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[Upcoming Movie 2016] Operation Chromite (Incheon Landing Operation) 인천상륙작전


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August 2, 2016

Liam Neeson expresses gratitude for 'Operation Chromite' hit

SEOUL, Aug. 1 (Yonhap) -- Hollywood star Liam Neeson said Monday that he was delighted to hear of the success of a South Korean film about the Incheon landing operation during the 1950-53 Korean War in which he stars.

"Operation Chromite" drew about 1.8 million viewers to 1,047 screens across the country over the July 29-31 weekend, bringing its domestic box-office total to 2.62 million.

"I was delighted to hear of Operation Chromite's success at the box office over the weekend," Neeson said in an email to the movie production company.

The "Taken" actor played American general Douglas MacArthur who commanded United Nations Command during the war.

"Congratulations to the producers, our wonderful director John H. Lee, our superb Korean actors and the exceptional and dedicated crew who worked so hard to make it all possible," Neeson said.

The actor, a native of Northern Ireland, further said that he was honored and humbled to have been a small part of this important film that tells an epic story of the courage, bravery and resilience of the Korean people.

The movie centers on a secret intelligence unit that spies on North Korea to prepare for that historic battle.

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khj@yna.co.kr

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August 2, 2016

Onwards and upwards for Lee Jung-jae:

Panning of his Korean War film can’t stop star actor from feeling good

Source: INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily

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Lee Jung-jae, who plays the role of a South Korean Navy Lt. in the blockbuster “Operation Chromite.” [PARK SE-WAN]

Lee Jung-jae may have started acting 23 years ago, but if the past few years are any indicator, he’s just hitting his stride. 

In his recent films, Lee, 45, has played a wide variety of roles. He was King Sejo in the hit “The Face Reader” (2013), and both critics and moviegoers said his take on the oft-portrayed character was the sexiest to date. He changed things up by playing a pro-Japanese Korean in “Assassination” (2015), and he was so good as the villain that some people confused the real Lee Jung-jae with the character, leading to many nasty online comments on subsequent articles about him. 

Lee returns to the silver screen with the Korean war blockbuster “Operation Chromite.” The film is based on the Battle of Incheon, an operation commanded by U.S General Douglas MacArthur in 1950 at a time when the peninsula was almost entirely occupied by North Korean soldiers. The operation succeeded in retaking the port city of Incheon and turned the tide of the war in favor of the South. 

“Operation Chromite” is often synonymous with MacArthur in Korea but the film focuses on the Korean soldiers who are part of the Korea Liaison Office (KLO). Members of the KLO perform a real-life mission called Operation X-Ray, during which they sneak into North Korean headquarters and steal key information needed for the landing to be successful.

Lee plays Navy Lt. Jang Hak-su, a member of the KLO. 

Featuring Hollywood actor Liam Neeson as MacArthur, the film was considered the most promising film this summer, but it was almost universally panned by local critics. One online newspaper described the film as a “shoddy set of a gift box.”

Ilgan Sports, an affiliate of the Korea JoongAng Daily, recently met Lee and bombarded him with questions. 

Here are the edited excerpts from the interview. 

Q. How do you feel about criticism over the movie? 

A. To be honest, I enjoyed it a lot. There are positive reviews and less positive reviews but I didn’t expect such harsh reviews. Of course, I was concerned about the film at one point, but I don’t think the film is really bad. 

It seems like you’re interested in historical events. Your previous character Yeom Seok-jin is a pro-Japanese Korean in “Assassination” and Jang Hak-su in this film is working for the country. 

I think I’m interested in history. Major broadcasters telecast documentaries on people who fought for the country on days like National Liberation Day and their individual stories are worthy of becoming feature films. 

Did you feel stressed about being a part of this film since it’s partially based on true stories? 

In fact, the Operation Chromite in real life wasn’t that risky. Unlike in the film, there was no carpet bombing and the operation didn’t cause that many casualties, either. But this is a film. So we paid attention to the espionage done by South Korean soldiers. I was concerned about this film embellishing too much for the sake of entertainment but now I think that was the right choice.

