Not for the squeemish...
Lee E. | Arkansas | 06/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was unprepared for the level of violence in the film, and was *this close* to turning it off, but opted not to. I'm glad I didn't. STGP is about a deranged young man (Ha Kyun Shin) who is convinced that aliens from Andromeda are trying to destroy the world. His chubby girlfriend as his accomplice, he kidnaps the head of a business who he believes is the only one who can communicate with the Head Prince of Andromeda.
I wasn't sure what to expect from Save the Green Planet, but one thing I was unprepared for was the amount of violence. I'm not much into violent movies (I shut off Ichi after the first ten minutes) but I stuck with it because I love Ha Kyun Shin. In the end, it turns out the violence is for a purpose, it is not meaningless, and it makes you think twice.
Another thing I liked about this movie was the relationship between the deranged young man and his girlfriend. The girl was not your typical asian beauty that you would expect. She's chubby, homely and insecure, and the perfect match for Ha Kyun. Ha Kyun's character genuinely loves her, but does not realize how much until she is gone.
There is a message in this movie, that is very clear at the end. And if you stick with the film through the ending credits you will see clips with the main characters that will break anyone's heart."
A fascinating look into another culture's weirdnesses, and o
K. Swanson | Austin, TX United States | 02/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
A truly unique and mind-warping film. This is kind of like Plan Nine From Outer Space if it had actually worked on every level!
I had no idea there would be moments of intense violence here, but must say that they don't detract much and in fact occasionally add to the overall psychotic weirdness of the script.
I felt like I was really seeing another culture, which is a great feeling when living in a country that uses the media to tell its citizens that it's the only country worth living in (hence we can bomb whomever we please!). No pale imitation of Hollywood films here. This guy makes Tarantino look normal, and uses much less violence to much greater effect.
The writer/director/auteur Jeong is definitely possessed by genius (and some other entities, no doubt). The plot is truly wacked, and the twists are gorgeously wrought. This is a beautifully-shot film, and on a pretty small budget. This guy deserves kudos and then some for how well he made this come together. It could have been a sick, twisted mess; instead it's a convincing look into an insane mind and and insane era of history on this ever-less-green planet. Just when it seems too weird to cope with any longer (about 90 minutes in or so) suddenly this film goes cinematically ballistic and becomes one of the wildest visual experiences you will ever have watching a film (no hyperbole, check it out!).
Highly recommended for those tired of the kool-aid pouring out of Hollywood and D.C.
Not many films are a genre unto themselves, but STGP certainly is.
Extra half-star for the wonderfully subversive girlfriend character and the special relationship she puts at at the heart of this film.
Jose Padilla's Revenge
River | 02/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Those sly bastards! They're the ones who made those movies!" This enigmatic remark by the main character is key to understanding this flawed but brilliant film. "Those movies" will be seen throughout the film and alongside the closing credits.
"Save the Green Planet" is much better than you might think from initial impressions. At first view, this just a violent and simple minded flick about a psychopath kidnapping and torturing a business executive. I notice several of the negative reviewers say that they stopped watching after the first ten minutes. So why should you force yourself to keep watching?
First, the Director delights in causing you think you are about to see something worse than you will. The torture scenes are relevant. Believe me, the second time you watch, you will see the torture in a completely different light. Anyway, some who refuse to watch this are the same people who send their kids to see "Passion of the Christ" on Easter Weekend. This film is not nearly as gruesome as "Passion" and it does not have an anti-Semitic or anti-Human axe to grind. The exact methods of torture relate to real world associations and the historical and psychic environment in which this movie was produced.
What was that environment? Shortly before this movie was conceived, Jose Padilla, a mentally retarded ex-convict, was arrested and confined for 13 months in windowless room with bright lights and loud music 24/7. He was arrested because a person being tortured had identified him as the terrorist mastermind behind an attack that was to be more destructive than 911. Also, about that time, an associate of the late L. Ron Hubbard revealed a secret alignment between the highest elders of the Mormon Church and a splinter group that had been expelled from Scientology after Ron's death. The purpose of this alignment was to resist "Markabians" from another galaxy who supposedly had already taken over the Original Church of Scientology as well as major corporations and financial institutions. Also about then, the Director saw the movie Misery, which he found unsatisfactory. And a rumor was going around Korean chat rooms that Leonardo Decaprio was a space alien.
Put all this together, and you have what?
When a detainee subjected to enhanced interrogation declared Jose Padilla to be a terrorist, that belief was already in the mindscape of the interrogators. But what if the detainee had revealed information completely outside their belief system? What action would they have taken if the detainee under torture had declared Padilla to be an alien from another planet?
Green planet is a mind boggling dark comedy. It draws from War of the Worlds, The War on Terror, Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen King, Kung Foo, Natural Born Killers, L. Ron Hubbard, Columbo, The Book of Mormon, Close Encounters, previous movies by Chan Wok Park and Kim Sang-Jin, and just about anything else absorbed into the director's sponge like mind.
"Those sly bastards! They're the ones who made those movies!" exclaims the villain/hero as the film opens. OTs will recognize the reference to the process of R6 implantation. Other aspects of the Xenu cosmography appear throughout, sometimes cloaked in numerology, sometimes overtly. "Those movies" are our lives as we perceive them. "Where were you if you knew everything?" he later asks. "Where were you when I was going crazy?"
The villain/hero detects aliens by an auditing technique based on passing electricity through the body. An ordinary E-Meter sends a very small electrical current through the body causing a feeling of euphoria, relief from pain, and eventually a craving for more auditing. In the real world, fluctuations in this very small current are used to identify resistances or withholds or to detect the presence of "Body Thetans", alien beings attached to the personality. In the fantasy world of this film, a super charged E-meter, (actually a high amperage welding machine) is used to detect aliens from "the planet Andromeda"!
The movie was not popular in Korea. The director made creative decisions that were commercial mistakes, however brilliant they may have been artistically. Essential information you need to understand the movie is not revealed until the closing credits. Many people left the theater thinking the movie made no sense at all. So you need to see this movie to the end. The second time you see it will be completely different. You must see this movie twice to understand. You need to understand, because you are the only one. Only you can save the Green Planet.