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Found 10 results

  1. Surprising good news! Filming starts in Oct. Telecast likely in 2022. The Good Detective 2 Poster from Season 1 English Title: The Good Detective 2 Hangul Title: 모범형사2 Genre: Detective, Action, Thriller Director: Jo Nam Gook Writer: Choi Jin Won Network: JTBC Episodes: 16 Release Date: July 30, 2022 tp Sep 18, 2022 (Sat, Sun) Synopsis: A refreshing investigative drama in which two different detectives, track down one truth that has been concealed. [Source: hancinema]
  2. Based on the true events of the Korean hostage crisis in Afghanistan. A group of Korean tourists is taken hostage by an extremist Taliban group in Afghanistan. The Korean government dispatches Jae-ho (Hwang Jung-min), known as one of Korea’s most skilled diplomats, in order to handle the situation. Once he arrives, he asks for the Afghan government’s cooperation and uses every means possible to free the hostages. However, his efforts go in vain. Due to his failure, he’s forced to work with Dae-sik (Hyun Bin), a special agent who is an expert on the Middle East. As they begin making their move to get to the Taliban, the first hostage death occurs. With nowhere else to turn, the two become unlikely allies in a race against time to save the rest of the hostages. [Source: Hancinema] “The Point Men” stars Hyun Bin and veteran actor Hwang Jung Min. This is the first time that Hwang Jung-min and Hyun Bin are meeting in a film. Both are also close friends. Hwang Jung-min, known for his roles in Ode To My Father, Veteran and Violent Prosecutor, will portray a diplomat, Jae-ho, working alongside Hyun Bin’s character, Dae-sik, a national intelligence service (NIS) agent. Hyun Bin was hugely successful in his roles in Crash Landing on You, Confidential Assignment and Secret Garden. The movie is helmed by director Yim Soon-rye (Little Forest). In an interview with director Im Soon Rye for “Women Film Makers”, she mentioned that “Bargaining” focuses on the conflict between Christian faith and Islamic faith. She hopes that the audience will be able to feel what religion is for humans. This is also the first time that such a huge production (20 Billion Korean Won) is being done by a female Korean director. [Credit: hyunbin.english.global.fanclub] The movie is based on the 2007 South Korean hostage crisis in Afghanistan. Production of the movie has begun, with cast and crew shooting on location in Korea in late April 2020. Initially, the movie production was scheduled to begin by end of March, on location in Jordan, where filming will primarily be located. However, like many other projects, production was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and following travel bans across countries. (Credit: Naver) “The Point Men” is the first Korean film to film overseas since COVID-19 hit. The cast and crew left for Jordan in July. They completed filming and returned to South Korea in September 2020.
  3. Harbin 하얼빈 Movie : Harbin Hangul : 하얼빈 Director : Woo Min-Ho [“Inside Men,” “The Man Standing Next,” “The Drug King”] Writer : Cinematographer : Hong Kyung Po ["Deliver Us From Evil,” “Parasite,” “Snowpiercer"] Producer : Hive Media Corp Distributor : Starts Filming : September 2022 Release Date : 2023 Runtime : Language : Korean Country : South Korea Synopsis A spy action film that tells the story of fighters who risked their lives to regain their homeland and independence, set in Harbin in the early 1900s. [Source: hancinema] Story of Korean independence activists in the early 1900's. They risked their lives to fight against Japanese rule and to achieve Korea's independence. In Harbin, China, the freedom fighters set upon a daring attack. [Source: asianwiki]
  4. Squid Game ‘Squid Game’ Is Now The #1 Show In 90 Different Countries - Forbes | Oct 3, 2021 - Posters English Title: Squid Game (literal title) Hangul Title: 오징어 게임 Also Known As: Round Six Genre: Thriller, Action, Adventure, Drama Director: Hwang Dong-Hyuk Writer: Hwang Dong-Hyuk Network: Netflix Official Website: Netflix Episodes: 9 Release Date: Sep 17, 2021 Aired On: Netflix Synopsis Netflix Round Six depicts a story of people who decide to become the players of a mysterious survival game that has a whopping 40-million-dollar prize at stake. Gi-hun, played by Lee Jung-jae, seems defeated by life after being fired from his job. He decides to join the survival game to win prize money. Sang-woo, played by Park Hae-soo, is Gi-hun’s childhood friend and he also joins the game as he gets in trouble at work despite all the hard work he has done to be where he is at now. The literal translation of Round Six’s Korean title is ‘Squid Game’ (오징어 게임), which is the street game Gi-hun and Sang-woo played together when they were young. It’s quite a physical game that only ends when there’s a final winner, much like the survival game they play now. It’s named as such because players are to draw different geometric shapes on the ground, which, as a whole, look like a squid.
