And this, is how crime thrillers should be

19 01 2011

[[[ !!!SPOILERMETER!!! I will not be detailing the ending. Nor any other major scenes for that matter. I may mention or make reference to them but definitely nothing is spelled out. If you haven’t seen it already, maybe skip this for the full effect. When you do see it, make sure you’re with someone- OR SOMETHING- because you will need to be grabbing onto sh*t, believe me… ]]]

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So the people who want to remake this movie are the same dudes responsible for The Departed (by the way, is this remake still happening? I wanna seeee it~!) Surely this means The Chaser kicks a heckualota ass? Well, actually… if you wanna get technical, it more bashes you in the brain with a sledge hammer and chisel (no jokes.) This film is anything but UNbrutal.

I can’t say I am an advocate of physical violence in the real world but somehow, many of my favourite movies do involve a throat-shoveling abundance of pure bloody crime and/or hardcore fleshy, random-tools-employed-as-gory-murder-weapons action- Battle Royale, Oldboy, Memories Of Murder, A Bittersweet Life to name some… and now, The Chaser. The 2008 South Korean film from director Na Hong Jin isn’t merely one of the best films of its year, but in my eyes, it is among the best films of its genre ever.

The Chaser, reflective of its title, is essentially a cat and mouse kinda thriller. “The cat” being Jung Ho, an ex-cop-turned-P-I-M-P played by Kim Yoon Suk; and “the mouse” being Young Min, a stone-hearted and stone-eyed psychopathic serial killer played by Ha Jung Woo. Both of these guys by the way, fuureeaking killed their roles. KILLED. Owned. PWND. I can’t remember the last time I watched something where both leads rocked it so hard (usually you get one of two situations: [1] Actor X > Actor Y; or [2] They both suck. lol.) Kim Yoon Suk and Ha Jung Woo pitched us two very chillingly close-to-perfect acting performances. From now on, I know everytime I hear The Chaser be mentioned I will think of these two guys- Jung Ho and Young Min– and I know I will shiver. Shiver and a quiver. You can put your entire hardware collection on that one.

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The movie opens with a quietly gritty view of the night, moody shadows dancing amongst the bright lights of the city of Seoul.  A rather scantily dressed woman makes her way from the bustling traffic of the city to a more suburban area with a mystery man. She vanishes, and next thing we see is Kim Yoon Suk‘s face sucking a cigarette and sneering the words, “You bitch. You’ll be dead if I ever catch you.”

It seems that many of Jung Ho‘s girls have been disappearing lately, but he simply thinks they’ve all just run off from him. Er, dude, didn’t you used to be a policeman..? Oh yeah that’s right! But it may be a smidgen too late for us all by the time the showcase of your detective skills rolls around- at least if our name was Kim Mi Jin.

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Mi Jin is effectively the last girl Jung Ho has, but despite the fact that she is as sick as a dog, he still forces her to go out and pick up a client. After he sends her out, Jung Ho notices this client’s phone number, which ends in 4885, has appeared several times throughout his records, next to the names of all his missing girls. He sets out to find them in the gloomy night & by freak chance, runs into “4885”- but Mi Jin (played gracefully by Seo Young Hee– yes, she managed to look respectfully dainty whilst being lathered in blood) is nowhere to be seen. The two guys end up at the local police station due to a traffic altercation and we begin to peer into the mind of Mr. 4885. His name is Young Min. Out of the blue, with a soulless smirk on his battered face, he confesses he has killed 9 girls. But the last girl he says, may still be alive.

And so begins the chase to find Mi Jin.

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We quickly learn that Mi Jin has a daughter, but this little girl ain’t your standard clueless seven year old brat (can you tell I luuurve children? lol) Through several scenes we learn that Mi Jin‘s daughter is extremely level-headed and “grown-up” for her age. The girl knows how to prepare the correct dosage of medicine for her flu-stricken mother; she can call the police and calmly relay into the receiver all the important details when there is an intruder at their house; she knows the detectives aren’t merely at her place for housecleaning duties as she watches them tweeze up her mother’s loose hairs from their living area; she even knows what the old capital of Brazil is… I mean, for goodness sakes, my greatest piece of knowledge when I was the her age was probably realising how many dwarves Snow White had. This girl seriously canes my ass.

