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July 24, 2015

Actor Hwang Jung-min: Moviegoers most important in choosing script

SEOUL, July 24 (Yonhap) -- Actor Hwang Jung-min said Friday that his standard of choosing a script is whether he feels like showing it to audiences.

"There are books that are interesting enough to make me want to give them to my friends as a present. I choose screenplays just like that," Hwang said during an interview with Yonhap News Agency ahead of the domestic release of his new film "Veteran" on Aug. 5. "It's not important whether the role offered to me is small or not."

   Since movies are for audiences, not directors or actors, it is most important that they provide fun and meaning to the people's individual lives, the 45-year-old actor stressed.

Hwang plays a hot-blooded police detective tracking an arrogant and heartless heir of a family-owned conglomerate, known here as "chaebol," in the forthcoming film.

It has much in common with "The Unjust" (2010), in that they were made by the same director, Ryoo Seung-wan, with the same actor, Hwang, and a similar setting symbolizing a corrupt society.

The actor says "Veteran" is far more entertaining in comparison.

"I don't want to relate this movie with 'The Unjust' because they have totally different stories," he said. "Veteran is a popcorn movie well-tuned to audiences entertainingly. Or It may not be because they would become so engrossed in the movie that they cannot eat popcorn," he said with a laugh.

His preceding title, "Ode to My Father," became one of the most-viewed Korean films ever, drawing more than 14 million viewers in local theaters since it opened in December.

Hwang answered "no" when asked if the success put a burden on him before starting the new film.

"I'm nothing but a petty actor," he said, adding that he has had times when his theater play could not open because there was not a single viewer.

"I believe if I'm happy and we (the cast and staff) are happy while filming, viewers will also be happy."

   Hwang, who began his acting career in theater plays, plans to produce and take a lead role in a theater musical, "The Orchestra Pit," at the end of this year. This would mark the second time he has produced a musical.

"I have always been thinking that I should go back to the stage sometime since I started from there. I'm trying to work harder because stage plays are the art of actors if I say that movies are the art of directors."


Actor Hwang Jung-min poses for a photo during an interview with Yonhap News Agency in Seoul on July 23, 2015. (Yonhap) Actor Hwang Jung-min poses for a photo during an interview with Yonhap News Agency in Seoul on July 23, 2015. (Yonhap)


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

July 25, 2015

‘Veteran’ Is Based On Stories Of Real Detectives

Source: BNTNews


[by Sora Ghim] Movie ‘Veteran’ is about a veteran investigation team chasing a man from a wealthy family for a criminal action entertainment. Detective Seo Do Chul persistently chases after a wealthy man and will show the refreshing teamwork between a veteran investigation unit. Using actual observations as a basis, ‘Veteran’ creates realistic fun.

Capturing the hearts of audiences with keen insight and action in ‘The Unjust,’ director Ryu Seung Wan is back with a new detective story. In order to capture the realistic image of a city investigation team, he personally studied detectives, raising the realism of the story and characters. In particular, the various dialogues the team members of the investigation unit say were created under the motif of the actual stories of detectives.

From the opening of the movie, it captivates with the arrest of a foreign used car gang with Seo Do Chul personally handcuffing the criminal. The leader of the investigation squad’s comedic line, “Among team members, even the smell of fart has to be the same to work,” shows his humanity while causing laughter. Ryu Seung Wan stated, “If ‘The Unjust’ showed the dark side of detectives, ‘Veteran’ shows the professional mind of detectives that make them do their best at their job and also the fun side of them. I contacted detectives that I personally know and went around to find them. I melted a lot of the conversation said among detectives on site and used many actual episodes in the movie.” 

With this, anticipation for the characters and story raises. Using the information Ryu Seung Wan personally obtained as his base, he completed a humorous and realistic yet new character that will entertain audiences.

Meanwhile, ‘Veteran’ will be released in theaters on August 5. (photo by CJ Entertainment)


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July 25, 2015

Hwang Jung Min Gives Away Incentives From “Ode to My Father” to Staff Members



It was relayed that actor Hwang Jung Min, the star of the hit movie “Ode to My Father,” gave away his incentives from the movie to the staff in the company as bonuses.

On July 25, local media OSEN reported that associates of the movie said, “Hwang Jung Min recently received incentives from the production company JK Film for the hit movie ‘Ode to My Father,’ and he gave the money back to all of the staff members of the company.”

According to the source, “Thousands of dollars’ worth of bonus was distributed among the entire staff. The movie did do exceptionally well, but Hwang Jung Min’s thoughtfulness toward the staff that he works with is special.”

