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January 14, 2017

Kim and Gang Master the crowd
Supporters turn up at Plaza Singapura for South Korean stars' fan meet to promote new movie

Rachel Chan The New Paper

Kim and Gang Master the crowd

(From left) Masters actors Kim Woo Bin and Gang Dong Won with director Choi Ui Seok at the fan meet on Thursday evening. PHOTO: GOLDEN VILLAGE

They were waiting to see their idols, and they were not shy about showing it.

Over 1,500 fans turned Plaza Singapura's Front Plaza into an arena of screams on Thursday evening as they vied to catch a glimpse of South Korean heartthrobs Gang Dong Won, 35, and Kim Woo Bin, 27, who were there for a fan meet.

First in the queue were students Brenda Pon and Serena Woo, both 19.

Miss Pon told The New Paper: "We have been here since 5.50am. It is worth it as long as we get to see Kim Woo Bin."

Also in early was a fan who wanted to be known only as Miss Aliana. The 29-year-old had travelled alone from Penang just to see the actors.

"I arrived in Singapore at 7am and immediately came to queue. This is a rare chance to see my idols," she said.

Earlier in the day, the actors were at Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa for a press conference to promote their latest movie, Master. They were accompanied by director Choi Ui Seok.

The movie stars Lee Byung Hun as president Jin, who operates a corporation and the massive pyramid scheme behind it.

An investigator, played by Gang, leads his team to uncover Jin's exploits and goes after the scheme's mastermind, played by Kim.

For Gang, it was his first time playing a detective.


He told TNP: "I did not know playing this role would be this hard. It was a different challenge, but I enjoyed it at the same time, doing my homework and making my character more interesting."

Choi said: "Kim and Gang were doing a much better job than I had expected, as they put in their own characteristics into the movie. They did a good job."

Some games were played during the fan meet, and Miss Woo was one of the chosen few to join in the fun onstage.

For solving a maze puzzle, she scored a movie poster and got to shake Gang's hand.

"I did not say anything to them as I was too awestruck. I am not going to wash my hand for two days," she said with a laugh.

Another fan, South Korean student Kim Su Min, 19, mentioned the difficulty of meeting celebrities in her country.

"Back in South Korea, tickets get sold out very fast. So, it is really a rare opportunity for South Koreans to meet our idols."

Also sitting among the throng of screaming girls was student Brendan Wong, 16, who was there to see Kim.

He said: "I became a huge fan ever since I watched his drama, The Heirs. He is my No. 1 idol, as he is tall and good-looking. I want to be like him.

"Some people, including my friends, might think that being a male fan is weird, but I think that is just ridiculous."

The fan meet ended with a cake-cutting session and the fans singing happy birthday in Korean to Gang, who turns 36 on Wednesday.

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Master review (coming from a KWB fan)

These are just my feelings about the movie, promise no spoilers. ^^

I wasn't going to write this but I thought it would be nice to see from a fan's point of view. 

I do agree that KWB's character stood out the most in the movie but KDW and LBH characters didn't fall short either.

They all did an amazing job portraying their characters. KDW as the police officer was consistent with the way he deal with the whole scram situation even without a history to back up his character. LBH was superb nothing less from someone ppl praise. Of course KWB did a great job with his character to keep everyone on their toes.

I'm a fan of these type of movies so I don't have much to say about the storyline. The movie wasn't all over the place it was straight forward and I like that. Some might say it's slow pace but I thought it was pretty steady.

As you can see I pretty much enjoy the movie if I had to add something negative it would be that I wish the ending wasn't so rush. ^^

Oops I take that back I just realized I didn't stay for the ending credits!!! Goshhhhhh noooooooo I'm super sad now. Darn.

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‘Master’ marks birth of a new bromance: Kang Dong Won & Kim Woo Bin

C2BhPpGUQAEHc1r?format=jpg%26name=large&The Korean actors tell us how they helped look out for each other when they were filming in Manila

Master co-stars Kim Woo Bin and Kang Dong Won play adversaries-turned-allies in the movie

Kim Woo Bin’s favourite scene in the movie Master perfectly encapsulates his relationship and personal experience working with co-star Kang Dong Won: in the movie, their characters—one plays a police inspector (Dong Won), and the other a hacker (Woo Bin)—crossed paths and became friends after working together to apprehend the ultimate villain (played by Lee Byung Hun), just like how they met and “got close over a short span of time” while working on Master in real life.

The two hit it off and the rest, as they say, is history.

