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  1. Wake Up (DVD) (Ep.1-6) (End) (Taiwan Version) Wake Up (DVD) (Ep.1-6) (End) (Taiwan Version) Huang Jian Wei (Actor) | Michael Huang (Actor) | Tiffany Hsu (Actor) | Chris Wu (Actor)
    Award-winning medical suspense drama
    October 29, 2015 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Insomnia sucks, especially when your job involves putting in long hours and putting others to sleep. But things are about to get a lot worse for the hero of PTS's medical suspense drama Wake Up. Winner of Best Mini-Series/TV Movie and Best Director at this year's Golden Bell Awards, the six-episode Taiwan series stars Huang Jian Wei as weary anesthesiologist Hsiao Zheng Xun, a curt but skilled doctor who just wants to do his job and has no interest in hospital politics. Hsiao's wary refusal to go along with unreasonable demands puts him at odds with hospital director Chen (Michael Huang), who is trying to acquire funding to expand the hospital. With the department understaffed because of... [read more]
  2. The Four (2015) (DVD) (Ep.1-44) (End) (English Subtitled) (Malaysia Version) The Four (2015) (DVD) (Ep.1-44) (End) (English Subtitled) (Malaysia Version) Mickey He (Actor) | Yang Yang (Actor) | William Chan (Actor) | Zhang Han (Actor)
    Flower boys and The Four are a killer combination
    August 31, 2015 Picked By Frood See all this editor's picks
    Since making their debut in his 1973 novel, Woon Swee Oan's four elite constables have captured the public imagination throughout the Chinese-speaking territories. The thrilling, action-packed adventures of The Four, each gifted with a particular set of martial skills, practically screamed for screen adaptations, and in 1984, ATV made this a reality with The Undercover Agents. This first screen outing unleashed a torrent of adaptations, with the latest being 2015's The Four. Hunan TV's 44-episode series stars Zhang Han, Yang Yang, William Chan and Mao Zijun, four of China's flower-boys-du-jour who could hardly ask for a better vehicle than Woon's classic swashbuckling tale. As TVB's 2008... [read more]
  3. Sunflower Occupation (DVD) (Taiwan Version) Sunflower Occupation (DVD) (Taiwan Version) Cai Chong Long (Director)
    A generation speaks up
    July 27, 2015 Picked By Frood See all this editor's picks
    In September 2014, the world’s media descended onto Hong Kong to cover what is now known as the Umbrella Movement. The densely populated but geographically tiny city, barely visible on a standard world map, played host to the world’s foremost news organizations, which breathlessly covered the student-led civil disobedience movement that cried out for democracy. It may come as a surprise to some that mere months before the Umbrella Movement, a remarkably (one could even say eerily) similar movement was mounted by Taiwanese students. The Sunflower Movement, which began on March 18, 2014, and lasted 23 days, did not attract the rapt attention of the world’s media. But it should have. As the... [read more]
  4. I Fine..Thank You..Love You (DVD) (Thailand Version) I Fine..Thank You..Love You (DVD) (Thailand Version) Ice Preechaya Pongthananikorn (Actor) | Sunny Suwanmethanon (Actor) | Mez Tharatorn (Director) | Aoi Sola (Actor)
    The power of English
    April 28, 2015 Picked By Rockman See all this editor's picks
    In Asia, learning English can be a true-life challenge for ambitious white-collar workers. English tutoring is such a huge industry in Japan that schools have the money to hire the likes of Ishihara Satomi and Kitano Takeshi for their commercials. Director Mez Tharatorn (ATM) recognized that the arduous effort of learning English can be the stuff of great comedy when he decided to make I Fine…Thank You…Love You. The story of a popular English tutor forced to help a brutish engineer get his girlfriend back by teaching him English, the GTH romantic comedy was a smash hit in Thailand that set new box office records and became the highest grossing Thai film of 2014. Reuniting with her ATM... [read more]
