Greetings, everybody! We’ve just snuck into March, which means we’re slightly overdue another addition of Watched This Month. February looked to be a slow month at first (after I devoured more than 35 hours of film and television in January), but then I got into a certain TV series, which has been eating away at my time ever since.
Previous: Watched This Month: January 2016
|I Saw the Devil (Dir. Kim Jee-woon)
My first foreign language film of the year (long overdue). I Saw the Devil solidifies my belief that South Korea is home to some real pioneers of gritty, revenge thrillers. Byung-hun Lee stars as a special agent plotting revenge for the murder of his fiancée through a series of captures and releases. Min-sik Choi of Oldboy fame plays the big bad and – as expected – he’s terrifyingly good.
The cinematography is gorgeous and – though I felt the film was perhaps a little too long – I can’t commend the writing enough. Both the plot and the main cast are absolutely absorbing. I went in looking forward to Min-sik Choi, but it was Byung-hun Lee that stole the show. To see his character decline from a seemingly lovable fiancé who sings to his wife-to-be over the phone, into this morally ambiguous beast of a man – almost akin to those he’s hunting – was fascinating. Lee felt very authentic and I can’t wait to work my way through his filmography.
It’s gritty and gruesome, but also beautiful and fascinating, albeit in very dark ways. If you’re in the mood for a superbly grisly and utmost rousing film, look no further.
Just one movie this month, but I haven’t been slacking (honest). My time has been devoted to some long overdue television.
|Breaking Bad (Created by Vince Gilligan)
Yes, I know. I’m way behind. Never mind jumping on the bandwagon; the bandwagon has long since come and gone.
I remember back during my first year of university, my classmates and I had to record an interview one day (nothing serious — we just needed to get used to the recording equipment as part of our journalism class) and my group wound up with me asking everybody questions about Breaking Bad, because I was the only one who hadn’t seen the show. It makes me laugh, thinking about it now. How naive I was. Despite the gushing praise given by my classmates, I continued to avoid this clear marvel of television for whatever reason. But now I’ve arrived and I’ll tell you, being able to marathon it is wonderful.
At this moment in time, I am three episodes into the final season. Since starting Breaking Bad almost two weeks ago, I have watched perhaps four or five episodes a day, so it’s difficult to comment on individual seasons since it’s all blurred into one. Commenting on anything at all seems a bit inane, though. Everyone has heard it all before by this point, but I can’t sing its praises enough. You know a show is special when it causes you to recall every series you’ve ever loved and consider whether they compare at all. I’ll offer some proper thoughts when I have watched the final thirteen episodes, but if you are like I was and haven’t seen Breaking Bad… wait no longer. Watch it, please.
Not a lot of individual things to comment on this month, apologies about that. By the end of next month, I will have finished Breaking Bad and also the fourth season of House of Cards, which is due for release in only four days. I’ll probably also want to devour Better Call Saul coming from the inevitable Breaking Bad high, so a lot more television next time!
Watch anything exciting this February? Let me know in the comments!