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Busan 2017 Review: Bluebeard, Ambitious Chiller Lacks Tension

Much like her debut The Uninvited, Lee Soo-yeon's latest film Bluebeard teases a dark genre storyline before turning off into more psychological territory through several layered images and a protagonist who isn't quite what he seems, played by Cho Jin-woong of A Hard Day. Unlike her impressive 2003 horror film, her second work feels less fresh and a lot more contrived. Seung-hoon is a doctor whose failed Seoul practice has forced him to move to a small town on the outskirts of the city, where he now lives in a cramped apartment above a butcher shop. Recently divorced, Seung-hoon only gets to see his son once every two weeks. He begins to work at a clinic in town and one day, while performing a colonoscopy,...

[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...]
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Bluebeard Debuts on Digital & Blu-ray Combo Pack August 15th

Bluebeard, the sophomore effort from Writer/Director Lee Soo-youn (The Uninvited), debuts on digital and Blu-ray Combo Pack August 15 from Well Go USA Entertainment. A psychological thriller in the vein of Alfred Hitchcock, the film stars Cho Jin-woong (The Handmaiden), Kim Dae-myung (Inside Men) and Shin Gu (No Blood No Tears).  In Bluebeard, Dr. Seung-hoon (Cho) sedates his landlord before a medical check-up and the old man begins telling him a convincing murder confession.

When a doctor learns a murderous secret from a sedated patient, he finds himself in the middle of an unsolved serial murder case. As dismembered bodies start showing up close to home, the doctor realizes he must solve the riddle before the killer realizes what he may know.

Bluebeard has a runtime of approximately 117 minutes and is not rated.

The post Bluebeard Debuts on Digital & Blu-ray Combo Pack August 15th appeared first on We Are Movie Geeks.
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‘The Handmaiden’ Blu-ray Review

Stars: Tae-ri Kim, Min-hee Kim, Ha Jung-woo, Cho Jin-woong | Written by Chung Seo-kyung, Park Chan-wook | Directed by Park Chan-wook

Based on Sarah Waters’ 2002 novel, Fingersmith, Park Chan-wook’s first feature since 2013’s Stoker is a ravishing feminist fable, full of fantastically cruel twists. It’s sensual, funny, nasty, brilliantly acted, beautifully shot and exquisitely edited.

The setting is 1930s colonial Korea, slap bang in the middle of Japanese rule. Nam Sook-hee (Tae-ri Kim), a young pickpocket, is approached by smooth conman “Count Fujiwara” (Ha Jung-woo), who intends to swindle money from a wealthy Korean aristocrat known as Uncle Kouzuki (Cho Jin-woong). The plan is for Fujiwara to seduce Kouzuki’s niece, Izumi Hideko (Min-hee Kim), and steal away with her uncle’s cash. Sook-hee will act as Hideko’s handmaiden, and help manipulate Hideko into Fujiwara’s arms.

But then an intimate relationship blooms between Hideko and Sook-hee. It seems
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Well Go USA Announces Home Video Release For Korean Psychological Thriller Bluebeard

Well Go USA Entertainment has announced that they will be releasing the Korean psychological thriller Bluebeard on August 15 in both digital and Blu-ray combo formats. The film comes from writer/director Lee Soo-youn (The Uninvited) and stars Cho Jin-woong (The… Continue Reading →

The post Well Go USA Announces Home Video Release For Korean Psychological Thriller Bluebeard appeared first on Dread Central.
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Lee Soo-yeon returns after 14 years to present the labyrinth of the human mind with “Bluebeard”

Crime thrillers are the genre Korean cinema has built its reputation upon, with a plethora of true masterpieces. Lee Soo-yeon attempts this, overvisited category, through an elaborate case and a mixture of genres.

Seung-hoon is a gastroenterologist, whose private clinic has recently closed leaving him on debt, in a series of events that has led him to a divorce from his wife and a job doing colonoscopies in another private clinic. His financial situation is even worst though, since he has to pay alimony for his son, which has led him to sell his car and having to commute each day to his work, and to live in a tiny and cramped with books apartment over a butcher shop, owned by Sung-geun. His only escape from his miserable life is crime fiction novels, which have become something of an obsession, to the point that he considers every detail in his
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Korean Thriller ‘Bluebeard’’s UK Premiere at Lkff

The London Korean Film Festival (Lkff) continues the countdown to its 12th edition, scheduled for autumn 2017, with the UK premiere of Lee Soo-youn’s psychological thriller Bluebeard on the 10th of July.

