No Mercy For The Rude (2006)

Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama














No Mercy for the Rude (Yeui-eomneun geotdeul) is movie written and directed by Cheol-hie Park, so far his only one, which is a shame, because judging from this work, he is really good at what he does.

A chef who dreams to become a matador. Embarrassed to talk, playing mute since childhood because of his tongue deformation, he decides to fix this, but a lot of money is required for corrective operation. Unable to provide it with usual means, he becomes a hitman for local crime organization. A hitman who vows to kill only ones whom he consider rude.

While sulking in bars, he meets a prostitute, who somehow forcibly pushes herself into his life. Then there's a homeless boy, whom he meets by chance and becomes his caretaker. With this makeshift family by his side, his quite miserable life slowly starts to unravel itself.

But good things usually don't last... bad fortune smiles upon him, just few jobs short to his goal, he makes a mistake during hit and gets into a huge mess with local crime figures.


It's hard for me to find words to properly describe this movie, it just leaves such a different impression after watching it, that no plot summary could explain. It's dramatic, violent, with some nudity, and grim humor. And all these things intersect freely between each other, which might surprise viewers used to western movies.


The cinematography is brilliant, soundtrack is absolutely amazing, featuring latin rhythms and mesmerizing use of Anita Lane cover of Bella Ciao.

But the strongest part it's the actors performance. Starring Ha-kyun Shin whom is fantastic actor, known for many famous Korean movies. His narration and portrayal of this difficult character, who imposes himself to be a real macho, wearing leather, and sunglasses, while overdoing it, even at night, while underneath being and dreaming something entirely different.

This movie carries that character archetype, seen in movies like A Bittersweet Life, The Man From Nowhere and Leon: The Professional which I absolutely adore.

I really hope to see more from this director in future. Highly recommended.

DVD from Amazon

Thirst (2009)

Genre: Drama, Horror














Thirst (Bakjwi) is a vampire movie by one of the best South Korean directors - Chan-wook Park, famous abroad for his Oldboy. This horrific love story earned director prestigious Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.

Sang-hyeon (Kang-ho Song) is a well liked and devoted catholic priest who is helping at local hospital, providing reconciliation to patients at their last hours. While appearing strong on outside, Sang-hyeon is internally hurting by the suffering in the world and his inability to help. Giving everything, he participates in risky medical experiment to find a cure for deadly virus. Things go wrong and he (nearly) dies, but is saved by blood transfer, and quickly recovers fully.


A days pass and he became aware of changes that happen in him, physically and psychologically. After these event, he is being viewed as messianic figure in his town. People flock to him for some kind of salvation. Among them is his childhood friend, and his wife that he fells in love with. Struggling with what little of humanity is left in him, being used by the wife and others, doing things he would never have imagined doing  he tries to make it right.


Another great work from Chan-wook Park, having excellent cast at his disposal, he makes a different kind of vampire movie, trademarked by his use of excessive violence an beautiful cinematography. Some unseen and impressive displays of supernatural powers of creatures of the night.

Abusive and grotesque love story, full of (blood) lust, sex and violence. Where everything ends in a beautiful sunrise in a memorable finale.

Exceptional. Highly recommended.

Blu-rayDVD from Amazon
Blu-ray (UK) | DVD from YesAsia

Save The Green Planet (2003)

Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama, Sci-fi














Save The Green Planet (Jigureul jikyeora!) is a debut, and so far only feature movie by director and screenwriter Joon-Hwan Jang. It was nominated and won many awards across the globe, recognizing directors talent.

Lee Byeong-gu (Ha-kyun Shin) is ordinary white collar worker, but he has a secret, or rather he knows THE secret, the big conspiracy. Aliens are living among the humans and are to blame for all problems occurring in society and in his personal life. And what he knows for sure is that soon aliens are gonna make their final attack and destroy the earth. For Lee Byeong-gu it's understandable that he is the only one who can prevent it, to do so he has to get into contact with their leader, alien Prince. With help of his not so normal girlfriend, he kidnaps CEO of company he works for, whom he believes is high ranked alien disguised as human. He tortures him, trying to expose his alien nature and to force him to make a contact with Prince.


