Author Archives: ochippie

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Movie Review – Equilibrium

Category : Movie Review

Director: Kurt Wimmer

Starring: Christian Bale, Taye Diggs, Angus Macfadyen

Year: 2002

If you were looking for a knock off version of The Matrix starring a better actor but directed by someone with no taste, look no further than Equilibrium, the poor man’s dystopia where everything is stupid.  Had this film not starred Christian Bale, it would either be the most ridiculed movie in history or completely dismissed without a ripple to show it ever existed; it’s his presence, combined with that patented Matrix feel, that got audiences in their seats.  That he’s a better actor than Keanu Reeves isn’t even debatable, but his talent wasn’t enough to propel Equilibrium out of the sewers and into the light, since its story was stolen and its director was pathetic.  No, this movie should have been forgotten or never seen at all, or else mocked until its dying day; it’s bleak-future sci-fi at its very worst, and that’s a long drop.

War has been cancelled.  Crime has been eliminated.  The hate that drove us apart has been removed, thanks to a powerful new regime that preaches calm above all things.  The only price; your feelings about anything.  In fact, feelings are illegal, you are not allowed to sense anything beyond the most basic, physical stimuli.  No love, no art, no tears, no emotion, and so no problems, right?  Yet there are still those who insists on feeling, and on refusing to take their hourly drug dose, an injection that dumbs down all desires, until almost the entire populace is a docile herd.  It’s John Preston’s job to hunt down those who defy the law on feeling, and he’s a highly-trained killing machine, a priest for a modern age where guns have replaced crosses as the symbol of ultimate good.  That is, until he begins to have emotions himself, a turn of events that leads him down the path to personal freedom and public execution.

The Matrix combined with Gattaca and any dystopian book you ever read in a high school English class, Equilibrium is only outdone in its blatant thievery by its crappy, crappy delivery.  It even has a shootout scene among a hall of pillars, with armored troops being riddled with bullets while our hero does his bloody work.  It’s insane the amount that this is an idiotic version of that ground-breaking film, to a point where it’s insulting to anyone who’s ever watched a movie.  The story relies heavily on the emotionless robot society trope we know very well, and then the entire thing jumps the shark with overzealous action sequences and insane death parties.  You can almost forgive it because it seems like it wants to go too far, but then no, you still have to watch it, even if it’s intentional, and the watching is the hardest part.  If it weren’t for Bale, this would be the comic disaster of the century; even with him it was a nightmare of farce attempting to balance itself with fighting.  Diggs, Macfadyan, Sean Bean for a bit, Emily Watson for some reason, William Fichtner who is in everything; what a weird cast, and an even weirder world they were placed in.  Some might call Equilibrium a cult classic, because it’s so grossly ridiculous, but where something like American Psycho worked around the same time going farther than we thought would be comfortable, this film fails to pull off that feat, becoming simply too far gone.

My rating: ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Toy Story 2

Category : Movie Review

Director: John Lassater

Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack

Year: 1999

Toy Story 2 is the weakest film of the quadrilogy, which isn’t even too mean a thing to say, since this series is among the best animated franchises that has ever existed.  Toy Story is an icon, Toy Story 2 is a step-back sequel, Toy Story 3 renews the magic, and Toy Story 4 is a great goodbye; that’s a pretty good track record for something that started as a complete gamble.  Pixar has come a long way since the mid 90s, and they show no sign of slowing down, but it all started with Woody & Buzz, which is something to remember if you (I) ever start feeling too critical.  But I do thing #2 is simply a little wonky, not at all on par with the others, and perhaps just shows some growing pains that were bound to come along at some point.

Woody is back as Andy’s favorite toy, Buzz has become part of the hang, all is well in Toyland, and life moves on.  Unfortunately, that can mean that age begins to make its undeniable mark, and when Woody starts to rip at the seams he begins to wonder if he’ll be a favorite plaything forever, or if someday he’ll go from bed to shelf, and then maybe from shelf to trash.  When he is accidentally discovered in a yard sale pile, a greedy toy store owner steals Woody, with Buzz close behind to pull off the rescue.  But when Woody discovers that he’s a rare collectible, he’s not sure he wants to go back to his old life, where all he has to look forward to is watching his boy slowly lose interest and eventually put down all his childhood things.

