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Movie Review: The Man From Nowhere

[Please join us in welcoming a guest blogger to Dramabeans, movie reviewer only1tony. We’ve been wanting to cover movies for so long, but barring cloning and/or dangerous 4th dimension travel, we had to find someone awesome who loves dramas and movies and the DB community just as much as we do. Be on the lookout for new features! Without further ado, here’s tony! -girlfriday]

Compelling, passionate, thrilling, heart-warming, dark, and above all well-acted, it is no surprise why The Man From Nowhere (aka Ajusshi) swept the board with awards last year. The partnership of Won Bin and Kim Sae-Ron is excellent, and their chemistry as mysterious man and the little girl who loves him is incredible.

This movie is beautifully constructed in both visual and story aspects. The sheer emotion this movie elicits is simply unspeakable: from the pain of societal rejection, to hopelessness, to unadulterated anger, and finally a sense of what it means to purely love. It is definitely a must-see.

THE MAN FROM NOWHERE REVIEW

The premise of The Man From Nowhere centers around a mysterious Ajusshi named CHA TAE-SHIK (Won Bin), who is very solitary and largely stigmatized as a societal outcast. He is befriended by his neighbor’s daughter JUNG SO-MI (Kim Sae-ron) who is also looked upon with disdain because of her socioeconomic status. So-mi’s mother gets involved in a complex drug ring that leads to her and her daughter’s kidnapping, and the only person who can rescue them is Tae-shik. He goes to any lengths to save the one little girl who believes in him. It is an action-packed, rollercoaster of emotions that will grab hold of you until the very end.

This movie is wonderful from a multitude of aspects that I will try my hardest to capture in this review. First and foremost, I must call attention to the extensive pool of talented actors.

We meet our hero, Tae-shik, who looks a little disheveled and very much like an outcast, but despite his appearance he still manages to show a sweet side admiring some white flowers. He arrives at his residence where we meet So-mi for the first time. She is an energetic girl, talking to Tae-shik despite his refusal to respond with little more than monosyllabic answers.

I love this duo because it’s so unexpected, but they fit each other so well. He’s so silent and solemn and she’s so energetic and youthful. They also don’t act like they have a typical adult/child relationship, but they’re more like argumentative best friends. So-mi is without a doubt a wise little girl because despite what everyone thinks of the mysterious Ajusshi, she can see that he is a good person underneath all the gruffness. Sigh. I wish I could have Won Bin as my best friend and mysterious neighbor!

Character introduction is one example of how efficient and well-rounded the production team is at framing each character. Unlike a drama which has some leeway in establishing character traits and personalities, movies are limited to a finite amount of time to accomplish the same exact level of familiarity. This film, however, delivers in all categories by familiarizing the viewer with almost every character we encounter, setting up a clear love/hate relationship.

Won Bin as Cha Tae-shik really should be called the “King of Expression.” There are numerous moments in the movie in which his eyes tell you more than any dialogue could. I have been a long-time fan of Won Bin so I have come to expect this amazing level of acting, but he truly did step it up. You can see the pain in his eyes, the heartache, the regret, and for those few moments, even happiness and relief. I have to say that by far Won Bin contributed most to the emotional rollercoaster that made this film so moving.

Kim Sae-ron as Jung So-mi is a relatively new actress whose performance was really enjoyable. I loved how quirky and cute she was. The emotional parts that she had to do, which I’m sure must be hard for any actress, let alone a child actor, were simply brilliant. She made me cry a few times, and I consider myself made of stone, so you can imagine! Sae-ron is definitely one of those child actors to be on the lookout for, because with acting abilities like hers, there is no telling what the future holds.

What made the movie really special though was the excellent chemistry between Won Bin and Kim Sae-ron. The duo was quite eccentric, but somehow managed to be adorable at the same time. They played off of each other really well and most of all their friendship seemed natural, not at all forced. The movie would not have been the same without this pairing, and the tender/tormenting moments would not have been as emotionally charged.

The pair was honestly really cute together and I found myself wishing I had a mysterious Ajusshi neighbor that would come to my rescue! I guess dreaming of one will have to do.

In one of the most important scenes in the movie, So-mi gives Ajusshi her most prized possession: a Yu-gi-oh card called Dark Night which she says “beats everything.” She turns to leave but faces him one more time to say:

So-mi: Ajusshi! I embarrass you too, right? That’s why you ignored me? It’s okay. My teacher and all the kids at school do that, too. Mom said that if I get lost, I should forget our address and phone number. She gets drunk and says we should die. Even though that pig called me a bum… You’re meaner. But I don’t hate you. Because if I do, I won’t have anyone I like. Thinking about it hurts me here (she pounds her chest near her heart). So I won’t hate you.

