Category Archives: Korean cineama

Night in Paradise it’s not a gangster movie, it’s a movie with gangsters in it

When we talk about Park Hoon-jung, we talk about a storyteller.

Night in Paradise tells us the story of Tae-gu and Jae-yeon; their lives end up intertwined for a bigger purpose, without knowing it (nor planning it), but they share something in common: the loss of their families in the hands of gangsters and with that, the loss of desire to live.

Tae-gu from the gangsters perspective, where he is just a pawn in his boss game, the guilt consuming him and the desire of revenge as his only life purpose.

You suffer with him the transformation from a loyal, methodic, good-at-what-he-does but still with a heart to a cold-blooded killer, just a shell of a human; still trying to hold on to something, someone worth protecting

Jae-yeon from the gangsters innocent relatives perspective, where she had to witness her whole family die because of his uncle, they were all innocent and her world shattered into millions of pieces.

Now she has to live with her uncle, the one that she hates and wants to see dead. After all she had to endure, she is terminally ill, with less than a month to live, she doesn’t care about anything anymore and continually plays with the idea of ending her life once for all.

They cross paths when Tae-gu avenges the deaths of his sister and niece and has to fly to Jeju Island, to live undercover for a week, with Jae-yon’s uncle.

This super stylish noir brings us a breathtaking cinematography by the hand of Kim Young-ho, every shot, every frame you can just print it and hang it in your living room; the color palette is simply exquisite.

At the beginning we can see a nod to master Wong Kar-wai with the lighting choice he made to introduce us to this world; after that the colors are cold, even the warm ones looks like they are behind a sun screen, because they look a bit gray, washed out, even dirtier to set the tone of what and who we are watching.

Not only the cinematography is a state of the art, but the music accompanies perfectly the sequences, Mowg guides us through the whole rollercoaster this film is.

Is not a happy story or about remarkable people, but is a story about life and death and what we do with them, a story that is predictable, you know what is going to happen but you are so immerse in their world that, nonetheless, you enjoy the journey.

Hoon-jung usually gives us a really slow first half in his movies, so you can meet the characters, the background stories and even empathize with them; the second half on the other hand is the messy, passionate one, where all the contained emotions explode and nothing can stop what is about to happen.

I could split the movie in 4 scenes: 

The opening scene with all the prisoners, all the yellow lighting working perfectly at introducing us to this world; 

Tae-gu sitting on the street, emotionless, the camera focusing in the rain drops hitting the ground, haunting music with a car accident as background;

Tae-gu in the car, fighting for his life, face up, with mixed emotions between terror, courage and resignation at the same time while a melody of despair, sounds in the background making us feel hopeless and

The last scene, in the ocean, a bright one again, giving us a fulfilling feeling even if is not the happiest, is how things should be.

These scenes are tied by rain, rain is in important parts of the movie, when something is about to change, you can see is raining.

And what is the rain? Water in the form of droplets that have condensed and then become heavy enough to fall under gravity… that’s what we have in Night in Paradise, small decisions and events that have cluster and become a ticking bomb with just one possible outcome.

And of course, after the storm comes the calm and while we see the credits roll, we can enjoy really bright and warm shots with vivid colors, what we didn’t have through the whole film, finally wrapping up with the sense that “life goes on”.

The excellent performances of Uhm Tae-goo and Jeon Yeo-been made this story really worth of being told.

Park Hoon-jung keeps surprising us, this time with a full circle story (some words at the beginning that will make sense towards the end) and what it feels something like poetic justice.

Next Entertainment World, we will be waiting for a special edition release, because this needs to be in our personal collection.

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Secret Zoo Film Review: A lighthearted comedy that definitely hit the mark

Son Jae-Gon keeps making contributions to the comedy genre (The Man Who Saw Too Much, My Scary Girl, Villain and Widow), now with a trendy but beautiful message in it; in this Globalized World, there is still people with principles who believe we can coexist with Mother Nature.

Even when it has some cliches, you can find some originality in it.

It’s based on the webtoon “I Don’t Bully You” by Hun.

The film begins with Tae-soo, who works in a temp position in a very well-known law firm; he is a bottom feeder there, of course he wants to impress his boss and the opportunity comes as the new Dongsan Park Zoo Director; he has to revitalize the failed zoo in 3 months so that the firm can make more money by selling it to another client, the problem is… there are no animals and he has no budget.

He comes up with the idea of making animal costumes for the staff to wear and fool people, until they make enough money to get their animals back.

They are not doing well until a happy accident happens, a marketing strategy in real life that helps them go viral and start having hundreds of visitors; at times it feels like they are sponsored by certain brand of carbonated drinks, still is funny how people enjoy the show, even when sometimes they are rude.

It seems it would be easy but we need a villain, in this case the Law Firm, which will become greedy and reveal their true plans.

