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reviewed Outrage (Japanese film). August 05, 2013
posted in ASIANatomy
There will always be an expected form of ‘hype’ whenever Asian cinema fans got wind of a film directed, written and acted by Takeshi “Beat” Kitano. From his yakuza epic, “Sonatine” to “Brother“ and on to “Battle Royale” and “Blood and Bones”, the man truly knows how to deliver a gritty, violent and artistic motion picture. I realize …
reviewed The Guillotines (2012 Chinese film). July 29, 2013
posted in ASIANatomy
The Guillotines (2012 Chinese film)
   Period actioners can be a very tough vehicle to sell, especially when they’re loaded with characters.  Typically, the bigger the cast the longer the film has to be in order to have enough time for (a) establishing everyone’s identity, (b) giving each notable the necessary screen time to establish presence, and (c) allowing each of the principles to allow their respective …
reviewed Tai Chi Hero. July 29, 2013
posted in ASIANatomy
Tai Chi Hero
I wasn’t too fond of Stephen Fung’s “Tai Chi Zero” and so I was very reluctant to continue on with this trilogy with his “Tai Chi Hero”. Honestly, I barely even remember the details of “Zero” going into “Hero”. The first two films were released within weeks of each other in China and the final chapter won’t be released until 2014. It …
reviewed Ip Man: The Final Fight. July 28, 2013
posted in ASIANatomy
Ip Man: The Final Fight
Lately, Bruce Lee’s teacher Ip Man has been on the receiving end of many attempts to portray his life to the big screen. The Wilson Yip-Donnie Yen "Ip Man" collaboration brought superficial, crowd-pleasing, entertaining action but fails to bring forth the man behind its story. It was more of Donnie being Donnie than Master Ip. Wong Kar-Wai’s “The Grandmaster” was …
reviewed New World (Korean film). July 18, 2013
posted in ASIANatomy
New World
   I have a long love affair with gangster pictures that stretches back a few decades.  American cinema enthusiasts may think differently, but, for me, there’s no better traditional gangster-style pictures produced anywhere in the world these days than the ones coming out of Korea.  Perhaps it’s the fact that there are so many triads from competing nations over there …
reviewed The Tower (Korean film). July 08, 2013
The Tower (Korean film)
   In some corners, I can’t offer enough praise for the films coming out of South Korea.  It used to be – back when I just started exploring their flicks – they had the market on quality, pulpy actioners featuring slickly dressed guys who were quick with a gun and quicker with a steely glance.  Not long after that, their studios amped up their comedy exports, …
reviewed The Tower (Korean film). July 05, 2013
posted in ASIANatomy
The Tower (Korean film)
I wasn’t too impressed with the monster flick “Sector 7”, but I guess I was curious how director Kim Ji-Hoon would fare in a disaster movie. “The Tower” is a film that has been inspired by the classic “The Towering Inferno” or at least it appears to be as such. As with most disaster movies such as “Tidal Wave”, “2012”, “Volcano” …
reviewed Tai Chi Hero. July 01, 2013
posted in ASIANatomy
Tai Chi Hero
   Unlike many other critics I know and correspond with, I tend to struggle with traditional martial arts movies.  It isn’t that I don’t like or I don’t find them particularly entertaining because that’s far from the truth.  Rather, I tend to think that my ‘disassociation’ from them thematically is that I just don’t identify with the ‘struggle’ …
reviewed Bend It Like Beckham. June 29, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
Bend It Like Beckham
Bend it Like Beckham is a British comedy flick about a talented girl named Jesminder (aka Jess) who loves to play soccer and has one really big problem: her rigid Punjabi Sikh family wants her to settle down, learn to cook, find a suitable husband, and quit playing sports. Amidst the usual trials of friendship and love, Jesminder, struggling to satisfy both her family and herself, ends up lying to …
posted a Quick Tip about The Girl Who Played with Fire (2010 m.... June 06, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
The Girl Who Played With Fire (2010 movie)
FIrst sequel to The Girl WIth The Dragon Tattoo has Mikael investigating human traffiking and sex slavery while trying to help Lisbeth clear her name for the murder of individuals involved in his investigation. A great story and an opening up of Lisbeths past make up for it's dull spots and gimmicks.
