dumsumdumfai

IMDb member since September 2003
    Lifetime Total
    250+
    IMDb Member
    19 years

Reviews

Wednesday
(2022)

A character that can carry the show.....alone
It's a very good show for sure. And Wednesday alone is given the best lines, development, and dimensionality. She is the show. The polar opposite roommate as well is a good contrast as their coming together of friendship. That should have been the crux.

So I'm not sure about the 3 boys interest and the monster murder mystery. That part of the plot for me kind of drags and gets in the way of the character.

Maybe the other school creatures are there for season 2? And the school feels kind of like Potter clone.

As for the family, only the uncle bit is kinda interesting but also seems like a litmus test.

Maybe it's the budget, but seems like the Tim Burtonness is a little hampered and restrained.

Glass Onion
(2022)

It's a satire
Laugh out loud one at that. The whole billionaire high tech genius thing is a slight at the times. E. Musk, S. Jobs, M. Zukerburg, E. Holms..... Anyone? So is the social media, creator, disruptor speech. As the same with the has been singer/fashionista (who do you have that fits on your mind?) and her assistant; the braun gun touting Baustista ; the backwards compatible politician with a non green agenda.; the frustrated IT tech guy (lone purpose and joke) whose concern for QA is always thrown out the window.

The disdain in the dialogue and characterization cuts hard ....like a knief !!! It cuts on the fake facades, fake personalities, fake convience, reverence and rationalization of our modern, online, followers life. Right down to the Serena Williams gag.

Case in point is the invitation box. It is decorated by an array of childish presentation glitter that grandma can solve. When a sensible person would see through the self grandiosing.... with an hammer. Was it also pointing at Hollywood itself?

The movie is not really a whodunit but how to get your revenge against a rich dumbass who think he is smart. Might as well cause a viewer might easily guess the culprit anyhow.

Yes there are some useless characters like the 2 assistants but the stranger on the island is a contrarian gag, I guess. You can say all the characters are 2 dimensional and they only services the plot. But isn't that the point? The set is impeccable as well as probably just another joke.

It's very enjoyable.

Geullichi
(2022)

It's about friendship
Epi 8 Ok not an 8. Finally Cap gets something to do. The daughter becomes alliance. I can see a vague ending coming.

Epi 4 I'm four episode in and will definitely finish. For sure the alien story is secondary to the friendship between the two leads. The club with the 3 dorks, mom and dad, coworkers are for comedic effect. I suspect it's to do with the cult religion.

However I'm a bit worried about NaNa or Im Jin-Ah. Nothing wrong with acting just she looks really frail and skinny. Borderline anorexic. Hope someone is helping her.

The back story probably holds some key information and the young kids actually are pretty good. The cop seems a tad under use. The infiltrated Kim dad looks interesting. Hopefully the end is not convoluted and mess.

Cafe Minamdang
(2022)

A lot of filler
Doesn't get interesting until ep 5 when a new corpse was discovered and recount of how the why the brother was killed. The tone changed too but for 30min or so. But the again it was kinda jarring to leave the hit and run case.

The whole cafe back story is nice fyi. And there are some fun parts but overall somewhat silly, especially the first 2 EP. I'm on 6th, so there's 10 more to go?

I-sang-han byeon-ho-sa U-yeong-u
(2022)

Push the sentimental button
No denying it's a good show. Good not great.

There's whales, dolphins and good acting from the main lead. Cases that pulls the heart string, single father story, and yeah a genius with autism accused of nepotism. And there's also a few love stories.

But these are there to obviously play to the soft side of the audience. Much better KDrana show about law is Juvenile Justice. More realistic than idealistic. I'm not grumpy just more awake when I'm watching out for a great show.

Ep9 is case in point. The goal of children must play, healthy and happy is what is ideal but not realistic. I'm not saying it's not good or not a good message. And I'm sure many parents do understand this and are not one dimensional. But to have this overtakes some semblance of balance is too overboard on the sentimental side. A feel good show does need to know where to draw the line.

The Mandalorian
(2019)

What is the catch phrase again?
I was never a Star Wars fan. Star Trek maybe. Definitely Blade Runner though

So that's a preamble. The premise is interesting and the code made the Mando clan as if some kind of samurai equivalent. Maybe I had higher expectations going in (many say it's better than Boba). But I don't see it.

Carl is too stiff. The other fighters more like numbers game. Even the robot. Some episode seems one off and doesn't contribute much. It will pass but barely. Other scifi like Raised by Wolves, Severance or Foundation are much more interesting though.

