South Korea’s zombie train rolls on, as the undead plague continues to spread through pop culture. After Train to Busan went off like box office gangbusters, others were quick to start piling on the potential for a juicy slab of the screen market. Take for instance the hit Netflix series Kingdom, wherein Kim Eun-hee adapted the webcomic Kingdom of the Gods she helped create and which is a strong contender for the genesis of the South Korean strain of … (read more)
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)
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)
I sat down to this one with Mark’s comments ringing in my ears (or at least on my retinas, said comments being encapsulated in an email). And you know how it is when somebody waxes lyrical about a film: first you get excited, then you get dubious, and finally you get a bit blase. So there I was, curling up with a highly-recommended Korean actioner and two cats ( my film review colleagues) preparing to be disappointed.
And man, it … (read more)