Is it true that you asked the production company to modify the script several times? 

The first draft had too much nationalism in it. With that story, I wasn’t sure about the film but I still wanted to try it because the story deals with the espionage activities of South Korean soldiers. I told them, “Nationalism is not bad but we need to make the story more natural.” To me, the film is solely an espionage film. 

Were you happy with the revised scripts?

The second one was almost the same as the first one. (Laugh) I asked the production company to revise it again. We tried to find a happy medium by changing the flow of the story or changing the characters. 

It’s been said that Neeson was perfectly cast as MacArthur. 

As far as I know, the script was sent to Hollywood around the time I received it. Of the four finals, there were Neeson and John Travolta. When I heard the news that Neeson would play the role, I was surprised and also found myself looking forward to the filming. 

The scene in which you and Neeson appear together is impressive. 

I asked [the production team] to make a scene for us because there was no single scene for just us two. Since there is no guarantee that I’ll work in Hollywood someday, I thought this might be my only chance. His character and my character are protagonists and they are linked to each other so I wanted the two to meet naturally in one scene. 

Were you inspired by seeing Neeson thoroughly preparing to play his character on the set? 

Of course I was. He didn’t have to visit a week earlier from the official shooting day but he did and visited some [historical] sites [related to the film]. 

He also brought his own wig from the States and he compared his props and the props prepared by Korean staff, choosing the better ones on the day of filming. In some important scenes, he wrote the lines himself. 

You’ve recently launched an entertainment company with your long-time friend [actor] Jung Woo-sung. 

Our ultimate goal is not growing the company. If many actors join, we’ll be under a lot of pressure but we just started and I want to take time and go slow.

What’s Jung like as a business partner?

We sometimes fight over certain issues but we try to be considerate of each other. 

BY CHO YEON-GYEONG [so@joongang.co.kr]

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August 2, 2016

Despite reviews, ‘Chromite’ lands atop box office

Source: INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily

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Despite harsh reviews from local critics, Korean war blockbuster “Operation Chromite” successfully landed on the top of the domestic box office over the weekend. 

The film is based on the famous Battle of Incheon, in which United Nations and South Korean forces retook the port city of Incheon in 1950 at a time when the peninsula was almost entirely occupied by North Korean troops. 

The film sold 1.8 million tickets across 1,047 screens nationwide between Friday and Sunday. It accounted for 36.5 percent of total ticket sales, according to the Korean Film Council on Monday. 

“Train to Busan,” the first major Korean zombie film, slipped to second. 

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Still, the thriller sold 1.5 million tickets over the weekend to hit an accumulated 8.4 million tickets the second week of its release. It is likely to pass more than 10 million tickets sold this upcoming weekend, a feat that just one or two films achieve every year. 

Matt Damon’s “Jason Bourne” came third, although the film received mixed reviews from audiences and critics. 

The newest in the Bourne series sold one million tickets in four days of its opening, the fastest record set by a foreign film released here so far this year. 

Animated features were strong, too.

“Finding Dory,” the sequel to the 2003 hit “Finding Nemo,” ranked fourth, indicating its continuing popularity. The film from Pixar Animation Studios, released July 6, is the oldest among the top 10 by domestic box office. 

Other animated features “Ice Age: Collision Course,” “Norm of the North” and “Yokai Watch the Movie 2” ranked sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively. 

July and August is the peak season for big-budget blockbusters, but the relatively small films “After the Storm” and “I’m Off Then” ranked ninth and 10th. 

“After the Storm” is the newest film by award-winning Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda. 

“I’m Off Then” is a German comedy that depicts the journey of a man who walks the Camino de Santiago, or the Way of St. James, a well-known pilgrimage route.

