Jump to content

[Movie 2020] The Man Standing Next / Chiefs of Namsan, 남산의 부장들

Recommended Posts



20181025_5.jpg Kim Jae Gyu (Wikipedia)


February 4, 2020


Chief of Namsan Kim Jae Gyu's Bereaved Family


Source: JoongAng Daily, our thanks to mistymorning for the English gist


THE MAN STANDING NEXT depicting Kim Jae Gyu's human anguish.


The first line from his sister after watching the movie, saying "I couldn't look away, as a grandma over 80 year old. Felt pain thinking what was in my brother's heart then... after watching, my legs were trembling, thinking about then."so, his sister (the third sister) and her husband, and their son (his nephew) watched the movie and said "(the movie) had torments of human Kim Jae Gyu, better than we expected." "(we are) thankful that this becomes the chance that people can look back on the case after 40 years "


Caring and calm, the military life was long within him. As in the movie, the habit of sweeping the bangs repeatedly came from the usual neat and tidy personality. As the eldest sibling, he often told us to live right. However, a (sniper) plan has never been detected. Whom do you discuss such a plan with? ”



On the left, Kim Yang Hwan (80), the third brother-in-law of Kim Jae Gyu (1926-1980), the real protagonist of the film 'Chiefs of Namsan', and the third sister, Jeong Sook (81), with their son Kim Sung Shin (52) at the JoongAng head office after interview. Kwon, Hyuk Jae Photo Journalist


More interview contents from KJG's family

The joint investigation headquarter contacted family right before his execution (they didn't let them know that). KJG said to his mom, "I'm ok, I did it because I had a cause.". Sister said that "I am praying for you", he replied "Pray for Geunhye first (President's daughter), then for me." Then he let his mom sat on a chair, and gave a deep bow. I thought it was because it had been too long, but I didn't know it was the day before ..

His mother believed he did the right thing. A son who was devoted to his parents cannot be disloyal to the country. She said, 'Your brother died of loyalty.'


Kim Jae Gyu (1926 ~ 1980), the actual main character of the movie 'The Chiefs of Namsan', was the eldest of three sons and five daughters. The following year after the October 26 incident in 1979, his family disappeared. All of the family members suffer, some of them fired from their jobs



Family photograph provided by the survivors of Kim Jae Gyu (1926-1980), who was the head of the Central Intelligence Agency in the Park Chung Hee administration. From left to right of the back row, except for the rest of the portrait blurred-out for identity protection, clockwise, Kim Jae Gyu, his wife Kim Young Hee, father Kim Hyung Chul (died in 1976), mother Kwon Yu Geum (died in 2001), third sister Jung Sook, and third brother-in-law Kim Yang Hwan. It's estimated that the photo date was January 1, 1970. 





Photo courtesy of Kim Jae Gyu (1926-1980), who was the head of the Central Intelligence Agency in the Park Chung-hee administration. In the middle of the table is Kim Jae-kyu, the man who wears the glasses. The picture was taken at the official office of the Central Information Office of Jangchung-dong.






Kim Jae Gyu conducts on-site verification on November 7, 1979. [Central photo]




  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Source: KoBiz 


movie1.gif Day 18:  2020.02.08 THE MAN STANDING NEXT at Number 3 Korean Box Office with 4.5 Million Audience Admission, CONGRATS! cat2_e0.gif


Source: ㅅㄹㅎㄱㅎㅈㅅㅇ@lOxOla


It'll be 4.5 million admission today, hopefully it will exceed 5 million too.





Source: mystic_choi


Heard about the actors' shining performances, went to watch CHIEFS OF NAMSAN.

It's a little heavy because it's a political story.
I could feel the power of that time 

Do whatever you want
I'm next to him ..
(It's scary ~ ).


Throwback photos posted by Lee Byung Hun, from the filming set





  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

February 6, 2020


THE MAN STANDING NEXT: Most Decisive Scenes


Source: ISplus, thanks to @mistymorning for the description in English




First photo of Kim Gyu Pyung (Lee Byung Hun) is where he was eavesdropping on the president (Lee Sung Min) and Gwak Sang Chun (Lee Hee Jun) speaking ill of Kim Gyu Pyung. Which makes him disconcerted, angry, but had to keep all in because it's just wall between them and him


LBH said "Possibly this is feeling of loss and despair when he realized that someone whom he trusted and followed was in secret with other person," Viewers also said they watched with bated breath, with full of suspense that we never felt before, on screen.




