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  • S Diary (DVD) (Special Edition) (Korea Version)S Diary (DVD) (Special Edition) (Korea Version)

    S Diary (DVD) (Special Edition) (Korea Version) DVD Region 3

    Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8.4 out of 10 (5)
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    July 19, 2007 Super D! Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
    Although I brought this DVD some time ago, I only last weekend got around to watching it and if I had known how good it was, I would have certainly watched it then. Its an excellent romantic comedy, too, and features some highly talented actors here that make it worth the while for them alone, but with an added script of comical wit, dead pan humor and farcical antics its gives a good ounce of pure entertainment. Okay, some of the humor could have been funnier, but its comedy still hits the mark. The S Diary of the title is a girl's musings about her past boyfriend's exploits (and Ji Ni certainly gets exploited) after getting rebuked by her present boyfriend, due to him wanting only a physical relationship and not the love Ji Ni wishes for, and he also propositions her (as he boards a train and sets off into the sunset) to find out if her 3 previous boyfriends actually loved her the way she thought. So she does, by finding her diary in an attic and then recapping, by her written words, what had gone wrong and why - and was it really mutual love these 3 guys gave her as she believed. When she discovers the bitter truth about her 3 exs, she then decides to get her own back on them and with unpredictable results (for the guys anyway). For instance one of her vindications is adding Viagra in the communion wine of her religious boyfriend.

    As mentioned there is a really good strong cast here. Along with Seon Ah Kim (who nearly everyone knows from "My Lovely Sam Soon" TV series...well, apart from me, as I haven't seen it yet) you get Jang Hyuk ("Wind Struck", "Volcano High", "Please Teach Me English") as her last boyfriend, although playing only a cameo here. (Has Jang Hyuk by now finished his military tenure and returning to the acting circuit?) There is Su Ro Kim (also "Volcano High", "Educating Kidnappers" and "Big Bang") Gong Yu ("She's On Duty" and "Spy Girl"...great guy! Hope to see more films with him in!) and Na Moon-Hee ("The Quiet Family" and the recent "Cruel Winter Blues") who plays Ji Ni's mum - a superb cast! I also found this another film that can have a longevity about it. I have only seen this once so far, but like "She's On Duty" it can be film to watch over again and still be equally enjoyable. If you haven't seen this yet and would like a nice romantic comedy with some light slapstick humor and fun, then this is worth it. Could be another Korean comedy classic in the future. Regions across the board, too, as its not just a 3! And, eh, yes, I do realize what the S stands for, but I'm sticking to Super!
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  • Protege de la Rose Noire (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)Protege de la Rose Noire (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)

    Protege de la Rose Noire (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region All

    Customer Review Rated Bad 5 - 5.4 out of 10 (29)
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    July 18, 2007 Sacre Bluer Mes Amis its nuts Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6 out of 10
    Although I would like to say that this movie has a reasonable story thread, some hidden meaningful plot and as a whole an entertaining piece of nonsense slapstick....the only thing I seemed to get watching this was an out-of-body experience, as it seemed I had one watching the Twins in this. The plot seems so random and almost schizo the way scenes jump from one to the next and when a scene's crazy antic lops on top of the next, your mouth simply hangs open at all the lunacy going on here. You sometimes feel you need a map included, too, to work out which direction the film is going in (they should have thrown in a light house keeper gag!), one minute its deadly Lara Croft traps the girls get into by getting hoist into the air by ropes, bizarre eccentric taxi pick ups (in Ekin's cab), musical arias jumping out at you suddenly and Charlene and Gillian running around and fighting in a pantomime loony style like two demented furry bunnies. Its mad! In fact the only thing madder than this could be Mad Max fighting baddies dressed as a ballerina. I guess Ekin was chosen to play Robin as a super hero parody here, but it should have been the Riddler for him to work out how this complete mystery of satire hangs together in any form of coherence. Still, I love the girls, though, and they are always watchable even here and you can't help being smitten watching them in even silly films. Its just that this film is a bit more sillier than maybe your head will allow. All in all, it seems like an actors play time with all the mad costume changes, and maybe something about the nature of 'mad' is going on here. Do you know, even my 5.1 sound system freaked out on my computer when the end credits went up as I didn't get any sound at this point. Well, its a bit fun and nonsense I guess and no harm in that, but be warned - its a nutty watch! Crumbs, am I still watching Protege de la Rose Noire or writing about it - I don't think I'm sure.
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  • The Romantic Fool (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)The Romantic Fool (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)

    The Romantic Fool (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region All

    Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)
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    July 13, 2007 Very Lovley....Cinematography! Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
    When this movie began the instant thing that struck me was the gorgeous and technically beautiful cinematography. Everything, really, everything in this movie is like visual poetry. It literally breaths a heavenly glimmer at you. Wonderful scenic greenery of lush trees blowing in the gentle breeze, magnificent grandeur of richly colored architecture, light gleaming through trees and even the buildings themselves seem to be beautifully showcased....subtle lighting and editing are so luscious! Visual beauty is treated here with such technical skill and panache. With vivid and vibrant colors, too, I think its one of the prettiest films I've seen. Even all the young characters clothing are reflectively hip and cool to the back drop by the fashions they wear and the written slogans on them and things.

    Although full of visual splendor the story does, however, touch familiar ground. Its not that you haven't seen this sort of thing before, but I would still recommenced this by the way its all presented. A bit of deja vu came to me when Xia moves into the house to write her novel and finds an abandoned house opposite with loads of letters stuffed full to the brim in the postal box and wonders who could have sent them, and by this feature I thought "Il Mare" in my mind. Well, no its not that, as this story is somewhat different. Its a time gap, but not quite the same as those love by time distance movies. Its all more adolescent romance and the mode of passing letters to your school favorite you always wanted to date (but knew was impossible) and love crushes. That sort of thing. Its done in flash back, too, as Xia reads the mysterious missives reflecting the past events of the sender. Acting and screenplay may not get the highest on the clap-o-meter, here though, but the performances are delivered well enough and the story I found always keeps you watching (that lush back drop, you see). The male lead performs well as the love sick photographer (and, maybe his 'foolish' step by falling in love is one step closer than merely watching love in the video beam) and his nature is well meant and logical - he's ironically not quite the 'fool' her may see, really. Cathy Chiu (as Shuman) is very pretty and struck me facially as a cross between Karena Lam and Korean actress Ko So Young and was quite delightful in the movie. The characters are all quite innocent and in the early days of youth and that is what this film is all about.

