Friday, March 16, 2018

Film Review: Manhole (2014)

Manhole (Review)
South Korea/2014
Format Viewed for Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...suffers from mediocre execution..."

A serial killer, who uses the sewers of Seoul to kidnap his victims, captures a deaf 14-year-old girl while being tracked by her older sister.

Manhole starts off interesting. I like the concept: an unhinged serial killer uses the sewers to terrorize a neighborhood in Seoul. The plot follows four separate parties: Soo-chul (Jung Kyung-ho), the serial killer, sisters Yeon-seo (Jung Yu-mi) and Soo-jung (Kim Sae-ron), Jong-ho, a taxi driver who is searching for his missing daughter, and Pil-gyu, a clumsy policeman. After setting up the premise, Soo-chul ends up kidnapping Soo-jung. Yeon-seo, Jong-ho, and Pil-gyu—who were all following Soo-jung for separate reasons—end up entering the sewers through a manhole. From there, all of the characters basically run around while trying to save Soo-chul or while trying to figure out what's going on. Due to its repetitive formula, it does end up losing some steam during its second half. I liked the ending, though. I thought it was effective.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Film Review: Leatherface (2017)

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

" interesting origin story."

The story of Jedidiah Sawyer, a mentally-competent child who grows up to become a mentally-disturbed killer.

Leatherface is an origin story. The plot follows Jedidiah Sawyer, a fairly normal boy in a very strange and violent family. After helping his family kill the daughter of Hal Hartman (Stephen Doriff), an unhinged Texas Ranger, Jedidiah is taken from his family and sent away to a mental institution. Ten years later, Elizabeth White (Vanessa Grasse) begins working at that mental institution. She quickly forms a bond with patients Jackson (Sam Strike) and Bud. It turns out: the kids are given new names when they're admitted to the institution, so Jedidiah is amongst the bunch. After a while, a riot occurs in the facility, and a group of patients escapes and take Elizabeth hostage, which forces Hartman to pursue them. I enjoyed most of the story. The final act felt rushed—for want of a better word—but it offered a decent ending.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Film Review: Sleepless (2017)

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

"A lot of it seems phoned in, which is very disappointing."

A cop searches for his kidnapped son in a Las Vegas nightclub crawling with powerful drug dealers...

Sleepless follows Vincent Downs (Jamie Foxx), an LVMPD officer. Along with his partner Sean, Vincent robs an expensive shipment of cocaine belonging to nightclub owner Stanley Rubino, who planned on selling those drugs to a powerful mobster named Rob Novak (Scoot McNairy). Everything seems to be going well until Vincent's son is kidnapped by Rubino and he's forced to return the drugs. Unfortunately for Vincent, he is also being targeted by an annoying Infernal Affairs investigator, Jennifer Bryant (Michelle Monaghan), who interferes with the exchange and places Vincent's son in further danger. So, Vincent runs around the casino trying to save his son. It sounds like it has many twists and turns, but it's pretty predictable. Up to its end, it follows a very generic formula—you always know when a 'twist' is going to hit.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Film Review: Inception (2010)

Inception (Review)
United States/United Kingdom/2010
Format Viewed for Review: Vudu
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...a fantastic film on every level."

In order to win his freedom, a thief, who steals corporate secrets by infiltrating the subconscious of important targets, must plant an idea into the mind of a powerful CEO.

Inception is a fascinating film—whimsical, in a sense. I won't go too deep into the plot because it's a bit complex and it's better to watch this film without knowing everything about it beforehand. (I know, I'm almost a decade late in reviewing it, but I still won't spoil it.) The plot follows Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a professional thief who uses dream-sharing technology to steal valuable secrets. Dom lives his life on the run, but Saito (Ken Watanabe), a Japanese businessman, offers him the opportunity to return to his family if Dom plants an idea in a competitor's CEO. Although reluctant at first, Dom accepts the job and assembles his team, which includes Saito, Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Cobb's partner, Ariadne (Ellen Page), an architect, Eames (Tom Hardy), an 'identity thief,' and Yusuf, a chemist. Together, the team enters the subconscious of Robert Michael Fischer (Cillian Murphy), the heir to a business empire. It's a true thrill ride filled with an incredible attention to detail. It leads to a strong climax and a great, open-ended ending—it will keep you talking.