View Poll Results: Okja

Voters
15. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yay

    11 73.33%
  • Nay

    4 26.67%
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Okja (Bong Joon-Ho)

  1. #1
    Supporting Actor Philip J. Fry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    786

    Okja (Bong Joon-Ho)


  2. #2
    Supporting Actor Philip J. Fry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    786
    ​Okja was equal parts hilarious (even Coenesque) and heartbreaking. Loved, loved, loved it. Mija (the little girl) is adorable and a certain Korean driver is my spirit animal.

  3. #3
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Neo-Ohio
    Posts
    9,828
    I’ve only seen one of Bong Joon-ho’s films, The Host, but that alone makes this an instant watch for me. Even putting aside the amazing cast he collected. He also directed the well-received Mother and the very highly praised Snowpiercer. I’m ashamed I haven’t watched Snowpiercer yet. Its sci-fi, the blu-ray has been on my shelf forever, sometimes its just hard to get to everything. No excuse, I need to get on that.

    Okja opens with Tilda Swinton setting up the movie and these newly discovered superpigs that will be raised as a food source to save the world from starvation. Cut to meeting Okja, a giant CGI creation that is essentially a full-grown hippopotamus crossed with a puppy. We see it as an animal first, and then they show us a thrilling action scene to display how overwhelmingly smart this animal is. Bong Joon-ho may go step by step with his plot layout, but it is deftly handled in a wonderful fashion that hooked me immediately.

    As with The Host, Bong Joon-ho dons his sorcerer’s cape and somehow combines drama and intensity with a load of humor, and it all works. Swinton, Gyllenhaal, Dano, Yeun…all the players create unforgettably kooky weird hysterical characters that still work incredibly well. I liked seeing an actor or two back from The Host. Especially the grandpa, he seems to have such a talent for timing and selling the moment with his facial movements that I’m still laughing. Gyllenhaal especially is a certifiable lunatic and I loved every second of his screen time.

    In the end, Okja is sad, heartwarming, disgusting, loving, revolting, hilarious, terrifyingly real, passionate, and last but not least, yet another Netflix original homerun. I love Netflix’s guts to “go there” with material that studios probably pass on as unpopular topics or lesser profitability. I probably should explain more of the plot but this is an adventure, and doing so would be to explain the entire movie. That would be a waste. I was wiping tears at the end and would buy this on blu-ray in a second. Click play, and enjoy the journey. Now I need to get to Snowpiercer A.S.A.P.

    Grade: A

  4. #4
    Supporting Actor
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    801
    What really kills me is these superpigs can cry actual tears. Bong is so terrible/a genius.

    Probably need a whole filmography rewatch to investigate why there's such a chasm between my two main reactions to Bong, of "great" (Memories of Murder, Snowpiercer) and "just good" (The Host, this, and Mother). I suspect it's to do with how the sprawling, less straight-line stories with more opportunities for tangents can afford him to indulge in his tonal whiplashes more thoroughly, instead of feeling like "normal" narrative arc being jerked around. Thus this film's second half with its intense focus on story leaves me a bit deflated (the central relationship holds though). Okja's sensibilities feel really close to an animated film, and it's at its best in its warm/tragic Ghibli (this must be what it feels like to have the My Neighbor Totoro/Grave of the Fireflies double bills back in the days) and nimble Pixar (the intricate, many-moving-parts chase scenes) modes, less so when on lessons-learned Disney speechifying one. Still, a lot to treasure as usual in Bong Joon-Ho's hot mess approach. 7/10
    Last edited by Peng; 07-01-2017 at 08:31 AM.
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  5. #5
    49/100

    Very disappointing. Not lacking in ambition, but totally lacking in rhythm and tone, and doesn't even sketch the central relationship all that well - Okja is left unmoored from the story for far too long at times (like, why did we need a five-minute scene with the Mirando execs sitting listening to Lucy dump screeds of exposition and then finally, FINALLY getting to the point of inviting Mija to New York) and the ending doesn't work at all (as ballsy it is in terms of pessimism, it really is anticlimatic). And Gyllenhaal is awful, absolutely awful - but that is at least 50% the screenplay's fault.

    Bong ranked:

    1. Memories of Murder
    2. Mother

    3. Snowpiercer
    4. The Host

    5. Okja
    6. Barking Dogs Never Bite
    Last 10 Movies Seen

    Thor: Ragnarok
    (2017) 66
    Brawl in Cell Block 99
    (2017) 60
    Mother! (2017) 61
    The Bar (2017) 25
    The Meyerowitz Stories
    (2017) 52
    Seeking a Friend at the End of the World (2012) 49

    Office
    (2015) 36

    Blade Runner 2049
    (2017) 67
    /Blade Runner (1982) 58
    The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017) 57

    Stuff at Letterboxd


  6. #6
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    PORG CITY, BABY.
    Posts
    9,651
    Film had probably Bong's biggest missteps I've ever seen in the gimmicky, too-broad work from Swinton and Gyllenhaal. The twin angle didn't make any difference to the narrative that I could see. Is Swinton lurching toward late-stage Marlon Brando? The actual effects that brought Okja to life were fantastic; the face/eye design really maxed out the heartstring-pulling. The actress playing Mija did as effortless a job interacting with special effects as I've seen. The first chase sequence was delightful. The first act is magnificent. I'd watch a film purely about the ALF.

