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Karlos

The Villainess (2017)

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(Could've sworn this trailer was already on the forum?)

Anyway, here's my new favourite trailer.

Well Go USA have got the North American rights to this - release date TBA.

 

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I did catch this in cinemas a couple weeks back. Absolutely unbelievable camerawork combined with extremely kinetic action making it probably one of the most exciting films of the last few years. I imagine this is what got the film a spot on the Cannes Out of Competition. However, the story, while having somewhat of an interesting background, is actually very uninteresting and barebones. "Important" characters get pulled in just to be killed for dramatic purposes and big plot points are made with no build up. I always love myself a good melodrama, but the melodrama in this dives right into cheese territory.

BUT, this film is 100% worth a watch. Seriously. The action scenes are incredible and I guarantee you've never seen camerawork as involved and breathtaking as the stuff you'll see in this film. It turns ugliness into pure beauty. While the script could've definitely used a lot of work and the tonal control is all over the show, I'm actually really excited to see what else this director puts out if only because he has a lot of potential to in the future make a legitimately great film.

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I did a feature of this and Savage Dog last night. Regarding The Villainess...

I picked this up based on the solid action revealed in the trailers. I'm happy to say I was not disappointed. It's got a good story though it's nothing new. A woman, wronged in some way, grows up to become a lethal assassin and seek revenge. Simple enough. One thing I've notice whenever I watch a Korean film along these lines is that their directors do a pretty fair job blending back story segments within the film proper. Another they tend to do well is drag the story out to clock in at a full or slightly over 2 hour length. That's the case here, and honestly I think this could have done with about 20 minutes shaved off. The movie is well cast and the acting is fairly good. But it is the action set pieces that are the selling point. This movie starts with a first person viewpoint in Go-Pro mode of our heroine...um, I mean villainess, taking out a ton of guys, and ends with a battle on a transit bus that blends elements of Hammer Girl from The Raid 2 and some undercranking akin to Donnie Yen's early work with a touch of feeling a bit like The Matrix. And that's just the opening and closing action sequences. There's blood and gore galore throughout. There's a lot of gunfights and knife-fighting throughout, but nothing I would say is really MA based. But it's all good with a ton of rewatchable moments. 

If Marvel/Disney ever does do a movie dedicated to the Avengers' Black Widow character, they need to use this movie as part of their template, though I doubt their take would be quite so bloody.

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3 hours ago, One Armed Boxer said:

Finally!  February 9th for a domestic Blu-ray release - 

2_EFA3881_B04_E_4_DD4_8701_BA5_B6_BC3_A1

I already have the Well Go USA Blu-ray but I also want this nice looking release, so that will be a double dip for me.

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On ‎28‎/‎01‎/‎2018 at 4:14 PM, thekfc said:

I already have the Well Go USA Blu-ray but I also want this nice looking release, so that will be a double dip for me.

I've been holding out for the Korean Blu-ray, and looks like it's been worth the wait.  As with an increasing number of Korean releases lately, some of the first press editions will have a randomly autographed postcard included.

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This move was High-Octane action packed! I enjoyed it! picked up the Well Go USA, almost grabbed the ARROW FILMS version, but gave ARROW a rest since I own so many of their releases. The fight choreography and scenes are a well put together mix-up of cinematic styles to bring some kick-ass action, along with a good story.  This was one of my A+ purchases in the lot. 

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On ‎22‎/‎07‎/‎2017 at 4:22 PM, Writ said:

Absolutely unbelievable camerawork combined with extremely kinetic action making it probably one of the most exciting films of the last few years.

On ‎22‎/‎07‎/‎2017 at 4:22 PM, Writ said:

The action scenes are incredible and I guarantee you've never seen camerawork as involved and breathtaking as the stuff you'll see in this film. It turns ugliness into pure beauty.

I watched this last night and completely agree.  Jung Byung-gil’s time as a graduate of the Seoul Action School is clearly paying dividends, and his use of the camera during action sequences I’d go so far as to say makes him the modern-day equivalent of the late 70’s/early 80’s era Sammo Hung. The camera here isn’t just capturing the action, it’s part of it, adding to the scenes with its movements and lensing….amazing stuff.

On ‎09‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 9:30 PM, ShaOW!linDude said:

I did a feature of this and Savage Dog last night. Regarding The Villainess...

Did I miss this!?  Link me @ShaOW!linDude!

On ‎09‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 9:30 PM, ShaOW!linDude said:

This movie starts with a first person viewpoint in Go-Pro mode of our heroine...um, I mean villainess, taking out a ton of guys, and ends with a battle on a transit bus that blends elements of Hammer Girl from The Raid 2 and some undercranking akin to Donnie Yen's early work with a touch of feeling a bit like The Matrix.

