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Lee Byung Hun 이병헌 Byunghun Lee

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13/3: Found this on IG, a drink with MR.SUNSHINE sticker. Not sure who prepared it..


Photo: Food stylist Lee Seung Eun @l_table




Today Sean Richard's father left a comment at our FB, commenting about KEYS TO THE HEART :) From time to time, he'd often write something about Lee Byung Hun.


Richard Dulake It was playing at the CGV movie theater in Korea Town. The actor on the left is,my wife's nephew. A huge actor in Asia.

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March 14, 2018


There are no roles that can daunt him.  This is the charm of Lee Byung Hun on the big screen. (a translation)




Since his debut in 1991, the 47-year-old Lee Byung Hun has performed in many movies and popular television dramas.  His fluent English and handsome Oriental looks landed him in Hollywood. His charm swept the whole world. 



However, Lee Byung Hun does not only specialize in acting in blockbuster commercial films. In recent years, the screenplays he has selected have their own characteristics.  The roles are wide ranging and allowed audiences to fully appreciate his acting skills.  Let us review together the outstanding performance of Lee Byung-hun in these movies.






Lee Byung Hun, Kang Dong Won and Kim Woo bin acted in this movie.  This film depicted the story of a large scale national fraud case.    At the start of the movie, Lee appeared like Steve Jobs as a CEO with silver hair.   Standing on a huge stage, he briefed his audience on his beautiful vision. No one knew that this is a science and technology fraud. The character Lee portayed is Jin Hyun Pil, a clever and cunning criminal leader;  guiding all directions with his insufferable arrogance, he confronted the police. 


"Single Rider"




Cooperating with Gong Hyo Jin for the first time, Lee Byung Hun is a Goose Father who worked hard in Korea in order to send his wife and son to live in Australia. By chance and at the last moment he decided to go to Australia.  He found that his wife and son seemed to live their own lives and no longer need Dad.    In this movie, Lee hardly had any dialogue with Gong, he just observed how his wife and son lived in Australia.   In the movie, Lee constantly showed his sad gaze, sitting alone in meditation; making the audience feel sad.   The ending of the movie was a surprise.  Lee did not use lines but fully expressed the feelings of a helpless father. 


"The Fortress"



This is a historical film depicting the Qing invasion of Joseon.  Two actors Lee Byung Hun and Kim Yun Seok each acting as a pro-war and pro-peace ministers.  Choi Ming Gil played by Lee as pro-peace minister brought humiliation and conditions from the invaders.  He tried to advise the king to avoid unnecessary casualties, but was criticized by the  ministers to a point where he felt ashamed and unable to show his face.  Ultimately Joseon lost the battle.  When the king took off his dragon robes, Lee Byung Hun shed bitter tears for the future of Korea. In this movie, Lee Byung Hun appeared gentle and determined against Kim Yun Seok’s vigourous pro-war stand.  




As soon as Lee Byung Hun appeared on the screen, his idiotic hairdo made people blink their eyes.   In the first half hour of this movie, he almost didn't say a word when he passed out flyers. He felt a grudge against the world and was a loser in his life.  However, when he met his mother who ran away from home years ago, and his seriously autistic brother, he found the meaning of life.  

Lee Byung-hun plays a downtrodden boxing champion; however, the championship aura cannot be eaten as a meal.  Owing to his low self-esteem, he showed full aggression towards the people around him.  He blames his Mom, yet when his mom misunderstood him for not taking good care of his brother, he gave up explaining.   When he discovered the pain in his mother's heart and the dazzlingly glow displayed by his  younger brother on the stage, he shed his tears silently. This is another example of Lee Byung Hun who successfully portrays “a nobody”  in society. 



KEYS TO THE HEART will appear in Taiwan cinemas starting on February 23.  Lee Byung Hun who last appeared in the drama “Iris” in 2009 will return to the small screen after 9 years.  He will cooperate with Kim Eun Sook in her work  “Mr.Sunshine” which will be aired in July this year.  A teaser trailer was released recently and has set off topics of discussion.  ,

Source: https://koreastardaily.com/sc/news/102973

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@peonie Awesome article and excellent translation, Barbara! Absolutely agree with the review write-up as all 4 movies from the past 2 years could not be more different from each other and truly highlighting Lee Byung Hun's acting in various genres.


It's already mid-March and soon it'll be April, May, June .. and July! when MR.SUNSHINE will be aired. mrs.jpg It's a good thing that the drama will be fully completed before the broadcast as the production would not be rushed and the cast would not be stressed out like so often we read about. Last summer BH was filming KEYS TO THE HEART and by this year's summertime, we'll be treated with a 20-episode that still feels surreal but it's coming, indeed! yes.gif


As KEYS TO THE HEART officially opens in Singapore tomorrow, here's another good review to start the day.


“Keys to the Heart” (2018) Movie Review – 그것만이-내-세상 (click link to read full review by Nicholas Ho)



Verdict: Heartwarming charm
But if you can overlook these niggling issues, “Keys to the Heart” is definitely an enjoyable one. It is heartwarming, charming, and has the ability to move you to tears. Even if you are a cynical person like me, for you not to feel your gut wrench at points at all must mean you are quite cold-hearted. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable movie that I had a lot more fun watching than I thought.