Hint of their budding friendship (and blossoming bromance) could be seen from their time spent on set together, when the two actors shared how they would look out for each other when filming in Manila, Philippines, where a good portion of the movie is based.

Speaking in fluent English during the movie’s media conference in Singapore yesterday, Dong Won, 35, shared that his younger co-star had hordes of fans following him wherever they went during their overseas shoot. Surprised by the large turnout, he approached them to get an answer about Woo Bin’s burgeoning popularity (“they told me they watched his TV show,” he shared) and briefly doubled up as the strapping actor’s “minder”.

“Because they were hiding themselves while trying to take a picture of him and I was right next to them when they were taking pictures, so I said: ’Hey, don't do that. That’s not good,” he chuckled.

Unbeknownst to Dong Won, Woo Bin, 27, had a hand in helping him fend off unsolicited photo-taking from fans too.

“There were a lot of local fans of Kang Dong Won as well as tourists from all over the world trying to secretly take a photo of him,” Woo Bin quipped, casually negating his candid co-star’s earlier statement about not having a lot of fans in the country.

“So even if Kang Dong Won doesn’t know it, I was actually stopping them and secretly helping him too (chuckles).”

All together now: Aww! 

master9.jpgHow did Kim Woo Bin feel when he first read the script?

"When I first read the script – if you watched the movie – I have double dealings with President Jin and the detective, so the character was confusing everyone. I, myself, was confused with what he’s thinking and feeling and wanted to convey this message to the audience. In this movie, he’s a character whereby he meets all the characters in the movie, so I wanted to deliver the chemistry, relationship and the stories between our characters," he said.


Woo Bin had to dance in total silence on set

Apart from brushing up on his typing skills to look the part of a skilled computer hacker, Woo Bin also spoke fondly of filming a dance scene, which was inspired by Beyoncé, in the movie.

According to the actor, said scene took place on his fourth day on set and he was not comfortable rehearsing it in front of the crew. As someone who cannot “sing or dance in front of people”, he had to rehearse it at home the night before by installing a camera and practising his moves.

Due to copyright issues, he could only hum along to the song while dancing in total silence on set, said director Cho. “While we were actually filming it, there was no background music so all the staff was staring at him with straight and blank faces,” he chuckled.

Thankfully, Woo Bin’s efforts paid off and the director liked what he saw on the recorded video, however, not everyone knew he was trying to pull a Beyoncé, unfortunately.

“I tried to express as much Beyoncé as I could,” Woo Bin chuckled. “But after the shoot, no one knew it was Beyoncé except the costume designer who came up to me and said: ‘Oh, I knew it was Beyoncé!’” Now we know.





Kim Woo Bin and Kang Dong Won

What did Woo Bin and Dong Won do when they wanted to escape from the large crowd of fans staking out at their hotel? Why, they sought out a different hotel of course! Director Cho jokingly lamented about being left in the lurch after his actors packed up and left without him. 





Kim Woo Bin and Kang Dong Won

While co-star Dong Won prefers doing his action scenes by himself, when Woo Bin was asked about his huge fight scene with Lee Byung Hun's character, which saw him getting pummeled by the latter, he said, "Lee Byung Hun is a very experienced action movie star and he made sure I didn’t get any injuries. To be honest, I’ve also filmed action projects before and it’s easier to get beaten up rather than healing, so I don’t feel sorry -- and I feel comfortable getting beaten up." Ouch!

Photos: Joanna Goh, Dion Tang, Golden Village Pictures
Video: Tay Yixuan

Watch video here >> http://video.toggle.sg/en/clips/MASTERhd/471261

Edited by MadraRua
Please only 3 images per post, use spoiler tag for the rest
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master_elbh.gif  C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S !!!

MA$TER Tops 7 Million Audience Admission at the Korean Box Office (Source: KoBiz)


Finally, the movie exceeding the 7 million mark. This might be wrong, but it feels that this will be as far as it gets, probably going on till 7.5 million.. maybe. But the competition is definitely getting tougher this coming week and then on, more new movies will be released. While MA$TER may likely not cross the 10 million admission, it is still no small feat achieving 7 million admission. Some of the other Korean movies released recently doesn't even get past 1 million or half a million admission. So, well done MASTER cast, director & production team! Critics may hate it but the fans surely appreciate the effort and hard work. Bravo MA$TER!

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2 hours ago, rubie said:

 C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S !!!

