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International Eye Candy July 15, 2010

Ladies and gentlemen, in this edition of the International Eye Candy, Mr OldBoy himself - Choi Min-Sik - will once again raise a hammer in anger. This would be enough all on its own to say that life is good but we’ve got more. We’ve got a new Ultraman. We’ve got animated off-planet race cars. We’ve got undead bikers and Norwegian bank robbers and little Barack Obama learning how to box. It’s a strange world out there and here comes a big slice of it. We’re going to bookend the column this week with doses of violence from Korea will be rising star Won Bin – the lead in Bong Joon-Ho’s MOTHER – as former secret agent turned protector of small children in THE MAN FROM NOWHERE. This one promises a fusion of melodrama and action in the old school Hong Kong style with Won playing a loner whose sole human connection is with a young girl who becomes the target of a human organ trafficking gang. Ultra-stylish violence ensues. When word came out that there would soon be a Korean remake of John Woo’s A BETTER TOMORROW, Won was the guy I hoped would get the Chow Yun Fat part. He didn’t. But THE MAN FROM NOWHERE makes me feel just fine about that because Won being Won could end up better than Won being Chow. Check the new MAN FROM NOWHERE trailer here And now it’s off to Indonesia for a true slice of the odd: A fictional bio-pic about the young life of Barack Obama. Yes, as in the President. The makers of LITTLE OBAMA get the fact that he spent a few years in their country as a youngster correct but apparently that’s where the factual detail stops on this one and the feel-good mythologizing begins. The boxing sequence is great as is the game of marbles. Ah, childhood bliss ... Say hello to LITTLE OBAMA here You’d think when a film becomes a major cultural event in its home country and goes on to win major awards at major festivals around the globe that people would notice when production begins on a sequel. Not so much with Jose Padilha’s ELITE SQUAD 2. The first ELITE SQUAD (TROPA DE ELITE) sparked a firestorm of controversy in its native Brazil thanks to its depiction of police corruption and violence, a portrayal that led to the police actively suppressing the film until the streets were flooded with bootleg copies and they were forced to just give up on containing it. When the film hit screens it proved a big financial hit there, too, and it would go on to win the top prize in Berlin. And now Padilha’s got another tale of violence to tell with ELITE SQUAD 2. It’s still shooting but they’ve already cut a trailer from the earliest footage and, once again, it looks like kinetic and compelling stuff. Find the ELITE SQUAD here It’s just a short hop from Brazil to Chile where Nicolas Lopez – the director of PROMEDIOS ROJOS and SANTOS – has returned with FUCK MY LIFE, a romantic comedy for the internet age. Would Lopez object to being called the Kevin Smith of Latin America? I think not. Because he’s a clever fellow who wants audiences elsewhere to find his film he’s gone and released an English subtitled version of the trailer for us non-Spanish speakers. Make sure you’ve got protection before spending some alone time with Lopez’s LIFE here Because Scott Green is an on-the-ball sort of guy with fantastic taste I am reasonably confident that the trailer for Studio Ghibli’s BORROWER ARRIETTY must have already turned up in his Anime AICN column. That said, I’m too lazy to actually confirm this and even if it is there there’s no reason not to watch it again. Repeat viewing is recommended, actually, because it looks absolutely fantastic. Adapted from the award winning book by Mary Norton and directed by long time Ghibli key animator Hiromasa Yonebayashi this story of very little people living their lives in the walls of a normal sized house looks like absolutely vintage Ghibli work. Find the new BORROWER ARRIETTY trailer here From big Japanese studio animation we go to the tiniest indie. A rising wave of independent talent has been turning heads in the Japanese animation world for several years now and one of the bright up and comers is one who goes simply as Nosferatu. Nosferatu tends to work in greyscale monotone, often with a character known as Non-chan and in the coming months he’ll be releasing a half hour long Non-chan film titled THE MESSENGER FROM THE SEA. The first teaser for this has just arrived and it is striking, impressive stuff. Find the MESSENGER here The last edition of International Eye Candy featured a drop dead gorgeous trailer for AGNOSIA, a new film from the producing team behind PAN’S LABYRINTH and THE ORPHANAGE and this time out we’re back with another from the same producers, this one a dark scifi tinged affair titled VERBO. The feature debut from Eduardo Chapero-Jackson is hugely anticipated in his home country, Chapero-Jackson’s previous short films being so well regarded that they have received their own theatrical releases. Will VERBO live up to expectations? Find the VERBO teaser here I just couldn’t resist this one. When word came out that Severin Films was planning a remastered release of cult 1970’s British toad-worshiping undead biker flick PSYCHOMANIA I immediately went off in search of a trailer. I didn’t find one. I found something better: an extended clip from an old BBC cult film documentary with the host of the show and star of the film generally having a fantastic time while watching this little gem. And by gem I mean celluloid madness. Find the PSYCHOMANIA clip here It’s a 3D Japanese Superhero Double Bill! Nope, it’s not the promised ULTRAMAN, not yet, but two of his younger cousins. Two of Japan’s oldest and most popular tokusatsu series, KAMEN RIDER – the bug themed, motorcycle riding hero – and SUPER SENTAI – the team known as the POWER RANGERS on these shores – are teaming up for a theatrical double bill to be presented in three glorious, helmet wearing, rubber suit dimensions. Huzzah! Get yer suit on here This one? This is the new ULTRAMAN. They’ve been going cosmic with these lately, introducing multiple Ultra-characters in each of the recent movies and hosts of monsters, too. But for this one the villain is not a monster but one of their own – the evil Ultraman Belial – who is setting up his own galactic empire. Expect plenty of Ultramen and plenty of action, though the teaser gives just a taste. Find the new ULTRAMAN here A Coen-flavored German hitman comedy? Welcome to SNOWMAN’S LAND, the story of a less-than-competent hitman taking refuge out in the country after a job goes badly wrong. The humor is very black in this one except, of course, for the bits that are spattered red with blood. Find the SNOWMAN’S LAND trailer here I could look at that picture all day. Seriously. I mean, come on. “Mutant Bank Robber Has Bad Day”. What’s not to love? The image comes from CITY UNDER SEIGE, the new Hong Kong action flick from director Benny Chan that features loads of mutant action, the lovely Shu Qi in distress and star Aaron Kwok in clown makeup for no discernible reason whatsoever. Maybe Aaron just likes clowns? Hong Kong used to produce loads of genre-mashing stuff like this back in its 80’s heyday and this one looks very much like Chan trying to give that era a big budget revisit. Find the SITY UNDER SEIGE trailer here Not only are the bank robbers in Norwegian heist movie NOKAS not mutants, they’re 100% real people. By which I mean not just non-mutant but actual, historical people, the film being based upon one of the most notorious robberies in Norway’s history. And if true crime isn’t enough to turn your crank how about the fact that this is directed by one Erik Skjoldbjærg, the man responsible for a little thriller titled INSOMNIA that would later be remade by Christopher Nolan. And if that’s not enough to convince you then maybe the trailer will because it’s really damn good. Find the NOKAS trailer here Time to go a bit arthouse now with the trailer for I WISH I KNEW, the latest feature from China’s Jia Zhangke to screen in Cannes. Jia’s a darling of the festival circuit for a very simple reason: his films are very, very good and this one is no different in that regard. More a portrait of Shanghai than any sort of conventional drama or doc, the trailer is just really striking stuff. Find the I WISH I KNEW trailer here Three words: International Bidding War. Daniel Espinosa’s EASY MONEY sparked two of them. One for the film itself and a second for the remake rights. So it’s safe to say you’ll be hearing lots about this film in the near future. And what will you find? A very slick, multi-stranded crime caper. No doubt at all why Hollywood wanted this so bad after seeing the trailer. get some EASY MONEY here I’ve got a serious weak spot for military themed horror and here comes one from France. Set in 1960 the film follows a squad of French soldiers stranded in the north African desert where they draw the attention of a group of sand-spirits or djinns. In France it’s going out titled DJINNS, everywhere else it’s called STRANDED, but either way the first trailer is freshly arrived. And, yes, that is DISTRICT B13 star Cyril Raffaelli tucked into the cast as one of the squad members. Find the STRANDED trailer here Assuming you know your stuff I need tell you very little to draw your attention to this one. And here it is. Chow Yun Fat. Western. LET THE BULLETS FLY. Find the BULLETS trailer here We’re nearing the end now and regular readers of this column should have already recognized the poster for this one. Takeshi Koike’s anime feature REDLINE – written by TASTE OF TEA director Katsuhito Ishii – has been in the works for a long, long time now and a series of teasers and trailer have popped up in the IEC over the past few editions. Well, here’s the latest, longest, and Englishest look at the science fiction racing film to appear so far. Find the REDLINE trailer here And here we go. Choi Min-Sik, OLDBOY himself, going to work with a hammer. Choi plays the villain – a vicious serial killer – in I SAW THE DEVIL, the latest from THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE WEIRD director Kim Ji-Woon. On the opposite side of the fence is Lee Byun-Hyung as the government agent who vows to hunt the killer down and exact vengeance by any means necessary after Choi kills his fiancé. The first teaser for this was impressive enough. The full trailer is absolutely fantastic. If you watch only one trailer out of this column, watch this one. You can see the DEVIL here

