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  1. Endgame (2021) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Endgame (2021) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Xiao Yang (Actor) | Andy Lau (Actor) | Wan Qian (Actor) | Wei Lai (Actor)
    Key to a good remake
    November 30, 2021 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Uchida Kenji's 2012 comedy-drama Key of Life about a hitman and a failed actor swapping identities picked up a slew of prizes, and its 2016 Korean remake Luck-Key was a box office hit. In 2021, the third iteration of the story arrives with the ambiguously titled Chinese remake Endgame. So what does this version offer that hasn't already been covered in the previous two films? Well, for one thing, it has Andy Lau. Endgame also has director Rao Xiaozhi, who brings a different vibe to this same story. Andy Lau wears the heck out of a black suit as precise and unflappable professional killer Zhou Quan whose downfall turns out to be a slippery bar of soap. After taking a fall at the bathhouse,... [read more]
  2. Gintama: The Final (2021) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Gintama: The Final (2021) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Miyawaki Chizuru (Director)
    A very Gintama finale
    November 29, 2021 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Fans: How many Gintama endings will there be? Gintama animators: Yes. In 2018, the Gintama TV anime notoriously ended with a cliffhanger and a long gag about the series finally coming to an end after many fake-out endings. Over two years later, the Gintama anime returns with a feature film of The Very Final ending. Gintama: The Final starts with an extended Dragon Ball Z parody, in-jokes about the animators being free to do whatever they want since they're not locked down by the grind of a TV anime, and a long narration summarizing the events leading up to the feature film. Before you can gripe about the recap being long and confusing, rest assured, the characters do it for you. Gintama:... [read more]
  3. T-ara - Re:T-ARA T-ara - Re:T-ARA T-ara
    The Queen's return
    November 29, 2021 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    Thanks to MMTG's "Hit Songs You Hear Secretly" and "Songs That Deserve a Comeback" concert projects, we got to see some of our favorite second-generation K-pop groups reuniting on stage, and T-ara was one of them. Months after their reunion, Qri, Eun Jung, Hyo Min and Ji Yeon keep their promise with fans and make a self-funded comeback with the new single album Re:T-ARA! T-ara shows the classic "T-ara style" in All Kill (Track 1)! They dress in chic cowgirl looks for this heartbreak anthem by producer Cho Young Soo and lyricist Ahn Young Min. Giving off poignant and irresistible feelings, All Kill reminds of T-ara's megahits Day by Day and Cry Cry, which were both also created by Cho and... [read more]
  4. Dark wings (EP + Photo Album) Dark wings (EP + Photo Album) Yang Yu Teng (Singer)
    Embracing darkness
    October 31, 2021 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    When YU made his debut in the summer of 2020, he was a nearly unknown newcomer. Since then, a starring role in the hit Taiwan series We Best Love – which also featured his song "Blue Lover" – has turned him into one of the most anticipated new names in Taiwan pop. YU's second EP Dark Wings arrives over a year after his first EP. He works with the same core production team led by producer Howie Chou, but this time he wrote the lyrics for both songs on the EP. If My Night Has Nothing To Do evokes blue feelings, then Dark Wings brings out the feelings of darkness. The EP's two songs call upon the doubts, fears, loneliness, rebellion and uneasiness YU felt in the past as a youth who left Japan... [read more]
  5. The Magician On The Skywalk (2021) (DVD) (Ep. 1-11) (End) (Taiwan Version) The Magician On The Skywalk (2021) (DVD) (Ep. 1-11) (End) (Taiwan Version) Berant Chu (Actor) | Li Yi Qiao (Actor) | Yang Da Zheng (Actor) | May Sun (Actor)
    Life, death and disappearance in 1980s Taipei
    October 29, 2021 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Chunghwa Market was an expansive integrated shopping mall located in Taipei's Ximending area from 1961 to 1992, when it was closed to make way for urban redevelopment. A skywalk over an intersection of roads carried foot traffic directly to the second level of Chunghwa Market, which bustled with people and activity as one of the city's most popular landmarks. This shopping market of yesteryear serves as the setting of the acclaimed 2021 PTS drama The Magician on the Skywalk, which won Best Television Series, Best Director and other prizes at the 56th Golden Bell Awards. Yang Ye Che, who honed his talent for telling human stories at PTS in the 2000s before going on to direct feature films... [read more]
  6. Mr. Trot Top 6 Vol. 1 - Thanks for You Mr. Trot Top 6 Vol. 1 - Thanks for You Lee Chan Won | Jeong Dong Won | Jang Min Ho | Lim Young Woong