The Boys
(2019)

A bit too much
Violence that is. It has a good story so the shock kills I can do without. Almost as if it's not confident enough. And sometimes the overrun almost vulgar humor seems trying too hard.

Premise is fantastic. Superhero developed and branded by corporation. And some sly and evil ones too. Resistance is not futile since the ragtag team also has their powerful backers. The way various heros fractured and went their own way is good for development and threads but how will it all tied in? One thing annoys me is all the trouble/abandon childhood explanation a bit too repetitive and overdone.

Season 2 took me a while to finish but fairly consistent. The new characters expands the universe and did a lot, alot, of explaining. But something is just missing and don't know what. Just wish the action sequence are not so extremely .... decapitating.

Severance
(2022)

Hope not ....for the sophomore slum
It's a well plan show and the didn't see the misdirection coming.

Premise and setup absolutely brilliant. Who are you? Being the first line is intentional of course. The self directing funny self help lines reminds me of that Zen master guy in Mystery Men.

Besides the world changing tech and secret, to me the theme (setup and production design) is a tribute (or indictment) of the old corporate culture. Where the company just want you to do your own job. The international conglomerate so big you have no sense of what the company do. And as an employee you are really small, needs to meet targets and treated with rewards and punishment (by the books) like a pet.

And the show elevates work to some as a religious concept. With biblical like quotes, statues, and compliance volumes. Wellness check and break room are lie detector tests and isolate confinement. Which is kinda dark humor if you think about it.

There are few slow points even for a 9 episode season. But albeit some are setup, preparation for season 2. Like the lambs, and actual numbers work and the relationship between John Tutoro and Vhris Walken character. The dance party was fun and so was the fruit plate thingy. Not sure what if there was more to the meaning of the dating segment or the extended long wait before Pete's death. Let's hope second season can live up to this first one.

Everything Everywhere All at Once
(2022)

Unedited
Strange to say this film is too frantic for a tad too long. Wouldn't say incohesive but there seems to be parts that are a tad over(zealous) while others under(achieving).

The overall idea and execution is good but the major theme of kindness, family first, mother daughter is rather hammered through. At running time of 2.20, it could use some critical editing.

JLC is hilarious here and so is KHQ as the male lead. Michelle Kwan still got it to take the helm and the daughter is a good surprise.

The Batman
(2022)

Definitive
This movie hooks you from the first shot and hardly ever let's go. The brooding, pounding searing score; the dark rainy nights, the closeups, sometimes smeared thin focal planes of the camera.

The narration begins with declaration of vengeance and what looks to me as continuation of from the end of The Joker movie. Year two moves on to the murder mysteries of the mayor, DA and commissioner. And thereby introduces a series of important characters, cat woman, Penguin and Falcone. So the story combines many plots and characters but it's never hurried or unsure.

Batman here is scarred, damaged and an reclusive being. It's clear he is partly trapped by the pass. He is awaken through Alfred's incident and Selina's plight. There is probably one good action scene with the batmobile. And it's spectacular planned out and realized, down to the flipped over perspective of the Bat walking over.

Theres a bomb scene in the middle and a big elaborate scene at the end, but both werr well restrained and gladly underwhelming to a degree. With the focus and sympathy transferrence being on the mayor's son.

The riddler here is just as scarred and twisted. And smarter of course. Three hours is fitting and totally transport the audience to a place and time. A Place and time that only existed in the post modern comic books. Theme wise, it's an indictment of Western politics everywhere - the selling of a fake dream - Renewal. While the real deal happens in the gutters.

This one is better than the previous Nolan trilogy, combined, as it didn't waste time on introductions and greeting. The investment here is on the atomsphere, the attitudes and the what the audience knows ahead of time. But Heath Legers Joker is much more memorable than all the characters in this take.

Misuteri to iunakare
(2022)

Subtle Connection and Observations
There is a sublime calmness to this mystery series. And I'm afraid it's to conceal the pain that is behind the protagonist's background.

The stories and cases varies in category, severity, and of course location. But the flow from one to the next is as if the passing of time, naturally. And so are the observations. It's the key concept, the central theme here. The introduction case is unique in that the protagonist is trapped inside the police station. He needs to prove his innocence without going anywhere. And that's an attention grabber. So is the connection with the hospital cop, novel, and Leica. Or that little interlude and dialogue in the restaurant late at night.

The poignant moment comes later on with the girl named Leica. I usually detest love interest but this one developed with respect, understanding and little gesture and touches. Well done.

