October 26, 2005


Johnnie To's ELECTION has opened strong in Hong KongJohnnie To's ELECTION has opened strong in Hong Kong (beating out the latest Andy Lau romance, ALL ABOUT LOVE - and ELECTION is a Category III movie...unheard of! Andy beaten by Cat III?!?), to a tidal wave of praise in all the usual places and in some unexpected ones, like Canada's newsmagazine MacLeans.

The AP is saying that it's a savvy criticism of democracy in Hong Kong and they even use some of the exact same sentences as MacLeans (see the sentence "delicately mixing scenes of intense camaraderie, extreme violence and unabashedly Machiavellian moves" - the MacLeans article came out first, but the AP article may have been on the wire first - someone's cribbing from someone here). Variety's review of the flick is here.

Adam Hartzell gives glowing reviews to GRAIN IN EAR and WEDDING CAMPAIGN over at KoreanFilm.org. And on the discussion board there's some speculation about D-WAR (the "Korean dinosaurs destroy the world" flick) looking for a US distributor and has been pushed back to Summer 2006. Also, get ready for a newly-buff Rain's highly-anticipated TV drama, THIS DAMNED LOVE, where he plays a mixed martial arts fighter who finds love. It starts to air on October 31st.

Mark Schilling in the Japan Times reviews two new samurai films: NAGURIMONO: LOVE AND KILL and SEMI SHIGURE. NAGURIMONO is a samurai flick produced by the folks who produce the Pride Fighting Championships: mixed martial arts ultimate fighting events. The movie is basically a platform for their fighters to take a lunge at the big screen. SEMI SHIGURE is a less bloody, less body-throwing, throating-locking take on the samurai's life, based on a novel by Shuhei Fujisawa whose books formed the basis for TWILIGHT SAMURAI and THE HIDDEN BLADE.

Midnight Eye has a review up of the latest samurai epic, YEAR ONE IN THE NORTH, a Ken Watanabe starring flick directed by Isao Yukisada, who did GO and CRYING OUT LOVE IN THE CENTER OF THE WORLD. There's also a review of ELI ELI LEMA SABACHTANI? directed by Shinji Aoyama (EUREKA) and starring Tadanobu Asano, about a post-apocalyptic world where noise rock might be humanity's last hope.

Over in Thailand, Wisekwai, has a less-than-impressed review of the first English-language movie produced in Thailand since 1941, THE KINGMAKER. It's produced by David Winters, a Brit who was once a child actor (just like P's Paul Spurrier, another Brit who's worked in Thailand). He's also got a full look at the TSUNAMI DIGITAL SHORT FILMS, which include new works from Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

And finally, the controversy over Sri Lanka's FORSAKEN LAND has taken another turn as the anti-war film wins the "Best Film" award at the 3rd World Film Festival of Bangkok. Congratulations to the much-threatened director, Vimukthi Jayasundara.

October 26, 2005 at 09:26 AM in Reviews | Permalink


Just a note about Election. The review in MacLeans is attributed to an AP reporter writing from Hong Kong (Min Lee). That's why some of the sentences in its review and the AP wire review are the same. Nobody is cribbing from anyone else, it's just a variation of the same review. Which, by the way, may really be from the Hollywood Reporter, which often sends its reviews out via AP.

Posted by: Mindy Butler | Oct 30, 2005 1:51:49 PM

I thought that was the case, but since the AP item had no author listed I couldn't be sure it was Min Lee. Thanks.

Posted by: Grady Hendrix | Oct 31, 2005 5:00:59 AM

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