    K-Trot world domination
    October 29, 2021 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    Survival audition programs Miss Trot and Mr. Trot have taken Korea by storm in the recent two years, turning nameless singers like Song Ga In (winner of Miss Trot) and Lim Young Woong (winner of Mr. Trot) into superstars. Their significance goes beyond just being "good singers" – they've brought fandom culture to middle-aged audiences and introduced the traditional Korean music genre to younger generations. Wrapping up their group activities, Mr. Trot Top 6 gather their solo digital singles into their first (and temporarily last) full-length album Thanks for You. Young Tak and Jang Min Ho deliver the most authentic and traditional style of trot music and singings in their solo tracks.... [read more]
  7. aespa Mini Album Vol. 1 - Savage (Hallucination Quest Version) aespa Mini Album Vol. 1 - Savage (Hallucination Quest Version) aespa
    The good ænergy
    October 22, 2021 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    Even with all the controversies and rumors circulating around them since debut, SM's newest girl group aespa has proven to be a great success with their distinctive sounds and metaverse concept complete with AI avatars. Following Black Mamba and Next Level, aespa continues to dominate music charts with their first mini-album and title track Savage! The album starts off with the stylish and catchy aenergy (Track 1), which shows the group's worldview and characters in the lyrics – "Karina rocket puncher, Winter armamenter, Giselle got xenoglossy, Ningning E.D hacker." After Girls' Generation's Beautiful Girls and SHINee's The SHINee World, Yoo Young Jin again creates a tailor-made anthem for... [read more]
  8. The Voyage The Voyage Karen Mok (Singer)
    Her never-ending voyage of love
    September 30, 2021 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    Two decades after Golden Flower, C-pop diva Karen Mok finally presents her new Cantonese album – The Voyage – to record her remarkable stories and emotions throughout her 28-year-long music journey. Last year, Karen swept charts and awards with the hit Cantonese digital single "Breathing is Hazardous," for which a rooftop live version is included in this album. She brings new modern woman insights in the 2021 version of "A Woman for All Seasons," which is again written by Wyman Wong. After 21 years, women still long for love, but they're also much more confident and independent now: "Even if you can't meet the right person, you're still a good woman. Doggedly go shop, eat, and sleep." She... [read more]
  9. STAYC Mini Album Vol. 1 - STEREOTYPE (Random Version) STAYC Mini Album Vol. 1 - STEREOTYPE (Random Version) STAYC
    Star To A Young Culture
    September 30, 2021 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    From So Bad to ASAP, Black Eyed Pilseung-produced group STAYC is undoubtedly one of the fastest-rising K-pop rookies of 2021. This time, the STAYC girls continue to unleash their fresh teen energy with their first mini-album Stereotype, which sold over 110,000 copies in its first week! Black Eyed Pilseung created yet another hit song for STAYC – "Stereotype" (Track 1)! The girls show their attitude and ask others not to judge them by their looks in the refreshing, synthpop title track: "I know my look may seem pretty or bold. It may look like I've been seducing you. I'm sorry but don't view me with stereotype." Unlike So Bad and ASAP, there isn't an addictive hook in "Stereotype," but the... [read more]
  10. Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop (Blu-ray) (Special Edition) (Japan Version) Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop (Blu-ray) (Special Edition) (Japan Version) Sugisaki Hana | Ichikawa Somegoro | Hanae Natsuki | Ushio Kensuke
    Boy meets girl, poetry meets pop
    September 29, 2021 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Poetry, music and anime come together in delightfully fizzy fashion in the youth romance Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop, which was produced to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Victor Entertainment's anime-related music label FlyingDog. Directed by Ishiguro Kyohei, this original animated film is a simple yet fanciful boy-meets-girl summer story set in a suburban town. Bubbly and popular live-streaming influencer Smile (voiced by Sugisaki Hana) feels painfully insecure about her buck teeth and braces, which she hides under a face mask. Painfully shy haiku enthusiast Cherry (voiced by kabuki actor Somegoro Ichikawa VIII) works at an elderly day center and hides under headphones to avoid... [read more]
  11. Tears on Fire (2021) (DVD) (Ep. 1-10) (End) (Tote Bag Limited Edition) (Taiwan Version) Tears on Fire (2021) (DVD) (Ep. 1-10) (End) (Tote Bag Limited Edition) (Taiwan Version) Chang-Ying Hsieh (Actor) | James Wen (Actor) | Xia Teng Hong (Actor) | Liu Kuan Ting (Actor)