This is by far one of the saddest speeches I’ve heard in a long time. She pours out her soul to him, revealing her hopeless situation. This is really one of the turning points in the movie because this is where we find out that she really needs Ajusshi. He’s important to her, and although not readily apparent, he needs her too.

Aside from the main characters, the secondary characters were also quite brilliant.

Kim Sung-oh, who plays evil drug baddie Jong-seok, was really surprising. I’ve seen him in minor roles in Secret Garden and Midas, where both times he played a silly/not-so-well-off-intellectually type of person, but his role here was drastically different. He plays an amazing sadistic evil guy, with a bit of a psychopathic edge. I like it when an actor is not a one-trick pony and delivers lots of range. He was actually one of my favorite characters just because of how demented his character was.

Kim Hyo-seo, as So-mi’s drug addicted and negligent mother, was probably the biggest surprise. She was incredible in the scene that displayed the horrors of drug addiction. The representation of drug world is drastically real. We see the conditions of drug abuse, the treatment of children as cattle, and even the violent and often relentless business that is drug dealing.

The movie is so good at capturing experiences/real life situations, like addiction, violence and sadness. The ecstasy on the mother’s face as soon as she injects the heroin is stunningly real and I must give proper recognition to Kim Hyo-seo for her incredible acting in the role of the drug-obsessed, negligent mother. I think I’m going to keep a closer eye on her from now on.

Other notable actors included Kim Tae-hoon, who played the lead detective Kim Chi-gon, and Kim Hee-won, who played super evil drug baddie Man-seok. Tae-hoon was good at playing an all-time serious detective, but his character in all honesty did not pique my interest as much as the others. Hee-won was by far one of the most dynamic characters in the movie and really worked the angle of loathed drug tycoon really well. There was also the inclusion of funny man Lee Jong-pil, as detective Noh, and Thai actor Thanayong Wongtrakul, as a psychopath with a knife Ramrowan, who spoke perfect English.

Now for the really juicy stuff: the plot and production value. At first, I thought the plot sounded mundane; super mystery man gets involved with the underground drug world leading to danger and sadness, but ultimately ends up saving the day. Man was I ever wrong. The plot itself is not contrived and is in fact well-written.

The premise is pretty classic: hero needs to save people from evil guys. But that’s where the classic nature ends. Relationships are built that give rise to the action. The dynamics of these relationships are not all black and white, and as such there is definitely an inherent struggle in the viewer. We connect to the characters in such a way that draws us into their world, and as a result we become invested.

From the beginning, the film manages to set up the relationship between So-mi and Tae-shik, defining every aspect of this movie. And let me just say I am so glad that a romantic relationship was not the main focus for at least one movie I have seen in the last year. The production crew manages to capture the eccentric yet realistic relationship between mysterious/kind stranger and youthful/spunky misfortunate girl (if you can imagine that). This is a talent that you will see is noticeable throughout the film: the ability of the production team, as well as the actors, to capture epically realistic and emotionally charged scenes really well.

The story centers on a very mysterious Ajusshi, and we gradually learn more about him as the film progresses, and see what led him to his present state. His backstory is really kind of tragic, but that tragedy allows us to connect as viewers to his story. He might be a recluse, but he has one friend in So-mi, equally jaded, despite being such a young girl.

What I thought was one of the most brilliant aspects of this movie was its strategic (and not overwhelming) use of action. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen a Hollywood blockbuster that simply pounds the action at you every minute and never develops its characters or storyline. Thankfully, The Man From Nowhere does not follow in their steps. Storyline and character development are first and foremost, followed by the use of action as a supporting device to further the story.

From explosions to fight scenes and even portrayal of death, action did play a big part in the excitement factor of this movie. I will admit, had action not been involved, this movie would have been a huge melodrama cry-my-eyes-out-until-I-dehydrate parade. The action though, provided a great sense of thrill. Some of the fight scenes were some of my all-time favorites because the fighting was actually visible.

Far too often cameras can’t capture the rapid movements in fight scenes, and they end up a big blurry mess of twisted bodies. But the visual acuity of the camera work really helps bring out the stunning nature of the fight scenes.

