films seen
10
average score
3.10*
nationality
South Korea - 58 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

One of South-Korea's more interesting blockbuster directors. Kim has a slightly more focused, dedicated style, where he doesn't try to fit everything into a single film. Few true stand-outs, but a good starting point for people who want to get into SK cinema.

The good stuff

Three

by Peter Ho-Sun Chan, Jee-woon Kim, Nonzee Nimibutr
San Geng
2002 / 140m - Hong Kong
Horror, Mystery
4.0*/5.0*
Three poster

Solid pieces

The Last Stand

by Jee-woon Kim
2013 / 107m - USA
Action
3.5*/5.0*
The Last Stand poster

Doomsday Book

by Pil-Sung Yim, Jee-woon Kim
In-lyu-myeol-mang-bo-go-seo
2012 / 115m - South Korea
Comedy, Sci-fi, Fantasy
3.5*/5.0*
Doomsday Book poster

The Good, the Bad, the Weird

by Jee-woon Kim
Joheunnom Nabbeunnom Isanghannom
2008 / 130m - South Korea
Action, Adventure, Western
3.5*/5.0*
The Good, the Bad, the Weird poster

A Bittersweet Life

by Jee-woon Kim
Dalkomhan Insaeng
2005 / 120m - South Korea
Action, Thriller
3.5*/5.0*
A Bittersweet Life poster

A Tale of Two Sisters

by Jee-woon Kim
Janghwa, Hongryeon
2003 / 115m - South Korea
Horror, Mystery
3.5*/5.0*
A Tale of Two Sisters poster

Gone are the days of the Asian suspense hype. A film like A Tale of Two Sisters used to be quite grand and impressive, two decades later the base quality is still there, it's just not quite as special anymore. I still had fun revisiting this film, but I had a hard time recognizing the personal favorite I once knew.

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Su-mi and her sister Su-yeon return to live with their father and stepmother. They have a pretty bad relationship with her, their father tries to distance himself from the feud. The situation slowly escalates, but then hints are dropped that the mental stability of some of the family members may not be as stable as first suggested.

The stylish setting, the deliberate pacing and the fine performance are timeless qualities, the simple twist and the everlasting finale (which tries way too hard to explain things) drag the film down. Even worse, the scares and tension aren't quite as effective as they used to be. Might be more fun if it's your first time watching, doesn't really hold up on multiple viewings.

The inoffensive

Illang: The Wolf Brigade

by Jee-woon Kim
Inrang
2018 / 139m - South Korea
Sci-fi, Action
3.0*/5.0*
Illang: The Wolf Brigade poster

It's a little awkward to see a South-Korean remake of a Japanese anime, especially when the animation is more serious than its live action counterpart. Kim stays pretty close to the original and overall it's not terrible, but it just made me love Okiura's films more. The ending is a fluke though, shouldn't have done that.

The Quiet Family

by Jee-woon Kim
Choyonghan Kajok
1998 / 101m - South Korea
Comedy, Horror, Crime
3.0*/5.0*
The Quiet Family poster

Dubious filler

The Foul King

by Jee-woon Kim
Banchikwang
2000 / 112m - South Korea
Comedy, Sport
2.0*/5.0*
The Foul King poster

One of Jee-woon Kim's earliest films. It was the last of his feature films I still had to watch, it seems I made the right call to keep this one until the very end. It's a pretty basic sports comedy with few of Kim's usual touches, which means there really isn't much there to get excited about.

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Dae-ho is a shy and socially awkward guy who works a boring job in a bank. He can't stand up for himself, which makes him an easy target for others to take advantage of. Dae-ho is tired of him own failures and wants to make a positive change. He turns his life around when he commits to becoming a WWF fighter.

The performances aren't great, the film looks pretty bland, the story is not very notable and the runtime is a little excessive. There are a handful of scenes that preempt Kim's later films, and it never gets too dull or uninspired, it's just not enough to keep things interesting for nearly 2 hours.

Plain forgettable

I Saw the Devil

by Jee-woon Kim
Ang-ma-reul Bo-at-da
2010 / 142m - South Korea
Horror, Crime
1.5*/5.0*
I Saw the Devil poster