1987: When The Day Comes (2017)

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Movie: 1987: When The Day Comes
Release Date: December 27, 2017
Runtime: 129 min.
Distributor: CJ Entertainment
Country: South Korea

Main Cast
Kim Yun Seok – Park Cheo Won
Ha Jung Woo – Prosecutor Choi
Park Hee Seon – Jo Han Kyung
Lee Hee Joon – Yoon Sang Sam
Kim Tae Ri – Yeon Hee
Kang Dong Won – Lee Han Yeol
Yoo Hae Jin – Han Byeong Yong

Review:
This movie is based on actual events called June Democratic Uprising in Korea which happened in 1987.

It all started when a college student was tortured and killed by anti-communist group and they tried to conceal his death.

I love how the director was able to tell the story through different people, starting from the prosecutor who demanded autopsy, to jail guard who passed on info to the opposition, the reporter who tried to reveal the truth to the public, and to the students who bravely rallied against the government.

Not for the faint hearted. It’s moving, horrifying and inspiring. The extra romance between the two college students slightly felt out of place but the end made up for it.

Rating: 8.5

Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure (2022)

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Movie: The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure (해적:도깨비 깃발)
Release Date: January 26, 2022
Runtime: 125 min.
Distributor: Lotte Entertainment
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Plot: A group of pirates search for the legendary royal treasure.

Main Cast:
Han Hyo Joo – Captain Hae Rang
Kang Ha Neul – Woo Mu Chi
Lee Kwang Soo – Mak Yi
Kwon Sang Woo – Bu Heung Su

Review:
I’ve been waiting for this since last year! Sadly, it wasn’t what I was expecting.

The overall mood is light with some comedy. I thought the ensemble cast isn’t as impressive as the first movie but they were still a great team. Kang Haneul and Han Hyo Joo were okay as the main leads but I think that Lee Kwang Soo stole the show as he never fails to bring the laughter.

I wish they gave more scenes for Kwon Sang Woo. He looked badass as the main villain but he didn’t really get to do much and wasn’t that scary. Chae Soo Bin’s character also seemed out of place and was there for comic relief and a side romance for brooding Sehun. The story also felt shallow compared to the first movie.

I enjoyed the second half where there were fighting, more than the first, which focused on the team dynamics and the legend of the treasure. I liked the penguin scene, absurd but still funny. You know this movie really isn’t taking itself too seriously. Little disappointed with the dragons coz we didn’t see them, just the fire.

I like the snazzy ending track that sounds like ‘Billie Jean’

I liked the ending where the crew would rather have love than treasure 🤣 after seeing the 2 couples together.

Rating: 8/10

A Year-End Medley (2021)

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Movie: Happy New Year (해피 뉴 이어)
Release Date: December 29, 2021
Distributor: CJ Entertainment, TVING
Country: South Korea

Main Cast:
Han Ji-Min – So-Jin
Lee Dong-Wook – Yong-Jin
Kang Ha-Neul – Jae-Yong
Lim Yoon-A – Soo-Yeon
Won Jin-A – Yi-Young
Seo Kang-Joon – Yi-Kang
Lee Kwang-Soo – Sang-Hoon
Kim Young-Kwang – Seung-Hyo
Ko Sung-Hee – Young-Joo
Lee Jin-Wook – Jin-Ho
Lee Hye-Young – Catharine
Jung Jin-Young – Sang-Kyu
Lee Kyu-Hyung – fortune-teller
Jo Joon-Young – swimmer
Won Ji-An – figure skater

Review:
Released at the end of the year with a star studded cast, this movie mostly revolves around the people working in a hotel and the events leading to the new year.

I love that there are a variety of stories that are connected to each other.

  1. A girl with a one sided love for her college band mate/best friend – reminded me that when one door closes, another one opens
  2. The friendship between a star and his manager – reminded me to be grateful for the support of my family, friends and colleagues
  3. A romance between the hotelier and the housekeeping staff – reminded me that love has no boundaries
  4. High school students falling in love – reminded me that you sometimes have to take risks
  5. Former lovers reunite – reminded me that it’s never too late to start a new life, romance, career
  6. A guy who wants to end his life on the last day of the year – reminded me that life is precious and we should cherish our time on earth

I liked 1,2 and 6 story line the most.

The movie is quite long, almost 2.5 hours but needed to squeeze in all the stories. We dont get a background of who they are since there’s no time, it looks like we are just getting a glimpse of their lives a week before the new year.

Perfect to watch during the new year or if you just want a simple and light movie.

Rating: 8.5/10

The Great Battle (2018)

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Movie: The Great Battle (안시성)
Release Date: September 19, 2018
Runtime: 135 min.
Distributor: Next Entertainment World
Country: South Korea

Cast
Jo In Sung – Yang Manchu
Nam Joo Hyuk – Samul
Park Sung Woong – Taizhong
Bae Sung Woo – Choo Soo Ji
Um Tae Goo – Paso
Seol Hyun – Bekha
Park Byung Eun – Poong
Oh Dae Hwan – Hwalbo
Jung Eun Chae – Shi Mi
Sung Dong Il – Woo Dae

Review
As the movie name suggests, this 2 hour movie is about the 2 month battle between the 5,000 army of Commander Yang in Ansi vs the 200,000 army of Chinese emperor Taizhong.

Not sure how accurate the war strategy depicted in the movie, but while watching with my friend, we were thinking, if we were Yang, how can we defeat a strong army with few troops and limited resources? The answer is a lot of strategy, courage, and faith. We did think they could have done more to defeat the Chinese army, like using fire and pushing the ladder much earlier but i guess they delayed these for a more epic scenes.

This movie boasts of an ensemble cast so they tried to have some story for each one, like Samul’s trust in Yang, the rivalry between the Hwalbo and Poong, the tragic love story between Paso and Bekha, and love between Woo Dae and his mom. Jumong’s bow added a mythical touch to the story (like King Arthur and his sword or Thor and his hammer).

Rating: 8.5/10