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March 17, 2005


Ray Lee

Yeah, I thought Oldboy was bad-ass! I recognized some of the actors from Shiri and recently, Tae Guk Gi (excellent war film). I was surprised to hear that there's already a re-make in pre-production...I guess nothing is sacred. Justin Lin (Better Luck Tomorrow) seems to be slated to direct and I think a remake of this film will piss a lot of people off...we shall see.


Yes, I can imagine a remake would annoy me - but given that very few people would ever see a Korean film, rather than denying them the chance to sample some of the intensity and black comedy of this film, they may as well see the re-make (...if its any good that is). Its a shame foreign language films don't enjoy much success overseas, though I'm as guilty as most for not bothering to seek them out.
I'm afraid I can't rate Tae Guk Gi though. This was more Hollywood than Hollywood, and given the full title can be translated as 'Waving the National Flag', I think perhaps you can imagine the blatant political bias of this film. It's a shame, as the basic premise could have made for something a little more subtle.
I recommend 'Silmido' as a more interesting take on the tensions between North and South. Its a fairly unsubtle action flick as it is, but is based on a true story of 30 death row criminals trained to assassinate Kim Il-sung back in the 60s. It's one of the many stories of this time that has only recently been uncovered. There's naturally quite a bit of artistic license (and probably exaggeration), but an interesting movie nevertheless, and not overly politicised.


Oh, and the small and uninhabited Island of Silmi-do ('do' meaning island), is not far from Incheon - actually part of the Greater Incheon boundary. You probably would have flown over it when you came here.


Interesting take on Tae Guk Gi, which has been getting only positive reviews, but I understand your point of view. I'd still like to see it for myself.

It's too bad that more people didn't see Old Boy, I think a re-make would be disappointing as well.

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