Friday, November 29, 2019

Both Marielle Heller and Tom Hanks Bring Their A-Game For A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Though he's plastered all over the marketing, Tom Hanks' Fred Rogers is not the lead character of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Rogers is certainly a pivotal part of the movie and the visual trappings of his children's television show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, are also reflected throughout the production as well. But those expecting this Marielle Heller directorial effort to be a traditional movie biopic about Fred Rogers or any other kind of film exclusively focusing on this man will be disappointed. Heller and writers Micah Fitzerman-Blue & Noah Harpster have concocted something much more unique for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood that may not put Fred Rogers center-stage but certainly is influenced by the man and especially his worldview.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

A Major Misfire of a John Travolta Performance Anchors the Dismal The Fanatic

People on the Autism spectrum like myself have to deal with a lot of...let's say troublesome depictions of people in our community in pop culture. Typically, people on the Autism spectrum are reduced to being childlike savant sidekicks in American film/television that exist to deliver quips rather than actually function as people. To boot, such depictions are almost exclusively based on cis-het white dudes, furthering the incorrect perception that people of color and women cannot have Autism. There have been some exceptions to this rule, thankfully, but The Fanatic is not one of them, which features a person on the Autism spectrum as the titular lead whose fixation on a celebrity eventually turns violent.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Burial of Kojo Finds Humanity In Stylized Dreams

Much like Sean Baker's The Florida Project, The Burial of Kojo is a story about the struggles of adulthood told through the perspective of a child. In the case of this Blitz Bazawule directorial effort, the story is told as a quasi-fairy tale through the eyes of Esi (Cynthia Dankwa), who recounts a story about her Father, Kojo (Joseph Otsiman), who brought Esi and her Mother out to an isolated part of Ghana after a personal tragedy. Kojo and his family are lured back to city living by Kojo's brother, the person who was hurt most by Kojo's actions from so long ago. The past begins to catch up to the present for Kojo and her family and nothing good can emerge when these two elements collide.

In Laman's Terms: Important Takeaways From Dark Fate and Doctor Sleep

In Laman's Terms is a weekly editorial column where Douglas Laman rambles on about certain topics or ideas that have been on his mind lately. Sometimes he's got serious subjects to discuss, other times he's just got some silly stuff to shoot the breeze about. Either way, you know he's gonna talk about something In Laman's Terms!

I may have an obsession with box office figures so passionate that even Box Office Mojo's self-destructive revamp can't dilute, it must be said that box office has no correlation to the actual artistic merit of a motion picture. Box office figures are so much fun to pore off and geek out on, but they're a wholly separate conversation from determining whether a movie is good or not. Maybe that sounds obvious, but unfortunately, movie studios, the entities tasked with actually creating cinema, tend to conflate the two. To most movie studio heads, a box office bomb is immediately something terrible to be avoided while a box office hit is something to be replicated at all costs. It's why we have so many more Happy Madison comedies than Donna Deitch films, it's all a financial game rather than the more prevalent one being inherently better for the art of cinema.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Doctor Sleep Manages To Be More Than Just 2 The 2 Shining

Every brand with even a modicum of fame is getting exploited for sequels, reboots, TV shows and everything in between in the modern era of pop culture, so it was inevitable that somebody would eventually come along with a sequel to The Shining, especially since Stephen King already penned a sequel to his original Shining book in the form of Doctor Sleep. The feature film sequel to The Shining decides to adapt that Doctor Sleep text while also trying to wed that story to Kubrick's original film. Considering how wildly detached King's books were from Kubrick's movies, the notion of trying to fuse the two together sounds like a massive task for writer/director Mike Flanagan at best and a potential recipe for disaster at worst.

The Fantastical Is Brought To Stunning Life In Princess Mononoke

A few months back, I wrote about how much better animation is when it's engaging in stories and visuals that you couldn't possibly replicate in reality. If you ever wanted perfect proof of this phenomenon, look no further than Princess Mononoke, a feature film hailing from the one and only Hayao Miyazaki, a filmmaker who is all about using animation to create creatures you couldn't possibly find in the real world. In the hands of Miyazaki and the animators at Studio Ghibli, fantasy truly looks fantastical. Does anything in My Neighbor Totoro, Ponyo or especially Spirited Away look remotely like anything you'd find in the real-world? Good luck translating those movies to an ultra-realistic live-action remake!

