Korean Movie Review: Thirst

ThirstAnother great film by directer Park Chan-Wook.  If you haven’t seen any of his stuff, this is probably not the best introduction.  It features heavy nudity/sex scenes and also a brilliant violent streak pretty typical of his stuff.

Starring Song Kang-Ho (surprise, surprise!) as a priest who becomes part of a study to cure a disease that has been plaguing his followers.  When the study goes horribly wrong he finds himself driven by a thirst for blood and more earthly desires.  As he begins to fall deeper under the spell of the vampire urges Sang-Hyun gives in to his thirst for blood and his sexual desire for the wife of a childhood friend(Kim Ok-Bin as Tae-Ju).  I’ll leave the rest up to the film, because there are so many twists and turns in this film that I’d give away a lot if I said much more.

I’m glad that Park Chan-Wook directed this film.  It’s something that only he can do, and it’s almost a given that he will draw the best performance possible of his actors.  I know Song Kang-Ho can act up a storm after his performances in Chan-Wooks previous works, but I was absolutely blown away by Kim Ok-Bin.   She started the film with such vulnerability and innocence and worked through such rage, madness and tenderness that I was just simply left in awe of her.  If you watch the film for no other reason than her acting you will be very impressed.  The violence of the film was necessary and when things seemed to be almost too graphic they always cut away very tastefully.  I highly recommend this movie.  9/10 (Down 1 point because of the violence, which isn’t my favorite thing, but the acting and plot made up for it in a big way!)

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Korean Movie Review: My Mighty Princess

I was surprised at how much I liked this movie.  It was released after 2 years of post-production and reviews said that it didn’t live up to the hype.  I try my best to go into movies without expectations, that way I’m not disapointed at all.  So, this was an amazing find for me.  If you have any general interest in qi-gong / gong-fu movies you will love this movie.  It’s unusual to find non-Chinese versions of gong-fu movies; and this is a great example of one.  It is also from the writer/director of several hit Korean movies; Kwak Jae0-Yong who created the movies Windstruck and My Sassy Girl, among other hit romantic movies.

Climbing trees while drunk is fun!

Note: Climbing trees while drunk is fun!

So-Hwi is a young college student who had been trained in charyeok by her parents as a child.  Now, as an adult, she has become embarassed by her abnormal strength and decides to quit in order to appear as a “normal” girl in front of her crush; hockey player Joon-Mo.  After joining the hockey club as a team manager/skate blade sharpener she endears herself to the rest of the team with the very talents she tries desperately to hide.  (Namely, her strength in fighting off other team’s and her high tolerance of alcohol.) After a small amount of time passes however,  her childhood friend Il-Yeong appears at her school asking her to return to the world of martial arts.  On the outside, it appears that Il-Yeong simply wants her to re-join him so that his dad will buy him a motorcycle, but after awhile it becomes evident that he has more serious and darker motives.  Despite his co-ercing Il-Yeong cannot get So-Hwi to take up the sword again and it is only after  So-Hwi’s father is attacked and left im-mobile in the hospital that she works hard to perfect the technique her mother left behind and seek revenge.


Ugh, now that the annoying synopsis is over on to my (silly? girlish?) review.  I loved every moment of this movie.  I suppose that the fact it is a culmination of many interests of mine helped.  I love gong-fu movies, romantic comedies, Korean boys and strong female characters.  This movie also had a strong message about the importance of family, which is something that a lot of families in the US need to learn.

Cuz we all just fly to school...

Cuz we all just fly to school...

I was kind of on the “eh” line during the first part of the film.  I think there were a few parts of the movie that were a little loose and confusing.   The opening fight sequence was poorly edited into the film and I almost wondered if I was watching the wrong film.  I will admit that my opinion really started to turn around in the second half of the movie.  It was a slow start and somewhat confusing, but the second half has a lot of information and pulls everything together.

I'd be smiling too.

I'd be smiling too.

Yes, I would be smiling too if I were surrounded by a dozen or so (cute!) Korean hockey players.  Omo..

So-Hwi really can’t stand it when another team beats up on her friends and Joon-Mo and ends up accidentally letting her true nature shine through.

Take THAT!

Take THAT!

really...

really...

Then she immediately repents and tries to play it off.



Really! It's her!

Really! It's her!

This is the scene that really turned me into a fan, of both My Mighty Princess and On Joo-Wan.  He was so silly, but adorable even while fighting off dozens of goons (In order save the man his love interest like more than him, might I add.)


*squish!*

*squish!*

During this scene, we learn a lot, and find out that Il-Yeong isn’t quite as naive, silly and shallow as he leads us to believe. Although…

Tightie whities are SO not cute.

Tightie whities are SO not cute.

Even the ajumma doesn’t think so.  Hehe.  I love the fact that he just barely notices that she is in the room after tossing his clothes in the washer.  I am left wondering why in the world he’s doing this in the first place – why doesn’t he go home?  In all, this is a FUN movie.  There is no really deep meaning and I think that after all the hype and delay in releasing it just disappointed Korean viewers.  A lot of their movies tend to have deeper intelectual themes and are very often depressing at the end.  Not this one, just go and have a fun ride and enjoy the silly, gong-fu based movie that has won over my heart.  There are serious moments like these though:

(T__T)

(T__T)

OR:

(>u<)

(>u<)


A final thought: WHO in the WORLD makes THIS face to kiss the man of their dreams???!!!

Seriously

Seriously

I made to many screen-caps for this movie.  Many of them of On Joo-Wan’s face, which I combined in my previous post.  Enjoy!