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South Korean movies are great.

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posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 04:31 PM
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If you're fed up being disappointed when the latest movie releases are advertised like it's the second coming only to be let down miserably when you see them, or you're just bored with the same old..., and the telly is crap, then why not try South Korea for your entertainment?

For such a small country the South Koreans do make some of the greatest movies that most people have never heard of and the good news is that most of them are available on DVD.

Some ATS members might already be fans, but for the uninitiated this is for you. And if anyone finds a gem of a K movie please post here. I'm interested if nobody else is. And FEDec cos he asked me to do this


I've seen dozens of Korean movies and can say at least 50% are on the very good to brill end of the scale. K movies are usually always slick, shiny, polished and professional. Even the not so good ones look amazing so were worth the watch just for that reason. Can you honestly say that about mainstream Hollywood productions? I'd say maybe 5-10% or am I being too harsh?

-------- The first rule for maximum enjoyment is - you must watch them SUBBED (subtitled) and not DUBBED (fakey silly voiceovers) and here's why. (sorry subs missing from this but listen to the voices.) Huge difference.

The Man From Nowhere aka Ajusshi


---------next tip - A lot of K movies have more than one title, sometimes 3 or 4, so try not to buy the same one twice by mistake because it's under a different name.

---------IMDB is a great tool but sometimes without enough votes the marks out of 10 are not to be trusted. Trust me.

--------another thing is nearly every character has a three syllable name, two if they're on first name terms, sometimes you can lose track of the storyline because you're trying to remember who is who, but you'll get used to this quickly. And they are really so enjoyable that you'll want a second viewing anyway.

So for K fans, or if you want that new experience, here's a small selection of the best Korean movies. There are loads more. In no particular order -

Welcome to Dongmakgol
Castaway on the Moon
Memories of Murder
Peppermint Candy
Oasis
The Good, the Bad, the Weird
Crying Fist
Bittersweet Life
Oldboy
71: Into the Fire
Silmido
Taegukgi (Brotherhood)
Once Upon a Time in High School (Spirit of Jeet kune do)
Troubleshooter
The Man From Nowhere
President's Last Bang
The Host
The Classic
Children
The Unjust
Thirst
Sympathy For Mr Vengeance
Lady Vengeance
The Chaser
I saw the Devil

Any movie with these actors is definitely worth a watch too - these are just some of the A-listers.

Sol Kyung-gu (my favourite)

Choi Min-sik (can be very scary)
Jeong Jae-yeong (one of the coolest)
Hwang Jung-min
Song Kang-ho
Lee Byun-hun
Kim Yoon-seok
Won Bin
Park Yong-woo
Shin Ha-kyun
Ryu Seung-bum

Some great directors whose movies you can watch out for-
Park Chan-wook
Ryu Seung-wan
Chang Dong-lee
Ha Yu
Lee Hae-jun
Kwak Jae-young

Some trailers, clips, and leads to full movies on youtube.






Remember - subbed not dubbed.

edit on 5-9-2011 by wigit because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 04:44 PM
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Originally posted by wigit
...then why not try South Korea for your entertainment?



I'll thow a "+1" for this thread.
I've watched lots of Korean movies, and I'll watch a lot more. Wont put any suggestions forward because everyone's tastes differ, but like any movie industry, you can get comedy, drama, action, horror... etc.
Pick one you like.



posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 04:49 PM
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the forgot the host! it's hilarious, and scary and probably one of the coolest monster movies i've ever seen




posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 05:14 PM
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S Korea's movies have come a looooong way~
Seriously fun to watch...although I may be a bit biased, being a Korean, myself. lol


But don't forget: Korean TV Shows/Dramas are awesome too!
Korea's production value has skyrocketed in these past years, truly fun to watch.

Good thing is, because they've become so popular recently, there's a bunch of sites you can stream them too:
viki, dramafever, etc....

It's hard for me to add any to your list, OP. You've listed some of my favorites!



posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 06:15 PM
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NICE! Personally I get a moment of ecstasy every time a movie starts out with one of these:





I haven't seen every movie Wigit said but the ones I have are rightfully on his list. The other ones I will be seeking out in short order. I think the biggest obstacle to even seasoned western movie watchers getting into K-cinema is the unique way Koreans view terrible situations. Koreans will often try to find humour even in some of the most jaw-droppingly tragic situations. I have heard wannabe critics describe this as a lack of direction or ability to frame a mood but I don't think that is the case.

They had their country split apart and ravaged by a war that is still fresh in the cultural memory. Koreans are just less prone to sympathize with emo woe-is-me navel gazing. Having been through said ravages I think they are also more likely to see the good or amusing in awful scenarios.

Anyways here are some movies I would suggest:
-(At least the first two) "My Wife is a gangster". No it's not the Chosun Citizen Kane but what it is, is a really good action comedy that seamlessly cuts through cultural barriers. No versing in Korean comedy required to get these jokes. "eh oppa"


-"City of Violence" Probably my favorite action movie of all time and one of the most brutal. From straight punches to huge knives, one on one fights to massive street brawls. This movie has it all.

