Assassination (2015)

Some movies opt for a mysterious title to incite audience interest, while some movies are more up front. Assassination is pretty up front. Yet there’s so much more to it than that one noun bluntly seems to state.

Director Choi Dong-hoon returns with another big-budget rollercoaster of a film, sharing many faces with his last feature The Thieves. Also similar to his previous hit is the basic structure of Assassination, with a large cast maneuvering their way to … (read more)

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Gorgeous (1999)

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The whimsical opening music of Gorgeous accompanies the narration of a romantic legend, while the camera pans across a dazzling night sky. This is promptly followed by a CGI fish burp gag. It’s not a movie to be taken seriously, but still ultimately wants to be a fairytale romance at heart. I can’t believe I watched this with my brothers back in the day without squirming.

Innocent, starry-eyed, Taiwanese girl Bu (Shu Qi) strikes out for the big city with … (read more)

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Melbourne: Koreeda films screening at Cinémathèque

Melbourne fans of Japanese cinema, listen up: the Cinémathèque program at ACMI on Wednesday nights is starting a program of films by popular Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda films this week, entitled Dreams of Everyday Life: The Quixotic Cinema of Hirokazu Kore-eda. It runs from July 5 to July 19, and includes the following films:

JULY 5
7:00pm – Maborosi (1995)
9:00pm – I Wish (2011)

JULY 12
7:00pm – After Life (1998)
9:10pm – Still Walking (2008)

JULY 19(read more)

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The Rebel (2007)

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The Rebel is a fascinating viewing experience. The occasional Vietnamese film has made a name outside its homeland — we even have a few reviewed here on HC — but mostly we see the country through the filmic lens of western Vietnam war films. So it’s always interesting when a homegrown production comes along to lend its own voice to the conversation. When it’s as well-made as this film, it’s a pleasure to watch as well.

The Rebel goes back … (read more)

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Wheels on Meals (1984)

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At least the title is likely to catch an eye running down a list of potential viewing opportunities. The standard explanation for this strangeness is that the previous two films from the Golden Harvest studio that had English names beginning with the letter M had flopped, so the titular nouns were reversed to get away from the unlucky consonant. What the heck — a fun movie needs a fun title, and this one delivers!

Following in Bruce Lee’s footsteps with … (read more)

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A Silent Voice (2016)

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A Silent Voice poster

Two thirds psychological study on bullying and disability, one third first love romance (and I’ll use that term very lightly here), A Silent Voice, based on the highly-acclaimed manga by Yoshitoki Oima, plots the unexpected turn that lives can take on, if not the simplest then at least the most uninformed of choices. To its great credit, however, it doesn’t in any way sugar coat the fact that some of those turns can get ugly, can have consequences we … (read more)

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This week in cinemas: ‘A Silent Voice’ (Japan, anime)

This week (actually, it opened last week on April 6th) in Australian cinemas we a have a Japanese anime film, A Silent Voice.

The film tells the story of Shoya and Shoko, both of whom are elementary school students. When Shoko, who is severely deaf, joins the class as the new girl, she is bullied by mischief-maker Shoya for her disability. Later in life, Shoya seeks Shoko out to atone for his sins.

Directed by Naoko Yamada (K-On!, (read more)

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The Protector (Tom Yum Goong) (2005)

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After exploding onto the international action scene with Ong Bak, star Tony Jaa and team return in an attempt to top their own bone-crunching hit.

Originally called Tom Yum Goong, the version we get in Australia comes by way of the Weinstein Company, most recently infamous for their stripped-down version of Snowpiercer. This time significant changes were made, beginning with the title. The Protector is actually not too bad — as it references the theme of the … (read more)

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