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On 3/13/2018 at 12:11 PM, rubie said:

Coming soon to cinemas in Thailand ~


Source: M PICTURES @mpicturesmovies



Source: M Pictures Co.Ltd FB


KEYS TO THE HEART to be shown in Thailand on April 12


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Personalized & autographed ETERNAL Photobook from Lee Byung Hun to his close friend, Hyunseok Choi. Korean/Japanese fans are envious of this. :) The movie was just recently shown during the weekend on Korean cable tv CGV Channel.


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Browsing the IGs, found a SINGLE RIDER dvd highlight that led to this movie-fan who probably bought almost all the Blu-rays and watched every well-known movies by Lee Byung Hun. Had a good time reading cool mini-reviews about the movies. It's a great throwback to share. More coming..


Source: Rhythm @thisgenius




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March 19, 2018


Florence Korean Film Fest to Stage HA Jung-woo Retrospective and Masterclass
THE FORTRESS and ROOM NO.7 to Bookend Italian Festival


by Pierce Conran / KoBiz / FKFF




The 16th Florence Korean Film Fest will open its doors on March 22 and screen 25 features and several shorts until it concludes on March 30. This year’s edition will also include a retrospective on films featuring popular star HA Jung-woo.


HWANG Dong-hyuk will visit Italy with his period film The Fortress (2017), which will be this year’s opening film. LEE Yong-seung’s Room No.7 (2017), the opening film of last year’s Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BiFan), will then serve as the closing film in Florence, also in the presence of the director.


HA Jung-woo will visit Florence to take part in a masterclass while the festival will screen six of his films, including KIM Byung-woo’s thriller The Terror, LIVE (2013), NA Hong-jin’s serial killer drama The Chaser (2008), LEE Yoon-ki’s romantic drama My Dear Enemy (2008), KIM Ki-duk’s index drama Time (2006), PARK Chan-wook’s erotic thriller The Handmaiden (2016), KIM Yong-hwa’s epic fantasy Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds (2017), which the director will also be present for, and HA’s own directorial outing Chronicle of a Blood Merchant (2015).


The festival will also feature a focus on films that concern North Korean, called ‘K-South & North’. The sidebar includes KIM Sung-hoon’s box office hit Confidential Assignment (2017), IM Heung-soon’s documentary Ryeohaeng (2017), MOON Hyun-sung’s table tennis drama As One (2012), WON Shin-yun’s spy thriller The Suspect (2013) and JUHN Jai-hong’s indie drama Poongsan (2011).


Other films with directors present will include JUNG Byung-gil’s action drama The Villainess (2017), SHIN Su-won’s fantasy drama Glass Garden (2017) and HUH Jung’s horror The Mimic (2017). The rest of the program features two films by Hong Sangsoo, The Day After (2017) and Claire's Camera, and JANG Hun’s political drama A Taxi Driver (2017), among others.

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Just found this article. A great read of a good movie.. 


Also positive comments from movie fans at the original page.


December 11, 2017


Single Rider, A (2016) Review


by Paul Bramhall CityOnFire


Director: Lee Zoo-young
Producer: Kang Myung-chan
Cast: Lee Byung-hun, Gong Hyo-jin, Ahn So-hee, Jack Campbell, Yang Yoo-jin, Annika Whiteley, Kei Ekland, Baek Soo-jang, Choi Joon-young, Lee Seung-ha, Leeanna Walsman, Benedict Hardie
Running Time: 97 min.


If there was ever an example of an under the radar movie, then you’d be hard pressed to come across a better one than A Single Rider. Headlined by Korea’s most well-known actor, Lee Byung-hun, the low key production was his fifth movie in 2016. From headlining the Korean blockbuster Master, to roles in the Hollywood flicks Misconduct and The Magnificent Seven, to a cameo in Kim Ji-woon’s The Age of Shadows. Perhaps understandably, A Single Rider was largely overlooked (despite it being Warners Brothers 2nd foray into Korean cinema, the first being Age of Shadows) . The same goes for his co-star Gong Hyo-jin, who received considerable praise as a mysterious Chinese babysitter in Missing, also released in the same year. As a result, the debut of writer and director Lee Zoo-young seemed to come and go as quietly as the movie itself.


For the curious, the question of how a debut director managed to secure such established names for their first feature is one that comes with rewarding answers. It’s been over a decade since Byung-hun headed a straight up drama, with the last time being Once in a Summer in 2006. His star has grown considerably in the subsequent years, from his collaborations with Kim Ji-woon (The Good, The Bad, The Weird, I Saw the Devil), to his forays into Hollywood (RED 2, Terminator: Genisys), to his recent roles in Korean period pieces (Masquerade, Memories of the Sword). Similarly, Gong Hyo-jin is one of those actresses who’s been in more movies than memory initially suggests. From early appearances in the likes of Guns and Talks and Volcano High, to roles in Lee Myung-se’s M and Ryoo Seung-wan’s Dachimawa Lee.