I think by now, we all know what will happen, but is still a really fun ride to see and laugh with the characters; I would see it’s 98% family friendly because it has a few “adult jokes” but nothing outrageous.

I enjoyed the performances, cast is fantastic in their characters, very charming; the animal costumes are incredible well made, they look realistic… I think the polar bear looks more realistic than “Black Nose”, the “real” polar bear (CGI) in the movie.

If you are looking for a fun movie to enjoy, I highly recommend Secret Zoo.

Cast includes: Ahn Jae-Hong, Kang So-ra, Park Yeong-gyu, Kim Sung-oh and Jeon Yeo-been

You can watch it in Korean with subtitles in English and English SDH or dubbed in English.

Secret Zoo it’s already available on VOD and DVD.

Watch the trailer here:

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New Netflix Original Films Coming your Way Soon

 A list of new Netflix Original Films that will be coming our way soon

We have tried to add a little bit something for everyone in this of Netflix Original Films. If you enjoy our list please pass it on to a friend.

OKJA

Netflix Original Films OKJA

Okja is the new film from one of my favourite directors, South Korean visionary Bong Ho-Joon. He is the man responsible for South Korean classics such as  The Host, Memories Of Murder, and Mother, and more recently, Snowpiercer)

Okja tells the story of a young girl who will do anything she can to stop a huge multi-nation company kidnapping her best friend, Okja.

This looks to be kiddie friendly (I am not 100% though). Okja is a large mystical looking animal that would remind you of Falkor from 1984 children’s classic The Neverending Story 

The film stars Tilda Swinton (who also worked with director Bong Ho-Joon in Snowpiercer), other cast members include the awesome Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood, Swiss Army Man), Steven Yeun (Glenn from The Walking Dead), and Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler, Nocturnal Animals),

For those of you into South Korean cinema, you’ll be happy to hear that Okja also stars one of Bong Ho-Joon’s regulars, Hee-Bong Byun who starred in classics Memories Of Murder and The Host

APOSTLE 

Netflix Original Films APOSTLE

Gareth Evans, the mastermind action maestro behind The Raid franchise is back with Apostle.

Apostle stars Dan Stevens (The Guest, Downton Abbey) and Michael Sheen (The Damned United, Unthinkable, Frost and Nison). The story focuses on a man who travels to a remote island to save his sister from a religious cult.

Not much is known about the film but I can confirm that Netflix has acquired the rights for worldwide distribution.

I have always been a fan of Gareth Eans. Although I am  HUUUGE fan of The Raid movies I am looking forward to seeing Evans enter new filmmaking territory

Filming is due to start April 2017, so we’re probably looking at 2018 release. More to follow on Apostle as it is announced.

WAR MACHINE

Netflix Original Films WAR MACHINE

 

Quirky comedy starring Brad Pitt that looks into America’s involvement in the war in Afghanistan.

War Machine is based on a non-fiction book called The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan, by author Michael Hastings.

The trailer looks like it could be a lot of fun. I love Brad Pitt in these sort of roles –  I think the man can do comedy very well.

The movie is directed byDavid Michôd, the director behind one of favourite crime family movies, Australian film, Animal Kingdom (which has just been made into an impressive American TV show).

 

BRIGHT

Netflix Original Films BRIGHT

The director of Suicide Squad, End Of Watch and Fury is back with an all-star cast in Bright.

Will Smith (Concussion, The Pursuit Of Happiness) Joel Edgerton (The Gift, Black Mass, Warrior) and Noomi Rapace (Prometheus, The girl With The Dragon Tattoo)  lead the cast.

The plot reminds me of the 1988 sci-fi classic Alien Nation. The story is set in a world where monsters and humans live side by side in society.

Badass (and probably smart-ass) cop played by Will Smith must work together with an Orc to find a powerful weapon that everyone is prepared to die for.

 

DEATH NOTE

Netflix Original Films DEATH NOTE

The westernised version of the classic Japanese Manga is almost upon us and therefore makes it onto this list of Netflix Original Films. I honestly don’t have high hopes for the movie but I am a fan of the director and I think Willem Dafoe was perfectly cast as the voice of the insanely creepy, Ryuk

Some people ain’t fond of the idea  – in fact, it’s getting hit pretty hard on YouTube – here are the current stats that the trailer holds   Vs 

Adam Wingard, one-half of the directing duo behind indie hits like You’re Next and The Guest tackles this one on his lonesome.

Death Note follows a young high school student who finds a book that has unbelievable dark powers. The book has the power to kill anyone by writing his/her name in the book.It ain’t’ long before the darkness overtakes this teenager and he starts to use the book to become more and more powerful.

