1. #1
    Conde Koma's Avatar
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    Korea, 2008: The Good, The Bad, The Weird

    Joheunnom, Nabbeunnom, Isanghannom
    “The Good, The Bad, The Weird”
    Korea, 2008
    Genre: Historical, Western
    130 minutes
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0901487/

    When a hapless train thief stumbles across an invaluable treasure map, he finds himself mixed up in a fight for his life with some of the most dangerous gunslingers of the wild East.

    Set in the barren desert of Japanese-controlled Manchuria, “The Good, The Bad, The Weird” exemplifies the high-octane, pulp-action style of cinema coming out of South Korea lately. Blending Western gun fights, slapstick comedy, and a strong nationalistic message, this film is non-stop entertainment from start to finish. With a driving, upbeat soundtrack and a colorful cast of characters, I can say without a doubt that this is the frontier of action cinema right now.

    The film can’t really be discussed without bringing up the political themes brought up in the story. To truly understand the movie’s plot, characters, and message, there needs to be some historical context. During the 1930s, just prior to World War II, Imperial Japan controlled much of northern Asia, including Korea and the Chinese province of Manchuria. With Korea struggling for independence, times were hard for many that lived under Japanese rule, and fled elsewhere to start new lives. There is still much resentment against the Japanese people in Korea and China, and so the Imperial army is often cast as a convenient antagonist in historical films. Sometimes, such as in Jet Li’s “Fearless,” efforts are made to show that not all Japanese were villains during this time, but there is no such effort made in this movie.

    Still, possible anti-Japanese themes aside, it can’t be denied that this film was a hit with Korean and international audiences alike. Centered on the hilarious antics of Song Kang-ho (whom you may recognize from “The Host”), the movie keeps you going back and forth between uproarious laughter and pulse-pounding action. Thankfully, director Kim Ji-woon turned to a variety of practical pyrotechnics and special effects for the bulk of the film, a crucial detail that definitely had a hand in bringing the acting performances to the next level.

    Depending on the cut you see, your mileage may vary with what you get out of the movie. You might see just another fun action flic, a great romp through the Gobi desert with horses and six-shooters and explosions. I can assure you that “The Good, The Bad, The Weird” is so much more than that, and truly deserves a place on your shelf as a staple of action-comedy cinema.


  2. #2
    dwkfym's Avatar
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    I didnt get to see this movie when I was in Korea. I found it annoying though, that some Koreans my age and younger had no idea Good, Bad, and the Ugly existed before this one.

  3. #3
    Conde Koma's Avatar
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    Don't let that stop you from checking out the movie, it's a great homage to the original, as well as a great film on its own.

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    This is one of my favorites, great stuff.

  5. #5
    BackFistMonkey's Avatar
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    bump for an excellent little flick.


    If you haven't seen this thing ... watch it NOW ... or like later after you eat or something ...
    “I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.”
    BILL HICKS,
    1961-1994

    Quote Originally Posted by Jean Paula-Satire
    Never believe that the GOP and fellow bigots are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The bigots and Republicans have the right to play. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past and that besides, they have already won

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