Tag Archives: prostitute

Natural City: The Sci-Fi Korean Drama

I really didn’t know what to expect when I started watching this movie. What I wasn’t expecting was the formulaic Korean drama. What do I mean by that? Simple.

A Korean drama is one in which a couple in love usually has one of the lovers die in a horrendously heart wrenching way. This leaves the other lover alone to mourn and deal with all their feelings. This is a sci-fi film about cyborgs, androids, and

The picturesque cityscape really stands out in this film.

humans and a plot to bring down the futuristic city from within. I had no idea the Koreans could incorporate such a soap opera-y plot into such a steampunk film. Good on ’em for that one.

So “R” (Yoo Ji-tae) is a policeman in a futuristic society in which people can’t tell humans apart from androids and cyborgs. There’s a distinct difference though. Androids were never human; cyborgs have been outfitted with a cybernetic chip that controls and

Blood and love. All in one.

helps them function. R is one of those rogue cops who never follows the rules and does his own kickass thing. After botching up a destruction mission at a local processing plant, R must reconcile with the consequences.

R has fallen in love with a table dancing cyborg. Ria (Seo Lin) has but a few days left to live, and this film follows R’s decisions into how to save her from decimation. He finds salvation in an orphaned prostitute named Cyon (Lee Jae-eun), and finds that her existence is also in the interest of the androids attempting to use human DNA for some nefarious purpose. With the strange Cypher (Jeong Doo-hong) on the loose, R and the police force must find their own means to an end.

The look and feel of the film is very 1980’s Bladerunner feel. Yoo Ji-tae functions as a suave and gritty Harrison Ford,

Damn it, gotta love those views.

patrolling the streets for his own personal gain. There’s not much to speak of with character development on the side of the androids or cyborgs, but the presence of these untraceable electronic beings is a frightening concept. They can knock a man’s leg clean off with one punch for God sakes! Never thought I’d see that kind of special effect in my life.

Tell me that’s not Bladerunner, right?

The guns are clunky, the special effects and digital graphics are dated (even for 2003), but I liked the storyline all the same. It was more of an artsy film than anything else, and it was all about the feels. The emotional range required for understanding this movie from start to finish is not for the weak willed. It has undertones of dystopian elements, and questions just exactly what it means to be human. The ending is long and tragic, and is obviously created to pull at the heartstrings of those who watch it. It got me there towards the end, and I’d love to know what other people thought of it who saw it. Good or not? Let me know!

I’ve always liked Yoo Ji-tae (I hope I’m not spelling that incorrectly…) since I saw him in Oldboy, and I find his acting

A bit of fighting for the action fans.

style to be brutal at the same time that he is a fragile human being, just like the rest of us. This pretty boy can pack a punch with his acting, and I’d advise watching out. He just might lay you out on your back.

All the feels.

There’s no true way to describe what/how to take anything away from this movie. It’s one of those seeing and believing situations where you just have to watch it and attempt to understand what the movie is throwing at you. I’m not entirely sure what I was shown in this movie and if I even got it. So just check it out for yourself, especially if you’re always ready for a melodramatic cry. It’s a good one for that. 7.2 out of 10.

Advertisements

The Killer Inside Me (2010)

IFC films has brought to my attention another great film I would have otherwise missed. The Killer Inside Me is a gruesomely depicted film, void of emotion, that really showed off how well Casey Affleck could act. Better than his brother, but that’s not hard to imagine. A lot of things struck me in the slowly paced film noir (reminded me of the South’s version of L.A. Noire) about a man spiraling out of control that I wasn’t expecting. You think he was made a killer out of happenstance. You learn something frighteningly different.

Lou Ford (Casey Affleck) is a well to do sheriff in a small podunk town. He’s called out one day to a run down house outside of town in order to force a well known prostitute to abandon her position there. What

A ridiculously twisted performance.

happens is something you wouldn’t expect. This nice boy is smacked across the face and forced to leave. But he finds love, and pain, in the prostitute he brutally beats back. In a sadomasochistic love affair, Lou and Joyce (Jessica Alba) hatch a plan with unexpected drawbacks.

A twisted love affair.

What blew me away in this film was in fact Casey Affleck’s performance. Whenever you are introduced to a character in a film, especially the main character, you want that person to wow you. They’re the person you’ll most likely be following the entire film. And when a character like this who is seen as so traditionally brutal and evil, without an emotion on his face, somewhere inside you wants to root for them. You become so wrapped up in a good actor’s performance that you don’t wanna see it end with them getting caught.

There were some other great appearances in this film as well. The classic Ned Beatty makes an appearance as the rich

Podunk Noir.

villain, Chester Conway. From the outset of the movie, you think he’s the bad guy. But how little you know… Tom Bower from my favorite horror movie, The Hills Have Eyes, makes a great minor role player as the head Sheriff Bob Maples. His southern drawl and terrible drinking problem made him a great comedic relief at times. Elias Koteas, one of those standard character actors makes an appearance as the union leader, Joe Rothman. Ever since I first laid eyes on his acting, I realized Koteas can slip into anyone’s skin and make it seem natural. And Bill Pullman makes a great cameo towards the end as a lawyer. I had a little chuckle with that.

Always gotta look… sharp.

