Heroic Cinema http://www.heroic-cinema.com The guide to Asian movies in Australia Sat, 23 May 2015 00:49:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Asian Cinema at the Sydney Film Festival 2015 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/05/sydfilmfest-2015/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/05/sydfilmfest-2015/#comments Sat, 23 May 2015 00:49:31 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12709

The full programme is out and the clock is ticking down to the opening of the 2015 Sydney Film Festival, in just under two weeks from the time of writing! This year’s festival runs from 3-14 June, and as usual we have run through the list and picked out the Asian feature films on show this year.

It looks like there are slimmer pickings from this year, too, with only one from China and two from Japan — but … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘When Marnie Was There’ (Japan) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/05/this-week-in-cinemas-when-marnie-was-there-japan/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/05/this-week-in-cinemas-when-marnie-was-there-japan/#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 08:19:09 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12704 As presaged in our review the other day, this Thursday 14 May sees the release in Australian cinemas of When Marnie Was There, the latest feature from legendary Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli.

It’s director Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s second film (after Arrietty), and it follows the adventures of Anna, a teenage girl sent to convalesce in a rural seaside town over a summer. While there, she strikes up a friendship with a mysterious flaxen-haired girl named Marnie; read my (read more)

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When Marnie Was There (2014) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/when-marnie-was-there-2015/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/when-marnie-was-there-2015/#comments Sun, 10 May 2015 06:31:31 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12693
Studio Ghibli’s latest animated feature, When Marnie Was There, is released in cinemas across Australia on the 14th of May, 2015. See cinema websites for screening details.

Animator and director Hiromasa Yonebayashi came to prominence in 2010 when he directed Arrietty for Studio Ghibli, becoming (at 37) the youngest director of a Ghibli feature film. He’s worked with Ghibli for a lot longer though: Wikipedia lists him as an animator on Princess Mononoke in 1997 and a host of … (read more)

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Helios (2015) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/helios-2015/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/helios-2015/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 09:09:33 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12687 After experiencing the boorish and juvenile jingoism of Wu Jing’s Wolf Warrior, I was looking forward to the new big budget HK movie, Helios… although I was a bit wary of the fact that its release date had been put back three times in the past six months. From directors Sunny Luk and Longman Leung (Cold War), Helios starts well but fades quickly.

The film opens with the theft of a South Korean manufactured nuclear dirty … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘Helios’ (Hong Kong) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/05/this-week-in-cinemas-helios-hong-kong/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/05/this-week-in-cinemas-helios-hong-kong/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 11:24:36 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12671 Last Thursday a new flick from Hong Kong opened in cinemas: Helios, a thriller from director duo Longman Leung and Sunny Luk (who previously directed 2012’s Cold War).

In Helios, we’re not just talking police corruption any more. Chang Chen and Janice Man play criminals in possession of the raw materials for weapons of mass destruction, and the only people who can stop them are a coalition of anti-terrorist forces from HK, China and South Korea. The … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘Wolf Warrior’ (China) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/04/this-week-in-cinemas-wolf-warrior-china/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/04/this-week-in-cinemas-wolf-warrior-china/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:50:39 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12678 lf This week in Australian cinemas a release crept up on me — it’s only thanks to a Facebook update from the fine people at Melbourne’s Chinatown Cinema that I noticed it! (*)

Action stars Wu Jing (SPL, Shaolin) and Scott Adkins (The Expendables 2, many others) star in Wolf Warrior, a Chinese war film that has Wu (who also directs) starring as a Chinese special forces sniper squaring up against a group of … (read more)

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First teaser for SPL 2! http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/03/first-teaser-for-spl-2/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/03/first-teaser-for-spl-2/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 10:22:35 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12666 If you haven’t seen it yet, the first teaser for the long-awaited followup to modern HK action classic Sha Po Lang (2005 — has it really been that long?) has landed, as part of the run up to HK Filmart.

