Showing posts with label doomsday book. Show all posts
Showing posts with label doomsday book. Show all posts

Friday, December 21, 2012

WKR: Jiseul, Masquerade and Melo Lead the Pack (12/15-12/21, 2012)

With Christmas upon us things are slowly winding down on the review front but still plenty to check out this week.


(Film Business Asia, December 15, 2012)

(Film Business Asia, December 17, 2012)

Friday, October 26, 2012

WKR: More From Busan and Doomsday Book Plays Toronto After Dark (10/20-10/26, 2012)

A few more reviews trickle in from Busan while Doomsday Book plays at Toronto's After Dark Festival.


(Variety, October 20, 2012)

(Film Business Asia, October 26, 2012)

(The Hollywood Reporter, October 25, 2012)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

KCN: Park Chan-wook takes on Western, Pieta at Venice and Busan Heats Up! (08/30-09/05, 2012)

The bis news this week is a new Park Chan-wook project, Pieta premiering at Venice and numerous Busan Film Fest announcements

BIFF 2012

The 17th Busan International Film Festival is exactly one month away and the news is starting to come in thick and fast. MKC will be on site for the entire event:

Friday, August 10, 2012

Weekly Review Round-up (08/04-08/10, 2012)

Lots of great big broadsheet writeups for a variety of films this week and still more streaming in from PiFan and other festivals around the world, not least Fantasia where Doomsday Book recently walked away with the top prize.


(Hangul Celluloid, August 6, 2012)

(Global Comment, August 7, 2012)

(VCinema, August 9, 2012)

Doomsday Book

Friday, July 13, 2012

Weekly Review Round-up (07/09-07/13, 2012)

Lots more NYAFF coverage this week and an early review for incoming blockbuster The Thieves. Next week PiFan gets underway so get ready for plenty of new genre release reviews!


(The Korea Times, July 11, 2012)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

NYAFF 2012: Doomsday Book (인류멸망보고서, In-lyoo-myeol-mang-bo-go-seo) 2012

Part of MKC's coverage of the 11th New York Asian Film Festival.

(by Peter Gutiérrez)

No doubt about it: it’s definitely a cliché to remark on how anthology films can be uneven – in fact, it’s probably also a cliché at this point to point out how commonplace such an observation is. Yet although this assessment applies to Doomsday Book, which gets its North American premiere Wednesday evening at NYAFF, the film is also refreshing in that I could see different viewers holding disparate ideas as to which are the stronger and weaker entries in this ambitious, three-part science-fiction extravaganza.

The opening story, “A Brave New World,” takes what seems like a well-worn zombie formula and, in the hands of Antarctic Journal’s Yim Pil-Sung,  fashions one of those optimal mixtures of the audaciously dark and the goofily humorous that can make Korean genre cinema so wonderful. That’s not to say that Yim’s goals are purely pulply, its ironical tone and light intellectualism are evident from the title. Taking its cue less from Shakespeare, or Huxley, and more from the Bible, this segment looks terrific and boasts some solid storytelling, so you’ll be forgiven for not noticing its more highbrow aspirations. Like Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, which played for both more laughs and more horror, “A Brave New World” is so adept at grabbing and holding your attention that you may be a bit disappointed when it seems satisfied in leading you into romance (!) territory and leaving you there.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Weekly Review Round-up (05/26-06/01, 2012)

The Taste of Money, which was presented late last week at the Cannes Film Festival, gets a big serving of reviews this week but Im Sang-soo may be eating some humble pie for a while.  A Screen Daily poll ranked his film as the least popular among the competition's 22 offerings.


(Seongyong's Private Place, May 31, 2012)

The Taste of Money

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Korean Cinema News (05/17-05/23, 2012)

Some sales in Cannes this week but not too much else to report though there are some great interviews and a new trailer for incoming summer zombie feature Deranged.  Next week should yield some more Cannes news and hopefully a Korean film will pick up a prize though at this point I don't think they'll get anything in the main competition unless The Taste of Money suddenly received a better welcome than in Korea where it opened last week.


