Korea


A highlight of the Gencon experience for me was trying the food trucks outside the convention center.

With my love of Asian food, it was a no-brainer to try the Seoul Grill truck which featured Korean BBQ in various forms.

The first stop I had the Rice Bowl, marinated beef with three different kinds of kimchi and sticky rice. I honestly have never had white kimchi before. This was so very good, crazy cool/hot contrast with the spicy red kimchi.

The rice bowl was so good that I went back the next day to try the Korean tacos. I figured that to beat the insane wait for the food I would show up early and before the crowds … hah! This plan failed spectacularly … the line formed before they even opened for service.

The tacos were spicy pork with various greens on tortillas, so very very good!

Check out their facebook page: here.

This is something to look forward to for next year’s gaming pilgrimage.

The Man From Nowhere is an excellent action movie from Korea. Very good action scenes and well choreographed fights. Bin Won stars as a pawn shop owner who befriends a little girl who comes to the shop at times. Cha Tae Sik is a loner but obviously has a violent past that he is avoiding. The girl’s mother gets in the middle of a dispute between rival drug gangs and is in need of rescue. I won’t give away the rest of the movie because while it seems formulaic the script and acting make this one a standout. Gun-Fu, Kung-Fu, Car crashes, etc. etc. ece;;ent movie all around. From the Wiki:

Operating a pawn shop in a small neighborhood, Cha Tae-sik now leads a quiet life. His only connection to the rest of the world is a little girl, So-mi, who lives nearby. A heroin addict and So-mi’s mother, Hyo-jeong, smuggles drugs from a drug trafficking organization and entrusts Tae-sik with the product without his knowledge. When the traffickers find out about this they kidnap both Hyo-jeong and So-mi. The gang sends a number of thugs to Tae-sik’s pawn shop to retrieve the stolen drugs, but is easily overpowered by Tae-sik, making his identity ambiguous. However, upon learning that the gang now has in their possession both Hyo-jeong and So-mi, Tae-sik gives the beaten gang members what they are looking for.

Cha’s initial reluctance to get involved with the girl and his mysterious past are played very effectively. They come up with a reasonable background without the heavyhanded feel of a lot of “mysterious strangers who happen to be deadly assasins” so common nowadays.  His feelings toward the young girl go from coldness to warm smiles as he regains his humanity through his pursuit of her captors. Just an excellent action movie.

Jungle Juice is the 2002 Korean movie about 2 misfits trying to make their way in the criminal underworld of Seoul. Ki-tae and Chol-su are two social outcast/misfits (Yangachi in Korea culture) who find themselves at the very bottom of the local organized crime ladder when they are tasked with escorting a local crime boss on a drug deal that blows up. They find themselves in debt to the capo for 20 million won and get into a series of misadventures trying to recoup the money and secure something for themselves along the way. From CrunchyRoll:

Ki-tae (Jang Hyeok) and Chol-su (Lee Beom-Su) are two goofy happy-go-lucky guys think of a grittier non-suburban version of Beavis and Butthead who unintentionally find themselves at the lowest rung of the local mafia ladder. They get involved in a cocaine deal which of course falls apart, and have to come up with 20 million won to pay back the boss. For the rest of the movie, the two, along with a prostitute named Meg Ryan (Jun Hye-jin) and a cast of misfits and thugs, run around Seoul and Pusan while beating the life out of each other and getting into all sorts of misadventures.

Ki-tae and Choeol-su are very much anti-heroes, they do not fit into mainstream society and tend to have very little respect for its expectations and laws. Nonetheless they become very sympathetic figures and by the end of the movie we are rooting for them to somehow succeed and come out ahead. A very fun little movie with likeable characters and a twisting plot that doesn’t settle down. Very highly recommended movie. The ending fits the characters and their personalties to a T.