One of the great things
about watching a film you know is bad when you hire it, is that you can revel
in the sheer crappiness of it. You have no expectations that you will see
anything of quality so you can relax and just laugh. Bichunmoo is one of
these films in which you can revel in said crappiness, but unfortunately the
slick advertising deceives you into thinking you have a good film on your
hands. This deception leads to a huge feeling of letdown when you realize how
bad the film is, which colors the rest of your viewing experience.
Bichunmoo is plagued with mind numbing clichés, transparent dialogue, bad
characterizations, a shockingly bad score and sets that are far too clinical
and obvious to ring true. The hero (Jin-Ha) is the gimpiest one on record,
with an emotional acting range that a newborn could better (think current
model Michael Jackson pretending he could wield a sword and slay some
The purported villain (Namgung)
doesn’t really act like a villain, and when the real villains do actually show
their colors, they come from out of leftfield making a mockery of the
plotlines witnessed to this point.
Bichunmoo tells the
story of Jim-Ha who is love with his childhood sweetheart, Sullie. They are
in 14th century China, where Sullie is a concubines daughter who is
promptly taken away from the idyllic existence they share to a capital city
far away. There she is courted by Namgung (the purported villain) who learns
of Jin-Ha’s love for Sullie and eventually sets out to murder him with the
help of an army. Sullie believing him to be dead marries Namgung. Jin-Ha
has or course survived and comes back stronger, eventually taking over
Namgung’s compound and exacting revenge with his black caped warriors in tow.
Sullies son (which is actually his own progeny), swears to claim vengeance on
him, not realizing he is actually his own dad. Eventually Jin-Ha overcomes
his oppressors, saves the day and reconciles with his son.
On the back of the DVD
cover it paraphrases someone who has previewed this film. This paraphrase
ends with “this is on par with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I was in floods
of tears.” I have to say that I too, was in floods of tears at the end
of the movie, but tears of anger that such an obviously lacking film could
even be remotely compared with one of the greatest films of the genre. I
understand that the marketers are obliged to paint their film in the most
positive light, but this was a little excessive and downright insulting to
viewers who know their movies.
There is one good point
to this film, and this the fight scenes. They are crisp, interesting, varied,
and spectacular. There are some great wire scenes, especially on the river,
but later in film it gets to a point where the wire work almost feels like its
being done for the sake of it, rather than for any purpose. This small gripe
aside the fight scenes by themselves are worth 6/10 as a score for this
feature. Unfortunately nothing exists in a vacuum and this mark is dragged
down by the rest of the film to the final tally of 4/10
Given a help with
scripting, more attention to realistic scenes, and time to develop his
cinematic style, the writer/director KIM YOUNG-JUN may possibly redeem himself
and produce a film that will really turn heads. I get the feeling that
somewhere in the future KIM, may well produce a film which would be compared
favourably to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Until that day, watch this film
with your fingers on the fast forward button and the sound off.
16:9 Anamorphic widescreen. I cannot
fault the reproduction for this film, it is flawless with some of the
cleanest, brightest colors I have ever seen. Job well done!
Korean 5.1 and 2.0 only,
with English subtitles on and off.
This is by far one of
the worst soundtracks you will ever hear. The soundtrack sounds like a very
very bad American-made-for-TV-special with the music being far too clichéd,
and overbearing. When I say overbearing, this is because the music detracts
from what is going on with the scene, it is either too loud, or just really
inappropriate. Good music selection should enhance the experience,
complementing what else is happening on screen. This just does not happen
anywhere in this film.
The ambient effects for
the movie itself were pretty good, it’s just a shame they are overshadowed by
It seems a fair but of work went
into these extras, with some really useful and interesting extras.
- Open the
Eye: this feature has a red eye coming up on your screen during the movie
which if you select it you get to see that scene again with out sound and
colour enhancements. Interesting.
highlights- a recap and further explanation of what went on in the film
- CG clips:
how the computer generated clips were made from actual shooting to finished
Video- See AUDIO section for details
trailer- This trailer is very good, and full credit to everyone involved for
making this film look interesting and exciting.
- Easter Eye
trailers- EE montage, Princess Blade, Infernal Affairs, Volcano High, The