Movie Recommendation: I Saw the Devil (2010)

Quote from I Saw the Devil by Kim Soo-hyeon: “I will kill you when you are in the most pain.  When you’re in the most pain, shivering out of fear, then I will kill you.  That’s a real revenge.  A real complete revenge.”

Director: Jee-woon Kim

Writers: Jee-woon Kim and Hoon-jung Park Cast: Byung-hun Lee, Min-sik Choi, Joon-hyeok Lee, In-seo Kim, Kap-su Kim, Bo-ra Nam, Ho-jin Chun, Gook-hwan Jeon, etc.

Cast: Kee-young Cheong, Hyung-cho Il, Hun-you Jeong, Seong-weon Jo, Yeong-shin Kang, Byung-ki Kim, Hyun-woo Kim, Jae-young Kim, Jung-hwa Kim, Kil-soo Kim, Greg Moon, Jae-sik Moon, Sungho Nam, Bryan Song, and Youngjoo Suh

Rating: NA but has adult content throughout the movie such as sex and nudity, violence and gore, profanity, alcohol, drugs, and smoking, frightening and intense scenes

Running Time: 2 hours and 22 minutes

There’s no doubt that parts of South Korea likes its revenge movies, and I Saw the Devil is definitely one of them.  The movie could have been pared down a little more in the editing process, but it’s enough to keep your attention throughout.  Then again, this isn’t a movie you fall asleep to unless you find it boring.  I Saw the Devil is about two men, one a serial killer and the other an agent, and how neither one backs down from the other.  Hatred takes on a new meaning after someone is killed, and each now has a mission to destroy the other at all costs.  One already operates out of a dark place you could call hell, while the other becomes dangerously close to it.  This is good versus bad, but eventually it turns into bad versus bad as the serial killer (Min-sik Choi) continues to torment the agent (Byung-hun Lee).  It’s every man for himself on the streets where it’s better to kill than to be killed, but who actually survives and by how much is only found at the end.  I say watch this movie and then wear it as a badge of honor because it was one that almost never got released.

I Saw the Devil gets a rating of 90%

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Movie Recommendation: Dead Man Walking (1995)

Quote from Dead Man Walking by prison guard: “I ain’t gonna get no Bible quote from no nun cause I’m gonna lose.”

Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Jon Kilik, Allan F. Nicholls, Tim Robbins, Mark Seldis, Rudd Simmons, and R.A. White

Director: Tim Robbins

Writers: Helen Prejean (book) and Tim Robbins (adaptation)

Cast: Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Raymond J. Barry, R. Lee Ermey, Celia Weston, Lois Smith, Roberta Maxwell, Margo Martindale, Scott Wilson, etc

Rating: R for depiction of rape and murder

Running Time: 2 hours and 2 minutes

Dead Man Walking is a drama about murder and the death penalty, and how it affects those involved: survivors of the murdered, the killers, and prison employees.  The protagonist, Matthew Poncelet, is the combination of Elmo Patrick Sonnier and his brother Willie in Helen Prejean’s book.  Poncelet is first acquainted with Prejean through letter correspondence, but as their relationship grows, her role as spiritual advisor takes on a deeper meaning.  It is during these visits, he is encouraged to face the truth about his crimes.  The longer she spends time with him on death row, the more she finds he is worthy of redemption.  It is at this point Prejean solidifies the Jello, so to speak, and becomes an advocate against the death penalty.  Controversy makes for good cinema, and this story gives equal time to both sides, killers and victims, and its justifiable reasoning with the pros and cons of the death penalty.   Knowing your life is coming to an end, as if you were in Poncelet’s slippers, and if that makes you uncomfortable, then in the shoes of the couple that were killed, although this should probably make you uncomfortable too are painful realities life can offer.   It reminds us that innocent people get killed and sometimes justice is not served, in a general sense.  Accepting the facts in front of you, as hard as it might be, is sometimes the only option.  The movie’s ending is what you would call a harsh and complicated reality.  But leaving on a positive note, Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon give great performances, and a little bit of trivia, this was the first movie role for Peter Sarsgaard.  And one more thing, this soundtrack remains one of my favorites from the 1990’s, so check it out.

Dead Man Walking gets a rating of 93%.

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