Korea

MOVIEHOOKER’S BEST OF NEW FOREIGN CINEMA PART 1

As these movies are all relatively new and are only recently released or getting released soon, I’m gonna go with my gut instinct with them. The films I’ll be featuring in this 3-part-post have all been researched and are on my watchlist for future viewing. I am very rarely wrong when it’s comes to world cinema titles.. So let’s get this started!!

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1: GRATEFUL DEAD
Without a doubt this film has the most insane trailer that I’ve seen in quite some time. I’m a huge fan of Japanese cinema because they are just bat-shit-crazy, they make movies that are so twisted and deranged that it takes a special kind of viewer to appreciate them….. Someone who is touched with a mild case of insanity… Thankfully, I fit that bill just perfectly, as does most of my readers… So we’re good to go!! I just have to point out that this film is listed for release in 2013 but is only starting make some waves now… It’s my list, it goes on!

Official Plot
A love-hate relationship develops between a deranged young woman and an old man. Nami inherits a large sum of money, freeing up time for her to engage in a series of bizarre hobbies, including spying on lonely people like herself. One day she spies on an old man as he watches porn DVDs in his home. After witnessing this, she begins relentlessly stalking him.

2: WHITE GOD

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I had heard of this film before but had completely forgotten about it, thanks to Fangoria posting the trailer on Facebook recently, I’ve once again got it in my sights.. And this time, it’s not getting away. I am constantly on the hunt for movies, some manage to get away from me, or slip beneath the cracks, but it’s only a matter of time before I get my grip on them and get them up on Moviehooker

The film reminded me a little bit of Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, not that it was about loads of god Damn Hairy apes, but about dogs who aren’t full pedigree, and have had enough of being outcasts. They start up a dog army to teach us filthy humans just who’s boss which looks like it’s lead by a young teenage girl (the owner of the “Ceaser” like dog).

The one thing I loved about the trailer was that it wasn’t very CGI-heavy, it looked like real animals, just shot very cleverly. The premise sounds interesting and has already conquered Cannes Film festival…. So that alone gives us the reason to be eagerly awaiting this one.

3: Broken

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We all know how big a fan of Korean cinema I am. Recently, I finally got my girlfriend to watch Castaway On The Moon, and I was blown-away all over again by the lead actors performance. I realised that I hadn’t done any research into any other movies that he’s been in. That’s when I found out about Broken. I purposely didn’t read too much into it in fear of spoiling it. All I know is that it’s a vengeance type of movie, and if anyone can do Vengeance – then it’s the Koreans. So without even knowing what this flick is remotely about, it goes on the list.

I’m really looking forward to this one

4: INUMBER NUMBER

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Another film that has makes its way right to the top of my watch-list – No doubt this will be another solid entry from the guys of XYZFilms.

Official Plot (official site)

When honest undercover cop Chili Ngcobo (winner of the TV Talent show, ‘Class Act’, S’dumo Mtshali), and his by-the-book partner, Sello ‘Shoes’ Moshoeshoe (lead actor of the Oscar Winning film ‘Tsotsi’, Presley Chweneyagae), are cheated out of a large reward by their corrupt superiors, Chili finds another way of getting the money he feels they deserve. Chili penetrates a cash-in-transit heist gang, and instead of busting them, convinces his partner to participate in a once off score.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this post which i’ll have up in a few days. Thanks for reading

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UPCOMING KOREAN THRILLERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Its a well known fact that I’m a huge fan of Korean cinema. I am constantly on the hunt for new releases to try and satisfy what seems like an uncontrollable hunger. Although I live in Ireland, I find myself checking what’s on in the cinemas in South Korea more so than Dublin Ireland.

I also try to follow all the film festivals as well, so I really do try to stay on-top of the game when it comes to Korean cinema… or cinema in general..

Sometimes I write about a film though,, then when the time comes and I’d actually get to see it, I’m let down, but thankfully that doesn’t happen too often.

So here is 3 upcoming movies that I’ve started to follow very closely. Obviously there isn’t a lot of information available but I’ll just go with what I got.

When I write about a film anyways, I like to keep the plot details to a minimum. After all this isn’t a review site and I’m not a film critic. I have one purpose, and that is to hook you fine bunch of people up with some quality viewing. So here is 3 films I believe are gonna be well worth checking out.

