movie

아저씨 (Ajeossi/The Man from Nowhere), (2010)

Finally got around to see this! I love asian cinema because they push boundaries (visually and thematically) not often seen in western films, and this one did not disappoint.

Korean title: 아저씨 Ajeossi
English title: The Man from Nowhere
Runtime: 1h 59 mins
Country: South Korea
Year: 2010

Director: Jeong-Beom Lee
Cinematographer: Tae-Yoon Lee
Editor: Sang-Beom Kim

Cast: Bin Won, Sae-Ron Kim

Synopsis:
A quiet pawnshop keeper with a violent past takes on a drug-and-organ trafficking ring in hope of saving the child who is his only friend. (imbd.com)

Thoughts:
From the opening scene I found the characters compelling. The kid, So-Mi (Sae-Ron), is so cute, and fast we learn about her family situation and want her to get all the good in the world. While Tae-Sik (Bin-Won) is a mysterious dark (and handsome) character! The story follows their friendship and how Tae-Sik ends up hunting high and low to find the kidnapped So-Mi.

Usually I don’t like it when the main character just walks through the film without any challenges, I don’t know why this was different? Maybe because so much was at stake, and you never know what’s going to happen in an Asian film. You never doubt that Tae-Sik will lose the fights he’s in, he’s so raw. I think I accept this because of his backstory and sudden connection to the kids also because his fighting is pretty GENIUS! On many levels.

Last knife fight was pretty awesome. The P.O.V camera/editing made it super intensive, and i would love to try this technique in the future myself.

I really enjoyed this film and would recommend it to people who like action, and doesn’t mind blood, brutal fights (knife, guns, beautiful martial art) and gruesome images of cut up victims. This film makes you feel, it gets you emotional, even some funny moments, and definitely… ACTIOON! 😀 Compared to many new action films, I love that this is action with reason, not just to show off all the guns and blablablahZzzZzz.. It is compelling all the way through, and I can’t wait to see it again soon enough!

So many twists!
So much heartbreak!
So much action!
I loved it!

Now go watch it (it can easily be found online for free)!

 

Rating: 4.5/6 .. but so close to a 5!

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-CinaMonster-

Horror from the Homeland : Villmark 2/Villmark Asylum (2015)

Title: Villmark 2 (Eng. title: Villmark Asylum)
Year: 2015
Runtime: 1h 33mins
Genre: Horror

Director: Pål Øie
Cast: Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Mads Sjøgård Pettersen, Ellen Dorrit Petersen.

Synopsis:
Five contract workers have taken on the task of tracking a huge old sanatorium for hazardous waste before demolishing. They realize that the job is more than a search for asbestos and mercury. The enormous building has much darker secrets. (imbd.com)

Thoughts:
The first ‘Villmark’ was made in 2003, and is my favorite Norwegian horror film, so of course I wanted this to be as good. First of all, this story doesn’t follow ANY THING from the first one, I don’t understand why this is a “sequel” (Just to get the audience of course, plus is the same director). I had hopes it was going to be creepy because it is set in an old mental asylum. I think the location itself is a great place for a horror film, and as much as it is used quite well, i think it’s just a small portion of how much it could be used as a scary element. We honestly don’t get the feeling of how big this place is, even when they get separated. Yes the walks go out of reach (i think), but there’s no establishing of the inside, only the outside full house, which is not even filmed in an eerie way like it should be.

So this story revolves around 5 people who searches this huge house for “hazardous waste” before it’s going to be demolished. One man, Frank, has takes care of the property from its closure in 1978, and of course this guy is a little bit fishy. During their stay they start experiencing weird things: a dead guy, a creepy girl, and other stuff. And like “every” other horror in an isolated place, they start disappearing one by one.

Honestly, I didn’t find this very scary, and the ending was like WHAT WHY.. it is a twist, they tried, but not a twist wanted, mostly because it doesn’t make sense. I just think it wasted a lot of potential at the actual location. It is pretty good for a new horror film though, even though i didn’t feel it to the bones. Another note is that i feel the color scheme is not completely right.. more colder?? Like the new Japanese horror films.. Yes please!

If I were them, I would use this place for a crazy ass GHOST STORY!! Not Frankenstein-ish WWII nonsense….

With that said, i’m gonna start writing it right now… !
Look for it in 2020!

Rating: 3.5/6
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– CinaMonster-

 

The Boy (2016)

Title: The Boy
Year: 2016
Run Time: 1h 37mins

Director: William Brent Bell
Writer: Stacey Menear
Stars: Lauren Cohan, Rupert Evans, James Russell

Synopsis:

An American nanny is shocked that her new English family’s boy is actually a life-sized doll. After she violates a list of strict rules, disturbing events make her believe that the doll is really alive. (imbd.com)
Thoughts:
While watching this i actually felt i had seen this before, i have no idea where, but i think i’ve seen something about the “real” story behind this.
Anyway, in the beginning i thought this could be a decent scary movie, but honestly nothing really exciting happened. I don’t think the audience ever get to see the doll actually move (which with the end makes sense, kinda). The end did not come as a surprise, but still, I don’t understand it completely. There’s no sudden audio or close up scares, it’s kind of like a drama… with some scary/freaky elements haha! I even have a bit of a living doll “phobia” (from watching Goosebumps when i was younger), but this didn’t really affect me at all, soo… something went wrong somewhere you filmmakers! It had some pretty piano music though! 🙂
Was it a spirit, or was it not? That is my question about the end. I don’t think i would recommend this to many unless you are easily scared or a horror fan (like me), and just want to see it.
Raiting: 2.5/6
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– CinaMonster –

CineReview: Suicide Squad (2016) *No Story Spoilers*

Title: Suicide Squad
Year: 2016
Director/Writer: David Ayer
Cinematographer: Roman Vasyanov
Editor: John Gilroy
Cast: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis. (Full List)

Synopsis:
A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency (imbd.com).

