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  1. Midnight Runners (Blu-ray) (Scanavo Full Slip Numbering Limited Edition) (Korea Version) Midnight Runners (Blu-ray) (Scanavo Full Slip Numbering Limited Edition) (Korea Version) Kang Ha Neul (Actor) | Park Seo Joon (Actor) | Park Ha Sun (Actor) | Sung Dong Il (Actor)
    Korean writer-director Kim Ju-hwan (Koala, Goodbye My Smile) makes the step up from indie features to bigger-budgeted commercial fare with comedy actioner Midnight Runners, headlined by top young stars Park Seo-joon (Chronicles of Evil) and Kang Ha-neul (Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet). Following a couple of hot-headed young police academy cadets who start fighting crime on their own initiative, the film was both popular with audiences and a critical hit, being hailed as one of the Top 10 Films of the year by the Korean Association of Film Critics Awards as well as winning a number of nominations for Kim and his cast. The film opens with the rebellious risk-taker Ki-joon (Park Seo-joon) and... [read more]
  2. Sword Master (2016) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Sword Master (2016) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Derek Yee (Writer, Director) | Tsui Hark (Producer, Writer) | Kenny Lin (Actor) | Peter Ho (Actor)
    Benny Chan's recent Call of Heroes was a fine Shaw Brothers homage but Tsui Hark and Derek Yee one-up Chan with an actual Shaw Brothers remake. Produced by Tsui and directed by Yee, Sword Master is a retelling of the Chor Yuen film Death Duel (1977), which was in turn based on a swordplay novel by Gu Long. Immediately, what's noticeable about Sword Master is how much it resembles the Shaw Brothers original and its older aesthetic, with the same or similar costumes, and obvious sets and green screen work that approximate the filtered-skies look of Death Duel. Other filmmaking aspects also appear retro; Yee avoids stylization and more modern storytelling techniques for a simply-told, earnest... [read more]
  3. Gone With The Bullets (2014) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Thailand Version) Gone With The Bullets (2014) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Thailand Version) Jiang Wen (Actor, Director) | Shu Qi (Actor) | Ge You (Actor) | Wen Zhang (Actor)
    What did you just do, Jiang Wen? The Devils on the Doorstep actor-auteur returns with Gone with the Bullets, a spiritual follow-up to his recent film Let the Bullets Fly and a curious production considering it cost 300 million RMB. This combination of meta-movie, period satire and genre pastiche is creative, admirable and largely unfathomable. This is a thoughtful and entertaining work that's full of surprises, and should be seen as the latest in Jiang's sterling filmography – at least, a portion of the audience will regard the film that way. "Average" or "normal" audiences, i.e., the general viewing public who made the Transformers movies so successful, will not be so happy with Gone with... [read more]
  4. Hollywood Adventures (2015) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Hollywood Adventures (2015) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Vicki Zhao (Producer, Actor) | Huang Xiao Ming (Actor) | Tong Da Wei (Actor) | Kang Sung Ho (Actor)
    The incredible growth of the Chinese box office and the changing relationship of the country’s film industry with Hollywood has been an increasingly important cultural talking point in recent years, with experts predicting China to overtake the US as the largest audience market in the world as early as 2017. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one result of this is a rise in co-productions between the two countries, one of the most recent of which has been Hollywood Adventures, featuring three of China's most popular talents in Vicki Zhao (Dearest), Huang Xiaoming (Women Who Flirt) and Tong Dawei (The Crossing), directed by Timothy Kendall and produced by Justin Lin of the blockbuster Fast & Furious... [read more]
  5. A Girl at My Door (DVD) (Korea Version) A Girl at My Door (DVD) (Korea Version) Bae Doo Na (Actor) | Kim Sae Ron (Actor) | Song Sae Byuk (Actor) | July Jung (Director)
    Writer director July Jung makes a stunning debut with drama A Girl At My Door, starring acclaimed Korean actress Bae Doo-na (Cloud Atlas) as a police officer who forms an uneasy relationship with a young girl in a remote rural area whose inhabitants all seem to have an alcohol problem. Like most outings from Lee Chang-dong, who served as producer, the film proved very popular with critics at international festivals, including Cannes, where it played in the Un Certain Regard section and where it reportedly received a three minute standing ovation from the audience. Bae Doo-na plays Young Nam, a police officer who as the film begins has been transferred from Seoul to a remote rural fishing... [read more]
