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A critic fumes online as ‘The Last Godfather’ reigns

Jan. 3, 2011 - 16:36 By

Well-known cultural critic Chin Jung-kwon does not hesitate to speak out on sensitive issues.

His aggressive style is now clashing with moviegoers over the new comedy “The Last Godfather,” directed by comedian Shim Hyung-rae.

The dispute is currently raging throughout blogs, Twitter accounts and news outlets, but the heart of the matter is rather simple. 

(Yonhap News)

Chin stated via Twitter that he has no intention of watching the movie, which unsurprisingly angered Shim’s fans.

The film was released Dec. 29 amid heightened media interest in Shim’s second tryout at a Hollywood production. “The Last Godfather” parodies the classic 1972 film “The Godfather” and casts mostly American actors, except for the title character played by Shim himself. Shim had attempted to crack open a niche market in the U.S. with a CGI-heavy monster film, “D-War,” in July 2007, but the American-cast film flopped there.
Former comedian and film director Shim Hyung-rae (right) stars as his signature character “Young-gu,” in his new slapstick film “The Last Godfather.” (CJ Entertainment)

Referring to the failure of “D-War,” Chin posted his feelings about Shim’s film on his Twitter account on release day: “Regrettably, I have made it a rule not to drop by a shop that previously sold a faulty product. If Shim’s fanatical fans protest, I might watch it and offer my view, but I hope such thing will not happen.”

Chin’s unflattering comments sparked an instant uproar online. In response to mounting criticism, Chin countered that he has every right to express his personal opinion and Shim’s online fans are acting like members of a cult.

Chin also expressed his displeasure at the generous state subsidies doled out to Shim’s film, which amounted to 14 billion won ($12.3 million) -- which Chin argued could have been used for a dozen talented yet cash-strapped Korean filmmakers.

Despite Chin’s criticism, the film jumped to No. 1 at the box office here, selling 1.2 million tickets in just five days since its release.

By Moon Ye-bin (
Intern reporter

Edited by Rob York


진중권 “라스트 갓파더 보지 않겠다” 선언 왜?

문화평론가인 진중권(48)씨가 개봉 5일만에 100만 관객 돌파를 앞두고 있는 심형래 감독의 신작인 ‘라스트 갓파더’를 보지 않겠다고 선언했다.

진중권은 지난해 12월29일 자신의 트위터에 “난 한 번 불량품을 판 가게에는 다시 들르지 않는 버릇이 있어서 이번에는 봐드릴 기회가 없을 거 같다”다고 밝혔다. 또한 “예전처럼 심빠들이 난리를 친다면 뭐 보고 한 마디 해드릴 수도 있겠지만, 그런 불상사는 다시 없기를 바란다”고 말했다.

앞서 진중권은 심형래 감독의 전작인 ‘디워’에 대해 “서사없는 영화”라는 냉혹한 혹평을 던졌고 당시 ‘디 워’는 작품성과 흥행 성적을 두고 지지자와 안티 세력 간의 격렬한 논쟁이 벌어진바 있다.

한편 심 감독은 최근 한 인터뷰에서 “진중권 전 교수가 ‘라스트 갓 파더’를 본다면 뭐라고 할까”라는 질문에 “생각만 해도 무섭다. ‘디 워’ 때 혹평을 퍼부었던 평론가들이 제일 무섭다”고 털어놓기도 했다.