Monthly Archives: July 2020

Steel Rain 2: Summit (2020) ☆☆(2/4): A jumbled South Korean geopolitical thriller

South Korean film “Steel Rain 2: Summit”, which is a sort of retread instead of being a direct sequel to “Steel Rain” (2017), a jumbled geopolitical thriller which tries too many things at once. While it strives to maintain its … Continue reading

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Water Lilies (2007) ☆☆☆(3/4): A tomboy’s first crush

Céline Sciamma’s first feature film “Water Lilies”, which is going to be released belatedly in South Korean theaters in next month, is a detached but compelling coming-of-age tale of sexuality and maturation. Mainly revolving around the viewpoint of its young … Continue reading

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Steel Rain (2017) ☆☆1/2(2.5/4): A race against another Korean war

South Korean film “Steel Rain”, which I somehow missed when it was released in South Korean theaters around the end of 2017, is so fast, efficient, and urgent during its first half that it let me down during its middling … Continue reading

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A Most Beautiful Thing (2020) ☆☆☆1/2(3.5/4): Rowing for changes

Documentary film “A Most Beautiful Thing”, which was supposed to be shown at the SXSW Film Festival before it was unfortunately canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, is about a group of African American guys who try to bring … Continue reading

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Father Solider Son (2020) ☆☆☆(3/4): A solider and his family

Netflix documentary film “Father Soldier Son” gives us a close and intimate look into the 10-year story of one ordinary American soldier and his dear family. While it remains rather apolitical about the war which is still being continued even … Continue reading

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First Cow (2019) ☆☆☆1/2(3.5/4): Two men and a cow in the Wild West

Kelly Reichardt’s latest film “First Cow” lingers on my mind more than expected. While seemingly plain and modest in terms of story and characters, this little period drama constantly engaged me via its palpable realism and elegant storytelling, and I … Continue reading

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Palm Springs (2020) ☆☆☆(3/4): Stuck together in a time loop

“Palm Springs” is a smart and funny comedy film which deftly handles a story promise which has been quite familiar to us since “Groundhog Day” (1993). Mainly driven by the good comic chemistry between its two appealing lead performers, the … Continue reading

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Buoyancy (2019) ☆☆☆(3/4): A calm but chilling drama of modern slavery

“Buoyancy”, which was selected as Australia’s submission to Best International Feature Film Oscar in last year, is often chilling to watch in its fictional representation of real-life modern slavery. As told to us at the end of the story, what … Continue reading

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Ms. Purple (2019) ☆☆☆(3/4): As her father lays dying

Justin Chon’s latest film “Ms. Purple” is a sad tale of a young Korean American woman struggling to keep going despite many hardships in her daily life. Due to the seedy and exploitative nature of her occupation, the movie is … Continue reading

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Gook (2017) ☆☆1/2(2.5/4): One long day of April in Paramount, California, 1992

Justin Chon’s second feature film “Gook”, which received the Best of Next Audience Award when it was shown at the Sundance Film Festival early in 2017, is an interesting but ultimately uneven mixed bag. At first, it attempts a mildly … Continue reading

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