Saturday, March 17, 2007

Movie Musings: The Host

Yesssss. Yessss. YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

I just came back from seeing The Host (Gwoemul), a South Korean monster movie. In case you can't make out what the quote at the top of my movie poster says I'll repeat it for you. Yes, it says:

"One of the greatest monster movies ever made!" - New York Magazine

Is that true? GODDAMN right it's true! I like to think I know something about monster movies seeing as the original King Kong is one of my favorite films of all time, I grew up on a steady diet of Godzilla movies and films by Ray Harryhausen (Clash of the Titans, the Golden Voyage of Sinbad and Jason and the Argonauts to name a few). Yes, Miss Turtle can appreciate a good monster movie when she sees one, but this isn't a good monster movie, fellow moviegoers, this is a GREAT monster movie. I won't ruin the plot for you, wouldn't want to lessen your enjoyment of this funny, scary, poignant, thrilling movie.

Don't believe me? Check out the reviews. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy life. Enjoy those gymnastic-style swinging water monsters.

As many a snobby film reviewer is no doubt gasping/grasping, South Korean cinema is really coming into its own. I have been enjoying South Korean cinema for a couple of years now (and even own several films) so this near perfect monster movie is icing on the cake for me.

Oh, and my favorite Korean actor is in it: Song Kang-ho. Sure other Korean actors are more good looking like Yoo Ji-Tae, and others have tremendous range and skill like Choi Min-Sik, but Song Kang-ho ripped my heart out and then stole it away in "Joint Security Area." I'm going to have to get all the rest of his movies now.

Some of the images in The Host are marvelous. One that comes to mind are three men running frantically in the grass all screaming and firing shotguns in the pouring rain. The movement, the panic and the poetry is beautiful. Another image: a man is throwing molotov cocktails in the middle of a smoky toxic cloud as his target moves among the concrete pillars, appearing and reappearing in the cloud. The camera follows all of this in slow motion. I could go on, but I won't.

Ahhhhhh. There's nothing like a great movie to start the weekend right. Enjoy.

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