Heroic Cinema http://www.heroic-cinema.com The guide to Asian movies in Australia Sun, 20 Apr 2014 06:55:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? (2013)http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/will-you-still-love-me-tomorrow-2013/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/will-you-still-love-me-tomorrow-2013/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 06:55:12 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12071 If you enjoyed the award-winning debut feature of writer/director Arvin Chen’s Au Revoir Taipei from a couple of years back, then chances are you will like his second feature length venture from last year, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? The same quirky, rom-com qualities are reused here somewhat, but his growth as a director is noticeable as he continues to experiment with new elements in this latest film. Accompanied by a beautiful musical score by Wen Hsu (the same … (read more)

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Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie (2012)http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/road-to-ninja-2012/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/road-to-ninja-2012/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 00:27:41 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12065 One of the questions that apparently many Japanese are asked – at least if you go by the awesome pre-recorded Q&A session that ran before the Gold Coast Film Festival’s screening of Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie and featured the voice actors for both Naruto (Junko Takeuchi) and Kakashi (Kazuhiko Inoue) – is why do foreigners like anime?

It’s an interesting question, in fact. Why do we like anime (well, those of us who are fans at least)? The … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘That Demon Within’ (Hong Kong)http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/04/this-week-in-cinemas-that-demon-within-hong-kong/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/04/this-week-in-cinemas-that-demon-within-hong-kong/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 09:39:18 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=11903 This week in Aussie cinemas we have the latest thriller from Hong Kong director Dante Lam (last year’s Unbeatable, The Viral Factor, Beast Cops).

It’s a psychologically fraught cop-vs-criminal number starring Daniel Wu and Nick Cheung — who’s just won best actor at the HK Film Awards for his role in Unbeatable, incidentally. This review from Maggie Lee at Variety suggests that it’s director Lam’s darkest work yet, which is definitely quite a call. (You don’t … (read more)

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Unforgiven (2013)http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/unforgiven-2013/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/unforgiven-2013/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 03:18:51 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12049 It’s nice to see some turn about being fair play in Lee Sang Il’s Japanese remake of Clint Eastwood’s 1992 cowboy eulogy, The Unforgiven, and in some historical sense it is in fact satisfyingly apt. The samurai period film and the American western have a long history of inter-relatedness, both thematically and as a matter of record. In 1954, inspired by the early films of American western directors like Howard Hawks and John Ford, Akira Kurosawa made what is … (read more)

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Canopy (2013)http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/canopy-2013/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/canopy-2013/#comments Sun, 13 Apr 2014 06:38:49 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12037 With its Australian premiere this week at the Gold Coast Film Festival, Canopy is an Australian-Singaporean co-production that was a passion project eight years in the making for director Aaron Wilson and producer Katrina Fleming.

Set during the days of the Battle of Singapore in 1942, the film opens with the plane of WWII RAAF pilot Jim (Khan Chittenden) being shot down over the island. He parachutes out to safety, only to find himself in the thick of a … (read more)

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The Raid 2: Berandal (2014)http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/the-raid-2-berandal-2014/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/the-raid-2-berandal-2014/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 12:37:10 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12015 Three years ago, director Gareth Evans’ second film, The Raid arrived in Aussie cinemas with a bang. It’s the first Indonesian film I can remember ever getting a wide release here (and in North America, where it was first retitled The Raid: Redemption and given a soundtrack workover), and it won a great deal of attention from critics and dyed-in-the-wool action cinema fans. Evans had managed to craft a taut, focused genre film fusing well-trodden Hollywood tropes with the harder … (read more)

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GCFF 2014 on now!http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/04/gcff-2014-on-now/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/04/gcff-2014-on-now/#comments Thu, 03 Apr 2014 02:21:17 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12006 With the weather the way it’s been (warm and muggy when not raining) it’s not like you need an excuse to go to the beach, but if you do, the great Gold Coast Film Festival is one of the best. It kicks off tomorrow, and again the GCFF’s partnership with Supanova and their commitment to regional and cult film means that there’s some great Asian cinema to be had!

From China, the most recent rendition of that timeless classic The (read more)

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From Vegas to Macau (2014)http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/from-vegas-to-macau-2014/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/from-vegas-to-macau-2014/#comments Thu, 27 Mar 2014 08:21:10 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=11993 Sequels, Prequels, Send-ups and Spin-offs: Director Wong Jing finds Chow Yun Fat a new tuxedo amongst his usual box of tricks.