Mubeop Byeonhosa
(2018)

Ahn oh Joo character stood out... for the wrong reason
Man, that gangster wanted to steal screen time but is caught overacting. This ruins the show for me.

Overacting is fairly rare in kdramas but this one is so obvious and over the top that it's painful to watch. The story is rather straight forward. Good vs bad, revenge with dirty cops, past history, gangster, corrupted judge and a lawless lawyer that uses the brain and Braun.

I'm up to EP 7 and its dragging a bit. Obvious love story developing, internal turmoil in the corrupted 7. Someone just came back from the dead and the good guys seems to be in trouble. But of course they will turn around. There must be a few twist and secret weapons like the prosecutor...sigh.

So the bad guy turned as witness against the judge at the end. Alright, just barely. Not wasting more paragraphs.

Grid
(2022)

Well done except for Intro flashback
The Intro looks as if tacked on after thought. As if some producer might have complained about not explaining the back story. Then the transition into the factory happened was probably the original opening. So it was confusing.

Once it started into the convenient store murder then everything was moving at a good clip. The female cop is a good character and the mystery behind male researcher's own personal agenda adds to the story.

The action scene are well coordinated. Like the murderers escape from the building, exchange of water bottle, and the subway chase. Even the initial hesitation at the murder scene is well thought out.

I'm 5 episode in and it's a tightly directed thriller. But of course this is SciFi so hope the explanation don't cheap out. Well, most scifi is more about story and characters. The crux shouldn't depend on a scientific explanation, that's what I meant.

Up to ep.9. Relentless pace slows down a bit at ep7 as he travels back in trying to fix things. But things quickly ramps up when the new reality sets in after the explosion. The crucial linkage shows up in esp. 9 so how it's gonna get resolved? Tense indeed.

10. Season 1. The end is like other American shows....raises more questions to hook you in. A bit of down grade as somethings make no sense.

Miseuti
(2018)

In a span of 3 yrs Kdramas tightens up
This was a 2018 series of 16 episodes. Starting in 2021, I saw some Kdramas has tighten up to 12 or 10, even 8 episodes. That's how quick a change comes and hoe adaptable they are.

There's a formula to this series like many others of their times. The open and end of the episode is of the current time, here the murder investigation. The 2nd timeline, the meat of the show is the lead up to the murder. While a third time line is any other past memories that built each character s back story.

Eventually the investigation will take over as the meat. But still there's way too many 'stretch moment' where a 10 second scene becomes 2-5 minutes multi angle, slo-mo emotional stirrup. That just detracts to the acting and story. But still the story is not hard to follow.

I'm now up to 4 episode and can feel the padding to 16 episodes is unavoidable and unnecessary. Hope I'm wrong. Will update.

Update1.

Up to 8th and it's strange to have the integrity of the character shown so late in the series. Also the men are so weak in this. Guess that's not the target audience. The twist and turn are not that shocking but the police character are just sit ins scratching their heads. And they didn't check the call log until arrest and interrogation?????

Update 2 So coming down the stretch, it's clear the murder is secondary. The political battles and media indepence and objectivity is the point. However, from just before the invalid arrest scene you can guess who did the deed. Yet, the slow-mo, repeat from different angles drags on.

Update 3 The twist with eP 16 is just ridiculous. 6 rating is generous.

Dark Hole
(2021)

Sink or swim
Well, yet another zombie-ish Korean horror mystery. And there's been a few lately since the pandemic.

Happiness, All of us are dead, Zombie for sale(movie), Sweet home (kind of), Kingdom, ..

I am almost zombied out to tell you the truth. And maybe that's not fair to this series. But it didn't start well because use the first 5-10 min to show the near very end... probably ep 10 or 11.

I'm on middle of 8th episode now and it took me 2 weeks to get here. Yes, there are moments and there are side and back stories. But this one is touching all aspects and genres. Like here's a witch/sorcerer involved; there's a serial murderer, cop imposter, bad high school students; mad scientist hospital doctors....etc. Maybe too many branches (too few core ideas) ?

Of the many series on this topic I like Happiness the most. This one I will just have to finish just because I'm too close to the end....or not !!!

Agui Maeumeul Ilgneun Jadeul
(2022)

Building a map on the Minds of Evil
I have no idea why anyone would want this job. It shows what true, real heros are really like, and what they are made of. They are hard working but in the background, yet they are thinking at the forefront of their field. They are relentless, detailed oriented and uncompromising, mentally.

