Every so often, you find something that manages to be deep, entertaining and beautiful all at once. Doomsday Book, an offering from Kim Jee-woon and Yim Pil-sung of South Korea, is all of these things. Split into three stories, it tells of different points where the world could possibly go to pot. Each are entertaining and deep in their own rights. I like the imagination behind this one, as well as the points it touches on in terms of being human. So, here are five reasons why you should watch it this weekend.
|Three foreign science fiction films for the price of one? Where do I sign?|
#1 – An interesting take on the birth of a zombie apocalypse
The first story, “A Brave New World,” chronicles the fall of South Korea to zombies. Lately, we’ve been getting used to the various theories: virus, chemical warfare, etc. This one takes an approach that’s a little bit different from what we’ve seen. It also throws in some whimsy and schadenfreude to go along with it. It’s nice to see something new.
#2 – It has some interesting family dynamics and dating commentary
In one story, you really hate the family of the main character. In another, you get to see how close a family can be, especially in the face of disaster. Looking at both ends of the spectrum can be difficult because it can get cartoonish if you’re not careful. This one manages to strike that balance. Not an easy feat. In that same vein, covering courtship can be difficult. Watching a couple go on a date – awkward silences, make-out sessions and all – is a reminder that we’re all prone to feeling that vulnerable, especially if we really like someone and want desperately for things to go well. Getting a chance to see a successful date – not one that ends in embarrassment or a marriage – feels so much more natural. I liked that this one was well-rounded in that respect.
|Finally, a film that explores a date that doesn’t end with an over-the-top wedding in the third act.|
#3 – Anchor meltdowns
The segment “Happy Birthday” features a dedicated group of news anchors and home shopping hosts that are in it until the end. As you can guess, the end often brings out the worst in people, from selfishness to demanding answers about a relationship. Sometimes, this takes the form of a hissy fit. In particular, keep your eyes on the female anchor. Yes, it’s melodramatic and, to some degree, sexist. However, it’s also pretty funny to watch someone get taken to task for acting like a douche. They say a crisis will bring out who you really are – watching someone get called out for stringing someone along manages to be funny, self-deprecating and human all at once.
#4 – Did I mention how playful it is?
The moments of playfulness – visual gags, smart ass dialogue, music – combine to make for something that’s just plain enjoyable. Really, at the end of the day, movies ought to be fun. You should be able to enjoy yourself. The qualities all three shorts have make sure that this is an enjoyable experience.
|There’s some geek humor, too!|
#5 – I’m covering it next week
Yes, this is selfish. However, the second segment, “The Heavenly Creature,” is so good in what it does that I want to cover it. So you’ve officially been warned. If you want to know what the hell I’m talking about, watch this one. Trust me, it’s good. It covers ground that science fiction usually doesn’t head toward.
The film is available on Netflix for streaming until August 9, so get crackin’. I’m going to take a look at “The Heavenly Creature” on Monday.