    Firefighters do more than fight fires
    August 30, 2021 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    On days of disaster and tragedy, we laud the heroics and sacrifices of firefighters and first responders. But are we providing the needed resources and understanding to support their work and livelihood every day of the year? The ten-episode PTS series Tears on Fire depicts the experiences and challenges of firefighters and EMTs in Taiwan. The drama follows a typical brigade in the Tongan Branch of Dayuan City Fire Department. The team, which includes James Wen, Annie Chen, Liu Kuan Ting and Austin Lin, works around the clock to respond to emergency calls. In Taiwan, EMS (emergency medical service) is provided by the fire department, so firefighters are also trained as EMTs (emergency... [read more]
  12. Red Velvet Mini Album Vol. 6 - Queendom (Girls Version) Red Velvet Mini Album Vol. 6 - Queendom (Girls Version) Red Velvet
    Queendom Come
    August 23, 2021 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    Just when we thought we'll have to wait for Red Velvet's comeback till kingdom come, the girls surprise us with a new mini-album after almost two years of wait. Irene, Seul Gi, Wendy, Joy and Yeri radiate queen energy through their sixth mini-album Queendom! "'Cause we are Queens and Kings / Put your hands up higher / Even if it rains / Strong and beautiful / A rainbow completed with different colors" – Red Velvet comes back stronger with their self-empowering title track Queendom (Track 1)! Making their first group comeback in 20 months, the girls go for a safer choice with a catchy but not particularly stunning title song. Queendom forthrightly spreads the message of "we are the queens... [read more]
  13. Hangout With Yoo - MSG Wannabe Album Package Hangout With Yoo - MSG Wannabe Album Package Yoo Jae Suk | Lee Dong Hwi | Simon Dominic | KCM
    Quality songs with no MSG
    August 18, 2021 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    Following last year's SSAK3 and Refund Sisters, MBC variety program Hangout With Yoo surprises with another music project – MSG Wannabe, a parody of well-known vocal group SG Wannabe! This time, Yoo Jae Suk acts as producer Yoo Ya Ho to bring quality K-ballads with aspiring singers Byeollu Ji (Ji Suk Jin), Kim Jung Su (Kim Jung Min), Kang Chang Mo (KCM), Jung Ki Suck (Simon D), Lee Dong Hwi, Lee Sang Yi, Wonstein and Parc Jae Jung. MSG Wannabe officially debuts with their first album that features songs from a strong lineup of songwriters, ranging from Park Geun Tae (composer of SG Wannabe's Timeless) to Brown Eyed Soul's Naul and Young Jun. Subunit M.O.M (Byeollu Ji, Kang Chang Mo,... [read more]
  14. Detective Chinatown 3 (2021) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Detective Chinatown 3 (2021) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Liu Hao Ran (Actor) | Tsumabuki Satoshi (Actor) | Wang Bao Qiang (Actor) | Miura Tomokazu (Actor)
    More of the Detective Chinatown universe
    July 31, 2021 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Out of all the films that were originally set for theatrical release in China for Chinese New Year in 2020 and then pushed back due to COVID, only two films delayed their release dates all the way to 2021 Chinese New Year – the cartoon feature Boonie Bears: The Wild Life and Detective Chinatown 3. Most of the other big-name titles, like Leap, Vanguard and Jiang Ziya, opened later in 2020 or, in the case of Lost in Russia, premiered on digital platforms instead. Detective Chinatown 3, however, was held an entire year for the Spring Festival opening, because it's very much a Lunar New Year film. Despite the detective buddy comedy being a surefire blockbuster anytime of the year based on its... [read more]
  15. SF9 Mini Album Vol. 9 - Turn Over (Special Version) (Random Version) SF9 Mini Album Vol. 9 - Turn Over (Special Version) (Random Version) SF9
    Classy sexy sensation
    July 8, 2021 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    Mnet's Kingdom: Legendary War successfully wound down in early June. During Kingdom, SF9 displayed their "classy sexy" charisma to the finest with grand and deep performances. They continue to illustrate this glorious chapter of their music journey with the ninth mini-album Turn Over. Instead of dropping summer jams like many other groups, SF9 goes moody and sentimental in title track Tear Drop (Track 1). At first listen, it gives off a pretty strong Good Guy vibe with its catchy topline, UK garage beats and song arrangement – both songs are from the same writers and producer. The group once asked their loves not to miss out on them in Good Guy. They are now left with broken hearts in Tear... [read more]
