Monday, November 20, 2017

Film Review—Tokyo Videos of Horror: Panic Collection

Tokyo Videos of Horror: Panic Collection (Review)
Japan/Date Unknown
Format Viewed for Review: Amazon Video
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes

"Despite its short runtime, it left a much stronger impression than most big-budget, feature-length films in the subgenre."

An anthology of short found-footage horror from the Tokyo Videos of Horror series.

Tokyo Videos of Horror: Panic Collection is an introduction/compilation of short movies from the Tokyo Videos of Horror series—a series I'm not actually familiar with. However, aside from the found-footage style, it did remind me of another great anthology series: Tales of Terror from Tokyo. The first story in this film follows a small film crew who enter an abandoned hotel to play with a Ouija board. The second story follows a couple who are lighting fireworks at the beach when they're interrupted by the voice of a child. And, the third story follows two friends who decide to visit their old middle school before it gets demolished, but, of course, they also run into trouble. Although the second and third stories are very similar, I enjoyed all of them.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Film Review—Friend 2: The Great Legacy (2013)

Friend 2: The Great Legacy (Review)
South Korea/2013
Format Viewed for Review: DramaFever
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...it's still an adequate crime film—you'll find plenty of shady deals, brawls, and violence—but it's not the sequel it could have been."

Seventeen years after the events of the first movie, Lee Joon-suk (Yu Oh-seung) is released from prison after serving time for ordering the assassination of his friend.

Friend 2: The Great Legacy is often a hit-or-miss film. The plot is a follow-up to the 2001 crime classic. You should definitely watch the original film before this. The story follows Lee Joon-suk, who is serving time for his friend's assassination. As he prepares to leave, we're introduced to Choi Sung-hoon (Kim Woo-bin), a young man who has fallen to a life of crime after living a troubled childhood. Sung-hoon ends up in the same jail as Joon-suk, so, at the request of Sung-hoon's mother, Joon-suk takes the young man under his wing. However, all is not well beyond the prison walls. When he's released Joon-suk finds that his subordinate has taken control of his gang. So, together, Joon-suk and Sun-hoon set out to set things straight. It leads to an underwhelming climax. The ending is compelling, though.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Film Review—Léon: The Professional (1994)

Léon: The Professional (Review)
France/1994
Format Viewed for Review: Amazon Video
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...a stylish, action-packed thriller with compelling characters and relationships."

Léon (Jean Reno), a highly-skilled assassin, reluctantly takes in Mathilda (Natalie Portman), a twelve-year-old girl, after her family is murdered.

Léon: The Professional is a unique experience. The plot is simple on the surface, but the characters and their authentic relationships truly shine. The story follows Léon, a professional assassin—the best in town, in fact. When he's not out killing for the mob, Léon lives a lonely, unrooted life. His life changes after the family of his neighbor, Mathilda, is slaughtered by a group of corrupt DEA agents led by Norman Stansfield (Gary Oldman). Instead of abandoning her, he reluctantly takes her in and begins teaching her the way of the assassin. But, just as he changes her life, she changes his. The film leads to an action-packed climax and a compelling ending.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Film Review: The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)

The Slumber Party Massacre (Review)
United States/1982
Format Viewed for Review: Amazon Video
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes

"It does nothing to differentiate itself from the rest of the genre, but it works."

An escaped mental patient with a drill crashes a high school slumber party, hell-bent on killing everyone.

There isn't much to say about the plot in The Slumber Party Massacre. The story follows a group of high school girls who throw a slumber party. Of course, some guys crash the party, too. All is well until an escaped mental patient arrives at the party and starts picking them off, one-by-one. Meanwhile, Valerie, a new student at the school, spends time with her sister at their house next door, blissfully unaware of the carnage at the slumber party. That's it. What else is there to say, really? The climax was good and the ending was decent.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Film Review: No Mercy (2010)

No Mercy (Review)
South Korea/2010
Format Viewed for Review: DramaFever
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"It is dark, gritty, and relentless."

A forensic specialist is forced to aid a suspected killer in order to rescue his daughter from his clutches...

No Mercy follows forensic specialist Kang Min-ho (Sol Kyung-gu). As he waits for his daughter to arrive in South Korea from the United States, Min-ho is called upon to aid in the investigation of a young woman's murder. This woman, found at a local river, is found dismembered and decapitated. Thanks to the work of Min-ho and rookie cop Min Seo-young (Han Hye-jin), the crime is tracked to environmental activist Lee Sung-ho (Ryoo Seung-bum). Sung-ho happily confesses to the crime, too. However, after Sung-ho's capture, Min-ho finds his daughter has gone missing—and Sung-ho is responsible. So, in order to save his daughter, Min-ho must save Sung-ho. Don't worry, most of this little summary occurs during the first act, but I won't spoil anything else anyway. It's a film where the less you know, the better it is. It leads to a great ending, too.