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June 18, 2018


Korean comedy-detective film beats 'Jurassic World' in first weekend

By Shim Sun-ah


SEOUL, June 18 (Yonhap) -- "The Accidental Detective 2: In Action" topped the box office in its opening weekend, sinking "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" to a close second, data showed Monday.


The Korean comedy-detective flick starring Kwon Sang-woo, Sung Dong-il and Lee Kwang-soo amassed 686,807 admissions from Friday to Sunday, bringing to its cumulative total to 1,030,206, according to the computerized box office tally from the Korean Film Council.


In the sequel to the 2015 comedy-detective film "The Accidental Detective," Kang Dae-man (played by Kwon Sang-soo), the owner of a comic book rental shop and father of two children who once dreamed of becoming a detective, and No Tae-soo, a legendary detective of the Seoul police agency, open a private detective's office and investigate commissioned cases together.


"Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" added 667,384 to its domestic total of 4.75 million in its second weekend in South Korea.


"Ocean's 8," a Hollywood heist film starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett and Anne Hathaway, earned 335,091 admissions to rank third in its debut weekend.


The Korean crime thriller "Believer" slipped to No. 4 from third, after winning the box office in its first two weekends. The movie starring Cho Jin-woong and Ryu Jun-yeol added 126,707 viewers to its cumulative total of 4.8 million.


The U.S. comedy "I Feel Pretty" took the fifth spot, drawing 27,189 cinemagoers.




Photos: CJ Entertainment

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July 26, 2018


Lee Kwang Soo In Talks For “Tazza 3,” Starring Ryu Seung Bum And Park Jung Min


Source: Soompi by R. Jun




Lee Kwang Soo is looking to make his big screen comeback. On July 26, it was revealed that the star is reviewing an offer for the upcoming film “Tazza 3.”


Current cast confirmed for the third installment of the highly popular “Tazza” series are actors Ryu Seung Bum and Park Jung Min, while Lim Ji Yeon is still in talks.


“Tazza 3” will be based off the “Tazza” comic series by Heo Young Man, and will follow the story of Do Il Chool, the son of Jjakgwi, a character present in both part one and part two of the series.


Once casting is finalized, filming will start this year, with a projected premiere date in 2019.


Source (1)

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August 26, 2018


August Movie Star Brand Reputation Rankings Revealed

Source: Soompi  by esspee



August Movie Star Brand Reputation Rankings Revealed


The Korean Business Research Institute has revealed the brand reputation rankings for film actors for the month of August!


The institute analyzed 209,364,728 pieces of big data from July 24 to August 25 and analyzed consumer participation, media coverage, interaction, and community awareness indexes of 50 popular movie stars.


As a result, Ha Jung Woo came in first place with a brand reputation index of 10,557,972 and a 376.28 percent increase compared to June.


In second place was Joo Ji Hoon who scored a brand reputation index of 8,741,657 and saw an increase of 1,014.48 percent from his index in June.


Lee Sung Min came in third place with a total brand index of 7,795,459, which is 1,106.98 percent increase from June.


Goo Chang Hwan, the chief of the Korean Business Institue, stated, “As a result of the August 2018 movie star brand reputation rankings, film actor Ha Jung Woo recorded first place. After analyzing the movie star brand category big data and comparing it to the 120,450,353 pieces of big data from June, there was a 73.82 percent increase.”


He continued, “‘Along with the Gods,’ which achieved 10 million moviegoers, led the film brand consumption, and all the indexes related to brand reputation increased.”


The link analysis for Ha Jung Woo showed words like “amazing,” “surprising,” and “crazy” ranking high, while keywords ”Along with the Gods,” “Kim Yong Bae,” and “Cha Yeon Woo” were highly associated.


Check out the top 30 below!


1. Ha Jung Woo
2. Joo Ji Hoon
3. Lee Sung Min
4. Park Seo Joon
5. Park Bo Young
6. Gong Yoo
7. Soo Ae
8. Kim Tae Ri
9. Hwang Jung Min
10. Han Ji Min
11. Kwak Si Yang
12. Kim Hyun Soo
13. Park Hae Il
14. Lee Kwang Soo
15. Kim Hyang Gi
16. Song Ji Hyo
17. Kim Young Kwang
18. Ma Dong Seok
19. Kim Da Mi
20. Kim Dong Wook
21. Son Ye Jin
22. Jin Ki Joo
23. Lee Jin Wook
24. Kim Da Mi
25. Ra Mi Ran
26. Jo Jin Woong
27. Kim Tae Hoon
28. Lee Byung Hun
29. Kim Sang Ho
30. Hyun Bin

Source (1) (2)

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December 31, 2018


Lee Kwang-soo, Lee Sun-bin have been dating for 5 months


These images show Lee Kwang-soo (L) and Lee Sun-bin. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Dec. 31 (Yonhap) -- Rising actor and TV show star Lee Kwang-soo has been dating actress Lee Sun-bin for five months, the former's management agency acknowledged Monday.


