Review: I Saw The Devil / Akmareul boatda (2010)

Friday, June 24th, 2011 | Movies, Reviews | No Comments

It’s been a while since I wrote a little review of a film I saw (@see Wild Target). This is mostly due to the fact that as a cinema enthusiast it gets harder and harder to see something that is new/interesting or even noteworthy – a lot of films just bore the crap out of me these days. Anyway, “I Saw The Devil” was different.

When his pregnant fiancée becomes the latest victim of a serial killer, a secret agent blurs the line between good and evil in his pursuit of revenge. (IMDb)

So yes, this is some kind of rape and revenge plot, a genre that I normally avoid. In this case I was eager to finally see this Korean film because I had already read a few quite promising reviews and ratings from Fantasy Filmfest screenings. Some said it was boring, some said it was a masterpiece. I have to agree with the latter. The film has three major ingredients imho: beautiful slow shooting (which may bore fans of fast paced action), interesting and well acted characters (loved both Oldboy‘s Min-sik Choi and A Bittersweet Life‘s Byung-hun Lee) and last but not least quite explicit violence. I read the rumour that it had to be cut several times even in Korea to prevent it from getting a “Restricted” rating which would have had it rendered impossible to screen or sell. Believe me, what’s left in there is still stomach twisting and quite enough to support the plot.

8.0/10 – Get prepared for beautiful yet nasty game of cat-and-mouse.

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Review: Kirot – The Assassin Next Door

Sunday, September 5th, 2010 | Movies, Reviews | No Comments

Olga Kurylenko as an assassin, maybe in a black leather dress and swords as her weapons of choice? If you expect something like this you are completely wrong.

“Kirot” is a drama about brutal sex-traffic Mafia exploitation and a woman trying to get out of the business but she ends up being forced into assassinations by her boss. He is keeping her passport and without it she cannot leave. So she does what she is told to just to be able to get away from this at some point. Doing so she befriends her neighbour, who is a victim to her wife beating husband. Together they comfort themselves and try to cope with the situation – and to find a solution to their problems eventually.

6.0 / 10 – Quite okay but doesn’t really kick off at any time, could have been a lot better.

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Review: The Lovely Bones (2009)

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 | Movies, Reviews | No Comments

I used to be a big Peter Jackson fan. Bad Taste was the first splatter film I’ve ever seen (at the age of 14!) and I almost wet my pants doing so (laughing my arse off). A hilarious masterpiece. Brain Dead and Meet the Feebles followed and I watched them quite a few times back then. Then his style completely changed. First, a disturbing drama about friendship that is to kill for: Heavenly Creatures, after that Forgotten Silver – a nice mockumentary about a supergenius filmmaker. The horror comedy The Frighteners never really got to me (even though Micheal J. Fox stars in this one). Then, Lord of the Rings got announced and like a lot of people I couldn’t believe the news at first, but later on I was convinced that PJ would be the only guy out there capable of doing it right – just because his prior films where so very special. Well, we all know he did a very good job, followed by a pretty mediocre King Kong remake (childhood dream, fair enough). After years of production (well, at least it was pronounced years and years ago) his new major release hits the theatres. The Lovely Bones. The story of a life and everything that came after…

If you are easily disturbed or very sensitive you can stop reading here. This film is not for you.

The story evolves around a 14 year old girl that get’s abused and killed by a sociopathic man. Her spirit first doesn’t realize that she is dead, and stays to observe how the famlily adapts to the new situation until she is finally ready to pass on. A very touching adaptation of the book by Alice Sebold. I don’t want to tell any more, you should have already got the hang of what you can expect from this film. Just one more thing: watching the credits I asked my wife “Who wants to see such a film, anyway?” wiping away my tears…

8.0 / 10 – a very well done film – cruel, dreamy, sad – not for the faint o’heart

P.S. – I also waited to see if my ole ‘discman’ mate Matt Dravitzki is still around. Executive assistant to PJ by now, congratz! (Yeah, IMDb could’ve provided the information right away, but that’s like cheating) – a pity I haven’t heard from him in years.

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Geek joke

Thursday, November 26th, 2009 | Language, Misc, Quirks | 1 Comment

Today somebody posted a nice geek joke in our team chat, it seems to be quite common, but nevertheless it was new to me:

Why do programmers always confuse Halloween and Christmas?
Because 31 Oct = 25 Dec.

If you dont get it, read the Mathematical jokes Wikipedia article for an explanation. But I assume that people who dont get it right away wont find it funny even after reading the explanation. Revenga of the nerds! Merry Christmas 😀

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Review: District 9 (2009)

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009 | Movies, Reviews | No Comments

District 9 (2009)Aliens invading Earth. Humans invading Planet X. Seen it a thousand times.

