Monday, January 29, 2018

Film Review: Cannibal Farm (2017)

Cannibal Farm (aka Escape from Cannibal Farm) (Review)
United Kingdom/2017
Format Viewed for Review: Google Movies
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...a mishmash of good and bad ideas."

In the British countryside, a vacationing family is captured and tortured by a vengeful farmer and his deformed son.

Cannibal Farm follows the Harver family: Wesley Wallace, the stern step-dad, Katherine Harver, the nonchalant mother, Toby Harver, the smart-mouthed eighteen-year-old son, Sam Harver, the youngest son, and Jessica Harver (Kate Davies-Speak) and her boyfriend Kurt, who really need money from Wesley and Katherine. This family goes on vacation across the British countryside, trying to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city—to a place without stress or technology. However, at night, their trip is quickly sabotaged. The group ends up at the Hansen farm where Hunt Hansen and his deformed son are farming people. The plot then starts to throw an endless barrage of pointless twists, hoping that something sticks—and most of them don't. It leads to a predictable and underwhelming ending.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Film Review: The Himalayas (2015)

The Himalayas (Review)
South Korea/2015
Format Viewed for Review: Amazon Video
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes

"I enjoyed it for what it offered: a genuine experience."

The story of Um Hong-gil (Hwang Jung-min), a renowned mountaineer who climbs Everest in order to retrieve the bodies of his late junior climbers.

The Himalayas is the true story of Um Hong-gil. Off the bat, the film warns you that some events have been changed for the sake of dramatization—I like that. The plot primarily follows Um Hong-gil as he mentors Park Moon-taek (Jung Woo), a junior climber, and his friend Park Jeong-bok. Along with the rest of the team, Hong-gil climbs several mountains in hopes of reaching 16 peaks. His run is cut short due to problems with his leg, so Moon-taek becomes the leader of his own team. At this point, which is around halfway through the movie, the movie becomes a bit more predictable. You'll know exactly where every scene is headed. It's not the biggest flaw, the film based on real events after all, but it does cause the film to lose some steam. It leads to a strong climax and ending, though.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Film Review: It (2017)

It (Review)
United States/2017
Format Viewed for Review: VUDU
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...one of the most exciting and enjoyable horror movies of the decade so far."

In Derry, Maine, a group of kids known as the "Losers' Club" fight against a shapeshifting monster who has been terrorizing their city for generations...

It, also known as It: Chapter One, is an adaptation of Stephen King's It. The film follows the Losers' Club, which consists of its original members, Bill (Jaeden Lieberher), Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer), Richie (Finn Wolfhard), and Stan, and their new friends, Bev (Sophie Lillis), Ben, and Mike. After the death of his younger brother, Georgie, Bill and his friends begin seeing horrific visions of their greatest fears orchestrated by a shapeshifting entity known as "It" or, in his clown form, Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgård). The kids eventually band together and try to fight their worst fears, but it's harder than it seems. There's no point in ruining this classic story—you've either read the extremely popular book, watched the original adaptation, or you've already watched this. Anyway, the climax was a mixed bag for me—I liked it, don't get me wrong, but it was a little underwhelming. The ending was ultimately good and it left me excited for the next chapter.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Film Review: Broken (2014)

Broken (Review)
South Korea/2014
Format Viewed for Review: Google Movies
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...a suspenseful, thrilling, and compelling movie."

A father hunts the teenagers responsible for his daughter's tragic death while being pursued by the police.

Broken follows Lee Sang-hyeon (Jung Jae-young), a widower who lives with his fifteen-year-old daughter, Su-jin. One night, Su-jin is abducted and raped, and her body is left in an abandoned bathhouse. Sang-hyeon is devastated by the news. After receiving an anonymous text message with information on the culprits, Sang-hyeon decides to take matters into his own hands. He discovers that a group of teenagers raped and killed his daughter—and they recorded the whole thing. Unable to control his anger, he begins hunting the suspects to exact his revenge. Meanwhile, Jang Eok-gwan (Lee Sung-min), the detective investigating the case, tracks Sang-hyeon in hopes of stopping him before things spiral out of control. It leads to a strong climax and a great ending.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Film Review: Dunkirk (2017)

Dunkirk (Review)
United Kingdom/United States/France/Netherlands/2017
Format Viewed for Review: Google Movies
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...one of the most suspenseful films I've watched in a while."

