I Saw The Devil: revenge at any cost

Soo-hyeon unaware at the cannibal's home

Min-shik Choi is back as the psycho killer in the murder-thriller I Saw The Devil. Min-shik’s character, Kyung-chul is cold, ruthless and deceptive. In the opening scene Kyung-chul is seen assisting a young woman with a flat tire. Soo-hyeon, the fiancé of the woman in the car talks with her on the phone as she waits for a tow truck. She begins to get suspicious when Kyung-chul ominously hangs outside her car window. He strikes with brutal swiftness with a hammer, knocking her out. Later he drags her back to his kill-house where he hacks her up despite her calls for mercy.

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Hollywood gearing up for this year’s Academy Awards

The Kodak Theatre in Hollywood

This year’s Academy Awards will be presented by two of American cinema’s biggestpranksters, Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis who just recently finished shooting for the film The Campaign. Ferrell and Galifianakis are just two joining many big names hosting this year, to include Halle Berry, Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Tom Hanks, Milla Jovovich, Chris Rock, Ben Stiller and Emma Stone.

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The Housemaid lacks originality, reinforces stereotypes of Korean society

Jeon Do-yeon and Lee Jung-jae in 'The Housemaid'

A shy young woman gets hired to become a wealthy Korean family’s maid.

Very quickly Eun-yi (the maid played by Do-yeon Jeon) finds her way into the good graces of the head of the household. The man’s wife is pregnant with twins, and is unable to please him sexually. The man begins to get ideas about the maid that he just hired. One night he comes down, and begins to fondle Eun-yi. Hesitantly, the maid gives in and appears to enjoy their clandestine sexual activities. Early on, the older, more experienced maid becomes suspicious and catches on to the affair. Meanwhile the maid begins to develop an especially close relationship with the couples’ daughter.

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The Grey: a story about the inevitability of death, and the importance of self reliance

Liam Neeson in 'The Grey'

Liam Neeson’s performance in The Grey was unparalleled.

Though the story starts out somewhat like a would-be typical Hollywood flick following the done-to-death ‘great adventure’ scenario; the film actually incorporates many elements that would be more typical in an art house film, than in a Hollywood blockbuster. Furthermore, the film leaves the viewer with a somewhat ambivalent feeling about what the true intent of the film is. The most apparent theme appears to be triumph-over-evil. However, the dynamics are a little different in this piece from a regular triumph-over-evil scenario. The Grey depicts men who, even when the odds are stacked against them, and the chance of winning is nearly zero, continue to fight. This is a classic recurring theme in many Chinese fables. Though there is nothing that overtly indicates that that is where the plot was derived from.

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Max Manus

Max Manus (right)

Max Manus, at a seemingly modest production price of 55 million kroner[1] (ca. 9.6 million dollars), is the most expensive film ever produced in Norwegian history. Though this might not sound like much money, for a country with a mere five million citizens that’s an unheard of amount of money to go towards the production of a film. The quality in production and aesthetically pleasing screenplay appear to merit the budget, not to mention twelve accolades for everything from best actress to best film.[2] The filming style is somewhat reminiscent of that used in Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, and many of the imitation films which followed. The film was largely regarded as a great triumph for directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, with an estimated 25% of the entire Norwegian population having screened the film.[3]

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Paradise Murdered. Kim Han-Min’s fruitless success.

Paradise Murdered Movie Poster

The year is 1986.

On an isolated island off the coast of the Korean mainland, lies a small secluded establishment. The island is rocky, steep, and often surrounded by a heavy fog which makes travel to and from the island problematic.

There are 17 villagers. The friendly inhabitants range in age from young to old, but they all have one thing in common; their strongly held superstitions.

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Munich, a pacifist treatise or simply a depiction of history?

Mathieu Kassovitz and Eric Bana

The film opens with the angled view of a tall metal gate. It’s night-time and a group of men in athletic uniforms are trying to climb over the fence. It is then that they are interrupted by drunken American athletes who joke around with them and ask them if they speak English. After a moment of returning awkward looks, it becomes clear that these men do not speak English, and they assist the men over the gate. These men in athletic uniforms were actually a group of terrorists, preparing to orchestrate an attack which would later become known as the “Munich Murders” which took place in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

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