DVD Review: A Tale of Legendary Libido

DVD Review: A Tale of Legendary Libido

  <!– P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } –> A Tale of Legendary Libido begins with a wooden nose, broken off a statue, that looks just like a penis. It’s been somehow activated by a widow’s prayer for a man to ‘reliever her loneliness’. When someone picks up the nose, a couple dozen young men in loincloths suddenly appear and have sex with everyone (and everything) in sight. Since this can disrupt a village’s daily routine, the magic wang is buried, hopefully never to be seen again. But of course it is, or there wouldn’t be a movie. Later, the village has become a place where traditional gender roles are switched: women are sexually aggressive, and the men are too passive to even challenge a group of thugs from a neighboring village. All except Byun. Byun can run off the bad guys, but after an unfortunate experience where his crotch was set on fire, he can’t satisfy any woman in bed. The women of the village relentlessly make fun of him for his lack of skill and equipment. It’s even worse because his brother, Kang-mok, is the manliest of the manly men, coveted by all the women. Byun forms a crush on beautiful newcomer Darling, who earns the enmity of the other women when their men play Peeping Tom while she’s bathing. Meanwhile, an old man who was around during the original magic wang incident drops back in with his grandson. He takes pity on Byun and tells him where to find the buried nose, and that by sipping the wine it was buried in, he cane become a real...
Happy Halloween! 13 Horror Film Review for You

Happy Halloween! 13 Horror Film Review for You

Happy Halloween Eve everyone! Here’s a treat for the night before: reviews on 13 scary movies I watched this month so you don’t have to. <!– P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } –> Intruders (2011) Intruders benefits enormously from the presence of Clive Owen, manliest of the manly men. I hadn’t seen him in anything for a while, so it was a bit of a thrill. Unfortunately, even with Clive Owen, this movie is just okay. The film tells two parallel stories: one about a little boy named Juan in Spain, who is tormented by a demon/spirit/monster without a face, and another about a 12-year-old girl in England named Mia. On a trip to her grandparents’ country house, Mia finds an old, handwritten story in a hollow tree. The story is about a faceless creature called Hollowface, that stalks children to steal their features. She copies it and presents it as her own work in school, and apparently Hollowface takes this as permission to start messing with her. Her adoring father, John, is the only other person who can see this monster. As psychiatrists discuss the possibility of a folies a deux, John and Mia try to figure out how to vanquish this monster. <!– P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } –> Intruders has a solid premise, but it relies heavily on a double twist, the first of which is telegraphed well in advance. The end is anti-climactic, with the tired solution of love saving us all. The has some genuinely creepy moments, as when Juan and his mother see Hollowface in a church (or do they?) but a sub-plot about...
Film Review: Lust in Hell

Film Review: Lust in Hell

<!– P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } –> Lust in Hell (2009) is a misleading title. While Hell appears in the movie, and there’s plenty of lust, the lust never actually occurs in Hell. In fact, nothing really takes place in Hell. It kind of pops in and out over the course of the movie, but never really takes center stage. Honestly, such a titillating title is almost a guarantee of disappointment, and Lust in Hell is a disappointment. The film opens with Koto, a young woman, escaping from a psychiatric facility to visit the place where her parents died in a car accident a year earlier. While there she sees Shinji, whose girlfriend was killed in the same accident, getting ready to off himself by jumping into traffic. She persuades him to give up his suicide plan by telling him he won’t go to Heaven because it doesn’t exist; all that awaits those who die is Hell. This dire warning is said in a cute, squeaky voice befitting a talking guinea pig. Shinji logically decides to take this charming person home with him. They almost do it, but Shinji decides he’s not ready yet. Later that night, they both see the apparition of his dead girlfriend. It turns out that after the accident Koto gained the power to see rifts in this world that open into Hell, and her presence attracts the ghosts of those trapped there. Shinji’s friend/colleague calls him to come to a meeting with his boss. It turns out that Shinji and his boss are ex-cops, and now they kill people for a reason. Shinji’s had...
Hey, You Guys! It’s a Movie Roundup

