[EXPRESSO] Broker (2022) | “Your Baby, Delivered To You, In A Box”

I was miraculously able to watch a preview screening for this one, which competed in this years’ Cannes Film Festival, and is a South-Korean drama directed and written by Hirokazu Kore-eda, better known for Like Father, Like Son, Shoplifters, Maborosi, also director of The Truth/La Veritè, a french film starring a very international cast and his first movie not set (or filmed) in Japan.

Given the director’s well known penchant for family dramas, it’s not surprising his new film it’s about the theme of family, but here touched upon in a more unique way, as it involves a woman who leaves her newborn in a baby box, only to be stolen by child traffickers with a proven scheme.

The mother of the child does come back, tracks down the two traffickers, but instead of ratting them out or worse, she decides to go along on a roadtrip with them so to interview potential new parents for the baby. But eventually this unusual crew is finally tailed by two police officers that are also investigating a murder…

If you’re expecting this to turn into a Hangover style roadtrip movie, you clearly haven’t been paying attention to the premise i just wrote, because rest assured that Zach Galiafinakis isn’t gonna show up and play a mentally challenged manchild, as Broker deals with the themes of child abandonment, criminality and family as seriously as you would expect from a movie that touches upon such serious and real situations.

Though, it manages to sport a surprising amount of levity and tender moments, quite needed in this delicate drama about murder, pregnancy, adoptions, etc, because Broker it’s good & depressing. Quite depressing, but not entirely hopeless.

My kind of movie… though Broker felt a bit longer than necessary, for me.

Still, a solid, good drama.

Ninja Of The Magnificence (1988) [REVIEW] | Monk VS The Ninja Slavers

Also known as American Ninja: The Magnificent, would it really be a 80’s ninja movie from the depths of Godfrey Ho’ “ninja mines” if i didn’t have at least one alternative title? And didn’t have a guy named “Elton Chow” in it?

Yes, this is the 100 % new ninja movie review i promised, and i hope you’re still hungry for Filmark/IFD Film and Arts brand of ninjaxploitation shit, because there’s more, there’s always more.

This one though it’s arguably one of the better known of the bunch, thanks to it being more widely distributed and also happening to be one of the more fun of these “cut-n-paste” cinematic meatloaf servings, as it features Brad Jones’ beloved obscure actor Pierre Kirby, taking the mantle of the ninja protagonist that otherwise was mostly worn by a very reluctant Richard Harrison.

Continua a leggere “Ninja Of The Magnificence (1988) [REVIEW] | Monk VS The Ninja Slavers”

[EXPRESSO] #Alive (2020) | SNS Zombies

No cinema for me this week, so guess i’ll dust off Netflix, see and review this new korean zombie movie, which comes with the hashtag already built in the title. The plot sees a streamer in Seoul waking up and logging on to do some online gaming (he’s shown playing PUBG), only to hear people chatting of something weird being broadcast on tv, and soon enough even in the very streets below him, as a zombie virus of sorts spreads.

He’s forced to barricade himself home, trying to use his tech savviness to understand what is exactly going on outside, all made harder by scarce rations and social medias (or the reception for phones) not working most the time.

It’s better than i expected, and being set in “the now” you get to see fun stuff like zombie (of the running and “contorsionist” variety) getting attacked by drones’s eliblades, and there are some cool action scenes, production values are fairly decent-good, same for the special effects. Problem is, there isn’t too much to the plot, there’s enough, but nothing special, and after a fairly fast start, the movie suffers from pacing problems.

I understand it would be more realistic to see characters barricade themselves into their apartments, and while this is to feed into the “surviving days and days into a zombie apocalypse”, this kinda backfires, as the plot doesn’t really moves forward or backwards, and it’s not until the third act where it picks up again. Thankfully the characters are likeable, given how much time you spend watching them try to communicate or concoct a plan, but they’re not good enough to gloss over the fairly typical twists and turns of the narrative. Not even with some cool “hip” music.

Decent, worth a watch, for sure, but nothing special.