MA$TER Tops 7 Million Audience Admission at the Korean Box Office (Source: KoBiz)


Finally, the movie exceeding the 7 million mark. This might be wrong, but it feels that this will be as far as it gets, probably going on till 7.5 million.. maybe. But the competition is definitely getting tougher this coming week and then on, more new movies will be released. While MA$TER may likely not cross the 10 million admission, it is still no small feat achieving 7 million admission. Some of the other Korean movies released recently doesn't even get past 1 million or half a million admission. So, well done MASTER cast, director & production team! Critics may hate it but the fans surely appreciate the effort and hard work. Bravo MA$TER!



7 million is a great deal. Movie broke even and doubled it's money. Master is a certificated hit. 

Congratulation to our hard-working team, that suffered a lot while filming this movie. Hard work is paid off ^^

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Kang Dong Won and Kim Woo Bin promote "Master" in Hong Kong

Wearing all-black ensembles, South Korean stars Kang Dong Won and Kim Woo Bin showed up with director Cho Ui Seok to promote their movie "Master"


Kang Dong Won and Kim Woo Bin promote "Master" in Hong Kong

(Hong Kong January 13, 2017)

While playing games with the fans, Woo Bin hugged them, causing screams to rise up from those in the audience seats. Dong Won was happy to receive a cake from the fans and celebrated his birthday ahead of the actual date, January 18.

Talking about his fighting scenes, Woo Bin admitted that he was mostly the one getting beaten up and felt less pressure to perform, while Dong Won said it was not easy to film the fighting scenes, although he did enjoy the process. As both of them used to be models, they cooperated well and were happy during the filming.

At the end of the event, they made a wish for a successful box office, and surprised fans by wishing them a happy new year in Cantonese.


Credit: ToggleSG


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Source: deltamachk

Gist by Barbara tq.gif for article above from Oriental Daily

This is a rough translation.    

There was a press conference in Hong Kong. Gang Dong Won said for the movie he had to practice boxing, but that was cut out from the movie. GDW explained that he is quite similar to the character that he portrayed in the movie. They needed to spend one month filming in Manila. Due to the fact that the area they are in is not quite safe and considering that Kim Woo Bin is constantly bombarded by fans, the two of them decided to move to another hotel without telling the director. Later Lee Byung Hun found out and he moved as well.  Alas, they found too late that the hotel they stayed originally hosted a Beauty Pageant and they missed out the opportunity to watch the beautiful contestants. GDW explained that in real life he was cheated by a friend of a sizeable sum that he was not able to recover. The Director praised GDW for being very conscientious when he was acting albeit being childlike at times.  The director said that KWB is a very polite young man.  At the press conference, they found out that admissions to "Ma$ter" surpassed 7 million. Both GDW and KWB praised Lee Byung Hun's acting skills.

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January 17, 2017

Playing a real-life baddie

South Korean film Master is a critique of current trends, says its director Cho Ui Seok

John Lui Film Correspondent The Straits Times Sg.

In the South Korean thriller Master, a charismatic organiser played by Lee Byung Hun, fills stadiums with his message of prosperity.

He tells the adoring, clapping crowd that they are among the chosen and their faith will make them rich. Participants, to their horror, discover that they are victims of a massive swindle he has perpetrated.

Director and co-writer Cho Ui Seok, 41, tells The Straits Times that he based the character of Jin on a real-life conman.

In the early 2000s, Cho Hee Pal bilked 40,000 people out of billions by telling them that investments would go to a high-tech medical appliance company. The operation was nothing more than a pyramid scheme, in which fees paid by recruits are given as rewards to recruiters, until the scheme collapses or the organisers abscond with the money.

"He ran away to China and then a video came out showing his funeral," says Cho.

Our film’s conclusion is a fantasy, but now, it seems that reality is even more like fantasy than the film.

DIRECTOR CHO UI SEOK on how the movie’s theme of corruption mirrors the bribery scandal that has taken down South Korean President Park Geun Hye

Even today, victims still believe the video to be fake and clamour for further investigation, he adds.

Cho, with lead actors Gang Dong Won and Kim Woo Bin, were in Singapore last week to promote the movie.

In Master, which opened last week, the director did not want to make his antagonist just a menacing character - he had to be seductive too, to be believable as a con artist.

"In Korea, there is a saying - we say a person is like a certain bird with eight colours. It's a metaphor for describing a person with hidden facets," says Cho through a translator.

The film's use of topical events includes a critique of current trends, including the notion of instant success. It is how so many otherwise intelligent people were conned - they saw others getting rich and did not want to miss out.

