Thirst (Bakjwi) (2009)

Posted in movies with tags , , on October 28, 2012 by adam

It’s like foreign film week around here, eh? I might even add one more before I’m done. INSANITY. Today’s entry is Thirst, the second 2012 Flavor from Korea. It comes from writer-director Park Chan-wook, otherwise known as the only South Korean other than PSY anyone has ever heard of. You have my word as a gentleman I will not make any “Gangnam Style” jokes. Mainly because I wouldn’t have any idea how to go about doing that, aside from saying Gangnam Style over and over.

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Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)

Posted in movies with tags , , , on October 27, 2012 by adam

Well drat.

Today was supposed to be the fourth and final theatrical viewing for this year’s Flavors but fate and my own stupidity conspired against me. Last week I bought a ticket for Paranormal Craptivity five days in advance, I guess fearing the 5:35 showing would sell out. In a haze of utter exhaustion, I went to the wrong damn theater in the wrong damn borough. I had to buy another ticket, wasting the one I already spent $17.50 on. I called the first theater the next day and asked if I could see a showing of Silent Hill: Revelation the following Friday instead. To my amazement, they said sure. I just had to show the manager my unused ticket and they’d let me in. Awesome, right? Continue reading

The Barrens (2012)

Posted in movies with tags , on October 26, 2012 by adam

My personal level of zealotry on this issue is still evolving, but of this much I am sure: only lazy critics reveal plot spoilers and only people who don’t give a shit about the quality of their entertainment read them. I’m not even talking about big twists and surprises. I would argue it’s out of bounds to give away any details that (A) aren’t immediately obvious and (B) are intended to be dramatic when revealed. It is not the reviewers place to determine which secrets are worth keeping.

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I Saw the Devil (Akmareul boatda) (2010)

Posted in movies with tags , , , , on October 25, 2012 by adam

So this movie is from Korea (the good one) and during the lovely opening title sequence I noticed that every name was made up of three monosyllabic parts: Min-sik Choi, Ho-jin Cheon, Gook-hwan Jeon, etc. That last one seems a little racist but okay. Continue reading

The Dead (2010)

Posted in movies with tags on October 24, 2012 by adam

A few weeks ago I said Dead [noun] was the most generic possible name for a zombie movie. I stand corrected. Hats off to The Dead for coming within one three-letter word of whittling its title down to irreducible, subatomic simplicity. So close!

My greatest hope for movies with common names like The Dead is that somewhere in the American midwest, some confused retiree was super excited for a night of box wine and John Huston movies, but instead wound up watching flesh-eating tribesmen getting decapitated. My stars, I never knew James Joyce was so violent!

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Night of the Lepus (1972)

Posted in movies with tags , , on October 23, 2012 by adam

Today was supposed to be Retreat, which my legions of devoted fans will recall I tried to catch in theaters last year, only to discover it wasn’t getting a New York premiere. This year I fared no better. The disc I got from Netflix was so damaged my player had to skip most of two chapters right in the middle of the movie. What I saw seemed like a fascinating thought experiment and I was much enamored of the performances of the principal cast, especially Jamie Bell. But I came away with the sense that something was keeping me from getting as invested in the story as I might have been. Since it’s possible that something was in one of the missing scenes, I decided I couldn’t include it on my list. So instead of a serious drama set against a possible global pandemic, you’re getting Night of the Lepus, which totally sucks ass. But does it have tons of giant, mutant bunny rabbits ripping people to shreds? Fuck yeah it does.

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Excision (2012)

Posted in movies with tags , , on October 22, 2012 by adam

I spent most of my youth pretty far outside the mainstream but I was by no means the strangest kid I knew. I was into theatre and I played a lot of Magic: The Gathering but I was still fairly grounded in reality.

In high school I was in a production of Fiddler on the Roof (presumably aimed at the huge Jewish demographic in my 99% Christian town) and one of my fellow cast members got it in his head that I was somehow making fun of him. I probably was, but at 5′ 4” and 110 pounds I’m pretty sure I wasn’t much of a bully. This guy was seriously into acting so maybe by landing the key role of Rabbi’s Son #1 I was encroaching on his territory. His natural response, I later learned, was to wait for me to come off stage after my big, four bar solo WITH A LEAD PIPE IN HIS HAND. He never went through with it (possibly he opted to kill Ms. Scarlet with the candlestick instead) but the lesson here is clear: do not fuck with the weird kids.

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