films seen
average score
South Korea - 60 years old
Alive and kicking
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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.



San Geng
2002 / 122m - Hong Kong
Horror - Anthology
Three poster

Horror was hot in Asia two decades ago, and they sure love a good anthology film over there. So a Pan-Asian horror project made perfect sense. The weirdest thing about Three is that Japan wasn't invited to the party, but it gave the less horror-centric countries a fair chance to show their worth. Three respected directors all put in a worthwhile effort, and while none of the shorts is truly extraordinary, they're all very strong, moody, and capable horror films that deliver the goods. If you're looking for two hours of quality horror, go for it.

The Last Stand

2013 / 107m - USA
The Last Stand poster

Doomsday Book

2012 / 115m - South Korea
Comedy, Sci-fi, Fantasy
Doomsday Book poster

The Good, the Bad, the Weird

Joheunnom Nabbeunnom Isanghannom
2008 / 130m - South Korea
Action, Adventure, Western
The Good, the Bad, the Weird poster

A Bittersweet Life

Dalkomhan Insaeng
2005 / 120m - South Korea
Action, Thriller
A Bittersweet Life poster

A Tale of Two Sisters

Janghwa, Hongryeon
2003 / 115m - South Korea
Horror, Mystery
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.

Illang: The Wolf Brigade

2018 / 139m - South Korea
Sci-fi, Action
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

Choyonghan Kajok
1998 / 101m - South Korea
Comedy, Horror, Crime
The Quiet Family poster

The Foul King

2000 / 112m - South Korea
Comedy, Sport
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.

I Saw the Devil

Ang-ma-reul Bo-at-da
2010 / 142m - South Korea
Horror, Crime
I Saw the Devil poster