Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Host with the Most...snacks.

The South Korean film The Host lost me a bit about two-thirds of the way through its two hour run time, in part because of how relentlessly it continued to beat up on every character. At one point I decided that there just couldn't possibly be a happy ending. Too many things had gone wrong for the pendulum to ever swing back. I don't need a Hollywood Ending every time, you know, but I would have felt better tonight if director Bong Joon-Ho had gone just a titch more Hollywood.

I also couldn't tell if the moments that seemed absurd to me in certain scenes (for example, a sort of yelling, sobbing, fumbling wrestling match of grief that went on for a while in a communal mourning site) were meant to be funny or if I was just being culturally insensitive. Is this a goofy horror film, or a horror film that doesn't always translate well?

I'm willing to overlook a lot of this, and even if I watched the credits roll with some disappointment, I'm not sorry to have rented The Host. It was curious in a way that I felt made it ultimately worth my time, the effects were intriguing, and it contained some nice shots and acting. And I was thoroughly charmed by the "I'm sorry" special feature on the DVD in which Bong Joon-Ho apologized to (among others) cast members whose lines had been cut, set designers whose signs hadn't been seen clearly, and bikers who had been inconvenienced by the shooting schedule.

Still, what actually kept me watching for those two hours, as people continued dying and dropping from high places and getting their heads drilled into, was my newfound dream of living in a snack stand.

Me too, kid. Me too. It looks awesome, first of all:

And, second of all, it's a great resource for refueling during crisis/monster attack:

Everyone should have a snack bar in the family or get themselves into a family with a snack bar. This is a dream worth running away from a mutated-because-of-an-evil-American-forcing-a-local-to-dump-dangerous-medical-waste-against-all-reason amphibious fish-beast for.

Finally, on a related note, this is a movie that should be watched while eating instant noodles.

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