2nd photo is President Park shouting at his 2nd in hand Kim Gyu Pyung, "Bring me what I want". This is the middle-later part where president Park showing true color and his relationship with Kim Gyu Pyung going south. Critics said this is done nicely by Lee Sung Min. Viewers said great reviews on LSM's acting powerful man's authority and charisma.




3rd photo is the former chief of KCIA Park Yong Gak's facial expression when he realized his inevitable fate after explosive chase scene starting from Place Vendome to the outskirts of Paris. His resignation, realizing that he couldn't go anywhere, shows the ironical fate of 2nd-in-command.





Last image showing Gwak Sang Chun, the chief officer of president's security team. It's during staff meeting in Cheong Wa Dae or The Blue House. His statement "In Cambodia they killed 3 millions, why does it matter if we kill 1 or 2 millions" had angered Kim Gyu Pyung (LBH).

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

TMSN goes up to number 2 176.gif



movie1.gif Day 19:  2020.02.09 THE MAN STANDING NEXT at Number 2 Korean Box Office with 4.58 Million Audience Admission, CONGRATS!  stars-crazy-rabbit-emoticon.gif 

Source: KoBiz 





#TOP10 Global Cinema Movies 03/02/2020:

1. #BadBoysForLife 
2. #TheManStandingNext (South Korea)
3. 1917
4. #Dolittle 
5. #GretelAndHansel 
6. #thegentleman 
7. #JumanjiTheNextLevel 
8. #StarWars 
9. #TheTurning 
10. #TheRhythmSection




  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

A new edition of CHIEFS OF NAMSAN's original bestselling book is being released with the signatures of the Director and cast of THE MAN STANDING NEXT.


Source: MoRan



Art by choon_chae


Even though I knew the story, it's still very suspenseful to watch.


Hard to feel good because of the ending, Kwak Do Won's character was the most sad.


  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

TMSN back to number 3 but it's OK..


movie1.gif Day 20:  2020.02.10 THE MAN STANDING NEXT at Number 3 Korean Box Office with 4.6 Million Audience Admission dduck1.gif

Source: KoBiz 



February 11, 2020


Korean Box Office 

‘The Closet’ opens at No. 1 in slow theater week: Coronavirus continues to affect ticket sales at cinemas all over Korea


Source: INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily


“The Closet” took first place at the local box office in its first weekend in theaters. However, overall sales were down as people shied away from the local theaters due to the ongoing virus outbreak. [CJ ENTERTAINMENT]

Occult horror film “The Closet” debuted at the top of another sluggish box-office weekend due to the coronavirus outbreak.


“The Closet” attracted 489,000 moviegoers to 1,192 screens in its first weekend. The film tells the story of Sang-won (played by Ha Jung-woo), the awkward father of Ina, who moves into a new home hoping for a fresh start. Due to his busy work, however, Sang-won neglects to take care of Ina, and one day, she disappears without a trace in their own house. A police investigation fails to come up with any leads for a month. But then Sang-won is introduced to Kyung-hoon, who introduces himself as an exorcist and claims that Ina has been taken by an evil spirit living in the closet. Willing to try anything to get his daughter back, Sang-won allows Kyung-hoon to enter his home to draw out the spirit, who, according to Kyung-hoon, has been kidnapping children for a decade.


DC Comics’ “Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” made a relatively disappointing debut at the local box office, opening in second place, selling 166,000 tickets at 946 screenings. Harley Quinn became an audience favorite after Margot Robbie’s portrayal of the character in “Suicide Squad” (2016).


The film starts off with Harley telling the audience that she and Joker have just broken up, for real this time. Wanting to make their breakup public, Harley blows up the Ace Chemicals factory, where she was reborn as Harley Quinn, vowing to live for Joker. What Harley didn’t anticipate, however, was that she’s made a lot of enemies in Gotham City while spending time with Joker, and all of them are plotting revenge against her.


