Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Man From Nowhere (아저씨) & Haunters (초능력자)

I had to lump these two together for a couple of reasons. 1) both have two of the hottest actors in the game in Korea: Won Bin (The Man from Nowhere) & Kang Dong won (Haunters) and 2) both have similar themes of revenge and taking horribly extreme actions to enact revenge.

Nowhere is the better movie because it features the most ruthless revenge assaults/tactics this side of Oldboy,'s a tearjerker! I teared up thrice! All because they threw in an adorable little girl that Won Bin has to save cuz....he's a great guy. Unless he feels like killing you. Part kidnapping, part action, part mystery, part's got it all. Tons of drama too, for that drama fiend in us all. God bless Korean movies for that.

On the other hand, Haunters is kind of a superhero/supervillain type. In some ways it reminds me of Unbreakable, but not quite as good. However, the idea that the superhero doesn't quite know he's a superhero until later definitely makes me think Unbreakable. The movie's kind of goofy, and has some shitty slapstick courtesy of the main character's (played by Go Soo) two foreign friends (one is from Ghana and the other from Turkey. Both are alright actors. I have no idea what their backgrounds are, but they're fairly fluent in Korean). But, it's fun seeing all the mayhem, and Kang Dong won walking around making people do crazy stuff just by using his eyes (he's got some kind of telepathy going on) is pretty fun. All in all, they're both fun, and worth watching if you like Korean movies and action and preposterous stories. Recommended.

The pics at the very top are The Man from Nowhere (left), and Haunters (right).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bedevilled (김복남 살인사건의 전말)

Hardworlders is on a roll. Second post this month! This time I'm diving into some good Korean movie goodness. Bedevilled was released last year over here, and has received some good press, however, not too much international "acclaim." I imagine that the reason for this is that it's a pretty bloody movie, and shitholes like the Cannes likes Korean movies that are more dramatic (save Oldboy....which is also dramatic). To be honest, all Korean movies are dramatic. Koreans love drama, and they can pull tears out of you quicker than most other movie makers. Or annoyance. Yes, they can get carried away with the drama.

What we have here is the debut from Jang Cheol-soo, who did some work under Kim Ki-duk (responsible for some of the best and worst Korean movies ever). It's part horror, part mystery, part revenge, and part drama (of course). I don't want to get too into details about the movie because I hate reviews like that, but I'll just say that there's a woman from Seoul that travels to visit her old friend on a tiny ass island somewhere around the Korean peninsula. From there she witnesses how shitty the locals treat her friend, and then mayhem happens, and I'm not gonna tell you the breaking point, but when the mayhem happens you will see blood and scythes and heads and insanity. So, did I like the movie? Yes, it's probably one of my all time favorite Korean movies. It's really well made, and there are definitely some surreal, bizarre moments where you're like, "fuck." There's also a couple of moments where you're like, "Now why would she blah blah blah." And, to be honest, there's rarely a Korean movie that doesn't make me think something like that at some point. BUT: highly recommended, and please watch this movie, and I hope I'm not talking up this movie too much but it's worth watching.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bamseom Pirates (밤섬해적단)

As mentioned previously, there's a new (maybe not that new) band featuring the dude who used to record under the name of Pyha (폐허). The music of Pyha was a Burzum esque blast of black hatefulness. The awesome label Tumult (associated with the awesome record store Aquarius) out of San Francisco released some Pyha recordings a couple of years ago or so. The thing is all those records are 8 years old, when the guy was studying away in middle school. Well, he's back, and if you check the Hardworlders backlog, you'll find a live review of his new band Bamseom Pirates. It is a different beast, and definitely not black metal, but entertaining. A bit like a wackier Napalm Death meets some kind of military punk/metal hybrid. Heavy, fast, and hard to describe, it gives me faith in the future of Korean metal/hardcore. Anyhoo, I found their cd a while back, and I'm gonna post it up on here because I know no one will be able to find it that doesn't live in Korea. Dang good stuff. Here's to the future of extreme Korean music. I hope there's more from these guys coming soon.

Here's a fresh link to the album via Mediafire: Bamseom Pirates