7 items from 2016
Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.
April and the Extraordinary World (Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci)
Most writing on Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci‘s April and the Extraordinary World speaks as though they’ve adapted one of revered Frenchman Jacques Tardi‘s graphic novels. This isn’t quite the case. What they’ve actually done is bring his unique “universe” to life with help from previous collaborator Benjamin Legrand (writer of Tardi’s Tueur de cafards) instead. Legrand and Ekinci crafted this alternate »
- The Film Stage
Shim Sung-bo's Sea FogSTORY71%DIRECTION76%ACTING73%VISUALS77%POSITIVESRealismGreat story and directionThe general atmosphere, particularly inside the fogNEGATIVESThe romance Some scenes of extreme violence may shock mainstream audience2016-07-2574%Overall ScoreReader Rating: (1 Vote)77%
The film is based on an actual incident, when 25 illegal Chinese immigrants died from asphyxiation in the ship’s hold, as it was transporting them to S. Korea, with the crew then throwing the bodies in the sea. The incident almost caused a diplomatic episode between S.Korea and China, with the former publicly apologizing for the incident. The circumstances surrounding the incident have shocked the South Korean public, and the government issued a statement expressing regret over what it called an inhumane and criminal act.
The story takes place in 1998, three years before the case, when captain Kang, hit by the financial crisis brought by the Imf, is forced to transport Chinese immigrants to S. Korea. »
- Panos Kotzathanasis
Originally released back in 2014 on the festival circuit where it was a huge success, Sea Fog aka ‘Haemoo’ is finally coming to Blu Ray and On Demand from August 2nd 2016 .
The award winning film is also notable for being the Korean selection for the 2014 Oscars (Best Foreign Film ) .
Kang, a long time captain of the Junjin, is disheartened to learn that his ship has been sold by its owner, leaving Kang’s entire crew in danger of losing their livelihood. Swallowing his pride, Kang pays a visit to Yeo, a human trafficking broker, and decides to take on the dangerous job of smuggling illegal migrants into South Korea. When the Junjin arrives at the pickup point, a violent storm forces the boat to stall in the open waters, inevitably pitting Kang’s crew against the migrants. As tension and unrest spread throughout the Junjin, a dense sea fog envelops the boat, »
- The Tiger
"Have you ever smuggled people before?" Film Movement has debuted a brand new official Us trailer for the dark Korean drama Sea Fog, originally known as Haemoo, directed by first-time filmmaker Shim Sung-bo. Some may remember that we originally posted a trailer for this two years ago, back in late 2014, as the film originally premiered and opened in Korea back then. It has been touring around the world playing at film festivals all over, and is finally getting released in the Us. It stars Kim Yun-seok, Park Yoo-chin, Ye-ri Han, and Kim Sang-ho. I had the chance to see this last year and it's very dark and very harrowing, as the film deals with a ship captain making money trying to smuggle immigrants from China to Korea, but things go wrong. The cinematography is exceptional and it's a very well-made thriller, highly recommended. Here's the new official Us trailer for »
- Alex Billington
Though its moniker leaves much to be desired, Film Movement has today premiered the first Us trailer for Sea Fog, Shim Sung-bo’s dark and brooding maritime thriller that first made waves at Toronto International Film Festival two years ago.
Much like all notable movies to emerge from the South Korean film industry of late, the esteemed Bong Joon-ho – The Host, Memories of Murder, Barking Dogs Don’t Bite, and Snowpiercer – holds a credit on Sea Fog, having helped pen the screenplay and produce alongside Sung-bo.
Following up on their collaboration on Memories of Murder, Sung-bo and Joon-ho’s next creative venture chronicles the story of Captain Kang, a helmer who turns to illegal smuggling in his desperation, accepting a questionable job that involves the safe passage of immigrants from China to Korea.
Tense and nail-biting from the off, the official synopsis for Sea Fog reveals a ominous thriller:
- Michael Briers
For some, the name Bong Joon-ho is enough to garner interest, whether he is directing, producing, or scripting. He has handled the latter two in Sung-bo Shim‘s (who co-penned Bong’s Memories of Murder), which has now been given its first U.S. trailer ahead of a domestic release. The trailer shows a fisherman down on his luck who once again engages in human smuggling between China and Korea. An official selection at Tiff back in 2014 and now finally landing in the U.S. this summer, the trailer promises a taut, beautifully shot thriller.
We said in our review: “Both atmospheric and claustrophobic, the thriller is expertly lensed by cinematographer Hong Kyung-pyo (Mother, Snowpiercer) and tensely paced by editors Kim Sang-bum and Kim Jae-bum. The influence of Bong is apparent throughout the film, yet Shim’s direction is top notch and a text book example of misdirection. While the »
- Mike Mazzanti
Lee Joon-ik's The Happy LifeSTORY75%ACTING75%DIRECTING75%VISUALS75%MUSIC75%POSITIVESRealistic and entertaining direction and script writingGreat actingNEGATIVESJang Keun-suk's performance2016-03-1075%Overall ScoreReader Rating: (0 Votes)0%
The Korean writer and director team of Choi Suk-kwan and Lee Joon-ik had already established themselves as box office smashers with “Radio Days” and “The King and the Clown”, when they decided to shoot “The Happy Life”, and with actors like Kim Yoon-seok (The Chaser, The Yellow Sea, The Thieves), Jung Ji-young (The King and the Clown, The Good, the Bad, the Weird) and Kim Sang-ho (Tazza: The High Rollers, Blades of Blood, Haemoo) the result was predefined as highly entertaining, a prediction it fulfilled utterly.
Gi-yeong is an unemployed slob that owes money due to a number of unsuccessful investments in the stock market, has utterly leaned upon his wife for financial support and has trouble with his adolescent daughter. However, when he is informed that Sang-woo, »
- Panos Kotzathanasis
7 items from 2016
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