During World War II, allied soldiers are pushed to the shores of Dunkirk and forced to evacuate as the German Army surrounds them.

Dunkirk tells the story of the evacuation of Dunkirk. The plot primarily follows three parties. Tommy (Fionn Whitehead), a young British private, meets Gibson, a soldier who is burying a friend in the beach. While attempting to evacuate, Tommy rescues Alex, another soldier. Together, the three young men attempt to escape Dunkirk by any means necessary. In the sea, civilian vessels are requisitioned by the Royal Navy. Mr. Dawson takes his vessel, along with his son and their teenage friend, to Dunkirk to help in the evacuation. And, in the air, three pilots, including Farrier (Tom Hardy), head to France. The film leads to a strong climax and a great ending.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Film Review: The Neon Demon (2016)

The Neon Demon (Review)
France/Denmark/United States/2016
Format Viewed for Review: Amazon Video
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"It's a visual masterpiece, but a lackluster cinematic experience."

Sixteen-year-old Jesse (Elle Fanning) moves to Los Angeles to pursue a career in modeling, but she quickly becomes the target of lust, envy, and her own narcissism.

The Neon Demon is rich in beauty and symbolism while lacking plot and character. The film follows Jesse, a young aspiring model who moves to Los Angeles from small-town Georgia. She begins her career as a humble model working with Dean, a photographer she met online. Despite her lack of experience, Jesse is signed to an agency, but she's told to pretend she's nineteen—and so she does. She quickly rises through the ranks as photographers are attracted to her natural body and her innocence. She also attracts the dangerous attention of other models. And... there really isn't much more to summarize. It leads to a decent climax and an interesting ending.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Film Review: Inside Men (2015)

Inside Men (Review)
South Korea/2015
Format Viewed for Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...it is engaging, suspenseful, gruesome, and incredibly entertaining."

A political henchman seeks vengeance after being betrayed by his bosses while a prosecutor attempts to link all of the pieces.

Inside Men is a film with a lot of pieces. The plot follows the corrupted relationships between politicians, media, and gangsters in South Korea. Ahn Sang-goo (Lee Byung-hun) is a gangster who works for Jang Pil-woo, a presidential candidate with criminal ties—obviously. Sang-goo also has a relationship with influential newspaper editor Lee Kang-hee (Baek Yoon-sik), who also works with Pil-woo. So, when Sang-goo finds compromising evidence against Pil-woo, Kang-hee informs his partners and Sang-goo is brutally punished. You keeping up? Okay, well, there's more. In the midst of it all is Woo Jang-hoon (Jo Seung-woo), a prosecutor who is struggling to climb the ladder of success due to a lack of connections. Jang-hoo wants to catch Pil-woo and Sang-goo is hell-bent on vengeance. This is just the first thirty minutes or so of the film, by the way. There is much more going on—and it's mostly fantastic. It leads to a strong ending.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Film Review: Blade of the Immortal (2017)

Blade of the Immortal (Review)
Japan/2017
Format Viewed for Review: Google Movies & TV
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...imagine the grittiness of 13 Assassins blended with the unique characters of a manga or anime and this is what you get."

After the murder of her father, Rin Asano (Hana Sugisaki) seeks vengeance and asks Manji (Takuya Kimura), an immortal samurai, to serve as her bodyguard.

Blade of the Immortal begins by introducing Manji, a talented samurai. After murdering a corrupt lord and his bodyguards, Manji finds himself surrounded by a hundred bounty hunters. The leader kills his sister, which leads to a legendary battle where Manji kills all of them. In the process, Manji is gravely injured. However, he is 'saved' by Yaobikuni, a mysterious woman who implants sacred bloodworms into his body, granting him immortality. Fast forward fifty years: Rin Asano's family is attacked by Kagehisa Anotsu (Sōta Fukushi) and his group, the Ittō-ryū. Rin seeks vengeance, so she convinces Manji to help her—and so he does. They set out to defeat Anotsu and his gang. There is a lot more to the story, this film is based on a manga after all, but I think that's enough of a summary from me. Hopefully it captured your attention because the plot is interesting. It leads to a bloody climax and a great ending.