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Gauss's Movie of the Week: I Saw the Devil

This is a discussion on Gauss's Movie of the Week: I Saw the Devil within the Entertainment forum, part of the General Chit-Chat; This week I am honoring 2011 and what a great year it was for film by making my movie of ...

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    Gauss's Movie of the Week: I Saw the Devil

    This week I am honoring 2011 and what a great year it was for film by making my movie of the week the best movie of 2011.

    My movie this week: I Saw the Devil! The best movie of 2011 and the 2nd best Korean-style revenge film made.


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    For those of you who don't know, the Korean-style revenge film is a type of film (obviously made popular in Korea), that focuses on two characters who are sparked by a single event on a path where atleast one character is consumed with the demise of the other. They also involve alot of themes that deal with mixed consequences, such as how the thrill of vengeance is offset by the personal pain it causes or how violence naturally leads to more violence.

    I like this sub-genre because its not incredibly cultural, despite originating in Korea, or pretentious like many other foreign films popular with snobs. They are great character films no matter what angle you look at them and are some of the best films out there when it comes to tension and atmosphere. Trust me, if you can get over the fact that the film is subtitled, you will be on the edge of your seat the entire film.

    I Saw the Devil follows the story of Soo-hyun, a federal agent in South Korea, and Kyung-chul, a serial killer who preys on women. One night Kyung-chul encounters Soo-hyun's fiancee with a flat-tire, decides to kidnap and murder her. At that point, the film becomes a cat and mouse game between Kyung-chul and Soo-hyun as Soo-hyun attempts to ruin Kyung-chul's life of decadence, indulgence, and violence.

    What makes this film so unique is that it isn't told like many others are. I Saw the Devil follows the 'villain' of the film, Kyung-chul, and the tension is created when Soo-hyun intervenes in his life. Doing things like beating him almost to death after stopping a rape Kyung-chul was about to commit. Despite following the villain, it still does this wickedly wonderful job of making Kyung-chul unlikeable and Soo-hyun sympathetic and human.

    The film builds a universe where you constantly don't know what is going to happen next, when Soo-hyun will ambush Kyung-chul next and what Kyung-chul plans to do to enact revenge as he slowly pieces together who Soo-hyun is and how Soo-hyun keeps track of him. This ultimately culminates in a climax that is a complete release of this tension, to the point of being a film orgasm, while simultaneously being emotionally complex. It brings the film to a fantastic close.

    I Saw the Devil is an absolutely phenomenal film and I recommend it to everybody as a great example of what makes a good film, good. Everything is done well in this film. I say it is the Best Movie of 2011 for a reason.

    NOTE: This is the most graphic movie I've recommended yet. Films of this ilk are naturally violent. This one moreso because one of the characters is a serial killer and you do witness some of his crimes. Just keep in mind that, while this film is violent, it doesn't revel in it.

    I always point to these types of films when I talk about effective uses of violence, as not a single violent scene in this movie is without purpose to the overall plot. You never feel dulled to the violence even though the main characters may be. Whats more is these movies always nail home a good message about how violent acts have consequences.
    Last edited by Gauss; 01-16-2012 at 09:31 AM.
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    Gauss's Rating Rationale:
    0-1: A game whose very existence is abhorrent to all things creative and intelligent.
    2-4: A just plain bad game.
    5-6: A game that has alot of mistakes, but is atleast playable and has some enjoyable sections. Good for a rent.
    7: An average game, should be played at some point
    8: A good game, should buy at some point
    9: A great game, day-one purchase
    10: A game that goes above and beyond the generation, its transcendent.

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    Also, Kyung-chul is played by Choi Min-Sik in his first major film since his personal exile in protest of a controversial Korean law enforcing the number of days a Korean cinema is to show Korean films.

    He, and many others, protested Korea's decision to reduce it from 146 days to 73 days. He is a phenomenal actor, and I am glad to have him back.
    Gauss's Piracy Uncertainty Principle: When you pirate a game, that act inherently changes the results of what is to come after your pirating. You can't make any statement with any certainty regarding what would have happened had you not pirated the game.


