Seo-joon Park Exorcises Demons with His Fists in The Divine Fury [Blu-ray Review]

The Exorcist is a horror classic, inspiring countless possession movies. For forty-six years, none of those toothless flicks has been brave enough to ask the question viewers have been asking all along: why didn’t Father Karras punch Pazuzu straight in the mouth? He was a boxer, wasn’t he? Director Joo-hwan Kim is brave enough to answer that question in The Divine Fury.

The film is about Yong-Hoo Park (Seo-joon Park, star of the amazing Parasite!!!), an undefeated mixed-martial arts welterweight champion nicknamed “The Grim Reaper.” The only thing he’s ever lost was his father at a young age. He pegged a priest in the face with a cross at the funeral. When he sees his opponent has a tattoo of Jesus on his back during the first fight in the film, a voice in Yong-Hoo’s head says, “Get revenge for Dad.” On his flight back to Korea, Yong-Hoo dreams of burning cross in his right hand and wakes with stigmata on his right hand. He exhausts medical explanations before turning to the Church.

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Joe Begos’ Bliss Takes Viewers on a Bender [Blu-ray Review]

Anyone who’s ever created anything knows the feeling: a deadline is looming and the project is barely started. Worse, anytime you sit to work, everything blanks out. Writer-director Joe Begos’ third feature Bliss starts there. Dezzy (Dora Madison) needs to finish a painting in the next four days. All she’s got so far is a red and orange background with a white circle in the middle, a backdrop she has no idea how to fill.

Her boyfriend, Clive (Jeremy Gardner), comes in after she’s been working for an hour and sums it up nicely, “There might’ve been incremental progress.” The pressure is mounting. Dezzy’s month is two weeks late. Her agent has told her perfectly named art dealer Nikki St. Jean (Rachel Avery) that Dezzy isn’t going to be ready for the show. Understandably, Dezzy’s “anxiety is through the f***ing roof right now.”

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Yesterday Was a Lie Has a Great Start, Bad Ending [Blu-ray Review]

Film noir had its boom in the 1940s and 1950s. It never really went away after that, echoing in hundreds of films made since. Writer-director James Kerwin’s first feature Yesterday Was a Lie draws heavily from the classic genre. Hoyle (Kipleigh Brown) is a noir archetype, a private investigator in a trench coat with a love of bourbon. The only thing separating her from the other detectives in the genre is her gender. Yesterday Was a Lie’s mystery is more existential than other noir films. For Hoyle, time isn’t moving in a linear fashion, and she’s trying to figure out why.

She’s searching for a notebook. She’s not sure what’s in it, but she thinks it’s going to help her figure out why time isn’t flowing as it should be.

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Everything #3 [Comic Review]

Everything is a slow burn. Most of the first two issues are full of hints and two accidental deaths. To this point, the series has been burning too slowly, leaving this reader more bored than anxious. The hints are toward questions, not answers. The third issue is the best installment in Everything’s infancy because it flips that trend and finally starts hinting at answers.

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Bloody Marie is Heartbreaking Fun [Review]

Bloody Marie opens with the titular Marie (Susanne Wolfe) at what should be rock bottom. Directors/writers Lennert Hillege and Guido van Driel take us through a day in Marie’s life. She dances alone at a club in the morning before getting into a heated argument with the other barflies. After, she goes to a tennis court and enthusiastically pantomimes the players actions between swigs from a bottle. She briefly stops by her apartment to find that despite being a successful graphic novelist, she can’t break through her block and draw. She goes down to the liquor store and the owner refuses to sell to her, saying, “You should probably stop drinking.” The sequence ends with her stalking her neighbor, Dragomir (Dragos Bucur) through the alley leading to his apartment. She calls out to him, and offers to pay him for a sip of the bottle he’s holding. He agrees, but he doesn’t want money. Instead, he trades for her shoes.

Things shouldn’t be able to get worse, but for Marie, they do. The next night, she sees her shoes on Dragomir’s roof. Though, as she later puts it, she’s “Drunk as a skunk,” she lays a ladder between their roofs and attempts to climb over. The film spirals from there, intertwining her world with Dragomir’s.

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