October 23, 2016
Posted by: Jae-Ha Kim
Category: Film, Korean Dramas
Tags: "Ode to My Father", "Oldboy", "Please Look After Mom", ethnocentric reviews, Gukjeshijang, Hwang Jung-min, JK Youn, Korea, Korean War, South Korea, Yoon Je-Kyoon, Youn Je-kyun, Yunjin Kim, 국제시장, 김윤진, 윤제균, 황정민
In a review that ran in the New York Times, film critic Jeannette Catsoulis gave “Ode to My Father” a big thumbs down for being “syrupy” and for having “packaged pain … likely to leave Western audiences cold.” While there is no doubt that director Yoo Je-Kyoon would’ve loved for American audiences to embrace his movie, it’s also undeniable that this film was not made with Western moviegoers in mind. It was made for Koreans.
April 13, 2005
Posted by: Jae-Ha Kim
Category: Features, Issues
Tags: "Lost", "Memoirs of a Geisha", "Miss Saigon", "Sideways", Asian actors, Asian American, Bai Ling, Daniel Dae Kim, geisha, Gong Li, Grey's Anatomy, Jet Li, Korean, Korean-American, Sandra Oh, Steven Spielberg, Yunjin Kim, Ziyi Zhang
Once relegated to playing houseboys, prostitutes and extras on “M*A*S*H,” Asian-American actors are now appearing on prime-time television not as exoticized versions of reality, but as real people. Sandra Oh, superb in “Sideways,” is a star in the new medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” which has kicked “Boston Legal” to the curb and taken the prime slot after “Desperate Housewives” on Sunday nights at ABC. Or turn on ABC’s other hit drama, “Lost,” and you’ll notice not one, but two Asian regulars. Korean-American actors Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim (no relation to each other — or me) portray a married Korean couple stranded on the creepy island with a crew of folks including a pregnant woman, an Iraqi hottie, a fat dude, an African-American father and his son, a dog and a hobbit (or at least a guy who played a hobbit in “Lord of the Rings”).
The opening sequence of “Shiri” is so frenetic and violent that some filmgoers may wince at the unrelenting brutality. But if you can make it through the first few minutes, there’s cinematic eye candy waiting to enthrall you. One of the fiercest soldiers on an elite North Korean force is Hee, a young female sniper who shoots to kill and never misses. When enemy soldiers are hunted, she shows no feeling as she decapitates her prey. When she retires, she is given a solemn, heroic sendoff.