Heroic Cinema http://www.heroic-cinema.com The guide to Asian movies in Australia Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:11:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 This week in cinemas: ‘The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom’ (China, 3D) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/07/this-week-in-cinemas-the-white-haired-witch/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/07/this-week-in-cinemas-the-white-haired-witch/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:11:52 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=11901 There’s a serious Chinese film release in Aussie cinemas this week: Thursday July 31 sees the release of The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom (quite the title!), a big-budget 3D spectacular that will look hauntingly familiar to fans of 1993 classic The Bride with White Hair, since it shares the same source material.

This adaptation of the wuxia novel comes from experienced HK director Jacob Cheung, and stars Fan Bingbing in the lead, ably supported by Huang … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘Snowpiercer’ (South Korea) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/07/this-week-in-cinemas-snowpiercer/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/07/this-week-in-cinemas-snowpiercer/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:18:34 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12271 Opening tomorrow in Aussie cinemas is a big release: Snowpiercer, the first English-language film from top-flight South Korean director Bong Joon-ho (Memories of Murder, The Host, Mother).

Liz has already reviewed this one for us (read about it here), but in brief: humanity tried to solve climate change with an atmospheric science experiment that went horribly wrong, and now the remains of all human life live on a train, endlessly circling the … (read more)

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New World (2013) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/new-world-2013/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/new-world-2013/#comments Sat, 19 Jul 2014 23:57:20 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12263 Without a doubt, South Korea’s crime thrillers rank amongst the best in world cinema. And New World is the latest proof supporting that claim. This box office hit from 2013 boasts a rock solid cast that includes some of the hottest male stars from South Korea today: Lee Jung Jae (The Thieves), Choi Min Sik (Oldboy) and Hwang Jung Min (The Unjust).

New World tells the story of the struggles amongst and between the … (read more)

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The Kirishima Thing (2012) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/the-kirishima-thing-2012/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/the-kirishima-thing-2012/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 03:42:15 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12255 It’s funny what kind of impression you get from movie posters, and I guess in that light, movie poster design isn’t anywhere near an easy thing. Take for instance the poster for Daihachi Yoshida’s The Kirishima Thing. Looking at the dominating image of the bespectacled student with the 8mm camera, you would think it’s a movie about one person, probably a school student, who makes movies. You’d only be partially right. Kirishima Thing doesn’t have nearly that level of … (read more)

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Asian Cinema at the Melbourne International Film Festival 2014 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/07/miff-2014/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/07/miff-2014/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 11:30:11 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12216 It’s MIFF time, everyone! The venerable Melbourne Film Festival has released their program for this year’s event, and as always it’s crammed with cinema from Asia, from horror classics from Hong Kong (which have their own stream this year, A Perfect Midnight: Haunted Hong Kong) to gritty noir or modern arthouse.

Read on for our rundown of the features from Asia (don’t forget there are some great shorts and documentaries, too) screening this year, and you can find the … (read more)

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Blue Exorcist the Movie (2012) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/blue-exorcist-the-movie-2012/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/blue-exorcist-the-movie-2012/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 09:26:39 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12233 There’s something fundamentally appealing about stories about siblings – particularly brothers and specifically twins. Socially, twins are still seen as something worth remark. Scientifically, the study of twins might even help science identify where genetics influences human development and growth and where it doesn’t. But mythologically, brothers have long held a strong and undeniable fascination. Cain and Abel, Romulus and Remus, Castor and Pollux, Famamir and Boromir, Thor and Loki, Dean and Sam, Dante and Virgil. Brothers are either at … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘Z Storm’ (Hong Kong) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/07/this-week-in-cinemas-z-storm-hong-kong/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/07/this-week-in-cinemas-z-storm-hong-kong/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 12:02:10 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12211 Opening today in Australian cinemas is Hong Kong crime thriller ‘Z Storm’, from director David Lam (his first film in fifteen years, after 1999′s Street Angels). It stars the omnipresent Louis Koo, Dada Chan, Gordon Lam and Michael Wong, and if you’re like me it’ll bring to mind recent entries in the genre Cold War and the Overheard series.

