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“Dragon Wars”: I think someone is dreaming

September 10th, 2007 . by Gerry-Bevers

In a New York Times article, “New Tactics Aim to Make Korean Film a Hit in the U.S,” Hyung Rae Shim, the director of the Korean movie, “Dragon Wars,”  thinks that “the proper formula would prompt South Korean pop culture to wash over [Korean wave] the United States, as it has done in much of Southeast Asia and China in recent years.”

The article says that Mr. Shim, “who calls himself the Korean Charlie Chaplin,” hopes “to make Hollywood his playground,” and Mr. Shim, himself, with typical, Korean overoptimism said, “D-War and I will succeed in the world market without fail.”

From the previews and reviews I have seen, I think there is little question that “Dragon Wars” will flop in the US market. The only question is how big it will flop, depending on how much “Korean pride” and juvenile interest Shim can muster there. However, I have to give Mr. Shim credit for his marketing strategy, especially his getting Samsung to play the movie’s trailer on its TVs displayed in stores. That was a good idea.

By the way, I have never heard of the Korean legend that the movie is supposedly based on. Was there really such a legend, or was that conveniently made up?


13 Responses to ““Dragon Wars”: I think someone is dreaming”

  1. comment number 1 by: chase

    I haven’t seen the film so I don’t know how the legend is used in the plotline.
    I think it’s a pretty well known legend since I know abou tit. I don’t know the specifics but it’s kind of like “Potential dragon souls” need to accomplish something (ex.collecting “Yeo-Yi-Joo”(여의주, small pearl-like stone), to become a dragon. If the soul doesn’t get to do this, they become Yi-Moo-Ghee instead. While Dragons are illustrated as holy and godlike, Yi-Moo-Ghee s are usually illustrated as bad monsters. If you get to read some legends of Korean flower and 삼국유사/삼국사기, you will see this quite a lot.

    This is not Mr.Shim’s first try. He had made a similar film with similar theme(Yong-Ga-Rhee) about 7 years ago. I think that really failed also and made him frustrating. He is pretty respected as a comedian and most of Koreans feel friendly to him.(everyone over 15 has seen his comedy)This is probably why many Koreans support him/and the movie although they know the film is not that great.

  2. comment number 2 by: GarlicBreath

    By the way, I have never heard of the Korean legend that the movie is supposedly based on. Was there really such a legend, or was that conveniently made up?

    There is no legend of dragons, but then again it looks like a snake. Perhaps snakes are in corean folklore. I think this movie is an attempt to ‘borrow’ chinese themes and claim them as corean. Not to mention the ripoff of godzilla.

    Early reviews for “Dragon Wars” have not been kind. While praising its visual effects, Variety lamented its “Z-grade script.” A review posted on the movie Web site Rotten Tomatoes said, “I will petition for the makers of this movie to crawl under rocks.”

    .
    Also not boding well: some of the people working on the movie do not seem particularly proud of it. The Lakeshore Entertainment Group executive hired to market “Dragon Wars” refused to discuss it. The distributor, Freestyle Releasing, did not respond to multiple requests for an interview

    .

    Bad reviews are getting the ire of corean netizens.

    wow… this article written by jen yamato???

    yamato? that was japanese name.. is right?

    maybe he got half-blood japanese

    wow.. japan hates korea.. absoultly korea very hates jap..

    so.. what?

    the corean director got one thing correct. Gyopos will see it out of patriotism. They will love it because they are loyal to all things corean. Maybe Robert Kim will be at the premere.

  3. comment number 3 by: crypticlife

    With a zero-grade script, it would only really make it in America with absolutely spectacular (i.e., costly and cutting-edge) effects or amazing acting. Marketing alone, no matter how well it’s done, won’t make up for a poor story.

    Somehow, I doubt it has either.

  4. comment number 4 by: GarlicBreath

    ‘D-War’ Director Returns Home Triumphant

    Headline from the chosun bimbo. Reminds me of famed corean scientist Hwang you suck.

    .
    The IMDB has detailed reviews from moviegoers. Here are some snippets.

    I went in to see D-War on a whim and with very low expectations. The movie failed to meet them.