BY SUNG SO-YOUNG [so@joongang.co.kr]

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August 3, 2016

Incheon city steps up efforts to promote tourism after film's success

INCHEON, Aug. 3 (Yonhap) -- The Incheon metropolitan government has rolled up its sleeves to lure more tourists to the western port city, riding on the box-office success of the homegrown action film on the famous Incheon Landing Operation during the 1950-53 Korean War.

Starring Lee Jung-jae, Lee Bum-soo and the Hollywood actor Liam Neeson, "Operation Chromite" has attracted an audience of more than 3 million since it opened in local theaters last Wednesday.

Boosted by the strong performance, the local government has decided to give a 5,000 won (US$4.49) discount to tickets for cruise ships linking Incheon's Yeonan Pier and Palmi Island to those who have a ticket to the movie or a stamp for visiting the city-run Memorial Hall for the Incheon Landing Operation in Yeonsu district.

Palmi Island has the nation's first lighthouse that took a big role in guiding the fleet of the United Nations forces into the city during the historic amphibious operation led by U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

Until Oct. 14, the city's official tour guides will be placed on the cruise ships so passengers can hear about the history of the lighthouse and the Korean War.

The Incheon Tourism Organization published leaflets for introducing the city's must-see tourist destinations related to the war and famous restaurants there. The destinations include a public park with a bronze statue of the American general and Palmi Island and Yeongheung Island, where fierce battles against North Korea took place before the landing. The leaflets are distributed for free in tourism information desks.

The city authority said it is now consulting with multiple tourism agencies to develop a program for those wanting to tour historic sites linked to the landing operation. The government is considering giving financial incentives to tour agencies running such a program in the future, city officials said.

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August 12, 2016

Preview of Korean War film in U.S.

Preview of Korean War film in U.S.

South Korean actors Lee Jung-jae (L) and Lee Beom-soo, who star in South Korean film "Operation Chromite," pose at its premiere in Los Angeles on Aug. 10, 2016. The film is about unknown Korean heroes in the Incheon Landing Operation led by U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur during the 1950-53 Korean War. About 6 million South Koreans have watched the movie as of Aug. 11 since it hit local screens on July 27. (Yonhap

Korean War Film Premieres in Los Angeles

Source: The Chosun Ilbo

The Korean War film "Operation Chromite" premiered in Los Angeles on Wednesday ahead of its general release across the U.S. on Friday. 

Leading actors Lee Jung-jae and Lee Bum-soo walked the red carpet, but Liam Neeson, who plays Gen. Douglas MacArthur in the film, was unable to attend as he is shooting a movie in the U.K.

Some 600 moviegoers and reporters were gathered to see them, who signed autographs and posed for selfies.

"Operation Chromite" will hit some 130 screens in the U.S., a record for a Korean film.

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August 14, 2016

"Operation Chromite" breaks through 6 million, words of thanks from Lee Jung-jae, Lee Bum-soo, SoDa siblings and Choo Sa-rang

Source: Newspim via Hancinema.net

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"Operation Chromite" managed to break through 6 million audiences.

According to the Korean Film Council, "Operation Chromite" hit 1 million on the 3rd day, 2 million on the 5th day, 3 million on the 6th day, 4 million on the 9th day, 5 million on the 12th dat and 6 million on the 18th day.

"Operation Chromite" is in the top 5 along with "Train to Busan", "A Violent Prosecutor", "Captain America: Civil War" and "The Wailing".

The director and cast of the movie showed their appreciation with a picture. The picture is of Lee Jeong-jae, Lee Beom-soo, Park Cheol-min, Kim Seon-ah, Kim Hee-jin and Shin Soo-hyang with 6 fingers up.

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August 16, 2016

'Operation Chromite' ranks 27th at U.S. box office

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 15 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean film about the Korean War ranked 27th at the U.S. box office after the first two days of its release, data showed.

"Operation Chromite," a story about the 1950 landing operation led by U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, grossed US$189,945 until Saturday since it was released in 114 theaters on Friday, according to data from box office data firm Rentrak.

Until Friday, the film had been shown only at the CGV LA theater since Aug. 5. Combined with the sales at the theater, the movie earned a total of $251,928.

