Blu-Ray Review – The Handmaiden (2016)

Set during the Japanese occupation of Korea in the 1930’s, The Handmaiden tells the tale of a young pickpocket, Sookhee. Chosen by her cohorts to pose as a Handmaiden in the countryside where an elderly book collector lives with his Japanese heiress niece, Lady Hideko. The handmaiden is tasked with a hidden agenda to convince Lady Hideko to marry, Count Fujiwara, a friend of her uncles and secretly the swindler who pick Sookhee as the handmaiden. Their true plan is inherit their riches and rob them blind with Fujiwara and Sookhee share their plunders. But, does it go to plan? No! this is a Park Chan Wook film! Continue reading “Blu-Ray Review – The Handmaiden (2016)”

Review – Kung Fu Yoga (2017)

Renowned archaeologist Jack (Jackie Chan) and his team is approached by an Indian professor who tasks them to locate India’s lost Magadha treasure in snowy Tibet. Deep into their excavation they are swiped by a group of mercenaries led by Randall, a man claiming the treasure belonged to his ancestors and thus rightfully belongs to him. After a short scrap, Jack and his team are apprehended and left as Randall escapes with the treasure. The events that unfold sends Jack and his group on a fun filled globetrotting adventure!

Jackie Chan returns with Stanley Tong in simply one of the most puzzling films I have seen in recent years. Someone clearly made this film as a love letter to India and its rich culture. Continue reading “Review – Kung Fu Yoga (2017)”

Blu-Ray Review – Psycho II (1983)

Taking place 22 years after the events of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho – Psycho II tells the tale of Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) as he is deemed mentally suitable to return society and return to the Bates Motel.

Through the help of his doctor (Robert Loggia) and some nice Christian folk, he gets a job at a local diner and things appear to going well when he befriends a young waitress called Mary (Meg Tully). Then Norman receives a phone call from his mother… Continue reading “Blu-Ray Review – Psycho II (1983)”

Blu-Ray Review – Train to Busan (2016)

All aboard! Ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaa! South Korean director Yeon Sang-ho delivers an aggressive jolt of suspense and horror with his first live action feature; Train to Busan.

Focusing on thoughtless father Seok (Yoo Gong) and his daughter Su An, boarding the KTX train to Busan to reunite Su An with her mother. Meanwhile the streets of the city are ridden with riots, people viciously attacking one another with no cause behind the outbreak. When the final passenger boards the train and collapses stricken with a mystery virus – the passengers of the train soon find themselves fighting for their lives against a crazy of blood thirsty animalistic zombies!

The group of survivors include a colourful cast of characters including a pregnant couple – the hard knocks husband and his heavily pregnant gentle natured wife, a pair of elderly sisters and a young pair of star crossed lovers. Throw them into the mixture alongside a homeless dude and a fearful CEO businessman and we’ve got some drama! Whilst there is plenty of characters in the film, you’ll find yourself falling in love with some of them, these are some of the folk you want behind you in a zombie apocalypse, and then there’s some that actually more repulsive that the zombies!

When it comes to crunch/munch where our leads have to proceed from train car to train car to reunite themselves from their separated loved ones – this is where the film really comes to life for me. It is as if we’re watching a video game play out in front of you, watching the characters progress from level to level, how they overcome situations, who dies along way!

Another real surprise what the subplot of the change in the business class, that was horrifying to watch, I won’t give it away. But as the plot carries on and the terrific organ music blares – it’s crazy, absolute nuts.

The drama and the tension of the film is well deserving of its title as one of the biggest Asian Blockbusters we’ve seen in years. Yeon Sang-ho has gained my attention after previously dismissing it with The King of Pigs. Yes, I am now very interested in seeing if the animated sequel; Seoul Station will keep to the standard that Train to Busan has set.

Overall, Train to Busan is a total blast! Great cast of characters, nail biting tension and a train choked full of zombies! What more do you need other than a bowl of Cinema Sweat Popcorn, right? Chew-Chew!

Blu-Ray Extras 2/5

Train to Busan 5/5

Overall Score 7/10

Blu-ray Review – The Guyver (1991)

On the run from the evil an corporation, researcher Dr. Segawa  – is in possession of the Guyver; a space-age alien technology which can transform man into a futuristic kung fu fighting machine with superhuman strength.

When Segawa  is caught and killed by a mutant creature at the behest of Chronos Corporation, he out smarts them  by managing to stash the Guyver before his untimely demise.

Meanwhile Segawas daughter, Mizky (Vivian Wu) is informed of her fathers death a rogue CIA agent Max Reed (Mark Hamill), Reed has his own theories about Chronos and Segawa s involvement with the Guvyer. When driving to the site of her fathers death, they are unknowingly tailed by Sean (Jack Armstrong), the dim boyfriend of Mizky, who is under the impression that Max is trying to woo his girl, whilst spying he accidentally discovers the Guyver.

Sean, Mizky and Max now find themselves the next target of the Chronos Corporation and their group rag-tag group of mutant henchmen.

Man! The Guyver was nuts! How did I not know about this film prior to the Blu-ray release from Arrow Home Video? It is the perfect blend of mental make-up and prosthetic effects and campy acting and martial arts to mould the perfect 90’s B-Movie – something Canon would be proud of.

It’s a fun story and I was impressed with the costumes and effects, but I feel I probably would have loved this x10 back when I was ten. The mixture of that 90’s vibe; the music, editing effects and storyline would have made for a badass Sega Megadrive game.

I should have been well aware of that I was going to be in for a crazy viewing experience when the directing credits are by special-effects masters Screaming Mad George and Steve Wang. Whilst it is a fun action romp, it is fairly dated – surely there is clearly a following, whether its solely about Yoshiki Takaya’s manga or if there is a large following for this film – it’s a surprise to me. This rings true as a feature which should probably remained in the 90’s alongside VHS cassettes.

Arrow Home Entertainment honoured The Guyver with a blu-ray release in December 2016 delivering their usual high standards of presentation with a new digital transfer of the Director’s Cut, Original uncompressed audio and thankfully (because I’m a bit deaf!) English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing (again, me!).

Overall 2.5/5