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Horror Movie A Day: MEMORIES OF MURDER (2003)
I'm thinking the killer can't have any hair down there... a total baldie



Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s installment of A Movie A Day. [The regular A Movie A Day list has been frozen in order for me to do an all-horror line-up for October. I’ve pulled many horror titles from my regular “to see” stack and have ordered many more horror and thriller titles to make sure we have some good stuff. Like the regular AMAD column all the movies I’m covering are films I have never seen, but unlike the regular AMAD column I will not connect each film to the one before it. Instead I will pull a title at random every day and watch whatever the movie Gods determine for me.] I somehow missed this one while it was doing the fest circuit and getting chatted up all over the place. I got the DVD forever ago, but it always stayed on the “to watch” stacks that ended up getting so big that I started this column. I knew it was going to be great, I knew I’d be in for a surprise, but I always let my regular day to day workload keep it on the back burner. If you have been like me, putting this flick off just because there’s so much else going on, I have to strongly, strongly, strongly advise to knock down the rest of your movies on your Netflix queue and put this one at the very top.

Seriously. I love Joon-ho Bong’s THE HOST, but this movie’s got that one beat. Now, I will say that MEMORIES OF MURDER doesn’t have one single scene that is as awesome as the introduction of the creature in THE HOST, but as a complete feature it’s a better movie. The film is based on the true story of South Korea’s first serial killer and the incompetant police force trying to catch him. Set in the ‘80s, the detectives can’t fall back on technology, even if they had it, to capture the killer, but that doesn’t really matter. You get the impression that even if they had the best forensic team with the top equipment, the main detectives would still find a way to fuck it up. But that’s not to say that they’re unlikable. Not at all. Kang-ho Song is the main character and he’s quickly becoming one of my all time favorite actors. He was the father in THE HOST and The Weird of the amazing Noodle Western adventure flick THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE WEIRD. He’s so great in this movie. He’s got a great face for one, but his real talent is how he sells humor without losing reality as a character. His Detective Park Doo-Man could have easily been a caricature. He’s a horrible policeman, he’s an arrogant incompetent man, but he’s still likable. It blows my mind how I walk away from this movie without hating this man, but Kang-ho Song is the sole reason I don’t. The writing is strong, but I can tell that even on the page this character demanded an actor like Song to work. And if you had any doubt that Joon-ho Bong is one of the world’s best working filmmakers then all you need to do is look at this movie. His shot selection, pacing, performances, color palate and the deep emotional punch he can deliver is top shelf. He also has the talent of telling a story that defies classification. This is a story about the men hunting down a relentless murderer, strangler and raper of women, but it doesn’t get to SILENCE OF THE LAMBS levels. There is a stalking scene in this film that is genuinely creepy, as creepy as anything in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS… okay, I take that back. Whatever the fuck was in that bathtub at the end of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS gives that movie the edge, but my meaning is that this scene is as creepy and suspenseful as you could want, but the movie’s overall tone doesn’t fit into that category.

I’ve been told that this film can best be compared to David Fincher’s ZODIAC and that’s right on. Sure, you have the surface similarities (serial killer avoiding the detectives hunting him down in a period setting), but Bong’s talent is equal to Fincher’s… and coming from me, that’s a helluva big compliment. Also to be commended is Sang-kyung Kim, as a Detective from Seoul who comes in to help with the investigation. His story is the most tragic and really the heart of the movie. When he first arrives, you can tell he’s appalled at the poor policework. He watches evidence being planted, confessions beaten out of suspects and does so silently, while doing the real policework seemingly on his own. He has one single mantra and that is that reports don’t lie, the black and white facts on paper are to be trusted and hold the key to finding the identity of the murderer. The main arc of the movie is following this character as he falls, ultimately becoming just like the flawed detectives he came in to help and culminating in a fantastic scene where he breaks his mantra, betrays his core belief, and essentially loses the ability to actually capture this murderer. MEMORIES OF MURDER is a fantastic film, beautifully shot by Hyeong-gyu Kim and held together musically by Taro Iwashiro’s beautifully haunting score. It’s not a film of answers, but of characters driven to do their best even if their best falls woefully short of actually bringing their target to justice. The final scene in the movie is haunting, even if it’s in bright daylight, with no visual atmosphere to support that feeling. It’s all in the character work and the two hours that led up to that point. What’s brilliant about it is it gives the audience a degree of closure without betraying the rest of the film or the real events. Final Thoughts: MEMORIES OF MURDER is a moody masterpiece of filmmaking that you can’t easily shake after viewing. There were those that questioned the inclusion of this film in the horror list… While I would agree after having seen it that I wouldn’t classify it as a horror film, I have to say that it felt perfectly at home in an October genre run. I can’t classify it as a horror film, but I also can’t classify it as not a horror film. That’s part of the reason I loved the movie so much. It’s a movie full of flawed characters, real characters that you can’t help but love. From the half-retarded original suspect to the brutal detective who always fucking kicks everybody… the entire cast is likable, engaging. Add on to that fantastic direction, a great script, an amazing score and breathtakingly, bleakly beautiful cinematography and you get one that is a must see for anybody who even thinks they like movies.

