Monday, December 28, 2009

My Dear Enemy [ Korean Movie 2008 ]

Genre : Drama, Romance
, Melodrama
Starring : Jeon Do-yeon,
Ha Jung Woo
Release date : September 25, 2008

Runtime :123 min.

Directed by : Lee Yoon-ki


Jobless and single in her thirties, Hee-soo is miserable. On one fine day, she sets out to find Byoung-woon, her ex-boyfriend. It is not love that brings them together but $1,000 Hee-soo had lent to Byoung-woon a year ago. Byoung-woon is also penniless but surprisingly happy for he knows the girls who are willing to give him money. Afraid Byoung-woon may run off before clearing his debt, Hee-soo follows him as he visits many girls to borrow money, so the two ex-love birds set out on a one day journey to collect money, and memory.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Park Chan-wook Named Director of the Year

Park Chan-wook
was named the best director of the year by his fellow film directors, who also picked actor Song Kang-ho and actress Kim Hye-ja as the year's best actors.

The 12th Directors' Cut Awards was held at CGV Apgujeong in Seoul on Monday. The winners were selected by votes from 238 directors who are members of the directors' network.

Park's latest film "Thirst" inspired hope in the discouraged Korean cinema community by winning the Jury Prize at the 62nd Cannes International Film Festival this year, the director's group said. "Park's films, which are always fresh and novel, are the most cinematic," it added. It is the fourth time that Park has received the award as he was previously honored for his films "Joint Security Area," "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance," and "Oldboy."

Song won the best actor award for a fifth time, becoming the winningest actor in the history of the Directors' Cut Awards.

The awards for the best rookie actor and actress went to Kim Dong-wook of "Take Off" and Park Bo-young of "Scandal Maker." Korean-French Ounie Lecomte won the best new film director award for "A Brand New Life."

Yang Ik-june, director of "Breathless," received the award for the best independent film, and director Yoon Je-kyoon, who produced and directed the disaster blockbuster "Haeundae," won the award for the best producer. "Haeundae" drew the fourth largest audience in Korean film history.

The directors also awarded a tribute trophy to late actress Jang Jin-young, who died of stomach cancer in September.


source : Chosun

Monday, December 21, 2009

'Woochi' Marks Birth of Korean Superhero

He might be offended if you call him the Korean Harry Potter, and pull a Taoist magic trick on you.

Jeon U-chi's genealogy can be traced back to the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910) but he comes to life onscreen, with a modern edge, as "Woochi'' ― an exciting new superhero everyone's been waiting for.

Novel character-driven films have recently made their mark in South Korean cinema such as "Private Eye'' starring an accidental Joseon-style Sherlock Holmes or "Hong's Family Business'' featuring modern-day descendents of the Korean Robin Hood, Hong Gil-dong.

Director Choi Dong-hoon, who demonstrated a knack for creating lively characters in "Tazza: The High Rollers,'' brings a superhero who, though quintessentially Korean, can inspire laughter and exhilarating adventure even in those who didn't grow up eating kimchi.

The movie takes viewers back 500 hundred years when a magic flute "manpasikjeon'' falls into that hands of evil goblins (which are tastefully rendered computer graphics, provided by the CGI talent behind local blockbusters including "The Host'' and "The Good The Bad The Weird.'')

A trio of Taoist wizards, who are more like the Three Stooges, seek the help of two leading ascetics, Cheonggwan (Baek Yoon-shik) and Hwadam ("The Chaser'' actor Kim Yoon-sik). They succeed in containing the goblins in a jar, like a genie in a lamp. They break the magic flute into two and each assume responsibility for one half so they don't succumb to the temptation of trying to possess it, sort of like "The Lord of the Rings.''

Woochi (played by actor Kang Dong-won) is the troublemaking disciple of Cheongwan who is more interested in showing off his magic tricks and becoming famous ― he is a contemporary of Hong Gil-dong, but the mischievous young man might become best friends with Will Smith's misunderstood superhero '"Hancock.''

The actor said he spent a good portion of the past two years suspended from wires; the sweat seems to have paid off as the pretty-faced Kang transforms into a most amiable bad boy ― so much so that it redeems his ill-suited appearance in Lee Myung-se's ambitious yet scatterbrained fantasy melodrama "M.''

