Reviews by Country
A professor runs afoul of Korea’s intensely partisan and nepotistic judicial system when he’s accused of assaulting a judge. With the help of an alcoholic, partially washed-up labour lawyer, the professor unravels a conspiracy worthy of a John Grisham thriller.
A mysterious man tells a group of scholars at a remote historical site the story of two generals, once friends and allies, who wrestled for control of the throne in a long and bloody game of chess — literally and figuratively — during the last days of the Qin Dynasty.
Headshot screens at the Sydney Film Festival on June 13 & 14. Check the festival schedule for times.
Pen-ek Ratanaruang has always been a bit of a philosopher. When he burst onto the scene with the high octane comedy of errors crime caper 6ixtynin9 it looked like he was setting himself up to be the next Tarantino/Rodriguez/Park-type urban thriller auteur. That didn’t happen. Last Life in the Universe and Invisible Waves and Nymph happened, and it looked like he was … (read more)
Familial duty and responsibility to one’s parents makes Chronicle of My Mother a film that will resonate with Asian audiences far more than for the rest of us. And yes, the title is going to make most people think they’re about to see a Japanese version of Pedro Almodóvar’s All About My Mother, but the two films have little in common other than the titular parental unit. In Harada Masato’s (Inugami) lyrical and poetic meditation on family, … (read more)
Before you flip out, no, I haven’t forgotten what the name of this website is, nor has it slipped my mind the general region from which the films reviewed here originate. That said, the chances of any Asian filmmakers tackling the thorny subject of activist Aung San Suu Kyi and the political stalemate in Burma (or Myanmar) are low. Asian film industries have limited resources and focus first and foremost on their own markets (India excepted). Add to that the … (read more)
A high school kid with a temper grows up fast when he’s forced to deal with his handicapped uncle and father and runaway foreign mother. With help from a tough-love spouting teacher he channels his rage into kickboxing and finally into a more assured sense of self.
(Ed: we don’t normally prepend a disclaimer to a review, but we just thought we’d warn you: Liz is pretty frank in this piece, and you should expect explicit discussion of, well, very explicit themes and the occasional spoiler. You are reading about a film titled ‘3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy’, after all!)… (read more)
Leave it to Japanese auteur Iwai Shunji to find a way around the ongoing moony-eyed romantic vampire craze as it’s defined by Twilight. Simply titled Vampire, the vampirism of Iwai’s English-language debut exists in its own world as it were, one that’s rooted in reality more than the fantasy tropes of stakes through the heart, aversion to garlic and turning into the undead if bitten — and of course sparkling! Vampire hinges on a 28-year-old high school biology … (read more)