Here are the titles in the drawing pool for the rest of October: Wednesday, October 1st – Friday, October 31st: H-MAD! Horror Movie A Day! Check out the list here! Now it’s time to pull the next HMAD! Next up is:

Interesting. Here’s another one I’ve been meaning to see for quite a while. See you folks tomorrow with that one! -Quint quint@aintitcool.com



Previous Movies: June 2nd: Harper
June 3rd: The Drowning Pool
June 4th: Papillon
June 5th: Gun Crazy
June 6th: Never So Few
June 7th: A Hole In The Head
June 8th: Some Came Running
June 9th: Rio Bravo
June 10th: Point Blank
June 11th: Pocket Money
June 12th: Cool Hand Luke
June 13th: The Asphalt Jungle
June 14th: Clash By Night
June 15th: Scarlet Street
June 16th: Killer Bait (aka Too Late For Tears)
June 17th: Robinson Crusoe On Mars
June 18th: City For Conquest
June 19th: San Quentin
June 20th: 42nd Street
June 21st: Dames
June 22nd: Gold Diggers of 1935
June 23rd: Murder, My Sweet
June 24th: Born To Kill
June 25th: The Sound of Music
June 26th: Torn Curtain
June 27th: The Left Handed Gun
June 28th: Caligula
June 29th: The Elephant Man
June 30th: The Good Father
July 1st: Shock Treatment
July 2nd: Flashback
July 3rd: Klute
July 4th: On Golden Pond
July 5th: The Cowboys
July 6th: The Alamo
July 7th: Sands of Iwo Jima
July 8th: Wake of the Red Witch
July 9th: D.O.A.
July 10th: Shadow of A Doubt
July 11th: The Matchmaker
July 12th: The Black Hole
July 13th: Vengeance Is Mine
July 14th: Strange Invaders
July 15th: Sleuth
July 16th: Frenzy
July 17th: Kingdom of Heaven: The Director’s Cut
July 18th: Cadillac Man
July 19th: The Sure Thing
July 20th: Moving Violations
July 21st: Meatballs
July 22nd: Cast a Giant Shadow
July 23rd: Out of the Past
July 24th: The Big Steal
July 25th: Where Danger Lives
July 26th: Crossfire
July 27th: Ricco, The Mean Machine
July 28th: In Harm’s Way
July 29th: Firecreek
July 30th: The Cheyenne Social Club
July 31st: The Man Who Knew Too Much
August 1st: The Spirit of St. Louis
August 2nd: Von Ryan’s Express
August 3rd: Can-Can
August 4th: Desperate Characters
August 5th: The Possession of Joel Delaney
August 6th: Quackser Fortune Has A Cousin In The Bronx
August 7th: Start the Revolution Without Me
August 8th: Hell Is A City
August 9th: The Pied Piper
August 10th: Partners
August 11th: Barry Lyndon
August 12th: The Skull
August 13th: The Hellfire Club
August 14th: Blood of the Vampire
August 15th: Terror of the Tongs
August 16th: Pirates of Blood River
August 17th: The Devil-Ship Pirates
August 18th: Jess Franco’s Count Dracula
August 19th: Dracula A.D. 1972
August 20th: The Stranglers of Bombay
August 21st: Man, Woman & Child
August 22nd: The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane
August 23rd: The Young Philadelphians
August 24th: The Rack
August 25th: Until They Sail
August 26th: Somebody Up There Likes Me
August 27th: The Set-Up
August 28th: The Devil & Daniel Webster
August 29th: Cat People
August 30th: The Curse of the Cat People
August 31st: The 7th Victim
September 1st: The Ghost Ship
September 2nd: Isle of the Dead
September 3rd: Bedlam
September 4th: Black Sabbath
September 5th: Black Sunday
September 6th: Twitch of the Death Nerve
September 7th: Tragic Ceremony
September 8th: Lisa & The Devil
September 9th: Baron Blood
September 10th: A Shot In The Dark
September 11th: The Pink Panther
September 12th: The Return of the Pink Panther
September 13th: The Pink Panther Strikes Again
September 14th: Revenge of the Pink Panther
September 15th: Trail of the Pink Panther
September 16th: The Real Glory
September 17th: The Winning of Barbara Worth
September 18th: The Cowboy and the Lady
September 19th: Dakota
September 20th: Red River
September 21st: Terminal Station
September 22nd: The Search
September 23rd: Act of Violence
September 24th: Houdini
September 25th: Money From Home
September 26th: Papa’s Delicate Condition
September 27th: Dillinger
September 28th: Battle of the Bulge
September 29th: Daisy Kenyon
September 30th: Laura
October 1st: The Dunwich Horror
October 2nd: Experiment In Terror
October 3rd: The Devil’s Rain
October 4th: Race With The Devil
October 5th: Salo, Or The 120 Days of Sodom
October 6th: Bad Dreams
October 7th: The House Where Evil Dwells