One of the worst is Roman Sinois, a gangster boss known by his villain name Black Mask, and Harley manages to escape his clutches by promising him to get him a diamond that will lead him to a limitless fortune. Embarking on her adventure, however, Harley’s fate becomes intertwined with other vigilantes in the city.


“The Man Standing Next” took the third spot, selling 159,000 tickets for 834 screenings. Although the local film generated positive reviews for the superb acting performances by Lee Byung-hun, Lee Sung-min and Lee Hee-jun, the release of the film was untimely, clashing with the news of the virus outbreak.


“Hitman: Agent Jun” followed in fourth, selling 100,000 tickets at 694 screenings.


Last but not least, local animated film “Miniforce: Deeno the King of Dinosaurs” took fifth place, with 34,000 people seeing the film at 483 screens. The film features a team of robot rangers teaming up with Deeno, the dinosaur king to protect the Earth from the space villain named “Queen.”


BY LEE JAE-LIM [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Took a break (from posting B.O. updates) and THE MAN STANDING NEXT is now down to number 5 as more new movies released this week plus the re-screening of Oscars best movie, Parasite. The opening audience attendance for the number 1 movie is higher this week (more than 100K) while the rest are below 80K and less.


It may look rather hard to get a lot more tickets sold at this point for TMSN particularly, but hopefully it will be able to achieve the 5 million mark. 


movie1.gif Day 23:  2020.02.13 THE MAN STANDING NEXT at Number 5 Korean Box Office with 4.65 Million Audience Admission av-4239.gif

Source: KoBiz 



Source: futuro (disclaimer: Google-translate)


Finally watched CHIEFS OF NAMSAN :) It was a lot of worries before the release, but it's better than I thought. Lee Byung-Hun's acting is really great. 


Art by hyonssam


  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

delivery.gif Check out the interviews with English subs


Interview with LEE BYUNG HUN on The Man Standing Next and His Meticulous Analysis of Character


Published on February 14, 2020 by BH Entertainment


LEE HEE JUN on his riveting performance as no-nonsense Chief KWAK in "The Man Standing Next"


Published on February 14, 2020 by BH Entertainment



  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

movie1.gif THE MAN STANDING NEXT is now being shown in US cities, please check your cinema screening schedules. (AMC)


February 10, 2020


‘Man Standing Next’ a powerhouse Korean thriller

The political thriller, based on the events that led up to the assassination of the South Korean president in 1979, is a fascinating history lesson.


Cary Darling Houston Chronicle


Byung-hun Lee in the South Korean film 'The Man Standing Next' Photo: Showbox

The engrossing South Korean political thriller “The Man Standing Next” delves into a chapter of Korean history probably little known to the majority of Americans: what led to the assassination of president Park Chung-hee in 1979.


If director Woo Min-ho’s film, based on the non-fiction book “Chiefs of Namsan” though some names have been changed, is to be believed, the man responsible was neither hero nor villain but a man trapped in the middle — between his ambitions and his morals as well as conflicting interests, including those of U.S. officials who were becoming increasingly frustrated with the South Korean leader as he was becoming more dictatorial.


South Korean star Byung-Hun Lee (“The Magnificent Seven,” “Terminator Genesys”) is Kim Kyu-peong, the head of the KCIA, South Korean’s intelligence agency and once a firm ally of the president (Lee Sung-min). In fact, Kim is so close to the cold and mercurial Park that he is believed to be the next in line — “the man standing next.”


But events are unfolding that could turn Kim’s world upside down. Two rivals within Park’s inner circle are gunning for Kim: the hotheaded chief of security Kwak Sang-cheon (Lee Hee-joon) and a mysterious figure code-named Iago after the villain in Shakespeare’s “Othello” who seems to have Park’s ear and handles his murky finances.


Then there’s Park Yong-gak (Kwak Do-won), a former South Korean official and friend of Kim’s, who has fled to the U.S. to testify before Congress about the corruption inside the Park administration. Needless to say, the prez is not happy with Kim about this and wants it dealt with quickly.


Meanwhile, riots are breaking out in Busan in reaction to Park’s rule and Kwak wants to suppress them brutally, even suggesting the country could follow in the footsteps of Cambodia – which killed three million of its own citizens – by getting rid of a couple of million people and be no worse off.