The film's distributor, CJ Entertainment America, said the film will be screened at 24 more theaters.

Starring Lee Jung-jae, Lee Bum-soo and Hollywood star Liam Neeson, the historical action flick tells the story of real-life South Korean soldiers who carried out a covert operation to prepare for the daring amphibious landing led by MacArthur.

The landing at the port of Incheon turned the tide of the war in favor of the U.N. forces during the war.

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September 2, 2016

'Operation Chromite' tops 7 million in attendance

SEOUL, Sept. 2 (Yonhap) -- A homegrown film about the 1950-53 Korean War exceeded 7 million in accumulated number of viewers in South Korea on Friday, its distributor said.

"Operation Chromite" hit the milestone at about 2 p.m., on the 38th day of running, according to CJ Entertainment. It became the third Korean film to pass the 7 million mark after "Train to Busan" and "A Violent Prosecutor" this year.

Starring Lee Jung-jae, Lee Bum-soo and Hollywood star Liam Neeson, the historical action flick tells the story of real-life South Korean soldiers who carried out a covert operation to prepare for the daring amphibious Incheon landing operation led by U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

The landing at the port of Incheon turned the tide of the war in favor of the U.N. forces during the war.

On Sept. 13, the film's extended edition will open in local theaters, according to the distributor. The 141-minute version is about 30 minutes longer than the original film.

The official poster of the extended edition of "Operation Chromite." The new edition is set to open in South Korea on Sept. 13. (Yonhap)

The official poster of the extended edition of "Operation Chromite." The new edition is set to open in South Korea on Sept. 13. (Yonhap)

sshim@yna.co.kr

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October 21, 2016

Asian World Film Festival to feature five Korean films in L.A.

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 21 (Yonhap) -- The second annual Asian World Film Festival (AWFF) in Los Angeles will showcase five recent South Korean films in a special event, organizers said on Thursday.

Hosted by CJ Entertainment and sponsored by the Korean Cultural Center LA, "Korean Film Days" will be held over one week starting Tuesday (U.S. time), they said.

The event is part of AWFF, which runs from Monday to Nov. 1 at Arclight Theater in Culver City, the Los Angeles location of South Korean multi-screen theater chain CGV.

This image from the "Asian World Film Festival" official website shows a scene from "Operation Chromite," which will be the closing night film on Nov. 1 at the Arclight Theater in Culver City. (Yonhap)

This image from the "Asian World Film Festival" official website shows a scene from "Operation Chromite," which will be the closing night film on Nov. 1 at the Arclight Theater in Culver City. (Yonhap)

The five films are "The Age of Shadows," "Asura," "The Map Against the World," "The World of Us" and "Operation Chromite." "The Age of Shadows" has been submitted as a potential contender for best foreign language film in the Academy Awards and is a nominee for the grand prize at AWFF. "The Map Against the World" and "The World of Us" are nominated for the AWFF Lighthouse Humanitarian Award. "Operation Chromite" is to be the closing night film.

Director Kim Jee-woon of "The Age of Shadows" will attend a special screening for the members of the Academy and Hollywood Foreign Press Association over two days starting next Saturday at the Arclight Theater. Lee Jae-han, the director of "Operation Chromite," is to attend the closing ceremony on Nov. 1.

The annual festival, featuring a total of 20 Asian films this year, launched in 2015 as a chance to showcase Asian films to the public, media, Hollywood industry, and even the Academy, and also to promote Asian filmmakers and directors.

"Considering the outstanding productions and constant growth in overseas expansion, we have decided to coordinate the new program 'Korean Film Days' to solely focus on the films of South Korea," said George Chamchoum, the director of the festival.

Kim Jee-woon, director of potential Oscar contender "The Age of Shadows," stands in front of a poster of his film. (Yonhap)

Kim Jee-woon, director of potential Oscar contender "The Age of Shadows," stands in front of a poster of his film. (Yonhap)

jbokyung1@yna.co.kr

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