    As a whole this is a light romantic drama that unfolds very gently and sweetly by its pacing and charms you for most if its tranquil journey. Its not a heavy romance where you end up needing tissue companies wares to cry into. Its quite a restrained, innocent film and although sad, its amiable characters reaching out in their yearning for young love make it all a rather sweet film. Along with its lush and beautiful cinematography (the sweetest part maybe) its all quite breathtaking. The only thing I was unsure about was the melodramatic ending as it did feel 'tacked on' a bit - but possible, I suppose. As a romantic film it may not be everyone's cup of tea and I'm sure that some will love this and some will rate this as an average job, but overall it is a very charming watch. See what you think, but I dare say that no matter what your mood may be as you begin to watch, you will fall into its sweet ambiance quite soon.
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  • Silk (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)Silk (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)

    Silk (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

    Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (3)
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    July 10, 2007 Ghosts in Alien Wave Forms Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
    When I first saw the intro DVD menu to this film and immediately spotted Village of the Damned / Grudge type spooky child amongst its juxtaposed intro, I felt that this was going to be another Hideo Nakata / Takashi Shimizu clone. Thankfully, though, and although "Grudge" related this is one thought provoking and interesting movie, albeit with improbable science. The premise of the story is that ghosts can be seen by using a structured and concentrated human protein energy called "Menger Sponge" (which you wouldn't want to do the washing up with) and alters the magnetic structure of surrounding gravity fields to enable a person to see other invisible wave forms. In this case, the wave form of a disembodied ghost in the form of a melancholic spooky boy trapped in a derelict house. What you get then is a story of intrigue, paranormal investigation, elements of sci-fi and action in a Hollywood type X Files mode and also in a category to movies like "The Matrix" and "The Fifth Element". But aside to that, its all written well and there is also a fair amount of the human element, too, where its not all cold investigation (although most of its characters are within the ice), but of archetypal characters trying to discover their own truer natures of human communication, needs and love inevitably, all parallel to the ghost plot. Still, this film is a very technical idea of what could be behind the "Grudge" concept, but instead of mere psychological fear and ghostly displacements alone, its also scientific thought by putting spooky ghosts into analytical 'test tubes' and attempting to understand their condition. By doing so the scientists are also trying to understand themselves. And in this film with 'fatal consequences'. The 'silk' is the ghost strand that links the boy's apparition with the humans and projects the malevolence to anyone who interfers with him (apparently this 'silk' must be juxtaposed enough to effect both wave forms of ghost and human) that is revealed in the outcome. The Menger Sponge is interesting, but to me a similar concept to the Kirlian photography that can show invisible forms of magnetic energy surrounding all living things, but with less paradox.

    The story is interesting with its mixture of paranormal, sci-fi and action sequences, but its suggestion of things well beyond the idea of the plot are interesting and it doesn't over indulge by expressing overly on death, fear and the beyond alone, but also about human bond ships and love. There is the 'human heart' reasoning behind the ghoulishness of the plot here. Acting wise it is all well performed and the two male leads of Chang Chen and Yosuke Eguchi take center stage in the main. The actress performs well as the moody and sultry female scientist who also as a romantic appeal to Hashimoto (revealed more in the extras scenes) and the other supporting actors including Wilson Chen as the remaining scientists are well performed also. The only thing that I found unfortunate about "Silk" was Karena Lam's under used character in this film as Ye's love interest Wei, as her character becomes almost no more than an over glorified cameo role. This is Karena Lam and such a waste of great talent by only allowing her a tepid part that should have been more. I was looking forward to seeing her in this, too. So, please, give Karena a really great role next time, she was excellent in "Koma" and "Inner Senses" and this lady is one brilliant actress. Otherwise, its all very good and an interesting film that seems to have slipped into oblivion out of the chart which it doesn't deserve.

    The DVD again is another gem. Its got 5.1 sound plus DTS, its fully loaded with a second disk of extras that all have English subtitles and that includes the additional commentaries on the movie disk. Its region free. Its kissable in fact, the more you think about it, and deserves all the credit here. The only down sides are the slightly iffy science, the blockbuster feel about it and that poor Karena Lam is left with a short straw role here, but otherwise its all worth seeing.
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  • Highway Star (DVD) (Special Edition) (Limited Edition) (Korea Version)Highway Star (DVD) (Special Edition) (Limited Edition) (Korea Version)

    Highway Star (DVD) (Special Edition) (Limited Edition) (Korea Version) DVD Region 3

    Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10 (4)
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    July 9, 2007 Tae Hyun gets the Trots Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
    As some people may spot by this movie's English translated title, there is a same titled rock number by the rock band Deep Purple, and although this number isn't featured here - even though maybe it could have been as Tae Huyn Cha performs with his rock band at the beginning - Tae Hyun does throw out a couple of 'silver throated screams' for good measure. No, what you do get is a very entertaining music oriented comedy drama with Tae Hyun, drawing on his musical past (I don't know a lot about his singing, but Tae Hyun sang before his days in My Sassy Girl, right?) and sings in a 4 piece rock band only to get thrust out of this style into trot music by an over enthusiastic recording company manager specializing in the trot genre, and believing that TH has the voice of trot, gets him to sign a deal. At first Tae Hyun doesn't realize what he has got himself into (he just wants a record deal) and after discovering his mistake that its trot not rock, wants out. But discovering that a gorgeous female trot singer is also in the troupe, he then, eh?....changes his mind for some reason. From then on THC gets a hair do "not to die for ", trains to sing in the trot tradition, gets the trots (sorry the hots) for the girl and ends up with a face mask straight out of "The Foul King".

    I found this film nice and light, funny, well performed, a nice central song and overall an all round enjoyable movie. Its more a comedy than anything and as for the type of music here its a form of crooner/vaudeville mix, but its more the satire and comedy you will watch this for than anything. Loved the part where THC has lashings of face make up applied, so to hide his embarrassment of appearing in live television doing trot singing, only for the harassed make up girl to over do it and give THC a Japanese Kabuki performer look. Golly, for those who have seen Tae Hyun before, you can just imagine his shocked face as he looks in the mirror with this, can't you? Its all good fun and Tae Hyun is on high form in this film and you end up with a pleasant feeling after watching it all. Actress So Yeon Lee is very nice and pleasant to watch, too, and the two managers give really good performances also. Worth seeing! If you like this I would also recommend "Radio Star", too, a bit different, but certainly a gem of a movie and somehow seems to have slipped through the net and out of vogue now for some reason. So check that you out, too.
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  • Super Fans (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)Super Fans (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)

    Super Fans (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

    Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)
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    July 6, 2007 All Good Clean Wacky Fun! Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
    Although I have to admit I have always appreciated Charlene for her humorous and light comedy roles and her whole happiness factor is infectious to me and what made me like her in the first place. Aside to this, though, its been great to see her do something more challenging recently with Oxide Pang's "Diary" (and she is definitely good in that, definitely) and the romantic drama "All About Love" with Andy Lau which are two very 'thumbs up' and interesting roles that she has done, and if Charlene continues to act in more of these eye catching parts it can only be a good thing. "Super Fans", here though, fits well into her usual fun and frolics of yore and is much more lighter entertainment. Its witty, slightly un-hinged, satirical with dollops of cliche by sending up pop stars and their management and promotion. All this provided by the director's own personal experience having been in a boy band himself. Its a role reversal for Charlene here, too, as she performs as a fan herself, worshiping a pop star called Sum Lee. The film also features a little subtle moodiness towards the end moving away slightly from the whacky earlier parts, but overall its a film to enjoy only if you don't take such pop star antics, in this case, all too seriously. Its all a light read, if you know what I mean.