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 9, 2008, 12:59 a.m. CST

    I hope you haven't seen the Lost Boys..

    by ShogunMaster

    I'd love to see your review of that!

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 1:03 a.m. CST

    Brilliant movie.

    by MaxTheSilent

    And as with THE HOST there's radical tonal shifts from drama to humour, often within the same scene. But here it much more successful than THE HOST.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 1:09 a.m. CST

    Just say yes...

    by macheesmo3

    to younger Sarandon boobs !

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 1:17 a.m. CST

    Ooohhhh

    by Quint

    Reaaaallyyy? I have a thing for young Susan Sarandon... Rocky Horror, Pretty Baby and The Great Smokey Road Block... grrroooowwwlll... Yay for The Hunger, then...<BR><BR>Shogun, sorry to disappoint. That's one of the titles that falls into my own personal "How could anybody my age not have ever seen that?" Santa Carla's a nice town... if it wasn't for all the damn vampires. Grandpa ruled... And no shit, but I used to go to the Lost Boys amusement park all the time growing up. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.... It was awesome. Hopefully still is...

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 1:22 a.m. CST

    UM, NO

    by The InSneider

    Memories of Murder is good Quint but easy does it with the hyperbole. The director's talent is equal with Fincher's? A masterpiece of filmmaking? As creepy as Silence of the Lambs? Dude, please, to each his own and all that but you have got to be fucking kidding me, right? It's a very good foreign genre film featuring some great atmosphere and solid performances. But to start comparing it to Silence, one of the best movies EVER, and Fincher, one of the best directors ALIVE TODAY, I just... I honestly don't know where to begin. Even if you think it's a truly great movie, couldn't you have left those BOLD comparisons out of it? How do you say overrated in Korean?

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 1:33 a.m. CST

    Quint

    by ksmred2

    Thanks for the review and your good words! I have been avoiding Korean films before, but this one got me hooked (back) into my country's cinema. The scene I remember the most beside the ending is when two women walk across each other and we see the p.o.v of the murderer choosing which one to kill... It's uncomfortably disturbing but admittely thrilling and entertaining in a sense. The director Bong Joonho puts the audience right to the mind of the psycho. He is scary talented.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 1:36 a.m. CST

    IncompetEnt

    by oxfordruse

    Just sayin'.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 1:41 a.m. CST

    Silence of the lambs..

    by Malebolgia

    is GARBAGE!!! extremely overrated!!

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 1:47 a.m. CST

    You really hadn't seen this Quint?

    by kungfuhustler84

    Damn, that's really surprising. Great movie.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 1:55 a.m. CST

    Memories of murder

    by kingoflight

    Is such a good film, lucky enough for me i saw that film when it first came out which was while i was at uni. Me and my friends watched it in my room where i set up a projector for a great viewing. It was an instant hit with us we all liked it alot. It was a pretty strange film as i am sure you'll agree there are alot of laughs through it as well, or maybe we are just sick lol. Anyway that film is the reason why i got given a hello kitty shower cap for my birthday that year. ps i don't wear it .