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I’m not bragging about someone who is, like, half my height for nothing, because to have raised such a composed and mature daughter, a tremendous amount of dignity and respectability is reflected in Mi Jin herself; the kinda mother- the kinda person– that Mi Jin is. Like mother, like daughter, right? Mi Jin is a good person; she’s fragile, gentle, polite, soft-spoken, she shows patience when conversing with her little girl- we see all that- and that is why we actually care if she makes it out alive or not. This is why we want the person who took away such a good mother from her good daughter to be punished for good. And why Jung Ho‘s guilt over Mi Jin‘s mishaps tugs at the heart.

While the rest of the girls have a kinda strictly-business relationship with Jung Ho, the connection between him and Mi Jin felt much, much closer. This is tellingly indicated early on when we hear her refer to Jung Ho as oppa. For those familiar with Korean culture, you will understand that this is no lightweight title- “oppa” definitely binds a level of closeness. Sometimes this may be a blood-connection thing, sometimes not. Now there is no way Jung Ho and Mi Jin are related by blood (I mean, surely no-one in this universe would coerce their own blood into prostitution, yeah?) Yes Jung Ho is a jerk but he isn’t obliteratingly heartless, therefore, we can only believe that there is some sort of past intimacy between the two. There are also a few “Who is the father of Mi Jin‘s daughter?” scenes (e.g. when Jung Ho and the daughter are eating at the street hawker restaurant; the nurse questioning who the guardian was at the hospital when the daughter was admitted into E.R.,) that help fuel this assumption- I would even dare to go as far as placing some ₩ on Jung Ho being the father (but not all mah dough though- after all, I am saving for… The 2011 Miura Haruma Desk Calendar MUAHAHAHAHA -_-;.)

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Importantly, this relationship serves as the backbone in the change we see in our (anti)hero (hero? Sheesh, when was the last time we called a pimp a hero O_o?) We watch Jung Ho start off as a thug and… well, in the end, he still is a darn thug, but by this time our feelings for him have transitioned. Yeah he’s still uncouth, ruthless, flings his fists around and kicks people and shite around when things aren’t going his way, and yeah he looks like he could do with a spa treatment et al… but as each event unfolds, we see Jung Ho reform, bit by bit. And, as opposed to Young Min, ultimately at the core, we can see there is a man. A man who above all has the instincts for primal justice (whether or not his ways are legal is a whole ‘nother question but hey.) A man who has realised the harm his callous actions have caused to his girls, and resulting him to be in the place he is in. A man who has evolved. Kim Yoon Suk absolutely captured all the fire and the tension in the progression of his character. He was like, how-do-you-make-me-cheer-for-a-pimp awesome. Along the way, we were confused, frustrated, ignited, provoked- but ultimately we were gripped. Gripped by the throttling adversities the man had brought upon himself.  Gripped by his acceptance to take matters into his own hands and somewhat atone for his sins. By the end, even though he never really begged for the viewer’s sympathy, it was hard not to chuck your pom-poms (or chisel, whatevs) up in the air barracking on Jung Ho‘s fight to save- and avengeMi Jin.

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Though that’s not to say that I wanted Young Min to go to Hell or anything; I’m just saying, he creeped me out- like, even moreso than seeing Turtle Boy Kame frolic around a shiny pole twirling a feather boa from his shoulders *wink wink* ;-X The way that he spoke about the women he had murdered in such an eerily proud and detached manner, really, really made my skin crawl- and I think Ha Jung Woo was outrageously marvelous in getting across this temper (honestly, even when I see the actor scrub up and put on a suit now in real life, I still have reservations…) However, as remorseless as Young Min appeared on the outside, somewhere deep inside, I think there is a soul who wanted to be savedno, scratch that. I have an inkling I’m making too much of the Christian imagery that was splattered throughout the film, which was one thing I didn’t entirely get and I probably would’ve been fine without. Then again, I suppose religious allusions always add to the feeling of solitude and distress over the things in this world that lie outside of our power. They also push us to question justice, make us think about good vs evil and leave us studying the line between right and wrong.

