HanCinema

HanCinema is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Panos Kotzathanasis, William Schwartz
Rating Title/Year Author
Red Family (2014) William Schwartz Red Family has aged horribly and no aspect of it can be used to meaningfully discuss the cultural distance between North Korea and South Korea in the present day or even back when it was made. EDIT
Posted Feb 9, 2020
Jeni, Juno (2005) William Schwartz Jenny, Juno is, for better or worse, trapped in a cycle of its own idiot teen logic. EDIT
Posted Feb 9, 2020
The Terror Live (2013) William Schwartz The Terror Live expertly manages to keep scary situations getting even scarier, as even when the degree of danger hasn't changed, the personal visceral level is ratcheting up. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2019
The Admiral: Roaring Currents (2014) William Schwartz While The Admiral: Roaring Currents has the obvious trappings of a patriotic story about Korea's darkest hour, director Kim Han-min wisely decides to instead focus on fear. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2019
Take Off (1978) William Schwartz The movie is not only generic it's rather pointless, good for little more than background noise for a person engaged in a more mentally intensive task. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2019
Ashfall (2019) William Schwartz Atrocious editing and an overly long running time turn Ashfall into a disaster of a disaster movie. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2019
() William Schwartz The main moments of terror are startlingly mundane. In a screenplay that probably looks predictable out of context writer/director Kim Seung-woo-I manages to wring out some fairly powerful tension. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
() William Schwartz I can appreciate the pedagogical aims of director Chung Ji-young trying to go over a real-life financial crime case within the trappings of a more typical crime thriller. But these elements are often distracting and detract from each other's point. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
Hit-and-Run Squad (2019) William Schwartz Hit-and-Run Squad spends far too much of its runtime trapped in overwrought drama with obnoxiously clichéd speeches about how you can't go evil to fight evil, or something. EDIT
Posted Dec 2, 2019
I Can Speak (2017) William Schwartz For all her bluster, Ok-boon is a surprisingly lonely older woman, and it's to the credit of I Can Speak that we never really pity her. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2019
Take Point (2018) William Schwartz Take Point is brilliant work that, far from romanticizing the work of private military contractors normalizes it as just a very bad job. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2019
Masquerade (2012) William Schwartz Even though Ha-sun is impersonating a King, it's the small changes he makes that cause the most dramatic impact. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2019
The Divine Move 2: The Wrathful (2019) William Schwartz For an action crime film that just so happens to be centered around a board game this is surprisingly dark broad spectrum morality about the nature of human sinfulness. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2019
C'est Si Bon (2015) William Schwartz While C'est Si Bon certainly deserves some credit for being able to provide a pleasant sense of ambience, that much can only really take a film so far. EDIT
Posted Nov 2, 2019
The Fortress (2017) William Schwartz That gloomy sentiment, beyond the plot, is also perfectly represented via cinematography and sound design, granting The Fortress the uniquely dark aesthetic of showing us history from the side of the losers. EDIT
Posted Nov 2, 2019
Extreme Job (2019) William Schwartz I could pick out nearly any individual seven minute stretch of this movie and find some fairly brilliant gags. The problem is, add seven minutes to seven minutes to seven minutes and then...it all gets to be a little tiring. EDIT
Posted Nov 2, 2019
A Wonderful Moment (2013) William Schwartz All of the songs, even the ones sung by the rivals, have a certain relevance to Il-han and Yeong-gwang's character arcs, though for the most part they're singing Broadway standards rather than original songs. EDIT
Posted Nov 2, 2019
Flu (2013) William Schwartz Every single character, be it hero, villain, or supporting role, is selfish, obnoxious, and seems to favor violence as the immediate solution to nearly every problem. EDIT
Posted Nov 2, 2019
() William Schwartz In an era only fifteen years removed from dictatorship, Roo Moo-hyun was talking about how the President of South Korea should serve the people of South Korea. All of them. EDIT
Posted Nov 2, 2019
The Negotiation (2018) William Schwartz The characters aren't even incompetent in a very interesting way, we just watch them bicker over very dull minutae while Tae-goo sits in the background patiently waiting for his chance to toss them more exposition. EDIT
Posted Nov 2, 2019
() William Schwartz Marrying the Mafia 5 - Return of the Family runs the gamut from disgustingly out of touch to just kind of boring. EDIT
Posted Oct 28, 2019
Marrying the Mafia 3 (2006) William Schwartz There's almost no urgency in the scripting, so the story just comes off as an extended series of very tangentially relevant gags, a large number of which were ripped off from the previous movie. EDIT
Posted Oct 28, 2019
Marrying the Mafia 2 (2005) William Schwartz The only reason this movie exists is to deliver crude, silly jokes heavily laced with innuendo. EDIT
Posted Oct 28, 2019
The Bad Guys: Reign of Chaos (2019) William Schwartz Even though The Bad Guys: Reign of Chaos bills itself as a movie about hardcore violence at heart the story's a fairly straightforward investigative mystery. EDIT
Posted Oct 1, 2019
Tazza: One Eyed Jack (2019) William Schwartz None of the scams that Il-chool and his gang pull are really all that clever. What's worse, they work and fail in predictable patterns for no obvious reason. EDIT
Posted Oct 1, 2019
() William Schwartz Kim Bok-dong's death is actually an intermediate point rather than an end one, because her death was inevitable. The real advocacy was always about taking her words to heart, and how they have been remembered. EDIT
Posted Oct 1, 2019
