K-Movie Review (아부의 왕/Flattery’s King, 2012)

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This film is about work and ego. Dong-sik changed his job to sell insurance and learn skills from Heo Go-soo, who is the king of flattery. Finally, Dong-sik got success.

Actually, I think this is a quite Asian style film since the different cultural background. At the beginning of the film, we can see that though Dong-sik works hard, he was stiff and unconfident that he cannot do things very successfully. However, he needs money to save his family and he changed a lot in the end. In my opinion, Dong-sik represents all the people who work hard for their life. His change tells us that sometimes we need to put our ego aside and get used to the crucial society but never bow to the life.

“Don’t live too rashly”, this is the words from Dong-sik’s dad. And when he tried to sell insurance to his former colleagues, he was denied by them and even received a group warning message. He also tried to imitate his boss but failed. All those things Dong-sik has done showed us a quite realistic and crucial society. People in this society are always trying to change themselves in order to get used to the society. Just like nowadays society, we imitate other successful people, however, the thing is we do not know ourselves well and do not know we could put aside temporarily and what we could not. Some people just abandon their ego and live in a wrong life which is not good.

Although this kind of life and work theme is not that new in the film industry, this film still bring us different feelings. Just like what Heo Go-soo told Dong-sik “Check if you ego is following you, put that ego in the fridge, but don’t trash it. There will come a day when you need it.” This is a very realistic film that show us many truth about work, life and ego. At the same time, the humour elements made the audience laugh while thinking.

-Seyi

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K-Movie Review (롤러코스터/Fasten Your Seat-belt, 2013)

K-Movie Review (롤러코스터/Fasten Your Seat-belt, 2013)

The famous Hallyu star Ma Joon Gyu (Jung Kyung Ho) took a flight from Tokyo, Japan to Korea. With his previous history of scandal with one of the stewardess working with the airline he boarded and an upcoming typhoon during the flight, the movie took a flight full of twist and turn. Worst of all, the pilot had an alcohol before the flight took off.

The character Ma Joon Gyu was a very bad mannered, rude, short-tempered and all those worst attitudes you could think of in a person. Jung Kyung Ho acted this role amazingly well.

The comedy genre movie Fasten Your Seat-belt takes place mainly in the plane. The movie began with a great beginning introducing different characters involved in the flight from Tokyo to Seoul. Judging from the title itself, the flight will definitely won’t be an easy one.

The movie might not be everyone’s favourite because the comedy is very straightforward. I do think it is a great movie to watch to pass the time. It is also great to see that the movie has better climax and plot that I never thought it would. The movie despite being comedy it doesn’t make me laugh out loud but at least smirks along the movie. The ending is not to be missed!

Also, the best of all about the movie for me was that it is directed by a veteran actor Ha Jung Woo. An amazing actor with his first debut of this movie Fasten Your Seat-belt.

K-Moive Review/ Twenty (스물, 2015)

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This is a film about three main characters: Chi-ho, Kyung-jae and Dong-woo. The story is about very daily things such as friendship, love, future career, difficulties in life, etc in their 20s.  It used to be one of the top box office movies in Korea and overseas.

Chi-ho is unemployed playboy and he likes dating girls. Kyung-jae is a university student and he wants to have a job at a big company. Dong-woo is keen on drawing cartoons and wants to become a  cartoonist.  They just turned twenty, the age that they can love someone who they want, do whatever they want or it’s even ok to make some mistakes in their thoughts. Three different personalities are portrayed very well in this movie.  The three actors also performed very naturally in a quite funny way and give the audience a good feeling that this is what should happened in  20s.

Actually, their experience can be considered as the things that most people would face in their 20s. As I’m in my 20s as well, I had the same feeling as those characters whole heartedly. Sometimes I’m worried about uni studies, and I’m also thinking about if I should keep doing another degree or getting a job. Sometimes I meet difficulties in my life and I’m thinking why life is so hard on me. All these minds are belonged to the age around 20, the film tells us the story about 20, moreover, it’s a story about youth. Whatever you are 20 now or you are getting old rather than mature, you can find the memory about yourself of 20s in this movie.

-Xinyi

K-Movie Review (위대하게 은밀하게/ Secretly, Greatly, 2013)

secretly_greatly_734155This movie Secretly, Greatly is an action, thriller and comedy genre. This movie is full of my favorite actors, obviously the lead actor Kim Soo Hyun, Lee Hyun Woo, Park Ki Woong, Son Hyun Joo and a supporting actor Go Chang Seok. I would have to be honest and say that Kim Soo Hyun really fit the 동네바보 character; literally means neighbor idiot or simply means village idiot. He has his stupid scenes and I think he pulled it off incredibly well. Obviously, as this movie is about him being a North Korean spy as a village idiot, there will be actions involved too.

I think the comedy compared to the action suits me more. Of course, the thriller part is great too but maybe the comedy left me with a stronger impression. And so, basically the first has its comedy mostly but then it turned into an action, thriller, with violence and tears. It does not mean you should miss the second half where the action begins because the action was stunning, captivating and thrilling; for me it was like watching a totally different movie! Also, do you realize that the location where the action is shot is always action-ish? Just like the gloomy location always draws a fight in.

