September 25, 2006


MAUNDY THURSDAY Korea's Chuseok holidays are here, which is when a slew of big, fancy movies hit the screens all over the country. THE HOST is still at number 4 (having taken in an astonishing US$76 million in just 7 weeks) but a bunch of lightweight movies are in holding the other top five slots, and they're about to be stomped like fluffy bunnies trying to take on Godzilla.

Last year, Chuseok saw the release of APRIL SNOW (huge overseas, so-so at home), MARRIED TO THE MAFIA 2 (critics hated it, audiences loved it) and DUELIST (not a ton of money, but it did okay and created a minor cult). So what's coming this Chuseok?

Darcy, at KoreanFilm.org takes a look at the three big movies:

- MARRIED TO THE MAFIA 3 - he didn't see it, it probably stinks, but there's already a MARRIED TO THE MAFIA 4 on its way so it doesn't really matter, does it?

- MAUNDY THURSDAY - Song Hye-Sung (FAILAN) does a big, glamorous movie about capital punishment starring Kang Dong-Won (DUELIST) and Lee Na-Young (PLEASE TEACH ME ENGLISH) . Darcy says: "The film pulls its political punches and may have too much Christian imagery for some, but as a nice-looking tear jerker with a bit of directorial restraint, it's not bad."

- RADIO STAR - Lee Joon-Ik made KING AND THE CLOWN which became a massive word-of-mouth hit in Korea and he can basically make any movie he wants to make now. So what movie does he want to make? A sentimental comedy about a rock star growing long in the tooth who moves to a small town in the country and learns all about friendship. Starring Ahn Sung-Ki and Park Joon-Hoon (who last crossed swords in Lee Myung-Se's NOWHERE TO HIDE) Darcy found himself surprised by this one: "After seeing it, I'm convinced it's going to be a huge hit. Yes, it's sentimental and somewhat predictable, but Lee and his regular screenwriter Choi Seok-hwan's strengths in storytelling manage to overcome all of that...I can't say that on a personal level it's one of my favorite films of the year, because it's just not my style, and I don't think the film has any real international potential, but within the context of Korea it's a slam dunk."

WAR OF FLOWERS - Choi Dong-Hoon made THE BIG SWINDLE which was much-loved by critics but didn't really set the world on fire at the box office but now he's made this flick which is about the super-complicated Korean card game of hwatu. Darcy sez: "The buzz after yesterday's press screening (which I missed, unfortunately) was electric, with people saying that it surpasses THE BIG SWINDLE on several levels."

Read his full thoughts over at KoreanFilm.org

September 25, 2006 at 12:28 PM in News | Permalink


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