Directed by Zack Snyder
Written by Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad and Michael Gordon
Based on the Graphic Novel by Frank Miller & Lynn Varley

Me as a boy was fetishistic about history, long as you could boil it down to pulpy juvenalia - - - so yes to Alexander, no to Captain Cook. The Battle of Thermopylae was one saga full-on with fetish. Boiling it down to hardboiled grit , Frank Miller's comic spoke to that boy in me. Snyder is that boy,too - - -except with bigger , shinier toys at his disposal. So his 300 is reckless, irreverent, overacted but spectacularly choreographed combatporn that feels like a game engine wrote it. And does nothing to up his stock as little more than a hired gun hack-in-waiting with money to burn on post. But the macho eyecandy is severely engrossing man opera - - - history boiled down to pulpy juvenalia, really. Me acting my age wishes more was done with it. But me as a boy is hyperventilating in skirmish ecstasy. * * *



Gwoemul (The Host )
Directed by Bong Joon-Ho
Written by Baek Chul-hyun , Bong Joon-Ho and Ha Won-Jun

It's a given that you imprint the monster in monster movies- - - that corrosive interloper that usurps and upsets the status quo and rallies humankind to restore order to the universe - - -with whatever you want its intrusion and threat and carnage to stand in for. The slime-black Lovecraftian reptile here comes encoded with toxic dumping and not a little wary xenophobia for intrusive Americans. But when it abducts a young schoolgirl, and her bickering family of four - - - grizzly grandpa, buffoon dad , stoic archer aunt, hairtrigger drunk uncle - - - grudgingly coheres into a combat unit , it's the dysfunction of the family dynamic that takes over and heightens the drama of fatherly love and the lengths blood will go to to keep its own from harm. Not that it's a crawl, no. The Host is steeped in another monster movie given: set piece upon set piece of rampageporn - - - gruesome, gorgeous, emotionally resonant. * * * * *