And here it is:

The film is apparently a prequel, and although it doesn’t star Donnie Yen or Sammo Hung, it does bring back Simon Yam and Wu Jing and marks the HK debut for Thai action star Tony Jaa. … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island’ (South Korea) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/03/this-week-in-cinemas-detective-k-secret-of-the-lost-island-south-korea/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/03/this-week-in-cinemas-detective-k-secret-of-the-lost-island-south-korea/#comments Sun, 08 Mar 2015 06:30:12 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12656 This week in Aussie cinemas — and impossible to miss if you caught Gangnam Blues, as they showed the trailer at least twice — is Korean period action-comedy Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island.

Kim Myung-min and Oh Dal-su reprise their roles as the titular detective and his assistant from the 2011 film Detective K: Secret of the Virtuous Widow, this time tasked with solving a case involving counterfeit silver production that threatens the whole Joseon … (read more)

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Melbourne: ACMI screens Zhang Yimou and Gong Li’s films http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/03/acmi-zhang-yimou-gong-li/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/03/acmi-zhang-yimou-gong-li/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 10:16:24 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12649 In my continuing series of posts where I wish that there was a cinema venue like Melbourne’s ACMI in Sydney, I’m going to enviously link to their showcase of films by Zhang Yimou starring his early muse, Gong Li.

Here are all the details at ACMI’s site.

Coming Home

It’s a great list of films — here’s what’s on show, with links to our reviews where we have them: (read more)]]>
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This week in cinemas: ‘Gangnam Blues’ (South Korea) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/02/this-week-in-cinemas-gangnam-blues/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/02/this-week-in-cinemas-gangnam-blues/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 07:36:04 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12641 Arriving in Australian cinemas this week is South Korean gangster film Gangnam Blues (Korean title: 강남 1970).

Set amidst the social upheaval of South Korea in the 1970s, the film is an action noir focusing on corruption and organised crime’s involvement in the early development of Seoul’s Gangnam district. (From what I can see on the Web this sounds reminiscent of recent HK flick Overhead 3, actually).

It’s directed by Yoo Ha (A Dirty Carnival, A (read more)

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Coming Home (2014) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/coming-home-2014/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/coming-home-2014/#comments Sat, 07 Feb 2015 21:46:25 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12626 Coming Home is the latest Zhang Yimou-Gong Li screen collaboration, and it reminds me of their great films from the 1990s. In Coming Home Gong Li once again shows that she is one of the world’s most gifted actors.

Director Zhang Yimou’s recent film-making has kept him busy, but mainly in a workmanlike way. International hits such as the Grand Guignol of Curse of the Golden Flower and the arthouse-wuxia pics Hero and House of Flying Daggers have kept his … (read more)

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Myths & Legends programme at GoMA http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/01/myths-legends-programme-at-goma/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/01/myths-legends-programme-at-goma/#comments Sat, 10 Jan 2015 02:14:16 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12617 It’s always worth checking out the new three-monthly programmes at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art cinema, and the January to March line up presents a few pearls of Asian cinema that you may want to catch on the big screen, even if you have seen them before (because I don’t know about you, but any opportunity to see Seven Samurai at the cinema is to be taken, as far as I’m concerned):

  • Kuroneko (1968, dir. Kaneto Shindou) – Sat 31
(read more)]]>
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Dukhtar (2014) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/dukhtar-2014/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/dukhtar-2014/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:46:13 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12601 Dukhtar is the debut feature length film for writer-director Afia Nathaniel, an independent Pakistani filmmaker. Unfolding in the heart of Pakistani tribal lands, the film revolves around the harrowing and brave escape of a mother and her child as they flee the clutches of local warlords, in the face of the impending marriage of her 10-year-old daughter to a local chieftain. The mother, Allah Rakhi (Samiya Mumtaz), was once a child bride herself. Married off to Daulat Khan (Asif Khan), … (read more)

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Melbourne: The Chinatown Cinema Returns! http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/11/melbourne-the-chinatown-cinema-returns/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/11/melbourne-the-chinatown-cinema-returns/#comments Sun, 23 Nov 2014 07:25:25 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12593 (OK, so this post is a bit late, and I apologise — I was reminded that I’d forgotten to write about this today, and thought I’d better get to it!)