  5. Inspector Goo / Inspector Koo Drama title: 구경이 / Gugyeongi Formerly known as: A Wonderful Sight Genre: Drama, action, thriller, comedy Episodes: 12 Broadcast network: JTBC Broadcast period: 2021-Oct-30 to 2021-Dec-05 Air time: Saturday & Sunday 22:30 KST Director : Lee Jung Heum (Nobody Knows, Falsify) Writer: Sung Cho Yi Drama Descriptions (JTBC official site) rough translations The almighty God asks you, "Seriously, do you think all living being has their worth for being alive?" You supposed to answer that all life is precious and they have their worth for being alive, but after seeing the terrible news about the society, you can't easily answer it. While you are hesitating, God comes one step closer. In the form of an innocent girl. "You can't answer me? So, can I get rid of all of them now?" At that moment, our main character Inspector Goo appears. She has a sloppy hair that hasn't been washed for days while wearing a trench coat over a t-shirt. "What are you talking about?! Of course they have to stay alive. Because...!" That's the answer that Inspector Goo gave. Instead of lecture from moral book, she answered in her own way. The truth that she found through the pain that she has experienced. 'Nevertheless', humans must stay alive. This drama is a long story that follows after 'the because part'. But before that, she has to play one game first. Go go go! Drama Sypnosis (Asianwiki) Goo Kyung-Yi (Lee Young-Ae) is in her 40's. She is a former police officer, but now works as an insurance investigator and a private detective. With her smarts and excellent intuition, she is able to solve cases. Koo Kyung-Yi tries to catch a serial killer, who is a female university student.
  6. DUNE 2021 Directed by Denis Villeneuve Screenplay by Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve & Eric Roth Based on Dune by Frank Herbert Produced by Denis Villeneuve, Mary Parent, Cale Boyter & Joe Caracciolo Jr. Starring Timothée Chalamet Rebecca Ferguson Oscar Isaac Josh Brolin Stellan Skarsgård Dave Bautista Stephen McKinley Henderson Zendaya Chang Chen Sharon Duncan-Brewster Charlotte Rampling Jason Momoa Javier Bardem Cinematography Greig Fraser Edited by Joe Walker Music by Hans Zimmer Production companies Legendary Pictures & Villeneuve Films Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures Release date : September 3, 2021 (Venice) October 21, 2021 (United States) Running time : 156 minutes Country: United States Language: English Budget $165 million Box office$147.4 million A master piece remaked from 1984 Film. It was adapeted into a tv series in 2000 which was the version I watched. I had enjoyed it too. Next post will be the review.
