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Ivan Gorchev

The Good the Bad and the Weird

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Oh, this film's great. Massively flawed so far as my general tastes go - overstylised floppy haired moody pop star villain, boring good guy, bad music choices here and there; seriously, what's with the generic hip hop yells over the finale - did not like that at all...

But, it's fucking class for the most part - the action is relentless, and brilliant. Has great humour (courtesy of 'the Weird'; owns this movie, classic character) and the shooting/camerawork is phenomenal - cameras soaring over trains, through carriages, mounted on guns, all over the place through the action - takes it next level.

I need to stress how relentless the action is - massive setpiece after setpiece; proper ride of a movie. Love the train sequence. Stunts galore - some mad, and I mean mad horse stunts going on.

Knife-kancho-ing & the helmet sequence are two highlights to look out for - classic.

Falls apart at the end I think, bad music, draws out a standoff too much, too badly with some cheesy aesthetics, but still, for the most part it's well-paced, suspenseful, yet humourous.

Flawed? Hell Yeah.

Best Korean movie I've seen? Hell yeah. I mean, it's not Oldboy-good, etc. but give me Good Bad Weird anyday; I like big asskicking action setpieces.

You know The Host? And how good that opening monster rampage sequence was, some proper frenetic spectacle, but then the movie just tailed off & failed to rekindle the momentum similarly, just dulled out... Good Bad Weird is like they stretched the momentum of that sequence, for almost an entire film, rather than just an opening, albeit a different type of spectacle, but you know...

The most fun 2008 movie from anywhere I've found.

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I agree with your review completely. Flawed film? Sure. But is the film just non-stop entertainment from start to finish? Is the good here overwhelmingly more than the bad? Yeah. I feel like this is the kind of film the latest Indiana Jones wanted to be; the kind of classic epic action/adventure movie that is rarely made any more, much less with any skill or without an overuse of CGI. To put things into perspective, the desert chase sequence here puts the similar chase sequence in the the latest Indiana Jones to shame.

Kim Ji-woon is such a great director. Among the Korean directors, Chan-wook Park gets the most notoriety in the mainstream, and Kim Ki-duk among the arthouse crowd, but for me, Kim Ji-woon is the best. If you look at his complete filmography, with the possible exceptions of his short films, it is flawless. Unlike most directors, there's no one movie you can look at and say, "yeah, you can tell he was learning the ropes here", or go "he was really out of his element in this one. He should go back to doing so and so..." And that's the most impressive thing about him - how he jumps seamlessly from genre to genre, creating a good movie in each. He's done the black comedy thing, ok, check; the feel-good-sports movie, check; then the horror, gangster and now adventure movies, check, check and check.. I mean, just to use one example, the Quiet Family is probably the single greatest Korean black comedy ever made, and most people don't even consider that his best film. He's a director to be admired.

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I was very let down by this. Its one of those films where all the elements are there- great premise, solid cast, huge budget, and a decent script. But, man, they really sell the action short, some clunky storytelling and costume/visual design... and, I agree, the ending is a total letdown. You can really tell the director was simply in over his head with the scale of the finale. It needed this big push and then a classic Leone payoff but, from the chase to the face-off, the entire end is a miss.

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I'ts an OK movie. Great opening sequence, some good parts during the last chase, which looks great ( I guess, on a big screen it's even more impressive). But in between it somewhat boring , with long, loud, repetitive and boring shootouts. I meanб how many times can you watch guys firing at each other with little or no effect?! One thing to watch brilliantly choreographed John Woo's gunfights, but in this movie it was nothing original and way overdone...

Not a bad way to kill a couple of hours, but not great overall.

But the opening was superb, I thought

Also, Byung-hun Lee looked a lot like Johny Depp it Pirates, IMO :)

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I meanб how many times can you watch guys firing at each other with little or no effect?!

But aren't all "fun" adventure movies like that? A thousand bullets are fired at the good guys but somehow they survive. It's very much in line with older classics like Indiana Jones. A big part of it is also that one of the main characters, the Weird, isn't much of a marksman and survives many times on pure luck or wit alone. Despite that, I remember a lot of people getting shot down in this movie--I bet the body count is very high for a movie where people fire at each other with little or no effect.

I'm surprised about the lukewarm reaction this is getting. A lot of people are mentioning being bored, but the only time I felt even slightly bored was during the brothel scene--and even that didn't go on for very long. Even during the rare occasion that there wasn't a big action/comedy sequence going, the unique group of characters and the great Manchurian setting were enough to keep me entertained. It actually seems like i'm in the minority of people who liked this film, so yeah, I guess I have to just to put this in my "misappreciated films pile," alongside such other notable classics like "Fists of Legend 2," "The Medallion," and "The Karate Kid Part 3."

I kid..

One last thing though.. lack of creativity in the action scenes? The big action sequence in the town during the middle is one of the best set pieces I've seen on film this decade. It felt like every part of that town was used or destroyed. Pure mayhem from start to finish: guys running on rooftops, minions getting shot left and right, bad guy hitting someone with a hammer.. I repeat: one of the bad guys even gets to use a giant hammer he carries around. 'Nuff said.

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Nah, this movie didn't do it for me. I felt at each point in the movie that I'd seen it done better before. Too much self-indulgence from the director and no real story spoiled it for me.

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You people are nuts, this film's great. Far surpasses Bittersweet Life for the director imo, even if somewhat dissimilar. Camera work, imagination, suspense, action, humour, etc., Great. Give me a better example of crazed imaginative period action western? Where have we seen all this before?

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... Give me a better example of crazed imaginative period action western? Where have we seen all this before?

No need to get so specific. A movie that doesn't quite work is a movie that doesn't quite work regardless of genre or sub genre. Just because it plays on rarely trodden ground doesn't mean it plays to its full potential.

But aren't all "fun" adventure movies like that? A thousand bullets are fired at the good guys but somehow they survive.

I think it was just the whole physics of the battle quickly grew tired on me. The whole bullets with PG injury thing is fine, but it was just a seemingly endless chase with one guy in front, a horde behind him, the army behind that, and, for me, dull interaction between them all, especially in how it climaxed.

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Yeah, I thought all those shootouts and chases just dragged on, and on and on. Tighter editing would help a lot. Plus, as many people mentioned, gunfights were way beyond believe. Dozens of guys shooting almost point blank and can't hit the target. It wasn't as bad as Ballistic Kiss ;) but pretty close at times.

Visually the film looked good, good soundtrack, some great action bits, but it didn't work overall, IMO

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You want to see a real self-indulgent film that tries the whole Western angle with Asian actors and fails, than watch Sukiyaki Western Django.

I did and i'm still regretting it! I admit that next to Sukiyaki western Django, Good The Bad & The Weird is vastly superior.

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I liked it, It's quite a fun film. I know it's no Leone, but what nowadays is? At least it's a more current, stylized and watchable western than the rather horrible Sukiyaki Western Django.

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No need to get so specific. A movie that doesn't quite work is a movie that doesn't quite work regardless of genre or sub genre. Just because it plays on rarely trodden ground doesn't mean it plays to its full potential.
Wasn't being specific, was being kind of rhetorical; agreed it definitely doesn't play remotely to its full potential or quite work fully, said this all along, it is flawed, but it kicks some ass. Definitely kicks some horses asses. Climax didn't spoil all the highlights that came before it for me. Did you not get a rise out of at least the helmet scene or some such? I laughed throughout, like a white haired villain; heartily.

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I really liked this movie. I think some of you guys are too critical. Yeah some of the action was over frenetic, but in the main its really well shot and loads of fun. I shall have to see if it holds up to repeated viewings however. . .

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