UnionVGF's Movie of the Month Club: New World *Spoilers* (February 2014)

Plainview

I am a sinner.
Sep 11, 2013
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New World



Why a movie of the month club?
Outside of video games movies seems to be the biggest medium we have in common as a community. Rather than quick reviews I felt it would be a fun change of pace to watch films and discuss them on a more detailed level.

What should be discussed in the thread?
Everything should be discussed but make each post worthwhile. We will discuss the dialogue, the acting, the cinematography, comparisons to other films, etc. Everything about the movie should, and hopefully will, be discussed.

Think essay when making a post in this thread.

This isn't necessarily a review thread. You can obviously post your impressions of the film but don't make it the largest part of your post.

Posts that add nothing to the discussion or veer off topic into other subjects will be removed.

How will movies be chosen?
Since I see a lot of movies my first criteria is it something I haven't seen? I look at movies recommended to me on various movie sites. I have a large to watch list on IMDB that I frequently look at, update and complete films from. I then choose films that I feel will garner vast discussions and promote back and forth dialogue between forum members.

The films won't always be films I haven't seen or haven't seen in a while. I will most definitely choose movies that are main stream that many have seen but feel the our film discussion community would enjoy discussing. I will probably alternate each month between movies I haven't seen and movies that will encourage a great discussion amongst us. The movies will be domestic, foreign, action, dramatic... Everything.

While I will try to select movies that are widely available, sometimes that's not possible as with the case of Upstream Color.
 
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menace-uk-

Division Agent
Sep 11, 2013
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Hmmm.....doesn't look as though this is out in the UK. All I can see are imports. So, it looks like I will not be taking part.
 

Joon

the clouds
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i might watch this tonight... never heard of this film before so shall be going in completely blind (except for seeing the poster); south korean movies usually have a pacey/actiony style that can be relied on. i watched lone survivor last night and that was damn actiony lol, though fairly ridiculous. by the way good idea on the movie club :)
 

Zer0beaT

Go Leafs Go!
Sep 11, 2013
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Thought this was going to be The New World.

Glad it's something I haven't seen before, I'll watch it next time I can stay up to the wee hours.
 

team56th

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Oct 20, 2013
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WAIT WHAT???????????????????? I was thinking of The New World by Terrence Malick before I entered this thread, this is totally, totally unexpected.

Anyways, to give you guys some idea, forget that this was made in Korea or anything. This is basically Infernal Affairs/The Departed meets The Godfather meets pretty much any famous undercover movies and gangster movies you have ever seen. I have no idea why this movie still has a huge following among fellow Koreans (especially with certain types of female audiences that are obsessed with homosexual relationships when it's not that evident) and it is not the most original film ever made, quite the opposite, but the result is solid to say the least.
 
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rankandfile

Not My President
Sep 11, 2013
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just finished watching it.
Solid movie, good acting but ….it all seemed familiar.
 

Joon

the clouds
Sep 11, 2013
767
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just finished watching it.
Solid movie, good acting but ….it all seemed familiar.
agreed. and 'familiar' isnt necessarily a negative attribute imo, but the general plot was recognisable (reminded of the departed). what surprised me was how little action there was, i was expecting more considering the opening but it carried on and kept its dialogue heavy routine and really focused on plot unfoldings (saying that, the most heavy-action scene in the film -- the carpark fight - was fairly rubbish anyway). and i didnt mind either, because it was intriguing enough to keep my attention. i think the pacing helped with that as it kept consistently moving. also, the soundtrack kicked ass, very subdued and light, but kicked in at just the rights time (dat flute); funny enough i swear its a remix of a track ive heard before, so even the soundtrack sounded familiar.

so yeah, it did the job, but it never pushed any bounds. very enjoyable for what it set out to do