  7. Midnight Runners Director: Jason Kim Screenplay: Jason Kim Cast: Park Seo Joon, Kang Ha Neul, Park Ha Sun, Sung Dong Il Genre: Action comedy Midnight Runners was billed as an action comedy and there are many comedic parts, but it’s really also a coming of age movie. Park Ki Joon (Park Seo Joon) and Kang Hee Yeol (Kang Ha Neul) are two freshmen at the Korean National Police University. From the day they are inducted into the class, the two find themselves to be very different from each other, and don’t get along, mostly because of Hee Yeol. Ki Joon is a cheerful, light-hearted guy who is friendly towards everyone. He’s very athletic and physical, and so tends to act first and think later since he’s more reliant on his strength while he struggles with his studies. He’s the best fighter of their class, though not the best student. He makes his usual friendly overtures to Hee Yeol when they first meet only to be rebuffed by him. Hee Yeol is presented as being very book smart. Having done well in his studies, he could have attended KAIST (formerly the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, basically Korea’s version of Caltech, MIT, and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton all rolled into one), but had chosen to attend the Korean National Police University because he wanted to do something different from his friends and they were all headed towards KAIST. However, HY is not the most physically gifted in his class. Thus the two keep a wary distance from each other, until the day that they have to do their timed final run to pass their physical fitness test. In order to pass, they have to run a cross country course through a mountain and make it back to campus by a set time. HY trips and twists his ankle during the run, but none of his classmates want to help him since failing the run would mean being dropped from the program. KJ is the only one who even stops to see if HY is okay, and HY is able to get KJ to carry him the rest of the way on his back by promising to buy him beef for dinner. KJ piggybacks HY all the way back to the school where they explain what happened and asks that they be passed anyway and not be dropped from the course. The instructor, played by Park Ha Sun, asks who else saw HY down, and at seeing that everyone else had passed HY by, she yells at the students in disgust that they are supposed to protect the citizens, but how could they do that when they won’t even stop to help an injured mate. She punishes everyone else, but sends KJ and HY to the infirmary after passing them on the course. Thus, KJ and HY finally become friends. Being friends, when KJ and HY have a day off, they go together to a trendy, swanky club hoping to meet women who might want to be their girlfriends, but they are rejected as potential partners for not being rich playboys basically. They both decide they have had enough and go to an arcade instead. As they are calling it quits for the evening, they see a pretty girl walk by and become curious about her. When they go to catch up with her, they realize that she's being kidnapped. Witnessing the kidnapping leads KJ and HY to first report it, but when that fails to get any action, they decide to do the investigation themselves, and are able to catch up to the kidnappers and also find more female victims. However, rather than rescuing the girls, they end up being beaten and locked up. After escaping, they return with reinforcements to find the kidnappers gone and girls gone. Being students still rather than active police, they are told to let it go. However, they come up with a plan to continue the investigation themselves, getting some help from their former drill instructor while preparing themselves for the eventual fight. One of the consequences of their actions, though, is that KJ and HY ultimately have to face a disciplinary committee. However, it’s their desire to save the girls that cause them to affirm that being policemen is what they really want to do. Rather than going to the Police University because he couldn’t think of anything else to do as KJ did, or because he wanted to be different from his friends as HY did, they both realize that being a police officer is a profession and a calling that they both want and respect. This drama is pretty much a two hander that asks for a lot from Park Seo Joon and Kang Ha Neul, and succeeds based on their chemistry in their opposites-attract bromance. Fortunately, both PSJ and KHN have charm and more to spare. They make a classic odd couple pairing as they struggle with this environment of the Korean National Police University that they’ve chosen to be in, but aren’t quite convinced of their desire to be police officers for most of this movie. The screenplay isn’t terribly novel nor the dialogue that profound or fresh, however, PSJ and KHN make the most of what they are given with and manage to flesh out characters who are given minimal back stories so that we viewers stay interested in what they get up to. The screenwriter is also the director, and this was his directorial debut. So some of the pacing is uneven, and the cinematography is pretty obvious. For instance, in the scenes where KJ and HY are trying to find the kidnappers, it tries for a dark, jaded landscape to contrast against KJ and HY’s still young and idealistic doings. It also felt as if there were a lot of tight shots being used. And the comedy which takes up a lot of the first part of the movie is more physical comedy without much subtlety. Having said all that, it is an excellent cast, with a strong if minimal supporting cast. This was also Park Seo Joon’s first leading role in a film. The acting was definitely the highlight of this drama, and the reason to watch is to see PSJ and KHN becoming buddies. Plot/Story 7 Cast/Acting 9 Production 6 Re-Watch 10 if you’re a fan of PSJ and/or KHN. Otherwise a 4. Overall 7 Ending spoiler for anyone who really wants to know