  6. Meeting Dr. Sun (2014) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Meeting Dr. Sun (2014) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Wei Han Ding (Actor) | Zhan Huai Yun (Actor) | Joseph Chang (Actor) | Nana Lee (Actor)
    Director Yee Chih-Yen's last full-length feature was the neo-classic Blue Gate Crossing back in 2002, so the release of his new film Meeting Dr. Sun is cause for minor celebration. At first glance, the actual content of the film offers less to celebrate, as it covers previous Yee territory (i.e., it takes place in high school) and offers a ridiculous premise. High school student Lefty (Chai Huai-Yun) is too poor to pay his school fees, so he decides to steal a metal statue of Sun Yat-Sen stowed in a school storage room and sell it as scrap. Along with three friends, Lefty plots the heist but runs into a snag: He discovers a notebook detailing a plan to steal the exact same Sun Yat-Sen... [read more]
  7. Project Hashima (2013) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Project Hashima (2013) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Sushar Manaying (Aom) (Actor) | Mike D'Angelo (Actor) | Piyapan Choopetch (Director) | Alexander Rendell (Actor)
    As horror film locations go Hashima Island, 15km off he coast of Nagasaki Prefecture in Japan, is a pretty solid choice, being abandoned since its coal mine shut down back in 1974 and having only reopened to the public in 2009. In Hashima Project (aka H Project), Thai director Piyapan Choopetch (My Ex) makes creepy use of the island's long-empty concrete apartment blocks for a tale of curses and supernatural vengeance, tapping into the still-popular Asian ghost movie trend that's remained popular since the success of Ringu way back in 1998. The film opens following a group of film school graduates, who after their latest found footage horror short becomes a YouTube hit accept an offer from... [read more]
  8. The Tunnel (DVD) (Korea Version) The Tunnel (DVD) (Korea Version) Yun Woo Jin (Actor) | Jung Yu Mi (Actor) | Min Do Hee (Actor) | Song Jae Rim (Actor)
    When planning a luxury party resort, an old abandoned coal mine in the middle of nowhere, the scene of a tragic past accident, probably wouldn't be top of the list of ideal locations. Nevertheless, this is the premise of Park Gyu Taek's debut film The Tunnel, which follows a gang of unfortunate twentysomething friends who for a variety of reasons find themselves trapped in the dark and being knocked off one by one. Originally shot in 3D, the film attracted attention for its cast of hot up and coming popular stars, including Jung Yu Mi (Rooftop Prince), Yun Woo Jin (Marriage Not Dating) and Song Jae Rim (Surplus Princess), plus girl group members Do Hee (Tiny-G) and Woo Hee... [read more]
  9. The Huntresses (2013) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Malaysia Version) The Huntresses (2013) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Malaysia Version) Ha Ji Won (Actor) | Kang Ye Won (Actor) | Gain (Brown Eyed Girls) (Actor) | Joo Sang Wook (Actor)
    Popular Korean star Ha Ji Won returns with The Huntresses, an action comedy which transplants the Charlie's Angels formula to the Joseon dynasty, with Kang Ye Won (Ghost Sweepers) and actress singer Son Gain (Closer to Heaven) joining her as legendary bounty hunters. Marking the first outing for Gingko Bed 2 director Park Je Hyun in a decade, the film is a big budget popcorn affair that packs in the wacky gags and silliness along with plenty of explosive set pieces. Ha Ji Won plays Jin Ok, the leader of a trio of bounty hunters that also includes housewife Hong Dan (Kang Ye Won) and the young Ga Bi (Son Gain), whose agent (Ko Chang Seok, Over my Dead Body) lands them in serious trouble when... [read more]
  10. For Love's Sake (2012) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Malaysia Version) For Love's Sake (2012) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Malaysia Version) Tsumabuki Satoshi (Actor) | Saitoh Takumi (Actor) | Takei Emi (Actor) | Ando Sakura (Actor)
    Is there a harder working or more versatile director anywhere in the world today than cult Japanese favourite Miike Takashi? Possibly not, the director offering up his third 2012 outing with For Love's Sake(Ai to Makoto), a day-glo coloured pure romance musical revolving around gang fighting high school teens. The film is an new live action version of Kajiwara Ikki's hugely popular 1973 manga series, which has already been adapted for the screen several times previously, and stars Tsumabuki Satoshi (Villain) and Takei Emi (Rurouni Kenshin) as a tough rebel and nice natured rich girl falling for each other. Though this might sound rather tame and straightforward for a director arguably best... [read more]
