Friday, December 25, 2015

Film Review: The Cat (2011)

The Cat (Review)
Byun Seung-wook/Park Min-Young/2011
Where To Watch:
Netflix Instant
Amazon Prime

"...story doesn't offer anything new and the characters are underdeveloped, but the horror and atmosphere are great."

So-yeon (Park Min-Young) begins seeing a cat-eyed apparition after she adopts a cat linked to an inexplicable death...

The Cat is a rather simple ghost story. The film follows So-yeon, a groomer at a small pet shop. After a woman picks up her cat from said shop, she is found dead in an elevator. After stumbling upon the crime scene, So-yeon is asked to care for the cat while the investigation proceeds. So-yeon soon finds herself haunted by an apparition with cat-like eyes. When the deaths begin to pile up, So-yeon links the mysterious deaths to cats. So, So-yeon and Jun-seok (Kim Dong-wook), a police officer she likes, begin delving into the mystery. It all leads to a predictable but sorrowful ending. It works by tugging at your emotions, but it does feel like it's dropped on your lap from nowhere — it just blatantly explains everything to you.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Film Review: The Target (2014)

The Target (Review)
Chang/Ryu Seung-ryong/2014
Where To Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"Although I left slightly disappointed, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't entertained."

Ex-mercenary and military contractor Baek Yeo-hoon (Ryu Seung-ryong) is shot, then hit by a vehicle under mysterious circumstances. Meanwhile, medical resident Lee Tae-joon (Lee Jin-wook) is forced to free Yeo-hoon when his wife is kidnapped...

The Target follows Baek Yeo-hoon and Lee Tae-joon. As it turns out, Yeo-hoon is being pursued by several people trying to frame him for a murder. In order to do so, they must keep Yeo-hoon away from the hospital and out of the hands of the police. So, these pursuers kidnap Lee Tae-joon's wife and force him to aid in their conspiracy. To their utter dismay, Yeo-hoon is a hard nut to crack and Tae-joon isn't very handy on his own. As they proceed with this wild pursuit, the mystery unravels. Although this is a remake (of an incredible thriller, if I may add), I think it's best if I kept most of the plot details to the minimal. There a few very dark scenes, some unexpected twists, and plenty of thrills. It all leads to a decent ending — it doesn't leave a very strong impact, certainly not as strong as some of the other scenes in the film, but it's satisfying enough.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Film Review: The President's Last Bang (2005)

The President's Last Bang (Review)
Im Sang-soo/Song Jae-ho/2005
Where To Watch:
Netflix Instant
Amazon Prime

"...aside from the rough introduction, this was a thoroughly entertaining film."

The day of President Park Chung-hee's (Song Jae-ho) assassination at the hands of KCIA director Kim Jae-kyu (Baek Yoon-sik)…

The President's Last Bang takes place during the hours before and immediately after President Park Chung-hee's assassination. Before the assassination, we're introduced to a plethora of characters, including the president, the president's bodyguard and drinking buddy, KCIA director Kim, and KCIA Chief Agent Ju (Han Suk-kyu). To put it lightly, it's quite a bit to ingest, especially if you're not familiar with the event. Fortunately, it straightens itself out rather quickly. President Park is throwing yet another party filled with alcohol and women. Director Kim has had enough and sets out to ignite a revolution of his own with the help of his agency and Chief Ju. What transpires is, of course, a grisly assassination and a political scramble to get to the bottom of it. It's nothing unpredictable, considering it's based on true events, but the endings cleans itself up nicely to deliver a nice punch.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Film Review: 24 Hours To Die (2008)

24 Hours To Die (aka Teureok) (Review)
Kwon Hyeong-jin/Yoo Hae-jin/2008
Where To Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime

"...offers more than enough thrills and chills to fill its 90-minute runtime."

When trucker Jeong Cheol-min (Yoo Hae-jin) finds himself in dire need of money and at the mercy of a ruthless mob boss, he reluctantly agrees to dispose several dead bodies... but the road gets bumpy when a deranged serial killer escapes the police.

24 Hours To Die is an interesting thriller. The film follows Cheol-min, a humble trucker. When Cheol-min's daughter is hospitalized and in need of an expensive heart transplant, Cheol-min races to raise the funds. Unfortunately, he falls into gambling and finds himself even deeper in debt. However, when he stumbles upon a mob boss' vicious murders, Cheol-min is hired to dispose the bodies in exchange for his winnings and his life. While en route to dispose the bodies, Cheol-min stumbles upon a car accident — a vehicle overturned at the side of the road. Later, he hits an injured police officer. This 'officer' turns out to be harboring some sinister secrets. This is a film where the less you know, the better, so I'll leave it at that. The film leads to a decent albeit underwhelming ending — it did feel a little unsatisfying.