Seen in Jeonju

Archive for April, 2011

Index of the 70s: Byeon Jang-ho

30th April 2011

In the 1970s, director Byeon Jang-ho helmed 31 movies. I have already posted all the films from 1970 to 1973, and 17 of those were directed by Byeon.  Below are the other 14 films he created in that decade.  Just click the thumbnail to enlarge. You can also see the others movies Byeon made  in this period by clicking the tab marked ‘1970s’ at the top of this page where you can find all the films from 1970-79 listed by director.

byunjangho blackbutterfly, byunjangho weddingdress2, byunjangho executioner, byunjangho womanlikecrane, byunjangho storyofyouth, byunjangho common, byunjangho redgate, byunjangho missoapt, byunjangho yeongah, byunjangho lightgoesoff, byunjangho zerowoman, byunjangho eulhwa, byunjangho miss0apt2, byunjangho happiness

Posted in K-Movie Index | Comments Off

Jesus Is My Boss (2001)

26th April 2011

lposter016456Back in June 2002, the Japanese-Korean co-production, Jesus Is My Boss opened in a limited number of theaters and quickly disappeared.  The subject matter did not particularly interest me and I, like most of the nation, did not go to see it. I did not think about it for many years until –October 2009 to be exact (I keep records of things like that)– I saw it listed on the site I buy DVDs. I ordered it along with R.U Ready, Turn It Up and Oolala Sisters… not one of my stellar moments. I then proceeded not to watch it until this past weekend.  I was informed that it was Easter… a holiday I haven’t really thought of in decades. As kids I liked egg hunts, chocolate rabbits and marshmallow peeps. We would have a duck dinner, watch Here Comes Peter Cotton Tail and the Ten Commandments. Come to think of it, I don’t why that latter film was shown annually on is religious but not very Eastery.  Anyway, after learning it was Easter, I thought I would watch an Easter-themed movie.  Going through my DVD collection, I quickly learned I have no movies about bunnies delivering colored eggs. While many of the movies I have contain religious plot elements–like Possessed or Untold Scandal– they did not seem to fit the bill. It appears I only have two movies that deal more directly with biblical themes; David and Goliath (directed in 1983 by Kim Cheong-gi, creator of Robot Taekwon V) and Jesus Is My Boss (directed by Koichi Saito, who never directed again). I tried watching Kim’s David when I bought the movie and not enough time has passed to make me want to attempt that again (It’s only been five years–were there bears in the Bible?–I have vague memories of David fighting a bear in that movie and even that, like the rest of the cartoon, was tedious)  So I went with Jesus Is My Boss.

Actually, this choice is probably more appropriate for the holiday. For one, just look at the above poster. A man carrying a cross from one end of Japan to the other and on to Korea in order to atone for his sins. Not only can’t you get more Eastery than that but the Korean titles is Mission Barabba, Barabba being the Aramaic name of Barabbas, the criminal who Pontius Pilate allegedly freed instead of Jesus in the cruxifiction story. 

The movie focuses on Yuji and Shima, member of rival branches of the Yakuza in Japan. These two share much in common. They both begin the film as ruthless killers loyal to their bosses, they both have Korean wives waiting patiently and praying fervently for their redemption and they both are eventually betrayed by the gangs they placed their faith in. Their reactions to betrayal are quite different, however. Yuji promises his wife that he will start over. After listening to another former Yakuza member give a sermon in church, Yuji gets the idea that he can attone for his sins by building a cross and carrying it from one end of Japan to the other. Along the way, he meets other gangsters and thugs who join him in his march. Shimi, however, wants to prove his worth to the Yakuza and decides that the only way he can do that is by killing his former rival, Yuji. 

