Battle of Jangsari (2019)

Battle of Jangsari (2019)


Director: Kyung-taek Kwak

Cast: Minho Choi, Myung-min Kim, In-kwon Kim, Megan Fox, George Eads, Si-Yang Kwak, Jae-Wook Lee, Ho-Jung Lee, Gye-nam Myeong, Sung-Cheol Kim

A depiction of the Battle of Incheon during the Korean War in 1950. – IMDB

Battle of Jangsari is a South Korean action war drama based on true events. This film is mostly in South Korean but also has American collaboration in the efforts of mostly the American support present during this event and playing the roles is a general played by George Eads and correspondent played by Megan Fox. The movie is set during the few days length of this battle and revolves around inexperienced student soldiers that haven’t even completed their training who end up being shipped out to face this battle. Battle of Jangsari does make the effort of focusing on a few of the characters here with different backgrounds and back stories to be revealed throughout to build their characters. 

Battle of Jangsari

One of the best elements of this film goes to its cinematography. It captures the different elements and hurdles that they have to face with a lot of impact and danger and devastation. The war action is done well as the camera follows the troop through the trenches and across the land trying to capture the vantage point or even as they try to ambush. War dramas are heavily reliant on these elements to make the whole film feel the grave matter at hand especially in a battle that feels like it was a shot in the dark to begin with. All this shows well in how it builds the situation from the little moments of drama as these students realize that the opposition might be soldiers much like them. One of the best moments is when one of the soldiers find a letter from the opposing side written to their mother explaining his situation and final words. 

Battle of Jangsari

When we look at the characters, its a pretty big cast with probably about 5 or 6 soldiers along with some of their captains that have their own back stories to navigate but its never used a lot, making these characters never developed completely and perhaps their situation is easier to feel bad for than their story or any specific character. However, the focus on the student soldiers and how little they know of each other ends up sparking up their own issues whether its prejudices and misunderstandings leading them to not cooperate as well. Its the human element between this fight between North and South Korea that is pushed to the forefront. Over fighting for survival together, the story lets these soldiers also find trust and bonds and friendships. 

Battle of Jangsari

Perhaps one of the lesser elements of this film is with the very vague moments between the General and Maggie where the American side of the story is very weak. Its dialogue doesn’t seem to give the story a lot of support. Its not the fault of Megan Fox or George Eads and feels much more like the script issues. It almost feels unnecessary for most of the conversations they have and their characters also prove to be rather empty with the main purpose of having their a part of the finale. 

Overall, Battle of Jangsari is a good action war drama. Its action and war depictions are filmed very well and incredibly captivating to watch this event unfold. While the actual event exceeds my knowledge and I’m not sure how much of it is accurate, the movie itself does have a good deal of drama that portrays the struggles and misunderstandings and more between the characters. Individual character development is a bit lacking but the situations that they face actually does make up for it as it makes this battle focus on the devastation from the people involved on both sides as well as the urgency of the opposing force with much more reinforcements a constant pressing matter. 

You can find more info on this film as well as where to watch it HERE.

Double Feature: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016) & Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

And we’re back with another double feature!

This time its a Netflix  watch paired with a rental. We’re looking at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows and Kubo and the Two Strings. I’ve been looking forward to watch these two so its nice to have them done and over with.

Let’s check it out!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016)

teenage mutant ninja turtles out of the shadows

Director: Dave Green

Cast: Megan Fox, Stephen Amell, Will Arnett, Laura Linney, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, Alan Ritchson, Tyler Perry, Brian Tee, Brad Garrett

After facing Shredder, who has joined forces with mad scientist Baxter Stockman and henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady to take over the world, the Turtles must confront an even greater nemesis: the notorious Krang. – IMDB 

If you missed my review of the first Teenage Mutant Teenage Turtles review, check it out HERE.

To be fair, if you didn’t read the review of the first movie, I enjoyed it as in I like the entertainment factor of it all. I’m always a fan of the shut off your brain and just go on the ride type of movie. Its also the reason why some of my favorite franchises that I’d gladly sit down to watch in the background is Resident Evil and Fast and the Furious. I even like most of the Transformers movies. With that said, I’m still a little iffy with Megan Fox as April O’Neill however, I’m a huge fan of Stephen Amell even after I am currently at least 2 seasons behind from Arrow. This one had a cast that I’m overall a little on the fence about since I don’t quite get the Tyler Perry hype as he’s never seemed to do anything I’ve liked (at least nothing off the top of my head). Now that I’ve laid out more than enough foundation, Out of the Shadows was pretty okay.

teenage mutant ninja turtles out of the shadows

It was definitely entertaining and action-packed. The story was pretty normal with nothing incredibly unique although I did like the fact they had the serum to make those villainous beasts which was the warthog and the rhino. I’ve always like their kind of odd humor of these films and for what it is, there are some pretty awkward moments but it still works to a certain level. To be honest, I liked the Stephen Amell and the turtle moments a lot. We always see the Turtles hiding away and for those of you into video games, Injustice 2 just launched them as superheroes in a way and I feel like this movie did a little something to make them known as the turtles who protect their city in the shadows like vigilantes which you know, is how most superheroes start out in origin stories.

