Heroic Cinema http://www.heroic-cinema.com The guide to Asian movies in Australia Sun, 16 Aug 2015 00:59:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 My Ordinary Love Story (2014) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/my-ordinary-love-story-2014/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/my-ordinary-love-story-2014/#comments Sun, 16 Aug 2015 00:53:15 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12879 My Ordinary Love Story is screening at this year’s Korean Film Festival in Australia. See the KOFFIA website for more details!

My Ordinary Love Story is not your ordinary love story. It starts off as one, but soon takes you on an unexpectedly wild ride along with the film’s main couple, Eun-jin and Hyeon-suk.

Eun-jin is an almost-30 year old woman who has yet to find the right man; that is, until she meets the plain but loving Hyeon-suk. The … (read more)

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The Target (2014) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/the-target-2014/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/the-target-2014/#comments Thu, 13 Aug 2015 12:10:23 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12865 The Target is screening at this year’s Korean Film Festival in Australia. See the KOFFIA website for more details!

The Target begins with a rainy cold-open in which Baek Yeo-hoon (Ryu Seung-ryong) staggers out of a building, a bullet wound in his stomach and a grizzled grimace on his face. He’s pursued by a couple of literally jackbooted thugs with guns who seem intent on finishing him off — and although Baek makes it out alive, he’s hospitalised. The credits … (read more)

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The Admiral: Roaring Currents (2014) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/the-admiral-roaring-currents-2014/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/the-admiral-roaring-currents-2014/#comments Thu, 13 Aug 2015 09:14:04 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12868 The Admiral: Roaring Currents is screening at this year’s Korean Film Festival in Australia. See the KOFFIA website for more details!

For me, not being Korean, it is hard to get behind Korean nationalism. Period piece war movies like The Admiral have this nationalistic intent, meant to inspire pride whilst reminding us of the sacrifice made by those who’ve died in history — as an almost direct connection to our present selves.  Being able to empathise with the characters plays … (read more)

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A Hard Day (2014) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/a-hard-day-2014/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/a-hard-day-2014/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 08:02:47 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12855 A Hard Day is screening at this year’s Korean Film Festival in Australia. See the KOFFIA website for more details!

There’s something to be said about throwing the audience into a film with a literal crash.  Launching the story with an accident, learning about our main protagonist Go Gun-su (LEE Seon-gyun) as he makes a bad decision work is tense, exciting and wonderful setup for the unravelling of his ‘perfect crime’, something we no doubt expect from a film with … (read more)

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SPL II: A Time for Consequences (2015) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/spl-ii-a-time-for-consequences-2015/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/spl-ii-a-time-for-consequences-2015/#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 11:59:53 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12845 Ten years ago in 2005, Hong Kong action film SPL arrived, suggesting a triumphant return to the sort of film that Hong Kong has always done better than pretty much any industry on the planet; beautifully cheoreographed and edited hard-action cinema, the sort that’s only possible when you have a cast of martial artists and an experienced crew that knows how to shoot them to maximum effect.

In the intro to my write up back then, I called it:

A … (read more)

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Korean Film Festival (KOFFIA) 2015 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/07/korean-film-festival-koffia-2015/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/07/korean-film-festival-koffia-2015/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 09:41:42 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12836 The Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA) has been one of my favourite festivals over the last few years, and this year is shaping up to be as much fun as ever.

The full program has now been released, along with schedule information for all the cities they’re taking the festivities to, starting in a couple of weeks:

Sydney: Aug 12-20
Brisbane: Aug 25-31
Melbourne: Sep 3-10
Canberra Sep 5-6
Perth: Sep 17-20
Adelaide: … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘SPL II: A Time for Consequences’ (China/HK) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/07/this-week-in-cinemas-spl2/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/07/this-week-in-cinemas-spl2/#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 10:08:48 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12791 Slicing its way into Australian cinemas this week is the long-awaited sequel to modern HK classic SPL (which arrived in 2005, a fact that’s definitely making this writer feel old). The first film, which starred Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung, Wu Jing and Simon Yam, felt like Hong Kong reclaiming its place at the forefront of martial arts cinema after a slow decline since the early ’90s. It was slick and simple action cinema, powered by HK’s formidable fight choreography (directed … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘Northern Limit Line’ (South Korea) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/07/this-week-in-cinemas-northern-limit-line-south-korea/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/07/this-week-in-cinemas-northern-limit-line-south-korea/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 09:26:20 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12783

Arriving in Australian cinemas tomorrow July 16 is South Korean naval drama Northern Limit Line, based on the events of the 2002 Second Battle of Yeonpyeong between North and South Korean patrol boats along the disputed sea boundary between the two. According to this Variety piece, it’s now the highest grossing local film of 2015 in South Korea — and we’ve got it in cinemas here for a little while.