This is really a terrible movie. The first half of the 139 minute film action. Gang fights, shootouts and general mayhem. That might be ok if done well, but it wasn’t. It was done more like a Korean action film from the mid 90’s.  Don’t know what I mean? Search out Charisma (1996), Unfixed (1996) or the unfathomable Underground (also 1996) and you will understand.  The scenes poorly edited, choppy and with laughable action. In this movie, their was a high gore factor with graphic dismemberments but, it was so over-the-top as to be unrealistic and did not change the films rating of ‘for ages 15 or higher.’  The second half of the film was not shy in its intention of promoting Christianity and was annoying me with it whole convert and be saved theme (I know, I know… I should have been expecting that and I was..I just have a low tolerance for it)  Both of those problems are simply a matter of tastes–someone else may have enjoyed them. However, the film had bigger problem I found even more grating. It seemed very anti-Japanese.

Every Japanese male in the movie was Yakuza or former Yakuza. Every Korean in the film was a kneel-down-and-pray-with-me Christian. There is a strange sugar-coating of hostilities expressed in the film. More than one character says something like, “There are many good Japanese people BUT…”  and the ‘compassionate’ Korean priest working in Japan scolds Yuji wife (a Korean) for marrying him. “Did your parents approve of you marrying a Japanese?’ he asks and upon receiving negative reply launches into a story of how he was forced as a young priest to do missionary work in Japan and how much he hated it. This made me question why he was still there– he clearly was has been out of the seminary for a good 30 years. It seems to me he could have asked for a transfer of parishes…

Then again, maybe he did. The film was primarily in Japanese and so I had to rely on the English subtitles. But these were horrible! They required translation in their own right for me to understand. And at several points in the film, the subtitles disappear for a short time as if the translator did not know how to change what was being said and just decided to skip it, hoping that it would not be important.

I really cannot recommend this film. It is an unknown movie for a reason..better it remains that way…

Posted in 2000s, Review | Comments Off

Korean Box Office: April 22-24

25th April 2011


Fast Five aka The Fast and the Furious 5 opened strong this past weekend and dislodged Suspicious Customers from the first tier of the box office, taking 33% of the ticket sales. It should enjoy the top while it can.  I think this coming week will see that spot taken over by Thor.  Also opening is the fifth and latest installment of the If You Were Me Series.  These, and the other new movies opening this week can be seen below. Also opening this week is the Jeonju International Film Festival.  Tickets are selling out fast –check the website and reserve online if you want to go!


1. If You Were Me 5 (kr)– d. Kang Yi-gwan, Bu Ji-yeong, Kim Dae-seong, Yoon Seong-hyeon, Shin Dong-il  starring Park Jeong-wook, Seo Ok-byeol 

2. Jeokgwaui Dongchim (kr)– d. Park Geon-yong, starring Kim Joo-hyeok, Jeong Ryeo-won

3. Mao’s Last Dancer (au) — d. Bruce Beresford, starring Chi Cao, Bruce Greenwood

4. Mother and Child (us)– d. Rodrigo Garcia, starring Naomi Watts, Annette Bening

5. Thor (us)– d. Kenneth Branagh, starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman

6. With Love From the Age of Reason (fr)– d. Yann Samuell, starring Sophie Marceau, Martin Csokas.. <opening in Korea as Dear Me>

Posted in Box Office | Comments Off

DVD Releases: April 24-30

24th April 2011


Heartbeat — directed by Yoo Jae-geon and starring Kim Yoo-jin and Park Hae-il  Number of discs: 2/ Subtitles: Korean and English/ Rating: ages 15+/ Format: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen/ Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1/ Running Time: 114 minutes + extras on second disc/ Recommended Price: 25,300 KRW/ Available: April 27

A Lone Tree– directed by Song Il-seon, starring Song Chang-ui, Seo Ji-hye  Number of discs: 1/ Subtitles: Korean and English/ Rating: all ages/ Format: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen/ Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0/ Running Time: 103 minutes/ Special Features: Trailer/ Recommended Price: 25,300 KRW/ Available: April 28

Cloud Bread– an award-winning television series recommended for ages 3-6. Number of discs: 1/ Subtitles: Korean and English/ Rating: all ages/ Format: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen/ Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0/ Running time: 124 minutes/ Recommended Price: 19,800 KRW/ Available: April 29

