Re-Watch: Busanhaeng [Train to Busan] (2016)

Busanhaeng
Director: Sang-ho Yeon
Writer: Sang-ho Yeon, Joo-Suk Park
Cast: Yoo Gong, Soo-an Kim, Yu-mi Jung, Dong-seok Ma, Woo-sik Choi, Sohee, Eui-sung Kim
Seen on: 9.10.2020
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Seok-Woo (Yoo Gong) is busy with work and he doesn’t really have time for his daughter Soo-an (Soo-an Kim). After he gets her the wrong birthday present, she wants to go home to her mother who is divorced from Seok-Woo and lives in Busan. Seok-Woo is less than happy about that idea, but finally gives in and boards the train from Seoul to Busan with Soo-an the next day. But even as they make their way to the train station, something seems to be off. It’s only after the train has left, though, and the passengers find themselves trapped with zombies, that they realize how off things really are.

Train to Busan pretty much blew me away when I saw it the first time. So, I wanted to make sure to re-watch it before seeing the (quasi) sequel, on the one hand, to make sure I haven’t been making the film better in my head than it was and, on the other hand, to see an excellent movie again. Fortunately, Train to Busan absolutely holds up – it is still a fantastic film.

The film poster showing the main characters of the film running through debris in front of a train.
Continue reading

Gisaengchung [Parasite] (2019)

Gisaengchung
Director: Bong Joon Ho
Writer: Bong Joon Ho, Jin-won Han
Cast: Kang-ho Song, Sun-kyun Lee, Yeo-jeong Cho, Woo-sik Choi, So-dam Park, Lee Jeong-eun, Jang Hye-jin, Park Myeong-hoon, Ji-so Jung, Hyun-jun Jung
Seen on: 22.10.2019

Content Note: (critical treatment of) classism

Plot:
The Kim family – father Ki Taek (Kang-ho Song), mother Chung Sook (Jang Hye-jin) and their adult children Ki Woo (Woo-sik Choi) and Ki Jung (So-dam Park) – are barely scraping by on odd jobs, and the occasional grift. When Ki Woo hears of a position as an English teacher for the wealthy Park family, or rather their daughter, it’s a foot in the door for the entire Kim family. And they have no qualms seizing every opportunity, no matter what it may mean for other people.

Parasite is a fascinating film that develops in unexpected directions more than once. It alls packs quite the social commentary. I really enjoyed it.

The film poster showing the Kim family lounging in the Park family home. Their eyes are covered as if to anonymize them. A pair of naked legs can be seen at the front of the image.
Continue reading

Busanhaeng [Train to Busan] (2016)

Busanhaeng
Director: Sang-ho Yeon
Writer: Sang-ho Yeon, Joo-Suk Park
Cast: Yoo Gong, Soo-an Kim, Yu-mi Jung, Dong-seok Ma, Woo-sik Choi, Sohee, Eui-sung Kim
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 23.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Seok-Woo (Yoo Gong) is busy with work and he doesn’t really have time for his daughter Soo-an (Soo-an Kim). After he gets her the wrong birthday present, she wants to go home to her mother who is divorced from Seok-Woo and lives in Busan. Seok-Woo is less than happy about that idea, but finally gives in and boards the train from Seoul to Busan with Soo-an the next day. But even as they make their way to the train station, something seems to be off. It’s only after the train has left, though, and the passengers find themselves trapped with  zombies, that they realize how off things really are.

Train to Busan is one hell of a (zombie) film: emotional, funny and scary, it really works on pretty much every level while being absolutely entertaining.

Continue reading