Poll

What's your favorite film from Jee-woon Kim?

haven't seen any
3 (20%)
don't like any
3 (20%)
other
0 (0%)
The Quiet Family
0 (0%)
The Foul King
0 (0%)
A Tale of Two Sisters
2 (13.3%)
A Bittersweet Life
4 (26.7%)
The Good, The Bad, The Weird
3 (20%)
I Saw the Devil
0 (0%)
The Last Stand
0 (0%)
The Age of Shadows
0 (0%)
Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 15

Author Topic: Kim, Jee-woon  (Read 1733 times)

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Kim Jee-woon - The Top Directors Working Today
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2013, 03:02:45 AM »
Really enjoyed
A Tale of Two Sisters

Not so much
A Bittersweet Life

Have started but not finished
The Good, The Bad, The Weird

1SO

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Re: Kim Jee-woon - The Top Directors Working Today
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2015, 03:07:43 PM »
I replaced the original "What have you seen?" with a proper Poll. Please vote.

Corndog

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Re: Kim, Jee-woon
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2016, 08:31:05 PM »
1. The Good, the Bad, the Weird (3.5)
"Time is the speed at which the past decays."

1SO

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Re: Kim, Jee-woon
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2017, 11:38:44 PM »
Preparing to Marathon Kim's entire filmography, I found this wonderful review of I Saw the Devil by Matt Lynch:

"second pass because I want to get behind something this ferocious and technically adept but it's so repetitive, so criminally long and so fatally have/eat cake shallow that i have to stick to my guns and call it a failure. while my lizard brain thrills to the astounding violence and virtuoso camerabatics this is still a pretty tired "consumed by revenge" jam, so narratively convoluted and hypocritical in its rote moralizing that i'm wondering if it isn't just a big joke, that Kim is just making a comedy of errors that happens to be about a couple of raging psychopaths. i don't mind that this is a flimsy clothesline for expertly choreographed sadism, I mind that it's 2 1/2 hours long and almost gleefully stupid."

1SO

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Re: Kim, Jee-woon
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2017, 11:50:17 PM »

The Quiet Family (1998)

Kim's rather assured debut is a black comedy about a family that opens a mountain inn, start to go crazy from boredom when nobody shows up and wind up losing their moral grip when somebody does take a room and uses the inn to commit suicide. (If some of you are thinking this sounds like Takashi Miike's The Happiness of the Katakuris, that is a remake of this film.) Nailing the tone is one of the most difficult jobs for a director, and Kim moves his story steadily from deadpan to screwball. The slide into chaos is more interesting than the full blown lunacy of the finale, and actually, I liked the mundane desperation of the beginning the most. Camerawork isn't stellar yet, but there are a number of good compositions and clever moves, as well as an unusual Western soundtrack from artists like Love & Rockets, The Stray Cats and The Partridge Family. Cast includes the ubiquitous Kang-ho Song and Oldboy's Min-sik Choi, both in roles different than you're probably used to seeing them.
RATING: * * * - Good

pixote

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Re: Kim, Jee-woon
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2017, 03:48:34 AM »
Ah, 1990s Far East Bracket memories...

But, as a whole, The Quiet Family feels like a failed pilot for a new sitcom on Showtime, and that just won't do.

"Take that, Weeds!" says 2010 pixote.

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

1SO

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Re: Kim, Jee-woon
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2017, 11:54:20 PM »

The Foul King (2000)

I tried to find the joke someone made about Corndog eventually doing a Marathon of all Sports, because I realize there is none I'm more interested in than wrestling. I'd sooner watch films about golf, darts or fishing. You'd think being so similar to boxing, I wouldn't find wrestling so uninteresting, and I like both The Wrestler and Win Win a lot, but those films are about the people, not the sport. The sport is dead at its core, so all one can do is throw in gimmicks and outrageous costumes to liven things up.

The Foul King stars Song Kang-ho (of course it does), and some of the antics away from the mat, especially at work, are almost funny. I see the potential of this mild-mannered bank clerk leading a second life as a cheating wrestler who lets out all his frustrations in the ring, though this doesn't make him a good wrestler, just a more confident failure.

Despite being highly-rated on every site, I avoided this one with good reason. Even after years of exposure to S. Korean cinema, there's still a cultural learning curve I'm sometimes unable to work with. It happens most often with comedy and now I see that sports films are an extra level of difficulty. So there's a fair amount of my negative reaction to this film that's on me. Still, I'm not going to soften the blow just because I like the director, and I can't imagine what would have to happen for me to ever watch this again.
RATING: * *

1SO

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Re: Kim, Jee-woon
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2017, 09:31:27 PM »
Memories (2002)
* *
Kim's contribution to the Asian 3 Extremes horror omnibus is a 40-minute shocker about a man and a woman, both trying to fill in a brief period of amnesia or blocked trauma. It's not meant to be a surprise that the two people and their traumas are related, it's just a question of related by what? Like many shorts by feature directors, this is a test run for an upcoming feature, in this case A Tale of Two Sisters. It's fine, but hardly surprising or scary outside of a couple of loud sounds and some graphic violence introduced casually into seemingly banal scenes.

1SO

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Re: Kim, Jee-woon
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2017, 12:05:39 AM »

A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

My biggest reason for wanting to do a full re-watch. I haven't seen this in over 10 years and it's much more complicated than I remember. Of course when a story decides to play with time you have to ask if there's a purpose of if it's just about keeping valuable information for the end in order to throw surprises at the audience. I can understand frustration at the film being so mysterious for so long, but I don't think a strict chronological presentation would've been interesting or suspenseful.

The unusual tone here isn't about injecting broad comedy into serious drama like many S. Korean films, it's about making a melodrama that looks and sounds like a horror movie. Seen as horror, it's light on scares. The moments that play on your nerves are more surreal interjections or supernatural spookiness, but Kim isn't going for fear. His images create mistrust between the characters.

There's a rich, velvety texture to the lighting and the fabrics of the furniture and clothes. Kim's skill is definitely improving and not yet peaked. He seems to have learned a lot from Memories, with a different approach to the shock moments. His sharp edits to horror imagery rarely include stinging music cues. He just lets the cuts do the work. When the horror is more sustained in the present, he uses strong ambient sounds, again avoiding jump scare banging.
RATING: * * * - Good

roujin

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Re: Kim, Jee-woon
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2017, 10:58:55 AM »
Am enjoying your marathon, though I've never felt one way or another about Kim. That said, I just learned from the poll that he's doing an adaptation of Jin-Roh!!!