[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2017.08.04 - 2017.08.06 2017/08/07,
Local historical heroes fly high during peak season...
Director Jang Hoon's fourth film, "A Taxi Driver" -- starring Song Kang-ho, one of Korea's most celebrated and prolific talents -- enjoyed the third highest opening of all time and came away from its opening weekend with just under 3 million admissions (63.64%). The film captures the heroic deeds of an unknown cab driver who helped a foreign journalist (Jürgen Hinzpeter played by Thomas Kretschmann) during the infamous Gwangju Uprising that destabilised the country early in 1980. From 1,906 screens, "A Taxi Driver" banked $21.3 million and has streaked into sixth in the list of the highest grossing films of the year. Kang's previous films include "The Front Line" (2011), "Secret Reunion" (2010), and his debut "Rough Cut" (2008),...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2017.07.28 - 2017.07.30 2017/07/31, "The Battleship Island" already the fifth highest grossing film of the year...
Director Ryoo Seung-wan ("Veteran", the third highest grossing Korean film of all time) captures life inside Japan's notorious WWII labour camp on Hashima Island in his latest, record-breaking blockbuster, "The Battleship Island". Before World War II broke out in Europe, Japan was mining underwater coal on a 16-acre island southwest of the city of Nagasaki and conscripting hundreds of Koreans, among others prisons of war, to toil away in treacherous conditions. "The Battleship Island" tells the story of a few hundred gritty Koreans who risked it all to escape what is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Battleship Island" 2017/07/29,
The black and white opener of "The Battleship Island" focuses on a part of wartime economy rarely seen in film- the support staff. Specifically, the miners, who come up with the raw material that is later purposed into shiny toys for the military. The work is dangerous, especially under the stress of wartime quotas. But it's especially bad for the Korean characters of "The Battleship Island", who labor for the Japanese near the end of the doomed effort that was World War II in the Pacific,...More
Song Joong-ki, so handsome 2017/07/19, Source, Song Joong-ki was at the VIP Premiere of the new movie "Battleship Island".
This movie is about the people of the Josun risking their lives to escape Battleship Island where they were held captive by the Japanese during the Japanese Invasion,...More
[Guest Film Review] "Split" - New York Asian Film Festival 2017/07/08,
I have to admit, sometimes I forget the appeal a good mainstream movie can have and the entertainment it can offer. "Split" does exactly that, through a Korean version of "Rain Man".
Cheol-jong used to be the best professional bowler in the country, but a tragic car accident destroyed his leg, his career, and even his family. Now, he plays in underground bowling matches that are organized by Hee-jin, an owner of a bowling alley who is in deep debt,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2016.11.25 ~ 2016.11.27 2016/11/28,
"Fantastic Beasts" holds out against "My Annoying Brother"...
The British-American fantasy flick "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" narrowly maintained pole position over Kwon Soo-kyeong's incoming family comedy, "My Annoying Brother". Last weekend J.K. Rowling's adaptation of her own work appeared and captured 68% of the sales (1.4 million admissions), and during its second week out this Harry Potter spin-off added another 895,990 stubs (45%) to bring its bottom line now to $24.7 million (3.4 million admissions). Worldwide, this week's number one has grossed $473.7 million,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2016.11.11 ~ 2016.11.13 2016/11/21,
J.K. Rowling's screenwriting debut summons the masses with magic...
David Yates's fantasy flick "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" arrived in Korea last Wednesday and dethroned a weary "Doctor Strange" at the top of the pile. For the past three weeks, Marvel's mind-bending spectacle has been riding high in the Land of the Morning Calm, but this new magical storm from Warner Bros. Pictures has sent the doctor down a few notches by summoning plenty fresh feet to Korea's big screens,...More
[HanCinema's Box Office Review] 2016.11.11 ~ 2016.11.13 2016/11/14,
"Doctor Strange" becomes the second-highest grossing foreign film of the year...
