New York Asian 2015 Review: TAKSU, An Erotically Charged Island Sojourn

Taksu, the second feature by actress, producer, and now director Sugino Kiki, takes its title from the Balinese concept (often associated with dance) of artistry and charisma that taps into divine, spiritual power. And though it may be going too... More »
  

Review: ABCD 2 Reshuffles The Dance Movie Deck

Disney UTV's ABCD 2 is a follow-up to their surprise 2013 hit film, Any Body Can Dance, this time with the title officially shortened to the hashtag friendly version for today's short attention span audience. That urge to abbreviate has... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Now On Blu-ray: TOKYO TRIBE, A Late-Night Mainstay In The Making

Sono Sion has always had an eclectic style of filmmaking, but in recent years he has really hit his stride, both in terms of artistry and quantity of his output. Sono is more prolific now than ever before - he... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Sydney 2015 Review: ON THE RIM OF THE SKY, The New Challenges The Old

In the Chinese province of Sichuan, one of the mountains is so high that it's literally "on the rim of the sky"; and in that mountain, there is an isolated village called Gulu. The villagers' children received their education at... More »
By Hugo Ozman   
  

Sydney 2015 Review: Witness Undying Love In MY LOVE, DON'T CROSS THAT RIVER

He was 98. She was 89. They were married for 76 years, had 12 children, six of whom died during their childhood. That is the story of Jo Byeong-man and Kang Gye Yeol, as told in director Jin Mo-young's My... More »
By Hugo Ozman   
  

Review: POLICE STORY: LOCKDOWN, Another Jackie Chan Letdown

A sequel in name only to Jackie Chan's hugely popular action series, this latest offering moves proceedings to mainland China for a small scale, straight-faced and relatively thrill-free drama with a tendency to pontificate about civil responsibility.Jackie Chan's Police Story... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Jeonju 2015 Review: UNWANTED BROTHER Puts Onus On Characters In Familiar Setting

After nearly a decade away from the director's chair, Shim Kwang-jin returns with an unhurried take on a common tale of a lowlife manipulating those around him to pay a debt. Propped up by a few fresh spins on the... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE, A Melancholy Animated Mystery

Studio Ghibli and its catalogue of extraordinary animated films has been built on the back of two men: the creator of its most beloved characters and star of the studio, Miyazaki Hayao and the often over-looked, but no less talented,... More »
  

Cannes 2015 Review: Wrestling With THE ASSASSIN's Beautiful Nothing

The first thing that strikes you in The Assassin is the quiet. Hou Hsiao-Hsien's ruminative tone-poem, about a Tang Dynasty sell-sword tasked with killing kin, is a remarkably hushed affair. Be it dialogue, sound-effects or music, at no point does... More »
By Ben Croll   
  

Cannes 2015 Review: MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART Displays Creative Artistry But Flawed Vision

Director Jia Zhang-ke is a big fan of segmented narratives. His last film, A Touch of Sin, was an anthology of sorts tackling different stories surrounding the larger topic of the the modernization of Chinese culture. In his latest film,... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Cannes 2015 Review: MADONNA, A Riveting Tale Of Sorrow And Redemption

Following her accomplished sophomore film, the absorbing high school revenge tale Pluto (2012), Shin Su-won returns in glorious fashion with the searing Madonna. Meticulous, layered and yet seemingly effortless, this rewarding tale of mingled sorrow and redemption should go a... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Cannes 2015 Review: OFFICE Works Up An Intriguing Salaryman Chiller

Life is hard for the average Korean salaryman, and sometimes that engenders a need to blow off a little steam. For many that involves drinking to excess, but for others it can spill over into the homestead. New Korean horror-thriller... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: POUND OF FLESH Is Soft In All The Wrong Places

Jean-Claude Van Damme continues to explore and embrace his darker side in this modest Asian action thriller, as a kidnap & rescue specialist who falls foul of organ traffickers in the Philippines. Sadly, budgetary constraints and a lack of interesting... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Cannes 2015 Review: COIN LOCKER GIRL Offers New Perspectives On Standard Thrills

Against a parking lot bursting with saturated colors, a person lies on the ground, at the mercy of another standing above them who wields a sashimi knife still dripping red from its last kill. Dark, bloody and stylish, this could... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: BOMBAY VELVET Takes A Gorgeous Look At Jazz Age Hoodlums

If there's anything that Bombay Velvet director Anurag Kashyap has taught us over his last couple of films, it's that he knows how to stage a rousing action sequence. Not only did he create the greatest gangster film of the... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Cannes 2015 Review: THE SHAMELESS Delivers Hardboiled Melodrama With Top Drawer Performances

"Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist." -Pablo Picasso Today's Korea, whether looking at its entertainment, fashion or culinary scenes, is a society awash with fusion. Nowhere is this more true than in... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Jeonju 2015 Review: ISLAND, An Elegiac Arthouse Mystery

A man travels to Jeju Island, planning to kill himself in his grandparents' abandoned home, in the most intriguing Korean film to grace the Jeonju International Film Festival this year. A lushly filmed and thoroughly engrossing mystery channeling local family... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Indian Film Festival Los Angeles 2015 Review: DHANAK Will Open Your Eyes To The Power Of Hope

In Nagesh Kukunoor's Dhanak, a young boy and his slightly older sister trek hundreds of miles across the desert of Rajasthan in India in search of a cure to the boy's blindness. The trek is long, and not without its... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

LA Asian 2015 Review: THE CHINESE MAYOR Manages To Be Portrait And Landscape

The documentary scene in China is difficult to approach, especially when so many of the works are strictly forbidden to be shown there. With so many independent film festivals being banned and even raided by Chinese government officials, it's truly... More »
  

Udine 2015 Review: THE END OF THE WORLD AND THE CAT'S DISAPPEARANCE, A Quirky Little Sci-Fi Film

Takeuchi Michihiro's The End of the World and the Cat's Disappearance, a zany, modestly packaged apocalyptic sci-fi film revolving around Itsuko (Izukoneko aka Mari), a vlogger-cum-J-pop-idol who attempts to singlehandedly save the world from a gigantic meteor, but ends up... More »
By Patryk Czekaj   
  
 
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