So was Young Min‘s chronic impotency something that we should’ve sympathised with? In my case, no. Well… mebbe he got me just a teeny tiny bit. In the scene where he is being psychoanalysed by an expert from the police force, drilled over and over again about his “ability as a man,” there was a split moment where Young Min‘s eyes flashed a look of helplessness. A look that silently shrieked, “No. You don’t know me. If I had a choice, I wouldn’t be like this either.” I can only imagine that being impotent must be one of the most difficult things for a man’s psyche to deal with, and in fact, I wouldn’t have minded a backstory thrown in to explain how Young Min had gotten to this state, you know, deliver us an emotional understanding as to where he came from blah blah blah. But alas, it wasn’t long before his cold, barbarous look returned and immediately you re-check yourself- it doesn’t matter what happened in the past to the guy, what he has done, and is still doing now, is, indefensibly wrong.

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By the way, have I mentioned how freaking fabulous Kim Yoon Suk and Ha Jung Woo are in this flick already? Yeah? Well, lemme just say it (*puts on Daft Punk groove*) One More Time (!) Truly, I could really just go on and on about how much these two guys really helped bring The Chaser to a whole ‘nother level. Studying these two actors and their characters is a joy in the film itself- even upon a close-to-instant repeat viewing of the movie. While a film like Oldboy has Quentin Tarantino‘s stamp of approval and undeniably excels in breaking down the spirit of the human heart, a huge aspect of its impact lies in THE REVELATION (!!!) at the end. The Chaser on the other hand, having revealed who the killer is within the first quarter of the film, leaves the viewer with nothing else but to absorb themselves completely into the characters. We are there in the battle between Jung Ho and Young Min and we go along with the chase to find Mi Jin. The ending isn’t what’s important but it’s being there with the characters and being downright terrified and thrilled on a ride of constant super high tension (are there nail marks in ya armchair already? *excavates nail clippers*)

And director Na Hong Jin‘s non-flashy, moody visuals and skillful direction masterfully accentuate this state of extreme anxiety. For a first-time director, the movie definitely ain’t too shabby at all (far from it really; in fact, I’m sure the whole universe is watching out hardcore for the man’s next project.) For one, his understated use of score in the movie is a big fat Hallejuah. I think I most appreciated the use of silence, particularly during the fight scenes- all your ears pick up on is the breath of the characters and the blow in their punches. There are also no glammed-up editing effects on the chase scenes- we see them run in real-time, we hear their panting, we meander through the streets of Seoul with them. If I weren’t so scared-sh*t, I actually wouldn’t mind running around with them (and maybe make a stop off at a random street stall for some odeng and tteokbokki nonomnomoomm xDD“`)

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Without a shadow of doubt, when you think about The Chaser, it’s impossible not to think about the relentlessly savage, ah, pain-infliction. Director Na Hong Jin was far from shy in showcasing the gore in all its glory. Think rusty tools, mouldy bathroom tiles, hair clogged drains, floating heads and just flat-out bloody, barbaric slaughtering. Na Hong Jin may not have necessarily depicted the violence to our eyes in comic book step-by-step detail but through noises, human voices and blood just spraying everywhere, we certainly get the point. This grittiness and this pricking brutality is something that really works for the film. It nips at your skin and it feels real. And the fact that the movie is based on real life serial killings in Seoul adds to the unnerving bleakness, making you feel a grim sense of unease. Make no mistake about it, this ain’t the film you should be watching when you are having, say, a “I need to feel better about the world” kinda day because, my friend, are you going to be, er, brickwalled.

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But that’s what The Chaser thrives in. It’s dark. It’s brutal. It’s cringe-inducing. It toys with your mind and it makes you think twice about picking up lonely strangers and following them back to their dark and dingy house. But above all, it’s everything a crime thriller should be.

———

In completely unrelated news, I would just like to say that I totally saw Roger Federer at the 2011 Australian Open. Seriously LOVE that man. Like, how much, do you ask? Mmm, well, if I saw him and say, Yellow Gold Boy at the same airport at the same time walking off in two different directions, I would absolutely no question be hopping on the Fed-Express plane ^_^ But, speaking of whom, Jinny boy is set to release a new single in March, titled Eternal, so BOOooo-YAH. And even better, Arashi will kick in their new track, Lotus, on February 23rd! Happy times :)

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24 responses

19 01 2011
Peggy

Such a film. such brilliance in acting and directing is rare. How did they sleep at night after some of the scenes. Well they are actors I suppose who know how to turn it off and go home. The audience however, will not be able to ‘turn it off’ and you will find, if you join the audience, that this is one film that will stay in your mind for a very long time.

