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Posts Tagged ‘Chan-wook Park’

Lady Vengeance

Friday, March 13th, 2020

(contains heavy spoilers for 15 year old movie)

LADY VENGEANCE is the RETURN OF THE JEDI of director Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance Trilogy in that it’s the third one (after SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE and OLDBOY), it’s loaded with delightful elements, and it’s my favorite even though most people probly say the second one is the best. It begins with a woman named Lee Geum-ja (Lee Yung-ae, JOINT SECURITY AREA) being released early from prison. She’s a national media sensation because of the mismatched combination of the horrible crime she was convicted of (murdering a five-year-old boy) and her youthful appearance of “unabashed naivety.” She got wall-to-wall news coverage, there was a trend of wearing polka-dot dresses like hers, tabloids compared her to Olivia Hussey.

(I wonder what Olivia Hussey is known for in South Korea? ROMEO AND JULIET? BLACK CHRISTMAS? Or maybe a random one like TURKEY SHOOT is huge there?)

(read the rest of this shit…)

Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance

Monday, March 9th, 2020

(heavy spoilers)

Recently my editor at Rebeller asked me to do a column on Park Chan-wook’s so called “Vengeance Trilogy.” I had seen and reviewed OLDBOY long ago, but somehow never got to SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE and LADY VENGEANCE. I’m glad I watched them, and I thought they would be worth delving into further. That was a good column, but I’m officially reviewing them for posterity now.

In case you, like me, managed to hear 18 years worth of praise for MR. VENGEANCE without actually finding out what it was about, here goes. It’s the story of Ryu (Shin Ha-kyun, THE VILLAINESS), a deaf and mute young man who dropped out of art school to work at a factory because his sister (Im Ji-eun) needs a kidney transplant. He’s not a match, but he’s saving up his money in case they find a suitable donor. He’s able to narrate the story through letters he sends to a DJ to read on the air, and he’ll sit with his sister as she listens to the broadcasts. (read the rest of this shit…)

Oldboy

Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

I’m not sure why but the other day I decided it was time to start The Great Asian Catch-Up Binge of 2005. You know how it is, some movie like HERO or something comes out in Asia, plays some big film festivals in the west, makes a big stir, comes out on region coded DVD and bootlegs, everybody goes nuts, I don’t get around to watching it, then it gets shelved by Miramax for a couple years, almost comes out cut and dubbed with a new soundtrack by R. Kelly, they change the title to MAXIMUM FORCE or something, then at the last second they change their mind and do an actual theatrical release, and a couple months later if it’s still playing that might be when I finally see it. But usually not.

Well people have been going ape shit for movies from pretty much every Asian country over these last couple years. I’m sure alot of them are good but I just can’t keep up. So what I have decided to do, I am going to try to watch some of the ones people just won’t shut their god damn yaps about. Get it over with so I know what they’re talking about. I’m planning to watch ICHI THE KILLER from Japan and the INFERNAL AFFAIRS trilogy from Hong Kong. But in honor of the six party talks with North Korea going on right now I’m going to start with Korea and that movie OLDBOY that everybody couldn’t stop talking about a year or two ago and then moved on leaving me in the dust. It finally came out on American DVD, so I rented the old region 3 import version.

No, this is not the red guy with the giant hand. THat’s Hellboy that’s a different movie. (read the rest of this shit…)