DVD Review: Urasawa Naoki's MONSTER, Episodes 31-45

(We're past the halfway point already? Nooooooooooo...!) Australian distributor Siren Visual continues its release of the Monster anime unabated, and the third boxset, released last month, is the strongest one in quality so far. Despite sporting an IMDB-rating of... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Review: Lav Diaz's NORTE: THE END OF HISTORY is a Masterpiece That Tackles Human Strife

History is often written to objectify the past into a series of related events that lead to the present. As a result, it tends to glorify milestones to the point of neglecting the humanity that is the very soul... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: I WISH I KNEW Is Jia Zhangke's Wonderful Ode To Shanghai

Shanghai's emergence as the commercial and financial center of mainland China has obviously got a lot to do with the whole country's gradual and enormously impressive transformation, but in order to comprehend what really happened over the course of years... More »
  

Hong Kong 2014 Review: THAT DEMON WITHIN Has Problems Throughout

Hong Kong's reigning champion of pyrotechnic mayhem continues to move outside of his comfort zone with the psychological crime drama That Demon Within, but the results fail to hit the mark as poor plotting, loose direction and an increasingly preposterous... More »
  

Review: Baseball Epic KANO Hits A Home Run

From the team behind Taiwanese epic Seediq Bale comes a rousing big screen sports saga telling the incredible true story of the Kano baseball team, a multiethnic squad of rural highschoolers who made it to the national championships in Japan... More »
  

Okinawa 2014 Review: FUKU-CHAN OF FUKUFUKU FLATS

Fujita Yosuke's bittersweet comedy Fuku-Chan of Fukufuku Flats reflects on themes of loneliness and love but never loses sight of its comedy heart, thanks to a wonderful central performance from Oshima Miyuki.Fukuda Tatsuo, 'Fuku-chan' to his many friends, paints buildings... More »
  

Rotterdam 2014 Review: TAMAKO IN MORATORIUM Pleasantly Idles Along

(Now I feel tempted to not write a review for a year...) Director Yamashita Nobuhiro is probably best known for his 2007 film Linda Linda Linda, which managed to wring a lot of enjoyment out of a pretty mundane subject.... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Review: BLOOD AND TIES Loses Direction And Eventually Succumbs To Melodrama

Due to a circumstantial, if not completely absurd, turn of events a young woman begins to suspect her loving father of being a ruthless kidnapper-cum-murderer the whole country's been trying to catch for almost 15 years. As a result, she... More »
  

Review: THE RAID 2 Sets A New High Point For Violent Action Cinema

It was no hyperbole when we called The Raid: Redemption "the best action movie in decades." That film redefined martial arts cinema for the 21st century and announced Gareth Evans as one of the most exciting young directors working today.... More »
  

Review: FASTEN YOUR SEATBELT... And Enjoy The Flight

Ha Jung-woo of The Chaser and The Yellow Sea fame begins his screenwriting and directing career with Fasten Your Seatbelt, a congenial and expertly paced airborne comedy that blends lighthearted social satire with simple yet crazy-addictive humor within quite possibly... More »
  

Hong Kong 2014 Review: ABERDEEN Is Pang Ho Cheung's Most Mature Work Yet

Pang Ho Cheung delivers a beautifully observed portrait of a modern Hong Kong family that fuses social commentary with fantastical imagery and his trademark cheeky humour to wonderful effect.In a notable shift in tone from his recent successes, Hong Kong... More »
  

Okinawa 2014 Review: ONE THIRD Is A Darkly Comic Crime Caper

Shinagawa Hiroshi follows up Slapstick Brothers with a fast-paced, light-on-its-feet caper that cruises on its bulging ensemble cast even when the convoluted plot threatens to combust under the weight of its myriad twists and double crosses.When gambling-addicted nightclub manager Shu... More »
  

Review: THE MISSING PICTURE, A Hauntingly Poetic Work of Emotional and Historical Archaeology

Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh has devoted his career to documenting the brutal horrors perpetrated on his homeland by the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime, which for four nightmarish years from 1975 to 1979 subjected the citizens under their control to forced... More »
  

Review: THE ROCKET Shoots For The Heart

The feature debut from documentarian Kim Mordaunt follows the plight of a young village boy in rural Laos, who is believed to bring bad luck to his family, and his efforts to win them back by entering a dangerous rocket... More »
  

Review: KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE Fails to Fly

Kiki's Delivery Service started life as a 1985 novel by author Kadono Eiko, but it was the '89 Studio Ghibli version that brought fame to the little witch, particularly outside of her native Japan. Since that time the book has... More »
  

Review: Tone-deaf MONSTER Exhibits Unusual Cruelty Towards Women

Ingenue Kim Go-eun gets her first top billing in director Hwang In-ho's uneven and sadistic revenge thriller Monster. Exhibiting the same irreverence towards genre as in his previous film Spellbound (2011) but with none of the panache, Hwang fails to... More »
  

Yubari 2014 Review: GUN WOMAN Is Bloody, Trashy Entertainment

Capitalising on a spirited central performance from Japanese actress Asami as the eponymous heroine, Mitsutake Kurando's blood-soaked US-based crime thriller rises above its budgetary limitations in suitably sleazy style.Killing time on a long drive through the desert, a pair of... More »
  

Review: THE WRATH OF VAJRA Is Pure Martial Arts Madness

Martial arts films are a dime a dozen in Southeast Asia, however, finding a really good one is pretty difficult these days. Either the film's action is overly dependent on goofy wire work, or the filmmakers let ridiculous things like... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Review: JOURNEY TO THE WEST Dazzles, Frightens, And Still Tickles The Funny Bone

Frequently adapted for the big screen, the latest version of Journey to the West quickly became one of the highest grossing films in China's box office history. That's not surprising, really, given the recent penchant for black comedy in cinema,... More »
  

Review: WAR OF THE WORLDS: GOLIATH, A Good Old Animated Steampunk Sci-fi Romp!

War of the Worlds: Goliath takes place 15 years after the first arrival of Martians. In the city of Leeds, England, a young Eric watches his parents get disintegrated by a Martian tripod. As H.G. Wells' story goes the Martians... More »
  
 
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