« Sewing | Main | Eleven Secret Herbs and Honorifics »

January 10, 2005

Foul King

I was fiddling with my iBook tonight trying to prove to myself that I could play region-coded DVDs without 'flipping the code' of my DVD drive. I'd read that a video player I already have installed on my iBook is able to play any region-coded disk as if it were region-free. While I can already play my Region 2 and Region 3 disks on my PS2, I'm always interested in new ways to stick it to the man!

Initially I stuck in the Korean movie The Foul King, a disc I've had for two years. I mistakenly assumed that it was Region 3, being from Korea. It's been so long since I watched it I forgot it was actually Region 0. Anyway, it refreshed my memory about what a strange film this is. It has a lot of comic elements, but it is definitely not a comedy. It is the story of an underdog, but the underdog never really succeeds in overcoming his underdog status. And while it doesn't have a conventional happy ending, I was nevertheless satisfied with the story.

Dae Ho is a bank clerk bullied by a boss who literally puts him in a headlock whenever he feels the need to establish dominance. Dae Ho eventually comes to the conclusion that if he can just once break the headlock, he will break out of his stale life. So one evening when he coincidentally passes the delapidated gym where some bush-league professional wrestlers are trained by a washed up retired masked marvel, it only makes sense that he would decide to beg to be trained as one himself.

He gets given the role of a wrestling 'cheat', The Foul King, and stumbles into the role with relish. Still working as a bank clerk during the day, and training or attending matches at night, it's a wonder he manages to stay awake, but somehow he has deep wells of stress to draw on from his years of repression.

I won't risk giving away the remaining plot. I'll only say that I really enjoyed this, moreso after I'd had some time to think about it. Four out of five stars.

Oh, and a test with Killer Clans, a Region 3 disk, confirms that I can play region-encoded disks on my iBook!

Posted by dpwakefield at January 10, 2005 09:47 PM