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Reviews


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Haeundae (2009)
  Haeundae (2009) [Movies]   FEATURED

In disaster movies, the struggle is never fair. The villain is an unstoppable, inexorable force of nature, which you cannot hope to fight and can barely hope to survive. In the Korean blockbluster Haeundae, it is a mega-tsunami, a series of 100-meter waves roaring towards a Korean tourist haven at 500 miles an hour. Warning time: 10 minutes.

   Would recommend
   
Submitted by:    Andante
Posted on:    Sep 15, 2009
Last Commented:   Nov 15, 2017
#User Comments:   53



Old Partner
  Old Partner [Movies]   FEATURED

The art of the movie review is in giving just enough away. It is easy to give away too little, and even easier to give away too much. No such worries, however, apply to Old Partner. This is a documentary impossible to spoil.

   Would recommend
   
Submitted by:    Andante
Posted on:    Jun 26, 2009
Last Commented:   Mar 07, 2017
#User Comments:   11



Wait 'Til You're Older
  Wait 'Til You're Older [Movies]

Wait 'Til You're Older (Chinese name - Tung mung kei yun), was first released in Hong Hong in 2005. In this movie, director Teddy Chan brings us a touching tale about a young boy who turns into an adult overnight.

   Would recommend
   
Submitted by:    justinli
Posted on:    Oct 05, 2008
Last Commented:   Aug 31, 2017
#User Comments:   4



Tokyo Godfathers
  Tokyo Godfathers [Movies]   FEATURED

The setting of Christmas has often played a crucial role in films, such as with "Miracle on 34th Street" and "It's a Wonderful Life". First released in 2003, "Tokyo Godfathers" also centers around Christmas. But it is anything but your typical feel-good holiday movie. Instead, director and writer Satoshi Kon delivers an animated story that involves many real world problems and dire conditions. Yet, it is also a story of hope, humor, and the little miracles that can happen during the Christmas season.

   Would recommend
   
Submitted by:    justinli
Posted on:    Jul 22, 2008
Last Commented:   Nov 15, 2017
#User Comments:   3



Tampopo
  Tampopo [Movies]   FEATURED

Tampopo, written and directed by Juzo Itami, was first released in Japan in 1985, and then subsequently in the U.S. in 1987. Even though the story is set in modern times, Itami himself calls the film a "noodle western", obviously a clever play on words to classify it as the Asian counterpart of "spaghetti westerns." Although the plot is a bit formulistic at times, it is still a quirky and creatively made comedy that I found thoroughly enjoyable.

   Would recommend
   
Submitted by:    justinli
Posted on:    Jun 03, 2008
Last Commented:   Jul 01, 2017
#User Comments:   5



Rashomon
  Rashomon [Movies]   FEATURED

Akira Kurosawa is rightfully revered as one of the greatest directors, producers, and screenwriters the world has ever known. To me, his greatest masterpiece was portraying the simple poignancy of a humble government worker's life and death in Ikiru, but every Kurosawa film has its devotees. Among the most beloved is Rashomon, which is credited with opening Japanese cinema to the world through its success at the 1951 Venice Film Festival, and later winning the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

   Would recommend
   
Submitted by:    Andante
Posted on:    May 15, 2008
Last Commented:   Jul 04, 2017
#User Comments:   36



The Namesake (2006)
  The Namesake (2006) [Movies]   FEATURED

Based on Jhumpa Lahiri's acclaimed novel, The Namesake follows the quiet history of an Indian-American family. It is convincing in its portrayal of the conflicts, sacrifices, and betrayals that connect one generation with the next. Unfortunately, it tells us nothing we haven’t heard before, and it takes too long to tell it.

   
Submitted by:    Andante
Posted on:    Apr 05, 2008
Last Commented:   Jun 21, 2015
#User Comments:   2



Christmas in August
  Christmas in August [Movies]   FEATURED

With "Christmas in August", director Hur Jin-Ho gives us a touching film of a quiet, dying man and how he deals with his last days and the prospect of a new romance. In addition to winning best film at the 1998 Korean Film Awards, it has also won awards at various Asian film festivals.

   
Submitted by:    justinli
Posted on:    Mar 18, 2008
Last Commented:   Nov 05, 2017
#User Comments:   8



A Tale of Two Sisters
  A Tale of Two Sisters [Movies]   FEATURED

This film (entitled "Janghwa, Hongryeon" in Korean) was originally released in 2003 in South Korea. Since then, it has won multiple awards in international film festivals, including best actress, best director, and best picture. Inspired by a famous Korean folk tale, this movie is a smart, thought-provoking thriller about two sisters and the trouble they have with their father and cruel stepmother.

   Would recommend
   
Submitted by:    justinli
Posted on:    Feb 19, 2008
Last Commented:   Nov 05, 2017
#User Comments:   10



After This Our Exile
  After This Our Exile [Movies]   FEATURED

With 'After This Our Exile', director Patrick Tam tells us the story of a family's breakdown in a most dramatic and heavy handed fashion. Yet, the story is so well told that the audience is kept riveted and can't help but care about the characters.

   Would recommend
   
Submitted by:    justinli
Posted on:    Sep 07, 2007
Last Commented:   Nov 15, 2017
#User Comments:   9



Long Life, Happiness, and Prosperity
  Long Life, Happiness, and Prosperity [Movies]   FEATURED

In "Long Life, Happiness, and Prosperity", twelve-year old Mindy Ho (Valerie Tian) tries Taoist magic to fix her single mother's (Sandra Oh) financial situation and seemingly hopeless romantic prospects. Mindy's misdirected charms appear to cause an aging security guard to lose his job and a local butcher to win the lottery. The guard, the butcher and her mother's stories all intersect, bound together by Mindy's attempts at magic intervention. Set in the Chinese Canadian community, "Long Life, Happiness, and Prosperity" is a story of hope and the importance of keeping faith in this sometimes difficult world.

