BrightBurn (2019)

a

“What’s the ‘BB’ stand for?”

Just like the movie poster above, the film has a handful of really striking images throughout. Like…3 or 4. Y’know, a handful. Read the movie synopsis below then watch my review of this James Gunn-produced horror.

You guys let me know what your expectations (if any) are for this project in the video comments!

Synopsis: What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister? With Brightburn, the visionary filmmaker of Guardians of the Galaxy and Slither presents a startling, subversive take on a radical new genre: superhero horror.

REVIEW: ‘Before We Vanish’

“Why did you wait til now to tell me!? We’ve run out of time!”

maxresdefaultThis movie is about a monster, and perhaps a metaphor of our lost sense of self; and the ones who wish to be us or even defeat us. Are we really who we say we are?
What if the ideals we stand on, and our understanding of how life works, was stolen from us? The monster steals ideals, identities, and peels back layers of fragility we didn’t even know were there. You know what makes this monster even scarier?
This monster is actually THREE monsters, and they more or less serve as a herald..

For an incoming, alien invasion…

Here’s my review on Youtube:

The Client (2011)

“Did You Kill Your Wife?”

The Client

 

Directed By : Young-Sung Sohn

Running Time: 122 minutes

Originally released September 29th, 2011

Synopsis (via Asiancrush.com) – In this courtroom thriller, a man once suspected of serial murder finds himself on the stand again when his wife is goes missing.

In a world where things are becoming less, ‘black and white’ and more ‘grey’; this film targets an interesting notion in the world of court cases, corruption, and motives. Not just the motives of killers, but also of shady detectives, sleazy lawyers, and even faulty witnesses looking for ‘financial compensation’.

There’s been a murder. The crime scene evidence as circumstantial as it may be, all points to the accused, Han Chul-min. He’s arrested, prosecuted and it appears as if he’s going to be tried without a lawyer. That is until our guy, Kang Sun-hee (a skilled defense attorney) takes the case. The movie then bounces back in forth between the two sides, each looking for the advantage in winning the case–sometimes at the expense of their own integrity.

I won’t spoil the end of this film. I do however, after mulling it over in my mind; sort of take issue with the conclusion of the film. The movie sways this line of reasoning of, “We shouldn’t be trying to convict people based on only circumstantial evidence”. It does it’s best, throughout it’s running time to convince us that line of reasoning is the most just–even if it means, “10 guilty men go free”. Good, right? I really liked defense attorney Kang’s eternal struggle with trying to defend Han in court; yet having his own doubts about his innocence.

What I found interesting was the amount of attention paid to the corruption and mishandling of the case by opposing sides. It was strange to see the prosecution being so dirty, whilst Kang rarely looked to ‘break the rules’ in order to build his case. It really made me question the motives of all of the parties involved.

Why are they so sure he did it?

Obviously, the movie gets into why the prosecution is certain of Han’s being a murderer, but I want you to watch this film yourself to find out. Aside from the conclusion of this film, which to me, felt like it undermined the 115 minutes that had come before it–I would definietly recommend this film to fans of the courtroom thriller genre.

theclient2

Perfect Blue (20th Anniversary Screening)

Perfect-Blue-2

Twenty years later, and Perfect Blue still thrills and chills….

Tonight didn’t seem any different than usual for me, aside from the belabored trip to pickup my children from school. I’d taken a long hiatus from this blog (among other things) to focus on getting my family back in order. The wife and I prepared dinner as our two children settled in for evening. After they had gotten into bed, we headed off to pick up our friend and make our way for tonight’s screening. I opened up the door, and my wife walked on ahead toward the van. I closed it and a chill ran down my back. I peered up at the sky. It was gray, dreary and misting, cold rain. The steep drop in temperature gave me another chill. Little did I know, tonight’s film would leave me feeling icy, disturbed, and confused–all (of course) in a good way.