The graphic nature of the killings — an axe to the head, a knife to the mouth, even organ removal — was really well done. I truly was not expecting that. And from then on, the explicit nature of the scenes only grows. Deaths became bloody and violent, revelations even more shocking and the action sequences much more involved.

The acts of killing become really dramatic and so tangibly painful. I’m not squeamish when it comes to blood, but just thinking about the way these people died makes my skin crawl. I promise never to steal drugs for the sheer fear of how I might die!

Symbols, as a plot device, are very important as well. Specifically the nail art that So-mi likes to do from the start of the film. With her mom on drugs, she turns to the only person she can, Tae-shik, and buckles down in his place for the night. When he awakens the following morning, he finds So-mi has already left, but she did not leave without a thank you gift: a painted fingernail with her special brand of nail art, which he can’t help but smile at. So cute!

The nail becomes a transient symbol throughout the movie. That one fingernail represents everything that Tae-shik is fighting for and reminds us that love, in the purest form of family love, is more important than anything.

The hair cutting scene is very symbolic and crucial to this movie’s incredible second half. This is the crux when our hero, who has been so disadvantaged for the entire movie, turns the tables. He transforms himself back into the person he used to be, releasing what I like to call the hidden beast. He’s willing to give up everything to save this little girl. I love the symbolic nature of the actions the writer-director employs because it helps the viewer understand the stages of his development.

The greatest aspect of the movie by far was the emotional side of the storyline. My heart was wrenched out of my chest, stepped on a few times, thrown across the world, and put back in my chest and bandaged with one of those cute penguin band-aids. I literally felt everything the characters felt, and for it I was an emotional wreck by the time it was over. I love a movie that can make me feel everything that a drama makes me feel, but in less than 2 hours. (I still love you, dramas!)

In terms of cinematography, this movie was definitely in a class of its own. The angles, the lighting, the scenery, and even the set design were truly marvelous. In fact, I think a big part of what made this movie great was the acuity of the camera work. At times it was clean and focused so we could see every detail within the frame, and at others, when the action was chaotic, was face moving and even dizzying, but still visible. It was the camera work that made the fighting scenes so realistic.

But I think it is safe to say that the movie itself was truly enhanced by the incredible degree of acting. Won Bin is a master at expressing emotion with his eyes. Without many words he was able to take us from melancholy to surprise, to misery, to anger, and finally to relief and happiness. Whether it was tears of sorrow or tears of contentment, I truly think the powerful facial expressions of Won Bin made the movie that much more special.

The Many Faces of Won Bin:


Overall I think writer-director Lee Jeong-beom was spectacular. He had the vision and skill to execute this dream film with such finesse and artistic aptitude that it really was inspiring. I hope that we see more great works from this writer-director, preferably more action films, although other genres wouldn’t disappoint. (Imagine what he could do with a romantic comedy!)

The Man From Nowhere is a must-watch and I promise you won’t regret it.

Thank you for reading and I hope you liked this first movie review. Please let me know what you think and ways I can improve!

 
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Hi! You're good! I like you. Welcome to Dramabeans, and thank you for you're review; I've been wondering when there'd be movie reviews on here.

"My heart was wrenched out of my chest, stepped on a few times, thrown across the world, and put back in my chest and bandaged with one of those cute penguin band-aids"
I love this line!!! In this small line right here, you have managed to say everything I've felt for a few Dramas that I have watched, I am going steal this ok? Lol. xD

The Man From Nowhere is definitely a MUST watch! Though for me, it didn't have a real emotional effect to me other than "OMG THAT WAS SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!". Lol. It was The Man From Nowhere, Taken, and Limitless, that got me to realize, I LOVE ACTION MOVIES. xD

I look forward to more movie reviews from you. I've just found MORE reasons to check Dramabeans more often, now. (Since I'm not watching any of the Dramas that ate currently recapped on here, I don't want to spoil it for myself by reading the recaps, so I've been staying away.)

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Only1tony,

Many warm greetings to you on your first DB movie review. I appreciated your article, I also like how you are responding to your audience. Good job!

The first movie that came to my mind, as I realized that you are actually open to suggestions is:

3-Iron (2004) with Jae Hee and Lee Sung-yeon

I picked this one because I perceive (and I could be wrong) it to be a difficult movie to review in a manner that another has not already done. Sure it's easy to give a synopsis, but expressing your thoughts of the movie along with the non-verbal storyline which focuses so much on...