The bonus was a big present to the staff, who are working hard in the hot summer months.

Meanwhile, Hwang Jung Min received huge praise after portraying the main character, Deok Su, in “Ode to My Father” which premiered last December.

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July 26, 2015

Hwang Jung Min, the incentive of ‘Ode to My Father’ bonus to all employees of entertainment company

Source: Innolife.com


The actor Hwang Jung-Min made an issue by his good deed.

On 25th, a media reported, “The actor Hwang Jung-Min gave bonus to all employees of the entertainment company, by the incentive that he received from the movie ‘Ode to My Father’(Yoon Je-Gyun director). He shared the incentive from the production company JK Film, by the box office of ‘Ode to My Father’ that grabbed 14 million audiences.”

In succession they noticed. “Every employee received bonus about a million. Though the movie did well, but he cares staffs a lot.”
Also it is known that he has given bonus before.

Meanwhile, Hwang Jung-Min is having the release of ‘Veteran’ ahead on August 5th. 

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July 26, 2015

Hwang Jung Min gave out his 'Ode to My Father' incentive pay to the production staff as bonuses

Source: OSEN via Hancinema.net


According to industry insiders on the 25th, actor Hwang Jeong-min used the incentive pay he received from 'JK films' off the success of his movie "Ode to My Father" to give the production staff a bonus. The movie has sold 14 million tickets during its theatrical run.

The insider said "a few thousand dollars were given out to all the staff members as bonuses. While it is true that the movie was a big hit, Hwang Jeong-min has always been very generous to the staff he works with. It was intended be add towards the staff's vacation funds". In "Ode to My Father" which was released last December,

Hwang Jeong-min made theaters fill up with tear up by playing a character who lived through the turbulent times from the Korean war during the 50s to the present. More current, his crime action movie "Veteran" is opening on the 5th of next month in which he plays a member of a veteran police squad chasing after a self-centered 3rd generation rich guy.  

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July 23, 2015

No More Hollywood: Big 4 Korean Films in Summer War
Assassination, Veteran, Memories of the Sword, and The Beauty Inside at the Starting Line.

by Ha Sung-tae / KoBiz


Korean cinema in the first half of 2015 was certainly in a crisis. It was quite different from the usual “crisis panic” that emerges every time Korean film shares drop. It was much more tangible this time due to issue of downward-standardization of Korean commercial films.
The only two films to have attracted more than 3 million viewers were Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island and Twenty. Gangnam Blues, The Chronicles of Evil and The Classified File narrowly met the break-even point with 2 million viewers.
According to the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) report on ‘Korean cinema in May 2015’, the share of Korean films in the first 5 months of the year was 43%. It may seem like only a 3% decrease compared to last year, but if examined closely, it is apparent that this figure owes greatly to the success of Ode to My Father, referred to as a “10 million viewer film,” which was released in December 2014.
Still, some maintain that the sense of crisis is over exaggerated, and argue that the 'Big Four' may sweep the box office in July and August.
Starting with Assassination by CHOI Dong-hoon to be released on the July 22nd (distributed by Showbox), Veteran on the August 5th (distributed by CJ Entertainment), Memories of the Sword on the August 13th (distributed by Lotte Entertainment), and lastly, The Beauty Inside on August 20th (distributed by New Entertainment World), all four will be released during this period, to fight the assumption of so called the “crisis” of Korean cinema.
Let us check out the central selling points of these Big 4 films that the Big 4 distributors are making every effort to promote. 
Assassination: Splendid cast, Even More Splendid Action

Could there be any more attractive tag-line than "the next film by CHOI Dong-hoon of The Thieves“? At least in Korea, CHOI is one of the rare directors whose work has been successful both commercially and critically. His films are very engaging for viewers and, at the same time very well made in terms of dramatic completeness. This 18 billion won (USD 15.6 million) budget film by CHOI got its inspiration from a photo of the National Independence Army in the 1930s. 
CHOI said in an interview that he tried to focus on “the people who are not different from us, but had to live differently to follow their beliefs in the historically tragic time.” Unlike Tazza: The High Rollers, which was a noir, or The Thieves, which was a caper movie, Assassination is distinctively different from his previous films. Here, CHOI attempts to deliver a more focused theme and serious drama, dealing with s revenge plot by an assassination team under Japanese Occupation.
To be sure, the splendid cast and their splendid acting are also at the center of attention for this film. Gianna JUN, the muse for CHOI since The Thieves, shows her superb presence as the leading female gear of the film. LEE Jung-jae, HA Jung-woo, OH Dal-su, CHO Jin-woong, and CHOI Duk-mun certainly live up to their name value as well.
The open studio in Shanghai which runs as large as 1,980,000㎡ Mitsukoshi Department Store and the old streets of Seoul built in Goyang city, are all great settings for splendid action to attract viewers. With all these strong points, Assassination is already expected to garner “at least 10 million viewers” even before release.
Veteran: Cool, Thrilling and Fun!


