by popular demand is my laughable attempt to be a film connoisseur/critic. From now on I will shake up the format making it easier for those of you just want to know if they should spend two hours of ones life with movie x, but still featuring plenty of nonsense baked in to each. This batch heavily leans in the “Romance” category, but with genres and tones running rampant from there.
Miss Granny: AKA How Granny Got her Groove Back
Headline Premise: Look 50 years Younger! Missing Grandmother Receives a Makeover of a Lifetime.
What can I say, I’m usually a sucker for any film that puts older actors or elderly issues front and center. I also love watching virtually any age/body swap comedy, and heard this movie was a blast and a half. Why then did I never feel compelled by the characters or engaged by the plot? Besides me thinking some of the comedic elements were lost in translation, the film just didn’t connect with me for some reason.
Should You Watch? That said this film has the greatest cameo of all time. Full Stop.* Which singlehandedly made me glad I watched this film. Plus any scene with the band either talking or performing were pretty darned entertaining.
*Yes even better than Fat Tom Cruise. And he blessed the popcultural world with the Gif that keeps on Giffing.
Always: The Korean Rust and Bone.
Headline Premise – Sensitive Tough Guy Falls in Lurve with a Spirited Blind Women. (So Ji Sub and Han Hye Jo)
For all it’s problems, tis probably my favorite on the list. I could never handle a similar supa melo premise in drama form, but at two hours it flew by and seriously could have watched the two leads make eyes at each other (fine, the blind party can just feel those So Ji Sub cheekbones into perpetuity, because who could stop!) The insane chemistry carried this melo through it’s many makjangesque reversals of fortune.
Should You Watch: You should see it. Things get a little too cray cray in the second half, but the slow build of the first carries the wackadoo second. Plus I was a total sucker (in a good way) for the final twist and it needs to be said the So Ji Sub fight scenes were glorious in every way.
How To Use Guys with Secret Tips aka When I first saw the title I misread “tips”and was very confused.
Headline Premise: Women Uses 90’s video technology to find success at work, life, and love.
This is the sort of movie that I liked when I first watched, but one week removed and I am at a loss to remember anything about it. As your fairly typical romantic comedy it’s not like the film is striving for thought-provoking. I now remember thinking at the time that its seems to play fast and loose as to whether the movie was critiquing the sexist self-help books, or just kinda rolling with it. Didn’t bother me too much I guess. Well who knows, I forgot everything remember? (Cause I sure didn’t)
Should You Watch: I’m really not in a position to say, but perhaps that says something. I mean hey, if Rom-Com’s are your crack like me then of course watch the film (set the mood by watching on VHS), However if this genre is more like your day old beer then maybe you should skip-ith.
I Am Happy – Well That’s a bold faced lie.
Headline Premise: Hyun Binnie takes a turn for the Psyche ward as Lee Bo Young sigh/cries a lot.
A case where there are more complex (better) Korean movies set at a sanatorium. More interesting projects with Hyun Bin and Bo-Young, and more engaging stories featuring damaged people learning from each other….But darn if I didn’t watch the whole film anyways. Look this film was pretty poorly edited, and suffered from way too many flashbacks among other faults. Usually movies set in psychiatric facilities have so much dissect in terms of the human condition in all forms, (which is why I am such a sucker for them) and yet I Am Happy somehow missed the boat on that one.
Should You Watch: Really only watch if you are a fan of HB, as there isn’t a whole lot else to grab onto. My suggestion? Rent either I’m a Cyborg That’s Okay, One Flew Over the Cuokoo’s Nest, Girl Interrupted, K-Pax, 12 Monkeys, or It’s Kind of a Funny Story all while Hyun Bin is set as a screensaver to your phone and/or screen. The best of both worlds.
Windstruck – That Winter, The Sassy Girl Blows*
*Don’t take it like that readers!
Premise: Jang Hyuk Plays a Beta Male to Jun Ji Hyun Crazed Cop. Mystical weather is mystical.
Genre defying and tonal shifts are quite common Korean cinema and this proves no exception. Problem was, I didn’t quite buy the eternal love posed between the two characters. Not for lack of trying between JJH An JH who are as per usg, excellent. The wind machine was strong in this one.
Should You Watch: Yes. I love these actors and their characters, who are refreshingly different from the characters they might usually play. So what if it gets a little weird, and they may not be readily believable as soulmates. It’s Jang and Jun!
More proof that no one could properly describe this movie. The marketing departments many variations of posters