Korea

On a hillside overlooking the beaches of Normandy, American soldiers surround a Korean and a Japanese man wearing Nazi uniforms. This is the second-most intriguing image of Mai-wei, the WWII epic from writer/director Je-gyu Kang. What’s even more fascinating is that the image is drawn directly from real life. How they got there (and into Hitler’s army no less) is a story told while trudging through the freezing mountains of Russia and the hot open plains of Korea. It’s an enormous movie, told through a decade as two competitive marathon runners – Jun-shik Kim (Dong-gun Jang) and Tatsuo Hasegawa (Jo Odagiri) – begin as alienated enemies and become friends through the brittle evolution of battle. Certainly its most striking achievements are the extended, highly-choreographed war scenes that steal the breath right out of your lungs. The visual style is an angrier version of Saving Private Ryan, but instead of beginning with Normandy, Mai-wei ends with it, and instead of having a few huge battles, Mai-wei has a solid half-dozen. Make no mistake; it’s a movie that slams your head into the wall without giving you a helmet.

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The trailer for The Front Line already hit hard, and now the production has released a poster to add another brick to their path toward Oscar. No South Korean film has ever made the short list for Best Foreign Film, and it’s going to be an uphill fight for this war movie, but regardless of how it does with the award-givers, it still looks fantastic. The movie from director Jang Hun focuses on an embattled hill during a ceasefire that took place in the Korean War. It looks appropriately dramatic, and the new rain-soaked poster takes us down into the trenches. Check it out for yourself:

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Without thinking about it, what’s the one thing your life needs more of? You said, “Giant pig beast monster movies from Korea and a sense of purpose,” right? Of course you did. Fortunately, Magnet is giving you a sense of purpose by compelling you to seek out the porcine creature feature Chawz it’s bringing to the states. If we all ask nicely, maybe Rob Hunter will review it for Foreign Objects. The added Z to the Korean title is meant to evoke the classic Jaws, something it does not quite achieve without being told that it does. However, the film – which I’ve mercifully refrained from referring to as “hog wild” – promises a metric ton of blood-thirsty pig rampage killings. Finally something to double feature with Wild Hogs. [io9]

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Drinking Games

Who says you need to have an English-language film to have a drinking game? All it takes is a kick-ass movie and some great cues. This week, the Korean homage to westerns, The Good the Bad the Weird, hits DVD and Blu-ray, and it’s definitely worth a look. And if you’re going to head out to the video store, why not swing by the supermarket for some other supplies to enjoy this drinking game.

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The third match of Round One finds the insane Western The Good The Bad The Weird going head to head with stirring drama Brides. Both films are set in the early 1900s, and both are critically acclaimed, but Korea has the edge here because of it’s status with those who obsessively import Blu-rays and DVDs.

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Foreign Objects travels the world of international cinema each week to look for films worth visiting. So renew your passport, get your shots, and brush up on the local age of legal consent, this week we’re heading to… South Korea!

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sexiszero

Much like they did with the Western last year (the epic and excellent The Good The Bad The Weird), South Korea has ventured into other traditionally American genres with great success. This includes copying the teen sex formula highlighting America’s love of fornicating teenagers, physical comedy, and baby batter.

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The Host

Although the project is unnamed as of yet, Variety seems to have an incredibly detailed description of its projected plot, reporting that the movie will revolve around a “calamity” that ensues when “people ignore a monster due to their desire for money.”

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