Reviews written by registered user
aglobalcitizen

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13 reviews in total 
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1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Disappointed, 17 February 2012
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I apologize for writing a negative review. First of all, I know I have no right to write a review because I did not watch the whole movie. But I did watch the final scene and some parts. On the other hand, somebody said that you don't need to finish eating the egg to know that it is rotten. Okay, this movie is NOT a rotten egg, but I was utterly disappointed.

First of all, the reason I have decided to watch this movie is because I am absolutely in love (or obsessed) about the movie A Moment to Remember (an Eraser in My Head) by the same director.

I also watch many Korean and some Japanese dramas, so it was interesting for me how the director would handle Japanese actors. Would he be able to bring them to life with magic of his personal touch?

So, here is my verdict: even though the director is using the same techniques, the mood is completely different. He still uses slow moving shots, inside out angles, looking through the window shots, colors and sounds. I enjoyed a very nice restaurant scene where the singer is performing - for a brief second I thought he was able to capture the mood. But only for a second.

Now for the bad stuff: okay, I know there is some animosity between Korean and Japanese still lingering deep down, or even on the surface and in abundance, but to see such a drastic departure from his storytelling style just because the main characters are Japanese... Mr. Lee - you cannot hate them THAT MUCH. Was it your revenge for everything that Japanese did to your country or this just happened because you could not work with Japanese actors?

Let me compare: A Moment To Remember is a gentle, subtle, sweet and innocent story about TRUE love in its purest form. You can't help but cry in the end. You feel like you have just tasted some crystal clear water from the mountains.

Sayonara Itsuka is about lust, dirty intentions and the lowest human instincts. So basically it is a story of two people having sex. Or rather, not two people but two actors. No matter how hard I tried, I could not feel for them. Yes, the guy is handsome, but the way he acted creates nothing but a feeling of disgust. There is absolutely no love present in the movie. Even when he cries in the end - I could not feel anything. I mean, yes, some people are like that, I am sure - but do I have to watch it? Why making the main character, who just happens to be Japanese, a filthy playboy? Why not to make him a good guy, so the audience could fall in love with him? Even if this movie is intended for male audience, I still cannot get over all this wasted potential. And what about the main actress, seductively taking off her underwear when the guy is wearing only a towel (and then no longer even a towel)? Why making her a whore? Is that all you can do?

Com'on Mr. Lee, you can do better than this. You have in the past. You ought to. For the sake of humanity and Korean cinematography. I expect another gem from you, not some garbage like this.

Okay, I did not give out too many spoilers, but let me assure you - my time was wasted. __________________________________________________

To all people who think that I should have watched the entire movie - here is my reply:

Once I got to a certain point, my disgust was so unbearable, I could not take it anymore. It was not worth my time. I only watched so much because of my respect for the Korean director and was hugely disappointed.

Overboard (1987)
5 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
What is Wrong With this Movie (SPOILERS), 3 October 2011
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I know my review is not going to go down well with many viewers here for the simple reason is going to be negative. But you would be surprised how negative I am actually going to get on this one so read on:

1. Now, since I was not the first person who wrote a review for this movie, you probably got the idea about the plot. Here is my point: if it was NOT a movie, but the actual police report, it would contain the following charges: kidnapping, exploitation, human trafficking and coercion into sex. Just think about it: the woman is sick, she has amnesia, and instead of getting proper medical attention and filing a police report she is being released to a total stranger with no paperwork to prove any relationship. What if he was a serial killer? How is that even remotely funny?

2. The woman is being abused by bratty kids and her so-called husband, who made her work long hours unpaid, she was denied any rights or choices, including the choice of picking her own clothes. Basically, she was enslaved by her captors. She was lied to repeatedly, and was kept enslaved because she was told she did not have anywhere to go. That sounds pretty much disgusting. No matter what she did and how badly she treated others nobody had the right to abuse or mistreat her or coerce her into doing anything. If this situation would happen in real life, charges would be filed for sure.

3. The character development suggests that she somehow enjoyed being a slave and a captive because her captor had sex with her, bought her a dishwasher and the kids grew to like her. Stockholm syndrome? Pretty much. I would believe it if she tried to make lemonade out of a bad lemon, but make us think that she enjoyed her new life? No way.