Korean Movies Sell at Cannes
A number of high-profile pics have sold at Cannes, including the hotly anticipated The Thieves which was bought by firms in China, Hong Kong and Thailand.  The year's biggest local hit to date, Nameless Gangster, also secured distribution in some territories such as Japan, China and Hong Kong in Asia as well as Eastern Europe, Spain and the French-speaking portion of Europe.  So Ji-sub's hitman film A Company Man, which is scheduled to open next month, was sold to Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, and French and German-speaking Europe.  The Scent was also taken by a few Asian markets, including Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore.  Lastly, Love On-Air, the first wide Korean release of 2012, was sold to Thailand.  (Modern Korean Cinema, May 23, 2012)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Korean Box Office Update (04/13-04/15, 2012)

Battleship Sinks the Competition

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 Battleship (us) 4/11/12 41.80% 673,952 1,195,202 734
2 Architecture 101 3/22/12 15.90% 254,381 2,917,429 450
3 The Scent 4/11/12 15.60% 242,544 396,547 348
4 Untouchable (fr) 3/22/12 5.20% 84,418 1,502,292 242
5 Hunger Games (us) 4/5/12 4.30% 69,271 504,807 323
6 Over My Dead Body 3/29/12 4.20% 67,258 880,154 268
7 Titanic 3D (us) 2/20/98 5.70% 56,092 269,254 159
8 Beauty and the Beast (us) 7/4/92 3.80% 44,552 96,480 220
9 Doomsday Book 4/11/12 1.90% 31,564 73,836 236
10 Wrath of the Titans (us) 3/29/12 0.60% 10,086 883,711 114

The summer season got off to an early start this year as Battleship opened in most global territories, except for the United States.  Things over there kick off in early May with The Avengers and perhaps since Battleship will be playing in its wake when it opens two weeks later, the studio felt it should get a head start in the increasingly relevant international markets.  As such, business was up about 60% year-on-year with 1.6 million tickets sold versus just shy of a million in 2011.  Hollywood competition forced the domestic market share down to 38% which was down significantly from last year's 67%.

Battleship shot into first place with 673,952 and has already accumulated nearly 1.2 million admissions since it opened on Election Day, a holiday in Korea.  While certainly a strong figure it doesn't come close to some of the bigger openings of the past 12 months and will need to battle poor reviews to become a bonafide blockbuster.

In its fourth weekend, local hit Architecture 101 finally dropped a rank as it lost about 45% of its business for a 254,381 frame.  This probably means it has enjoyed the best part of its run and will start to make its exit from theaters in the coming weeks.  Currently it's a stone's throw from the three million mark and may go as far as 3.5.

The major new Korean release of the week was the thriller The Scent, starring Park Hee-soon and Park Si-yeon, which had a so-so start with 242,544.  The only thing that will save it now is very positive word of mouth but I have yet to hear anything about it and more than likely it will fade quickly.

French feelgood hit Untouchable dropped one more spot but lost over 60% of its steam for an 84,418 weekend.  In the meantime it has crossed the 1.5 million admissions mark which is a remarkable feat for a continental European film.

Hunger Games crumbled after its poor opening, sliding three spots and 75% for a lousy 69,271.  Its haul stands at just over half a million admissions and it will disappear fast.

Over My Dead Body lost two thirds of its business as it added 67,258 admissions to its total which could still reach the one million mark.  It will be close but next week's dearth of new openings could give it its chance.

At number seven, the 3D rerelease of Titanic added 56,092 to its bounty while the Disney rerelease of The Beauty and the Beast managed 44,552 in its opening weekend.

The anticipated Kim Jee-woon and Lim Pil-sung directed omnibus Doomsday Book garnered a less than impressive 31,564 during its debut but this should come as no surprise.  Short collections never make a the box office, actually this is a pretty good result in light of that fact.

Rounding out the chart was Wrath of the Titans third weekend where it eked out a minuscule 10,086 after a gargantuan 95% drop.

I'm curious to see what will happen next weekend as there does not seem to be any new wide releases.  Battleship stands a very strong chance of staying in number one but Architecture 101, which is a proven hit, also has a good shot of reclaiming the top spot.  Business will be down overall so holdovers will have a chance to see better returns but this is all just the calm before the storm as summer will really take off on April 26 when both the Hollywood The Avengers and Korean A Muse (Eungyo) see the light of day.


The Korean Box Office Update is a weekly feature which provides detailed analysis of film box office sales over the Friday to Sunday period in Korea. It appears every Sunday evening or Monday morning (GMT+1) on Modern Korean Cinema. For other weekly features, take a look at Korean Cinema News and the Weekly Review Round-upReviews and features on Korean film also appear regularly on the site. 