Well, that would be for you to say and me to read. :-)

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Dear MJP,

Thanks for the suggestion. It will definitely go in my pool of possibilities :).

only1tony

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wow! nice review and a great read. i hope i can find time to watch this movie.

thanks only1tony! thumbs up! :)

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Dear Tony.

Thank you for the movie review. I was really inspired by it and decided to watch the movie immediately. Thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Despite the movie having a good ending, I wish it wasn't so open-ended with so much left for imagination. I wish they could have shown a 2 year later with Won Bin winning a court case and acquitted as afterall, he took down a drug ring involved with both child and organ trafficking all on his own. And be united Sae ron.

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Great review, loved how you covered different areas in a movie like acting and then cinematography.
Review could be a little more balanced by mentioning things that didn't work.
For me, i enjoyed the movie, it was well done. I watched it in theaters but I don't think I would watch it twice because the villains and their nature was too over-the-top gory and unnecessary. Do the villians really have to be that bad? Yuck......

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Great review, and very well written!! ^_^

Honestly, I wasn't blown away by this film when I watched it - it reminded me too much of similar revenge films from the past (Soo, Bittersweet Life, Chocolate, The Professional, etc); particularly, the revenge-driven-blood-spattered-ending which has been done to death. So although the acting was great, I didn't find the story particularly original or unique to its genre. So my personal rating was only 4/5 stars. I'd still recommend watching it of course, but there are many revenge/suspense/thrillers I'd recommend before this one.

Here are some of my personal favorites if you're looking for suggestions for future reviews: Poetry, Midnight FM, Save the Green Planet, Return, I Saw The Devil, Fly Daddy Fly, My Girlfriend's An Agent, She's On Duty.

Either way, I look forward to seeing more movie reviews from you in the future. Welcome to the DB family!! :)

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Also, I agree with some other commenters: it would be nice in the future if the review was a bit more balanced, and addressed the film's flaws as well as its strengths. I think those of us who have seen it would agree that it's not exactly perfect . . . the story's not particularly original, it's a bit too bloody and gory for those faint of heart, and the ending is a bit open-ended (then again, most Korean films are, lol). The point is, they do exist. And if you can't see them for yourself, you're not looking hard enough, or need to watch it again with a more discerning eye.

Another thing you may want to consider adding in the future is some type of star rating system (out of 4, 5, or 10 stars). For one thing, I think it's human nature to want to rate things, and it gives us readers an easy way to gauge the film's overall success. Even JB and GF have a page devoted to ratings for the various dramas they've watched. But, even more importantly, it forces you to view them a bit more objectively yourself, since you'll have to consider how they measure up to your own personalized scale. I mean, if all the movies you review are seemingly perfect like The Man from Nowhere, it's less of a well-balanced review, and more of a one-sided squee-fest, lol. . . ;)

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Dear ajewell,

Thanks for all of the great suggestions. Poetry is definitely on my list to do (so many movies so little time!). I thank you for your great suggestions.

only1tony

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Hello Tony and welcome to the club!!
May I suggest "The Housemaid" or some of Son Ye Jin's movies?

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Yes! All of SYJ's movies would be fine!

And all of Ha Jung-woo's as well.

Really really really liked My Dear Enemy/A Good Day/A Fine Day/ Fantastic Day
A lot going on between the words and the eyes.

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Great Review, thanks
I just watched it about 2 weeks ago finally having had trouble getting the dvd. The only other time I saw Won Bin was Autum in my heart like years back.
Enjoyed this movie eventhough I'm not crazy about K Movies, much prefer KDramas.
Most of the time I find it too gruesome or the ending sucks so I have only watched less than 10 KMovies so far.

Look forward for more reviews from you, this will help me decide to watch them or not.
One of my favourite movie is Open City with Kim Myung Min and The Devine Weapon.

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More spoilers! Maybe more of a breakdown the entire plot, beginning to end! But well done! I want to check out the movie now.

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great review. thanks so much for it! i've been hoping to find a place that does kmovie reviews as well... this website just keeps getting better and better :D can't wait to see ur next review!!!

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Yes, It's a must watch. Though certain scenes were quite disturbing but Won Bin is amazing here...

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They will be missed. Solid script with solid actors, love them all....

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First, welcome only1tony! I look forward to more movie reviews. You did a great job on your first one and I'm thrilled you picked The man from nowhere. I saw it a few months ago and I clearly remember how it blew me away. I have to agree that the whole cast gave a stunning performance but it's Won Bin who nailed it. I instantly became a fan. This is definitely the best korean movie I've seen so far.

