Movie Review – Parasite (Gisaengchung, 기생충)

TL;DR – A truly brilliant work of cinema that works on a character, action, and story level.    

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Parasite (Gisaengchung, 기생충). Image Credit: Madman Films.

Review

When you hear that a film has won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival you immediately take notice. Because even though the voters at Cannes don’t always get it right, they always at least pick a film that is interesting. Well today not only do we get a film that is interesting, but we also get a film that made me feel multiple different emotions throughout its run time, and made an entire cinema audible gasp more than once, like the whole cinema. Well, Parasite is a more than just interesting film. Now in this review, we are going to avoid saying too much about the ending, but just, in general, this is a film that is best seen with as little information as possible.  

So to set the scene, we open in on the Kim family: father Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho), mother Choong-sook (Jang Hye-jin), son Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik), and daughter Ki-jung (Park So-dam). They live in a semi-basement flat in the poorer part of Seoul trying to make a living from whatever odd jobs they can find, like folding pizza boxes into shape. Then one day one of Ki-woo’s old army friends who is now in university comes to visit. He lets Ki-woo know of a job as an English tutor to a rich family that would pay very well. The only problem is that Ki-woo never went to university, even though he is qualified for the job, so he gets his sister Ki-jung to fake him up some university records and shows up at the Park family house. Mr Park (Lee Sun-kyun) is a successful businessman who runs a company and spends a lot of time away from the house, so he leaves his wife Yeon-kyo (Cho Yeo-jeong) in charge of hiring and she is apparently a bit dim. Well, when she watching his lesson with her daughter Da-hye (Jung Ji-so) she mentions that they are looking for an art tutor for their son Da-song (Jung Hyun-joon) and Ki-woo knows just what to do.

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Movie Review – Svaha: The Sixth Finger (사바하, Sabaha)

TL;DR – This is a film that starts of in this weird tonally mismatched place and then as we delve deep it reveals the strength on which it is developing.     

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Svaha: The Sixth Finger. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

There are times when a surprise is really good and then there are times when you unknowingly walk into a situation that you never expected. Today we have a bit of the latter as we look at the Korean film Svaha. I had absolutely no idea what to expect, nor even what genre of film I was about to watch, I just thought it would be a good idea to catch up on some world cinema before I went to bed. Well, there are many things forthcoming in the world, but after this film, a good night’s sleep is not one of them. With that in mind, to put off going to sleep, even though it is 6 degrees in Brisbane tonight, and hold off the nightmares for an hour or two, I’m instead going to write this review.

So to set the scene, we open in a small farming town in 1999 where a woman has given birth to twin girls. However, one of them is a monster, and the doctor doesn’t think it will last the night. Soon both Geum-hwa’s (Lee Jae-in) parents are dead but her sister did not die, she lives on hidden by the family not even taught how to speak. In the present day, Pastor Park (Lee Jung-jae) is given a lecture at a local theological college. Park is an expert on new religious movements and cults in particular. He is looking to make sure that they don’t become a danger as they have been in other countries. However, it feels like he is more drawn to scandal to make a quick buck than by any real spiritual connection. One of the many groups he is monitoring is a small Buddhist-adjacent organisation who has a symbol of a deer on their buildings. But his convictions are tested when he starts digging deeper and the bodies start piling up.

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Movie Review – Extreme Job (Geukhanjikeob, 극한직업)

TL;DR – This is a film that is hilarious, funny, and had me laughing from start to finish.     

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Extreme Job (Geukhanjikeob, 극한직업). Image Credit: CJ Entertainment.

Review

There are many reasons that you may want to go to the movies. You may want a visual spectacle, an interesting character study, or maybe you just want to site and laugh your heart out. Well, today I look at a film that has the distinction of being not one but all of these things at once. Even better I had no idea about this film before seeing it, other than the title, so I didn’t know I was about to see one of the best films of the year when I walked in. Also just a pro-tip, do not go into this film on an empty stomach, trust me on this one, or at least plan to go get food the moment the film ends.  