This is the story of Korean crime profiling unit, the modernisation of their police force through inter juristictional wide area investigation network and database. The cases (all real) sends chills up my spine. They are not portrait with over gruesome shots or violence. It's their unexplainable violence, without a normally traceable motive, against a complete stranger. It's their twisted interviews that are chilling. It's the matter of fact style the series depicts each of the incident of crime. Like a documentary almost but with more style.

The story almost begins by accident with the words from a career criminal. The buildup is slow and that's what life feels like. The crescendo comes from around ep 7-10 with the 2 intertwined mass murderers where clues are scarece and ideas were few.

There's tension here because the criminal is at large. This tension is relieved by their interviews as well as the profile built-up. The perpetrators are caught almost in an anticlimactic way. But that's life. And the evidence are still being uncovered afterwards. I appreciate how psychological taxing this must have been for the profiler. His sense of duty, yet the work overwhelming him, even his psyche.

I'm midway through ep 10 and could only take 1/2 episode at a time since #8. This is excellent.

Juvenile Justice
(2022)

Thats just the way the law is
It is such laziness that raises the counter argument. One must not let it be, let your guard down, let it slide. Because justice is not only about fairness to the offender, especially the young, but more importantly fairness to the victim.

This is a heavy drama. No relief at all. If you don't like that skip it. All cases are supposedly based on real cases. There are some moments of lingering sentimentality. But those can be forgiven for completing the arch of emotions.

Recall there were 5 cases, one sidetracked involving a half way house of sorts. Beside the concluding case, I find the school cheating scandal most interesting. Because the show explained how the rich kid cheaters can benefit (and hurt others) even more by dropping out of school. The law have it's limits. This cases also lead to the main backstory and also onto other brutal and organized crimes by the same defenders.

Obviously the underage murder is also shocking as to how they thought about deceiving the system.

The main lead is tremendously restraint. I especially like how slow, weighted and the preciseness (seemingly as I don't know Korean) of her enounciations. From the get go you know there must be a back story to 'I detest juvenile offenders'

Two points taken off for the over righteous concluding speech during the discipline hearing. And heavy focus on the main character. But still excellent.

Nightmare Alley
(2021)

Lesser known classic noir
The original was a bit of a shocker for me. As I've never seen a similar noir. It is more real than the usual femme fatale, more sinister than sweet talking gangsters, and somehow dwell more deeply into the human condition.

This remake does take it's time, and is very detailed. A sign of respect. Not too sure about Bradley Cooper but definitely Kate Blanchet . Overall tone just seem a bit more glossy except the language and vocabulary just don't work somehow. If only the dialogue is more human?

It's a homage, without new twists maybe this one needs that. Sometime too much respect is a hindrance.

The King's Man
(2021)

Anti war or Pacificist
The most serious, focused and assured of the series , even though it's a prequel. Obviously different lineage, direction but pacing is still somewhat modern.

By going through history (rewritten for the plot) of around WW1, the underlying anti war message is rather loud and clear. Permeated though dialogue, action, battle field experience, undertones what have you. In such it is rather hammered to death. And with one theme, it can get to become rather didactic.

Action scenes are well planned like Rasputin s scene, the final mountain climax but that's about it!!! There are some obvious goofs and the son doesn't look the part and may have been a miscast. Too bad.

Ji-geum u-ri hak-gyo-neun
(2022)

Consistency in the Chaos
Although this is a Teenage horror. It is probably rated 19+ for the gore. The horror, as in other Kdramas ike Squid Game, Hellbound, is something other than the obvious. It is also about the people around you and bullying - even when you turned into a zombie.

That's the clever part. But there are inconsistencies (like unnecessary sacrifices, stupid moves, and turning up the sentiments - parents dying ), some continuity issues in the beginning and maybe suffers a bit from a large cast. The chaos breaks out at end of episode 1 before all the characters were introduced just to grab your attention. And that is a bit hasty. We want entertainment, but we are not starved.

At first there were multiple groups, including the cop that was interviewing the science teacher, the first aid x military dad, the arrow group and the main group in the music studio. This is needed to connect and elaborate the story but you know who is the main character group is. It would be too perfect for bullied girl to get even with the annoying bullying guy. There are some good plot points with mutation, rain/ thunder and toilet making.

There are also well done set pieces like the intentional infection, rooftop scenarios and the dispair turning into some hope last episode. Technically well done but some holes like martial law can order such a strike without Parliament/heads of state approval? The assembly person seems to be a setup for next season? The rain gave them water, but no food for like 4-5days???