"In the economic crisis of the 1990s, many people gave up on the idea of hard work, since there was no guaranteed future at the end of it. Young people don't have dreams any more, they think only about getting rich now," he says, explaining how scammers came into prominence in South Korea a decade ago and why they are still active today.

The movie has a theme of corruption in government. Currently, it seems that life is imitating art - a bribery scandal is sweeping the capital Seoul and has taken down President Park Geun Hye. In the film, high officials face justice in the wake of the con.

"The script was written three years ago. My writing partner Kim Hyun Deok and I are shocked by what's happening today. Our film's conclusion is a fantasy, but now, it seems that reality is even more like fantasy than the film," he says.

Jang Gun, the computer whiz and gang member played by Kim Woo Bin, represents the 20somethings of today who seek immediate wealth, no matter what, says Cho. "He has brains, he's smart, but he thinks that crime is the easiest way to get what he wants," says Cho.

The film's action moves to the Philippines, where Jin (Lee) is lying low and where he plots his next big con. The location was not picked by accident.

"Korean criminals have ties to the Philippines, where there are many islands for them to hide in," says Cho.

His crew filmed in the Tondo district of Manila, an area that has become synonymous with slums in the capital city. However, he points out that Tondo covers a wide area, one that includes more upscale streets, which is where they filmed.

"I filmed in a more middle-class area, which I picked for its colour. The real slum areas would have been too dangerous."

• Master is showing in cinemas.

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January 20, 2017

Movie Audiences Dwindle for 1st Time in 7 Years

By Lee Tae-hoon The Chosun Ilbo

Movie audiences have dwindled for the first time in seven years. The number of moviegoers hit 200 million for the first time in 2013 and had been rising steadily since, but the Korean Film Council on Thursday said they dwindled by 280,000 last year to 217 million.

Blockbusters Sputter

The main reason seems to be that there were no surefire blockbusters last year. Only one Korean film, the zombie extravaganza "Train to Busan," managed to draw more than 10 million viewers.

"A Violent Prosecutor" drew only slightly less than 10 million viewers, but "The Age of Shadows" starring Song Kang-ho, and "Tunnel" starring Ha Jeong-woo, performed disappointingly.

The disaster flick "Pandora," which cost W15.5 billion to make, drew only 4.3 million moviegoers, and the action film "Master" starring Lee Byung-hun and Kang Dong-won took 26 days after its Christmas opening to draw more than 7 million viewers (US$1=W1,176).

Movie critic Kang Yoo-jung said this is not surprising. "Korean movies have become predictable and formulaic as producers and directors stuck to tried and tested ingredients,” she said.

"Pandora" reminded many of the 2009 disaster flick "Haeundae,” and they spotted too many similarities between "Master” and 2012's "The Thieves" and the 2015 flick "Inside Men."

"It seems the days are gone when moviegoers felt a sense of catharsis from their frustrations when they watched films that were critical of society," Kang said.

"Master" and "The King” took critical views of Korean society in the footsteps of hits like "Inside Men" and "Veteran" but failed to offer anything new. 


Lack of Quality Films

In 2015, every moviegoer in Korea saw 4.22 movies, a huge number in global comparison. But that means many others saw none at all and box office became dependent on appealing to its core demographic.

When that failed, numbers started to go down. Experts say it would be better to offer greater variety to attract a broader audience and rest content with audiences of about 5 million per movie.

Instead, ticket sales are increasingly polarized. Movie critic Choi Kwang-hee said, "We need more quality films in all kinds of genres being released throughout a year, not just summer and Christmas blockbusters."

He added that the increasing dominance of major production studios resulted in a reluctance to bet on more adventurous stories or genres.


This year too, the studios have a number of blockbusters lined up that they hope can reverse their fortunes, including "Battleship Island" by director Ryu Seung-wan, which cost W20 billion to produce. But it remains to be seen whether they can open up new horizons for the industry.

Industry analyst Kim Hyung-ho said, "It looks like 2016 was a breather for the industry. There is still potential for further growth."

Cumulative audience in the first 10 months of 2016 surpassed 2015's, but massive candlelight protests every weekend from November as the presidential scandal unfolded kept audiences either busy in the streets or glued to their TV.

In the past, blockbusters like monster movie "The Host" and the period flick "The Admiral: Roaring Currents" transcended traditional genres. "Train to Busan," the biggest hit of 2016, also traversed untried territory in Korean cinema, with its preference for quietly scary ghosts.

