Friday, May 22, 2015

Film Review: The Divine Move (2014)

The Divine Move (Review)
Jo Bum-gu/Jung Woo-sung/2014
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime
"...brutal fistfights, vicious knife play, violent bone snapping and even some bloody torture."

When he's framed and imprisoned for murder by a gambling syndicate, professional Go player Tae-seok (Jung Woo-sung) seeks vengeance...

The Divine Move follows Tae-seok as he trains for his vengeance. In prison, he teams up with a mob boss and begins training, particularly his fighting and pain endurance. When he emerges from prison, Tae-seok gathers a team of specialists to help him, including Kkong-soo "Cheater" (Kim In-kwon) and Joo-nim "Drinking Lord" (Ahn Sung-ki). Together, the team seeks to crush Sal-soo "Killer" (Lee Beom-soo) and his violent crime syndicate. Although a vengeance film at its heart, the story really plays out more like a typical heist film — a very violent heist film. It leads to a bloody climax and decent ending. I didn't like the backtracking, though, it felt like a cop-out from its original intentions.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Film Review: The Admiral: Roaring Currents (2014)

The Admiral: Roaring Currents (Review)
Kim Han-min/Choi Min-sik/2014
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"...Roaring Currents works marvelously as a historical blockbuster."

1597: Admiral Yi Sun-sin (Choi Min-sik) must lead his 12 remaining ships against 330 invading Japanese vessels...

The Admiral: Roaring Currents starts off a bit rough. The story drops you in the middle of this conflict. We're quickly told Yi Sun-sin is being tortured by the King, then released to aid in battle — we're not really told much more, unfortunately. After this quick introduction, Yi Sun-sin finds himself preparing for battle, which is difficult due to his small fleet and his rightfully frightened army. Yi Sun-sin must find a way to convert that overwhelming fear into courage. The odds continue to stack against him until the actual naval battle. Said battle takes up practically the entire second half of the film. The battles are a bit contrived but epic. The ending is well-suited for the film — I liked it.