Period Dramas – Made Available for the First Time in the U.S. with English Subtitles and within 24 Hours of their International TV Premieres
DramaFever (www.dramafever.com), the top online video destination for international TV series and movies, today announced a fall lineup that includes four exclusive premieres along with a large crop of other highly anticipated Asian drama series. All will premiere on DramaFever within 24 hours of the original international airings, and with professional subtitles,...More
Wang Bit-na in "Secret Door" 2014/07/13, Source, Wang Bit-na is starring in the SBS TV "Secret Door".
This drama is about the conflict between King Yeongjo who aimed for ultimate power and Prince Sado who desired a fair world. This drama recreates the mystery of a family murder which happened more than 500 years ago,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Tell Me Something" 2014/02/28,
From the very beggining it's clear that "Tell Me Something" is not a film for the squeamish. You see the body on the table and then there's this person with some sort of tool and...oh dear. No, this isn't going to end well at all. It's pretty easy to guess what's in those black bags and no, it's never a good thing when they're inevitably opened. There's blood, body parts, plenty of general dismemberment. Just remembering those scenes makes me feel a little ill.
But rest assured- the film is quite tasteful in its depictions of discomforting bodily horrors. Director Jang Yoon-hyeon clearly went about the production of "Tell Me Something" with an artistic mind,...More
[HanCinema's Lists] The Top 5 Korean Thrillers of All-Time 2014/01/17,
One of the most popular trends we saw in 2013 was the rampant release of action-packed thrillers! It's a genre that Korean cinema favours and continues to return to, but in 2013 the industry really did pump out a number of successful hits that contributed to the record-breaking tickets sales last year enjoyed.
It's tricky to pinpoint films that are 'pure' thrillers because Korean films often blend and bend their genres in unique and creative ways. That being said, here is a quick look at the top 5 Korean thrillers that have stormed their way to box office glory,...More
[HanCinema's Afterwords] KOFIC Podcast Review - Ep. 4 2014/01/11, In this Episode: Pierce gives us a news roundup and has a chat to independent film actress Kim Kkobbi…
KOFIC recently launched "Korean Cinema Today", a bimonthly podcast that's all about the wonderful world of Korean cinema. Hosted by Pierce Conran, the show features the latest Korean cinema news, features, discussions, and interviews with special guests from the industry.
This episode of KOFIC's Korean Cinema Today was divided into two segments, the first has Pierce discussing some Korean film news, and the second features an interview with actress Kim Kkobbi ("Breathless", "Pluto"). The first segment seems to be from last year and mentions the box office figures from the last week of December; but Pierce also highlights a few Korean news items that are worth mentioning again,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Contact" 2013/11/02,
Produced at the cusp of the digital era, "The Contact" is a curious statement, not so much about digital relationships, but about the circumstances of modern life that seem to drive people toward these distant electronic connections. Dong-Hyeon (played by Han Suk-kyu) is a cool radio DJ whose smooth demeanor gives him plenty of pull with the ladies. And yet the event that sets off the story is his distant effort to see if a recent acquisition is actually some sort of secret message from an old lover.
A distant loneliness pervades most of this film. It's most obvious in the music- it's undeniable that these are quality riffs, exactly the kind of sound a distinguished intelligent thinker would like to listen to, as they demonstrate the subtlety and nuance of daily emotional life,...More
[UK] 5th Terracotta Festival 2013 Full Line-up Announcement 2013/05/08, Source,
Tickets are now on sale for the fifth edition of the annual Terracotta Far East Film Festival. Over the years the festival has seen the event go from strength to strength. This year is set to be the biggest yet, expanding to 27 films spread over 4 sections and 2 venues from 06 - 15 June 2013. The core of the festival will remain a hand-picked selection of the best CURRENT ASIAN CINEMA at The Prince Charles Cinema. This all UK Premieresectionreflects the vibrancy and energy in Asian filmmaking today. Ranging from realist dramas to romance, light comedies to spy action thrillers, swordfighting epics to gothic fairytales, the festival aims to balance the representation of Asian countries.
Terracotta Festival 2013 (TFEFF13) will open with Hong Kong action COLD WAR on Thursday 06 June 2013,...More
[HanCinema at JIFF] Q&A with director Yoong Jong-Chan of "Paparoti" 2013/04/26,
After the screening of "Paparoti" on April 26th, Yoong Jong-Chan was available to take questions about the movie. Below is a paraphrased transcript of the session. Film critic Choi Gwang-Hee moderated the exchange and also answered questions. The statements of both are combined here for the sake of convenience.
Q: In promotional materials for the movie, scenes in a swimming pool are clearly visible. Why was this not in the final cut?