In 2011, RYOO Seung-wan practically made a grand slam of major awards at the 32nd Blue Dragon Awards with his film, The Unjust, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Script. RYOO is now back two years after his film,The Berlin File , was viewed by more than 7 million. Veteran has quite a few similarities with The Unjust. RYOO confesses that he himself sees “quite a bit of relation between the two films, as if they were different sides of the same coin.“
According to the director, “while The Unjust tells a story of those defeated by power, Veteran shows their resistance against power.” To be sure, the vivid dichotomy of police vs “chaebol” is pretty much the same as in The Unjust. Whereas RYOO Seung-bum’s prosecutor is replaced by YOO Ah-in’s third generation chaebol, the police role is still played by HWANG Jung-min. And this duel between the two main characters is supported by YOO Hae-jin, OH Dal-su, JANG Yoon-joo, KIM Si-hoo and so on.
It is also good news that the action scenes are further strengthened thanks to JUNG Doo-hong, the best known martial art and action director in Korea, who helped build the reputation of RYOO as an “action specialist”. If The Unjust can be classified as a social noir, Veteran is promoted as a crime-entertainment-action film. In RYOO’s words: “I wanted it to be cool, thrilling and entertaining like a refreshment.” It is expected to be his brightest and most upbeat entertainment movie, and to be a quite a success in theaters along with Assassination.

Memories of the Sword: A Korean Style Martial Art Movie 

Memories of the Sword is certainly an eye catcher. First of all, it is a martial art action drama whose genre has rarely been attempted in Korean cinema. It would be already enough to attract movie goers to feature JEON Do-yeon, LEE Byung-hun and KIM Go-eun in martial arts action, which, until now, could only be found in foreign films like KING Hu’s A Touch of Zen, LEE Ang’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or Hero by ZHANG Yimou. 
“In the last years of Koryo Dynasty where the sword is power itself; a man who dreamt of being a King turned into a traitor; and 18 years later, two swords are pointed at him. Three swordsmen with different paths and their inevitable destiny.“ is the tag-line. Among the notable features of the film is wire action. The teaser film demonstrates more audience friendly emotional acting that differs from the Chinese style. '
The performance of action scenes and the display of emotion by JEON Do-yeon who proved herself one more time in The Shameless and KIM Go-eun who was in the center of attention again in Coin Locker Girl are also noteworthy. The actress-geared Korean style martial art action genre is certainly interesting for many people. Could Memories of the Sword open a new landscape in the Korean style martial art action genre?
The Beauty Inside: The star of Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity becomes a movie

Lastly, The Beauty Inside is based on the Intel-Toshiba joint funded social film The Beauty Inside, which made a huge impact on the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity three years ago. This social film runs 40 minutes in total and consists of 6 episodes, featuring a man who transforms into different personas everyday. This unique theme was told in a sympathetic narrative and won the heart of numberless people in the CF business worldwide in 2012. Director BAIK (real name: BAIK Jong-yeol), who has an ongoing reputation of sensitive and sensual directing in the CF business, has turned it into a feature film with the same title.
Interestingly, The Beauty Inside might as well be referred to as an “actor blockbuster.” To play the role Woo-jin who totally transforms into different appearances every morning, as many as 21 actors and actresses have been invited. From rookies to top stars, including a Japanese actress Ueno Juri, along with PARK Shin-hye, CHUN Woo-hee, LEE Beom-su, LEE Jin-wook, KIM Joo-hyuk, YOO Yeon-seok, and KO Asung, they all agreed to be in the movie as they were fascinated by the unique idea and script.
BAIK explains that he thought hard whether to extend and change the original, but then he finally decided to keep the original as it is and just add some more episodes. Whereas the original focuses on the ways in which a man falls in love, BAIK added other stories to it. 
The Beauty Inside is drawing attention thanks to the unique theme, sensual frames, a whole variety of actors and their unique performance. it is also the only work among the Big 4 that has a distinctive love story, adding some variety to the field of other big movies geared to action and blockbuster style. 