Topical perhaps for audiences in New South Wales, the story focuses on Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) as … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘The Lunchbox’ (India) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/07/this-week-in-cinemas-the-lunchbox-india/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/07/this-week-in-cinemas-the-lunchbox-india/#comments Sun, 06 Jul 2014 09:51:22 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12206 This Thursday July 10 sees the Aussie cinema release of an Indian romantic drama, The Lunchbox, starring Irrfan Khan (the narrator in Ang Lee’s Life of Pi), Nimrat Kaur (Peddlers) and Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Gangs of Wasseypur). It is the debut feature from director Ritesh Batra, and it’s garnered some very positive attention internationally, including taking the Critics Week Viewers Choice Award at Cannes.

The film takes as its subject the dabbawala lunchbox delivery system … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘The Breakup Guru’ (China) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/07/this-week-in-cinemas-the-breakup-guru-china/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/07/this-week-in-cinemas-the-breakup-guru-china/#comments Wed, 02 Jul 2014 09:56:42 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12202 In Aussie cinemas this week (and opening well in China and some USA cinemas according to according to Variety, despite the money-hoovering colossus of Transformers 4) is Chinese rom-com The Breakup Guru.

Starring Yang Mi and Deng Chao (who also co-directs with Yu Baimei), the trailer suggests that this film is going for My Sassy Girl territory, but I’m guessing that it swaps the tugging at heartstrings for louder comedy fare.

The Breakup Guru opens in most … (read more)

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Killers (2014) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/killers-2014/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/killers-2014/#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 12:18:43 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12184 Indonesian/Japanese co-production Killers screened at the 2014 Sydney Film Festival in the Freak Me Out program, which is exactly the right place for it. Programmer Richard Kuipers said in his intro for the screening that their intention for Freak Me Out is to show films that sit at the extreme ends of genre cinema, from horror spectaculars heaving with gristle and gore to the weirder side of arthouse. He suggested that Killers could be a worthy entry on both fronts, … (read more)

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Overheard 3 (2014) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/overheard-3-2014/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/overheard-3-2014/#comments Mon, 09 Jun 2014 06:27:29 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12175 By way of full disclosure: When Overheard 3 arrived in Australian cinemas and distributor Magnum Films were kind enough to send me a ticket for review, I was worried. I hadn’t seen the first two films, and this is generally a recipe for incomprehensibility as far as the third is concerned. I saw the first installment on iTunes as prep, and then discovered that I needn’t have worried: writer/director duo Alan Mak and Felix Chong have crafted a series of … (read more)

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Dancing in the Room (2013) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/dancing-in-the-room-2013/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/reviews/dancing-in-the-room-2013/#comments Sat, 07 Jun 2014 11:14:07 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?post_type=reviews&p=12167 This year’s Sydney Film Festival has a track devoted to new films from China across a wide swathe of budgets, genres and styles, and Chinese director Peng Lei’s oddball portrait of the educated urban twenty-something, Dancing in the Room, just might be the cutest of them. It certainly looks to be the only one to include anything quite this adorable:

Dancing in the Room

Huabian (played by Jiang Yuchen) is a young woman who moves to Beijing after completing … (read more)

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JFF Encore, July http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/06/jff-encore-july/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/06/jff-encore-july/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 19:35:36 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12156 Sydney-siders, rejoice. And also, blow raspberries at the rest of us. Just for you, the Japanese Film Festival is opening the curtains on an encore performance from July 9-13 and the line-up is nothing short of amazing.

The Kirishima Thing

  • Departures (dir. Yojiro Takita)
  • When the Last Sword is Drawn (dir. Yojiro Takita)
  • Confessions (dir. Tetsuya Nakashima)
  • Rebirth (dir. Izuru Narushima)
  • Always – Sunset on Third Street (dir. Takashi Yamazaki)
  • Tokyo Tower – Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad (dir. 
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This week in cinemas: ‘Overheard 3′ (Hong Kong) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/05/this-week-in-cinemas-overheard-3-hong-kong/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/05/this-week-in-cinemas-overheard-3-hong-kong/#comments Wed, 28 May 2014 12:03:42 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12150 Arriving tomorrow May 29 in Aussie cinemas we have the latest installment in this series from writer/director duo Alan Mak and Felix Chong (the team behind the Infernal Affairs trilogy, and more recently The Lost Bladesman and The Silent War.)

