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Posts Tagged ‘Song Kang-ho’

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…)

Parasite

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

This is a rare one for me: I saw PARASITE having no clue what it was about at all. Completely fresh. I saw the trailer 1 (one) time and didn’t understand what was going on. But I liked the three movies I’ve seen by director Bong Joon-ho (SNOWPIERCER) enough to just take the hype at its word and go see it. And since two of those movies (THE HOST and OKJA) are strange creature movies I honestly didn’t even know if the title was a metaphor or if there was also going to be an actual parasitic monster at some point.

Anyway it’s not a huge surprise twist movie or anything, but I enjoyed the lack of expectations. So I guess only read this if you’ve seen it or don’t care about that. (contains spoilers, mostly vague.)

It’s the story of the Kim family – father Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho, THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD), mother Chung-sook (Jang Hye-jin), son Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik, TRAIN TO BUSAN) and daughter Ki-jeong (Park So-dam, THE SILENCED) – who seem to take economic struggle in stride. They live together in a cluttered basement infested by stink bugs, with a window facing an alley where they often see a drunk guy peeing. In the opening scene they discover that their neighbor added a password to her wi-fi, but they can connect to a nearby cafe if they crawl into the top corner of the apartment on the raised platform with the toilet. Which is important because they need WhatsApp to communicate with the young manager of Pizza Generation (Jung Yi-seo) who pays them to fold boxes. (read the rest of this shit…)

Snowpiercer

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

tn_snowpiercerSNOWPIERCER, the Hollywood-stars/English words debut of South Korean director Bong Joon-ho, is the second best train movie I saw on the big screen in June. While UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY is DIE HARD on a boat on a train, SNOWPIERCER is  the post-apocalypse on a train. The whole world has been frozen over, eradicating all life except for the lucky bastards that got onto a giant train that has been traveling a globe-spanning track for 17 years.

It has similar themes of class inequality to ELYSIUM and the HUNGER GAMESes, but I liked it quite a bit more than those. The concept is that the poor people live in squalor at the back and the rich people in luxury at the front. It’s a brutal dictatorship; the tail dwellers get threatened and beaten, limbs severed as punishment for defiance, fed nothing but green jelly protein bars. Every once in a while a lady in a pretty yellow dress comes back with a tape measure to size up which of their children to steal. You can just feel the anger and humiliation of the people when this shit happens. It’s easy to hate those motherfuckers. (read the rest of this shit…)