a seeker in search of Easter Eggs

Parasite Feb 25, 2020

Movie Review: Parasite (2019)

Rating: star star star star star (5 stars out of 5)
Cast: Kang-ho Song, Sun-kyun Lee, Yeo-jeong Jo
Director: Bong Joon Ho
Writer: Bong Joon Ho (story/screenplay)
Awards: winner Academy Awards 2020 for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Thriller
Run Time: 2h 12min
Premiere Date: 8 November 2019
Country: Korea
Screening Location: SF Cinema City, Landmark Plaza, Udon Thani, Thailand
Purchase Movie Ticket: star

The movie started off as a hilarious comedy about a family's ingenious con game in taking advantage of a wealthy family. Things took a turn for the bizarre when their well-laid plan hit some unexpected snags. The movie later turns macabre and gruesome with a somewhat predictable ending.

The crime family

All actors acted competently and evenly throughout the movie. I didn't notice any actor who stood out. But again, everyone was believable.

Sexy Scene
This movie by far is not about sexual content. But there was a sofa scene between the husband and wife that redefined "sexy" - and they both had their clothes on the entire scene - go figure!

The Plan
After all the gruesome bloodshed has taken place, the driver/father told his son and daughter that he had a plan but didn't want to involve them, so he didn't disclose it - perhaps removing the element of culpability by knowing. I thought he planed to kill the incriminating witness. But later on, when pressed by his son on what the plan was, my jaw just dropped when the father said the plan was not to have a plan. Then he went on a philosophical tirade to explain why. And that's exactly what he did - nothing! This kind of thinking is just so unique and out-of-the-box that you don't see it coming. Again, no Hollywood movie would ever do it this way...or has ever done it this way.

Ending Thoughts
The first time it was shown, I dismissed it as another forgettable subtitled movie - until it won the Oscars. Then it got my attention. Fortunately, it was rescreened in the mainstream cinemas for the benefit of people like me. To keep things in perspective, this is the very first subtitled foreign movie that made it as Best Picture. For this movie to transcend the white-shoe condescension of elitist Hollywood against foreign films, especially an Asian film, says a lot about the shifting tide of movie making and audience appreciation. It is hard to put a finger on this movie.

One thing remarkable about this movie is that you have many characters, but there is no one bad guy or one good guy, unlike most films that keep the moral characters polarized for added tension. But the movie kept me glued without cheering on for the good guy - because there isn't one. Every one comes with his/her own charm and flaws.

Parasite traverses many genres. It's a hilarious comedy, but there was always an underpinning edge to it that kept me riveted to my seat. As the movie took a turn from comedy to the bizarre and then to the dark and gruesome...while still being somewhat funny, I was glued in anticipation on what blind-siding twist will take place. Parasites is so brilliantly disturbing that it leaves you with a lingering queezy feeling that's hard to shake-off long after you left the cinema.

Watch it! It'll give you a sense of how a different un-Hollywood approach comes into this movie making.

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
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Next stop: Thai Food Cooking at ISaan Workshop

Udon Thani Travel Information / Tips

Phitsanulok to Udon Thani by bus

You can either go to the Bus Terminal 1 or 2 in Phitsanulok for a bus bound for Udon Thani. There are more trips from Terminal 2. But I ended up in Terminal 1 (window 34) where you only have 2 daily trips: 9:30 am and 10:30pm. B293, 6 hours. From Terminal 1 Phitsanulok, you will be taken to Bus Station 2 (and it will not go to Bus Station 1 which is further east) in Udon Thani. You may have to take a tuk-tuk if your hotel is near Station 1. Tuk-tuk/motorcycles inside the bus station will over-charge you from B100-B150. Just wait for the city bus that goes inside Station 2 - only B20. Inside the bus, you'll see a map with the bus' red-line route. Use this as your guide where to get off.

Udon Thani Attractions
  1. Night Market -
  2. Nong Prajak Public Park -
  3. Phu Prabhat Historical Park -
  4. Ban Chiang Museum -
  5. Wat Phothisomphon -
  6. Thai-Chinese Cultural Center -

Udon Thani Blogs by TheLoneRider

  1. Isaan Food in Udan Thani, Thailand Mar 5, 2020
  2. Low Season (2020) Feb 29, 2020
  3. Thai Food Cooking at ISaan Workshop Feb 26, 2020
  4. Movie Review: Parasite Feb 25, 2020
  5. Abundance in Udon Thani, Thailand Feb 25, 2020

Travel Tips for Thailand

How to Get a 60-Day Thai Tourist Visa and then Extend by another 30 Days

This process is BEFORE Covid 19. Not sure what it is now.

    60-Day Thai Tourist Visa

    NOTE: There is no need to go back to your country to get the Thai tourist visa. Any major city with a Thai Embassy will do. Apparently there is also no need to have an invitation from a Thai establishment to justify the visa.

  1. Bring the following to the Thai embassy:
    a) proof of money (bank statement will suffice)
    b) flight booking to Thailand
    c) onward flight back to your country from Thailand
    d) filled-in tourist visa form
    e) 2 passport pictures
    f) hotel booking in Thailand (they didn't ask me for this but better be safe)
    g) passport with at least 6 months validity
  2. After handing over all the documents, they will ask you to come pick your passport with the visa the following day from 4 to 5pm. That's it!
  3. NOTE: after 2 successful attempts, I was already questioned the 3rd time.

    30-Day Extension

    NOTE: When your 60-day visa is close to expiry and you want to extend your stay. No need to leave Thailand.

  1. bring the following to the Immigration Office:
    a) passport (make sure your Tourist Visa hasn't expired yet)
    b) Baht 1900
    c) photocopy of your passport + visa duration date stamp + TM6 card (white immigration card) and sign all the copies
    d) completed TM7 visa extension form (available at the Immigration Office)
    e) one 4cmx6cm passport picture
  2. submit the above to the Front Desk. They will give you a stub with your number on it. Take a seat and wait for your number to be called
  3. when your number is called, your picture will be taken. Then go back to your seat. They will call you again.
  4. when they call you again, they'll give you your passport with your extended visa. That's it!
  5. when there are no lines, the whole process can take only 10 minutes
Book Train Tickets in Thailand

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General Travel Tips
  1. arrive early - in case there is a snag (visa snag, documentation snag, transport ticket snag, etc.), you will have ample time to troubleshoot the problem if you arrive early (to the airport, to the bus terminal, etc.)
  2. put detailed itinerary on the Calendar apps of your smart-phone according to timelines - this is where you do all your thinking and planning. Once written down, you don't have to think anymore while you are on the just follow the steps. This frees your mind for something else that might happen while you are already en route
  3. avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
  4. power bank - hand-carry your power bank. Do not check it in. You can be called in when you are already inside the plane to go all the way to the loading dock so you can personally remove the power bank...and chances are, you'll have to surrender it to them. And you might delay the plane departure!
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