Tag Archives: south korea

Best and Worst Korean Movies of the 2010s

I have gone more towards South Korea this decade even though I don’t often get the opportunity to see movies from that country outside of film festivals or special screenings. There is a stated goal from South Korea’s government for them to make quality cinema and spread their culture overseas they want to win all the awards. This is not in any sort of order other than by year.

Best

Parasite (2019)

It only just came out but is pretty much ruling all at this point. If it wins the Academy Award for Best Picture Song Kang-Ho can run around with his underpants on his head and still get roles.

https://blog.timchuma.com/2019/07/parasite-2019/

Train to Busan (2016)

Still don’t know how they are going to follow this up? I would like to see a parallel story following the high school baseball team from the other carriage. You can watch the prequel Seoul Station but it is not really necessary (I saw it on a double bill with this movie.)

https://blog.timchuma.com/2016/08/miff-2016-train-to-busan-2016/

The Age of Shadows (2016)

Best use of baby poo bum in a movie to break tension ever.

https://blog.timchuma.com/2016/11/the-age-of-shadows-2016/

The Wailing (2016)

I could not organise my feelings about this movie into a form that I could put down. I have not seen a movie that punishes you so hard for making assumptions or thinking that you “get it”.

The Handmaiden (2016)

I felt like a perv watching this movie in the cinema. No wonder both sessions plus the bonus screening at MIFF sold out that year.

Snowpiercer (2013)

I do remember liking this at the time but not sure it stands up as much as the director’s other work.

Comrade Kim Goes Flying (2012)

And old-school propaganda movie from North Korea but with a nice sweet story and supporting equality.

https://blog.timchuma.com/2013/08/miff-2013-comrade-kim-goes-flying-2012/

 

War of the Arrows (2011)

I think this was a Korean Film Festival in Australia watch? I remember liking it a lot when it first came out.

http://hkmovies.timchuma.com/warofthearrows.htm

 

The Yellow Sea (2010)

A good movie but it could have used more stabbing…

http://timchuma.com/miff2011/theyellowsea.htm

 

Worst

Rampant (2018)

More of a disappointment they could not decide if this wants to be an action movie or a historical drama. Everything stops dead when it switches styles. By all accounts Kingdom is everything this movie is not.

https://blog.timchuma.com/2018/11/rampant-2018/

Aim High in Creation! (2013)

OK, this a cheat since it is an Australian director in director but gets special mention due to the director not telling the people from Stop CSG Sydney that she was making a communist propaganda movie. Doubly so since her and the tour guide director criticized at the Q&A the director of the Red Chapel for deceiving their North Korean hosts.

https://blog.timchuma.com/2013/08/miff-2013-aim-high-in-creation-2013/

End of Animal (2010)

Zzzzzz

http://timchuma.com/miff2011/endofanimal.htm

MIFF 2016: Seoul Station (2016)

Director: Yeon Sang-ho

Set 24 hours before the events of Train to Busan this is the story of the initial zombie outbreak and the people who try to survive it. Being a prequel you already know the ending is not going to be good, but you have to keep watching to see how long the people will survive for.

This film was made concurrently with Train to Busan but released after it. I wouldn’t say it was necessary to watch this movie before the other movie but it does give a back story to the initial outbreak and how it managed to spread so far.

The initial infected person is a homeless person and his brother has a lot of trouble getting treatment for him as people just seemed annoyed by him. When he finally does get help it is too late and the body is missing when they go back to get it.

A young woman and her boyfriend living in a cheap hotel have a break up over the boyfriend pimping her out to make the rent. Angry Dad finds her ad online and is on the trail. The woman storms off and turns off her phone.

The zombies attacking the train station is confused with homeless people making too much noise by authorities. The young woman gets caught up in the fleeing homeless and ends up stranded in the holding cell of a local police station surrounded by zombies.

Angry dad and the boyfriend go back to the hotel, only to be attacked by zombies and have to escape via the roof. Angry dad manages to bully the boyfriend into doing what they need to get out and back to the car.

Things get progressively worse as the night goes on and even the arrival of the authorities does not help as they completely misread the situation and even are responsible for a large amount of survivors being killed by not letting them escape.

It is a downer ending but as good as it can be in the circumstances. Someone turns out to have been lying all along just to get people to do what he wants. There was an audible “Nooooooooooo!” in the screening I saw it at when it was revealed what was going to happen to one of the main characters.

It is a very unique animation style, almost reminding me of roto scoping in some places. This is not a kid’s film as it is very violent with a lot of zombies biting people and violence.

I would recommend this film if you have already seen Train to Busan and want to see a further extension of the story.