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Typhoon (2005)

Similar in too many ways to the overblown Taegukgi, Kwak Kyeong-taek’s foray into the mega-budget action blockbuster starts as an effective chase picture but stalls midway before collapsing under the weight of Kwak’s excessively tragic story and his heavy-handed method. With a production budget of at least $15 million, Typhoon is now the most expensive picture ever made in Korea. Earning about $25 million on domestic release, it can’t be considered an absolute economic failure and may well accumulate … (read more)

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The Promise (2005)

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This is an extremely silly film on which a startling amount of money was spent, and on which some very fine talents worked. Puzzling. One thing is for sure: just as the sheep is not a creature of the air, so Chen Kaige is not Tsui Hark. Hark is renowned for his ability to make superb fantasy, films that have a beauty and grace that transcend their often-humble special effects. No-one who’s ever seen A Chinese Ghost Story or its … (read more)

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