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GreenCine Movie Talk
Foreign
From Albania to Zaire, there's a whole world out there.
183

My Sassy Girl & Oldboy
Topic by: gnixon29
Posted: September 8, 2004 - 8:30 AM PDT
Last Reply: May 17, 2005 - 4:49 PM PDT

author topic: My Sassy Girl & Oldboy
gnixon29
post #1  on September 8, 2004 - 8:30 AM PDT  
I'm a huge fan of Korean cinema, especially the cheesy "love across time" stuff. I read up on koreanfilm.org from time to time and put together periodic "to find" lists, but unfortunately I'm limited to R0 and R1. Anybody have any experience with good/bad R0 DVD purchases of My Sassy Girl or Oldboy? I'd like to get my hands on both, but I've been having a really hard time.
scotch
post #2  on September 8, 2004 - 10:01 AM PDT  
If you live in SF LeVideo has a copy of My Sassy Girl, but Im not sure what the format is. I thought it was VHS.
hamano
post #3  on September 8, 2004 - 10:05 AM PDT  
If you're a fan of Korean movies, you might want to participate in THIS THREAD...
^_^
kamapuaa
post #4  on September 8, 2004 - 11:42 PM PDT  
> I'm a huge fan of Korean cinema, especially the cheesy "love across time" stuff. I read up on koreanfilm.org from time to time and put together periodic "to find" lists, but unfortunately I'm limited to R0 and R1. Anybody have any experience with good/bad R0 DVD purchases of My Sassy Girl or Oldboy? I'd like to get my hands on both, but I've been having a really hard time.


These are maybe my two favorite movies of the 00's.

My Sassy Girl can be gotten easily off of EBay. Go for the extended version (137 minutes). The R0 DVD that used to be available (of the shorter version) really sucked, worse than a VCD even. Can't say for the newer DVD but it's cheap so who cares.

Old Boy is also available as a very cheap R0 DVD off EBay.

If Ann Arbor (looking at your profile) has a Chinatown, you can probably get them very easily at a Chinese video store. You can grab both movies off of Bittorrent.

I've seen "Il Mare" and thought it was fun if incredibly cheesy - I didn't know the "Somewhere in Time" device was a cliche of Korean films, though. Any others you'd care to recommend?
gnixon29
post #5  on September 10, 2004 - 12:56 PM PDT  
Thanks for the feedback, Kamapuaa. The film that introduced me to this "love across time" sub-genre was Donggam (Ditto), which seems to be loosely based on the US film Frequency. Check out this review, which also references other "love across time" films...

http://www.mediacircus.net/ditto.html

I guess if you've seen Il Mare, the only other one I'd recommend is Failan.

I'll have to take some time & look a little harder through the eBay listings.
chiffonade
post #6  on September 24, 2004 - 12:25 AM PDT  
> On September 8, 2004 - 8:30 AM PDT gnixon29 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I'm a huge fan of Korean cinema, especially the cheesy "love across time" stuff. I read up on koreanfilm.org from time to time and put together periodic "to find" lists, but unfortunately I'm limited to R0 and R1. Anybody have any experience with good/bad R0 DVD purchases of My Sassy Girl or Oldboy? I'd like to get my hands on both, but I've been having a really hard time.
> ---------------------------------

Check out hellodrama.com

I occasionally rent movies (they have lots of Region 1), though I primarily rent soap operas!
chiffonade
post #7  on September 24, 2004 - 12:29 AM PDT  
p.s. If you need subtitles, yesasia.com does the best Korean-English translations that I've seen.
gnixon29
post #8  on October 1, 2004 - 9:08 AM PDT  
Actually, I was able to find both since my initial post...one on eBay and one on cinfix.com.

Both absolutely blew me away. Definitely my new top two favorite Korean films, and I don't think I could ever choose between the two because they affected me in such completely different ways.
kamapuaa
post #9  on October 13, 2004 - 10:17 PM PDT  
This just in: I saw that "Old Boy" is listed on IMDB as being in the process of an American re-make, written and directed by Justin Lin, who made "Better Luck Tommorow." And "My Sassy Girl" (as said before) is also being re-made for an American 2006 release, written and directed by Gurinder Chadha, who made "Bend it Like Beckham."

Leaving open the question, if I make a cliched film with broad ethnic stereotypes, will I be pegged to re-make "Take Care of My Cat," or "Oasis," perhaps?
kamapuaa
post #10  on March 26, 2005 - 12:07 AM PST  
Today's NY Times review of "OldBoy" was interesting and is worth having a look. Some choice quotes...although generally he liked the movie for what it was, he called it as a "B Movie tricked out as an A movie" and criticized its reception (amongst other things, it was awared 2nd place at Cannes):

"the fact that 'Oldboy' is embraced by some cinephiles is symptomatic of a bankrupt, reductive postmodernism...in this world, asthetic and moral judgements - much less philosophical and political inquiries - are rejected in favor of a vague taxonomy of cool that principally involves ever more florid spectacles of violence. As in, 'Wow, he's hammering those dudes with a knife stuck in his back - cool!'"

