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March 25, 2015

Song Kang-ho Named Best Actor

Source: The Chosun Ilbo

Song Kang-ho has been named Korea's most skilled actor. In a straw poll of 925 moviegoers by CGV in January and February, 28 percent picked Song. 

Asked whether they would watch Song's next film, 57 percent said yes.

From left, Song Kang-ho, Hwang Jung-min and Ha Ji-won 

Hwang Jung-min came second, followed by Ha Jung-woo, Choi Min-sik and Kang Dong-won. 

The rankings confirm to the axiom that a lead in his 40s improves the chances of the film becoming a hit in Korea.

Ha Ji-won, at 13th overall, was named best actress.

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Source: CINE21 NO.1072 2016-09-20 ~ 2016-09-27

https://zapzee.net/2020/07/29/deliver-us-from-evil-hwang-jung-min-says-he-wanted-to-make-a-movie-that-audience-could-enjoy/ ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ Hwang Jung Min Says He Wanted to Make a Movie that Au

Actor Lee Jung-jae sent actor Hwang Jung-min a coffee truck to the filming location of drama “HUSH”.    

.March 25, 2015
Two Korean films among 2014's top 10 foreign movies in North America
SEOUL, March 25 (Yonhap) -- Two Korean films -- "Roaring Currents" and "Ode to My Father" -- ranked among the top 10 best-selling foreign films that opened in North American theaters last year, the movies' investor-distributor said Wednesday.
"'Roaring Currents' and 'Ode to My Father' took sixth and ninth place, respectively, garnering US$2.59 million and $2.28 million in cumulative sales," CJ E&M said, citing recent data from Rentrak Corp. that provides a box office tracking service in North America.
This marks the first time in eight years since "The Host," a 2007 film by director Bong Joon-ho, that a Korean film was included as one the top 10 foreign films in box office rankings.
"In the United States, the two films soundly benefited from their success in their home country thanks to the short time gaps between their releases in the U.S. and Korean markets," said Lee Yoo-min, who is in charge of the company's investment and distribution of films in Americas.
"Roaring Currents," a historical action flick about a famous 16th-century naval victory against Japanese invaders and "Ode to My Father," an epic drama about a father's struggle to support his family through the country's turbulent modern history, opened in the U.S. two weeks and one week after their releases in South Korea in July 2014 and December 2014, respectively.
The two films drew 17.6 million and 14.2 million viewers in local theaters.

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Guest adikkeluangman

The production team of 'TWENTY' release parody posters of 'The New World'
The production team of 'TWENTY' released parody posters of 'The New World' in celebration of surpassing 2 million viewers.
Recently, movie 'TWENTY' surpassed 2 million viewers on its 12th day, and the film's production team released parody posters of movie 'The New World.'
The posters show the main characters of 'TWENTY' parodying posters of 'The New World,' which was one of the most successful film of 2013.

'TWENTY' is a comedy film that shows a story of three 20 year-old friends, and Kim Woo Bin, Lee Jun Ho, and Kang Ha Neul played as the three friends. Lee Jung Jae, Choi Min Shik, and Hwang Jung Min played main characters in 'The New World,' and many fans and netizens are showing hot reactions for the parody posters.
The posters have captions that read, 'Embarrassing, but glorious days of three men,' 'You should join me for a blind date,' 'I thought this part-time job would be the last one,' and 'I'd like to go to a karaoke.'
Meanwhile, 'TWENTY' is a movie about many a series of troubles that three 20 year-old friends go through together.
Both of the movies shared same distributor. :D

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May 12, 2015

GANG Dong-won and HWANG Jung-min Confirmed for A VIOLENT PROSECUTOR

LEE Sung-min Also Joins Project Set to Roll Next Week

by Pierce Conran /  KOFIC

pPFncNRQrFUqfYUcXYUm.jpgFollowing speculation that first surfaced a few months ago, star actors GANG Dong-won and HWANG Jung-min are both confirmed for upcoming thriller A Violent Prosecutor. LEE Sung-min has also signed on to the project, which will mark the debut of director LEE Il-hyeong.

HWANG will play the titular violent prosecutor who finds himself imprisoned for a murder he did not commit. Behind bars he meets the con artist played by GANG, whom he enlists to help him clear his name.

Following the record-breaking success of Ode to My Father (currently the second most successful Korean film of all time), HWANG is on a hot streak, with several highly anticipated projects slated for release this year, including RYOO Seung-wan’s hard boiled thriller Veteran, NA Hong-jin’s rural mystery Gokseong and the expedition drama The Himalayas.

Meanwhile, GANG has been busy following the end of his military service, appearing in YOON Jong-bin’s period action extravaganza Kundo: Age of the Rampant and E J-yong’s melodrama My Brilliant Life last year. He is also the co-lead, along with KIM Yun-seok, of the in-production mystery thriller Black Priests.

