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[HanCinema's Digest] Cinema Snippets

2018/02/18 | Permalink

Variety's Maggie Lee reviews Yang Woo-seok's "Steel Rain", Kyu Hyun Kim brings the second-highest grossing Korean film of all time ("Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds") down to earth, KoBiz's latest infographic highlights local films that helped to raise consciousness around mental disabilities, and will the new "Detective K" film have the legs to match its predecessors?

"Film Review: "Steel Rain""

Do you remember "The Attorney" (Song Kang-ho) from 2013? Yang Woo-seok first feature went onto to become one of the highest-grossing Korean films of all time, eventually ending on an impressive 11.3 million admissions. Last year, Yang released his second film, the politically charged war drama "Steel Rain" with Jung Woo-sung and Kwak Do-won. While the film didn't challenge films on the all-time list, it did garner great support late last year (before "Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds", another webtoon adaptation, started its record-breaking run). Here, Variety's Chief Asian Film Critic, Maggie Lee, shares her thoughts the film: "While most spy thrillers content themselves with a few military skirmishes, Yang gives us a full-blown missile altercation that shows this is a war film that means business..."


"Along with the Gods"

Academic and film critic Kyu Hyun Kim reviews Kim Yong-hwa's "Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds" for (run by Darcy Paquet). The film stars Ha Jung-woo, Cha Tae-hyun, Ju Ji-hoon and Kim Hyang-gi in what has quickly become South Korea's second-highest grossing film of all time. Since its release before Christmas, Kim's adaptation of Joo Ho-min's webcomic (the first of two) has grossed an incredible $106.8 million from 14.3 million admissions. "The film's tremendous box-office success is actually not that difficult to understand", writes Kim. "It is a slick, if not altogether sensible, commercial extravaganza streamlined to do just two things: plunk the viewers down through the amusement-park ride of disposable thrills, and also wring as many teardrops out of their eyes as humanly possible".


"Cheer Up, Our True Heroes!"

With over 3.2 million admissions, Choi Seong-hyeon's second feature, "Keys to the Heart" (starring Lee Byung-hun, Youn Yuh-jung and Park Jung-min), is one of Korea's most successful films of 2018 so far. The film depicts the relationship between a struggling boxer and his brother, a brilliant pianist who also has a mental disability. South Korea has actually produced a few heartfelt films about savant syndrome, and this latest infographic KoBiz looks at Choi's latest along with three other films that have helped to raise the country's consciousness around mental disabilities.


"[Herald Review] "Detective K: Secret of the Living Dead", formulaic, funny, but not super-fun"

The third film in the popular "Detective K" comedy series, "Detective K: Secret of the Living Dead" (starring Kim Myung-min, Oh Dal-soo and Kim Ji-won) was released on the 8th and entered in first during its first weekend out: 630,483 admissions ($4.6 million) from 1,449 screens. A good start, but will it be able to follow the success of the previous two films? In this film review on The Korea Herald, Yoon Min-sik weighs in on Kim Seok-yoon's latest, concluding that, "the film is likely to have success at least in the Korean box office, although it is unclear how well its comedy will fare in the international market".


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