There’s a shell of a story here, and there are some new characters, but really this movie only exists to make money and to show off what Pixar could do.  They had some new toys, pun intended, they wanted to make some cool new animation, they crafted scenes around that principle, and knew we’d eat it up regardless of the actual quality.  I’m not saying Toy Story 2 is terrible, not at all, it’s just nowhere near the first, and you can tell it’s being phoned in with a lot less heart and a lot more industry.  And I didn’t even like the new characters, they’re super annoying, and the new music isn’t that great either.  Then there’s a fleeting love interest from Buzz for no reason, ending in his wings erecting themselves like he’s got a boner?  I found that completely inappropriate, even if kids won’t understand it, I just didn’t see the need for that, or for most of what was put in this film, for that matter.  It’s a showcase, which is exactly what the moral of its story was warning against, when you really think about it.  I’m glad 3 was better and 4 finished strong, because 2 was a disappointment.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review- Phone Booth

Category : Movie Review

Director: Joel Schumacher

Starring: Colin Farrell, Kiefer Sutherland, Forest Whitaker

Year: 2002

Phone Booth is fun to watch almost two decades later, because it really plays up the phenomenon of flip phones and speed dial, which seems so archaic to us now.  This film aged faster than it could possibly have known it would, because technology has sped along at an exponential pace that could not have been fathomed.  Still, thrills are thrills, and Joel Schumacher knows what he’s doing in that department: Lost Boys, Flatliners, Falling Down, The Client, Batman Forever, A Time to Kill, Batman & Robin, 8MM.  He knows how to entertain us, even when his content isn’t really that good, and that’s got to be a certain art form, knowing how to make audiences happy even with a subpar product.  Phone Booth is good, not great, but it’s enjoyable in a twisted way, which is exactly what it’s aiming for, so job well done.

Stu Shepard is a scumbag, and his wife might be the only person in New York City who doesn’t know it.  He’s a publicist, he lies for a living, and you can’t believe a single emotion that comes off this slime ball, because every human is a game he thinks he can play.  But he might have gone too far this time, because it seems that he made a very peculiar enemy, and that enemy is out to ruin his life.  In a phone booth talking to his would-be mistress, Stu is called by a mysterious man who knows everything about him, from his suits to his watches, from his wife at home to his actress on the side.  The man wants Stu to own up to his sins, to stay in that phone booth until he’s ready to confess, with a gun pointed down at him from a nearby window ready to punish him if he does not obey.  A game of cat and mouse to the death and a bizarre confessional that will end in murder, this phone booth becomes the only thing that matters to one man, the devils on his shoulders, and an eye in the sky looking down on Stu through a rifle scope.

Even though it felt like a two-part episode of a popular cop show, Phone Booth still worked, and that’s partly because Schumacher knows what he’s doing, partly because audiences have a natural morbid curiosity, and mostly because Colin Farrell is a tremendous actor, even when he’s being too pretty for his own good.  He really is sensational, he’s proved that many times since this film debuted, and he showcases that skill here, mostly on his own and mostly in a goddam phone booth.  That’s the weirdly smart part about this movie, it’s short, in one place, says one thing, but somehow crowds that simplicity with enough noise, movement, and quick thinking that the story works when, really, is probably shouldn’t.  This is a silly idea, but it makes sense somehow, both to casual audiences and for more critical minds; Phone Booth will in no way blow you away, but its solidity speaks for itself.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Obsession

Category : Movie Review

Director: Antoinette Beumer

Starring: Loes Haverkort, Pierre Boulanger, Mark van Eeuwen

Year: 2015

Antoinette Beumer is responsible for the middle iteration of Loft, a film that was done first in Flemish, then in Dutch, then in English.  She hasn’t done much more directing, other than Obsession, which is also known as Rendez-Vous, but her penchant for sexy thrillers is apparent, and that’s fine with me.  It’s a genre that can be very fun or can go quite wrong, can be very steamy or just plain dumb.  Luckily for us, Obsession works almost the entire time, with subtle humor and disquieting mystery balanced with lurid affairs and dastardly deeds.  And it’s Dutch, people from the Netherlands are awesome, so there’s another reason to watch, as if the promise of beautiful people getting into vibrant, deadly trouble isn’t enough.