Director LEE formerly served as an assistant director on both YOON’s Kundo: Age of the Rampant and Beastie Boys (2008). Production on A Violent Prosecutor will commence next Monday (May 18th), with distributor Showbox/Mediaplex eyeing a release at some point next year.

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May 21, 2015

'Ode to My Father' to Be Screened at U.S. Congress

Source: The Chosun Ilbo


One of the biggest box-office hits this year "Ode to My Father" will be the first Korean film ever screened at the U.S. Congress. 

The screening was organized by U.S. Congressmen Charles Rangel and Ed Royce along with Korean-American communities there and will be shown on June 3 ahead of President Park Geun-hye's visit to the U.S.

The film's director Yoon Je-kyoon will attend the screening.

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June 4, 2015

'Ode to My Father' screened at U.S. Congress

The South Korean box-office hit "Ode to My Father" was screened at the U.S. Congress Wednesday as part of efforts to highlight the pains of separated families and the alliance between the two countries.

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), a decorated Korean War veteran, and Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, hosted the special screening at the Congressional Orientation Theater. It marked the first time a South Korean film has been shown at Congress.

The movie is South Korea's second-highest-grossing film of all time, drawing some 14.2 million viewers since its December release as it struck a chord with older generations who have witnessed how South Korea overcame the 1950-53 Korean War, poverty and other hardships to become what it is today.

The film, which tells the story of an ordinary father who sacrificed himself to support his family, is known for heart-breaking scenes of a sister of the protagonist being separated from her family during the Korean War and then being reunited with the family decades later.

It is also known for spectacular scenes of a massive evacuation operation that pulled some 105,000 U.S. and South Korean troops and about 98,000 refugees from North Korea to safety in the face of oncoming Chinese and North Korean troops during the war.

Dozens of American and South Korean veterans of the Korean War were among some 200 people attending the screening, including retired Rear Adm. Robert Lunney, who helped evacuate about 14,000 people aboard the S.S. Meredith Victory during the operation.

"People exclaim that we did a very brave thing. All we did, as you know in the military, you carry out your orders and you do your duties. You're not thinking of doing anything courageous. You're doing your job. That's what we did," Lunney said.

"Only in retrospect, we realize perhaps it was something more important," he said.

Lunney said his captain, Leonard LaRue, was the key to the success.

"When I asked why, he said, 'I did the right thing.' He looked on the beach as we did and saw thousands of people. A sea of humanity. There were people and they wanted to be saved and we were there to help them. And he said therefore, there was no decision to be made. We just do the right thing. You go in and you do the best you could," he said.

U.S. Representatives Charles Rangel (D-NY), a decorated Korean War veteran, and Ed Royce (R-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, hosted the special screening at the Congressional Orientation Theater, Wednesday. (AP)

Royce said the movie is a "reminder of the losses and the terrible devastation that Koreans faced during the war" and a "reminder about the price paid by so many during those very, very difficult times."

"Today when you visit South Korea, it is phenomenal to see the incredible power, ingenuity, productivity and freedom that people experience in South Korea and our hope in the future is that human rights can come to North Korea as well," he said.

Royce also called for reunions of Korean Americans with their loved ones in the North. Earlier in the day, he and Rangel sent a letter urging Secretary of State John Kerry to work harder to facilitate such reunions.

Rangel said South Koreans built one of the world's largest economies from the war's ashes, but despite such economic successes, he said that "they are still torn from their families."

Also attending the screening was the film's director, Yoon Je-kyoon.

"I am honored that 'Ode to My Father' was screened at a meaningful place like this and I hope this movie will help Americans and veterans get a better understanding of Korea," he told reporters. "As a director, I feel rewarded in that a movie can transcend borders and have effects on many people." (Yonhap)

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June 7, 2015

Song Kang-ho, Jeon Do-yeon named best actors in survey

A survey of 10,447 moviegoers conducted by Maxmovie on May 11 and 12 showed that actors Song Kang-ho and Jeon Do-yeon were considered the best actors by Korean audiences. 

In the male category, Song Kang-ho (known for films like 2013’s “Snowpiercer”) was followed by Choi Min-sik (“Oldboy” from 2003) and Ha Jung-woo (2013’s “The Berlin File”). In the female category, Jeon Do-yeon, whose movie “The Shameless” was recently screened at the Cannes Film Festival‘s Un Certain Regard section, was closely followed by Kim Hye-soo, whose film “Coin Locker Girl” was shown at Semaine de la Critique in Cannes.

Song Kang-ho was also at the top of the list of “favorite actor,” followed by Ha Jung-woo and Hwang Jung-min (2014’s “Ode to My Father”). In the female category, Kim Hye-soo surpassed Jeon Do-yeon to take the top spot, with Jeon Ji-hyeon (from the TV series “My Love from the Star”) coming in third. Jeon’s upcoming film “Assassination” is set to open in local theaters in July.

