Three… Extremes – Review


To follow up the underwhelming Three comes a sequel, Three… Extremes which not only brings together some more recognizable names to the table but also what has come along is a more consistently effective trio of short films that ultimately left a much more heightened impact compared to what originally had come by. If Three… Extremes got American distribution first because of these shorts were much better overall, perhaps I can see why that would have been the case. Given a distaste I have for anthology films especially when collaborative efforts are never usually consistent, Three… Extremes was nice to watch in the sense that everything seems to have flowed together perfectly – bringing me back to Kwaidan. Continue reading →


The Magnificent Seven (2016) – Review


Antoine Fuqua remakes another remake with The Magnificent Seven, his latest offering thus far. Being a remake of a remake, there’s always room to turn something into one’s own vision and that’s part of what I was hoping for in this new take on the story inspired from Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, but something about it also feels empty. What happened to the excitement of watching a group of seven fight for good? Sure, there’s fun to be had within certain moments of the film but perhaps they only work because of how the film presents itself out to be as a result of those involved rather than offering much to stand on its own. Quite surprisingly, that is actually not what bothered me most about this re-imagining of the classic tale. Continue reading →

The Age of Shadows – Review


Kim Jee-woon, one of South Korea’s most exciting voices working today, comes out with The Age of Shadows – now with the director presenting an espionage thriller set during the Japanese occupation of Korea. What I admire most about Kim Jee-woon is his versatility in terms of his body of work, for he smoothly adapts to sudden shifts in genre types without any trouble (going from slow-paced horror in A Tale of Two Sisters all the way to fast-paced action in A Bittersweet Life), yet there’s always a distinct touch that makes his films recognizable. With The Age of Shadows, we have what may be his most polished film since A Tale of Two Sisters (my favourite from him at the moment) – together with probably some of the most ambitious that one would ever see from him. Continue reading →