My Top 10 Favorite Korean Movies (May 2019)

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Guess who’s back?
That’s right! I’m back.

Woo hoo! Yeah… I’m so sorry that I haven’t posted for a little bit. Unless you like seeing me post less often. I don’t quite have an audience reading my blog… so I suppose nobody really noticed.

It’s all good though! I hope you (random reader) are enjoying my long blog posts anyway, and to celebrate my return I’m going to be listing my top ten favorite Korean movies as of May 2019.

Yay! Don’t worry if my top ten isn’t like your top ten. This is totally my opinion. You can tell me your favorites down in the comment section below. I would love reading your lists. Until then, I hope you enjoy my list! ^_^ Let’s start with number 10…

Number 10. 100 Days with Mr. Arrogant

Starting off my top 10 list is a good old romantic comedy, which stars one of my favorite South Korean movie actresses, Ha Ji-won. “100 days with Mr. Arrogant” is one of the first Korean movies that I have ever seen. In it, Ha Jiwon plays high school student Ha-yeong. After being dumped by her boyfriend on their 100-day anniversary, she finds herself in a predicament when she meets Hyung-jun (Kim Jae-won), and causes him to scratch his Lexus. On the spot, he demands that she pay $3,000 for the damage, but, because she is a poor high school student, she is, instead, forced into a 100 day “Enslavement Agreement”. With this, Ha-yeong is thrown into a nightmarish slave life. She cleans his house, runs his errands, and does his homework, among other things. Things get interesting, though, when Ha-yeong learns the truth: Hyung-jun’s car damage doesn’t actually cost $3,000 but only $10 instead!

*Inhales* Sorry, that was a lot plot to go through. I’ll try not to give too much of the plot away in case you want to see it for yourself. “100 days with Mr. Arrogant” is actually a really cute and funny movie. Granted, you can’t go into it expecting an Oscar worthy film. It’s not perfect by any means, but there are some really funny moments sprinkled throughout. I also really enjoyed the main actors chemistry. Ha Ji-won and Kim Jae-won are super funny together. So, if you can, make sure to check out “100 days with Mr. Arrogant”. It’s a lot of fun, I promise!

Number 9. Hellcats

Any Wonder Girls fans out there? If so, you have to check out my number 9 spot on my list! “Hellcats” is a romantic comedy film lead by three wonderful South Korean actresses including Ahn So-hee in her full length movie debut. This movie follows an extended family of three women from three different generations. First, we have the forty-something interior designer Young-mi (Lee Mi-sook). She is a happy, independent single mother, who has begun working with a theatre company. After Young-mi, we have the 27 year old screen-writer Ah-mi (Kim Min-hee), who lives with Young-mi because she can’t afford rent on her own. Rounding off the leading ladies is high school student Kang-ae (Ahn So-hee), Young-mi’s teenage daughter, who is struggling with getting her first kiss from her boyfriend of 3 years. Each woman has her own story to tell, and we as an audience get to watch one of them navigate through their trials of love, sex, and relationships.

Did you catch all of that? I think it’s a great movie for a bunch of gal pals to get together and watch. Each woman has their own story that they each can relate to regular women in their own ways. Also, there are LGBT themes that take place in this movie, and if that’s your thing you should check this film out. I really enjoyed “Hellcats”, and I thought that all of the actresses killed it.

Number 8. The Huntresses

Now, who here is a big fan of “Charlie’s Angels”? …Anybody? Well, you’re in luck, because that’s literally what “The Huntresses” brings to my mind whenever I sit down to watch this film. Except… it’s in Korea… during the Joseon period. “The Huntresses” is an action/adventure movie following three bounty hunters: Jin-ok (Ha Ji-won), an intelligent and talented martial arts swardswoman, Hong-dan (Kang Ye-won), housewife and fighter, and Ga-bi (Son Ga-in), the youngest of the trio. Together, these three women never fail to capture a target, no matter the criminal or the crime. They face their biggest challenge yet when they set out on a secret mission commissioned by the king to search for the staursocope.

As opposed to my number 9 choice, “The Huntresses” has a simpler plot to explain on the surface. What I think draws me to this film are the three women that lead it. They are so awesome, and I love watching them kick butt in every scene that they are in. As for the story itself, there is more to it than meets the eye, as we do gain some backstory about one of the three women. In all, “The Huntresses” is a really great movie. Also there is a really hot guy in this movie (I’m trying to discuss him without really ruining much about him). If that makes you want to check this movie out, you should.

