Mega Movie Week – Capsule Comments

It has been a big week of movie watching in the virtual Things Fall Apart offices.  Some movies I have already covered, and some are going to get their own posts, but I thought I would take a little time to have a look at a few of this weeks treats that don’t quite make it to full post status.

Arahan

Fun and exciting Korean action film.  It probably does not get veryArahan_Poster many points in the originality stakes, but it is fresh and amusing!  Some excellent action sequences are coupled with a couple of tonal shifts which raise this movie above the normal fare.

Ryu Seung-beom makes an effective innocent drawn into a world of wire-fu and palm blasts, and Yoon So-yi comfortably mixes her obvious beauty with a kick-ass attitude.

Very much recommended, if you are after a bit of popcorn munching fun.

All About Women

One of those cases where the2008_11_03_01_All_About_Women_sn component parts do not quite make a satisfying movie.  Top Director, Top Writer, Fantastic Cast.  Witty, inventive, gorgeous.  All three leading ladies give a great account of themselves (Zhou Xun, Lunmei Kwai, Kitty Zhang).

Oddly though, the film left me confused and cold. Maybe I was tired, or just not in the correct mood.  More likely, I was just expecting too much from this dream team combination.

I am willing to give it another go in the future though.

So Close

On the other hand, this is a rather fantastic HK Actioner.  It has a clean, classySoclose look, and is what Charlie’s Angels wanted to be. 

Yes it has great action and lots of pretty ladies, what actually sets it apart is that it actually has some soul, with a tender sisterly relationship, a surprising lesbian subplot, and a character death that for once shocked me.  Well played all round by the female principals, I know this is a movie that I am going to revisit time and time again.

Highly recommended.

Fun Movie

Korea’s First Parody Movie screams thefun movie opening text.  Unfortunately, it is not as good as it thinks it is. Drawing mainly from late 90’s – early 2000’s Korean cinema, the film has a couple of major flaws.  It is at least 30-40 minutes too long, takes itself way too seriously at times, and is way too obsessed with aping “Shiri” (a movie that I have seen but was not as impressed with than some others).  Some of the more random skits (especially My Sassy Girl) are totally spot on though.

To be fair, I am not particularly conversant with many of the movies being spoofed here, and by basing the whole thing on a movie I have limited affection for, it was never going to have an easy time gaining my love.

Summer Breeze of Love

An early outing for those TWINS girls, this is a gentle and interestingsbol slice of life movie.  Charlene Choi is chasing after a good looking young man, who unfortunately is a bit of a player, whilst being gently pursued by another.  Her friend Gillian Chung on the other hand is falling for a friend of Choi’s father.  Maybe a little on the slight side, but the very idea that 18 year old Gillian Chung’s character could so aggressively pursue a 40 year old man gets bonus credit from me.

Actually, I found the movie rather enjoyable, certainly in the upper echelon for joint TWINS outings.  Probably not one to take on that desert island with me,but nor do I want my time with it back.

Nightmare (a.k.a Scissors)

Early Ha Ji-won horror movie, with director Ahn Byeong-ki (who is becoming a regular in these blogs) clearlyNightmare_film_poster inspired by Dario Argento.  This is not your normal Asian horror (a lot of the violence and gore is actually seen rather than implied, and the ghost girl wears black instead of white).  Some decent scares, but the story at the end of day declines into horrible things happening to horrible people. 

It is not helped by the terrible variation of acting skills on display (I am not going to name names, but lets just say, it ranges from above average to bloody awful).

Ahn is actually a pretty good director of scare sequences, but yet again he is let down in the general execution of the story.  Maybe I expect too much, but the underlying videotape part of the story is so stupid that it stopped me enjoying the movie as a whole.

To be fair it is an OK movie, and for us Ha Ji-won completists it is nice to see her early days.

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