Richard and CP24 anchorTravis Dhanraj have a look at the weekend’s new movies, pedal-to-the- metal action of “Baby Driver,” the Coppola-ness of “The Beguiled,” “Despicable Me 3’s” million dollar Minions and the eco satire “Okja.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Erin Paul to have a look at the big weekend movies including the wild-and-wooly action of “Baby Driver,” the Coppola-ness of “The Beguiled,” “Despicable Me 3’s” adorable and funny Minions and “Okja’s” tale of super pigs, the people who love hem and the people who want to eat them.
From visionary South Korean director Bong Joon Ho comes a film that defies categorization. “Okja” has elements of family entertainment, sci fi fantasy, cultural satire and more all wrapped up in a cautionary tale about genetically modified meat. It’s a big, handsome and entertaining adventure that not so subtly poises questions about the relationship between corporations and where are food comes from.
In its opening minutes the story of a girl and her super-pig feels almost like a Disney movie. 14-year-old Mija (An Seo Hyun) and Okja, a gigantic genetically engineered swine bred to become a food source, live a quiet life in the far-flung mountains of South Korea. They romp and play, bonded by ten years together and the animal’s gentle, protective nature. They are a human-porcine Milo and Otis, inseparable until Mirando Corporation CEO Lucy (Tilda Swinton) recalls Okja is back to the United States.
Created by in an agrichemical laboratory in New Jersey, the adorable Ojka was created to “consume less feed, produce less excretions” and to make people fall in love with an animal they are going to end up eating. “Soon supermarkets will be filled with their flesh and their organs.” Transported to New York, the animal is slated to become the kind face of Lucy’s plan to end world hunger while increasing her company’s bottom line. Working with Mirando but wrestling with the ethics of the situation is celebrity zoologist Dr. Johnny Wilcox (an unhinged Jake Gyllenhaal).
Concerned with appearances Lucy tries to exploit the Mija’s and Okja’s relationship for PR purposes but Mija has other ideas. Working to make sure Okja doesn’t end up on a giant BBQ, Mija comes to the rescue, aided by the Animal Liberation Front, a crafty and idealistic group led by Jay (Paul Dano) and Red (Lily Collins).
“Okja” features strong work from Swinton—in a double role, playing Lucy and her even more cutthroat sister Nancy—and a wild performance from Gyllenhaal but it really is all about the bond between the girl and her super-pig. An Seo Hyun’s moon face conveys her pure and sincere love for Okja but it is the beast itself who brings heart to the movie. A combo of CGI and puppetry Okja is a strange animal but a tender one. He rescues Mija from danger and later, when she returns the favour, the bond between them is palpable.
That relationship smooths the way for the rest of this uneven but entertaining movie. The way “Okja” veers between action and comedy, horror and social commentary could lead to whiplash but it is never less than audacious.
Richard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the weekend’s new movies, Tom Hanks as symbologist Robert Langdon in “Inferno,” two of the best movies of the years, “Moonlight” and “The Handmaiden” and Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut, “American Pastoral.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel morning show to have a look at the weekend’s new movies, Tom Hanks as symbologist Robert Langdon in “Inferno,” two of the best movies of the years, “Moonlight” and “The Handmaiden” and Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut, “American Pastoral.”
Set in 1930s Korea, “The Handmaiden” is an epic story of madness, con games, double crosses, double-double crosses, kinky sex, desire and more. Director Chan-wook Park adapts Welsh writer Sarah Waters’ novel “Fingersmith,” wringing every ounce of lascivious pleasure from its sprawling story of sex and intrigue.
When Sook-hee (Kim Tae-ri) is hired as a handmaiden to the reclusive Japanese heiress Lady Hideko (Kim Min-hee) she appears to be the perfect servant. Humble and subservient, she caters to Hideko’s every whim but all is not what it appears. Turns out Sook-hee is a shill, a thief sent to the countryside estate Hideko shares with her domineering Uncle Kouzuki (Cho Jin-woong) as part of a plan to steal her inheritance. Her job is to get close to her mistress and fan the flames of love between the heiress and Count Fujiwara (Ha Jung-woo), a handsome swindler who plans on seducing, marrying and then committing Hideko to an insane asylum before making off with her fortune.
That’s enough story for most movies, but it’s only part of the first chapter of three that comprise the two-and-a-half-hour film.
Chan-wook Park’s films have never shied away from lurid, sensational imagery, and “The Handmaiden” is no different. Unapologetically erotic and convoluted, the film revels in its ridiculousness, luxuriating in every plot twist and turn. Told from multiple points of view with an ever-changing character dynamic, it demands your attention.
What begins as a con game ends as a (SPOILER ALERT) a triumph of undervalued women who use the manipulation of the men in their lives as a weapon. It’s a complicated revenge story, ripe with detail and secrets. As vaguely trashy art house cinema goes, however, it doesn’t get much more enjoyably escapist than “The Handmaiden.”