Marvel's latest blockbuster "Doctor Strange" retained pole position and claimed its third weekend at the top of Korea's box office. Director Scott Derrickson's cinematic wizardry (riding Marvel's marvellous momentum) added another 548,520 admissions (38.9%) to its Korean cause to become the tenth highest-grossing film of the year with 4.8 million admissions ($36.3 million),...More
Will Jun Ji-hyun win Best Actress? 2015/11/25, Source,
Will it be Jun Ji-hyun or not? The public is also looking down several ways with the Best Actress at the Blue Dragon coming up.
The Best Actress, also known as the 'flower of the awards' has everyone's attention as the 36th Blue Dragon Awards is going to be the final film award of the year,...More
[HanCinema's Digest] Cinema Snippets 2015/08/30,
Find out what South Korean film made Taste of Cinema's list of "metaphysical films", BIFF 2015 announces its 2015 lineup, R-rated directorial debut has the makings of a cult hit, and learn about modern South Korean cinema with Jinhee Choi's "The South Korean Film Renaissance: Local Hitmakers, Global Provocateurs",...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "Alice in Earnestland" 2015/08/29,
The rather arresting poster for "Alice In Earnestland" features lead character Soo-nam (played by Lee Jung-hyun) wearing a classic Alice-style pinafore holding a mop with the yarns coated in red while smiling in the midst of an ominous looking flower patch. Neither the pinafore, nor the mop, nor the flowers make any on-screen appearance comparable to the aplomb we see on the theatrical poster. This is a bit of a disappointment- the image suggests a film of intriguing weirdness. Whereas in actuality "Alice In Earnestland" is just a film of confusing weirdness,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 20 2015/03/15,
The cliffhanger is resolved mostly unsurprisingly and uninspiredly. This much is to be expected given that "Family Outing" has now gone into full epilogue mode. Kkeut-soon has dementia, and as we see, it only really gets worse as times goes on. The main interesting hook here is that the dementia element actually does end up getting used in the larger storyline rather well- we finally get to see the full animated short than Dong-seok made, and it's probably not quite what you're expecting,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 19 2015/03/14,
There isn't really much conflict left to speak of at this point. The main remaining article of contention is whether or not Joon-hee and Dong-seok will get together. And for what it's worth, Jeong-sook's opposition to the relationship comes off as pretty well-founded. Joon-hee can't exactly dispute that the way she's acted up until now has at all been appropriate. It's really just a question of whether or not her newfound sincerity is to be believed,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 18 2015/03/08,
Whereas the last episode dealt with the more tangible questions of the future, like how the characters plan to live professionally once all the drama is over with, this one deals more sharply with personal issues. The heart to heart discussion between Jong-tae and Kkeut-soon is really sweet. While Kkeut-soon herself has always been really recalcitrant about candidly considering her own needs, there are multiple sequences here which establish why that's important too, and why that's the real meaning of family,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 17 2015/03/07,
The abrupt disappearance of Kkeut-soon doesn't...create a crisis exactly, but her actions do make it quite clear that the inheritance game is soon to come to an end. Interestingly, in contrast to the antics that have characterized "Family Outing" to date, everyone's instructions are actually to behave like mature adults and plan for their long-term future. And it's hard to escape the fact that the family really is having fun, thinking about a future where they can live instead of bumming around from one paycheck to the next,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 16 2015/03/01,
The storyline is mostly simplified here. We have the core of the family unit generally arguing about the extent of Joon-hee's betrayal, and this is for a time interrupted by the marriage considerations of Dong-joo. While the advantage of this more streamlined storytelling is that it's fairly easy to figure out what's going on, it does lead into another rather awkward problem. I genuinely just really don't care,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 15 2015/02/28,
The difference between this episode of "Family Outing" and every other episode that's dangled the threat of exposing Joon-hee's true identity is that this time the drama actually goes through with it. There's not even much of an intermediate period of hand-wringing. Joon-hee just goes, you know what, forget it. I'm sick of acting like this. I'm going to say my apologies and just leave. It's a much easier thing for her to do now that there's other things in life that Joon-hee can enjoy aside from the con,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 14 2015/02/15,