A: We ended up replacing it with the toilet scene, which served the same purpose in the story. We felt that the swimming pool scene went too far with its content, and the actors were also uncomfortable having to bare so much skin,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2013.04.05 ~ 2013.04.07 2013/04/08, Jo Dong-oh's action thriller "Running Man" is off to a good start as it snatched the top spot in its first weekend out. The film claimed 501,908 (30.89%) admissions over 568 screens, only just pushing outs its closest rival "G.I. Joe 2" which came close itself with 464,619 (30.49%). "Running Man" stars Shin Ha-kyun as Cha Jong-woo, a young man who accidentally gets caught up in a murder case and soon finds himself on the run because of it. This week's chart saw a number of new entries both local and foreign, in addition to some regular faces that have made the top ten their own the last few months. But overall admissions were low, with only the top two films seeing much action in this quieter week at the movies,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2013.03.29 ~ 2013.03.31 2013/04/01,
The second G.I. Joe film has hit the Korean peninsula and, with help of Lee Byung-hun as 'Storm Shadow' no doubt, has managed to secure first position. "G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation" snatched 708,267 admissions (43%) over 761 screens to make it only the second foreign film this year to make it to number one. The Korean actor Lee Byung-hun ("Masquerade" and "I Saw the Devil") shows that he still has quiet some pull with fans as the Korean public, after a relatively quiet March, have warmly welcomed his latest action efforts.,...More
[Hancinema's Box Office Review] 2013.03.15 ~ 2013.03.17 2013/03/18,
For the first time this year a foreign film has managed to claim the top spot in Korea's weekend box office. With 423,336 admissions, Jonathan Levine's "Warm Bodies" is the first outside entry to make it all the way to the top. However it does so with the lowest ticket count for first place this year. "Warm Bodies" is an adaptation from Isaac Marion's book of the same name; it's a paranormal romance that takes a zombie's perspective as he pursues his living love interest. "Warm Bodies" claimed 26.0% of the total ticket sales with the help of 475 screenings around the country. There were a string of new releases last week that caused a serious reshuffle in this weekend's top ten, including Yoon Jong-chan's "Paparoti", the Oscar winner "Lincoln", as well as the Italian animation "Gladiators of Rome" in 3D,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Berlin File" 2013/02/22,
Jong-Seong (played by Ha Jung-woo) is a ghost agent working for the North Korean government. When an illegal multinational weapons deal goes bad, he has to do clean-up. And part of that post-mortem involves figuring out who tipped off a third party to what was going on. This being a North Korean operation, the investigation is less genuine curiousity about what happened and more about finding an explanation that can be easily and succintly described to higher-ups in the North Korean government as quickly as possible,...More
U.S. Media Warms to 'The Berlin File' 2013/02/19, Source,
"The Berlin File", the latest movie by director Ryoo Seung-wan, has received positive reviews from major U.S. media since it was released in 21 cities in North America last Friday. The New York Times hailed its "exhilarating action set pieces", adding that Ryoo "brings his brand of muscular action and quicksilver agility to the shifting battleground of international espionage,...More
[Canada] The simultaneous North American and Korean release of "The Berlin File" (2013) 2013/02/05,
South Korea's mega action thriller by the masterful Ryoo Seung-wan Opens on Feb. 15, Cineplex Odeon Forum, Montreal CINEASIE Creatives is pleased to announce the simultaneous North American and Korean release of "The Berlin File" (2013), South Korea's mega action thriller written and directed by the masterful Ryoo Seung-wan. The film, by CJ Entertainment, centers on a battle between spies from North Korea and South Korea, with a tragic love triangle simmering beneath the surface. The Montreal public can discover the visual pyrotechnics of Korea's greatest action auteur on February 15th at Cineplex Forum,...More
'Berlin File' Off to a Roaring Start 2013/02/05, Source,
The movie "The Berlin File" by Ryoo Seung-wan ranked No. 1 at the box office by luring over 1.53 million moviegoers in the first weekend of its release on Jan. 30. The film has attracted more than 2.24 million viewers so far, hitting the 2 million mark in the shortest time of any films released in January or February, the low season for movies,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] January 2013/02/02,
It was a hard month for foreign films here in Korea as January favoured three local films that, between them, held a tight grip on the ticket sales. Lee Hwan-gyeong's "Miracle in Cell No.7" may have stolen the show in the last weekend of the month, but it was Kim Ji-hoon's fiery epic "The Tower" and Jo Jin-kyoo's 5th comedy "Man on the Edge" that held that top position until then. In the foreign corner, two adaptations stood out in the form of the musical drama "Les Misérables" and "Life of Pi". The former has grossed $38.6 million over its six week run in Korean theatres, with "The Tower" close behind on $34.4 million,...More
CJ Entertainment action thriller THE BERLIN FILE by RYOO Seung-Wan 2013/01/30, Source, Opens in Los Angeles (CGV Cinema), Fullerton (Regal La Habra) and Irvine (Edwards UTC) on Feb. 15 120 min, Korean, English, German spoken, 2013, North American premiere.