1: GANGNAM BLUES 1970

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OFFICIAL PLOT(Asianwiki)
Jong-Dae (Lee Min-Ho) and Yong-Ki (Kim Rae-Won) grew up in an orphanage like real brothers. After they leave the orphanage, they make a living by picking up paper and empty bottles. Jong-Dae then becomes involved in a struggle of interests over development in Gangnam, Seoul. In the process, he lives with Gil-Soo (Jung Jin-Young) and Sun-Hye (Seol Hyun) as they accept Jong-Dae like a family member. Jong-Dae also becomes a gang member.

MOVIEHOOKER’S THOUGHTS
This just sounds all sorts of epic. I have found a trailer but there is no english subs. I can tell you one thing, there is gonna be a huge gang-fight which would remind you of the prison riot from THE RAID 2: BERANDAL. It looks pretty hardcore although the premise sounds a little bit familiar. Two friends grow up in an orphanage, they are like real brothers and can’t be separated, they get involved with some sort of criminal underworld and get dragged into a life of crime. One of the brothers will no doubt be able to reason and the other will take no shit from no one and will kill in the blink of an eye.

I’m hoping for a hardcore violent thriller, with lots of action and some beautiful choreography and judging from what little I’ve seen, I think it’s going to deliver.

2: MIZO

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OFFICIAL PLOT (Hancinema.net)
“Stranger, kill me but love me for a few days…”

Mizo is a lost bird born in trash. She’s been sexually abused by her foster parents so she sets out to find her birth parents with the blood-stained uniform she was abandoned with.

Meanwhile, Woo-sang, the man who abandoned his baby girl in the trash, still lives a trashy life. Mizo approaches him to take revenge in the most painful way possible. The revenge steps over the line and they have no idea what gruesome end they are headed for…

MOVIEHOOKER’S THOUGHTS
For some reason, every post I write will feature something really dark and disturbing. I always find myself enjoying the films that push the boundaries of cinema and thankfully with Korean cinema that happens pretty much all of the time. This film MIZO sounds pretty fucking disturbing as you can tell from the plot. And if anybody can make a superior revenge movie, then its the Koreans.

This movie is listed as released in 2013 but is opening in cinemas in Korea soon. Either way I’ve never heard of it and I think it’s a worthy one to put on the site.

3: MANHOLE

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OFFICIAL PLOT(hancinema.net)
In a neighborhood in Seoul, 10 or so people disappeared without a trace in a 6 month span. While the neighbors feel nervous about not being able to find a clue about it, hair and blood is found on the lid of a manhole. What happened down there?

MOVIEHOOKER’S THOUGHTS
Some of the finest serial-killer movies ever to be released have come from Korea. There is so much greatness in this sub-genre, and nearly all them are guaranteed to shock you to the core. You can always be sure that a Korean serial-killer movie will be deliciously datk, a film for the horror fan, a film that’s primarily aimed at a more mature audience, and a film that says “Go Fuck Yourself Censorship”. We need more of these movies.

THANKS FOR READING

TOP PICKS FOR TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL PART 2

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Part 2 of my top picks for Toronto International Film Festival . If you missed part 1 then just check previous posts and you’ll be hooked up .

1:?HAEMOO
A film that was adapted from a play of the same name, and a play that was based on a real-life incident about 25 Chinese/Korean stowaways who suffocated onboard a troubled fishing vessel.

There was a scene in another Korean movie calledThe Yellow Sea that has stuck with me to this day. It was a smuggling scene, it was very realistic and harsh. Although the scene was over before you could blink, it showed how desperate these people were. The harshness of the conditions no doubt added to the intensity of the scene. The reason I’m mentioning The Yellow Sea is because, if one scene in one film has stuck in my head for so long, then you can only imagine what I’d be like after watching a movie that’s entirely about smuggling. And judging from the plot, it ain’t gonna end well, so it’s safe to say there is a 99.9% chance ll be like a blubbering idiot by the time the credits roll.

The acting will be superb, this will be drama at it’s very finest. And from the writer of korean classic Memories Of Murder I know this going to be something special.

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2 NIGHTCRAWLER
OFFICIAL PLOT
A pulse-pounding thriller set in the nocturnal underbelly of contemporary Los Angeles. Lou Bloom, a driven young man desperate for work who discovers the high-speed world of L.A. crime journalism. Finding a group of freelance camera crews who film crashes, fires, murder and other mayhem, Lou muscles into the cut-throat, dangerous realm of nightcrawling — where each police siren wail equals a possible windfall and victims are converted into dollars and cents. Aided by Nina, a veteran of the blood-sport that is local TV news, Lou thrives. In the breakneck, ceaseless search for footage, he becomes the star of his own story.

