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Flash Movie Review: Parasite

ON A RECOMMENDATION, I LOOKED UP a couple of the resorts suggested to me. She was right, they were nothing short of spectacular. One of the resorts had several rooms that had a live tree as the bed’s headboard. From the bedroom one could walk through the adjoining sitting room, with its plush low-backed chairs, then pass through two sliding glass doors out onto a veranda, where one could dine on a specially prepared meal. What was there not to like, I ask you. I scrolled down through photos of the resort’s grounds until I reached the page that listed the prices. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. The pricing started in the low four figures and that was per day. I had to wonder if the person who recommended the resort thought I was rich. Obviously, they were in a different class than me and had enough funds to bankroll several trips to the resorts that they suggested to me. All I could do was just laugh about it. I continued by looking at a couple more of the suggested resorts; they all had similar price ranges. At least I got to see some gorgeous places where the rich hang out, evidently.      I HAVE NEVER BEEN THE TYPE to get jealous or envious of another person’s wealth. As long as they acquired their wealth by honest means, it does not matter to me if a person is considered lower, middle or upper class. In my mind everyone is still human. Wealth is not something I list as an attribute when I am “judging” a person. Kind, generous, loving and sweet are some of the things that are important to me. I know not everyone thinks like me because I have encountered individuals who form a dislike towards a person just because they have more money. There was one person I remember who felt because someone was richer than him, they should always offer to pick up the check at a restaurant when they dined out together. I am sorry, but I found that logic ridiculous. What if the two of them went shopping for clothing? Would the person of less wealth expect the other to pay for his purchases? One of my newspaper subscriptions once a week lists houses for sale that exceed one million dollars. Seeing the opulence of these properties is fun for me, since I never will have such a place. That is as far as my interest goes which is something, I cannot say for one of the families in this comedic, crime drama.      STRUGGLING TO MAKE ENDS MEET, THE Kim family finds good fortune when their son Kim Ki-woo, played by Woo-sik Choi (Set Me Free, Train to Busan) becomes the tutor to a wealthy family’s daughter. His position would present opportunities for the Kim family to benefit. With Kang-ho Song (The Host, Snowpiercer) as Kim Ki-taek, Sun-kyun Lee (A Hard Day, The King’s Case Note) as Park Dong-ik, Yeo-jeong Jo (The Servant, Obsessed) as Park Yeon-kyo and So-dam Park (The Priests, The Silenced) as Kim ki-jung; this film festival winner out of South Korea was a wicked satire, filled with memorable moments. I thought the directing and filming of the story was top-notch. Everyone in the cast did a wonderful job of acting; I never once thought the characters were anything but themselves. Because it is a culture I have not had much exposure to, I was fascinated with the outdoor scenes. I never once felt the reading of the subtitles interfered with my fascination or viewing of this film; this truly was a wonderful and enjoyable viewing experience and that is something one cannot put a price on. Korean dialog was spoken with English subtitles.

 