Interesting, there's an extensive amount of extra features on the Korean Blu-ray that I watched (the first time in a long time I've watched both the movie and all of the extras back-to-back in one sitting!), and I don't think any of the final sequence is undercranked, however I may need to watch it again.

Just prior to the bus sequence, I loved the little nod to 'Chocolate', with Ok-bin trashing the bad guys while descending down the exterior of a building.

On ‎28‎/‎01‎/‎2018 at 5:43 PM, One Armed Boxer said:

As with an increasing number of Korean releases lately, some of the first press editions will have a randomly autographed postcard included.

I got a signed postcard by Kim Ok-bin.:laugh

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10 hours ago, One Armed Boxer said:

Did I miss this!?

Nope. My comments on this film are the ones you read a few posts above. I didn't do a mini-review on it. (Or Savage Dog either.) 

 

10 hours ago, One Armed Boxer said:

...I don't think any of the final sequence is undercranked...

It may not be, but it certainly has that feeling to me, like it's digitally sped up or something. The flow of the action, which is good, just seems to come across as faster than a typical person should be able to move compared to other action sequences in the movie. 

Edited by ShaOW!linDude

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2 hours ago, Karlos said:

Any news on a possible sequel?

As far as I'm aware a sequel was never planned, and I considered it very much a self-contained story that came to its logical conclusion at the end.  Unless they make it thematic and introduce a new villainess, but with Jung Byung-gil next directing the Gerard Butler vehicle 'Afterburn' (yes 'The Villainess' became his Hollywood calling card) I expect he wouldn't be at the helm, nor is the Korean film industry particularly fond of sequels.  They're too busy being original, which we should all be thankful for.

22 hours ago, ShaOW!linDude said:

Nope. My comments on this film are the ones you read a few posts above. I didn't do a mini-review on it. (Or Savage Dog either.) 

Ah, now I get it....when you said you did a feature of this and 'Savage Dog', I was thinking a feature as in a written article on them.  My bad.

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On 3/28/2018 at 5:28 AM, One Armed Boxer said:

I watched this last night and completely agree.  Jung Byung-gil’s time as a graduate of the Seoul Action School is clearly paying dividends, and his use of the camera during action sequences I’d go so far as to say makes him the modern-day equivalent of the late 70’s/early 80’s era Sammo Hung. The camera here isn’t just capturing the action, it’s part of it, adding to the scenes with its movements and lensing….amazing stuff.

Did I miss this!?  Link me @ShaOW!linDude!

Interesting, there's an extensive amount of extra features on the Korean Blu-ray that I watched (the first time in a long time I've watched both the movie and all of the extras back-to-back in one sitting!), and I don't think any of the final sequence is undercranked, however I may need to watch it again.

Just prior to the bus sequence, I loved the little nod to 'Chocolate', with Ok-bin trashing the bad guys while descending down the exterior of a building.

I got a signed postcard by Kim Ok-bin.:laugh

You finally got to see it!

Are the special features on the Korean release a.) substantial, and b.) English subtitled? :nerd:

 

6 hours ago, Karlos said:

Any news on a possible sequel?

Oh, I wish. I'd love to see more of this.

Still trying to get my better half to give this a watch. I know she'll dig it, and I want to see it again.

I never got around (that I recall) to posting my thoughts about the movie here. I really dug it; yet another riff on the LE FEMME NIKITA story. Ass-kicking action, terrific performances with drama I cared about, filmed with wonderful style and flair, and the attention-keeping, unorthodox structure, time-fractured unveiling of the story through the use of clever and subtle transitions all made it a "sit-up-and-pay-attention" viewing experience. 8.5/10

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2 hours ago, KUNG FU BOB said:

Are the special features on the Korean release a.) substantial, and b.) English subtitled? :nerd:

The skinny - 

a.) Yes, very much so.  There's a number of featurettes that, without physically checking them, I'd say amount to a total of about an hours worth of BTS insight.  They cover everything from cast and crew interviews (both Kim Ok-bin and Jung Byung-gil talk extensively), pre-viz renderings of the action scenes, how they created the action scenes, and footage from Cannes. 

There's also Deleted Scenes, the most significant of which (from an action perspective) shows an extended version of the initial first person action scene, that involves even more slicing and dicing.

b.) Unfortunately not.  

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This did not do as much for me as for most of you. It would have worked better if storyline been more straightforward revenge villainess looking killer of her father without organization around and several flashbacks from her past. Lot scenes there which felt unnecessary ( stageplays, romance with agent). It dragged at times in 2 hours.

Some ok action here and there, but most were nothing spectacular. Asian cinema veterans have seen better. Still, opening was great with action shown by eyes of villainess and motorbike chase was impressive too. And final 15-20 minutes quite superb...

it was good movie but could/should have been better.

 

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