Monday, November 25, 2019

Scorsese And Gangster Cinema Collided For The First Time On Mean Streets

With The Irishman dropping on Netflix streaming this coming Wednesday, now seems like a fine time to look back at the very first time Martin Scorsese directed a gangster picture. Granted, his second feature film, Boxcar Bertha, had heavy crime movie elements to it too, but that was a romantic drama first and foremost. Mean Streets is 110% a gangster crime vehicle, the kind of movie Scorsese would go back to multiple times in his career. Despite being a recurring genre stop for him, Scorsese manages to make sure each of his crime films are different from one another, The Departed is not the exact same movie as Casino, for example.

Road to Perdition Is A Crime Thriller That Sticks With You

It’s amazing what a difference a hat can make. Like a pair of glasses, a person can look totally different whenever they’re wearing them. Take Tom Hanks in Road to Perdition for instance. When he’s wearing a low-tipped hat covering the upper part of his face in this movie, he totally looks older, weary and menacing. Those aren’t words one usually associates with Hanks, but they totally come to mind when his character, Michael Sullivan, dons a hat. Whenever he takes that hat off, though, a magical transformation occurs. Suddenly, Hanks is back to looking boyish and charming, like it hasn't been a day since Turner & Hooch. What a difference a hat can make.

Greta Gerwig's Little Women Takes An Iconic Story And Makes It Brand-New

Why should we do another Little Women movie?

Saturday, November 23, 2019

The Irishman Is Like No Other Gangster Movie Scorsese Has Ever Made

Early on in The Irishman, the film's titular lead character, Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), recounts a story about his time serving in World War II where he held two enemy soldiers at gunpoint while they dug their own graves. Sheeran, while telling this tale, puzzles over why the two soldiers were doing this task. "Did they think that, if they did a good enough job, they would be let go?" he ponders. Whatever drove them to dig those graves, it really didn't matter in the end, they ended up as corpses in the ground. Such a tale ends up being a parallel for the overarching story of Martin Scorsese's epic crime saga The Irishman, which is all about gangsters like Sheeran digging their own graves while ignoring the inevitable doom that awaits them.

Death by Hanging Confronts Ludicrous Prejudice With Equally Ludicrous Dark Comedy

It was supposed to be a simple execution. R (Don-yun Yu), son of Korean immigrants raised and living in Japan, would be executed by way of hanging by a group of Japanese law enforcement officers. Seems like a foolproof way to kill somebody but once the lever got pulled and the hanging was executed, it turned out R wasn't dead, he was surely alive. In fact, he was not just revived but he had total amnesia about his life up to that point. Now all the powerful members of Japanese society tasked with killing R are stuck in a conundrum; can they re-kill a man, especially one who is now a shell of the former murderer? They all decide to give it their best go in restoring R's memory so that they can kill him and restore their sense of warped justice.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Edward Norton's Motherless Brooklyn is an Undercooked Film Noir Homage

You can't help but root for Motherless Brooklyn, that rare modern-day adult-drama movie released by a major American studio. A two-and-a-half-hour long homage to noirs featuring nary an explosion in sight? It's a welcome surprise to see a studio like Warner Bros. financing and releasing this type of title. Unfortunately, noble artistic ambitions can't actually make Motherless Brooklyn a good movie. On the contrary, this is a shockingly disposable feature film with only brief glimmers of actual entertainment or quality to be found. Despite having spent two decades in development, Motherless Brooklyn is still a movie that could have used a whole lot more work.

In Laman's Terms: Remember When Disney Ran Away From Disney Princesses?

In Laman's Terms is a weekly editorial column where Douglas Laman rambles on about certain topics or ideas that have been on his mind lately. Sometimes he's got serious subjects to discuss, other times he's just got some silly stuff to shoot the breeze about. Either way, you know he's gonna talk about something In Laman's Terms!

Apologies for this being the second week in a row where In Laman's Terms has focused on Disney content. Lord knows there's plenty of that out there both on the internet in general and in the news cycle, I promise to deliver something more original next time over the holiday week.

