Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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My Review of JOKER

Joker, rated R
**  (2 out of 4 stars)

My wife Tammy and I have been watching Oscar nominated “Best Motion Picture” films that we had not already seen. We have watched The Irishman, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Marriage Story, Parasite, and most recently Joker, which received eleven Oscar nominations, the most of any film this year.
Joker is a very disturbing film about the beginnings of the character that will become an enemy of Batman. The film is superbly acted by four-time Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix, who has received a “Best Actor” nomination for his role as Arthur Fleck. But the film has significant content issues, including adult language and violence, and thus is hard to recommend.
The film is directed by four-time Oscar nominee Tom Phillips (Joker, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan). It is written by Phillips and two-time Oscar nominee Scott Silver (Joker, The Fighter). The film, which had a budget of approximately $55 million, has grossed more than $335 million in the U.S., and more than $1 billion worldwide. It is the first “R”-rated film to gross a billion dollars. Continue reading


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My Review of PARASITE

Parasite, rated R (subtitled)
***

My wife Tammy and I have been watching Oscar nominated “Best Motion Picture” films that we had not already seen. We have watched The Irishman, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Marriage Story, and most recently the subtitled Parasite, which received six Oscar nominations. The film is directed and written by three-time Oscar nominee Bong Joon Ho (Parasite).
When we first meet the working-class Kim family – patriarch, Ki-taek, played by Kang-ho Song, his wife Chung-sook, played by Hye-jin Jang, his attractive young adult daughter, Ki-jung, played by So-dam Park, and his college-age son, Kim Ki-woo, played by Choi Woo-sik they are living in a basement level apartment in the slums of a large South Korean city. Though they are poor, they have cell phones and are trying to use the WIFI from the apartment above them, because they can’t afford their own. Father Ki-taek’s businesses have gone under, and as a result, the family is poor and now make a small amount of money by folding pizza boxes for a local business, but they don’t do that very well. As they fold the boxes, they often see men urinating on the street just outside their apartment.
The family’s fortunes change when Ki-woo’s friend offers to recommend him as an English tutor for Park Da-hye, played by Jung Ziso, the high school sophomore daughter of the affluent Park family. The friend has been tutoring the girl but has to go out of the country for a while. Ki-woo’s friend likes the girl and plans to ask her out when he returns, and doesn’t want anyone he can’t trust tutoring her. Ki-woo isn’t qualified, so he has his sister forge some documents for him. Yeon-kyo (Mrs. Park), played by Jo Yeo-jeong agrees, and Ki-woo, now known as Kevin, begins tutoring Park Da-hye. Of course, they immediately fall for each other.
This leads to my favorite part of the film. Continue reading