Hey, You Guys! It’s a Movie Roundup

<!– P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } –> As Tears Go By ATGB is an early Wong Kar Wai film, and you can tell. It doesn’t have the slow, surreal feel of most of his movies. It’s a pretty basic Hong Kong gangster movie, but the performances are what carry it (those, and Andy Lau’s tiny, tiny shorts). Andy Lau plays a mid-level gangster who would probably have risen higher in the ranks if he wasn’t always trying to cover for his buddy, Fly. Fly is a fucking idiot who continually insults high-ranking members of other gangs, and gets his ass beat. Only the intervention of his BFF keeps him from getting murdered over and over. Everyone tells Andy Lau to dump this guy, but he and Fly have been friends for ages and he can’t seem to make himself get rid of him. It gets more complicated when Andy Lau’s cousin shows up unexpectedly. She has some vaguely-explained illness, and has come from her rural island home to Hong Kong for treatment, and expects to stay with Andy Lau. Of course they fall in love (this sounds kind of gross, but if your cousin looked like Maggie Cheung), and just when it seems Andy Lau might be able to get out of the thug life and live happily ever after, Fly gets in trouble again… ATGB is a predictable story, but it’s entertaining and not a little sad to watch Andy Lau’s hopes of a normal life spiral downward. Even the hideous 1990’s fashions they force Maggie Cheung into can’t diminish her beauty. If you don’t go into ATGB...
DVD Review: The Raid: Redemption (ALMOST Spoiler-Free!)

DVD Review: The Raid: Redemption (ALMOST Spoiler-Free!)

Probably the best thing I can say about The Raid: Redemption is that it is very good at being what it is. It’s an action movie. And if your action movie has a predictable plot, undeveloped characters and a silly premise, you better make sure it has 90 minutes of wall-to-wall bloodshed.  Which, thankfully, The Raid does.  Bright and early one morning Rama, a newbie police officer and expectant dad, gets up and goes to work. Today his unit is scheduled for a top-secret raid on an apartment building owned by crime lord Tama, who rents out most of the apartments to other criminals of varying stripes. The raid is organized by Lieutenent Wahyu, an old veteran who is understandably uneasy about having so many rookies taking part in such a delicate operation. But kindly Sergeant Jaka assures him everything will go swimmingly. Of course, if he was right, this movie would have been a lot more boring.  The officers make it to the sixth floor before being spotted by a teenage lookout, who alerts Tama before being killed. Tama promptly send down reinforcements who wipe out a good chunk of the team with machine guns, then goes in the PA and, in a stroke of brilliance, announces to his residents that anyone who takes out some policemen will get free rent for life. Meanwhile, Sergeant Jaka learns from Wahyu that backup will not be forthcoming…because this raid is kind of off the books. The survivors are pursued and repeatedly attacked by crazed men wielding guns, machetes, pipes, knives and their bare fists. Luckily for Rama, in previous incarnations...
DVD Review: Bangkok Love Story (Spoiler-iffic)

DVD Review: Bangkok Love Story (Spoiler-iffic)

I am one of those women who is all for gay guys. Dudes banging is hot. So when I watch a movie, even if it's not great, I can still enjoy myself as long as there are some scenes of gay men getting it on. At least, that's how it usually goes. Bangkok Love Story is the sole exception to my gay-guys-doing-it-is-always-fun rule. It's an hour and thirty minutes long, but my God, it feels much, much longer- not in a good way. The film opens with a montage of our main man, assassin 'Cloud', doing what he does best: killing people, riding the bus, walking the night-time streets, and stroking his gun suggestively while sweating a lot He receives his next assignment and begins stalking him; the handsome-and-he-knows it Stone usually has his girlfriend hanging off his arm. Cloud shoots at him in the middle of a crowded street, and in the ensuing panic manages to separate Stone from his woman and kidnap him. He takes Stone to a (really large but with ugly carpet) hotel room and proceeds to doze off, dreaming about his tragic past- because of course he has one, all pretty assassins do. When Cloud takes Stone to the crime boss who hired him, he discovers that Stone isn't a bad guy at all- he's a witness to the boss' evil deeds. He refuses to kill Stone when ordered, and is shot in the arm for his trouble. The two escape on a motorcycle, and Stone interrogates Cloud as to his motives while Cloud is bleeding all over the damn place. He takes Cloud...