    "Super Fans" is worth seeing if you love Charlene's music and films and most certainly if you are a fan (or Super Fan) and like her personality - and although its all a bit of silly nonsense, its good clean fun. If curious about the Asia music scene, then again it's worth a look as it can be a partially revealing window to look through at Hong Kong pop energy, but bare in mind its more cliche and parody than anything. DVD wise, the quality is excellent although this time no subtitles with the making of, unfortunately, but on the good side..its region free according to the computer software I have. Don't expect too much, just enjoy.
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  • Miracle On 1st Street (DVD) (Special Edition) (Limited Edition) (Korea Version)Miracle On 1st Street (DVD) (Special Edition) (Limited Edition) (Korea Version)

    Miracle On 1st Street (DVD) (Special Edition) (Limited Edition) (Korea Version) DVD Region 3

    Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (3)
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    July 3, 2007 A bit more serious than SIZ Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7 out of 10
    Although featuring Chang Jung Lim and Ji Won Ha and directed by Yun Je Gyun who were all involved in the movie "Sex is Zero", the main initial thing to mention here is that although SIZ [or should that be sizzle? ;) ] was a very humorous and irreverent sex comedy, this is so contrasting and a far more serious drama. It does have humorous moments, but the humor becomes blunted due to the circumstances of home evictions and poverty. For instance the local mischievous kid's who modify an outside toilet, that Chang Jung's character often has to use, brings a few mirth filled moments, but tearful children and hardships are the norm here. The residents of this film are on the outskirts of social norms and live rugged existences only to have to be thrown out of their homes by local 'business associates' who want all of the locals bottoms out of town, so as to build high rise blocks in their place. In fact there's a lot more pathos here than anything. I was quite surprised with "Miracle" in a way as I thought that Ji Won Ha's character, being a trained boxer, was going to portray a sort of local heroine and smack the pants off all the nasty thugs that are trying to evict the poor residents with a topical 'girl power' fighting finale to top it all off. You almost anticipate it. But this film isn't quite like that and although Ji Won whomps a few gangsters mid way through, her main ambition is to fight at an Asian Boxing Championship and vindicate her defeated and sadly vegetable stated boxing father and full fill her own dream of becoming a boxing champ (all revealed in the movies intro). Chang Jung as the gangster who needs signed agreements from all the locals, to get the land deeds for the high rise blocks built for his bosses, acts well as the wide boy gangster and also shows a soft heart later in as he eventually gels with two mischievous but decent local children. He eventually realizes that there is more to life than putting money objectives over the lives of innocent people. In many ways, Chang's gangster / kids camaraderie and involvement is more featured than Ji Won's boxer character in the scheme of things with the residents. In this sense the film is a tease and the ending a bit off kilter and overly sentimental - for me, anyway. So don't expect Ji Won to come all over 'sting like a butterfly, fly like a bee' and save the local yokels by kick boxing the gangsters into the dust and out of town. She does box, but not with them!

    A love romance, though, with a male coffee vending machine attendant and another girl who is also one of the to be evicted residents (soorrry - I cannot find you actors names here as I type) is well played out and these two characters form a good sub plot which is quite endearing and finishes off way better than the overall film's final message. It is all a reasonable feel good film, though, about fulfilling dreams even if the ending isn't what might be expected with Ji Won's anticipated heroics (not that it has to be that way). The acting is top of the class as to be expected. Ji Won is great and with her adoptive boxing skills she must have worked hard to preform as she does and these elements of her role are played well, but I hope to see her in something more character central next time. "Miracle on 1st Street" is one of those movies where I'm not sure, by a single viewing, how to totally rate it - its all worth seeing, but don't expect great things from it. Ji Won though, I've read is to appear with Cha Tae Hyun in a romantic drama called "Babo" made by director Jeong Gwan Kim who also made "Ditto" and that is one I'm interested in seeing. One last thing - with Ji Won's boxing talent, I think she should box the ears of those who left the English subtitles off her last TV series "Hwang Jin Yi" and gave it erratic region codes. Honestly!
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  • Diary (Hong Kong Version)Diary (Hong Kong Version)

    Diary (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

    Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (7)
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    July 2, 2007 A sad dislocated girl Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10
    Not your usual love jealousy, this, but a complex psychological drama that delves into the paranoid mind set of a girl who as been immensely injured by the rejection of Love after her boyfriend leaves her. To get over her rejection she locates another guy in the street who (she thinks) resembles her boyfriend and asks him back to her apartment. Well, that's what it seems as reality and illusion are difficult to fix on in this. The girl Winnie in this is a disturbed individual trapped inside the internal machinations of her own head about damaged love which leads her into a schizoid state of delusion. She has a depression and memory that are displaced and dislocated as she exists within her own loneliness. Its a very dark movie! Visually the film is shot in a semi monochrome with green tinged and erratic and jerky camera cuts to viewpoint Winnie's tarnished and detached mental state and features some interesting (and imposing) Oxide Pang atmospheric visuals towards the beginning showing what a haunted and disturbed mind this girl has. The shifting dark cloud scene moving slowly into her apartment is quite haunting and stark hallucination of mental disorder. Most of the film is shot in Winnie's apartment, too, giving it a quite claustrophobic ambiance and with some quite nasty parts near the end. Well, that's how all this film 'feels' and as you can image its not going to be an easy watch.

    The acting of Charlene Choi as Winnie was immense and there is no doubt that this is one of her finest acting performances to date, allowing her to push the envelope beyond her usual fantasy and bubblegum chic roles. She certainly succeeds here with Oxide! Her acting features some quite astute nuances, too, with subtle eye twitches and erratic behaviors with her paranoid character making it a very perceptive viewpoint that Charlene delivers oh so frighteningly well! I'm getting more convinced by each differing film she has been in that she could be one of the most impressive pop stars ever to make a successful transition into film making and although "Diary" (like Korean Rain's "I'm a Cyborg, but that's Okay" performance) will alienate a number of Twins fans, its one amazing performance. Isabella Leong also acted well in this, and although I cannot say anymore about her as for fear of spoilers, it would be interesting how she would fare in a similar role as the central character. In fact since this I have just checked out some of her other films on DVD. Overall, this is a very disturbing movie far removed from anything Charlene as done before and quite different for Oxide Pang too, to what I have seen of his.