So when Kim finally goes off and takes down Park, is he striking a blow for freedom or his own thwarted dreams? As has been pointed out in other reactions to the film, beyond the use of the name “Iago,” there’s definitely something tragically Shakespearean about “The Man Standing Next.”


The talky “The Man Standing Next” packs a lot of characters and history into its 113 minutes, so much so that some viewers with no knowledge of the real story might be left scratching their heads. Who is that guy again? He said what to whom?


Still, Woo Min-ho keeps things moving fairly briskly, managing to build suspense even as the audience knows it’s all going to end in tears and tragedy. In fact, the films begins on the day of the assassination and then goes back in time so it’s not a whodunit but a whydunit.


Stylistically, there are echoes of such notable ’70s American political thrillers as “Parallax View” and “The Conversation.” Even if you’re not sure what’s going on at any given moment, it is never less than compelling.


As if it weren’t known already, “The Man Standing Next” is proof that there’s much more to South Korean cinema than “Parasite.”




‘The Man Standing Next’

Unrated (bloody violence)

Running time:113 minutes

Language: In Korean and English with English subtitles

Where: AMC Studio 30, Houston

★★★★ (out of 5)

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

THE MAN STANDING NEXT is at number 5 Korean Box Office list. However, the daily audience tally is less than 10K. To date, the movie has garnered about 4.73 million admission. It's highly unlikely that it will reach the 5 million admission in the coming days due to upcoming new movie opening and those released recently.


movie1.gif Day 28:  2020.02.18 THE MAN STANDING NEXT at #5 Korean Box Office with 4.73 Million Audience Admission av-4239.gifSource: KoBiz 


February 18, 2020


THE MAN STANDING NEXT: Simultaneous VOD service and Theater Screening


Source: Newsis


Showbox provided,  photo@newsis.com


[Seoul = News Reporter Shin Hyo-ryeong] The movie 'Chiefs of Namsan' has began simultaneous VOD service on the 18th. and is now available through various platforms such as olleh tv, B tv, U + tv, IPTV, Digital Cable TV (Home Choice), Skylife, Mobile (Seezn, U + Mobile TV, Naver Series, Teabing, Wave, Kakao Page, Google Play Store, etc.), Web Hard, etc. 


In 1979, the Central Intelligence Director (Lee Byung-hun), who was called the second in power, depicted a 40-day story before the assassination of the president of the Republic of Korea. Director Woo Min-ho and Lee Byung-hun, who worked together in the movie 'Inside Men' (2015), collaborated again. Lee Sung-min, Kwak Do-won and Lee Hee-jun also participated in this acclaimed project.


February 14, 2020


Yoo Jung-ho Makes Special Appearance in "Crash Landing on You"

By William Schwartz on HanCinema.net





In the final stretch of "Crash Landing on You" Yoo Jung-ho has been gathering attention for his role as a special agent.


While his first appearance in the fourteenth episode did not seem overly significant, his role appears critical in the final stretch, where he consults with Oh Man-seok's character as to the actions of the lead actor played by Hyun Bin. The name of his character is Chief Kim.


Yoo Jung-ho has long had a career performing minor roles in the South Korean film industry. His casting in "Crash Landing on You" is noteworthy because he only just recently appeared in the high performing Lee Byung-hun centered spy drama flm "The Man Standing Next", where he played a man cloaked in shadows. In "Crash Landing on You" he appears to be playing a similar role.

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Source: awesome_hyeminee


Source: moviefilm_in (disclaimer: Google-translate)

"People have personality, country has nationality."


Source: jaeseung2618 (disclaimer: Google-translate)

The second movie I saw while on vacation CHIEFS OF NAMSAN
In the breathtaking development based on a true story, the actors gave crazy acting performances.

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

February 7, 2020 typewriter.gif




Jim Morazzini  Voices From The Balcony



A major hit in its native South Korea Min-ho Woo’s (Inside Men) The Man Standing Next is a dramatization of the 40 days leading up to the 1979 assassination of President Park Chung-hee. Text at the film’s start tells us that the filmmakers “have taken creative liberties for certain settings”. I’m not sure just how much liberty was taken. I know some names were changed and people combined into one character. But since his assassin never revealed his full motives I can see where this would be needed.


