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Lee Jun-ik's Next Project

 
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lady wakasa
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 4:09 pm    Post subject: Lee Jun-ik's Next Project Reply with quote

Lee Jun-ik, the more neglected half of the similarly named pair from the King and the Clown production staff, has just released a new movie in Korea, called The Happy Life. Haven't heard much about it beyond the title (and that not even in Korean), but it sounds like it has thing in common with his previous movie, Radio Star (not to mention The Big Chill).

A couple of mentions from The Korea Times:

Quote:
Rock band "Active Volcano' disbanded 20 years ago. The band members now lead monotonous lives: Giyeong is unemployed and living on an allowance from his wife; Seong-uk does delivery work during the day, and drives at night; Hyeok-su is a car salesman who has sent his kid to study abroad. At the funeral of the fourth member, Sang-u, they decide to relive their youthful rock 'n' roll days with their late vocalist's son Hyun-jun. For all ages. 112 minutes.


Quote:
The Happy Life thoroughly resembles Bravo [ed. - Bravo My Life], with four men reliving their youth by forming a rock band. Even one of the characters, Hyeok-su, also a gireogi father like Bravo's Seung-jae, and also has a pet turtle for company. Here, another set of four veteran actors, including one former child star, give life to colorful characters. King and the Clown's director Lee Joon-ik and male lead Jung Jin-young get back together in Bravo. [ed. - should be Happy Life. ]

Jung plays the role of an unemployed father, Gi-yeong, who lives on a daily allowance from his working wife while trying hard not to embarrass his teenage daughter. One day, he reunites with members of his college rock band Volcano at the funeral of their lead vocalist Sang-woo.

Former bass play Seong-wook lives a hand-to-mouth existence working two jobs while trying to maintain his upper-middle class lifestyle. One-time drummer Hyeok-su makes a living selling secondhand cars to support his wife and children in Canada. Gi-yeong is inspired one day to revive Volcano: After much persuasion, the band regroups for the first time in 20 years, with the late vocalist's young son Hyeon-jun, played by grown up child-star Jang Geun-seok.

Although Volcano members manage to escape the mundane while onstage, they must face the anticlimactic moments of reality offstage. If an exciting rock performance is like a much-needed breath of fresh air for Bravo, it's like a sigh for Happy.'' While the drama culminates through the grand finale performance of Bravo, Happy shows how these men deal with ordinary life after tasting the sweet sensation of the stage spotlight.

Like Bravo, Happy celebrates friendship and family values, and shows that what is often called a mid-life crisis is but a small bump on the road. Happy will open across theaters Thursday.
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nslan
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Review on the movie by The Hollywoodreporter.com
==================================

Original Link : http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/awards_festivals/fest_reviews/article_display.jsp?&rid=9964 (Oct 05, 2007)

Quote:
Following the hugely popular "The King and the Clown" and the esoteric "Radio Flyer," director Lee Joon-ik returns with "The Happy Life," a fluffy mainstream comedy that jettisons most of the conventions of Korean comedy. Three friends and former band members get back on the stage when the fourth of their troupe dies suddenly, and they realize their lives aren't quite what they'd hoped.

The commercial tone of the film makes festival play unlikely. Comedy doesn't travel well, so chances of boxoffice success outside Korea will be reliant on the way the film is positioned, its comfortable formula and a familiarity (in Asia) with the cast.

Ki-young (Jung Jin-Young) is an unemployed lay-about who, after attending a school chum's funeral, persuades two other friends to restart their old college band. The hardworking Sung-Wook (Kim Yoon-Suk) and the lonely Hyuk-Soo (Kim Sang-Ho) reluctantly agree when they come to the realization that two jobs and solitary nights can't be all there is to life. They recruit young Hyun-Joon (television heartthrob Jang Geun-Suk) to take over as frontman. It just so happens Hyun-Joon's dead father was the fourth band member.
There's nothing new in "Happy Life's" story arc: There are the requisite artistic growing pains, early rejections, domestic tension and personal crises to get past before the final vindicating show. What separates the film from other Korean comedies is its wholly un-Korean imagining of a functioning, emotional support network created by the men for themselves, inter-generational friendships and a blessed freedom of beatings and toilet humor.

"Happy Life" lives and dies by its performances. Fortunately, the leads rise to the occasion, with the exception of too much joyous beaming on Jung's part in a few sequences. Most notable is Kim Yoon-Suk as Sung-Wook with his hangdog expression and quiet reserve, and Jang's refreshingly mature Hyun-Joon, who Lee and co-writer Choi Suk-Hwan never allow to fall into sullen brat territory.


Quote:
THE HAPPY LIFE
CJ Entertainment presents an Achim Pictures production
Credits:
Director-screenwriter: Lee Joon-Ik
Co-screenwriter: Choi Suk-Hwan
Producer: Jeong Seung-Hye, Jo Cheol-Hyeon
Executive producer: Kim Joo-Sung
Director of photography: Kim Yong-Cheol
Music: Lee Byeong-Hun, Bang Jun-Seok
Costume designer: Kim Jeong-Wong
Editor: Kim Sang-Beom, Kim Jae-Beom
Cast:
Ki-young: Jung Jin-Young
Sung-Wook: Kim Yoon-Suk
Hyuk-Soo: Kim Sang-Ho
Hyun-Joon: Jang Geun-Suk

Running time -- 115 minutes
No MPAA rating


Bottom Line: Amusing and pleasingly out-of-the-ordinary Korean buddy comedy.


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