Tag Archives: movies

The Blair Witch Project it ain’t, but still…

One of the fun bonuses of teaching English in Korea is the chance to teach English camps. I’m only partially sarcastic there. While it does mean more classes to teach once the vacation has started (often with no extra pay), the camp curriculum is often more relaxed and as long as they are well planned, they can be a lot of fun. The one I just finished was at a middle school where the kids were very enthusiastic and a lot of fun to teach. On the second day, we went through movie genres and a few sample scripts and then I got them to write their own movies. They wrote the scripts, practiced them, and then I recorded them on my phone and edited them later. Their English level isn’t super high, but they tried hard. Anyway, here for your viewing pleasure are two of the movies they made. They are about a minute long, each.

1. Number 1: This is a ghost story about a top student who has died and comes back to haunt the 2nd place student in school.

2. Stupidman and the Zombies: This is a zombie comedy where apparently the zombies and normal people can switch quite quickly. I can’t say I totally understand it, since they didn’t explain it to me.

The production values aren’t great, but it was a good activity and gave the students more fun and a better sense of accomplishment than just doing grammar exercises. I had them vote for the best movie in several categories. “Number 1” won hands-down for best acting, all for that scream. There was a third movie too, done by an all-boys group, that had to do with gambling and a lot of people getting shot, but they didn’t want me to post that one.


Korean movie previews: And now for the coming distractions…

One of my favourite parts of going to the movie used to be the previews at the beginning. It was like getting to watch a bunch of free movies, almost harkening back to the days when your nickel got you a newsreel and a cartoon before the main feature. Honestly, I haven’t been to a movie in North America for a while (although I hear popcorn has to be purchased in gold now) but in Korea, the previews before a movies are a whole different thing.

Specifically, they’re advertisements. And there are a ton of them. It’s interesting to see trends change over time. There are always cellphone commercials, since this is Korea, but there used to be an insane amount of alcohol commercials. This last weekend, when I went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness, there wasn’t a single one, which is good, I suppose. Here is a list of the commercials I did see before the movie though.

1. hanium.or.kr, which is an IT knowledge sharing project in Korea

2. Hanbit optometry

3. a spot about the rules of the theater (cellphones on vibrate, be courteous, etc), performed by a Korean skit comedy group, similar to Saturday Night Live

4. koreatree.or.kr (나라사랑큰나무), which, according to their website, is a campaign to promote patriotism, freedom, and hope in the future in Korea

5. Saemaeul financial association

6. a trailer for the Korean movie 마이 라띠마 (Mai Ratima), which is about a love affair between a lower-class Korean man and a Thai mail-order bride.

7. Nivea lotion

8. U+ LTE cellphone service (this is LG’s cellphone company. There are three cellphone carriers and they all advertised before this movie)

9. Nivea again

10. Maxim coffee, specifically what I call “coffee sticks”. It’s a thin tube with instant coffee, sugar, and creamer in it and makes about 150ml of coffee.

11. Hyundai Motor Group

12. Restylane, which apparently is a wrinkle remover.

13. Korean Air, specifically about flights to the Maldives, which I admit, looks pretty good

14. a Megabox theater announcement about fire exits, illustrated by the animated character, Pucca.

15. Hyundai again, although this one might have been for Hyundai real estate. I can’t remember.

16. Home CC, which is the interior decorating branch of a paint and chemical company, KCC. They own the basketball team in the city where I live.

17. LG: specifically for pocket-sized photo printers that connect to your cellphone.

18. a GPS system called 다본다 (Dabonda: “sees everything”)

19. a trailer for a movie called 은밀하게 위대하게 (Eunmilhage, Widaehage: “Secretly, Greatly”), which is an action/comedy about a North Korean sleeper agent in Seoul.

20. Samsung Galaxy S4 phone

21. Megabox commercial again (Megabox is the name of the theater I went to)

22. Chevy (ever since GM bought Daewoo a couple years ago, there are suddenly a lot of Chevy cars around. Besides that, it’s 95% Hyundai and Kia.)

23. a PSA against illegal sports gambling

24. Samsung Galaxy S4 again

25. Olleh Warp cellphone service (the cellphone service brand of KT)

26. Olleh Warp again

27. a trailer for the movie White House Down

28. U+ LTE cellphone service again, this time toting their unlimited voice plan

29. Megabox again

30. SK Telecom LTE unlimited

 

So, there you have it. 30 commercial in total, with only 3 movie trailers and only one of those an English movie. But then we got to see  Star Trek, so it was worth it.

This is the case at every single movie you go to here, although I guess after 8 years, I’ve gotten used to it. And honestly, it beats having to pay $20 for a bucket of popcorn.

Here's the movie I saw.

Here’s the movie I saw.


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