Yes indeed it would help if you did NOT watch this all by yourself……..

21 01 2011
jicks

Bless Kim Yoon Suk & Ha Jung Woo I say!

The “turning off” factor with the actors has always boggled my mind (well, only with the great ones & definitely not… Yamapi lol *fond hug*) because I know I find it really difficult as a viewer to detach myself after a (fab!) series or a movie enough already. As glamorous as the industry may appear from the outside though, sometimes this part of the actor’s job is perhaps the most challenging- it must take a tremendous amount of discipline & this I truly do respect. Sometimes it may not all be so easy as “clicking on” & “clicking off” either for them either. I not sure if you are familiar with the Hong Kong actor Nick Cheung, but I think I recall reading an article on him around the time he won the Best Actor at the Hong Kong Film Awards & he said while he was filming the movie, he had to move out of home away from his wife & lil baby because he just couldn’t snap out of character. Kinda unimaginable (& I thought I was moody after a hard day’s work ahahaha ;P)

P.S. The Lleyton Hewitt VS David Nalbandian match was a ripper! Perfectly fine with the outcome, even with the fact that Nalbandian retired in his next round (I watched him train earlier & you could just see his fitness wasn’t where it needed to be for a Grand Slam level) but ZOMG the night after, did I stress my brains out! Roger being stretched HARD to five sets… but(!!!!!!!) at least he pulled through *exhales again* You’re a tennis fan yourself Peggy? :-)

19 01 2011
Peggy

Just watched David Nalbandian win over his first round apponent. Great match.

19 01 2011
Ender's Girl

Holy crapamola that is everything a review of a crime thriller should be! ^^;; Great job, jicks! Although I don’t have an arm chair and so couldn’t leave any nail marks, I was tensing up right down to my core just from reading the premise all the way to your description of the brutal, gritty scenes. If there’s a pimp (pun not intended) post for this film, you review is SO it. It really made me feel the creeping sense of danger and dread, and I couldn’t help thinking, “Man I’m so glad I’m not a pimp or a ho or a serial killer” lol.

Also loved your analysis of the main characters and the religious allusions, etc. I can’t believe I didn’t watch The Chaser back in 2009 (2010?) as soon as the subs were out, as I’m very partial to crime thrillers. Don’t know that the hardcore violence in The Chaser won’t make me queasy and all, but at least your review gave me a pretty good idea what to look out for.

And it’s so cool how you didn’t spoil the ending. I’m SO watching this movie!!! XD

p.s. Loved the crazy little bits of humor you injected into your review! It’s one of the things I enjoy the most about reading an entry on your blog, regardless of the topic. =DDD I totally LOLd when you referenced Miura’s desk calendar and Kame in that trademark slinky boa, bwahahaha. Just goes to show that no matter what serious, heavy stuff we watch and review, our favorite J-boys are never really far away from our minds, lolll

p.p.s. Oh and I totally sang “One More Time” aloud without meaning to!!!!! Hahaha we’re such dorkz. (Btw I love that song, and love Daft Punk’s series of music videos! So anime retro! Made blue skin look cool!)

p.p.p.s. You saw The Federator at the Aussie Open — OH JOY!!!! I’m so happy for you!!!!! I heard he drew a particularly tough opponent for the first round; did he win??? And oh dear, poor A-Jin losing out to R-Fed for jicks’ affections! (Mebbe Jinny oughtta nab a Rolex endorsement too, lol)

21 01 2011
jicks

LOL Pimp post! Sankyuu! Sankyuu! ^^; But I would need to borrow Kame’s feather boa before I could carry that title proud lol (perhaps you could help me get it hahaha xDD)

I thought the Chaser was from 2009 as well but I just googled it & it was from 2008! Time flies sure does fly :-)