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 2:01 a.m. CST

    mmm... the Hunger

    by josephharbin

    Great film. Vampirism as AIDS. Have you seen "Spider Baby?"

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 3:06 a.m. CST

    happy

    by ranma627

    I'm happy you got around to watching this. I own and love this movie. All I can say, is Flying Leg Kick. Total awesomeness.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 3:18 a.m. CST

    has anyone seen Rec?

    by ranma627

    I finally watched the whole thing. Total awesomeness.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 3:25 a.m. CST

    Kimichi Western

    by methosb

    Much better than Noodle Western, and it has the Korean reference.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 3:33 a.m. CST

    Hyperbole, InSneider...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... is calling SILENCE OF THE LAMBS one of the best movies ever. I think it's absolutely fair to say that what Bong Joon-ho accomplishes here is every bit as nuanced and impressive as what Demme did, but without Hopkins playing SuperLecter and without the easy thriller ending. This guy is absolutely one of the most consistently interesting directors working in any language right now, and I can't wait to see THE GOOD THE BAD THE WEIRD again in a few weeks.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 3:47 a.m. CST

    "Motherfucker - I'm trying to watch the Lost Boys here"

    by JackRabbitSlim

    Most disturbing thing about that 80's movie - the diesed-on-roids lead singer of that rock'n'roll group on stage playing the saxophone. Ewww. And MemoriesOfMurder's nick got me to research then buy this movie 'bout a year ago - thank you sir. Good stuff.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 3:51 a.m. CST

    clarification

    by The InSneider

    i'm not saying memories of murder is a bad film by any means. it's one of the better Korean films that I've seen, not that that's a ridiculously high number or anything. i think it's a very effective procedural and yes, it is a bit like zodiac in that its methodical and you know going into it that the guy is never caught. i'm not trying to take anything away from bong joon-ho. i loved the host and i plan to see TGTHTW because it looks like a lot of fun. That said, Memories of Murder has always sort've been overrated for me. I'll admit I had an agenda coming into this post and I was looking forward to getting Quint's reaction. i'm glad he liked it but i didn't think it was a masterpiece (which Zodiac was) nor does it compare to Silence of the Lambs, which I saw last week at ArcLight for the first time on the bigscreen and was blown away by yet again. i think it's absolutely one of the best movies ever. it has one of the best villains if not two. it has one of the toughest broads in the history of cinema (it took brass balls to go down into that basement alone), and it's one of 3 films to sweep the oscars. it kind of makes its own argument. but that's just my opinion. i remember turning off my memories of murder bootleg which I watched with my roommate, and saying is that all?, a questioned he quickly seconded. it stays with you for sure, and I warmed to it upon another viewing, admiring its nuances, as you said drew, but overall i still feel its lacking some crucial emotive element. even seven had brad pitt crying.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 3:54 a.m. CST

    also

    by The InSneider

    this, by the way...: How do you say overrated in Korean? <br>is because the film is Korean. just so there's no misinterpretation.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 3:59 a.m. CST

    I don't get...

    by ksmred2

    I don't get how people keep saying Memories of Murder is similar to Zodiac. It's other way around.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 4:02 a.m. CST

    The cinematography...

    by rost

    in Memories of Murder is outstanding. It's one of my favorite Korean movies and I am still waiting for this thing to come out on blu-ray! This would be ...ehm, bliss.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 4:57 a.m. CST

    awesome film

    by mutombo

    really awesome. It's a genre film, knows its a genre film, but then completely fucks its own genre and becomes a genre of it's own. Really, really awesome film.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 5:01 a.m. CST

    Haven't you seen Sympathy for Mr.Vengeance

    by ev1ldead

    or why didn't you mention it in Song Kang Ho's Filmography? It's his best performance.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 8:07 a.m. CST

    The Host

    by Midnightxpress

    Couldn't stand the humour in that film, so turned it off after 60 mins, despite the cool Monster effects. Hopefully this won't have the same problems

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 8:43 a.m. CST

    Full Marks!

