10 October 2009

Joint Security Area (JSA)

I am the president of the "Chan-wook Park can do no wrong" club, but I've tried three times now to watch this film. And finally I just forced myself to sit through it.

I can't for the life of me figure out why the NCSS* storyline is in this movie. Had this movie just been about the soldiers and their camaraderie, it could have been Oscar-worthy. Instead, it's just lilt-less and a little contrived.

The elements are all there and the performances are extremely realistic, but the need to get the camera involved and spin the story through flashbacks is just... inane.


Kang-ho Song (the Host) is fantastic in this movie and so believeable as a North Korean soldiers. He is quickly becoming my favorite Korean actor, alongside Min-sik Choi (Old Boy, Lady Vengeance, Tae Guk Gi).

* Neutral Swiss/Swedish agency that oversees communications in the JSA (compound along the DMZ for both North and South Korean officials).


A rewatch of the classic. Wife has never seen it before... was great to see her get involved with all the tension and realistic horror of this top-notch film.

Never read the book. I wonder if the end is nearly as good as this one.

Easy Virtue

Jessica Biel made a wise choice taking this role, but sadly doesn't really steal any scenes. Ever. She's outclassed at every turn. But she tries... sadly, she has many movies ahead of her. Colin Firth and Kristen Scott Thomas on the other hand.


Too bad their characters barely speak to one another.

The movie does not follow a pattern or formula, which I enjoy. However, it never really grows out of it's shell either. The ending is good, not great. And the scenes are always 15% shy of their true potential... always remaining forever "british" in their quiet servitude and dignity.



Outrageously good. Really.

It's not what you think at all. And to talk about it, would rob the movie of it's cool.

Go see if. Even if you don't like the zombie "genre."