Gangnam 1970

Gangnam 1970 (2015)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 897 users
Reviews: 8 users

In 1970s, during the height of political corruption, Gangnam, the southern part of Seoul is starting to be transformed into developed area. Childhood friends Jong Dae and Yong Ki struggled to get by, until their shanty homes are demolished by local thugs. Desperate for cash, they get involved in violent political clashes, and are separated during one for the skirmishes.3 years later, Jong Dae lives as an honest man with former gang read moreleader Kil Su. Meanwhile, Yong Ki has joined Seoul’s most powerful criminal gangs organization, the Myeongdong-pa and as a member he has been entangled in a high stakes battle over lands in Gangnam, all in the name of putting together secret presidential election funds that drive up the value of the city. As the gangs fight over the rights to various plots, Yong Ki is captured and interrogated by a rival gang.

  • Native title:

    강남 1970
  • Also Known as:

    Land Gate; Gangnam Beulruseu; 강남 블루스; Gangnam Blues;

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ChaNee's Weekend Movie Recommendations
Get ready to sit on the edge of your seat and enjoy some nonstop action topped off with some intense situations. It's time for some Actions, Thrills and Spills.

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Almondcroissant
25 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Feb 2, 2015
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 6.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 7.5
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
For a noir film, this is not as dark and complex or intriguing as I thought it would be. It can actually be a mainstream gangster/action movie. So on that score, it was a bit of a letdown for me if compared with say, Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai's noir films which truly fit that description.

Having said that, G 1970 is thoroughly watchable. In fact I watched it twice. The read more first time was a blur because there were so many characters, and to be honest, all the men, and there were plenty of them - gangsters and politicians - did sort of start to look like one another after a while which made it difficult to understand the plot and storyline, not to mention having to read the subtitles fast left me a bit confused.

But when i watched it a second time, I enjoyed it much more because the story and characters became clearer to me.The action/fighting scenes are very realistic and well executed; there is a lot of blood and gore. The pace of the movie is tight and well controlled although I think the editing did leave some parts a bit patchy and not as smooth and seamless as it could have been.

Kim Rae Won shines as a baddie but I think this has to do with his "bad boy" look in the first place which makes his character believable but KRW does play his character very effortlessly and it is testament to the good actor that he is. Jeong Jin Yeong who plays Jong Dae's adoptive father is also an excellent actor - very controlled in his acting yet conveying volumes - pain, regret; you really get that he wants to leave his gangster roots behind and live a simple life.

It is tougher to see Lee Min Ho as a gangster, but on the occasions when he is out for blood and you see the anger and raw emotions - that's when he really stands out. It helps that he is not an all out baddie; he did not start out as a gangster and his psyche is such that he would not have been one if circumstances and fate had not dealt him such a hand. So he can be excused for looking exceedingly handsome while wielding a knife. I think overall it was a major transformative role for him and he truly delivered. Aside from anger and ferocity which he conveyed well, he also spoke volumes with his eyes when channelling ambition, despair and emptiness. You have to watch his eyes; it's all in his eyes. All in a great performance for a breakout role such as this. In fact, after sharing his pain and loss as Jong Dae, I had to get a dose of fresh air and made my way to the Innisfree store downstairs to look at his standee (he's their global brand ambassador) - there he was standing, smiling, fresh faced and youthful, with his Kim Tan look and that was when the contrast of characters really hit me, it was like i was looking at 2 completely different people, and that was when I realised he had really managed to change his image for the movie and he had done it very successfully. Forgive me for rambling about Min Ho; I am a fan!

The last scene is very touching, heart wrenching and symbolic and very well done; a fitting end to a roller coaster movie. On the whole, kudos to Yoo Ha and the cast; it was quite a ride!
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maakopla
6 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Mar 24, 2015
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 7.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 7.5
Above all, this movie was beautiful. If not for anything else, I'd watch it again just for the cinematography. Sometimes I forgot to read subtitles and stopped caring for the plot too, just because I was way too concentrated on how breathtakingly beautiful every scene was. I have no complaints about directing because, let's face it, Yoo Ha is awesome. But the screenplay was a bit disappointing, that's why I give such read more a low score.

The plot is nothing new in Korean gangster film world, but if you happen to love this world you will also love this film. I felt like there was something more to it, more than in usual gangster flicks. There were many layers to the plot, a few stories intertwining together, so the rewatch value is pretty high. A lot was going on at all times, so in general, this movie was not boring. The ending felt rushed, though. And also, because so much was going on and there were so many characters, most of the side characters were flat. There was not enough time to go deep enough into the characters, which was a pity. I think this plot would have worked better as a mini-series.

The acting, it wasn't bad but not outstanding either. I liked Lee Min Ho and Kim Rae Won. Not only because they are hot, but also because they fit their roles. Rae Won was totally badass and Min Ho brought some sensuality into his badness. But still, I think the acting was a bit lacking. I loved Jong Dae's and Yeog Ki's friendship or should I say "brotherhood", it was touching and beautiful. Thumbs up for the bromance! These two were like innocence and twisted nature melting into something wonderful.

Like most of the times, the sex scenes were over the top. Maybe Korean directors think it's artistic but when I want to watch a gangster film I am NOT looking for porn. I know that sex is part of the badassness of gangster life, but those scenes made me laugh because heck they looked like rabbits mating. Can't say anything else to this than LoL!

The fighting scenes were artistic but honestly, I wish one of these directors finally did something new. I've seen bunch of men fighting in rain, in water, in mud, in sunshine, in grains, in *insert whatever you want* but dare I say it's getting old! Dare I say I actually fast forwarded the fighting scenes, because there were plenty and they made me numb. But at least they were well executed, I can't complain about that. The violence got so much more impact when it was exercised to someone by only one person in a form of torture. That was disturbing with an impact.