    by Fixthe Fernback

    I love Memories of Murder, I think its even better than Zodiac. Song Kang-Ho is awesome and I think this is my favourite performance of his imo (though Sympathy comes close, ev1ldead)

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 9:02 a.m. CST

    happy music cue:

    by Guy Gaduois

    'at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk / everybody has a good tiiiiime'. <p> There was nothing better than the corn on a cob on a stick, walking the boardwalk and riding the coaster till ya puke. Won a poster there for 'Smokey and The Bandit'. The Boardwalk and Marriot's Great America were 'it' for kids in NoCal. I had to drive halfway down the state for those amusement park trips, but the Boardwalk was the best. Atmosphere, baby. <p> Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance is like Oldboy in that I felt completely drained after I saw it; totally unforgettable performances, absolutely a movie that made me despair for the characters. I may be able to watch those again in 25 years. Maybe.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 9:03 a.m. CST

    Sympathy For Me Vengeance might just be one the best films...

    by Cameron1

    yet made. Stunning performances, cinematography, mise en scene, story and sound editing that's almost fucking transcendent. It shits all over Oldboy from a great height and it much much better than Lady Vengeance. Memories Of Murder is a fantasitc film and I prefer it to Zodiac (though Zodiac is still excellent) if only because it's not quite so self conscious.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Gah, "Mr Vengeance" of course.

    by Cameron1

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 9:34 a.m. CST

    MOM

    by Buffalo500

    Good to see Memories of Murder getting the love it deserves. I was disappointed with The Host though, the mixture of the humour and serious stuff threw me, also read an unmarked spoiler about one of the characters here on AICN that spoilt it.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Good but not great.

    by Jawa 007

    I'm with INsneider on this.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 10:01 a.m. CST

    I Loved The Hunger as a Teenager

    by kevinwillis.net

    Haven't really seen it since. Naked Saranda making out with the vampire chick was super awesome, though. No doubt. My quote from the movie--just because of David Bowie's delivery--would be: "Why don't you have a seat in the patient's lounge?" <br><br> Good stuff. Lots of Bau Haus, as I recall.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 10:03 a.m. CST

    The Hunger

    by Buffalo500

    Seeing it on the big screen in a few weeks at the Horrorthon festival in Dublin. I'm a big Tony Scott fan so looking forward to finally seeing this.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Naked Sarandon, not "Saranda"

    by kevinwillis.net

    Not sure who I was thinking of, there. Just wanted to say, this would be on my list of: "How could you have never seen this film? This, and The Sound of Music?" <br><Br>But, good to see you're filling in the gaps.<br><br>Did you ever see Altered States, with William Hurt? A movie I absolutely loved (super-loved) when I was 13 that I found atrocious when I watched it 15 years later.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 10:07 a.m. CST

    JackRabbitSlim

    by fartedinthefaceofhollywood

    hahaha that greasy dude playing saxophone wearing tight pants is a perfect example of WHY 80's music sucked ass. anyway, The Lost Boys is a classic though...an 80's horror cheesefest for sure, i mean...did you see what Corey Haim was wearing in that movie???

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 10:07 a.m. CST

    M o M

    by fartedinthefaceofhollywood

    hmmm...might have to check this movie out, seems interesting.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 10:13 a.m. CST

    the promo and screenshots look beautiful

    by ArcadianDS

    If the whole film looks that good, I'd watch it with the sound off.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Naked Blair Brown

    by Darthkrusty

    Looked lovely in Altered States. Looking old in the new Fox show Fringe. Guess it happens to everyone. Glad to see her getting some work.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 10:54 a.m. CST

    'Foreign' is a genre ?

    by flickerbat

    Bought this movie based on the reviews out of Korea at the time, and that great cover. Love it. But I find it interesting how the above comments almost ghetto-ize the film by bringing up over and over that it is Korean. Does it matter ? A good film is a good film...when someone asks me for a suggestion for a good thriller or cop drama, I don't really take the country of origin into mind first. To refer to it as a good foreign or good Korean film seems less than stating it as a fact as much as it sounds like, "It's a good try from those people, who try so hard to overcome the adversity of not speaking English. Good for them". It's so condescending.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Nice one, Quint.

    by Knuckleduster

    Knew you'd like it. <p> Now go watch Kim-ki Duk's Bad Guy.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 11:09 a.m. CST

    The Hunger...

    by subtlety

    Saw it a long, long time ago on a video cassette that was on its last leg... and was phenomenally bored by it. I remember the nudity, I remember being dissapointed that Bowie's hardly in it, and I remember a surprise no-name no-dialoge role for one of today's A-list actors (don't want to spoil it, because it'll make you happy. I believe it was one of his firt big-screen appearances). Now that Quint's watching, I may revisit it to see if I was just too young to appreciate it...

