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News bites: August 20, 2016


Jang Dong-gun, Park Hee-soon, Lee Jong-seok

  • I’m excited for this: Jang Dong-gun, Lee Jong-seok and Park Hee-soon are all confirmed for VIP, the latest film from Park Hoon-jung (The Tiger, New World). Lee will indeed play the villain, a son of a high-ranking North Korean official with a penchant for killing. [Asia Economy, Sports Chosun]
  • Kim Yun-jin (Gukje Market) will mark her return to the domestic box office with horror movie House On Top of Time. She’s currently filming Mistresses in the States, and will return to begin work on the latest from director Im Dae-woong (To Sir With Love) in mid-October. [MBN]

  • Kim Yun-jin, Yoon So-hee, Ji-woo

  • Yoon So-hee (After the Show Ends, Memory) will couple up with L in The Day After We Parted, a Korean-Japanese drama special with a time-rift plot. She’ll play L’s girlfriend and bandmate, who was orphaned as a small child and thus hates the dark and being alone. The KBS mini-drama has an expected premiere date before the end of the year. [Star News]
  • She’s becoming well-acquainted with the EXO boys: Ji-woo (You’re All Surrounded) has been cast as the lead in the first three episodes of Star of the Universe opposite Suho (she previously worked with D.O. in the film Cart). The drama will be part of a three-part drama special trilogy totaling nine episodes, and this one will be directed by Kim Ji-hyun of Splish Splash Love and will be 100% pre-produced, although the channel (web, MBC, or both) and schedule are TBD. [Joongang]

  • Shin Dong-mi, Yoo In-hyuk

  • K2 has added to its ensemble cast: Shin Dong-mi (She Was Pretty) is the right-hand woman and chief secretary to presidential candidate’s wife Song Yoon-ah. Shin’s character is so cold and steely that even the presidential candidate himself, Jo Sung-ha, and supporting cast member Lee Jung-jin can’t touch her. Acting as Shin’s bodyguard and as a former baseball player is relatively new actor Yoo In-hyuk (Neighborhood Hero). K2 stars SNSD’s Yoon-ah and Ji Chang-wook in a bodyguard romance that will air in September on tvN. [TV Report, Xports News]
  • In reviewing the South Korean box office for the week, Train to Busan dropped out of the top five but has still surpassed 11 million tickets sold to become the highest grossing film of 2016 with revenues upwards of 78 million USD. Tunnel had a strong opening and is the current box office leader with nearly 4 million total admissions sold in the second week since its debut. Last Princess is holding strong in second place and has reached over 4 million in total attendance since its opening on August 3. Operation Chromite remains in the top five for the week and has racked up over 6 million in total admissions (and over 45 million USD in sales). [Box Office Mojo, Economic Review, Joongang]

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Yoo In Hyukkkk ?

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Been expecting Train to Busan, eventhough it is a zombie-filled movie. Bcuz how can you say no to Gong Yoo and Ma Dong Seok and Jung Yumi...

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Lee Jong Suk as a villain character, must watch ?

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So happy all confirmed for VIP!! LJS as villain is gonna be awesome!! ^^

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The competition for box office is no joke!
Train to Busan has Gong Yoo, Jung Yumi and Ma Dong Seok
The Last Princess starring Son Ye Jin and Park Hae Il
Tunnel starring Ha Jung Woo and Bae Doona
Operation Chromite has Liam Neeson, Lee Bum Soo and Lee Jung Jae

I heard some good reviews too so it kinda makes sense how they reach millions of viewers.

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Yes, all the movies mentioned (except maybe Chromite) are all in my "Wish I Could Watch That!" list.

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Actually Operation Chromite and Train to Busan have both been poorly reviewed by people who have seen them. People go to see them for the big names, but by all accounts they're both pretty disappointing.

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I have read many bad reviews on operation chromite but i am curious at that part of koreas history so i am still gonna watch it. With train to busan, Others than people criticizing sohee's acting i think majority has been positive.

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Heard pretty positive things about ToB.

As for Chromite, seems like it suffers from the same flaws as "Taegukgi" - overly focused on heroism and over-dramatization.

Tho, with it's cast, hard to believe that Chromite suffers from the same over-acting as did "Taegukgi" w/ Jang Dong-gun and Won Bin.

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Train to busan received great reviews from both local korean critics and american critics! There are definitely one or two reviews saying it's mediocre BUT I've watched train to busan myself & I am amazed, it was one of the best disaster films I've ever watched (I watch movies in chinese / korean / English so I watched a huge amount of movies) do watch it to judge it, you definitely won't be dissapointed

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I am obviously not a benchmark for the audience response cause I am one datapoint. But I really enjoyed train to busan. It kept me on the edge of my seat, didn't let go or ease the tension and most of all made me care about the characters. That's what I like from my zombie movies.

