Blog Archives

A Million (2009)

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What would you do for a million dollars? Among the things I wouldn’t do is take part in a reality show – I think I’d rather eat my own toenails, or anyone else’s toenails for that matter. But unlike cranky folk like me, there’s a lot of people who’d like nothing better than to spend several weeks exposing their every breath to millions of viewers. Even when the ‘reality’ involves spending 7 days in the Australian outback, in an arduous … (read more)

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A Bittersweet Life (2005)

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There’s something about knowing at the start how things are going to end that makes some films harder, not easier, to watch. A Bittersweet Life is definitely one of those films. Borrowing with a fresh bent slick staples of the gangster film genre traditionally more characteristic of Hong Kong and some Japanese cinema, director Kim Jee-woon, already well known for films like The Quiet Family and Tale of Two Sisters, deftly renders an action film that has all the … (read more)

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The Beast And The Beauty (2005)

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I like Ryoo Seung-bom – he’s a very talented actor, and he has an engaging charm in the right role. In Arahan, for example, his gormlessly likeable character made it clear he wasn’t the standard Saviour Of The World, regardless of his special skills. And in Crying Fist, he gave a damn fine showing as a bundle of unresolved tensions always on the verge of exploding.

But you’d never call him handsome. True, he’s not a beast, but … (read more)

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Sad Movie (2005)

Don’t say the title didn’t warn you. Provided you are willing to give yourself over to this shamelessly manipulative fluff, you’re in for a very emotional experience indeed. But, surprisingly, even if you’re too cynical to take it seriously (and for that you wouldn’t need to be very cynical at all, to be honest) there’s still much to love about Sad Movie.

I’ve heard once or twice from individuals better travelled than I that Koreans are the best looking … (read more)

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Volcano High (2001)

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I still haven’t got my breath back from the first Melbourne International Film Festival screening of the Korean High School fu flick Volcano High, but am already well and truly prepared to announce it as the coolest film for 2002.

Volcano High is just about ordinary high school stuff — liking a girl, hating your teachers, joining a sports club, fighting the bully — but everyone is actually a secret kung fu master of some kind. The plot is … (read more)

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