Nobody’s Daughter Haewon

Nobody-Daughter-HaewonParting with a mother, for good–the mother is moving away to Canada, has never been so difficult and yet at the same time also so simple. And a reunion with an older, and married, ex-boyfriend, that is also her ex-acting professor, has never been so awkward and at the same time so complicated, if it’s not in a Hong Sang-soo movie. Also Jane Birkin, Martin Scorsese, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 Allegretto, mind control, and of course unannounced possible dream sequences, circular repetitive plot, and lots of Soju!

My Rating: 7/10


A Long and Happy Life

a long and happy lifeJust like any other human being, all Sascha Sergeevich wanted is a long and happy life in his simple potato farmland, in a cabin by the river. Or maybe, in an apartment in the city. And just like so many other human beings, he couldn’t achieve what he’s hoping for.
It should be very simple. Someone buys the farmland, take the money, then moving out to the city with his girlfriend. The only problem is: his fellow farmworkers are against the takeover, decided to stay and fight. Wait. All the farmworkers wanted to stay and fight, or just some of them? Or, just some few of them? Or, is it just one or two of those bigmouths?

My Rating: 6/10

The Secret Lives of Dorks

secret-lives-dorks-poster-exclUS release date: September 27

Standard dork story told in standard dork way. Cast Jim Belushi as the dork’s gym coach and football-maniac widower dad. Cast Jen Tilly as the dork’s old maid multi-subjects teacher who got hots for the dork’s dad. Place a standard hot blonde cheerleader as the dork’s love interest. Place a standard not hot girl-dork as his potential, and of course standardly more suitable, love interest. Then cast William Katt and Kay Lenz as the girl-dork’s parents.
The only two things kind of non-standard in this movie are: 1. The cheerleader is actually helping the dork to woo the girl-dork–who of course, just like in every standard dork story, turned out to be very nice when she wears nice dresses and make-up. 2. The dork has no secret life. The jock does.

My Rating: 4/10

The Colony

colonyUS release date: September 20

Anyone expecting bad post-apocalypse sci-fi action thriller with cheap horrible CGI, prepare to be disappointed, because the movie’s CG visuals are very decent as the filmmakers done a good job covering their apparent modest special effect budget. Originality? Well, you can have even far less originality in your favorite box-office Hollywood blockbusters these days.
Global civilization has been reduced to a few small underground colonies, surviving a frozen earth, and racing against deadly flu outbreak. With limited rations and limited everything, it’s a race they probably won’t going to win. Colony 7’s leader, played by Laurence Fishburne, took his two young colony members in a short hiking trip through the blizzard in response to an SOS signal coming from the nearby Colony 5. At the colony’s entrance they find traces of blood. Inside, more blood. What is happening there?

My Rating: 6/10


two_mothersUS release date: September 6

While Fifty Shades of Grey movie is still in pre-production, here’s another fantasy scenario for you, Ladies: Your BFF is sleeping with your own young gorgeous son. Yay? Nay? To make it even more egregious, you then decide to sleep with your BFF’s own young gorgeous son(!), well, maybe, as an act of ‘revenge’? Or because you also kind of secretly wanted him all along? Turn-on or turn-off? The four of you knew it’s wrong, but just keep on doing it, maybe, out of ‘lust’, or ‘love’? Or both? Smutty, or corny?
While this surely isn’t a modern cross-oedipalian version of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, an ‘Australian Ladies Lovers’ to be more precise–and you probably can’t say it without rolling your eyes, it might not be a very bad movie after all… as long as you can stand Naomi Watts and Robin Wright in fake Australian accent.

My Rating: 5/10

Touchy Feely

touchyUS release date: September 6

An all over the place but doesn’t particularly going anywhere mumblecore comedy drama about Paul, a meek and socially inept dentist, his daughter Jenny, and his younger sister Abby. Abby is a masseuse who suddenly developed a strange unexplainable  disgust of touch. Jenny, her own dad’s assistant at their small dental clinic, is, well, helping her dad in the small dental clinic. While Abby senses herself distancing from the world around her, from her boyfriend’s world, Paul starts learning–awkwardly–to cut the distances with his own world, with his daughter’s world, while Jenny learns to discover the big world outside her dad’s clinic.
It’s so easy to dismiss this movie as a story about some puzzling feelings with lazy (and not funny) storytelling, but do ask yourself this: how does someone portray the near abstract concept of “touch”, “losing touch”, and “back in touch” in a movie? This isn’t a perfect attempt. It’s a road less traveled, a one way road, but it is definitely not a dead-end. Plus, you might enjoy those lovely Tomo Nakayama’s songs.

My Rating: 7/10