LITTLE EVIL

adam-scott

It has been a while since we have had a good antichrist movie in the style of, The Omen. Well, we did have the remake of The Omen, but we will pretend that doesn’t exist.

Directed Eli Craig (Zombieland, Tucker & Dale Vs Evil) Little Evil follows a newly married man who starts to believe that the 6-year-old son of the woman he just married is the antichrist.  That’s one way to put a strain a new relationship.

Little Evil stars Evangeline Lilly (The Hurt Locker, Ant-Man, Real Steal) Adam Scott (Parks And Recreation, The Aviator, Step Brother) and Clancy Brown (The Shawshank Redemption, Highlander, Starship Troopers)

 

THANKS FOR READING!

 

 

 

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Upcoming Korean Thrillers To Watch Out For Part 1

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Korean film post which means that there is plenty of new great S.Korean flicks coming our way soon. I will try and make this a 3-part post with 10 new films in total, each post will have 3 movies with the final post having 4. Hope you enjoy.

The Deal
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A dark new thriller directed by Son Yong-Ho about two men – one a cop and the other a devoted father, who both have lost someone at the hands of a vicious serial-killer. Although they are both very different people, they both have the same plan in mind… to catch the serial-killer and make him pay for the brutal and pointless slaying or their daughters.

When we want a good serial-killer drama/thriller then we know where to turn, to the masters of the genre – the koreans. They just keep dishing these amazing dark and fucked up films with such a unique style that no one else could ever do it.

The Deal Trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7vJWURvLas

2: Socialphobia
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When a woman leaves a horrible comment online about a dead soldier – two new cops make it their mission to find out this person’s real identity and confront them to demand a apology. They get a total of nine people to go to the house, each one wanting a apology..They decide to record and stream the event live. When they arrive, she is waiting for them and has some plans of her own.

Socialphobia Trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkOmCxJf_A0

3: Extraterritoriality
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A film about a profiler and detective who team up to investigate A strange religious cult

That’s pretty much all I know about the film, but its just enough to know that this is quite an original concept for a Korean thriller and a plot I don’t think has been touched on yet.

NO TRAILER AVAILABLE

That’s part 1, as always thank you for reading and I’ll have part two up soon.Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

TOP TEN MOST SHOCKING FILMS ON NETFLIX

Here is a list of ten shocking films currently on Netflix. Have a look if you dare.

1: PIETA

OFFICIAL PLOT (wiki)
A vicious man (Lee Jung-Jin) works for a loan shark as an enforcer. When customers are unable to pay for their outrageous interest payments the man forces these borrowers to gimp their own bodies to collect insurance money. A woman (Jo Min-Su) then appears in front of the man and gets down on her knees. She tells the man that she is her mother and begs for forgiveness. The vicious man was given up for adoption as soon as he was born. The man quickly dismisses the woman as crazy, but her persistence soon cracks through the man’s hardened outer shell. Can the mother and son find happiness at last?

Moviehooker’s Thoughts
Not very often that I’d watch a movie and have to look away from the screen (you’ll know the scene). A very vicious but brilliantly written & acted drama.

Do approach with caution as some of the scenes are very graphic, takes special kind of viewer to enjoy this.

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2: KIDNAPPED

OFFICIAL PLOT (IMDb)
Three hooded Eastern-European criminals burst into a home in a Madrid gated community, holding the family hostage in its own home, and forcing the father to empty his credit cards.

Moviehooker’s Thoughts
If you’re into Home Invasion movies then chances are you like your movies quite disturbing and unsettling,

Kidnapped was a great Home Invasion movie with a simple plot. Guys break into a house and take a family hostage, and so begins a horrible night of torture for the family involved.

The film was clever, well written, very realistic and equally sadistic. It didn’t quite follow the usual path and had a very unexpected ending, which in my opinion separated this film from the rest of the home invasion movies and it sits comfortably on the top of my pile of faves.

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3: I SAW THE DEVIL

OFFICIAL PLOT (IMDb)
When his pregnant fiancée becomes the latest victim of a serial killer, a secret agent blurs the lines between good and evil in his pursuit of revenge.

Moviehooker’s Thoughts
I’m sure everyone has seen this by now as it’s got a huge following with an American remake set for 2014/15 (surprise surprise).

Starring Choi-Min-Sik from Oldboy and New World as the perfectly cast serial killer. The man is just fantastic in everything I’ve seen him in, and for someone who is actually a Buddhist, he sure does pick some dark and delicious roles

An American remake is on the cards from You’re Next and The Guest directors Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard

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4: RED WHITE & BLUE

OFFICIAL PLOT (imdb)

A HIV positive woman’s quest to infect as many men as possible has gruesome consequences after she attracts the attention of a psychotic former Army interrogator and an emotionally fragile young man caring for his ailing mother.