    Regarding the DVD - The English subs are present in not only the main movie, but the making of and gala night, too - in fact the trailer has English subbies. And with a nice packaging touch it also includes a nice fold out insert card about the movie. Good DVD - good film - and with a very different Charlene Choi here.
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  • Moodori (DVD) (Limited Edition) (Korea Version)Moodori (DVD) (Limited Edition) (Korea Version)

    Moodori (DVD) (Limited Edition) (Korea Version) DVD Region 3

    Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10 (2)
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    June 26, 2007 You sorry, if go to Moodori Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
    Okay, right, so this film is about..well, like the theaters code of conduct with the word "Macbeth" (don't read this in a theater if you are an actor) to utter it may bring bad luck, I wont enunciate the key word that this film pivots on here, but mention what this great film is like.

    To cut to the chase, this is one entertaining film which I enjoyed very minute of. Its a gem, and you won't regret buying this! T-r-u-s-t- M-e! A mild black comedy of quirky humor and tragic sadness that moves along at a brisk and fun pace, its all a very lively movie. You can't take it all too seriously, either. Story Bits? Well...a female reporter in Seoul who after being conned over a news story by a farcical levitating mystic then gets booted out of her job (her boss is an irritating realist, ya see) and is then told (by her irritating boss) as she pleads with him to keep her job, to, ahem, consider her mortality. After drowning all her sorrows at a local video on-line gaming baang (getting 'drunk' on over pondering Linage 2 or Starcraft, maybe) finds on one of the computer terminals a web site advertisement for the Moodori village and of its 'main attraction' to get-on-down! For a reporter this 'getting on down' could be a good story! Moving on to this Moodori in Kangwoon Province we then find a group of three old locals constantly accommodating city dwellers visiting their humble village to appreciate the air, climate and, for some reason, a large mountain side with a lovely wide screen panoramic view point to consider their futures by - often leaving their shoes behind as a memento of their visit. I won't say what the city dwellers actually do (that word - bad karma) but will mention that these influx of sight seers would certainly want to avoid the local Korean Parachute Group or the Oversized Trampoline Circus act at the bottom of said mountain, as that would surely spoil their top agenda visiting Moodori experience.

    So, with the Seoul reporter visiting Moodori (for her to bag a good news story and get over the dodgy floating mystic and for her to kiss..ugggh..and make up with her annoying boss..who always seems to be on the toilet) and of the three excellent elder ex-Vietnam Moodori locals (believe me these are young at heart - they could even hip hop, I'm sure!), you get a rural based comedy that deals with a sensitive subject matter (mum's the word) that is delivered here with style, wit and consideration. Interestingly, I found Yeong Hee Seo (who plays the reporter) a wee bit like "My Girl" actress Da Hae Lee (in fact I though that when I saw Yeong Hee's picture on the DVD cover) and as a comedy actress she really preformed well here and is quite addictive to watch. All the three main male leads were absolute troopers, too, and their camaraderie together is the main good reason to see this film. They are brilliant and make this movie a positive hit! The group of visitors to Moodori are likewise a very good set of players, also, making it overall a very fine cast. And, yes, the boss is funny really, too! Also, subject matter (hush) never becomes tasteless either, trust me, and by the carefully balanced script that tackles mirth and somber seriousness, it never really can offend anyone or belittle the key subject matter at all - its not tasteless and with the film's final message, it all turns out okay in the wash. After all, its better to tackle a difficult area than side step away from it - and its poignantly delivered. I did find that there could have been a hint reference to Eun Joo Lee by [key subject omitted] regarding the bungee jump at the end, but I'm not sure. Oh, for the sake of my grandmother's over sized birthday pullovers, go on....give this film a try! You'll love it! The cast are excellent and Young Hee looks to be another comedy actress to keep your peelers on. If you liked "A Quiet Family" definitely get it!
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  • The Old Garden (Limited Edition) (Korea Version)The Old Garden (Limited Edition) (Korea Version)

    The Old Garden (Limited Edition) (Korea Version) DVD Region 3

    Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)
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    2 people found this review helpful

    June 25, 2007 The Garden of Remembrance Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
    In essence this is a love story between a social activist Hyon Woo and a school teacher/artist Yoon Hee who sympathizes with his political cause. The film actually begins with Hyun Woon being released from prison 16 years on from the Gwangju student massacre of early 1980s Korea (where he was involved), but the stories' past events of Hyun Woo's reason for imprisonment and of his love for the school teacher Yoon Hee are reflected by stylish flashbacks to reveal the frictions, turmoil and insecurities of two people's love in dark days Korea. These flash backs are common to the story telling as each segment of Hyon Hee's memories of his past are revealed, eventually leading up towards his imprisonment. In fact you could call the film The Garden of Remembrance considering all the film's past recalls. Although the story is told in flashback the narrative is very coherent and easy to follow - although at a slow pace at times it is constantly revealing. Due to the political violence of the time, there are some quite disturbing scenes here and there (as to be expected), especially near the end regarding a self immolation scene with a female student at Gwangju. This part could be a hard watch for some, especially for people local in memory to such events.

    Although this film is politically routed in Korea's sensitive circumstances of the socialist and student activism of early 1980s (similar to the political climate featured in "Ditto" in parts) its not all 'dry politics' and is certainly a romantic movie at heart (albeit a brittle one) by the love of the two protagonists. The politics, though, isn't a mere back drop to the love interests, but more a weaving of these two elements.There is some good cinematography here, too, with really beautiful camera work and lighting - like (ironically) the pretty scene when Hyon Woo is first released from prison in a pleasant snow lit night - awesome considering its outside a prison complex. Excellent acting from the cast and Jin Hee Ji and Jung Yeom are superb - its nice to see Jung Ah getting her teeth into a more solid role since "A Tale of Two Sisters" where she played the aunt. This is certainly a good quality movie to recommend and deserves to be seen, if you like this sort of mixed melodrama and politics. Director Lim Sang Soo as made quite a few good movies to date, like "A Good Lawyer's Wife" and "The President's Last Bang" so if you have seen these, you will get the idea of what helmsman is in charge if this ship. Worth watching with absolutely high quality acting and screenplay.
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  • The Restless (DVD) (Korea Version)The Restless (DVD) (Korea Version)

