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  1. Gundala (2019) (DVD) (Taiwan Version) Gundala (2019) (DVD) (Taiwan Version) Donny Alamsyah (Actor) | Ario Bayu (Actor) | Arswendi Nasution (Actor) | Abimana Aryasatya (Actor)
    The beginning of the Bumilangit Cinematic Universe
    January 31, 2021 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    From The Raid series to the horror films Satan's Slaves and Impetigore, the international profile of Indonesian cinema has been on the up in recent years. As the director of those latter two horror hits, Joko Anwar is a key name in the rise of Indonesian genre films. His 2019 feature Gundala takes on that most commercially alluring and technically challenging of genres: comic book superhero. Gundala is the ambitious first film of the Bumilangit Cinematic Universe, Indonesia's answer to the MCU and DCEU. Created by Hasmi, the lightning-wielding Gundala made his first appearance in 1969, and has remained one of the country's most popular and classic comic characters. Typical of the first... [read more]
  2. Happy Old Year (2019) (DVD) (Taiwan Version) Happy Old Year (2019) (DVD) (Taiwan Version) Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying (Actor) | Sunny Suwanmethanont (Actor) | Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit (Director)
    It doesn't spark joy.
    September 7, 2020 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Remember when we were all obsessively Marie Kondo-ing our homes? Jean (Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying) takes it to the next level in Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit's sensitive drama Happy Old Year. Having returned from living in Sweden, the designer is determined to transform her family home into a minimalist design. She has a specific aesthetic in mind and plans to convert the first floor into her office. Doing so will require major refurbishment and clearing away many years of accumulated possessions. Marie Kondo's method of decluttering recommends keeping that which sparks joy, but Jean's take-no-prisoners approach seems to have little to do with joy, as she simply drops the decision on her... [read more]
  3. The Cave (2019) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) The Cave (2019) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Jim Warny (Actor) | James Edward Holley (Actor) | Ekawat Niratvorapanya (Actor) | Nopadol Niyomka (Actor)
    The Thai cave rescue mission
    May 31, 2020 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Remember the Thai boys soccer team that was trapped in a flooded cave? That was only two years ago, though it seems like an eternity has passed since. Even as the events were unfolding, we all knew that the Thai cave rescue would become a movie, because it was such an amazing, made-for-the-movies story. The question was more how it would be told onscreen and who would be telling it. After the rescue, the Thai government was very protective of the soccer team, and the rights to the boys' stories were granted to SK Global Entertainment with Netflix. Thai-born, British-raised director Tom Waller's The Cave is not so much about the boys trapped in the cave, but rather the mission to rescue the... [read more]
  4. Premika (2017) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Premika (2017) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Nutthasit Kotimanuswanich (Actor) | Natthacha De Souza (Actor) | Kidakarn Chatkaewmanee (Actor) | Pramote Pathan (Actor)
    Karaoke or Death!
    June 28, 2019 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    I'm one of those people who can't properly complete a song at karaoke if my life depended on it. Inevitably, I will go off-tune, lose my place, mess up lyrics or forget the melody. Sometimes, I just forget how to read. If I was one of the people challenged to karaoke in the Thai horror comedy Premika, I would be dead for sure, probably within seconds. Written and directed by Siwakorn Charupongsa, Premika works overtime as a horror, slasher, satire, mystery, musical and comedy with campy special effects on a modest budget. It's the kind of movie that plays well at genre fests and midnight screenings. The title Premika refers to the film's vengeful ghost (singer Gena Desouza), an unidentified... [read more]
  5. Dark Figure of Crime (2018) (DVD) (Taiwan Version) Dark Figure of Crime (2018) (DVD) (Taiwan Version) Kim Yoon Seok (Actor) | Ju Ji Hoon (Actor) | Kim Tae Gyun (Director, Writer) | Kwak Kyung Taek (Writer)
    Justice for unknown victims
    February 21, 2019 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    The actual number of crimes committed is always higher than the official documented figures, because many crimes go unreported or undiscovered. Crime experts call this missing figure of unreported crimes the Dark Figure of Crime. Inspired by a tragic real-life case, Kim Tae Gyun's crime drama brings attention to what this dark figure means: unknown victims for whom justice can never be served. Dark Figure of Crime unfolds as a cat-and-mouse game between a persistent detective portrayed by Kim Yoon Seok and an incarcerated killer played by Ju Ji Hoon. Narcotics detective Kim Hyung Min (Kim Yoon Seok) meets informant Kang Tae Oh (Ju Ji Hoon) for the first time at a restaurant, only to see him... [read more]
  6. Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer (Blu-ray) (US Version) Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer (Blu-ray) (US Version) Oshii Mamoru (Director)
    Oshii Dreamin'