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Wow! such a big surpise to find out that the psycho guy from the movie (brilliant acting btw!) is the same guy as secretary Kim from Secret Garden!! Kim Sung Oh is such a good actor, I'm really impressed.

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omg thanks so much for this!!!!!!!!!! I am always wondering what good movies are out there, and now know what to watch!!!! And a small request, is it possible for you to flag spoilers? Because i haven't watched any of the movies you've mentioned, and I do intend to do that one day... thanks! :D

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LOVED LOVED LOVED this movie and the review brought it all back for me! Searching the net, to watch again. Thanks!

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Thank you Tony..

Oh Won Bin..*sigh*
My first Korean crush
How is it possible that he's getting hotter as he ages?
I don't get to watch korean movies a lot
But I'll definitely add this on my to-watch list

Could anybody tell me from where I can get english subbed korean movies?

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Hi there, Olsen dear!! ;)

How is my dear City Hunter sistah?? :)

You could go to dramacrazy.net or dramafans to get eng subbed Korean movies and dramas ;)

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My my..

I'm fine and doing great..
Thanx for asking

How are you?
Hope ur hubby is doing fine too
I'm a lil mad too
Cos I've missed u guys so much

And thanx for ur answer to my question
Thousand kisses

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Olsen darling! ;)

*Hugs and kisses* for you too, dearie! ;)

I have missed you and the other CH sistahs so much too... ;)

Thanks for your concern for my hubby ;)

He is abt 80% recovered and has gone back to work...and right back to the dangers that present themselves to him every single day...it is all in a day's work...but he is not complaining...and since he is not, neither do I...but worry and concerned for him I do...

but he comes in a package - marry him, marry his job, with all the attendant dangers and risks...but I wouldn't have it any other way...love conquers all...for the last 10 years of married life... ;)

Thousand kisses for you, dearie! ;)

See you in the next movie review by the wonderful only1tony... ;)

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I loved this movie too! Thanks for the review only1tony! I think you need to decide whether you will be writing a review or a recap. From reading the comments, it looks like you are being asked to do both. As a movie review, I think your commentary was a bit too long and it revealed a bit too much. That being said, do what you like to do and have fun with it. I will definitely be here to read what you have to say!

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Dear come2noona (love the name by the way),

I wanted it to be a hybrid. Enough of a taste to get you interested in watching without giving away the end or more of the important details. That was my goal anyway. Thanks for the suggestions.

only1tony

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If that was your goal, you did it! Good job!

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SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited, only1tony, to have you here! Thanks for the recap/review! I watched this film once with really bad video. I can't wait to see it again with your insight in mind.

Watching films, I think, requires a lot more attention to background details than dramas because the director needs to SHOW when he doesn't have as much time to TELL. Reading subs and noticing (totally making this up here) the reflection of the derailed train in the window can be challenging.

In addition, sometimes there is so much dialogue, the subs just cannot keep up. This happened in Fate, aka, the movie where there were more half naked men in the poster than the actual film. In one scene, sub titles blocked out the entire screen.

I have been dying to have someone point out things that I miss in films. Even in English films, I miss these clues.

Looking forward to joining everyone on this journey through Kfilms. I love being at the beginning of a project like this because I know in a year or so, we can all look back at the trail of shared experiences.

Hwaiting!

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"the movie where there were more half naked men in the poster than the actual film"

LOL! Jomo was that the pull that got you to watch the movie? If so, that had to be disappointing. :-)

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This is what I actually wrote right after watching it:
suk myeong 숙명
Dark. Percentage of guys running around shirtless to guys hitting people with metal pipes: 1% to 99%.
Would have liked to see more shirtlessness.
The Hand Towel looks good, doesn't say too much, smokes a lot.

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The Hand Towel was in it? Hmmmm... But his shirt stays on, huh? Pipe hitting? Not a movie for me. I need my romance.

When is he going to do another drama? I sure hope he doesn't take a whole year off!

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Finally, a movie reviewer, Awesome! I'm more of a movie fan than a drama fan, just because i cant stand the long hours of drama, with the exception of Lee Min Ho of course :). Could u please do The Yellow Sea? I have seen this one time and plans to watch it again, didn't get the gripe of the story much so I love The Chaser so much better!

