Reviews by Country
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 megaplex’s 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?
Two words. Angelica Lee. She carried this film. I hear Hsu Chi is in the sequel but the only thing you can be sure of is her hair will look great in it. Anyways I’m digressing. So what is the film like? Well, very creepy indeed — in the goosebumps-raising, arm-chair gripping, eyes-rivetted and teeth-grinding way. And the ocassional jump [if you're a wuss like me]. In short, it’s good.
Mun [Angelica Lee] has been blind since young and after … (read more)
Oxide Pang’s Ab-Normal Beauty, the companion film to brother Danny Pang’s Leave Me Alone, holds onto the Pang stylistic norms that have made them famous: painterly composition, cool colour design, and a penchant for unnecessary editing. However, Ab-Normal Beauty isn’t without some major drawbacks.
There are two things that let this film down. Firstly, Hong Kong pop duo 2R are simply not good actors, especially when trying to deliver some heart-felt lines. The tension between the film’s main … (read more)
Last Life In The Universe has so many things going for it. For starters, it’s directed by Pen-ek Ratanaruang, who made the glorious Monrak Transistor. Although this film had a very different feel, simplicity in place of energy, it’s still made by a talented director who’s capable of making it work well.
Then there’s the cinematographer: it’s hard to find better than Chris Doyle. I imagine that people must be queueing up to use the services of this rather … (read more)