Saturday, March 2, 2013


A rather obvious title for this post, but that doesn't make it any less true.

After a month of February in which I went to the theater exactly zero times -- a comment on my schedule as much as on the quality of the theatrical offerings -- March roars in with at least a limited release of Park Chan-wook's new movie, Stoker.

How can you resist the intensity of that poster?

It's nice to have a 2013 movie I'm actually excited to see. I did see Mama, but I'd say this is the first one I was looking forward to before the year started. (Let's try to forget that little disaster known as Movie 43, whose reviews made me repress my memory of looking forward to it. I certainly forgot the movie itself, opting to wait until video.)

And because I live in one of the few markets where it's being released this weekend -- in multiple theaters, in fact -- there's at least a decent chance I will actually see it this weekend. I had been determined to go to the theater come hell or high water this weekend, and I was expecting to see Jack the Giant Slayer, which I still view as a good option. The reminder that Stoker is beginning its limited release this weekend changed up those plans right quick.

It's not like I'm the world's biggest Park Chan-wook fan. (I love the guy, but some people downright worship him.) In fact, until recently I referred to him as Chan-wook Park. (The scandal.) In fact, I haven't even seen the entire vengeance trilogy -- I'm still a Lady Vengeance short of that. I also haven't seen Thirst, which has been on our instant queue forever. I'm not even sure that Park is the Korean director I respond to the most. Bong Joon-ho's Mother may be the best Korean film I've seen.

But I do love Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance more than most people I know, and Oldboy is, of course, a masterpiece. The best parts of those two movies showcase exactly what we're capable of achieving with a movie, in terms of storytelling. Even the ordinary parts do that very well.

I also really like the cast here. Two of those should be obvious. I've been a tireless champion of Nicole Kidman over the years, and I think Mia Wasikowska is one of our best new discoveries of the past five years. (You can put her neck and neck with J-Law.)

What's interesting to me is this Matthew Goode casting. Matthew Goode is, by almost all counts, a B-lister at best. He did appear in the big-budget Watchmen, but he had probably the most forgettable role in that movie, even though it was a pivotal one. He's more known to your average person for romantic fluff like Chasing Liberty and Leap Year. The real exception on his resume is the excellent thriller The Lookout, in which he's a small-time bank robber with a big-time menacing charisma. It's the menacing charisma that I expect to see in Stoker.

So yeah, I'm stoked for Stoker, and I'll make a real effort to see it this weekend.

Besides, I've got a scoop Don Handsome and see it before he does.


Don Handsome said...

Don Handsome has seen Lady Vengeance multiple times, and will be seeing Stoker tonight.

Don Handsome

Thaddeus said...

Stoker looks good, although I'm shocked by Kidman's... aging thing. I love the apparent tone of this picture, though...

Vancetastic said...

Don, you lied, but you did indeed beat me to the viewing. One day I will figure out your Achilles heel.

Thaddeus, do you want to know whether you should see it or not? (Note, this comment contains a clue about my feelings toward it.) I don't have that same issue with Nicole Kidman, but I understand it's a pretty widespread thing.