Thoughts:
Having been waiting for this film for a while, I had pretty high expectations, which is never good, specially not with Superhero movies. In the beginning, I really enjoyed the music, that was really good, when introducing each character. After a while though, I thought the music kind of took over, and it tried to lead the audience. In addition, by using popular music, it will definitely (at least for me) distract me from the story and/or character instead of adding to it. During the introduction, being an editor, I really enjoyed the way the edited to the music! And i think only once, I got thrown out because of weird jump cut editing (..the bad side of being a filmmaker I guess, seeing all this tiny details.)

A downside to movies like this is that it is TOO MANY CHARACTERS to get attached to.  And because of this, the characters are not as deep as they should be for the audience to connect fully and care for them all!

Jared Leto as the Joker: I really, REALLY!! wanted him to be super GREAT as The Joker, because I love Jared, and I think he’s a good actor. Sadly, I was a bit disappointed. I thought, Of all people, he would be the one that could be just as crazy as Heath Ledger, but i didn’t feel it like that. I don’t want to compare them, but I don’t think his character was strong enough here.

My favorite characters was Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), and Katana (Karen Fukuhana). Girl power all the way! And, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) was pretty badass. I actually liked each character in the squad by them selves, and the background stories they tried to mix in, but it was too many for one film!

Storywise, i don’t even know. The film is only 2 hours and 3 minutes, it should be longer for us to know the characters, and feel their losses. I didn’t really feel the challenges in this film either, or the stakes. So much missing, that could’ve made this film a lot better. And because of the “short” run time, things happens pretty fast, and it’s all boom-boom-boom after each other! I’m not trying to be negative, I am just pointing out things critically, i actually enjoyed the film.

Note: Sadly I saw this Pre.Premiere at a music venue/ bar, and they decided to have a freaking 15 MINS BREAK in the middle, i was, to say it nicely, PISSED OFF!! Because they cared more abut selling alcohol than giving us a good cinematic experience! 

All in all, the film is entertaining like it should be. It did not reach the level I wanted it to be at, but I wasn’t bored. Also, I haven’t read any comics of this, maybe it follows it? I don’t know, but I am SURE it is better suited for “normal” audiences, who’s there for the superhero, entertaining film.

Rating: 4/6
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-CinaMonster-

What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie?

Being a huge fan of horror films I have in recent years lost faith in this genre of film. Commercial horror films that is.

Some of my favorite films are the new-Hollywood horror films from around the 68 to early 80’s. Because this was the era after Motion Picture Production Code (film censorship laws), the filmmakers used their new freedom to create some of the most shocking (at the time) films. Of course i also enjoy Hitchcock, and a few 90’s films. Some of my fave horror films are for instance The Shining, The Exorcist, The Sixth Sense, and The Birds. Quadruple THE!

I believe it is hard to come up with an original idea these days, but still, how hard is it to make it scary? I mean, in a psychological way. The new horror films are only meant to scare you in the moment, and not after. These scares are made out of loud noises building up to moments that actually isn’t scary at all, if it wasn’t for these loud noises. It’s like the audience is frighten of the sudden loud noise, not the actual picture, character or situation in the film. Of course this is an amazing example of how important music and sound effects are in films, but i think it’s a cheap way of making a scary movie. It’s like there’s no thought put into it, as they only rely on these sudden noises. When I watched Sinister in the cinema for instance, I was so exhausted after the film because of the constant building-up-to-a-scare sounds and music. The actual “scare” that the sounds were building up to however, was just a few insects, or a lawnmower… LAWNMOWER! And what about Paranormal Activity? How many are they supposed to make! I know they make a lot of money on these films, and I find it sad that money controls this industry as much as it does. I admit i thought the first one was okey, idea wise. Not very scary, but I enjoyed the low-budget documentary Blair Witch-ish influence.. But that was many years ago! I’m tired of all these sequels and prequels and whatever. When I watched the last one in the cinema, I only got frightened because of all the 12 year old screaming around me. Another example is the films The Purge and You’re Next… I have only seen The Purge, because i don’t want to see You’re Next.. Why? Well, they look exactly the same!! People in masks, trying to get into your house, killing people… How exciting! I know the actual plot is different from each other, but it looks pretty much the same.. Only that the people in You’re Next would fit in the “What Does the Fox Say” video.

RING-DING-DING!

And of course, if it isn’t the loud noises they scare you with, it is the massive amount of blood, or grotesque killings that makes your stomach turn. It’s not about the story anymore, it is about the sounds and visuals. For instance, I find the two first Saw films to be very good. The last… million.. however, it seems like they only put in torture and blood just for the sake of it. The more the better! And i do understand that this appeal to their audience, the fans of Slasher films, but also having a story, would be highly appreciated. I’ve also seen that these torture/bloody scenes have moved out of the Slasher flicks and into normal horror, which means you can’t choose. I personally don’t have an issue with blood and torture scenes, I find it hilarious at times because it is so overly used.

I am not saying ALL new horror films are bad, but a lot of them are. One film I have found a bit scary in the last few years is Insidious though, so in between all the rocks, there are some gems! 😉 Other than that I favor the non-commercial international horror films at this time in history! Like for instance Ringu (JPN), Audition (JPN), and REC (Spain), and I actually find the Norwegian film Villmark to be pretty decent too.

So I mean, is this time the death of horror films? Are there no more original ideas, so we have to re-make all of them? Has the filmmakers and studios just become lazy and redundant? Or do they really just give us what we, the audience, want?

“What’s your favorite Scary Move?”

The next Paranormal Activity perhaps! No thanks!

– CinaMonster –