In A Single Rider Byung-hun plays a successful fund manager whose wife and son are living in Sydney, Australia. They’ve been there for the past 2 years, and are due to return to Korea soon, having originally left on Byung-hun’s insistence that their son should learn English there. However when the company he works for declares bankruptcy, combined with news from his wife that they want to delay their return home, he suddenly finds his world crashing down around him. After spending a night alone with a bottle of whisky in front of his computer, he makes the brash decision to book a flight to Australia. With nothing left to lose, he heads down under with nothing more than the clothes on his back, his passport, and his wife’s address scrawled on his hand.




Sure enough, Byung-hun locates the address in question, set in the leafy suburbia of Bondi Beach, however before he can knock on the door, he overhears the sounds of his wife’s voice and a male companion. Choosing to sneak around the back of the house, he observes his wife, played by Hyo-jin, giggling and acting affectionately with an Australian man, played by popular Australian TV actor Jack Campbell. Rather than confront them, he backs away in silent shock, and it’s this decision which really defines the movie that A Single Rider becomes. Developing into what can almost be described as an otherworldly hybrid of Alexander Payne’s The Descendants and Kim Ki-duk’s 3-Iron, Byung-hun spends all of his time in Sydney watching Hyo-jin and Campbell from a distance, as he attempts to establish if she’s really having an affair.


As a result, despite characters often making inconsequential chatter in the background, there are significant stretches of A Single Rider with no dialogue, instead relying on Byung-hun’s ability to convey a range of emotions with just his expressions, and a hauntingly minimalistic piano score. Bereft of the expected cathartic confrontation between husband and wife, instead Byung-hun’s fears and regrets slowly come to the surface through his interactions with a variety of other characters. He befriends a young female backpacker also from Korea, is viewed suspiciously by an elderly neighbour of his wife, and even interacts with members of Campbell’s family. Indeed the closest relationships he establishes are with the Korean backpacker, played by Ahn So-hee (the high school student in Train to Busan) and Hyo-jin’s dog, which decides to follow him around.


Byung-hun reluctantly ends up agreeing to help So-hee after she’s duped out of almost $20,000 by a trio of shady Korean youths, who offer to exchange her currency to Korean Won for a more favourable exchange rate than the banks. After initially observing her from a restaurant window driving off with the trio, when she suddenly reappears visibly dazed and unable to walk straight, he assists her to get back to the hostel she’s staying in, and eventually the pair attempt to track down those responsible for stealing her money. Notably this part of the story is inspired by the real life case of another Korean backpacker, who was murdered in Brisbane in 2013 following a similar scenario. Despite their differences, Byung-hun and So-hee form a bond through their shared feelings of being lost in a foreign land, and their dire circumstances.


For a first time director, Zoo-young shows a remarkable grasp of pacing and tone. Sydney is filmed lavishly, capturing the beauty of iconic landmarks like the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, however at the same time she imbues it with a sense of isolation and loneliness. The more Byung-hun comes to realise how integrated Hyo-jin and their son are to the overseas life he’s responsible for sending them too, the more he seems incapable of bringing himself to interact with her. In brief flashback scenes to their life together in Korea, we see Hyo-jin lose interest in her passions such as music, weighed down by the expectations of being a wife to a high flying fund manager. However in Sydney she’s been free to rediscover everything that she’d given up on. This is really what A Single Rider is about – the power of regret, and how we only have a limited time to do something about it.


The question of whether that distance can be bridged is one that keeps A Single Rider so engaging, even during its quietest moments, and the singular focus on viewing everything from Byung-hun’s perspective allows the narrative to flow in unexpected directions. Indeed we never really know if his decision to help So-hee is out of genuine intent, or if it’s more of a diversion to make himself feel better for the years he put his career ahead of everything else, including his own family. That same focus also allows for some of A Single Rider’s weaker moments to be forgiven. While the main characters are all well written and developed, those that lack any significant amount of screentime don’t fare so well.


The trio of Koreans that dupe So-hee out of her money seem only to be interested in what visa they can get to stay in Australia, and a scene in which the police take Hyo-jin’s concern that her dog has gone missing as a valid reason for investigation is mildly laughable. However these are minor grievances, and Byun-hun’s performance anchors A Single Rider so whole heartedly that it’s difficult to imagine its existence without him. While Zoo-young has used the flavour of the month depicting the corruption of those in power, this setup is quickly established to simply be a framework, one which unfolds into a tale that’s much more personal and smaller scale than recent blockbusters covering the same.



With an unusually lean runtime for a Korean movie of 95 mins, perhaps expectedly Byung-hun’s visit to find his wife and son comes with a twist. There’s no doubt that some hardened viewers of this genre will likely see it coming, however even for those that don’t (myself included), it’s delivered in such a beautifully poignant and melancholic way that it delivers the expected emotional punch. More than 10 years ago A Bittersweet Life ended with Byung-hun staring at his reflection in a window, A Single Rider contains a similar scene, one which encapsulates the essence of that movies title in a profoundly moving way. For those looking for something a little different from Korean cinema, then A Single Rider comes strongly recommended.


Paul Bramhall’s Rating: 8.5/10

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