Conspicuously absent from the male cateogry was Lee Byung-hun, who had been a steady presence on top actor lists. He will also be coming to the big screen this summer via “Terminator Genisys.” 

By Won Ho-jung (hjwon@heraldcorp.com)

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June 26, 2015

The likely blockbusters for summer 2015

BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr] INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily


Posters for this summer’s box office lineup from Korea’s four major film distributors. From left, Showbox’s “Assassination,” CJ Entertainment’s “Veteran,” Next Entertainment World’s “The Beauty Inside” and Lotte Entertainment’s “Memories of the Sword.” Provided by each distributor

Summer is always an exciting season for movie aficionados because there is an abundant choice of films at the theaters. 

And it is an exciting and anxious period for film distributors because it is the time they bid high by releasing their most anticipated projects.

After a series of rearranged opening dates, the four major distributors in Korea - CJ Entertainment, Lotte Entertainment, Showbox and Next Entertainment World - are confirming their summer season lineup. 

Below is the Summer of 2015’s most anticipated releases. 

Showbox’s “Assassination”

Star director Choi Dong-hoon of “The Thieves” (2012) returns with a heavier film both in terms of budget and ambience by revisiting the 1930s, when Korea was under Japanese colonial rule.

Acknowledging that the younger generation (including himself) is not very aware of that dark era, Choi said that he was determined to introduce a fictional four-member team that has an assassination scheme to wipe out key figures of the Japanese regime. 

The 18 billion won ($16.2 million) production includes a stellar cast including Lee Jung-jae, Ha Jung-woo and Cho Jin-woong. Above all, the appearance of Jun Ji-hyun, arguably the fantasy woman for each and every Korean man, assured a lot of limelight since the film got underway. 

Jun plays talented sniper Ahn Ok-yoon, who is also the team’s leader. Diverging from her extravagant and flashy roles in the hit television drama “My Love From The Stars” and blockbuster “The Thieves,” Jun shows a more humble demeanor playing a hardheaded independence fighter. 

During a press event on Monday at Apgujeong CGV in southern Seoul, Jun revealed that looking natural while holding a rifle was her biggest challenge. That led to strenuous rehearsals performing gun-shooting actions while leaping between buildings.

Actor Lee, who plays Yeom Seok-jin, a member of Korea’s provisional government, said that he lost more than 15 kilograms (33 pounds) to play the role and struggled with the agonizingly complex mind of Yeom. 

The film opens on July 22. 

CJ Entertainment’s “Veteran” 

When it comes to summer box office choices, there is no better formula than a simple plot packed with action and humor.

The upcoming crime-action film “Veteran” directed by Ryoo Seung-wan will be the closest thing to that this summer. 

Director Ryoo, who demonstrated his way with audiences’ hearts in films like “The Berlin File” (2012) and “Crying Fist” (2004), teamed up with some of the nation’s top-notch actors including Hwang Jung-min and Yoo Ah-in.

Hwang, who is dubbed the “10-million-viewers actor,” took on the character of tough detective Seo Do-chul, who shows no mercy when coming across unjustifiable actions. 

While investigating a high-profile case, Seo finds out that arrogant young millionaire Jo Tae-oh (Yoo Ah-in) is pulling some strings behind the scenes. However, no matter how rigorously Seo’s team pursues him, Jo always escapes with the help of his great wealth and loyal followers.

The two men’s face-to-face denoument will be the highlight of the movie. 

Maverick comic actors Yoo Hae-jin and Oh Dal-su will shine as the film’s scene-stealers. 

“I wanted a vivid depiction of each and every unique character,” said director Ryoo in a press release. 

“I hope that the refreshment of this two-hour film will be worth more than 200 or 2,000 hours of a joyful movie experience,” he added. 

The film is set to open August 5.

Next Entertainment World’s “The Beauty Inside”

If someone is tired of mega-budget films that are full of shooting, running and destruction, “The Beauty Inside,” a fantasy romance directed by Baik Jong-yeol, is this summer’s must-see movie. 

But this idiosyncratic film is not like romances people have seen before since it centers on a love story about a man named Woo-jin who wakes up every day in a new body. The bodies are of varying ages and nationalities, and even different genders. 

The different actors who play Woo-jin include Yoo Yeon-seok, Lee Dong-wook, Park Shin-hye and Juri Ueno. 

The story unfolds as Woo-jin falls in love with furniture store salesperson Yi-soo, played by Han Hyo-joo, who is confused by his many incarnations.

The film’s release date is August 20. 

Lotte Entertainment’s “Memories of the Sword”

After delaying the release date due to lead actor Lee Byung-hun’s personal scandal early this year, period movie “Memories of the Sword” will finally open in August. 

Directed by Park Heung-sik of “I Wish I Had a Wife” (2000), the film’s late Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) setting depicts three swordsmen whose fates turned them against each other. 

Lee Byung-hun plays Yoo-baek. Jeon Do-yeon is Wol-so, while Kim Go-eun portrays Hong-yi. 