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July 29, 2015

Swaggering ‘Veteran’ pulls no punches
Director Ryoo Seung-wan goes back to basics with refreshing martial arts-style action

Yoo Hae-jin (left) and Yoo Ah-in in “Veteran” (CJ Entertainment)

After being bombarded this year with back-to-back Hollywood blockbuster movies filled with exploding cars, collapsing buildings, and cities turned upside down, it seemed that bigger, louder and hotter was the only recipe for the success of action flicks.

In “Veteran,” director Ryoo Seung-wan brings in an all-star cast led by Hwang Jung-min and Yoo Ah-in to flip that assumption on its head.

The reunion of Ryoo with stunt coordinator Jung Doo-hong (the pairing seen in Ryoo‘s “The Unjust” and “The Berlin File”) does not disappoint. The car chase scene at the movie’s climax, shot in the middle of Myeong-dong, is well-deserving of the praise it is receiving. However, it is the on-foot chases and hand-to-hand fight scenes dotted throughout the movie that sets “Veteran” apart.

At the center of action is the choleric detective Seo Do-cheol (Hwang Jung-min), who has a good heart but lacks self-restraint when it comes to beating up perpetrators. When an acquaintance truck driver falls into a coma after a visit to the offices of Jo Tae-oh (Yoo Ah-in), the heir to an almighty conglomerate called Sinjin Corp., Seo smells a rat and begins an investigation on Jo that is blocked at every turn with bribes and trickery. 

Hwang Jung-min (left) and Yoo Ah-in in “Veteran” (CJ Entertainment)

“I wanted an underdog hero,” said Ryoo at a news conference at CGV Wangsimni. “Not a movie-star hero, but someone like the troublemaking uncle in the family. He’s kind of hard to put up with as family, but he’s a great friend.”

This typical David and Goliath, good vs. evil setup manages to stay entertaining through its two-hour running time thanks to the way the two sides are portrayed. Do-cheol and Tae-oh may be archetypes, but the supporting roles played by scene stealers Oh Dal-su and Yoo Hae-jin add complexity and hilarity, showing that not everything is black or white.

Simplicity notwithstanding, Yoo Ah-in gives what is arguably one of his best performances to date as Jo Tae-oh. 

He was given a tall order, because his character was meant to encompass all the social evils the movie sets out to criticize. “Jo Tae-oh is a monster, but he as an individual is not important,” said Ryoo. “What’s important is the social system that created him, protected him until he became that way.”

Hwang Jung-min in “Veteran” (CJ Entertainment)

Tae-oh is cold-hearted, selfish, and violent, with no respect for human dignity, and Yoo brings out those qualities for full display in every vicious drug-addled smile. The light banter that is prevalent throughout the film goes taut and tense whenever Tae-oh turns up his maliciousness to stare down Hwang Jung-min’s Do-cheol.

Funny, smart, and never too serious for comfort, “Veteran” is refreshingly cathartic both in dialogue and action, with every jab, kick, and slap of the handcuffs landing with a satisfying visual and auditory effect. The box office is heating up with “Assassination” soon to be chased by Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation,” but “Veteran” should put up a good fight.

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

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July 29, 2015

Which 10 Films Did Koreans Enjoy the Most in 2015 So Far?


The Korean Film Commission recently announced the results of the top box office movies in Korea for the first half of 2015. The data is from January 1 to June 30, 2015.

10. The Classified File (Kim Yoon Suk, Yoo Hae Jin)- 2.33 million tickets sold.

9. Big Hero 6 (Animated, Disney)- 2.8 million

8. Twenty (Kim Woo Bin, Kang Ha Neul, Lee Junho)- 3.04 million

7. Fast and Furious 7- 3.25 milion

6. Mad Max: Fury Road- 3.83 million

5. Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island (Kim Myung Min, Oh Dal Soo, Lee Yeon Hee)- 3.87 million

4. Jurassic World- 4.75 million

3. Kingsman: Secret Agent- 6.13 million

2. Ode to My Father (Hwang Jung Min, Kim Yoo Jin)- 8.91 million

This movie premiered on December 12, 2014 so that total is 14.35 million.

1. Avengers: Age of Ultron- 10.49 million

Out of the top 10 films, only four were Korean films- “The Classified File,” “Twenty,” “Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island,” and “Ode to My Father.”

The total number of tickets sold so far in 2015 is 95.07 million for a total of 761.3 billion won (about 658.2 million USD).