  11. Million Dollar Crocodile (2012) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Malaysia Version) Million Dollar Crocodile (2012) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Malaysia Version) Barbie Hsu (Actor) | Guo Tao (Actor) | Ding Jia Li (Actor) | Lam Suet (Actor)
    Cheapo creature features live with the forgivably bad Million Dollar Crocodile, a knowing B-movie starring a CGI crocodile and lots of actors who've done better work. Guo Tao leads this Pan-China cast as Useless Wang, an underdog cop who saves the city, earns the respect of his son and gets the girl when he goes Steve Irwin on a rampaging monster crocodile. Well, maybe that's how a hyperbolic plot description used on international sales flyers would describe the film. In actuality, Million Dollar Crocodile is a low-tension monster movie that's more funny than frightening, and readily serves its function as amusing, throwaway crap for undemanding audiences. Director and co-writer Lin Lisheng... [read more]
  12. Kagemusha (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Kagemusha (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Kurosawa Akira (Director) | Nakadai Tatsuya | Hagiwara Kenjchi | Yamazaki Tsutomu (Actor)
    At seventy years of age, with his career on the downswing, legendary director Akira Kurosawa turned to the help of George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola, who served as producers on Kurosawa's epic Kagemusha. At that point in time, Kagemusha was the most expensive film ever to be made in Japan. The film is set in late sixteenth-century Japan, where three clans are battling for dominance and control of the land. When Lord Shingen of the Takeda clan is mortally wounded and sure to die, he orders that his death be kept a secret in order to preserve stability, and that his shadow warrior (Kagemusha) take his place. Shingen's doppleganger is a low-level thief, spared his life because of his... [read more]
  13. Tell Me Something (DVD) (US Version) Tell Me Something (DVD) (US Version) Han Suk Kyu (Actor) | Shim Eun Ha (Actor)
    Black on black, Tell Me Something is a liquid-slicked Korean thriller that took lessons from the Brian DePalma/Dario Argento giallo school of faceless murderers re-enacting old traumas through corpse-mutilation, while auditing courses in the Basic Instinct sex-thriller night school program. The result is a movie full of lacquered darkness, creeping dread, and enough sick kicks for just about any viewer. Black garbage bags of mismatched body parts start popping up around Seoul like poisonous mushrooms after the rain. Disgraced Detective Cho (Han Seok-Gyu) is handed the reins of the investigation and given a chance to redeem himself. A witness, fragile flower Suyeon (Shim Eun-Ha), comes... [read more]
  14. A Crazy Little Thing Called Love (DVD) (2-Disc Special Package Edition) (Thailand Version) A Crazy Little Thing Called Love (DVD) (2-Disc Special Package Edition) (Thailand Version) Mario Maurer | Baifern Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul | Puttipong Promsaka Na Sakolnakorn (Director) | Wasin Pokpong (Director)
    First love gets another cinematic spin with A Crazy Little Thing Called Love, a 2010 teen romance featuring popular Thai heartthrob Mario Maurer (Love of Siam). Pimchanok Luewisetpaiboon stars as Nam, a plain high schooler in love with handsome upperclassman Shone (Maurer). Shone seems far out of reach for Nam, but instead of giving up she uses her ardent crush to improve herself, hoping that one day Shone will notice her. He eventually does, as Nam blossoms from awkward duckling to graceful swan, but their precious, fleeting high school years bring more than just a change in Nam's looks. Things change, people change, interest rates fluctuate - the whole shebang occurs. By the time Shone... [read more]
  15. BKO: Bangkok Knockout (DVD) (Thailand Version) BKO: Bangkok Knockout (DVD) (Thailand Version) Panna Rittikrai (Director) | Baifern Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul | Supaksorn Chaimongkol | Prachya Pinkaew (Producer)
    A stuntman demo reel dialed up to a punishing eleven, Bangkok Knockout is barrels of adrenaline-fueled fun provided that you don't care about things like story, acting, coherence or enunciation. From director Panna Rittikrai, longtime Thai action guru and Tony Jaa's mentor, Bangkok Knockout is about a stunt team called "Fight Club." As much a family as they are a group of stunt-crazy martial artists, Fight Club gets their big break when they impress cigar-chewing Hollywood producer Mr. Snead, played by actor Speedy Arnold in a performance that challenges most laws of bad acting. It's all a lie, though. Fight Club thinks they're going to work for Jerry Bruckheimer but they've actually been... [read more]