So to set the scene, we open on an illegal gambling den as police radios crackle to life with instructions reminding everyone to limit property damage as they repel down the side of a building to block off all avenues of escape. This means no smashing through windows like you are an action star and politely asking the criminal to turn himself in … and that goes about as well as you can expect. The whole team Chief Go (Ryu Seung-ryong), Detective Jang (Lee Hanee), Detective Young-ho (Lee Dong-hwi), Detective Ma (Jin Seon-kyu), and Detective Jae-hoon (Gong Myung), chase after the suspect through the streets of Seoul only for them to have everything fall apart. They are dragged in front of the Police Superintendent (Kim Eui-sung) and berated for their incompetence, with the very real chance that their team will be disbanded. Everyone knows that they are on their last chance when Choi (Song Young-kyu) the head of a rival police taskforce gives them a tip that Lee Moo-bae (Shin Ha-kyun) one of Korea’s big drug players is about to return to the country. So the team has to engage in the biggest stake-out in their history, and it goes about as well as you expect.

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Map-It Civilization VI: Rise and Fall Cities 

TL;DR – Today we chart out the Civilization VI City List in Map from the Rise and Fall Expansion

Rise and Fall banner

Article

We continue our tradition of looking at Firaxis Games Civilization VI by charting the cities of their new expansion Rise and Fall.  If you would like to see our original map looking at the base game you can Click Here, our mapping of the expansion Click Here, and if you would like to see the cities for each civ in the base game Click Here. Now before we start, I just want to point out that these city locations are not meant to be pinpoint accurate, the groupings and questionable locations of some cities make that impossible. Just think of this more of a general guide to where they are located.  Also for our mobile guests, there will be a lot of images incoming, so even though I have tried to keep them small, now would be a good time to check that you are using wi-fi and not data.

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Video Game Review – Civilization VI: Rise and Fall Expansion  

TL;DR – It takes the formula of Civilization VI and adds to it in very different and unexpected ways boosting the core game and adding some new flavour to the experience

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Rise and Fall

 

Review –
If there is one thing that you can almost reliably count on is that a Civilization game is going to get an expansion at some point (and hopefully more than one). It is one of those gaming truisms, like there will be a controversy with each Grand Theft Auto game release, or Nintendo is going to Mario up every console it makes, the things that help make life that little bit more predictable in a world of chaos. So today we are going to explore Civilization VI’s (see review) first expansion pack Rise and Fall, which both describes some of the mechanics in the game but is also a homage to the popular mod Rhye’s and Fall.

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Map-It: Civilization VI: Rise and Fall Expansion

TL;DR – We continue to chart Civilization VI as we dive into the new expansion pack and map out all the new civilizations.

Rise and Fall banner

 

Map-It –

For today’s map, we looking at the new Rise and Fall expansion for Civilization VI. So we are including everything in the base game of Civilization VI, as well as what was included in the Poland, Viking, Australia, Persia/Macedonia, Nubia, and South East Asia DLC packs, and today we are adding upon that the Rise and Fall expansion pack. If you would like to see our original map looking at the base game you can Click Here, if you would like to see the cities for each civ in the base game Click Here. A big thanks to everyone over at Civfanatics who helped by collate all this information in their Features Thread. Now there are going to be a number of large images after the page break, so if you are on a mobile device and need to watch your data, now is the time to jump onto Wifi.

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Movie Review – The Villainess (Ak-Nyeo, 악녀)

TL;DR – Some of the most fascinating actions sequences I have ever seen, sandwiched between one of the dullest stories I have ever watched. I don’t think I have reviewed a film with such extremes in quality before, it was both fascinating and disappointing all at once.

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – No

The Villainess (Ak-Nyeo, 악녀). Image Credit: Well Go.

Review

Wow, I don’t think I have ever come across a film like The Villainess before that had the ability to both deeply interest me and also deeply bore me all in the same film. In a story of two halves, you have some of the most fascinating action sequences I have ever seen put to film, and in the other half a spy revenge tale that was just a slog to get through. On the one hand, having such a discrepancy is interesting to talk about, but also it was really frustrating because you could see such potential squandered so badly.

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