Blog Archives

Secret Garden

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Co-posted at Still Just Alison

TV drama – 20 episodes

Japan may have Godzilla, but Korea has an equally fearsome monster. The chaebol mama may not trample buildings, but she has a shriek that can shatter glass, and is equally destructive of anyone who stops her doing whatever she wants.

Anyone who watches this expecting to see another Captain Ri Jeong Hyeok from Crash Landing on You will be sadly disappointed – as this was before Hyun Bin’s military service, … (read more)

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Sector 7 (2011)

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The blockbuster horror movie, much like the blockbuster action movie, is a genre from which you can, and most certainly should, expect certain things. And, yes that does mean taking the good (things lurking around in the dark, people dying horribly and spectacular man-monster showdowns preferably involving explosions and/or heavy machinery) with the bad (contrived plot devices, stereotyped characters, average dialogue and predictable developments). When you know what you’re in for and the good balances out the bad, well, surely … (read more)

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Haeundae (2009)

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Haeundae is this year’s enormous Korean film: a big-budget blockbuster, it sold more than ten million tickets domestically, the first film to do so since The Host a couple of years ago. It’s also apparently Korea’s first disaster film, and takes as its subject the idea of a megatsunami threatening Haeundae Beach, which sees millions of visitors a year.

The film follows several sets of characters living in Haeundae: there’s Man-sik (Sol Kyung-gu), a local who looks after Yeon-hee (Ha … (read more)

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Duelist (2005)

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It’s rare to see a film that fetishises the male lead as this one does. Plenty of films do it for the female lead, by giving her lighting and camera angles that make her more alluring, or writing a character free of flaws yet still intriguing. But this time, it’s the man: an assassin known only as “Sad Eyes”.

This might sound odd, but if you watch the film you’ll see what I mean. A mysterious character clad all in … (read more)

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Sex is Zero (2002)

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A college movie that distills and transfers moments from US films like American Pie, Bring it On, Road Movie, this is an unashamedly juvenile boobs and, gasp, jism fest that features some of the zaniest characters yet to grace Seoul’s downtown multiplexes. Brimming with self-confidence in the deployment of its gags, it works well as a gross out comedy but the simple love story that is supposedly at its core scores less than zero.

Written and directed … (read more)

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