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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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Nowhere to Hide (1999)

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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)

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Say Yes (2001)

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Say Yes is not so much a thriller as a tenser. How tense? Real tense. Tense with a capital tense. By the end of this film you’ll be clenching everything but your elbows.

Park Joong-Hoon, the grinning, shambling cop from Nowhere To Hide, gives a masterful portrayal of a man so far over the edge he’s up to the next edge. He’s so good, he can sit at a table, saying nothing, doing nothing, and still make you nervous. … (read more)

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