    The Restless (DVD) (Korea Version) DVD Region 3

    Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8.1 out of 10 (11)
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    June 21, 2007 Restless in Mid Heaven Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
    This a very accomplished fantasy movie in the vain of Chinese epics of sword and sorcery and certainly worth seeing for its CGI effects alone. Its a gorgeous film and the scenery and quality of the CGI is certainly in league with top fantasy movies of the moment. With some amazingly talented 3D/2D artists in South Korea, too, and impressive visual films like "Natural City" and "Volcano High" (3D CGI) and "Wonderful Days" (a.k.a. Sky Blue) and "My Beautiful Girl, Mari" as 2D/3D animation films, there is no doubt great talent there - and certainly here with "The Restless". Woo Sung Jung plays well as Yi Kwak the medieval daemon slayer, sword thrashing his way through lots of 'baddies' to get to his lost finance (played by Tae Hui Kim), even flung from a parallel world Korea into an afterworld (Joongcheon) to find her, where Yi Kwak discovers that she has erased her memories, due to a soul cleansing, and forgotten all about him or anything of their past. What-a-to-do! As a story it has been all tried and tested... part soliloquy, part video game.. its all action warrior fighting stuff to re-unite a hero with his past love, evil power forces of darkness trying to destroy the souls of light (again) and hoards of wraith type daemons to make mid heaven/Joongcheon as annoyingly un-comfortable as possible - so its routine good against evil. The acting and wire work implementation is brilliantly constructed, though, and the action entertaining enough to recommend it all. Tae Hui Kim plays well as the adorable princess an Woo Sung is perfect as this Arabian Knights / Medieval type hero.

    I couldn' t help thinking though about the video game character Prince of Persia and that Yi Kwak must have gone to the Prince's school of daemon slaying, considering all the heavy throng of daemons he as to face off at the final battle. (and this is one of the best CGI bits in the film!). A rarity in the form of a Korean fantasy movie format and a good piece of escapism. The other Korean film at present, considering 'effects', is the cell anime movie "Yobi, the Five Tailed Fox" (with "Summer Scent" lass Ye Jin Son as the main voice actress) and this is another good movie to recommend - a good family film that. But for this sword and sorcery fest, you can't go wrong here.
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  • One Fine Spring Day (2001) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)One Fine Spring Day (2001) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)

    One Fine Spring Day (2001) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

    Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.2 out of 10 (8)
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    June 19, 2007 This Is Love Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10
    I found this film interesting recently, as it sort of oppositely co-relates to the K-drama "Phoenix". Where the latter featured the premise that love was fated and to be long lasting and indelible between lovers, even in long absence and adversity, the nature of "One Fine Spring Day" suggests the opposite - love can be fleeting and so easily change direction like a dissipating mist within personal emotions, when one person decides to walk away from a two way relationship. We have all had some form of these memories and the aftermath is strong and painful. (Small tip here : whenever this happens, stay positive and just get on that trampoline and do some heavy duty bouncing! Free that hurt!)

    Although OFSD is not an overly sad movie like some can be, and where this movie would be expected to be, I found the emotive output more dampened, it still can be painful if related to personal circumstances where a relationship is concerned. I found the part interesting where Tae Ye records a hummed song of Young Ae when they are recording nature sounds together, a love sonic that he constantly reflects on (especially when the romance has turned tide) has he falls in love with her. The poetry to this film is beautiful, too, and its pace is welcoming.

    With 'love hurt' motifs though, I think this film is parallel to many K-dramas which have very emotional issues about love divisions and heartbreak. But although they do hurt us emotively and cause pain, they are, I think, quite valuable assets. Difficult at times to watch (like I found emotionally with "Phoenix" - EJL..sigh..whatgotintoyoukid) I do find them to invigorate emotions out of our complacency and boredom and can re-awaken us by these 'soul moving' films and drama experiences. Maybe because they have strong emotional movements. Here in this snap shot of a small romance between two sound technicians, love's movement is fleeting and brief, but holds a potency by the hurt it causes the one that is left behind by confusions of why a person decides to break away, change direction and return to a previous object of provisional love. Confusion, hurt and love? Love is transient as a 'heartfelt crush', 'total person focus', 'needful feelings', 'aesthetic attraction', etc., and are brief sets of emotions that have to change to make real love mature. Love is wider, (like the landscape) and more concern full and developed - a much bigger picture. Something OFSD touches in a way, by the sense of the sounds of nature, its environmental beauty of trees, meadows and seas all becoming a symbol of a more wiser, larger picture reflected against....a lost, confused love of Young Ae and Tae Ye. Nature's sounds and ambiance can become a solace to escape crushing emotions of lost love and help mend broken hearts, showing that love is more wider than 'mere needful love' that fills a void.

    Acting is well performed by both Tae Ye Ji and Young Ae Lee and apparently, Tae Ye performed himself into this role than bring the character into himself. Interesting that as its a bit more Tae Ye himself (possibly) that you see here. This DVD is okay as a letterbox, but it is subtitled and although the 2 disk Starmax is most likely the better option at 16 : 9....it doesn't have any subtitles (although more extras). So, be careful when buying this film
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  • Phoenix (English Subtitled) (MBC TV Series)Phoenix (English Subtitled) (MBC TV Series)

    Phoenix (English Subtitled) (MBC TV Series) DVD Region All

    Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.2 out of 10 (4)
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    June 13, 2007 Love Division (by exile) Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
    Love certainly tears these characters apart, again...in this! "Phoenix" has been the most emotional experience I have had, yet. Eun Joo Lee's emotions I found the most heart breaking as Ji Eun, and her constantly flowing tears and heavy burdened heart, by her frustrating indecisiveness for Sae Hoon and Jung Min's love, is heartache on overdrive. Eun Joo also died not long after the drama was made, and this drama/loss made it far more hurtful to watch. Never has EJL seared my heart and captured my soul so much! Now I have completed it I feel I 'miss' the whole essence of the drama emotionally. Is this K-Drama initiation or something? The plot seems like a Catholic 'purgatorial trial' by the endured sacrifices Ji Eun and Sae Hoon have to make. The story is strongly emotional and you sometimes wish the characters could have been more sociably considerate with one another. The plot is well written and although credited as how Ji Eun and Sae Hoon are separated in love, gradually learning to know one another by their adverse reversed social status and emotive hardships, I found all 4 characters (with Jung Min and Mi Ran) playing out a more complex whole. There are more lessons here than two hearts maturing within exiled adversities. The characters are oh so emotionally fragile, lost in the noise of their introspective emotions and make life generally difficult for one another. Humorous moments, though, are given by the Yeo-Jin and Bok Ja parts that intersperse the drama, and even when Ji Eun's father threw the ash tray at Sae Hoon's head, I couldn't help finding this a bit funny. I mean...it was like a toddler in a pram throwing its rattle at him!