    November 9, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Oshii Mamoru and Urusei Yatsura? It is now almost hard to imagine that Ghost in the Shell director Oshii, the master of cyber punk and artful alienation, first made his name with Urusei Yatsura, a hectic off-color anime series about a lecherous high school student and his turquoise-haired, leopard-bikini-clad alien girlfriend. When Oshii embarked on Beautiful Dreamer, it was his second go at a feature-length Urusei Yatsura film, and he did things a bit differently this time around. While the first film was a competent, fairly faithful extension of the manga, 1984's Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer was an entirely different and beautiful beast. Manga writer Takahashi Rumiko and die-hard... [read more]
  7. Pad Man (2018) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Pad Man (2018) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Akshay Kumar (Actor) | R. Balki (Director) | Radhika Apte (Actor) | Amitabh Bachchan
    A different kind of superhero
    October 29, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Akshay Kumar is known for his man's man action hero image, but lately he's become Bollywood's unlikely onscreen hero for the cause of public health and sanitation. In last year's Toilet, Akshay Kumar played a man whose marriage begins to unravel because his new wife cannot accept the lack of a toilet in their home. The film's unabashed focus on toilets and what goes in them may seem like crass humor, but it actually broaches the very serious issue of improving sanitary conditions in rural India. In this year's Pad Man, he plays a man whose marriage begins to unravel because of sanitary pads. The film is produced by writer Twinkle Khanna, whose short story "The Sanitary Man of Sacred Land"... [read more]
  8. Wake Up Season 1 & 2 (DVD) (PTS TV Drama) (Taiwan Version) Wake Up Season 1 & 2 (DVD) (PTS TV Drama) (Taiwan Version) Lego Lee | Huang Jian Wei (Actor) | Ann Hsu (Actor) | Chris Wu Kang Ren (Actor)
    Life, death and medicine
    August 20, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Aired in 2015, the first season of Taiwan mini-series Wake Up swept multiple awards at the Golden Bell Awards with its brooding yet riveting story of a weary anesthesiologist framed for malpractice amid a bigger medical conspiracy. Two years later, the series returned with similar themes and wider-reaching conflicts in an ambitiously complex tangle of medical procedural, human drama, crime suspense and socially conscious drama. Compared to the first season's lean six-episode run, Wake Up 2 doubles its length to 13 episodes, and more than doubles the production budget and cast. The first season's main cast of Huang Jian Wei, Tiffany Hsu, Chris Wu and Michael Huang all return, but in... [read more]
  9. Circle (2017) (DVD) (Ep.1-12) (End) (tvN TV Drama) (Malaysia Version) Circle (2017) (DVD) (Ep.1-12) (End) (tvN TV Drama) (Malaysia Version) Kim Kang Woo (Actor) | Yeo Jin Goo (Actor) | Lee Gi Kwang (Actor) | Kwon Hyuk Soo (Actor)
    Brave New World of Korean sci-fi
    March 27, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    When Circle began airing in May 2017, it wasn't very clear where exactly this drama would be going considering its story would involve two worlds, two time periods, two brothers, murders and an alien. Is it really possible for a 12-episode original series to pack in this much stuff and not be a hot mess? Somehow, Circle makes it all work in thrilling and thought-provoking manner. For most of the series, Circle splits each episode into two equally compelling halves. The first part of each episode, titled Beta Project, is set in the present day and follows Yeo Jin Gu as college student Kim Woo Jin. The harried youth has a troubled twin brother, Bum Kyoon (Ahn Woo Yeon), who has been obsessed... [read more]
  10. Wake Up (DVD) (Ep.1-6) (End) (Taiwan Version) Wake Up (DVD) (Ep.1-6) (End) (Taiwan Version) Chris Wu (Actor) | Michael Huang (Actor) | Tiffany Hsu (Actor) | Huang Jian Wei (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]
  11. 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) | William Chan (Actor) | Yang Yang (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]
  12. 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]
  13. 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) | Puttachat Pongsuchat (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]
  14. 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]
  15. Make Me Shudder (2013) (DVD) (Taiwan Version) Make Me Shudder (2013) (DVD) (Taiwan Version) Puvadol Vechwongsa | Kittipat Samarntragulchai | Nick Kunatip Pinpradab | 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]
  16. Queen (2014) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Queen (2014) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Rajkummar Rao | 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]
  17. 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]
  18. Sweet Alibis (2014) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Sweet Alibis (2014) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Ariel Lin (Actor) | Alec Su (Actor) | Lei Hong (Actor) | Matt Wu (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]
  19. Monstar (DVD) (End) (Multi-audio) (English Subtitled) (tvN Drama) (Malaysia Version) Monstar (DVD) (End) (Multi-audio) (English Subtitled) (tvN Drama) (Malaysia Version) Yong Jun Hyung (Actor) | Ha Yeon Soo (Actor) | Kang Ha Neul (Actor) | Ahn Nae Sang
    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]
  20. Nobody's Perfect (2013) (DVD) (Taiwan Version) Nobody's Perfect (2013) (DVD) (Taiwan Version) Ototake Hirotada (Actor) | Hirotada Ototake | Kokubun Taichi (Actor) | Yo Kimiko
    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]
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