I think what upset a lot of people about this movie (confirmed by Wiki, as usual), is the violence towards women. All of Lou Ford’s sexual interests is beaten to death or near death throughout the film by him. It is in fact hard to watch, but it wouldn’t be a movie about a killer if he never did anyone in… What disturbed me more, personally, is the belt strangling Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson, more than the punches and bruises. The perverse and weird that is meant for behind closed doors, flaunted on camera, and no one mentioned that as a point of discomfort? Oh wait, sex is art and violence in movies is inexcusable… I get the double standard… So where does violent sex acts stand?

This movie, at its core, for me, was about a man losing control of his life. He was a normal person, with some major

Whatcha doing there, Alba?

developmental bumps along the way. He thought becoming a police officer would set him on the right track, but he grew bored. He needed the excitement of the extraordinary and the ability to get away with it as a cop gave him his high. Up until the very end, he felt he could get

Watch the world burn.

away with it. When all was said and done, he still kept his cool and let the world burn around him. It was an eerie film to witness, but made all the more interesting by its brutality and poetic separation from humanity.

If you’ve played L.A. Noire, or love noir films, you have to check this movie out. It breaks away from the genre and sets itself apart as a twisted version of what it sets out to do. It may have upset people who didn’t want to see it, but it may just be right for you to see. Let me know what you think. 9.1 out of 10.


Cyberbu//y: I CAN’T GET THE CAP OFF

Are you crying from watching this horrid movie on Youtube, Emily Osment?

You may be alarmed at the use of capitalization in the heading for this review. But what you should be more alarmed about is the content of this movie. In an effort to stop the gross amount of cyberbullying that has gone on in the past decade, Cyberbu//y the movie was created.  And instead of raising my awareness and sympathy for the cause, this movie took the whole movement quite a few steps back. At least, from a cinematic perspective.

So Taylor Hillridge (Emily Osment) is a typical high schooler. Stigmatized by Hannah Montana she may be, but normal all the same. She has two rad friends, Samantha (Kay Panabaker) and Cheyenne (Meaghan Rath).  One’s a fellow Disney channel star, the other, a sexy ghost on Syfy. Word.

Then, oh my god! Taylor gets a laptop for her birthday. I find it funny they never indulge her age, but hey, Meaghan Rath is 25…  What’s the first thing you do when you get your own personal computer? Apply to a Faceobook rip-off website that asks you what color your underwear is. And also doesn’t allow you to block unwanted friends. Sounds like a plan.

Is that the Xbox symbol? What?!?

So Taylor does so and unfortunately enters the world of cyberbullying. With a simple use of “bitch”, Taylor is relentlessly assaulted by one of the ugliest popular girls I have ever seen in my life. If there’s someone who should have been relentlessly bully beaten, it was this girl. If they were going for the ugly girl you have to hate because they think they’re pretty, then they hit the nail on the head. Either way, don’t hire Nastassia Markiewicz.

Her mother had all the opportunities in the world to delete her "Cliquesters..."

How many sentences can I use to tell just how horribly inaccurate and coarse this movie was? Yes, it was a movie for ABC Family T.V., but this movie barely scratched the surface on the harshness of teenagers. All those hormones flying around and the best they could do is talk about STD’s and pregnancy? Two things that would be self-evident the second the person showed up at school. But no, I must withhold my judgment. This is a harsher time, a worse off place in this magical land of ABC wonderment. No real world problems are dealt with here. The entire movie my head was full of evil retorts that could’ve been used to right the situation. Oh, the audacity.

I don’t wanna spoil every scene of ridiculousness in this movie (anything that Jon McLaren does as Scott is worthy of this) but there are quite a few. So I’ll just show this:

Now, my idea is to take every character, in a viral video I’d love to make, and recast all the characters. In this short video, I’d have every character, every time they have trouble or become sad, and have them have to deal with a pill bottle. Because what this film has taught me is that for some uneducated suicidal teens, pill bottle caps save lives. And I will use this ridiculous scene from the movie to illustrate that.

This girl wanted to get even. The other kid was a fruit.

What more is there to say about this? This movie is based on a girl who did kill herself after cyberbullying. Where’s the HBO version of this? Why doesn’t the girl succeed and they continue with the effects her death has on the family? This movie just didn’t roll on the issue as hard as it should have. I wanted some bullying that was worth dying over. Not some viral video of a girl with a bag on her head pretending to be a prostitute. Not to advocate any of this, but sometimes it takes a Holocaust proportion example to move people’s awareness. Just saying, not to be a horrid person.

A disgusting plate of horridness.

But let’s move past the issue. The acting, for the most part, was actually okay. Other than Scott. That kid needs to quit acting altogether. But yes, for the most part, the acting was accurate. But where it fell short was that this was 2011 film that struggled to keep up with a changing teen scene. It was stuck back in Myspace when people have moved on to Facebook. The pettiness has become more frightening. It’s fierce, and the lingo lacked luster. The situation seemed vague to encapsulate a teenager’s life, and the melodrama of a Lifetime movie shone through. Unfortunate and ruinous in the end.

So watch this if you have no idea what the internet is. Watch this if you like Disney channel. Just don’t watch this if you want to be moved and informed on the topic of cyberbullying. Actually, scratch that. Watch it for the humor because of its downfall. It falls hard. 4.1 out of 10.

For shame, if only Haley Joel knew...