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Cafe Seoul


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Product Details

  • Actors: Kim Jeong-hoon, Saito Takumi, Kim Dong-woo, Kotomi Kyono, Seo Sang-won
  • Directors: Masaharu Take
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: Korean
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Asian Crush
  • DVD Release Date: November 13, 2012
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00A703VZY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,771 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

(Korean with English subtitles) Jun, a Japanese freelance reporter, discovers a hidden Korean bakery in Seoul. When it becomes in danger of closing, Jun's friendship inspires Sang-Hyuk to restore his family ties and safeguard the secret family recipes. Café Seoul tracks the process of youths coming to realize the warmth and meaning of traditions in the midst of the fast-changing streets of Seoul.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eclectic Bookworm on July 14, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Filmed by Japanese director, Masaharu Take, `Seoul Bakery' provides a different perspective (when juxtaposed against films like Le Grand Chef 2: Kimchi Battle) on the challenges of modernity to self, family and community in Korea and the need we all have to find something that brings us "home", grounds us.

The film opens with Japanese freelance reporter, Jun (Takumi Sato, Elevator Trap), heading to Seoul, Korea in search of food that satisfies all of the senses. Upon his arrival, he accidently stumbles across Morandang, a traditional Korean sweet shop. Morandang turns out to be exactly what Jun was looking for, but he arrived too late. A neighborhood development project with ties to the mob and a modern competitor threaten its very existence. With the family of the proprietor separated, each going his own way, the continuing existence of the sweet shop and the family look doubtful. Can both be saved? Jun intends to make that happen.

Although the storyline is somewhat formulaic, `Seoul Bakery' is a satisfying film overall.

The dialogue is in Korean and Japanese with English subtitles. Unfortunately, the subtitles are subpar and may be a deterrent for some viewers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Martin Asiner on July 25, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Moving from one's native land for a visit to a foreign country is often the basis for a movie. Usually the focus is either on the comedy resulting from an inadequate command of the host language or on the harshness of a brute drama that crushes the visitor. In CAFÉ SEOUL, the focus is on neither; the film centers the audience on the slice of life adventures of Jun (Takumi Saito), a Japanese photographer sent to Korea to gather photos for a narrative to be sent to his editor in Tokyo. Jun speaks very little Korean so he relies on a tourist phrase book to get by. The opening scenes show him simply wandering about Seoul, looking for some interesting shots. By sheer happenstance, he wanders into a Korean bakery, and it is here that the drama begins.

By mid-plot, the viewer learns the essentials of the bakery's role in the film. It is managed by one brother whose two other brothers have long since left, leaving the eldest to carry on alone. This solitary effort by this brother opens the door to the driving theme--that a family is not a family unless all members pitch in to carry on the family tradition. The youngest brother has become a guitarist in a rock band while the middle one has chosen to become a baker for a rival bakery. Complicating matters is a band of local thugs who want to tear down the bakery to provide room for a forthcoming office building. Into this volatile mess steps an innocent Jun.

The thugs soon cripple the eldest brother, leaving Jun to debate to what extent or how he should get involved. It is his interaction with the family that provides a surprisingly gripping account of viewer interest. CAFÉ SEOUL is not a love movie; neither is it a comedy nor an action film. It is perilously close to a straight documentary.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ele on November 7, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
It is a Good thing I understand Korean - the captioning was terrible - overall the show was ok and sometimes interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Emtee on August 24, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I watched without any expectation nor knowledge about this film. It was a good, straightforward family movie that any age group can watch. Family value, friendship, brother(sister)hood, tradition, cultural exchange, etc. are all in one place.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Masao Miwa on August 23, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Not just Korea! Microcosm of what is happening in Asia. Family tradition conflicts with today's genre. What's right? Plays on your emotions to decide whether progress for the sake of prgress is really that important. Lasting traditions have a place in this world if we will it and fight for it---against the forces of evil.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kristal nicholson on August 4, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
It was good to see once again that family, even amid the great divides of life, can matter and be transformed to better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kitty on March 6, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Very interesting story about a Japanese food reporter who goes to Korea to get a story, ends up befriending a family, through some unusual chain of events and is instrumental in helping them re-establish their restaurant business. No sex and violence is very minimal. Good family values.
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By Harvey Woodmeadow on September 11, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
The subtitles for this movie were so bad that not too far into the film, it got to the point where when the exceedingly rare grammatically correct and intelligible subtitle showed up, I found _that_ one hard to understand. Fortunately, the subtitles were pretty consistently bad throughout and one's brain is pretty good at adapting. :)

Anyway, other than the subtitles, this was a really great film.

The story follows a Japanese photo-journalist, three brothers who inherited their parents' confectionary, a charming and motherly neighbor, and some local thugs who are trying to put the confectionary out of business (presumably so something else can be built in its place...maybe that's clearer if you understand the Korean dialogue).

One of the brothers has continued running the place, while the two others have gone their own way. But one, a struggling musician (sorry, is that redundant?) finds himself back in the store when the thugs rough up the first brother.

In some ways, the story is the classic "underdog trying to beat the deadline", used in so many B movies. But it's done sensibly for a change, and that turns out just to be the scaffolding on which an entirely different message is built. In another sense, the movie is really about tradition, the importance of family values (real family values, not the fake ones touted politically in the US), and how the march of progress covers up valuable history and experiences.

Fact is, all around the world we have seen the decline of the mom-and-pop store, lost to the ever-growing and consuming industry of big-business itself. "Café Seoul" gives us a taste of why we should regret this, and some hope that if it can't be stopped altogether (and perhaps it should not be), we should and can at least preserve the old ways.
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