The two Lees "have been dating passionately for five months ... since they first met through SBS TV show 'Running Man,'" according to Kingkong By Starship.


"They first became close colleagues through the show before their relationship evolved into a romantic relationship," the company said.


The 33-year-old actor debuted in 2008 with a supporting role in an MBC sitcom and has steadily expanded his career in acting and reality TV shows, including the popular SBS show "Running Man."


The 24-year-old Lee debuted in 2014 in a Chinese drama series and is currently active in the TV and cinematic sectors, as well as TV commercials.


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April 10, 2019


HanCinema's News

Shin Ha-kyun's Career Takes New Turn as Lee Kwang-soo's Brother on "Inseparable Bros"


By William Schwartz HanCinema.net




Shin Ha-kyun has long had a reputation as a "god of acting" over his twenty year career for the wide variety of his forty odd character roles. In "Inseparable Bros", he takes on yet another unusual role as the physically handicapped Se-ha, who is entirely reliant on his mentally handicapped brother Dong-goo for movement.

"Inseparable Bros" is loosely based on the old Korean folk story The Tale of Shim Chong. As in the story, the titular brothers are not blood relations, an aspect which is designed to emphasize their inherent humanity.


The plot of "Inseparable Bros" centers around how social welfare services takes notice of Se-ha and Dong-goo's unusual living arrangement and mulls over separating the two. While some social commentary is expected over what constitutes a "proper" living arrangement, as a movie "Inseparable Bros" will be relying entirely on the chemistry between its lead actors.


There are some similarities with "My Brother", a film Shin Ha-kyun did with Won Bin some fifteen years ago. Both involved brotherly conflict over a woman. Like "My Brother", "Inseparable Bros" will probably be a tearjerker. "Inseparable Bros" will open in Korean theaters this May.


Written by William Schwartz

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April 20, 2019


Movie Review

'Inseparable Bros' shows water thicker than blood


By Kim Boram


SEOUL, April 20 (Yonhap) -- A famous proverb says blood is thicker than water, but the upcoming Korean film "Inseparable Bros" shows that there is water that is thicker than blood somewhere around us.


It is a sentimental comedy-drama based on a true story about two disabled men -- Se-ha and Dong-goo. The movie begins with scenes of the two characters meeting each other and pictures how these two became family.


Se-ha is smart and clever but paralyzed and isn't able to walk or move after an injury to his spinal cord. He has to sit in a wheelchair everyday and must be spoon-fed and bathed by others.


He lost his mother at the age of 16 and was taken to an institution for disabled children in Seoul. There, he meets Dong-goo with severe intellectual disabilities. Dong-goo is taller and stronger but has a mental age of five years.


For 20 years, the two become bosom buddies and perfect partners. Fierce-tempered Se-ha opens his mind to Dong-goo and wins his heart. Se-ha works as the brain of Dong-goo, helping him buy things, while Dong-goo waits on Se-ha hand and foot.


The image of Shin Ha-kyun (C) and Lee Kwang-soo (L) from "Inseparable Bros" is provided by NEW. (Yonhap)

The image of Shin Ha-kyun (C) and Lee Kwang-soo (L) from "Inseparable Bros" is provided by NEW. (Yonhap)

Their sibling-like relationship is threatened after Dong-goo's mother suddenly appears and demands Se-ha "release" her son. Years ago, she left her son at a swimming pool.


She says the most important thing is that she is the mother and Dong-goo is the son. She believes that blood ties with her son are naturally much more powerful than the 20-year-long bond between Se-ha and Dong-goo.


But here, their connection is proven to be thicker than the mother-son blood ties. The movie reveals that Se-ha and Dong-goo feel like they are complete humans when they help each other enjoy everyday life together.


While living with his mother, Dong-goo realizes that everything he does is connected to Se-ha. He habitually gives spoons full of rice to his sister-in-law, and wakes up at midnight to check and prevent Se-ha from suffocating while sleeping.