The film cost 10 billion won to make. The exact release date has not been confirmed. 

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June 26, 2015

Five Must-See Summer Movies Starring Korean Actors

BY Adrienne Stanley | KDramaStars

Lee Byung Hun is starring in two of the hottest movies of summer 2015. He is part of the stellar ensemble cast of the upcoming action film, "Terminator Genisys" and leads the visually stunning period film, "Memories of the Sword." 

In the fifth installment of the "Terminator" series, Lee portrays T-1000, the shapeshifting assassin who was a primary character in "Terminator 2: Judgement Day." In the latest film, T-1000 is a supporting role but one that drives the plot forward. 

Directed by Alan Taylor, "Terminator Genisys" stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke and Emilia Clarke. The film is scheduled for release on July 1. 

Lee Byung Hun also stars in the upcoming period film, "Memories of the Sword." Lee portrays Deok Gi, who commits an act of betrayal. Jeon Do Yeon is Seol Rang, a female swordfighter who is betrayed by Deok Gi. She plots revenge against him by training her daughter as a swordswoman. 

Rising star Kim Go Eun is Hong Ee, the young swordswoman who sets upon an arduous journey of revenge. 

"Memories of the Sword" opens in theaters in August 2015. 

Hallyu star Jun Ji Hyun leads the star-studded cast of "Assassination," a period film set within 1930's Korea. The spy action film focuses on the attempts of Korean fighters resistance who depart from China to assassinate a Japanese army commander. Jun is joined by top film star Lee Jung Jae, who previously appeared opposite the "My Love from the Star" actress in "Il Mare" and "The Thieves." 

Assassination" premieres on July 22. 

Han Hyo Joo is part of the huge ensemble cast of "The Beauty Inside," an upcoming arthouse romantic comedy. She portrays Yi Soo, a woman who is in love with a man who assumes a different body each day he wakes up. The role of Woo Jin, her lover, is portrayed by over twenty actors and actresses. The cast includes Park Shin Hye, Lee Hyun Woo, Yoo Yeon Seok, Lee Dong Wook, Park Seo Joon and Lee Beom Soo. 

"The Beauty Inside" is scheduled to premiere in August 2015. 


Hwang Jung Min follows the success of "Ode to My Father" with his portrayal of Detective Seo Do Cheol in "Veteran." "Veteran" also stars Yoo Ah In as Jo Tae Oh. 

"Veteran" premieres on August 5. 

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June 28, 2015

"The Assassination" VS "Veteran" VS "Memories of the Sword"

Source: TV Report via Hancinema.net


Summer is the time when the theaters are most competitive. July is near and blockbusters which cost more than 10 billion won, took the plates.

Distributors of these blockbusters spend many sleepless nights during the summer season. "The Admiral: Roaring Currents" set a record last year that no one can break, but this year, it's different.

Three distributors have come out with major films that no one knows of yet. There are only rumors.

However, each of these movies have a story to tell. The three distributors have no choice but to hold it in until the public has a say. -

Showbox – "The Assassination"

Showbox was first to throw out a hat into the ring.

Based in Shanghai in the 1930s, a group of assassins are called in to wipe out the pro-Japanese.

"The Assassination" comes out on the 22nd of July. Showbox gathered 10 million people with "The Thieves" in 2012 and is challenging its own record with director Choi Dong-hoon.

Showbox is determined to recover the loss of "KUNDO : Age of the Rampant" with "The Assassiantion". "Kundo" was first to come out last year but was no match for "The Admiral: Roaring Currents".

"The Assassination" stars Ha Jeong-woo, Lee Jeong-jae and Jeon Ji-hyeon.

- CJ E&M – "Veteran"

The second distributor CJ E&M is out with criminal movie "Veteran".

"Veteran" is about a group of investigators who track down a snobbish third generation plutocrat starring Hwang Jeong-min who starred in "Ode to My Father" last year. The movie is out on the 5th of August.

"Veteran" was lined up for release in May but internal reactions pushed it to August.

CJ E&M initially chose "Terminator Genisys" as its movie of the year but lost it and didn't have anything to bring about in the summer. However, "Veteran" came along and it became the savior that was going to recover the company image.

- Lotte Entertainment – "Memories of the Sword "

The final distributor is Lotte Entertainment. There were many ups and downs until it made its decision.

Lotte is coming out with "Memories of the Sword" at the end of August. At the end of the Koryeo Times, the best female sword fighter was a woman who had to hide her identity and sought to avenge her teacher and mother's death.

"Memories of the Sword" was initially scheduled to be released in fall last year but thanks to the Lee Byung-hun blackmail case, the movie was pushed from fall to winter, winter to spring and spring to summer. "Memories of the Sword" is unexplainable without Lee Byung-hun so it just waited for the right time. However, every good movie needs a good timing.