Overheard 3 stars the series’ usual trio of HK A-listers Lau Ching-wan, Louis Koo and Daniel Wu, plus Zhou Xin and a supporting cast of familiar Hong Kong faces. As with the previous film, it’s a very loose sequel: … (read more)

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Asian Cinema at the Sydney Film Festival 2014 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/05/sydfilmfest-2014/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/05/sydfilmfest-2014/#comments Tue, 13 May 2014 21:22:00 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12114 The full program for this year’s Sydney Film Festival has been announced, and as usual there are plenty of morsels available for fans of Asian cinema.

This year in particular there are a couple In Competition (including Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer, in the director’s reputedly hard-won original cut), a program of modern Chinese films, a special presentation of a couple of Studio Ghibli anime classics, and a restored print of Indian auteur Satyajit Ray’s classic Charulata.

All up, there’s … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘Aberdeen’ (Hong Kong) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/05/this-week-in-cinemas-aberdeen/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/05/this-week-in-cinemas-aberdeen/#comments Mon, 05 May 2014 09:50:18 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12098 In Australian cinemas this week is a bit of a change of pace from Hong Kong director Edmond Pang Ho-cheung, after 2012′s adult-film industry comedy Vulgaria. His newest film Aberdeen is a quieter family “dramedy” — I still find it hard to type that particular term — focusing on the ups and downs of a typical Hong Kong family.

It’s got a killer cast of HK veterans, starting with Louis Koo, Eric Tsang, Miriam Yeung, Gigi Leung, Ng Man-tat … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘Iceman’ (3D, China/Hong Kong) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/04/this-week-in-cinemas-iceman/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/04/this-week-in-cinemas-iceman/#comments Sun, 27 Apr 2014 05:56:37 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12093 Donnie Yen aficionados will be happy to find that their latest fix is arriving in Australian cinemas next Thursday, May 1st. Iceman is a remake of minor HK classic The Iceman Cometh (which starred Yuen Biao and Yuen Wah and had some really, really impressive stunt work).

Donnie stars as a Ming Dynasty soldier, frozen in the ice only to be revived in the present day, along with his equally-skilled evil foe (Wang Baoqiang, recently in Personal Tailor). The … (read more)

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Kaiju Shakedown is back! http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/04/kaiju-shakedown-is-back/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/04/kaiju-shakedown-is-back/#comments Sat, 26 Apr 2014 07:29:20 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12102 March this year brought the return of Grady Hendrix’s wonderful writing on Asian cinema to the web, in the form of the rebirth of his blog Kaiju Shakedown at the Film Comment website. Grady is one of the founders of the New York Asian Film Festival, and he brings a depth of knowledge and a sharpness of wit to his writing on cinema, particularly Hong Kong cinema, that I’m thoroughly jealous of.

Some choice bits from the new Kaiju Shakedown … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘Canopy’ (Australia/Singapore) http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/04/this-week-in-cinemas-canopy/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/04/this-week-in-cinemas-canopy/#comments Thu, 24 Apr 2014 23:44:55 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12046

Australian/Singaporean co-production Canopy opened here in Australia yesterday, April 24.

Almost a decade in the making for writer-director Aaron Wilson and producer Katrina Fleming, it follows the story of an Australian fighter pilot (Khan Chittenden) shot down over Singapore in 1942, his struggle to survive and his bond with resistance fighter Seng (Mo Tzu-Yi). You can read Yee-Yin’s review for a more detailed take on the film.

Here’s the trailer:

Screening details are available at the film’s official site; … (read more)

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Interview: Director Arvin Chen on ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?’ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/04/interview-arvin-chen/ http://www.heroic-cinema.com/2014/04/interview-arvin-chen/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 07:34:50 +0000 http://www.heroic-cinema.com/?p=12081 Ed: Yee-Yin saw Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? (read her review first!) at the 2013 Stockholm International Film Festival, and she interviewed the film’s director, Arvin Chen, on November 10, 2013.

Yee-Yin: First of all, I just want to say ‘congratulations’! This film was such an unexpected gem!

Arvin Chen: Thank you, I’m glad you liked it.

YY: I did! So, has this film been released in Taiwan yet?

AC: Yes, it was released in the Spring (of 2013); … (read more)

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