"Oldboy" is definitely a very fun cartoon (I myself own the DVD) which doesn't hold up as art, which is what one expects Cannes to triumph. But such movies haven't over-run the arthouses, and are generally recognized for what they are, so perhaps the author over-states his case.
markhl
post #11  on March 26, 2005 - 10:20 AM PST  
thanks for lifting the quotes kamapuaa. I didn't want to sign up for the site.

some critics love going against popular opinion I guess.. if it's entertaining and he bought a DVD, I don't see why he'd criticize it. whatever..

by the way Mr.Johnny-To-nut, have you seen Throw Down yet? Is it as good as this festival director is leading me to believe?
kamapuaa
post #12  on March 26, 2005 - 1:58 PM PST  
I'm putting off "Throwdown" until either Greencine picks it up or I watch all the movies stacked up near my TV. It looks pretty good (if not great) to me though.

I agree about the review being a grumpy rant, but it was an interesting grumpy rant. Also, later I looked at the IMDB.com reviews, and was surprised to see pages and pages of reviews that were mostly 1 or 2 stars. It still got a very positive 8.5/10 ranking. Maybe the movie's real power is to inspire negative rants...

I'll have to watch "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" this weekend (it's stacked up near my TV).
markhl
post #13  on March 26, 2005 - 4:53 PM PST  
> On March 26, 2005 - 1:58 PM PST kamapuaa wrote:
> I'm putting off "Throwdown" until either Greencine picks it up or I watch all the movies stacked up near my TV. It looks pretty good (if not great) to me though.

stay tuned :) I'm sure you'll get reviews from both lizzo and moi in a few weeks.


> Maybe the movie's real power is to inspire negative rants...

Well, the higher the initial set of reviews tend to be, the more vicious the backlash. It only takes a few reviewers who go overboard in their praise to trigger it. Oldboy is amazingly entertaining but it's not a cure for cancer or something. In order for films to have a very high IMDB rating, it usually has to hit a pretty wide base of movie-goers. Oldboy is pretty accessible and entertaining irregardless of the "level" of cinemophile who watches it. I think that's the "magic" of Oldboy..


> I'll have to watch "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" this weekend (it's stacked up near my TV).

I think you'll like that one. It's not as grand and orchestrated as Oldboy but in some ways, it's more powerful because it doesn't have all of the extra polishing of Oldboy. The vengeance element is more real.. more brutal in Sympathy.. and makes me curious which piece Park Chan Wook's last part of the trilogy (to be released this year) will resemble more. In many ways, I'd prefer it to be the former one. I'd be curious to see how you would compare the two films.

After his roles in Sympathy... and Save the Green Planet (which you should also see kamapuaa - in case you haven't.. it's very odd but leaves such a powerful impression), I'm interested in seeing how Shin Ha Gyoon's career progresses in his future roles.
kamapuaa
post #14  on March 28, 2005 - 9:47 PM PST  
> I think you'll like that one. It's not as grand and orchestrated as Oldboy but in some ways, it's more powerful because it doesn't have all of the extra polishing of Oldboy. The vengeance element is more real.. more brutal in Sympathy.. and makes me curious which piece Park Chan Wook's last part of the trilogy (to be released this year) will resemble more. In many ways, I'd prefer it to be the former one. I'd be curious to see how you would compare the two films.

Me, too! I eagerly await the 3rd of the trilogy. I thought "Oldboy" was very (overly?) Miike-esque and was surprised by the dark brooding tone of "Sympathy." "Sympathy" could have used stronger characters and had other faults though, so I prefer "Oldboy."

The director obviously has a lot of range and talent, I can believe he'll go off in a 3rd direction for the next part. If not, I'd prefer a refinement of "Sympathy." I didn't care for "JSA."
PGalloway1
post #15  on May 17, 2005 - 11:58 AM PDT  
What really makes Oldboy, beyond the violence, FX, plot, revenge, hammer dentistry or any other elements, is the performance of Choi Min-sik. He IS the movie. I've been watching it over and over and am totally blown away by the extremes of emotion and non-emotion he conveys. Also, I should mention that the movie gets better with repeat viewings, something that these dickhead American critics, in their rush to go "Eeww!" at the octopus scene, will never understand.

Hey, check out my book, Stray Dogs & Lone Wolves: The Samurai Film Handbook, coming June 2005 from Stone Bridge Press.
hamano
post #16  on May 17, 2005 - 12:29 PM PDT  
> On May 17, 2005 - 11:58 AM PDT PGalloway1 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Hey, check out my book, Stray Dogs & Lone Wolves: The Samurai Film Handbook, coming June 2005 from Stone Bridge Press.
> ---------------------------------

Ooh, shameless self promotion! I love it! You should see if you could get underdog to do a GC contest with your book as a prize... I'm sure your publisher would cough up a promo copy, and you'll get on the GC main page...
PGalloway1
post #17  on May 17, 2005 - 4:45 PM PDT  
> On May 17, 2005 - 12:29 PM PDT hamano wrote:

> Ooh, shameless self promotion! I love it! You should see if you could get underdog to do a GC contest with your book as a prize... I'm sure your publisher would cough up a promo copy, and you'll get on the GC main page...
> ---------------------------------

Sounds great! I'm new here, so I don't exactly know how to contact underdog, but I'm game. Hints welcome ...

I joined GC for access to Korean and HK films for my next book and was pleased to find this hip online community.

Yosh!
PGalloway1
post #18  on May 17, 2005 - 4:49 PM PDT  
> On May 17, 2005 - 12:29 PM PDT hamano wrote:

> You should see if you could get underdog to do a GC contest with your book as a prize... I'm sure your publisher would cough up a promo copy, and you'll get on the GC main page...
> ---------------------------------

Alright, figured it out and sent your suggestion along to underdog. Thanks again!

PG

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