It’s movie review time again, and this batch was conspicuously engaging and entertaining. This has me worried, where are my patented bad movie Monday’s that I can hate watch and rant about? Even that My girlfriend is a 7th grade Super Spy was innocuous enough to not make fun of (especially with double doses of nerdy and suit wearing Kwan Ji Hwan). Guess complaining about films being too competent are why I can’t have nice things. Oh well let’s Go-go!
Go Go 70’s – (aka go go gadget soul train)
Saw this approximately 1 hour in the wake of my God’s Gift rage, and because I wouldn’t let a horribly written ending ruin my newfound appreciation for Jo Seung-Woo something had to be done. So I picked a JSW film that seemed like a good time with some splendid JSW goodness and don’t cha know Go Go was just the ticket. This should really be called the Korean Commitments, where you swap out downtrodden Irish blokes for Koreans living in a unstable political climate. But ya know if the band formation by way of soul music in countries not known for such genres becomes a thing, I say bring it on!
Also, Shin Min-Ah was great, my favorite ajusshi Lee Sung-Min is always welcome on my screen, and JSW certainly helped the healing process from residual GG-14 days fuming. If you like soul music, JSW, or a little Korean history with your movies then have I got some jolly good news for you. Not groundbreaking by any means but certainly entertaining.
* Also never realized how Tom Cruise level height deprived Seung Woo was even though I watched a whole drama with him. Guess having mini Lee Bo-Young being your primary scene mate makes everyone seem taller in comparison.
Late Autumn – (Winter is Coming… let’s meander and discuss.)
Hyun Binnie, How come you haven’t come back to dramaland?? This will have to do, and #realtalk must say I was concerned with how the English would turn out after watching some of your more awkward Secret Garden scenes. Good news though, I would guess having multiple takes and more than 5 minutes to look at lines does wonders for ESL actors and isn’t a problem in the slightest.
The film itself is quite a slow burn, from the plot to the budding romance. As such it reminds me of Before Sunrise (two strangers meet, walk, talk, like, love(?) in a scenic locale for a set amount of time.), But with 80% more tragic backstory. Walk and talk films are totally in my wheelhouse, so I could understand if one thinks it “slow”, but when you have characters as mysterious, interesting, and engaging as these two it’s a win for everyone (namely me)! All that plus Hyun Bin breaking into the Seattle Fish Market? I mean it’s like they made this film by inceptioning Muenchabench’s dreams. Is it weird that my favorite month may now be November?
The Host – (will be serving you now… Special today? – Bones, made fresh and Han river chilled)
As someone who evades horror due to overabundance of shock, blood, and self seriousness, this made me rethink the whole genre. Instead of large group of one-note teens who must all model for clothing catalogues in their spare time, we had actual adult characters that seemed flawed and real. Instead of people who speak of their genius right before they die due to lack of common sense, We had a family whose genetic makeup is not the stuff Mensa members are made of, and that made it all the better! Most importantly, I think I found my favorite kind of humor and y’all its color is pitch black. Horror + comedy allows the whole thing to breath, (even if the gill-ed monster doesn’t need to) and allows for a darkly whimsical tone that’s virtually non existent in western media, and total gem in certain Korean films/dramas.
All that in addition to satirical takedowns of US and Korean governments, (ft. the least thinly veiled mention of Vietnam era toxic chemicals), a cameo with that old white guy (Scott Wilson) from The Walking Dead, a monster who they actually show for more than a flash pan, and an ending that goes against every rule written for missing child films. Move over three other horror films I forcibly saw, (Saw II to be precise) This one is the gold (or bronze) standard!
* Have possibly discovered the origins for the female archer hero, her name is Bae Doona (or Park Nam Joo) and she was bow and arrowing before it was cool. (Sorry Katniss, Hanna, that pleasant ginger-haired Brave princess, and that other ginger-haired Game of Thrones eskimo warrior , your previous claims are moot)