Archive for thriller

Outrage

Posted in Japanese Cinema with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2012 by Cristina Blackwater

Outrage – 2010

 

plot: The boss of a major crime syndicate orders his lieutenant to bring a rogue gang of drug traffickers in line, a job that gets passed on to his long-suffering subordinate. The plot concerns a struggle for power amongst Tokyo’s Yakuza clans, today just as likely to be playing the stock market as shaking down pachinko parlors, over which the Sanmo-kai clan holds sway in the face of constant betrayal and ever-changing allegiances. Sanmo-kai chairman Ototomo (played by Kitano himself) learns that his henchman Ikemoto has struck an alliance with the drug-dealing Murase family, and is not best pleased, to say the least. The ensuing retaliation triggers an orgy of killings, territorial invasions and score settling while law enforcement officers, too corrupt to intervene

 Kitano is fucking back with a vengeance. let’s all bow and thank the japanese film gods. after laying off the yakuza genre for nearly 10 years, master Takeshi Kitano brings us Outrage, once again starring himself as the main character. Outrage follows the ins and outs of Yakuza politics of revenge and atonement between bosses, brothers, and cohorts, and an unstoppable backstabbing bloody avalanche of awesome.

 

 

 

the winning recipe here is the ultra violence topped off with irresistible black humor. you gotta love it when the fatalities and horrible, blood filled yakuza situations you are presented with also make you let out an out loud chuckle or two. i mean there’s a reason why Tarantino loves this guy so much, right? right.

 

 

one way Outrage differs from Kitano’s other notorious yakuza movies, is that his character, and generally the story itself, lacks his distinctive outcast-inner struggle, the nuances in the people involved are put aside for a more straight forward kind of story telling, but after all, as Kitano remarked publicly about his making of Outrage, he is giving the people what they want – no pretense of artistic embellishments, but rather blunt, cruel acts of violence of the professional criminal devoid of any romanticism.

 

 

so sit back and enjoy the bloody ride, and then, if you’re hungry for more, remember this is the same guy who brought us masterpieces such as Brother, Hana-bi, and Boiling Point. it’s never too late for a good re-ash.

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Source Code

Posted in Sci-Fi Cinema with tags , , , , , on June 24, 2011 by Cristina Blackwater

Source Code – 2011

plot: When decorated soldier Captain Colter Stevens wakes up in the body of an unknown man, he discovers he’s part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train. In an assignment unlike any he’s ever known, he learns he’s part of a government experiment called the Source Code, a program that enables him to cross over into another man’s identity in the last 8 minutes of his life. With a second, much larger target threatening to kill millions in downtown Chicago, Colter re-lives the incident over and over again, gathering clues each time, until he can solve the mystery of who is behind the bombs and prevent the next attack.

hello there! long time no see! this time i’m not even gonna try to come up with an excuse for my long, way too long silence; i have none. i could tell you about how busy i was dividing my life between 3 different countries for the past few months but really, that’s not good enough. i got lazy. then my dearest friend Cherry gave me the great gift of a Little Otsu film diary et voilà, i was inspired to write again. here we go!

Source Code is a 2011 movie directed by Ducan Jones – for those of you who don’t know, he’s the very talented son of mr David Bowie and director of instant sci-fi cult movie Moon – and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan and Vera Farmiga. i was so sad when i first watched the trailer, because it made the movie look awful. luckily though, i found out that i’ve never seen anything more misleading! from said trailer, what you expect is a big budget, extremely boring action movie, like so, so many other Hollywood productions.. when in reality the movie is a really amazing.

Colter Stevens wakes up on train speaking to a woman called Christina (great name choice, btw!) who calls him Sean, and has no idea what is going on. he goes into a bathroom, looks in the mirror, and finds out that the image he is looking at is that of another man (Sean). a few  minutes later, the train bursts into flames

 

next, Stevens wakes up in a military capsule talking through a monitor to fellow soldier Goodwin. he then finds out that the accident he just experienced is a recent terrorist attack, that appears to be only the prologue to another, much bigger, one about to happen in the heart of Chicago. he also finds out to be assigned to an experimental project called Source Code, and that his mission is to go back in time and find the person responsible for the bombing. in order to do so, the program allows him to continuously relive the last 8 minutes of Sean’s life on the train to find the terrorist. kinda like Groundhog Day, but sci-fi thriller badass style.

