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Fun Movie
   |     review    |     name that movie    |     availability     |      
"Damn you, Ramirez!"
Year: 2002
Director: Jang Kyu-sung
Cast: Kim Jung-eun, Im Won-hee, Kim Soo-ro, Suh Tae-hwa, Park Kyung-lim, Lee Won-jong, Lee Mi-yeon (cameo)
The Skinny: Fun Movie is entertaining crap - if you've seen the films it mocks. Some of the parodies are brilliant, but the plot endlessly drags trying to pull one gag out of the bag every five minutes. The leading trio is terrific, though Suh Tae-hwa certainly isn't.
by LunaSea:
     It was inevitable that someone would come up with a film like Fun Movie. Korean Cinema has become famous enough to be on the receiving end of a parody, and this is the country's first attempt to tackle the genre. If your knowledge of Korean Cinema (and culture) is good enough to get 3/4 of the jokes, you'll often be amused. Otherwise, it's likely Fun Movie will seem like a huge mess, and not a very interesting one, to boot.
     The film drags even from the first portion. It doesn't have enough panache to sustain a pace of its own. It always needs to go back to the parody, otherwise it'd bore you to tears. Talking about a plot here would be silly. It takes the main theme of Shiri (this time it's Japanese extremists instead of North Korean ones), and intertwines parodies from just about every successful Korean film of the last ten years. Some are done in a subtle way, some rather obviously.
     The most successful parodies are those from Nowhere To Hide (the forty steps murder, only they use tempura and sauce to kill!), My Sassy Girl (Kim Jung-eun is brilliant as The Girl), and Green Fish (the phone call home and the final car scene are recreated to hilarious perfection). The most disgusting parody is the one merging the baseball bat scene from Lies with Ahn Sung-ki's "unusual" investigative methods in Two Cops (Don't watch this while eating - I'm warning you). While the three main leads are tremendous in their timing, delivery and body language, Suh Tae-hwa is a disappointment. His acting is bland and stiff, and he seems out of place. He's been consistently mediocre in one too many films (with the notable exception of Friend, where his blandness was perfect for his character).
     At almost two hours, Fun Movie is overlong, and it drags way too much to be as enjoyable as it could have been. It has no lasting effect as a whole, but some memorable scenes will remain in your mind. If anything, the film highlights the industry's current wave of success and creativity, and could be a fun test of your knowledge of recent Korean Cinema. However, if all you've seen is Musa: The Warrior and Shiri, I'd stay away. Fun Movie is not the right film for you if you're just starting to explore Korean Cinema. (LunaSea 2002)
that Movie:
This list shouldn't be considered a spoiler, since you still have to find the actual scenes. The following is a list of parodies I've found in the film. Some of them last just a few seconds, so blink and you'll miss them. The movie advertises 28 parodies, so - if they're telling the truth - this list is almost complete.
Sopyonje (D: Im Kwon-taek)
Two Cops (D: Kang Woo-suk)
Contact (D: Jang Yoon-hyun)
Green Fish (D: Lee Chang-dong)
No. 3 (D: Song Neun-han)
Beat (D: Kim Sung-soo)
Christmas in August (D: Hur Jin-ho)
A Promise (Kim Yoo-jin)
Whispering Corridors (D: Park Ki-hyung)
Dachimawa Lee (D: Ryu Seung-wan)
Shiri (D: Kang Jae-gyu)
Nowhere to Hide (D: Lee Myung-sae)
Attack the Gas Station (D: Kim Sang-jin)
The Spy, Lee Chul-Jin (D: Jang Jin)
Lies (D: Jang Sun-woo)
Joint Security Area (D: Park Chan-wook)
The Foul King (D: Kim Ji-woon)
Bichunmoo (D: Kim Young-jun)
Ditto (D: Kim Jong-kwon)
The Scissors/A Nightmare (D: Ahn Byung-ki)
The Isle (D: Kim Ki-duk)
Peppermint Candy (D: Lee Chang-dong)
Friend (D: Kwak Kyung-taek)
My Sassy Girl (D: Kwak Jae-yong)
Kick the Moon (D: Kim Sang-jin)
Bungee Jumping of their Own (D: Kim Dae-sung)
Note: There's also a poster of The Last Present (a 2001 film with Lee Jung-jae and Lee Young-ae) in one of the scenes, but I doubt that counts as a parody.
Availability: DVD (Korea)
Region 3 NTSC
Cinema Service/Plenus
2-disc Special Edition
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Korean Language Track
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English Subtitles

image courtesy of Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen