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Korea’s Showbox to Co-produce Neil Jordan’s ‘Widow’

Leading South Korean investor-distributor, Showbox is co-producing “The Widow,” Neil Jordan’s thriller film starring Chloe Moretz and Isabelle Huppert, alongside Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Ivanhoe Pictures.

“This co-production and investment [in “The Widow”] is a step beyond the partnership deal that Showbox signed with Ivanhoe Pictures in 2015,” said the Korean company in a statement. “This deal will help (Showbox’s) future expansion into production and investment in Hollywood.”

Set for a 2018 release, “The Widow” sees the story of a young woman who has a chance meeting with a mysterious widow who approaches her with malicious intentions. Jordan has credits including: “The Crying Game,” “The End of the Affair,” and “Interview With the Vampire.”

Showbox is also co-producing a romantic comedy, “Forever Holiday in Bali.” The film will be its first in Indonesia. Starring K-pop boy band Mblaq’s Thunder, “Holiday” will be directed by Ody C. Harahap, who previously directed “Sweet 20,” Cj Entertainment’s Indonesian
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Korea’s Lee Byung-hun Sets Deal With Sony Television

Bh Entertainment, the talent agency established by top Korean star Lee Byung-hun (“Red,” “G.I. Joe”), has struck a development deal with Sony Pictures Television International Production. The deal is intended to lead to Korean and U.S. adaptations, remakes and original shows for both the Korean and North American markets.

Lee, who is both a critical and commercial star within Korea, has credits that include “Masquerade,” “I Saw the Devil,” “Joint Security Area” and “Inside Men” He will earn a producer credit on all joint Bh Entertainment and Spt projects.

“Together with Sony we look forward to making innovative projects that will further the exchange of creativity not only with talented writers, directors, and producers but also serve as a platform for actors to be able to work on a global level,” said Lee in a prepared statement.

“South Korean drama is of increasing interest to Sony’s International Production team. Given the quality
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Inside Men’ Director Woo Wraps Busan-Set Thriller ‘Drug King’

‘Inside Men’ Director Woo Wraps Busan-Set Thriller ‘Drug King’
South Korean crime drama “Drug King” has wrapped up production. Starring Song Kang-ho (“Snowpiercer”) and Bae Doo-na (“Sense 8”), two of South Korea’s biggest actors, the film is directed by Woo Min-ho. Woo’s credit includes “Inside Men,” which grossed $49.7 million and was the fifth biggest release in 2015.

The film is based on the true story of Lee Doo-sam, a drug dealer in Busan who was infamous back in the 1970s; the majority of the film’s shoot took place in Busan. Song plays the drug king, while Bae plays an intelligent, charming lobbyist.

Song’s latest work, “A Taxi Driver,” which opened in August, has grossed $84.4 million and crossed the 10-million admissions mark. “Taxi Driver” will screen in the Biff’s Korean Cinema Today — Panorama section.

Distributed by Showbox, one of South Korea’s major film companies, “Drug King” is set for a 2018 release.

Related storiesBusan: Darren Aronofsky Condemns Harvey Weinstein's Behavior: 'Unacceptable,' 'Unlawful
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Bluebeard Debuts on Digital & Blu-ray Combo Pack August 15th

Bluebeard, the sophomore effort from Writer/Director Lee Soo-youn (The Uninvited), debuts on digital and Blu-ray Combo Pack August 15 from Well Go USA Entertainment. A psychological thriller in the vein of Alfred Hitchcock, the film stars Cho Jin-woong (The Handmaiden), Kim Dae-myung (Inside Men) and Shin Gu (No Blood No Tears).  In Bluebeard, Dr. Seung-hoon (Cho) sedates his landlord before a medical check-up and the old man begins telling him a convincing murder confession.

When a doctor learns a murderous secret from a sedated patient, he finds himself in the middle of an unsolved serial murder case. As dismembered bodies start showing up close to home, the doctor realizes he must solve the riddle before the killer realizes what he may know.

Bluebeard has a runtime of approximately 117 minutes and is not rated.

The post Bluebeard Debuts on Digital & Blu-ray Combo Pack August 15th appeared first on We Are Movie Geeks.
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Watch: Teaser Trailer For Lee Byung-hun’s ‘Namhansanseong Fortress’

It’s finally out! A few images and bits of information had been trickling out from the sets of this much-anticipated period epic, but the makers have finally decided to unveil the first trailer of Namhansanseong Fortress. And it looks spectacular.

The film is directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, who makes his foray into yet another new genre after 2011’s dark and challenging The Crucible (Silenced) and 2013’s comedy Miss Granny. Starring in key roles are Lee Byung-hun (Inside Men, I Saw the Devil), Kim Yoon-seok (The Priests), Park Hae-il (The Last Princess), Go Soo, Park Hee-soon and Jo Woo-jin.

