Tearing through movies like there's no tomorrow.
Featuring eminently watchable characters, even if many of them would annoy/scare the shit out of me in real life. (It certainly doesn’t hurt that the performances are very engaging.) It’s action-packed, funny, and a little bit scary, and the monsters are cleverly and cost-effectively realised. My only issue is the lionisation of Moses at the very end, which somewhat overstates his psychological journey (undoubted though it is).
An arty, dialogue-free piece of spy frippery that slots in, aesthetically and chronologically, between The Avengers and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. (Much of the score blatantly cribs from Laurie Johnson so it’s clear which property’s coattails the producers were riding on.) Instead of a Lotus Elan or Mercury Cougar XRZ, Diana Rigg speeds around in a Mercedes-Benz convertible, which makes perfect sense given this is a German production.
It's an interesting curio but only because of its star, who’s…
Sympathy for Mr Bonehead
In which Taeko (Michiyo Kogure) both scandalises and amuses a couple of her female friends and niece regarding her husband, whom she refers to as “Mr Bonehead” and compares to a dim-witted carp. And it has to be said, it’s pretty funny stuff. But then we get to spend some time with ‘Mr Bonehead’ – or Mokichi (Shin Saburi), to give him his actual name – and we realise that he’s a decent chap. It’s just…
Even the conspicuous dubbing of Lee Young-ae’s English dialogue (and the stilted performances of two European actors) can’t dampen the power of this deeply humanistic story about a geographical, political, ideological and cultural nexus point, where North and South Korea meet. And at the heart of this particular zone are people, not monoliths, a point which Park Chan-wook, elegantly sums up with a single photograph – a picture that is genuinely worth a thousand words.