Moving from Holland to France after inheriting a good bit of money and an old farm house, Simone & Eric plan to start their lives anew, grow closer with their two kids, stop moving so fast through life, try to remember what’s important about living.  But the house is a real mess, the village isn’t very friendly, a Dutch man named Peter says he will help with the renovations but seems to have some secrets, and the entirety of Simone’s past hangs over her head; she didn’t know her mother, who had a whole other life away from her daughter, and living in her home in confusing.  It gets even more complicated when a member of Peter’s crew comes onto Simone, and when she opens her arms to him.  All of the sudden she’s in way over her head, but also in such a euphoric state she isn’t thinking clearly, and doesn’t see what’s coming next.

In some ways Obsession is a standard steamy thriller, but it quickly adds enough other little pieces to make things interesting, and that keeps the whole plot afloat when it may have sunk into obscurity.  It’s pretty sexy, pretty enthralling, and then it starts to twist, which, again, could have pulled things downward but somehow didn’t, which is to the credit of the director and the cast.  The main character is crafted well enough that we don’t completely blame her when she cheats, we kinda understand what’s going on, even when we have no idea what’s going on (in a fun way).  The mystery is cool enough, the setting is really nice, the language is cool, and if the end was a little dramatic that can be forgiven because, hey, it’s affairs in France, that’s what drama is made for.  I really liked Haverkort, she was strong and believable, and dare I say hot.  And everyone involved made the story richer and more interesting, even if some arcs were red herrings after all was said and done.  A solid drama with some intrigue and some heat, Obsession won’t know your socks off exactly, but it is well worth your time.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Mortal Kombat

Category : Movie Review

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Starring: Robin Shou, Linden Ashby, Bridgette Wilson

Year: 1995

Mortal Kombat does one thing right, and that’s bring to life a video game so many of us grew up with.  It does the game justice, it brings us all our favorite characters, it’s a living reference that we can always come back to, and for that the movie has its purpose.  Beyond that, Mortal Kombat is one of the worse films ever made, a complete joke from start to finish that barely has enough story to fill one minute, let alone one hundred & forty.  It’s the game, it’s some fighting, that’s all it has to offer; anything else it tries to do is so ridiculous that you have to laugh or else start crying in lamentation for actual money spent on actual film because someone thought they could actually pull this project off.  Well, A for effort, but F for outcome.

Fighters from all over the world are invited to participate in a martial arts tournament that comes only once every generation, a showcase of skills that has no equal.  Not only will they be fighting for the title, not even only for their lives, but also for the fate of our planet; the prize is complete domination for the mighty overlord who produces the best team of fighters.  On the side of good is Lord Raiden, opposing the evil Shang Tsung, with mankind and monsters in the middle, facing off for the destiny of many worlds.  Can our human heroes work together to face their own fears, learn to fight as one, and prevail against all odds, or will darkness swallow the galaxy once and for all?

It sure is silly, but it sure does represent the game well, so I would be torn if the movie as a whole wasn’t so ridiculously awful.  We do meet the cool characters, that’s fun: Raiden, Tsung, Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade, Kitana, Kano, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Reptile, Goro.  It’s fun to see them in the flesh, and I think they did a good job bringing them to life on a vividly weird stage with different arenas, so that’s all to the positive.  But that’s just a snippet of the film; the rest is acting, dialogue, story, and sequencing, which are all abysmal.  You couldn’t have found worse actors if you had a casting call for The Most Terrible People Ever, and the result is that every word out of every mouth sounds stupid.  I mean, the plot is stupid, there aren’t enough cool fighting tricks on Earth to compete with an utter lack of cinematic framework, so the result is predictably poor.  Check it out if you loved playing the game or if you fondly remember this movie from growing up, but otherwise admit that’s it’s barely a movie at all and move on before you accidentally watch it.

My rating: ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Twister

Category : Movie Review

Director: Jan de Bont

Starring: Bill Paxton, Helen Hunt, Jami Gertz

Year: 1996

I’m not alone in not-so-secretly loving disaster movies; they’re just so damned fun.  Not good, mind you, mostly god-awful in fact, but fun nonetheless, fun in a corny, flippant, explosive way most other films simply can’t get away with; there’s a freedom to forming a story around running from something large, in charge, and completely natural.  Weather-related phenomena seem to be our favorites; volcanoes, tidal waves, earthquakes, storms, asteroids even, and, yes, tornadoes.  No disaster movie has done tornadoes quite like Twister, it is the end all, be all when it comes to that category, but does that mean that it does that category justice?  Well, first you’ll have to decide whether Twister is so bad it’s good or just plain awful.