Director Ryoo Seung-wan is available for phone interviews. Screen International: "Arguably one of the most high profile South Korean releases of early 2013, Ryoo Seung-wan's "The Berlin File" continues to adopt Ryoo's visual trademark through pulsating and spectacular set-pieces".
Until now, Korean directors have been underrepresented in the Asian action genre dominated by Hong Kong masters (John Woo, Andrew Lau) and their most passionate American aficionado Quentin Tarantino. With "The Berlin File" - Korea's biggest release of 2013 - American audiences have the chance discover the visual pyrotechnics of Korea's only action auteur, Ryoo Seung-wan,...More
What Does 2013 Hold for Korean Film? 2013/01/04, Source,
Korean films drew more than 100 million viewers over the past year, but there are a number of concerns if they are to sustain their momentum. Here are five of the top issues for this year that have insiders speculating about the future of the movie industry. ◆ Can Korean Movies Break the 100 Million Mark Again,...More
Baek Sang Awards 3 : last years winners compete again 2012/04/25, Source,
While the 48th Baek Sang Arts Awards is about to open once again, historical dramas look like they are on a roll. The competition between the 3 ground wave companies for the grand prize is also something else of interest.
For the one year of movies and TV programs from the three companies, the Baek Sang Arts Awards will be awarding 13 categories in total, including drama, entertainment, education and popularity awards as well,...More
Interview with critic and Beijing Film Academy professor HAO Jian 2012/02/20, Source,
Film critic and Beijing Film Academy professor HAO Jian has written and talked about what he considers the little-known, real start of the Korean Wave in China. At the International Film Festival Rotterdam while serving on the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) award jury, he spoke to Jean NOH about it and his thoughts on Korea-China cooperation.
KOBIZ: You've written and talked about how you think a certain Korean film festival at the Beijing Film Academy was really what started the popularity of Korean films in China. Tell us about that festival,...More
K-celebrities now VCR1 2012/01/05, Source,
On December 21st, Lee Hyori had a fan signing in Cheongdam-dong, Seoul.
[Interview : Lee Hyori, Singer] "I created a calendar to promote the adoption of stray dogs, so please spread the word. I really hope that we can help many of them this winter". Lee Hyori took a moment to meet her fans and to promote her new calendar,...More
Who's the busiest actor of 2012? 2012/01/02, Source,
Who is going to be the busiest actress or actor in 2012?
Looking at the movies that are being released or are planning to go into production this year, we can see several names that appear often,...More
Year of Black Dragon 2011/12/30, Source,
The year 2012 is the Year of the Dragon and the mythical animal, seen in this "Hwangnyonggi", symbolizes power and wealth.(Courtesy of National Palace Museum of Korea)
The animal has a head resembling a camel, eyes of a rabbit, the nose of a pig, ears like an ox, antlers similar to a buck, a snake-like neck, fists as fierce as those of a tiger, the sharp talons of a hawk and scales no different from a carp. There are long whiskers decorating the mouth and a bump in the middle of the head, which allow the animal to fly in the air. In this manner the mythical dragon creature is described in "Boncho Gangmok" (Classified Records of Chinese Medical Botany) originally published in 1596,...More
'Deep-rooted Tree' writers thank King Sejong 2011/12/26, Source, Park Sang-yeon, left, and Kim Yong-hyeon are the writers of "Deep-rooted Tree", an epic drama revolving around the creation of "Hangeul" by King Sejong. / Yonhap
By Noh Hyun-gi
A peaceful era is the ultimate goal of governance but that could require some hellish work on the part of the ruler, especially when the work also involves creating "Hangeul" or Korean alphabet.
"Deep-rooted Tree", a 24-episode drama that recently concluded on SBS, grippingly depicted the struggles of King Sejong (1397-1450) in the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910). Based on a two-part historical novel of the same name, the drama drew ratings of over 20 percent,...More
Won Bin Becomes 'Actor of the Year' for Two Consecutive Years 2011/12/23, Source,
Gallup Korea conducted a survey to select the "Actor of the Year", and Won Bin has been chosen as the best actor for two years in a row. Gallup Korea said on December 22 that they had conducted a survey with 1,728 respondents from both men and women aged 13 or older across the nation from November 18 until December 6 to ask the best movie star of the year, and Won Bin obtained 11.3 percent of the votes. Gallup Korea let the respondents select two actors and counted the total votes,...More
S. Korean Actress Ko So-Young 2011/11/19, Source,
poses for camera at the "2011 Style Icon Awards" ceremony held at CJ E&M Center in Seoul's Sangam-dong on Nov. 3, 2011.
