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Silenced
106 people found this review helpful
Aug 24, 2012
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 10
I came into this film knowing what it was going to be about, but nothing could have prepared me for the impact of watching The Crucible. It was dark, violent, and quite honestly nauseating. I was on the verge of tears for nearly an hour and when the 1h36 mark hit, I had to pause the movie and did nothing but cry for the children. To think, this is real. This happened to these kids. When I hit play, from that moment on, tears were falling.

I will probably never be able to watch this movie again, but it is something you honestly must see. Yes, the images are disturbing. Yes, you will feel anger, sadness, and numbness, but this movie leaves an impression. The acting is superb and all of the child actors honestly deserve awards. Their expressions, their gestures, they just strike you right in the heart every time. You will not soon forget this movie. I'm not sure I ever will.

What may be even more impressive, this movie caused such a stir in South Korea that the case was forced to be re-opened and laws demanded to be rewritten. It makes you think, it really does. How much effort does it take for justice to prevail? Why can people be bought with money when they know such horrible things had occurred? I honestly don't know, and never will know why such apathy and cruelty exist in the world. Why do we cause each other pain? It makes me sick. But as a quote in the movie says, "The reason why we are fighting so hard, is not to change the world, but instead, not to let the world change us."

Without a doubt, I recommend this movie.

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A Frozen Flower
43 people found this review helpful
Jan 11, 2015
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
I started this film for two reasons; the cast and the fact that it's a sageuk. But this is no ordinary historical film with an outstanding cast.
The first thing I have to point out that this drama might not suit everybody's taste. It's TOO real, the bloodshed scenes, the battle scenes and the love scenes. If you can't get too real, don't start it.
Minors, skip this film.
So it's Goryeo –back before they tied their hair up, to our great advantage- and the king (Joo Jin Mo) is under the threat of losing his authority as an active king since Yuan –the empire in control- wants an heir to the throne. The king can't have an heir due to the fact that he's homosexual. (Again, if you cannot accept or respect homosexuality, don't start this). The king's lover and the one who's captured his heart for a long time is the Chief of the king's guards; Hong Lim (Zo In Sung).
Yeah I know!! When these are the two leads!!
With his country and throne on the line, the king resorts to one last option. He decides to make someone impregnate his wife (Song Ji Hyo). Only trusting in his loyal lover and friend, he gives Hong Lim the task. As Hong Lim and the queen make love trying to conceive, a new world opens up to them, and the tragedy starts.
Faced by betrayal, loneliness, abandoment, the king seeks revenge against everyone; first of all, against the one who meant the world to him, Hong Lim.
The story is too real it got me totally absorbed in the suffering of everyone. I couldn't not sympathise with everyone. The absurdity of life is inscribed on every scene. The sense of loss and how it empties us of our souls is engraved on the characters' forheads.
Regardless of the nudity and the sexually explicit scenes, the film is worth watching. It's too painfully awe-aspiring.
The cast did a great job here and I applaud every single person.
Well, I know that Song Joong Ki and No Min Woo are in the cast. Well they are there, almost with no dialgoue or screen time but it was so fun trying to spot them out of the other guards.

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From Me to You
58 people found this review helpful
Apr 4, 2012
Overall 9.0
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
I watched the anime so i previously know the story and believe me watching the movie was a great thing to do. I didn't feel time passing by and i totally fell in love with the lead actors since they did their roles in a great way.
The innocent love made this movie special on its own way, it was a great adaptation. I totally recommend it: if you watched the anime of course you need to watch this and if you haven't then just give it a go and you will just fall in love with it.
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Silenced
132 people found this review helpful
May 9, 2012
Overall 9.0
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
1) The reason I watched this:

I have a psychiatrist friend who insisted on watching this film. She already knows that I don't mind any sort of special story no matter how horrific it is; I was fully prepared to any type of scenes and so I watched it.

2) Storyline/Plot:

They weren't kidding when they said "This movie contains EXTREMELY graphic child abuse! Do not watch if you are easily disturbed.", I intentionally repeated it because this film isn't directed to all types of audience, even if you are an adult you can easily be disturbed.

Positive points:

*It's a true story that focus on a world wide issue: a great topic.
*The producer wasn't afraid of showing the horrible fact to the audience.
*The script writers did a great job by delievering a masterpiece.

Negative points:

For me there isn't.
*Some people would feel sick or shocked that's why I said it's not directed to everyone but if those scenes were absent then it couldn't be fun to watch considering its theme; it was realistic and special in a great way.

