Monday, November 22, 2010

Cmovie - Mad Detective (2007)

Detective Bun (Lau Ching Wan) was recognised as a talented criminal profiler until he sliced off his right ear to offer as a gift at his chief’s farewell party. Branded as ‘mad’ and discharged from the force, he has lived in seclusion with his beloved wife May (Kelly Lin) ever since. Strangely, Bun has the ability to ‘see’ a person’s inner personality, their subconscious desires, emotions, and mental state. When a missing police gun is linked to several heists and murders, hotshot Inspector Ho (Andy On) calls on the valuable skills of his former mentor Bun to help unlock the killer’s identity. However, Bun’s unorthodox methods point to a fellow detective and take a schizophrenic turn for the worse…

I haven't been this impressed with a movie in a long time! Seriously. I love it! It's the type of movie that you have to pay attention to what's going on. At first, you would be confused but then you eventually start to follow it. Because I enjoyed it so much, I watched it several times again, I saw all that was unclear to me and focused on the "inner personalies" more. You have to watch it through both Ho and Bun's point of views.

Usually I watch Hong Kong cinema for the martial arts action. I've been trying to be more open-minded in watching more genres from Hong Kong. I'm not a fan of their romantic comedies or horrors. Most of the "dramas" I've seen left me disappointed.

Even movies like SPL or Invisible Target had some drama in it but was mixed with slick, martial arts. I need to focus more on Johnnie To's movies. He is a well-known director and producer.

I am really looking forward to Election and Exiled, which have been both recommended to me from so many people.

Besides the storyline and the direction, the editing is superb. A much watch! If you like Hollywood movies like Fight Club, then Mad Detective is worth a watch!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thai horror films

Late in posting, I know!!!! I watched a string of Asian horror films and haven't blogged about it!!

I think I watched way too many and I'm not scared at all!

Now it's time for the Thai horrors I've seen and will post the other languages at another time.

Dorm (2006)

In Thailand, the young Ton Chatree is sent to a boarding school by his father to study harder and have less entertainment with television. Once in the school, Ton feels outcast and misses his family and friends. He becomes scared with the ghost stories his new schoolmates tell about a boy that died in the swimming pool and a young pregnant woman that committed suicide.

He becomes a close friend of the also lonely boy Vichien, and later Ton realizes that Vichien is the boy that drowned in the swimming pool, and his death repeats every night. Ton tries to find a way to help his friend to rest in piece.

My Thoughts

Overall, it is a good film with an interesting storyline. However, it's not really horror, to me. There's a sense of horror from the beginning but the ghost isn't trying scare or kill anyone, just a few haunting, chilling moments. For example, being alone and you hear noises, only to see nothing. There is a ghost but all he needs is to rest in peace. The message behind the film is what separates it from the typical horror films.

Sisters (2004)

A group of teen musicians check into a hotel after a night of performance outside of Bangkok, not knowing that the room they are staying in harbors a deadly secret. They must set out to solve the mystery behind a prostitute’s murder in that very room to save their lives.

My Thoughts

Beginning is interested but then the storyline went nowhere! I've read on several Internet websites that this movie is based from a true story but nothing to confirm it. I felt the direction was out of place and lacked a good screenplay, looked like it was shot from a very low budget with weak lens and poor cameras. The best parts were the beginning with the ghost's image trying to scare the band members. But it didn't conclude well and there were too many loose holes and unanswered questions.

Unborn (2003)

Por is beaten up by her drug dealer and wakes up in a hospital to discover that she is pregnant. While there, she is haunted by a female spirit. While she is at first very frightened by the ghost, she later believes that the dead woman just wants her help. Together with a friend, she sets out to solve the mystery behind the woman’s death.

My Thoughts

Interesting from beginning to end. However, the pace is a bit slow. There were creepy moments with glances of a ghost. The storyline is good and a bit twisty, which concluded very well to tie all everyone together.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Korean horror films

Late in posting, I know!!!! I watched a string of Asian horror films and haven't blogged about it!!
I think I watched way too many and I'm not scared at all!