Also available this week are 1) the BluRay version of The Chaser, a music video/concert by FT Island and the drama Mary’s Night Out.  The extremely popular drama, Secret Garden, was also listed on early charts as being available on April 30th, but as no new promo material was available until now, I doubt the date

Posted in DVDs: New Releases | Comments Off

Index of 70s: Yoo Hyeon-mok

23rd April 2011

Up until now, I had been working on the index of Korean films by year. But with this post, I am changing a little and working on the films by director– in this case Yoo Hyeon-mok.  I am still looking to finish the 1970s first before moving on to other decades, but Yoo only made a few films in the 70s –and I had already posted two of them. So to make this post a little longer, I included director Yoo’s films from the 1950s as well. (His films from the 60s, 80s and 90s will have to wait for now)  These and many other plates can be accessed by clicking the appropriate decade tab at the top of this page and searching by director’s last name.

yoo hyeonmok flame 1975, yoo hyeonmok door 1977, yoo hyeonmok once long 1978, yoo hyeonmok song, yoo hyeonmok rainy 1979, yoo hyeonmok sadness, yoo hyeonmok crossroads, yoo hyeonmok lostyouth, yoo hyeonmok seizure,

yoo hyeonmok forever, yoo hyeonmok eventheclouds, yoo hyeonmok beautiful

Posted in K-Movie Index | Comments Off

Chasing the Ghost Sound (2010)

19th April 2011

chasing the ghost soundA television crew filming a weekly program that tracks down supernatural activity and ghosts is called to the house of Geum-ja. There they meet the tense woman and learn why she has come to believe her house is haunted by the spirit of her younger sister. During an interview, the crew learns that some time not too long ago, Geum-ja’s sister and husband were killed in a car accident.  The interview quickly sours however when the producer questions the relationship between the two dead people. Rather than continue and upset their host further, the television crew sets up cameras and mikes in the hopes of catching a ghostly visitor or hearing any unexplained sounds.  However, after hours of filming and sound recording, the team packs up without hearing a thing. As they pack up their equipment, Geum-ja is left alone with her dark thoughts and in a foul mood because of the insinuations and suspicians of the camera crew. Then she hears a sound.. a voice… and she knows that she is not alone. She recognizes the voice of her sister whom she feels has a message of forgiveness for her. However, she cannot make out the words. She screams for the television crew who answer her call and they immediately begin making EVPs– however when they analyze the sounds, they can only make out five syllables which apparently have no meaning. The crew gives up but leaves Geum-ja with a copy of the recording which she listens to..until she realizes that the syllables are actually the scrambled words. She quickly goes to work unscrambling the sentence not realizing the horror she about to unleash….

The English title of this film fails to take into account the full Korean title which, if translated, would be Invisible 2: Chasing the Ghost Sound.  What then was Invisible 1?  It was a short film made back in 2004 by director Yoo Joon-seok, who also created this film. It’s full title was Invisible 1: Chasing the Hidden Sound… it really was called Invisible 1. Apparently Yoo has been planning this sequel for quite a while.  The first movie screened at the 5th Jeonju International Film Festival and it was about a tape recorder found at the scene of a murder. The detectives attempt to unravel the crime based only on the sounds caught on tape. However, they learn that sound alone is an incomplete and inaccurate method of painting a picture and can easily be manipulated… as done by the spirit in Chasing the Ghost Sound. When Invisible 1 screened in Jeonju, critic Yoo Eun-seong called it ’stale’ as it relied on twists and reversals as seen in movies like Usual Suspects, but “the director’s witty way of dealing with images and sound is definitely something viewers will want to keep seeing.”  The same might be said for Invisible 2. It definitely lacked originality with its faux-documentary style filming that we have seen a lot of recently in horror movies since The Blair Witch Project.  However, the use of sound was very interesting and as Geum-ja was unscrambling the sentence, I found myself becoming increasingly engrossed as I was trying to unravel the mystery with her. 

I had reviewed one of Yoo’s films earlier on this site, it was Coma: The Necklace, the third chapter of that story. At the time, I was disappointed with his effort on the film saying that it derailed the suspense and mystery set up by the two earlier chapters. I also said that the step away from the supernatural in that portion of the story may have been because the main character in that segment was not prone to flights of fancy and this theory was subsequently backed up by the fourth chapter which featured an unstable artist who saw ghosts everywhere she looked.