Readers Talkback
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  • July 15, 2010, 12:47 p.m. CST

    CITY UNDER SEIGE looks good

    by BadlyDubbedPorn

    that pic is great, already looks better than all the Xmen movies combined

  • July 15, 2010, 1:28 p.m. CST

    REDLINE!!! YES!!!

    by Series7

    Finally!!! I got around to seeing Taste of tea last year. Amazing movie. It's the only film I've ever seen that I could honestly just call pleasent. Very interesting.

  • July 15, 2010, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Any idea what

    by oneblood

    Park, Chan-Wook's next film will be?

  • July 15, 2010, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Why the hell doesn't this column...

    by LordPorkington

    ...get more love and attention? Is this site really only frequented by nerds who claim to be fans of film yet they only really watch crap like Transformers 2? It almost seems like a sub-titled movie is too difficult for some people to watch, which is shame, because they're missing out on some unique and different experiences.

  • July 15, 2010, 5:14 p.m. CST

    man Redline looks awesome

    by Series7

    So does City Under Siege. Just like amazing 80s fantasy action flicks.

  • July 15, 2010, 9:41 p.m. CST

    Yes LordPork & Best part....

    by TiNSeLToWN TeRRoR

    of this site is twitch. AICN has been infested with trolls for years now. AICN has lost itself.

  • July 15, 2010, 10:23 p.m. CST

    the lack of interest in this column

    by frank cotton

    is indicative of the intellectual slide of the average film-goer

  • July 16, 2010, 7:32 a.m. CST

    There an Elite Squad 2? Fuckin A.

    by Knuckleduster

    Great, great film. Makes for a good double bill with City of God. <p> Can't wait for I Saw The Devil. I can't believe that more people haven't seen A Bittersweet Life and The Good, The Bad, The Weird. Two films whose names I will yell from the rooftops (if the neighbours don't call the cops again).

  • July 18, 2010, 2:09 a.m. CST

    Sunglasses Oakey,coach,gucci $12

    by BIKINI

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