"We need producers and directors to take more risks," Kang said.

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On 20 января 2017 г. at 4:30 PM, rubie said:


January 20, 2017

Movie Audiences Dwindle for 1st Time in 7 Years




Up and downs happened in all industries. It's natural. Seems like a such stretch to label movies like "The Age of Shadows" or "Tunnel", that had around 6-7 million admission each as "disappointment". Looks like Chungmuro is equally now spoiled with 10 million mark, just like Hollywood with billion dollar club. Movie successful, when it brought back twice (and more) of what it spend for filming and marketing, period. 

Anyway, I came here to say thank you @rubie for creating this thread and constantly updating it with information, articles and reviews ^^

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It's been a pleasure sharing at the thread. My thanks especially to @aureolina @heartkwbheart @ProudofYou and everyone at MA$TER soompi for making it less lonely at the thread. It's a bit unfortunate that most if not all soompi movie threads are like ghost towns unlike the always bustling drama threads. :lol: So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for the sharing and thoughts about this movie. Even if all the waiting and promos are all over, I'm sure there will be reviews (good & bad) to come and perhaps future award & film fest news for the cast and director. Please keep on checking the thread to share from time to time.

In spite of some critical attack on the plot and whatnot, MA$TER did good nonetheless. It wouldn't be watched 7 million times and more if it's really that bad. no2.gif

January 24, 2017

Being a star is harder than it looks on social media :

Um Ji-won prefers the grunt work to the glamour of acting

Source: INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily


Actor Um Ji-won has never wished to be a “star.” She says that being a star actor is like receiving a gift from the public. No matter how much you want it, you can’t get it by simply asking for it. But she feels herself getting better at acting as she puts in more and more effort. [STUDIO 706]

Making appearances in two major releases, “Missing” and “Master,” 2016 was a busy year for actor Um Ji-won. The latter attracted nearly seven million ticket sales, marking itself as one of the year’s top-selling movies. 

But her path towards success has not been an easy one. For the past 18 years, she couldn’t shake off the sense of frustration she felt from not getting a chance to become a top star like other popular actors. Now, she calls those days “beautiful.” In an interview with Ilgan Sports, an affiliate of the Korea JoongAng Daily, Um shared the thoughts and feelings that defined the past several years as an actor.

Actor Um Ji-won starred in the film “Missing” and “Master,” which were both released last winter. From top to bottom: In “Missing,” she plays a single-mom who comes back home only to find out that her young daughter is missing, and in “Master,” she takes the role of a tough investigator. [MEGABOX PLUS M, CJ ENTERTAINMENT]

Q. You kept yourself quite busy with two films that were released at the same time last year. How was it?

A. The two were filmed at totally different times, but got released consecutively. For me, promoting films is much more difficult than actually shooting them. Of course, the acting part is hard too, but I just love being on set. When we advertise films, I feel that I’m too exposed to the public, meeting a bunch of people and getting evaluated by some of them. It stresses me out a bit.

Do you check reviews often?

Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t. I can’t check them every single time. I feel thankful for positive remarks and try to take in negative responses. But aside from getting praised or scolded, I just don’t like exposing myself to people that much.

“Missing” got a lot of positive response from women. What do you think about that?

It must have been hard for them to choose to watch it, since the storyline is not so bright. I imagine that many people would have thought, “I’m going through harsh times myself. There’s no need for me to watch a dark movie.” I understand them. That’s why I tried to look bright when we promoted the film.

Did it make you feel sad that “Missing” didn’t turn out to be a box office hit?

It was odd that [ticket sales] dropped so suddenly after two weeks. If most people didn’t like it, I’d understand, but it received so many positive reactions. Box office records were not my priority to begin with, but it’d be a lie to say that I don’t feel sad at all. But I’m satisfied. I even ran into someone who watched it 13 times. I feel thankful for all viewers. 

On the other hand, “Master” was a grand hit. Why do you think so?

Of course, because it’s an entertaining film.

I heard you even did stunt training for the movie.

Yes. It hurt my back quite a bit, but sadly, the whole scene got deleted. I took the role of Gemma for two reasons. One was because I loved the scenes with actor Oh Dal-su, and the other was for the action scenes. Of course, I loved the screenplay and fellow actors, but I also looked forward to the action parts as well. 

Actor Kang Dong-won mentioned that he suggested the scene where you hit Lee Byung-hun’s head. Is that true?

