Posted on Monday, September 26th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
Almost every Kim Jee-woon film is a blasted battlefield where style and substance have declared war on one another. Most of the time, the two reach a stalemate – films like The Good, The Bad, The Weird and I Saw the Devil are energetic masterpieces that often feel as if they’re teetering on the edge of collapse, films whose expansive running times are justified by the sheer amount of things happening on the screen. It may take awhile, but even The Last Stand (Kim’s first and, so far, last foray into Hollywood) taps into his innate desire to tear up everything on the screen with gleeful, gory debauchery. It’s his default mode and it has served him well.
The Age of Shadows is a quite the departure for the director, who has returned to South Korea and has returned with a slick historical spy epic that finds his most identifiable traits being moved to the back burner, for better and worse.
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A few years ago, South Korean filmmaker Kim Jee-woon‘s sojourn in Hollywood came to an abrupt end when The Last Stand was a box office bomb. And while I have a soft spot for that goofy, endearingly odd movie, a late-period Arnold Schwarzenegger shoot ’em up was probably not the best use of the man who directed A Tale of Two Sisters, A Bittersweet Life, I Saw the Devil, and The Good, The Bad, The Weird. Here’s a filmmaker who has always been at his best when he’s allowed to go totally for broke. He wasn’t made to juggle aging action stars and studio notes.
Now, Kim has returned to his homeland and has a new movie arriving this year. And I’m a little biased because I have loved almost all of his work so far, but The Age of Shadows looks like one of 2016’s more exciting movies, an espionage story that looks genuinely fresh and tense.
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The most recent feature from South Korean director Kim Jee-woon (above right) was The Last Stand, but now the director of I Saw the Devil and The Good, the Bad, and the Weird is moving forward on a new movie, with backing from Warner Bros. Secret Agent is Kim’s next feature, and also the first South Korean movie that Warner Bros. has backed.
The 1930s-set picture, which is set during Korea’s efforts to throw off Japanese colonialism, will be led by a couple of South Korean stars, and hopefully the WB backing means we’ll see it sooner rather than later in the US. Read More »
Posted on Thursday, December 19th, 2013 by Angie Han
Spike Lee’s Oldboy wasn’t really a success in any sense when it opened last month. Critics met the film with a shrug, audiences failed to meet it at all, and fans who were against it to begin with got to crow “I told you so.”
But Oldboy‘s failure isn’t keeping producers Adi Shankar and Spencer Silna from trying to remake a different Korean revenge thriller starring Choi Min-sik. The pair have just picked up the English-language rights to I Saw the Devil, released in 2010 by Kim Jee-woon (The Good, the Bad, the Weird). Hit the jump for more details on the new project.
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Update: There is now a video showing ScreenX in Action, watch it embedded after the jump.
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The English-language debut of South Korean director Kim Ji-woon (I Saw the Devil; The Good, the Bad, the Weird) didn’t land with much impact. But the piffle of a reception given The Last Stand hasn’t frightened the director off making films outside his native country. And now Kim has latched on to a project that perhaps suits his own proclivities much better than did the Arnold Schwarzenegger action film.
Kim will next make Coward, based on the first storyline from the much-praised comic book series Criminal written by Ed Brubaker and drawn by Sean Phillips. Brubaker also adapted the script. Coward is a lean and very mean story of robbery big and small, of double-crosses, and best intentions that are blown all to hell. Read More »
Posted on Monday, July 22nd, 2013 by Angie Han
After much anticipation, neither Kim Ji-woon’s The Last Stand nor Park Chan-wook’s Stoker set Western audiences on fire when they opened earlier this year. But the third English-language debut by a South Korean director this year, Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer, seems poised to blow the other two out of the water.
Following very early screenings for the highly anticipated sci-fi film, the very first reviews have begun trickling out. And the critics seem to agree on a few points: 1) that Snowpiercer is very, very dark, 2) that it’s so dark it could turn off movie ticket buyers, and 3) that it’s freakin’ fantastic. Hit the jump to read their comments.
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Posted on Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 by Angie Han
If the two Expendables movies were Arnold Schwarzenegger dipping his toe back into the acting pool, Kim Jee-woon‘s The Last Stand is him taking a cannonball dive back in. The former governor of California soaks in the spotlight as Ray Owens, a small-town sheriff who becomes the last guy standing between a ruthless cartel leader (Eduardo Noriega) and the Mexican border.
This being Arnold, of course that involves heavy-duty weaponry and some cheesy one-liners. The latest (and probably last) trailer earns a red-band rating for some gleeful violence and some naughty words. Watch it after the jump.
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The final theatrical poster for Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s return to action star status, The Last Stand, has just been revealed and with it comes a big promise. Arnold will be handling a big-ass gun in an image reminiscent of Terminator 2: Judgement Day.
In The Last Stand, the English language debut of Kim-Jee Woon, Schwarzenegger plays a small-town sheriff who is forced to defend his borders against an escaping crime boss. It co-stars Johnny Knoxville, Rodrigo Santoro, Forest Whitaker, Peter Stormare, Eduardo Noriega, Zach Gilford, Jaimie Alexander and opens January 18. Check out the poster below. Read More »
The first big film in Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s star comeback was The Expendables 2, which expanded on his appearance in The Expendables, but didn’t give Arnie a movie of his own to play with. He takes center stage, however, in The Last Stand, with South Korean director Kim Jee-woon (The Good, the Bad, the Weird; I Saw the Devil) making his English-language debut.
The film casts Arnie as an LA cop sent out to pasture as a small-town sheriff, who ends up being the last guy who can stop a cartel boss intent on fleeing south across the border. One trailer already played up the star’s age and the film’s action. Now a new trailer explains the setup in more detail, and shows off some of the moments in Schwarzenegger’s small-town life before the shit really starts to hit the fan. It also hints at a lot of action and thrills. There better be some payoff with that sword, is all I have to say.
Check out the trailer below. Read More »