With all that said, this is no masterpiece and I think I enjoyed the first movie more, however, there are some redeeming aspects here that made it worth my while. I like turning off my brain so I enjoyed it for its humor and its entertainment factor.

Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

kubo and the two strings

Director: Travis Knight

Cast: Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes, Brenda Vaccaro

A young boy named Kubo must locate a magical suit of armour worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past. – IMDB

Kubo and the Two Strings had so much praise upon its release (and even before). Was it all completely merited? Maybe I wasn’t as big of a fan as a lot of people out there however, Kubo and the Two Strings is above everything incredibly charming. Its art and character design and the music are all so beautiful. The story is a tad generic however, the colors and the use Kubo’s magic was, for lack of a better word, magical. It was hard to not fall in love with everything on screen. Perhaps its the origami and the really nice use of the musical and storytelling elements of it all, I felt a bond with the story. However, the story did have a few pacing issues for myself.

kubo and the two strings

Aside from that, the standout of this was also the voice cast which included Matthew McConaughey and Charlize Theron both great actor and actress respectively and it might be the first time (at least that I’ve heard them) in animated films and only hearing their voices. The voice cast here was really nice with some impressive names. Aside from the two above, there was also Ralph Fiennes and Rooney Mara who both did a fantastic job as well in their more villainous roles.

Is it an incredible film? Maybe not. However, it is a beautiful film visually and artistically. For that, its absolutely worth a watch.

This wraps up the double feature!
Have you seen these movies?

Netflix A-Z: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

Here we are! At the most dreaded movie pick in my Netflix A-Z line-up.  I don’t know why I hate it. Maybe its because its rated badly or maybe its because Megan Fox is in it and I have zero confidence on her. Whatever the reason, my expectations for Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles are about as low as you can ever expect.  So low that they are probably almost non-existent.  I know I should stay positive but hey, at this point, there’s only one way this viewing can go and that’s up. There’s some positivity for you, right?

Let’s go!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

teenage mutant ninja turtles

Director: Jonathan Liebesman

Cast: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner
Voice Cast: Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, Pete Ploszek, Johnny Knoxville, Jeremy Howard, Danny Woodburn

When a kingpin threatens New York City, a group of mutated turtle warriors must emerge from the shadows to protect their home.-IMDB

When you watch something like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you can’t help but ponder what is a good movie? This is an entertaining movie that reminded me A LOT of Transformers, you know, Age of Extinction.  While its not exactly good and you know that but then it has its redeeming fun traits.  I didn’t care much for the turtles or April and I guess the only person in the movie I really found super adorkable was Will Arnett’s character Vern.  I mean, that guy is downright cute.  And the super goofy and cheesy dialogue does match with the silly TMNT thing and it really made me laugh here and there but what was the story anyways.

teenage mutant ninja turtles

TMNT is kind of like a super hero movie, right? What makes a super hero movie work is a convincingly competent villain.  Shredder has all the looks and William Fichtner always makes me want to punch him in the face.  He just has a villainous look and yet, there was no worry that they wouldn’t come out on top.  For two characters that looked villainous and was menacing, they really didn’t make me feel any tension.

teenage mutant ninja turtles

One thing did surprise me about this was that I didn’t really mind Megan Fox as April.  I really don’t like her much as an actress but she was okay.  However, while the story didn’t have much intensity to it, its focus was on the Turtles themselves.  It worked really hard to build the goofy turtles who each had their own unique personality.  For that, I give this movie some praise.  It was a lot of fun to watch them.  My favorite hands-down goes to this scene below:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Overall, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is not good.  Its just not.  I know it when I watch it.  I did have a few laughs with the turtles and Will Arnett’s Vern character.  Those moments happened more than I’d like to admit in all its cheesy and goofy glory.  The graphics are decent and there’s some fun here but the story is empty.  Its all show and no substance? Maybe thats harsh but its the truth.  Its like going to see some movies: Transformers, Resident Evil… except I’d probably sit through those before this, but its kind of just random brainless entertainment. Its not as bad as I thought it would be but that’s probably because I didn’t have any expectations for it.

Have you seen this new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?