Kim Kyu-Pyung (Byung-Hun Lee, I Saw The Devil, Ashfall) is the director of the KCIA and President Park’s (Sung-min Lee, The Beast, Black Money) right-hand man. Former director Park Yong-gak (Do-won Kwak, The Wailing, The Man From Nowhere) has defected to the US and is giving the testimony that led to the Koreagate scandal. Kim is sent to deal with the problem.

He finds himself caught between his loyalty to the man he helped bring to power and a growing awareness of how corrupt that man has become. He’s also caught in competition with Head of Security Kwak Sang-cheon (Hee-joon Lee, The Drug King) for Park’s favour. Can he reconcile his duty to his country with his loyalty to its leader? Or will he be forced to take drastic measures to protect one or the other?



Image: @beansoup15


Since it is based on actual events we know how it will end. The fact The Man Standing Next works as a thriller is due to the excellent job it does of telling how it happened. The rivalries and manipulations going on behind the scenes. The growing paranoia of President Park. The question of how to deal with the Bu-Ma Democratic Protests. We see the pieces fall into place and the players become locked into their courses of action.

The cast all do an excellent job in their roles, which is a requirement of a film like The Man Standing Next. Byung-Hun Lee is especially good as the man in the centre of it all. He’s utterly convincing portraying someone who’s beliefs are unravelling around him. Woo does an excellent job with his cast, even the supporting players are on point.


The Man Standing Next should appeal to anyone who likes this kind of thriller. It’s one of the few recent movies that run near two hours and didn’t feel overlong to me. The setting, and for some, the unfamiliarity of the events, should also add some interest to the film.

Capelight Pictures will open The Man Standing Next at theatres across the U.S and Canada on February 7th. DVD and VOD release will follow later in the year.



Reviewer  Jim Morazzini

Review Date  2020-02-07

Author Rating 1star 1star 1star 1star gray

Title  The Man Standing Next
Description The Man Standing Next is a dramatization of the 40 days leading up to the 1979 assassination of President Park Chung-hee

Upload Date  February 7, 2020

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of good words on Director Woo Min Ho, too. He must be so relieved that THE MAN STANDING NEXT is an overall b.o. success & critically praised, we are very glad as well.


February 14, 2020


Movie Review - Man Standing Next, The

by Jay Seaver eFilmCritic.com

Overall Rating: "The President's Last Game"
4 stars / Worth A Look: 100%


"The Man Standing Next" is a pretty fair example of a movie that takes the known facts of recent history and stitches them together in the way that most resembles a thriller. The suspense comes as much from the craft as the pieces of that history where one doesn't know the exact details, meaning the most exciting set piece is in the middle rather than the climax. There's no mystery for many watching the film in South Korea, but at least some tension.

After a brief flash-forward to 25 October 1979, the film rolls the clock back 40 days to show Park Yong-Gak, the former director of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency giving testimony before the United States Congress about the corruption and autocracy prevalent in their supposedly-democratic ally. He also announces plans to publish a memoir, incensing President Park (Lee Sung-Min), who dispatches current KCIA head Kim Kyu-Pyeong (Lee Byung-Hun) to get his predecessor under control. Kim returns with the manuscript and a warning, that the American CIA is tracking a figure they call "Iago" who secretly controls a large faction of the agency. Could that be Gwak Sang-Cheon (Lee Hee-Joon), the head of the President's personal security who seems far too much of a hot-head to be any kind of secret mastermind?


(Note that while the events of the film map fairly closely to actual history and real people, most of the names have been changed.)


This story ends with President Park's assassination, and whether Gwak's testimony in Washington set events in motion or was just one of many examples of how an institution that had rotted from the inside finally falls apart is treated as something of fairly minor concern. Instead, writer/director Woo Min-Ho focuses on the process of the collapse - the increasing paranoia, the machinations that grow more complex and dangerous to what seems like little purpose, and the gradual realization by Kim that what he's doing has drifted far from public service. Both the outside forces at play and the factors in Park's fall that derive from his own personality are visible mostly on the edges of the film - at a certain point, Woo suggests, both dictatorship and the forces of international politics are machines that my run slow but are are only stopped when the larger one crushes the smaller.