  5. Teacher's Diary (2014) (DVD) (Thailand Version) Teacher's Diary (2014) (DVD) (Thailand Version) Bie Sukrit Wisetkaew (Actor) | Laila Boonyasak (Actor) | Weir Sukollawat Kanarot | Nithiwat Tharathorn (Director)
    A simple formula done right
    February 27, 2015 Picked By Rockman See all this editor's picks
    Two people from different times communicating to each other with or without magical means is an interesting formula that has resulted in films like Ditto, Frequency, Il Mare and Closed Note. Thailand's Nithiwat Tharatorn and his co-writers bring the idea back to the real world with Teacher's Diary, a delightful comedy that shows how a simple, familiar formula can still be interpreted in new ways. The script follows two parallel storylines: In 2011, rebellious teacher Ann (Laila Boonyasak) is sent to run her school's houseboat branch in the countryside after refusing to remove her tattoo. In 2012, former medal-winning wrestler Song (Sukrit Wisetkaew) takes up the houseboat teaching duties... [read more]
  6. Make Me Shudder (2013) (DVD) (Taiwan Version) Make Me Shudder (2013) (DVD) (Taiwan Version) Puvadol Vechwongsa | Worachai Sirikongsuwan | Kittipat Samarntragulchai | Rittichai Tasarika
    A high school horror comedy buoyed by its cast
    November 28, 2014 Picked By Frood See all this editor's picks
    You've probably all heard this one before. A group of teenage boys, led by a wannabe daredevil, decide to sneak into a cordoned-off building in their school that's off-limits to students. They'd heard that the building was haunted and wanted to see for themselves. Full of nervous bravado, the boys enter the building – only to find that the rumors were true. If you think this sounds exactly like the setup of the hundreds upon hundreds of high school horror films out there, you're completely right. There is one crucial difference with regards to Thai director Poj Arnon's (The Unborn Child, Haunting Me) 2013 movie Make Me Shudder, though. It's not 100% a horror film. Carrying on the tradition... [read more]
  7. Queen (2014) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Queen (2014) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Kangana Ranaut (Actor)
    The end is the beginning
    August 28, 2014 Picked By Rockman See all this editor's picks
    Though its biggest hits still have women objectified as scantily-clad sex objects for men, Bollywood does create a strong female-oriented films once in a while. Enjoyable and inspiring at the same time, Queen can proudly join that pantheon, even though it uses one of the oldest Hollywood chick flick clichés in the book. Growing up in a protected environment all her life, Rani (Kangana Ranaut) thinks that her life is practically over when her fiancé calls off their engagement just days before the wedding. Not wanting to cancel her European honeymoon plans, Rani decides to step out of her shell and take the trip on her own. In Paris, she learns to put down her sorrow thanks to encouragement... [read more]
  8. The Lunchbox (2013) (DVD) (Taiwan Version) The Lunchbox (2013) (DVD) (Taiwan Version) Irrfan Khan (Actor) | Nimrat Kaur (Actor) | Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Actor) | Ritesh Batra (Director)
    Hope of deliverance
    July 14, 2014 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Indian films aren't all Bollywood musicals overflowing with emotions and hip-shaking song and dance numbers. There are also small, non-musical films like Ritesh Batra's The Lunchbox, a subtle, poignant drama about two lonely souls who forge a connection through a lunchbox. The great Irrfan Khan plays a lonely, meticulous widower who is nearing retirement. On the outset, Saajan seems to be that grumpy old man who lives down the street; he chastises kids playing outside his home, deliberately avoids training the earnest young colleague who will be taking over his duties and generally keeps everyone around him at arm's distance. In a different part of town, there is a young wife who prepares... [read more]
