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Korean film 'Host' hits American reviewer's top 10 list for 2006

2007/01/08 Source

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The "Headgeek" of the major American movie review site Ain't It Cool News put the Korean movie "The Host" on his top ten list for the movies of 2006.

"The Host", Korea's blockbuster monster movie attracted around 13 million viewers last year, breaking the domestic box office record.

"I love this film", Harry Knowles writes in the review because "that country (Korea) puts out the most powerful works of cinema that I see in a given year". Calling "The Host" the "best full on monster movie since JAWS", he adds that it "has a lot more going on, than just a monster that comes out of a river".

Knowles also likens the Korean work to "Close Encounters of the Third Kind? "but instead of Aliens abducting a family member, it's a river creature".

As for accusations that the film is anti-American, the reviewer notes that the characters' distrust of government includes the South Korean government as well as the American. Expressing his understanding toward director Bong Joon-ho's satire of modern society at large, Knowles writes, "This film has a lot on its mind. Tonally, it is very complicated ?especially for Americans that are unfamiliar with Korean culture".

Explaining his attraction to Korean cinema in general and this film in particular, Knowles concludes, "This isn't Japan with an internalization of emotion. Koreans feel and emote greatly. They wallow in emotion, and the grieving scenes in this film are not comedic, but very real. Just not the way we're used to seeing the Asian cultures we see cinematically. ... This film will blow most of you completely away".

"The Host" will open at a theater in Boston in Jan. 24 and in Pittsburgh Feb. 24 before going into wider release in San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle and other places on March 9.

"Pan's Labyrinth" (1), "Black Snake Moan" (2), "Children of Men" (3), "300" (4), "The Host" (5), "The Fountain" (6), "Rocky Balboa" (7), "The Departed" (8), "Apocalypo" (9) and "Hatchet" (10) comprise Knowles' entire list.

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