Movie Sunday: What Did I Watch? April 27, 2014

The Four-2, Beautiful, 
Koikyokusei, Take Off

This will be a new series that I will do every Sunday beginning today. Even though I review movies for koreandramareview.com, I generally avoid a lot of subject matters because some of the viewers of the blog are high schoolers so I try my hardest to keep the movies clean; however, here I can watch just about anything.
There is no rhyme or reason to what I will watch on any given Sunday, let’s make that perfectly clear. Sometimes the draw could be an actor, subject matter, recommendation or just a whim. Here are the movies that I watched for my Movie Sunday, April 27, 2014. Some you heard of; some you’ve not.
The Four 2
Written and directed by Gordon Chan, who brought us the first The Four, Painted SkinFist of Legend, and Highbenders
Cast includesLiu Crystal as Wuqing /Heartless, Wu Xiu Bo as An Shigeng /God of Wealth, Deng Chao as Cold Blood/Leng Xue, Cheng Ronald as Zhuiming /Chaser, and Chou Collin as Tieshou /Iron Hands
Running Time: 123 min
Plot
When the four constables of the Divine Constabulary, Heartless, Iron Hands, Chaser and Cold Blood, investigate a murder of the Sheriff in the suburbs, they unexpectedly stumble on clues to the murder of Heartless’s family 15 years ago. A series of bloody battles confront them as the story unfolds, an undeniable truth becomes clear – even if they survive this storm, a bigger one is brewing just over the horizon.
Thoughts
I actually enjoyed this second installment more than the first. I remember watching The Four and being totally confused with the story as it was all over the place. At least this time around, the story all focused on the murder of the Sheriff and ultimately on the murder of Heartless’ family and the circumstances surrounding it. The action sequences, as usual were fairly typical for your WuXia movie. I thought the best sequence was when they were trying to escape from the prison and the collasping walkway. The boomerang ride was phenomenal! As usual, WuXia movies attract a certain audience, definitely not for everyone.
MDL Rating: 7

Beautiful
Directed by Juhn Jai-Hon (Poongsan) and written by Kim Ki-Duk, who brought us Moebius, PietaThe Bow, and 3-Iron
Cast includesCha Soo-Yeon as Kim Eun-Young, Lee Chun-Hee as Police Officer Choi, Kim Min-Soo as Sung-Min, and Choi Moo-Sung  as Detective Kim
Running Time: 88 min.
Plot
Is beauty the Blessing? Or the Curse? Eun-young, who is one girl not happy for her beauty. She gets lonely and exhausted from the stares from men and jealousies from women. One day, she gets raped by one of her stalkers, Sung-min and hears the terrible words from him. “I did it just because you are so beautiful.” She believes that she was raped because of her cruel beauty and starts to kill her beautiful looks. And there is one guy who runs after her…
Thoughts
This was the worse case of “Blame the Victim for their Rape” I’ve ever seen. I’m always stunned and amazed how the South Korean police are shown in some movies. This was not a case of the police being ineffective but more like downright insensitive. When they brought the victim and her rapist together and allowed him to blame her for her situation and then actually get an attitude because she wasn’t reciprocating his feeling, I almost turned the movie off. But I didn’t. Why? This was a seriously twisted movie from beginning to end. And the ending? The most f**ked up ending I’ve ever seen in a movie EVER.  I had no faults with the acting. I went in this to see Lee Chun Hee and actually liked Cha Soo Yeon and she did a great job portraying the effects of rape as a victim spiral downs the mental abyss. So, would I recommend? Not consciously. But overall, it was a good movie reflecting society’s morals and treatment of the “beautiful” (in the worse way).
MDL Rating: 7

Koikyokusei
Directed by Amiy Mori and written by Rie Yokota (Hotellier, 1 Litre of Tears, and Gokusen)

Cast includesErika Toda as Kashiwagi Natsuki, Kazuki Kato as Funabiki Sota, and Ryuya Wakaba as Kashiwagi Daiki

Running Time: 103 min

Plot
Natsuki takes care of her young autistic brother. She then meets her old childhood friend and falls in love, unfortunately he suffers from a serious illness.

Thoughts
I generally don’t rate sad movies because it is difficult to do so; however, this is one I must talk about.Life is full of sadness as well as joy. The one thing that the Japanese do very well with sad movies is making you feel okay at the end regardless of the outcome. The acting in this movie was phenomenal. Erika Toda as Natsuki was my reason for watching and she didn’t disappoint. This was my first Wakaba Ryuya experience and as Dalki, he was amazing as the autistic brother. Kato Kazuki as Sou, I’d seen once before in Hotari but didn’t realize it until the end.All genres are not for everyone but if you are a movie connoisseur who loves a good love story regardless of the ending, this is the movie for you. One thing I took away from watching this: whatever life has in store for you, live it to the fullest; don’t give up and live for those around you who love you. That is the lesson Sou taught me and that is a reason to watch this. Excellent movie.

MDL Rating:  9

Take Off

Written and Directed by Kim Yong-Hwa who brought us Mr Go and 200 Pound Beauty.
Cast Includes: Ha Jung-Woo  as Heon-Tae/Bob, Kim Dong-Wook as  Hong Cheol,  Kim Ji-Suk Choi as Chil-Gu, Jae-Hwan as Jae-Bok, Lee Jae-Eung as  Bong-Ku, and Sung Dong-Il as Coach Bang
Running Time: 137 min

Plot

Take Off” is centered around the joy and sorrow of the first Korean national ski jump team. In 1997, the county of Muju in South Korea bids to host the 2002 Winter Olympics. The IOC judges responsible for picking the host city wonders how Korea could host the Winter Olympics without having a national ski jump team. Because of this, a Korean ski jumping team is quickly formed.

Thoughts

My first question is: If you medal at the Olympics, are you exempt from Military Service? It was mentioned in the movie; not once but twice so I’m curious.  After all of the other movies I watched, this was a light-hearted, feel good movie to watch! Ski jumping is a scary sport but it was an interesting movie to watch regardless. Ha Jung-Woo was good, as usual, the man is a consummate actor. When the last jumper, Bong Gu, a young man with limited mental ability made his jump, you couldn’t help but let the tears flow. Even though they didn’t medal at the end, you still felt good about their accomplishments. It was a nice movie to cap off the Sunday; not a great movie but definitely an interesting one to end my Sunday watch.
MDL Rating:  7/8
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