March 28, 2013

Sunny (Hyeong-Cheol Kang, 2011)

Sunny is at once a coming-of-age and a reunion film, with detective elements, feminine-pop aesthetics, fleshed-out characters and intricate narrative elements.   In the film, middle-aged Na-mi reunites with her high school friend, Choon-Hwa. Dying of cancer, Choon-Hwa’s last wish is to be able to see Sunny, their group of high school friends, reunited. Thus, Na-mi embarks on a search […]
March 26, 2013

Starry Starry Night (Tom Lin, 2011)

Starry Starry Night’s young love, innocence and whimsy are infectious. What it does, it does reasonably well.Based on the book by Jimmy Liao, Starry Starry Night is a coming-of-age story, depicting a summer of love and adventure. Xiao Mei’s life (our protagonist) isn’t going very well: her parents are getting divorced; she’s a pariah in her middle school and doesn’t […]
March 11, 2013

Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale (Te-sheng Wei, 2011)

A Taiwanese epic about the indigenous people of the island of Taiwan; their lives, culture and values; before the encroachment of Japanese expansion. The most striking thing about WotR is how much of a labour of love it seems to be for its filmmaker; it is felt both in the movie’s story and in its direction. Te-sheng Wei, along with producer John […]
March 11, 2013

Punch (Han Lee, 2011)

Punch, a Korean drama, will more likely be remembered for the way it adds to the Korean conversation on immigration than for its other story elements. Teenager Wan-deuk consistently gets into fights at school while getting lousy grades. Wan-deuk’s mom abandoned them when he was a little boy and he was raised by his father, a small-time itinerant street performer, […]
March 11, 2013

Fists of The White Lotus (Lieh Lo, 1980)

Hong Kong has steadily been restoring old Shaw Bros. movie and showcasing them around the world. Fists of the White Lotus is the most recent of such classics to benefit from those efforts. Following the events of Executioners from Shaolin, Fists of the White Lotus confronts our heroes, Wen-ting and Chin-chung, with Pai-Mei’s brother, a White Lotus clan priest and […]
March 11, 2013

Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack (Takayuki Hirao, 2012)

Although it’s based on the work of one of Japan’s most prominent horror manga authors, Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack proves incapable of living up to expectations. An adaptation of Junji Ito’s manga, Gyo recounts the story of a modern-day Japan attacked by poisonous fish with mechanical legs, converting the population into organic masses excreting putrid gas, as they make their […]