To call it really bizarre, is a light way of describing this work. Containing seemingly unbelievable mix of genres, such as comedy, drama, action, science fiction and even horror, or torture flick, this film makes all of it work together flawlessly in this one fine piece of cinema.

A movie that you probably haven't seen anything alike before. Highly recommended if you are in search of something... weird?

DVD from Amazon
DVD from YesAsia

Guns and Talks (2001)

Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama














Guns and Talks (Killerdeului suda) is action comedy from 2001, directed and written by Jin Jang, who also produced and wrote Welcome to Dongmakgol.

Story about freshly formed group of contract killers in Seoul, who are just starting to make their own name in the business. They complete the task of killing in any way client requests to. This group consists of two brothers, Sang-yeon (Hyeon-jun Shin) and Ha-yeon (Bin Won), and two of their friends Jae-yeong (Jae-yeong Jeong)  and Jung-woo (Ha-kyun Shin).

Business is going well, until one day they have to do a high risk job, while discovering that someones onto them.

While it's a movie about killers, it's more of a light comedy about inner relationships in the group with action parts, and some drama mixed in. Whats great is that you can observe still young actors who few years later would become some of the top stars in Korea, like Bin Won, known for The Man from Nowhere and Mother for whom Guns and Talks was debut movie.

Entertaining flick thats worth a watch. 

DVD from Amazon

Welcome to Dongmakgol (2005)

Genre: War, Drama, Comedy














Welcome to Dongmakgol (Welkkeom tu Dongmakgol ) is another great debut from new generation of Korean directors. It went to be 4th highest grossing South Korean movie of all time, and was official entry for best foreign language movie of 2005 Academy Awards. So far it's directors Kwang-Hyun Park only movie, currently his new project is in casting stage, and is something to keep an eye for.


Movies is set during Korean War of 1950. Soldiers from both sides of once united country and American plane pilot find themselves in a strange village among the mountains, whose inhabitants live hermit lifestyle unaware of what is happening in world around them. They get involved in villages life with help of a really odd girl who lives there. Soon however leisure time ends, and dangers of war are approaching this haven of peace.

It's comical and tragic story, showing how senseless the war is. How easy it is for friends to become enemies, and enemies become friends.

Great cast, beautiful cinematography and touching story. A must see.

DVD from Amazon.
OST from YesAsia.

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005)

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller














As a final movie of Chan-wook Park's Vengeance trilogy (movies are not connected by plot, only by theme, so viewing order is not important!), Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (Chinjeolhan geumjassi) is likely the darkest one.

After thirteen and half years in prison for kidnapping and murdering boy, a crime she did not commit, Geum-ja Lee (Yeong-ae Lee) is released. With help of her former inmates from prison she plots her gruesome revenge against real killer, kindergarden English teacher Mr. Baek (played by Choi Min-sik).



Movie highly praised for it's spectacular cinematography.

There is Director Cut of this movie called "Fade to Black and White version", where colors slowly fade to black and white as the movie progresses, as if adopting to the general mood of it's characters, really enhancing experience. In west it can be found on Vengeance Trilogy Blu-ray.


A must see for any Korean movie fan!


Blu-ray | DVD
Vengeance trilogy Blu-ray from Amazon.

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller














Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (Boksuneun naui geot) is first movie of directors Chan-wook Park's Vengeance trilogy (movies are not connected by plot, only by theme, so viewing order is not important!), following his previous commercially successful and well received title Joint Security Area.

Story about Ryo (Ha-kyun Shin), a deaf worker with sister who needs a kidney transplant. Unable to help her by conventional means, he meets illegal organ dealers, and the criminals propose that he gives them his kidney and ten million Won to obtain a kidney suitable for his sister. Ryu accepts the trade, but he does not have money to pay for the surgery. His radical girlfriend convinces him to kidnap the daughter of his former employer, Park (Kang-ho Song) and extort money from him. However when least expected, a tragedy happens, which sets this story on path of vengeance.

Brilliant movie and a great start of a trilogy. Highly recommended.

Blu-ray | DVD
Vengeance trilogy Blu-ray from Amazon.