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Thanks for the review and welcome to DB! I liked that you didn't construct it as a scene-by-scene recap -- this way it's not too spoilery for all of us that haven't seen the film.
There are already many comments about the review so I'm gonna keep it to the minimum: to me it was well-written and easy on the eyes; I liked the character descriptions. The superlatives got a bit excessive, though; you might want to make the review a bit more diverse (also mentioning why someone might not prefer this movie, commenting on the themes and issues the movie touched upon).

Anyhow keep up the good work, I'll be looking forward to hearing more from you!

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Dear stee,

I agree! I was a little superfluous on the accolades and will try to be more balanced next time, I just honestly liked this movie very much. Thanks for the suggestions.

only1tony

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This is great! I'm a huge filmofile so I really enjoyed the review. You should do a year review of movies or review some old ones that some or most of us haven't seen/heard of.

Thanks for the review!

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*filmophile

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I saw it on Netflix. It is on my watch list.

I didn't want to get too deep into your review because I want to see it first, but I couldn't help but finish your review anyway. Excellent writing.

only1tony fighting!

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Thanks samsooki,

Coming from another writer for Dramabeans that makes me feel so good. Fighting!!! All the way.

only1tony

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Welcome to DB's...:)

That was a great review, I could'nt wait to for the movie to be available for me to order..."Amazon.com" of course ... since I have it I have watch over three time and now am goin to watch again along with " Mother" you have to do a review on that movie it was awsome...

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Oh, a movie review, I thought it said recap. LOL Thank you for the good read and welcome! So many talented writers on this site. Time for a rewatch.

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Great, now my movie review blog will go nowhere ;_;

awesome movie though ;O review also good yay except well you use some hard words i dont understand 8D and you sound too formal o-o but thats just my opinion probably

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I watched the movie on Netflix and it was so intense a watching experience. I watched it together with a friend of mine though, a girl who kept screaming every time a cruel scene was about to happen, which distracted me a little bit and made me watch it again a month later. This time it was one of the most fulfilling and emotional film-watching I have ever had. Definitely a MUST-WATCH for those who have not! Thank you, only1tony, for your review. I'm glad that dramabeans will have regular film review from now on. Keep up your good work!

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Hello Tony!

As much as I enjoyed your sophisticated and well thought-out review, I do wish you would spend a bit more time recapping as well. While we here at Dramabeans appreciate reviews, we also love our recaps, especially when it allows us to "watch" movies/dramas that we otherwise might not have the time to at the moment.

Thank you and good luck!

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Dear Elana,

So I actually did three drafts of this post. A review, a recap and a hybrid and we ultimately choose the hybrid option, mainly because we felt it most reflected what we wanted. My goal again was not to give you the movie verbatim, but to give you a taste and want you to go out and see it. Drama recaps are important because a drama series is long (16 episodes each about an hour leads to over 16 hours of footage) so they can help save time but movies rarely go beyond 2 hours so I think a review/semi-recap is a good format.

Thank you for your suggestion.

only1tony

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hi tony!

thanks for the movie review - very enjoyable, though i don't know if this will end up being my cup of tea. still it made me intrigued...

in terms of suggestions, perhaps the use of headings might be helpful in terms of flow & keeping recap & review straight. there is another review site (which i can't remember the name of) that breaks their reviews down in something like the following:

main characters/actors
rating
short recap/summary
thoughts
spoilers

i personally found this format helpful with keeping everything straight & skipping bits i didn't want to read. just my two cents & hope you find it helpful. :)

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Dear m,

I have seen similar review formats and I will consider this in the future. I think, however, that I do try to keep the spoilers to a minimum and they are only there to entice people to watch the actual movie. I will try and take this into consideration but with segmentation does come some repetitious nature which I do not want to repeat (no pun intended). I thank you for you suggestion and maybe I will try one review like this and see the audience perception.

only1tony

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Love ur recap, so much i want to know when does this moview release onto dvd!!!

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it's already on DVD Cherry...

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Thank you for the review!! Now I really need to see this!

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I loved this movie and now I really want to re-watch it after reading your review!

If your taking suggestions could you please review Old Boy? This is a movie I constantly see referenced but i'm a little scared to watch it since people mention that there are a lot of intense scenes and heavy content.

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Dear DJHija,

Oldboy is already on my list of movies to review. I would say though that it is a pretty great movie, a classic if you will. It is a little intense so if you are not use to films like Ahjussi, I would suggest getting a friend to watch it with.