    Gauss's Rating Rationale:
    0-1: A game whose very existence is abhorrent to all things creative and intelligent.
    2-4: A just plain bad game.
    5-6: A game that has alot of mistakes, but is atleast playable and has some enjoyable sections. Good for a rent.
    7: An average game, should be played at some point
    8: A good game, should buy at some point
    9: A great game, day-one purchase
    10: A game that goes above and beyond the generation, its transcendent.

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    Judging by the title, I thought it was going to be scary and I am a pansy with scary movies. But I watched the trailer and it looks very interesting indeed. Something I would watch. Very nice
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    Always looking for a good movie, I saw the last movie you suggested, the title escapes me, but it was an amazing movie!
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    Just one minor technicality, the movie came out in 2010 in Korea, so it might miss that cut off on 2011, although that was when it was released in the US.

    It's a good movie, but falls short of the magic of the Vengeance trilogy, and draws unfair comparisons since Choi Min Sik played the lead also in the much heralded Oldboy. Nice choice, and am always glad whenever somebody else shines a little love on Korea. They've made dozens of great movies that rival their Hollywood counterparts in almost every technical aspect since the turn of the century.

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    I seen the movie last week and enjoyed it. Good pick




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    Quote Originally Posted by Compalicious View Post
    Judging by the title, I thought it was going to be scary and I am a pansy with scary movies. But I watched the trailer and it looks very interesting indeed. Something I would watch. Very nice
    Best movie to come out last year if you ask me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rubicant81 View Post
    Just one minor technicality, the movie came out in 2010 in Korea, so it might miss that cut off on 2011, although that was when it was released in the US.
    I know, but the movie saw its debut at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. I get what you are saying, but for the purposes of consistency I use the same year-system that the Academy does when I discuss this stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rubicant81 View Post
    It's a good movie, but falls short of the magic of the Vengeance trilogy, and draws unfair comparisons since Choi Min Sik played the lead also in the much heralded Oldboy. Nice choice, and am always glad whenever somebody else shines a little love on Korea. They've made dozens of great movies that rival their Hollywood counterparts in almost every technical aspect since the turn of the century.
    The Vengeance Trilogy will make its way as my Movies of the Week eventually, trust me. I just felt like since its January and most of the film community is reflecting on 2011, I'd make this week my pick for best film of 2011.

    I would go so far as this being short of the entire Vengeance trilogy though. There are things this film does that are much more daring, and I like how this story is told from the perspective of the villain as he is the target of revenge (something unique to this sub-genre as I have experienced it).

    It added alot of tension for me and made this film something truly special. Something I would put on par with the Vengeance trilogy as a whole to be honest.
    Gauss's Piracy Uncertainty Principle: When you pirate a game, that act inherently changes the results of what is to come after your pirating. You can't make any statement with any certainty regarding what would have happened had you not pirated the game.


    Gauss's Rating Rationale:
    0-1: A game whose very existence is abhorrent to all things creative and intelligent.
    2-4: A just plain bad game.
    5-6: A game that has alot of mistakes, but is atleast playable and has some enjoyable sections. Good for a rent.
    7: An average game, should be played at some point
    8: A good game, should buy at some point
    9: A great game, day-one purchase
    10: A game that goes above and beyond the generation, its transcendent.

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    This is on Netflix
    Gauss's Piracy Uncertainty Principle: When you pirate a game, that act inherently changes the results of what is to come after your pirating. You can't make any statement with any certainty regarding what would have happened had you not pirated the game.


    Gauss's Rating Rationale:
    0-1: A game whose very existence is abhorrent to all things creative and intelligent.
    2-4: A just plain bad game.
    5-6: A game that has alot of mistakes, but is atleast playable and has some enjoyable sections. Good for a rent.
    7: An average game, should be played at some point
    8: A good game, should buy at some point
    9: A great game, day-one purchase
    10: A game that goes above and beyond the generation, its transcendent.

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    Seems fairly interesting, though I am not sure what to make of it. After having watched the trailer, I am a little confused as to what it is trying to be (other than revenge as you stated). A horror movie or action/violent movie? Maybe both?

    If I find this somewhere I will probably check it out, as you made it sound pretty good.

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    Would rather watch Death Wish.

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    I've seen I Saw the Devil, I really enjoyed the story. from me.
    Last edited by DRAGON1NINJA; 01-16-2012 at 10:36 PM.