I tried to watch it a year or so ago on a Chinatown copy but the English subtitles stopped a third of the way through. And when I say “stopped,” I mean they didn’t even supply me with Engrish or Konglish or anything, it just went blank on me! Kind funny but gosh was I left hanging -_-;

It’s kinda rare that I don’t spoil the ending in my posts right? lol I figured the details for this kinda movie is definitely best left unspoken. Lemme know which parts you got nauseous in when you’re done lol

Omg, Daft Punk videos are still the best! I think my favourite would be the one for “Around The World.” Classic neon, robotic goodness :)

lmao, Jinny & a Rolex endorsement!!!!!! I can imagine the poster now- the Yellow Gold timepiece shimmering away on his wrist which he has positioned up against his trademark pout, fedora tilted down his (semi-chubby) face covering his left eye but…… never in a million years would Rolex do that to themselves; the brand exudes far too much class lol (& even if he did get the contract, at this rate, he’d probably eat it all away ahahahaha)

27 01 2011
Ender's Girl

That last paragraph, I mean ALL of it:

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I couldn’t even finish reading your Jin+Rolex description without laffin’ my effin’ a$$ off. Then I just had to go look up R-Fed’s Rolex posters over the years, and mentally replace his face with Jin looking exactly how you described him. GOLD GOLD GOLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XDDD

Oh poor Jinny *dabs at eyes* I just watched Johnny’s Countdown 2010-2011 last night and it just… wasn’t… the same… without Jin’s, uh, massive presence dwarfing the likes of Ueda and Maru. =/

p.s. Daft Punk’s Around the World = was just awesome!!! Psychedelically cybernetically awesome! Now try imagining KAT-TUN *attempting* to pull off sumthin’ like that, lollll

24 01 2011
doozy

Great job, jicks! Like E.G. said, the humor bits sprinkled throughout always make me laugh.

Now I want to watch this movie but dang, I don’t have any friends around me who would watch this with me. What to do?

28 01 2011
jicks

Shankyuu doozy! :)

Re your lil “noone to watch it with” dilemma… well, Peggy’s suggestion is definitely a good option. Maybe you could have a pic of Buki nearby for safeguard’s sake ;P

Although, I did watch it by myself at night the second time around… and it wasn’t THAT bad since I had my doona to protect me^^; (the first time I watched it, my Dad was in the room; he wasn’t watching it… apart from the movie playing, it was silent in around us, then all of a sudden Dad spoke and I snapped in shock ‘n’ fear! And he was like, “Errrrr????” lol)

24 01 2011
Peggy

Oh jicks,
I hope the green glow is not bothering you. It’s just the sin of envy from my eyes at this end. You are there watching the tennis LIVE !!!!!!!!!!! I am watching all I can find on TV. It is splendid this year. Did you see the two girls. Schiavone??????? What a match. then poor old Roddick. I stayed up until 3a.m so today I am bleary eyed and can’t type. I love tennis. My game all through school and after wards.
I am waiting for my darling Nadal. I do so want him to win this time.There are so many good young ones in this tournament this year. What happened to Verdasco?? I think he put on weight so he is out of shape. Maybe Partying?? I don’t know.

doozy
re the drama. Well if you don’t have anyone with whom to watch it then you must watch it in the daytime and when it is finished go out and have some icecream or find some people you know and put it away from your mind if possible. Better yet make someone watch it with you

25 01 2011
doozy

Hi Peggy,
Thanks for the suggestion! If and when I decide to take a shot of this movie, I’ll be sure to chase it away (pardon the lame-o pun) with some mint chocochip icecream and cotton candy rom-com.

25 01 2011
Peggy

Jicks,
Just finished watching the ladies singles between Schiavone and Wozniacki. what a strange outcome. I was really hoping that Francesca would win because everyone thought she would be too tired after that long match two days ago.
It would have been a triumph for her especially since she won the French Open last year.
Ah well…as the song says ‘Maybe next year….’

27 01 2011
Peggy

:(- Nadal…:(= :(=

27 01 2011
Ender's Girl

yeah, tough loss for rafa. i’m also a bit worried for r-fed going up against djoko today. that should be a nail-biter :-B

27 01 2011
Peggy

I think Roger will be OK. He is so smooth in his moves and he knows just where to place the ball. Never seems rushed.
? ( as the actress said to the bishop seems to fit in that sentence somewhere..)