4 stars

Oscar Awards Show 2020

EXCUSE ME IF THERE ARE TYPOS within this Oscar telecast review; I did not get much sleep due to the extra long telecast last night. It was a good thing I added extra recording time on my DVR for the show. After finishing up the weekend’s chores earlier in the day, I had everything out and ready to sit back and relax while checking off my predictions. Overall, most of my predictions were correct; the biggest surprise was the best picture category. The reason for my surprise was not that Parasite was chosen; it was that the academy actually voted it the best. I thought by them giving the award for best international film (I am glad they changed the title of this category from best foreign film) to Parasite, the academy would not also give the movie the best picture award. None of the other picks shocked me.     LAST YEAR I TOLD YOU HOW I did not miss having a host; it turns out that may have been a fluke, because this telecast had an uneven flow without a host. I thought the show started out with a big bang by having Janelle Monae opening the night to get the crowd into the mood. Sadly, her precise and lively performance only made Steve Martin’s and Chris Rock’s banter stilted when they came out next. Some of their jokes were humorous, but it appeared they needed more rehearsal time; or, they might have been confused on why they were there if the show was not going to have a host. It became apparent to me as the show lumbered along that a host might have kept things connected and flowing. Having people come out to introduce celebrities who were then going to introduce the nominees seemed redundant to me. As for the acceptance speeches; some were short and delightful, while others rambled on. As you know I rate movies based on their entertainment value; I want the same thing for award shows—to be entertained. I do not want to hear celebrities lecture or preach about a cause unless they actually are involved with it. Just to hear someone’s opinion on a subject, I do not feel an awards show should be the avenue for a celebrity to tell me what I should do. And another thing about the presenters; maybe the academy should vet them a little better. There were a few actors/actresses who rambled on without making much sense. They took valuable viewing time and wasted it.     THERE WERE A FEW SEGMENTS THAT I found baffling. Why did we need someone to give us a recap of what we had seen so far in a rap? Why did we need to hear Eminem sing his Oscar winning song without an introduction or explanation? And speaking of introductions, why were some of the nominated songs performed without letting the viewers know who and what was being sung?  Some of the decisions that were made for this telecast were wasteful and frustrating to me, especially since I could tell the telecast was going to go past its allotted time slot. Now I do not want to be Mr. Gloom and Doom here; there were some lovely and touching moments. Seeing the winning director of Parasite pay his respects to Martin Scorsese was sweet as was Laura Dern’s acceptance speech. I admit it takes a lot for me to be disappointed with the Oscars telecast since it is something I have been watching ever since I was a young child. The memories I have of past shows have stayed with me all these years as will the new memories I get from current telecasts. For yesterday’s show, though I still enjoyed watching it, there certainly was room there for improvement. I hope everyone had fun this past Oscar year as I go right into our next year of movies, looking for that perfect 4-star film. Thank you for your comments and support throughout the past year; I appreciate it deeply.

Oscar Predictions 2020

UNLIKE LAST YEAR AT THIS TIME, I am right on track to have a perfect Oscars day. I am going to the movies early in the weekend and luckily, I can see my choices back to back. My shopping list is completed; all I need to do is pickup the ingredients for the treats to have on Oscar day. There will be a creamy dip accompanied by cinnamon sugar chips, pretzels baked with caramel chocolate pieces and topped with a pecan half and of course the main chocolate item: a chocolate brownie bread loaf; no stepping on a scale for 2 weeks for me. Household chores will get done long before the telecast and I do not plan on leaving the house several hours before the show; so, I have little concern on what the weather will be. My extra soft afghan is already on the sofa and I wiped clean any dust from my television screen; as you can see, I am all set to reap the rewards from this past year of watching movies.     NOW DESPITE MY EVERY BEST EFFORT to cover as many films as possible, this year’s nominees caused me some distress. There are a couple of categories where there are nominated films I not only did not see, but I never even heard of them. I do hope this is an anomaly and will not happen again. Because of this situation, in the category where I have not seen all the nominees, I will only list what I think should win and not what will win. With that being said, I want to take this moment and wish everyone a happy and fun Oscar viewing time. Once again there will be no host and I am totally fine with it. So, here we go; below please find my predictions on who should win and who will win this year’s Oscar awards.

 

BEST PICTURE

 

MY CHOICES:                                                                                    OSCAR PICKS:

1917                                                                                                1917

 

LEAD ACTOR

 

JOAQUIN PHOENIX                                                                        JOAQUIN PHOENIX

 

SUPPORTING ACTOR

 

BRAD PITT                                                                                    BRAD PITT

 

LEAD ACTRESS

 

RENEE ZELLWEGER                                                                        RENEE ZELLWEGER

 

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

 

KATHY BATES                                                                                    LAURA DERN

 

ANIMATED FEATURE

 

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD

 

CINEMATOGRAPHY

 

1917                                                                                                1917

 

DIRECTING

 

SAM MENDES                                                                                    BONG JOON HO

 

FILM EDITING

 

FORD V FERRARI                                                                        PARASITE

 

INTERNATIONAL

 

PARASITE

 

ORIGINAL SONG

 

STAND UP                                                                                    “(I’M GONNA) LOVE ME AGAIN

 

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

 

JOJO RABBIT                                                                                    THE IRISHMAN

 

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

 

KNIVES OUT                                                                                    ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD

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