Friday, September 17, 2010

Monkey Shines

I saw this film earlier this year and found myself having a really god time. Such a good time that I expressed my pleasure through a facebook status that said something a long the lines of: Allan! Don't let Ella near you!!! She's got a knife!!!

Review from Rotten Tomatoes: George A. Romero's non-zombie movies generally open to indifference or outright scorn, but this intelligent, effective thriller is one of his best films. After an accident, a law student, Allan (Jason Beghe), becomes a quadriplegic. His best friend Geoffrey (John Pankow) has been experimenting on monkeys by injecting human brain tissue, and he decides to have the smartest of the bunch, Ella, trained as a helper for Allan. Unfortunately, Allan and Ella become very attached and she begins acting out Allan's innermost desires, usually having something to do with competitive females. His former girlfriend (Janine Turner), who leaves him for his doctor (Stanley Tucci), a nasty nurse (Christine Forrest), an overbearing mother (Joyce Van Patten) and the cute monkey trainer (Kate McNeil) all become targets for Ella's fangs. In one striking shot, Allan bites through his own lip and Ella licks the blood off; Romero frames it in a two shot with each occupying a half of the screen (and half the same persona). I could have done without the silly epilogue, and the picture doesn't really have any bone-chilling scares, but it's a tense, clever nail-biter nonetheless. Stephen Root co-stars as an evil scientist, and Geoffrey's nemesis.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Oldboy (2003)

This is amazing. Seriously one of the best films I have ever seen. From the action scenes to the general plot. There are no faults. Oh Dae-su is fucking badass.
Review from 1001 films you must see before you die:
 A superbly crafted tale of mysticism, poetry, school days, and a futuristic bedroom are only some of the wonders found in Oldboy. A thriller that hinges on Oedipal taboos and blind destiny, part psychological thriller-opened Korean cinema to more viewers than any other film. The story is more direct and compelling than the director's popular previous film, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. A man is imprisoned for 15 years without an explanation. Upon escape, he must find his kidnapper in only 5 days.

Such is the explosive beginning of Oldboy, Korean director Chan-Wook Par's violent, elegiac masterpiece, itself based on a Japanese manga cartoon by Garon Tsuchiya. Actor Choi Min-sik, who performed his own stunts, trained rigorously for his role as hapless kidnap victim Oh Dae-su, a man who escapes his windowless prison by ingeniously digging through a skyscraper wall into thin air. Once free, he vows for revenge, Monte Cristo-style, against his kidnapper who has effectively robbed him of his daughter, his wife, and his life. Now a ragged fighting machine who resembles a Korean Charles Bronson in a fright wig. Oh Dae-su is befriended by a beautiful sushi chef (Gang Hye-jung), whom he engages by eating a live squid then passing out, face down, on the counter. Such is the knockdown, drag-out style of Oldboy. However complex the tale, it is underpinned by a logic that unfolds clearly, easily incorporating the film's various flashbacks. Made in a pace that sometimes leaves one breathless but also which leaves room for thought, Oldboy's choreographed fight scenes are both innovative and surprising-and all of the violence serves the plot. Despite its brutality, it is, ultimately, a black comedy that deftly rolls elements of mob thriller and vengeance mystery all in one. After winning the Grand Prix du Jury at Cannes in 2004, the director stunned the audience by thanking the cast and crew, then thanking the four squid who gave up their lives for the vivid sushi bar scene.
It can be found for download here in the movie section:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010