Right now, I'm just listing the Korean horrors I've seen and will post the other languages at another time.

ACACIA (20003)

Unable to have children of their own, married couple Mi-sook and Do-il adopt a young boy named Lee Jin-seong. His name soon gets changed to Kim Jin-seong when he moves with Mi-sook and Do-il. The boy is drawn to an acacia tree in his new home’s backyard, believing it to be his mother, and it soon becomes the focal point for an increasing number of strange occurrences when Jin-seong appears to have run away.

Jin-seong befriends an older girl named Min-jee. She tells Jin-seong that she cannot go to school as she has lost a lot of blood. After she kisses Jin-seong, he becomes even more aggressive and violent. He turns even worse as Mi-sook becomes pregnant and has a new baby named Hae-sung. Jin-seong, experiencing many emotional difficulties, becomes more withdrawn and confused. He starts to develop an anger towards his adopted family, so much so that he tries to smother the new baby. Mi-sook gets so frustrated with Jin-Seong’s actions and obsession towards the acacia tree that she decides to chop the tree down, which results in Jin-Seong allegedly running away.

After Jin-Seong runs away, the previously dying tree starts to bloom with spectacular life. Min-jee starts changing as well, becoming more obsessed with the acacia tree. She starts claiming to hear Jin-Seong’s voice coming from inside the tree, witnessing paranormal experiences occurring around the tree, flowers and ants attacking the people in Jin-Seong’s family.

My thoughts
Overall, I think it was a good movie with great direction and gorgeous cinematography. I love the suspense of what is going to happen next and what I predicted, I was totally wrong! The movie was more on the thriller side than horror but I love how everything unfolds itself.

FACE (2004)

Hyun-min works for the police, reconstructing faces by examining and interpreting their skulls. His daughter undergoes a heart transplant, and as her condition deteriorates, he loses his interest in his job. Hyun-min suspects that his daughter's illness after the operation is caused by the heart, although her doctor, Dr. Yoon, tell him that his daughter is experiencing only minor complications.

Distraught, Hyun-min quits his job to care for his daughter full time. Meanwhile, the police are dealing with a series of bizarre murder cases, where the victim has had all their flesh dissolved away with acid, leaving only the bones behind. Sun-young (Song Yoon-ah) brings the skull of the fourth victim to Hyun-min, hoping that he'll be able to reconstruct the face. With the skull in their house, his daughter begins to experience visions of a distraught woman in a white robe.

Hyun-min reconstructs the face of the victim, and it soon transpires that they all suffered from a (fictitious) affliction known as 'beta-allergy'. Tests reveal that Hyun-min's daughter has the condition, meaning that she has received the heart of someone who did. Romance blossoms between Hynu-min and Sun-young, and as they investigate, they uncover an organ transplant conspiracy: The murder victims were killed for their body parts, and it becomes apparent that Dr. Yoon knows more than he's letting on.

My thoughts
Overall, the movie was entertaining. Not only with the ghost thrills, but also the story was very interesting. I love watching crime tv shows and this movie had it all for me, which made me curious about the job portrayed by the main character of Shin Hyeon Jun.

Hidden Floor (2006)

Min-young moves onto the fifth floor of a new studio apartment with her six-year-old daughter, Joo-hee. She’s concerned when her downstairs neighbor, HAN Chang-soo, says that he cannot tolerate the noise above him, even though the two women live tranquilly. Furthermore, she is anxious about other residents’ strange behaviors – never mind the mysterious deaths. Min-young hardens herself mentally after the move into the new house, largely because of her daughter’s unprecedented odd behavior and continual run-ins with a bizarre woman. Convinced that Joo-hee has fallen sick and perturbed by the mysterious events around the studio apartment, Min-young looks to disclose the truth by herself…

My thoughtsThe movie is a mixture of the two Japanese movies - The Grudge & Deep Water. I'm not a huge fan of Japanese horrors. I know in the USA, Japanese horrors are popular and being remade. But with that sad, I enjoyed Hidden Floor a lot. I like the direction used in Korean movies. It still kept me entertain and the uses of flashbacks were well-done.