Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sex is Zero: Movie Review

Genre: Romantic Comedy
Hmm. This movie is kinda old coz it was released last year 2002. I just watched this crazy, bitchy, funny, seductive and dramatic film way back March 2007..

At the first place, when you heard about the title of the movie with a word "SEX", you'll think about x-Rated scenes. Yes, it has an explicit content but then, just a short set. lol.

The video is available at Crunchyroll but then, it was removed by the owner and and he redirected it into a movie pay site coz there are lots of people watching the said video.. (Money) lol.Anyways, I forgot the redirected link.. but don't worry! You can now watch it at YouTube. However, it was divided into10 parts, 10 minutes each.

So, I got the Link:
Part (1/10):
Part (2/10):
Part (3/10):
Part (4/10): Missing
Part (5/10):
Part (6/10):
Part (7/10):
Part (8/10):
Part (9/10):
Part (10/10):

The funniest part is that the Racumin and Sperm Cell sandwich was eaten by the jinxy protagonist. Whenever his classmates were stumbling somebody, he is always the victim itself. How was that?

And the saddest part, for the sake of his love.. He is the one who took the responisbility of the lazy guy who made the girl pregnant.

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A movie review by Carl Lyon, a Senior Staff Writer

Contrary to what John Hughes or Adam Herz might have you think, love is not easy. You can't futz around for 75-odd minutes only to redeem yourself in act three with a desperate act of hangdog nobility to win the girl and graduate high school just as the end credits roll. No frigging way. Love is earned in blood, tears, pain, and sacrifice. It can be soft and gentle, but sometimes it truly, deeply sucks.

Which brings me to Je-Gyun Yun's Sex is Zero, which shows that last sentiment better than anything else. In one truly surreal scene in the film Eun-shik (played by Chang Jung Lim, who sports a droopy eyed mope that would make John Cusack jealous) cares for his beloved Eun-hyo (Ji-Won Ha) who has just had an abortion. He cooks her soup, he washes her face and hands with a hot cloth, and he entertains her with martial arts, seriously. Proving to her the strength of his resolve and his body by strict martial arts training, Eun-shik splinters planks over his head, smothers himself in plastic wrap, and shatters bottles to the strains of “If” by Bread. You know, “If a picture's worth a thousand words/Then why can't I paint you?” That's right, the song that they probably played at your parents' wedding (if you're my age, that is) is essentially the main “love theme” for a Korean teen sex comedy. Weird.

Back on track, though, Eun-shik's consistent selfless sacrifice for Eun-hyo is often painful to watch, especially during Sex is Zero's more dramatic bits. During these more serious parts, some traces of slight humor are sprinkled in to soften the blow. In one exceptionally uncomfortable scene, whereas Eun-shik has to pretend to be the father of Eun-hyo's unwanted child so she can get an abortion, he is grilled by the stone-faced doctor who tells him about the dangers of unprotected sex, while the strawberry jam he put in his hair (don't ask) attracts a swarm of hungry flies. Trust me, these scenes need some motes of humor, as I can't remember the time I've seen drama this powerful and harrowing. Many of the scenes during the third act had me on the verge of tears (or in a few cases, truly blubbering like an idiot) with just how bleak they were.

However, had this movie kept this tone throughout, I'd probably have hung myself afterwards. Fortunately, and quite oddly, the previous hour of the movie is pure sex-charged silliness. Even as Eun-shik desperately pursues Eun-hyo, only to lose her to campus dreamboat Sang-Ok, his fellow martial artists are trying themselves to get into the Danskins of Eun-hyo's beautiful aerobics classmates. Their attempts at wooing these girls lead to accidental anal sex, rubber faced pop singer impersonations, vomit soaked make out sessions (in which the actress involved genuinely pukes up water and ramen), and so on. It's humor of the most American, basest variety, which throws you off when you're not expecting it, especially when the Koreans do it so much better than all the films America's churned out in this genre. Jokes are taken to weird extremes, which work well for the movie: it's not enough that one of Eun-shik's roommates jerks off into a skillet to prove to a friend that semen is only a few steps removed from egg whites, they have to fry it up and put it on a sandwich with some rat poison in order to kill some vermin in their dorm. Of course, Eun-shik has to ask about the sandwich (to which his roommate hilariously replies, “My child's in there.”), eat it, and be sent to the hospital for stomach pumping. The cherry on this sundae of gross-out silliness? His beloved Eun-hyo discusses his “suicide attempt” with her friends, who reveal that he had semen pumped out of his belly. The hospital visits become a running joke for poor Eun-shik, usually accompanied by ridiculous x-rays of his genitals and threats of amputation.

But despite this overbearing silliness in the first two thirds, followed by the almost unbearably somber tone of the third act, Sex is Zero is wholly satisfying for the fact that its characters grow throughout the film and we genuinely like them. Even though he is put through an emotional shit-storm, Eun-shik stands by Eun-hyo, who over the course of the film realizes what true love really is. She doesn't discover it through that aforementioned climactic act of nobility: there are no boomboxes held aloft, or trombone-flute duets here, just the genuine, persistent love of a good man. It's really quite touching in that it's completely over-the-top (Eun-shik's martial arts demo for Eun-hyo had my heart rolling over in my chest) yet strangely believable in how passionate he is.

Speaking of passionate, Panik House has proven themselves to be passionate about the presentation of their films...yeah, it's a lame segue, but stick with me here! Picture quality for the non-anamorphic print is rock-solid, with deep blacks and bold colors, and no noticeable damage or grain. Audio is in the original Korean, with clear dialogue and crisp music. Now let's talk extras, because that's where Panik House is really setting themselves apart from the pack. For one, they offer two commentaries: one in English with Mike McPadden and Mr. Skin of Howard Stern fame, and one en espanol with Jesus “El Pelos” Olvera. Basically, they are one of the first American companies I've encountered that offer just as much content for the Spanish-speaking customer as they do for the English speakers. Every trailer, bio, documentary, and featurette feature Spanish subtitles as well as English...very impressive! Even the glossy essay booklet penned by the aforementioned Mike McPadden that's tucked in the front cover can be flipped for a Spanish version. Hell, they even give us a sticker! Yay!

For those of you with a John Hughes-shaped hole in your heart (that wasn't filled with hate after steaming piles like Curly Sue), you would do good to pick up Sex is Zero. It manages to out-do even Hughes at his own game by showing us what love is as opposed to telling us. It's hilarious, powerful, silly, and bittersweet all at the same time. Be prepared for an emotional roller coaster the likes of which you haven't felt since puberty!

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