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 11:40 a.m. CST

    THE HOST WAS FUCKING AWFUL

    by Bass Bastardson

    Seriously. It took me three separate tries to make it through The Host because I hated it so much I kept having to turn it off. The only reason I forced myself through that horrendous drivel is because it had received such praise from fanboys and critics alike. I don't know what drugs were in the water when you all watched the film, but I can't imagine how anyone enjoyed that awful, awful piece of shit. The first sequence with the monster was the only good part. The rest was an un-scary, tonal disaster, featuring terrible CG and the most grating characters this side of That's So Raven.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 11:54 a.m. CST

    The thing in the bathtub...

    by 24200124

    ... at the end of "The Silence of the Lambs" was (in all likelihood) Mrs. Littman, the lady who owned the house before Jamie Gumb stopped by. Starling's pointed in that direction by the goth chick who drops this name.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 11:59 a.m. CST

    This movie is a MASTERPIECE

    by reflecto

    I say that a lot but it is. I watched it on Netflix.com last week expecting something merely as good as The Host but this thing tore the fuckin' roof of. It even kicks Zodiac's ass (though that's a very fine film). INCREDIBLE.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Didn't HMAD already review The Hunger?

    by duffey

    Wait that was the real HMAD. http://horror-movie-a-day.blogspot.com/2008/08/hunger.html

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 12:51 p.m. CST

    The REAL HMAD

    by MattFini

    Exactly! Glad to see someone else knows what's up. This is just nonsense.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Bass

    by fartedinthefaceofhollywood

    you thought The Host was "awful"???...damn, thats a bit harsh...i rather enjoyed it, it had some memorable, clever moments and the quirky vibe kept me interested.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 1:19 p.m. CST

    cameron1 and The Host

    by ranma627

    Mr. Vengeance shits all over Oldboy? Are you kidding me? Oldboy is the far superior film and so is Lady Vengeance. Those films felt way more emotional to me and that's what the films were supposed to contatin. Raw emotion. I also thought the scores for Lady and Oldboy were two of the best scores I've ever heard. I enjoyed the whole revenge trilogy but I just felt Mr. Vengeance was the weakest becasue aside from the father, nothing else contained emotion. I also thought the stories were far more intriguing in Oldboy and Lady Vengeance. On the Host, I mildly enjoyed that film but the blend of drama and humor realy turned me off. I know it's the directors style but it was too much in The Host and just right in Memories of Murder.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 4:26 p.m. CST

    The Hunger....

    by The Dum Guy

    <br><br>Is a yawner, with a few good parts (Sarandon's lesbian stuff and Bowie's creepy stuff). Saw it on Netflix awhile back when they first started doing the instant watching.<br><br>I'm surprised Memories of Murder hasn't commented on this thing yet.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 5:53 p.m. CST

    fair enough, ranma.

    by Cameron1

    And I'll agree the structure of Lady Vengeance is interesting and adds to the story but I honestly found Oldboy to be too melodramatic for to be moved by. Mr Vengeance on the other hand, my sympathy was all over the place, the only truly evil people there are the organ harvesters and possibly the radical terorrist group. As I say the moral nuance in Mr Vengeance felt more emotionally involving and the restraint of the film gave it more resonance than Lady Vnegances admittedly beautiful story of redemption and justice. I still maintain the most haunting and emotional moment of all 3 films is when the police go to the father of the kidnapped girl's house, this is after he dreams about her hugging him while she's soaking wet from the river, and there's a puddle of water on the flaw where he'd dreamt her being. I honestly don't exaggerate that the 3 second shot of water took my breath away.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 6:38 p.m. CST

    farted

    by Bass Bastardson

    Nothing can be harsh enough to express my loathing for The Host. For me it was the filmic equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. Gah, even thinking about it makes my skin crawl. I would be very surprised by all the love it gets here at AICN but the other day I got a 7 year old page of AICN stories when I visited the site. Among the stories was one with many readers talking about how awesome the original xXx was, so, I guess that loving shit is part of the AICN tradition. :)

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 7:09 p.m. CST

    SO i guess this was in honor of MOM?

    by Series7

    What happened to that crazy mofo?

