Revenge of the Green Dragons centers on Asian gangs in 1980s New York. It features some young Asian American actors whom you would not expect to see in a gangster pic like Justin Chon, Kevin Wu aka KevJumba and Harry Shum Jr. but I’m willing to give them a chance (Everybody has to start somewhere). Rapper Jin Au-Yeung and Eugenia Yuan are also in the film. It’s a rare opportunity to see Asian Americans in starring roles. The film is co-directed by Andrew Lau (Infernal Affairs, Young & Dangerous) and Andrew Loo. It will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2014. Veteran actor, Ray Liotta is also in the film and it’s executive produced by Martin Scorsese. There are two guys who know something about gangster movies.
Yeah I obviously have not been following youtube much at all so I didn’t notice some of the funny videos made by LeendaDproductions, based out of Vancouver.
Interesting and amusing video although I admit most of the Asian Canadian info comes as sort of a surprise to me but then again I’ve only to been Vancouver once (where the Asian Canadian girl, Linda D, is from) and I never really differentiated between Asian Americans and Asian Canadians so if there were any differences I never noticed or didn’t attribute to the American vs Canadian aspect. Read the rest of this entry »
I wasn’t very excited about the East Asian lineup of films in this year’s edition but I knew that it would be hard to top the last two years which I enjoyed very much. However, there were some very good films, just way less of them that I liked. A few films were better than I expected but many were disappointments even when I had no expectations. You can tell that I have many more mini reviews this year than in past years.
The animated features were some of the strongest this year in my opinion. Giovanni’s Island mostly met my expectations and The Fake was also excellent. Both were great examples that animation can be used to tell serious stories. Although aesthetically similar to Japanese animated films, The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow was a very bizarre but uniquely funny Korean animated film. Hal had its issues but was a beautiful looking film (minus the characters) with a very moving ending.
Han Gong-ju and Red Family were interesting dramas despite some of their flaws. I would’ve probably given Han Gong-ju the recommended label if its flashback narrative wasn’t so confusing at times. That film was popular enough that it got an extra third screening. The Snow White Murder Case was probably the drama I enjoyed the most and thought was well made overall. Uzumasa Limelight was good if easily forgettable drama unless you’re a fan of the old samurai TV shows. Fuku Chan of FukuFuku Flats had its moments but was mostly forgettable.
There weren’t a lot of comedies and the ones I saw were just okay. Miss Granny was very popular and got a third extra screening but I thought it was just alright and could’ve had a better story with better jokes. Thermae Romae II was funny for me but it was really more of the same as the first movie except with some new pretty environments to look at. The previously mentioned Satellite Girl was probably the funniest film for me particularly due to its original and weird jokes.
Cold Eyes was a very good remake with good drama and some good humour. The White Storm was surprisingly entertaining despite its indulgences in the tropes of its genre. Black Butler was a good live action anime adaptation. Once Upon a Time in Shanghai was disappointing as I expected even though I was hoping to be proved wrong. There were many Korean revenge films, it’s actually a genre I enjoy and yet I was not really wowed by The Suspect, The Five or Days of Wrath. While there isn’t really much action, That Demon Within was an interesting mix of crime and supernatural aspects. Kundo: Age of the Rampant was okay but was expecting much better considering the talent behind it. I didn’t get to see No Tears For the Dead, which I really wanted to see. I did see Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno but didn’t review because it’s essentially half of the story with its conclusion coming to Japan later this year, in October I believe.
Despite issues with funding this year, the Montreal World Film Festival appears to back again.
However, they have not posted their schedule yet Update: Schedule now available on their website. A list of the Asian features can be found in this article by Film Business Asia. Plot summaries of the Japanese films can be found on CocoMontreal’s facebook page. There is one South Korean film, a documentary called Splendid but Sad Days.
Some films with name recognition (limited by my own knowledge & research) are Our Family by director Yuya Isshii; The Light Shines Only There directed by Mipo O and starring Go Ayano; No Man’s Land directed by Ning Hao; Black Coal, Thin Ice directed by Diao YiNan, The Boar King directed by Kuo ChenTi; Norwegian Wood directed by Tran Anh Hung; and The Grandmaster directed by Wong Kar Wai and starring Tony Leung and Zhang ZiYi.
Lesser known movies include Factory Boss directed by Zhang Wei and Tokyo: The City of Glass directed by Kazuhiro Teranishi who will also be attending the film festival.
There are a couple of movies from the Philippines: KamKam and The Coffin Maker. here is one film from Burma called Ice Poison directed by Midi Z.
Chinese singer, Jane Zhang, is one of the judges for the films that are in competition.
Mini reviews of Kundo: Age of the Rampant, That Demon Within, and From Vegas to Macau after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »
IngToogi: The Battle of the Internet Trolls (2013)
Director: Um Tae-hwa
Screenplay: Um Tae-hwa
Cast: Um Tae-goo, Ryu Hye-young, Kwon Yul, Kim Jun-bae
The title although somewhat accurate gives the wrong impression about itself. This isn’t some wacky comedy where losers try to lamely beat each other but instead it’s a more serious drama that only appears to be a light comedy in the beginning. The story follows a 27 year old male, Tae-sik, whose online nickname on an MMA discussion form is KoolKidneyz. He gets into a fierce argument online with another user named ManBoobz. This results in ManBoobs tricking KoolKidneyz into meeting in person where ManBoobs beats him up. The beating is recorded and posted on the internet. Of course, Tae-sik is embarrassed but vows revenge and joins an MMA club to train. He’s aided by his friend, Hee-joon and by a girl named, Young-ja, for reasons that are unclear at first. Read the rest of this entry »