Did he say that? Yes it’s true, and oddly that was the first time I shot a scene with Lee. I had to hit him on his head the first day I met him. Kang even went up to the director and Lee to persuade them to do the scene that way.

Are you close with Kang?

Yes. We debuted around the same time and took part in a drama together when we were rookie actors, so our friendship is somewhat special. We were able to follow each other’s growth as actors.

Photos that you have posted on social media have also become the center of attention. Do you agree?

Can I be frank about one thing? Personally, I wish that photos posted on social media were not made into articles. I’m fine with my fans and followers looking at my photos, but I feel that there’s no need for everyone else to take a look at my daily life. People who are not interested in me end up seeing the photos and thinking “Why would I care that Um Ji-won flew off to take a vacation?” I know social media is not a private space, but the reactions could be totally different. 

Social media is also how many people get to know about actress’ close relationships, right?

We all share the fact that we’re actors, so it’s easier for us to understand each other’s troubles and hardships. We spend a lot of time eating good food and talking. That’s how we organize our thoughts and gain energy. In the end, we’re all people. We don’t see each other as other actors, but simply as other human beings.

How would you describe your life as an actress?

I have been living quite ordinarily, so I’ve never really thought that my life is special. During promotional seasons, I get to put on exquisite clothes and sponsored jewelry, but I always feel that they’re not mine. I stand in the spotlight to be photographed, but after I walk down the stairs and come back to reality, it strikes me that, “This is not the real me.” That’s why I always strive to find the real me, so that I could be happy even without those shiny things.

But what we see is also a big part of your life, don’t you think?

Yes, it is. More than half of the time I’m awake, I need to live like that, so it certainly is a part of my life. But I’m trying to say that that’s not all of me. I try not to forget that those things can disappear at any time. That’s how the entertainment business works. Fake things come into your life and have a lot of influence. For instance, I communicate with people through social media, but in reality, I don’t even know their real names. Those relationships, in the end, are all close to illusions.

Did you feel that way when you debuted as well?

I’ve felt this way from the very beginning. Nowadays, it’s natural that people call me “actor Um Ji-won,” but back then, it made me feel awkward. I felt the importance of not losing myself.

Did you ever regret becoming an actor?

I’ve never regretted it, but there was a moment when I asked myself “Why are people so desperate to become actors?” But that never meant “I should stop doing this.” I just needed a clear reason to go on. I still feel uneasy when I don’t have any future films to take part in. Having three to four upcoming movies makes me feel comfortable. But meanwhile, I still think “Why am I so obsessed about taking part in an upcoming film?”

Do you want to try things other than acting?

I recently got interested in radio. I’ve wanted to do it since I was a little girl. Coming up with a piece with other staff members is a very rewarding experience, and radio could be seen as elaborate work as well. I’m in the middle of figuring out my areas of interest. I wish many people got the opportunity to think about what excites them the most when they’re at school. Most of us graduate after years of chasing after good grades, which was also the case for me too.

Did you ever experience a slump?

I wouldn’t call it a slump, but there was a time when I got frustrated at the thought that I need to become more popular with a hit drama. But the more I thought that way, the more I wondered why I needed to work so hard. I wondered why I needed to be stressed out when I was doing something that I liked.

Did you find the answer to that question?

For one, I’ve never wanted to become a star. I think being a star and being popular are two different things. Only a small number of people could become stars, and that’s why it’s special. It’s like a gift from the public. You can’t receive presents just because you want them. But in terms of my acting skills, I feel that I’m getting better and better as I try harder.

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

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@rubie thank YOU!

You have done a great deal for this thread. Thanks for all the updates!

I think that Master can be called a success, especially looking at the difficult situation in the home country.

Anyway, the entire film crew deserves praise for the hard work!

I hope I will have enough determination to leave feedback after watching the movie:)

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Have not found any English article on this yet.

Source: Sports Hankooki (Google-translated gist)

Thank you MA$TER!

The film 'Master' has successfully concluded with a total of 7,138,817 audiences after five weeks of screening since its release in Korea. Movie directed by Jo Ui Seok had gathered the best actors in Korea -- Lee Byung Hun, Kang Dong Won and Kim Woobin that undoubtedly started a high interest from the beginning of production being the best anticipated project in 2016. In December, it was the only blockbuster of the year, MA$TER put up a nuclear storm against major Hollywood movies, but there were no strong contest against the crime thriller.

