All of Us Are Dead (Jigeum Uri Hakgyoneun/지금 우리 학교는/ Now at Our School): Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – A very compelling look at a zombie outbreak at a school and the carnage that would leave in its wake but one that goes on for a bit too long.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this series.

All of Us Are Dead. Image Credit: Netflix.

All of Us Are Dead Review

The Zombie genre is one that has been played out in many regards. However, if there is one place that can still create something new in this space, it is South Korea, where you can get visually fascinating stories, but ones that also hit on an emotional level. When I heard that there was a new series on Netflix that hit all these marks, well, I had to check it out.

So to set the scene, it is an ordinary day at Hyosan High School, with the students cleaning the school after class. However, while most of the school goes home, one student falls asleep in the Science Lab. When Kim Hyeon-ju (Jung Yi-seo) wakes up, she hears a noise in the supply room, where there is a tiny mouse in the cage that just so happens to bite her. The science teacher Lee Byeong-chan (Kim Byung-chul), notices the bite and kidnaps the student. The next day Nam On-jo (Park Ji-hu), Lee Cheong-san (Yoon Chan-young), Choi Nam-ra (Cho Yi-hyun), Han Gyeong-su (Ham Sung-min) and their friends make their way to school when the missing student is found in an agitated state. People think the science teacher drugged her, but they don’t know that she is turning into a zombie and that one bite is all it will take to spread the virus. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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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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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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Movie Review – Okja

TL;DR – Beautiful, moving, devastating, unsettling, emotional, heart-breaking & powerful

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

P.S. – There is a post-credit scene

Okja. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Wow, just wow, for a long time Netflix has been moving into the movie distribution industry, but so far they really have not put out anything truly remarkable, focusing more on Adam Sandler type movies, when they actually get around to promoting them. So when some friends in the industry mentioned that Okja was the real thing, I was surprised, then I found out that it was made by Bong Joon-ho, whose Snowpiercer was a fascinating film, even if I did have a couple of issues with it. So I loaded up Netflix, put out my lunch, and wondered what we were going to see, and I can honestly say I was not prepared for the feels, in any way shape and form.

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