To truly understand Jung_E may well require a sequel. This android’s future is in question and when it has pictorial moments right out of Gunnm, a Japanese manga I love, the similiarites I’m finding demand it.
In the future, the planet Earth is no longer habitable, and humanity’s life in orbital colonies has become harder. A civil war broke out after some of them formed their own government. In the conflict Jung_yi (Kim Hyun-joo) the soldier, not Jung_E the android, become a legend. The movie explores a bit of her life and sadly, she’s no Joan of Arc. I would have appreciated that nod, but she is just another model in the production line.
This replicant whom analysts are studying has this woman’s memories, but it’s tough to figure out what made the woman tick. Her decoration is because she pulled a Hail Mary. Through flashbacks, we learn why she became a soldier. And although this story is solid, I was hoping for more about the current state of affairs between why the Allied Forces want to fully clone her and why this war against the Andrian Republic lasted this long.
At first, I thought this movie may be a take on Battle Angel Alita (Gunnm)’s complex themes of existentialism. To put a consciousness in another body has consequences. But here, it doesn’t go further than to understand Jung’s memories. She’s a skilled fighter and can lead an army. But to replicate all of that to other clones requires digitising those memory engrams that make her tick.
Choi Dong-hoon’s Alienoid is more about a kid displaced in time with My Two Dads, but it’s also V the Series with Terminator mixed in.
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Choi Dong-hoon’s ambitious plans for Alienoid are big. In part one, two robots–a very humanoid looking Guard (Kim Woo-bin) and a mechanical Thunder (voiced by Kim Dae-myung)–are tasked to keep watch on certain prisoners. Their bosses are some strange alien species who imprison the essences of their criminals in human vassals. Instead of making the entire planet a penal colony, we have to suspend disbelief and assume Seoul, South Korea, is special for a reason.
Perhaps in each major city, there are other guardians, and their assignment to monitor those prisoners is to make sure they don’t awaken. It’s very possible these criminal aliens can bend the minds of their hosts. They can take them for a very unwilling ride, and for unsuspecting humans, the result can sometimes be ugly. It’s safe to say neither can survive without the other. Or should that be, each criminal can’t last outside their prison without a host.
Seoul, South Korea, could explode into a bubble like in Akira in Park Hoon-jung’s The Witch: Part Two The Other One
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Park Hoon-jung‘s imagination is bloody dangerous! This screenwriter is better known for the South Korean film, I Saw the Devil and his contributions to the horror and superhero scene are few. When I heard about The Witch, I hoped his version of Firestarter is better and it is. The first film, Part One: The Subversion, is absolutely terrifying. The story ends with a cliffhanger which I thought might continue with Part Two: The Other One.
Yoon Jae-geun’s sophomore work continues his love for making gangster films, and what we find here is a man (Yoon Kye-sang) with no memories of who he was.
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The premise behind Spiritwalker (유체이자) is a very intriguing one. Yoon Jae-geun’s sophomore work continues his love for exploring gangster politics, and what we find here is a man (Yoon Kye-sang) with no memories of who he was, and what he’s supposed to do in a jaunt around Seoul, Korea. What he sees in the mirror is not the image of himself. That’s all he really knows, and we’re on the same scary ride he’s in.
A bum calls for help, and he allows himself to be taken to the hospital for treatment. Twelve hours later, he wakes up in another body. The only thing that keeps him grounded is needing to find Jina (Lim Ji-yeon). The only person who believes he’s the same person in different bodies is that homeless man, Haengryo (Park Ji-hwan) he’s met before, who helps him navigate this crazy, mixed up world.
Comparisons to the Rocky franchise can easily be made. The hero’s journey is three of Stallone’s films compressed into one; both protagonists developed punch drunk syndrome–hence the title.
By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
North American Premiere
Playing at Fantasia Digital Film Festival 2020 On Demand till Sept 2 (5pm EST). Buy your virtual ticket here.
My Punch-Drunk Boxer ( 판소리 복서) could do with a shorter run time if it wants a knockout at the box office. This film is trying to balance being a rom com and sports drama at the same time. As any trainer will tell you, focus!
This Korean film moves to a beat of its own and it can succeed, had it been broken up to two films than one. It almost copies what the protagonist is up to and moves in time to a style that Byeong-Goo (Uhm Tae Goo), a boxer turned ne’er-do-well, developed when he was at his prime. Sadly, an incident ended his career and now he’s doing menial tasks for gym manager, Mr. Park (Kim Hee-won).