Story: 9.75/10

3) Acting/Cast:

I really loved each and everyone of them here.
*It was different yet cool to see Gong Yoo in a serious role.
*The three children have done a great job because their roles were mainly sentimental and they were skilled to portray that aspect.
*The actors knew how to deliever feelings and leave us affected with their issues.

Cast: 8.5/10
Acting: 9.5/10

4)The ending:

It wasn't what anyone wanted but it was great because it was realistic.

The ending: 8/10

5) My impression (How did it affect me):

*As I said earlier I don't mind any sort of special stories, this film was interesting enough to keep me hooked up for two hours.
*The grafic child abuse is what gave this film its taste no matter how horrible it was.
*I got the conclusion that this world is full of bad people but they only need one courageous person to change the whole thing.
*Protecting children's innocence is our responsibility as adults.

My impression: 9.5/10

6) Overall:

I repeat this film has shocking abuse scenes therefore, if you're a sensitive person don't even think about watching this.
*If you like special stories and don't mind the abusive scenes then you would like this.
*Human rights lovers may want to check this out.
*Don't be fooled about the fact that Gong Yoo is the main lead, it's nothing like his previous Dramas/Films.
*If you're looking for a romantic story then you shouldn't be reading this in the first place.
*I repeat for the last time sensitive people KEEP OUT!

Overall: 9.5/10

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Shoot My Heart
37 people found this review helpful
Nov 9, 2015
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 10
Well, this is the first and probably only review I'll ever write because I just have to say: I adore this movie. It is my favorite movie ever. Where to even start?

This movie is not a comedy. Although there are some funny moments, it is a very deep, beautiful, and touching story. I don't think anyone but Yeo Jin-Goo could have so thoroughly brought Soo-Myung to life - his every expression is PERFECT and seriously this boy tells stories without ever opening his mouth. His character is the perfect foil for Lee Min-Ki's Seung-Min, and their bromantic chemistry is just amazing.

The way the two main characters interact and influence each other leads to perfectly executed character development. I'm trying to write a serious review here but all I want to do is gush endlessly. This is very much a character-driven movie, but the pacing is just right, and you certainly won't ever be bored!

I have a weakness for stories focusing on friendship and another weakness for anything psychology related. I think the way the film handles the topic of mental illness is appropriate - it shows you hardships but it also doesn't leave you feeling hopeless.

It doesn't get too into detail with the side characters and their problems, but instead focuses on Soo-Myung and Seung-Min's issues and growth, which I actually think is a good thing, because it allowed them to fully develop - which is not to say the supporting characters are flat, because they aren't, and they are able to shine in their own right without taking the spotlight away from the mains.

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Mulan
36 people found this review helpful
May 14, 2012
Overall 10
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.0
I really enjoyed this movie. Having been a fan of the Mulan Diseny movies as a kid, I reaally wanted to watch this.

The casting was exellent, as well as the acting, can't complain about it. The music played during th emovie was very moving and really enhances the feeling you get from watching a particular scene.
The story line is great, even though we all know it, however, having watched the Disney movie, I anticipated a happier ending than that, and was slightly disapointed, screaming in my head "It's NOT FAIR", but anyway, that would be the only thing I don't like about it.
Overall, the movie was fantastic and a must watch in my opinion, and I would easily re-watch this, to pay more attention on the details the second time around.

GREAT MOVIE!!

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The Great Passage
34 people found this review helpful
Jun 27, 2014
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 6.0
Being the major winner of the 86th Japanese Academy Awards with The best Film, best Director, best lead actor, best screenplay, best editing and best sound didn’t come from thin air. The Great Passage had a unique topic and messages to portray.

The film main point is making a dictionary titled “The Great Passage”, like the chief-editor stated: “A dictionary is a ship which crosses the sea of words and languages”. Being a lover of dictionaries and words in general, I am ashamed to admit that I was ignorant of the hardships and the overwhelming mission of making a dictionary that may take more than a decade to accomplish. Therefore, this film was such a penetrating telling of an intriguing theme.

While watching The Great Passage, you will be stroked by two things: the story’s process and the characters’ portrayals and interactions. The first part is a quite slow narration of events that may not sound impressive at first sight. However, with the film progressing; many parts start to connect and the plot becomes as solid as ever. Moreover, light moments were also used to add some entertainment such as the editors eavesdropping on young girls’ conversation to find out new words invented by the younger generations. Although, this film may not be to everyone’s liking because of the theme and the very slow events’ development but I believe that was the perfect way of making such a film.