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Train to Busan had good reviews from Cannes and most international critics gave it 3 to 4 stars -not bad at all.
This was not director Yeon Sang-ho's first invitation to Cannes. I think he had 1 or 2 other films that made it to the festival before.

I liked it a lot and being kind of aware of what currently goes on in Korea's culture, politics and national disasters like the Sewol ferry tragedy helps peaked my interest otherwise it would've been just another entertaining zombie film.

Kim Ui-Seong <3 (but hate his character here) who is currently in W as Yeon-Joo's dad and Ma Dong-seok <3 were the two that stood out to me.

I don't want to spoil but I'd say give it a try. If you have seen 28 Days Later or World War Z, this would be right up your alley.

I might try Operation Chromite Liam Neeson even though he is not the lead actor and the reviews are not good.
I'm also kind of interested in the history that is based on, not that I'd expect it to be authentic.

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Yes, I knew I wasn't the only one who got World War Z vibes from Train to Busan! Both of them look too scary for me to watch, though, zombie films freak me out.

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I thought Train to Busan was terrific - a well-made, entertaining mainstream thriller. Frankly, that was the last thing I expected from the director of the ultra-depressing arthouse animated films The King of Pigs and The Fake (and also Seoul Station, which Train to Busan is supposed to be a sequel to). Still, I'm really glad it has done so well at the box office, because I think it's a lot more intelligent and has more to say than your average cineplex flick.

For me it was Gong Yoo's performance that was the least impressive. He was okay in general, but a bit lightweight the central role. Kim Ui Seong and Ma Dong Seok stood out for me too. I especially liked the fact that the Kim Ui Seong character is not just a simple bad guy -- his fear and his sense of entitlement are very real and far from unusual in the world today, and his final scenes in the film are actually a bit heartbreaking.

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I think Gong Yoo is better in rom.com. He is easily out-shined by the veteran film actors when it comes to the other more serious genres.

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YESSSSSSSSSSS serial killer Lee Jong-seok! I feel like I've been waiting for this ever since he went nuts in IHYV, good to see it at last.

All jokes aside, I feel like playing villain roles is great because for some actors, it really feels like it taps into another level of ability for them - Ha Jung-woo in The Chaser, Kang Dong-won in Kundo, Yoo Ah-in in Veteran, even relatively lower-profile actors like Yoo Yeon-seok, Im Shi-wan and Lee Soo-hyuk have done really well at playing baddies. Can't wait to see LJS tear it up!

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Don't forget Nam Goong Min :D

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And Kim Bum :-)

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Kim Bum was bomb as a villain. I need him to do a couple more roles like that...

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Some others that transitioned well:

Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight) RIP :(
Matt Damon (The Talented Mr.Ripley)- so creepy - love it if LJS played this kind of character

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You guys all forgotten about the most evil of all the evil : shin sungrok.

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I am really hyped up to see LJS play a serial killer!!! Like insanely so, and the cast and director are amazing too, anyone know when shooting will start on this????

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And two years until it's available subbed. CRAAAAAAAAAZY

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OMG!! I forgot about that!!! :O I'll watch it without subbs then with subs then!! but that will take too long too!! :O

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LJS would make a chilling serial killer. And his fans have always wanted him to touch into darker, grittier roles like this! In all honesty it's always the wholesome innocent looking ones that make for the most unhinged and terrifying villain. I hope they force him to a stunt double though, he's gotten into the habit of doing all his stunts, and this movie looks like it's going to be full of danger stunts.

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My greatest wish would be to see him play a villain in a drama, not as a supporting character mind, but as the main character ala Master of Noodles. I think he'd be great at a sympathetic villain.

One of my biggest wish lists is to have all my fave flower boy actors star in an ensemble drama like Oceans Eleven or something - but I guess it's logistically impossible. Can we get LMH, JIW, Kim Bum, LJS, SIG, PHJ, KWB,YSH, KSH in one drama? Ah! The power of fantasy!

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I agree with you!! I think it's because you fall for their innocent look at 1st only to be struck by the terrifying, chilling, menacing aura and glares they have when they show their 2nd facade!! Park Bo Gum was a reaaaaally creepy serial killer who can turn into a little puppy that you want to protect in a blink of an eye and Lee Jong Seok have that in him as well!! though he never played a full villain role but he always showed the menacing/chilling glare and aura in his drama roles' while you can see him being super cute/puppy like that you want to cuddle and keep him away from harm!!
I actually admire him and Lee Jun Ki for doing their own stuns themselves though yeah my heartbeats increases with the fear for their safety but it's always more credible and admirable when the actor do his role fully and it makes you give your whole heart for the character knowing it's really the same person from the very start till the very end who went through all the ups and downs and danger till he reached his happy ending (or sad ending)!! I don't like the feeling that I'm watching two people playing the same role, one the leading actor and the 2nd the stuns man who makes all the dangerous scenes!! the stuns man is needed in cases sure but when you have actors who are willing to give their 120% for their roles physiquely and mentally it's all the best!! but I'll pray for his safety for sure and I'm sure the director won't allow him to make stuns that are beyond his ability!! :)

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Although LJS's character is villain, looks like that villain is the major character and everyone will chase after him. So, all A-list sunbaes are going to support him. Can't wait

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JI CHANG-WOOK is finally back!! Still have my reservations about his leading lady, but she can't be that bad if the writing and everything else is done right.
It's still a bit surreal to think there's only two weeks to go til he's back on our screens! Thanks for this joyous news.