Having mastered the art of transformation and invisibility, along with other Taoist tricks of playing with earth, wind, fire and water, Woochi basks in self-congratulatory glory of having pulled a big prank on the king. Hwadam and the wizards are summoned by the angry monarch to track down Woochi, who is in the meantime busy trying to seduce a beautiful widow (Lim Soo-jung).

Hwadam and the wizards arrive at Cheongwan's house, only to find that the master has been killed. Woochi and his sidekick Choraengi (a dog who wants to become human, played by funnyman Yoo Hae-jin), are framed for the murder and are doomed to a 500-year sentence inside a painting.

Half a millennium later, the wizards are living under a low profile as a Buddhist monk, a Catholic priest and a fortune teller, while Hwadam has long disappeared in order to polish his Taoist art.

When the goblins escape from their jars, however, the wizards are unable to find Hwadam and are thus forced to head to the local museum to conjur the rather sullen Woochi from the painting. They ask him to catch the goblins, promising him a promotion to the ranks of a true Taoist master in return.

Woochi and Choraengi are however more interested in exploring the glitz and glam of 21st-century technology and lifestyle, and are further distracted when they run into a woman who seems to be the reincarnation of Woochi's love interest from 500 years ago.

Meahwhile Hwadam reappears before the Taoist gang but seems more interested in stealing the other half of the magic flute in Woochi's possession.

In theaters Dec. 23. Distributed by CJ Entertainment.

credit to : Lee Hyo-won

Kang Dong-won Makes Comeback

Actor Kang Dong-won has made a comeback after a two-year absence, wearing an outfit that perfectly suits him. He plays a malicious taoist in the movie "The Taoist Wizard," fabulously portraying the classical-novel character and even reinterpreting him in a fresh and mischievous way. He looks nothing like his confused character in "M" (2007) or the sad death-row convict he portrayed in "Our Happy Time."

When we met with Kang on December 16 prior to the movie's opening, he said that he wanted to gain popularity with more people. He said, "It's an entertaining movie. I tried hard to become closer to viewers. But unfortunately the rhythm of my acting was too slow." Throughout the interview, Kang kept saying that he wanted to be more popular. He seemed upset about his previous movie, "M," which performed poorly at the box office. He deliberately chose an entertaining role this time and worked hard to make his character lovable. Kang's character is a skilled taoist and overflows with confidence. He easily makes fun of the king and loves women.

Kang used his own mischievousness to make his character all the more playful. It was his idea to create 10 one-of-a-kind copies of his character when fighting with ghosts. He said, "The script said that I just had 10 other copies of myself, but that sounded boring, so I gave each copy its own unique personality. If you watch closely, you will recognize their personalities. Each of them represents a certain trait of my character: one is brave, one is wayward, one is righteous, and so on. The last one of them is one who spits."

Kang also changed the originally haughty tone of his character into a flawed one, because he thought that a character with flaws was easier to approach for the public. Kang realizes that he has a hard-to-approach image because he rarely appears in public and is far from talkative. He said, "That's what people think about me. But once they get a chance to talk to me, their opinion changes. I can be playful, like my character, when I'm around my friends. After shooting this movie, I've become more talkative."

Director Choi Dong-hoon and martial arts director Chung Doo-hong lauded Kang for perfectly performing difficult wire actions, which he pulled off thanks to the training that he had received when shooting the movie "Duelist." He also learned how to dance for five months, which explains why his long legs and arms move so gracefully in action scenes.

The expression on Kang's face changed from playful to serious when he began talking about action scenes. He said, "I hate amusement park rides. When I happened to visit a famous bungee jumping place, people tried to make me bungee-jump, but I couldn't do it."

Though playing his character in "The Taoist Wizard" has taught him how to have fun with colleagues, Kang says the production was a difficult one for him. He said, "I had to jump off a six-story building 20 times and I still vividly remember that feeling of horror."

source: KBS Global

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thirst Wins Tenth Place in Time’s Top 10 Movies

The Park Chan-wook film “Thirst,” winner of the Cannes International Film Festival's Jury Prize, has been ranked tenth in Time magazine’s Top 10 Movies of 2009 on December 8.

Time named “Thirst” its vampire movie of the year over New Moon. In particular, it had high praise for leading lady Kim Ok-vin, saying “She is Lady Chatterley and Lady Macbeth in one smoldering package.”

Time said Kim’s performance of the character, “who evolves from a creature of mute docility to one of desperate ardor, then explosive eroticism, then murderous intent,” was a new find.

