Sunday, May 19, 2013
As I mentioned in my 'Lee Beom Soo Works - Drama Recommendation List' post, I have seen enough of his films to compile a list of them and voice some opinions on the pieces. As he has not done many dramas, I mentioned them all (but one, where he had a tiny role), but when it comes to movies, the list is much longer.
Having seen about half of his films so far, there are only a few left in which he has a major role and despite his performances always being lovely to watch, I don't love or like all of the movies themselves. Here are the ones I would recommend, however.
Keep in mind, I don't necessarily hate the rest of his works I have watched and being a big fan, I do not regret watching them, but I just wouldn't watch them twice and don't feel they should not be missed by non big fans.
Make it Big
Slightly campy film about how idiotic it is for pups to play with adults. Criminal adults and their money. The characters are messed up enough and have good chemistry in their from-bad-to-worse adventure.
The plot does get a bit confusing towards the end and having everyone chasing after everyone is a fun idea if you can establish what is going on, but a bad idea if you're going the sloppy way. Lee Beom Soo plays the cop who is trying to sort the mess. Lucky cop...
It's not something you will cry over missing, but it's a fun enough movie for a slow afternoon. Not really among my favorites, but maybe the familiar faces and premise were fun enough to keep me watching.
Au Revoir, UFO
A very sweet and light little rom-com about finding things that inspire us to move forward and opening up to people when we need it. Colorful characters, interesting cast, nice story.
While the UFO element might feel unnecessary and weird to some, it is wrapped up nicely with the ending of the film. Take it more as a metaphor for that "something" which we all need to hang on to and use to keep ourselves moving and improving.
While mainly a romantic movie, it's also a quite inspiring feel-good one about love, self-respect and life. Definitely worth watching, leaves one with positive feelings.
My Wife is a Gangster 3
Entertaining action comedy centered around a few colorful idiots and a woman who has to put up with their idiocy when she can't even speak their language. The action is good, comedy hilarious and there's a tiny bit of romance too.
There isn't much depth to the plot, since it's your basic heroine + idiots against bad guys, but not everything needs to be complicated to be fun. This film is simple and good fun. The cast is lovely, the situations appropriately theatrical and there's no regrets in watching it.
The interaction and chemistry work well despite the language barriers, which makes the characters feel like a big silly team and it really helps the viewer root for them. You'll be entertained throughout.
Go Go Sister
Slice-of-life movie about a woman with terrible taste in men traveling to the past to get her teenage self to pick the nice nerd over the bad popular boy. If only all women could do that, since that's a mistake we seem to make often.
It's another to-have-with-afternoon-tea movie, pleasant enough and good for killing some time, but you are not in for any kind of life-altering experience. More of a cameo role for Lee Beom Soo, but the movie is nice enough without him.
The fact that the older woman sort-of-falls for the younger version of the nerd could have gone very wrong, but it never feels inappropriate, as it's shown more as an appreciation of the good qualities in a person than actual romance.
Lifting King Kong
Based on a true story, 'Lifting King Kong' is less of a sports movie and more of a drama film about the challenges often faced by people pursuing their dreams, when society is not there to support them.
Very good performances, excellent chemistry and quite a consistent mood make this an overall well-made film that will have you rooting for the characters, feeling their joys and suffering with them.
It's not too melodramatic, but more of a human drama mixed with a tiny bit of sports and social commentary on issues like poverty, body image, corruption in what should be honorable institutions and more.
Where is Jung Seung Pil
An interesting combination of a one-man and an ensemble comedy. While the main character is attempting to escape from a locked bathroom, increasingly losing it and producing hilarious situations in the process, the outside world full of kooky and diverse characters is looking for him.
Fresh, unusual and very funny, this is the kind of comedy where every character is insane and you are enjoying yourself more and more as they slip into that insanity.
Very nice cast, some special cameos, a few very well-placed pop culture references and never-ending craziness should keep you well entertained and laughing. A weird little jewel of a film that may not be everyone's cup of tea, but will certainly make you fall in love with it if its humor sits well with you.
Descendants of Hong Gil Dong
Action comedy, a comic book geek villain played by Kim Soo Ro(cks), Lee Si Yeong hitting people, Sung Dong Il being a silly cop, Lee Beom Soo. I personally would not need much more to watch, but 'Descendants of Hong Gil Dong' is a fun ride.
The action is solid, comedy in good taste and endearing and all the characters are too fun not to love, good guys/gals and villains alike.
Simple plot nicely presented, no confusions, not a boring moment. Good balance between the action and comedy, which blend together beautifully. Also, cuteness and violence, in the case of Lee Si Yeong. It takes a special person to look adorable while hitting people.
Over My Dead Body
When you bring Ryu Seung Beom and Lee Beom Soo together, you better make the best use of that. Sadly enough, this film does not really use the full potential of both actors and their pairing, but it's a fun enough chase comedy film.
There are a couple of good laughs, some hilariously inconvenient situations and a case of pure dumb luck as the trio of nitwits is trying to escape with their lives.
For a first feature by its director, who also co-wrote it, it's not half bad and he did choose one heck of a cast, but it would have been nice if he could have wowed on his first try. Still, I'll come back for his next movie, if he casts interesting people.
A truly horrible mess of a movie, I cannot really suggest this for any reason other than to get into the mood for the sequel, which was surprisingly good, especially considering the first part.
'Death Bell' began with an interesting premise and you can see where they were going with it by the end, but they just completely failed on the execution and writing of it. The sequel can be watched without having seen this, but if you want it as reference, be my guest.
More Than Blue
Whether this movie is great or horrible depends on what type of movie you think you're watching. As a romantic drama, this is one bad film. As a drama about some very damaged, manipulative and cruel people who end up ruining each other's lives, it has a point.
This is another case of a good idea which ends up drowned in melodrama (the movie's literal title is 'A Sadder Story Than Sadness', I kid you not) and "Look! Looove!" crap that give anyone who does not feel love equals being a jerk hives.
I only recommend this as a good example of how to be a weak and twisted bastard when it comes to relationships, love and life. However, since the dysfunctional love and all the mental problems here are mostly glorified and presented as love, I personally can't like it.