South Korean Box Office: Early 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Here's a quick breakdown of some new South Korean movies that people are talking about including: The Chaser, The Man Who Was Superman, Once Upon A Time, Forever the Moment, and Lovers of 6 Years.

The Chaser

Opened at #2 on Feb. 15 - great word of mouth reviews have pushed it to #1 in its second week.

KOFIC Synopsis: Ex-cop pimp Jung-ho is irritated because his girls keep disappearing without clearing their debts. One night, he gets a call from a customer and sends Mi-jin. Jung-ho realizes the phone number of the customer matches that of the calls the missing girls got last. As something smells fishy, he searches for her. During his search, Jung-ho dents a car in the alley. When Jung-ho spots blood splattered on the driver’s shirt, he senses the man, Young-min, is the suspect. After an intense chase, Jung-ho catches Young-min. But because of Jung-ho’s pretense as a cop, they are both taken to the police station. At the station, the man bluntly confesses he has killed the missing women, and the last girl, Mi-jin, may still be alive. As the whole police force is obsessed with a random search for corpses, Jung-ho is the only one who believes Mi-jin is still alive. With only 12 hours left to detain the serial killer without a warrant, Jung-ho’s hunt begins, searching for Mi-jin entrapped in a place nobody knows.

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The Man Who Was Superman

More notable for Jeon Ji-hyun's latest effort since the critically panned Daisy. After a limited release it opened Feb 1. on 514 screens in the #4 position, the next week moving to #6, afterwards dropping back down out of the top ten.

KOFIC Synopsis: SONG Soo-jung is a producer going on her third year at a small company. Her specialty is human interest stories. She is driven to produce these shallow stories for the sake of her ambition of one day becoming Korea’s own Oprah Winfrey. However, she is reaching the end of what’s left of her pride. One day, after months of not getting paid, she leaves her office with the company camera to produce a story on a lion apparently refusing to eat its meal. On her way, however, she comes across a robber, but she is saved somehow by Superman in a Hawaiian shirt. “Superman” claims he’s unable to tap into his supernatural powers as the bad guys have placed kryptonite inside his head. However, he doesn’t let that get in his way from helping others, from saving the world from global warming to saving a lost puppy. Soo-jung can see this will make a good story and, with a little tweaking and a little fabricating, she produces the Superman Saves the World documentary which goes on to be a ratings hit. However, the true story behind this “Superman,” including the bullet and not the kryptonite that is lodged in his brain, helps the frosty, calculating Soo-jung to awaken to what’s truly important in life.

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Once Upon A Time

The comedy-action-adventure film managed to stay in the top ten since its debut at the beginning of February, holding the #1 spot in its second week. Will anyone still want to see Indiana Jones?

Hancinema synopsis: In the 1940's under the Japan's colonial rule, Bong-gu, a swindler, and Chun-ja, a jazz singer, are both after ``the Light of the East,'' a diamond on the Buddhist statue in Seokguram cave. However, Japan's head gets it and he holds a party to celebrate and move it to Japan as soon as possible. Bong-gu and Chun-ja participate to steal 'the Light of the East'.

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Forever the Moment

The film, based on a true story about the Korean 2004 team, has been a runaway hit with more ticket sales than The Chaser and Once Upon a Time combined.

KOFIC Synopsis: The Athens Olympics are approaching and Korea is looking for gold in every sport. Korean women in particular have done well in almost areas except for the ignored and looked down upon sport of Team Handball. And when the team is assembled, it doesn’t look when the players who show up are women in their 30s ad teens with piercing. Can this oddball group overcome their personal differences and hardships and somehow come together as a team?

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Lovers of 6 Years

The romantic drama has been popular opening at #2 and then staying in the top ten for its second and third week (to present).

Koreanmovie Synopsis: "Nothing special" is also a keyword for Da-jin (Kim Ha-neul), a hard-working editor at a publishing company, and her boyfriend Jae-young (Yoon Gye-sang), an equally diligent home shopping producer. Six years ago, they began to date. Two years ago, they started sleeping together. Now, they are next-door neighbors, but the wall separating their houses does not have any significant function. They virtually share their rooms -- and bedrooms at night. They know each other inside and out so much so that they begin to feel a bit bored, and the magical sparks and excitement is already gone. Their relationships seem to have passed a stage where something special is at work.

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