Cho Jin-woong in Bluebeard (Source: London Korean Film Festival)

Bluebeard upholds the rich tradition of gripping thrillers from Korean cinema, while offering a new perspective on narratives featuring psychopaths, with a progressively unreliable narrator.


The film features Cho Jin-woong as the neurotic doctor Seung-hoon, who suspects that his patient (Shin Goo) and the patient’s son (Kim Dae-myung), living downstairs in a butcher shop, are involved in a string of unsolved murders in the city. A trail of gruesome hints keeps the truth just out of reach as the director uses the claustrophobic environs of the city and the increasing paranoia of the doctor to crank up the tension, reaching a shocking finale.

Cho Jin-woong and Kim
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The Handmaiden movie review: the women pushing back against misogyny, thwarted by their own film

MaryAnn’s quick take… The intrigue, shifting alliances, and twisted revenge? Delicious, pulpy fun. The male-gazey soft-core porn that undermines the female protagonists? Not so much. I’m “biast” (pro): I’m desperate for stories about women

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

I have not read the source material

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

In Japanese-occupied 1930s Korea, a Korean con man (Jung-woo Ha) and a Korean pickpocket (Tae-ri Kim) conspire to steal the fortune of sheltered Japanese heiress Lady Hideko (Min-hee Kim). He will pose as “Count Fujiwara” and woo Hideko, while thief Sook-Hee will become Hideko’s shy new maid “Tamako” and convince the lady to run off with the handsome and romantic count instead of marrying her hideous widowed uncle-by-marriage Kouzuki (Jin-woong Jo), who of course is (also) only after his niece’s money. The plan is, after “Fujiwara” and Hideko are wed,
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

Park Chan-Wook’s ‘The Handmaiden’ is Now Available on Amazon Prime Video

From Park Chan-wook, the celebrated director of Oldboy, Lady Vengeance, Thirst and Stoker, comes a ravishing new crime drama inspired by the novel ‘Fingersmith’ by British author Sarah Waters.

Having transposed the story to 1930s-era colonial Korea and Japan, Park presents a gripping and sensual tale of a young Japanese Lady living on a secluded estate, and a Korean woman who is hired to serve as her new handmaiden, but who is secretly involved in a conman’s plot to defraud her of her large inheritance.

Powered by remarkable performances from Kim Min-hee (Right Now, Wrong Then) as Lady Hideko, Ha Jung-woo (The Chaser) as the conman who calls himself the Count and sensational debut actress Kim Tae-ri as the maid Sookee, The Handmaiden borrows the most dynamic elements of its source material and combines it with Park Chan-wook’s singular vision and energy to create an unforgettable viewing experience.
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Movie Review – The Handmaiden (2016)

The Handmaiden, 2016.

Directed by Park Chan-wook

Starring Min-hee Kim, Tae-ri Kim, Jung-woo Ha, and Jin-woong Jo.


Japanese heiress Hideko employs a new handmaiden, Sook-hee, but what she doesn’t know is that the girl is a pickpocket. She’s been recruited by a con artist who aims to marry her mistress and swindle her out of her fortune. The plot seems to be going according to plan, until Hideko starts to fall for her maid.

For Victorian England, read Korea under Japanese occupation in the 1930s. Oldboy director Park Chan-wook has taken Sarah Waters’ 2002 novel Fingersmith and changed its location and timing, turning it into luxurious thriller with more twists and turns than the writhing octopus that one of the characters keeps crammed into an all-too-small tank. The result is The Handmaiden, the director’s first Korean film after Stoker.

Sook-hee (Tae-ri Kim) comes from poverty, the daughter of a notorious pickpocket.
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The Handmaiden Shows Two Faces through Video-on-demand Today!

Director Park Chan-wook's (Oldboy, 2003) The Handmaiden is releasing on Amazon Prime, today. The film is a bit of a genre bender, with elements of mystery, erotica and crime drama appearing. Shot in Korean and the Japanese language, the film is being offered, exclusively on Amazon Prime, with English subtitles. Kim Min-hee, Ha Jung-woo, Kim Tae-ri and Cho Jin-woong star in this feature. Based on Sarah Waters' novel Fingersmith, the film involves a conspiracy to rob a woman of her large inheritance, through any means necessary. A trailer and release details, for The Handmaiden, are hosted here. For more on the story, a Japanese lady lives in a secluded estate. A Korean woman is hired as a handmaiden, on this estate. Sookee (Tae-ri Kim) is working with a local conman, Count Fujiwara (Ha Jung-woo), to strip Lady Hideko of her wealth. But, Lady Hideko has plans of her own.
See full article at 28 Days Later Analysis »

8 New Korean Films That You Should Watch This Spring

Spring is already shaping up to be a busy season for Korean cinema. From the election drama The Mayor, in which Choi Min-sik appears the mayor of Seoul while Kwak Do-won (The Wailing) plays his aide, to renowned Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo’s On the Beach at Night Alone starring Kim Min-hee (The Handmaiden) to One Day, the latest film from romantic drama specialist Lee Yoon-ki (A Man and A Woman), featuring Chun Woo-hee (The Wailing) and Kim Nam-gil (Pandora).

