Sunday, November 23, 2014
Buddy films might just never stop being popular. Even when the work is not mainly about that pairing, it will in some ways be present. There is just something about two people bonding across their differences and frustration with each other that appeals to audiences. 'The Gifted Hands' combines a crime thriller and buddy film, but the latter function is definitely the main one.
When he fails to save a child from being murdered by a serial killer, detective Choon-dong (Kim Kang-woo) sets off to catch him on his own and save the next victim. When he looks at the crime scene, Choon-dong realizes a young mysterious graffiti artist he saw a while back had painted the crime down to every detail on a wall, before the crime was committed. The young man, called Kim Joon (Kim Beom), is revealed to have the power of psychometry, being able to see things about an object or person through touch. Choon-dong tries to enlist Joon's help to catch the serial killer and save the kidnapped child.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Film Review] "The Gifted Hands".
The way suspense thrillers involving serial killers usually go is that they build suspense over apprehending the killer or then finding them out. Sometimes the killer is revealed to the viewer early on, sometimes not, but their apprehension by the good guy or guys is the focus. 'Our Town' takes a slightly different approach, where the murders are not as much a mystery as the people behind them and what issues they are hiding.
The film takes place in a town where a serial killer is murdering female victims and displaying them in public spaces and suspended from structures by ropes. Kyeong-joo (Oh Man-seok) is a failed writer whose only lifelong and current friend is Jae-sin (Lee Seon-gyoon), the detective in charge of the killings. After a heated argument with his landlady over rent, Kyeong-joo murders her and attempts to hide her body as a victim of the killer. He then offers to help Jae-sin with solving the murders, hoping to keep his crime hidden.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Film Review] "Our Town".
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Works that tackle grim history are never an easy thing to make. But when that history and its wounds are still fresh and the sociopolitical circumstances of the events the work is based on are not just something which had its closure, handling them becomes a very daring and very serious move. '26 Years' is a story based on a comic and on the true and bloody events of the 1980 Gwangju Uprising.
The film follows five people whose lives and families were ruined during the massacre of civilians by government troops in Gwangju. Three of them are contacted by the other two and told of the their plan. To enter the home of the former president who was in charge during the incident, ask for acknowledgement of the suffering he caused and assassinate him. Him being hidden in his heavily guarded home means the group only gets one chance at their revenge and their planning and timing need to be impeccable.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Film Review] "26 Years".
As lovely as it would be to live in a world where popular entertainment is all about representation and inclusion, this is sadly not the case. Presentation matters in any industry where popularity and glamour play a part. Looks and marketability matter. Depending on the specific industry or type of work, it can sometimes be all that matters. We live in a world where gender inequality is also a reality. Men can still lead works if not strictly within the category most popular in terms of visual appeal.
However, for women, the standards in terms of being aesthetically pleasing are very narrow. That is to say, in all types of entertainment, including Korean cinema and drama, there is a very limiting beauty standard most female actresses need to adhere to in order to be considered acceptable in leading a work. Talent being all that matters is a happy thought, but it is sadly not how these industries largely function. In this piece, we are looking at two lovely actresses among the many who deserve recognition past their unconventional and not easily marketable appearance. The ladies we are looking at are singer and musical actress Park Joon-myeon and actress Lee Mi-do.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Actor Spotlight] Park Joon-myeon and Lee Mi-do.
Sunday, November 9, 2014
The mystery genre is so easy to love in film. Curiosity is a powerful thing and as long as the introduction to an unsolved puzzle grabs one's attention, they will likely stick with it, if only for the answer that lies at the end. Good mysteries keep the truth well hidden, but show just enough for the viewer to have a chance and for them to make the connection later on. Sadly, as entertaining as 'Private Eye' is, it is not a very good mystery.
The year is 1910 and the place Seoul. A medical student named Kwang-su (Ryoo Deok-hwan) is gathering corpses for research. When he discovers that he has worked on the murdered body of a politician's son and the killings continue, he enlists the help of Hong Jin-ho (Hwang Jeong-min), a detective working petty scandal cases, to find the murderer and save him from wrongful prosecution. Together, they try to beat the eager for power authorities to the killer's identity and motive.
Full Article: [HanCinema's Film Review] "Private Eye".