SPOILERALERT

This isn’t the first time I’ve brought Perfect Blue up on this blog. I’ve made it clear I’m a fan of Satoshi Kon’s work here, alongside his other heavy-hitting cinematic bouts.

I always appreciated certain themes that seemed to reoccur in Kon’s work. The fear or paranoia (uncertainty) when it comes to the world wide web is one. Second, is the fear or paranoia of those we believed to be our most trusted friends and family. Perfect Blue plays with these two phobias (so to speak) and bases them in Japan’s ‘Pop Idol Culture’. Not too mention another fear of ours Kon preys upon—being a victim of a toxic fandom. It seems silly to bring up, but when all things are considered; this film’s action is driven by the actions of fans, admirers, and people who initially were supportive of the main characters.

This isn’t a story of ‘Good Guys versus Bad Guys’. I struggle to even see this film in that light at all. Even with the enormous twist that occurs during the last half of the film; it felt more like a betrayal than it did an altogether, evil act. Don’t get me wrong, the ‘antagonist’ of this film is definitely a wrongdoer. But one could argue that they acted out their betrayal only after feeling betrayed themselves. A murderous, ‘tit-for-tat’.

I love the intriguing, yet chilling level of paranoia brought to this film. The film’s ‘hero’, a singer, is simply trying to execute a career change. She’s ultimately convinced by one adviser that being a Japanese Pop Idol isn’t a profitable way to live, no matter how much passion is there. The singer (Her name is Mima) eventually decides to become a professional actress. Coincidentally enough, another one of her managers shows her how to setup her personal computer and web browser. Why is it important? Because from this point on, Mima’s life changes dramatically. She’s switched to a difficult and competitive career, and she’s also looking to establish an online, social presence during the early stages of the internet. It may not have seemed like much back then; but we all know how much a strong, internet presence can influence someone’s career. Keep in mind celebrities now have been criticized and bullied into shutting down their social media profiles. Anyway, a fan letter tips Mima off to a fan-made web page dedicated to her.

The web page proceeds to torment her throughout the duration of the film from then on. It knows what she eats, how she sleeps, even down to what foot she steps off of the local subway with first.

The film revs up it’s intense crawl and throws in these sharp, sleek cuts throwing both Mima and the audience into this confused, hapless stupor. From there, we’re forced to confront Mima’s fading confidence in her talent as an actress, her relationships with her managers and former pop idol co-stars; and the aforementioned ‘Mima’s Room’ fan age. Not only do the fans seem to be upset with Mima’s decision to quit her Idol life, but her role on the drama series she’s been cast in has become incredibly risque’ and explicit.

Just when the pot of personal and not-so-personal horrors begins to come to a boil; someone or something has begun murdering people associated with Mima and her career. A fitting, puzzling, hair-raising twist like that thrown in makes Perfect Blue, not just one of the best, animated films of all time–but among some of the best thrillers of all time as well.

If you haven’t seen Perfect Blue, please seek it out. As a matter of fact I’ll post a link here to Amazon. There, I’ve done half of the work for you. You’re welcome.

Recapped!: My Mister (Episodes 15-16)

SPOILERALERT

Well! The time has finally come and gone. The end of our hero Dong-Hoon’s story. These spoilers are coming fast and furious so get ready:

