Netflix’s Black Knight (택배기사) has an interesting premise and a strong cast. Breathtaking dystopian visuals pair with familiar present-day themes. But even if it comes to a satisfying conclusion, it at times feels as if the six episode series struggles between wanting to be a feature length film or a longer, more in-depth character drama.
Jeon Do Yeon is absolutely captivating as she kicks ass on Netflix’s Kill Boksoon (길복순). The film is an emotional character piece masked as a pulpy, gritty thriller. Unrelenting action gives way to relatable family drama for an overall engaging story.
Right off the bat, if you’re wondering which of these two connected anime films to watch first, here’s what I think based on my experience. I decided to watch the “blue” movie (color based on poster) first. That is To Every You I’ve Loved Before. Then watched “To Me, The One Who Loved You” (the “red” movie) second. And it was fine. But if you are looking for a more chronological and perhaps easier-on-the-brain experience, definitely go with To Me, The One… first. Ether way, you’ll still get the same conflicted, bittersweet climax for our main characters.
And yet, I decided to watch Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always on the day of release anyway. And to my shock, I actually quite enjoyed it. In fact, I think it’s probably the best (live action) thing to come out of the franchise in a decade. At least, it’s my favorite thing.
Revice Forward: Kamen Rider Live & Evil & Demons is the perfect encapsulation of the season as a whole. The first V-Cinext film of Kamen Rider Revice features shades of the season’s highest highs, but many of the season’s lowest lows as well. It’s still fun to visit with old friends. But how you may eventually take this film will depend on how you view Revice itself. If you loved the season, you may just love this movie. If you didn’t, then you’ll find plenty to nitpick at.
Netflix’s latest Korean film Unlocked (스마트폰을 떨어뜨렸을 뿐인데/I Just Dropped My Smartphone) has a lot of good ideas and a solid cast. The themes surrounding technology meshing together with the familiar trappings of the psychological thriller are an interesting idea. But its story and premise feel far more suited for a longer format.
When it is a film that can illicit such contrasting feelings by so many people, it’s hard not to want to find out what all the fuss is about. That’s certainly the case for Viva Films and Darryl Yap’s Maid in Malacañang. Now, as a Filipino-American, I’m coming into this film knowing the basics of Philippine history, yet not having the personal experience to drive my feelings in any which way. So my thoughts in this review are of the film itself. And I think it’s important for anyone with an open mind to be able to watch things they agree with and don’t agree with. That interaction may even help to support your existing feelings of a topic.
It’s honestly quite a feat that Netflix’s Seoul Vibe (서울대작전/Seoul Grand Operation) could have all the pieces it needs for a great film, yet ends up being just flat and okay. An all-star ensemble cast carries the weight of a longer than necessary screenplay filled with undercooked ideas. No question the film is meant to be lighthearted and mindless fun complete with retro nostalgia with its 1980s setting. But even then, Seoul Vibe leaves a lot of potential on the table.
Netflix’s Jung_E (정이) is a simple, relatable character drama masked as a sci-fi thriller. And that is perfectly fine. Kim Hyun Joo and the late Kang Soo Yeon in her final film appearance deliver fantastic performances to elevate what is otherwise a visually striking film that could have gone deeper into more profound discussions.
For me, Kamen Rider Revice was a tale of two sides. On one side, the main Sunday morning series which completely collapsed halfway through. On the other, the wonderful miniseries/web series that were exclusive to TTFC or Blu-ray releases. Much to my surprise, Kamen Rider Revice: Battle Familia was somewhere in between.