4. The main guy is a sick person. Not only he realized his darkest fantasy (having a slave who also performs sex), but he is also a bad father and a horrible husband. There is absolutely no character development there. He started out as a bad guy, and he finished off as a bad guy, even "for what it is worth - thank you" does not help much. Plus, he actually forces her to commit adultery. It is not important whether she loved or did not love her husband. If he told her the truth about her marital status prior to having sex with her - would she still be willing? So what he did can be considered coercion into having sex by providing false information. You can contradict by saying: "But he fell in love with her". No, he did not. To have sex is one thing, to fall in love is another. And there is absolutely no implications that he actually loved her, because... if you love a butterfly, you must let it go. Feeling possessive does not equal being in love with someone.

5. Come to think of it, most of the characters in the movie are pretty disgusting. The husband is a sleaze ball - that's a given. The girl is a real bitch - just the tone that she was using with that poor teacher who had to handle those brats was unacceptable. The guy is basically a criminal, and his friend is a sexually promiscuous pathological liar. The attention-seeking, abused and neglected kids need discipline, love, care and occasionally might require some corporal punishment.

6. The hardest part to believe is that she was eager to go back to being a slave on her own free will. It is like asking a Saudi woman after letting her drive and vote "Would you be happier if you were not allowed to drive and vote?" and she would say "Oh, much more happier. I never enjoyed cars and politics anyway and want to be a happy stay at home mom". Right. This movie is definitely some sick man's fantasy. Act it out in real life - and you go to jail. Act it out in a movie - and many brainless idiots will enjoy it and even write positive reviews.

7. The movie is extremely predictable. I understand that it is not for the smartest people out there, but... come on. The movie director should give his viewers at least SOME benefit of the doubt. Not all people are dumb. If you want to tell me "it is just a movie" - my answer is yes, I understand it is entirely fictional. But even some fictional stories are made in a way you want to believe the characters. There is nothing in this story I can even attempt believing - the true feelings between the characters, her enjoying being a mother or a wife, her coming back - fake, fake, fake.

The only positive quality I can think of - it is entertaining. That's why I gave it a two, otherwise - it is a solid zero, which means my time is wasted on movies like that.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS I laughed and I cried, 6 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you ever watched Korean comedies you should know that there are no such thing as comedy in Korean cinematography. As for Banga? Banga! I might say that this movie came as close as it gets to a true comedy. I watched this movie on the plane coming home. At times I cried so hard that my neighbors were probably wondering about my sanity. On occasions I laughed so loud they had to turn their heads to see what I was watching. Twice I even had to yell "Oh my God" in complete disbelief.

You should definitely watch it if you enjoy happy endings and do not mind the roller coaster of emotions. I guarantee you some nice, clean fun with some touchy moments to keep you interested.

SPOILERS

Now for the plot: a Korean guy desperately needs money for his mom's medical treatment. He and his friend come to Seoul in hopes of finding jobs. His friend buys a karaoke place, but this purchase does not bring him any profit. The main character is not able to find/hold a steady job so he pretends to be an immigrant, since he believes it gives him a better chance to find a job. After trying on a couple of different origins (and getting into some hilarious situations) he finally ends up telling everybody his name is Banga and he is from Bhutan. Why Bhutan? This is what his friend told him looking at the map of Asia: "We have tried every possible nation and every possible country. We have tried every STAN there is. The only country that is left is Bhutan. There are only three people in the whole Korea from Bhutan: the Ambassador of Bhutan, his wife, and you." Needless to say, later in the movie Banga ends up meeting the Ambassador of Bhutan and his wife and he has no idea what to do when they talk to him in Bhutanese. There are plenty of other funny moments - when somebody screams "Immigration" or when he finds a job as a chair-tester. I also loved the moment when he was swearing in Korean to the young people on the bus. The romantic involvement comes when he falls in love with another factory worker from Vietnam who has a child. Banga from Bhutan saves his newly found co-workers from the Immigration Service and even gets to teach them songs in Korean so they can win a big cash prize in karaoke competition.

Enjoy!

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Great love story (SPOILERS), 26 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am not sure the male audience will like this movie, but girls of any age will definitely enjoy watching it.