Love? You could say there was a subtle love plot somewhere in the background for both main characters, but the bromance was the main focus, that and the scheming of all these greedy people around them. I liked the idea how two guys actually dared to stand up to the corrupt wickedness, perhaps their intentions were not any better but it was still pretty cool. The ending was something most of us expected. Notice the contrast between Jong Dae and Yeong Ki! The symbolism was strong in this one.
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Make a Recommendation Recommendations

Just that gangster theme and ironically homelessness was a big factor as well....but definitely gangsters galore=)
Recommended by mali
The New World is probably one of the best Korean gangster films I've seen so far and I've seen a ton of them so if you watched Gangnam 1970 and liked it watch The New World.
Recommended by Closeacademy

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Comments (123)

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  • Reply
    Pinoy_Oppa Oct 16, 2016

    I watched this with Tagalog dubbing...still have to finish it...The film is okay for me.

  • Reply
    Montse Oct 9, 2016

    Nice movie !

  • Reply
    mayo Aug 25, 2016 - edited

    This movie is R18+ Omg! It porn movie or gangster?!

  • Reply
    rxargyros May 11, 2016 - edited

    I don't like this movie that much.. Too many sexual on the scene.

  • Reply
    ochan07 Dec 14, 2015

    It was good to see Lee Min Ho in a grown-up movie, although, the movie itself wasn't my cup of tea, still think both main leads were great.

  • Reply
    Amna999 Nov 28, 2015

    Lee min ho played it quite well.He really looked like a beggar.It was a nice movie.
    Keep up the good work LEE

  • Reply
    dore430 Nov 16, 2015 - edited

    I was not only disappointed in the movie itself, but I was disappointed that both the lead actors chose this most graphic movie to be a part of. I think both Lee Min Ho and Kim Rae Won are much better actors than to perform in such a dark and bloody movie. This wasn't just a Lee Min Ho movie. It also starred Kim Rae Won, even though very few even mentioned his performance. If this was the truth about the beginning of Gangnam, Seoul, makes me wonder if there's still that much corruption there in this up-scale area?!?

    • Reply
      PrettyCarEye Mar 8, 2016 - edited

      Lee Min Ho & Kim Ræ Won are probably having sex and I can guarantee they like it. Furthermore, they're artists, as am I, and artists are always looking for ways to challenge themselves through their art. I'm sorry to disappoint you with this news. Sex and violence are a part of life. You will have sex or you probably have had sex. I've had sex. Most people on MDL probably have had sex. Most people in the world will at some point have sex. Sex isn't a bad thing. Under the right circumstances, it's one of the most beautiful things in the world. Please get used to the idea.

  • Reply
    leila Oct 12, 2015
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    mali Aug 17, 2015

    Hyun Bin. I don't think so. This was LMH''s role. All those that think LMH is overrated. Hmmm could it be jealousy. I mean the guy is sexy and can act on top that. I would be jealous too. ..but I can also give credit where's it due, but I knew already he was a great actor after watching him in City Hunter.

  • Reply

    The reason why i think that i gave a low score for it 6.6 out of 10 is because at some point i didnt even know what was happening in the movie because of the number of gangs and characters that were in the movie that made it really hard to understand fully what waas going on and also because the movie isnt constante

  • Reply
    HAMEX Jul 4, 2015

    Such a pity with that low rating.

    This one is epic and a brave movie!. A good cinematography and emotional.

  • Reply
    eiyaah Jul 2, 2015 - edited

    wow! i thought i hear it wrong but it is really that song haha "ANAK" :) nice one!!! that ENDING!!!!

  • Reply
    YalDa Jun 26, 2015

    soo cheap .... Not LMH... Other Casts

  • Reply
    shaghayegh May 20, 2015 - edited

    it wasnt my typical movie but all the actors specially lee min ho they played their role so perfectly and they really dont deserve these negative comments .

  • Reply
    bmore May 15, 2015 - edited

    I ended up stopping watching this until I did some research on the time period and on the story behind the happenings that are depicted in this film. Then did as much reading as I could on the film itself. Because, frankly, this thing was confusing as all get out. And I watched it with the official subs on DF so it wasn't that. There were way too many people, way too many groups, and way too much going on with very little explanation of why they were doing what they were doing, who belonged with what group and what each group's agenda was, and way too many leaps in time and logic. I think a lot of what could have made this movie better and more easily understood, ended up on the editing room floor. That said, it was a pleasure to watch the acting even if the story was all over the place. I really enjoy dark, gritty movies and had no problem with that aspect of it. The film was certainly better the second time around when I knew more about what was going on and who was who, but, it still was just not put together that well and, as a result, we, as an audience, lost contact with our principle characters. Never a good thing. The core story of the 2 young men was very compelling. Unfortunately, more time should have been spent with them...all that other 'stuff' killed the heart of this story for me. The film definitely ramped up and tightened the story and the performance levels as it drew to an end, but so late. Tragic story, tragic ending. Great performance by Kim Rae Won, and I sincerely appreciate LMH being given the opportunity and for wanting to take on this new role. It's more than past time for him to start taking on a man's role instead of acting like he's still a high school student. This could have been a 9, but, due to the editing and the choppiness of the story, it's a 7 from me. :(

Details

  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

    Movie
  • Release Date:

    Jan 21, 2015
  • Duration:

    2 hr. 15 min.

Statistics

  • Score:

    7.2 (scored by 897 users)
  • Ranked:

    #3227
  • Popularity:

    #333

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