Lee Byung-hun in Namhansanseong Fortress (2017)

The film is set during the Second Manchu invasion of Korea of 1636, when the newly established Manchu Qing dynasty invaded Korea’s Joseon kingdom. During the invasion, King Injo, the 16th Joseon king, and his retainers were forced to seek refuge in the fortress located in the mountain city of Namhansanseong.
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Cannes Film Review: ‘The Merciless’

Cannes Film Review: ‘The Merciless’
Armed to the hilt with double-, triple- and quadruple-crossings between gangsters, moles and cops, “The Merciless” tries to be the whole “Infernal Affairs” trilogy rolled into one movie. A largely generic crime thriller in which a ruthless gangster and his protege fight for dominance in and out of prison, the third film by South Korean director Byung Sung-hyun barrels forth with riotous energy, but two-thirds into the picture, the switcheroos get so ridiculous one eventually stops caring about any character. This is a shame, as the two leads, Sul Kang-gul and Yim Si-wan, are flamboyantly compelling.

Still, the stylized production and stomach-churning violence are tailor-made for Asian genre fans, making the film an easy sell abroad. Although a controversy surrounding the helmer’s provocative tweets has hurt domestic box office, the movie has already presold to more than 110 territories worldwide.

A prologue introduces the formidable protagonist, Jae-ho (Sul, “Oasis,” “Silmido
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Song Kang-ho crime drama 'Drug King' underway

  • ScreenDaily
Song Kang-ho crime drama 'Drug King' underway
Exclusive: Showbox production also stars Jo Jung-suk and Doona Bae.

Korean studio Showbox has started shooting crime drama Drug King (working title) in Busan, South Korea with Song Kang-ho (Snowpiercer) heading the cast.

Directed by Woo Min-ho, the film is based on the true story of an infamous drug dealer in Busan in the 1970s. Song plays the drug lord, while Jo Jung-suk (The Face Reader) and Doona Bae (Sense8, Cloud Atlas) have also joined the cast.

Woo’s credits include political thriller Inside Men, which grossed $50.4m in Korea in 2015. Song also stars in Showbox’s A Taxi Driver, also starring Thomas Kretschmann and directed by Jang Hoon, which is being lined up for a summer 2017 release.
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Upcoming Song Kang-ho Films

The ever-reliable thespian Song Kang-ho, after a big 2013, in which he featured in Snowpiercer, The Face Reader and The Attorney, had a quiet 2014 before appearing in Lee Joon-ik’s smash hit period drama The Throne and Kim Jee-woon’s Colonial Era action-thriller The Age of Shadows. This year, Song seems to be hitting his stride with the following films.

Taxi Driver

Sure to stir up many memories and much debate, it depicts the story of a taxi driver and the late Jürgen Hinzpeter (played by Thomas Kretschmann), a German journalist who reported on 1980 Gwangju Uprising, when the Korean military invoked martial law and slaughtered citizen in Gwangju. The film is to be directed by Jang Hoon of Secret Reunion (2010) and stars Song as the titular character.

In 2003, Hinzpeter was awarded with the Song Kun-ho Journalism Prize in Korea and made a thank you speech that he was grateful for a courageous taxi driver,
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Review: The Prison Shackles Itself in Familiar Story

The run of corruption thrillers that have proven so popular at the Korean box office of late shows no signs of abating with The Prison, which takes the same themes that have populated works such as Inside Men and Veteran, and applies them to the more intimate setting of a jail, which serves as a stand-in for society at large.In this debut work by new director Na Hyun, a former cop winds up on the wrong side of the law and is handed a jail sentence. In prison, he soon finds his way into the entourage of a criminal mastermind who controls everyone within the walls, even the guards and the warden, routinely sending convicts outside on missions.Convicts stepping out for brief missions is hardly...

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See full article at Screen Anarchy »

'Magnificent Seven' Star Byung-hun Lee Signs With UTA (Exclusive)

'Magnificent Seven' Star Byung-hun Lee Signs With UTA (Exclusive)
The Magnificent Seven star Byung-hun Lee has signed with UTA, The Hollywood Reporter has exclusively learned. He was previously with CAA.

Lee has become Hollywood's go-to Asian actor for its big action movies. In addition to Antoine Fuqua's Western remake in 2016, he also appeared in Terminator Genisys, Red 2 and the G.I. Joe franchise, where he got his stateside break as Storm Shadow.

In his native South Korea, Lee's many starring credits include Single Rider, Master, The Age of Shadows, Inside Men, I Saw the Devil and The Good the Bad and the Weird,...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

What’s in Store for the Korean Box Office for 2017?

