Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Host (Gwoemul)

This (I think) is the first film I've given a decimal point too and in this case it's .8

Firstly let me say thank you. Thank you to Korea (well the South part at least I guess) for making fucking good films! Hollywood PAY SOME DAMN ATTENTION and no don't remake the damn things, look at what they're doing, LEARN FROM IT!

The Host is a monster movie, an honest, big exciting and at times scary monster movie. Taking it's cues from the standard cold war era ideas, that of genetic mutation due to human intervention (in this case chemicals in the river) and also goes a little further, having a little dig at the Yanks (even though their involved, so well done them), and chemical warfare.

I've been meaning to watch this for ages, unforunatly I didn't get to see it at the cinema and as my girlfriend isn't into "reading a film" it's been a long time coming. We hired this at the same time as Deja Vu, watched Denzel at home and I watched this on the train on my MacBook, I know not the best situation, but a testament to the strength of the film that I can't remember pretty much any of my journey, I was totally involved in this wonderful film.

After the textbook introduction to the "chemical incident", funny, creepy and a little odd, we kick off by meeting our lead protagonist Park Gang-Du (although I think the subtitles may have been wrong there as later in the film there's some t-shirts with Park Kang-Doo on), he's a slacker, practically narcoleptic and a dad. We meet his dad, they both work in a food stall by the side of the Han River, along comes Gang-Du's daughter Hyun-seo, we learn her uncle came to her school thing, he smells of alcohol, and they watch her aunt in an archery contest on the telly. This is our family.

Cue monster and good God what a sequence, thrilling, funny, tender, everything it should have and then some!! During the ensuing carnage the daughter gets taken by the monster and the rest of the film is essentially the family trying to get her back again.

It's a beautiful film, superbly directed, beautifully shot and pretty damn well acted. You have to accept that at times it does have those "very south east asian" moments, meaning (before everyone starts screaming 'racist' at me!!), after watching a fair few Hong Kong, Japanese and Korean films, it seems there's a thing where, when heavy emotion is required they go full on hysterical, screaming, wailing, rolling around on the floor, feet slipping from underneath, stumbling, shouting at each other through tears... it just seems a bit over the top, in The Host it's played fairly heavily for laughs, but it's something that crops up and always feels a little odd.

For the odd hysteria, which crops up throughout, and that I would've preferred a little more subtlty, plus the ending that I didn't entirely get, it lost 0.2. This film is an Action, Horror and Comedy and I suggest everyone go and buy it right now and start watching more Korean films!!

After a good day's worth of thinking... This IS the best monster movie I've ever seen.

The Host (Gwoemul) - 9.8/10

Deja Vu

Tony Scott directed Top Gun. That's pretty much all you need to know.

Deja Vu riffs on the whole Minority Report type affair, "can you stop a crime that's already happened?". Denzel Washington, who to be honest I'm not really a fan of, I find him smarmy to the extreme, but funnily enough that smarm works very very well in this one, he lays on the Denzel smile and lip smacking to quite good comedy effect.

The whole idea behind this is there's a bloody big explosion on a boat and Denzel plays and ATF (no, not Anti-Terrorist Force, (something), Tobacco and Firearms) agent (I'm sure there's someone ticking off a list of government agencies) who is there to investigate.

Cue the trademark Tony Scott homo-erotic undertones.

Say Hi to Val Kilmer from the FBI, who likes Denzel and his boss likes him too. They've got this top secret experimental cctv-esque thing going on. Denzel in the meantime has had a couple of clues sent his way reference to some woman somewhere.

He goes to the project and it turns out that it ain't no CCTV, that can actually see stuff that's already happened... little bit of time paradox stuff... cue me saying "like to see how they tie that up"... moments later it's tied up in quite a clever way. They did a very good job of dealing with the nightmare of the whole time paradox thing, there's a couple of holes left at the end, but the way they get there is bloody entertaining.

What's eating me about this review is that I felt the need to write more about this than Spider-Man 3!! WTF?!

Deja Vu is no masterpiece but it's bloody good fun.

Deja Vu - 8/10

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Spider-Man 3

(A couple of weeks late, but still)

Now... I'm a huge fan of the previous two Spidey films, I also like reading the comics, and even though I'd heard and read some pretty average reviews, I was still pretty stoked about seeing this.

On the whole I agree with the reviews I saw, it's too long, it's messy and nowhere near as strong as the previous two.

Some of the criticisms made were about there being "too many bad guys", now I don't agree with this point, I feel that it could've been ok, each bad guy had a point to them as far as the narrative was concerned, the problem for me was all the mush and nothing inbewteen the important stuff.

There seemed to be a load of "stuff" that plugged the gaps between the action scenes and the important narrative devices and this made the film longer and feel very loose and disjointed.

The comedy was good, but i feel that it did need to be a little darker to up the jeopardy for Peter and overall Venom was pretty disappointing :(

Spider-Man 3 - 7/10

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Grindhouse: Planet Terror

Let's just say I hope "Death Proof" is better, cos this is old man's toss.

I don't know whether PT is intentionally bad or not, after all Rodriguez and Tarantino are going for the whole sleazy B-movie thing, but at the same time... it's just shit and ultimately it's a hell of a lot more disappointing because I know it's Rodriguez at the helm.

Now I didn't like Sin City either, but I LOVE the Mariachi series, From Dusk Till Dawn was cool and it's clear that RR has got a load of talent as a director, and that's where my confusion lies.

The composition in this film is incredible, it stands out, some of the shots are uber-fucking-awesome, but the script's shite, the acting for the most part is ridiculous (yes Rose) and it feels like just one big incohesive pile... is that on purpose? I don't know, it just made me hate it.

Unfortunately I haven't seen the Death Proof segment yet, but when I do I'll post it.

Planet Terror - 3/10