Lotte Entertainment is the only one without a 10 billion audience record. This summer, it hopes to break the record. The public's view of Lee Byung-hun is still not so warm although they have to admit, he's a good actor.

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July 1, 2015

'Veteran' actors hope to conquer summer with laughs and action


The press conference for the upcoming summer action film “Veteran,” at CGV Apgujeong Wednesday, was a gathering of some of the most trusted names in Korean cinema. 

The film is helmed by Ryoo Seung-wan, the director behind “The Unjust” (2010) and “The Berlin File” (2012), and the cast includes veteran actors like Hwang Jung-min, Yoo Hae-jin, and Yoo Ah-in. 

“The two hours will just fly by because you’ll enjoy the actors so much,” Ryoo said.

“Veteran” is about a Special Crime Squad of veteran detectives that goes up against the third-generation heir of an all-powerful conglomerate group. Hwang Jung-min plays a choleric detective who will stop at nothing to crack a case, while Yoo Ah-in plays the cocky and untouchable heir Cho Tae-oh, served by his trusty right hand, a ruthless executive surnamed Choi played by Yoo Hae-jin.

The cast is made up of tried and tested combinations, such as Hwang Jung-min and Oh Dal-soo of the blockbuster hit “Ode to My Father,” and Hwang and Yoo Hae-jin from Ryoo’s earlier film “The Unjust.” However, there are also some surprises in store -- model and singer Jang Yoon-ju makes an appearance as the only female detective on Hwang’s team, and Yoo Ah-in, known for his roles as humble and golden-hearted characters despite his bad-boy image, takes on his first wealthy and villainous role.

“It felt like home,” Yoo Ah-in said with a chuckle when asked about the shift in character. “I’m thinking about pursuing this type of role more in the future.”

The cast also said that Ryoo’s eye for action will be on full display in the film.

“(Ryoo) is excellent at shooting action, and all we had to do was move according to his direction. It was very comfortable,” said Hwang. “In this movie, we tried to make it as realistic as possible, the way people would actually fight in real life.”

Yoo Ah-in said that it was a new kind of action for him because of his character’s prestigious upbringing. 

“Of course, the fight scenes were very passionate, but it was also stylish, like fighting skills you’d have to pay to learn,” he said.

About her action scenes, Jang Yoon-ju said, “While (Hwang Jung-min) moved like a dancer and (Yoo Ah-in) was very stylish, I had a very rough and tough style. I tried to really reflect my character, Miss Bong, who is able to rough it out with the boys.”

According to Ryoo, the film has a meaningful message at its core, but it is presented in a fun and humorous way. “Just as the best teachers are those who can explain hard concepts in an easy way, I wanted to send an important message through entertainment,” he said.

“Veteran” opens in local theaters on Aug. 5.

By Won Ho-jung (hjwon@heraldcorp.com)

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July 1, 2015

Hwang Jung Min Talks About The Movie

Source: BNTNews


[by Sora Ghim, photo by Hwang Ji Eun] Movie 'Veteran' held its press conference on July 1 at the Apgujeong CGV.

'Veteran' is about a selfish, self-centered man from a wealthy family who is being chased by a veteran investigation team for a crime action film. It stars Hwang Jung Min, Yoo Ah In, Yoo Hae Jin, Oh Dal Soo, Jang Yoon Joo, Kim Si Hoo, Jung Woong In, Jung Man Sik, Jin Kyung, Yoo In Young, and Park So Dam.

Meanwhile, it will be released in theaters on August 5. (photo by bntnews DB)


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July 3, 2015

'Veteran' actors, behind-the-scenes: Hwang Jeong-min, Yoo Ah-in, Yoo Hae-jin, Jang Yoon-ju

Source: OSEN via Hancinema.net


Movie "Veteran" has revealed photos they took in the waiting room before their press conference.

On July 34d, "Veteran" has unveiled their waiting room photos they took before going into their press conference, which took place on July 1st.

The photos captured the natural and cheerful presence by Hwang Jeong-min, Yoo Ah-in, Yoo Hae-jin, Jang Yoon-ju. Director Ryoo Seung-wan also revealed the close relationship between the director and his actors.

Jang Yoon-ju of course shows off her outstanding body like a model as she is. 

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June 21, 2015

The 20 Greatest South Korean Actors Working Today

BY HANAJUN CHUNG Taste of Cinema

In addition to writing a piece on the best, individual performances, this piece is meant to celebrate the best actors currently working in South Korean cinema. For this list, I chose 20 individuals—a mix of male and female. Most of these people had their start in television and some also work concurrently in both mediums. Don’t expect much young, hot talent from dramas since this is mostly going to feature actors from their work in film.

Furthermore, to provide a challenge, I ranked them based on their film roles (and little T.V.) I’ve seen and read regarding. You can possibly guess a few of the top spots, but I can guarantee that I didn’t include a name or two on the list that matches the sensibility of many readers. 

