REVIEW: 아가씨 [Ah-ga-ssi] [The Handmaiden] [2016]

“The snake marks the bounds of knowledge” As soon as I began walking out of the theater after 아가씨 [Ah-ga-ssi] [The Handmaiden], a friend and fellow critic asked if I was the one laughing. I said, “Yes.” Parts Two and Three (of three) were legitimately funny—I’d say intentionally so. All of Chan-wook Park‘s films are out of necessity considering how dark, twisted, and violent his subject matter proves. I’d argue Korean cinema on the whole has an inherently unavoidable humor if only because the acting always seems to possess a…

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REVIEW: 설국열차 [Snowpiercer] [2013]

“Is it time?” When talk surrounding the US release of Kar Wai Wong‘s The Grandmaster erupted in controversy about a truncated cut from the Weinsteins, cinephiles across the nation couldn’t help but let depression set in. Even so, no one could have been surprised by the decision because Harvey Scissorhands likes to streamline story for action whenever he can to trick American audiences into seeing a foreign film they wouldn’t otherwise care about. So when the same rumors started swirling around Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer, you had to fear for the…

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REVIEW: Stoker [2013]

“We are not responsible for what we have come to be” Despite being a new venture for both screenwriter and director, Stoker is the type of film that sticks with you whether you want it to or not. There’s an unsettling feeling from the first frame with Mia Wasikowska‘s India talking in voiceover as she roams through an overgrown field, spouting omnisciently philosophical musings while the image hitches as each credit appears. Clint Mansell‘s score helps create a foreboding sense of dread leading perfectly into the disembodied, blood-curdling scream that…

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Posterized Propaganda March 2013: ‘Stoker,’ ‘Place Beyond the Pines,’ ‘Spring Breakers’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. I’m honestly not sure if it is possible to cram more movies in one 31-day period (five Fridays!). Let’s just say the dump month doldrums have ceased and we’ve moved…

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REVIEW: 악마를 보았다 [I Saw the Devil] [2010]

“You already lost” No one seems to know how to do a revenge flick like the South Koreans. You could infer this is caused by the strife they’ve been enduring for so long with their neighbors to the north or maybe they just possess some of the most violent and volatile minds in the world. With 악마를 보았다 [I Saw the Devil], writer Hoon-jung Park and director Jee-woon Kim have crafted a two and a half hour long epic of evil versus evil. Because even though Special Agent Kim Soo-hyeon…

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REVIEW: 박쥐 [Thirst] [2009]

“The Bandaged Saint” Definitely not for everyone, 박쥐 [Thirst] is an interesting, intelligent take on the vampire genre. By using this horror film affliction, director Chan-wook Park weaves a parable on religion and faith, showing how two people on both ends of the spectrum value life itself. All the tropes are here, as the diseased characters have super-human strength, must stay out of the sunlight, and consume blood for sustenance. What they have not lost, however, is their humanity, or lack there of, from their past lives. There is no…

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Top 25 Films of 2003

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 85 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: American Splendor directed byShari Springer Berman& Robert Pulcini #24: The Lord of the Rings:The Return of the King directed by Peter Jackson. #23: Pieces of April directed by Peter Hedges.. #22: Master and Commander:The Far Side of the World directed by Peter Weir #21: Code 46 directed byMichael Winterbottom #20: Big Fish directed by Tim Burton. #19: Dirty Pretty Things directed…

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