Review: Trash (UK/Brazil: 2014): The proletarian adventure movie comes to Brazil.

Trash (2014)

Trash (2014)

While Stephen Daldry’s action/adventure film set in the the poverty stricken slums captures the energetic spirit of Andy Mulligan’s young adult novel, adults may be less than thrilled by the story while its content may lead it to be rated outside the reach of its intended audience. Still, the performances of the novice lead actors make it worth seeking out even if it never gets a US release.

Rating:

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White God (Hungary: 2014): a familiar tale, this time with dogs

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A Hungarian Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Kornél Mundruczó’s White God tells an allegory about betrayal, oppression and revenge, but also the durability of the bonds that form between pets and their caretakers. Canine lead Hagen walks away with this one, conveying surprising emotional depth for a newbie actor.

Rating:

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Kung Fu Jungle (Hong Kong: 2014): Classic Fighting Film with Cameos Galore

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Teddy Chen goes old-school in this martial arts detective story starring Donn Yen. The fighting is intense and the special effects muted in this story about a former martial arts champion released from prison to help capture a serial killer. An homage to the one-on-one Hong Kong action films of the past, Kung Fu Jungle is filled with dozens of cameo performances from the action stars of the past four decades.

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Hwayi: A Monster Boy (Korea: 2013): Joon-Hwan Jang Returns with A Vengeance

Yun-seok Kim educates Jin-Goo Yeo

Yun-seok Kim educates Jin-Goo Yeo

Ten years after his flamboyant debut, director Joon-Hwan Jang steps out with a much tighter and straightforward crime saga. While it isn’t Save the Green Planet II, Hwayi stacks up well against other Korean vengeance thrillers. In a genre crowded with first rate films over the past decade, Hwayi shows that there can always be room for another.

Rating:
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Secretly, Greatly (Korea: 2013): Identity-crisis and action genres step on each other in otherwise entertaining film

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Brief Review

The comic book origins of the story are never more apparent than in the clashing final confrontation scenes of Secretly, Greatly, Chul-soo Jang’s action-comedy-drama about North Korean super spies. The different cinematic requirements of  drama and action are kept in check until the final 20 minutes, when they stumble over each other, making for a relatively disappointing finish to an otherwise entertaining film.

Rating

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