  8. This is one of those shows that I caught some time after its original run. I’ve liked Ji Chang-work as an actor since Healer but for one reason or another his drama choices haven’t always aligned with my interests or the timing hasn’t been right for viewing. I was also leery of getting on board with K2 for some time because I had read rather mixed reviews from around the web. So I was surprised, especially once I got past the first episode, by how much I actually enjoyed it overall. No doubt it has its flaws (nutty stuff happens) but as far as makjangs go, it's a slick piece of work. The premise of the show falls along these lines: A soldier of fortune while working in Iraq not only loses the woman he loves but is later framed for her death. He does a runner and eventually returns to South Korea a fugitive. Not long after he arrives home he becomes embroiled with the head of a prestigious security company and her politician husband. After a series of encounters, he agrees to becoming a key member of her security detail in exchange for information that could help him clear his name. It’s not a bad show. Quite good for the most part, in fact. There are even flashes of brilliance sprinkled about particularly in the first half. What seemed particularly enjoyable to me was the political theatre on display for public consumption and the behind-the-scenes wrangling that flew in the face of what the rest of the world was allowed to see. All of that was masterfully written and performed by seasoned veterans of the screen. In the most tangible ways, the machiavellian seniors dominate the story’s landscape with their machinations and under the table shenanigans. Their world is their playground to do what they will, consequences be damned. But nothing good lasts forever even for powerful baddies when in walks Kim Je-ha (Ji Chang-wook), the former mercenary who inadvertently upsets the good o'l applecart. An argument perhaps can be made that the show is limited by its needs to stay true to its fairytale template. Choi Yoo-jin (Song Yoon-a) the CEO of JJS Security is a somewhat sympathetic even if dubious Maleficent figure with her state of the art AI, Mirror. Je-ha is the princely figure who is called upon to slay not one but several dragons to protect the innocent and vulnerable Anna (Yoona) who has been kept imprisoned by stepmother Yoo-jin, in the manner of many Brothers Grimm heroines since her own mother's untimely death. Her largely ineffectual father, Jang Se-joon (Cho Seong-ha) intentionally tethers himself to his wife's apron strings as his keeps his eye on the Blue House. Anna's survival is possible because of a pact between Se-joon and Yoo-jin who have a love-hate relationship kept hidden from public view. Still, The K2 is unabashedly a moralizing screed of the old adage... power corrupts... absolute power corrupts absolutely. The role of the eponymous protagonist is to cut through the facade and expose the rot festering within the unhappy marriage between Big Business and Big Government as personified in the sham union between Se-joon and Yoo-jin. Only Je-ha can do this because he is above the fray, untouched by the machinations and ultimately incorruptible. Rather than good vs evil, it is all about love triumphing over corruption. It's not all serious. There's humour to be enjoyed mainly from the support acts especially from Je-ha's colleagues at JJS Security. They first regard him with a mix of suspicion and over admiration (from one female in particular) but come to appreciate his professionalism and authenticity over time. The cast ranges from stellar to adequate. There's no doubt that Song Yoon-a gave a superb performance as the multifaceted, fleshed out powerbroker who craves genuine affection but because of upbringing and other circumstances, defaults to wielding power for self-preservation and empire building. The thing about amassing raw power though is that over time it does something horrifying to the soul. It's clear that the intrusion of Je-ha into her consciousness has a powerful effect on her. He brings an authenticity that is unfamiliar in much of her interactions. In other words, he works his charm. Although the role is no great stretch for Ji Chang-wook, he has fun with it and is wonderful in the action scenes. K2 is a veritable bulwark like his mountainous namesake. Immutable and unshakeable. An unblemished archetype of the Hero. Yoona is adequate as the simple-minded Anna. I don't object to her or their romance or their chemistry in the way others have. It was inoffensively cute. I imagine after leading a cloistered existence, one is ill-equipped to deal with the big bad ugly world out there. In her, Je-ha finds someone else after the manner of his lost love that he can protect and love. Much as I admired Song Yoon-a's performance, I didn't fall in love with Yoo-jin even while she did elicit some sympathy for being unloved. She always had agency and ability which she quite cruelly denied her own stepdaughter. She played in that world like the best of them and built her empire with soiled hands. The skilled manipulator made her bed and slept in it. For a while there she was the queen of her domain. Will I watch it again? I re-watched large portions of it when I stumbled across it on Netflix. It's hard to say. Perhaps on a rainy day when the mood calls for it. It also depends on whether one has a penchant for action adventure political theatre littered with fairytale archetypes. Plot: 8 Storytelling: 9 Cast / Acting: 8.5 Production Values: 9 Rewatch Value: 7.5