  7. #7
    the maker of my own evil Ivan Drago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5,860
    It's going to be hard to watch this without thinking it should be on a theater screen.

    Yes, I'm a purist. And I'm salty.
    Last Five Films I've Seen

    Lady Bird (Gerwig, 2017) 7.5
    Mudbound (Rees, 2017) 9
    Network (Lumet, 1976) 10
    Justice League (Snyder/Whedon, 2017) 6.5
    Coco (Unkrich, 2017) 8.5
    Wonderstruck (Haynes, 2017) 5
    Tank Girl (Talalay, 1995) 8.5


  8. #8
    Quote Quoting Ivan Drago (view post)
    It's going to be hard to watch this without thinking it should be on a theater screen.

    Yes, I'm a purist. And I'm salty.
    I watched it on the big screen. Yay Korea! And I agree - I like the theatrical experience. Straight-to-Netflix just doesn't have much of an event feeling to it. Sucks that the next Scorsese is heading there.
    Last 10 Movies Seen

    Thor: Ragnarok
    (2017) 66
    Brawl in Cell Block 99
    (2017) 60
    Mother! (2017) 61
    The Bar (2017) 25
    The Meyerowitz Stories
    (2017) 52
    Seeking a Friend at the End of the World (2012) 49

    Office
    (2015) 36

    Blade Runner 2049
    (2017) 67
    /Blade Runner (1982) 58
    The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017) 57

    Stuff at Letterboxd


  9. #9
    Body Double Rico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    65
    Odd where I enjoyed the plot, but found the execution dull at times. This needed to take a cue from Wes Anderson, a faster pace and snappier dialogue. We wasted way too much time with Gyllenhaal.

  10. #10
    White Tiger Field Stay Puft's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    3,296
    I also saw it on the big screen, and am certainly glad I could. The first half is wonderful, a wide-eyed yet gentle spectacle (comparisons to Studio Ghibli feel appropriate, and the final shot of the film also has a nice echo of that), and I was mesmerized by Bong's use of special effects once again (similar to The Host and the way he directed the creature there). I was spellbound watching all the different ways Okja interacted with Mija and her surroundings. The chase sequence in Seoul is the perfect culmination of these elements.

    After that, the movie definitely goes... places. The first half is way better than the second, for sure. I agree with trans and D&MU a bit here, as there are certainly some big missteps, and the film careens recklessly through a lot of different subplots, characters, ideas, tones, etc. There are some peculiar choices, like the scene with a drunk Gyllenhaal torturing Okja. Why was he even there? I thought the character was a television personality, and the face of the PR campaign. Why was he in that deep? I also agree with Rico about the dialogue scenes. Some of the English stuff is bad, and some of the exposition scenes go on forever. The scene in the van with the ALF explaining their plan punctuates the Seoul chase sequence by grinding the whole movie to a halt.

    Overall, I still enjoyed it a lot. It's the kind of blockbuster filmmaking I want to see more of (I felt the same way about The Host, though I prefer The Host to Okja) and I particularly admired how Bong was willing to go big in every direction (warts and all) and explore a lot of different emotions. The ending actually worked for me, I got choked up a bit.

    Bong ranked:

    1. Memories of Murder

    2. The Host
    3. Mother

    4. Okja
    5. Snowpiercer

    I still haven't seen Barking Dogs Never Bite.
    Making yet another effort again in 2017.

    The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Yorgos Lanthimos) **˝
    Justice, My Foot! (Johnnie To) ***
    The Square (Ruben Östlund) ***
    The Florida Project (Sean Baker) ***˝
    The Foreigner (Martin Campbell) ***

  11. #11
    unattainable Zac Efron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    441
    Ever wanted to see a bunch of good actors wasted + Jake Gyllenhaal? then Okja is the movie for you.

  12. #12
    Piss off, ghost! number8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    29,987
    Haha I totally missed this.


  13. #13
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    PORG CITY, BABY.
    Posts
    9,651
    Yeah, loved that goof.

  14. #14
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    7,460
    Such an intense, kinetic film. Bong's trademark trait seems to be how much he can stretch characters into caricatures and drama into parody without hurting the audience's empathy. Sure, some will disagree, but I think he achieves that very well in Okja. I typically have a problem with fully CGI creatures in that they never seem completely real and borrowed from animation into live action. This happened to me here to some extent but the direction and specially the little girl's performance are outstanding.

  15. #15
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    2,715
    Felt like I was watching a live action anime. Good stuff.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
An forum