The story is centered around a couple that have been living together for so long, they treat each other like a family. Even though they still care about each other a great deal, the excitement in their relationship somewhat wore off and now they are looking for fun and understanding elsewhere.

We watch the couple as they fight, say things they should not have said in the heat of the argument, cheat, get jealous, love, cry and eventually break up to go their separate ways.

I think it is great that the movie ends on a positive note (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT) - in the very end they meet again and it looks like they might continue seeing each other after all. The ending is ambiguous yet it leaves a positive feeling.

I would certainly recommend this movie to all those viewers that like romance and dramas.

A Love (2007)
7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Gangster story (SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS), 23 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am giving this movie 9 out of 10 because of Ju Jin-mo. For those who are not familiar with this South Korean actor, he played the King in "A Frozen Flower". Since I am a big fan of Ju Jin-mo, no matter what movies he is going to be in, I will always give him top ratings because he deserves them.

In this movie he plays a good guy turned into a gangster due to unfortunate circumstances. He fell in love with a girl and, trying to protect her honor and her life (she was about to be raped) he had to fight the bad guys and, as a result, serve his sentence for "attempted murder". When he came out of prison, he became a gangster for a big boss. As a caveat, the mistress of that big boss happened to be the very girl that he fell for. It seems that the fate brought those two together again. By the way, the same actress played the queen in "A Frozen Flower" and I don't think the director's choice was based on the fate alone.

(MAJOR SPOILER AHEAD) The nature took its course, they ended up sleeping together. The big boss found out (well, even the walls in the bedroom have ears) and told his assistant to punish the guy. The assistant went to the person whom the gangster almost murdered a long time ago. Well, you can imagine the scope of retaliation. After severe beating, Jin-mo's character was thrown into a freezer. However he did not die and actually came out alive and killed off some of the bad guys (You go, Jin-mo!). However, the evil guy had the time to inform the girl that they fed her lover to the sharks by throwing his lifeless body into the sea. The girl could not stand the thought of losing the love of her life and jumped into the sea, thus committing suicide. When Jin-Mo's character found out, he jumped into the sea himself for the same reason. THE END.

Hence my message to the director: if you want female viewers to watch those kind of movies, do not kill off the handsome guy! I don't care about the girl, even if five hundred of them jump it will not make a dent. But killing off Jin-Mo's character is a BIG MISTAKE!!! Bring him back! You will never get 10 out of 10 from me by killing my favorite actor! Amen.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Cheaters (SPOILERS), 21 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is not a romantic movie, yet the plot is quite intriguing. I highly recommend watching this movie if you do not mind lots of sex scenes with young beautiful actors.

The alternative title for this movie is Nae yeojaeui namja chingu or Cheaters. That says it all. The are six characters and they all cheat. In fact, there is so much cheating going on that sometimes you lose track of who did what with whom.

The plot is made up of many different episodes that at certain points repeat themselves with new and new details, providing some additional clues for the viewers. The characters are all the same yet they are put in situations that change the story completely. It is fascinating watching the story unfold: new details turn the whole story upside down and keep your interest level high till the very end.

This movie would be great to show for sex education: how easily STDs are spread. Even though there are no STDs in this movie, there is lots and lost of unprotected sex and only one Japanese 0.03mm condom.

I gave this movie 9/10 for the plot. Enjoy watching!

5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
A gangster turns into a good guy (SPOILERS), 21 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My title says it all. It is a romantic encounter between one not very lucky yet deep down kind-hearted gangster and a nice girl from the country.

By the way, if you search the net, this movie is listed under many other titles, such as Gangster Love, Gangster Lover, My Dear Desperado, etc.

I recommend this movie for those who like light romance, but no deep passion. So if you liked "Mr. Handy/Mr. Hong", "Lost and Found", "Temptations of the Wolves", this is your type of movie (plus some violence).

The story is quite simple and predictable, thank God there are no deadly diseases and nobody dies (only the bad guy). I found the plot compelling and sweet. It is not a tear jerker, just a movie that will leave you with a nice uplifting feeling and a positive message.

I would change the ending though. I would make them get married or move in together - just one more final scene to make sure that everyone is happy (including female viewers).