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July 30, 2015

'Veteran' set for worldwide release

SEOUL, July 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korean action film "Veteran" will open in theaters worldwide starting next month, its distributor said Thursday.

Directed by Ryoo Seung-wan, the film was licensed to 28 countries and regions, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Turkey and Singapore, at the Hong Kong International Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival in the first half of 2015, CJ Entertainment said.

Starring Hwang Jung-min, Yoo Ah-in, Yoo Hae-jin and Oh Dal-su, the film is about a veteran detective who stands against an arrogant and cruel heir of a rich family.

It will first open in South Korean theaters next Wednesday. Starting at the end of August, it will be released in Vietnam, North America, Indonesia, Hong Kong and more countries in succession.

"A lot of international buyers are interested in Ryoo's films since they're both artistic and marketable," said Kim Seong-eun, a sales manager at CJ E&M.


A scene in the upcoming South Korean action movie "Veteran" (Yonhap) A scene in the upcoming South Korean action movie "Veteran" (Yonhap)


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July 29, 2015


by Pierce Conran / KoBiz

2015|124 MIN | Thriller, Action 
CAST HWANG Jung-min, YOO Ah-in, YOO Hae-jin, OH Dal-su
RELEASE DATE August 5, 2015 
CONTACT CJ Entertainment 
Tel +82-2-371-8147 
Fax +82-2-371-6340 
E-mail filmsales@cj.net
Scaling down from his most recent globe-trotting outing The Berlin File (2013) but maintaining his blockbuster status with a prime August release date, RYOO Seung-wan returns to theaters with his latest film Veteran, a crime-thriller heavy on action choreography and comedy that is poised to be a crowd-pleaser during the hottest (and busiest) theatergoing season of the year.
Reuniting with his The Unjust (2010) stars HWANG Jung-min and YOO Hae-jin and throwing YOO Ah-in into the mix as the antagonist, Veteran is another male-driven feature from RYOO that sees the action auteur in familiar territory, highlighting the kinetic choreography of long-time partner JUNG Doo-hong and the boisterous humor of star HWANG, not to mention his co-star OH Dal-su and supporting player BAE Sung-woo.
The story is a simple one, featuring Detective Do-cheol(HWANG) as the veteran cop of the title who takes an instant dislike to corporate heir Tae-oh (YOO) and will stop at nothing to take him down when a laborer ends up in a coma after a trip to his office.
Instead of inviting spectators into a complicated tale of deception and espionage, the way he has with his most recent pair of features, RYOO opts here to allow the characters to shine in situation-driven action and comedy sequences that easily glide from one to the next, much like he achieved with the similarly streamlined story of his 2006 feature The City of Violence. Yet he’s learnt a lot about pacing in the nine years since, and his action highlights are carefully woven into a tight narrative that sidesteps melodrama and superfluous side stories.
Coming off of the biggest hit in his 25-year career, Ode to My Father (now the second most successful Korean film of all time), star HWANG is playing at the top of his game and he’s never been busier, with no less than three more major films angling for release over the next 12 months (The Himalayas, Gokseong and A Violent Prosecutor). Veteran sees him play to his strengths, as he endows his brazen protagonist with a winning charisma and plays opposite friendly faces he’s already known to share chemistry with (YOO Hae-jin and OH Dal-su).
YOO Ah-in’s villain is easy-to-hate and YOO Hae-jin is suitably smarmy as his assistant but it’s the comedic co-stars that steal the show here, particularly an on-point OH Dal-su, currently gracing screens in box office behemoth Assassination, as HWANG’s embattled superior, who create the energy that keeps RYOO’s film gunning forward at all times.
Though all the ingredients for success are there, with a cool soundtrack and sharp cinematography and editing in addition to the aforementioned, Veteran is dropping into a crowded marketplace. RYOO’s latest goes to bat straight after fellow action films Assassination and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. We’ll find out soon enough if audiences can make some room for more.

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July 31, 2015

Review: ‘Veteran’ offers big thrills with a comedy twist

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


Police officer Do-chul (Hwang Jung-min), left, and a young millionaire Tae-oh (Yoo Ah-in) have a major showdown in Myeong-dong, central Seoul, in the upcoming film “Veteran,” directed by Ryoo Seung-wan. Provided by CJ Entertainment

Director Ryoo Seung-wan has taken on everything from comedies to spy films and crime thrillers. But he has never let go of his signature style: movies loaded with action.

But his newest film “Veteran” adds a twist.