Storm chasers Bill & Jo used to work together and were married; no team of daredevil scientists were their equal.  They would run in front of any cyclone, put themselves in any harm’s way, go where the action was; their love of severe weather was only matched by their love for each other.  But that was in the past; Bill now wants a divorce, is set on becoming a forecaster, and seems to have put his wild days behind him.  There’s still something about Jo though, she’s still got that spark, and the duo can’t seem to separate completely.  When the storm of the century hits Oklahoma, they find themselves right in the middle of the most exciting scientific discovery of their lives, if only they can keep from killing each other before a tornado does the job for them.

What could go wrong with a cast this …interesting.  Paxton, Hunt, Gertz, Cary Elwes, Cameron from Ferris Bueller, Upham from Saving Private Ryan, Tyler Durden’s boss from Fight Club, Philip Seymour Hoffman for crying out loud.  There’s some talent there, mixed into the rampant absurdity, but not enough to win out; that shouldn’t be surprising, not with Bill Paxton at the helm, with Helen Hunt & Cary Elwes backing him up.  That might be the worst trio of actors of all time, and it showed.  The acting was abysmal, the dialogue was almost worse, the whole plot was a sham, and the editing made very little sense; in a nutshell, this movie is a joke.  But a joke you will enjoy?  Perhaps, I know I did at times, but that doesn’t mean I don’t also know that it’s absolute garbage.  Twister was actually nominated for two Academy Awards, which is hilarious, because even the special effects were plain silly, and so unbelievable you’ll find yourself slapping your own head in despair.  Disaster movies should be over the top, and this one was sure is, I just think it might have gone too far in taking itself so lightly.

My rating: ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Thelma & Louise

Category : Movie Review

Director: Ridley Scott

Starring: Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis

Year: 1991

I didn’t watch Thelma & Louise when it came out; I was 7.  And I didn’t watch it in the 90s; it never spoke to me.  But I decided that I needed to fill that gap in my Watched List because it’s something of a classic, and hey it was on Prime.  Perhaps there was a window that I missed somewhere, perhaps a time when I would have enjoyed this movie, perhaps when it didn’t feel so dated.  But I’m not sure that magic moment would have been enough, would have aligned enough to make me ignore the glaring fact that it simply isn’t any good.  From the acting to the directing, and punctuated by seemingly every choice in between, Thelma & Louise is an awful film; it’s shocking that more people don’t think so.

Best friends from Arkansas, Louise and Thelma are two peas in a pod, and are both in desperate need of a vacation away from their every day lives, their romantic troubles, & the dull despair of mundane country existence.  They head out on the road for a mini-vacation, but run into trouble right away when happy-go-lucky Thelma is attacked, and buttoned-up Louise comes to her aid.  Needing now to escape the bloody situation they left behind, the pair put the pedal to the pavement, getting into one scrape after another on their way to god knows where; professional criminals they are not.  What waits at the end of the journey?  Nothing good, that’s for sure; the world wasn’t meant to let beautiful birds fly free.

What a bizarre movie, and I’m not sure I understand what the point is, or why it was even made.  Maybe the whole thing is supposed to be taken as a metaphor, sexism and violence and rape and male idiocy put on display, thwarted by our leading ladies, but they are ultimately trapped in a world that will never let them go.  Maybe it made more sense at the time, maybe I’m just not the right person to enjoy it, but my god was it a bad experience.  The moral aside, the actual bones of the film were all arranged in the wrong order, they were broken before the project began, and they were never strong enough to hold up the weight of the story.  Geena Davis might be the single worst actress of all time, but the rest of the cast wasn’t helping her much: Susan Sarandon as a caricature, Harvey Keitel with the accent from hell, Michael Madsen the b-movie king, Christopher McDonald the ultimate heel, and even Brad Pitt, in a small role that probably should have been sent to the cutting room floor.  You can say the same about most of the picture; I repeatedly had no idea why that edit was made, why that scene was there, why they did what they just did, why that line was said.  The entire thing was a disaster of bad direction, a huge stumble into a pile of shit, an error of such colossal embarrassment that I’m shocked it ever got into theatres, let alone into people’s hearts.