   Would recommend
   
Submitted by:    Cythera
Posted on:    Aug 19, 2007
Last Commented:   Nov 05, 2017
#User Comments:   11



Hiding Divya
  Hiding Divya [Movies]   FEATURED

Linny Shah returns home after the death of her Uncle John, expecting an inheritance of $20,000. She begrudgingly lives with her mother Divya for a week, while she waits for the money. Living uneasily together with her teenaged daughter Jia and her mother under one roof, Linny finally confronts what she had hastily left behind as a pregnant teen: her mother's mental illness, responsibilities of a daughter and a mother, and struggles of keeping a family together.

Families coping with mental illness in South Asian communities find themselves enduring cultural stigma, bias, and humiliation. Often denied and viewed as a failure or a shortcoming rather than a treatable condition, mental illness often tears families and relationships apart. HIDING DIVYA does not flinch away from showing the devastating effects of the illness, but handles it matter-of-factly. Yet at the same time, it makes you believe that what tears a family apart can also make it stronger. During the moments of tenderness between the three generations of women, their humanity and courage in their hour of grief all but shine through.

   Would recommend
   
Submitted by:    Andante
Posted on:    Jul 29, 2007
Last Commented:   Dec 04, 2013
#User Comments:   26



The Big Bento Box of Unuseless Japanese Inventions
  The Big Bento Box of Unuseless Japanese Inventions [Books]   FEATURED

The Japanese word Chindogu literally means an odd or distorted tool. But Kenji Kawakami has taken the word to a new level: the art of the unuseless idea. Kawakami's book, "The Big Bento Box of Unuseless Japanese Inventions", is a hilarious collection of 200 of such zany gadgets.

   Would recommend
   
Submitted by:    justinli
Posted on:    Jul 23, 2007
Last Commented:   Aug 31, 2017
#User Comments:   19



Top of the Class
  Top of the Class [Books]   FEATURED

Dr. Abboud and Jane Kim, sisters and co-authors of Top of the Class: How Asian Parents Raise High Achievers--and How You Can Too, promise to “reveal the practices that lead Asian Americans to academic, professional, and personal success. Households run to the rigid specifications of the Kim sisters' model (hours of "extra" homework assigned by parents, socializing only on weekends, phone calls limited to 15 minutes a night, etc.) will probably produce high test scores. Yet I question the justice of calling this an “Asian approach, especially when the worthwhile principles (when not contradicted) are ideals that should transcend such boundaries, and the less sound messages define education as little more than an achievement assembly line.

   
Submitted by:    Andante
Posted on:    Jun 30, 2007
Last Commented:   Jul 04, 2017
#User Comments:   6



Memoirs Of A Geisha
  Memoirs Of A Geisha [Movies]

Nominated for six Academy Awards, and winner of three, Memoirs Of A Geisha holds its own as one of the best films of 2005. Veteran Hollywood screenwriter Robin Swicord does a superb job of adapting Arthur Golden's bestselling novel to the big screen. This film has all the elements of a classic drama - jealousy, politics, intrigue, forbidden love, and an abundance of internal and external conflicts of varying types. Viewers in search of a typical Hollywood blockbuster will be greatly disappointed, but those who appreciate a good character-driven film which takes the time to develop the motivations of its cast and build to a climax will discover a splendid gem which offers a welcome escape from reality.

   Would recommend
   
Posted on:    Apr 13, 2007
Last Commented:   Dec 29, 2013
#User Comments:   33



Children of Men
  Children of Men [Movies]

Based on the novel by PD James, "Children of Men" is set an unsettling twenty years from today. Humanity is counting the days until the end. There have been no children in eighteen years, due to an unexplained and universal case of infertility, and how do people behave without children to nurture, shelter, and love?

The answer, according to this movie, is terrifying.

   Would recommend
   
Submitted by:    Andante
Posted on:    Mar 25, 2007
Last Commented:   Jun 21, 2015
#User Comments:   7



The Last King of Scotland
  The Last King of Scotland [Movies]

Whitaker's staggering power steals every scene and keeps the movie about Amin. His acting is as nuanced as it is overwhelming, and allows glimpses of the personal demons behind the madness. As Kay comments, "He cannot trust anybody anymore." Amin's paranoia and fear, while incapable of vindicating him, does lend a pathos to what would otherwise be one-note monstrosity. As the self-titled "last king", Whitaker is unforgettable. The clips of the real Amin we see at the end are chilling as we realize just how deeply Whitaker immersed himself in the role.

   Would recommend
   
Submitted by:    Andante
Posted on:    Mar 25, 2007
Last Commented:   Jul 13, 2016
#User Comments:   5



Bridge to Terabithia
  Bridge to Terabithia [Movies]

This is en enjoyable children's story about how a boy and his friend take occurrences in real life and interpret them in their imaginary world of Terabothia.

   Would recommend
   
Submitted by:    justinli
Posted on:    Mar 03, 2007
Last Commented:   Jul 31, 2015
#User Comments:   2



Spirited Away
  Spirited Away [Movies]   FEATURED

Although this anime won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film, I found this movie disappointing and hard to follow.

   
Submitted by:    justinli
Posted on:    Mar 03, 2007
Last Commented:   Jun 13, 2014
#User Comments:   18



Shaolin Soccer
  Shaolin Soccer [Movies]   FEATURED

Shaolin Soccer is a great "underdog" sports story/comedy about Shaolin Fung Ku masters who learn to use their skills on the soccer field.

   Would recommend
   
Submitted by:    justinli
Posted on:    Feb 20, 2007
Last Commented:   Jul 18, 2017
#User Comments:   14

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