MOVIEHOOKER’S THOUGHTS
This one stars Jake Gylenhaal, I think he’s made some fine choices in the past and has come a long way since Donnie Darko . The premise of the movie sounds dark and right up my street. I could be wrong though, but I doubt it. This has all the ingredients of a great, dark noir type thriller.

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3: THE DEAD LANDS
OFFICIAL PLOT (imdb)
After his tribe is slaughtered through an act of treachery, Hongi – a Maori chieftain’s teenage son – must avenge his father’s murder in order to bring peace and honor to the souls of his loved ones. Vastly outnumbered by the band of villains, Hongi’s only hope is to pass through the feared and forbidden Dead Lands and forge an uneasy alliance with the mysterious ‘Warrior’ a ruthless fighter who has ruled the area for year

MOVIEHOOKER’S THOUGHTS
No doubt this will be another fantastic entry from XYZFilms. The production company behind The raid, The Raid 2, Tusk, Killere, The Night Comes For Us. These guys know what they’re doing and I have yet to see them take on a bad movie. They just keep going from strength-to-strength. As soon as I heard XYZFilms were behind this film, I’ve been following it as closely as I can. Reviews have started surfacing and they’re all fantastic.

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TOP TEN MOST SHOCKING FILMS ON NETFLIX

1: PIETA

OFFICIAL PLOT (wiki)
A vicious man (Lee Jung-Jin) works for a loan shark as an enforcer. When customers are unable to pay for their outrageous interest payments the man forces these borrowers to gimp their own bodies to collect insurance money. A woman (Jo Min-Su) then appears in front of the man and gets down on her knees. She tells the man that she is her mother and begs for forgiveness. The vicious man was given up for adoption as soon as he was born. The man quickly dismisses the woman as crazy, but her persistence soon cracks through the man’s hardened outer shell. Can the mother and son find happiness at last?

MY THOUGHTS
Not very often that I’d watch a movie and have to look away from the screen (you’ll know the scene). A very vicious but brilliantly written & acted drama.

Do approach with caution as some of the scenes are very graphic and disturbing.

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2: KIDNAPPED
OFFICIAL PLOT (imdb)
Three hooded Eastern-European criminals burst into a home in a Madrid gated community, holding the family hostage in its own home, and forcing the father to empty his credit cards.

MY THOUGHTS
If you’re into Home Invasion movies then chances are, you like you’re movies quite disturbing and unsettling,

KIDNAPPED was a great Home Invasion movie with a simple plot. Guys break into house and take a family hostage, and so begins a horrible night of torture for the family involved.

The film was clever, well written, very realistic and equally sadistic. It didn’t quite follow the usual path and had a very unexpected ending, which in my opinion separated this film from the rest of the home invasion movies and it sits comfortably in the top of my pile of faves.

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3: I SAW THE DEVIL
OFFICIAL PLOT (imdb)
When his pregnant fiancée becomes the latest victim of a serial killer, a secret agent blurs the line between good and evil in his pursuit of revenge.

MY THOUGHTS
I’m sure everyone has seen this by now as it’s got a huge following with a American remake set for 2014/15 (surprise surprise).

Starring choi min-sik from OLDBOY and NEW WORLD as the perfectly casted serial killer. The man is just fantastic in everything I’ve seen him in, and for someone who is actually a Buddhist, he sure does pick the dark and delicious roles

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4: RED WHITE & BLUE

OFFICIAL PLOT (imdb)

A HIV positive woman’s quest to infect as many men as possible has gruesome consequences after she attracts the attention of a psychotic former Army interrogator and an emotionally fragile young man caring for his ailing mother.

MY THOUGHTS

A truly unsettling film, but in my eyes it was quite a masterpiece. I was a fan of the director and writer of this movie, as one of his previous films THE LIVING AND THE DEAD shocked me to core. I had no doubt in my mind that this one would’ve done the same…..and it did.

The guy who plays the army vet deserves a special mention. The man was just fantastic. He gave a riveting yet very unsettling performance.

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5: BIG BAD WOLVES
OFFICIAL PLOT (imdb)
A series of brutal murders puts the lives of three men on a collision course: The father of the latest victim now out for revenge, a vigilante police detective operating outside the boundaries of law, and the main suspect in the killings – a religious studies teacher arrested and released due to a police blunder.

MY THOUGHTS
One of my favourite films of last year. It’s great to see Israel start to make their mark in the horror genre. The film itself isn’t the biggest budgeted movie of all time, but there is a solid and very believable storyline, with a great script, great direction, and top performances from all members of the cast.

