A while ago I wrote an article on the KTX, Korea’s high speed train. In that article I talked about the new KTX cinema. The KTX cinema is one car of the train which shows movies. These movies are not old ones like on airplanes, they are movies which are currently playing in Korean theatres. For only 7000 won more than the price of a regular ticket, you can watch the movie on your 3 hour trip to Busan from Seoul.
Naturally I opted for this option both on the way to Busan and on the way back home. It was well worth it in my opinion.
Normally on train rides, I bring a book to read, or I bring along a portable game of some sort. Talking to the person next to you can also be fun, but after a few hours, there’s not much left to say sometimes. I thought the KTX cinema was pretty good because the trip to Busan takes a little over three hours. 2 of them are spent watching the movie.
You still know you’re on the train, not in a movie theater, but these days, the movie theater going experience isn’t what it used to be anyway. What I mean is, when I was a kid, going to the movies was a big thing, and the theater was always crowded. Then when I became a teenager, the mega theaters started to show the movie 8 times a day, sometimes on multiple screens. After the first weekend, you could expect that the theater wouldn’t be crowded at all, as if you had the theater to yourself. If that’s the case, what’s the point of having such a huge theater for just one or two people?
Anyway, the KTX at least sounded like a real movie theater, as the sound system was amazing. It was a little bit annoying that the train announcements were still audible in the KTX cinema car, but I guess that’s just a necessary annoyance.
What movies did you see?
I saw one movie on the way to Busan and one on the way back to Seoul. I actually haven’t been to the movies in quite a while, but I’m starting to notice a popular theme in Korean TV and movies. This year is the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, and MBC and KBS both have their Korean war dramas in progress. There also seems to be more and more films out about the Korean War. On the way to Busan, I saw the film called 포화속으로 (Into the Fire). This film was about a real event in the Korean war, where 71 high school students lost their lives defending Pohang Girl’s Middle School against the Peoples’ Army (North Korea) very early in the war, when the National Army (South Korea) was losing. I don’t want to give away the ending, but I really dig war movies, so this one was awesome. For fans of K-pop and K-dramas, you will be pleased to find Kwon Sung Woo in a major role, along with Big Bang’s T.O.P. as the main protagonist. Both did an amazing job portraying what it must have been like for 10th or 11th graders to fight in such dire settings. I highly recommend this movie. And it’s kind of funny to see T.O.P. screaming with his machine gun and thinking about the lollypop song. I think the only thing that might have been off is the exact military uniforms, and the obviously South Korean actors attempting to speak like North Koreans, but what do I know, Korean not being my native language in the first place?
The second movie I saw was 꿈은 이루어진다 “Dreams Come True”. This is another movie that has South Korean actors playing North Koreans. Some pull it off well, most you can tell are trying very hard. The movie is about some North Korean soldiers who work at the DMZ during the 2002 World Cup. At the time North Korea was apparently not allowing the people to watch South Korea’s matches. The North Koreans are out on patrol one night where they accidentally run into a group of South Korean soldiers. They decide to hang out for the night and become friends with each other. The South Koreans offer to send radio broadcasts of the World Cup through the radio waves to the North Koreans, and this sets up the problem in the film, as the North Koreans’ superiors figure out what’s going on eventually.
This movie was also very good, and it had many of the same actors from the 1999 movie Attack the Gas Station (one of my favorite Korean movies that I also highly reccomend.)
The movie ends in somewhat of a predictable manner, but it’s still a great movie.
With so many movies and shows out about the Korean War and North Korea in general, I get the feeling that someone at least is aching for some kind of change of the status quo. And that makes me happy.