In 2019, the idea of Princesses being a crucial piece of the Disney monopoly empire puzzle isn't just assumed, it's a certainty. After all, Disney as a producer of feature-length movies began with Snow White in 1937, Disney and Princesses have been connected since the very beginning. In modern-day terms, though, Princesses have remained oh so important for Disney. Walt Disney Animation Studios got their first movie to cross $200+ million domestically since The Lion King with Tangled in 2010 and since then the studio has embraced Princess power, especially when it comes to the Frozen franchise. Elsa and Anna didn't even exist when this decade began but now they're two of the most popular characters the studio has ever created, hence why they're coming back for a sequel on Friday.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Pedro Almodovar Rips From His Past To Create Modern-Day Gem Pain and Glory

The past tends to echo well into the future in ways we sometimes can't even comprehend as well as in ways that can prove detrimental to the present. Acclaimed writer/director Pedro Almodovar contemplates this matter thoroughly through his newest movie Pain and Glory. The lead character of this production, Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas), is clearly a stand-in for Almodovar to a degree (how accurate he is to the actual man is something I cannot state confidently) given that he's, like Almodovar, a middle-aged filmmaker of a notable stature who attended a religious school as a child, was impacted heavily by cinema at a young age and spent his formative adult years in Madrid, Spain. 

Slut in a Good Way Combines Raunchy Comedy With Thoughtful Commentary

Back in October 2019, Joker director Todd Phillips commented that he had left making comedic movies because the current political climate made it impossible to make comedies anymore, everybody was just too sensitive nowadays for good comedy to even exist. Which is true, after all. We haven't had any good provocative comedies in recent years. Except for Boots Riley's Sorry to Bother You. Or Olivia Wilde's Booksmart. Or Taika Waititi's Jojo Rabbit.  Or Riley Stearns' The Art of Self-Defense. Or the subject of this review, Sophie Lorain's Slut in a Good Way There simply isn't a single provocative comedy being made today, let alone one made up to the gold standard of wit found in the comedic masterworks of Todd Phillips.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Heat's Character Scenes Are Only OK But Its Heist Sequences Are Sublime

Before they worked together on The Irishman and Righteous Kill, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro's first big post-Godfather: Part II collaboration was the Michael Mann feature Heat. There's a reason pairing these two up together for a movie holds a lot of appeal beyond just tying into residual nostalgia for the second Godfather movie, these are two of the most acclaimed American actors of all-time, who wouldn't want to see them join forces for a motion picture? It's like asking if you want Kacey Musgraves and Carley Rae Jepsen to collaborate on a track, the answer is an obvious yes. The pairing of De Niro and Pacino in Heat specifically adds another industry titan into the mix in the form of director Michael Mann.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Crime Leads To Despair in the Fascinating Thriller Birds of Passage

CW: Mention of sexual assault

Barenaked Ladies' song for the Chicken Little soundtrack One Little Slip begins with the phrases "It was a recipe for disaster, a four-course meal of no-siree" and the same could be said for the central story of Birds of Passage concerning a Wayuu family entering the drug trade. It all started out innocently enough, Rapayet (Jose Acosta), looking to earn up money to ensure that he could marry Zalda (Natalie Reyes), begins selling some local weed to American missionaries. Seems simple enough, right? Just a little money, no biggie. But big things have small beginnings and from these transactions comes a criminal empire that ends up encompassing swathes of drugs and even moves Rapayet, Zalda and their kids into a big fancy house.

Woman in the Dunes Uses Subtle Techniques To Chill You To The Bone

Some movies can make eloquent use of graphic on-screen violence to generate tension. John Carpenter's The Thing, for instance, is one of my all-time favorite horror movies because of how well it utilizes on-screen depictions of the titular monster destroying the people trapped at a polar outpost.  By contrast, there are also masterful examples of creating tension through keeping such elements off-screen, with Lynne Ramsey's work being an especially good example of this. Neither approach is inherently better, it just depends on what kind of story you're planning to tell. The latter method is utilized for Hiroshi Teshigahara's Woman in the Dunes and in the hands of this gifted filmmaker, it really comes off splendidly.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