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February 3, 2017

‘Master’ continues to rake it in

By: Jonathan Hicap Manila Bulletin Entertainment

Korean film “Master,” which was filmed in the Philippines, has grossed $49.81 million (P2.47 billion) at the Korean box office.

A scene from the ‘Master’ (Photo courtesy of CJ Entertainment/Korean Film Council) /mb.com.ph
A scene from the ‘Master’ (Photo courtesy of CJ Entertainment/Korean Film Council)

The crime-action movie stars Lee Byung Hun who plays the role of Jin Hyun-pil, who runs the One Network Inc company.

Kim Jae-myung, played by Kang Dong Won, is the chief of the Intellectual Crime Investigation team who suspects that the company is involved in fraud and pursues Jin and Park Jang-goon, played by Kim Woo Bin, in the Philippines.

“Master” was released last December and to date, the film has sold 7.14 million tickets, according to data from the Korean Film Council.

It topped the daily box office on its first day on Dec. 21, grossing $2.5 million. It zoomed to No. 1 at the Korean monthly box office in December, grossing $34 million with 4.9 million total admissions and ended up as the No. 11 bestselling film for 2016 in Korea.

The movie was filmed starting in April last year. In the Philippines, about 200 local staff and 120 local policemen and guards were mobilized during the filming in Tondo.

Jones Bridge in Manila was also used in the film for one of its major scenes.

Lee Byung Hun earlier described the sweltering heat in Manila.

“Manila’s hot and humid weather was tough, too. Because of the weather, there are countless insects. There was an overwhelming number of mosquitoes. The shooting condition was very harsh,” the star told KBS’ “Entertainment Relay” TV program last November.

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February 10, 2017

Five Reasons Why You Should Add Korean Blockbuster Film “Master” To Your Watch List

By dmlacson | HELLOKPOP


No one may have thought that the names Lee Byung Hun, Gang Dong Won and Kim Woo Bin will appear in one film. But Master did, and since its release in South Korea last December 2016, Master has successfully made its mark as one of South Korea’s top grossing films of all time.

This timely financial thriller revolves around schemer and founder of One Network corporation Jin Hyun-pil (played by Lee Byung Hun) who faces investigation by Financial Crime Unit’s elite detective Kim Jae-myung (played by Gang Dong Won). After discovering that Jin’s scheme was devised and maintained by software genius Park Jang-gun (played by Kim Woo Bin), Kim takes Park into custody and demands to cooperate in the investigation.

The film has also been pre-sold to 31 countries including Philippines. Brought to the archipelago by VIVA International Pictures, Master started thrilling Filipino moviegoers last February 8.

If you are still adamant in spending bucks for this Korean film, read through this article as hellokpop list down five things you should know (and take note) about Master.


Master is closer to home than you think, Philippines. The film takes you through the streets of Seoul, to the slums of the Philippines as the story progresses and the thrill intensifies.

Master was mainly shot in the Philippines. (Photo credit: Viva International Pictures)

The blockbuster Korean film was shot in Tondo, Manila, Manila Cathedral, Jones Bridge in Manila and other landmarks in the city.

The production also utilized six police cruisers and 120 actual police officers and security personnel for the final showdown. Additional 16 police cruisers and 140 officers aided in the chase that closed down both sides of Jones Bridge. Master was the first Korean film to shut down Jones Bridge, Manila’s largest bridge, for a film shoot.


Korean film “masters” were behind Master. From its director, to production and costume designers, to its stunt director, Master was skillfully produced and created by some of the industry’s best crew.

Production designer Park Ei Hen, who is behind blockbuster films such as A Violent Prosecutor and The Himalayas takes his expertise into action once again in Master. The hailed production designer is responsible in creating One Network’s head offices, the investigation team’s headquarters, Jin’s secret office and the Manila hideout.

Aside from being a blockbuster success, Master is also critically-acclaimed. (Photo credit: Viva International Pictures)

Grand Bell and Blue Dragon awardee for costume design Cho Sang Kyung designed the stylish suits of the three main character of the film. Cho has previously showcased her works on The Age of Shadows, Assassination, among others.

Stunt director Heo Myeong Haeng of the film Cold Eyes coordinated the film’s crucial car chases and sequences. Meanwhile, renowned band Dalparan, whose previous works included The Wailing, Assassination and The Thieves, provided the music for Master.

Director Cho Ui Seok takes charge as the director of Master. Cho’s previous works includes the blockbuster film Cold Eyes. According to Cho, the inspiration to create Master came after reading a newspaper article of an infamous scam artist, Jo Hee Pal.


