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Reviews and Ratings
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reviewed Saving General Yang (2013 Chinese film). April 21, 2014
Saving General Yang (2013 Chinese film)
Sometimes I need to pause to reflect on one honest fact for those who stumble across my reviews: I’ve seen scads and scads of foreign releases, and this sometimes means that – because of that …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
reviewed The Four (Chinese film). June 18, 2013
posted in ASIANatomy
The Four (Chinese film)
   I’ve been covering foreign cinema for some time now (heck, I’ve probably been watching and/or reviewing it for two decades).  One of the things I’ve noticed is that …
reviewed Masquerade (Korean film). June 12, 2013
posted in ASIANatomy
   The rags-to-royalty story has been done to death.  Still, every now and then, an aspiring actor or actress comes along with the right script and voila!  The past is made new again.  …
reviewed Sadako 3D. May 31, 2013
posted in ASIANatomy
Sadako 3D
    I’ve always said that horror films tend to be easiest to make because – on the face of it – they require the smallest investment in characters.  The thrill is …
reviewed Black Eagle (aka. R2B: Back to Base, .... February 23, 2013
Black Eagle
      In the middle of 1986, Tony Scott and Tom Cruise teamed up for one of the most successful (and formulaic) summer blockbusters of all time: TOP GUN unleashed its Cold War fury …
reviewed The Thieves (Korean film). February 06, 2013
posted in ASIANatomy
The Thieves
      Caper flicks have been done before.  For the record, the French have had a few solid outings.  I’ve yet to see anything significant from the Russians.  The …
reviewed The Doomsday Book (Korean film). January 24, 2013
The Doomsday Book (Korean film)
      By their very nature, anthology films are a mixed bag.  They’ll contain two or three or four smaller stories – essentially ‘shorts,’ cobbled together …
reviewed Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (Ichimei). January 19, 2013
Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (Ichimei)
      “Are You Satisfied?”       Takashi Miike.  It’s only two words – a name, actually – but that’s usually all it …
reviewed Tai Chi Zero. January 04, 2013
posted in ASIANatomy
Tai Chi Zero
       Those who’ve followed my reviews over the years (and, yes, there are a good many of you) know just how fond I am of foreign films.  Not so much the European …
reviewed Bedevilled (Korean film). November 08, 2012
posted in ASIANatomy
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: slasher-style films are a dime a dozen.  For studios, they tend to be a low-cost investment almost always promising a respectable return.  …
reviewed The Viral Factor. September 13, 2012
posted in ASIANatomy
the viral factor
For those of you uniformed, Dante Lam is an ACTION film director.  That’s right.  You read it.  ACTION.  All caps.  He stages some of the slickest, most vivid shootouts …
reviewed My Way (Korean film). July 23, 2012
My Way (Korean film)
South Koreans have a way with film.  In the last decade, they’ve had a particularly good run at presenting war stories, some from the World War II era and many others exploring the Korean War.  …
reviewed The Flowers of War. July 10, 2012
The Flowers of War
This is one I’ve got to be as upfront as possible about: stories dealing with the atrocities involved in the brief Japanese invasion of Nanking ( China ) are NOT for everyone.  If you’re …
reviewed Gantz (2011 film). June 04, 2012
You may not know this, but aliens are here.  They’re out to get each of us.  Whether it is our essence or our souls or our humanity, they’re bound to come for us, to take whatever …
reviewed Gantz: Perfect Answer. June 04, 2012
Gantz: Perfect Answer
NOTE: If you’re here to read this review and you’re at a loss in the slightest, then you may want to go and check out my review for GANTZ, the first installment, as these two films are so …
reviewed Mutant Girls Squad. May 15, 2012
posted in ASIANatomy
Mutant Girls Squad
You learn something new every day.  For example, I’d heard that the Japanese were in the midst of their own ‘splatter movement,’ but I’ve specifically avoided the films for …
reviewed The Front Line (Korean film). May 10, 2012
The Front Line
Koreans know a thing or two about war.      While the Korean War lasted from 1950 – 1953, the nation remains divided into the Republic of Korea and Democratic People’s …
reviewed Ocean Heaven. April 16, 2012
posted in ASIANatomy
Ocean Heaven
   In the past several years, there’s been a tremendous increase of awareness surrounding the nature of autism.  To be correct, autism is medically known as, either, Autism or Autism …
reviewed Battle Royale. March 30, 2012
posted in ASIANatomy
Battle Royale: Director's Cut (Collector's
   So much has been written about the film.  So much has been said.  So much has been debated, discussed, dissected, and so much has been praised or insulted or misunderstood.  …
reviewed Confucius. March 21, 2012
posted in ASIANatomy
   Usually, I love films that depict the peoples, places, and events from history.  Granted, I prefer that films “do it right,” don’t exaggerate the importance of people …
reviewed Sword of Desperation. March 01, 2012
posted in ASIANatomy
Sword of Desperation
   Let’s square this up right away: Bushido films are not for everyone.        Why not?      For starters, these flicks – usually detailing …
reviewed War of the Arrows. February 23, 2012
War of the Arrows
   Without a doubt, WAR OF THE ARROWS is one of the finest period ‘actioners’ I’ve seen in years; in fact, the last time I remember being this excited about a period adventure …
reviewed The Legend Is Born: Ip Man (2010 film). December 30, 2011
posted in ASIANatomy
The Legend Is Born: Ip Man (2010 film)
True story:      I was first put on to the whole Ip Man series by an online friend who told me that I absolutely had to see the films because “they’re like a cross between …
reviewed The Treasure Hunter. November 15, 2011
The Treasure Hunter
Conflict, conflict, conflict.  At the heart of every great story, there is a conflict.  Sometimes, this is a conflict between characters.  Sometimes, it’s a conflict between opposing …
reviewed The Sword with No Name. October 05, 2011
The Sword with No Name
THE SWORD WITH NO NAME is a slick, stylish, and wonderful period drama that explores Empress Myeong-seong’s tumultuous reign as ‘the Queen of Korea’ during the Joseon Dynasty.  …
reviewed True Legend. October 01, 2011
I don’t know how much of TRUE LEGEND is either ‘true’ or which is more ‘legend’, but I found the end result of Director Yuen Woo Ping’s work to present the story as …
reviewed The Man from Nowhere. April 13, 2011
The Man from Nowhere
South Korea’s mega-popular THE MAN FROM NOWHERE was successful for very good reasons, so many that there’s no way I could touch upon all of them in a single review.  Suffice it to say …
reviewed A Bittersweet Life. April 11, 2011
Movie poster
I knew I’d seen Byung-hun Lee before.  He starred as “Storm Shadow” in G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA, and, with what little he was given in that tent-pole summer film from director …
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