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KR Film Review: A BETTER TOMORROW

Discussion in 'Movies' started by YANG, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. YANG

    YANG Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    TITLE: A BETTER TOMOROW (Korean title- Mujeogja)
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1138442/

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    DIRECTOR: SONG, HAE-SUNG
    Executive PRODUCER: JOHN WOO, TERRENCE CHANG
    STARS: http://www.hancinema.net/korean_movie_A_Better_Tomorrow.php
    PRODUCTION STUDIO: FORTUNE STAR(HK) PRODUCTION, LION ROCK PRODUCTION
    MOVIE GENERE: DRAMA, ACTION,
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    SINGAPORE rating: NC16-uncut (For Strong Violence)
    Possible MPAA rating: R

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    Widescreen Ratio: 2.35:1
    Language: KOREAN 5.1surr.
    Running time: 124mins approx.

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    When HYUK, CHUL and their mother, together with YEONG CHUN escapes from North Korea to the South, HYUK gets accidentally lost from his kins. Leaving his mother get killed, while his younger brother, CHUL gets caught.

    Eventually, HYUK and YEONG CHUN makes it thru, gets hired as henchmen to a triad that deals with weapons trade. Following them, TAE MIN, was a young and timid gang member then.
    HYUK never stops in looking out for his lost brother.

    3yrs passed. As days went by, the ambition hidden in TAE MIN's self get bigger and bigger, that he set-up with the Thai Dealers to bump off HYUK who was his senior. To avenge for HYUK's mishap, YEONG CHUL gets one of his leg shot, while he went back to thailand to kill the dealer who had betrayed their trust. HYUK gets caught by the Thai authorities, and jailed.

    Another 3yrs goes by. CHUL becomes a detedtive to the south korean police force, but faces numbers of difficulties while investigating on TAE MIN who had now become the gang-leader of the triad group.
    Fearing that the return of HYUK and YEONG CHUN, together with the bugging nuisence of CHUL may pose as a threat to his position in the organisation, TAE MIN hits back.

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    MY ROUGH VIEW-
    This film is a remake to the original HK franchise of BETTER TOMORROW Trilogy, with some minor twist to some parts which are different from the original BETTER TOMORROW back in the late 1980's.
    The feud between the brothers HYUK and CHUL was developed from the death of their mother, and getting more and more worse when CHUL found out that they were in the different sides of the society.

    I find that the Korean remake, have about 60% of the elements that was similar to the original movie, which leaves me clueless... Are the Korean Production team giving the tribute to the orginal story writer, JOHN WOO such that 60% of the original elements are seems to be "copied"?
    Or the Korean Production team are just simply running out of idea?

    Visually, i myself as a JOHN WOO fan is partially happy that these elements of the original BETTER TOMORROW was not forgotten. However, the signature of JOHN WOO's Ballad of Violence is not present in this remake.
    To my surprise, the Koreans had even blend in the music excerpts from the old BETTER TOMORROW, performed as a piano concerto to highten the touching and sentimental moment on the scene of bond between brother to brother, pal to pal relation. Fellow JOHN WOO fan's from Asian Region or who are familair with the original 1980's soundtracks, may find that the addition of the familiar tunes will trigger your emotion, in these tear-jerking moment. I'm kind of sadden though, unfortunately that the late Leslie Cheung's song was not even added in the end credits.

    It's quite hard for me to rate on the remake from the original movie which as made by my favorite film director of all time. The presence of JW elements was there, but the lack of JW signature Ballad of Violence was not their to feast my eye. Music wise, the korean score, with the well addition and placing of excerpts from the original BETTER tomorrow soundtrack may have added numbers of points to the film. However the overall score is brought to the medium due to the lesser score in the visual aspects. Story wise, i would say that this may seems to be a korean dish made with certain percentage of HK elements, where minor new taste is present, the old sense is not lost.

    Possibility of a sequel? I seroiusly doubt so... unless there's an alternate ending to bring the story to the next chapter. To know why...i guess fellow forumers will have to catch this in cinema...

    FILM SCORE: 3.5 out of 5
     

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