Posted in Film Festivals, Film Screenings, Trailers, Video

Festival du nouveau cinema – Oct 5-16, 2016

Le festival du nouveau cinema just released its schedule. In regards to East Asia, Japan is well represented with many features, a couple from China (one is listed under Hong Kong) and a couple from South Korea. In Southeat Asia, there are a few from the Philippines and Cambodia and Thailand each have one film.

Here are a few of my personal picks but be sure to check out the full lineup.

Continue reading “Festival du nouveau cinema – Oct 5-16, 2016”

Posted in Fantasia 2016, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals

Fantasia 2016 festival in review

Fantasia 2016, total films seen: 25

This year’s lineup of movies was very promising but the ones I looked forward to the most ended up being disappointing or just okay. But there were a couple of surprises that ended up being really great. Overall though, I’d say this was a good but not great year (like last year). I’d say the number of great films this year was less than most of the previous years. My main disappointment was the lack of films that resonated with me emotionally. However, in regards to just pure entertainment, I was satisfied by a few strong entries.

Continue reading “Fantasia 2016 festival in review”

Posted in *Recommended, Fantasia 2016, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Kill Zone 2 – review @ Fantasia 2016 [Recommended]

SPL2Kill Zone 2 / 殺破狼2 / Saat3 Po3 Long4 Ji6 (2015)
aka SPL 2 : A Time For Consequences
Director: Soi Cheang
Screenplay: Jill Lai Yin Leung, Wong Ying
Cast: Tony Jaa, Wu Jing, Simon Yam, Zhang Jin, Louis Koo

The original SPL / Kill Zone (from now on I’ll only refer to SPL as its name) helped reinvigorate the martial arts genre in Hong Kong. It ended up taking a longer time than usual to bring this sequel and in the end it’s not even a real sequel story-wise. Supposedly it follows the same theme but I couldn’t really tell. The SPL music theme, which is pretty cool, does play again here but other than that there’s not much that ties this movie to the original. In fact, based on the quality of this film, it didn’t need to piggy-back off the SPL name at all.

Continue reading “Kill Zone 2 – review @ Fantasia 2016 [Recommended]”

Posted in Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Film Screenings, Trailers, Video

Fantasia 2016 – First wave of films announced!

Here are the Asian film related items from Fantasia‘s first wave announcement of films. A second one will be made in June with more films.


The Fantasia International Film Festival is proud to be presenting Director Takashi Miike, one of the most groundbreaking filmmakers of his generation, a Lifetime Achievement Award. No other filmmaker has left a mark on Fantasia’s first 20 years as he has. Since our screening of FUDOH: THE NEW GENERATION in 1997, which was the first time Miike’s unique vision was shown in North America, no fewer than 29 of his films were showcased at the festival, including such modern classics as AUDITION, ICHI THE KILLER, and VISITOR Q. Miike’s work also opened Fantasia three times with YATTERMAN and North American premieres of the Cannes selections FOR LOVE’S SAKE and SHIELD OF STRAW. In addition to receiving his award, Takashi Miike will be hosting the North American Premiere of TERRA FORMARS, a sci-fi extravaganza where a team of misfits must fight humanoid cockroaches to colonize Mars, and AS THE GODS WILL, a surreal deathgame where Japanese traditional objects turn playground amusement into modern video-game blood baths.



After forays into auteur cinema like the magnificent TOKYO SONATA (Un certain regard Jury Prize at Cannes 2008), J-horror pioneer Kiyoshi Kurosawa, whose classics CURE and SÉANCE were adored at Fantasia in their day, makes a triumphant return to the horror thriller genre with the Berlin Film Festival selected Hitchcockian horror thriller CREEPY, which will be screened in Canadian Premiere. Kurosawa brings terror to a quiet neighborhood where an ex detective and his wife have to deal with their deranged new neighbor spectacularly brought to the screen by the excellent Teruyuki Kagawa.


One year after hosting the International Premiere of the long awaited manga adaptation ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM, a Fantasia 2015 fan favourite, the festival will have the pleasure of screening the North American Premiere of ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM: GRADUATION, the conclusion of Director Eiichiro Hasumi’s diptych. All the students from class 3-E are back to eliminate Koro Sensei before he destroys the planet, but unexpected revelations about his past will change the game and bring a whole new threat over the beloved characters of this ultimate crowd pleaser.


The Korean capital’s central subway station becomes a maze of terror in Yeon Sang-ho’s SEOUL STATION (Canadian Premiere), an electrifying, socially incisive and ultimately heart-wrenching animated zombie chiller from the acclaimed director behind THE KING OF PIGS (Satoshi Kon Award at Fantasia 2012), THE FAKE, and the Cannes 2016 sensation TRAIN TO BUSAN.

Additional First Wave Highlights: Continue reading “Fantasia 2016 – First wave of films announced!”

Posted in Fantasia 2011, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals

Fantasia 2011 festival in review

Fantasia 2011, total films seen: 22

Looking back at this edition, there weren’t many movies that I really liked. In fact, I only tagged two films with my Recommended category label. Both of those were comedies. There were some interesting films but some were pretty generic. There were also very few Chinese films this year.

Continue reading “Fantasia 2011 festival in review”

Posted in Fantasia 2011, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews

Fantasia 2011: Review of Bangkok Knockout

Bangkok Knockout (2010)
Director: Panna Rittikrai, Screenplay: Panna Rittikrai, Dojit Hongthong, Jonathon Siminoe
Cast: Speedy Arnold, Supakson Chaimongkol, Sorapong Chatree

Bangkok Knockout (or BKO) is ridiculous both in its action and plot with plenty of Oohs, Ows and some holy shit moments.  You’ll witness some incredibly dangerous stunts like fighting under a moving tanker truck and guys falling from heights that would make your average joe pee in his pants.  The movie actually takes a bit of time to set up the action but once it starts it doesn’t stop with the director’s signature slow-motion shots.  Sometimes the action is interrupted with sappy emotional nonsense but luckily these don’t last too long and are good for some cheesy, unintentional laughs. Continue reading “Fantasia 2011: Review of Bangkok Knockout”