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The likely blockbusters for summer 2015

June 26,2015
Posters for this summer’s box office lineup from Korea’s four major film distributors. From left, Showbox’s “Assassination,” CJ Entertainment’s “Veteran,” Next Entertainment World’s “The Beauty Inside” and Lotte Entertainment’s “Memories of the Sword.” Provided by each distributor

Summer is always an exciting season for movie aficionados because there is an abundant choice of films at the theaters.

And it is an exciting and anxious period for film distributors because it is the time they bid high by releasing their most anticipated projects.

After a series of rearranged opening dates, the four major distributors in Korea - CJ Entertainment, Lotte Entertainment, Showbox and Next Entertainment World - are confirming their summer season lineup.

Below is the Summer of 2015’s most anticipated releases.

Showbox’s “Assassination”

Star director Choi Dong-hoon of “The Thieves” (2012) returns with a heavier film both in terms of budget and ambience by revisiting the 1930s, when Korea was under Japanese colonial rule.

Acknowledging that the younger generation (including himself) is not very aware of that dark era, Choi said that he was determined to introduce a fictional four-member team that has an assassination scheme to wipe out key figures of the Japanese regime.

The 18 billion won ($16.2 million) production includes a stellar cast including Lee Jung-jae, Ha Jung-woo and Cho Jin-woong. Above all, the appearance of Jun Ji-hyun, arguably the fantasy woman for each and every Korean man, assured a lot of limelight since the film got underway.

Jun plays talented sniper Ahn Ok-yoon, who is also the team’s leader. Diverging from her extravagant and flashy roles in the hit television drama “My Love From The Stars” and blockbuster “The Thieves,” Jun shows a more humble demeanor playing a hardheaded independence fighter.

During a press event on Monday at Apgujeong CGV in southern Seoul, Jun revealed that looking natural while holding a rifle was her biggest challenge. That led to strenuous rehearsals performing gun-shooting actions while leaping between buildings.

Actor Lee, who plays Yeom Seok-jin, a member of Korea’s provisional government, said that he lost more than 15 kilograms (33 pounds) to play the role and struggled with the agonizingly complex mind of Yeom.

The film opens on July 22.

CJ Entertainment’s “Veteran”

When it comes to summer box office choices, there is no better formula than a simple plot packed with action and humor.

The upcoming crime-action film “Veteran” directed by Ryoo Seung-wan will be the closest thing to that this summer.

Director Ryoo, who demonstrated his way with audiences’ hearts in films like “The Berlin File” (2012) and “Crying Fist” (2004), teamed up with some of the nation’s top-notch actors including Hwang Jung-min and Yoo Ah-in.

Hwang, who is dubbed the “10-million-viewers actor,” took on the character of tough detective Seo Do-chul, who shows no mercy when coming across unjustifiable actions.

While investigating a high-profile case, Seo finds out that arrogant young millionaire Jo Tae-oh (Yoo Ah-in) is pulling some strings behind the scenes. However, no matter how rigorously Seo’s team pursues him, Jo always escapes with the help of his great wealth and loyal followers.

The two men’s face-to-face denoument will be the highlight of the movie.

Maverick comic actors Yoo Hae-jin and Oh Dal-su will shine as the film’s scene-stealers.

“I wanted a vivid depiction of each and every unique character,” said director Ryoo in a press release.

“I hope that the refreshment of this two-hour film will be worth more than 200 or 2,000 hours of a joyful movie experience,” he added.

The film is set to open August 5.

Next Entertainment World’s “The Beauty Inside”

If someone is tired of mega-budget films that are full of shooting, running and destruction, “The Beauty Inside,” a fantasy romance directed by Baik Jong-yeol, is this summer’s must-see movie.

But this idiosyncratic film is not like romances people have seen before since it centers on a love story about a man named Woo-jin who wakes up every day in a new body. The bodies are of varying ages and nationalities, and even different genders.

The different actors who play Woo-jin include Yoo Yeon-seok, Lee Dong-wook, Park Shin-hye and Juri Ueno.

The story unfolds as Woo-jin falls in love with furniture store salesperson Yi-soo, played by Han Hyo-joo, who is confused by his many incarnations.

The film’s release date is August 20.

Lotte Entertainment’s “Memories of the Sword”

After delaying the release date due to lead actor Lee Byung-hun’s personal scandal early this year, period movie “Memories of the Sword” will finally open in August.

Directed by Park Heung-sik of “I Wish I Had a Wife” (2000), the film’s late Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) setting depicts three swordsmen whose fates turned them against each other.

Lee Byung-hun plays Yoo-baek. Jeon Do-yeon is Wol-so, while Kim Go-eun portrays Hong-yi.

The film cost 10 billion won to make. The exact release date has not been confirmed.


BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]


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