January 27, 2013

Voice of a Murderer (2007)

Genre: Drama, Thriller














Voice of a Murderer (Geu nom moksori) is attempt at crime genre from a director who is mostly known for his romance and drama movies - Jin-pyo Park, and it's quite a successful attempt at that, a highly grossing and recognized at many movie festivals effort.

Han Kyung-bae (Kyung-gu Sol) is a famous TV news anchor, who enjoys his fame and because of his success is preparing to take large steps forward to significantly advance his career. While all of his focus is shifted to work, his family, a beautiful wife and not so perfect son, is put on hold.



It all changes when one evening his son doesn't come back home from playground. A phone rings, and conversation begins that will control Han Kyung-bae and his wife's life for many tiring and sorrowful days.

In a similar manner (especially the ending if I might point it out) to remarkable Memories of Murder this film tells a story based on a true events that happened in South Korea. Movie deals with kidnapping and devastating emotional effect it produces on family members, parents in particular, also touching on ineptness of police force that is commonly displayed in oh so many Korean movies.


It may not contain masterful execution and brilliant touch for visuals that director of Memories of Murder Bong Joon-ho and his team posses, but nonetheless it's a solid and suspenseful thriller. Backed up by really solid cast choice of talented Kyung-gu Sol as a father in distress.

A good movie for fans of crime genre, a bit on a long side, but well worth a watch.

DVD from Amazon

January 17, 2013

First screen from Snowpiercer (2013)

Following some recent concept art releases (Read More) of brilliant Korean directors Joon-ho Bong (The Host, Mother, Memories of Murder) upcoming Hollywood debut Snowpiercer, we now have our first look at screen from actual movie featuring his long time collaborator and extremely talented Korean actor Kang-ho Song.


Snowpiercer is an upcoming sci-fi thriller based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige. Plot summary from wikipedia:
The film is set in a future where, after a failed experiment to stop global warming, an Ice Age kills off all life on the planet except for the inhabitants of the Snow Piercer, a train that travels around the globe and is powered by a sacred perpetual-motion engine. A class system evolves on the train but a revolution brews.
To be seen in cinemas later this year.




January 14, 2013

Castaway on the Moon (2009)

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance














Castaway on the Moon (Kimssi pyoryugi) was a positive surprise to me when I saw it, coming from quite unknown director Hey-jun Lee for whom this movies so far is the biggest and most recognized work that gathered some amount of awards in Asian region.

A man burdened by debts, failed relationships and job that drains him has had enough. He makes suicide attempt jumping from the bridge into river Han. But by accident he survives and wakes up being washed upon a shore of small uninhabited island in the midst of river. Finding himself in silly situation, where civilization is all around him, yet he cannot escape. He tries to find a way to leave the island and still is determined to end his life, but slowly as he adjusts to peaceful rhythm of the island, his resolve changes. He finds reasons to continue.

 A girl, that had some kind of traumatic experience earlier in her life, hiding behind her computer screen, pretending on the internet to be someone else, someone beautiful, successful and happy, wanting to be appreciated by people she's never seen. Living secluded in her crammed room, never going out. The only thing that brings genuine happiness to her is pictures of the moon, that she takes during the night, from her window. "You cannot be lonely in a place where there is no one around." is what moon represents to her. One time she points her camera at the island and sees a man, and large letters carved in sand spelling - HELP.

While obviously those of you who watch a lot of movies, will make a connection to famous movie Cast Away with Tom Hanks, title and even the plot outlines are very similar. You might even think it's a remake of said movie with added a bit of Korean twist, but I assure you it's not. It's genuinely good movie able to stand on it's own.


A touching story of two troubled people who by chance make a connection. Both are taking a break from the outside world. Both are damaged in their own ways. And while dealing with hard issues, it's essentially a positive movie that emphasizes importance of hope. To call it simply a love story would do no justice for it attempts to expand on many other matter.

Essentially this movie is two actor show (Jae-yeong Jeong & Ryeowon Jung) as we see only them for most part of the movie, but what a great job they did, believable and enjoyable performances, supported by excellent cinematography and enhanced by directors skillful ability to bring out raw emotions from the viewers.

Highly recommended. Black bean noodles.

Blu-ray from Amazon
DVD (R3) from YesAsia