The recent release of From Vegas to Macau harks back to Hong Kong’s gambling fad of the early 1990s. Wong Jing, director of the original God of Gamblers series, offers up a super-silly pastiche of recycled gags that should appeal to fans of classic Hong Kong gambling films. Unfortunately, this time Chow Yun Fat does not play suave gamesman … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘The Raid 2′http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/03/this-week-in-cinemas-the-raid-2/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/03/this-week-in-cinemas-the-raid-2/#comments Mon, 24 Mar 2014 11:52:53 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=11781
Alright, so everyone who reads Heroic Cinema regularly knows this one is due out soon; we’ve posted trailers, given away double passes…. but this week’s the week.

Indonesian martial arts film The Raid 2: Berandal (Indonesian for “Thug”, according to Wikipedia) arrives in Australian cinemas this Friday, March 28, and it looks like it’ll make a lot of action cinema fans sit up and take notice.

Directed by Gareth Evans, it’s his follow-up to low-budget locked-building actioner The Raid(read more)

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Enchanting Shadows: The Films of the Shaw Brothershttp://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/03/enchanting-shadows-the-films-of-the-shaw-brothers/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/03/enchanting-shadows-the-films-of-the-shaw-brothers/#comments Fri, 14 Mar 2014 07:31:25 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=11905 The recent passing of Chinese business tycoon Run Run Shaw was an event well covered by the world’s media. The obituaries for the 106 year old entrepreneur mainly concentrated on his business acumen and life-long philanthropy.

Like many successful industrialists, Run Run Shaw’s public largess would not have been possible without the profits generated by his companies, in particular the Shaw Brothers movie studio.

For more than a twenty year period from the late 1950s, Run Run Shaw helped create … (read more)

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Giveaway: Tickets to see ‘The Raid 2′ (Closed)http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/03/giveaway-the-raid-2/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/03/giveaway-the-raid-2/#comments Wed, 12 Mar 2014 07:57:55 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=11913

Arriving in Aussie cinemas (twin hammers at the ready, from the look of the poster!) on March 28 is Indonesian film The Raid 2, director Gareth Evans’ follow-up to his 2011 action flick The Raid.

The original film was an impressive piece of martial arts cinema given its tiny budget and cast of relative unknowns, and Evans suggested in interviews at the time (like the one we did) that the sequel would have the wider scope and … (read more)

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The Wind Rises (2013)http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/the-wind-rises-2013/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/the-wind-rises-2013/#comments Thu, 27 Feb 2014 10:15:47 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=11879 The Wind Rises is Hayao Miyazaki’s first return to the director’s chair in five years (since Ponyo) and — if his statements in interviews are taken at face value — his final feature film in a career spanning six decades in Japanese animation. If that is indeed the case, it is in many ways a fitting swansong: it’s a layered, nuanced film that tells a story that is definitively Japanese yet universal, rooted in history yet filled with flights … (read more)

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Harlock: Space Pirate (2013)http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/harlock-space-pirate-2013/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/harlock-space-pirate-2013/#comments Wed, 26 Feb 2014 09:27:35 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=11884 The Nordic premiere of Harlock: Space Pirate at the last Stockholm International Film Festival packed a full house. This futuristic, intergalactic pirate caper, set around the turn of the 3rd millennium, finds the infamous and (thought-to-be) immortal Captain Harlock (Shun Oguri) commandeering the mysterious spaceship Arcadia, the last of its kind and powered by dark matter — a self-generating energy based substance that comes in pretty handy in spaceship battle damage predicaments.

Earth has been declared a sanctuary in this … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘The Wind Rises’ (Japan, anime)http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/02/this-week-in-cinemas-the-wind-rises/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/02/this-week-in-cinemas-the-wind-rises/#comments Sun, 23 Feb 2014 07:47:04 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=11874

This week in Aussie cinemas we have the long-awaited new film from famed Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, The Wind Rises (風立ちぬ, Kaze Tachinu). The story follows an aircraft engineer in pre-war Japan, loosely based on Jiro Horikoshi, the designer of the Zero fighter plane used in WWII, and Miyazaki had said at one point that it would be his final film.