The second part is what makes the film quite special too; this film’s characterization was carefully handled to not appear surreal or lacking. For instance, the male lead Majime (literally translated as “serious”) was a quiet man who finds trouble with expressing himself; he’s always surrounded by books and has zero friends and thus no social abilities. The only one who’s able to understand him a little is his landlady. When such a man gets the chance to make a dictionary, he was inspired and determined to make it his life goal. In the meantime, he falls in love and starts struggling to win his lady’s heart, despite his lack of self-expression, while continuing his dream of making the dictionary come to life.

On the other hand there are his co-workers at the dictionary department; his fellows in this enormous mission of defining, refining and editing thousands of words in a modern-day dictionary. All of his colleagues were quite endearing but the most captivating character must’ve been Nishioka; an entirely opposite character of Majime; talkative, social and very affectionate; he was Majime’s right hand because dictionaries can’t be made by bookworms alone.

The acting was powerful. Matsuda Ryuhei is a very talented and versatile actor; I’ve got the chance to see him in five different roles so far and I loved him in all of those but this must be where I become a great fan of his acting style: expressive, calm but turns intense in need. His portrayal of Majime’s was perfect; he involves you with his character at every facial expression. Other actors were also quite good in here especially Miyazaki Aoi and Odagiri Joe, one heck of an iconic Japanese actor.

The selected music for this film was very well synchronized with the film’s theme and developments. It adds a great taste to the watching experience. The cinematography was also pretty well conveyed considering the fact that this film contained many time jumps from the 1995 till 2010.

Watch if:
-You’re interested in different types of films.
-You like watching inspirational films.
-You like to learn more about dictionaries.
-You like watching high-profile acting.

Do not watch if:
-You can’t handle slow films.
-You’re looking for romance.
-You’re not interested in dictionaries or words.
-You find inspiring stories “boring”.

The Great Passage is a motivating film that handles a different topic. It’s certainly not for everyone but if you can handle it then it’s undoubtedly one of those hidden gems that leave you with a smile on your face.

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First Time
50 people found this review helpful
Aug 5, 2012
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 8.0
This is a fascinating movie. I am surprised I am the first person to add it to my drama list. At first the movie started off a bit cheesy and I even thought about quiting it but I am glad I didin't because after about 30 minutes the viewers see the other side of First Time. I love how it managed to be both heartwarming and dramatic. Normally, movies about sick people are depressing to watch and it takes a lot of time for me to force myself to watch them. However, First Time is quite unique, because even though it is about a sick person, it does not revolve around a hospital. Also, it was very colorful, the decoration crew did an awesome job. The only complaint I have about this movie is that the main heroine's fantasies were painted in almost-chibis. I don't think these drawings suited the movie.

The acting was very good. I especially enjoyed the main couple's and Jiang Shan's (Shiqiao's mother) performance in the movie.

I love the soundtrack, most of the songs were created for this movie. I especially love the ending song, too bad I can't find it for download yet :(.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable movie. I`m glad I decided to watch it.

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The Attorney
49 people found this review helpful
Jun 13, 2014
Overall 8.0
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
To think that The Attorney was Yang Woo Seok’s directional debut is a bit hard to believe. It feels as if one of South Korea’s veteran directors made this one.

This film is one of 2013’s most critically acclaimed films domestically and that doesn’t surprise me a bit. You see, The Attorney is based on the real-life story of the ex-president Roh Moo Hyun’s early years, when he used to be an attorney and human rights activist. It also takes a controversial case from 1981 as its main focus. This film is neither a legal thriller nor a courtroom drama. It doesn’t focus on a desperate attorney trying to win a case or someone trying to prove his innocence; it’s more like a serious depiction of the social and political status in South Korea back in the days. Something low-keyed but contains greater value.

The emotions and reactions throughout the film were quite penetrating. You’ve got to give director Yang Woo Seok credit for what he did with the storytelling, he didn’t only direct this film but he also wrote it himself creating a respectable piece. He didn’t use anything that’s high-profiled because basic elements and some emotions-play were more than enough to deliver great developments and captivating events.

