Memories of Murder, review (warning spoilers)

Kang-ho Song acted in the fun Korean blockbuster The Host as the not-to bright but loving father.   In Memories of Murder is plays a detective in a very small rural town, where it looks like a serial killer is on the loose.  Most of the forensic evidence is destroyed by the time the police are on the scenes.  He interviews many suspects and feels he can tell who is guilty by looking in their eyes.  His partner takes pleasure in beating the crap out of suspects until they confess to just about anything.

Enter the more sofisticated detective from Seoul who looks for patterns.  The killings occur on rainy nights, were all wearing red, and on each night a certain rare song is requested on the radio.  As the police narrow down their search they are constantly stymied by the lack of evidence.  Even the specimen sent of to American for DNA testing is equivocal .

Does Hae-il Parklook like James Spader?

I will rate this one 3/5 acorns with 1/2 for crimes against women and policemen beating up suspects, guilty or not.

Movie Marathon, 4 movies in 2 days

I’m Not Scared is a very beautifully shot Italian movie about a boy who discovers a kidnapped child chained in an abandoned house.  The boy is crazy with fear and tells MIchele, he thinks he is dead and that his family is also dead.  Michele keeps quiet about this and finds that he parents are involved in the kidnap scheme.  While he ponders all of this he takes Filippo food and out to play.  My favorite scene is when they roll in the wheat fields that this provincial Hawaiian never knew existed in Italy.  Once the grownups discover Michele knows about their secret, Filippo is moved.  From the TV he discovers that Filippo’s family is not able to raise the large sum of money in time.  He is moved to action when he overhears the adults pulling straws to see who will be the one to kill Filippos.    I will rate this one 4/5 acorns.  No clives

Nine Queens is an Argentinian movie about con men.  The nine queens is a set of rare stamps, most valuable as they contain a printing error.  A conman, Marcos, who has recently lost his partner hooks up with a young man, Juan,  who he catches bungling a simple con and offers to bring him in on a scam in which they will sell a forgery of the nine queens to a stamp dealer.  Many things go wrong.   Many people are involved including members of Marco’s and Juan’s sister.  As the plot thickens it is less clear who is conning who.  This movie did not have a lot of action.  Marcos talks a lot as he “trains” his apprentice.  The end is most satisfying.  I will rate this one 3/5 acorns, no clives.

City of Ember surprised me in my search for movies to see on movie day.  I love a good fantasy tale and this one has Tim Robbins in it.  The City of Ember is an underground city, powered by a massive generator.  The city was created by the “builders” 200 years earlier as a way to save the human race from total annihilation.  A box holding the secret, given to the mayor had been lost and when the generator starts to flicker, the Citizens of Ember turn to religion or believe in the corrupt mayor.  A small fraction is more concerned and tries to find how why and how.

Martin Landau has a great cameo as a pipe worker who knows his job very well but no one else.  His young apprentice, Tim Robbins son, very much wants to fix the generator.  He swaps graduation jobs with a classmate to get her job in the pipeworks and she becomes the messenger she so wanted to be.  Together they discover meaning of the box hidden in grannie’s closet, a giant mutated mole and the mayor’s secret.  As the puzzle unfolds the movie took on a Myst like quality with a bit of the Goonies and Whoville thrown in.  I will rate this one 3/5 acorns, no clives.

Body of Lies stars Russell Crowe and Leonardo Dicaprio as CIA operatives.  Russel Crow put on a bunch of weight for this roll as the protected man back in Washington and Leonardo as the operative in the Middle East.  Following a lead on a terrorist who anonymously has been blowing up stuff in Europe, Leonardo goes to Jordan.  He enlists the aid of the Jordanian CIA equivalent, played by Mark Strong.  Crowe’s character is detached from any personal relationships other then that with Leo.  Leonardo’s character is not only immersed in the relationships with Mark Strong’s character, but he also sees the destruction and loss of life that result from his actions and relationships.    As an action picture, Ridley Scott has made an excellent picture.  The acting was a+.  As a commentary on American’s in the Middle East, I can only hope there is much fantasy.    I will rate this one 3/5 acorns.  I will give it 1/2 of clive for torture and finger smashing.  Youch!