I Live In Fear Is A Brutal Rumination on Inescapable Paranoia

In I Live in Fear, the past doesn't just have an ominous presence, it practically blankets the proceedings. The horrors that atomic warfare have unleashed on Japan inform the tormented psychological state of the protagonist of this 1955 Akira Kurosawa motion picture.  That protagonist is middle-aged man Kiichi Nakajima (Toshiro Mifune), whose immense level of anxiety over the prospect of further atomic bombs coming alone and further damaging his world are what instill in him paranoia over making sure he's protected from any further bombings. At first, such paranoia leads him to merely build out a huge bomb shelter, but eventually, he concocts a scheme to travel to what he deems the only safe place on the planet: Brazil.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Last Temptation of Christ's Compelling Humanity Makes It One of the Best Scorsese Movies

Martin Scorsese is known for his gangster movies and for good reason, he's made one of the all-time great gangster movies with Goodfellas. But that's not all he's delivered as a filmmaker, in fact, looking over his filmography, one is impressed with the variety of genres and aesthetics he's explored. The dude's dabbled in musicals, screwball comedies, family movies, Scorsese's love for cinema has been translated into him trying his hand at so many different avenues of creative cinematic expression. Such exploration has also led him to make religious-minded affair like Silence or The Last Temptation of Christ that stand out to me, as a Christian, as actually thoughtful Christan-based cinema, a perfect counter to all of that dreadful PureFlix drivel.

In Laman's Terms: Five Underrated Movies Now Streaming on Disney+

In Laman's Terms is a weekly editorial column where Douglas Laman rambles on about certain topics or ideas that have been on his mind lately. Sometimes he's got serious subjects to discuss, other times he's just got some silly stuff to shoot the breeze about. Either way, you know he's gonna talk about something In Laman's Terms!

So Disney+, Disney's streaming service answer to Netflix, launched yesterday to much fanfare. As of this writing, I haven't watched anything on the service yet but I have logged into the service and taken a peek at the mammoth amount of content Disney is hosting on there. There's so much to watch that one can get lost trying to figure out what to watch. Never fear! Disney geek Douglas Laman is here to suggest five woefully underrated Disney titles you can watch right now on Disney+. As a sidenote, John Carter is, unfortunately, not on the service yet. If it was, though, rest assured that this list would just be John Carter five times.
Woola, the adorable alien doggo from John Carter
 Anywho, onto the list, which begins with...

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The King Has Noble Intent But Only Intermittently Successful Execution

It's always difficult to suddenly assume a new job but it's especially trying when your the son of a King of England who doesn't want anything to do with the throne and then you're forced to become the King when your pops dies. Don't you hate it when that happens? Those circumstances have just befallen King Henry V (Timothee Chalamet), whose distaste with the throne is even greater than his thirst for alcohol. He didn't want this gig, but Henry V is trying to create a more peaceful kingdom compared to his far more trigger-happy father who was always going to war with everybody who gave him so much as a bad look. But The King is a dark drama and that means Henry V's ambitions for peace will not go according to plan.

Phillip Youmans Makes A Thoughtful Filmmaking Debut With Burning Cane

When I was seventeen years old, I was attending a Texas High School and struggling to figure out how people asked other people out for a date. When Phillip Youmans was seventeen years old, he directed a motion picture entitled Burning Cane starring Wendell Pierce that managed to not only debut at the Tribeca Film Festival, but also win the festival's equivalent to a Best Picture award. Well played Phillip Youmans, well played. It's utterly impressive to see someone manage to create any piece of cinema, let alone one garnering this much acclaim, at such a young age, but Burning Cane has plenty of positive attributes to talk about beyond the age of its director.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Effective Symbolism and Rich Performances Abound in The Souvenir

Sometimes, slow-paced subdued arthouse fare leaves me in a state of being impressed by the movie's craftsmanship but being cold on the film on a human level. As I've said in past reviews on similar films, that's more due to my own tastes than a reflection on any of those movies being innately bad, but it's still a recurring experience I've had with this subgenre of cinema. I was super nervous Joanna Hogg's The Souvenir (my first ever Hogg film) would be a quintessential example of this phenomenon, but it turns out one of the best-reviewed movies of 2019 has been so widely acclaimed for a reason. The Souvenir, as the kids these days say, absolutely slaps.