There's almost something approaching a coherent theme here- mommy issues. First and most obviously foremost, Joon-hee confronts her birth mother. The process literally makes Joon-hee feel ill. It's clear that Joon-hee has suffered more from the separation than Joon-ah did. I imagine this is because, as a woman, Joon-hee has spent life more desperate for a feminine influence. It's actually an interesting contrast with Joon-ah, whose plaintive calls of mommy are clearly designed under the assumption that Kkeut-soon should be taking care of him, not be an actual parental figure,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 13 2015/02/14,
Near the beginning of this episode, we almost have a nice scene where the older family members have fun with their great grandchild. Then abruptly halfway through the tone completely changes to one of the very stark serious storylines again. I feel like this is what watching "Family Outing" is like writ large. Frequently it almost comes close to being somewhat enjoyable, then it's an abrupt jump away to one of the other myriad storylines, usually one of the overly serious ones,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 12 2015/02/08,
Luckily for Joon-hee, the reason Dong-seok's suspicious about Joon-ha is because of romantic jealousy more than because he genuinely suspects something. Unluckily for Joon-hee, for this same reason Dong-seok doesn't stop being suspicious just because she's able to hurriedly come up with an explanation that's maybe almost believable. As the title card notes- the difference between reality and sincerity is an important one,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 11 2015/02/07,
So much for the strong points...this episode dips right back into the convolutions that typically have made "Family Outing" tiring to watch- a scam that doesn't make sense, an emphasis on debt collection, and jokes that just aren't funny. There really isn't anything amusing about a man bemoaning financial woes on top of a high rise building when many people do in fact make those kinds of frightening decisions on short impulsive notice,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 10 2015/02/01,
By trying to hide her fake personality by using her true personality, Joon-hee has managed to accidentally deliberately give Dong-seok the impression that she's romantically interested in him. Which is true, but totally inconvenient for the sake of all these other schemes Joon-hee is trying to juggle at once. I really like how Joon-hee is genuinely, completely confused about what she actually wants, and the issue isn't really an external one. Whatever circumstances have forced Joon-hee into this situation, at this point it's just a lifestyle choice,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 9 2015/01/31,
Joon-hee has progressed to doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. I guess it's an improvement over what she was doing before, but the whole issue regarding her potentially being exposed by Dong-seok really does outline the inherent silliness of the story. Dong-seok is easily dissuaded from believing Joon-hee's motives are sinister because it remains really hard for him to guess what her angle could possibly be. Joon-hee's actual dream of being a fashion designer is simply much more believable and workable than whatever it is she's trying to do subversively,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 8 2015/01/25,
One overly dramatic ends, then another one begins, and just as quickly ends. I doubt any of these plot points are gone forever, but the rapidity with which these characters depart really emphasizes how "Family Outing" utilizes the revolving door style of storytelling. While this can work for a sitcom, and particularly for jokes, in the context of criminal domestic behavior the effect is rather poor. I mostly just feel awkward watching these people bumble through awful emotional turmoil,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 7 2015/01/24,
The whiplash from the last cliffhanger is in full force here. I really need to make clear- a storyline about an awful crime that happened before Kkeut-soon left Korea has dramatic potential. There are also decent comedic stakes involved in having Joon-hee fake amnesia. Neither of these plot points at all mesh well with the other. We can't just go straight from furious, angry crying to wacky sitcom hijinx. It just feels awkward,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 6 2015/01/18,
Joon-hee, apparently having realized that her storyline is too ridiculously convoluted to keep track of, spends most of this episode panicking about how she can possibly keep her story straight when so many basic facts threaten to unravel the whole scheme. "Family Outing" actually manages to do a generally decent job with her...until the ending abruptly decides to have Joon-hee try to escape from this mess with one of the most infamous clichés in all Korean drama,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 5 2015/01/17,