My rating: ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Pocahontas

Category : Movie Review

Director: Mike Gabriel, Eric Goldberg

Starring: Irene Bedard, Mel Gibson, David Ogden Stiers

Year: 1995

The Disney Renaissance is considered to have taken place between 1989 and 1994, with The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Lion King.  But there was a second wave of the rebirth in the late 90s, which you can look at as Renaissance Vol. 2 if you’re a positive person, or a turn toward what would ultimately become known as The Slump (in the early 2000s when Disney inexplicable went with computers instead of illustrations) if you’re being a little more negative.  Either way, 1995 to 1999 was a strong era, perhaps one of the most overlooked, with Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan, and Tarzan.  Among them, Pocahontas sits like a presiding queen, a musical unlike many of its contemporaries, and a film to love more & more each time you rediscover its brilliance.

As the Virginia Company sets out for the New World to start the settlement of Jamestown, their heads are filled with visions of endless forests, bloodthirsty savages, and hidden gold, none of their number more excited by the prospect of wealth then their leader, Governor Ratcliffe, who sees fortune beyond measure in his future.  Heading the expeditionary force is veteran native-pacifier John Smith, who’s seen a hundred new lands and has conquered them all.  But awaiting them on the new shore where they will make their new home is a people who have lived there for generations, and who value the land for what it has to offer, not for what you can take from it.  Pocahontas, daughter to the chief of a native tribe, has always been one with the natural world, and now that spirit guides her to befriend John Smith, to understand the value of harmony and understanding, to raise her voice when war threatens to destroy every dream and every peaceful possibility.

That second half of the Renaissance is no joke, there are some stellar movies there, and Pocahontas is one of them.  The animation is beautiful, like none other, even among Disney, with such a marvelous blend of nature left alone, nature turned into art, and intentional color splashed over every scene.  Then there’s the music, which is phenomenal: Steady as a Beating Drum, Just Around the River Bend, Listen With Your Heart, Colors of the Wind, Savages.  The soundtrack was done by Alan Menken, the legend, but this time he was joined by Stephen Schwartz, which is why the movie has such a stage feel, because Schwartz is a theatrical genius: Godspell, Pippin, Working, Children of Eden, Wicked.  The visuals and the vocals combine to create an amazing display of talent, and that is supported by the cast, which is rather excellent: Bedard, Gibson, the voice of Cogsworth, Christian Bale, Billy Connolly, Linda Hunt, Chingachgook himself.  It’s simply impressive what elements were melded together to create this explosion of sound, color, character, and ultimately message, as the meaning sticks with you just as long as the tunes do.  If you don’t remember Pocahontas from your childhood as vividly as some of the other Disney classics, give it a re-watch, because it has so much to offer, especially to theatre-lovers, and so many wonderful things to say.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Category : Movie Review

Director: Edgar Wright

Starring: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ellen Wong

Year: 2010

Scott Pilgrim may only have come out 10 years ago, but it feels far more dated than that, like a Kevin Smith movie from the 90s that’s only really applicable to the teenage dudes who were watching then, who were seeing themselves and their own weaknesses in the forms of the main, always-male characters.  I don’t mean to imply that I wasn’t one of that number, because I sure was; angsty, angry, conceited yet unbelievably insecure, ready to guffaw at the cheapest shots if I thought they were raising me up and putting anyone else down.  I don’t mean to be above that, to judge that youthful rite too harshly, or to view this film through too modern an eye.  It’s just that Scott Pilgrim isn’t wonderful for everyone, it’s only funny to a very select few, and those few might not be the people we’d want to hang out with any more.

Scott is kind of a loser, if one that seems cool to a very specific group of guys and sexy to a certain type of fucked up girl.  He’s unemployed, lives in a bunker on a friend’s dime, is part of a rock band, can’t keep relationships straight, makes bad decisions, and basically sucks.  He’s lovable maybe, because he’s so bad at life, but that doesn’t endear him to the people he screws over, or to the girlfriends he leaves scattered behind him on his winding path toward …who knows.  Things could change for the better perhaps, Scott could change for the better, when he meets Ramona, the literal girl of his dreams.  But first he’ll have to face all of her evil ex-boyfriends, of which there are seven, defeat them to win her heart, and also find himself in the process, or risk losing the best thing that’s ever come his way.