    The acting is fantastic! Suh Jun Lee (whose an absolutely great guy...likes Black Sabbath according to his T-Shirt in the "Freeze" extras...and no wonder after "Phoenix's" emotion!) performs really well as Sae Hoon. His hurt is difficult to watch by the yearning heart he has so much for Ji Eun. How on earth, though, could he keep his steely nature in check and produce that MP3 project without a hitch,considering his emotions for Ji Eun. If that was me in love with Eun Joo (I mean Ji Eun), and in charge of that MP3 project I would ended up having some complaining future customers. Would it have been an MP3 player? Hye Young Jung is brilliant as Mi Ran and her tumultuous scenes of self destructive paranoia regarding Sae Hoon's unavoidable love for Ji Eun and diminishing commitments to her is incredible acting, and terribly sad. I couldn't help feel compassion for her. Sae Hoon only commits as a fiancee to Mi Ran due to a car accident they both had and of his guilty reasoning of causing it. Mi Ran is crazy and wrong to hate Ji Eun (even painting her toe nails jealousy green and finger nails depressive blue), but so needing good mutual love, which Sae Hoon could not provide for her. If only she sought the sanity of absolution and ceased to think of Sae Hoon as only a need and held more compassion for him. He could have loved her. Mi Ran's cataclysmic soul touched me by all her shattered dreams. Emotionally, her 'car' crashes more so than Ji Eun's literal car crash when she first met Sae Hoon. Eric Mun's role was well performed and his relationship with Ji Eun absolutely heartbreaking. Pity his love cannot be equally returned by Ji Eun, because of her burden and complex emotions for Sae Hoon. I liked how he danced with Ji Eun in front of his car headlights. Eun Joo is just fantastic and her wealth and emotions are just incredible. She really moves you. Her lovely smiles, sweet voice, warm looks, tearful hopelessness, religious conviction and silent sighs all just break your heart watching her walk through all her mood filled grey. I just wanted to cherish her! Ji Eun is always caught up by her burdened sorrow at not being able to fully help Sae Hoon with his. Little wonder she eventually explodes into anger when past revelations and lies push her to the limit. All these four characters are quite lonely, needful and fragile. I loved them - for me, Eun Joo is easy to love, but Sae Hoon, Jung Min, Mi Ran. too - after all, no matter what disastrous decisions they took, they all went through so much and in many ways and were faultless - but love tears into shreds the raiment of their lives.

    I'll miss it now its finished and I'll never forget Eun Joo Lee. She really got to me this time 'living' with her for part of 26 hours. "Phoenix", about a fire bird that is re-born after intensive trial and destruction, is exactly what this drama is about, but with emotions hurtling into that trial of fire. Maybe a sort of resurrection of love getting re-arranged. Its one hard and painful story and juxtaposed with the sad loss of Eun Joo Lee can amplify the emotion to extreme heights. You'll cry a river with this one.
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  • I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK (DVD) (2-Disc) (Korea Version)I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK (DVD) (2-Disc) (Korea Version)

    I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK (DVD) (2-Disc) (Korea Version) DVD Region 3

    Customer Review Rated Bad 5 - 5.2 out of 10 (13)
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    June 13, 2007 Soo Jung is a Cyborg Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
    Title for Rain: Who'll Love A-lad-in-rain?

    Would if be right to say that Soo Jung Lim's granny's teeth, because SY played a cyborg, were electric teeth? Any body's guess, I suppose.

    I don't think I could be sure on a single viewing of PCW's film if I liked it or not. Although I'm sure there is a reason to why Soo Jung and Rain's characters ended up institutionalized, it could take another viewing to be sure. Maybe. Certainly the film is excellently made. Set designs and editing are mesmerizing (loved the way the intro titling blended into the scenery) and the playfully warped CGI effects are oddly interesting. The whole film is richly made. In a way this film is almost like an extension of the prison scenes in "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance", but with more crazy people and insanity. Its opener was interesting and somewhat Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" by the rows of people making electronic devices for mass output. This was all in the cyborg aspect of Soo Jung's mindset, a regular feature you get throughout the film. Soo Jung is just brilliant in this and no doubt an actress on the forefront of Korean cinema in the future. Her character's 'rational' of dealing with her type of 'seven deadly sins', a sort of systematic self protection code from her effected mind set to her reaction of her grandmother being institutionalized, is talented acting. Rain was good as the personality stealer, but to pick a mainstream singer/actor like him from romance drama is unusual. He has added another string to his bow, though, and at this rate quite a eclectic one. Mind you, I cannot help thinking that if he 'stole' one of the normal people's personalities (a carer for instance) he could have got out of the place. Although, don't take that too seriously.

    "I'm a Cyborg, But That;s Okay" content, though, is not made with 'main stream audience' on the tin. It is a film that is required viewing and considering that a whole percentage is set in a mental institute, it will certainly alienate a large amount of film audience. I can well understand why Rain loving fans could find this film all rather odd. The whole film displays the distorted human condition of what mental illness is and the added fact that most of this film is from the ill patient's point of view than a contrasting normality observation, say of the carers in charge of the them, trying to make sense of all of this is going to be difficult. As for the romance factor? Well, Rain does become eventually aware that the 'Cyborg Girl' may need some help in eating, due to her refusing to eat after family trauma. Rain, here, helps her try to get her to eat rice, as Soo Jung's 'energy' is supplied by her licking batteries and sartorially imagining the energy entering her body, so Rain's character concocts a means of transferring food energy into battery energy. This emotive side of the film could be the part that is more appreciated by a vaster audience - more emotional concern - although don't expect a 'normal' solution of how Rain accomplishes this exactly. And there is a kissing scene (pwphtt!) but again its all very oddball lunacy by the CGI visuals and crazy imaginings of Soo Jung's emotions. At one point there is also a carnage scene which could be more related to the other movies of PWC. But could be uncomfortable viewing at present. Overall, a difficult film to recommend, but certainly different and well made and Soo Jung......she is just fab!
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  • Lover's Concerto (dts)Lover's Concerto (dts)

    Lover's Concerto (dts) DVD Region 3

    Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8.8 out of 10 (22)
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    June 1, 2007 A Masterpeice of Loss and Love Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
    At present I am watching the drama "Phoenix" and with the stories agonizing theme of exiled love (and watching Eun Ju's absolutely melancholic portrayal in this can tear you apart) all caused me to reflect again about Eun Ju's portrayal in "Lover's Concerto". A compete favorite of mine and such a beautifully captivating and emotional film I have had privilege to see. Eun Ju's final scene where she takes photographs of Ji Hwan and the children for me are the most breath taking of her. The music is so incredibly moving, too, with an heart felt and emotive score. Cha Tae-hyun, Lee Eun Ju, Son Yeh Jin and Moon Geung Young give such a luminescent portrayal of natural and mutual love between young people that can, if watched conscientiously, show a transcended nature of what we consider to be a 'loving relationship'. Are we all destined for one to one relationships or biblically speaking, completely sharing all together 'somewhere' a more angelic love that transcends singular love towards a higher plane? These three characters here seem to suggest the latter - if watched carefully through all the emotional noise (and "Phoenix" has a hell of a lot of emotional noise!!!)

