Tina (Eva Melander) is an unprepossessing customs officer at a an international ferry port; she looks different from other people due to a chromosome flaw as she will explain. She also has a unique talent of being able to smell fear and guilt on people, making her an exceptional asset for border security. She is an honest, diligent person, but her facial deformities scare most people off and she feels most at home in nature and with animals.
It sounded so promising; a fantasy adaptation with a screenplay by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, who together also wrote the screenplays for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. A small caveat – they also did so for the Hobbit trilogy which was a lot less engaging but still ‘ok’. But then again, the three of them also worked together on King Kong (2005) which was pretty good, so surely all in all Mortal Engines must be in good hands.
One day as Jong-su (Ah-in Yoo) is delivering a package, he runs into Hae-mi (Jong-seo Yun), a girl who tells him they grew up together. He doesn’t recognise her but she explains she has had plastic surgery. They meet up for drinks later and Jong-su is quietly enamoured by Hae-mi’s alluring personality as she shows him she is learning to mime as she wants to become an actress. She shows him how she’s eating a non-existent tangerine as she explains that the art is not to pretend that there is a tangerine, but to forget that there isn’t one.
Loosely based on true events, Suk-young Park (Jung-min Hwang) gets recruited by South Korea’s National Intelligence Service in the early 1990s to spy on North Korea’s nuclear programme. He creates a cover for himself as a highly indebted business man who will do anything for money. His mission is first to get close to the director of the North Korean Economic Council Myong-un Ri (Sing-min Lee), who has Kim Jong-Il’s trust. Park patiently works to build his credibility and finally gets closer to Ri, after which the true spy games begin.
Lars von Trier’s latest film takes inspiration from the titular nursery rhyme. The phrase ‘The House that Jack Built’ can have a few different meanings – it is often used as shorthand for a shoddy project or build, and it can also refer to a never-ending endeavour with constant add-ons, often in repeating patterns. Von Trier’s film combines both: it is a shoddy project resulting in two and a half hours of a seemingly never-ending, repetitive tale that fails to excite or even shock.
Bird Box jumps between two timelines – we start with Malorie (Sandra Bullock) and two kids travelling blindfolded in a boat down a river, where to we do not know, but right from the opening scene learn that they must not look or they will die. The second timeline is about 5 years earlier where we meet a then heavily pregnant Malorie and her sister Jessica (Sarah Paulson), as they see news reports about some unexplained phenomenon in Europe and Russia causing mass suicides.
Two brothers, Aaron (Aaron Moorhead) and Justin (Justin Benson) have escaped a “UFO Death Cult” many years ago, but they still struggle to rebuild a normal life. Justin has the strongest negative memories of the cult, while Aaron’s recollections are seemingly more benign and he cannot quite recollect all the extreme cult-behaviour his brother talks about. He convinces Justin to go back to the cult, for just one night.
If you like your martial arts flicks to be ultra gory then The Night Comes for Us is the movie for you. We get dropped straight into the action: when a few villagers have stolen some drugs from the Triad syndicate, the entire village gets wiped out by Ito (Joe Taslim), who is one of the so-called Six Seas: the Triad’s enforcers who are sent to take any measures necessary to keep things under control. For some reason, Ito takes pity on a young girl and decides to spare her – making him now an enemy of the Triad.
More Zombies….?! Yup. We find ourselves in yet another scenario of some mysterious global pandemic that has infected almost all people and turned them into aggressive flesh eaters, but wait, there’s hope: not everyone is infected just yet, and some people even turn out to be immune, so together with the army they are working to find a cure. Thank god for that. Now if only they can find Patient Zero – then they can create the anti-viral strain that will surely prove to be able to save mankind.
Drug dealer Adam is planning to double-cross his boss Dezsõ and make a big hit by fleeing the country with 200 vials of illegally harvested growth hormones. Things of course don’t go as planned and soon Deszõ comes looking for revenge on Adam as he seems to know what he is up to. Hurok is Hungarian for ‘Loop’, and the title gives it away already – as things spiral out of control, Adam somehow finds himself in a time loop and re-lives the same events multiple times.