Saturday, May 15, 2010

Save the Green Planet

I always love watching Japanese movies because the stories are so utterly bizarre. Well 'Save the Green Planet' is not at all Japanese, it's Korean, but it is a pretty weird story!

You're never quite sure whether this is an horrific psycho torture movie, a sci-fi movie, or a psychological thriller. In fact it's a bit of all these genres and perhaps a cop drama too.

To do the movie a great injustice by trying to capture it in a nut shell, this is about a young couple who kidnap the executive of a large corporation, because they believe he is a member of an alien race. Keeping him locked up and subjecting him to various horrible tortures (which are not shown in any kind of graphic detail, but are still unpleasant), they try to determine if he really is who they think he is.

In the meantime borderline-cliche rookie cop and disgraced veteran cop duo, team up and try to track down and rescue the executive.

Never boring; fast paced but quite long, and filled with that brilliant Korean mix of warm humour and shocking violence.

Conclusion: Another brilliant Korean movie, definitely enjoyed this one a lot.


Brief movie review. Just watched Korean movie "Joint Security Area". From the box art I was expecting an action movie for some reason, but although this does contain short scenes of graphic violence and gun fighting, the story is told with a lot of humour and the characters share some very warm and touching scenes.

Set on the border of the two Korea's, the story is based on a true story where two North Korean border guards were killed. Investigating what happened is a member of the verbosely titled "Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission" , who is a woman, and very cute (Lee Young Ae).

The characters are utterly convincing, the cinematography is quite arty in places, but never indulgent. The story is told in a typical Tarantino (start at the end and then flashback to figure it out) style, and unsurprisingly is supposed to be one of his favourite movies.

Definitely worth watching, although I did find it a little hard to follow in places. You can probably blame that on my inattention, or the subtitle quality of the version I watched.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Sassy Girl

I don't think I've reviewed a movie before but I really enjoyed this movie from Korea called My Sassy Girl (trailer).

Apparently in Korean it means That Bizarre Girl, and there is a hollywood remake of the same name which I will touch on briefly also (and a Japanese one which I haven't seen yet),

In order to avoid repeating the wikipedia page I'll simply
link to it now so you will know if I do.

The movie is about a guy (called Gyeon-woo) who sees a drunk girl swaying about on a train platform and saves her from possibly falling into the track a train comes. Following that he ends up taking care of her all night, including helping her into a hotel bed. In somewhat conservative Seoul you can't just drag a drunk girl into a motel at night, and soon the police show up and Gyeon-woo is arrested. Soon after she calls him, and arranges to meet him to find out what happened. They end up in a relationship where the girl is clearly in charge, bossing him about, yet he is soon head over heals in love with her.

There's no need for me to rehash the plot or the wikipedia page, but personally I can't recommend this movie highly enough. The music is fantastic (ok I like jazz) and the production standards are very high. The movie is very moving but also very funny. Even watching the movie with poorly translated English subtitles you can see it's a very well written script.

In Asian this movie was huge in the early 2000's, comparable to Titanic in the West, but I only came across it recently when a buddy recommended it, so hopefully if anyone reads this blog I will get a few more people to watch it.

It's a 10/10, you have to see it!

On the Hollywood remake of the same name... well it's the same story, the script is similar, the casting is, well, it's not bad. But really the movie is a pale imitation of a work of art. Probably not worth watching at all.
In fact I was physically cringing at some of the most beautiful moments of the story, as the lines from the original were replayed without any of the life and truth.

Stir fry of some kind

No family at home tonight so I was free to cook whatever I want. I had some deep fried Tofu and Bruised Garlic Chilli sauce from T&T so I decided to make a stir fry using those. Seeing as I worked until 6pm and didn't get home until 7pm this a great meal to do in a hurry.


In addition to the Tofu I fried some freshly chopped garlic, ginger and green (or spring) onions, lightly in peanut oil.


After a few minutes I added three baby bok choy and a couple of dessert spoons of the chilli sauce.


The end result was delicious, the sauce is not super spicy, but for kids or people not of a spicy persuasion maybe half a dessert spoon of the sauce would be fine. I served this over steamed rice.
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