Moviehooker’s Thoughts

A truly unsettling film, but in my eyes it was quite a masterpiece. I was a fan of the director and writer of this movie as his previous film The Living And The Dead shocked me to core. I had no doubt in my mind that this one would’ve done the same…..and it was, only on a completely different level.

The guy who plays the army vet (Noah Taylor) deserves a special mention. The man was just fantastic. He gave a riveting yet very unsettling performance. As did the rest of the cast but Mr. Taylor plays a very convincing psychopath

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5: BIG BAD WOLVES

OFFICIAL PLOT (IMDB)

A series of brutal murders puts the lives of three men on a collision course: The father of the latest victim now out for revenge, a vigilante police detective operating outside the boundaries of law, and the main suspect in the killings – a religious studies teacher arrested and released due to a police blunder.

MY THOUGHTS

One of my favourite films of last year. It’s great to see Israel start to make their mark in the horror genre. The film itself isn’t the biggest budgeted movie of all time, but there is a solid and very believable storyline, with a great script, great direction and top performances from all members of the cast.


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6: MANIAC

OFFICIAL PLOT (IMDb)
As he helps a young artist with her upcoming exhibition, the owner of a mannequin shop’s deadly, suppressed desires come to the surface.


Moviehooker’s Thoughts
I really don’t think the above synopsis is accurate. In fact, that synopsis is shite and misleading….maybe something along these lines?

A guy walks around LA meeting beautiful ladies, violently removes their scalps and uses the scalps as realistic hairpieces on mannequin dolls he keeps in his house like the demented freak he is.

Top performance from Elijah Wood. He plays the creepy serial killer extremely well. The style of filming was very unusual and unique. The camera was attached to Elijah Wood in almost every scene of the film. It gave a unique and nice POV style film which resulted in a brand new way to get under your skin. You become the serial killer for the movie.

You throw in some dirty 80’s themed synthesisers for the soundtrack, and you’ve got one hell of a disturbing and frightening watch.

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7: BREATHLESS

OFFICIAL PLOT (IMDB)

A bitter and abusive debt collector finds some relief when he meets a high school girl.

Moviehooker’s thought’s
I sat down with my girlfriend to watch this. The film opens with a man beating a woman in the middle of a street (my girlfriend immediately gave me the evil eye). Then out of nowhere the main character shows up and starts beating the guy who was beating the woman. Then when you think the main character is going to help the lady who was getting smacked about –  he kneels down beside her and starts slapping her across the face, saying stuff like “why do you just sit there and take it, you fucking cunt!”. At this point myself and the girlfriend reached an agreement, she would go on the iPad and I would continue watching.

If you’re no stranger to Korean cinema and you’ve watched some of the classics like Mother, Bad Guy, then I’m pretty sure you’d enjoy this one. It’s an uneasy watch and when I say there is a lot of domestic violence in it, then I ain’t kidding – that concept alone makes it very hard to watch. The acting has to be mentioned purely for the leading actor. The man deserved an Oscar for the performance he gave.

It’s an uneasy watch. When I say there is a lot of domestic violence in it, then I ain’t kidding – that alone makes it very hard to watch. The acting has to be mentioned purely for the leading actor. The man deserved an Oscar for the performance he gave.

The story goes in an obvious direction, but it’s how it gets there is uncertain, and that’s what makes this film a masterpiece.

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8: COLDFISH

OFFICIAL PLOT (IMDb)
When Syamoto’s teenage daughter is caught stealing, a generous middle-aged man helps to resolve the situation. The man and his wife offer to have Syamoto’s troublesome daughter work at their fish store. Syamoto soon discovers the horrific truth of the seemingly perfect couple.

Moviehooker’s Thoughts
This film is just crazy, full of energy, violence with a nice blend of humour.
Don’t really want to say much more about it without giving away too much of the storyline. Just check it out 😉

Based on a true story

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9: ICHI THE KILLER

OFFICIAL PLOT (IMDb)
As sadomasochistic yakuza enforcer Kakihara searches for his missing boss he comes across Ichi, a repressed and psychotic killer who may be able to inflict levels of pain that Kakihara has only dreamed of.

Moviehooker’s Thoughts

The film takes violence to a whole new level. To this day the film is still one of the most shocking and disturbing flicks I’ve ever seen. And although I haven’t watched this flick in a long time, some of the scenes are still as fresh in my mind as the first day I saw them.

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10: AUDITION

OFFICIAL PLOT (IMDb)

A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.

Moviehooker’s Thoughts

Another great and very unsettling film from the guy who pretty much dominates Japan with the most fucked up movies around. (ICHI The Killer, Visitor Q, Gozu). Quite an old film but again this film will stick with you for years after watching. Another one for people who like their stuff dark, filthy and extremely gruesome.


Shocking films on Netflix

Thanks for reading.

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