Private Eye (2009) Film Review

Private Eye

Ridiculous, hilarious, marvelous, wonderful. I love South Korean films, even when they are somewhat stupid like this one, veering from outright slapstick to hideous, horrible violence.

It’s the early 20th century in occupied Korea. So, there’s an ex-army dude who is now a private eye, mostly going after cheating wives/husbands and the like. He has fancy gadgets (yeah, a bit like Bond) given to him by a rich a beautiful woman who love science. Then there is a medical student who finds a dead body and takes it home to practice his anatomy work (as you would) only to discover that the body is that of a prominent man’s son. He hires the private eye to help him discover who killed the guy. More people die, there’s a circus, and lots of serious faces followed by crazy dancing. Love it.

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Djinn by Laura Catherine – Book Review

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Kyra is a normal teenager living a normal life. No, she’s really not. She and her father have been on the run for as long as she can recall, moving town to town, taking on new identities, though she’s never known exactly why. Not until she is kidnapped and learns that her life, in fact all life, is not what she thought.

I’m a huge fan of YA fiction and, over the years, have become more and more interested in YA fantasy. For me, that ranges from your Harry Potters through Hunger games and the Lost series to other fantasy with creatures from different worlds and battles and the like. Djinn is the first novel from local author Laura Catherine and it is an excellent example of the genre. The action is fast paced and exciting and the end has left me hanging for the next instalment.

Djinn can be purchased as a paperback or electronic book. Visit http://quillwielder.com/ for further information.

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21 Jump Street (2012) Film Review

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Two young and hopeless cops get assigned to the Jump Street department that send cops undercover into schools. Trying to bust a drug ring, geeky Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and jock Kenko (Channing Tatum) find themselves getting in too deep and having to go to ridiculous lengths to get the job down.

I accidentally saw half of this (the second half) a while ago and thought it looked terrible. It doesn’t help that I grew up on the original television show with Johnny Depp and was suspicious that this film would ruin the integrity of the original. Even having recently watched the original and realised that what I thought was brilliant television was actually pretty average. And even with a brief cameo from Johnny and his mate Peter DeLuise, I couldn’t bear giving it another try.

How wrong I was! This is a really fun film. Stupid, ridiculous and unbelievable, but also totally aware of this. There were elements of this that reminded me of The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy – silly action, hilarious banter, just good old fun times.

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Ja’mie Private School Girl (TV Review)

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When Chris Lilley did We Can Be Heroes: Search for Australian of the Year, he was brilliant. Certainly not the first to play multiple characters, there was something fabulous about the show. Then, Summer Heights High, a few new characters and still pretty funny. This got picked up by HBO in the US which was very exciting and led to Angry Boys, and things started feeling very much samey. Now, Lilley has done a show featuring just one of his creations; Ja’mie. And it really sucked. Perhaps that’s a bit harsh, but it just felt like the same old same old, nothing new, nothing exciting. You know what might have worked for me? Make Ja’mie in her twenties and dealing with the world. It certainly wouldn’t have been able to say whatever Lilley was trying to saying about school girls, but it would have been new. It’s reached the point for me that saying something racist in character to prove a point is no longer funny. It’s just racist.

Next year, Lilley is doing a show with the character of Jonah. I don’t think I’ll even bother watching it. Though I probably will, in hope that the glory days will have returned.

 

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European Vacation (1985) Film Review

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Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase), his hot wife Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo), teenage daughter Audrey (Dana Hill) and son Rusty (Jason Lively) win a trip to Europe on a ridiculous game show and it is on; Americans in the eighties travelling.

This is such a classic eighties film. It’s ridiculous and wonderful and oh-so-wrong in a way that totally holds up so well today. Except the fashion – though the clothes they purchase in Italy are magnificent.

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Asterix and Obelix Take On Caesar (1999) Film Review

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Based on the fabulous Asterix comics that I grew up reading, this French follows the people of a small Gaulish village as they hold out against the invaders from Rome. Aided by a wizard who creates a magic potion to give them super human strength, they are always ultimately victorious.

Asterix has been made into a series of cartoons, but now there are live-action films. Asterix is played by Christian Clavier and Obelix by none other than Gerard Depardieu, and there is a lovely appearance by Roberto Benigni as Lucius Detritus. It’s a fun film, probably a good film for the kids. It does capture the spirit of the comic books, but I have to say that I prefer the comics.

 

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Carrie by Stephen King – Book Review

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Carrie is one of those films that everyone has seen except me – at least, that is how it feels. But, being me, I wanted to read the book before I got to the film – either the original Sissy Spacek or the more recent Chloe Grace Moretz version.

Set in a small American town in 1979 , Carrie is an awkward girl with a somewhat insane, religious nut mother. When she gets her first period in the communal shower at school, she does not know what it is. But the other girls do, and shower her with tampons and pads, bullying her into a crying mess.

One of the gang, Sue, feels remorse, and has her boyfriend ask Carrie to the prom in her place by way of apology. The punishment for the girls for the shower attack is to do a series of detentions and when the leader of the pack, Chris, refuses, she is banned from the prom. She seeks revenge, arranging for Carrie to be crowned prom queen and dumping a bucket of pigs blood on her in front of everyone. (I don’t feel this is a spoiler alert, as I’ve known this happened forever. Apologies if I am spoiling it for you thirty years after the fact) What no-one knows is that Carrie has special powers, and after this humiliation, she destroys the entire town.

The book is told in a variety of manners – court transcripts and newspaper articles after the fact, analysing what happened, as well as more traditional narrative storytelling. I liked this – a kind of drip feeding, bit by bit, letting the picture form. Now, I just need to build myself up to watch the films…

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