  16. Bangkok Dangerous (1999) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Bangkok Dangerous (1999) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Oxide Pang (Director) | Pawalit Mongkolpisit | Danny Pang (Director) | Premsinee Ratanasopha
    Judging from reviews at hand and feet, Bangkok Dangerous is a technically proficient exercise in style (ya know, in general like) that fails to involve audiences emotionally. Fiddlesticks. Elevation of emotional affect over formal effect has to be expected, I guess, but in this instance I think it makes for unwarranted criticism. Bangkok Dangerous heavily borrows plot and theme from its generic predecessors (Hong Kong gangster/hitman films), but the Pang's are not interested in simply re-staging situations. They succeed in expressing conventional generic elements in new and refreshing ways. Largely through formal variation, they reinvigorate a hackneyed genre that has seen better days.... [read more]
  17. Still (AKA: Tai Hong) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Still (AKA: Tai Hong) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Tae (Sattawat Settakron) (Actor) | Akara Amarttayakul (Actor) | Mai Charoenpura (Actor)
    The recent boom in Thai horror has revolved to a large extent around anthology films, with the likes of Phobia and its sequel having impressed both critics and audiences. Still released domestically as Tai Hong is the latest in this trend, with Bangkok Love Story director Poj Arnon teaming with indie helmers Chartchai Ketknust, Manus Worrasingha and Tanwarin Sukkhapisit for four tales of the supernatural. To differ itself from its many peers, the film focuses not on urban legends and Thai folklore, but on actual incidents, interpreting them in suitably sinister fashion. The film certainly proved popular with domestic viewers, being another genre box office hit that out performed the likes... [read more]
  18. Lost in Love (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Lost in Love (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Song Yoon Ah (Actor) | Sol Kyung Gu (Actor) | Lee Ki Woo (Actor) | Choo Chang Min (Director)
    From writer/director Choo Chang Min comes Lost in Love, a 2006 melodrama about two people who can never seem to get things right when it comes to romance - they either can't adequately communicate their feelings to one another or simply lack the courage to even try. Unlike other, recent films of this kind, rather than throw in a terminal illness or have someone fall victim to a car accident somewhere in the story, the filmmakers wisely avoid these K-drama clichés, instead delivering a film that feels anything but formulaic. The pace may be a bit slow, but it's a compelling journey nonetheless. In the film, actress Song Yoon Ah portrays Yeon Ju, a timid young girl who maintains a secret... [read more]
  19. The Shock Labyrinth 3D (DVD) (2D+3D Version) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) The Shock Labyrinth 3D (DVD) (2D+3D Version) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Shimizu Takashi (Director) | Yagira Yuya (Actor) | Renbutsu Misako (Actor) | Mizuno Erina (Actor)
    Takashi Shimizu, an icon of modern Japanese horror cinema thanks to his hugely successful Ju-on series and its Hollywood The Grudge remakes, returns with Shock Labyrinth, the country's first full length live action digital 3D feature. The film is actually based upon "The Haunted Hospital", apparently the world's largest walk-through haunted house attraction, located in the famous Fuji-Q Highland theme park. Although a film inspired by a fairground funhouse may sound a little dubious, the production is filled with Shimizu's trademark surrealism, featuring an offbeat and ambitious narrative alongside plenty of scares and visual flourishes. The film has a cast of popular Japanese stars,... [read more]
  20. Ong Bak 3 (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Malaysia Version) Ong Bak 3 (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Malaysia Version) Tony Jaa (Actor, Producer, Director) | Panna Rittikrai (Producer, Director) | Dan Chupong (Actor) | Primrata Dej-Udom (Actor)
    Thai martial arts wizard and all round enigma Tony Jaa returns with Ong Bak 3, the second sequel to his bone crunching 2003 hit original. As with 2008's Ong Bak: The Beginning Jaa again takes up the directorial reigns as well as scripting and producing, along with mentor and series collaborator Panna Rittikrai. The film is another historical effort, following themes of karma and destiny as Jaa's warrior comes to terms with his fate while battling villains in a series of wild set pieces. With his apparently having given up his cinematic career to become a Buddhist Monk, the film not only provides a conclusion to the era spanning trilogy, but also offers what may well be one of the last... [read more]
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