"Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away."
Director: Jeong Yun-Su
Cast: Kim Seung-Woo, Kim Yun-Jin, Kim Seon-Ah, Choi Min-Soo
Running Time: 124 Min.
Plot: 1990. A number of children suddenly disappear. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense selects an elite group of scientists for a top-secret mission. Then, 30 years later, a killer with a murderous genetic code takes dead aim at the heart of the future!
Availability: This title is available at HKflix.com
NUMSKULL'S REVIEW: I sure hope you folks like reading police radio transmissions, because there are so many of them in this relentlessly bleak sci-fi thriller you'll swear the characters spend more time talking to walkie-talkies and other gadgets than they do to each other. And when they MUST interact with their fellow human beings, it's always in the same mumbly, one-note, I'm-so-world-weary-I-can't-even-bring-myself-to-lift-my-head-and-make-eye-contact-with-you tone of voice. I guess sending the audience home in a good mood wasn't on the agenda here.
Mind you, there's enough to be unhappy about aside from the dialogue. Yesterday is always in such a hurry to get to the next shooting, stabbing, or explosion that the viewer is often left in the dark as to which characters are involved, why certain ones are there and others aren't, and exactly what the fuck purpose is being served. Yet, it's an astoundingly dull movie. Not silly or sloppy or repulsive, but dull. I can't remember the last time I reacted to a film with such apathy. Loathing, yes. Pity, yes. Apathy, no.
The story, about a genetically altered serial killer and the amnesia-stricken cop on his trail, is serviceable. The inclusion of a female protagonist with problems similar to our hero's WITHOUT a demeaning love story attached is admirable. But there's little else to like here. Even the near-future (2020) setting isn't executed very well; North and South Korea have been united, but that barely factors in anywhere, and the only hey-cool technology we see is in the form of flying newscast thingies. One wonders why they didn't just make a few changes and set the film in the present day so the sci-fi-phobes wouldn't be scared away.
Obviously, I don't recommend Yesterday; even though it's more heartless than just plain bad, it's a real chore to sit through, and I have a hard time imagining anyone reacting to it with enthusiasm.
NUMSKULL'S RATING: 5/10
EQUINOX21'S REVIEW: Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away. Thatâs because I didnât watch the unfortunate waste of time that is the Korean film "Yesterday" until today. Other than the always beautiful and talented Kim Yun-jin (Shiri), this movie really had nothing going for it. It was a series of bad ideas for a big budget film that made it look like a low budget B-flick. I had heard so much negativity about this film that I figured it couldnât be as bad as it was made out to be. Oh, but it is.
Yesterday starts out like a fairly standard action/investigation film. But, it quickly becomes apparent that itâs nothing more than a series of clich*s, filled with lousy actors who never once change their expressions (if they have any to begin with). The film is shot in an interesting style, mixing hand held camera work (to give it that documentary feel) with extended crane shots, in the same scene. The camera work would have been fine had the separated the different styles in order to use one style per scene, instead of mixing it up with each different shot.
Another problem that made the film seem extremely cheap were in the scenes with extras, specifically the "riot" scene. It simply looked like they took everyone they had and stuck them in front of the camera, but sat the camera back too far so you could see how few people were actually there. The "large" riot that the characters were talking about were about a dozen less than enthusiastic extras moving towards a line of about 8 riot cops, none of which looked particularly into the whole riot mentality.
The story was pretty convoluted, but made enough sense to understand. But, that didnât make it good. It was fairly dull, and extremely predictable. It was a typical genetic mutation creating super soldiers that got out of hand story. To really make things "deep" they called some of these genetically modified soldiers (who were modified as kids) David and Goliath. If that doesnât tell you who was going to win in the end, I donât know what will.
Boring movie, bottom line.
EQUINOX21'S RATING: 5/10