  9. Sweet Alibis (2014) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Sweet Alibis (2014) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Alec Su (Actor) | Ariel Lin (Actor) | Lang Tsu Yun (Actor) | Ma Nian Xian (Actor)
    When a man meets his match
    April 23, 2014 Picked By Ivy Wong See all this editor's picks
    For me, Sweet Alibis is one of the biggest surprises in Taiwan cinema this year. With a passable trailer and an uninspiring poster, the detective film walks a thin line between a cheesy commercial movie and a genuine Taiwan-style comedy. After bringing us Make Up, director Lien Yi Chi boldly recruits Alec Su and Ariel Lin for his evenly paced comical outing Sweet Alibis which situates a police goofball and a hot-blooded rookie in an investigation overshadowed by suspense and personal struggles. Sweet Alibis is not the regular foes-turned-lovers story you may be expecting. The film marks Alec's return to Taiwan cinema after ten years and sees him putting aside the burdens of an idol to fully... [read more]
  10. Monstar (DVD) (End) (Multi-audio) (English Subtitled) (tvN Drama) (Malaysia Version) Monstar (DVD) (End) (Multi-audio) (English Subtitled) (tvN Drama) (Malaysia Version) Ha Yeon Soo (Actor) | Yong Jun Hyung (Actor) | Kang Ha Neul (Actor) | Lee Hee Jin
    The awkward etudes of youth
    March 31, 2014 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    2013 was a good year for Korean school dramas. Besides the breakout hit School 2013 and the underrated Queen's Classroom, Mnet and tvN created a small but pleasant surprise in Monstar. Monstar was pitched as a music drama with BEAST's Yong Jun Hyung making his acting debut as an ill-tempered teen idol who gets sent back to his performing arts high school for image rehabilitation. He reluctantly falls for a quirky transfer student (Ha Yeon Soo) from New Zealand who somehow doesn't know who he is. Then he grudgingly forms a band with some other misfits and loners in the class to challenge the cocky popular kids of the orchestra (yes, the orchestra). Fighting and bullying are followed by... [read more]
  11. Nobody's Perfect (2013) (DVD) (Taiwan Version) Nobody's Perfect (2013) (DVD) (Taiwan Version) Ototake Hirotada (Actor) | Hirotada Ototake | Kokubun Taichi (Actor) | Hiroki Miyake
    We’re all different, we’re all good
    January 28, 2014 Picked By Rockman See all this editor's picks
    Ototake Hirotada is the epitome of perseverance. Despite being born without his four limbs, Ototake has had successful careers as a sports journalist, a writer and an elementary school teacher. His three years of teaching experience served as the basis of essay collection Daijyobu San-kumi, which has been adapted to Nobody’s Perfect, a docu-drama by director Hiroki Ryuichi. The film is a fictional take on Ototake’s experiences, with Ototake starring as Akao, a teacher who takes over as fifth grade’s class three at Matsuura Nishi Elementary School as a “special hire." Under the condition of having former teacher Shiraishi (Kokubun Taichi) at his side as his aide, Akao manages to win over the... [read more]
  12. Nine: 9 Times Time Travel (DVD) (End) (Multi-audio) (English Subtitled) (tvN TV Drama) (Malaysia Version) Nine: 9 Times Time Travel (DVD) (End) (Multi-audio) (English Subtitled) (tvN TV Drama) (Malaysia Version) Lee Jin Wook (Actor) | Park Hyung Sik (Actor) | Jo Yoon Hee (Actor) | Lee Yi Kyung
    Mind trip
