Friday, November 27, 2015

Film Review: A Hard Day (2014)

A Hard Day (Review)
Kim Seong-hun/Lee Sun-kyun/2014
Where To Watch:
Netflix Instant
Amazon Prime 

"...one of the best thrillers of 2014..."

While rushing to his mother's funeral, corrupt homicide detective Ko Gun-su (Lee Sun-kyun) recklessly commits a fatal hit-and-run. After hiding the body, he's blackmailed by a ruthless witness...

A Hard Day is a twisted and engaging thriller. The plot may seem simple on the surface, but it offers plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes. The film follows Ko Gun-su, who is generally having a very hard day. His mother has passed away, he's being investigated by internal affairs, he killed someone, and now he's being blackmailed by a persistent and brutal man. I won't spoil the film's bigger twists — it's a case of “the less you know, the better.” However, I felt a plot point towards the end was a little too far-fetched — it was one of those “yeah, right,” moments. The ending wasn't bad per se, but it is a little sullied by that moment.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Film Review: Northern Limit Line (2015)

Northern Limit Line (aka Battle of Yeonpyeong) (Review)
Kim Hak-soon/Kim Mu-yeol/2015
Where to watch:
Netflix Instant
Amazon Prime

"...a very entertaining and effective film."

In June 2002, amidst the FIFA World Cup fever, South Korean patrol boat 357 is attacked by a North Korean patrol boat...

Northern Limit Line is a film based on real-life events. The film particularly follows Commander Yoon Young-ha (Kim Mu-yeol), Sergeant Han Sang-guk (Jin Goo), and Corporal Park Dong-hyuk (Lee Hyun-woo), as well as briefly setting up the other noble soldiers of Battleship 357. The first two acts setup the characters and their relationships — essentially, we see what's at stake. We also see a bit planning — the foreshadowing of the attack. This buildup is effective, albeit a bit cliché. (I'll explain myself soon.) The film leads to a suspenseful climax with a handful of heart-wrenching scenes. The end of the film somber, offering some closure. (Stick around for the credits!)

Friday, November 13, 2015

Film Review: A Touch of Unseen (2014)

A Touch of Unseen (aka Gwi-jeob or A Touch Unseen) (Review)
Lee Hyeon-cheol/Park Soo-in/2014
Where To Watch:
Netflix Instant
Amazon Prime

"...the story is lacking in character and the direction is ineffective."

After the death of their parents, two sisters are rattled when they begin to experience supernatural attacks...

A Touch of Unseen follows Yeon-hee (Park Soo-in), a student struggling to make ends meet while being stalked by her deranged ex-boyfriend, and her estranged older sister Yeon-soo (Lee Eon-jeong), who abandoned Yeon-hee for her own reasons. The story starts off rough with a brief and vague introduction, then skips three years — which I felt further complicated the plot. From there, the story is slowly pieced together. We see Yeon-hee is tormented by her ex-boyfriend Hak-cheol (Kim Jae-seung) and she's raped by a ghost when she slumbers. Yeon-soo eventually arrives and the pair reconcile as they try to fight off the malicious spirit and Hak-cheol. Without spoiling anything else, that's practically the entire plot. The film leads to a decent ending. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Film Review: The Wicked (2014)

The Wicked (aka Ma-nyeo) (Review)
Yoo Young-seon/Park Joo-hee/2014
Where To Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"...takes you on a twisted journey through the depths of a sinister psyche."

As she settles into her new workplace, Se-young (Park Joo-hee), a devious introvert, finds herself bumping heads with Lee-sun (Na Soo-yoon), her snide boss...

The Wicked begins with Lee-sun scolding Se-young about her poor work ethic. The pair make a bet: if Se-young does not finish her work by the end of the day, she owes a finger to Lee-sun; if she does finish her work, then Lee-sun will owe a finger to Se-young. Well, Se-young finishes her work and demands her finger. However, Lee-sun manages to squirm her way out of the bet, but decides to pursue the issue. She insists on finding dirt to use against Se-young — despite Se-young's erratic behavior.. To her utter surprise, she finds a web of violence and deceit. Is Se-young possessed by a ghost? Is she a psychopath? The film leads to a disturbing ending.