Without doubt, no one can deny Song Kang Ho’s astonishing acting skills, he’s able to grab any character and make you feel it throughout. It was impressive how he delivered Song’s character, every emotion and every facial expression were too involving. It’s not for naught that Kang Ho ahjussi is one of the fewest critically acclaimed actors in and outside South Korea. The rest of the cast delivered so well, the director knew how to pick his actors because a little exaggerated acting would’ve blown everything into thin air but gladly, none of that happened here.

Considering the fact that this film was set in the late 70’s and the beginning of the 80’s, the cinematography felt fitting but not more than the music, it had an important part to make you connect to the characters and events.

Watch this if:
-You like films that are based on true-life events and characters.
-You like to watch an interesting film about politics in South Korea 30 years ago.
-You like Song Kang Ho; this is one of his better performances.

Do not watch if:
-You’re not into romance-free films with somewhat slow development.
-You’re looking for something light or thriller-like.

The Attorney is an interesting film that concentrates on political and social issues in South Korea back in the 80’s. It’s absolutely a success for the newbie director Yang Woo Seok and a wonderful introduction to follow his work in the future.

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Harmony
32 people found this review helpful
Jan 16, 2013
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
If you are looking for a great movie to watch, well this is the one!!!
The movie is about the life of inmates who are inspired to show their talents to other people outside the jail.

I was carried away by the great acting of the actresses especially the main ones, Kim YunJin of Lost, and Na Moon Hee of Padam Padam. The drama of this movie works because it builds emotion right up until the end and it shows how prejudice people are on inmates. I give this movie a perfect 10 because it is superb!!!
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Penny Pinchers
32 people found this review helpful
Feb 21, 2012
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
Penny Pinching Romance isn't a perfect movie but it was a very enjoyable one. The synopsis here really doesn't tell you much or very clearly. Hong Sil is a woman whose past clearly navigates her present life. Unlike the synopsis suggests, she doesn't have any goal in life other than to collect money. She is calculated and methodical in collecting it and frugal in the extreme once procured. What she intends to do with it once she has it, even she doesn't know. Enter Ji Woong (Song Joong Ki) in whom Hong Sil sees purely an opportunity to make money faster. Of course, when you hook yourself up with a bit a scoundrel things don't always go according to plan.

This movie has a nice solid plot and story trajectory all the way through. It's real charm for me lay in all the atypical things about it. It is not standard rom/com fare. There is a serious and slightly gray quality to it that I actually found refreshing. This gray cast was in the set direction and writing but it was more to shape their circumstances. Let me assure you this is not a darkly written movie in a dramatic or depressing sense.

There were lots of moments I laughed out loud. Especially at some of the antics of Ji Woong. The scenes between Hong Sil and Ji Woong aren't overly cutesy but they are interesting and they make a great team as, unbeknownst to both of them, their feelings start to grow. Both actors sold their characters for me. Their chemistry together was good. The payoff at the end for both characters was worth 2 hours of my time.

Song Joong Ki is a 'characters' actor. Even if he has the looks to play a leading man, I hope he chooses wisely in the future because he's better playing a part with quirks and charisma. He has excellent comedic timing and a face made for acting through expression.

Han Ye Seul sells serious characters to me more than comedy so this part was perfect for her. I felt her emotion and I connected with the reasons why she was cut off emotionally and relied so completely on monetary security rather than the human kind.

I liked this movie. I would re-watch it again and I recommend watching if you are hesitating.

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A Moment to Remember
46 people found this review helpful
Jul 2, 2011
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.0
Be forewarned that I've just now dried my tears. Crap... This love story got me right where I live. Watching Su Jin and Cheol Su meet and fall in love is magical. She barrels right past his tough exterior and pieces his broken heart back together. She so steadfast in her love for him that he has no choice but to fall under her spell and fall in love right back.

This movie is so well done; well written, acted and directed. It's the full package. It's even shot beautifully. The cinematography and framing is lovely. If you watch movies for the technical aspects of a film this one will satisfy.

This is the story of a deep love and how you deal with the loss of that connection through a wasting disease. How you find hope within that love when the disease slowly and painfully takes away it's memory. Both Son Ye Jin and Jung Woo Sung blew me away with their acting.

I make no apologies for my mushy hearted review of and adoration for this film. Even though the circumstances are tragic and the actors make the tragedy very palpable, there is also a lot of happiness, the sweetness of young love and the bliss it can bring. The ending is bittersweet and carries a soft sort of hope. I'm torn about the re watch value. I know I'll watch it again someday because it's just that good.