    November 30, 2013 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Last year I marveled at director Kim Byun Soo and writers Song Jae Jung and Kim Yoon Joo's abilities to turn the overused K-Drama trope of time-travel romance into a thinking man's journey in Queen In Hyun's Man. Apparently, Queen was just warm-up for an even brainier exercise in time travel, because this year they gave us the amazing mind trip that is Nine: Nine Times Time Travel. In the present day, terminally ill newscaster Park Sun Woo (a quietly brilliant Lee Jin Wook), while investigating his older brother's death in the Himalayas, gets hold of nine magical incense sticks. When lit, each incense stick allows him to travel back in time exactly 20 years to 1992 for half an hour. 1992... [read more]
  13. Before The Vigil (DVD) (Taiwan Version) Before The Vigil (DVD) (Taiwan Version) Abe Hiroshi (Actor) | Koizumi Kyoko (Actor) | coba (Actor) | Inoue Areno (Actor)
    Dysfunctional relationships are all around
    October 31, 2013 Picked By Rockman See all this editor's picks
    Director Yukisada Isao's biggest hit of his career is Crying Out for Love, In the Center of the World, a romantic tearjerker about a man's undying love for his terminally ill first love. Yukisada has come a long way since that film, expanding his range with films like the adaptation of Mishima Yukio's Spring Snow, children's film Into the Faraway Sky and existential ensemble drama Parade. Three years after Parade, Yukisada is finally back with Before the Vigil, an ensemble drama based on a novel by Inoue Areno. Though the movie posters suggest that it's the story of Abe Hiroshi's character and his affairs with many women, Before the Vigil is actually about the devastation left behind by the... [read more]
  14. Female Prime Minister  (DVD) (Ep. 1-45) (End) (English Subtitled) (Malaysia Version) Female Prime Minister (DVD) (Ep. 1-45) (End) (English Subtitled) (Malaysia Version) Zanilia Zhao (Actor) | Chen Xiao (Actor) | Kimi Qiao (Actor) | Maggie Cheung Ho Yee (Actor)
    New-generation costume idol drama
    August 29, 2013 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Aired on Hunan TV in May 2013, Female Prime Minister (a.k.a. Legend of Lu Zhen) is yet another hit from sign-of-the-times producer Yu Zheng, who specializes in making trendy costume dramas that are widely panned but light up the ratings. The youth-oriented period drama depicts the inspiring life and heart-swooning love of Lu Zhen, the only female prime minister of the Northern Qi Dynasty. No need to hit the history books, because the heroine is fictional. This comes as no surprise since Yu Zheng dramas aren't exactly known for being true to history and source material. The figures referenced here aren't as beloved or well known as say that of Beauties of the Emperor and Swordsman, though,... [read more]
  15. Forever Love (2013) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Forever Love (2013) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Amber An (Actor) | Blue Lan (Actor) | Wang Bo Chieh (Actor) | Long Shao Hua (Actor)
    Love letter to a forgotten era
    July 29, 2013 Picked By Rockman See all this editor's picks
    Before Cape No. 7 resuscitated Taiwan's commercial film industry, there was Beitou. Between 1955 and 1981, over 1,000 Taiwanese-language films were made, and many of them were produced in Taipei's Beitou District. Like any big commercial film industry at the time, these Taiwanese-language films were made cheaply and quickly to ensure profit for investors, which also means they were often disposable entertainment made with little consideration for artistic value. In terms of output, the Taiwanese-language film industry in the late 1950s and early 1960s matched the size of Hong Kong's film industry. Directors Kitamura Toyoharu and Shao Li Shiou pay tribute to this golden era in Taiwan cinema... [read more]
  16. Ah Boys To Men I & II (DVD) (2 In 1 Complete Movie) (Malaysia Version) Ah Boys To Men I & II (DVD) (2 In 1 Complete Movie) (Malaysia Version) Jack Neo (Director) | Tosh Zhang (Actor) | Joshua Tan (Actor) | Noah Yap (Actor)
    Yes, Platoon Sergeant!
