Friday, March 27, 2015

Film Review: Miss Granny (2014)

Miss Granny (Review)
Hwang Dong-hyuk/Shim Eun-kyung/2014
Where to Watch:
Netflix Instant
Amazon Prime

"...a hilarious, heartwarming and enjoyable comedy with splendid performances."

Upon hearing she'll be sent to a nursing home, Oh Mal-soon (Na Moon-hee) stumbles into a photo studio that magically turns her into her 20-year-old self.

Miss Granny continues to follow Oh Mal-soon after she emerges from the photo studio as her young self. As her young self, she takes the name Oh Doo-ri (Shim Eun-kyung) and begins to relish in the benefits of youth. With her new image, she rents a room from her elderly admirer, Mr. Park, and joins her grandson's band to pursue her music career. All while suspiciously prancing and bickering like a shameless elderly woman. The film leads to a predictable yet enjoyable ending. It does skimp over some explanation, though – even if it's only magic, I would've like to see some more detail.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Film Review: A Better Tomorrow (2010)

A Better Tomorrow (Review)
Song Hae-sung/Joo Jin-mo/2010
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime 

"...one of the most melodramatic South Korean movies I've ever watched..."

Kim Hyuk (Joo Jin-mo) is a detective who escaped from North Korea as a teenager. He also works as an illegal arms smuggler. While conducting his business with his pal, Lee Young-choon (Song Seung-heon), Hyuk also searches for his younger brother, Chul (Kim Kang-woo), who was separated when his family escaped...

A Better Tomorrow follows Hyuk as he tries to rekindle his relationship with Chul. Meanwhile, Hyuk and Young-choon continue their illegal arms smuggling business. They are joined by Jung Tae-min (Jo Han-sun), a new and very ambitious member. Of course, Jung Tae-min decides to betray them and Hyuk is separated from his brother once again. Chul goes on to become a detective, Young-choon is crippled, and Tae-min becomes a leader. In other words, there's a whole lot of story compressed into this two hour feature. The film leads to an explosive climax of deafening gunshots and bromance. The ending is decent, but feels too melodramatic – also feels a little undeserving.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Film Review: Blades of Blood (2010)

Blades of Blood (Review)
Lee Joon-ik/Hwang Jung-min/2010
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"...director Lee Joon-ik makes up for some of its shortcomings."

In the late 16th century, the Joseon kingdom faces the imminent threat of a Japanese invasion. Skilled swordsman Lee Mong-hak (Cha Seung-won) seizes the opportunity to overthrow the government, while blind swordsman Hwang Jeong-hak (Hwang Jung-min) opts to stop him...

Blades of Blood continues to follow the chaos after Mong-hak kills the family of Kyeon-ja (Baek Sung-hyun), the stubborn bastard child. Mong-hak injures Kyeon-ja. On the brink of death, Kyeon-ja is rescued by Jeong-hak. Jeong-hak essentially trains Kyeon-ja as he tracks Mong-hak. Meanwhile, Mong-hak continues to overthrow the government with brute force. Although it packs quite a bit of story, it is predictable and cliché. The ending, however, was effective.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Film Review: Jail Breakers (2002)

Jail Breakers (Review)
Kim Sang-jin/Cha Seung-won, Sol Kyung-gu/2002
Where to Watch:
Netflix Instant
Amazon Prime

"...a very versatile and enjoyable blend of comedy."

After years of imprisonment, Mu-suk (Cha Seung-won) is finally prepared to escape, and he's bringing his swindler buddy, Jae-pil (Sol Kyung-gu), along...

Jail Breakers is a story of prison life. It's a triumphant story of escape and redemption. It's a story of lost and rekindled romance. It's a story of... a man and his spoon. Jail Breakers follows Mu-suk, who was jailed for stealing bread and has been digging himself out of prison for six years. It also follows Jae-pil, a swindler who has been playing model prisoner to get released early. After Mu-suk decides to finally escape, Jae-pil tags along to stop his ex-girlfriend's wedding. Their plans for freedom go haywire, as does everything in the prison during their absence. Jail Breakers is a fun story that leads to a good ending.