The world of Korean cinema saw one of it’s strongest recent years in 2016. Some of the most influential and renowned directors made a comeback with exceptionally strong work; this list includes: Park Chan-wook with his film, “The Handmaiden,” and the very popular Kim Jee-woon, who came out with “The Age of Shadows.” Hollywood was also a major proponent in the overall strength in the 2016 Korean box office results. Films like, “The Age of Shadows,” and “The Wailing,” both had strong backing from Hollywood, which boosted their national, and international, excitement.

The list of upcoming 2017 films looks just as strong:

Battleship Island

One of the first to look out for, and potentially may be one of the biggest blockbusters in 2017, is the star-studded “Battleship Island.” “Battleship Island” casts, Hwang Jung-min, Song Joong-ki, So Ji-sub, and Kim Soo-an, and is directed by Ryoo Seung-wan. Ryoo is known for his 2015 film,
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

The 53nd Grand Bell Awards aka Daejong Film Awards

The 52nd ceremony was held on December 27, 2016 at Sejong University’s Convention Center and hosted by Kim Byung-chan, Kong Seo-young, Lee Tae-im.

Lee Byung-hun, who won the “Best Male Actor”, decided to speak about the still-existing controversy surrounding the awards ceremony, during his acceptance speech:

“I’m happy to receive this award, but my heavy heart takes precedence. There’s been a lot of talk about and problems with the Grand Bell Awards, and I feel like these problems have still not been addressed,” he said. He called for action to be taken, and hopes that the industry will eventually come to an understanding.

The ceremony has been criticized for its fee-based voting system, poor accounting practices, and was supposedly boycotted last year for announcing -but later retracted- that only attendees could win awards. Similar to last year, many of the nominees and subsequent winners were not in attendance.

Kim Hye-su

Source: Soompi.
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

The 20 Best Asian Films of 2016

2016 was another great year for Asian cinema, although S. Korean films were the ones that, once more, stood at the epicenter of international interest, particularly due to Park Chan-wook’s comeback and the box office success of films like “The Wailing” and “Train to Busan.” Japan followed with a number of box office successes of its own, headed by “Your Name” and the new Godzilla film, although indie cinema had a very interesting year also.

Chinese language films also had a very interesting year, with “Ten Years” spawning enormous amount of controversy. Slowly though, filmmakers from other Asian countries, not as well known as the aforementioned, seem to present masterpieces of their own.

With a focus on diversity, here are the best Asian films of 2016, in random order. (Some of the films premiered in 2015, but I took the liberty to include them, since they mostly circulated in 2016).

Inside Men

Inside Men
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Watch This Special International Trailer for ‘Master’. The No 1 Film in Korea

Master features superstars Lee Byung-Hun , Kang Dong-won and Kim Woo-bin. The film is helmed by acclaimed writer-director Cho Ui-seok (Make it Big (2002), The World of Silence (2006), and Cold Eyes (2013))

International Trailer


Veteran actor and international megastar Lee Byung-hun (Inside Men (2015), The Age of Shadows (2016), and Single Rider (2017)) plays Jin Hyun—the charismatic conman and chairman of Won Network. Kang Dong-won is the feisty cop, Kim, assigned to hunt down Jin. Kim Woo Bin takes on the role of Park-Jang-gun, the tech expert who plays the two protagonists off against each other. Master is an electrifying battle among the three men as they chase each other after over 40,000 victims are scammed out of trillions of won.
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

The World’s First All Korean Movie Channel Launching Soon

Singapore’s pay TV platform, StarHub TV, will launch an all-Korean channel, tvN Movies HD, come January 11, 2017. StarHub TV subscribers will be the first in Asia to enjoy round-the-clock high definition Korean films.

tvN Movies HD partners with the top production houses in Korea, including the largest player in the industry, Cj E&M, to bring in over 200 films ranging from the latest Korean blockbusters to favorite Korean classics. Movie titles cover different genres including action, comedy, drama, horror, romance and thriller.

Samey Lee, CEO of Cj E&M Hk, expressed their eagerness at the launch, “By launching the world’s first & only Korean Blockbuster channel with StarHub TV in Singapore, we hope to expand our service offerings and, at the same time, deliver a unique and sophisticated Korean home-cinema experience to StarHub TV customers.”

Lee Byung-hun – Best Actor – Inside Men

tvN Movies HD promises a top-notch lineup of quality Korean films.
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Star-studded Korean thriller “Master” to premiere in Los Angeles

South Korean film “Master” premieres in Los Angeles on December 30, 2016.

Yonhap News Agency reports that the crime thriller will then open all over U.S. and Canada on January 6, 2017.

