Admission is free and open to the public.
An oddball group of unlikely athletes become Korea's winning force in baseball in director Kim Hyun-seok's YMCA Yagudan (aka YMCA Baseball Team). When Ho-Chang (Song Kang-ho) loses a ball and sneaks into the yard of an American missionary in an attempt to retrieve it, he catches his first glimpse of the sport that will soon change his life and lift the spirit of his downtrodden nation. Soon learning that the lovely Jung-rim (Kim Hye-su) is currently in the process of organizing Korea's first baseball team, Ho-Chang eagerly signs-up along with best friend Kwang-tae (Hwang Jeong-min) and Dae-hyeon (Kim Ju-hyuk), who also strives for Jung-rim's affections. Despite his father's wishes that he follow a more scholarly path, Ho-Chang and his team are soon at the top of their game. As Korea begins to feel the bleak realities of the Ulsa Treaty and the team's playing grounds are usurped by Japanese soldiers, one game may prove a nation's final hope to achieve triumph in the face of adversity. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Unrated, 1 hr. 44 min.
The time is 1905, a time when Korea was in the beginning of it's annexation by Imperial Japan. Resentment was high against the Japanese and into this Era came Korea's first Baseball team. The players for the YMCA Baseball team became a national sensation and Heroes for a country suffering under Imperialism.
Director Hyeon-seok Kim (Writer for "Joint Security Area" and "The Isle" amoung others) brings us a light comedy set in an Era that has spawned mostly very serious and grim films. It's a film that any Baseball genre fans will instantly recognize with elements from "The Bad News Bears" to "The Natural" (special note to fans in San Francisco, spot the reference to Pac Bell Park!) A group of ragtag beginners play hard and win, rising to take on the Empire of Japan in the inevitable Good vs. Evil showdown.
Kang-ho Song (Shiri, J.S.A., The Quiet Family) puts in another great performance this time in a comedic role as a kind of Babe Ruth of Korea, Lee Ho-chang. Lee has the classic struggle between fulfilling his father's wishes to be a scholar and pursuing his passion for baseball. There's also a light love interest between him and Min Jeong-rim (played by Hye-su Kim) which leads to a hilarious mixup with a love poem and a will.
All in all, an enjoyable film without too many serious pretentions. Fans of Sports Comedies/Baseball Genre films will be very pleased.