20. Gianna Jun (October 30, 1981)

Notable roles: “My Sassy Girl,” “Daisy,” “The Thieves”

19. Ryu Seung-beom (August 9, 1980)

Notable roles: “Crying Fist,” “The Berlin File,” “The Unjust,” “Bloody Ties,” “No Mercy”

18. Kim Hye-su (September 5, 1970)

Notable roles: “Tazza: The High Rollers,” “The Hypnotized,” “Kick the Moon,” “The Thieves”

17. Kim Yun-seok (January 21, 1968)

Notable roles: “The Chaser,” “The Thieves,” “Hwayi: The Monster Boy,” “The Yellow Sea”

16. Kim Yunjin (November 7, 1973)

Notable roles: “Ode to My Father,” “Harmony,” “Shiri,” “Seven Days,” “Heartbeat”

15. Ha Jung-woo (March 11, 1979 )

Notable roles: “The Yellow Sea,” “The Terror Live,” “The Berlin File,” “Nameless Gangster”

14. Han Hyo-joo (February 22, 1987)

Notable roles: “Always,” “Masquerade,” “Cold Eyes”

13. Lee Byung-hun (July 12, 1970)

Notable roles: “A Bittersweet Life,” “J.S.A.: Joint Security Area,” “I Saw the Devil”

12. Jeong Jae-yeong (November 21, 1971)

Notable roles: “Broken,” “Confession of Murder,” “Castaway on the Moon,” “Silmido”

11. Yoon Yeo-jeong (June 19, 1947)

Notable roles: “The Taste of Money,” “The Housemaid,” “Hahaha,” “Actresses”

10. Doona Bae (October 11, 1979)

Notable roles: “A Girl at My Door,” “Cloud Atlas,” “The Host,” “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance”

9. Moon So-ri (July 2, 1974)

Notable roles: “Peppermint Candy,” “Oasis,” “A Good Lawyer’s Wife,” “The President’s Barber”

8. Hwang Jeong-min (September 1, 1970)

Notable roles: “Ode to My Father,” “A Man Who Was Superman,” “New World,” “The Unjust”

7. Yun Jeong-hie (July 30, 1944)

Notable roles: “Poetry,” “Taebaek Mountain,” “Splendid Outing,” “Night Journey”

6. Kim Hye-ja (September 15, 1941)

Notable roles: “Mother,” “Lifetime in the Country”/“Country Diaries” (T.V.)

5. Sol Kyung-gu (May 1, 1968)

Notable roles: “Peppermint Candy,” “Public Enemy” series, “Cold Eyes,” “Silmido,” “Oasis”

4. Jeon Do-yeon (February 11, 1973)

Notable roles: “Secret Sunshine,” “Way Back Home,” “The Housemaid,” “Untold Scandal”

3. Song Kang-ho (January 17, 1967)

Notable roles: “The Host,” “J.S.A.: Joint Security Area,” “The Attorney,” “No. 3”

2. Ahn Sung-kee (January 1, 1952)

Notable roles: “Silmido,” “Chilsu and Mansu,” “Unbowed,” “White Badge”

1. Choi Min-sik (April 27, 1962)

Notable roles: “Oldboy,” “Failan,” “I Saw the Devil,” “Crying Fist,” “Shiri”

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July 14, 2015

Hwang Jeong-min to star in third Ryoo Seung-wan film


Actor Hwang Jeong-min is set to play a role in “Gunhamdo,” or “Battleship Island,” under director Ryoo Seung-wan. 

Local media said the film will involve agents of an American spy group and Korea’s independence army trying to evacuate conscripted Koreans.

This will be the third collaboration between Hwang and Ryoo, who also worked together on “The Unjust” (2010) and “Veteran,” released earlier this year. 

The film is scheduled to begin shooting early next year.

By Ko Ji-seon (jiseonko@heraldcorp.com)

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July 15, 2015

Star-studded Korean films prepare to claim summer box office

High-profile directors and casts fill out Korean summer movies of every genre

The first half of 2015 was not kind to the Korean film industry. With the exception of “Ode to My Father” and “Twenty,” no Korean movies were able to make a big splash in theaters. 

Korean moviegoers opted for blockbuster Hollywood films like “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Furious 7,” “Mad Max” and “Jurassic World” or smaller surprise hits like “Kingsman: The Secret Service” and “Whiplash.”

Korean movies began to pick up at the box office with “The Classified File,” a true-story crime thriller that opened on June 18. That success was quickly followed by “Northern Limit Line,” with patriotic themes that continue to draw audiences to the box office three weeks later. 

As of Wednesday morning, “Northern Limit Line” had brought in 4.8 million moviegoers, remaining in second place at the box office lagging only behind Pixar’s hit “Inside Out.”

This seems to be just the beginning of Korean movies’ reclamation of the box office, with a variety of star-studded Korean films helmed by hit directors gearing up for the summer rush.