Why does this drama have so many characters? The more I watch "Family Outing" the more this question bothers me. There's a huge cast here, but time and time again the only ones we really explore in any serious detail are Joon-hee and Dong-seok. The greater part of this episode is just a huge, apparently pointless derail into Dong-seok's backstory, specifically his first love. Isn't there enough going on here without having to drag even more characters into it? Even the police officer apparently relates to all this personally somehow,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 4 2015/01/11,
It would be really nice if "Family Outing" would just stick to a single plot thread and fully develop it instead of just jumping around everywhere. Keeping track of everything that's going on is genuinely difficult. Take the guys who are hassling Joon-hee for money. Who are these people? How did they find Joon-hee? How much do they actually know about her? And more importantly, why do they wait several days before coming after her again?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 3 2015/01/10,
There's less comedy here as "Family Outing" moves into mostly straight-faced drama. Given the general absurdity of the situations involved I'm surprised no one was even really hamming it up for the camera. We're pretty clearly expected to take, at face value, the tragic circumstances of Kkeut-soon's departure from Korea, as well as the general reactions of other characters to discovering this information,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 2 2015/01/04,
It would seem that Kkeut-soon knows exactly how pretty much everything works. One simple declaration and that's all it takes to change the expressions on her family members' faces from mildly hostile bewilderment to adoring affection. If Kkeut-soon is in any way bothered by the fact that this about-face is obviously a result of her willingness to solve problems by literally throwing money at them, she certainly isn't showing it,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 1 2015/01/03,
Kkeut-soon (played by Park Won-sook) is just returning to Korea after a long sojourn overseas. It isn't until the end of the episode that we find out why, but it's to the credit of the storyboarding of "Family Outing" that, given Kkeut-soon's behavior to date, this is actually a pretty rational explanation. Normally an obviously zany premise like this is just a thinly veiled excuse for wacky sitcom antics. For better or worse, Kkeut-soon appears to actually want to live in a sitcom,...More
[HanCinema's Film Review] "The Admiral: Roaring Currents" 2014/08/09,
Admiral Yi Sun-shin (played by Choi Min-sik) has a reputation as one of the greatest tactical geniuses in world history, a fact recognized even by his contemporaries. Consequently, his portrayal in "The Admiral: Roaring Currents" may initially come off as a bit of a shock. Far from the all-powerful Übermensch who single-handedly saves the world, Yi Sun-shin lacks confidence, charisma, or even much in the way of political support. He just stubbornly adheres to the most strategically sound plan even as troop morale is hopelessly plummeting,...More
[HanCinema's Film News] New Korean Films Inbound... 2014/07/26, K-Films Coming Soon:★★★★★ "Roaring Currents": A historical epic that depicts the legendary exploits of one of the world's greatest navel strategists, Admiral Yi Sun-Shin. (07/30)
★★★★"HARU": A psychiatrists whose marriage is waning has to treat his wife's daughter and begins to fantasise about about their relationship. (07/31)
★★★★"The Suffered": A woman visiting her sick father gets to close to a mysterious man with dangerous consequences. (07/31),...More
Where did Go Kyung-pyo's lines go in "Roaring Currents"? 2014/07/22, Source,
Actor Go Kyung-pyo's lines disappeared. He's become the most wanted with various appearances in dramas and movies, but all there is in "Roaring Currents", is him gazing at the fleet. Where are his lines?
"Roaring Currents" which is being released on the 30th, is the story of General Yi Sun-shin and his people when they fought 330 Japanese fleets with just 12 ships. The production cost 15 billion won and 6 months to film,...More
Park Chan-wook Retrospective at MoMI - Friday, March 1 Sunday, March 3 2013/02/19, Source, Park Chan-wook, director, screenwriter, and producer, is one of the most acclaimed filmmakers on the international film festival circuit. To celebrate the release of "Stoker", his major directorial debut in Hollywood, The Korea Society and MoMI co-present a retrospective of his work. The special screening of "Stoker" (starring Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska, and Matthew Goode) will play on February 28 at 7PM at MoMI.