What about Li Na. I was crossing fingers for her. Her intervew was so funny. I think her marriage must be quite exciting and funny and explosive….

28 01 2011
jicks

Oh Peggy! You have no idea how heartbroken I am over Roger’s exit!!!!!!!

While I think I feel for Rafa not being able to physically compete at full strength and ultimately giving up the prospect of “The Rafa Slam,” Roger’s loss is hard to take because he simply played like a… moron. There’s no disputing that making it to yet another semi-final of a Grand Slam is an enormous (and often overlooked) feat but to go out on playing such a horrendous match is what upset me so much more than the fact the he actually lost (T_T) Credit to Novak Nole Djokovic though (although I’m not a fan,) he did play a tremendous match.

Re the Schiavone VS Kuznetsova match, I know, how epic! And although she lost her next match against Wozniacki, I was still amazed towards the end at the way Schiavone did not give up points easily and fought all the way to the very end. And Li Na makes me proud! She’s been around for so long and it’s great to see her succeed with so much class :) Missed her interview though, what do you mean about “an explosive marriage??” *wondering thoughts* >_>; But I will be happy whoever wins outta the women tomorrow.

Currently watching Andy Murray VS David Ferrer… definitely rooting for the Scot!

Btw, it’s so cool that you like the tennis! Glad to be able to discuss it with you :)

28 01 2011
Peggy

What is Ha Jung Woo doing now? I know he had an exhibition of his art but that was back last year. Has he done a film lately?

28 01 2011
jicks

I caught a glimpse some time ago of Ha Jung Woo’s art pieces and remember liking them! I recal lots of intense, vibrant colours. This guy is definitely has a very admirable artistic streak in him.

Film-wise, I’m a new fan but there are many that I most definitely want to get on to- FAST. HERE is a fanblog I found that covers his works in depth. I think the one that strikes my interest alot is The Yellow Sea since both he and Kim Yoon Suk are the leads again and the director is none other than Na Hong Jin- it’s The Chaser reunited!

Oh, & doozy, if you are reading this: please look out for the movie The Boat. It’s a co-Japanese-Korean flick. Aside from Ha Jung Woo, there may be someone else you could possibly be interested in ;)

30 01 2011
doozy

OMG, The Boat! I did not know about this. I think my Buki-dar needs a change in battery.

Good looking out. Thanks, jicks!

29 01 2011
Peggy

Hi jicks.
Agree with all tennis thoughts. I was heartbroken re RAFA. I love him so much and I was worried that he kept on playing with a torn hamstring. He never gives up. Now he is under doctor’s care back in Manacor and no doubt sorry that his pal Ferrer did not make it. Just finished watching Murray match. Hope he wins the final personally. He is a true ‘dour’ Scot but his tennis is getting good.
I was shocked with Roger. He seemed totally off balance from the start. I could not believe him being wiped out in three straight sets. I thought his face did not look good for some reason and he certainly could not play his usual tennis at all. Not at all normal for him.
Well Ha Jung Woo is indeed an artist. Yes I remember the colours in his pieces. Regarding films. I think you would like one called ‘TYPHOON’ It has Lee Jung Jae I love him. Also that other famous actor but his name just left me. …Ah. Jang dong Gun. It is a very dark story and very exciting most of the action taking place on a freighter in the midst of a storm. It is worth finding.
You are the only tennis buff I have found on the net. So happy to talk tennis….:-)

29 01 2011
Peggy

jicks,
I forgot to say about Li Na. She had the funniest interview on court after her win. It seems that she and her husband of five years are both stubborn and somewhat fiery and they have arguments. Also she said that she did not sleep well the night before because her husband was keeping her awake by snoring. Every hour on the hour and of course it brought a huge laugh from people there. She was asked what she was thinking when she was about to play for the last pointl She thought and smiled and said ‘Prize money.’ another big laugh. Then the interviewer said I think you have another reason to be happy this week. Na looked puzzled. ‘Well it is your fifth wedding anniversary’ at which Na looked over at her husband in the box and said ‘Is it? Isn’t it on the 29th?’ The way this interview went was so delightful and she was so happy and her husband was laughing. I think it was the best tennis interview there so far.

