Blu-ray Review: The PING PONG Anime Beats All Opponents

(Expect a back-and-forth between me and everyone who claims the film is better...) Last month in the US, Funimation released the DVD and Blu-ray editions of Ping Pong, the anime. And, as I have rather strong feelings about this one,... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

BiFan 2015 Review: 12 DEEP RED NIGHTS: CHAPTER 1, A Competent But Unremarkable Practice Run

Horror anthologies are a great way for new filmmakers to take a swing at bat, while viewers (or industry folk) get the opportunity to seek out new talents in the making. Unfortunately, that also means they're mixed bags, to say... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Japan Cuts 2015 Review: THIS COUNTRY'S SKY, Love And Coming of Age In A Time Of War

In the 70 years since the end of World War II - or, more precisely, what will be 70 years this August - there have been countless cinematic depictions of the war, covered from just about every possible angle. Some... More »
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: LUDO Challenges You To A Deadly Game Of Dice

Ludo co-director Q has been a filmmaker that I've had my eye on since his brash explosion onto the international art house scene with 2010's Gandu. That film is loud, aggressive, and challenging to the viewer, in the way that... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

BiFan 2015 Review: ANGRY PAINTER Presents Artsy Revenge Erotica

Following his trip From Seoul to Varanasi in 2011, arthouse filmmaker Jeon Kyu-hwan takes a bigger leap overseas with his latest project Angry Painter, an indie tale of revenge and despondency that spends much of its running time trapping through... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

London Indian 2015 Review: UMRIKA Looks At The Big City Dreams & Nightmares Of Small Town Boys

Set mostly in early '80s rural northern India, Prashant Nair's Umrika pulses with universally relatable warmth and emotion. The film is the story of a young man whose older brother leaves his modest hamlet on the way to better things in... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Review: COURT, For India's Judicial System, The Verdict Is Devastating

Winner of the two prizes at the Venice Film Festival 2014, Chaitanya Tamhane's Court lends an earnest look at India's judicial system. The film is a sobering, eye opening experience.It starts with an arrest of an old folk singer and tutor of... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Japan Cuts 2015 Review: PIETA IN THE TOILET, A Cancer Story Told With Poetic Artistry

Pieta in the Toilet, the first fictional feature by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Matsunaga Daishi, is a two-hour drama about a young man who's dying of cancer. But fortunately, this film proves to not be nearly as depressing as that description... More »
  

Review: ASSASSINATION Shoots Up A Storm With Stuffed To The Gills Spy Yarn

What has so far been a slow year for Korean cinema is about to get a huge shot of adrenaline as Assassination, the latest from Choi Dong-hoon, is set to storm the stage and usher in the high season at... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: NORTHERN LIMIT LINE Mistakes Nationalism For Narrative

Last summer gave us the nationalist call-to-arms Roaring Currents and, following its record-breaking run, this year unsurprisingly treats us to its own entree of patriotic balderdash, the melee of melodrama and jingoism that is Northern Limit Line. Going right for... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: INTIMATE ENEMIES Marks Low-Point For Im Sang-soo

In a bid to branch out to a wider audience following the tepid critical and commercial response to 2012's The Taste of Money, director Im Sang-soo returns with the spirited but borderline incoherent action-comedy Intimate Enemies. Though desperately trying to... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: THREE SUMMER NIGHT Strips Down To Bikinis And Cheap Jokes

Bikini bods, thugs and knuckleheads cross paths under the summer sun in the latest from Korean comedy maestro Kim Sang-jin. Just as chaotic as his earlier output but with less of an edge, Kim brings his trademark cause-and-effect comedy brand... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: THE SILENCED Charms With Slick Thrills

Following last year's slew of male-driven thrillers, 2015 has so far been a good year for actresses in Korean cinema. Kim Hye-soo and Kim Go-eun went head to head in gangster thriller Coin Locker Girl, Seo Young-hee and Kwon So-hyun... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: SS Rajamouli's BAAHUBALI - THE BEGINNING Is A World Class Epic

The word epic gets thrown around a lot these days. Thanks to meme culture, the word has been misused and overused so often that it has lost much of its meaning. However, for a film experience like S.S. Rajamouli's Baahubali... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Review: THE PIPER, A Satisfyingly Grimm Fairy Tale

Step away from the city and it isn't long before you fall in with bad company or into a mystery in Korean cinema, with remote islands and mountains being among the favored haunts of the country's more macabre filmmakers. Taking... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

New York Asian 2015 Review: IT'S ALREADY TOMORROW IN HONG KONG, A Charming Romantic Travelogue

Here's the basic plotline of producer and now first-time writer-director Emily Ting's immensely charming romance It's Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong, boiled down to its basic essence. A man and a woman meet, and (spoiler alert) fall in love over... More »
  

New York Asian 2015 Review: TAKSU, An Erotically Charged Island Sojourn

Taksu, the second feature by actress, producer, and now director Sugino Kiki, takes its title from the Balinese concept (often associated with dance) of artistry and charisma that taps into divine, spiritual power. And though it may be going too... More »
  

Review: ABCD 2 Reshuffles The Dance Movie Deck

Disney UTV's ABCD 2 is a follow-up to their surprise 2013 hit film, Any Body Can Dance, this time with the title officially shortened to the hashtag friendly version for today's short attention span audience. That urge to abbreviate has... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Now On Blu-ray: TOKYO TRIBE, A Late-Night Mainstay In The Making

Sono Sion has always had an eclectic style of filmmaking, but in recent years he has really hit his stride, both in terms of artistry and quantity of his output. Sono is more prolific now than ever before - he... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Sydney 2015 Review: ON THE RIM OF THE SKY, The New Challenges The Old

In the Chinese province of Sichuan, one of the mountains is so high that it's literally "on the rim of the sky"; and in that mountain, there is an isolated village called Gulu. The villagers' children received their education at... More »
By Hugo Ozman   
  
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