Park Chan-wook, a director, screenwriter, and producer, is one of the most acclaimed filmmakers on the international film circuit. To Celebrate the release of "Stoker", his major directorial debut in Hollywood, The Korea Society and MoMI co present a retrospective of his work. He debuted with 'The Moon is What the Sun Dreams of' in 1992, but he started to gain international recognition from the sensational movie 'JSA - Joint Security Area' in 2000 which The Guardian praised it as "airy, subtle and playful, and showcases the best elements of modern Asian cinema",...More
Park brothers' Short Film Wins Golden Award at Berlinale 2011/02/22, by Berlin/KIM Hong-chun (KOFIC International Promotion Center – East Europe Manager) / Feb 20, 2011
Brother-directors Park Chan-wook and Park Chan-kyong - or the 'Parking Chance' collaboration – posed with their Golden Bear Award of the International Short Film Jury for their film "Night Fishing" during the awards ceremony of the Berlin International Film Festival, February 19, 2011. In addition the Silver Bear in the Shorts section also went to a Korean film, "Broken Night" from emerging film director Yang Hyo-Joo,...More
Korean shorts win awards 2011/02/21, Source,
Director Park Chan-kyong poses with his Golden Bear award of the International Short Film Jury for his film "Night Fishing", co-directed by Park Chan-wook, during the awards ceremony at the 61st Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin, Feb. 19. / Reuters-Yonhap
By Chung Ah-young
Korean film director Park Chan-wook's latest short film "Paranmanjang (Night Fishing)" in collaboration with his brother Chan-kyong, won the Gold Bear for Best Short Film at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival, which wrapped up Sunday,...More
Big Bang and Kara to Appear in Biggest Music Festival in Japan 2010/11/23, Source,
The Japanese media continuously delivered the news that star Korean groups Big Bang and Kara would appear on NHK's 61st White vs. Red Fest. Sports-Nippon reported the news on November 21 with a caption saying, "Big Bang and Kara to Have Hallyu Competition in the White vs. Red Fest", and it delivered the news that Big Bang had already decided to appear in the festival, and that Kara was finalizing conditions for appearing on the program,...More
Lee Jung-hyun song ranks No.1 on top Chinese portal 2010/05/27, Source,
Korean singer and actress Lee Jung-hyun [AVA Entertainment]
Korean singer and actress Lee Jung-hyun's new song has been ranked atop one of China's largest portal sites, according to her agency on Thursday.
AVA Entertainment stated in a press release that Lee claimed the No. 1 spot on Chinese portal site QQ.com with the title track "Suspicious Man" from her newly released seventh full-length album "Lee Jung Hyun 007th",...More
A mega-wattage celebrity couple has been born, after national heartthrob Jang Dong-gun and actress,...More
[ChanMi's drama news] Lee Jung-hyun in a Chinese drama! 2009/12/13, Source,
Actress and pop star Lee Jung-hyun will be in a Chinese drama!
The drama, "Confucious" will be starring Lee as the first love of Confucious. Her role is called, Nam-ja who is a queen.
This drama will be 30 episodes and will be released later next year all around the world!
Nam-ja is a bright and beautiful female,...More
Lee Jung-hyun Ready to Come Back 2009/04/23, Source, Dynamic singer Lee Jung-hyun is ready to come back to the Korean music scene by releasing a mini album in mid-May. This is the first album to be rolled out in Korea in two years and seven months. The last of Lee's album was her sixth one rele,...More
Dance whiz Poppin Hyun-joon
2007/10/31, Source, As B-boys have come to the fore, a growing number of people want to learn break dance. But many give up after realizing the brutal effort hidden behind the glamorous facade. The popularity of B-boys t,...More
Actress Choi Ji-woo Stars in Joint Korean-Japanese TV Drama 2005/12/20, Source, A press conference introducing a joint Korean-Japanese television drama entitled "Circle Dance Music-Rondo" produced by TBS TV, a Japanese television network, was held at Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel in Tokyo, Japan on the afternoon of Dec. 19. The drama stars,...More
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