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BIG BAD WOLVES TRAILER

6: MANIAC
OFFICIAL PLOT (imdb)
As he helps a young artist with her upcoming exhibition, the owner of a mannequin shop’s deadly, suppressed desires come to the surface.

MY THOUGHTS
I really don’t think the above synopsis is accurate.

Guy walks around LA meeting beautiful ladies, violently removes their scalps and uses scalps as realistic hair on mannequin dolls he’s got

Top performance from Elijah Wood. He plays the creepy serial killer extremely well. The style of filming was very unusual and unique. The camera was almost attached to Elijah wood in almost every scene of the film, which resulted in a brand new way to get under your skin…… You became the serial killer for the movie.

You throw in some dirty 80’s themed synthesisers for the soundtrack, and you’ve got one hell of a disturbing and frightening watch.

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maniac trailer

7: BREATHLESS
OFFICIAL PLOT (imdb)
A bitter and abusive debt collector finds some relief when he meets a high school girl.

MY THOUGHTS
I sat down with my girlfriend to watch this. The opening scene is a man beating a woman around in the middle of a street (my girlfriend immediately gave me the evil eye) then out of nowhere the main character shows up and starts beating the shit out of the dude who was beating the woman (girlfriend continues to stare at me, knowing this film is gonna be hardcore and she ain’t gonna like it). Then when you think the main character is going to help the lady who getting smacked about, he kneels down beside and start slapping her across the face, saying stuff like “why do you just sit there and take it you fucking cunt!” (At this point me and the girlfriend reached a mutual agreement, that she would go on the iPad and I would continue watching).

If you’re no stranger to Korean cinema and you’ve watched some of the classics like “mother”, “bad guy”, then I’m pretty sure you’d enjoy this one. It’s a pretty uneasy watch and when I say there is a lot of domestic violence in it, then I ain’t kidding. That concept alone makes it very hard to watch. The acting has to be mentioned purely for the leading actor. The man deserved an oscar for the performance he gave.

The story goes in an obvious direction, but how it gets there is uncertain, and that’s what makes this film a masterpiece.

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8: COLDFISH
OFFICIAL PLOT (imdb)
When Syamoto’s teenage daughter is caught stealing, a generous middle-aged man helps resolve the situation. The man and his wife offer to have Syamoto’s troublesome daughter work at their fish store. Syamoto soon discovers the horrific truth of the seemingly perfect couple.

MY THOUGHTS
This film is just crazy, full of energy, violence with a nice blend of humour.
Don’t really want to say much more about it without giving away too much of the storyline. Just check it out 😉

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9: ICHI THE KILLER
OFFICIAL PLOT (imdb)
As sadomasochistic yakuza enforcer Kakihara searches for his missing boss he comes across Ichi, a repressed and psychotic killer who may be able to inflict levels of pain that Kakihara has only dreamed of.

MY THOUGHTS
The very first film that made my girlfriend stop eating her dinner 😉 she has watched many of my movies over the years but this was the one that was too much for her.

The film takes violence to a whole new level. To this day the film is still one of the most shocking and disturbing flicks I’ve ever seen. And although I haven’t watched this flick in a long time, some of the scenes are still as fresh in my mind as the first day I saw them.

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ICHI the killer trailer

10: AUDITION
OFFICIAL PLOT (imdb)
A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.

MY THOUGHTS
Another great and very unsettling film from the guy who pretty much dominates Japan with the most fucked up movies around. (ICHI the killer, visitor q, gozu). Quite an old film but again this film will stick with you for years after watching. Another one for people who like their stuff dark, filthy and extremely gruesome.

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audition trailer

MORE GREAT FOREIGN THRILLERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

1: BORGMAN
OFFICIAL PLOT (imdb)
A vagrant enters the lives of an arrogant upper-class family, turning their lives into a psychological nightmare in the process.

MY THOUGHTS
Ever since I watched the incredible and immensely creepy Spanish thriller “sleep tight” from “[rec]” co-creator Jaume Balagueró, I was left with such a feeling of unease. The story was so simple yet went straight for the jugular whilst still managing to use very Minimal special effects. The film about a man who just crept into your house while you were at work or even in the shower, hid under your bed until you fell asleep and then drugged you, got undressed and spent the night sleeping beside. He was gone by the time you woke up feeling very groggy, completely oblivious and unaware that they were drugged. I loved every second of it and t was a masterpiece in making you cringe and feel uneasy.

