Thursday, April 10, 2014

Review: Boss / 보스 (1996)

Having recently screened the Australian premier at Cinema on the Park for the rare Korean kung-fu movie, ‘Canton Viper’ (reviewed here), directed by Korean kicking extraordinaire Hwang Jang-lee back in 1983, I decided it was high time to check out his final movie appearance, in the 1996 movie ‘Boss’.

While it’s fairly common knowledge for fans of Jang-lee to know that this was his last performance, information about it is virtually impossibly to come by, being made in that murky decade of Korean cinema from the mid-80s to the mid-90s, when it seems very little is known about the countries cinematic output. Still, in this day & age it’s only once in a blue moon when you can go into a movie knowing hardly anything about it, so I gladly pressed play with little to no expectations. As it turned out it was just as well, as for anyone approaching this as a fan of Jang-lee, it should be pointed out that he’s in it for barely a minute, has a couple of lines, and disappears. It seems he saved his final fighting performance for against Dragon Lee a couple of years earlier, in 1994’s ‘Emperor of the Underworld’ (암흑가의 황제), which he also directed.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Review: Confession of Murder / 내가 살인범이다 (2012)

As a huge fan of Asian action cinema, I found the 2008 documentary 'Action Boys' (우린 액션배우다), which followed the lives of a group of stuntmen in the Seoul Action School, to be hugely enjoyable. Such was my enjoyment that I visited the school in the same year, to witness first hand the rigors of the training that they went through. Of course a huge part of that enjoyment came from the way first time director, and student of the school himself, Jeong Byeong-gil, structured the story. So I felt pretty excited when four years later, it was announced his first full movie was set for release, ‘Confession of Murder' (내가 살인범이다).