A boorish man is kidnapped and help prisoner for 15 years, only to be suddenly released with no explanation. He seeks brutal revenge on his captors, whoever they may be.
Directed by Park Chan-wook
Starring Choi Min-sik, Yoo Ji-tae, and Kang Hye-Juung
Initial review by JR Peters
I decided on this movie because I watched the american version and absolutely hated it. I needed to cleanse my mind of any bad connotations with the word “Oldboy”. This movie has an 80 on Rotten Tomatoes so I assumed it was at least going to be decent. It definitely lived up to the score. I won’t be writing much because I feel like anything I say might ruin the movie for you.
Chi-Raq is suffused with two motifs, one that I love in movies and one that I'm often ambivalent about. The former is a sense of cool. Spike Lee shares an ability to make things look cool with directors like Tarantino or Jim Jarmusch, where his shots and his characters have that mixture of self-confidence and nonchalance. It's a hugely appealing way to make movies, and one that is counter to the other motif in Chi-Raq: shirt-ripping, screaming to the heavens earnestness. I generally don't like these kind of movies that wear their hearts on their sleeve, especially when compared to cool movies that have a level of detachment from what's happening around them. Lee mixes these two polar opposites together, having sophisticated characters exhort their true feelings without a trace of irony. Somehow, it worked on me. The critical response to Chi-Raq has been mixed, as I expect our discussion to be, but it's that rare love-it-or-hate-it movie, where half of the critics are giving it their highest grades while the rest are, at best, calling it a failed experiment. I'm in the first half.
There are two types of movies that fall into that dreaded B- to C range. The first are those that are just a big, fat nothing. The second are those that try hard and have a number of really good things and really bad things. They’re interesting but flawed. That’s the best way I can describe “Stardust.” While Stardust is successful at providing a refreshing take on the fairy tale genre and subverting a few of its tired tropes, it is ultimately weighed down by one of the most muddled third acts I can remember in a long time.
JUST SOME IDIOTS GIVING SURPRISINGLY AVERAGE MOVIE REVIEWS.