Gongdong gyeongbi guyeok JSA (2000)
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What a marvel of a movie this is! It manages to persevere even though about 5% of it is absolute garbo due to filthy westerners doing their very best to try and ruin everything. All the scenes with Byung-Hun, Kang-Ho, Mr. Vengeance and uhm... the fourth one are so great, that you don't even care about the classic uninterest the western actors bring to the table.
Knowledge of Korean history comes in handy with this one, it adds a layer of intrigue to the whole film and without it, one can think that this is just another "anti-war"-movie, God I hate that whole "anti-war"-concept... Having this film higher than giants like Seppuku and The Sword of Doom on my top 10 list feels kinda filthy, but I just can't help it, it's the absurdity of the situation in Korea that I find so intresting, and the way the movie shows the two nations as equals instead of going the basic South Korean route of demonizing the Northerners that really makes this movie great.
I don't think I've ever had such a strong emotional connection to the characters of a movie than I had with the two pairs of soldiers in this film. A lot of it comes from the immaculate work of Byung-Hun Lee and especially Kang-Ho Song, but it's also the way the story is told that really tugs at my heartstrings. At the start of the movie, you can't even dare to expect what an emotional journey you're about to embark on. The lightheartedness of some of the scenes only amplifies the devastation of the ending.
God bless Kim-Kwang Seok and God bless Chan-Wook Park for using two of his greatest songs in this film. The music in this film is some of the best I've ever heard in cinema all together. If it wasn't for the God awful shite by the westerners, this would be the best movie ever, but it still has the best ending I've ever seen, the music, the picture... The feels.
Your shadow is over the line. Watch it!
If you get the US DVD, it might automatically give you the English language dub. The Swiss/Korean woman's voice that is dubbed into English is pretty horrible. Please know that there is the original Korean track and English subtitles. There is really no other way to watch it with this particular DVD release.
Must Watch anti war movie
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In 3 official lists
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This movie ranks #20 in Film 2.0's 100 Korean Masterpieces
This movie ranks #87 in KOFA's 100 Korean Films
This movie ranks #501 in Tom Vick's Asian Cinema: A Field Guide