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Archive for August, 2007

A Bittersweet Life (KOREA 2006)


Director : Kim Ji Woon
Producers : Lee Yo-jin, Oh Jeong-wan
Exec Producer : Park Dong-ho
Scriptwriters : Kim Jee-woon
Editor : Choi Jae-geun
DoP : Kim Jee-woon
Production Designer : Ryu Seong-hie
Sound : Choii Tae-young
Score : Dalpalan, Jang Young-kyu
Cast : Lee Byung-hun, Shin Min-a, Kim Young-chul, Whang Jung-min, Kim Roi-ha, Moon Ching-hyuk, Lee Ki-young, Oh Dalsoo, Jin Gu, Kim Hae-gon

Assigned to guard the headstrong young girlfriend of his crime syndicate boss, normally cold-blooded enforcer Seon-woo lets his guard slip for an instant – and pays an horrific penalty. Made by acclaimed writer-director Kim Jee-woon (The Quiet Family, A Tale of Two Sisters), this raises the bar for onscreen violence and mayhem, its dream-like tone giving way to pure ballistic bedlam, as Seon-woo – bloodied, but by no means beaten – returns to seek revenge against his former master. With its hard-bitten visual style, all rain and shadowy angles, and immaculate production values, this brutal masterpiece will have genre fans nailed to their seats.

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Acacia (KOREA 2003)

Director : Ki-Hyung Park
Cast : Hye-jin Shim, Jin-geun Kim, Oh-bin Mun and Na-yoon Jeong.

Korean director Ki-Hyung Park (WHISPERING CORRIDORS) continues his exploration of the supernatural with the thriller ACACIA. After a couple’s efforts to conceive continually end in disappointment, they adopt young Jin-seong, whose mother has died. Jin-seong seems drawn to a tree in the couple’s backyard, constantly climbing and drawing pictures of it. But when his new mother finally manages to become pregnant, Jin-seong disappears, and a number of strange occurrences–and dead bodies–pile up, all seemingly centered on the mysterious tree.

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Alive (JAPAN 2002)

Director : Ryuhei Kitamura
Cast :  Hideo Sakaki, Ryo, Koyuki, Shun Sugata, Erika Oda, Tak Sakaguchi and Jun Kunimura

Tenshu is imprisoned and sentenced to death for murdering the men who raped his girlfriend. However, he manages to survive his execution and is presented with an option: face another execution attempt or subject himself to their bizarre and dangerous experiments. He choses the latter and is put in a cell with a rapist and a woman who’s infected with a taint that transports from person to person during extreme anger. The taint is transferred to Tenshu and he must now deal with the military who has interrupted the experiment to obtain it.

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A Tales of Two Sisters (KOREA 2003)

Director :
Kim Jee-Woon
Cast : Kim Kab-Su, Yeom Jung-Ah, Im Soo-Jung, Moon Geun-Young

The two sisters Su-Mi and Su-Yeon arrive home after a time away for treatment of an illness. The two girls appear to be happy as they explore their house and garden, and it is clear that the two girls are very close. At the arrival of their stepmother it becomes clear that the family has some problems – the girls do not like her and their father seems to ignore the problem. The grand old house in which the family live seems to be very comfortable. But then strange things start to happen to this small family, which may or may not be of their own making.

by Martin Cleary

Firstly, let me start off by saying that I had no idea what to expect from this film as I had no idea what it was about. I’d heard a few people mention it, but decided not to read any reviews as it’s sometimes better to see a film without knowing anything about it. Also, the films poster had me hooked anyway, with its macabre ‘family portrait’ image. A Tale Of Two Sisters was, for me a pleasant surprise – if you can say that about a horror film. If you like slow paced character horror, then don’t both reading this review – just go see it – as the less you know, the better it is. As I’ve just mentioned, the film is paced very slowly.

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A Better Tomorrow II (HK 1987)

Director : John Woo

Cast : Chow Yun-Fat, Ti Lung, Dean Shek, Leslie Cheung, Emily Chu, San Kwan, Kenneth Tsang and Fui-On Shing.

In this sequel, Ho (Ti Lung) initially refuses to go undercover to bust the gang he used to work for in exchange for his release from prison. He only accepts after his little brother, the policeman Kit (Leslie Cheung) accepts the assignment. Meanwhile in New York, Ken Gor (Chow Yun-Fat), the twin brother of Mark Gor from the 1st movie, shelters the boss of the gang, who has had to flee after it is taken over by a more aggressive leadership.

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