Sunday, September 16, 2007

D-War is unleashed upon USA

My Review of D-War

Rotten Tomatoes Brutalizing ‘D-War’

So, far, D-War has earned a 14% at Rotten Tomatoes, which isn’t really so bad, considering it was 14% higher than commenter ZZOOzzoo expected.

We all knew the film was going to get panned — my wife, for instance, described it as the worst film she’d ever seen. And this was just one day after we’d watched “Showgirls” on OCN. But some of the commentary so far has been hilarious.

Wrote Brian Tallerico of UnderGroundOnline:

On a script level, D-War is the movie that Ed Wood would have made in the era of CGI, complete with awkward editing, wooden acting, and a story that becomes impossible to care about at all.

Meanwhile, Josh Larsen wrote in the Naperville Sun:

Yet the only real entertainment comes from watching Robert Forster, in the Mr. Miyagi role, fruitlessly trying to explain the difference between an Imoogi, a Buraki and a Yuh Yi Joo.

Actually, I was wondering what Robert Forster was doing in this. Must have needed the paycheck.

My personal favorite, however, was courtesy Uri Lessing at

This is not a movie to watch for escapism. This is a movie to watch with a bunch of friends and heckle mercilessly.

Uri saves the best for last, though:

“D-War” comes from South Korea, and according to the newspaper, JoongAng Daily, the Korean prints of the film ended with the following statement from director, Shim Hyung-rae: “D-War and I will succeed in the world market without fail,” I’m guessing Hyung-rae wrote that statement while smoking the same stuff he was on when he wrote the script for this abominable movie.

Ouch. One wonders if the netizens will share the critics’ sense of humor once they discover what’s being written.

On a bright note, at least Jin Jung-gwon might feel vindicated.

Now, here’s some quality reporting — StarNews (Korean) reports that “D-War” is the 4th most popular search word at, and that netizens there have given the film a “B-” rating. So, diligent citizen reporter that I am, I checked it out — yep, it’s a lot of Koreans driving up the grade (odd that StarNews should neglect to mention that), which despite this has still managed to fall to C-.

UPDATE: MoneyToday Star News (Korean) with more classic journalism:

Attention is focusing on how successful D-War, which opened on Sept 14 on 2,267 screens across the United States, will be.In particular, with local critics and media giving ‘D-War’ mixed reviews, people are watching to see how much it will affect the film’s box office results.

Mixed reviews? Wouldn’t that suggest that somebody’s actually given it a positive review?

Anyway, the piece noted that the Hollywood Reporter skewered the film, and that the Golden Raspberry Awards have given “D-War” its “Best Bad Movie of the Weak” award.

My favorite line of the piece is this:

In the reviews posted at Rotten Tomatoes, a website syndicating many US film critics, D-War has been getting not-so-good ratings.

Not-so-good ratings? It’s got a fucking 13%!

Within the general current, overseas Koreans are giving the film good reviews on Korean community websites, drawing attention.

You don’t say? Despite the threat from the gyopo crowd, however, I think Russell Crowe and Christian Bale can rest easy this weekend.

I shouldn’t be too hard on MoneyToday Star News, though. They at least tried to convey the Razzie in the making. That’s more that we can say for Newsis correspondent Noh Chang-hyeon, who must have been smoking the same shit as Shim Hyung-rae when he penned this joke, entitled, “Green Light to D-War Success in US: Audience Give Film Over B+ on Opening Day.” Roh went to the film opening in New York, and apparently found a whole lot of folk who liked the film. I mean, seriously, it’s almost worth learning Korean just to read this thing — it’s jaw-dropping.

And speaking of Rotton Tomatoes, I’m not sure what it is, but I don’t think Dustin Putman of liked the film:

“Dragon Wars” is destined to go down in history as one of cinema’s most blunderingly, catastrophically bad big-budget films of the last few decades. Only worth seeing with a large group of friends and a bottle of hard liquor by your side, the movie bypasses the barest hints of behind-the-scenes sanity and enters a realm where the viewer legitimately wonders if what he or she is watching was made by homosapiens.

At this point, however, I have to wonder whether all these bad reviews might actually help the film in the end — could “D-War” become a cult classic?

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