Master features superstars Lee Byung-Hun and Kang Dong-won as well as the up-and-coming actor Kim Woo-bin. The film is helmed by acclaimed writer-director Cho Ui-seok (Make it Big (2002), The World of Silence (2006), and Cold Eyes (2013)).

A special trailer was recently released. The video features behind the scenes footage of the cast shooting in exotic locations at Manila, Philippines.

Based on the trailer, Master promises to deliver pulsating car chases, spectacular shoot-outs and jaw-breaking fight scenes. The film will definitely bring in thrilling action and powerful performances from its three leads.

Veteran actor and international megastar Lee Byung-hun (Inside Men (2015), The Age of Shadows (2016), and Single Rider (2017)) plays Jin Hyun—the charismatic conman and chairman of Won Network. Kang Dong-won is the feisty cop,
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Song Kang-Ho to Star in Upcoming Korean Thriller “Drug King”

Box-office king and critically acclaimed thespian Song Kang-Ho is slated to star in the upcoming Korean period thriller, “Drug King”. Song plays a drug lord building his illegal empire in 1970s Busan.


Expectations are high, as Song Kang-Ho is known for delivering award-winning performances. He frequently works with the best Korean filmmakers. He starred in Chan-Wook Park’s “J.S.A.: Joint Security Area” (2000), “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance” (2002), and “Thirst” (2009), as well as Joon-Ho Bong’s “Memories of Murder” (2003), “The Host” (2006), and “Snowpiercer” (2013). Recently, Song came out in Kim Jee-woon’s smash hit “The Age of Shadows” (2016), Korea’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 89th Academy Awards. “Drug King” pairs Song with writer-director Woo Min-Ho, who recently helmed the 2015 gangster film “Inside Men”—Korea’s top grossing R-rated movie of all-time.

Filming for “Drug King” is set for 2017. No
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Eric Brevig to Direct Screen X Actioner ‘We Kill Death’ for Korea’s Cj-cgv

Eric Brevig to Direct Screen X Actioner ‘We Kill Death’ for Korea’s Cj-cgv
CJ-CGV, South Korea’s largest multiplex chain, has teamed with U.S. production outfit Let It Play to make “We Kill Death.” The movie will be the first English-language film made for Screen X, a proprietary projection technology that uses a multiplex’s side walls as well as the main screen.

It will be directed by Eric Brevig who previously directed “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” He previously served as visual effects supervisor for “Men in Black” and “The Maze Runner.”

Alex Ginzburg, best known for producing the first-person sci fi action movie “Hardcore Henry,” will produce.

Since its launch, the technology has been adopted by some 15 Korean and Chinese films. They include Kim Jee-woon’s 30-minute short film, “The X,” which screened at the Busan festival in 2013. While previous Screen X films only adopted the technology at the post-production stage, “Death” will be designed and shot as a Screen X-specific production,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

37th Blue Dragon Awards

With 2016 being one of the most impressive seasons for S. Korean cinema, there was much competition among the nominees and the awards were, as usually, spread among a number of films. Among the highlights was the fact that Lee Byung-hun won for the first time, despite his many nominations and that the award for supporting actor went to Japanese Jun Kinimura for his role in “The Wailing.”

The 37th ceremony took place on November 25th at the Grand Peace Palace of Kyung Hee University and was hosted by Kim Hye-soo and Yoo Jun Sang.

Best Picture: Inside Men (Woo Min-ho)

Best Director: Na Hong-jin (The Wailing)

Best Actor: Lee Byung-hun (Inside Men)

Best Actress: Kim Min-hee (The Handmaiden)

Best Supporting Actor: Jun Kunimura (The Wailing)

Jun Kunimura

Best Supporting Actress: Park So-dam (The Priests)

Best New Actor: Park Jung-min (Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet)

Best New Actress: Kim
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

World’s First Korean Movie Channel Set to Launch in 2017

Plans to launch a pioneering Korean movie channel, tvN Movies, has been announced by Korean entertainment group Cj E&M. The channel will be introduced in January 2017 in Singapore before setting off across the rest of Southeast Asia.

The Korean movie channel, the first of its kind, will feature classic and current films in HD over several platforms and through paid-tv, Video-on-Demand (VOD) and Over-The-Tope (Ott) services in Singapore.

Having gotten exclusive rights in Southeast Asia to broadcast blockbuster Korean films like Train to Busan, The Age of Shadows and Inside Men, tvN Movies seeks to ride on the wave of popularity of Korean movies in Southeast Asia. CEO of Cj E&M in Hong Kong, Samey Lee has said that the launch of the world’s first ever Korean movie channel will be beneficial to the entertainment group in broadening its market and reaching out to a wider audience,
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »
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