Amazing Grace Is A Streamlined But Powerful Music Documentary

Some films are ultra-tricky to describe, they're such intricately detailed creations that it can be difficult to figure out how to boil them down to a single paragraph. Other times, movies like Amazing Grace are relatively to explain, which isn't a reflection on its quality for better or for worse but rather a reflection on how it's rather to-the-point. Amazing Grace is a concert documentary capturing Aretha Franklin performing a variety of gospel tunes over the course of two nights at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. While brief stories told during the event illuminate on how singing these songs in her father's church was a formative experience for Franklin, this is not a documentary about Franklin's past, it is about her present circa. 1972.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Jojo Rabbit Takes A Bonkers Premise And Makes Something Quite Special With It

Jojo Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis), the lead character of Jojo Rabbit, is a ten-year-old boy like many others. He has an imaginary friend, he has a passion for the outdoors and he loves his Mom, Rosie (Scarlett Johansson), even if he sometimes struggles to express that. But unlike many ten-year-old boys, Jojo is a Gentile growing up in Nazi Germany and he's as passionate about everything related to Nazism as modern-day ten-year-olds are with Magic: The Gathering. His ardent dedication to all things Nazi is reflected in his imaginary friend, his own version of Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi). However, Jojo's world gets turned upside down when he learns that his Mom has taken in a Jewish girl named Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie) and is hiding her from the Gestapo in a secret compartment in their house.

Knives Out Delivers Top-Shelf Entertainment As Delectable As A Donut Hole

As Knives Out begins, the various members of the Thrombey family are being interviewed by police officers about the recent death of Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer). Such interviews are being treated as just a formality given that Harlan Thrombey died by way of suicide, but listening in on these interviews is a man who believes there is something bigger going on here with this elderly mystery book author's demise. That man is none other than Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), an ultra-Southern individual who suspects murder could be behind the death of Harlan Thrombey. Who could be behind it? Well, there's no shortage of suspects within the Thrombey family, his descendants are quite the eclectic group of people each with their own ax to grind.

Friday, November 8, 2019

The Current War Doesn't Shock But It Does Alright Nonetheless

We take electricity for granted nowadays since it's used to power everything, including the computer I'm typing this review up on! But there was a time just a bit over a century ago where electricity was a new concept and a few men were in control of its future. Two of these men, Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon), are the central focus of The Current War, which chronicles their multi-year feud over who gets to go down in history as the person that lit up America. Edison's the one with the brains but also the one who can't seem to interact with a person without starting up a fight whereas Westinghouse is the soft-spoken man with a head for business but not much in the way of a head for science.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

After Hours Is A Rapid-Fire Dark Comedy Gem

Typically, Martin Scorsese movies are known for their expansive nature. They follow gangsters for numerous years of their lives, they follow Jesus Christ all the way to a theoretical life hinging on him never getting crucified or they follow the lead character of Silence as he grapples with his personal religious calling over decades. This means After Hours is an intriguing anomaly in his filmography, it takes place over the course of a single night. This is a far leaner Scorsese motion picture all about cramming as much as possible into a small amount of time, which means both the protagonist and camera are constantly being whipped across the screen to some new sight that's bound to fascinate the audience.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Love, Antosha Is A Poignant Reminder of the Finite Nature of Life

We all get a finite amount of time on this Earth. It's not something we like to think about (I'm very much including myself in that "we"), but it's the truth. Realizing that, one begins to wonder how we'll use whatever amount of days on this Earth. Will we hold grudges? Will we look out for ourselves? What careers will we dedicate ourselves to? The mind reels at all the questions pouring out from contemplating our own mortality, perhaps that's why we prefer to push the idea that we have a limited amount of life to live to the back of our minds. But there's no getting around such an idea while watching the documentary Love, Antosha, which chronicles the life of the late great actor Anton Yelchin.