    I guess the CG earns 3 stars, not 10 stars, as the nationalistic Shim fans praise about it

    .

    D-War, is an incoherently stagnant, CGI ridden, jumbled mess from start to finish. From the first frame you can feel an amateurs hand at the material.

    Well, on a whim my friends and I decided to see this. Mistake

    I know this may not be the worst movie every, but it is definitely the worst movie I have ever seen.

    KOREANS GIVING THIS MOVIE 10s PLEASE STOP.

    It goes on and on. Naturally coreans are giving it a 10 as the best movie ever etc etc…. Or ‘honest’ coreans are trying to spin it by claiming.. “great cgi” and “great kids movie” etc. Funny how even when the topic is movies, coreans must think with their blood.

  5. comment number 5 by: General Tiger

    Gerry:

    By the way, I have never heard of the Korean legend that the movie is supposedly based on. Was there really such a legend, or was that conveniently made up?

    Just consider it using mythical creatures. There’s no actual myth.

  6. comment number 6 by: GarlicBreath

    The Corean propaganda machine is already cranking out a new genre of Corean propaganda mythology.

    Just consider it using mythical creatures. There’s no actual myth.

    Not according to Corea.Net.

    D-WAR is based on a traditional myth about immogi (pythons in Korean) one of which is reborn as a dragon every 500 years after successfully embracing the yeouiju, a blessed crystal ball.

    The next movie will be about ancient corean Samuri. >.
    .
    Corean myths are very telling. I suggest everyone who wants to understand Corea read as many as possible. Many have no logic and no real message. However some do have a message such as,
    stealing and lying is OK as long as you win. I have yet to read one with a positive moral message.

  7. comment number 7 by: GarlicBreath

    Here is some insight on why the dialogue was so bad for this movie.

    acting against a green screen — required impeccable timing. Shim would give the actors two takes to run and scream at just the right moment. “You either got it or you didn’t,” Robinson says.

    I think many didn’t “get it”.
    .
    Jason Behr: Mr Shim this dialogue dosn’t make sence. People dont speak like that.
    .
    Shim: YOU MUST READ NOW!! NO READ, YOU FIRE!!

  8. comment number 8 by: Ken

    “New Tactics Aim to Make Korean Car a Hit in the U.S,”
    http://blog.livedoor.jp/dqnplus/archives/1028280.html

  9. comment number 9 by: The Western Confucian

    This is just “Yongary” all over again. I remember the pre-release hype; it was supposed to be Korean cinema’s finest achievement and achievemnet that would show the world that Korea rivalled Hollywood. It was a flop. The dialogue from the unknown American actors was horrible. Everybody pronounced the name of the monster as “Young Gary.” See it, if you want a good laugh.

  10. comment number 10 by: HanComplex

    It goes on and on. Naturally coreans are giving it a 10 as the best movie ever etc etc…. Or ‘honest’ coreans are trying to spin it by claiming.. “great cgi” and “great kids movie” etc. Funny how even when the topic is movies, coreans must think with their blood.

    Well, Koreans in general are an insecure lot. They know that worldwide their culture is not as renowned or has contributed/made anything of cultural or historical significance compared with other nations such as Japan and the USA. So in order to compensate they continue to hype anything that comes from their country as “great” or “the next big thing.” It’s like a pint-sized, snot-nosed kid who keeps bragging to anyone who’d listen that he can beat up anyone twice his size. It’s funny, and most people would just ignore the little runt.

  11. comment number 11 by: T_K

    Wikipedia says that during the end credits, Arirang is played and there’s a weird declaration by the director. Has the page been vandalised, or is it really true?

  12. comment number 12 by: GarlicBreath

    Another review:

    Not screened for critics, Dragon Wars is a South Korean film (though it stars American actors) about… ah, dragons. Having a war. In Los Angeles. Yes, it sounds awesome! But keep in mind that if it was actually awesome, the studio would probably want to show it to critics, rather than trying to hide their movie like they were ashamed little babies

  13. comment number 13 by: Brian

    Holy insecurity batman! Garlic face is just about to check into an institution for mental trauma. lol