So the reason I mention that film and found some sort of comparison was the first still I seen of the movie and although the film has a blend of dark humour, the pic that I seen was very far from funny. The pic showed a couple sleeping soundly in their bed in the comfort of their own home with a bearded naked man on-top of them just staring at them while they slept. The pic sent chills up my spine and I decided there and then that I don’t really wanna know anything else about it , just get the movie and watch it so you’re not knowing what to expect.’ok maybe I sound like a creep now” (actually I know I do ) but as you all know I like my films dark and disturbing and by the looks of this Dutch movie, it will not disappoint. Released in 2013 and has done extremely well in the festival circuit.

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2: KABISERA
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MY THOUGHTS
I was blown away by the trailer that I seen late last year. I have watched a few Filipino movies in the last while and I’ve been impressed with everything that I’ve seen so far, and don’t think this one will be any different. The film looks dark and brutal and sort of reminded me of “breaking bad”. From what I gathered from the trailer it’s the story of a family man who has no choice but to start selling crystal meth to help support his family, but shit spirals out of control and he is inevitably thrown into the criminal underworld of the Filipino drug  trade.

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3: THE FIVE

OFFICIAL PLOT

Eun-A (Kim Sun-A) lost her family at the hands of a serial killer. She is now mentally and physically destroyed. Eun-A then decides to get revenge. She enlists the help of four people marginalized by society including a North Korean defector, ex-gang member and a person heavily in debt. All four persons need organ transplants. Eun-A’s plan is then set in motion.

MY THOUGHTS

I started watching Korean cinema a long time ago. the Koreans never fail to produce such a high-caliber of movies with brilliant and engrossing story lines with phenomenal acting and superb direction. I love a great serial killer movie and Korea has produced two of the finest serial killer movies around today ”i saw the devil’ and ‘the chaser’. Both films shocked me to core but kept me glued to my seat and glued to the screen for the entire movie. OK, we’ve had some great american serial killer movies as well and that’s not to go unnoticed but i just loved the pace of both Korean greats and we are all well due another one. I know I have high expectations of this film but I’m pretty sure it will deliver just as well as the rest.

American remake of ”i saw the devil” is underway and its no surprise. There was also talk quite some time ago about Leo DiCaprio taking on the lead role in the american remake of ” the chaser” with his production company Appian set to produce alongside others such as paramount. Out of both remakes mentioned  I would’ve liked to see Leo in the lead for ”the chaser”. The man is one fine actor and would be great doing some dark roles  like ”the chaser”.  It will be interesting to see him as Dr H.H Holmes in the movie adaptation of best-selling novel ”the devil in the white city by Erik Larsen’. The man has been a busy man over the last year with all the roles that he’s done, but as far as I know the film is still going ahead and he’s still attached to play the serial killer.

the five

MOTHER

I wasn’t really expecting it , but this film is more of drama than anything else. The acting is unbelievable , the two main characters are fantastic, and I hope they got some sort of award for their role. The story is sad, moving, funny, and sometimes quite violent. The film starts off with the main character giving us a beautifully choreographed dance In a field which gives us an immediate feeling of ” what the fuck?”.
The story of “Do-Joon”. I don’t know the correct terminology so ill say he sorta like “I am Sam” or “Forrest Gump” ( fuck, I hope that’s not offensive). He has been wrongly imprisoned for the brutal murder of a young girl, and his mother begins a desperate search for the real killer. The story starts off slow, giving you time to establish a bond between the mother and son, but not after that , we have a constant build up with a welcoming twist at the end. I would find it easy to recommend this film to anyone, it would be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys a great murder mystery.
Written and directed by “Joon-Ho Bong” who also gave us the fantastic serial killer drama, “memories of murder” and probably the best Asian monster movie around, “the host”. I wasn’t surprised at all that the writing, acting, directing was near perfection 20130409-100654.jpg20130409-100706.jpg20130409-100717.jpgthe trailer

BEDEVILLED

A story of a woman who seeks revenge on the residents on a small island . This woman has been treated like dirt by every single person in her village , and is practically their slave. Her husband is violent and abusive and the rest of the villagers thinks the sun shines out of his arse.
When a tragedy occurs in the village , she reaches breaking point, and proceeds to grab a giant blade and goes to town on all the villagers.
I tried watching this film some time ago, but turned it off, as it does start off quite slow and didn’t have enough blood flowing or carnage from get go to keep me interested. However, I am really glad I gave this film a second shot and followed it through to the end because its a brilliant revenge movie, and although it does start off quite slow, once the blood starts flowing, the mayhem/madness doesn’t stop till the very last scene, and by that time you have completely forgotten that the film started off slow, and that the world of pain she is inflicting on everyone around her is 100% justifiable . Another great film from “Korea”.

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