The Cast and Characters Are What Really Make Terminator: Dark Fate A Delightful Surprise

Here we go again. A robot has traveled back in time to kill a person and another robot has also been spent back in time to protect that person. This time around, the person being targeted is Daniella Ramos (Natalia Reyes), who just works a nine-to-five shift in a factory, her life is pretty normal all things considered. But that all changes once she's targeted by the Terminator known as Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna), this robotic creation will not stop until Daniella is killed. Luckily, Daniella has got Grace (Mackenzie Davis) to protect her. Grace is a human being from the future augmented with robotic enhancements, she's a prime fighter to fight again Rev-9. She can't protect Daniella alone though, which is where Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), who's spent the past two decades killing any and all Terminators that cross her path, comes into the picture as they all try to stay alive and protect the future. 

In Laman's Terms: How Hollywood Learned to Stop Worrying And Love The R-Rated Blockbuster

In Laman's Terms is a weekly editorial column where Douglas Laman rambles on about certain topics or ideas that have been on his mind lately. Sometimes he's got serious subjects to discuss, other times he's just got some silly stuff to shoot the breeze about. Either way, you know he's gonna talk about something In Laman's Terms!

For the longest time, the notion has been that if a movie wants to have domestic box office success, it must be PG-13. After all, a PG-13 rating is in that sweet spot of offering up adult material but also being a movie people of all ages can view by themselves. Once you get into the R-rating demographic, anyone below 17 years of age needs an adult guardian to see the movie with them. That more restrictive rating has long been thought of as a financial death knell for a movie, which is odd because the R-rating has actually been attached to a myriad of successful movies over the years, even dating back to the earliest days of the ratings very existence.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Air Force One Is Like Catnip For 1990s Blockbuster Fans Like Myself

You know what strain of blockbuster cinema I love? 1990s disaster movies! Chalk up my fondness for this subgenre partially to nostalgia, I distinctly remember spending my early teen years huddled over a small TV where I watch VHS copies of Armageddon, Volcano and Independence Day. More often than not, these films had cornball dialogue out the wazoo and broadly-drawn out why couldn't I get enough of them? Well, the heavy presence of explosions didn't hurt, but I also was drawn to the optimism that permeated so many of these movies. In the face of asteroids, aliens or whatever kind of disasters faced our planet, these movies depicted an array of human beings coming together to help one another and the human race. There's something noble and irresistibly hopeful about that.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Want to See Douglas Laman Review Avengers: Damage Control?

Just a quick update in between college classes today, but this is just a reminder to everyone that I do indeed have a Patreon. If you donate to this Patreon, the funds will be used for the costs of tickets to see (and then subsequently review) new movies as well as transportation to those features. In addition, the funds will also be used for research materials for the weekly editorial column on Lands of the Nerds, In Laman's Terms as well costs associated with other endeavors for this website like film festival coverage. Right now on this Patreon, I've got just a fun new goal set up! If the Douglas Laman Patreon hits $20 in monthly donations by November 15th, I will personally experience and then write-up an in-depth review of the new virtual-reality program Avengers: Damage Control.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

The Amityville Horror (2005) Brings Viewers Back to a Dark Age of American Horror Cinema

We currently live in a Golden Age of horror cinema. All around the world, the creative filmmaking juices are flowing and unique visions of horror movies are being delivered on a constant basis. The likes of Robert Eggers, Jennifer Kent, Ari Aster, Julia Ducournau and Jordan Peele are delivering some truly one-of-a-kind takes on the horror genre. But it has not always been this way. Though the 2000s had their fair share of noteworthy horror fare, but when it came to American horror cinema, way too much of the decade was squandered on tired torture porn movies and even worse horror remakes, the majority of the latter delivered in a mechanical conveyor belt manner by Michael Bay's production company Platinum Dunes.

The Twists Keep On Coming at a Riveting Rate in Mother


There's so much to love in the work of Bong Joon-ho but I especially love how unpredictable they are. Any old hack can populate a story with all kinds of easy twists and turns but in the works of this auteur filmmaker, you can see the ideal manner in which to pull off unexpected storytelling turns. The twists in Joon-ho's work actually have a major impact on the story itself, for one thing, they're not just around for the sake of having twists, they tend to reinforce themes in the story (like the twists in Parasite or Snowpiercer) and especially to emphasize the complex sense of morality that runs throughout his entire filmography. For example, though he may be a fighter for the little guy and played by Captain America himself, the lead character of Snowpiercer is no typical stalwart protagonist.