Being Watched

In public spaces in the United States, there is no expectation of privacy (with some caveats, of course). Conversations we have, things we do, while out in the wide-open spaces under the sky are free to be observed and recorded by anyone watching. That’s a little creepy, but something we have grown accustomed to over the years, as security cameras have become ubiquitous. Continue reading “Being Watched”

The Empty Balcony: The Yellow Sea

If you can follow the plot of The Yellow Sea, the Korean film from 2010 written and directed by Na Hong-Jin, then you must be Korean, or at least speak the language fluently. Those are the only reasons I can think of why so many western viewers online, including myself, found this flick’s plot to be confusing, at best, and impenetrable, at worst. The good news is that doesn’t matter. Normally, when a movie has a plot that I can’t follow, that is a bad thing. Not so with The Yellow Sea. About halfway through, I gave up on trying to keep track of all the twists and turns, and just sat back and enjoyed one of the best action films that has hit cinemas in this decade. Continue reading “The Empty Balcony: The Yellow Sea”

The Empty Balcony: Wake in Fright

I can get the heart of this review out of the way quickly. Wake in Fright is the best movie I have seen in at least the last couple of years. Directed by Ted Kotcheff and written by Evan Jones, Wake in Fright has an interesting history. From 1971, it was close to being a lost film for a long time, with the only known copy in existence of such poor quality that it was unfit for transfer to home media. Twenty years ago, Anthony Buckley, who edited the original film, began to search for an intact copy. After much effort, he succeeded. A restoration was finally undertaken in 2009, and the film was released to the general public once again. Continue reading “The Empty Balcony: Wake in Fright”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Escape Plan

After a long lull in their careers, it’s refreshing to see Sly Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger unapologetically doing what they do best, which is killing people and blowing shit up, all for the benefit of the movie going public. I can’t speak for the rest of audiences worldwide, but I can attest that in the last thirty years, my tastes have grown more sophisticated, as has my expectation of believability in any film. Unless, that is, the movie is shitty. In a shitty movie, it’s okay for bullets to blow up gas tanks. In a shitty movie, it’s fine with me when bad guys toting M4 carbines can’t hit the good guy, while, at the same time, the good guy is picking them off with little problem using a handgun. In high-falutin’ cinema, it’s bad form to end the climactic action scene with a cheesy one-liner. But in a shitty movie, that’s okay! Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Escape Plan”