The flick is packed with intense action scenes including fist fights, gun battles, car chases and even boxing. 

But it’s also very funny, a change from his latest works like “The Berlin File” (2012) and “The Unjust” (2010), both of which took a serious and critical approach toward society.

“Veteran” requires no hard-thinking or reading between the lines. The conflict is very clear from the beginning, with a hot-tempered police officer trying to take down a reckless young millionaire who isn’t afraid of anything in the world.

The righteous cop is played by Hwang Jung-min who has often played detectives on-screen. 

This time, Hwang’s character Do-chul is the type of guy who doesn’t know how to compromise with anything unjust. 

The film is, admittedly, not very realistic - it’s unlikely that a single police officer would be able to take down a corrupt chaebol heir, however unfortunate that may be. 

But movies are often a form of wish-fulfillment, and “Veteran” is a good example. Director Ryoo admitted that the film was born from an out-of-the-blue desire for more upright police officers like Do-chul, who can stand up to the more unsavory characters in life.

Do-chul’s opponent, Tae-oh, is played by Yoo Ah-in, trying out a villainous role for the first time. Yoo, 28, has played a good-natured kid in “Punch” and another naive boy who falls in love with an older woman in the JTBC drama series “Secret.”

Yoo’s past roles never seemed to quite fit, even if he was always lauded for his acting abilities. But things really seem to click with this character, and it feels like he’s finally landed the right part. 

Tae-oh’s character gives no explanation about what has made him into a demonic heir who is addicted to drugs, knocks up girls and betrays his longtime assistant. 

He has always slipped through with his malicious acts using money and his insurmountable chaebol background. But with Do-chul cornering him at every turn, the bad lad finally goes ballistic. 

The final confrontation taking place in bustling Myeong-dong, central Seoul, is a heart-pumping chase scene followed by a bare-fisted battle on the road. 

It is something expected from the beginning, but watching the bad guy fail tremendously in front of everyone (including the audience) is very pleasurable. 

Although there are a number of times when it feels like Ryoo is trying too hard to extract comedy in scenes where he didn’t need to, “Veteran” is still a film you won’t regret watching in theaters this summer.

It opens nationwide on Wednesday. 

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August 3, 2015

‘New World’ stars competing for summer season


Actors Park Sung-woong, Lee Jung-jae and Hwang Jung-min -- a trio who starred in the movie “New World” in 2013 -- are now competing for summer movie supremacy this year. 

Park will appear in the movie “Office” as a detective who investigates the criminal case of an office worker who kills his entire family and disappears. 

Park, formerly a villainous character in “New World,” is set to make a transition in his role in the new movie. “I used to take the role of charismatic characters doing severe action scenes, but this time, I decided to become a detective, Jong-hun, who is rather gentle,” he said.

Lee is currently starring in the “Assassination,” playing the role of Yeom Seok-jin and portraying both toughness as a chief and insecurity at the same time. Lee said, “I had to lose a lot of weight and had to stay awake for two days for the role.”

Hwang will appear as another detective, Seo Do-chul, in the movie “Veteran.” He said he studied every detail of detectives whom he actually met in order to naturally portray the role. 

“Veteran” is set to premiere Wednesday, while “Office” will debut Aug. 27. “Assassination” got a head start, having already achieved an accumulated audience of more than 6 million viewers as of Tuesday. 

By Lee Hye-won (hyewonlee@heraldcorp.com)

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August 3, 2015

Highly anticipated 'Veteran' to join summer action

Source: The Korea Times

Hwang Jung-min in a scene from "Veteran" / Courtesy of Naver

Korean buddy cop movie "Veteran" is joining a fierce summer theater battle.

With Korean action movie "Assassination" dominating theaters and becoming this year's No.1 Korean movie, and "Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation" fast approaching top spot, the public has plenty of action from which to choose.


Due for theater release on Wednesday, "Veteran" has garnered positive feedback, with critics praising a seasoned cast that includes Hwang Jung-min, Oh Dal-soo and Yoo Ah-in and an easy-to-follow storyline that does not require head-scratching. The movie has been described as a Korean version of Hollywood car chase action movie "Fast and Furious."

Directed by Ryoo Seung-wan, the movie features tough and moral police officers fighting for social justice against a rebellious heir to a powerful conglomerate. 