  • Resident snakes and all-round villains, C..E.O. Do Joon-Young  and his lackey, Director Yoon are fired from the company for their scandalous ways.
  • They are ultimately taken down by Lee Ji-Ahn’s biggest enemy who actually seems to like her alot–Lee Gwang-Ll. SURPRISED!? Kinda. The show had been hinting at his turning into a ‘good guy’ a couple of episodes in a row now. So him doing the great thing he did was only a matter of time.
  • With his senior’s blessing, Dong-Hoon is able to keep Lee Ji-Ahn from going to prison herself! Director Park decides not to press charges against her and her ‘brother’ Song Ki-Beom.
  • Lee Ji-Ahn’s grandmother (Bong-Ae) passes away, and EVERYONE IS AT THE FUNERAL, AND ITS THE SWEETEST, SADDEST MOMENT OF THE SERIES
  • Dong-Hoon takes his wife Lee Ji-Ah’s advice and quits the company to start his own business. All his company pals that look up to him, leave as well and work for him. It’s an inspiring moment in the show, but I couldn’t help but feel like things worked out almost too well
  • And also, they work on their relationship too.
  • Choi Yoo-Ra and youngest brother, Park Gi-Hoon end up breaking up. Not too stunned by that one! They probably have the least healthiest relationship in the show.
  • Monk Gyeomduk finally visits his ex, Jung-Hee. It’s this moment where they’re finally able to move on from their past.
  • Lee Ji-Ahn respectfully moves out of town to a new job, then moves back, and greets Dong-Hoon as an old friend…even though it’s been probably a few months to a year. It’s rushed, it’s cute, it’s a wrap.

 

Honestly a very neat bow tied around an otherwise turbulent, hectic, crawl of a drama series. I didn’t feel like any loose ends were left on cutting room floor. But I can’t shake the feeling that things were wrapped up a little too neatly, considering.

Series Overall: 8 out of 10

Recapped!: My Mister (Episode 14)

YOOOOOO…hold on! Hold On!

SPOILERALERT

Okay, okay! YOOOOOOOO! Listen….

Alright so I love the structure of this episode tremendously. I’m sure the show as a whole has followed this sort of format, and I only now have caught on but—today we got the sort of emotional victory for secondary characters like Jung-Hee and Director Yoon (with his PUNK Ah). Without further ado guys–

1. We kick things off with a lot of calls and text messages this episode. But after the digital traffic slows down. The owner of the company Dong-Hoon works for, commands his underlings to decide on a new director by the end of the day! Long story short,

Dong-Hoon wins the vote and becomes the newest director!

2. The celebration at Jung hee’s gets awkward (as they do) and she’s finally able to emotional and symbolically toast away her past twenty-something years of resentment and utterly devastating anguish. In short, Jung-Hee finally moves on!

3. Dong-Hoon’s superior who was fired early on in the show, finds and captures (police do) the young man (Ki-Beom) working in cohoots with Lee Ji-Ahn. With Ki-Beom being captured and questioned, it’s only a matter of time before Ji-Ahn is arrested as well. What’s most interesting about all this is WHO wants WHAT to happen. Acting CEO of the company, Do Joon-Young, seems to have resigned to his destiny of being ousted, fired, and possibly even worse, but He refuses to go down alone. Which leads to biggest, messiest reveal yet…

4. Dong-Hoon learns of his phone having been wiretapped by Lee Ji-Ahn and the World is coming to an end. Give Thanos the go-ahead to snap his fingers! So now that he knows. What Lee Ji-Ahn knows. What Do Joon-Young knows. What Lee Ji-Ah knows. We can all perish in utter anguish…alone…but knowing that it’s also happening to the people all around you as well. I mean the show is SO GOOD at revving up the stakes in this steady, thumping…like a headache slowly, but viciously transforming into the kind of migraines ya’ gave your parents when you were young. Yes, you!

5. Dong-Hoon’s thrashing of CEO Do Joon-Young HAS to come up at some point right? Is their culture so accepting of people getting punched in the face (LOL) Like, I wonder if Do Joon-Young like complained about it to someone and was told to man-up or block next time. LOL. Alright, I’ll leave him alone. But seriously, the deconstruction of Do Joon-Young is a magnificent, glorious scene of a train-wreck. Actor Kim Young-Min is good in nearly every scene he’s in and I really wanna see where they take his character!

Who knows what the last two episodes will bring to the light, but one thing’s for sure: I AM NOT PREPARED FOR WHAT THE TEASER TRAILER SHOWED US. I AM NOT.

Because if what I think I saw happened. HAPPENED. I’m gonna be a bawling mess by series end. Like for real though. But what about you? Give me your thoughts on the show so far at thenexcrewteam@gmail.com!