31 01 2011
Peggy

Re Ha Jung Woo. there is a film he made called ‘The Fox Family’ It is so unlike enything else I have seen him do and I think you would enjoy his actions in this story. It is about a family of ninetailed foxes who are in human form and they are a theatrical group. It is so funny and yet there is the background of the fox story going on. He plays a slightly slow witted brother in the group. I did not know he could sing and dance. FUNNY A film worth finding. I have it somewhere but cannot find it in the shelves to watch again. Too busy to stop and look. I would think it might be on a site somewhere to watch online.

Sad day for Murray. Djokovitch played superbly and deserved his win.

31 01 2011
jicks

As much as it pained me seeing Djokovic lift up the Norman Brookes Trophy, just as you said, I do believe he deserved it because he was the better player on the day (& probably for the entire tournament.) I feel bad for Andy Murray, I mean, the poor guy must feel the weight representing Great Britain but unfortunately, I don’t know if it was the pressure getting to him but he was far from being in his best form in the Final. I really hope he wins a Grand Slam one day.

And although Li Na didn’t walk away victorious from the women’s final, I am still proud of her achievements, but also equally ecstatic for Aussie Kim :D I said this to my brothers- this was the first women’s final I could remember in a long time now that I enjoyed tremendously, not just because of the quality of play but also because of the two women’s class, & also because there was next-to-zero on-court squealing xDD (Btw, Li Na’s interview you described sounds flat-out hilarious! I could just imagine it like her thankyou speech after the final, where she told her husband whether he becomes fat or skinny, ugly or good-looking she will always follow him, always love him… aaw ^_^)

The Fox Family?? *dashes off to google* Don’t know why I’ve never heard of it before but it looks kinda fun! The cast seems cool (I like Park Si Yeon… don’t ask me why on that one because I’m not too sure either^^;) so I will definitely be on the look-out for it next time I’m near my local Asian DVD store… gosh darn it, now that I’m thinking about it, I have sooooooo many movies and series backed up in my queue of things to watch. The tennis has really, really put me behind but well, it as all worth it somehow & hey, I can always catch up!!!!!! :D *off to resume dorama watching now….ish lol*

8 02 2011
zooey

Fantastic review, jicks. I’ve been reading this post one paragraph at a time for the last week or so, having to stop midway to either get back to work or run an errand (pathetic, I know).

I remember watching this a while back, I believe this movie got a number of awards the year it came out so I really made a point to see it. And darn it, it was truly a creeptastic viewing experience, much like you described it. I watched this with my knees tucked under my chin the whole time and I kept hoping and praying for Mi-Jin would make it back to her kid.

Like you, I was kinda curious about Jung Ho’s relationship with the little girl, he seemed a bit more protective and attached to her. I guess the only difference between us is that I didn’t really give much thought towards the two male characters. I was so taken with the chase that all I thought about was how the main character should hurry up and catch the killer. Jung Ho to me, was just a man on a mission, someone whose pride and source of income was trampled on by this psycho, which made this manhunt a bit more personal. Young Min, on the other hand, was just plain crazy and I just kept wishing that someone would just put him out of his misery. That being said, I’m totally with you on how this movie was seriously dark and brutal, there really was something about the dilapidated house and the dark alleys that made me shiver with fear.

11 02 2011
jicks

Thanks zooey :)

lol at creeptastic, that is the perfect word to describe the angst O_o!

Jung Ho to me, was just a man on a mission, someone whose pride and source of income was trampled on by this psycho, which made this manhunt a bit more personal.
^^*nods head rapidly* I definitely agree with you there, Jung Ho was definitely the kinda man who didn’t like being messed with and having his ego walked all over. Kinda wanted to end up being on top in a way. And I also kinda like how they left his relationship with the girl a little ambiguous… not everything has to be spelled out hey ;)

As for wanting Young Min to be put out of his misery, I don’t know, while I thought the ending was fitting for the movie, it was frustrating at the same time because you know there is little chance of him walking into that cell with a single ounce of remorse for what he has done. Grim, I know.

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