Thursday, August 4, 2022

'The Killer' (2022) Movie Review

a man with a gun
A frenetic action movie about a tired-of-life assassin that begins with a hatchet fight? From the director and star of The Swordsman? Uh, that’s a big old hell yes from around these parts. And that’s precisely what we get from Choi Jae-hoon’s The Killer. Not to be confused with John Woo’s 1989 classic of the same name, this is nevertheless also a kickass time. (This latest Killer is an adaption of Bang Ji-ho’s novel, The Kid Deserves to Die, and it’s easy to understand why the title was changed for multiple reasons.)

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Fantasia 2022: 'Confession' Movie Review

two people on a snowy roadside
Yoo Min-ho (So Ji-seob, A Company Man) is arrested for killing his mistress, but released on bail as his trial is in progress. Fleeing the prying eyes of the media, he retreats to an isolated, snow-bound cabin to meet with a Yang Shin-ae (Yunjin Kim, Lost), a new lawyer, one who has never lost a case. Over the course of a night in director Yoon Jong-seok’s Confession, Yoo spins his tale, lies pile up, perspectives shift, and true intentions come to light. 

Monday, August 1, 2022

Fantasia 2022: 'Dark Glasses' Movie Review

blind prostitute with a john
With Dark Glasses, his first film since 2012’s Dracula 3D, horror legend Dario Argento wants to remind you that, even at 81, he can still make a Dario Argento movie. Most, or at least many of his cinematic trademarks are present and accounted for. We’ve got striking colors, an unseen killer terrorizing young women, and a Goblin-esque score that could be lifted from one of the director’s late-70s/early-80s works, among other touches. While it doesn’t reach the highs of his more iconic films, it’s quick and efficient, fits solidly in his wheelhouse, and certainly rates higher than much of his recent output.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

'Paid In Blood' (2021) Movie Review

a man in the road
Just a heads up right out of the gate, Paid in Blood has been marketed as a fast-paced action film, which it is decidedly not. Despite a few quick flurries, there’s really only one straight-up action scene. More than that, director Yoon Young-bin’s film, also known as Tomb of the River, aims to be more of a taut, sprawling underworld epic. It eternally lingers right on the verge, on the precipice of violence, but even punctuated by quite a few stabbings, they’re honestly pretty low-key as far as stabbings go.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Fantasia 2022: 'Glorious' Movie Review

ryan kwanten laughing on the floor
If you’ve spent any time on the road, you probably know highway rest stops can get weird. Sometimes very weird. What director Rebekah McKendry’s (All the Creatures Were Stirring) new movie Glorious supposes is, what if, instead of a weird rando on the other side of that roadside glory hole, it was something much darker, more sinister, and exponentially more powerful?

'The Gray Man' (2022) Movie Review

ryan gosling and chris evans
Do you like empty posturing and stylistics, faux clever banter, saccharine emotional manipulation, dubious (meaning nonexistent) character motivation, wannabe cool needle drops, and a series of exhausting set pieces? How about muddy visuals, hollow action, and an overreliance on camera tricks due to a lack of ability to shoot a fight scene? Just for kicks, why not throw in a stacked cast of actors you like but wish were all in a better movie? And all for a bloated price tag of $200 million? If that sounds like fun, it’s not, but it all adds to Netflix’s latest vapid action offering, The Gray Man, from Marvel alums the Russo Brothers. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Fantasia 2022: 'Special Delivery' Movie Review

a young woman on the phone
As a concept, writer/director Park Dae-min’s Special Delivery plays like a riff on stories like Drive or The Transporter. A solitary, hot-shot driver, against their personal rules, gets personally and emotionally involved in a job, which upends their life. Though a familiar set up, full of high-speed chase scenes, an escalating mean streak, and a fantastic performance from Parasite star Park So-damn, the film offers up a throttle-cranking action blast.