TV / Movies

Five Reasons Why You Should Add Korean Blockbuster Film “Master” To Your Watch List

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Three of the most sought-after actors in one “Master” film – are you on?

No one may have thought that the names Lee Byung Hun, Gang Dong Won and Kim Woo Bin will appear in one film. But Master did, and since its release in South Korea last December 2016, Master has successfully made its mark as one of South Korea’s top grossing films of all time.

This timely financial thriller revolves around schemer and founder of One Network corporation Jin Hyun-pil (played by Lee Byung Hun) who faces investigation by Financial Crime Unit’s elite detective Kim Jae-myung (played by Gang Dong Won). After discovering that Jin’s scheme was devised and maintained by software genius Park Jang-gun (played by Kim Woo Bin), Kim takes Park into custody and demands to cooperate in the investigation.

The film has also been pre-sold to 31 countries including Philippines. Brought to the archipelago by VIVA International Pictures, Master started thrilling Filipino moviegoers last February 8.

If you are still adamant in spending bucks for this Korean film, read through this article as hellokpop list down five things you should know (and take note) about Master.

#1 The film was shot in the Philippines

Master is closer to home than you think, Philippines. The film takes you through the streets of Seoul, to the slums of the Philippines as the story progresses and the thrill intensifies.


Master was mainly shot in the Philippines. (Photo credit: Viva International Pictures)

The blockbuster Korean film was shot in Tondo, Manila, Manila Cathedral, Jones Bridge in Manila and other landmarks in the city.

The production also utilized six police cruisers and 120 actual police officers and security personnel for the final showdown. Additional 16 police cruisers and 140 officers aided in the chase that closed down both sides of Jones Bridge. Master was the first Korean film to shut down Jones Bridge, Manila’s largest bridge, for a film shoot.

#2 Master was created by the best crew members in Korean cinema

Korean film “masters” were behind Master. From its director, to production and costume designers, to its stunt director, Master was skillfully produced and created by some of the industry’s best crew.

Production designer Park Ei Hen, who is behind blockbuster films such as A Violent Prosecutor and The Himalayas takes his expertise into action once again in Master. The hailed production designer is responsible in creating One Network’s head offices, the investigation team’s headquarters, Jin’s secret office and the Manila hideout.


Aside from being a blockbuster success, Master is also critically-acclaimed. (Photo credit: Viva International Pictures)

Grand Bell and Blue Dragon awardee for costume design Cho Sang Kyung designed the stylish suits of the three main character of the film. Cho has previously showcased her works on The Age of Shadows, Assassination, among others.

Stunt director Heo Myeong Haeng of the film Cold Eyes coordinated the film’s crucial car chases and sequences. Meanwhile, renowned band Dalparan, whose previous works included The Wailing, Assassination and The Thieves, provided the music for Master.

Director Cho Ui Seok takes charge as the director of Master. Cho’s previous works includes the blockbuster film Cold Eyes. According to Cho, the inspiration to create Master came after reading a newspaper article of an infamous scam artist, Jo Hee Pal.

#3 Lee Byung Hun conducted many make-up tests to create a look fitting for the biggest scam artist

Lee Byung Hun

Lee Byung Hun as Jin Hyun-pil (Photo credit: Viva International Pictures)

After carving his name in Hollywood and his successful return to the Korean silver screen with Inside Men, Lee Byung Hun takes on another splash with Master as schemer and pyramid godfather Jin Hyun-pil.

“Every moment that I worked with Lee, I was in awe. His level of concentration was astounding, and he brought to my attention character traits that I, as a director, didn’t even see,” spoke Director Cho of the actor.

It took extensive analysis and many make-up tests in order for the acclaimed actor to find the perfect look that will give justice to the character of the biggest scam artist.

#4 It was Gang Dong Won’s first time in a detective role

Gang Dong Won

Gang Dong Won as Kim Jae-myung (Photo credit: Viva International Pictures)

Despite the many big screen appearances of one of the most celebrated actors of his generation, Master marked Gang Dong Won’s first time to play as an elite detective in a film.

“Since I’ve never played a detective, I thought it was a worthwhile challenge,” he said. The actor added that the seemingly plain characteristics of Financial Crime Unit detective Kim Jae-myung drew him to the role.

Gang Dong Won also admitted that the role has proven to be a tougher challenge than he had expected. “Whatever I did, it felt as though the character wasn’t living up to his potential,” he added.

According to the actor, he wanted his character to be more meticulous and slightly more emotionally than initially portrayed in the screenplay.

#5 Kim Woo Bin helped define his character, the shrewd genius

Kim Woo Bin

Kim Woo Bin as Park Jang-gun (Photo credit: Viva International Pictures)

He might have first graced the Philippine shore as the arrogant Choi Young Do in the Korean drama The Heirs but Kim Woo Bin is now ready to conquer the archipelago as the software genius Park Jang-gun in Master.

The actor was reported to have actively taken part in the character concept meetings and helped define his character. “I wanted to create my own version of the character and tried to apply that concept on screen,” he said.

Kim Woo Bin added that he wanted the character of Park to be as human and realistic as possible. “I wanted to convey his conflicts honestly on screen. If my character felt confused or lost, I wanted the audience to empathize with him,” he explained.

Master 60s [Now Showing]

Witness the clash of great minds in Korea's blockbuster movie, #Master, starring Gang Dong-Won, Lee Byung-Hun and Kim Woo-Bin! NOW SHOWING in cinemas nationwide!

تم نشره بواسطة ‏‎VIVA International Pictures‎‏ في 7 فبراير، 2017

Showing in theaters nationwide, be thrilled and ready to hold on your seats for the intense action this blockbuster film has to offer.

A masterfully crafted film from the best crew, topped with South Korea’s best actors of their generations and sprinkled with a scent of home, Master is the complete recipe to the most sumptuous and satisfying dish the big screen can offer.

So, are you on?

‘Master’ is brought to the Philippines by VIVA International Pictures.

Visit VIVA International Pictures’ Facebook for more details on the screening of ‘Master’.

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