"Family is bound together by blood, but we can become a family if we love and help each other," director Yook Sang-hyo said of his fifth feature film. "This is the main idea of my movie."


The image of Shin Ha-kyun (L) and Lee Kwang-soo from "Inseparable Bros" is provided by NEW. (Yonhap)


This message is clear from beginning to end. It follows the brothers' daily life with a humorous point of view, without focusing on stories of their miserable and disabled life.


The outstanding acting of the two leads -- Shin Ha-kyun and Lee Kwang-soo -- blends well with the mixture of humor and expressions of disability.


In particular, Shin has to convey Se-ha's feeling and intentions only through his words and facial expressions. His torso and the lower part of his body remain motionless. On the other hand, Dong-goo speaks far less than him but makes large and ludicrous gestures like a 5-year-old boy.


At this point, the movie seems to successfully squeeze humorous relief out of the thin plot and not-so-wacky episodes, but audiences may easily lose interest due to the predictable ending.


It has to survive a tough competition with Marvel's latest "Avengers: Endgame," which already surpassed 1 million presold tickets a week before its scheduled premiere next week.


"Inseparable Bros" will hit local screens May 1.



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May 3, 2019


‘Inseparable Bros’ tops box office


Source: INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily // HODU&U Entertainment


“Inseparable Bros,” which premiered at the local box office on Wednesday, held the top spot for domestic films on the day of its release, according to data from Korean Film Council. 


The film sold a little over 130,000 admissions and surpassed 160,000 admissions by Thursday afternoon. The film currently sits at second place in the local box office, behind “Avengers: Endgame.” 


The film tells a story about two disabled “brothers” who are not related by blood but have been together for 20 years. 


Loosely based on a real life story, the film draws both tears and laughter from the audience. 


Actors Shin Ha-kyun and Lee Kwang-soo stars as the two brothers.


By Lee Jae-lim

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May 4, 2019


A tale of friendship forged through hardship and laughter:

‘Inseparable Bros’ director shows that brotherhood can come in many forms


Source: INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily


“Inseparable Bros” features the thicker-than-blood bond between wheelchair-bound Se-ha (Shin Ha-kyun) and intellectually disabled Dong-gu (Lee Kwang-soo). It also stars the actor Esom, left. [NEW]

Do brothers have to be related by blood? 


“Inseparable Bros” tells a tale of two men - the wheelchair-bound Se-ha (Shin ha-kyun) and the intellectually disabled Dong-gu (Lee Kwang-soo) - who form an inseparable bond during their childhood while living at a care facility for unwanted and orphaned children. 


Se-ha can’t move from the neck down, but that doesn’t stop him from taking care of the younger Dong-gu like his own brother. Dong-gu, in turn, acts like the hands and feet of Se-ha. 


When their care facility is at risk of closing down and separating the two, the “brothers” take it upon themselves to keep the building in operation using whatever means it takes. 


“Inseparable Bros” promises to deliver a lot of laughs - and a few tears too - as the clever Se-ha and strong and energetic Dong-gu flaunt their incredible teamwork while sometimes bickering like real siblings.


The film’s plot is actually based on a remarkable true story. 


Choi Seung-gyu and Park Jong-ryeol lived together for over 10 years like brothers at a child care facility in Gwangju beginning in 1996. They went everywhere together, earning the nickname “superglue.”


Their unbelievable friendship came to light when Choi was admitted to Gwangju University’s social welfare department and eventually received a social worker certificate. 


Like in the movie, Park was by Choi’s side the whole time, pushing his wheelchair to classes and even turning the pages of his textbook. 


Yook Sang-hyo directed and wrote the screenplay for the big screen adaptation of this heartwarming story. He’s best known for directing the low-budget comedy “He’s on Duty” (2010), a social commentary about a Korean man who disguises himself as a Bhutanese migrant worker in the hopes of receiving affirmative action benefits, only to face racism instead. 


Yook said he still recalls the first time he saw the real “brothers” six years ago. 

“I can’t forget the cheerfulness of Choi and Park when I first met them,” he said in an interview with the JoongAng Ilbo last month. 


“I went down to Gwangju often to see them, ate and drank together with them and had overnight trips. It began to dawn on me that we can all be like family if we love and help each other, even if we aren’t related by blood.” 


The following are edited excerpts from the interview.

Yook Sang-hyo, 56, directed and wrote the screenplay for the film, released Wednesday.