    The pastoral feel of LC I find the most captivating, when the three friends are together in the fields or beside the beach, observing each others intricate natures. Like when Ji Hwan and Soo In observe Kyung Hee's childlike beauty as Ji Hwan says, with his camera eye observation, that he could almost literally pick her up and place her in his pocket. Its like watching characters who seem to be in some ethereal spiritual bond ship together. Kyung Hee and Soo In show a passive sisterly love that typifies their mutual commitment to each other in the hospital and when Ji Hwan joins them (after being initially rebuked by Soo In for a date) then begins to partake, gradually, their hallowed union. A type of friendship that can be so easily taken for granted in our time. It is also funny ridiculous, too, like when Ji Hwan is caught peeing in a field full of hidden (at the first instance) crop harvesters and, also, his loud bequest at the cafe window that no matter how he may get rejected by Soo In, his determination to hold on to these two girls as friends seems to him as being the better option. He doesn't bang his head to bits about no intimate relationship happening, or sulks into oblivion, but opts right away, for mere friendship - joining the girls for companionship that eventually leads him into a mutual understanding of supportive love. There is pain along the way and the film becomes a more subdued and soft, bitter sweet film about bond ships, ever changing relationships and this young photographer's search for love.

    For me "Love's Concerto" was also the first time I had ever seen Eun Ju and also reading about her own sad early death in 2005. When I discovered that Eun Ju also played the main theme piano piece, the combination of this situation, music and the film's theme, awed and quite saddened me. In fact on the second viewing, I confess I cried. That little piece of music delivers such emotional power when you realize she is playing it! A fact that she started as a pianist more so than an actress to begin with. All this makes the film, for me, so very poignant.

    Overall, a sad, sweetly funny and very beautiful film. It almost seems like a holy love relationship between the characters here, along with the tragedy portrayed in the film. The beautiful nature of this story can lend it to being, because of the tragedy, more a tale of sorrow than love, but that could depend on how we all view the eternal to the transient lives we all have. Still, if you haven't seen this film yet, I strongly recommend it. Like Eun Ju Lee, who I hope is never ever, ever,ever going to be forgotten, likewise the same about this film.....as surely after watching this it could be certainly very difficult to forget a film with such timeless emotional beauty.
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  • Maundy Thursday (DVD) (Special Limited Edition) (Korea Version)Maundy Thursday (DVD) (Special Limited Edition) (Korea Version)

    Maundy Thursday (DVD) (Special Limited Edition) (Korea Version) DVD Region 3

    Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.6 out of 10 (11)
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    May 18, 2007 Prisons within the soul Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
    Watched this about 2 months ago and wrote the below then - but didn't post it.

    This is certainly a very emotionally charged film. Watching these two people's terrible pasts unfold in flash back about reasons why one killed and another numerously attempts suicide is so well written and performed that you cannot forget about this easily after the movie concludes. In the first instance, the two characters will seem egotistical and self important by their trapped and monochromatic emotions. But as a viewer we are duly free, watching tortured and bound souls, no doubt lost in their own personal tragedies. Only after two thirds through the film, when both of these characters gradually open up to each other at Dong-won's prison visits, do their tumultuous pasts unravel and their tragic lives become revealed. There is a past, a reason of why and how these two people's messed up lives happened. Cannot give spoilers here and ruin a great film, but I can say that the nature of forgiveness towards redemption in this film (the most difficult thing with these circumstances, certainly in the case of a murderer) is its strong essential key - forgive and be forgiven = redemption in the soul. Its a simple but universal power of truthful release in a bound human heart that wins out for that person, if only a truthful heart is released from the 'prison' inside that person's life. Whatever that 'prison' may be.

    Between these two character's communiques (Na Young's prison visiting Maundy Thursday) is how they discover and release in each other their tragic and cruel circumstances that life threw at them. The scenes of remorse of Dong-won's character of the girl he had killed as he is faced with her mother at one point and of Na Young's hateful rejection of her mother, blaming her for the incident that had happened to her as a teenager, are high emotional scenes of gritty drama. Albeit, MT is a sober and sensitive portrait of "death row" and/or suicide situations and parallel to certain people's lives.

    Dong-won Kang and Na Young Lee play two challenging and excellent parts which could be, for the moment, one of their pinnacle roles. They have both a good solid back catalog with "Romance of Their Own" and "Someone Special" respectively, but those films don't exactly have the sort of pathos this film describes. Credit also to the director Hae Sung Song and the screen writers of this film, Min-seok Jang and Eun Young Park, as it will be interesting to see more films by these combined talents. This is an essential South Korean drama movie that should get a more world wide audience. Don't miss this one, but be prepared for a hard viewing.
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  • 1 people found this review helpful

    May 17, 2007 Affairs for the phew! Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7 out of 10
    If ever there was a need for a crash course in ex-marital affairs then this film might just be the one to avoid (sorry, I mean watch, so as to avoid such a possible situation). Although this film does have a very simple story narrative it is a very lively and upbeat and the whole film plays out in a flighty and swift fashion by the delightfully naive and joyful four characters (well apart from Mr Grumpy who doesn't seem to get any luck with Little Bird). Hye Su Kim is very zestful with her highly strung and likable character and all the cast perform well here. Certainly, the theme of this movie could have easily put me off, as like negative gossip, "marital affairs" romance movies as a whole are not really my type of tea, but (apart from the fact that I actually bought this DVD of course) this is not a big issue debate about adultery in general. Its a very light weight film - funny and spirited and at times oddly logical. All the "squeaky springs bedroom shenanigans" are very difficult to take seriously here, too, especially the way the camera alternates quickly from one couple's contrasting motel bed room scene to another, producing some quite funny and ironic moments. One guy cannot get enough passion, the other cannot seem to get anything at all! But, there are also more subtler aspects of this film, which makes it more than a one and three quarter hour romp. Which it isn't.

