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Baramui paiteo (2004)
As my first Korean film, not bad
To be quite honest, I didn't know anything about this film before I had purchased it. In fact, I had only bought it for two reasons. The first was that I knew it was a martial arts film and two, because it featured Masayo Kato, who appears in a few movies that I happen to like. However, by the time I had finished watching the movie, I had to admit that it exceeded my expectations for a few reasons. For instance, it had some drama, which most martial arts films tend to lack; the picture quality was superb; and above all, it was an autobiographical sketch based on a real life martial arts master.
I won't go over the story, as I'm sure that a few other people had already given it away anyway. But to those who have criticized the film on the basis that it was "boring" just because the fights were too quick and not very well choreographed, I think it's important for them to acknowledge the fact that this was based on a true story. Most fights really did end relatively quick because of Choi Bae-dal's lethal blows. In fact, it was said that most fights between him and his opponents did not last more than three minutes, while other matches ended with only single blows coming from one of Bae-dal's kicks or punches.
Needless to say, I did enjoy the film as I've already emphasized above and was glad that I saw it for another reason: because I would not have embraced Bae-dal's depicted character with the same respect that I currently have for the other great martial arts legends, the likes of which include Musashi, Bruce lee, Wong Fei Hong, et al.
8 out of 10