j-hope in the Box
Docu on breakout South Korean artist has swearing, drinking.
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j-hope in the Box
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the documentary j-hope in the Box offers an inside look at the first South Korean artist to headline a major U.S. music festival. The film has minimal language ("s--t," "damn") and drinking (at events). The musician comes across as a hardworking, generous, and humble artist who is appreciative of both his success and the people who have helped him along the way, including his parents, colleagues, and friends. That includes the members of BTS, the band j-hope rose to fame with. The film could certainly inspire interest in purchasing j-hope's debut solo album and other BTS albums and merchandise.
Good for adolescents (13-14+)
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What's the Story?
The documentary J-HOPE IN THE BOX follows South Korean musician Jung Ho-seok on the promotional tour for his first solo album. The musician, known as j-hope, rose to fame as a member of the boy band BTS. He expresses his anxieties and intentions with his solo album. The film offers a behind-the-scenes look at how the artist composes music, stages videos, choreographs staging, and prepares for a listening party and other promotional events leading to his performance at 2022's Lollapalooza concert in Chicago. He was the first South Korean artist to headline this festival, so expectations were high. He also takes the camera home with him for a visit with his parents and a walk around the town where he grew up.
Is It Any Good?
This is a very talky documentary, so beyond j-hope stans, viewers who don't speak fluent Korean will need to be prepared for a lot of subtitles. But j-hope in the Box is an entertaining film for two main reasons. First, j-hope comes across as a sweet and hardworking artist with fears and dreams just like the rest of us. The way he stays after events to thank and hug every worker is given extended screen time. Second, the musician made history with his performance at Lollapalooza, so the behind-the-scenes look at his preparation and nerves leading up to the show has added interest and even some historical value.
It might have been nice to add more characters into this film, as happens with BTS bandmate Jimin when he visits j-hope in Chicago. For example, at a listening party, j-hope mentions there are personalities from across South Korea's film, music, and dance worlds, but no names or further details are provided. When he goes to visit his parents in his childhood home, they never appear on-screen. In the film's pursuit of insight into j-hope, it forgets to give more perspectives on its subject than his own.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how j-hope in the Box tries to give a well-rounded portrait of its subject. What did you learn about him? If you're a fan, did you learn anything you didn't previously know?
How does this film compare with other music documentaries you've watched?
Did you need to rely on the subtitles to understand this film? Are you comfortable with subtitling? What are its pros and cons?
- On DVD or streaming: February 17, 2023
- Cast: J-Hope
- Director: Jun-Soo Park
- Studio: Disney+
- Genre: Documentary
- Topics: Arts and Dance, Great Boy Role Models, Music and Sing-Along
- Character Strengths: Gratitude
- Run time: 85 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 19, 2023
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