Monthly Archives: January 2020
What I appreciate about director Sam Mendes’ war drama 1917 is that it has all the urgency, suspense and sense of brutality you’d expect from a World War 1 film without glorifying war itself. The focus of 1917 is not on a particular battle or military campaign but on the harrowing mission of two British soldiers, Lance Corporal Blake and Schofield, to deliver a message through enemy territory to save a battalion of 1600 men, including Blake’s older brother, from being massacred. I didn’t mind at all that the story is straightforward, light on dialogue and has only two lead characters. Where 1917 shines is in its immersive direction, hauntingly beautiful cinematography and earned emotional moments.
Netflix’s The Witcher starring Henry Cavill arrives at an opportune time when many viewers are looking for a new medieval fantasy series to get into. At eight episodes, The Witcher’s first season is a bingeable mix of monster hunting action, sorcery and lust aimed at an adult audience. Henry Cavill is a great fit as the titular gruff-voiced, anti-hero Geralt of Rivia and Anya Chalotra is very good as the anguished mage Yennefer. Rounding out the main cast is the talented young actress Freya Allan as Princess Cirilla (or Ciri) whose mysterious destiny is closely linked to Geralt and Yennefer.
An early funny moment in Parasite which encapsulates Ki-taek and his family is when the pest control exterminator comes to their poor neighborhood, he leaves the windows open in their half-basement apartment for the “free fumigation”. Not knowing much about the story beforehand, I mistakenly thought that Parasite would be a horror film like Director Boon Joon Ho’s previous hit The Host. Instead, Parasite is harder to categorize. I would say it’s a comedy thriller with a dark edge to it. The black comedy is used to put the spotlight on social issues in a way which viewers can easily see the faults of the system and people. Ki-taek’s family are opportunistic and cunning but not unsympathetic as they worm their way into the Park family’s lavish home.