Reviews by Country
Back in 2003, a little film from Thailand introduced international audiences to a unique form of martial arts known as Muay Thai and a promising new action star called Tony Jaa. That film was of course Ong Bak. It became a blockbuster in its native country and went on to become an international hit. With no CGIs or wires, the movie simply relied on the amazing physical abilities and athleticism of its main actor – Tony Jaa. It made … (read more)
Being primarily a reviewer of anime it’s nice to occasionally review films that are made using real living actors. The only other film that I have reviewed for Heroic Cinema that was made with real people on screen was Imprint whish isn’t that different from 13:GoD. Both have violence and strange family relationships. Both have horror themes but 13 is more of a horror thriller whereas Imprint was a more standard psychological horror film.
13: Game of Death has … (read more)
The second collaboration between Pen-ek Ratanaruang, cinematographer Chris Doyle, script writer Prabda Yoon and actor Tadanobu Asano after Last Life in the Universe is in my opinion an even better work, regardless of its technical faults, jarring changes in plot direction and stilted performances.
Simply as an extremely raw mood piece with astonishingly drawn out sequences devoid of elaborate fantasy, Invisible Waves was for me thoroughly captivating. When I think of it now, some months after viewing it for the … (read more)
I can count the number of Thai films I’ve seen on one hand, unfortunately — but I’ve hugely enjoyed everything I’ve seen, from action blockbuster Ong Bak to the wonderfully lurid western Tears of the Black Tiger. Much like Ong Bak, Chalerm Wonpim’s Dynamite Warrior takes the basic “One Man Bent On Revenge” storyline; however, Dynamite Warrior quickly veers off into the bizarre, adding so many unexpected plot elements that the simplicity of the story is all but … (read more)
Just as a certain satirical spy film reminded us to ‘remember the henchmen’, the Pang Brothers return and asks of us to think of ideas otherwise discarded. If a writer can breathe life and soul into a character and a world, what happens when they throw an idea away? Can an author be haunted by creations otherwise left undeveloped and what responsibility does a creator have to their creations?
Will I stop asking these questions and get on with whether … (read more)
Ong Bak caused more than a stir when it was released to the megaplexes in Bangkok (I know, I was there at the time) and when it was released into international markets it caused an even bigger stir, in fact Ong Bak is one of those outstanding films that have brought massive recognition of the Thai film industry.
Ong Bak has an undemanding story at best, and before I go any further I’ll let you know that this doesn’t matter … (read more)
Well after seeing this film there is only one thing I can possibly say, and that is SHOW ME THE MONEY! I’ve yet to see a film come from Thailand or South East Asia that is so lush, and it’s none of this CGI stuff, this is sheer set and costume extravagance. The film reportedly cost anywhere between 8 – 20 million dollars US. But I guess when you have the Thai royal family backing the film, anything is possible.… (read more)
Another entrant in the done-to-death ‘I see ghosts’ sub-genre of Asian horror, and it faces some tough obstacles. We’ve already been bombarded by so many films of this kind that, by now, the appearance of a pallid presence evokes nothing more than a yawn. Oh, yeah, another dead person. Where’s the fun in that?