Monday, July 15, 2013

Korean Box Office: Pacific Rim Cashes in on Korea's Robot-philia

Business was a healthy 2.62 million admissions (in line with last year) over the frame as two big releases duked it out for the top spot. The local market share was down to 40%, well below last year's 60% but unsurprising given the big new release the past weekend.

TitleRelease DateMarket ShareWeekendTotalScreens
1Pacific Rim (us)13/07/1144.30%1,160,6361,372,7311005
2Cold Eyes13/07/0334.60%1,003,0493,540,435801
3World War Z (us)13/06/2011.60%345,8964,891,909383
4Killer Toon13/06/273.50%107,1731,091,116244
5Lone Ranger (us)13/07/041.20%34,668370,829229
6Secretly Greatly13/06/051.10%34,3196,932,959141
7The Adventures of Jinbao (ch)13/07/040.80%25,19971,029116
8Side Effects (us)13/07/110.70%18,69723,441170
9The Croods (us)13/05/160.30%8,998936,69939
10The Master (us)13/07/110.20%6,5619,28238

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Revenge Week: The Vengeful Ripples of Bong Joon-ho’s Mother

Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013).

Outside of a few clear candidates, pinpointing revenge films isn’t quite as easy as it seems. Case in point is Bong Joon-ho’s Mother (2009). When I first considered it, I hesitated, but after watching it again this past weekend, it became clear that this is a film teeming with revenge, yet not for the reasons that I had at first considered.

Revenge Week: Filmic Self-reflexivity and Revenge in Park Chan-wook’s Cut (2004) - Part I

Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013).

By Rowena Santos Aquino

We all know what revenge is as an act: a self-serving system that goes beyond in the absence of, or rejects, institutional justice. In short, when one has been wronged physically and emotionally or has witnessed another experience, and acts privately and accordingly, based on one’s ethical line, to punish who has committed that wrong. As film scholar Steve Choe writes, ‘Vengeance requires the existence of a past transgression or trauma, which demands that it be met with equal compensation in the present’ (30). Even more summary still, revenge is about personally ‘getting even’ and (idealistically) bringing about a moral parity but often through immoral ways.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Revenge Week: Trailers of Revenge! Day 6

Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013). This daily series comes courtesy of Tom Giammarco, the author of the Seen in Jeonju website, surely one of the best resources for information on classic Korean cinema on the web. Enjoy!

This will be the final entry that I have for REVENGE WEEK and I wanted to save the best for last. Yesterday’s theme of having a hitherto unknown family member exacting revenge on a victim touches a little on today’s theme of a stranger in the house.

Revenge Week: Vengeance Trilogy DVD/Blu-ray Giveaway!

Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013).

Just a few days left in Revenge Week now and the very kind people from Palisades Tartan have reached out to us to give a few lucky readers the chance to win Park Chan-wook's entire Vengeance Trilogy on DVD or Blu-Ray!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Revenge Week: Trailers of Revenge! Day 5

Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013). This daily series comes courtesy of Tom Giammarco, the author of the Seen in Jeonju website, surely one of the best resources for information on classic Korean cinema on the web. Enjoy!

Incest as a tool of revenge must surely be one of the most shocking methods of achieving vengeance. The role it played in the most popular of Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance Trilogy shocked audiences around the world with both its venom and its creativity. The more recent Dirty Blood features a young woman intent on getting revenge on her father and begins a sexual relationship with him without him knowing her real identity. Are these cases unique in Korean cinema? The answer, of course, is ‘No.’


Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013).

If Revenge Week has achieved anything, it's confirmed beyond any doubt just how prevalent the theme of revenge is in Korean cinema. But exactly how many are there? That's a hard question to answer but here's our shot at a list covering every Korean revenge film we could think of.

This list is far from exhaustive and we encourage suggestions to improve it! Let us know what you think is missing in the comments below, on facebook or on twitter.

We also hope to create a user list of the best Korean revenge films this week so please use this a resource and tell us five of your favorites.

Revenge Week: Exploring Themes of Vengeance in Small Town Rivals (2007)

Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013).

(By Connor McMorran)

Two childhood friends have grown up to be very different people. Choon-sam, despite being popular at high school, has amounted to very little in life and has reluctantly accepted the position of village chief. On the other hand, Dae-gyu, who was something of an outsider at school, has just been elected as the local magistrate. As these two reunite to fix aspects of Choon-sam’s village, their memories of various wrong-doings, coupled with manipulation from outside sources, causes them to become rivals. They begin a game of one-upmanship, both of them too proud to admit defeat. This all comes to a head in the third act of the film, and the two come to blows. Their battle carries a sense of tragedy, as they have both been corrupted to the point of betraying their closest childhood friend.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Revenge Week: Webcomics Harbor Old Grudges in Killer Toon

Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013).

Every summer, Korea pumps out a handful of horror films for people looking to catch a few scares and respite from the hot and humid summer. Unfortunately, the industry’s yields over the past few years have left much to be desired. So poor have recent offerings been that some are ready to write off K-horror altogether. This summer we have four new entries to sample and they were all released in the month of June. Among them, Killer Toon, the first one I’ve had a chance to see, seemed to hold the most promise.

Revenge Week: Trailers of Revenge! Day 4

canton viper

Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013). This daily series comes courtesy of Tom Giammarco, the author of the Seen in Jeonju website, surely one of the best resources for information on classic Korean cinema on the web. Enjoy!

It was only a matter of time before I had to touch on the kung fu craze that dominated Korean action films for more than two decades. They are unavoidable when discussing revenge and Korean cinema unless you are limiting the discussion to just recent films. From the mid-60s to the late-80s, literally hundreds of these martial arts action films were created either as co-productions with Hong Kong film companies or as imitations of that popular style. The background of the movie could be different – set in the distant past the film would often be about an evil bandit or warlord and his gang that are terrorizing the countryside and who may have killed the hero’s family. Or it might be set in pre-World War II Asia where the Japanese army is moving gold or supplies through the region and the best friend of the hero’s, more likely than not working for the Independence Army, is killed fighting for a cause that the hero will pick up. Set in modern times, the movie was likely to involve drug trafficking where, once again, the family and/or friend of the hero is killed or the movie would be about two martial arts academies/temples/schools of thought that are rivals and the bad school winds up killing a student or teacher from the good school, so revenge becomes the goal of the day.

Revenge Week: Amour Noir - The Tragic Outcome of Happy End

Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013).

Amour noir as a genre in film has always been popular with Korean audiences. From as far back as Kim Ki-young’s The Housemaid (1960) to present-day period erotic thrillers like The Concubine, the archetypes and storylines found in these films have been fodder for countless melodramas, love stories and crime pictures. For those that may be unfamiliar with this unique genre subset, an amour noir encompasses unhappy marriages, adulterous spouses and an eventual conspiracy to murder.

Revenge Week: Dirty Blood's Dangerous Payback

Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013).

As a society Korea has been slow to change despite its economic growth. At times it can seem like a gigantic, perpetually simmering pot of discontent that seems dangerously close to boiling over. One aspect of Korean society that is often brushed under the carpet is repressed sexuality and while it isn’t something you will encounter much in TV dramas, music and the news, the Korean film industry, of late, has been vocal in its depiction of the widespread abuse that rages through the country. Truth be told, it is often used opportunistically and many of the works in question tread a very fine line.