Bad and Crazy
(2021)

Fight Club Vigilante
Ep 1-5 This is an ongoing review. The hidden trick is kind of obvious, the plot drags a little, villain too over the top and sentiments are high. I like the fight scenes and the female lead needs more screen time !!! The first case is ties all the cases together so far is nice. But still thin plot in-between so it does seems longer than necessary so far.

Ep 6-9 Well, don't think I can go on further. It's got moments but far and few between. There is new cases but just too interspersed with too many other things going on. The mother's condition, the brothers restaurant, the past romance...etc Plus the drug lord actress will likely come back too. The cops childhood comes into play but it feels drag out for me.

6 is probably a generous rating.

Eternals
(2021)

Brief history of humankind
All the small moments didn't work or cringe worthy(never thought I'd used that word). The big CGI moments are just that. And if there was ever overdone theme in SciFi, it is 'To err is human' and we have our saving grace.

Beside the disaster failed logic not to serve the grand universal design but instead save humankind, just as glaring is the bow to Bollywood and others to gain more global market shares.

The flaws of big bad superhero movies all happened in this one 1) the inability to create tension. Yes there are action scenes and internal conflicts but with so many characters this would have been better served in a series 2) no connection to the everyday audience. They tried the humanization thing but again too short a time. We don't have any investment. Plus we really don't see them live badly, or have daily struggles. 3) drawn out storyline (especially true with the dependence of multi MCU movies)

So boring.

The Wheel of Time
(2021)

In Character
Usually I'm a SciFi fan. But fantasy genre is kind of the same really, with heavy on Fi and lot less Sci.

Acting is really important for this genre as you want immersion and not dissociation. And that's why there usually isn't any comic relief. And for this, WoT works because of this trait.

SFX and color contrast however is not consistent. The wide shots inside the White Tower is not up to par. And alot of times the contrast is way to high with outside light prescence. The battle scene are brutal but overall tone is PG.

The story is the usual light vs dark, young apprentice, finding your way/voice scheme. The opening was too abrupt, lacks confidence (on audience attention span). Wasn't too impressed with the first few episodes. Then later ones got better in terms of structure, tension, character motivations. Just as critical are costumes, sets and props and those are well done. Many things need to gel for this genre and are handled with care here

Story wise, I thought the key sequence just before entering the time travel gate should have had a bit more importance. It seems they most of group just accepted they have to go through without being explained clearly why, history, preparation or the strategy.

Going back a bit, the location where the group had to separate was interesting and seem like more story was dropped but would have had there.

Overall, good but not overwhelming (Shadow and Bone better) and that's high praise for me as I didn't like GoT at all.

Dexter: New Blood
(2021)

Left in a hurry
I've only watch the original series up to 5th or 6th season. As rumor has it was going downhill. Really liked the first 2-3 seasons with the deadpan and introspective internal monologues.

This one started rather thin, padded with some political messages on guns, oil, scared animal, environment that got in the way of storytelling. Characters like the bad rich kid was underwritten. The billionaire a red herring. The police department characters were a side show of sideshows as they are classified as to be used in 'just in case' scenarios. So was the dog. Sad.

Kurt Caldwell was a well written as Molly Park too (needed more time). Clawing back to Batista just because of a drug induced babble was s stretch. Harrison's development has enough complexity and challenges and going well. But then came the last episode. Seem very 'afterthought' ish.

Dexter's arrest and Logan's end were not well thought-out. Dexter is usually very careful and wouldn't have acted so brashly and in haste without some kind of plan. Very unreasonable and untrue to the makeup of the character.

It almost looks like they want to end it for the sick of having an ending, like Breaking Bad.

That one worked this didn't.

PS. BB and Dexter use this same base formula : loner guy has this enormous secret. Initially used for good but came tumbling down.

The Silent Sea
(2021)

Space Mystery
Seems I've been watching a lot of SciFi lately. Specifically, SciFi mystery thrillers. However the story is on the thin side in this one.

The setup borrows heavily from Aliens 2. Little girl, strong woman lead, solider guys, mission to recover, corporate interference, government secrets ....etc. The crux and secrets of the story, however and plot is somewhat unique, reasonable, mysterious and technically well done. Acting also solid (except for Chairperson) and no comic relief at all, fittingly. The intent of RX corporation is too simple but I guess that adds a another complication.

Part of the ending where one doesn't need a space suit glaringly doesn't make sense. Microgenomics what have you but that's a pretty quick genetic mutation in 4 years or so. And wasn't too clear why the lead solider need to do the sacrifice move. Slow pacing can turn some audience off and the classical music theme ....well barely worked for me.

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