Big Brother (2018)
Dir: Kam Ka Wai
Cast: Donnie Yen, Joe Chen
This title is available now on DVD and Bluray from Well Go USA.
Mr. Chan (Donnie Yen) who is an ex-soldier is hired as a liberal arts teacher and uses unorthodox methods to earn respect from a particularly unruly class of students. He goes as far as helping one particular group of students with their personal issues. One student gets involved with a gang and the teacher has to do some teaching with his fists.
Any movie with Donnie Yen makes one assume it’s going to be a martial arts or action movie. This is not the case here. This is a drama with comedy and two pretty good fight scenes. Focus is on several students in the class and how Mr. Chan helps each of them to find their own path. It’s a very familiar premise but it’s in the details that determines if the movie will feel forced & formulaic or genuine & enjoyable.
Continue reading “Big Brother – movie review”
Fantasia International Film Festival just announced their first wave of films. Here’s a list of the East Asian movies. Trailers will be below the list.
The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil
House of Hummingbird
We Are Little Zombies
Ode to Nothing
21st Century Girl
Fly Me to Saitama
The Island of Cats
The Moon in the Hidden Woods
To see the full list check out the press release below.
Continue reading “Fantasia 2019 – First Wave Announcement”
Mini reviews of the rest of the Fantasia films that I watched in 2018.
Being Natural, The Vanished, Buybust, Buffalo Boys, Fireworks, Loi Bao, Ajin, Laughing Under the Clouds, The Brink, Punk Samurai Slash Down
Continue reading “Fantasia 2018 mini reviews”
Fantasia 2017, total films seen: 22
This was an okay year overall. Last year wasn’t necessarily that much better but it had some super memorable screenings while this year there weren’t any films that wowed me or had the audience go super crazy. Granted, I missed some South Korean movies I really wanted to watch like A Taxi Driver and A Day. Only three films were labeled recommended this year. This isn’t the worst year as far as outright disliking films but the number of films that I enjoyed or liked a lot this year was lower than previous years. I am starting to wonder if my interest in East Asian cinema is waning.
Continue reading “Fantasia 2017 festival in review”
Mini reviews of Free and Easy, The House of the Disappeared, Shock Wave, The Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the Densest Shade of Blue, Napping Princess, Love and Other Cults, Rage, Extraordinary Mission, Night is Short Walk On Girl.
Continue reading “Fantasia 2017 mini reviews”
God of War (2017)
Directed by: Gordon Chan
Written by: Xiong Zhaozheng, Maria Wong, Frankie Tam, Wu Mengzhang
Cast: Vincent Zhao, Sammo Hung, Wan Qian, Wu Yue, Yasuaki Kurata
Review: Considering the generic sounding title, I hadn’t done much research on this movie and didn’t have any expectations. I wouldn’t even have seen if it weren’t for the fact it was between two movies I had planned to see. The film is a historical war movie that takes place during the Ming dynasty. It centers on a general named Qi Jiguang (Vincent Zhao) who’s tasked to defeat Japanese pirates after his predecessor commander Yu (Sammo Hung) fails to do so for months.
Continue reading “God of War @ Fantasia 2017 [Recommended]”
Made in Hong Kong / 香港製造 (1997) (4k restoration: 2017)
Directed by: Fruit Chan
Written by: Fruit Chan
Cast: Sam Lee, Wenders Li, Amy Tam, Neiky Yim, Carolina Lam
Review: This was a screening of the 4k restoration marking the film’s 20th anniversary. I had never heard of this Hong Kong film but am glad to have gotten the chance to watch it. It focuses on a young man named Moon (Same Lee). He’s a high school drop out who does debt collecting for a local triad boss. He has a friend named Sylvester (Wenders Li) who is retarded. Moon protects him from bullies. One day Sylvester witnesses a girl committing suicide by jumping from a building. She has two letters, one for her boyfriend and one for her family. He takes them and from then on it seems to Moon that their lives begin to spiral downwards.
Continue reading “Made in Hong Kong @ Fantasia 2017 [Recommended]”
Vampire Cleanup Department / 救僵清道夫 / Gao geung jing dou fu (2017)
Directed by: Yan Pak-Wing, Chiu Sin-Hang
Written by: Yan Pak-Wing, Ho Wing-Hong, Ashley Cheung
Cast: Babyjohn Choi, Lin Min-Chen, Richard Ng, Chin Siu-Ho, Susan Shaw
Review: There was a time in Hong Kong when hopping vampire movies were popular. I’m not familiar with this genre so this is the first one I’ve seen. These vampires look like rotting corpses. They don’t walk but they hop with their arms straight out in front of them. The setup is simple, there is a secret department that’s tasked with eliminating vampires but the employees are getting old. In comes, a young, clumsy man named Tim (Babyjohn Choi) who would seem ill-suited for the job. But after getting his butt chomped on by a vampire, he discovers that he is immune to vampire bites. There seems to be something special about his blood as it seems to transform another vampire (Lin Min-Chen) from rotting corpse into her original human form of a beautiful woman. Although she looks human she still hops around like a vampire and craves blood cubes.
Continue reading “Vampire Cleanup Department @ Fantasia 2017”