To keep up with the best in Korean film you can sign up to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Korean Box Office Update (04/06-04/08, 2012)

Hunger Games Loses Out to Architecture 101 Threepeat

Title Release Date Market Share Weekend Total Screens
1 Architecture 101 3/22/12 29.00% 454,154 2,332,422 555
2 Hunger Games (us) 4/5/12 17.30% 273,598 317,191 511
3 Untouchable (fr) 3/22/12 13.70% 216,085 1,291,048 343
4 Over My Dead Body 3/29/12 12.50% 195,313 704,753 353
5 Wrath of the Titans (us) 3/29/12 10.80% 163,299 836,105 402
6 Titanic 3D (us) 2/20/98 12.10% 119,705 140,050 271
7 Helpless 3/8/12 1.70% 27,076 2,406,861 163
8 Conan (us) 4/5/12 1.20% 18,998 23,947 198
9 Space Dog 3D (ru) 3/22/12 0.30% 4,690 40,910 41
10 The Scent 4/11/12 0.30% 4,479 8,855 11

This past weekend was the first without a major Korean release in some time and also heralded the entry of the year's biggest film to date Hunger Games, which has already accumulated over $400 million worldwide.  Surprisingly, business was down 25% from last weekend, though it was up 50% over last year as 1.5 million tickets were sold.  The Korean market slipped slightly to 45%, the first time it has gone under the 50% threshold since mid-January, though it still bested Hollywood.

The surprise number one was Architecture 101 which claimed its third straight victory with a resounding 454,154 admissions, off a mere 20% despite heavy competition.  With over 2.3 million tickets sold already, the three million mark is all but assured and if it stays competitive it will look to overtake Unbowed's 3.4 million total to become the year's third-highest grossing film.

Hunger Games just posted its third straight win at the US box office but in Korea its result was disappointing as it took only 273,598 admissions and failed to stop the streak of domestic first places finishes which now stands at 11.  With a lot more big releases slated for the next few weeks don't bet on this hanging around either, it will likely take a big tumble next weekend.

Staying strong at number three was the French hit Untouchable which had a very healthy 30% drop for a 216,085 weekend.  It is now well over the one million mark and may have another milestone ahead of it.

Korean comedy Over My Dead Body may not have had a brilliant start but it posted a better-than-expected 195,313 in its sophomore stint as it was off only 35%.  At this rate it should cross the one million mark which will certainly save it some face.  Who knows, maybe word of mouth will settle in.

Wrath of the Titans followed its disappointing start with a huge 70% drop as it fell three places with its 163,299 take.  However it will likely have just enough gas left in the tank to make it over the one million mark.

James Cameron's 1998 megahit Titanic debuted with its 3D makeover to the tune of 119,705.  This result is not as impressive as the brisk business it did in its native market this past weekend but still a decent result for a rerelease.

March hit Helpless is quickly making its way down the chart after a very strong couple of weeks.  It added another 27,076 over the frame and may be gone from the chart next week.  It will likely fall just short of 2.5 million but it has had a great run.

Hollywood remake Conan started its run with a disastrous 18,998.  The film was a big flop when it opened last August in the US and the elapsed time as not been kind.  This will probably be the film's only chart position.

Russian animation Space Dog 3D slowed 60% to 4,690 as it winds up its decent run.  Korean thriller The Scent opened in very limited previews for 4,479 to squeeze into number 10.

Next weekend should be interesting as two Korean films open, the aforementioned The Scent and long time in the making Kim Jee-woon and Lim Pil-sung omnibus feature Doomsday Book.  Also being released will be Battleship, the Peter Berg-directed Hollywood Blockbuster based on the popular game.  Battleship had a premier event in Korea with cast and crew in attendance and will likely launch the summer season (which keeps arriving earlier each year).  It should take first place as I don't think either of the new Korean releases will open to huge figures.  However, if it misses its chance, Architecture 101 probably won't be too far behind.


The Korean Box Office Update is a weekly feature which provides detailed analysis of film box office sales over the Friday to Sunday period in Korea. It appears every Sunday evening or Monday morning (GMT+1) on Modern Korean Cinema. For other weekly features, take a look at Korean Cinema News and the Weekly Review Round-upReviews and features on Korean film also appear regularly on the site. 

To keep up with the best in Korean film you can sign up to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Friday, March 30, 2012

April 2012 Korean Releases

This monthly features previews the coming month's attractions in Korean cinema.  All of these monthly posts are available in an archive on the Upcoming Releases page.

April 5


April 11

Doomsday Book
The Scent

April 19


April 26

Eungyo (A Muse)
Rain and Rain
Red Maria
Spring, Snow

April TBC

The Peach Tree


Director:  Tae Jun-seek
Release date:  April 5

A documentary about an elderly woman and her impact on the people with difficult lives.  Mother has screened at a number of documentary festivals including the DMZ International Documentary Festival.