The Princess and the Frog” topped the list, followed by “Up” in second place. “Fantastic Mr. Fox” took third place, making the top three positions all animated films.

KBS World

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

"Oldboy" chosen as top 50 movies of the decade

Korean film "Oldboy" has been selected as one the top 50 movies of the decade by U.S. magazine Time Out New York (TONY).

"Oldboy", directed by Park Chan-wook, was ranked at No. 27 on the top 50 list by TONY. The top three movies on the list were "Mulholland Drive" (2001, directed by David Lynch), "There Will Be Blood" (2007, Paul Thomas Anderson) and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (2004, Michel Gondry)

The Korean film has received high praises from critics since its release in 2003 and won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.

Hollywood filmmaker Steven Speilberg and actor Will Smith were planning a remake of the film, but the project has been cancelled because production company DreamWorks were unable to obtain the rights to the film.

"Oldboy", which stars Korean actor Choi Min-sik, is about a man who is locked in a hotel room for 15 years without knowing why. He plots revenge upon his release and finds himself trapped in conspiracy, violence and falling in love with an attractive young chef.

Reporter : Park So-yoen
Editor : Lynn Kim
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

Ji Jin-hee, Ha Jeong-woo film to open in Feb

A mystery thriller film, starring two of top Korean actors Ji Jin-hee and Ha Jeong-woo, is set to open in February, according to a report on Tuesday.

The film, titled "Parallel Theory", is about two people in two different times -- in the past and the present -- living the same patterned lives.

In "Life", the character digs into the parallel theory after finding out that he has been living an identical life to another person from 30 years ago whose entire family was murdered. The movie was inspired by the parallels found between the lives of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, who had uncanny similarities in their lives which were 100 years apart.

Ji Jin-hee plays the role of Kim Seok-hyun, who discovers the hidden conspiracy behind the parallel theory and tries to prevent the death of his daughter and himself. Ha Jeong-woo took on suspect, who follows the parallel theory and does everything the same as the murderer from 30 years ago.

"Life", Kwon Ho-young's directorial debut, is scheduled for release on February 18.

Reporter : Ko Kyoung-seok
Editor : Lynn Kim
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

Saturday, December 05, 2009

'Actresses' Is Sassy Mix of Fact, Fiction

"There are three types of people: men, women and actresses,'' and "The Actresses'' brings together not one but six heroines.

The third of E J-yong's creations to be invited to the Berlin International Film Festival, "The Actresses'' tactfully endorses the movie's opening remark as it peeks into the glamorous ― and not-so-glamorous ― lives of screen beauties.

The unscripted, semi-improvisational film combines reality and fantasy, and the result is something sassy, perky and tastefully droll, though some of the in-jokes may get lost in translation for non-Korean viewers.

"But you've got to understand! They're actresses, they cannot wait!'' a staff member panics, as the jewelry that the actresses are supposed to wear in a Vogue magazine spread gets stuck in a snow storm en route from Japan.

It's Christmas Eve, and magazine crew members nervously drum fingers. They must deal with actresses who find themselves in an unprecedented situation: sharing the limelight with other household names.

Veteran actress Youn Yuh-jung, known for her endearing roles and less-than-perfect complexion, is irritated that she isn't fashionably late like the others, and cannot help feeling like a last-minute replacement for the glamour shoot.

Lee Mi-suk, though still considered a sex symbol at middle-age, speaks of her wish to retain her identity as a woman ― "Everyone ages but it's painful how actresses age under the public eye and are scrutinized for it,'' she says.

Hypersensitive hallyu "princess'' Choi Ji-woon meanwhile, in a spur of obsessive compulsion, scrubs her makeup desk before settling down. And of course her arrival is never complete without a retinue of Japanese fans and a personal masseuse.

Koh Hyun-jung, a 1990s icon who recently returned to screens after a high profile divorce, cannot hide her jealousy toward Choi. Being the hot-tempered and brutally honest tomboy she is rumored to be, Koh starts picking a fight with Choi. The two are seen bickering and squealing like schoolgirls and Choi leaves the set in a huff ― "This is totally like 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'!'' says the Vogue editor, who also stars as herself in the movie.

The youngest actresses ― twiggy former model Kim Min-hee and the more curvaceous Kim Ok-vin ― find it hard not to compare each other, especially when a male staff member says that men prefer curvy women.

E said he simply provided the basis for conflict and the leading ladies took it from there, improvising parts scene-by-scene.

