2:00 pm - 11/06/2012

Tazza Review + First 5PP giveaway! + omona movie post!

yuukihitohira and I were lucky enough to be given a review copy of Tazza: The High Rollers which we are also giving away to one lucky winner! Prize pack includes: A copy of the two-disc Tazza DVD set, plus an 11x17" poster and a set of 5 Points promo/art cards (Finding Mr. Destiny, Moss, Tazza).

----> To win simply comment in this post by reacting to the reviews, if you've seen this movie tell us how you felt about it, recommend other films like it, or just talk about Korean movies in general. Please refrain from sharing download links.

So let's get started ┗(^0^)┓ (^0^)┛

Story: A man named Goni gambled away a ton of money playing a card game called hwatu or go-stop: his own as well as his sister's alimony. After getting himself totally screwed over in a fixed game, he runs away from home trying to find the guy who swindled him. Eventually he is taken under the wing of a legendary gambler named Pyeong. More shit happens and then starts working with gambling madam Jeong. And then more stuff happens!

turdferguson review:
For a movie that received accolades in 2006 and 2007 and got an 81% on Rotten Tomatoes I really had to put myself in the context of that time but more on that later. Slick styles abound with multi camera panels to really hit it home that it was based on a manhwa (the first hint was at the introduction where it said it was based on a manhwa). Others have noted the movie falls into Guy Ritchie territory but with more character depth, but when you're watching a Guy Ritchie film 1. you watch because it /looks/ good and 2. you like the punchy, action sequences. Same deal here except with more gambling and character depth (but not too much). Going back to the context of the times: this 2006 movie set in the 90s and watching it for the first time in 2012 made parts look passé and dated but thankfully the content and the characters made it better.

If not for the aesthetic, the cast is fantastic. Cho Seung-woo's cute face (Goni) makes it easy on the audience to root for him even though he's got some problems that weren't fully addressed, like his gambling addiction. Kim Hye-su plays Madam Jeong so cool and calculating and you know she just runs this whole movie. Goni's neurotic gambling partner and friend Kwang-ryeol (Yu Hae-jin) did his whole fast-talking, "does he have it under control or should I be worried?" bit which I admit made it more fun.

rating: 4/5 omona lollipops (or an 8 piece bucket of Onew's chicken if you're trying to feed a family of 4)

yuukihitohira's review:
Tazza was funny, suspenseful, and energetic; everything you'd expect from a movie about gambling, mobsters, and the high rollers. The way the movie is shot hints at it being an adaptation of a manhwa from over the top card tricks to split panel frames to clear scenes that look straight out of a manhwa (the one of Goni hanging off the train as money flies out of his bag and trails behind him comes to mind immediately). And for something that was filmed in the mid 2000's, it looks every bit like it's from the mid '90s, when our story takes place. This is a nice touch and really brings the audience into the settling and economic situation of the time, which makes the whole obsession with gambling and acquiring money more clear and meaningful, as Goni learns from his ~Master~ Pyeong.

Goni's (Cho Seungwoo) story is one pretty much one that we've all heard before, someone at the bottom becoming a protege and rising to the top etc etc, but that's not all there is to it. What I like most about this movie is that Goni doesn't just have one problem, but multiple ones. It seems like his only issue is getting his revenge on the people that swindled him out of his (and his sister's) money, but as the movie progresses, he's able to solve that problem and quickly is faced with another. I find that considering the pro-gambling/high roller life he leads, it's very suiting for his character and truly helps the plot along. Plus, Cho Seungwoo is super easy on the eyes and a treat to watch as Goni goes through his ups and downs.

Besides Goni, the film is also filled with other fantastic characters such as the power and money hungry Madam Jeong(Kim Hyesu) and the typical comic relief character/Goni's partner in crime, Kwangryeol(Yu Haejin).

Honestly, as much as I love Goni, Madam Jeong is by far the star of the film. Kim's portrayal of her as the totally-in-control mastermind of gambling is fantastic and I found myself immediately drawn to her every time she came on screen. Madam Jeong's character is reminiscent of a typical noir female character; shrouded in mystery and very independent, which may be why I loved her so much and (SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS) felt so bad for her at the end when she couldn't give up her obsession/need for money and power, which led to her downfall(ENDSPOILERS)

Kwangryeol, on the other hand, was great in lightening the mood whenever he was on screen and the bromance between him and Goni was awesome. Also, the way that Yu Haejin played him as a fast-talking, twitchy, I'll-talk-you-out-of-anything-without-yo
u-realizing trickster was weird at first, but then really cool once you realized what was going on and that Kwangryeol was a super skilled high roller like Goni. The speed at which he said his lines shocked me and I re-watched them a few times just to hear how fast and clearly he delivered his lines.

In the end, I would also give it 4 lolli-lolli-lolli~pops out of 5. It's a fun film and definitely something I will be watching again soon.

yuukihitohira 6th-Nov-2012 10:35 pm (UTC)
Awwwwww yeahhhh.

Also, taking this moment to say to the people who can play go-stop...y'all are crazy and smart
shanny_w 6th-Nov-2012 11:03 pm (UTC)
Is there a place online where we can play go-stop? Omona should have a go-stop battle!
yuukihitohira 6th-Nov-2012 11:04 pm (UTC)
That is a good question because after watching, I read about how to play and it seems fun...but so intense and confusing ;~;
shanny_w 7th-Nov-2012 02:44 am (UTC)
I always feel like card games are gonna be boring but then I get going and can't stop. Then like 4 hours goes past. & Aww, why is this post so quiet? Must be cause of the election. I can't imagine Omona passing up a chance at free stuff otherwise LOL
shintotchi 6th-Nov-2012 11:05 pm (UTC)
I agree. I tried to get my Korean friends to teach me, but they just laughed and said it was too difficult. XP
uledy 7th-Nov-2012 03:13 am (UTC)
i don't think i'll ever understand go-stop.
shanny_w 6th-Nov-2012 11:02 pm (UTC)
This lollipop system helps me tremendously.
shintotchi 6th-Nov-2012 11:04 pm (UTC)
Sounds interesting. I'm usually into movies where the guy is in a gang and tries to turn his life around for whatever reason, or movies about underdog kids/people or highschool life. So I'd normally overlook this, but my interest has been caught. This is the first mention I've heard of it, so i guess I'll wait and see what others have to say about it.
linzer_jello 6th-Nov-2012 11:13 pm (UTC)
This looks really good. It reminds of a tad like Kaiji, just the gambling part really. lol
teukiie 7th-Nov-2012 02:55 am (UTC)
I like the lollipop system :P and the chicken too xD
There's a drama called Tazza as well, aye? The one with Jang Hyuk and Han Ye Seul? My parents love it xD
izabera 7th-Nov-2012 06:00 pm (UTC)
Not entering, just here to say for some reason this post wasn't visible in my feed yesterday. That could be why so few people commented.
congie 8th-Nov-2012 03:22 am (UTC)
well not entering, just wanna say this movie is awesome =D
There are people saying the drama version, starring Jang Hyuk and Han Ye Seul, is much better but i haven't had time to watch it so idk, Tazza the movie is good enough for me :)
but i still don't find Goni cute :/
benihime99 13th-Aug-2014 05:37 pm (UTC)
damn I didn't even see that post
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