reviewed Hot Fuzz (2007). June 05, 2013
Hot Fuzz (Widescreen Edition) (2007)
   Simon Pegg plays a London police officer who is too good at his job. After making the other London police officers look bad, his boss decides to send him to a small town in the country side, where he joins the local police force. However, after some mysterious 'accidents' he find that his new life won't be as boring as he thought.      Full of action and …
reviewed The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (movie). June 04, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2010)
It's always hard to hear that when an American company is adapting a foreign film.  The general opinion is that it will often suck.  David Fincher's adaption though two years after this film was released proved that isn't always the case, and in any adaption there is always going to be comparisons between the two as to which one people like or which one is closer to the source …
reviewed Shaun of the Dead. June 03, 2013
Shaun of the Dead
I must have watched this film 100 times now, the more you watch it, the funnier it gets. Full of subtle human and not for the fainr of heart, its a film you definately have to sit down and pay attention to.
posted a Quick Tip about Princess Mononoke (1997 Japanese Anim.... June 03, 2013
Princess Mononoke (Dub) (1999)
Probably the first anime film I ever watched. It's a beautiful animation with a strong message- It's a great film to watch and I think anybody would enjoy it.
reviewed Woochi: The Demon Slayer (Korean film). April 15, 2013
posted in ASIANatomy
Woochi: The Demon Slayer (2009)
There are Asian films that do not surprise me at all as to why and how they became so successful in their native country. However, there are those that do make me wonder why they became successful in the first place. I do understand just how sometimes the transition of a film from one country to another is not that successful, since several factors can become lost in translation. Well, I guess this …
reviewed The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. April 14, 2013
posted in ASIANatomy
Every bone in my body is telling me “Jonathan, this is a romance, it’s a time traveling romance filled with plot holes, love triangles, and more teenee gooy romance then you can handle.” Yes, it’s true; I’ve made somewhat of a reputation for myself amongst my family and friends for my hatred of these kinds of movies. You know, close nit group of friends (two guys, one …
reviewed Rurouni Kenshin (Live Action film). April 09, 2013
posted in ASIANatomy
Rurouni Kenshin (Live action)
Being a fan of the anime series and the film “Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal”, I was ecstatic to learn that a live-action adaptation of “Rurouni Kenshin” became one of Japan’s highest-grossing film of 2012 and an international success in Asia. Based on the manga by Nobuhiro Watsuki, the film follows the adventures of a young man named Kenshin Himura during the Meiji period. …
posted a Quick Tip about Rurouni Kenshin (Live Action film). April 01, 2013
posted in ASIANatomy
Rurouni Kenshin (Live action)
Being a fan of the anime series and the anime film, I do hope that this live-action movie delivers. All I hope is for its quality to be on par with Azumi and I will be happy. Hopefully an English subtitled movie comes out soon....      Update: Full Review can be read here.     
posted a Quick Tip about Sword of Desperation. January 07, 2013
posted in ASIANatomy
Sword of Desperation
Poignant, Heartfelt and Powerful. "Sword of Desperation" reminded me just why I loved chambara films. See full review here.             
reviewed Sword of Desperation. December 31, 2012
posted in ASIANatomy
Sword of Desperation
It has been awhile since I have had the privilege to watch a more modern Bushido tale that truly has the spirit of the genre that Kurosawa and Kobayashi had defined in their ‘classics’. Last time I remember that I’ve had that true privilege was when I saw Yoji Yamada’s “Twilight Samurai” and Yojiro Takita‘s “When the Last Sword is Drawn“; …
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