Lee Byung-Hun shoulders most of that. We know what Kim is going to do from the start, but he conveys the pain of seeing things fall apart nicely, along with the anguish of apparently still having a bit of a conscience after years of bad deeds. Min doesn't give Lee any big speeches about having started out trying to make South Korea a great nation twenty years earlier, but there's an angry stiffness to his movements and a look of pain on his face that suggests he's realizing that his loyalties to friend and country no longer align. There's also more than a bit of "ruthless survivor", lest the audience start liking this guy too much. His opposite number is not so much Kwak Do-Won or Lee Hee-Joon as the more flamboyant adversaries but Lee Sung-Min as President Park; there's a tremor in his hands that seems equal part age and fearfulness and an almost frightening blankness to his affect. Park doesn't seem to want anything but to hang on to his position, and even in that case, he doesn't seem to want that for any particular reason in the way dictators are often portrayed as gluttonous, delusional, or fond of cruelty. He may have once been that, but now he's just disconnected and protecting his position by reflex.


That's potentially dry, and Woo doesn't necessarily add much in the way of lurid color to it. Instead, he goes for a sleek professionalism, meticulously creating a version of 1979 that looks striking but not garish and shooting on location in Washington and Paris to add scale, but also finds way to use scale nicely in more intimate settings to show President Park's heavy hand, like how all the food on a dinner table seems pulled to his side by gravity, or making every time someone whispers in the President's ear feel like a snub of Kim personally. The film has two impressively-executed action pieces, and even if here is naturally more suspense in Gwak being chased through the French countryside, the inevitable showdown in a KCIA safehouse is excellent in large part for how Lee suggests both Kim running on adrenaline and in a bit of shock once he comes down from it.


These events have been the subject of Korean films before, perhaps most notably in Im Sang-Soo's "The President's Last Bang", which takes a more satirical approach to the material. Woo's more respectful, straightforward telling likely won't have the same impact internationally as Im's, but it does a nice job of navigating the space between historical recreation and entertainment well in its own way.


Art by choy_hg


  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

February 22, 2020


January box office affected by virus


By Lee Jae-lim INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, local box office sales for January were their lowest since 2013, according to the Korean Film Council.


The total ticket sales last month was 16.8 million, a 7.1 percent decrease compared to January 2019.


Industry experts say that the plunge in theater sales is because of a lack of moviegoers during the Lunar New Year holidays due to the coronavirus. “The Man Standing Next,” January’s best-performing film only sold 3.8 million tickets over the month. The film was the only film to sell more than two million admissions in January.


Weekend box-office sales plummeted too. From Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, only 1.1 million people visited theaters. From Feb. 7 to 9, the number barely surpassed one million. Both numbers are lower than the weekends when Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, swept the country in 2015: From June 5 to 7, 1.5 million people still came to watch films.


Source: HanCinema.net




Art by __jjjinyyy

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Clip: aeio_movie



February 11, 2020

The Man Standing Next 2020 ★★★★½


Review by hockeyphotos on Letterboxd

If you like political thrillers, go see this. You don't need to know any of the facts. I honestly don't know if this movie is better if a) you are Korean and know all of it, though not necessarily this interpretation b) you know the bare bones, ie what Kim did and the futility of the act like me (mostly from other Korean movies) or c) don't even realize that is based on truth.

Lee Byung-Hun is amazing in this. The way he used tiny facial muscle movements and his eyes to portray his feelings while outwardly, for the most part, appearing loyal and calm was *****. I've mostly seen him in action type roles and knew he was very good, but not that he was this good. Looking at the list of his films, he's



been in a good number of Western movies, but none that I've ever had any desire to watch. I think I'll check off more of his Korean films before bothering with those.


If you feel like another movie after this, watch A Taxi Driver with Song Kang-Ho. Find some kleenex first. It is about the Gwanju uprising (similar to the one in Busan under Park) and the military coming in in 1980.