District 9 takes a different approach off the beaten track and does so quite well. A big space ship had to make a forced landing on Earth in the 80s, where hundreds of aliens were rescued and given shelter near Johannesburg, Africa: District 9. This shelter soon became a slum and problems arose. This is where the film picks up – the day the aliens are about to be deported out of District 9 to be resettled somewhere else more remote.

The idea is great – even though I thought it was too simple I couldn’t remember a similar film (shame on me!). The documentary style is well done as well, not as claustrophobic as in [rec], not as hard on the stomach as in Cloverfield (I’ll never see that movie again!). Also Peter “Bad Taste” Jackson’s influence is easy to spot. See for yourself. 😉

I did not like the film drifting into an ordinary action shooter towards the end, I would have expected a more detailed view of the social and integration problems.

8.0 – A great film, that could have been even better if it had more of a story.

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Review: Dolan’s Cadillac (2009)

Sunday, July 19th, 2009 | Movies, Reviews | 1 Comment

Dolan's CadillacScience teacher Tom methodically plots revenge against Las Vegas crime boss James Dolan (Christian Slater) who is behind the murder of Tom’s wife Francey, a witness to a mob execution.

I like Stephen King adaptations, even though they are often TV only or straight to VHS/DVD productions, some of them a really enjoyable on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

This one was quite nice, but it hasn’t the potential to become a low budget classics such as The Stand, It or even Sleepwalkers (90’s trash :D, yeah! Don’t take me wrong: one of my favourite films (and IMDb’s #1!!) is a 90’s King adaptation. Can you guess what it is?).

I guess the absence of a Stephen King typical evil force / parallel reality is condemning this flick to just another crime story. This is *not* a mystery or horror film!

6.5/10 – quite nice, but nothing special

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Review: Gran Torino (2008)

Sunday, December 28th, 2008 | Language, Movies, Reviews, Vocabulary | 1 Comment

Holy sh*t! This one really blew my mind! First a word about Mr. Clint Eastwood, whom I want to give some kudos here. When I was a kid I associated the name Clint Eastwood with a gunslinger, nothing more, nothing less. He proofed me so very wrong, thankfully, just remember the Oscar winning Mystic River or Million Dollar Baby (not my piece of cake, though).

This time we see him as director, producer and main character. Again, you might think what could come out of an ordinary gunslinger being the sole responsible person for a movie? Right, horseshiat you say, but this one is definitely an exception that proves the rule!

Imagine yourself being an elderly war vet (gunslinger, anybody? jk) living in a suburb that becomes more and more of a slum. Gangs, bullies and some gooks (just using the term from the movie, no offence intended) moving into your old neighbour’s house. And then, one night, they step on your perfectly mowed lawn, smashing your precious garden gnomes …

This is just a very basic description of the story, no Gran Torino mentioned yet. I did this on purpose, not to spoil anything. I just want to make sure you get the idea and hopefully be teased enough to go see this masterpiece on the big screen! Try to see it non-dubbed, I wonder how they will translate all these wonderful swear words.

Perfect, a pollack and a chink!

How are you doing Martin, you crazy italian prick?!

Walts! You cheap bastard! I should have known you come in, I was having such a pleasant day!

Now, what’d you do, ruse some blind guy outta his money, gave him the wrong change?

Who’s the nip?

Oh, he’s the pussy-kid from next door, I’m just trying to man him up a little bit.


You see kid? Now that’s how guys talk to one another.

A must see! Thanks Mr. Eastwood!


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Review: Red (2008)

Saturday, November 1st, 2008 | Movies, Reviews | No Comments

I don’t want to spoil the movie by telling you too much of what is happening, just this much: it’s about revenge.

The ” ‘n revenge” genre is to be handled with care, sometimes it produces really gross movies (I spit on your grave, Last House on the Left * or Straightheads, anybody?!). This movie is different and tries a smart approach, the avenger tricks the offenders into exposing themselves in general public.

A nice movie, worth watching if you don’t get upset easily by lies, deceit and injustice. (If you don’t, try Ondskan AKA Evil – one of my all time favourites)


* Writing this I saw that a remake of “Last House…” is being done right now… when will this ever end!? 😡

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Review: Taken (2008)

Monday, October 27th, 2008 | Movies, Reviews | 1 Comment

Luc Besson strikes again. He is brilliant, I fell in love with his work starting with Léon, followed by e.g. Transporter or Angel-A (If you have seen these movies you know the sheer unbelievable range he’s got).

Taken is about a girl getting kidnapped and a father trying to rescue her. He has quite some expertise in solving problems being an ex government agent. The kidnappers definitely messed with the wrong guy! Kudos to Liam Neeson, he makes 24‘s Jack Bauer look like a sissy! 😀

Thrilling, brutal yet still comprehensible. These nasty fuckers didn’t deserve anything else. Did I mention that the picture deals with trafficking?

Highly recommended!


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