Here’s a look at 8 new Korean films worth keeping an eye out for.

Ordinary Person

Director: Kim Bong-han

Cast: Son Hyun-joo, Jang Hyuk, Kim Sang-ho, Ra Mi-ran, Jung Man-sik, Cho Dal-hwan, Ji Seung-hyeon

Plot: Detective Seong-jin (Son Hyun-joo) arrests Tae-sung for petty crimes, but shocked to find out that he is the notorious serial killer. However, Seong-jin becomes doubtful of his identity as the serial murder case is investigated.
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

'The Handmaiden' UK Trailer

A new trailer and Ireland and UK release date have been released for Park Chan Wook's 'The Handmaiden.'   Directed by Park Chan Wook it stars Kim Min-hee, Hideko Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo, Cho Jin-woong, Kim Hae-sook, and Moon So-ri.

A ravishing new crime drama inspired by the novel 'Fingersmith' by British author Sarah Waters. Having transposed the story to 1930s-era colonial Korea and Japan, Park presents a gripping and sensual tale of a young Japanese Lady living on a secluded estate, and a Korean woman who is hired to serve as her new handmaiden, but who is secretly involved in a conman's plot to defraud her of her large inheritance.

The film will be released in cinemas for Ireland and the UK on 14 April.
See full article at FlicksNews.net »

Lotte seals Us, Japan deals on thriller 'Bluebeard'

  • ScreenDaily
Lotte seals Us, Japan deals on thriller 'Bluebeard'
Lee Soo-youn’s mystery thriller stars Cho Jin-woong, Kim Dae-myung and Shin Gu.

South Korea’s Lotte Entertainment has pre-sold thriller mystery Bluebeard to WellGo USA for North America and New Select for Japan

The film has also gone to Hong Kong and Macau (My Way Film Company) and the Philippines (Viva Communications).

Directed by Lee Soo-youn, Bluebeard stars Cho Jin-woong (The Handmaiden, Assassination), Kim Dae-myung (The Last Princess) and Shin Gu, who stars in Korean drama series Dear My Friends. Lee made her feature debut with horror mystery thriller Uninvited, starring Gianna Jun, in 2003.

Cho plays a doctor who, after sedating his landlord before a check-up, hears the old man start to make a convincing murder confession. When a young woman’s severed head is found at a butcher shop run by the same landlord’s son, the doctor begins to suspect that the father and son are serial killers.

The film has
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Watch: The Teaser Trailer for New Korean Thriller ‘Bluebeard’ Starring Cho Jin-Woong (The Handmaiden, 2016)


Director: Lee Soo-youn

Distributor: Lotte Entertainment

Cast: Cho Jin-woong, Kim Dae-myung, Shin Gu


Dr. Seung-hoon (played by Cho Jin-woon) sedates his landlord before medical check-up, when the old man begins telling him a convincing murder confession. Sometime later, a young woman’s severed head is discovered at a butcher shop run by his landlord’s son, and Seung-hoon begins to suspect that the landlord and his son are the serial killers.

After appearing in a supporting role in the critically acclaimed Nameless Gangster, Cho Jin-woong rose to prominence as the antagonist in 2014’s A Hard Day and his career gained remarkable momentum. He landed a starring role alongside Choi Min-sik in The Admiral: Roaring Currents and the following year, he appeared in the star-studded period action drama Assassination. Recently, he delivered an outstanding performance in Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden and will be seen in, of Nameless Gangster,
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Film Review: Surprising Fun in Revenge Tale of ‘The Handmaiden’

Chicago – Although “The Handmaiden” is based in deceit, fetishes, thievery and subservience, director Park Chan-Wook (“Stoker”) keeps it light by the addition of some subversive humor, and weaves a mystery with a pitch that is like the “The Sting” meets “In the Realm of the Senses.”

