[VIDEO REVIEWS]Love in times of barfing, bombingAccording to Cinetown, the top 10 video rentals for the latter half of November were "My Eccentric Girlfriend" ("Yeobgijeokin Geunyeo" in Korean), "Kick the Moon," ("Silaeui Dalbam"), "Pearl Harbor" ("Jinjuman"), "Evolution," "Driven," "Original Sin," "The Mexican," "Brotherhood of the Wolves" (the French version), "Besame Mucho" and "Sasaeng Muhoi." Reviewed are two love stories from that list.
MY ECCENTRIC GIRLFRIEND (2001)
Directed by Gwak Jae-young. Starring Cha Tae-hyun and Jeon Ji-hyun.
In 1999, Kim Ho-shik, a university student, entered into a relationship with a very strange woman. Their dates became material for funny little stories that he posted on the Internet. The stories became a sensation with teenagers.
At the time, a yeobgi (or bizarre) craze was just starting to sweep across Korea. The trend embraced all things eccentric and slightly grotesque, and Kim's Internet novel fit the times. The stories were published as a book with the same title, then made into a movie by Gwak. The movie was also a runaway hit, and continues to be a favorite video rental.
"My Eccentric Girlfriend" is told in 12 episodes narrated by Gyeon-woo (Cha). Gyeon-woo is a good-hearted college student whose pet peeve is young women who drink too much. One day, while on the subway, he notices a cute woman (Jeon), drunk out of her mind. He watches her throw up all over a man in front of her, then pass out. But before she faints, she calls Gyeon-woo "honey," which leads everyone on the subway to believe he is her boyfriend. Forced to take care of her, he really does become her boyfriend.
His new girlfriend is as bizarre as bizarre can be. She refuses to let him drink, pushes him into a river to see how deep the river is, forces him to give up his sneakers for high heels, and even tries to talk his professor into letting him skip classes by claiming she needs an abortion.
She may act tough, but Gyeon-woo senses she is hiding sadness. Her previous boyfriend died, and Gyeon-woo reminds her of him. She eventually tells Gyeon-woo she needs a two-year break.
The 12 stories are sometimes choppy and awkward, but the theme is fitting for the times.
PEARL HARBOR (2001)
Directed by Michael Bay. Starring Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale
Love in times of war can make for a heart-wrenching story, but heart-wrenching "Pearl Harbor" is not. In typical Hollywood fashion, the movie is grand but superficial.
In the days leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor, Rafe McCawley (Affleck) and his childhood friend and fellow pilot Danny Walker (Hartnett) fall into a featherbrained love triangle with Evelyn Johnson (Beckinsale). Notable, if only for Evelyn's classic line, "And then all this happened" － "all this" meaning the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The attack sequences are professional, sometimes even beautiful, but lack poetry or cogency.
by Joe Yong-hee