Battleship Island – A Review

It’s no secret that I am a fan of Song Joongki. I was totally hooked on him the moment I saw him on a drama called Triple. He has since become my favorite Korean actor.

Although I haven’t gone Joongki gaga in the last 4 years – I’ve been keeping tabs about him. I knew he got out from the army. That he starred in Descendants of the Sun and that he was marrying Song Hyegyo (yes, like any fan I was crushed at first but now I don’t want anyone else to marry him but Song Hyegyo!)

So when I heard he had a new movie – I was psyched! And when I heard it was going to be shown internationally – in the Philippines especially – I went crazy!!! You see, Korean movies aren’t really released in cinemas in my country. So having Battleship Island in movie theaters is such a treat for Filipino hallyu fans.

And that’s what me and my friends did yesterday – we watched Battleship Island (군함도).

I couldn’t get over how good the movie was and so I decided to rave about it and perhaps entice some hallyu fans to watch it.

The Trailer

Synopsis

As the movie is new as of writing this blog entry, I’ve decided not to include the story as it will create spoilers. But this movie is the story about the Korean laborers who were working in Hashima Island – Battleship Island – and their attempt to escape from the island. The movie was set in 1945 as World War 2 was coming to a close.

The movie stars Hwang Jungmin, Kim Suan (the same little girl from Train to Busan), So Jisub, Lee Jonghyun and Song Joongki.

Why I Liked the Movie?

I didn’t really expect much from this movie especially because it was a historical one and truthfully I am not a big fan of war movies. War movies are exceptionally painful and sometimes a little gory to watch. And yes, this movie had all the violence, blood and action you would expect in those movies.

But I did like this movie because the scenes had me convinced of the struggles of the laborers. The acting in this movie was top notch! Kim Su-an stole the show once more for me. She did that in Train to Busan and did it again here. This girl has a great career ahead for her. My second favorite character was Hwang Jungmin’s Kang-ok. His portrayal of a dad who would do anything for her daughter just tears my heart apart.

I also liked the action scenes and the effects. I was cringing the whole time. It was bloody and gory but these effects had me on the edges of my seat the whole time. The action scenes were real enough for me to cover my eyes at time. Spilled guts, amputated bodies, dead bodies – looked true to me. The set and the casts costumes transported me to another era – very different from today. The colors schemes of the scene were perfect for the dialogue. I loved how the contrast was between the dirty dark tones during the laborers scenes and the clean bright tones when the Japanese were on.

I was wide awake in the cinema during the whole 2 hour plus run of the movie. Even my “sleepy, tired, overworked” friend who sat beside me didn’t fall into slumber.

However…

Although the movie was wonderfully executed, I think they could have done something better.
I am no expert – I am just a movie buff and these to would have made the movie better:

1. Story and Character Development
While acting was topnotch, there were some parts that I felt was rushed. Like the introduction of characters. True there were a lot of them, but it would have explained the movie better. Also, there were characters who appeared but I wasn’t sure who they were or why they were there.
Case in point: Joongki’s introduction (wait when did he arrive on the island?), Lee Jong Hyun’s and So Jisub’s characters (their story was nice but it wasn’t well developed)

2. A waste of So Jisub’s talent
So Jisub is to me a great actor – but movie, what happened?  Something was not right about the way he portrayed the Seoul ganster. I don’t know why, but though this movie is a drama, and we know So Jisub is good at dramas, it was a bit lackluster. An ingredient or two was missing.

3. The Japanese
I realize a lot of people might get angry at this comment – but I think the portrayal of the Japanese might be dramatic / exaggerated for me. It’s true that some of them really had twisted minds during the world war. But there were times when the acting was a bit over the top. It didn’t seem realistic – as with the other elements of the movie. I kind of get that it was so movie goers can better understand the emotions of the coal laborers, but it was too much for me.

Overall, this movie was a good watch. I did get my money’s worth and to top it off it had Song Joongki.
I do encourage you to see it – especially all Pinoy hallyu fans. If we you watch, it will open up opportunities for having more Korean movies shown in the Philippines. And on that note, thank you Viva Films for giving us the opportunity to see Battleship! Cheers to more Asian movies shown in the future! You rock!!!

