VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010) [Finland]

 A Finnish film subverting the Christmas legend with a twist.  Entertaining, though somewhat slow in parts.  The execution could have been better, but hey, it’s not a blockbuster-funded endeavor. It’s Finland. Still fun to see Santa Claus depicted as an evil demon. The ending was downright funny.

Written & directed by Jalmari Helander.

Starring a bunch of Finnish actors:
Onni Tommila as Pietari Kontio.
Jorma Tommila as Rauno Kontio, his father.
Tommi Korpela as Aimo.
Rauno Juvonen as Piiparinen.
Per Christian Ellefsen as Riley.
Ilmari Järvenpää as Juuso, Pietari’s naughty friend.
Peeter Jakobi as Pietari’s Elf.


VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: I Saw the Devil (2010) (Korea)

5/5 stars, 8/10 from both of us.

Native rating: 7.8/10, 3.9/5 stars (Netflix guessed 3.7/5 for us–wrong!).

At first this started in 3-star territory: Interesting plot, good cinemtagraphy, nice budget.

But then, only 45 minutes into a 2.5hr movie, what would constitute a standard Hollywood plot was already done and concluded.

At that point, the story veered past what either of us could predict or anticipate. Fuel was thrown onto the fire, and it burned hotter and brighter and hotter and brighter.

Shit just kept on piling on, then piling onto that.

It broke into 4-star territory by the 1 hour mark, 5-star territory by the 2 hour mark…. By the end, it was a case of, “Holy shit”.

I definitely see why Ian recommended this.

Man those Koreans really love their revenge!

Or maybe that’s selection bias on my part, as every Korean movie I’ve ever watched (except for Thirst?) has been about revenge of one sort or another (Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, Sympathy For Lady Vengeance, Memories Of Murder).

We felt that Oldboy was better than this movie, yet when we checked, we rated it the same. It may be that we need to up Oldboy to 9/10. Hmm.

And oh: Min-sik Choi is a GREAT actor! This is the 3rd movie we’ve seen him in.