Saturday, March 10, 2007

March 10th Log

2007, Bong Joon-ho, South Korea
1st Viewing, Theater

If the government says so, we have to accept it. What can we do?” The Host was one of the biggest box office hits from Korea last year, and now it gets a wide United States release. The film is sure to pick up some pretty decent box office and fans here as there is certainly a lot of appeal. The Host is essentially a family drama but with a strong mix of comedy, suspense, and political satire. It is a monster movie and the monster is the most impressive aspect of the film. However, the monster here is a metaphoric one for the films true enemy, which is the government. The United States government seems to be a specific target as the film is based on a true event in which a US military scientist ordered the disposal of a toxic chemical into the sewer system leading into the Han River. A similar scene to this event opens the film before it moves into it’s thrilling open moments of anticipation for the arrival of the monster. The scene when the monster is released may be the very best of the film and from there The Host delves more into its family drama as three siblings and their father go on a rescue mission to save one of the siblings daughter. The performances are a bit over the top (even by the monster) but the blend of genres make this a truly exciting monster movie with plenty of humor, suspense, political satire and mass paranoia. Supposedly the rights of this film were sold for a remake in the United States, but it would have to be an entirely different film. This one is rooted by its culture.

1953, Anthony Mann, United States
1st Viewing, DVD

The Glenn Miller Story is directed by Anthony Mann. He made the film in-between his expressionistic westerns and again re-team with star James Stewart. The result is less personally expressive, but still classic old-fashioned 1950s cinema, and ultimately a box office smash. The film used both its star power (James Stewart and June Allyson) as well as the popularity of Glenn Miller and his music to its advantage. The Glenn Miller Story begins with the standard biography format that was frequently made in Hollywood for the big musicians. However, this one has a little bit more to offer mostly because of Mann’s direction and control of a Technicolor frame, but especially because of Stewart’s remarkable performance. Here with Mann (whom he made eight films with), Stewart gives this character a darker psychological side that was rare for this film in the 1950s. There seems to be more emotional and mental complexity here and much of that is because of the depth of Stewart’s performance. Of course the real entertainment of the film is the music (including appearances by Louis Armstrong, Ben Pollack, and Arvell Shaw). Miller was one of the key innovators in creating the big band sound of jazz and though his music was rather conservative it stands the test of time wonderfully. Above all, this film is a tribute to the artist and it is done so with a genuinely caring and well made film.


At March 11, 2007 at 12:12 AM , Blogger Richard said...


I have a Google alert to find Glenn Miller's Name, anywhere on the

internet. And Your nane was mentioned too. I now

have a website with 228 of Glenn's 1940 musical hits that can be

heard on your own computer. It is free service

for all Glenn Miller fans.

Thanks to new technology, the website works great ....!

It is truly amazing how well it does work. Using DSL, you can choose

a particular piece of music and play it 15 seconds later.

(DSL loads a song in 15 seconds, dial-up in 8 minuts.)

Tell your friends, his music is now online here 24/7.

Richard Henry Whiteside

704 Edwards Ct.

Visalia, CA 93277-2217


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