Edgar Wright’s got his Simon Pegg/Nick Frost movies, those are good, he’s got Baby Driver, that was cool, but I think he missed the mark with Scott Pilgrim.  It’s a graphic novel, he wanted to bring it to life, that’s fine, but he’s almost too old to still be stuck in this fantasy world, where the nerdy guy gets the hot girl, where it’s cool to play only to stereotypes, where witty banter is all that matters, and rock is god.  I understand it just fine because I lived it, I immersed myself in it when I was 17, I can feel it perfectly, but it might not only be time for us to grow out of the phase ourselves but to admit that society as a whole has moved on as well; basically this shit just isn’t as funny any more.  This film feels juvenile, arrogant, self-serving, a little sexist & racism, egocentric at times, and simply off the mark.  Maybe I missed the boat, maybe I needed to watch this 10 years ago, but were those times so different from the current era?  Maybe Wright missed the boat himself, he needs to have made this movie in the punk window of the 90s instead, when its off-color comedy would have flown.  As it is, if you sat a diverse audience in front of it now, I bet there would be issues.  And I was really excited about this cast too, because it was stacked: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Allison Pill, Aubrey Plaza, Jason Schwartzman, Johnny Simmons, Chris Evans, Brie Larson, Mae Whitman, Thomas Jane.  But they couldn’t win me over, not the with the content as laser-focused on the 20-something, skinny, white, Nintendo-loving, fantasy-reading male as it was; that was me for a time, sure, and maybe during that time I would have had a different opinion, but watching now I couldn’t conjure the same sympathy.

My rating: ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – The Housemaid

Category : Movie Review

Director: Sang-soo Im

Starring: Do-yeon Jeon, Jung-jae Lee, Yuh-Jung Youn

Year: 2010

The Housemaid is, sadly, not either The Handmaiden or Parasite, but it is a combination of the two done before either, so maybe it deserves a little allowance.  Seeing the other two before going back to watch this one might have ruined my ability to really judge it evenly, because it views like a weaker attempt at the same story points, when really it may have been a precursor to the films of recent years that we absolutely loved.  The problem is, it’s more melodramatic than it is poignant, when we’ve experienced the opposite lately, and that’s what we want more of.  Going back a few years and watching something less polished is a disappointment, even if it’s not exactly its fault.

Young working class girl Eun-yi Li has just been hired as a nanny for a very wealthy family, to take care of the house, of their little girl Nami, and of a pair of twins who are on their way into this world very soon.  The Mr. and Mrs. of the household are quite perfect, very attractive, seem to have it all together, but there’s a bitterness and a darkness beneath the surface that Eun-yi simply isn’t ready to face.  Soon, the husband, Hoon Goh, has taken her for a lover, which doesn’t go unnoticed by the wife, Hae-ra.  Aided by two older women who trade in secrets and in lies, she makes ready to destroy Eun-yi’s life for the sin of relenting to the desires of Hoon Goh, in a twisted anti-romance that will chill you to the bone.

American audiences have truly been warming to Korean theatre in the past few years, and that’s excellent, because there is so much to enjoy and so many wonderful filmmakers who are now leaving their mark on Hollywood.  The Handmaiden, Parasite, Old Boy, Okja, Snowpiercer, Burning, The Wailing, The Host, Train to Busan; these are some great movies, and I know it seems unfair to clump them together just because they’re from the same country, we don’t do that with American films, but we’re still getting started with our appreciation for South Korean cinema, we’re understanding what talent the land has to offer, and it can only get better & more frequent from here.  The Housemaid, unfortunately, isn’t the best we’ve seen, but just chalk it up to high expectations and low overall quality; it’s more telanovela than thriller, and it’s not really sexy or steamy at all, it’s more uncomfortable and malicious.  I didn’t like the twists the story took, it wasn’t really exciting enough, and by the end I simply didn’t want to watch any more.  Let’s keep our eyes open for more from these directors we are coming to love, and let’s get ready to ultimately stop grouping all Korean cinema together, because it’s easy to see that this country is going to be the next film powerhouse.

My rating: ☆ ☆