As far as the ghost in Chasing the Ghost Sound, I have to admit that she made me jump. However, there was nothing original or unique about her– I jumped more out of surprise than fear. I watched this film on Hana Tv–my internet tv provider –and it does not seem to be available anywhere else at this time. There were no subtitles and frankly I don’t know if it would be possible to provide subs on this film as the key to the mystery hinges on unscrambling syllables to form a sentence in Korean.  As a final evaluation, I guess I would say that this film is nothing new, but not a bad way to spend a spare 40 minutes.

Posted in 2010s, short films | Comments Off

Korean Box Office: April 15-17

19th April 2011

I have image capability again!  Thanks go out to Darcy, the owner of, who time from his busy schedule to solve the problem. 


Depsite some bad press, Suspicious Customers, a new film starring Ryu Seung-beom, squeaked by and landed on top of the box office just barely beating out the film previously known as Dangerous Meeting and now called Meet the Inlaws. The film I Love You which held onto fourth place for five or six weeks has finally reliquished that spot and slipped to seventh. It will likely diappear all toghether the coming weekend with a slew of new films opening.  You can see these listed below.


1.  Baboya (kr)– d. Kang Seong-ok, starring Kim Soo-hwan (documentary)

2. Fast Five (us)– d. Justin Lee, starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker

3. Ip Man 3 (hk)– d. Herman Yau, starring Yu-Hang To, Sammo Hung KanBo

4. Jane Eyre (uk)– d. Cary Fukunaga, starring Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender

5. L’amour Fou (fr)– d. Pierre Thoretton, starring Yves Saint-Laurent, Pierre Berge

6. Machete (us)– d. Robert Rodriquez, starring Danny Trejo, Jessica Alba

7. Mongjeongae (kr)– d. Lee Soong-hwan, starring Jeong Seong-hoon, Yoo Ok-joo

8. Norwegian Wood (jp)  d. Ahn Hung Tran, starring Kenichi Matsuyama, Rinko Kikuchi

9. Rite (us)– d. Mikael Hafstrom, starring Anthony Hopkins, Colin O’Donoghue

10. Sesangeseo Gajang Areumdawon Ibyeol (kr)– d. Min Gyu-dong, starring Kim Gab-soo, Bae Jeong-ok

Posted in Box Office | Comments Off

DVD Releases: April 17-23

17th April 2011

This week, there are several DVDs being released–2 new movies, one very old film, a documentary, and an older drama. Also, Haunters is being released in BluRay format.  It will retail for about 31,900KRW and be available from April 22. Here is what’s coming…

Don’t Cry for Me Sudan <documentary>– directed by Ku Soo-hwan.  Number of discs: 2/ Subtitles: Korean and English/ Rating: all ages/ Format: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen/ Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0/ Extras: Second disc features 50 minutes of extras/ Running time: (movie) 91 minutes/ Region code 3/ Recommended Price: 29,700 KRW/ Available: April 20

Winter Love Song — tv drama from 2002 directed by Yoon Seok-ho and starring Bae Yong-joon and Choi Ji-woo.  Number of discs: 6/ Subtitles: English/ Rating: all ages/ Format: 1.33:1/ Audio: 2.0 Dolby/ Running Time: 1300 minutes/ Recommended Price: 99,000 KRW/ Available: April 20

Hello Ghost — directed by Kim Yeong-tak, starring Cha Tae-hyeon, Kang Ye-jin.  Number of discs: 2/ Subtitles: Korean and English/ Rating: ages 12+/ Format: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen/  Audio: Dolby digital 5.1/ Region code: 3/ Extras: Second disc features 60 minutes of extras/ Running time: 111 min (movie)/ Recommended Price: 23,100/ Available: April 20