Drama/Thriller -- “Assassination” (Opening July 22)
Directed by Choi Dong-hoon

Poster for "Assassination" (Showbox)

The man behind “Tazza: The High Rollers” (2006) and the megahit “The Thieves” (2012) introduces a historical action drama this summer with a cast as impressive as his previous films. Jun Ji-hyun (Gianna Jun) rejoins Choi as an independence fighter in 1930s Korea who leads a team in an assassination attempt on two elite figures in the Japanese government ruling Korea. Lee Jung-jae, Ha Jung-woo and Oh Dal-su are some of the other actors filling out the plot‘s essential characters. 

Crime/Action -- “Veteran” (Opening Aug. 5)
Directed by Ryoo Seung-wan


Poster for "Veteran" (CJ Entertainment)

Ryoo Seung-wan, known for carefully crafted action sequences in thrillers like “The Berlin File” (2012) and “The Unjust” (2010), presents a veteran detective going up against a cocky, untouchable heir in “Veteran.” The leads of “The Unjust,” Hwang Jung-min and Yoo Hae-jin, join forces again with Ryoo alongside Yoo Ah-in and Oh Dal-su.

Comedy -- “Wonderful Nightmare” (Opening Aug. 13)
Directed by Kang Hyo-jin

Poster for "Wonderful Nightmare" (Megabox Plus M)

The writer behind the hit comedy “My Wife is a Gangster” takes the director’s seat in this family comedy about a stylish, single lawyer (Uhm Jung-hwa) who, through an unfortunate accident, suddenly finds herself trapped in the body of a housewife with two kids. Actor Song Seung-heon breaks his suave image to become the bewildered, loving husband to Uhm’s panicked character.

Historical drama -- “Memories of the Sword” (Opening Aug. 13)
Directed by Park Heung-sik

Poster for "Memories of the Sword" (Lotte Entertainment)

Director Park Heung-sik brings together three of Korean cinema’s hottest names in this historical drama about three swordsmen living at the end of the Goryeo era. Lee Byung-hun plays a man who betrays others to pursue his political ambitions, while Cannes favorite Jeon Do-yeon and rising star Kim Go-eun play two women who target him for justice and revenge. 

Romance -- “The Beauty Inside” (Opening Aug. 20)
Directed by Baik


Poster for "The Beauty Inside" (NEW)

Inspired by an advertising campaign, “Beauty Inside” promises to be trendy and visually captivating, with a director whose main expertise is in advertisement design. In the film, a woman (Han Hyo-joo) falls in love with a man who wakes up in a different body every morning. The man, Woo-jin, is played by a dizzying cast of A-listers including Park Shin-hye, Lee Bum-soo, Yoo Yeon-seok, Lee Dong-wook and Park Seo-jun. 

Horror -- “The Chosen: Forbidden Cave” (Opening in August)
Directed by Kim Hwi

Poster for "The Chosen: Forbidden Cave" (Daou Tech)

The director of acclaimed mystery film “The Neighbors” (2012) returns with a movie that has the classic markings of a Korean horror flick: ghosts and shamanism. Psychologist and exorcist Jin-myeong (Kim Sung-kyun) attempts to help art museum director Keum-joo (Yoo Sun), who feels something supernatural taking over her being and threatening her and her young daughter. Horror film darlings Yoo Sun and Cha Ye-ryun round out the strong, talented cast.

By Won Ho-jung (hjwon@heraldcorp.com)

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July 21, 2015

'Veteran' director: Justice will prevail


SEOUL, July 21 (Yonhap) -- Director Ryoo Seung-wan said Tuesday he wanted to portray the permanent value of justice in his new action film about a veteran detective who stands against an arrogant and cruel heir of a rich family.

"I realize the importance of social justice as I see my children grow up," Ryoo told reporters after a press preview of the movie. "I wanted to tell a story about something that seems to be old and familiar but never changes."

   The filmmaker, best known for carefully crafted action flicks such as "The Unjust" (2010) and "The Berlin File" (2012), said he wanted to do something vigorous and energetic after working on a series of action flicks that deal with complex social issues.

He said he conceived the idea of making a film about veteran police detectives full of positive energy to make the world better while interviewing them for "The Unjust," a crime drama that delved into the dark connection among a corrupt prosecutor, a detective and criminals.

Ryoo declined to comment when asked after whom he modeled the cocky heir of the family-owned conglomerate in the new movie "Veteran."

   "It's something that I can't say here. I have 'no comment' to give," he said with a smile.

"Aren't there many similar stories when you watch the news? Those things will come to mind quite often," he added.

Starring actors Hwang Jung-min, Yoo Ah-in, Yoo Hae-jin and Oh Dal-Su, the film will open in local theaters on Aug. 5.


