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I DON’T remember the last time I watched a movie in a cinema but I’m sure it was in 2019. Sometime in February or March of this year, I tried to watch one at SM Aura but there was a woman who always put her mask down and I had a panic attack and left right away. I guess we’re all used to streaming movies at home that being inside a theater is something that’s unfamiliar and disconcerting.

I will try again next week because I really want to watch The Roundup, a Korean action comedy film directed by Lee Sang-yong starring Ma Dong-seok, aka Don Lee, who is well known for his role in Train to Busan. He plays a heavyweight law enforcer who travels to Vietnam to extradite a petty criminal but crosses the path of a killer (played by Son Suk-ku). The movie is a sequel to The Outlaws, which was shown in 2017.

The Roundup is the first Korean film in three years to achieve the 10 million-moviegoer landmark, something that has been achieved by fewer than 30 films in recent history.

The Korean Film Council recorded 331,562 moviegoers who watched on June 12, bringing the total number of watchers to 10,503,886 audiences since The Roundup premiered on May 18. For four consecutive weekends, The Roundup dominated the box office by cementing its place in the top spot.

With this, the movie also outshone the Academy Award-winning film Parasite as the highest-grossing movie in May. The movie also beat Hollywood movies such as the 2014 Disney film Frozen and Interstellar, which were also released before the pandemic.

Including international films, only 28 movies have ever surpassed 10 million moviegoers at the South Korean box office—and only 20 Korean films have ever reached the milestone. Parasite was the last Korean film to do that.

In The Roundup, Ma Dong-seok and his police station’s violent crimes squad chase down a powerful new villain (played by Son Suk-ku).

The movie was shot almost entirely in Vietnam and the filmmakers had to work around restrictions and regulations related to Covid-19.

Why do I want to watch this movie? I love how Korean filmmakers do action movies. It’s almost always in a humorous way and The Roundup is no exception. If there is one thing I love about Korean movies, it is how gritty and realistic most of them are. Korean drama for TV is a pleasure to watch, except for the thrillers, but most of the films are not like that. Korean movies usually unravel stories that are unexpected.

In the Philippines, The Roundup is distributed by Glimmer Inc., a company owned by celebrity and entrepreneur Grace Lee. It will be shown in SM Cinemas nationwide starting on June 22.

If there’s anything you should know about me, aside from being a fan of Korean culture, is that I am obsessed with the Tudors.

It all started when I read the Philippa Gregory book The Other Boleyn Girl, which was made into a movie starring Natalie Portman as the ill-fated Anne Boleyn. Anyway, I was more obsessed with the book than I was with the movie.

I am talking about the Tudors because I am happy that PLDT Home partnered with Lionsgate Play, and that means I get to watch Becoming Elizabeth, a series that traces the life of Elizabeth Tudor, who is played by Alicia von Rittberg.

Lionsgate Play is the Southeast Asian streaming platform of the global content studio behind major franchise properties, such as John Wick, The Hunger Games, Power and many more.

Elizabeth is the daughter of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII and she was known as the Virgin Queen. It is true that the history of the Tudors is very interesting but in my opinion, it was Elizabeth who made the family name great.

Elizabeth led the Elizabethan Age, when England asserted itself vigorously as a major European power in politics, commerce, and the arts.

As if that contribution is not enough, the reigning Queen Elizabeth is related to Elizabeth Tudor. Think about it, if Henry VIII hadn’t been infatuated with Anne Boleyn, perhaps England would not be what it is today.

To watch Lionsgate Play’s content, you just need to log on to the web site ( and sign up to create an account. As long as you are logged in with the same account on all your devices and computers, you can view any video on up to three devices concurrently.

Image credits: Geoffrey Moffett on Unsplash