    Overall, this film could be viewed as another "what women really want from men" excursion by the out come. Women needing more affection, understanding and attention from the overly too passionate needs of the men. The clash of ideals. Well, with these four little tinkers it is, anyway.
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  • The Perfect Couple (DVD) (Limited Edition) (Korea Version)The Perfect Couple (DVD) (Limited Edition) (Korea Version)

    The Perfect Couple (DVD) (Limited Edition) (Korea Version) DVD Region 3

    Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8.3 out of 10 (3)
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    May 11, 2007 For a Couple - only 5% romance Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7 out of 10
    TPC is pretty well a mixture of screwball comedy and serious impassioned drama frolics, although the more serious dramatics often move into slapstick, especially with most of the fight sequences - and Dong Wook keeps well busy in those. A comedy drama in the main, you do get lots of action in this (along with Hyung/Cupid's fish stick just missing Dong Wook's heart), but the pyrotechnics are mainly satirical. As a romantic film, its only really about 5% in this case as the 'romance' or 'couple' elements become more of a wink at the audience in suggesting that the two intrepid heroes here may actually fall in love with one other at the finish, when in fact the romance, is also played out as pure caricature. In fact you could have a 'spot the romance competition' with this film due to the lack of one. Most of the time Dong Wook and Hyung are surviving each others 'pillow fight' verbal banters as Hyung tries to orchestrate the cops into her endeavor to catch criminals and using Dong Wook as her stooge. The humor, though, in this film didn't quite hit the mark for me (Hyung is much directly funnier in "My Wife is a Gangster 3") and although there are some good humorous moments,especially in the opener, there doesn't seem a enough to highly recommend it as a great comedy. Its a good capers movie, and the two leads give good performances and its definitely worth a watch, but don't expect side splitting moments.

    I like Hyung Young, though, and she is certainly a talented actress to look out more for in the future. She has made some fine roles lately, is very astute and honed in her comedy craft and quite vibrant and energetic personality on and off screen. It will be interesting to see what other comedy roles she does. Or even drama! I have also enjoyed this and Dong Wook's last movie "Arang" and its interesting to see him in further projects since his fame enhanced role in "My Girl", but, Dong Wook, not surely another cop in the next one. Overall, a very screwball action comedy with 5% romance and lots of slapstick to the action bits.
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  • My Wife Is a Gangster 3 (DTS) (Korea Version)My Wife Is a Gangster 3 (DTS) (Korea Version)

    My Wife Is a Gangster 3 (DTS) (Korea Version) DVD Region 3

    Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8.8 out of 10 (5)
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    May 8, 2007 Brilliant Comedy Capers! Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10
    If any are wondering if this third outing of the MWIAG series is in any way going to meet up to the original, cast out all fears as this film is a sure fire hit! Shu Qi integrates nicely as the sharp and well performed Chinese lady gangster, fits into the role perfectly and her character's style is pretty well an extension of Eun-kyung Shin's portrayal in the preceding two films. What makes this a sure fire hit, though, are the excellent talents of Bum Soo Lee and Hyun Young as two of the most funniest characters yet in the series and as part of a quartet of very colorful and funny gangster characters. Bum Soo performs here as a goofy "lovable rouge" gang boss assigned to protect Shu Qi's character (hopelessly to heroic) from a turf war in her home land and the brilliant Hyun Young (who is also recently in "The Perfect Couple") plays out pitch prefect comedy as Bum Soos gang's Chinese/Korean translator and along with the two very funny stooges under Bum Soo's wing, make it one of the most funniest comedy groupings I have seen for a while in a Korean movie. Hyun's toying of Bum Soo's two gang members throughout the movie, by interpreting Shu Qi's Chinese into Korean a 'little bit different than she is speaking' so to get the upper hand, is memorable cinema. Hyun Young is fabulous in this film, so funny and her presence in this movie is sure to produce the high taking point.

    The film also runs along at a nicely paced tempo with the 4 buffoonery gang characters performing all the comedy alongside the 'straight gal' action aspects of Shu Qi's fighting character - and as a complete combo are a very well cast and brilliant mix. The 'wife' aspect also fits into this film and isn't a throwaway title as it could have ben, although to say more about that would spoil the plot. The script is very funny too (you guessed), witty, sharp and full of future anecdotes. Check out the naughty car chase with Shi Qi and Bum Soo mid way through! Action wise there is most likely as much as there was in the previous two films and the fighting scenes are choreographed very well with a showdown at one point between Shu Qi and another Chinese female gang assassin that could be a nod towards what could have been the duel between Eun-kyung Shin and Ziyi Zhang if that original concept had happened. But this film is far more recommended for its comedy than a martial arts action flick in the main. The original film may still hold as the best one, due to it being a unique styled film, but no doubt that this third outing is lots of fun and worth every minute of your time - don't miss this one!
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  • World of Silence (DVD) (Korea Version)World of Silence (DVD) (Korea Version)

    World of Silence (DVD) (Korea Version) DVD Region 3

    Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)
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    May 1, 2007 More than meets the eye Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
    There are things in this film that are not exactly how you first 'see' them and people's superficial surfaces as unreliable descriptions are its main theme. That's what the mysterious main character describes here (performed excellently by Sang Kyung Kim) as he understands people more by their hearts than their minds, even of the unfortunate girl of his youth that he loved and lost. The film's promotional photography, though, and of its impactive imagery depicting a quite creepy nature, the obvious plot synopsis of kidnap and the film's alternate title "Missing Girl" could put some people off about weird guys behind bushes, but in fact there is a lot more heart and soul about this film when you get to its core. So don't let that put you off as there is a good film here! Its a murder mystery thriller and with very dark undertones, but also an emotive and quite sensitive movie (albeit there is a dodgy character lurking around off view of the 'stage') and definitely not a grim soulless piece of cinema that it could so easily have been. And to refrain the leitmotiv again- things on the surface are not always as you first imagine how you 'see' them.

    The acting is well performed with a fine cast including Yong-woo Park returning after scaring us with his girl in his last movie and playing here a strained out cop on the case (well after "Scary Girl"....what can you expect!). The plot I found absorbing and paced well with a blend of light humorous moments to balance the dark nature of its subject matter. But although dark, this film isn't overly nasty, gory, obscene or even too ambiguous towards psychological twisters style - its an overall clear cut mystery thriller with strong emotional and insightful content that flows well through out.

    At the outcome where you get the whodunit part, the scenario may seem like its been 'done before' (although I didn't guess the perpetrator...duh!) but I found the essence of the plot leaving something with you after watching and a wider picture emerges that can give a more positive light to the tragedy that is revealed. Okay, I know I sound as clear as mud on a foggy day, but to mention too much plot here would spoil the film. Its certainly different to your usual crime dramas (ironically, a genre I'm not to nuts about) and I would certainly recommend this as one of the better films from South Korea from 2006.
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