Mi in (2000)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Mi in, Me out (SPOILERS), 20 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have just wasted two hours of my precious time... There is no love. No passion. There is a girl (nude model) who is so erratic in her behavior, it is really hard to sympathize with her. When the guy (MAJOR SPOILER AHEAD) finally strangles her (for whatever reason) the only thing I could think about was - why he did not do it in the beginning? Just because he enjoyed having sex with her every single minute of his day?

What is really disturbing about this movie is that (AGAIN) the woman is portrayed as dumb, illogical, emotionally disturbed and inconsistent. On top of all that, she is used for sex, physically abused and finally killed. How much violence toward women can Korean movie industry tolerate? Apparently, a lot.

The only thing I loved about this movie was interior design. It is beautiful. I would love to hire the person from this movie to decorate my house.

VERDICT: do not watch.

7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
A very disturbing movie (SPOILERS), 18 August 2010
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I just finished reading all the previous reviews and I guess my review is going to be completely different. I am a big fan of Korean cinematography and by now I have watched approximately over one hundred Korean films. This movie is by far the most disturbing and difficult movie to watch at least from a female's point of view.

The movie is divided into two different parts, two stories told from two main characters, two almost opposite accounts. The movie begins with the events that precede the final scene and only after that the rest of the parts are sequenced in order. The main male character is a total sleaze ball (actually, all the males in this movie can be categorized as such). The only thing he is interested is sex. When he finds out that the girl he was trying to have sex with is a virgin, his eyes light up as bulbs on a Christmas tree.

The story from the guy's perspective is quite ordinary, nothing special. By the way, before arranging having sex with a virgin, he checks the hotel room for hidden cameras (that shows you some experience!) However, when we watch the second part, retold from the female's point of view, we see the horrible reality that women have to go through in modern day Korea. The female character has to perform sexual favors for her older brother (yes, it is almost incest). She has to defend herself from being raped by her immediate boss. Even though she feels sick on that day and tries her hardest to avoid having sex with the new-found suitor who is a total womanizer and even calls her by some other name in bed, she agrees to having sex with him and it brings her nothing but pain that she felt she had to endure.

For all of you out there, THIS IS NOT A ROMANTIC FILM. In fact, it cannot be any farther from romance. It is a psychological drama, shot as a documentary with a twist, but there is no love in this movie. Sex - yes. Love - none. The final sexual scene feels like watching a girl being raped, even though it is a consensual rape. It is really disturbing and appalling.

On a final note, the actress who played the main character, Lee Eun Ju, committed suicide after her last movie "The Scarlet Letter". She began suffering from insomnia after performing the nude scenes in that movie. Let me tell you, it all added up, this movie included. If she would stay away from the movies that portray women as victims and walking sex objects, she might be alive with us today.

I also want to point out that it is the main goal of any art project, cinematography included, to purify people's souls and heal humanity, to evoke best feelings in our hearts, whether it is love, gratitude or sympathy, to pull the viewers up, not down. It is much easier to go downhill than uphill and there are plenty of directors who take the easy road.

I would not recommend this movie for those who want to walk away with a nice clean feeling or for those who prefer watching romance. This is a well-done movie with a disturbing message, that is why I am having a difficult time to rate this one. I will probably leave the ratings blank.

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Convoluted plot, lots of passion (SPOILERS), 12 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The plot fits the formula for all South Korean movies: love between two people has met the insurmountable obstacles, typical Shakespearean intensity. However, this particular movie adds a new twist to this old dilemma: there are two brothers, who are twins, and one woman that is loved by both.

MAJOR SPOILER AHEAD:

Are perplexities of the plot that important to this particular movie? Not really, because even I could not figure out between the two twins in the end. I am still puzzled: which one of the brothers survived the fall? Which one did she meet first? Even though one of the twins gives away the answers in the final scene, they both looked so much alike, it was beyond me to figure out who did what to whom and why.

The ending of the movie reminded me the story of "Three Billy Goats Gruff" except there were only two of them and no troll.

I gave this movie a high rating for the passion alone. There are a couple of steamy sex scenes, but there is more to it then just sex: the actors did show a lot of passion towards each other. Enjoy!


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