SF Asian American Film Festival 2012: “Baby Factory” and “The Front Line” Reviews and Trailers

Baby Factory

Within the first 15 minutes of Baby Factory I was quick to pigeonhole this as just some foreign language feature-length version of my favorite episodic hospital drama, E.R.  Very soon though, I realized that Eduardo W. Roy Jr.‘s movie was no E.R., and that’s a very good thing.  His critique on important Philippine issues such as poverty and overpopulation are told through a blend of fiction and nonfiction in an authentic overworked and underpaid maternity ward, elevating this movie well above the average E.R. episode and illuminating the movie’s title for what the ward truly is – a factory.

The Front Line

War, huh, yeah. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Uh-huh”  And that pretty much sums up this extraordinarily average Korean war movie set during the battle of the Aerok Hills to decide where the North and South border would be.

I have come to the conclusion that before making an extraordinarily average war movie, the first thing any writer does is make sure he or she has included all the typical cliches that fall within the genre, which seems to be exactly what writer and director, Hun Jang has done.  Shootouts with snipers, check.  Soldiers breaking down, check.  Morale boosting sing-a-longs, check.  Cigarette-dangeling blood covered faces, check.  Innocent kids with missing body parts, you betcha.  Beach storming, mutiny, and my personal favorite, the many mentions of war being hell, check, check, and check.  Mind you, having all these obvious tropes doesn’t automatically equate to a bad movie, but not adding anything new to the war genre is disappointing, even for someone who doesn’t go out of his way to watch a lot of these types of movies.


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