TV Party Tonight! #82

TV Party Tonight! #82

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Tuesday, 03 March 2020
DVD/Blu-Ray

Parasite
[Blu-ray/Digital]

Don’t you just hate it when the Oscars get it right? The Academy Awards, for all their influence, are also kind of a joke. Their real interest is self-preservations so, more often than not (at least ever since I’ve been paying attention), they stick with mainstream schlock about Hollywood, or feature their favorite film-makers than actually what’s thoughtful and exciting. There’s a reason people call certain movies “Oscar bait,” because what the Oscars like you can spot a mile away. That’s why Parasite winning the Oscars this year was such a shock. For once, the Academy Awards might actually have picked the best movie release this year.

Parasite had a lot going against it. It’s a foreign movie, first of all, and non-English movies just don’t get the attention they deserve. Let’s face it, most people would rather watch their movie than read it. Second, Parasite is a complex movie, dealing with complicated societal dynamics. It’s not the same old war movie where someone has to be located or virtues have to be upheld. Parasite is about something entirely smarter and instead of being a movie at you, it challenges its audience. Thinking back, a good reason why Parasite is getting all this award love must be because it’s so popular. It’s a movie that defies genre. It starts off so funny and charming, that the viewer is immediately won over. Not that Bong Joon-Ho needs to win me over. He already did that with Snowpiercer, a movie that oozed personality. And although Okja’s flaws were too much for me to fall in love with it, there were many elements in it I appreciated. But Parasite is in a class all on its own. Bong Joon-Ho tells his story of class inequality with humor, suspense, horror, and one hell of an ending that will keep the audience thinking for days. It’s a story of an endearing and unified family who is trying to pull themselves out of squalor and maybe bites off more than they can chew. There are so many characters in this movie, and they all become well-defined and fully realized during its two hours. That takes skill in a filmmaker. Parasite is truly a testament to the power of film, what it can do when it has a great script, a talented cast, and a unique vision. It’s the cream that rises to the top.

The blu-ray release of this movie is a little barebones, with just a Q and A with its director/writer. It really would have benefited from deleted scenes (though Joon-Ho says everything he shot ended up on screen) a tribute of some sort, or a commentary track. Oh well. Maybe a future edition will have all that. The main event of this blu-ray is still a remarkable feature, teeming with personality, that will have people talking for decades. I don’t say this often, but everyone needs to see this movie.

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