-"R-point" A horror movie set during the Vietnam war. A group of Korean soldiers are sent to rescue a missing platoon after an eerie radio transmission.

-"I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK" From the Director of Oldboy. I usually recommend this to friends with the line "The most ****ed up romantic comedy you will ever see".

-"Blood Rain" No this has nothing to do with Uwe Boll. A brilliant period costume drama/murder mystery. Ghosts of the past return to haunt an isolated island village during a visit by a provincial magistrate. Great acting, Great costumes and extremely beautiful scenery which is of course shot really well.

-"The Quiet Family" Takashi Miike later remade this as the happiness of the Katakuris. About a family who run a rural resort who will resort to anything to keep a secret. Hee see what I did there? Huh? Why aren't you laughing?

These are all pretty intense. The following are less intense but not as much my cup of tea and a bit harder to break into culturally:
-"Chihwaseon"(I think I spelled that right) About a famed Korean painter. Some really beautiful scenes in this.

-"My Sassy Girl" I dont know quite how to describe this. The rise and fall of a doomed relationship? Has some pretty touching scenes and gives you an interesting look into Korean culture. I almost thought it was made specifically for foreigners.

-"Hahaha" It is going to take another viewing to totally get this movie. It is basically a comedy focused on old friends catching up. However as the movie shows what they admit to and what the truth is are different indeed. you almost certainly wont pee yourself laughing but if you enjoy movies with vastly different viewpoints you will probably like this.



posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 06:17 PM
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Originally posted by bojimbo
S Korea's movies have come a looooong way~
Seriously fun to watch...although I may be a bit biased, being a Korean, myself. lol


But don't forget: Korean TV Shows/Dramas are awesome too!
Korea's production value has skyrocketed in these past years, truly fun to watch.

Good thing is, because they've become so popular recently, there's a bunch of sites you can stream them too:
viki, dramafever, etc....

It's hard for me to add any to your list, OP. You've listed some of my favorites!



What is some good TV you can suggest? That is one area where my knowledge is lacking.



posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 06:57 PM
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reply to post by FEDec
 


I have to admit HA HA HA is the only K movie I've switched off, after about 20 minutes. Is it worth a second look?

City of Violence is one of those ones that I think looks spectacular but I got a bit lost with the story-line. I don't know if it was lost in translation or just a shoddy script. Worth a watch though because it looks magnificent and ever so cool.

I haven't seen Iris the movie but I'm up to part 10 of the TV series. Great stuff.

Haven't watched the Cyborg one yet either.

It takes a special talent to make a serious movie and add comedy to it without spoiling the whole thing. Koreans are good at that. The Unjust and the Host are 2 examples. Brilliant.

reply to post by mzungu
 


The Host is probably my number 1 monster flick too. Did you know the director saw a strange thing hanging from under that same bridge when he was a child and so decided to make a movie about it? Great story for ATS,


This is brilliant. Cast away on the moon.


Korean Movie Montage
edit on 5-9-2011 by wigit because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 07:16 PM
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I have to admit HA HA HA is the only K movie I've switched off, after about 20 minutes. Is it worth a second look?


To this day I am not exactly sure. Later on in the movie It gets a bit more interesting but yeah the pacing is glacial and the characters aren't very interesting at first. I found myself wanting to watch it all the way through just to get a sense of what it was going for. Though whether from cultural barriers or just a failed concept I couldn't quite get into it. I mainly wanted to post it because it is among the few non-violent Korean movies I've seen.


City of Violence is one of those ones that I think looks spectacular but I got a bit lost with the story-line. I don't know if it was lost in translation or just a shoddy script. Worth a watch though because it looks magnificent and ever so cool.


Oh yeah, the story is pretty inconsequential I just love love love the action sequences. Actually the first few times I watched it I was unable to find any subs and it still amazed me.



posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 07:31 PM
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reply to post by FEDec
 


I have watched a couple without subs to see if I can understand Korean, lol. I worked out the swear words so far.

I also watch the mediocre ones too if my favourite actors are in them. Guns and Talks being one. Filled with great actors but a poor story. Worth it to see Jae-yeong Jeong with long hair IMO



posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 08:40 PM
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Its been the same with me, execpt I went on a Japanese movie binge, but I have seen a ton of those movies and totally agree, they are great. My fav is Old Boy..which is being re made in hollywood and Will Smith is in it....so we'll see how they jack that one up...



posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 08:42 PM
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Originally posted by wigit
reply to post by FEDec
 


I have watched a couple without subs to see if I can understand Korean, lol. I worked out the swear words so far.

I also watch the mediocre ones too if my favourite actors are in them. Guns and Talks being one. Filled with great actors but a poor story. Worth it to see Jae-yeong Jeong with long hair IMO


You gotta love Korean swearing is all hissing and throat clearing. One of my first bosses was Korean. When I didn't have anything to do I used to love listening to him talk on the phone. It would be all normal one minute then all of a sudden he would make a sound like he was trying to gargle without mouthwash. I loved that guy he used to make me food all the time, the dude was always in a good mood no matter what.