Forgot some stuff I wanted to mention:

1, When he slips and looks back - just so good and obv helped with the scenes in the car later, but so good and unexpected

2. The score was terrific. It didn't try to smack you in the face telling you IT IS TIME TO GET SUPER TENSE, but it did help build up that tension and if you stay thru all of the credits it gets even better. I have to go see if it can be streamed anywhere.



Art by shimgoon


  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

February 16, 2020

The Man Standing Next 2020 ★★★★

Review by SocietyReviews on Letterboxd typewriter.gif

When intelligence agencies go to war with the sitting president, who is the hero and who is the villain? The answer depends on whose endgame you ultimately side with. While it may be difficult for some to understand the nuance behind South Korean history and politics, The Man Standing Next does its best job (with a few creative liberties) to tell the story behind the assassination of South Korean President Park Chung-hee.


Set in the 1970s, former KCIA director Park Yong-gak (Do-won Kwak) travels to the United States in order to condemn South Korean President Park (Sung-min Lee) in front of Congress. President Park doesn’t take kindly to having his public image tarnished so he sends Current KCIA director Kim Kyu-Pyung (Byung-Hun Lee) to the States to defuse the situation. It is there that Kim learns that President Park has been defrauding Korea for many years by funneling state money into numerous Swizz bank accounts. Kim is then caught between a rock and a hard place as President Park orders the assassination of the former director and Kim’s good friend, leaving Kim to choose between his country and his president.


The Man Standing Next is an excellent story of espionage and government politics at play. Based on the real-life conflict that led to then-President Park being assassinated by his own KCIA director, the story gives a thrilling look at an internal battle between friendship and loyalty. The cast gives a stellar performance but the standout is Lee Byung-Hun, his character’s internal dilemma of continuing to support a boss and a friend who has clearly lost the best interest of his country is a gut-wrenching predicament. Yet despite knowing that he would go down in history as a traitor to his nation, Kim did what he felt he needed to do a fighter for the revolution.


Now whether you believe that Kim was truly a patriot is a debate for another day, keep in mind the film does take liberties with some of the facts. Ironically, President’s Park real-life daughter Park Geun-hye, was recently elected as Korea’s first female president only to be impeached due to a bribery scandal. The truth is always somewhere in the middle and for you guys who trust your government as far as you can throw them, The Man Standing Next is a solid pick one of the top films in the early film year.


Source: Jinhee Choi @jinheechoi_kcl


 A subdued psychological thriller, adapted from the non-fiction on the assassination of former President Park in 1979. The film exceeded my initial expectations!


  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

February 10, 2020

The Man Standing Next 2020 ★★★½


Review by Jay H on Letterboxd

Billed as a political thriller but more political drama about the real events that occurred in the plot to assassinate President Park and end his dictatorship rule of 18 years. Has a couple of thrilling flourishes but yeah drama. Very dense with a lot of story mechanics and details of how things were run in the 60s thru the 70s (this specific true event happened in 1979). May be helpful to know the real story going in but the almost 2 hour movie covers a lot of it but it’s so much.


Fortunately the core premise is rather straightforward (KCIA wants to take out the president). What’s good here is all these great actors doing their thing and inhabiting these characters (Lee Byung-hun is terrific).


It’s informative for those not aware of what went down. It’s richard simmons bananas. For a more humorous take on this story check out The President's Last Bang.


Art by han_0kim


I'm next to you, do whatever you want


  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

February 24, 2020


THE MAN STANDING NEXT is out of the top ten list and coming to an end with the screening. It's really hard on all of the movies released recently as some cinemas almost went empty over the weekend. At number 11, this movie has gained up to 4.74 million audience admission to date. It could have been many more tickets sold or at least 5 million.. with the unforeseen situation, it's just not what meant to be.


The main cast, in particular Lee Byung Hun has received a lot of critical recognition for their performances. Clearly THE MAN STANDING NEXT will be a strong contender at the coming movie awards in Korea.


Source: hykwon.hyk (disclaimer: Google-translate)


I wanted to stay long ...
Now alone in the movie theater that ran to the unfortunate heart to send ㅠㅠ
We wish you someday to reopen and take care of yourself !!!!!



THE MAN STANDING NEXT Opening in Indonesia on February 26



  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...