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July 21, 2015

Review: VETERAN Deals A Knockout Blow

Pierce Conran TwitchFilm (for full review)


Korean action maestro Ryoo Seung-wan goes back to basics with his latest film Veteran, a breathless and hilarious crime thriller featuring a knockout performance from Hwang Jung-min. With fluid action choreography, punchy pacing and sharp editing, this infectious summer offering is a welcome return to form for the director after his underwhelming The Berlin File in 2013 and should be warmly received by fans.

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July 23, 2015

(Movie Review) 'Veteran': Thrilling, comical action movie

By Shim Sun-ah

SEOUL, July 23 (Yonhap) -- Director Ryoo Seung-wan's latest film "Veteran" provides light-hearted fun all the way through its 123-minute running time with its absorbing action sequences.

Actually, the plot is very simple. It's about a confrontation between a righteous police detective and an arrogant, heartless heir of a family-run conglomerate known here as "chaebol." There is no dramatic plot twist. Despite all this, the film is quite amusing.

This largely can be attributable to its thrilling action sequences, realistic lines and the harmony among the cast.

The movie starts with the story of a team of detectives at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency who round up a ring of car-sellers who smuggled used luxury cars abroad.

A truck driver who comes to know Seo Do-cheol (played by Hwang Jung-min), an honorable and hot-blooded cop, pickets then outside the gate of Sinjin Corp. whose subcontractor fired him simply because he joined a labor union.

The demonstration is spotted by Jo Tae-oh (Yoo Ah-in), the de facto owner of the company, and the trucker is brought up to Jo's office and assaulted while his small boy is forced to watch. He falls into a coma after tumbling down a staircase at the company. Sensing that Jo has something to do with the incident, Seo begins to track him.

Jo tries to hamper the investigation using all possible means - the law, money and power -- but Seo and his colleagues make the seemingly impossible fight possible.

You may as well expect breathtaking action scenes from this movie. Characters fight with their bare hands but the fight sequences are far from boring. Especially impressive is the car-chase scene at the climax of the film which was filmed at the center of Seoul's Myeongdong shopping district. Jo drives his car into a shopping street congested with people and vendors as Seo chases him, causing a series of collisions.

Ryoo, best known for carefully crafted action flicks such as "The Unjust" (2010) and "The Berlin File" (2012), appears to have used all the skills he has gained during his 20-year directing career focused on action and crime for this flick.

"Veteran" is full of humorous lines that make viewers giggle, even when thinking of the scenes later at home and work.

Aided by an all "veteran" cast, including Hwang, Oh Dal-su, Yoo Hae-jin and Cheon Ho-jin, the movie progresses sleekly and rhythmically all the way through. Oh plays the head of the detective team, Cheon his boss and Yoo a company executive who is Jo's relative and right-hand man.

Rising actor Yoo Ah-in shows a strong presence as a villain who is insensible to others' pain and engrossed with violence.

The only weakness here is that the characters are too flat. Seo is a good and righteous man who never sways before all the threats from the chaebol family while Jo is described as evil to the core.

But, again, that's okay because the movie is made to be light-hearted entertainment.

"Veteran" is set to open in local theaters on Aug. 5.


Shown is a scene from the new Korean film "Veteran" (Courtesy of CJ Entertainment) (Yonhap) Shown is a scene from the new Korean film "Veteran" (Courtesy of CJ Entertainment) (Yonhap)


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July 19, 2015

Is Production Cost Proportionate to Number of Audiences?
CHOI Dong-hoon’s Assassination bets winning move with a production budget of 18 billion won.

by Kim Hyun-jung / KoBizGOMkOqHPMTOkzJCoVJdm.png
There is no reason only big-budget films should draw many audiences.
In 2013, Mr. Go flopped with only fewer than 1.5 million viewers even though the film costs 25 billion won(USD 21million), the highest ever in Korea, to produce. But CHOI Dong-hoon, the director of Assassination has enjoyed a desirable phenomenon where increases in budgets for his films translate into bigger box office hits. The Big Swindle, his debut film already earned him a spot on the list of Korea’s commercially successful directors.
In 2006, Tazza: The High Rollers with a production budget of 5.1 billion won (USD 4.5 million) attracted 6.84 million viewers. In 2009, Woochi with a production budget of 12 billion (USD 10 million), 6.13 million viewers and in 2012, The Thieves with a production budget of 14 billion won (USD 12 million ), 12.98 million viewers. Woochi’s production budget which is a high budget for a Korean film, equals the production budget for only six minutes of the Hollywood mega blockbuster Avatar.
Assassination, a new film by CHOI costs 18 billion won (USD 15.7million) to produce. Memories of the Sword, Veteran and The Beauty Inside picked as the four most anticipated Korea films for the summer season along with Assassination cost nine, five and 4.5 billion won, respectively to produce. “The increase in the budget made me ask myself, ‘Am I crazy now?’”, CHOI said about a burden of the growing budget. CHOI will receive the opening-day box-office scorecard of his new film on July 22 when Assassination will hit screens. 

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