Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chaplin (Para-Review)

Absolutely Love this film! A stunning, and unforgettable look into the life of one of films great treasures! One of the best acting performances I have ever seen period, and Downey Jr.'s best work for sure. I love the way the story is told using dictated flashbacks, and incorporating actual Chaplin films instead of trying to recreate. This works so well because Downey Jr. has an uncanny resemblance to the real man when in the Little Tramp character. Great supporting cast, including Charlie Chaplin’s actual daughter Geraldine who plays his mother in the film. All this wraps up with a truly wonderful ending that would bring a tear to anyone’s eye!

A Film by: Richard Attenborough

Monday, September 13, 2010

Titanic II

Well, after months of anticipation I finally get to watch Titanic II.

I love cheesy straight to video/tv movies, sometimes it's fun to watch poorly animated monsters terrorize poorly acted people. Or see what poor production quality can turn out, and of course the one D- list actor who is the "star power" of the film, but couldn't get a job at a craft service table on a real Hollywood set. However despite the potential of a film called Titanic II, it even failed to be a " fun bad movie" and was just bad.

Written, directed, and starring Dick Van Dykes grandson Shane, the film itself is more of a disaster then the ship crash It's portraying. There is no character development beyond our main star(that's saying alot) the story is just a total mess, there is no build up at al to get any attachment to the ship itself which in the end is nothing more then a forgettable set piece( again, saying alot). The interior just make no sense. This is an ocean liner, and it has a high school gym, a shopping mall ,a long concrete stairwell, an infirmary that must only stock tape because when someone is injured, IN THE INFIRMARY, our hero decides taping his CREDIT CARD over the wound is the best course of action. But the highlight of the ship of course, an 8 story elevator!

The story is this, a dude drops a bottle of snow in Alaska, is causes ice to collapse which sends a large wave across the world and throws an iceberg, yes, throws and iceberg, a lone drifting iceberg, into the SS Titanic II on its maiden voyage during the 100th aniversary of the original, and it sinks. And yes the words " not again" are spoken thank you. Oh and it randomly explodes part way through the sinking and kills a bunch of "main" characters at once. Except the guy that punches the fire back...

So that's that. There is a film called " Titanic II" and yes it sometimes tries to mimic moments from james camerons Titanic, and laughably fails. This movie is also unwatchably bad,which is a shame because the idea could have been executed enough to be fun to watch and make fun of, and though there was plenty to make fun of and laugh about afterwards, it was not fun to watch. It was rather painful! But unfortunately it also does one more thing. Destroys the Van Dyke legacy. Poor Grampy Dick!


A Film(?) by: Shane Van Dyke

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Arang is a Korean ghost story, so as expected you could probably watch it with an ‘Asian Horror Clichés Checklist’ and make a tick when you see; school girls getting haunted, check. Long haired little girl with wide creepy eyes, check. Some sort of bloody fluid oozing towards its victim, check. Long black hair growing out off walls or ceiling, check. and of course the ghost reflecting in pretty much every mirror in the film. Check. That said, Asian horror films will almost always share these qualities, and that’s not exactly a bad thing. Like any other genre of film they will always include their staple clichés that even though at this point most of the casual viewers will usually cry tired of them, if they didn’t have them they wouldn’t be the genre film that their fans want them to be. So is Arang a bad film? Not really, it just doesn’t bring anything new to the table that we haven’t seen before in Asian Ghost stories. In fact it’s one of the better ones I have seen in quite a while.

The film opens with two young students walking at night as we hear the tale of a haunted salt House, and as they approach said Salt House one of them spots a young girl standing alone, as she approaches her it is revealed that she is, a ghost! After some uneventful and disappointing opening scenes the story eventually begins to take shape as a group of twenty something young men, who happen to be friends start turning up dead. Killed by what appears to be toxic chemical killing them from the inside. Assigned to the case, and returning from a recent suspension is a young female detective (Song Yoon-ah), who finds herself paired up with a recently transferred young crime scene photographer (Lee Dong-wook). So now they must work together in their own unique ways, while fighting their own personal demons and figure out what is happening to these victims, and what happened to make these friends targets.

The back story is by far the best part of Arang, in fact the first hour or so tends to shuffle along at a pretty slow pace, with fairly common clue solving tactics and some seriously underwhelming scares that if you’ve watched at least one supernatural horror film in your life you will see coming much before they happen. But the conclusion and the final reveal is nothing short of brilliant! The final twist is fantastic, though it’s possible some might guess before hand, but I definitely didn’t!

A Film by: Ahn Sang-hoon