JOINT SECURITY AREA (aka Gongdong gyeongbi guyeok JSA). Chan-wook Park, 2000. 110min.
When two North Korean soldiers are found killed in the Joint Security Area, the mystery that surrounds the deaths threatens to send North and South Korea to war. The film plays at being a police procedural as a Korean woman from Switzerland is sent in to investigate, but is more interesting as a window into how South Koreans view the situation they are in. The acting in English is somewhat lackluster, and the story proves a little obvious, but I was intrigued by the way in which the North Korean and South Korean soldiers are portrayed at different times in their relationship. The chronology of the film can be confusing however. At one point I didn't realize the film had slipped into a prolongued flashback for about 10 minutes. In the end there's not much suspense to the mystery, but the film still manages a few tense scenes in the latter half. 03.04
JERRY MAGUIRE. Cameron Crowe, 1996. 138min.
I know I'll be in the minority on this one, but I must say I didn't enjoy this film at all. Cruise displays his frustration in strange spasms that suggest Brad Pitt's outlandish performance in TWELVE MONKEYS (1995, Terry Gilliam), and while the movie plods along detailing Cruise's fall and rise at the hands of his developing conscience, I couldn't help waiting for the Bruce Springsteen song to start rolling SOMEWHERE. In truth, that song song with the injected bits of dialogue spliced into it by some New York radio statoin had more depth of feeling than the two plus hours it took to watch this meandering mess.