Korean Pop Culture Obsessions: Notting Hill (Updated!)

Notting hill koreans

Ever wonder why in certain dramas people only seem to reference Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie in reference to Hollywood movie stars? Well it’s that train of thought that started me down this pop-culture rabbit hole.  Unfortunately, the “Brangelina Effect” is too tall an order for me to tackle at this moment. Instead, I’ll discuss my findings of another Hollywood treasure, the 1999 Rom-Com Notting Hill.

Now Notting Hill is very near and dear to my heart.  When I used to work for a movie theater, we each had name tags indicating our favorite film, so I went with the “hip” answer by choosing Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Royal Tenenbaums, and Run Lola Run. Fantastic films in which to lord over the average theater patron with my faux cinematic pretentiousness, but put a gun to my head and out comes Notting Hill every time.

Because I literally watch this movie once a season without fail, I am fine-tuned to notice any references (be it real or imaginary) that crop up, so when Secret Garden‘s Oska played “She” (Notting Hill’s equivalent of “My Heart Will Go On”), I always wondered if the Korean reception for the film surpassed even America’s or Britain’s.

So this is the result of my exhaustive “research”, and I’ll touch on some conclusions upon finishing, so dig into some tasty mayo yogurt and enjoy!

notting-hill

Continue reading

Korean Cinema Reviews Volume 3: Boys Old and Werewolf on the Moon

Oldboy werewolf boyThis batch of films actually contains some thematic resonance betwixt the three, which was quite the serendipitous delight. In all films the male lives in a sort of stasis (be it forced, voluntary, or super secret supernatural somethings), with the effect of such meaning they all demonstrate infantile or devolving behaviors not befitting for “normal” society.  Isolation becomes another key theme, and it’s not until they establish a firm connection with someone (namely the female), that they may finally start to feel human again.  Now I’m beginning to wonder if this is random happenstance, or a common occurrence in Korean cinema.  Even Kang Ji-hwan in My Super Ex-Girlfriend is a Secret Super Spy, seemed to be a bumbling genius till he met up with “girlfriend” and became a bumbling genius in a tux. (Was that a stretch..nah)

Anyway, it may be hard to believe but there were some slight differences as well. Which means onto the reviews!

Continue reading

Oh So Cinematic Volume 2: Go Go! Late Host

Stress - business woman running late

Hurry! these customers need their free chips and salsa!

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!

Continue reading

Oh So Cinematic – Korean Film Reviews Vol. 1: Secretly One Ajusshi

2b601d15ecdb26bcd91d48e315eabb43 This-photo-provided-by-Showbox-on-July-21-2013-shows-a-movie-still-from-South-Koreas-tragicomic-action-film-Secretly-Greatly-via-AFP-e1374566666699

These days I hardly watch any movies outside of going to the theater, which also means I have little to no knowledge of Korean film.  So I’m slowly working my way through a list of critically acclaimed films.  Problem is, now that I need to satiate my thirst for my fav K-Drama actors, it’s led to some questionable movie watching decisions.  Also known as watching My Girlfriend is an Agent before Old Boy.  Here are some mini reviews (and with all my reviews,  they shouldn’t be taken too seriously;)
ping-pong old

Continue reading