Detective K: Secret of the Living Dead (2018) William Schwartz The script reads like someone wrote a completely serious Joseon-era vampire mystery, and then some producer arbitrarily decided to throw Detective K and Seo-pil in there to lighten the mood. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
Be With You (2018) William Schwartz The movie delves into the ways in which love is a conscious decision, even if we don't realize it. Soo-ah's presence looms largely over Woo-jin and Ji-ho even in death, because they allow her to. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (2018) William Schwartz Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum is unapologetically a gimmick horror film, where the only relevant character trait is narcissism prefacing a cosmic reminder of just how insignificant any individual human life really is. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
Tam jeong 2 (2018) William Schwartz Sure, we want Dae-man to follow his dreams. But we're also constantly left wondering whether Dae-man is actually any good at his stated dream profession. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
The Great Battle (2018) William Schwartz I loved how brute force is never the answer- trying to shove soldiers into a bottleneck just gets them killed, which is why Emperor Taizong keeps having to regroup the army, to his increasing psychotic agitation. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
Dark Figure of Crime (2018) William Schwartz While Tae-oh would obviously like us to believe that he's some sort of psychopathic criminal mastermind, we see pretty consistently that the man is just, well, really petty and obviously starved for attention. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
Myung-dang (2018) William Schwartz Note how Jae-sang and Ha-eun manage to build up an entire team of highly skilled geomancers, most of whom never actually do anything. Seriously, the most I can remember about those guys is that one of them stutters a lot for exactly one scene. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
Intimate Strangers (2018) William Schwartz Sometimes the mockery is gentle, other times farcical, and other times it feels like the universe is playing a horrific joke that only seems funny to us because we know the situation isn't as bad as it looks. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
The Battle: Roar to Victory (2019) William Schwartz The Battle: Roar to Victory does not deal with patriotism in the abstract but rather more immediate reasons why a person would give up their lives to face certain death at the hands of well-equipped career soldiers. EDIT
Posted Aug 19, 2019
Ghost Walk (2018) William Schwartz Since writer/director Yu Eun-jeong leaves the viewer in constant flux over whether Hye-jeong can actually change past events, so too, do we feel helpless as she does. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2019
Exit (2019) William Schwartz This is a movie that really fundamentally gets how disaster movies aren't about the spectacle or the tacked on romance or the backstory, but all the delightful problem solving. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2019
Right Now, Wrong Then (2015) William Schwartz The film isn't an exercise in story as much as it is one of concept- the gimmick this time around being how the "wrong" course of conversation can lead to the "right" results, and vice-versa. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2019
You Call It Passion (2015) William Schwartz The stakes in You Call It Passion are relatively low, and the eventual movement of the plot toward an exposé about a false accusation doesn't really do much to up the ante. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2019
() William Schwartz The titular Plan Man is not some starry-eyed movie ideal of charming wackiness. His obsessive compulsive disorder is a genuine sickness, and the movie treats it as such. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2019
Our Sunhi (2013) William Schwartz The various men in Our Sunhi live in panic of the idea that all the experience they've had, all the wisdom they've gained of the world, that all of this might be for naught since no one will ever actually listen to what they have to say. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2019
11 A.M. (2013) William Schwartz 11 AM may seem to waver in parts, but by the end its general message about human nature is an unmistakable one. This is a film that mocks it audience with characters who are too smart to live. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2019
Confession of Murder (2012) William Schwartz What really makes these action sequences work is the well-developed sense of staging that goes with them. They all favor a rapid sequence approach of problems and solutions. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2019
Public Enemy (2002) William Schwartz Much like Cheol-joong, Won-sool is motivated by an obsessive desire to make people take him seriously. Neither man ever appreciates that the harder he tries to look cool, the less cool he actually is. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2019
Guns & Talks (2001) William Schwartz Huge portions of this movie are just writer/director Jang Jin showing off the latest in wacky camerawork and musical synchronization. EDIT
Posted Jul 28, 2019
Man on High Heels (2014) William Schwartz Man on High Heels kind of wants to be a silly comedy where Cha Seung-won puts on a dress, but usually it's just about the very depressing events in his transgender character's life. EDIT
Posted Jul 7, 2019
Good Morning President (2009) William Schwartz Good Morning President is intrinsically flawed because what we really have here are three really good ideas for punchy, ninety-minute comedies compacted and stretched out into a one hundred thirty minute omnibus. EDIT
Posted Jul 7, 2019
Aneun yeoja (Someone Special) (A Girl I Know) (2004) William Schwartz I am reasonably sure Someone Special is intended to be ironic. But it's relevancy in this day and age is dubious. EDIT
Posted Jul 7, 2019
The Vanished (2018) William Schwartz By playing the movie as a whodunit rather than a dark psychological comedy, director Lee Chang-hee kills a fair amount of the impact. EDIT
Posted Jun 22, 2019
Puzzle (2018) William Schwartz There's a video game like roteness to the narrative structure. Do-joon finds a bad guy, and punches him until he gets a clue that leads to the next bad guy in the next mission. EDIT
Posted Jun 22, 2019