Episode 109

(18 Mar, 2011)

Hot & Now: I Saw the Devil / The Fighter

Transcript for Hot & Now: I Saw the Devil / The Fighter

Well, let’s talk about some significantly better movies.  Because it’s now time for our “HOT & NOW’ segment where we get to make our picks on movies you can watch right now on your computer, Video on Demand or DVD. 

My pick for is the brutal South Korean thriller I SAW THE DEVIL. Choi Min-sik, whom some of our viewers might recognize as the star of OLDBOY, plays a vicious serial killer who preys on young women. His latest victim happens to be the fiancée of a methodical intelligence agent. That agent is played by Lee Byung-hun.  Determined to exact revenge, Lee catches Choi fairly early in the movie. Rather than killing the man or handing him over to the authorities, though, he lets Choi go, following and sadistically terrorizing him. This only makes the killer more reckless, and soon Lee finds himself plunging with his prey into an increasingly murky underworld. 


Directed by Kim Jee-woon, I SAW THE DEVIL is shot in bright, lurid colors and makes fine use of camera movement, a dramatic score and an inky-black sense of humor, making it the perfect antidote to the dour style that has been a mainstay of American serial killer movies since SEVEN. A dark and grisly piece of entertainment, it's not for the faint of stomach. The film is available On Demand, but it's also playing theatrically in select cities.

My Hot and Now pick is "The Fighter," which just earned Oscars for a couple of scenery-chewing supporting performances from Christian Bale and Melissa Leo. It's available this week on Blu-Ray and DVD. Mark Wahlberg is the star as boxer "Irish" Micky Ward, and he spent years training and working to get this real-life story made. He's very solid here and very believable -- and a better actor than he often gets credit for -- but a charismatic and surprisingly funny Bale steals the whole thing right out from under him.  Bale's playing Micky's older half-brother Dicky, a former boxer himself who lost his shot at greatness to crack addiction. But now he gets another chance when he becomes Micky's trainer. Trouble is, Micky's torn between loyalty to his enormous -- and enormously dysfunctional -- family and his new girlfriend, an appealingly damaged Amy Adams. 


It's impossible not to be drawn in.