Up first this week is Project Wolf Hunting. This South Korean flick is not what it appears to be and that’s a good thing. It opens with an explosion during a prisoners transfer and fast forwards years later. This time the prisoners are being transferred in a boat and you think it’s going to be about the prisoners taking over the boat. Well it sort of is, but then it goes off the rails with a super human also being there and all kinds of violence. Tons of blood is spilled and it’s gory and violent. I dug it. I don’t know if it makes a lick of sense because they somewhat explain what’s going on, but I didn’t care. People have their throats slit, their heads caved in, bones break. It’s over-the-top violent in a horror movie type of way not like in a The Raid: Redemption way. I have to say it was a nice surprise knowing nothing about it. The best of the releases I watched.

Sticking with blood, second we have Dario Argento’s Dark Glasses. Argento was once the king of giallo, but his movies nowadays lack the passion of his earlier work. This is a prime example. Had I watched this not knowing it was an Argento film I would have thought it was a newer director inspired by him. There’s nothing wrong with the movie, but it’s pretty by-the-numbers at this point in his career. A prostitute is attacked and crashes her car leaving her blind. A young boy loses his parents in the crash and starts living with her. The killer is out to finish the job while she struggles with her blindness. It has some style, but Argento’s work from decades back is much, much better. If you are a fan of his I’d still check it out because it still has his touches on it, but don’t expect a thrilling masterpiece.

Third we have The King of Laughter a film about comic actor Eduardo Scarpetta and his fight over a parody. I’ll be honest, I have no idea who this person is. I also didn’t realize it was based on a true story at first. And I also didn’t realize it was based in the 20th century because it looked much older, hundreds of years older. But then it talks about movies and his son gets offered a movie and I was shocked it was the 1900s. The work portrayed on stage did nothing for me. It’s not something I would have liked, but the film shifts towards Scarpetta’s fight over plagiarism. Another playwright takes him to court over it, but he insists his show was a parody and shouldn’t be charged. The audience turned on him when it was performed so that the playwright could attack him legally. Having known nothing about him or the situation I didn’t know how it was going to end. The production value is good with great period costuming, but Scarpetta (not the actor portraying him, but the person himself) is too over the top for me. It’s not the type of person I can root for, but you do root for him to win the case because you can clearly tell it’s a parody and he had talked to the original playwright.

Last we have Children of the Mist. No this isn’t a horror movie, it’s a documentary about a Hmong community in the mountains of North Vietnam. You see how they grow crops and live their lives above the rest of us. They go to school. They have get togethers where they drink and dance and have a good time. I thought it was pretty cool seeing how a different group of people live, but also bummed that even in the middle of nowhere kids live on their cell phones and social media. Yep, even in a mountainous community teens go on Facebook and are constantly on their phones. I was dumbfounded to see how much technology has corrupted even a place like this. I guess it shows that all people are the same, but seeing teenaged girls gossiping on Facebook in a land that looks lost in time made me sad. They still have traditions of young girls being taken from their families and forced to marry young boys, but I was genuinely shocked how many had cell phones and social media.

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