(I believe I’ve read somewhere that he’s since decided not to retire quite so soon — here’s hoping … (read more)

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More King Hu screening in Canberrahttp://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/02/more-king-hu-screening-in-canberra/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/02/more-king-hu-screening-in-canberra/#comments Wed, 19 Feb 2014 08:20:18 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=11860 Hot on the heels of Melbourne Cinémathèque’s screening of King Hu’s classic A Touch of Zen comes three screenings of films by the great director in Canberra, at the National Film and Sound Archive’s Arc Cinema.

The films on display are:

Dragon Gate Inn on Sat 8 March: the original film, remade by Tsui Hark twice and one of the classics of Chinese action cinema. A Touch of Zen(read more) on Sun 9 March: unarguably King Hu’s most revered film, running]]>
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This week in cinemas: ‘From Vegas to Macau’ (Hong Kong)http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/02/this-week-in-cinemas-from-vegas-to-macau-hong-kong/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/02/this-week-in-cinemas-from-vegas-to-macau-hong-kong/#comments Wed, 05 Feb 2014 11:22:31 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=11828 Opening tomorrow, Thursday 6 February, is the fourth installment (depending on how you count!) of Wong Jing’s God of Gamblers film series, starring Chow Yun-fat — the first time he’s returned to the character since 1994. (Chow fans are spoilt for choice right now, what with this film and The Monkey King in cinemas!)

Rounding out the cast are Nicholas Tse, Chapman To and Jing Tian, and it’s in cinemas in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Here’s an absolute … (read more)

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Giveaway: Tickets to see ‘The Wind Rises’ in cinemas! (closed)http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/02/giveaway-tickets-to-see-the-wind-rises-in-cinemas/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/02/giveaway-tickets-to-see-the-wind-rises-in-cinemas/#comments Tue, 04 Feb 2014 09:47:18 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=11809 It’s our first competition of the year!

Courtesy of Madman Entertainment, we have five double passes to give away to anime maestro Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film, The Wind Rises, when it hits cinemas on February 27!

Intriguingly, this film is more of a historical piece than usual: it’s a fictionalised biography of Jiro Horikoshi, designer of the Zero aircraft used by the Japanese in World War II. It’s already done extremely well domestically, and it has been nominated for … (read more)

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The Monkey King (2014)http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/the-monkey-king-2014/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/the-monkey-king-2014/#comments Sat, 01 Feb 2014 22:15:31 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=11798 Well, this one’s been a long time coming! News that Soi Cheang was to direct a giant, IMAX 3D adaptation of part of the classical novel Journey To The West with a major action star in the lead hit the Web in early 2010, and there’s apparently been a sales stand with a poster at HK Filmart every year since then.

Now, all is revealed! After a couple of years of delays, The Monkey King is here in cinemas in … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘The Monkey King’ (3D, China)http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/01/this-week-in-cinemas-the-monkey-king-the-legend-begins/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/01/this-week-in-cinemas-the-monkey-king-the-legend-begins/#comments Fri, 24 Jan 2014 22:46:40 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=11754 This week in Aussie cinemas we have a Chinese blockbuster: The Monkey King, a spectacular-looking adaptation of the origin story for everyone’s favourite literary primate, Sun Wukong. The character will be familiar to everyone who grew up watching the Japanese TV series Monkey! on Australian TV, or has encountered the source material (Journey To The West, one of China’s big four classical masterpieces) in any of its hundreds of different adaptations and transformations.

This film tells the … (read more)

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Melbourne Cinémathèque: Opening Night 2014 is ‘A Touch of Zen’http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/01/melbourne-cinematheque-a-touch-of-zen/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/01/melbourne-cinematheque-a-touch-of-zen/#comments Mon, 20 Jan 2014 11:29:04 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=11783 Melbourne fans of Chinese cinema, listen up! The folks at ACMI have announced that King Hu’s 1971 classic A Touch of Zen will be the opening film in this season’s Cinémathèque, screening in glorious 35mm.

Zen is a hugely influential film, combining Hu’s mastery of the wuxia genre and typically beautiful cinematography with a sprawling three-hour-plus story and a healthy dose of symbolism. It’s had significant critical acclaim over the years, starting with a Technical Grand Prize at the 1975 … (read more)

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