Yeong-hwa-neun yeong-hwa-da (A Movie Is a Movie) (Rough Cut) (2008)
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Rough Cut (korean title translates as "A Movie is a movie") the debut of Kim Ki Duk's protege Hung Jang in the directorial chair has a very interesting premise, but in a case similar to another native film, The Chaser, the movie doesn't know how to use it for the best.
A prima-diva actor and a real life gangster end up working together in the same movie. After the first one has send to the hospital two actors in a row because of his short-temper. The gangster agrees to work with him, after some unsual set of events, but under the condition that all their figthing scenes (the movie in question being a crime flick) must be real.
The idea of a movie-within-a-movie is hardly something new, but Rough Cut seems to really want to throw some insight into the whole notion of the fine line between reality and fiction. There are some amusing moments, with both characters being at each other troats numerous times. The friction between the rest of the cast and the gangster offer some solid moments. But in the second act the movie wants to stuff a lot of pointless sub-plots that go from an attempt of blackmail, to the gangster having the usual mafia related power struggles in his mob. At the end the movie just can't handle all this well and misses a great chance of becoming something more.
I'll say it's worth a try for the potential, the cast is quite good actually, don't let the two "pretty boys" actors misslead you here. Both do a quite convincing job with their roles. I suspect this could be a candidate for yet another pointless american remake. Kim Ki Duk co-wrote part of the script if my info is right, but gladly this isn't anything like his movies (not a fan of the man)
A very good film about the masks we wear and the identities we try and portray to the world and convince ourselves of. And some kick ass fight scenes!
Nice comparison of celebrity machoism and gangster machoism. Plenty of action and a nice story lead to a satisfying conclusion.
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