Q. How much of ‘Inseparable Bros’ is based on a true story? 


A. We kept true to the types of disabilities and personalities that Choi and Park have. The events from halfway through the film are made-up. 


We incorporated daily observations and added a humorous twist. In one of the scenes, for example, Se-ha makes an order at a cafe but you can only see Dong-gu. We noticed that wheelchair users are often only at eye level with the counter. 


It took you three years to finish the script. Why so long? 


I was careful to exclude potentially hurtful humor aspects and was focused on strengthening the plot. 


Although I wanted to show the characters’ happiness as it was, I didn’t want their behavior to appear comical. We also consulted a lot of organizations for people with disabilities. 


Why did you decide to portray the story as a comedy? 


When you laugh together, you become closer. 


I myself changed a lot [through the film]. Since I had to meet up with people with disabilities, I was later able to joke around with them. 


Did Choi and Park come to see the film? 


Only Seung-gyu came to Seoul and saw it at a preview. He told me it was well-balanced and unbiased, and he’s the type to be critical with these issues since he’s an advocate for people with disabilities.


Seung-gyu told me that he teared up during a court scene in the movie when Se-ha delivered moving lines about independence, and laughed a lot in a ramyeon scene because it reminded him of them eating together. 


How was it working with Shin Ha-kyun and Lee Kwang-soo? 


Shin Ha-kyun really helped set the mood on set, so we called him ‘actor manager.’ He doesn’t only have good articulation, but he knows exactly the right emotional tones to take on for each scene. 


I liked Lee Kwang-soo’s soft gaze. He wasn’t talkative like he is on TV. Because he can get really immersed in the moment, we shot the important scenes first and then filmed the rest. 


We also didn’t force Lee to make stereotypical movements of people with mental disabilities. 


Who do you hope watches ‘Inseparable Bros?’ 


I want young job seekers like Mi-hyun (the part-timer in the movie who helps Dong-gu train for a swimming competition) to see the film. 


The young people in this generation are always saying that they are just jonbeo [holding on through rough and often unpleasant situations]. But I wanted to tell them let’s live together with courage, helping each other through difficult times. 


What was your goal in making this film? 


I like screenwriter and director Richard Curtis’ ‘Notting Hill’ (1999) and ‘Love Actually’ (2003). His movies feature diverse characters like those with disabilities, racial minorities and homosexuals.


His movies don’t exploit people, but use them to comfort the audience and make them laugh. 


Comedies give people something to think about. I try hard to stick to that principle. 


BY NA WON-JEONG [kim.eunjin1@joongang.co.kr]

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May 7, 2019


Lee Kwang Soo Talks About Film Co-Star Shin Ha Kyun And His Thoughts On Happiness

Source: Soompi by L. Kim


Lee Kwang Soo Talks About Film Co-Star Shin Ha Kyun And His Thoughts On Happiness

Lee Kwang Soo shared his thoughts about senior actor Shin Ha Kyun and the meaning of happiness.


The actor laughed as he said, “I have a high level of happiness. Personally, I’m easily satisfied with myself. If I set a big goal and don’t achieve it, I may not be able to erase the feeling of failure, so I don’t set big goals. I think I’ve been happy for the last 12 years since my debut, and I’m very satisfied with this.”


He continued, “I want to do my best so that I can be happy with the people around me even after 10 or 20 years. If you want to be greedy or grandiose, you’ll get stressed out, so I just want to be happy like this.”


Lee Kwang Soo’s latest movie “Inseparable Bros” with Shin Ha Kyun was released on May 1. The sentimental comedy is about an older boy Se Ha (played by Shin Ha Kyun), who is the ‘brain,’ and a younger boy Dong Goo (played by Lee Kwang Soo), who is the ‘brawn.’ Though not blood related brothers, they grew up together and stood by each other for the past 20 years. Se Ha is smart, but has a physical disability. Dong Goo is in excellent physical health, but has the mental capacity of a child.


Previously, Shin Ha Kyun praised Lee Kwang Soo’s acting, and Lee Kwang Soo responded, “Don’t people usually not openly praise each other like that? It’s touching to hear compliments through articles and third parties, but I felt even more proud this time. I grew up watching Shin Ha Kyun’s work, and I had a great time watching ‘Welcome to Dongmakgol’ when I was out of the army. So the fact that he saw me in a positive light was very new to me. I think I was able to perfect the character Dong Goo because of Shin Ha Kyun.”