7/10
 

rankandfile

Not My President
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Which one were you most reminded of? To me the final act seemed all too much like The Godfather.
it reminded me most of the departed, and yes the ending felt so easily plagiarized. Although i didn't realize the homoerotic undertone until you mentioned it. now that i think about it, there were clues of this everywhere.
I thought that Lee ja-Sung was the least likable character in the movie. He moped about, complained all the time, and it certainly was a surprise to me that he was able to turn the tables so easily.

agreed. and 'familiar' isnt necessarily a negative attribute imo, but the general plot was recognisable (reminded of the departed). what surprised me was how little action there was, i was expecting more considering the opening but it carried on and kept its dialogue heavy routine and really focused on plot unfoldings (saying that, the most heavy-action scene in the film -- the carpark fight - was fairly rubbish anyway). and i didnt mind either, because it was intriguing enough to keep my attention. i think the pacing helped with that as it kept consistently moving. also, the soundtrack kicked ass, very subdued and light, but kicked in at just the rights time (dat flute); funny enough i swear its a remix of a track ive heard before, so even the soundtrack sounded familiar.

so yeah, it did the job, but it never pushed any bounds. very enjoyable for what it set out to do

7/10
Yea, i would give it a 7/10 too. But since The Departed is a remake of the korean made Infernal Affairs. this felt so much like a knockoff of a knockoff. I always expect to be wowed by well rated SKorean movies and this just didn't do it for me.
 

team56th

Daydreamer
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it reminded me most of the departed, and yes the ending felt so easily plagiarized. Although i didn't realize the homoerotic undertone until you mentioned it. now that i think about it, there were clues of this everywhere.
I thought that Lee ja-Sung was the least likable character in the movie. He moped about, complained all the time, and it certainly was a surprise to me that he was able to turn the tables so easily.

Yea, i would give it a 7/10 too. But since The Departed is a remake of the korean made Infernal Affairs. this felt so much like a knockoff of a knockoff. I always expect to be wowed by well rated SKorean movies and this just didn't do it for me.
Oh well, not all Asian countries are the same! Infernal Affairs is a Hong Kong film.

That said, I don't think Ja-sung is the least likeable of the three. Not to criticize you, but that's the way I and many audiences understood. We all know who the screenplay wants us to like, that would be Chung easily, but the movie focuses a lot on how $hitty a situation Lee is in. One that gets disliked to many is the lieutenant (played by the great Choi Min-sik of Oldboy) since he risks Ja-sung's life and never lets him go, paving way to the eventual betrayal.

Hence the homoerotic rave from certain audiences I guess, movie makes the two lead likeable and understood while relatively villifying the remaining one. Actually, the actor that played Ja-sung, Lee Jung-jae, totally rejuvinated his career after this film. He was a handsome and iconic actor of late 90s and early 2000s, went silent for several years, came back in Choi Dong-hoon's blockbuster film Thieves (2012) just to play a puny and disloyal thief, and then New World suddenly put him back to the coolness of his best days. So people liked him, oh yeah.

---

One question I have to everyone. Well last time it seemed like my claims on the form of Upstream Color spiked the difficulty bar too much, which makes me a little careful this time, but let's just go ahead. Anybody felt distracted by heavy use of close-up? This was something that many reviewers pointed out in a carefully positive note. Usually the good dialogue scene moves back and forth to grab the whole space and objects, catching certain details with effective close-ups from time to time. But lots of films just heavily rely on close-ups when they shoot and edit dialogue scenes, to a level that the sequence turns into a whole bunch of talking head.

Now, New World uses A LOT of close-ups, and it rarely moves back. Most of the shots in this film are big ones (extreme long/long shots) or small ones (close-up on actors' face), and there are very few mid-sized shots that give us the whole picture in certain sequences. It should be negative, but it doesn't. It induces slight headache combined with 150 minutes of running time, but I felt that somehow it worked without in-between sized shots. So, did you guys notice the high count of close-ups? If so, what do you feel about it?
 