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 7:48 p.m. CST

    Mr Vengeance

    by methosb

    Is also my favorite of the trilogy, that film is absolutely amazing. I found it far easier to relate to and feel for the characters. I didn't get the hype for MOM though same with Zodiac oddly enough. I liked them both but neither was especially memorable for me other than Kang. Now that Choi Min-sik is getting back into it I hope Kang and him can team up in a movie soon where they get to directly play off each other, don't really know why it hasn't happened already actually.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Bass

    by fartedinthefaceofhollywood

    The Host is brilliant in comparison to both of the XXX "films". i understand its your opinion and thats cool, i just found it to be very different from a great and many of the other "creature features" out there, it had some memorable moments that stuck with me afterwards, if a film can do that...conjure up memories whether good or bad, then that says something to me. i hear ya though, some movies around here get praise and i think its crazy-as-fuck but then i think...not everyone thinks like me and rightly so im sure there are people that think MY taste in movies is shit...well, thats just YOUR opinion of my opinion of movies...and thats pointless to argue.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 8:30 p.m. CST

    farted

    by Bass Bastardson

    My point was simply that I couldn't stand The Host. No offense meant to you or your kin. As far as XXX goes... yes, both films were terrible although I was able to stomach part 2 a lot easier for some reason. The reason I brought them up is because the other day when I came to AICN I litterally had a page full of stories from 2001. There was stuff about The Ring and xXx and a bunch of other movies from nearly a decade ago. I was scared at first because the article talking about the remake of The Ring I thought they were actually talking about re-making the Gore Verbinski version and the article about xXx I thought was about the new Vin Deisel starring xXx 3. When I finally figured out what was going on - that I had somehow been routed to a front page from 7 or 8 years ago - I started to read with a less terror and more amusement and one of the things I noticed was that everyone here at the time was busy praising the shit out of xXx. So anyway, that is why I brought xXx into the equation. People have been praising crap films here at AICN for many years. In my opinion, The Host fits nicely in with this tradition. I'm not trying to pick a fight, I just hated the movie. You like shitty movies, so what? Far be it from me to judge you for it. ;)

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 9:24 p.m. CST

    Great Film. Wonderfull acting and charcters

    by G100

    And never take the easy way out. Deeply flawed people investigating a fucked up Psycho yet never feels shallow or exploitative or just black and grim.<p> <p>You always feel MoM cares about the subject and all the characters and never uses them or it as a mere backdrop for a genre serial killer Movie. The Locations are also superb and incredibly atmospheric. Again Great Film.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 9:45 p.m. CST

    Subtlety - are you sure he had no lines?

    by JackRabbitSlim

    The-actor-who-shall-not-be-named - never said anything outside the phonebooth? Wow - I'da sworn he had one line. <p> As for Farted - Too true about the 80s groups image - though lord knows I'm a sucker for 80s tunage - I'd rank that nasty sax player up there with the crazy get up of the girl singer in Some Kind of Wonderful (anyone defending that trite movie - you are diseased with the plague that is back-in-the-day.) <p> Thing I remember the most about The Hunger - they used The Flower Duet from Lakme and for a few moments I though it was the most astonishing piece of music I'd ever heard - until about 15 other movies and trailers used it and left it bleeding and crying on the bed. Oy...

  • Oct. 10, 2008, midnight CST

    Bass Bastardson you are not alone

    by StraightToHell

    in you The Host sentiments. I saw MOM first and thought it was a brilliant film. The directing, acting, and who package was sensational. I love how this director uses single takes without drawing attention to them. Alas, the single takes were the only interesting thing in The Host. It's a shame, because the film all the way up to the reveal of the monster is terrific. The single take that introduces the monster as it chases people through the park was sensational. But after that the film fell apart. I love tonal shifts in movies, so that didn't bother me. But the film just did not work as a whole for me. Some scenes later in the movie just went on and on and felt hollow and flat. Nothing like the supercharged character sequences in MOM, where every second felt completely real and honest. But here I did not connect to any of it. Plus, the death of the monster was completely ripped off from The Relic, where the creature runs around engulfed in flames. This, along with the unbelievably overhyped Dark Knight (which is a near disaster as a movie, and once the fans move on to another film this one will not stand the test of time)really let me down.