Number 7. Temptation of the Wolves

So this is a movie that just recently made it onto my list, but it totally deserves a place. “Temptation of the Wolves” follows country girl Jung Han-Kyung (Lee Chung-ah) as she moves back to Seoul to live with her mother after her father’s death. Adapting to city life isn’t easy, and after getting her heart broken by her first love, she meets Ban Hae-won (Jo Han-sun), who accidentally threw a slipper at her head. Hae-won, the most popular guy at her school, falls for her, but he is not alone in this. Jang Tae-sung (Gang Dong-won) is the leader of rival school of Sung-Kwon High, and also has feelings for Han-kyeong. A battle for Han-kyeong’s love begins, and neither boy is ready to back down.

Oh, this movie. THIS MOVIE!!! It’s so good. The acting is great. The chemistry is on point. The plot keeps you on edge. There is a lot of regular drama sprinkled throughout this movie. I don’t want to ruin anything because I really want you to check this film out for yourself. If you love romantic moments that make your heart flutter, this movie is for you. At the same time, if you love cool fight scenes and tear jerking moments, this movie is for you. Just watch this movie. Please. Like… RIGHT NOW!!!

Number 6. Death Bell

Now, we have a huge left turn from the usual movies that I have shown so far on my list, but I have my reasons. “Death Bell” is a “Saw”-like horror movie that makes me happy that I’m not in high school anymore. In this movie, we have 20 high school students (who are at the top of their classes) partake in an elite class to get prepared for college exams. Of these students we have our lead Kang I-na (Nam Gyu-Ri), her bestfriend Yoon Myong-heo (Son Yeo-eun), and the class clown Kang Hyun (Kim Bum), who has feelings for I-na. It seems like a regular school day, when suddenly one of the top-ranking students is shown on the TV slowly being submerged in water. The students and teachers are only given the option to solve the problem given to them or watch the student die. From then on, the students and teachers are in a race against the clock, both to save students from their demise, as well as to figure out who is behind it all.

So, yes! “Death Bell” is a pretty cool horror movie. It’s one of those movies that I always enjoy re-watching and never get bored of. It’s kind of got a mix of everything in terms of horror. You got some gore. You got some ghosts. You got some jump scares. I really like this movie. Also Kim Bum is like a baby in this movie, and I love him so much.

Number 5. My Little Bride

Let’s start off my top five with one of the cutest romantic comedies out there. “My Little Bride” is a 2004 film that stars Moon Geun-young as 15 year old Bo-eun. Bo-eun is just a regular high school student. She worries about her grades and has a huge crush on her school’s baseball team ace, Jung-woo. Her life quickly becomes abnormal when her grandfather orders her to marry her childhood friend and college student Sang-min (Kim Rae-won) because of a pact he made with Sang-min’s grandfather during the Korean War. Although there is opposition from both sides the two eventually married. Now, Bo-eun and Sang-min must juggle their regular lives with being a married couple.

From the outside, this may seem like a pretty strange plot to a film. How can a minor marry an adult man, and it not seem creepy? I think what is great about this movie is that there are set boundaries around the relationship. Everybody knows that Bo-eun is underage, so nothing too creepy takes place. Okay, there are some slight pervy moments on Sang-min’s behalf and Bo-eun is always there to put him into place. The fact that they grew up together also makes it less uncomfortable to me. I promise, it’s a really cute movie. You should really check it out. It’s very funny.

Number 4. He was cool

This is another super cute movie on my list!   “He was cool” is a romantic comedy that is based off an Internet novel written by Guiyeoni. The story is follows a high school girl named Han Ye-won (Jung Da-bin).  When she leaves a reply to a threatening message left on her school website, Ye-won accidentally unleashes the wrath of Ji Eun-sung (Song Seung-heon), a student from a vocational school. Eun-sung is a well-known bully, and extremely hot-tempered.  He begins to threaten Ye-won, and after a misunderstanding they end up accidentally kissing one another.  In order to “take responsibility”, Ye-won and Eun-sung begin dating, and thus we have another romantic comedy that warms even the coldest of hearts.