Marines Who Never Returned — directed by Lee Man-hee, starring Jang Dong-hwi, Choi Moo-ryong.  Number of discs: 1/ Subtitles: None/ Format: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen/ Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0/ Running Time: 110 minutes/ Region Code: 3   For a subtitled copy, look for the Lee Man-hee Collection

Posted in DVDs: New Releases | Comments Off

Korean Box Office: April 7-10

11th April 2011

This week I finally finished listing all the Korean films produced in the 1960s which completes the entire list!  I was excited about that but the feeling was somewhat dulled by the fact that I still can’t post images which means I can’t be continuing the index for a while. This week, I only watched one movie I had not previously seen, Three Housemaid Sisters (1969) and did not go to the theater. With exams starting next week, I probably won’t get downtown again to watch movies. Anyway, here are the box office results for this week.

1. Dangerous Meeting (kr)  2. Sucker Punch (us)  3. My Name is Kahn (in)  4. I Love You (kr)  5. Last Night (us)  6. Julia’s Eyes  7. King’s Speech  8. Paul (es)  9. Little Black Dress (kr)  10. World Invasion (us)

Dangerous Meeting remained at the top of the charts taking 45.3%– five times more than the second ranked film (albiet on twice the number of screens).  To date, Dangerous Meeting has had 1,374,249 people see it. The third ranked film, My Name is Kahn moved up the ranks for a second week in a row, this time from 7th and I Love You seems as if it will never leave fourth place.

Below is a list of films opening this week. I admit to being somewhat curious about the new Ryu Seung-beom movie considering the waves Ryu made at the press conference. He apparently was not very happy with either his acting or the movie in general. When one reporter after the screening asked him what the point of the story was, Ryu quipped, “I don’t know. If anyone can find one, please let me know.”  I second thought, maybe I won’t be seeing it…  I have seen the movie listed on Daum as Strange Customers and on Youtube as Suicide Watch– but KOFIC has yet to post an official English title, so I will list it under its romanized  Korean title for now.

1.  Antichrist (dk)– d. Lars Von Trier, starring WillemDefoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg

2. Closed Note (jp)– d. Isao Yukisada, starring Erika Sawajiri, Yuko Takeuchi

3. Countdown: Armagedden (us)– d. A.F. Silver, starring Kim Little, Jose Prendes

4. Gnomeo & Juliet (uk)– d. Kelly Asbury, voiced by James McAvoy, Emily Blunt

5. Hanna (us)– d. Joe Wright, starring Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett

6. Jackass 3D (us)– d. Jeff Tremaine, starring Johnny Knoxville, Steve O

7. Journals of Musan (kr)– d. Park Jeong-beom, Jin Yong-wook

8. Naneun Abbada (kr)– d. Lee Se-yeong, Jeon Man-bae, starring Kim Seung-woo, Son Byeong-ho

9. Soosanghan Gogaekdeul (kr)– d. Jo Jin-mo, starring Ryu Seung-beom, Seong Dong-il

10. Soosanghan Iutdeul (kr)– d. Yang Yeong-cheol, starring Park Won-sang, JeonMi-seon

11. Urutora Mirakuru Rabu Sutori (jp)– d. Satoko Yokohama, starring Kenichi Matsuyama, Kumiko Aso

Posted in Box Office | Comments Off

DVD Releases: April 10-16

10th April 2011

This week, there is one new movie being released onto DVD with two different versions. Yellow Sea will be available from the thirteenth of April. But be careful when you are buying it. I am unsure if there is an unintentional omission in the promo material, but only the version labed ‘Director’s Cut’ is listed as having English subtitles. Interestingly, the Director’s Cut version is almost 20 minutes shorter than the other version being released (but still more than two hours long)–and more expensive.

YELLOW SEA– directed by Na Hong-jin, starring Ha Jeong-woo, Kim Yoon-seok, Jo Seong-ha  Number of discs: 2/ Rating: ages 18+/ Format: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen/ Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1/ Extras: Second disc contains sections for each character/ Region Code: 3/ Recommended Price: 23,100 (director’s cut), 22,000 (theatrical version)/ Available: April 13

Posted in DVDs: New Releases | Comments Off