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Yes, there is eroticism in the film, but it is presented as a plot motivator, and is also used as a great punch line. Mostly the step-by-step story, told by emphasizing different elements of the same situation, seeks comeuppance for the evil that lurks within, even though all the players seem to have some level of larceny in their souls. That edge is the fun, as some characters end up bumbling in their own hubris, while others stay one step ahead of what could be their downfall. The dark mystery/comedy of Hitchcock, the cross cutting of Kurosawa and even the wackiness of
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

The Lrm Interview with Park Chan-Wook on The Handmaiden

For more than twenty years, director Park Chan-Wook has been South Korea’s primary export when it comes to cinema, paving the way for many other Korean filmmakers to get discovered in the states. Oldboy may still be Director Park’s grandest masterpiece, but he’s created some gorgeous films since then.

Director Park’s latest film is The Handmaiden, a period thriller about two young women—Korean Sookee (Kim Tae-ri), who comes to work as the handmaid for the young secluded Lady Hideko (Kim Min-Lee) in the large estate of the latter’s wealthy book-collecting uncle (Cho Jin-woong), who has a lot of odd quirks. As the two women become closer, they form a bond, but Hideko doesn’t realize that Sookee was sent there to help set her up to be seduced by The Count (Ha Jung-woo), actually a con-man in cahoots with Sookee, who changes her mind
See full article at LRM Online »

Scott Reviews Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden [Theatrical Review]

Park Chan-wook is not exactly unfamiliar with the con man narrative – his two most famous films in America, Oldboy and Stoker, both revolve around hidden plots the protagonists are trying to untangle. In The Handmaiden, however, he is more directly engaging with the tropes of the genre. There are plots and double-crosses and unreliable narrators and massive amounts of plot skillfully slid just out of or just into the audience’s view. The pure pleasure of watching The Handmaiden is not dissimilar from the machinations of an Oceans film or any other such heist, which indeed, in a sense, this is. There’s a loot of money that must be had and a definite plan for how to get it. What makes it a great film, beyond Park’s characteristic directorial rigor and downright strange taste, is the way he twists the heist plot into something personal, and recognizes that
See full article at CriterionCast »

Park Chan-wook Talks ‘The Handmaiden,’ Male Gaze, Queer Influence, and Remaking a Spike Lee Film

The Handmaiden is, in some way, the über Park Chan-wook film — revenge! double-crosses! violence! eyebrow-raising sex scenes! wild angles and edits! — thus making it a perfect occasion to speak with South Korea’s best-recognized auteur. That I don’t especially love his latest picture and, still, found myself eager to speak with him about its particulars should be a testament to the level of interest it affords. When was the last time a filmmaker could reasonably answer questions about the use of subtitles?

When we get into the film’s sexual politics — a major point of contention in our Cannes review — it’s clear that Park feels a deep need to defend his material and artistic perspective, but the conversation remained cordial as he paced back and forth in a Manhattan hotel room. I’ll let you discover the rest for yourself.

I’d like to thank Wonjo Jeong, who provided excellent on-site translation.
See full article at The Film Stage »

Park Chan-Wook’s ‘The Handmaiden’

Probably one of the most anticipated films of the year, not only for lovers of Asian cinema, but of cinema, in general, “The Handmaiden” proves that Park Chan-wook is one of the top filmmakers of the era, and that the knowledge he acquired from his time in Hollywood (Stoker) can be wonderfully implemented in Asian aesthetics.

The film is already an international success, since it has sold out in 175 countries, beating out the previous sales record of Bong Joon-ho’s English-language sci-fi feature “Snowpiercer”, to become the best-selling Korean film of all time.

The script is based on the novel “Fingersmith” by Sarah Waters and takes place in Korea of the 1930s, with the country under Japanese rule. Con man “Count” Fujiwara has managed to insert himself into the very secluded circle of Kouzuki, an eccentric hedonist who has become the man in charge of a very large estate, and plans to marry his niece,
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

The Handmaiden Movie Review 2

  • ShockYa
The Handmaiden Movie Review 2
The Handmaiden Amazon Studios/ Magnolia Pictures Reviewed by: Tami Smith, Film Reviewer for Shockya Grade: A Director: Park Chan-wook Written by: Seo-Kyung Chung, Chan-wook Park; Based on “Fingersmith”, a novel by Sarah Waters Cast: Ha Jung-woo, Kim Tae-ri, Kim Min-hee, Cho Jin-woong Release Date: October 21, 2016 “Things are seldom what they seem, Skim milk masquerades as cream” sings Buttercup in Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta, “H.M.S. Pinafore;” “A virtuous woman obeyed men throughout her life: in youth, she obeyed her father; when married, she obeyed her husband; if her husband died, she was subject to her son.” As per Korean Confucian standards Director Park Chan-wook and writer Seo-Kyung Chung must [ Read More ]

The post The Handmaiden Movie Review 2 appeared first on Shockya.com.
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