Lee Byung Hun
Lee Byung Hun as Jin Hyun-pil (Photo credit: Viva International Pictures)

After carving his name in Hollywood and his successful return to the Korean silver screen with Inside Men, Lee Byung Hun takes on another splash with Master as schemer and pyramid godfather Jin Hyun-pil.

“Every moment that I worked with Lee, I was in awe. His level of concentration was astounding, and he brought to my attention character traits that I, as a director, didn’t even see,” spoke Director Cho of the actor.

It took extensive analysis and many make-up tests in order for the acclaimed actor to find the perfect look that will give justice to the character of the biggest scam artist.


Gang Dong Won  
Gang Dong Won as Kim Jae-myung (Photo credit: Viva International Pictures)

Despite the many big screen appearances of one of the most celebrated actors of his generation, Master marked Gang Dong Won’s first time to play as an elite detective in a film.

“Since I’ve never played a detective, I thought it was a worthwhile challenge,” he said. The actor added that the seemingly plain characteristics of Financial Crime Unit detective Kim Jae-myung drew him to the role.

Gang Dong Won also admitted that the role has proven to be a tougher challenge than he had expected. “Whatever I did, it felt as though the character wasn’t living up to his potential,” he added.

According to the actor, he wanted his character to be more meticulous and slightly more emotionally than initially portrayed in the screenplay.


Kim Woo Bin
Kim Woo Bin as Park Jang-gun (Photo credit: Viva International Pictures)

He might have first graced the Philippine shore as the arrogant Choi Young Do in the Korean drama The Heirs but Kim Woo Bin is now ready to conquer the archipelago as the software genius Park Jang-gun in Master.

The actor was reported to have actively taken part in the character concept meetings and helped define his character. “I wanted to create my own version of the character and tried to apply that concept on screen,” he said.

Kim Woo Bin added that he wanted the character of Park to be as human and realistic as possible. “I wanted to convey his conflicts honestly on screen. If my character felt confused or lost, I wanted the audience to empathize with him,” he explained.

Showing in theaters nationwide, be thrilled and ready to hold on your seats for the intense action this blockbuster film has to offer.

A masterfully crafted film from the best crew, topped with South Korea’s best actors of their generations and sprinkled with a scent of home, Master is the complete recipe to the most sumptuous and satisfying dish the big screen can offer.

So, are you on?


‘Master’ is brought to the Philippines by VIVA International Pictures.

Visit VIVA International Pictures’ Facebook for more details on the screening of ‘Master’.

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February 9, 2017

Berlinale: Korean Hits Selling Strongly at CJ Entertainment

Patrick Frater
Asia Bureau Chief Variety.com

Coming in to Berlin, South Korean powerhouse CJ Entertainment has racked up a strong list of sales in Asian territories for its recent string of box office hits. In each case, it now aims to turn regional sales success into momentum that reaches buyers in European and international territories.

Crime thriller, “Master,” which stars Lee Byung-hun (“G.I. Joe,” RED”) and Gang Dong-won, was sold to Twin for Japan, Movie Cloud for Taiwan Clover Films for Malaysia and Singapore, JGB Pictures for Australia and New Zealand, Viva Communications for The Philippines VR Films & Studio for India and Medyavizyon for Turkey. The film has scored $51 million at the Korean box office and CJ’s overseas affiliates are releasing the picture in Vietnam and Indonesia (with OKTN.) CJ America already released it in the U.S. and Canada, with $596,000 grossed to date.

“Confidential Assignment,” which has grossed $45.2 million after three weeks at the top of the Korean chart, has been sold to many of the same distributors including Movie Cloud, JBG, VR Films, and Viva.

Other pre-Berlin deals on the film include one with Deltamac for Hong Kong and Macau, and another with Gulf Film for the Middle East.

New Park Kwang-hyun title, “Fabricated City” was sold to Movie Cloud, JBG, VR Films, and Viva, and also to Long Shong for Taiwan and Italy’s Minerva.

CJ’s Vietnamese co-production, “Saigon Bodyguards” has also scored sales. The action comedy, which was directed by Japan’s Ken Ochiai and produced by Canada’s Niv Fichman and Sweden’s Kim Ly, was released in Vietnamese theaters in December and topped the chart. The film was sold to Gaga Communications for Japan, VR Films & Studio for India, and to JBG Pictures for Australia and New Zealand. CJ America is handling the release in North America.

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