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Bunny Drop
29 people found this review helpful
Mar 3, 2012
Overall 9.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
Okay, let's see. What can i say of this movie?
It is cute all over, it doesn't bore you, it doesn't make you skip any parts, it enters your heart, grows inside and leaves happily.
I am neutral about the music, there was a german song in the beginning, it was quite fun to watch Daikichi's fantasy and the music fitted it but other than that one song i don't really remember others, means they don't really stand out.
the story is nice, i love Daikichi and Rin's relationship. they do no cuddling, no "i love you so much daddy" but you just feel the love. It is the success of both the story and the actors.
so if you want to have a change of your cliché someone-dying, someone-fighting-so-hard-for-love movies, take the shot, you won't regret it.

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Spellbound
79 people found this review helpful
Jul 19, 2012
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
When I first read about this movie, I didn't quite get how romance, comedy and horror could work together. But if you watch this movie you'll see how it's possible, the genres are mixed really well!

I loved the chemistry between Sohn Ye-jin og Lee min ki, they were so cute! Moreover, the ghost in this movie was a bit scary, but the comedy! Omg!! -the comedy in this movie was good. I didn't think I would laugh, but most of time I spent pausing the movie because I was constantly laughing hard. Even in the serious scene there were some comedy and that worked just fine.

You won't waste a second, this movie is awesome!

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Crows Explode
28 people found this review helpful
Oct 30, 2014
Overall 6.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 3.0
Despite the absence of Miike, Oguri Shun, Yamada Takayuki and the rest of the amazing crew, I never actually held previous prejudices on Crows Explode. But after viewing it, I can clearly state that it falls behind compared to its prequels.

Being a fan of Miike’s filmmaking, it was unavoidable to miss the highlighted foolish characterization, extreme violence and hilarious black humour inserted everywhere. That being said, I never expected Toyoda to do the same. After all, two different directors have entirely dissimilar way of making their pictures. Crows Explode leaned to the realistic side way too much which was a bit wrong in my opinion; don’t get the wrong idea, immersing the characters and fighting scenes in realism didn’t sound like a bad treat but when it’s over-done with this type of film then things are bound to become bothersome.

To make things clear, this film had too many similarities with its famed prequels. The fight to become Suzuran’s top leader was still used as the main thread to drive the plot. However, the fighting sequences to reach that objective were surprisingly demure and repetitive in a worrisome way. Although Toyoda tried to focus on the human emotions between his characters, he didn’t exploit his main leads’ potential to the fullest. Thus, many feelings couldn’t get pass the screen barrier to reach the watcher’s heart.

Crows Explode narrative pattern was composed of several side stories that didn’t serve any meaning at times. At the matter of fact, few of them were just used to fill the running time instead of building characters’ back stories. To some extent, most of them were heavy to watch especially with the obvious lack of fighting scenes; they became utterly irrelevant to the film’s development. Let’s not forget the near-disappearance of black humour – which I clearly don’t blame Toyoda for it. The last fighting sequence wasn’t blowing but it delivered a nice punch after all.

The entirely different cast is worrisome, isn’t it? I know that many people can’t imagine the “Crows” without Oguri Shun and Yamada Takayuki on top of them. I am a big fan of those two actors myself but shockingly, their disappearance didn’t make me feel bad. I did want them to be in here but the new faces weren’t bad at all. Led by raising stars like Higashide and Yagira, the acting department did the trick for the lack of better words. Some actors didn’t convince me much but I can’t put all the blame on them, the way their characters’ were written didn’t allow them to show a wide range of emotions or action.

The cinematography was trying to be the same as the two Crows Zero but it didn’t come out that way, I believe the yellowish atmosphere is the film’s way of distinguishing itself from the others. The musical note was the same so there's nothing to complain about in that department. The directing style and the setting of fighting sequences are debatable but Toyoda made sure to leave his mark which is more than enough to respect a director.

Watch if:
-You like both Crows Zero but make sure to watch this with an open mind.
-You like school fighting.

Do not watch if:
-You’re looking for a “copy-paste” version of Takashi Miike’s prequels.

Crows Explode had its own touch of filmmaking but the serious realistic depiction that Toyoda decided to use didn’t come out entirely right, just like it wasn’t entirely wrong. Due to its entirely different pattern, this sequel should be viewed for its own merits, comparing it to Miike’s Crows will only make it harder to watch and judge.

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