Blog Archives

Mirai (2018)

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This movie’s central character is not the title character. It’s a lad aged about four named Kun (Moka Kamishiraishi). While it is his journey and growth in maturity the film chiefly follows, his whole family also has to adapt and change and it’s all thanks to their newest member, baby Mirai.

The features from director Mamoru Hosoda and team have been consistently good and occasionally great, and with Mirai Studio Chizu has created a film both for all ages and … (read more)

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Space Sweepers (2021)

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Space Sweepers is a big budget B movie. A Korean made and led, but globally minded space adventure the likes of which I have not really come across before. Chinese blockbuster The Wandering Earth bears some resemblance in looks, but is very different in feel. Tonally Space Sweepers faintly recalls a variety of animated properties. The crew of the ship Victory work as space janitors, like in Planetes, but it’s a much showier affair that turns tense and meticulous … (read more)

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Chasing the Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch (2019)

Co-directors Wong Jing and Jason Kwan punched out this thematic, but otherwise unconnected, sequel to their 2017 historical crime drama Chasing the Dragon in two years. It’s not the same breakneck pace of the helter skelter Hong Kong heyday, when Casino Tycoon and its sequel blazed into cinemas in the same year, but for contemporary big budget Chinese blockbusters like this it’s still a quick turnaround.

A couple of clips from Chasing the Dragon, tweaked to look like archival … (read more)

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Golden Job (2018)

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Chin Kar Lok is one of those hard yakka performers the Hong Kong and Chinese film industries have relied on over the years and I have a lot of time for his work. A stunt veteran and background character for much of the 80s and 90s (e.g. Millionaires Express) with an occasional lead role (e.g. The Scorpion King), for the last decade or so he has been more of a character actor (e.g. Cold War). He only … (read more)

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Rampant (2018)

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South Korea’s zombie train rolls on, as the undead plague continues to spread through pop culture. After Train to Busan went off like box office gangbusters, others were quick to start piling on the potential for a juicy slab of the screen market. Take for instance the hit Netflix series Kingdom, wherein Kim Eun-hee adapted the webcomic Kingdom of the Gods she helped create and which is a strong contender for the genesis of the South Korean strain of … (read more)

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The Swordsman (2020)

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Brisbane has been less impacted by the current pandemic than some other state capitals in Australia, so with COVID concerns ever-present, the Sunshine State leg of KOFFIA was able to go ahead. Thus, with a bellyful of food from one of the many Korean restaurants that have sprung up in the city over the past decade or so, I found myself in a well-attended (given the circumstances) cinema on a Saturday evening to watch historical action/drama The Swordsman.

After … (read more)

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Chasing the Dragon (2017)

To begin, an admission. I have not seen many Wong Jing films. Not even some of his biggest hits, such as God of Gamblers. Some of his work has flickered across my retinas, but given the fellow’s torrential output over the decades I may as well have folded before even picking up the cards. I know him more by reputation; a film-maker chasing the broadest and basest of cinematic trends. Jackie Chan’s classics are hardly high-brow, but City Hunter(read more)

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Monk Comes Down the Mountain (2015)

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Want to see a movie where a bunch of stuff happens? You’ve come to the right place.

I really don’t know what to make of this one. I entertained a fancy of simply posting a series of screenshots to convey how discombobulating a viewing experience this film provides, but I’m going to try and describe it as best I can in words as well.

Imagine a meandering and often lovely-to-look-at indie film, with a main narrative thread broken up by … (read more)

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