Monday, October 28, 2019


Did you ever see a film after which you felt you needed to take a bath or shower to disinfect yourself?   

That’s how I felt after seeing South Korean Writer/Producer/Director Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite.

It’s not that the film is not well-made, finely directed and excellently acted.   It is.

It’s the story with which I have issue.

All is well for the first half as the street-smart Kim family insinuates themselves into the upper class Park family under assumed identities as an English Teacher (Woo-sik Choi), Art Therapist (So-dam Park), Chauffeur (Kang Ho Song) and housekeeper (Hye-Jin Jang) by nefariously moving out the current staff.  Some of it is quite funny.

Then, however, when the Park’s go on a birthday trip for their young son’s (Hyun-jun Jung) birthday, they go on a drunken rampage that reveals they are not alone in the house.

The humor is drained out as things go from macabre to ghastly, making you think you’ve stepped into a Stephen King story.  For me, it stepped over-the-line and grossed me out.  (Which is hard to do.)

Perhaps you can stomach it.  But for me, Parasitewent from a 4 to a 2 out of 5.

Black and Blue

Director Deon Taylor’s Black and Blue is a tough, gritty police thriller that doesn’t let up.

Alicia West (Naomie Harris) is an Afghan war veteran, who returns to her native New Orleans to become a rookie cop.  On her first outing, she sees a senior detective (Frank Grillo) kill the son (John Charles II) of the biggest drug runner (Mike Colter) in the city, an event she captures on her vest camera.

For the rest of the film, Alicia is trying to stay alive with almost everyone on both sides of the law after her and the camera. 

Thanks to Naomie Harris, we are swept along with her plight.
If you like action, Black and Blue delivers.  I give it a 3.9 out of 5.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

 As opposed to the The Addams Family, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is not what I’d call an all-family movie because, despite the amazing Disney visual effects, the story is more serious and adult-oriented.

The title might have more aptly been Maleficent: Former Mistress of Evil, since it is Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer), who is the real evil in this tale, along with her crazed henchwoman Thistlewit (Juno Temple).

Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) and Prince Philip (Harris Dickinson) make up a fine couple to root for and seeing Angelina Jolie and Michelle Pfeiffer together is worth the price of admission.

Despite the drawn out triple ending, the film is worthwhile for all its dazzling beauty and excellent performances.

I give Maleficent: Mistress of Evil a 3.9 out of 5.