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The writer of Yong Pal- even the plot was messy, the female lead was written as a strong and badass woman. That drama didn't give so much justice for JooWon(in term of writing) but it did give justice to Kim Tae Hee for female lead's character.
Kim Tae Hee is knowingly for her bad acting but her performance in YP received positive reviews. Hopefully Yoona can improve here.

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All hail the Crocodile Queen!! Seriously,KTH was a revelation to me in yongpal both in beauty and acting after seeing her IRIS and being underwhelmed with her. It was like I was seeing a different actress. She was so commanding on screen especialy when she assumed the throne and in the war room. Remember that "Bow to me" ? I feel like the second half of Yong Pal with the chaebol politics and shady FEMALE LEAD for that matter, is what High Society wished it had the nerve to be (and don't tell anyone,I secretly enjoyed that drama*hides from the sudden furious shower of hailstones*
@Sera The Miss Temper

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Actually, more than two weeks. "The K2" is set to premiere on 23 September.

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NOOO say it aint so. Isn't it following the Good Wife then?

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Technically, yes it will follow "The Good Wife" ... just not right thereafter. The production got a late start with its filming and probably needs more time to include the overseas location scenes. I'm sure tvN will fill those two weekends in between with other programming or repeats.

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I'm sooooooo excited to see Lee Jong Seeok playing the serial killer role!! I know he'll be AWESOMEE in it!! :D but I'm thinking am I supposed to hate him there?!! 'caue I can't hate my little puppy!! though he'll go in a killing spree and send me shivers down my spine!! uh..oh!!! am I going to question my morals now like I did for Min/Park Bo Gum in "I Remember You"??!!! I know I'll suffer because of Lee Jong Seok but I'M ALL IN!! BRING IT ON!! :D

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So many of my favourite actors turning bad in upcoming movies:

Nam Goong Min- Temporary Special Agent
Jang Hyuk- Operation Person

And now Lee Jong Suk (I'm a fan after W and currently watching School 2013- he is such a puppy I want to hug him!)

Must be something in the water.
2017 is shaping up to be the year when Bad never looked so Good!

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Bad is sexy when it looks like Jang Hyuk!

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Jang Hyuk was so sexy in Empire Of Lust! My first time seeing him in a seguek. Shin Ha Kyung's abs were washboards and rock solid.

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I have lots of expectation from vip
Lee jong suk as villain, God sounds interesting.. It is like dream come true
Hope this movie works wonder for LJS and help him explore another dimension..

The sweet puppy looking guys are always hottest villain

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LJS as villain is like dream come true.. I can't wait. I m super-duper excited

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LJS is on a roll! Super excited for him to play a villain.

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Off topic but since Park Bo Gum has been mentioned a few times in this thread, I just want to share my excitement for 1 Night 2 Days this Sunday. Our very own Bogummy will be on the show and gosh with the recent news I CANT WAIT!!!

http://www.soompi.com/2016/08/20/park-bo-gum-shows-off-dance-moves-stills-2-days-1-night/

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Anyone else excited too?

I think this guy has natural talent in singing, variety, MC-ing, acting (especially switching from different characters from serial killer to cutie pie the next). And he plays piano too! What else is he good at??

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Being polite and I really mean to the deepest and highest level of politeness!

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He is indeed so considerate and so so polite!!! His co-star wanted to have him as a son-in-law. Actuallymany people want bogummy as their son-in-law hehe... he's becoming the next Lee Seung Gi!

http://www.soompi.com/2016/08/20/lee-il-hwa-heaps-praise-park-bo-gum-chooses-ideal-son-law/

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I am super excited! It was such a pleasant surprise to see him in the preview for the next episode after he had originally turned them down due to his shooting schedule. Yay Park Bo Gum!!!!

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Yay!!!! I love Bogummy! Can't wait to see this episode!

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I am so excited to see Lee Jong Suk as a villain. Best news ever!

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During the coin challenge, Park Bo Gum ended up with some coins in his crotch. hahaha so hilarious!!

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I can't wait to see "Train to Busan" - I love Ma Dong-Seok's acting & Gong Yoo's pretty, pretty face. That plus zombies? Aw yisssss.

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