The latest craze to hit Korean screens are period films set in the Japanese Colonial Era (1910-45), but while several big names have already tackled the period in the last two years, genre director Kim Jee-woon has delivered the genre’s most explosive entry yet, with his rip-roaring spy thriller The Age of Shadows.
Slow-witted Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) has never thought of himself as disadvantaged, and thanks to his supportive mother (Sally Field), he leads anything but a restricted life. Whether dominating on the gridiron as a college football star, fighting in Vietnam or captaining a shrimp boat, Forrest inspires people with his childlike optimism. But one person Forrest cares about most may be the most difficult to save -- his childhood love, the sweet but troubled Jenny (Robin Wright).
Aa a morose almost-comedy that flirts with romantic themes and then abandons them, Woody Allen’s latest period piece gives us a young Jewish man, Bobby (Jesse Eisenberg, fairly endearing as the Allen stand-in), who’s been burned by love. He escapes the family business in 1930s New York and heads to L.A. Once there, Bobby falls hard for his uncle Phil’s secretary, Vonnie (Kristen Stewart), although her secret affair with Phil inevitably complicates Bobby’s relationship with her.
We tend to make a fuss of debutants. We celebrate their precocity. We excuse their naivety. But sometimes the word is misleading. Take Tom Ford. A Single Man is the 48 year old’s first film, but can we really call a man who spent ten years as the creative director of Gucci a beginner? Couture is not cinema, but there are similarities. Both have a tendency to crush art with commerce. Both demand that an army of creatives – art directors, production designers, photographers and the rest – unite behind a vision that is sold ruthlessly to the public. So it’s worth remembering that Ford’s toolbag was already full to brimming when he embarked on his first film – though whether or not he knew how to use those tools is another thing entirely.
Melodrama and national security concerns waltz hand in hand in Tunnel, the summer’s latest big-budget offering to invade the high summer season in Korea. A carefully pitched disaster film that juggles a one-man survival show with larger issues stemming from the recent Sewol Ferry disaster, it delivers the goods without pandering to its large intended audience.