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    Thanks for the recommendation Gauss. Both I Saw the Devil and The Vengeance Trilogy are on my "must watch soon" list, along with some French horror films (Switchblade Romance, Martyrs, Inside and Frontier).

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    Looks awesome, definitley going to watch this.





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    This was easily the most disturbing movie I've ever seen. I watched it several months back with my girlfriend and was just shocked by the brutality of the film. Now my girlfriend enjoys gory movies, but even this one was extreme for her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by obliviouscreole View Post
    This was easily the most disturbing movie I've ever seen. I watched it several months back with my girlfriend and was just shocked by the brutality of the film. Now my girlfriend enjoys gory movies, but even this one was extreme for her.
    Honestly I didn't think the movie was that gory, but gory and disturbing aren't the same thing.

    I do understand what you mean though, but I'd remind you that its intentional. Since this narrative follows the "bad guy," a serial killer in this case, its supposed to make you feel uncomfortable so the scenes when retribution hits him become a release.

    I didn't find this movie overly disturbing, but I also was expecting it to be more than a little disturbing because I knew going into it that Choi Min-Sik played a serial killer. Seeing as it is a serial killer in a revenge flick, I knew it was going to be pretty disturbing and pretty graphic.

    Again though, I didn't feel like this reveled in either, it was executed perfectly for the purposes of tension and atmosphere. It added stakes to the game.
    Gauss's Piracy Uncertainty Principle: When you pirate a game, that act inherently changes the results of what is to come after your pirating. You can't make any statement with any certainty regarding what would have happened had you not pirated the game.


    Gauss's Rating Rationale:
    0-1: A game whose very existence is abhorrent to all things creative and intelligent.
    2-4: A just plain bad game.
    5-6: A game that has alot of mistakes, but is atleast playable and has some enjoyable sections. Good for a rent.
    7: An average game, should be played at some point
    8: A good game, should buy at some point
    9: A great game, day-one purchase
    10: A game that goes above and beyond the generation, its transcendent.

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    It felt like a mixed bag to me. The concept of the was a pretty damn good idea, seeing it mostly from the bad guys perspective gave it some sort of unique twist, and the movie had awesome camera angle, and it is just in general really well directed.... With that said, I felt that the script and execution was terrible. I couldn't connect or relate to any. No one made me feel any kinda emotion except for bitterness. They were all senseless pricks in my eyes. Intentional or not, that is a big flaw in my book. I don't see a movie filled with strong emotions, I see a movie filled with unexplained hatred. Maybe this movie just isn't for me, and I can see good things in the movie, it just didn't work for me.




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    Will have to check it out. Have you seen these Gauss, Zebraman 2 or Helldiver? Both are japanese, helldiver is like the japan equivalent of the evil dead movies. Playstaion the official mag has some reviews every month with japanese movies and I try to catch them.


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    I've seen neither, I'll add them to my list if they are on Netflix. Nothing personal but I'm not going to risk eBaying a Japanese Evil Dead.
    Gauss's Piracy Uncertainty Principle: When you pirate a game, that act inherently changes the results of what is to come after your pirating. You can't make any statement with any certainty regarding what would have happened had you not pirated the game.


    Gauss's Rating Rationale:
    0-1: A game whose very existence is abhorrent to all things creative and intelligent.
    2-4: A just plain bad game.
    5-6: A game that has alot of mistakes, but is atleast playable and has some enjoyable sections. Good for a rent.
    7: An average game, should be played at some point
    8: A good game, should buy at some point
    9: A great game, day-one purchase
    10: A game that goes above and beyond the generation, its transcendent.

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    Zebraman and it's sequel are Takashi Miike flicks, so if you're familiar with his work take it for what it may. I wouldn't put it up with his stuff like Audition, Ichi the Killer or Sukiyaki Western Django, but they're a watchable, the original is better than the sequel, but Miike, like a lot of directors, doesn't really handle sequels well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gauss View Post
    I've seen neither, I'll add them to my list if they are on Netflix. Nothing personal but I'm not going to risk eBaying a Japanese Evil Dead.
    I can see your point, then again I love the evil dead series. I'm just a sucker for B movies, always have been.


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