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Parasite (review)

Parasite (review)

The Park family is struggling financially, when the son gets a job teaching English to the daughter of the rich Kim family. In a short time, he brings his parents and sister to work for them…then things take a very dark turn. The film is a bit slow in the first 3rd (maybe straining to make sure the financial inequality theme is clear), but once the twists start, it departs into unexpected areas (literally and figuratively). Director Bong Joon Ho (best known for Snowpiercer) continues to showcase his skills at creating unique and disturbing storytelling. The combo of humor, suspense and violence lends this film an intelligent, yet visceral quality that’s sure to stimulate and surprise. (Korean with subtitles)

 

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

 

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Joker (review)

Joker (review)

Joaquin Phoenix is the latest prominent actor to put their twisted spin on the Batman villain.This version takes a look into the genesis of the notorious psychopath. He works as a clown by day, while aspiring to be a stand-up comic. Many blows (both physical and mental) conspire to create the twisted soul that evolves. Phoenix goes all out, creating a creepy character without much empathy. More important, this film is a profile of a disturbed mind, not the typical DC Comic adventure. There’s no “action” and a few flashes of violence, but MANY more moments of the actor working hard for his Oscar. Unfortunately, the movie’s script and overall vibe downgrade it from being brilliant or even mildly compelling to mostly insufferable.

 

2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)

 

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Downton Abbey (review)

Downton Abbey (review)

Fans of the TV series will swoon over the sumptuous big screen spectacle featuring the lovely estate and the equally luxurious costumes. The flurry of activity revolves around the preparation and visit of the King and Queen. The whole upstairs/downstairs gang has returned and almost every one of them gets a subplot that neatly ties up their story (almost a bit too tidy for my taste). The dialogue is typically crisp and the scenes are characteristically brief…keeping the pacing up and the complexity down. Without backstory explanations, Downton “virgins” are liable to be confused about the relationships , but they’ll still be able to enjoy this elegant period excursion.

 

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

 

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