Author Archives: Justin

The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow (2014)

The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow

The last couple of animated films I’ve seen from Korea have been Yeon Sang-ho’s powerful, perhaps even brutal films The King of Pigs and The Fake, both of which use the medium in a very distinctive style to present and criticise aspects of Korean society. This film, The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow is no less confident a feature debut for director Jang Hyung-yun, but it is much lighter fare, focusing as it does on romance, heartache, geostationary orbits … (read more)

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The Wrath of Vajra (2013)

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The Wrath of Vajra

Slick-looking and super-masculine, The Wrath of Vajra feels like a “fight movie” from a much earlier time, supplemented with mostly modern production and cinematography. A time when men were men and fought each other for reasons that were delivered in an early barrage of impenetrable exposition, getting it over with at the start so that we can get on with the kicks and punches.

The setting is the 1940s, during the Second Sino-Japanese War, and the Japanese are finding that … (read more)

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Korean Film Festival in Australia 2014

KOFFIA

In one short week’s time the Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA) kicks off this year’s season of films in Sydney on August 13, to be followed by screenings in five other cities this year: Canberra, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide!

The important dates are:

  • Sydney: Aug 13 – Aug 21
  • Canberra: Aug 13 – Aug 14
  • Brisbane: Aug 27 – Sep 2
  • Perth: Sep 3 – Sep 6
  • Melbourne: Sep 9 – Sep 16
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The Protector 2 (2013)

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The Protector 2

The news arrived last week that celebrated Thai action choreographer Panna Rittikrai has passed away, at the far too young age of 53. He had been the driving force behind Thailand’s new wave of action movies, touched off by his work with his student Tony Jaa in 2003′s Ong Bak. Amidst a cinematic sea of elaborate fantasy wirework, CGI-enhanced stunts and elaborate, unrealistic weaponry, Panna’s films brought a grounding in reality back to modern action cinema: hard-hitting Muay Thai, … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom’ (China, 3D)

The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom

There’s a serious Chinese film release in Aussie cinemas this week: Thursday July 31 sees the release of The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom (quite the title!), a big-budget 3D spectacular that will look hauntingly familiar to fans of 1993 classic The Bride with White Hair, since it shares the same source material.

This adaptation of the wuxia novel comes from experienced HK director Jacob Cheung, and stars Fan Bingbing in the lead, ably supported by Huang … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘Snowpiercer’ (South Korea)

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Opening tomorrow in Aussie cinemas is a big release: Snowpiercer, the first English-language film from top-flight South Korean director Bong Joon-ho (Memories of Murder, The Host, Mother).

Liz has already reviewed this one for us (read about it here), but in brief: humanity tried to solve climate change with an atmospheric science experiment that went horribly wrong, and now the remains of all human life live on a train, endlessly circling the … (read more)

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Asian Cinema at the Melbourne International Film Festival 2014

MIFF!

It’s MIFF time, everyone! The venerable Melbourne Film Festival has released their program for this year’s event, and as always it’s crammed with cinema from Asia, from horror classics from Hong Kong (which have their own stream this year, A Perfect Midnight: Haunted Hong Kong) to gritty noir or modern arthouse.

Read on for our rundown of the features from Asia (don’t forget there are some great shorts and documentaries, too) screening this year, and you can find the … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘Z Storm’ (Hong Kong)

Z Storm

Opening today in Australian cinemas is Hong Kong crime thriller ‘Z Storm’, from director David Lam (his first film in fifteen years, after 1999′s Street Angels). It stars the omnipresent Louis Koo, Dada Chan, Gordon Lam and Michael Wong, and if you’re like me it’ll bring to mind recent entries in the genre Cold War and the Overheard series.

Topical perhaps for audiences in New South Wales, the story focuses on Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) as … (read more)

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