A number of actors and actresses and other entertainers took part in the event.
Ko So-young was born on Oct. 6, 1972. She graduated from Chung-Ang University with a major in Drama & Cinema. She was known as one of South Korea's "ideal women".
Ko was born in Seoul, South Korea. She attended an all-female high school before gaining early admission to Chung-Ang University, where she studied computer science,...More
Ryoo Seung-hwan speaks about his new movie "In Berlin" 2011/11/11, Source,
"Will it be 10 billion won (~$10 million) if I round it off?"
Director Ryoo Seung-hwan spoke about his next coming movie "In Berlin" known to be a 10 billion won blockbuster.
He appeared as the final lecturer in a lecturing event that was held in the LIG Art Hall on the 11th. His upcoming movie "In Berlin" has been an issue and movie fans have been very interested. He said, "The movie has been known to be "Berlin" but it's actually "In Berlin",...More
Song Joong-ki: 'I Want Become Actor Like Leonardo DiCaprio' 2011/11/04, Source,
Actor Song Joong-ki, who will play his first role as a protagonist in the movie "Penny Pinchers", gave an interview at a cafe in Samcheongdong on November 3. Asked about his favorite actor, he answered, "I admire the actor Leonardo DiCaprio and want to become an actor like him. He has excellent acting ability and many charms of his own. And he has successfully transformed into a characteristic actor from his previous image of a 'pretty boy'". His answer sounds very natural when considering his own characteristics. It will be his first appearance as a protagonist, but his recognition among audiences is already very high. He has appeared on various programs such as entertainment programs, dramas, and movies, and his appearance looked splendid even though he was not the main character of those programs. It might be because of his beautiful appearance, but his appearance was not his only virtue. He mentioned that he was a very competitive person, and it seemed to be true when looking at his concentration while appearing on any works on TV or on the movie screen,...More
Actress Kim Hye-soo's movie picks 2011/01/07, Source,
Actress Kim Hye-soo [10Asia]
Gender is not the only thing that sets the word 'actress' apart from 'actor.' The word 'actress' alone carries layers of meaning that could refer as one to be envied, a seemingly unreachable glory and perhaps a tragic personal story or two hidden within. Living as an actress in Korea means carrying both a light and darkness inside that are enough to invoke curiosity. And actress Kim Hye-soo fits this category perfectly, as if the term was coined for her alone. Her glamorous body and a confident attitude are some of the phrases we often use to describe Kim's aura. But above all, the prowess she accumulated through her acting career has helped to solidify her position as a true actress,...More
New SF "Skyline" wins No. 1 on Korean box office 2010/11/28, Source,
U.S. film "Skyline" [Korea Screen]
"Skyline", the new Sci-fi flick from the United States, claimed the No.1 spot on Korea's box office chart between November 26 to 28, according to data released by the official Korean Box Office Information System (KOBIS) on Monday.
