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A Bittersweet Life
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The shady world of criminals and gangsters is one which has had no shortage of representation on the silver screen, however not all gain the recognition they deserve. A Bittersweet Life is fully able to stand head and shoulders alongside the greats of the genre such as Scarface and White Heat, however is almost criminally underseen. Known as Dalkomhan insaeng in its native South Korea, it tells the story of Sun-woo- hotel owner but also enforcer for crime lord Mr. Kang. A request by Mr. Kang for Sun-woo to watch his young girlfriend Hee-soo turns his life into a living hell as he tries to cover up her infidelity. Without giving too much away, the film features astounding fight scenes worthy of Old Boy as Sun-woo turns from being hunter to the hunted. The real standout from this film is Byung-hun Lee as Sun-woo- as the film goes on he manages to portray the sheer hell this character is in- imagine this film in the hands of JCVD and you will understand what an amazing portrayal he has created!
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Australian cinema is perhaps best known for Picnic at Hanging Rock & Priscilla, Queen of the Desert; certainly not the Western. However, with this genuine masterpiece; the team of John Hillcoat and Nick Cave have created a film which stands as one of the greatest Westerns ever made.Whilst the storline appears deceptively simple- one man must choose either to murder his older brother, or else his younger sibling will be hung- amongst this narrative sprawls incredibe vistas of the Australian outback, and a chilling soundtrack from Cave himself.The heart of the film rests on the performance of Guy Pearce as the brother faced with a heart wrenching dilemma, and deliver he does. Neighbours is just a distant memory as Pearce perfectl portrays the torture and turmoil of his decision. The opening scene in which he meets his nemesis (Ray Winstone) so to speak, is a masterclass in inner rage and deserves to be a key scene for any acting studentAnyone expecting wild shootouts a la The Wild Bunch may be disappointed, but if you are in search of a true modern classic then The Proposition deserves this status.