Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Random Notes and Whatnot 4

The Chosun Ilbo takes a look at the top Korean pop acts this year. Not sure if I have anything to add. Not my kind of music, so I don't really have any opinions.

The Chosun also has an article about Chinese Triad gangs in Korea... coming just a week before MY WIFE IS A GANGSTER 3 makes its debut (GANGSTER 3 features Qi Shu as the daughter of a Chinese Triad gangster who comes to Korea to hide, and wacky hijinks ensue). Coincidence? Is the film driving the reporting? Or is the reporting an infomercial for the movie? You be the judge.

(What a great looking poster, isn't it?)

MY WIFE IS A GANGSTER 3 hits the theaters on Dec. 28.

Last night, I went to an advanced screening of the new Im Sang-soo film, THE OLD GARDEN. I am a huge fan of Im's THE PRESIDENT'S LAST BANG, and rather like A GOOD LAWYER'S WIFE, but GARDEN left me cold. Boring. There are a few flashes of Im's creativity behind the camera, but precious few.

If I were to take a stab at what went wrong, I would guess that perhaps Im loved the original story too much. Hwang Sok-yong is one of Korea's most recognized authors from the last 20 years or so, especially by the left (you can read a little about him at the end of this Korea Times story, also at the Wikipedia entry). The movie had the languid, meandering style that so many films do when the director is overly enthralled with the source material... so he gets more worried about presenting the book as accurately as possible instead of thinking about making a good movie. One of those dreaded "labors of love." But that is just a theory.

Variety review is here (since the movie made its world premiere at the San Sebastian Film Festival a couple of months ago.

THE OLD GARDEN will be released in Korea on Jan. 4.

Yonhap News also had an interesting article about the coming competition for screens over the holidays. It pointed out that THE RESTLESS will likely open on 450-500 screens, CASINO ROYALE should get around 400, and NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM (the Ben Stiller comedy) should get around 350 screens. In addition, the opening of the animated film HAPPY FEET will have another 200 or so.

Add all those up, and four new films should account for around 1,400 screens. All of Korea has just 1,700 screens these days. Now, do not forgot 200 POUND BEAUTY, which just opened last weekend and is going strong on over 400 screens and... well, you are out of screens. And that is not taking into account all the other films still showing. Competition is going to be pretty crazy, and it all kicks off in a few hours (an early Wednesday opening this week).

1 comment:

matt said...

Regarding the Chosun story about the 'Triad Scam', it's funny how this article about the same case made no mention of Chinese gangs or triads and simply referred to them as "alleged Chinese swindlers". It's not too hard to see which article gets more attention, of course.

As for the upcoming battle for box office space, I guess that's why they pulled "Cyborg" after only 2 weeks (at my local cgv, at any rate). That's a little disappointing - glad I caught it (right) before it left.