Thanks for the suggestion.

only1tony

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Oh wow, I had no idea that freaky pale sadistic (and strangely kind of hot) guy was the dorky secretary in Secret Garden! I did not recognize him at all!! That Thai guy was super hot too. Add Won Bin and this was quite a treat for my eyes! (Please don't think that's all I got out of the movie, though. I would have loved it even with un-hot people : D )

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Excellent review!

"I love a movie that can make me feel everything that a drama makes me feel, but in less than 2 hours. "
-I concur, sometimes its hard to go back to movies because of this, but I felt that "Man From Nowhere" definitely hit the spot.

I'm looking forward to reading your reviews!

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By the way, I thought your format was just fine. Reminds me of a well written essay versus a typical movie review, or recap. Nicely structured with great context, transitions and supporting examples.

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hey to all dramabeans users,

i'm just really curious...
do you guys mostly live in the u.s., canada, u.k. etc?? and anyone with korean background?

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Dear jen,

So I myself am actually in America. In terms of Korean background, I myself am not Korean but I have taken an introductory level of Korean language classes and have visited Korea. I hope this helps answer your question.

only1tony

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Yay for Kmovies review at DB.
I always think that there a lot of awesome Kmovies to be review and recommended. Instead of scene by scene recap, I actually like your style and for this review, I don't think you revealed so much spoiler.

I'm just curious whether movie reviews will just come from you at this site and whether your post will come out weekly or monthly

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Dear adney,

So I believe the plan is to have a weekly posting. I am not sure on the day yet. Also, I think javabeans and girlfriday will dabble in the movie review side of things sometimes, or at least that is the impression I got.

Thanks for the input and comments.

only1tony

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Thanks so much for the review. I also loved the movie - not the screenplay so much as the acting, directing and production values. Don't feel bad about spoilers. It is almost impossible to write a thoughtful review without spoilers. If someone is afraid of that, they shouldn't read reviews.

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I have yet to watch any K-Movies. Does anyone know if any K-Movies air on any of the US movie channels? I remember seeing two international films on US TV before. That way I can watch with my family and introduce them to the wonderful world that is K-TV.

Someone mentioned before that this movie was similar to "Taken" and that piques my interest even more, seeing how I enjoyed that movie. I haven't actually read the Review yet since I want to avoid spoilers but just seeing that a review has been written reminded me that this was to be on my movie-watch list. I just might sign up for Netflix to rent it.

Welcome to the alternate universe of Dramabeans, only1tony ! I'm wondering, do you have a site/twitter of your own? I think it would be helpful to keep have an ask box type thing. Maybe a formspring would be better if you don't have a site or blog of your own and don't want to create one.

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Yay! A movie review.

It's wonderful to see how Dramabeans keeps on growing by expanding their 'choice of materials', so to speak.

We are grateful for your presence and congratulations for a job well done, only1tony.

Thank you :)

p/s I couldn't resist copying your name because it's just too awesome. Heh :D

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Hi only1tony,

Welcome! You're a wish come true, do you realize that? And your writing style rocks so please do not feel compelled to change it. :wink:

(Psst, I read some of the comments and would like to say that I'm in the "a movie should be reviewed and not recapped" camp.)

only1thundie ^^

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Dear thunderbolt,

Thank you for the encouragement. I agree movies should be reviewed and not recapped. Fighting!

only1tony

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when I see the "recent post" side of this site I was quite unsure if I'm reading it correctly, a MOVIE REVIEW??? and more surprisingly THE MAN FROM NOWHERE??? I was like oh common, it can't be true...so I reload the page...it's still there...

I may be overreacting but The Man from Nowhere is just one of my recent favorite Korean movie...I have watch it almost five times already but still can't get enough of it...
The WHOLE TEAM really did a great job...the plot may be ordinary but what makes it different is the EDITING..Cinematography is great! and I agree with only1tony that the acting contributed much to the success of this movie..

thank you so much for this new offering in your site jb and gf... and welcome only1tony, I'm excited to read your future movie review posts..
...but I just can't help but wonder, will you just review Korean movies or will you include those not from your country??? But it doesn't matter if you'll review even not Korean movies or review JUST Korean movies...
I am not Korean but I love Kdramas...Kmovies...even Korean songs... I may not understand the language but there's just this feeling of joy listening to them....I guess I said so much! Thank you again!