  16. The Con-Heartist (2020) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) The Con-Heartist (2020) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Nadech Kugimiya (Actor) | Baifern Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul (Actor) | Phuak Pongsatorn Jongwilas (Actor) | Ter Chantavit Dhanasevi (Actor)
    Heart, humor and hijinks
    July 1, 2021 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    When it comes to glossy commercial films that hit you in the feels and the funny bone, it's hard to go wrong with GDH. The 2020 comedy The Con-Heartist deploys the blockbuster studio's tried-and-true formula of pretty people engaging in cute romance and wacky comedy, but this crowd-pleaser leads with crime caper elements. Romcom favorite Baifern Pimchanok gives one of her most lovable performances as Ina, a humble banker who wears her heart on her sleeve. That's how she ended up getting scammed by ex-boyfriend Petch (a wily, smiley Thiti Mahayotaruk) and saddled with debt. When she encounters suave con artist Tower, played by Channel 3 heartthrob Nadech Kugimiya, she ropes him into helping... [read more]
  17. Twice Mini Album Vol. 10 - Taste of Love (Random Version) Twice Mini Album Vol. 10 - Taste of Love (Random Version) Twice (Korea)
    Another Taste of Summer
    June 30, 2021 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    Let's catch the summer fever with more summer jams! Following last week's Summer Queen by Brave Girls, another girl group arrived with more bangers – it's Twice with the new EP Taste of Love. This time, Twice gives us another taste of summer with their mature, sultry charms in the mini-album. Rather than going for an energetic and passionate night like in Dance The Night Away, Twice takes their time to chill and get tipsy in the title track Alcohol-Free (Track 1). With hip-hop elements blended in a bossa nova-based melody, Alcohol Free enacts a dreamy, magical summer romance in a tiddly atmosphere: "You are my champagne, my wine that I drink with my eyes. My tequila, margarita, Mojito with... [read more]
  18. Future Cops (1993) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Future Cops (1993) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Andy Lau (Actor) | Aaron Kwok (Actor) | Jacky Cheung (Actor) | Chingmy Yau (Actor)
    90s Hong Kong comedy at its craziest
    June 30, 2021 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Some people may say that Future Cops is a terrible motion picture. And those people would not be wrong, but that doesn't stop me from wholeheartedly loving this wacky 90s Hong Kong classic. The sci-fi action comedy is directed by – who else? – Hong Kong cinema's king of low-brow comedies Wong Jing, and it aims to entertain by throwing everything but the kitchen sink into its nonsensical fun. One of the biggest draws of Future Cops is that it's packed with stars, and they all dress up in ridiculous cosplay-quality costumes, as the film giddily rips off characters from Street Fighter II. Future Cops enjoys the distinction of having three Heavenly Kings – Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung and Aaron Kwok... [read more]
  19. Brave Girls Mini Album Vol. 5 - Summer Queen (Random Version) Brave Girls Mini Album Vol. 5 - Summer Queen (Random Version) Brave Girls
    The Summer Queens
    June 24, 2021 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    Considering the numerous scandals that broke out earlier this year, the rise of Brave Girls with viral hit Rollin' was perhaps the most positive and hopeful thing to happen in the K-pop industry. Now, the girls are back, and they're gonna be summer queens with their fifth mini-album! Brave Girls continue to go strong with the title track Chi Mat Ba Ram (Track 1)! Again produced by their boss and producer Brave Brothers, the tropical house dance number Chi Mat Ba Ram conveys a summer love that freshly arrives like the breeze blowing through their dresses. Despite coming with an entirely different melody, the song feels very much like Rollin' – from Yu Jeong's sweet opening to the addictive... [read more]
  20. Red Velvet : Joy Special Album - Hello (Photo Book Version) Red Velvet : Joy Special Album - Hello (Photo Book Version) Joy (Red Velvet)
    Summer joy
    June 9, 2021 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    Last year, Red Velvet's Joy surprised us with her hit song "Introduce Me a Good Person" from the Hospital Playlist OST. This year, she accompanies our summer days with the special remake album Hello for her official solo debut! Joy says goodbye to lonely days and welcomes sunny days in life with the modern rock title track "Hello" (Track 1). Carrying the dual meanings of "hello" and "goodbye," Annyeong (the Korean title of "Hello") is a remake of Park Hye Kyoung's "Good Bye," and encourages listeners to start their days with positivity. Kenzie's arrangement, along with Joy's bright tone, adds a more dynamic energy to the heartening anthem. When listening to Joy's rendition, you can totally... [read more]
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