Hello to all of you lovely Obsessed With Film Readers!
As we near the end of this year’s London Film Festival I felt it was time to summarise the cream of the crop to be looking out for over the next year. Some of them have distribution, others are still seeking it – but either way these are movies that should definitely be on your ‘must see’ lists.
I know Alexander Pashby has seen this for OWF and loved it, his review is pending but I thought I would give you my thoughts on this unmissable film epic…
THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD
Branded as an ‘Oriental Western’, Korean director Kim Ji-Woon weaves together this gloriously colourful tale of several bounty hunters who, intentionally or otherwise, find out about a treasure map that leads to untold riches in Manchuria. Set in the 1930s the film follows the fortune of a whole bunch of classic Western characters as they seek to earn their fortunes, avenge their pasts or simply kill because that’s all they know how to do.
Running at over two hours, some may be tempted to suggest that this movie has bitten off more than it can chew for what is essentially an old-school chase movie: those people are morons and should be shot. Or badly mutilated. I sat through every second of this and was still baying for more of the colourful, well-choreographed excesses that combined everything that’s great about two genres ideal for a jaunt into the absurdities of violence and hidden wealth: the Western and the Kung-Fu movie.
Each character is a carefully crafteed caricature of their genre forefathers, and every single one works beautifully. Whether it’s the misunderstood loner who can kill off ten times his number with a shotgun, the stylised killer who can use anything to top his foes or the wild card whose past is as mysterious as his ability to escape imminent danger every scene uses them to their utmost potential and never fails to leave you wanting more. The crowning moment of the movie, however, is it’s deliciously self-indulgent conclusion which sees everyone involved in the melee racing to the prize under heavy bombardment by the Japanese military. Sound silly? It is, but it’s the most amazing silliness I’ve seen in ages.
Miss it at your peril!
More coming later this week!
This article was first posted on October 26, 2008