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Dear M J,

Believe it or not I am not Korean either (shocking I know!). I just have a major obsession with Korean Cinema. However, this site is dedicated to exclusive Korean Entertainment so I will only be reviewing Korean films here. I know a few sites that do other Asian country film synopsis (not really a review like this one though). Maybe in the future there will be a site like this one for other Asian countries entertainment.

only1tony

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I feel so happy getting a reply from you...
It's really indeed shocking that your not Korean. This just prove that Korean movies is that awesomely good!
I almost forgot that his site is exclusive for Korean Entertainment, now that you mention it I feel dumb for asking the obvious.

I hope that you'll also review classic Korean movies. In particular, I would like "A Moment to Remember" and "The Classic" itself.

Thanks again and good luck.

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ok so since you gave this movie such a good review i decided to watch it. and holy emotional goodness!! i liked it so much. the action was awesome and the emotions....man i cried when he cried and smiled when he smiled. haha. ive never actually watched a won bin film. its kinda funny cuz i've actually seen the little girl and the secret garden dude act. anyways, i've heard the won bin name but i never knew it was attached to such an amazing actor. i think im gonna be his fan for a long time. =) also, was it just me or does won bin seem like a korean keanu reeves in this film. anyway, thanks for your review. i think i like your taste in movies. =)

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His abs made me go o.O

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dear only1tony
thank you for this recap. i am glad someone is doing movie review. it is about time. tks DB! also, can anyone please suggest websites i can watch KMovies like this one?
Mysoju, Dramastyle, and i forgot the other one, have this movie but when i tried to watch it, not all windows download the movie. or it will just stop or not download at all. HELP PLEASE! Thank you.

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Dear only1tony,

Thank you for an amazing first movie review. Ive read great comments/feedback about this movie before but have not had the chance to watch it yet. Reading your review made me want to watch this film right here, right now.

I like how you express your impressions about the film. Your tone and style is almost like javabeans and girlfriday's impeccable and witty writing that we all enjoy. I loved how you described the relationship between the characters played by Won Bin and Kim Sae Ron. (By the way, this li'l girl is the one in "Can You Hear My Heart?", right? She was wonderful there, too! Now I really have to watch this film!). I can sense that you truly enjoyed watching this film yourself and this matters a lot for anyone doing a movie review or a drama series review for that matter. I do agree...movies don't need a recap; insights, review, thoughts, comments are more apt in this case. I like the free-flowing style you just used but a structured format (ie cast, plot, direction, writing, etc...) may also work as others have commented here.

Some Korean Films that Ive enjoyed watching recently and which Id hope would be reviewed here at DB (pls include these in your "pool of possibilities" :-)

71 Into The Fire
Poetry
Petty Romance
Cyrano Agency

But of course, only if you enjoyed watching them, too ;-)

Thank you for sharing with us your thoughts on TMFN...and we are definitely looking forward to your next reviews!

And finally, million thanks to JB and GF, too, for this new treat! Yay!

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Hello only1tony

Thanks for the movie review. I've enjoyed reading it :)

It's great that you listen to the suggestions commented by us but I do wish you have more FUN writing the review than worrying what to write to please the audience, ya know. Just wanna say - Don't worry too much and have fun..

If you wanna gush and exaggerate how good it was, that's fine because that's how you felt watching it. If you hate it and wanted to condemn it to hell, that's fine too.. with analysis or not. My point is you do not and cannot represent everyone's point of view.. you cannot please everyone.

Looking forward to read your next review...

On a side note, I thought Man from nowhere is pretty okay movie, not great. Good simple storyline that delivers. It would be great if the villain has more substance - like a demented sick bastard that you fear, plus the police is unbelievably dumb. That was a let-down for me. Agree with you that Won-Bin was brilliant, other lesser actor would be a stiff cardboard. What I love about this is the action sequences - adrenalin-rush..

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I never get tired of watching this movie. Thank you for the movie review.

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I absolutely love this movie. I have seen this four times at netflix.. I love everything about this movie especially the action scenes. My family says its too gruesome but the point of killing is not showing off fancy movies but just killing. Which is already gruesome. The action scenes were done with the mind to just kill. I find this movie as my favorite along with A Moment to Remember.
I thought that there was a funny scene in the movie when Wonbin held the phone over his head so the detective can here the explosion. Seemed like a commercial to me. Overall, love the movie...

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Love Won Bin. He always choose the good project. The most important thing to my increasing love is no sex involved in his scene. Why some Korean movies must be so explicit about sex? Glad some actors always free from those kind of scene.

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I just watched this movie with Eng subs last night and i liked it a lot. I like your recap.

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