Film Review: ‘Cats and Dogs’…good movie made for the heart, from the heart…entirely with an iPhone4s

Cats and Dogs Movie Still

*re-upping this as ‘Cats and Dogs’ is scheduled to play at the 2013 Asian Film Festival of Dallas, July 12th & 16th. Ticket info

Review by: Mut Asheru

CATS AND DOGS (그 강아지 그 고양이) is an indie Korean romantic-comedy directed by Min Byung-Woo (민병우). Tagged to be Korea’s and the worlds’ first feature length film shot entirely with an iPhone4s.  Hey, we’re all for the green initiative but how does that work in regards to movies and camera angles?  Well, I’m happy to say in the case of CATS AND DOGS it works out just fine.

Written, produced and directed by Min; CATS AND DOGS has a simple and effective narrative. Men are like dogs; women are like cats (Parliament and the Funkadelics anyone?). We get to see this naturalistic parallel played out in the characters of (male) Kang Woo-joo (played by Shin Myeong-geun,신명근) and (female) Koh Bo-eun (played by SonMin-ji 손민지).

While its usually the men in film who own the dogs and the women own the cats, Min adds a nice twist as the it’s the guy who finds the sweet abandoned kitty whilst the woman Bo-eun finds and claims the lost and lovable canine. (Now that I read that out loud that’s exactly how it works in the human world, but what the hell it’s typed out now. I’m hittin save)

cats and dogs movie stillAlthough both characters are aware that their love interests share the same traits as the animals they own, it does not dawn on them to really study their animals and try to figure out the inner workings of their mate.  Because of this their relationship goes through ridiculous bumps and bruises. (I say ridiculous because the couple is young and they argue over young things such as who ate the last pickle with the pizza. Huh? Pizza and pickles? Is this common in Korea? I must know).

While the cat like woman with her cool aloofness finds things to argue over the fun loving dog is left holding the poop bag and has no choice but to strike a defensive posture.

I absolutely loved the two main characters and the well-acted animals. The iPhone’s camera and my feminine eyes drank in actor Shin Myeong-guen with steady adoration.  As young-hurt-in-the-past-lovers Shin and Son’s chemistry was nice, light and refreshing. Great casting here. They played their characters with the right amount of energy… not too dramatic …a splash of innocence and the proper dash of sexuality.

Now, on to the part about the film being shot with an iPhone4s. If you’re a fan of aerial shots, back-lighting, pans, zooms, extreme camera angles or the like then this film might not suit your cinematic palate. However, once it’s all said and done and you have routed for the survival of love between the young couple… the visual and audio quality of CATS AND DOGS is surprisingly awesome and does not suffer story-wise from lack of film technique variety.

No rating, 100 minutes
Director: Min Byung-Woo  (민병우) 
Cast: Son Min-ji, Shin (손민지),  Shin Myeong-geun (신명근)
Screenwriter/s: Min Byung-Woo  (민병우) 
Producers: Min Byung-Woo  (민병우) 

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