Then he added, “To be honest, I had a hard time with him at first. I heard that he didn’t talk much, and I’m shy with strangers, too. But before the filming, he reached out to me first. Of course, we didn’t talk much though. However, I felt his efforts, so I was able to treat him comfortably after that.”


Lee Kwang Soo showed his admiration for Shin Ha Kyun, saying, “When he talks to the director or deals with the crew and his junior actors, he makes sure he shows consideration for them so that they don’t feel burdened. For example, when setting up an appointment for dinner, he searches up where to go in advance. He’s a sweet guy. I want to be like Shin Ha Kyun when I have more junior actors.”


Lastly, the actor talked about the kind of person he wanted to be. He said, “I value my happiness. I want to be a good person who isn’t only nice to others, but also feels happy while showing consideration for others. Even if it’s a good deed, there’s a limit if you’re uncomfortable with yourself, right? Yoo Jae Suk also shows consideration for others because he’s happy. So when I see that, I start to think carefully about the definition of a ‘good person.'”


Source (1)

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May 8, 2019


Korean films ready to strike back on Avengers




A scene from the film ""Inseparable Bros." Courtesy of NEW


By Park Jin-hai The Korea Times


As the box-office smash "Avengers: Endgame" enters its third week, Korean films are set to strike back to reclaim their home turf. 


With the front-running comedy drama "Inseparable Bros," premiering May 1, more Korean films, based on true stories, will be released in the coming days.


"Inseparable Bros," starring Shin Ha-kyun and Lee Kwang-soo, is a comedy telling the story of two men, one physically and the other mentally handicapped, becoming as inseparable as real brothers. 


Against the Hollywood blockbuster, the small-budget film ― based on a true story of two men who lived together for over a decade ― is having a meaningful box office achievement. The heartening comedy currently ranks second in the local box office, attracting 920,000 viewers as of Tuesday. 


On May 15, "Juror 8" and "The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil" will hit local theaters. 


The former film is inspired by the stories of jurors who participated in the first jury trial right after Korea introduced the system for criminal cases in 2008. Eight ordinary people from different backgrounds gather for a murder trial, in which a son was charged with killing his mother. 


With the presence of evidence and witnesses in the case, only the sentencing process seemed to be left. But the jury questions the son's guilt, and the trial has an unexpected ending. 


Ordinary people, who had never judged another person in the legal process, question the case, based on their different life experiences and common sense. They turn the tables on the case which seemed almost solved, and get closer to the truth. Their truth-finding process will give thrills and catharsis to viewers. 


Director Hong Seung-wan, debuting with the film, wrote the script after studying 80 similar legal cases and rulings. 


"The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil," invited to the Midnight Screening at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, is also inspired by real incidents. Lee Won-tae, director of the action noir, said the gangsters' turf wars over video arcades happened in 2005. 


The film, starring Ma Dong-seok of "Train to Busan," tells the story of a cop and a gangster who team up to chase a serial killer.


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May 17, 2019


LEE Kwang-soo Considers Disaster Drama WATERHOLE
CHA Seung-won and KIM Sung-kyun Cast in New KIM Ji-hoon Project

by Pierce Conran KOFIC




LEE Kwang-soo, who is currently on screens in the family comedy Inseparable Bros, is considering appearing alongside CHA Seung-won in the upcoming disaster drama Waterhole (literal title), from director KIM Ji-hoon. The film will follow the story of people trapped inside a sinkhole that appears in a newly-constructed villa.


After several supporting parts in films such as All About My Wife (2012) and later as a lead in the well-received but little seen Confession (2014) and the Toronto-screened Collective Invention (2015), LEE Kwang-soo found fame on the small screen before returning to films last year in The Accidental Detective 2: In Action.


CHA Seung-won was last seen as one of the villains in LEE Hae-young’s Believer (2018) and will soon return to screens in the recently wrapped comedy-drama Cheer Up Mr. Lee (translated title). Character actor KIM Sung-kyun of The Prison (2017) and The Witness (2018) is also slated to appear in the project.


Director KIM is no stranger to large-scale projects, having previously helmed the Gwangju Democratization Movement drama May 18 (2007), the oil rig creature feature Sector 7 (2011) and the inferno drama The Tower (2012). KIM also helmed the as-yet unreleased high school thriller I Want to See Your Parents’ Faces with SUL Kyung-gu, MOON So-ri and CHUN Woo-hee.


Production on Waterhole will kick off in the second half of the year, once casting has been completed.

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