November 15, 2015
Spectre

Spectre (Sam Mendes, 2015)

Spectre is visually and technically flawless. The film is shot in stunning locations, and its photography is breathtaking.
May 5, 2015
Seven Pounds

Seven Pounds (Gabriele Muccino, 2008)

Seven Pounds is a great concept but executed with poor vision. The supporting cast is well chosen, with Dawson, Harrelson and Pepper being high points.
April 2, 2014
12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)

The highlight of 12 Years a Slave is Steve McQueen’s direction. The arresting scenes of the film are the moments of sheer beauty.
December 16, 2013
Hentai Kamen in action

HK: Hentai Kamen (Yûichi Fukuda, 2013)

Apart from the fact that it’s one of the most entertaining films of 2013, the best thing about HK: Hentai Kamen is the joy of having to explain its premise to people, to witness their flabbergasted stare and assure them that “it’s really, really good”. Actually, it is really good because its parody comes from a place of love for […]
December 16, 2013
All the lady assassins

The Lady Assassin (Quang Dung Nguyen, 2013)

The Lady Assassin, a martial arts blockbuster, is my first Vietnamese film. A light Sunday night screening at this year’s Fantasia Festival, it was attended by a notable number of people from Montreal’s Vietnamese community. Billed as a Vietnamese wu xia, in the film, a princess sold in marriage is taken in by a team of high-flying, ass—kicking, thieving assassins […]
November 6, 2013
Master Yip in Ip Man: The Final Fight

Ip Man: The Final Fight (Herman Yau, 2013)

Ip Man: The Final Fight is centred around an ensemble cast of characters including Ip Man’s first students, so we get to see the evolution of Hong Kong in this period through their eyes.
October 23, 2013
Key of Life

Key of Life (Kenji Uchida, 2012)

Key of Life’s premise is very close to Rough Cut’s (Hun Jang, 2008). It effectively mixes comedy and drama, resulting in a striking aesthetic blend.
October 22, 2013
Louis Koo in Drug War

Drug War (Johnny To, 2012)

Drug War's writing is sharp and gripping, surprising us at every turn, setting up great action scenes, brilliantly directed by Johnny To.
October 17, 2013
Shield of Straw

Shield of Straw (Takashi Miike, 2013) | Lesson of the Evil (Takashi Miike, 2012)

Shield of Straw My first film at Fantasia in 2013 was Takashi Miike’s Shield of Straw, one of the director’s contribution to the festival. Miike is a known workhorse, directing sometimes three films per year, in a myriad of genres and styles. Yet, there seems to be a connecting thread through his films, which feels harder to ascertain for me […]
June 9, 2013
Graceland from The Philippines

Graceland (Ron Morales, 2012)

Graceland is a dark and dirty moral tale of desperation and revenge, denouncing corruption. Yet, it isn’t sophisticated enough to deal with the subject.
March 28, 2013
Sunny

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 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 […]