Doomsday Book

Director:  Yim Pil-seong, Kim Jee-woon
Cast:  Kim Kang-woo, Kim Gyoo-Ri, Ryoo Seung-beom, Song Sae-byeok
Synopsis:  Three unique stories of human self-destruction in the modern high-tech era.  In a hope to restore the humane compassion in the insusceptible modern age, the film displays an alternative form of genuine humanity.  And thus you are stepping into the world of future, where a series of unexpected stories awaits you.  All these stories originate from the earth. From the very earth you live on. 
Release date:  April 11

An eagerly anticipated omnibus film which initially went into production in 2006 but halted due to financing problems, recently the project was put back on track.  and will sate us as we await Kim Jee-woon's debut American feature in 2013.  This will be Yim Pil-seong (Antarctic Journal, 2005; Hansel and Gretel, 2007) first work in 5 years.  Han Jae-rim was initially to directed a segment before the production shut down.  The final segment was recently completed with Yim Pil-seong directing and Kim Jee-woon in a supporting role.  I am not certain about the release date, since no trailer has appeared to date the film may be pushed back.

The Scent

Director:  Kim Hyung-jun
Cast:  Park Hee-soon, Park Si-yeon, Joo Sang-wook, Cha Soo-yeon
Synopsis:  A woman asks a detective, who does some PI work on the side, to investigate her husband whom she suspects is having an affair.  When the husband winds up dead it's the detective who becomes a suspect.
Release date:  April 11

Kim Hyung-jun's second feature following 2010's No Mercy.


Director:  Lee Sang-bin
Writer:  Lee Sang-bin
Cast:  Ko Ah-sung, James Page
Synopsis:  Nanye is a young musician who takes a 15-day trip to England and meets James who becomes her guide.
Release date:  April 19


Director:  Jeong Ji-woo
Cast:  Lee Paul, Yeom Hyeon-joon, Kim Sae-byeok
Synopsis:  Lee Juk-Yo, a respected poet, is an old man who cares fondly for his younger disciple Seo Ji-Woo.  When a teenage 17-year-old enters their lives, their lives are turned upside down.
Release date:  April 26

Jeong Ji-woo, the director of Happy End is back with an adaptation of popular novel Eungyo starring Park Hae-il, hot off his multiple Best Actor wins for War of the Arrows, who will portray a 70-year old man.  This vaguely reminds me of 2010's Moss which featured Jeong Jae-yeong under layers of makeup and also starred Park.

Spring, Snow

Director:  Kim Tae-gyoon
Cast:  Yoon Seok-hwa, Lim Ji-gyoo, Lee Kyeong-yeong, Kim Ha-jin
Synopsis:  A drama about a typical mother Soon-ok and her family's process of getting ready to say goodbye.
Release date: April 26

Red Maria

Director:  Kyung-soon
Cast:  Yoon Seok-hwa, Lim Ji-gyoo, Lee Kyeong-yeong, Kim Ha-jin
Synopsis:  A documentary that follows suffering women across Asia who work in the sex trade, as immigrants, are homeless and more.
Release date: April 26

Rain and Rain

Director:  Kim Nam-kyung
Cast:  Im Chang-jeong, Yu In-young, Lee Kyeong-jin
Synopsis:  A romance story between musicians Soo-Hyun and Ji-eun.
Release date:  April 26

The Peach Tree

Director:  Ku Hye-sun
Cast:  Nam Sang-mi, Ryu Deok-hwan, Cho Seung-woo
Synopsis:  A complicated love triangle of siamese twins who fall for the same girl.
Release date:  April

The Peach Tree bowed at the Busan International Film Festival last October.


Asian Wiki
Han Cinema

Reviews and features on Korean film appear regularly on Modern Korean Cinema.  For film news, external reviews, and box office analysis, take a look at the Korean Box Office UpdateKorean Cinema News and the Weekly Review Round-up, which appear weekly on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings (GMT+1).

To keep up with the best in Korean film you can sign up to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Korean Cinema News (03/15-03/21, 2012)

Lots of big sales at the HK Film Market and some interesting casting news.  Also many new trailers and posters this week, including one for the hotly anticipated As One.