A couple of months ago several people (thanks, guys and girls!) wrote in on Facebook and via email to let us know that Melbourne’s Chinatown Cinema has reopened and is showing Hong Kong films again! This is tremendous news: several of us were regulars there back in its heyday, and … (read more)

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Snow on the Blades (2014) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/snow-on-the-blades-2014/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/snow-on-the-blades-2014/#comments Sun, 23 Nov 2014 00:49:59 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12580 Snow on the Blades is a contemplative, elegant drama set at the end of Japan’s feudal era, spanning the decline of the Tokugawa shogunate in the 1860s and the dawning of the Meiji period thereafter.

The story follows one Shimura Kingo (Kiichi Nakai), a young man whose family are samurai in service to Ii Naosuke, chief minister to the Shogun. A master swordsman, he has recently married and has been elevated to the position of chief bodyguard to the minister, … (read more)

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International Chinese Film Festival 2014 (Sydney) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/11/icff-2014-sydney/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/11/icff-2014-sydney/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 05:49:01 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12584 Sydneysiders: tonight is the Opening Night for this year’s International Chinese Film Festival for 2014, which runs for the next week or so until 30 November. This year, there are eight feature films screening at Hoyts Broadway (plus tonight’s Opening Night screening of No Man’s Land at Fox Studios).

This year there’s also a further nine movies, perhaps the less commercial fare, screening for free at the China Cultural Centre — you just have to get in touch in advance … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2′ (HK/China) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/11/cinemas-dont-go-breaking-my-heart-2/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/11/cinemas-dont-go-breaking-my-heart-2/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 22:18:56 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12505 Hong Kong director (and HC favourite) Johnnie To’s tick-tock film output has flipped back over to rom-com after hard-boiled crime film Drug War and crime/rom-com hybrid Blind Detective, and this week in Australian cinemas we have his follow-up to his 2011 film: Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2.

Returning for more romantic hijinks are Louis Koo, Gao Yuanyuan and Daniel Wu, and they’re joined in this film by Miriam Yeung and Vic Chou. Variety have a review up(read more)

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Brotherhood of Blades (2014) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/brotherhood-of-blades-2014/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/brotherhood-of-blades-2014/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 08:24:54 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12568 Brotherhood of Blades is one of the best Chinese martial-arts films to have graced our cinema screens for quite some time. The movie boasts a volatile mix of quasi 17th century Chinese history, political paranoia and deadly palace conspiracies. With an individual emphasis on ornate film sets, power-crazed eunuchs, sadistic secret police and a trio of Ming Dynasty elite killers, there’s much here reminiscent of the best of the Shaw Brothers’ swordplay films.

The movie’s main focus is on the … (read more)

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Kung Fu Jungle (2014) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/kung-fu-jungle-2014/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/kung-fu-jungle-2014/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 08:37:06 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12561 Donnie Yen returns to the big screen in Kung Fu Jungle, in the well-worn guise of a skilled martial artist brought low, doggedly chasing down a brilliant but broken adversary. Not that he’s been away for long; arguably the last big action star standing from Hong Kong’s golden years, he’s been working harder than ever, turning in a couple of huge films every year since the early 2000s, often as action choreographer as well.

In this film, director Teddy … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: “Brotherhood of Blades” (China) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/11/this-week-in-cinemas-brotherhood-of-blades-china/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/11/this-week-in-cinemas-brotherhood-of-blades-china/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 07:30:06 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12509 Yesterday a great-looking wuxia film from China arrived in Australian cinemas. Brotherhood of Blades (绣春刀) comes from Beijing-based director Lu Yang (his third film after My Spectacular Theatre, 2010 and A Motor Home Adventure, 2012) and it looks like they got an awful lot out of US$5M in budget and a 67-day shoot.

The film stars Taiwanese actor Chang Chen (who played The Razor in Wong Kar Wai’s The Grandmaster) and Chinese actress Liu Shishi (TV drama … (read more)

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