Written and directed by Kim Hak-soon and starring … (read more)

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Asian Cinema at the Melbourne International Film Festival 2015 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/07/miff-2015/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/07/miff-2015/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 10:13:52 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12818

It’s a little over two weeks until the 2015 edition of MIFF kicks off, and I don’t have enough time this year, sadly, to do a full rundown of every film from Asia showing at the festival like I did for SFF. Nonetheless, it would be remiss of me not to post about a few highlights; here’s a short rundown from my perusal of the program.

It’s jam-packed, as usual: the Accent on Asia stream alone has twenty-two films listed, … (read more)

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Giveaway: Passes to see ‘Cult Japan’ at QAGOMA (Brisbane) (Closed) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/07/giveaway-passes-to-see-cult-japan-at-qagoma-brisbane/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/07/giveaway-passes-to-see-cult-japan-at-qagoma-brisbane/#comments Sun, 12 Jul 2015 06:18:41 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12799 Brisbane readers might know that the Gallery of Modern Art are currently screening a program of films dear to our hearts here at HC, entitled Cult Japan. And as usual for QAGOMA’s cinema seasons, they certainly haven’t done things by halves.

Still from Outrage 2010 / Director: Takeshi Kitano / Image courtesy: Madman Entertainment

The program covers a huge swathe of post-war Japanese cinema with a particular focus on the weird and wonderful, from Ghibli anime classics like Nausicaä(read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘Monk Comes Down the Mountain’ (China) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/07/this-week-in-cinemas-monk-comes-down-the-mountain-china/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/07/this-week-in-cinemas-monk-comes-down-the-mountain-china/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2015 09:39:52 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12794 Already in Australian cinemas (hat tip to martial arts movie blog Budomate, whose Twitter post I saw) is Chen Kaige’s brand-new period fantasy/comedy/adventure Monk Comes Down the Mountain. This seems to have arrived on our shores last week, which means it came day-and-date with (or just before) the Chinese release.

The film is a period adventure film with a big cast; Variety‘s review describes it as like Chen’s 2005 film The Promise without that film’s kitschiness, definitely … (read more)

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Giveaway: Tickets to ‘Ip Man’ (Melbourne, Dragons from Asia) (Closed) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/07/giveaway-tickets-to-ip-man-melbourne-dragons-from-asia/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/07/giveaway-tickets-to-ip-man-melbourne-dragons-from-asia/#comments Sat, 04 Jul 2015 10:37:44 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12776 Following up on our post about Dragons from Asia’s screening of modern HK martial arts classic Ip Man, we’ve got a double pass to give away to a reader in Melbourne.


All you have to do is be able to get along with a friend to their screening in North Melbourne on July 12, and answer the following question:

Update: this giveaway is closed.

We will draw a winner on Wednesday July 8 at noon!… (read more)

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Melbourne: Dragons from Asia screens ‘Ip Man’ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/07/melbourne-dragons-from-asia-ip-man/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/07/melbourne-dragons-from-asia-ip-man/#comments Sat, 04 Jul 2015 09:20:35 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12768 News for Melbourne readers: HC’s own John Snadden dropped me a line to say that he’s helping to organise a screening of Wilson Yip’s 2008 martial arts film Ip Man, starring Donnie Yen as the titular kung fu master.

Hopefully the first of many, it’s being run by Dragons from Asia, who plan to run a regular Asian film series in North Melbourne at the Electron Workshop cinema.

The show begins at 5pm on Sunday 12 July, tickets … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘Hollywood Adventures’ (China) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/06/this-week-in-cinemas-hollywood-adventures-china/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2015/06/this-week-in-cinemas-hollywood-adventures-china/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 10:27:58 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12762 Opening tomorrow June 25 in Aussie cinemas is action-comedy road movie Hollywood Adventures, a US$30M Chinese studio production shot mostly in California, with American talent behind the camera. Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 3 through 6) is producing and Timothy Kendall (for whom this looks to be his first feature, though he’s done a lot of shorts/commercials/webseries work) directs.

The film follows the exploits of three Chinese tourists, played by Chinese stars Zhao Wei, Huang Xiaoming and … (read more)

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Court (2014) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/court-2014/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/court-2014/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 09:31:13 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12741 My first film at this year’s Sydney Film Festival was Chaitanya Tamhane’s Court, an Indian film that packs a great deal of social commentary — with an intelligent, understated touch — into a courtroom drama.

Narayan Kamble (played by Vira Sathidar) is an ageing folk singer in Mumbai who divides his time between teaching in the surrounding cities and performing fiery protest songs on makeshift stages with a troupe of musicians. As the film opens, we see one such … (read more)

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An Inspector Calls (2015) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/an-inspector-calls-2015/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/an-inspector-calls-2015/#comments Sun, 21 Jun 2015 00:08:27 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12746 One of this year’s biggest Chinese New Year film releases has belatedly arrived in Melbourne’s Chinatown Cinema for a short season. Well, better late than never I suppose. A successful Chinese New Year movie will nearly always have the following ingredients: it must be family oriented, have big name stars, countless celebrity cameos and story-lines guaranteed not to tax the intellect.

An Inspector Calls is a strange choice for a Hong Kong movie, let alone a major Chinese New Year … (read more)

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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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