“He was cool” is just so cute. I know I’ve been saying that about a lot of these movies but I can’t help it. There’s just something so sweet about a good girl being able to change a bad boy. I guess it comes down to the reality that it could never actually happen in real circumstances, but it’s fun to imagine. This is a really good movie. It’s funny. It’s sweet. It’s something that everybody should check out. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, please watch it!

Number 3. Sunny

What is a good top movie list without a coming of age story? “Sunny” is a movie that I would recommend to anybody whether or not they are interested in Korean entertainment. I say that because it’s story is something that many young people and older people can relate to. The film follows Im Na-mi (Yoo Ho-jeong) a middle aged housewife and mother, after she meets her childhood friend, who she hasn’t seen for decades. Her friend Ha Chun-hwa (Jin Hee-kyung) is extremely ill, and is extremely happy to see her. As they talk, Chun-hwa reveals her wish of seeing their old friend group reuniting, which Na-mi sets out to do. “Sunny” takes place in two separate timelines: the present where the women are all middle aged, and in the 1980s when they were in high school.

“Sunny” is such a good movie. It navigates so many important themes from growing up to friendship to pursuing your dreams. This movie is so wholesome, and had me bawling at the end. There is something really touching about the friendship that these girls have. I really loved the cast for this movie. The actresses in both the past and the present did amazing. Not only that but there are some truly funny parts that take place in this movie. If you are interested in watching a great movie about growing up and friendship, I think you should really check this movie out. It’s lovely.

Number 2. Train to Busan

Now, this is a big switch from my number 3 choice. My number 2 choice was something that I had to make sure was on my list, because it is just so freaking awesome. “Train to Busan” is a South Korean zombie apocalypse action thriller film, and it is done SUPER well. In the movie, we have the main character Seok-woo (Gong Woo), a workaholic father, who is often absent in the life of his young daughter Su-an (Kim Su-an). For her birthday, it is Su-an’s wish for her father to take her to Busan to see her mother. The plan changes when a zombie breakout takes place while they are on the train. Now, it is up to Seok-woo to get his daughter along with the rest of the remaining survivors out of harms way.

If you’re a fan of zombie movies, I suggest that you check out “Train to Busan” right away.  I’ve seen plenty of zombie movies to know that some of them can turn out pretty bad, but “Train to Busan” does the genre justice.  There is a lot of gore, a lot action, and a lot of likable characters to cheer for in this movie. I’ve also managed to get my family (many of whom stay away from foreign films) to watch this movie, and enjoy it.  “Train to Busan” is awesome.  It just is.

Number 1. 200 Pounds of Beauty

Okay, so the number 1 spot goes to the movie that will always have a special place in my heart. “200 Pounds of Beauty” follows Hanna Kang (Kim Ah-joong), an overweight phone sex part-timer and a ghost singer for a famous pop singer named Ammy. Hanna has a huge crush on Sang-joon (Joo Jin-mo), a director who’s father owns the entertainment company that they both work for. After Ammy embarrasses Hanna at Sang-jun’s birthday party, she overhears Sang-jun tell Ammy that they are using her only for her voice.  This crushes Hanna, but it brings her to the decision that she must lose weight, and undergo head to toe plastic surgery to become beautiful. When she comes back from the hospital, Hanna is transformed to the point that not even her friend recognizes her. Hanna creates a new identity for herself, and auditions to become Ammy’s secret vocalist.  She earns her own recording contract thus giving her a chance to be everything she couldn’t be before her change.

Now, with that tiny description of this story, it may seem like this movie promotes the importance of being beautiful, but that’s not the case. What I love about “200 Pounds of Beauty” is that it discusses themes of accepting who you are and loving who you are. It’s such a cute movie, and I appreciate seeing Hanna develop as a character. This is also one of the four movies on my list that manages to make me cry every time that I watch it. “200 Pounds of Beauty” is my favorite Korean movie ever and if you haven’t seen it please check it out.

So, I hope you guys enjoyed my top 10 favorite Korean movies of all time as of May 2019.  I’m sorry that it has taken me so long to post again.  Life has been pretty crazy for me where I live. Still, if you can, let me know your favorite Korean films down in the comment section below.  I would love to hear from you all. Until next time.

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