Movie Review: Running Turtle (2009) – Korean Movie

Running Turtle

Running Turtle is a detective comedy in the form of a good old fashion cat and mouse chase with hilarious encounters. Its about a small time detective from a small town who has nothing going for him, both at work and at home with the wife. Through unlucky circumstances and by the power of the Gods of Irony he finds himself pursuing an infamous prison breaker. This leads him down a (funny) spiral of further ridicule as the chase with the fugitive goes on.

The movie does come across off as less of a crime and policing story and more of a drama and comedy (dramedy). Its really about a seeming worthless man (with diminishing self-worth and esteem) and his battle in trying to change that. The chase, which he never quits on, is definitely parallel of him not quitting on himself. Running Turtle is the perfect title.

running turtle 1

Starring: Kim Yoon-seok // Jeong Kyeong-ho // Kyeon Miri

Directed by: Lee Yeon-woo

Full plot


aparoo’s words: crime, drama, comedy, detective, police, fugitive, family, reputation, honor, self-respect, esteem, confidence

aparoo says 3/5

Stream: YouTube

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Movie Review: The Beast (2011) – Korean Movie

the beast poster

The Beast‘ is an action thriller and director Hwang Yu-Sik‘s debut film and co-screenplay. Its also actor Jung Suk-Won‘s debut film (he’s appeared in numerous Korean drama series). He comes from an action school background (stuntman) which enabled the constrained (low-budget) film to be shot in one month. It was also shot at night in dark places. So, the production value is absent but that’s not to say a small film like this can’t be entertaining. But.. it really isn’t. In-the-box action choreography with a weak and predictable plot are overbearing. So, instead it comes across as a very cheap rip-off of “The Man From Nowhere” and “Taken” which the director admits were an influence (AsianWiki):

  • Moderator – Before “The Beast” there were similar films like “The Man From Nowhere” and “Taken.” Did those movies influence “The Beast?”
  • Hwang Yu-Sik (director) – I won’t deny those movies had some influence, because when I planned the “Beast” those films were popular.

It’s about some elite special forces guy who goes AWOL to find and rescue his kidnapped sister who has is a victim of human trafficking into the underground market of online rape/porn. Full synopsis

the beast 1

aparoo says 2/5

Download: Asia Torrents

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Movie Review: Hello Schoolgirl (2008) – Korean Movie

hello schoolgirl cover

Age differences in relationships, a sometimes taboo yet very real circumstance and topic of charming exploration in Hello Schoolgirl. The film is cleverly a hybrid of romance, comedy and seriousness — all of which complement each other throughout. With a cross between romcom and seriocom, Hello Schoolgirl does not throw age, love, or relationships into your face. Instead, each character in each of the two relationships in the story are given an equal playground and chance at being the viewer’s protagonist(s). Somehow, young or old, male or female, a happy ending for everyone is sought.


“At the unexpected moments and to the unexpected partners, they start their love affairs with awkward gestures but special relationship…” (KMBd)

While the film ‘deals’ with age gaps (adulthood/teen etc), it’s more about the opposites which attract that are not measured by years and numbers. It’s more about a 30 year old grown up man living as a low-level civil servant and an 18 year old (young) school girl with a youthful outlook and approach to things — and the connection they make towards one another and feelings that begin to develop (awkwardness, consequences and rewards). It’s also about a 22 year old guy going forward, of the same civil office, who falls hard for a 29 year old woman caught in her past. So, it’s about finding a common ground, pursuing feelings (or not), and reciprocation.

hello school girl comic

The cast and characters for that matter are diverse and the chemistry is unquestionable. Each character is distinguished with their individual characterizations and dignities, and in their ‘awkward’ love pairs the characterizations truly shine through. This is a movie about people. About attraction, connection, relations and yes of course, love. Chae Jung-Ahn (“Cain & Abel”) is my biased bombshell favourite as she never ceases to disappoint in her acting ability. Director Jang-ha Ryu’s gentle but not too delicate, serious but not overbearing and romantic but not too mushy approach is appreciated as he adapted a popular webcomic by Kang Full into Hello Schoolgirl.

hello school girl chae

Reviews: Asian Movie Web // Variety // Love HK Film // Asian Buzz // lunapark6

Cast: Yoo Ji-Tae // Lee Yeon-Hee // Kang-in  // Chae Jung-Ahn

aparoo’s words: romance, comedy, serious, romcom, seriocom, age, relationships, feelings, connections, awkward, personal

aparoo says 4/5

Download: Asia Torrents

Stream: YouTube (with Eng subs)

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