Friday, June 30, 2017

Reviews: Okja Uses The Word F*ck Way Too Often; Baby Driver Needs Car Chases

Directed by Bong Joon-ho

The latest big name project from Netflix is Okja, that tale of a modified super pig that looks more like a hippo than the oinksters we know and love to eat. Okja has a little girl who loves her, Miji played by Ahn Seo-hyun who tries to saver her from an evil corporation run by Lucy Mirando played by the always creepy Tilda Swinton. What's hard to stomach in this film is the awful Engrish and the forced-down-your-stomach morals.

You see the director is Joon-ho Bong who also takes writing credit. It's fairly obvious when we see almost any scene spoken in English that our writer/director doesn't fully grasp the nuances of our language. F*ck spills out at a  press conference at the start of the movie. Now, I can't tell if it's suppose to be the dark surreal humor of the film or that the director simply doesn't understand we don't use f*ck in that situation. The CEO of a major company doesn't say "f*ck," on television and it with many other scenes make the world feel a little less believable. Yes, it's a world with a giant pig hippopotamus, but you try and make the world feel real when making a movie. 

Sure enough though, that's the director's go to throughout the movie for anyone speaking English. F*CK this and F*CK that, almost anytime were in an English speaking scene. Sometimes when an English speaker talks it sounds like a computer telling you information. In fact once scene with Swiss Army Man's Paul Dano as the leader of an animal rights gang could be titled "exposition for five minutes."

The terrible f*ck-ridden dialogue isn't the only reason how this film steers away from being kid-friendly or even 80's kid friendly. Okja gets raped! Not fully on camera, but you can piece it together. That's one of many moments of bewilderment of beating-you-over-the head messages about corporate greed and how bad people can be.

Okja has very little subtly an sodoes director Joon-ho Bong. It's a fairy tale world told by a malfunctioning computer nanny in some sort of dystopian future where humans are all dead. That sounds about right with this weird story and the pig death camp at the end.

Baby Driver

Directed by Edgar Wright

I was going full steam into this new film from Edgar Wright and took a U-Turn and got lost. Just like his last credited film "The World's End" he misses the mark. The film is suppose to be a car chase movie, but is flawed by having all but two car chases of little note. We do get some fun moments with get-away driver known as Baby played by Ansel Elgort and the supporting cast with some killer tracks. In the end, in the end it's just a fun movie to watch, nothing that spectacular or memorable just something that entertains when you see it.

I don't see it becoming an instant classic or having anything that memorable to it other than a great soundtrack syncing to the action on screen.

Baby Driver kind of feels like it comes from a less experienced director or writer whose not willing to put in a major game changer or try something new. It all felt like it was building to a real car chase, but the race was already over by the third act.