As for the graphics, it is beyond words to explain the amazing graphics. The quality can be seen better at the second half of the movie simply because action is a tough genre to pull off with amazing shots and angles. My favorite action location took place on the roof (sort of) and the pre-fight and fight that took place in the rain was outstanding and beautifully presented. Actually, I have just recently come across a making of an action movie that involves just chasers and one being chased. That scene took roughly three days to shoot and I was amazed and gave my full respect to the whole film making team.

If you have seen the poster of the movie, it simply looked like a movie that involved life stories, maybe some life drama comedy with a sad ending. It turned out different from what I thought as I did not read the summary at first. The plot itself is simply amazing and with Kim Soo Hyun acted as a village idiot is by far the best village idiot character I have come across with. Honestly, it would be hard not to smile or laugh when a village idiot Dong Gu appeared in the scene!

I guess in the end, it is a well-balanced movie with comedy that ends with action and tears.

-Fenty

K-Moive Review/ Kundo: Age of the Rampant (군도: 민란의 시대, 2014)

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This is a story between a band of fighters named Kundo and the authorities. The background of this film is based on late Joseon dynasty which is also a time of great tyranny. Everywhere is full of natural disasters, poverty, poor harvests and death. Kundo uses their own method to fight against the authorities and try to change this kind of situation.

The whole story is told in a different structure such as the first act, the second act, etc. Through the whole film, we can see many traditional Korean things such as the traditional houses, dresses, makeups, etiquettes and even culture. (The Korean tight rope walking ‘Jultagi’ has been shown in the background, actually it is also one of the performances during the Sydney Korean Cultural Festival 2016 by Master Dae-Kyun Kim). Film is really a good way to promote a Korean traditional culture.

Another interesting point is the description of each character. For the main character Jo Yoon and Dolmuchi, the film spends long time to show us their life experience. The director also uses a different pronunciation and intonation to distinguish different characters. Even in Kundo, we can remember most of all the characters after watching the film. All these do benefits to characterization which helps us understand each character and the plot well.

The music for this film is also a good point. The same music is being used whenever Kundo appears in a scene. We can also hear some modern music during some scenes but they are quite harmonious. It’s a good combination of ancient and modern elements. Furthermore, the ‘call and response’ mode of some setting is also very impressive. The scenes when Dolmuchi first appears and goes back for revenge are the same. The scenes when Kundo first appears and leaves in the end are the same. This makes the film more integrated and dramatic.

-Xinyi

K-Movie Review / The Admiral: Roaring Currents (명량, 2014)

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This film is the best naval battle film I have ever watched. It is based on the famous 1597 Battle of Myeongryang during the Japanese invasion of Joseon Dynasty. This battle, which defeated enemy troops with a force inferior in number, is regarded as one of the greatest victories through the history.
The structure of this film is easy to understand, it is consists of the cause of the things, after and the result. The plot ascends slightly prior to declining intensively. In the beginning of the film, the director also foreshadows a lot for the future plot development. Therefore, the great navel battle scenes in the second half of the film impresses a lot.
The whole battle scene lasted for about an hour. Many different shooting angles have been used to describe the big scene, such as the extreme wide shot for the fleet, the extreme close up for the characters’ facial expressions, etc. Furthermore, the director doesn’t give the main character Yi Sun-Shin exaggerative positive description, instead, he uses some low angle shots for Yi skillfully to highlight his boldness and greatness during the battle. The whole navel battle scene is really inspiring, moving and exciting.
The Admiral: Roaring Currents achieved huge success and resonated with a lot of viewers because of its real historical background and the great national spirit. As a result, the film achieved 10 million viewers in very short time and became the most watched film in Korea at that time.
-Xinyi

K-Movie Review /The Pirates (해적: 바다로 간 산적, 2014)

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The movie The Pirates is a a pirate fiction historical movie with action and fantasy as its genre. The movie takes place in the early Jo-seon Dynasty and the movie is about how the pirates; Yeo Weol (Son Ye Jin) as the leader and the bandits are led by Jang Sa Jeong (Kim Nam Gil) are trying to retrieve the Royal Seal that the Emperor’s ship lost to a whale who has swallowed it. Even the movie has a unique and interesting plot.

This movie is simply amazing and brilliant. Not only that the movie has amazing graphic effects but it would not be complete if the movie did not have its comedy in it. I believe the movie is worth it to watch because of its comedy in it. The leading actress Son Ye Jin is unexpectedly suited for her role as a pirate leader. She also has action role involved which makes a huge difference as I have only seen her act in romance or melodrama. As for Kim Nam Gil, I have seen him as a detective role in a movie and his acting is obviously superb as he has been acting for 18 years. Even though there is a huge of years from his first drama series until casted for minor roles in 2005.

If you have read a review I wrote weeks ago on The Classified File, I have personally mentioned my huge favour towards Yoo Hae Jin’s (Cheon Beol) acting. In this movie, he plays as a supporting role and his acting always as amazing as ever. He is a pirate with terrible seasickness together with Yeo Weol. He then runs away with a boat fearing for his life as he could be chosen as one of the sacrifices in return for treasures. And so he comes looking for Jang Sa Jeong who is also called as the Crazy Tiger and began his adventure as a bandit. You would not want to miss the scenes he is in as they are brilliantly hilarious!

Originally, the pirate and the bandit were aiming for the treasures but did they end up with what they pursued?

This movie is really worth a watch and for those who simply enjoy having a big laugh, you should go for it!

– Fenty