The Platform review

I haven’t watched so many movies but The Platform is probably my favourite release this year

The film follows Goreng as he makes sense of a "Vertical Self-Management Centre,” a kind of prison built into a tower where inmates are randomly assigned to floors for 30-day periods. 

A distinctive feature of the setting is a sort of dumb-waiter that delivers meals from a kitchen at the top, with each floor having limited access to food as it descends.

Inmates at the top get first pick, while those at the bottom either starve or resort to desperate means to survive.

Described as “social science fiction” this film is a lot of things. 

Horror elements sit within a theatrical setting that ultimately reveals itself as a metaphor for trickle-down economics.


The Host review

This monster movie breaks convention early on by showing the creature in broad daylight

Wikipedia says 'The Host' was inspired by a local article about a deformed fish with an S-shaped spine caught in the Han River; and an incident in 2000, when a mortician working for the U.S. military reported he was ordered to dump a large amount of formaldehyde down a drain.

"Because of its themes, which can be seen as critical of the United States, the film was lauded by North Korean authorities, a rarity for a South Korean blockbuster film"!

There are few scares and little gore, because the real monsters are people and from the opening scene you learn they're often American doctors.

The film includes many characteristics of Bong Joon-Ho movies, such as slapstick in unlikely moments, as well as a dark turn in the second half.

A couple of chase scenes in 'The Host' could be drafts for those in his later film 'Okja' (which benefits from having a much bigger scope in the storytelling) but this film is remarkable for what they've achieved with a small-ish budget.


My year in 60 seconds

Mother review

A mother seeking to save her son from prison offers great motivation for the main character in this film

Bong Joon-ho's ‘Parasite’ brought him wider attention (as well as Academy Awards) and I've found his earlier films interesting for the same focus on class struggle, as well as subversive characters.

There's a Hitchcock influence in ‘Mother’ but, where Alfred was constrained by the Hays Production Code, Bong has opportunity to really challenge an audience's expectations.

The first half of this film is kinda goofy and then the investigation into the case starts to explore darker territory.


Colossal review

Pitched as 'Godzilla' meets 'Lost In Translation' this is a film that links a small town in Canada with Seoul, South Korea

Watched this last night and, while it's not awesome, it's interesting for being an entertaining mash of genres.

I'll try not to spoil the surprises but you can tell from the trailer that it's a monster movie with comedy, possibly romantic comedy and Anne Hathaway is a good comic actor.

The male characters aren't very well developed, which is a shame because I think it's the audience that would benefit from the serious theme that's developed in the film.

My family seemed to think it was "alright" but, a bit like the Godzilla movies that prompted me to think about geopolitics, I think this film does a good job of putting a thoughtful theme into an entertaining package.