The story of alien invasion directed by Brother Strause, and starring Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson and Donald Faison which opened in theaters on November 25, attracted,...More
[PREVIEW] Film "Villain and Widow" 2010/11/24, Source,
Film "Villain and Widow" [Sidus FHN]
There is something fishy about Chang-in (Han Suk-kyu), a guy who rents a room in a two-story house occupied only by a mother and a daughter. Although he introduced himself as a writer he is definitely up to something given how he snoops around the house whenever he can -- as if looking for something in particular. But mistress of the house Yeon-joo (Kim Hye-soo) who is suffering from depression and insomnia at the same time and her rebellious teenage daughter Seong-ah (Ji Woo) who is going through a stormy period of her life from her obsession over the faults to her looks, will not permit Chang-in to come close by maintaining a hysterical attitude. Even the woman next door (Lee Yong-nyeo) who likes to poke her nose into others' businesses gets in his way. With time running out, Chang-in, increasingly anxious, ends up throwing himself at Yeon-joo to avoid a risky moment,...More
[10LINE] Korean actress Jeon Do-yeon 2010/05/28, Source,
Clockwise from top center: actress Lee Hye-young-I, actress Moon So-ri,director Lee Chang-dong, actor Song Kang-ho, and director Im Sang-soo [10Asia]
Jeon Do-yeon "A friend who says she wants to become like me so badly that she will seal the deal at the risk of her future has only seen the pretty and fancy side to me. It's not difficult to become like me. It's just hard for someone to want to become like you". - Jeon Do-yeon's line from her cameo appearance on SBS TV series "On Air". About life as an actress. About life as Jeon Do-yeon. Kang Shin-hye A reporter who worked for teenage magazine Hi-teen in 1990. She encouraged Jeon, who during her senior year in high school went to the magazine to receive a prize from a postcard contest, to become a cover model,...More
'Lost' Star Still Looking for Love 2007/06/25, Source, "We immigrated to the U.S. when I was 10, and my parents sold things from a trailer. We lived in it, too. These days stars ride and move in trailers. They rest, do their makeup and change their clothe,...More
Lee Mi-yeon: Still in Love With Acting 2007/01/20, Source, "Acting has produced the biggest energy and the greatest pain in my life. I can't promise you that I'm going to be an actress for the rest of my life. When I fall out of love with acting, I'll quit im,...More
[MOVIE REVIEW]'Solace' twists melodrama to its advantage 2006/11/27, Source, Sometimes, we watch films to satisfy our burning (yet often unfulfilled) desire for a better world - a cheap entertainment that whets our insatiable appetite for a sugarcoated fantasy that we hope will help replace our cheaper reality.
If you take a look at the posters of upcoming movies, you may be struck by the similarities. If you read their plot summaries, you may even get the impression that you have read the same outline twice.
It's true that movies in the same genre share many similarit,...More
The Season's Great Movie Kisses 2006/11/16, Source, Fall is closing in, and with it comes the time for bittersweet melodrama in the movie theaters. Lovers meet like ships passing in the night, unforgettable memories are born, tear-moistened hankies fre,...More
An Uneven 'Quest' for Something More 2006/03/03, Source, One day while investigating a fake painting, Yoon Seo (Han Suk-kyu), a renowned Chosun-era scholar, comes across a dirty book secretly circulated among the lower class. Yoon Seo starts writing erotic novels himself and later asks ranking govern,...More
The movie "Forbidden Quest" seems to want to express satire and the art of deviation, but by putting forth tragic love, it ends up being a story about neither. This movie is the directing debut of screenwriter,...More
Jang Dong-gun Voted Korea's Most Bankable Star 2005/10/20, Source, Who is the most popular star in Chungmuro, Korea's Hollywood? The Chosun Ilbo asked the country's 12 most influential film producers, who are thought to be the most realistic in evaluating the commercial value of actors and actresses, "How many viewers do you think a movie will attract across the co,...More
Live to Busan: Pusan International Film Festival 2005/10/06, Source, One of Asia's largest film events, the Pusan International Film Festival, which is simply known as PIFF, kicked off this evening in the southeastern city of Busan.
We are going to go live to Busan where our Sohn Hee-kyung is standing by.
The actor Park Joong-hoon has turned forty this year. Despite his youthful vigor, he's now over the hill. In the virtual history movie "Heaven's Soldiers" set to premiere on July 15, he will play Admiral Yi Sun-shin. More
Bringing a controversial historical moment to the big screen has made the film "The President's Last Bang (Kuddae Kusaramdul)" a hot topic in the usual entertainment circles as well as in the,...More
Film, drama star Korean presidents 2005/01/20, Source, Whatever their intentions, anybody attempting to pry open Korea's recent history opens a Pandora's Box. The clamor over declassified documents on secret reparations agreements between Korea and Japan serves as the latest proof of the dangers involved in reopening the history books.
Despite the ris,...More
9th PIFF Kicks Off on Oct. 7th 2004/10/07, Source, One of Asia's biggest film festivals is set to kick off in Korea's port city of Busan. Celebrities will be out in force and the annual event will feature more than 260 movies, including some award-winning Korean and other Asian films.
The curtains will go up on the annual international film festiv,...More
The Ninth Pusan International Film Festival will open with "2046", a Hong Kong film directed by Wong Kar-wei, and will close with a Korean film "The Scarlet Letter", starring the famous Korean actor,...More
The money is flowing in, but there is no one to act.
This is the current atmosphere at Choong Moo Ro (film district). According to the Bank of Korea, the movie industry's 2003 sales were some 3.7780 trillion won. This is a rapid growth with sales more than triple 1997's 1.257,...More
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Han Seok-Kyu You did an amazing job in
Christmas in August and Shiri. You are a
great actor. Keep it up, you acted the
part perfectly in Christmas in August. I
wish the movie could of had your
character marry the character Darim, and
you 2 live long lives
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