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Showing posts from January, 2018

A Fistful of Dollars Review

A Fistful of Dollars is a 1964 Spaghetti Western written and directed by Sergio Leone and cowritten by Adriano Bolzoni/Mark Lowell/Víctor Andrés Catena/Fernando Di Leo/Duccio Tessari/Jaime Comas Gil. The film is the first installment in what has become known as The Dollars Trilogy, though it was intended to only be a stand alone film. Though it was received negatively by critics upon its initial release, the film has since become viewed as a definitive work of the Western genre.

Story
A mysterious Stranger (Clint Eastwood) wanders into a town in the midst of a war between two rival groups: a band of outlaws lead by two brothers and the family of the Sheriff. Thinking that he can make some profit off this battle, he starts playing both sides in the name of money and survival.

The first thing I should note is that unlike The Good, the Bad and the Ugly which had some swipes in the direction of anti-war messaging, this movie doesn't really have its eye on anything higher than to briefl…

Memories of Murder Review

Memories of Murder is a 2003 South Korean mystery drama written/directed by Bong Joon-ho and co-written by Kwang-rim Kim/Shim Sung-bo. The story for the film was based on the unsolved Zodiac murders from the 1970s.

Story
A group of police officers try to solve a collection of sexually violent murders in the South Korean countryside. That's pretty much it as far as setup goes. According to Roger Ebert's review of the film the setup is used as an excuse to explore and critique different parts of South Korean society during the 1980s, but I never really picked up on that outside of a few instances like the constant abuse the police use in interrogating suspects and a demonstration against then president/dictator Chun Doo-hwan.

The characters are well-realized, but oddly developed. When they're first introduced they all have very definable personalities and attitudes towards their job. Detective Park (Kang-ho Song) is lazy and cuts corners to solve the case. Detective Seo (Kim …