If you’ve seen the movie, let us know what you think!

**credits: New Trailer Buzz @yt

-chipskjaa (“,)

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Recommended Movie: Sunny (Korean Movie)

I saw this movie awhile ago but I haven’t had the chance to recommend it. I’m sure a lot of you have seen this. And to me it has become my favorite Korean movie to date.

The movie is not about losing the one you love or finding love in the most uncommon place, but it’s about friendship. And this movie is called Sunny.

 

Synopsis:

The film is about the story of 7 high school friends. The film begins by letting us know the usual routine of our heroine Nami. She is a wealthy homemaker. One day, she went to the hospital to visit her sick mom. It was on that day that she sees a patient who was struggling and shouting in her hospital ward. She reads the name on the door and it says “Han Chunhwa”. Seeing the name makes her remember of her high school days. Later, she finds out that Chunhwa was indeed her friend from high school. Apparently she is diagnosed with cancer and that she was dying. Chunhwa asks Nami if she can find the other members of their high school group “Sunny”. It’s her dying wish and Nami obliges. And thus starts the story of them remembering their pasts and seeing what has happened to each of them in the present.

Sorry I don’t want to write the whole story.. kk better watch the movie!

Why I like it?

This movie brought me to tears and it’s not even a romantic movie! I am not really a sucker for friendship movies because they usually don’t have a very good story. But with this movie, I think the story was absolutely perfect. Also, Korea has more romantic comedies or drama films, but they have very few films about friends, especially about friendship of women. I guess it was a refreshing one to watch.

 

The transition between old and new was also brilliant. It was not annoying and I love how they connect the scenes. The perfect example was when Nami was walking back to her school.

 

One minute she was in the present and the next moment she was in the past. And then we see the old Nami. I loved how they did it.

I also liked that there was a balance between the fun, the sadness and the heartbreak in this movie. They did have a love line but I’m glad it was not the emphasis of the movie or else it would ruin it! This movie had me laughing and crying. And did I mention the epic fight scenes both in the past and the future was brilliant!!

Also, the music and the montages of the past were pretty effective to me. Like the one where they fought during a demonstration. I love the songs in the movie too and the musical numbers they did! Gotta love Kang Sora!!!

I know it’s not related to the movie, but I can’t help admiring the posters. From my point of view I think they did a good job with the message of the movie and the posters.

 Teen Version

 Grown-up Version

After watching this movie I hoped that me and my friends would never lose touch and would still be super close.

Another thing…

Though this movie is not a musical, I love how they paid homage to the song Sunny both in the past and in the present. Warning: DO NOT WATCH these videos if you don’t want any spoilers!!!

I wish me and my friends would have a friendship this long.. Enjoy!!

 

**credits:  MissMerida and blockhead550 @yt + as tagged

 

Vision of Love – 4Men (MV)

Ok so, you don’t actually see 4Men in the video, but I am posting this because the video screams Lee Byung Hun.

This is the video of 4Men‘s single Vision pf Love.

I swear I need to see more of them in the Korean music shows. I mean they have one of the best voices in Korea (for a music group) and I love their music very much. They have released really good ballads and I think they deserve more recognition than Korean is giving them now.

Anyway, another reason for posting this video, is because I think this is Lee Byung Hun‘s new Korean movie. And the plus side is Bae Subin (from Shining Inheritance /Brilliant Legacy and 49 Days) is going to star in the movie. From what I gather, it will revolve around 2 friends having the same affection for the girl. Common plot.. maybe but it involves car racing and stuff so I think it would be nice.. kk And Lee Byung Hun, though he is not one of the most handsome Korean actors, but he can act! And I mean really act. I love how he can change characters depending on the movie or drama. Ohh and I just can’t wait for the new G.I Joe movie!!

Really anticipating this new movie.. 🙂

**credits: AsianDream2013@yt

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