  9. It doesn’t seem all that long ago when I caught this high octane, no holds barred blood and guts fest from OCN. Since then it seems to have developed something of a cult following not so much because of the whodunit side of things (which is entertaining enough) but because of the character dynamics. Detective Oh Goo-tak, a known maverick in the force, nicknamed “Mad Dog”, is tasked with grabbing the scummiest of criminal scum after the police chief loses his son to the murderous whims of a serial killer. Much to the chagrin of his “babysitter”, Inspector Yoo Mi-young, Oh Goo-tak scours the local prison(s) for his talent pool: Park Woong-cheol, a former gangbanger; Lee Jung-moon, a genius level psychopath; Jung Tae-su, a slippery ex-contract killer who, for unknown reasons, turned himself in. The cast as a whole is fantastic. It boasts the likes of Kim Sang-joong, Ma Dong-seok, Park Hae-jin, Jo Dong-hyuk and Kang Shin-il who are perfectly cast in their roles. Less impressive is the expressionless Gang Ye-won as the only female crime fighter on the team’s roster. The premise of using “bad guys” (convicts) to catch other “bad guys” (unconscionable criminals that continue to roam the streets committing wanton mayhem) is made more interesting by the fact that Goo-tak is particularly selective about who he picks. As the show progresses, it’s clear that the 3 men are interconnected in some fashion and Goo-tak has his own agenda playing in the background. This entire exercise as one might expect is related to a personal grievance. It should be said too that Goo-tak lives up to his nickname often pushing the boundaries of the law in his fervour to deal out his brand of vigilante justice. Further on the title, it is an intentional part of the show’s DNA to consider how “bad guys” are made. Although the exploration of evil here isn’t profoundly philosophical, I am reminded of what Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn once wrote. “If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” There’s a clear acknowledgment all throughout the story that it doesn’t take much for anyone to cross the line and fall into the clutches of crime. If there’s a negative to this terrific drama, it’s perhaps the implausibility of the villain… the ultimate “bad guy” but it’s not a huge deal for me because it can be seen as part and parcel of the narrative to explore the corruptibility of evil. With the combination of skill-sets Goo-tak puts together, the team is an overnight success and there are plenty of good action sequences to be had. They catch killers, break up crime syndicates and rescue victims of crime. Their success doesn’t go unnoticed and soon a shrewd prosecutor Oh Jae-won (Kim Tae-hoon) comes knocking on Goo-tak’s door wanting to get in on the action. Of course he too has his motives for doing this and shows an inexplicably keen interest in Lee Jung-moon, who was convicted not only of killing his own parents but a whole lot of others as well. The best part of the drama for me and the most emotionally satisfying aspect of the drama would be the backstories of our favourite convicts. Not only does each character have their shining moment in the present day exploits but we are given glimpses of their past as their stories and connections unfold in the present. My personal favourite among them would have to be Tae-su’s (ex-contract killer) arc. We are given insight into why he turned himself in and where he got his start in the trade. Jo Dong-hyuk surprised me with his multifaceted performance here. Not to mention a thoroughly genuine badass.The lesson from each of their stories is hammered home repeatedly. Even “bad guys” have their limits, their loyalties and their loves. The good news too is that “bad guys” are not irredeemable. Whatever led them to commit crimes against their fellow humans, they are capable of change to the point that they can make the world a better place to live. Perhaps what they need is a miracle of second chances and in this case, a miracle in the very flawed person of Oh Goo-tak. Overall, the cinematography is something to behold, resembling a big screen production than a television show more often than not. It boasts some great set pieces especially in the punishing fight scenes. The atmosphere is moody and bleak right from the word “go” and is relentless in that regard. Bad Guys plays like panels in an adult graphic novel in its harsh presentation of criminal elements and the people that inhabit that underbelly of society that’s seldom referred to in polite company. It’s there and thankfully most of us would never have to deal with it because of the unsung heroes that walk our streets and protect them. Bad Guys is now available on Netflix. Plot/Story: 8.5 Storytelling: 10 Cast: 9.5 Production Values: 10 Rewatch Value: 8 (I’ve watched it at least 3 times)
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