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August 5, 2015

'Veteran': Review

By Jason Bechervaise ScreenDaily


South Korea’s action-maverick auteur Ryoo Seung-wan (The Berlin File) is back at the top of his game with this highly engrossing and entertaining action thriller that sees a tenacious detective take on a tyrannical heir to a powerful conglomerate. Commercial Korean cinema has had a poor year so far both commercially and critically, but Veteran, which bows August 5 domestically and has signed a raft of international deals, could be a sign that things are about to improve.

Ryoo concentrates on delivering a solid and uncomplicated script filled with energy and humour; Veteran tackles the corruption associated with Korean conglomerates with a sharp wit and slapstick sensibility.

While Ryoo Seung-wan’s name may attract some attention, particularly with festivals,ultimately it’s the quality of the finished product that will help drive sales and buyers have already responded with sales to 28 countries including most large Asian territtories for this solid, light-hearted Korean action thriller.

The film follows the affable if somewhat unorthodox detective Do-chul (Hwang Jung-min) who, after busting an international car smuggling ring, is invited to a TV production party by a friend. There he meets the obnoxious corporate heir Tae-oh (Yoo Ah-in) who rubs the detective up the wrong way. After observing Tae-oh’s reckless behavior Do-chul later starts to ask around about his background but is prevented from doing so by his team leader.

Soon, however, a truck driver Do-chul knows ends up in a coma following an apparent suicide attempt after he was brutally beaten and humiliated in Tae-oh’s office over unpaid wages, Do-chul receives a phone call from the driver’s nine-year-old son and immediately begins to search for answers which lead him to the wealthy organisation the Sun-jin Group.  

In tackling Veteran, Ryoo seems to have taken on board some criticisms of his convoluted The Berlin File, and concentrates on delivering a solid and uncomplicated script filled with energy and humour. Like with The Unjust, Ryoo tackles the corruption associated with Korean conglomerates and the justice system, but he does so with a sharp wit and slapstick humor. The film does take a darker turn when the brutal Tae-oh unleashes his wrath, but Ryoo is careful to ensure the changes in tone are not too jarring.

Ryoo, who often collaborates with locally renowned action choreographer Jung Doo-hong, is responsible for some of the most audacious action scenes in Korean cinema as evidenced by The Berlin File and City of Violence and although Veteran in some ways is less ambitious in terms of set-pieces, it benefits from its deeper focus on storytelling. There are still a sufficient number of exhilarating and comical action sequences choreographed by Jung and shot by Choi Young-hwan to keep Ryoo’s action fans happy, in particular the gripping finale set in one of Seoul’s major shopping districts where Do-chul chases Tae-oh’s car on a police motorbike. 

One of Korea’s busiest actors Hwang Jung-min (The Unjust, Ode to My Father) makes detective a likable screen presence, while Yoo Ah-in (Punch) is impressive as the film’s villainous Tae-oh. Supporting roles are similarly convincing includin reliable character actor Oh Dal-su (Assassination) as the team leader.

There are no real surprises as Veteran’s narrative unfolds and the themes of corruption and justice it tackles may not be new, but are addressed in a refreshing and entertaining manner. Korean films may be frequently associated with violence and grim narratives, but here is a work which doesn’t want to take things too seriously and yet still has a message to deliver in its search for justice.  

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August 5, 2015

‘Veteran’ No. 1 at box office


(CJ Entertainment)

Korean movie “Veteran,” released Wednesday is continuing with a strong opening showing, drawing nearly 440,000 viewers as of Thursday. The movie is expected to do well, as it is currently ranked No. 1 in the box office. 

Directed by Ryoo Seung-wan, “Veteran” portrays the action scenes between Jo Tae-oh (Yoo Ah-in) and a team of veteran police officers. 

Jo Tae-oh is a young arrogant rich tycoon who believes money solves everything. Seo Do-Chul (Hwang Jung-min) on the other hand, pursues Jo, with the help of a task force, aware of Jo’s indiscretions.

“Veteran” is quick to chase Korean movie “Assassination” and the American “Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation,” the two that have recently dominated theaters.

By Lee Hye-won (hyewonlee@heraldcorp.com)

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August 6, 2015

Hwang Jung Min & Yoo Ah In's 'VETERAN' attracts 410 thousand viewers on it first day
Source: STARN News

Hwang Jung Min and Yoo Ah In's 'VETERAN' has attracted 410 thousand people on its first day.

According to Korea Film Council's database summary, movie 'VETERAN' has attracted 439,676 viewers on its first day, dominating over a great number of other major films that were released recently.

One most surprising fact is that 'VETERAN' attracted more viewers than 'Mission Impossible : Rogue Nation' and 'Assassination,' and this indicates the colossal anticipation that many movie fans had for 'VETERAN.'