    June 24, 2013 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Singapore, a city-state with a population of 5.3 million, has one of the lengthiest mandatory military service requirements in the world. All able-bodied men are required to serve at least 22 months in National Service (NS), beginning with Basic Military Training (BMT), typically held at a training center on the offshore island of Pulau Tekong. The initial months of recruit training is the subject of Jack Neo's two-part blockbuster Ah Boys to Men, which turned into the biggest Singapore film of all time. The first Ah Boys to Men beat the record set by Neo's 1998 film Money Not Enough; Part II beat Part I's record a few months later. Ah Boys to Men opens with an overly long fictional... [read more]
  17. Seven Something (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Seven Something (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Kao Jirayu La-ongmanee (Actor) | Nichkhun (2PM) (Actor) | Suquan Bulakul | Sunny Suwanmethanon (Actor)
    GTH Romantic Marathon
    February 28, 2013 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    GTH has pretty much perfected the formula for populist commercial fare when it comes to horror, romantic comedy and youth films. For the studio's seventh anniversary feature, they went with romance. And stars, of course. Similar to the studio's 2008 film Hormones, Seven Something takes the ensemble omnibus route with three romantic shorts about relationship crossroads at different ages – 14, 21 and 42 – that refer to the significance of seven years as a cycle of change. Helmed by 4bia director Paween Purijitpunya, the opening story "14 Likes" is the youngest, with SuckSeed's teen heartthrob Kao Jirayu La-ongmanee and Laddaland's Punpun Suthatta Udomsilp as cute new high school couple Puan... [read more]
  18. Karate-Robo Zaborgar (2011) (DVD) (Malaysia Version) Karate-Robo Zaborgar (2011) (DVD) (Malaysia Version) Furuhara Yasuhisa (Actor) | Satsukawa Aimi (Actor) | Yamasaki Mami (Actor) | Emoto Akira (Actor)
    Zaborgar!
    November 30, 2012 Picked By Rockman See all this editor's picks
    Sushi Typhoon films are known for camp, less-than-stellar production values and over-the-top gore that borders on bad taste. Karate-Robo Zaborgar, a film remake of 1970s superhero show Denjin Zaborgar, has the former two elements, but it doesn't have the tasteless gore usually seen in a Sushi Typhoon film. Instead, writer-director Iguchi Noboru manages to walk a fine line between parody and tribute, balancing just the right amount of camp that amuses cynical modern audiences with enough tribute elements to make it a respectful throwback to the original show. Like the original series, the first half of the film version is about secret agent Yutaka Daimon (Furuhara Yasuhira) teaming up with... [read more]
  19. Queen & I (DVD) (End) (Multi-audio) (English Subtitled) (tvN TV Drama) (Malaysia Version) Queen & I (DVD) (End) (Multi-audio) (English Subtitled) (tvN TV Drama) (Malaysia Version) Ji Hyun Woo (Actor) | Yoo In Na (Actor) | Kim Jin Woo (Actor) | Jin Ye Sol (Actor)
    One of the best K-Dramas of 2012
    November 21, 2012 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Korean television has seen a fair share of time-travel dramas in 2012, and the best of the bunch is the one that started with the least hype on cable and ended up with the most positive reviews. Aired on tvN, Queen In Hyun's Man places a magical time-travel talisman into the hands of Joseon era scholar Kim Boong Do (Ji Hyun Woo) who is fighting for the reinstatement of the deposed Queen In Hyun during the reign of King Suk Jong (late 17th century). The talisman is protective in nature, whisking him away during near death moments into 2012. In his first time jump, he finds himself on the set of a historical TV drama about Queen In Hyun, and then meets and falls in love with the lead actress... [read more]
  20. You Won't Get To Live Life Twice (DVD) (Taiwan Version) You Won't Get To Live Life Twice (DVD) (Taiwan Version) Katrina Kaif
    Once in a lifetime
    October 31, 2012 Picked By Rockman See all this editor's picks
    Have you ever planned an epic road trip with your best friends at any point in your life? Did you actually manage to pull it off? Don't worry if you didn't, because Zoya Akhtar's You Won't Get to Live Life Twice (a.k.a. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara) tells us that you need virtually an unlimited amount of wealth to pull it off. However, it also tells us that the rewards of such a trip can last for a lifetime. The best friends here are finance man Arjun (Hrithik Roshan), construction company heir Kabir (Abhay Deol), and advertising copywriter/part-time poet Imraan (actor-director Farhan Akhtar). Despite the fractured state of their friendship (caused by an earlier incident revealed later in the... [read more]
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