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rankandfile

Not My President
Sep 11, 2013
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sorry about that. i could of sworn infernal affairs was Korean. my bad.
still, the plot line left a lot to be desired. I would have liked to have seen Ja-sung at least show (other than the opening scene) how he rose among the ranks so quickly in 5 years(or did i miss something?) . granted i was slightly distracted for the first 15 minutes of the movie.

edit: "could of" lol. could have. I'm losing proper grammar.
 
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menace-uk-

Division Agent
Sep 11, 2013
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Tried to watch this today, bored me to death. I turned it off about 40 minutes from the end. Easily the worst Korean movie I have seen. So to restore my faith, I watched I saw the devil, again, awesome :)
 

team56th

Daydreamer
Cornerstone Member
Oct 20, 2013
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sorry about that. i could of sworn infernal affairs was Korean. my bad.
still, the plot line left a lot to be desired. I would have liked to have seen Ja-sung at least show (other than the opening scene) how he rose among the ranks so quickly in 5 years(or did i miss something?) . granted i was slightly distracted for the first 15 minutes of the movie.
You are right in that the movie does not explain that, but I do not remember being distracted by that. I guess it's what we accept as a given in a crime drama. Though, the epilogue does explain a bit of that 5 years ago.
 

Plainview

I am a sinner.
Sep 11, 2013
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What is it about most of the Korean films I watch and the acting? I've talked with Team about this before and I guess I just pick movies with pretty solid casts. New World was no different.

I wouldn't have really thought that New World was familiar if I didn't read it here. There are some similarities but not enough to make me feel that I watched it before.

I really enjoyed the photography in New World. The staging is awesome. How action is covered is how I would wish more action films would shoot, a stationary camera. The big bat and knife war scene was wonderful to look at. The cinematography helped make the scene epic all the way until the elevator door opened.

I left the film wanting more. Along the lines of rankandfile, I felt something was missing. It's almost as if the film could have been longer. I would liked to have seen more of a backstory but I think to really flesh that out it couldn't have been done in a single feature but there wouldn't be enough for another film. It's a conundrum.

I wanted to have more of a backstory because I would liked to have seen how the friendship of Lee and Jeong came to be and how that influenced Jeong's decision to keep the file of Lee hidden and protect him. The epilogue scene showing them buddying around was a nice touch and almost hints a a prequel. I wouldn't mind seeing one. The film just came out and it's received positive feedback. Maybe a prequel will eventually come?
 

Plainview

I am a sinner.
Sep 11, 2013
28,672
10,750
4,279
One question I have to everyone. Well last time it seemed like my claims on the form of Upstream Color spiked the difficulty bar too much, which makes me a little careful this time, but let's just go ahead. Anybody felt distracted by heavy use of close-up? This was something that many reviewers pointed out in a carefully positive note. Usually the good dialogue scene moves back and forth to grab the whole space and objects, catching certain details with effective close-ups from time to time. But lots of films just heavily rely on close-ups when they shoot and edit dialogue scenes, to a level that the sequence turns into a whole bunch of talking head.

Now, New World uses A LOT of close-ups, and it rarely moves back. Most of the shots in this film are big ones (extreme long/long shots) or small ones (close-up on actors' face), and there are very few mid-sized shots that give us the whole picture in certain sequences. It should be negative, but it doesn't. It induces slight headache combined with 150 minutes of running time, but I felt that somehow it worked without in-between sized shots. So, did you guys notice the high count of close-ups? If so, what do you feel about it?
The camera work was another character on the film as well as the staging of the character. I echo the sentiment that the close and wide shots worked because they had a purpose, like the staging. When the camera was close it was done to draw you further into the dialogue and to show the connection and importance of what was being said or the relationship between character.

There was one scene where I believe Lee was on one side and Jeong was the other side of a table and a senior member walked behind them creating a divide between Lee and Jeong. I need to rewatch the scene because I want to look at every aspect of it now that I know now the ending turned out. It's too long of a movie to watch again but the camera work and staging almost begs for it.