The only word I ever really picked up was Iliwa it means come here.



posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 08:44 PM
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Originally posted by DrakeDarc
Its been the same with me, execpt I went on a Japanese movie binge, but I have seen a ton of those movies and totally agree, they are great. My fav is Old Boy..which is being re made in hollywood and Will Smith is in it....so we'll see how they jack that one up...


From what I heard it's been scrapped so don't worry too much. Bollywood made a remake of it which from what I heard was surprisingly brutal.



posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 08:51 PM
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reply to post by FEDec
 


Hmm, off the top of my head:

City Hunter - Very recent, highly recommended as I just finished watching this series

IRIS - fun, secret agent action
[King of Baking/Baker King] Kim Tak Goo - action/drama of a young man finding his way through life
Will it Snow for Christmas - melodrama
Scent of a Woman - comedy, Not the Al Pachino movie lol
Personal Taste - funny, dramedy
My Princess - lighthearted, re-discovered royalty
Flames of Desire - classic example of deceptive, viciousness
East of Eden

I've enjoyed each one of these. I hope they fit your media taste buds~
I enjoy a wide variety of genres, sorry if it's like a buckshot of themes!
edit on 5-9-2011 by bojimbo because: additions and subtractions



posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 09:20 PM
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Originally posted by bojimbo
I've enjoyed each one of these. I hope they fit your media taste buds~
I enjoy a wide variety of genres, sorry if it's like a buckshot of themes!


No problem, that is exactly what I was hoping for!

Ok this is going to sound really naive but I've been wondering for a long time. When you see a really rough highschool in Korean movies is that just fiction? Or is there a grain of truth to that?



posted on Sep, 6 2011 @ 06:52 AM
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reply to post by FEDec
 


Haha, well I'd say, there's some grain of truth to it, depending on where you're location is, in Korea. (drama-tized, of course)
There's some rough and nice schools around. But lots of kids, that want to be 'gangsturs' truly do exist! aha

In my experience:
A rough high school in Korean drama = a rough high school in South Philadelphia (where I later immigrated to, coincidentally lol)
A nice high school in Korean drama = a nice high school in the 'burbs

From what I see though, its steadily changing (mostly for the good)....as are most places in the world these days.

edit on 6-9-2011 by bojimbo because: corrected unintended ko-nglish typo



posted on Sep, 6 2011 @ 09:53 AM
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reply to post by FEDec
 


I wondered that too. Lots of bullying from fellow pupils and teachers, and even teachers whacking teachers in front of pupils. I suppose a lot of it spills over from their national service. We do have bullying in our schools and teachers were quite brutal in the past but not now. I wonder if Korea is just the same and if it's mellowed. I'm thinking of movies like The Classic and Once Upon a Time in High School but I'm sure they were set in the 70s.

What amuses me more is the head slapping and bowing. In the UK a cuff around the head was the norm till a few years ago, now you'd be up in the courts for that behaviour. It seems in Korea your boss can beat you up as much as he likes whether you're a gang member or a shop assistant. It's quite funny because it's so different.

And in more than one movie I've heard something like "bow lower, show respect", or "who do you think you are not bowing to me," - Failan, or "I'm older than you." It's kind of nice to see that respect but I'm sure in real life it can be frustrating and maybe a bit like a caste system to the "inferior" person. The serious respect for family is the best, there's not much of that around in the West any more.

And apologies are different too. If I stood on a neighbour's toe I'd say "sorry, mate" or "I'm very sorry". In the Korean movies we see them on their knees grovelling or stripping till things are forgiven - The Unjust, or even cash payments for causing the trouble, as in - Like a Virgin.



edit on 6-9-2011 by wigit because: speling misteaks



posted on Sep, 6 2011 @ 01:19 PM
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Sorry to be "that guy" that has to ask "lawl is ur country really like dat?" It's just that some of the movies I've seen sort of frame it as an accepted right of passage. On the other hand 99.9% of the Koreans I've met in real life are really nice. Like literally give you the shirt off their back nice.



posted on Sep, 6 2011 @ 01:30 PM
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reply to post by wigit
 


Hi wigit, thanks so much for this thread! Obviously you put some time into it, and I can't do you justice with a proper resonse to all the info contained right now - I will say, S&F so I can take my time to go through and explore - I'll check back when I'm more up to speed - thanks again!


CJ



posted on Sep, 6 2011 @ 10:58 PM
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reply to post by bojimbo
 


Whoa, so just watched the first episode of City Hunter. The production values are amazing. Not that I expected it to look cheap or anything but this is above and beyond. It easily rivals or surpasses anything I've seen out of the UK. At least in terms of production and the story is pretty cool too, I loves me a good revenge story. I'll be watching this one through thanks bojimbo.
edit on 6-9-2011 by FEDec because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 7 2011 @ 04:31 AM
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I couldn't resist posting this clip.

The best part of - My Wife is a Gangster where she's getting that makeover.



reply to post by DrakeDarc
 


You should start a Japanese movie thread for us. I've only seen a handful. A list of the greats and who and what to look out for would be fantastic.
edit on 7-9-2011 by wigit because: (no reason given)






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