Forever With You (그대와 영원히, Yoo Hyeon-mok: 1958)

The night before he is released from prison Gwang-pil tells a fellow inmate the story behind his ten year incarceration. As a young boy Gwang-pil ran the streets with his friends Dal-soo and Sang-moon, picking pockets and stealing to make their money. During a failed attempt to rob a warehouse Gwang-pil is caught and sent to prison, while the other two escape the clutches of the law. Driven wild by his love for a young girl by the name of… Read More »Forever With You (그대와 영원히, Yoo Hyeon-mok: 1958)

Some (썸, Jang Yoon-hyeon: 2004)

Jang Yoon-hyeon’s previous film – the popular Tell Me Something (1999) – played out, in many ways, like a ‘greatest hits’ thriller with horror elements in its generous lifting of ideas from the likes of Se7en (David Fincher, 1995), Kiss The Girls (Gary Fleder, 1997) and Basic Instinct (Paul Verhoeven, 1992). For his follow up effort (with a five year gap between feature projects) Jang opts for a more subtle approach to, what is in many ways, overly worn material,… Read More »Some (썸, Jang Yoon-hyeon: 2004)

Woochi – The Demon Slayer (전우치, Choi Dong-hun, South Korea: 2009)

The world comes close to being thrown into complete chaos when the ‘Pipe of the Prophecy’ is lost by a group of Taoist monks who manage to accidentally free a group of demons who can only be restrained by the instrument. Trickster, schemer and all-round trouble-stirring trainee wizard Jeon Woo Chi stumbles upon the pipe and one of the demons, and he finds himself mixed up in a series of events that threaten the future of the world itself… Opening… Read More »Woochi – The Demon Slayer (전우치, Choi Dong-hun, South Korea: 2009)

“Only strong as the challenges you face” – Interview with John H. Lee

With 71: Into The Fire recently released on DVD and Blu-ray I had the opportunity to ask director John H. Lee a few questions about the film… [Martin Cleary] 71: Into The Fire is based on real events. Was it ever difficult to walk a line between historical fact and delivering an entertaining action film? You like to draw our attention to camera moves and mood; in this sense the film’s visual style is incredibly polished. Were you therefore intending… Read More »“Only strong as the challenges you face” – Interview with John H. Lee

Welcomed to Dongmakgol – An Interview with Steve Taschler

Having recently revisited the now pretty-much-established-as-a-classic Welcome To Dongmakgol (Park Kwang-hyun / 2005) for the second episode in the ‘What’s Korean Cinema?’ podcast series, I was lucky enough to pose a few questions to Dongmakgol’s ‘U.S. Navy Pilot Neil Smith’ himself – a.k.a. actor Steve Taschler… [Martin Cleary] Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? [Steve Taschler] Well, I am 35 years old and born and raised on Las Vegas, NV.  It sounds crazier than it actually was. … Read More »Welcomed to Dongmakgol – An Interview with Steve Taschler

Missing (실종, Kim Sung-hong: 2009)

Hyun-ah travels with a film director into the countryside to discuss a potential film role. Taking a break at a farm for some fresh chicken soup, the strange owner of the farm suddenly attacks the director and knocks Hyun-ah unconscious – when she awakes to find herself held hostage she realises with horror that no-one knows exactly where she has gone.. Based on (or at least ‘inspired by’) a true story, at first glance Missing appears to be another entry… Read More »Missing (실종, Kim Sung-hong: 2009)

Typhoon (태풍, Kwak Kyung-taek: 2005)

When a ship carrying parts of a nuclear warhead is hijacked and cargo stolen the South Korean government attempts to covertly step in and deal with the situation before it escalates into an international crisis. Soldier Gang Se-jong is ordered to investigate and track down the missing cargo  by any means, and finds himself involved in a chase to prevent a terrorist attack… At the time of its release in 2005 Typhoon was the biggest budgeted film in Korean history.… Read More »Typhoon (태풍, Kwak Kyung-taek: 2005)

I Saw The Devil (악마를 보았다, Kim Jee-woon: 2010)

After the brutal murder of his fiance, state policeman Soo-hyun takes two weeks leave, but the time off isn’t to rest and get over his recent loss, it’s to hunt down the killer and exact revenge… Refused a certification which would allow the film to play in front of multiplex audiences, I Saw The Devil was eventually released after cuts were made to its violent content. Kim Jee-woon’s darkest of thrillers stars two of Korea’s biggest stars and is thematically… Read More »I Saw The Devil (악마를 보았다, Kim Jee-woon: 2010)

Kiss Me, Kill Me (킬 미, Yang Jong-hyun: 2009)

Hitman Hyun Jun senses something is not quite right while on a job, only to find that his target is a young woman by the name of Jin young who has paid for her own murder. Sparing her life, but angering and frustrating her in the process, Hyun Jun walks away – but the two find themselves unexpectedly crossing paths again and eventually a relationship forms between them… At first glance Kiss Me, Kill Me (also known simply as Kill… Read More »Kiss Me, Kill Me (킬 미, Yang Jong-hyun: 2009)

Bestseller (베스트셀러, Lee Jeong-ho: 2010)

Bestselling author Hee-soo finds her career wrecked when she is accused of plagiarizing a manuscript she has been given to read for judging in a competition. In an attempt to find inspiration and the focus to write her next book – which she hopes will begin to repair her reputation as a writer – she travels with her daughter to a quiet little town to seal herself off from the outside world… Lee Jeong-ho’s debut feature Bestseller has an interesting… Read More »Bestseller (베스트셀러, Lee Jeong-ho: 2010)