As Stevens keeps going back to the train and keeps being blown up while tries to solve the case, he also kinda falls for the girl (Christina) and so this character is now burdened with approximately a million tasks: he has to save the day, save the world, be a good soldier,  save (and hopefully get) the girl, and keep the audience entertained the whole time. and does he manage to do so? yes, oh yes. this movie will keep your suspence level really high up there, and you will grab your seat, throw inanimate objects, and skip a romantic heart beat or two. success!

then there’s the whole parallel universe/sci-fi matter. basically, these people are already dead, and he only exists as Sean in the span of this 8 minute circuit frozen in time, and Goodwin, back at the military station, reminds him of this over and over, what happened happened and it can’t be changed.. but still, he wants to try to save them (but mostly the girl). i better not get into it in details, because i don’t want to spoil it too much. go watch it! watch it now!

 

if you have watched Moon and have completely, morbidly fallen in love with like i did (and if you didn’t.. what’s wrong with you??!) you know how tough of a follow-up Duncan Jones was left with in his hands. if i was him, and happened to release a masterpiece as my DEBUT feature film, i’d be scared shitless and probably never leave my room again, knowing that nothing i could ever do in life would be an inch as good as that. luckily though, Zowie Bowie has talent for days, and probably centuries, and was able to give Moon not only a worthy successor, but a spectacularly good one. god, i love this kid. i hope he makes as many movies as Takashi Miike. a girl can dream………

 

 

 

Running Wild

Posted in K Cinema with tags , , , , , , on July 1, 2009 by Cristina Blackwater

Running Wild (Ya-Su) – 2005

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From KMDB: JANG Do-young is a hot-blooded homicide detective who has lost faith in the law. OH Jin-woo is an elite prosecutor who stands in opposition to JANG in that there’s nothing but the law in which he can believe. However, learning that they’re running after the same target, the two men decide to team up. As they get deeper into the investigation, a huge conspiracy awaits them, in which YOO Kang-jin, boss of the Kuryong Family, is involved. Feeling threatened, YOO blackmails JANG’s family and pulls strings to get OH off the case. Now an unavoidable battle begins between two men and the kingpin of the criminal world.

Running Wild is a 2005 movie directed by Kim Sung-Soo, who is said to be Park Chan-Wook‘s protegé. The story revolves around two characters, Yoo Ji-Tae (Oldboy, Into the Mirror) as OH, and Kwon Sang-Woo as Jang. Like every good korean drama, we are presented a scenario where the glass is already half empty, both the characters are going through rough times (Oh’s wife wants divorce and Jang’s mother is on her death bed) and as they start their battle against a gangster boss turned politician , they inevitably end up fighting against the whole system itself, a system made of corruption, and the tragedy that comes with approaching it.

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The movie is slow paced, but the ending is worth the wait. Unlike most movies of this genre, it’s more focused on beatings rather than gunplay, which is definitely a plus in my books (you can never have enough koreans wearing suits and brutally beating people while covered in blood). The most interesting character is of course Yoo Ji-Tae‘s, his on screen presence is always outstanding and his tormented look pierces the screen every time he engages in dark, cynical roles.

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I promised you all korean movies involving Park Chan Wook‘s favorite actors until we can finally watch THIRST (only one month until american release!!), hence the reason behind this review. My favorite part is the photography, which is noir, dark, and more in general just beautiful. If you’re looking for brutality, action, and breathtaking plot twists, this is not a movie for you. But if you liked The Chaser, and more in general if you’re a fan of police thrillers, and satirical attacks against the system, you’re going to really enjoy it.