Furthermore, the opening score of 'VETERAN' exceeds that of 'Ode To My Father (184,756 viewers),' 'The Attorney (232,031),' and 'Miracle In Cell No.7.'

In addition, 'VETERAN' has defeated the first opening score of 'The Berlin File (273,647 viewers)' and 'Ode To My Father (184,756 viewers),' the two biggest hits of director Ryu Seung Wan.

'VETERAN' is a movie that evolves around a detective named Seo Do Chul (played by Hwang Jung Min), who develops a plot against corrupted Chaebol, and a great number of movie fans are showing explosive reactions for Hwang Jung Min's phenomenal collaboration with Yoo Ah In and director Ryu Seung Wan.

Meanwhile, Hwang Jung Min, Yoo Ah In, Yoo Hae Jin, and Oh Dal Soo have played in 'VETERAN' as read roles, and the movie is getting played at every movie theaters all across Korea.

/Reporting by Lee Mi-Ji en@starnnews.com

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August 7. 2015

Director has hope for film industry
‘The sense of crisis in the industry is quite huge, especially since the first half of this year. .?.?. So every movie we do is important.

BY KIM YEON-JI [summerlee@joongang.co.kr] INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily


Director Ryoo Seung-wan of the new action movie “Veteran,” which opened yesterday, seems confident. 

On its opening day, the movie recorded the No. 1 advance booking rate of 26.4 percent, pushing Hollywood blockbuster “Mission: Impossible ? Rogue Nation” down on the list, according to the Korea Film Council. Many critics have been raving about the film even before the opening. 

“Because [the movie] is about the world I know and the story about people I know, it was comfortable for me,” said Ryoo in a recent interview with Ilgan Sports, an affiliate of the Korea JoongAng Daily. 

The movie is about a third-generation business tycoon named Jo Tae-oh, a supercilious character who is pursued by a local detective. Some of the scenes feel so real, they will remind the audience of particular companies or people. 

Ryoo, who wrote and modified the screenplay seven or eight times, tried to offer lighter entertainment this time around, in contrast to his previous film, “The Berlin File,” which told the story of North Korean spies. 

Q. You directed and wrote the screenplay for this movie. How did you like the work?

A. Because this is the world I know, there is a big difference from the time I did “The Berlin File.” I, of course, feel more comfortable when I work on things I know already, just like when jokes or humorous comments become more fun when you and the listeners already know basic things about each other. But my feeling comfortable doesn’t mean that the work is easy. It just means that I’m comfortable [working out the troubles].

How was working with Yoo Ah-in for the first time?

He was the perfect choice to play Jo Tae-oh. His face is very distinct, so I don’t need to add any explanation on that, and his acting as well. He was very good at keeping himself in good condition. 

Supermodel Jang Yoon-joo tried acting for the first time in this movie. Why did you cast her?

The role she was playing was important, and when I put her face on the casting board, I just felt something. It felt like the movie got fresher. She was excellent in analyzing the lines during the audition and maybe it’s because she studied movie directing before. She was different from other actresses, and she brought the freshness. I was so thankful that the top model dropped everything and put forth her best effort to act in this movie. 

A scene from the newly released movie, “Veteran,” by director Ryoo Seung-wan. [JoongAng Ilbo]

No one dies in your movie. Isn’t that rare to see in an action movie?

No human dies. When it comes to scenes where I have to deal with human life, I can’t really write scenes where people die so easily, though I did write scenes of people dying before. I didn’t want the movie to be based on personal revenge, and I want it to show how a person gets justice through the legal system. 

The break-even point for this movie will be reached when it garners 2.8 million ticket sales. Based on the quality of the movie, it seems that you must have spent more. How was this possible?

I’m good at making good quality movies with a low budget (laughs). It was possible because producers and staff cooperated with one another well. The team was great. In the movie, we don’t show the house of tycoon Jo Tae-oh. I wanted to shoot Jo’s house, but I gave up because it would have cost a fortune (laughs). 

The movie has to compete with many other Korean movies, including “Memories of the Sword” and “Assassination.” Do you think you are ready for battle?

I want all the movies to do well. The sense of crisis in the industry is quite huge, especially since the first half of this year. This crisis is not so simple because it is coming from the generation change [of the audience and movie experts]. So every movie we do is important. “Sword” and “Assassination” need to do well so that other movies in the same genres, martial arts and action, can get another chance to become big. For the overall industry, we all need to do well. 

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