  • Really well made film, great mood and suspense throughout. Definitely has some horror elements.

  • Oct. 10, 2008, 2:16 a.m. CST

    Straighttohell you are not alone either

    by Bass Bastardson

    I wasn't going to bring it up, since I'm already risking an all out riot or at least a barrage of verbal assaults on my character by bashing The Host, but since you brought it up... TDK was a huge disappointment. I actually think it is a big fat piece of crap, although I didn't really figure that out until the second time I saw it. Heath was fucking great in the movie (although he wasn't The Joker) but other than that it was awful on almost every level. If anyone wants to hear my reasons I would be happy to spout them off sometime, but I don't have the energy tonight as the list is very, very long. Unfortunately Straight, I don't think the fanboys are gonna let go of TDK. They've so got themselves convinced that it is the best movie of all time that to let go of that would rock their foundations a little too hard. I think they will cling to TDK for years to come, because it is too embarassing to admit when you were so obviously swindled by hype.

  • Oct. 10, 2008, 3:52 a.m. CST

    I did say Zodiac was a better comparison than 'horror'

    by elab49

    And I'm glad you appreciated it - I'd stick with it being the stand out film on this list. Personally I'd also say superior to Zodiac - but Fincher really seems to be developing some pretty obsessive fans rather than just admirers of his work. And I did greatly admire Zodiac, although it was far from perfect. I'm wondering if that can be said without flaming. Intrigued at a couple of comments that seem to assess this as a 'foreign film' rather than as a film - can't say I really get the difference, in context. I saw this before The Host, so I couldn't wait to see that and I wasn't disppointed. When mediocre work like Cloverfield gets the publicity and hype, The Host owned it in terms of monster movies - and Rec certainly did in terms of handhelds. Memories of Murder has no bum notes, though

  • Oct. 10, 2008, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Better than either Zodiac or Silence... IMHO

    by JIMBOCOP

    Not least because it doesn't solve the mystery halfway through like the other two movies and because it has a better lead actor. And shame on y'all for not mentioning JSA: Joint Security Area, which IS Kang Ho-Song's best film. That is all.

  • Oct. 10, 2008, 2:04 p.m. CST

    I'd be tending towards the President's Barber

    by elab49

    for that.

  • Oct. 10, 2008, 5:31 p.m. CST

    Memories of Murder is terrific

    by psychedelic

    Of the movies originally in Quint's October horror pool, this is the one I was most curious to see his reaction. I agree with most of what he says. It's fantastic. I'd go as far as nominating it as one of this decade's best movies. I apply the Horror genre label as broadly as possible, so it's filed in my DVD horror section. I think The Host rocks too. I very much look forward to Bong Joon-Ho's future projects. By the way, he didn't direct The Good The Bad The Weird--which is totally awesome. Ji-woon Kim (A Tale of Two Sisters, The Foul King) directed TGTBTW, though both movies share Kang-Ho Song. Just checked Song's filmography, holy crap it's impressive.

  • Oct. 10, 2008, 10:55 p.m. CST

    Joint Security Area

    by reflecto

    Is a wacky Asian military soap opera of a film but a lot of fun and with GREAT performances, particularly from Kang. Totally different from who he is in Bong's films.

  • Oct. 10, 2008, 11:31 p.m. CST

    JSA

    by ksmred2

    I think JSA works better to Koreans. It means a lot of us.

  • Oct. 11, 2008, 1:28 a.m. CST

    JSA

    by ranma627

    Didn't Chan Wook Park direct JSA. I fucking love that film. I'm it means so much to Koreans but I was able to fully appreciate what the film said. Love that movie and love Chan Wook Park. I still have to see I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK. I finally watched Three Extremes today. Nice little film, loved Takashi Miike's film the most.

  • Oct. 11, 2008, 1:31 a.m. CST

    nevermind

    by ranma627

    you were talking about the actor. Yeah, he's pretty great.

  • Oct. 11, 2008, 2:16 a.m. CST

    Hey Bass Bastardson

    by Series7

    If your here still, was one of your problems with TDK that it was too much like Die Hard With A Vengeance: Batman Edition? That was mine.