I love Koreatown in the springtime…

Wherein I blog about all things Korean in Los Angeles

Ripe for a Remake: The Chaser August 2, 2008

Filed under: movies & film — Raven @ 10:08 am
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The only reason The Chaser (추격자) is a Korean movie is that it happened to be made in Korea. There are no inherent details about the story that tie it to Korean culture. And this means it has a better shot than some at translating into a decent remake. With luck, even a pretty good remake.

As I mentioned a few posts ago, there are plans to remake it with Leo DiCaprio starring, so I watched it with that in mind. The protagonist is played by an actor in his forties, so I’m thinking they’ll write the role younger in the Hollywood version and give it to DiCaprio. I can’t see him getting any other role in the movie. The role of the protagonist is exactly the kind where DiCaprio would excel. It’s dark and the guy’s morality is gray, but he has good impulses (some, anyway).

It’s the story of a cop-turned-pimp who goes looking for the guy who’s making his girls disappear. The pimp is played by Kim Yoon Seok, whom I was delighted to recognize from the kdrama Revenge (부활, also translated Resurrection or Rebirth or Life Again or maybe we should just say The Drama of Many Titles). He played a supporting role in that drama, but a fairly important one, acting in part as the hero’s conscience. I’m fully intending to blog about it sometime. It was a good one.

But back to The Chaser. Kim Yoon Seok turned in a good performance (I have a feeling he always does). It was a solid film, engrossing, dark, with a character I cared about even though I’m not generally inclined to like pimps. The structure was slightly atypical, but not radically so, and it worked. The presence of one character initially made me worry that the story would go off on a tangent, but she turned out to be well-integrated into the protagonist’s journey. The antagonist… well, I could say something about his motives, but I’m afraid it might be a spoiler, so I won’t. All I’ll say is he was definitely the kind of guy you want to see brought down.

One warning, though (actually three). If you don’t like gore, this movie isn’t for you. And if you don’t like dark, it’s not for you. And if you aren’t into antihero protagonists, it’s not for you either.

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My Sassy Straight-to-DVD Girl July 17, 2008

Filed under: movies & film — Raven @ 4:49 pm
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It turns out the English-language remake of My Sassy Girl will not be getting a theatrical release. The folks involved must have realized what I had suspected all along: the movie isn’t worthy of theaters. Judging from the trailer I saw, I think the filmmakers may have replicated all the quirky little scenes but missed the bigger emotional picture.

I can’t link to my source for this news because it was print media (wait, print media still exists?), but I can tell you it was in this month’s issue (July 2008 ) of KoreAm Journal.

I’m hoping to get my hands on a My Sassy Girl screener and give it a watch. If/when I do, I’ll report back. After all, I’ve been judging this movie sight unseen, so I could be completely wrong about it.

Well, probably not.

On the plus side, and also on a new topic, Leo DiCaprio is set to star in a remake of the Korean film The Chaser, which sounds suitably dark (he’ll probably die at the end). He tends to pick his movies well, so I have more hope for this remake than I had for MSG. That news came from KoreAm and this place.