The six ladies, varying in age from 20s to 60s, clearly assume exaggerated personas that reflect some degree of popular belief. And issues that are raised, such as the touchy politics of dress size, are rather expected.

But apart from capitalizing on the reputation of the cast, it also relies on "classic'' forms of "entertainment,'' such as cat fights and juicy gossip, to draw in viewers ― and it works surprisingly well as one is kept wondering whether the situation is real or not.

And it could not have been complete without the fine attention to minute detail and crafty editing E is known for.

The film will be featured in the Berlinale's non-competitive Panorama section, which screens 18 works that are considered to have both artistic and commercial merits. It hits local theaters Dec. 10. Distributed by Showbox/Mediaplex.

credit to: Lee Hyo-won (

'Mother' Wins Best Picture Award at Blue Dragon Film Awards


Ha Ji-won

The movie "Mother" directed by Bong Jun-ho has won three awards at the 30th Blue Dragon Film Awards on December 2. "Mother" received the Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor and Best Lighting awards.

"Take Off," "Haeundae," "Thirst," "Speed Scandal" and "Breathless" each took two awards. Director Kim Yong-hwa received his second Best Director award.

Actor Kim Myung-min and actress Ha Ji-won, who played the leads in "Closer To Heaven," received the Best Actor and Best Actress awards, respectively.

Jin Ku ("Mother") was honored with the Best Supporting Actor award, while Kim Hae-sook ("Thirst") received the Best Supporting Actress award.

Yang Ik-jun of "Breathless" took the Best New Actor award. Kim Kkot-bi ("Breathless") and Park Bo-young ("Speed Scandal") won the Best New Actress awards.

Late actress Chang Jin-young, who died in September of cancer, was honored with the Special Award. Her father, Chang Kil-nam, received the award on her behalf.

The Popular Actor awards went to Lee Byung-hun, Ha Jung-woo, Ha Ji-won and Choi Kang-hee.

The jury was headed this year by Pusan International Film Festival Executive Director Kim Dong-ho. The award ceremony was hosted by
Lee Bum-soo and Kim Hye-soo.

Following is the list of award-winners (film titles are indicated in parentheses)
Best Picture: "Mother"
Best Director: Kim Yong-hwa ("Take Off")
Best Actor: Kim Myung-min ("Closer To Heaven")
Best Actress: Ha Ji-won ("Closer To Heaven")
Best Supporting Actor: Jin Ku ("Mother")
Best Supporting Actress: Kim Hae-sook ("Thirst")
Best New Actor: Yang Ik-jun ("Breathless")
Best New Actress: Kim KKot-bi ("Breathless"), Park Bo-young ("Speed Scandal")
Best New Director: Kang Hyung-chul ("Speed Scandal")
Best Cinematography: Park Hyun-chul ("Take Off")
Best Lighting: Choi Chul-soo, Park Dong-soon ("Mother")
Best Music: Cho Young-wook ("Thirst")
Best Art: Cho Hwa-sung, Choi Hyun-seok ("Private Eye")
Best Engineer: Hans Ulrik, Chang Sung-ho, Kim Hee-dong ("Haeundae")
Best Screenplay: Lee Yong-joo ("Possessed")
Special Award: Chang Jin-young
Popular Actor: Lee Byung-hun, Ha Jung-woo, Ha Ji-won, Choi Kang-hee
Best Short Film: Kim Han-kyul ("Seeing")
Most Viewed Movie: "Haeundae"

Kim Hyun-joong to make film debut

Kim Hyun-joong
, leader of Korean boy band SS501, will soon make his big screen debut, according to a source on Monday.

An associate of the film said Kim has been picked to lead the cast of film "You're My Pet" opposite top actress Su-ae in the film directed by Kim Byung-gon.

The movie is based on Japanese TV series "Trams Like Us" broadcast on TBS in 2003, which itself was based on an original comic series by Yayoi Ogawa.

The movie is about unexpected love between a successful, smart and good-looking fashion magazine editor and a handsome guy who is adopted as a pet to the successful woman.

"We haven't completely finished working on the contract but we'll be done by the end of this week," said a representative from Kim's agency DSP Media.

As a member of the popular five-member K-pop band, Kim Hyun-joong also debuted as an actor early this year through hit KBS TV series "Boys Over Flowers".

Reporter : Lim Hye-seon
Editor: Linda Kim
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>