'Movie Director' Park Joong-hoon is Now a Writer Too
Park Joong-hoon is currently writing the scenario for his director-debut movie with a professional writer.  He has been officially announcing his debut as a director and the preparation process on his Twitter regularly.  He said on his Twitter, "I have officially started filming. I will put my heart into it".  Previously, he revealed that he was working with a professional writer on the scenario and truthfully revealed the pain and joy in writing out the story.  (, March 14, 20120

Early Works Return to Life at Korean Film Archive
Moviegoers today are accustomed to glossy, high-definition images that indiscriminately reveal slight skin blemishes of actors known for flawless complexions. Bass-heavy, surround-sound audio has also become the norm.  (The Korea Times, March 15, 2012)

Jane Birkin Wants to Work with Director Hong Sang-soo
French actress and singer Jane Birkin talked to Yonhap News ahead of her Korean concert at AX-Korea on March 22.  During the email interview, the chanteuse wondered if she was too old to give acting a go in Korea.  “There’s always a bit of a risk when you start something new, but I think working on a Korean movie would be worth it. The question is though, would Hong Sang-soo want to hire me?” joked Birkin. (Joong Ang Daily, March 16, 2012)

Lost’s Yunjin Kim Gets A Lead In ABC’s Mistresses
Lost alumna Yunjin Kim has landed a lead opposite Rochelle Aytes and Jes Macallan in Mistresses, ABC’s drama recently greenlighted straight to series for a summer 2013 launch.  The soap, written by KJ Steinberg and based on the British format, is described as a provocative drama about four women — three of them played by Kim, Aytes and Macallan — with scandalous romantic lives, caught in storms of excitement and self-discovery, secrecy and betrayal.  (Deadline Hollywood, March 16, 2012)

Buyers Run Off With Showbox's Thieves
The Thieves, a big-budget heist movie, has been a strong seller for integrated South Korean film giant Showbox/Mediaplex Inc.  The company has pre-sold the film to Dream Movie Entertainment Overseas Ltd for Singapore and Malaysia, Queen International Pictures Pte Ltd for Indonesia and Catchplay Inc for Taiwan.  (Film Business Asia, March 18, 2012)

KOFIC Eyes Global Market at H.K. FILMART
Korean Film Council (KOFIC) announced on Monday that it is currently participating in Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (FILMART), to promote local films worldwide and launch more foreign projects in Korea.  The Hong Kong-based event, which kicked off Monday and runs through Thursday, is considered one of the biggest film markets in Asia.  KOFIC said they will have their own lounge, titled “Korean Film Center,” during the event.  (The Korea Herald, March 19, 2012)

Start Date Set and The Host Stars join Bong Joon-ho’s Snow Piercer
A-list director Bong Joon-ho (Mother, 2009) is bringing back a couple of stars from one of his biggest hits, The Host (2006), for his newest project, Snow Piercer, which sounds like quite the large-scale sci-fi/thriller/action venture.  In it, Go Ah-sung (God of Study) and Song Kang-ho team up to play a father-daughter duo, as they did six years ago in The Host.  The film is set to begin shooting on March 26 and expected to run through to July 1.  (dramabeans, March 19, 2012)

5 Points to Do Right by CJ
US-based Asian entertainment group Right Stuf Inc has struck a deal to handle seven titles from South Korea's CJ Entertainment Inc in North American home entertainment markets.  Titles include Bleak Night (2010), Finding Mr Destiny (2010), Moss (2010), Penny Pinchers, Punch, The Suicide Forecast and Tazza: The High Rollers (2006).  (Film Business Asia, March 19, 2012)

Will Park Chan-wook Go to Cannes With Nicole Kidman?
Will director Park Chan-wook step on the red carpet at Cannes with Hollywood actress Nicole Kidman?  Director Park Chan-wook's Hollywood project Stalker is likely to be submitted in the 65th Cannes International Film Festival that is opening on the 16th of May.  Recent Hollywood reports and movie expert media have been looking positively at the possibilities of Stalker entering Cannes, along with the coming together of a Korean director and famous Hollywood actress.  (, March 20, 2012)


Heartthrob Determined to Go Beyond His Image
More than a decade into his career, Joo Jin-mo, 37, is still considered one of the best-looking faces in Korean cinema. He is also a victim of that image, however, incarnating one virile leading man after another.  Even in his newest film Gabi that opens today, he plays that tough-guy role again.  (The Korea Times, March 13, 2012)


As One (via Naver)



The Scent


Doomsday Book



The Scent

The Thieves


Helpless Repeats at the Expense of Russian Coffee
(Modern Korean Cinema, March 18, 2012)

Korean Cinema News is a weekly feature which provides wide-ranging news coverage on Korean cinema, including but not limited to: features; festival news; interviews; industry news; trailers; posters; and box office. It appears every Wednesday morning (GMT+1) on Modern Korean Cinema. For other weekly features, take a look at the Korean Box Office Update and the Weekly Review Round-upReviews and features on Korean film also appear regularly on the site. 

To keep up with the best in Korean film you can sign up to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.