January 03, 2006


My New Year's resolution for Kaiju Shakedown? More news, less snark. And in that noble vein, here is a list of the big movies coming down the turnpike in 2006 and if anyone can fill in the blanks (read: gaping holes) then chime in. I'm especially interested in what's coming up from Thailand in 2006.

Who isn't eagerly anticipating Johnnie To's upcoming pair of sequels: ELECTION 2 and EXILED (sequel to THE MISSION)? EXILED reunites the cast of THE MISSION as they cross each others' paths in Macau and it began shooting on Nov. 12. Nick Cheung and Josie Ho have joined the cast and check out the shaggy haircuts on those guys (click the pic to pop up a larger version).

Speaking of Macau, Pang Ho-cheung's new movie, ISABELLA, stars Chapman To as a disgraced cop who picks up a hooker in Macau who turns out to be his daughter. Pang's other movies are all wonky winners with a lot to recommend them (BEYOND OUR KEN, MEN SUDDENLY IN BLACK, I SHOOT YOU SHOOT) and he's bound to pull this one off with as much taste as humanly possible.

Jackie Chan's latest movie PROJECT BB has started shooting with Benny Chan (NEW POLICE STORY) at the helm and he's dumped Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung from the cast (check out the press conference if you're a doubter) and it is now starring Mainland actor Gao Yuanyuan, Louis Koo and Michael Hui. Casting Gao looks like a canny move since Chan's movies regularly gross way more in Mainland China than they do elsewhere. The story has Chan and two other thieves swipe a car with a baby in it, sort of like THREE MEN AND A BABY meets CRASH and while the production company is making a big deal out of the fact that Chan is playing a bad guy they're forgetting that Chan has played a bad guy in THE KILLER METEORS (kung fu villian), a thief (FANTASY MISSION FORCE), a sleazy lawyer (DRAGONS FOREVER), a murderer (ISLAND ON FIRE), a gangster (MR. CANTON AND LADY ROSE), a triad member (TWIN DRAGONS), and a grave robber in ARMOUR OF GOD 1 & 2 (as well as in THE MYTH, although to a lesser extent).

And don't miss THE BATTLE OF STRATEGY with Andy Lau, THE NIGHT BANQUET (a HAMLET remake with Zhang Ziyi and Daniel Wu), FEARLESS (Jet Li's latest and "final" martial arts film), and Anthony Wong's latest movie THE SUN RISES AGAIN, directed by Jiang Wen, which is supposedly a bit like a Chinese CANTERBURY TALES.

Ghost VarietyTHAILAND
Help fill in the Thai news. So far all I have that's coming soon is
Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Chris Doyle and Tadanobu Asano's INVISIBLE WAVES, and the just-released, supposedly disappointing Mum Jokmok starrer, GHOST VARIETY, directed by Uncle, one of Thailand's biggest producers (BANG RAJAN, BANGKOK DANGEROUS).

The big news is the Shunji Iwaii-written, Ryuhei Kitamura-directed BANDAGE about Japan's mid-90's rock scene, and of course YAMATO is steaming down on everyone and crushing weaker movies in its path.

YEAR ONE IN THE NORTH is the samurai drama by the director of the terrific and rage-infused GO! and while the reviews have been mixed, the box office has been good.

Then there's the HANGING GARDEN (by the director of NINE SOULS), WHISPERING OF THE GODS (psycho Catholics) and BURIED FOREST (free-association surrealism) that are slowly making their way to DVD for Western viewers to enjoy (check out capsule reviews on Marc Schilling's top ten year end list).

LEFT HAND OF GOD, RIGHT HAND OF THE DEVILAnd the movie that I'm awaiting most eagerly is from Shusuke Kaneko, LEFT HAND OF GOD, RIGHT HAND OF THE DEVIL, a twisted eruption of horrific gore based on the brain bending manga of the same title. All about kiddie killers the film has finished production and is slated for a Summer 2006 release. Kaneko revitalized Gamera with his GAMERA films in the mid-90's and I'm hoping he can do the same for Japan's ailing horror genre.

THE BLOSSOMING OF MAXIMO OLIVEROS is the only upcoming movie from the Philippines that I know of, but it's been quite successful (you can read a review on Twitch), and while it sounds a little eye-rolling (gay kid living in squat) it also sounds like it contains plenty of goodies (corrupt cops, illegal gambling). It's also going to play Sundance this year.

MEAN STREETS, about a low-ranked gang member who sees that his chance for the big time lies in killing a local prosecutor, is a Korean crime film by the director of ONCE UPON A TIME IN HIGH SCHOOL. 
THE KOREAN PENINSULA is a version of THE DA VINCI CODE about how Japan has secretly engineered the split between North and South Korea for 100 years directed by the director of SILMIDO. They sound like the two most interesting movies I haven't heard of from Korea.

Then there's THE MASTER, an "analog" action movie from the female director of WAIKIKI BROTHERS.

And of course there's Park Chan-Wook's mental hospital love story, I AM A CYBORG, and THE HOST, a monster movie from the director and star of MEMORIES OF MURDER.

You can read about all these and more at Twitch's Korean films in 2006 update here and part 2 here.

If there's other stuff coming up in 2006 that you're looking forward to, sing out!

January 3, 2006 at 11:50 AM in News | Permalink


Other Thai titles I'm looking forward to are Mercury Man (superhero flick with stunts by the Ong Bak crew), Opapatika (a karma based horror / action thing), and Alone (the latest from the director's of Shutter. Dorm looks quite good, too, and I'm curious to see The Legend of Sudsakorn. Not sure when he starts rolling but Wisit Sasanatieng has something new in the works, as does Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Should be a good year on all fronts in Thailand ...

From the Philipines I'm itching to see the new one from Yam Laranas, who made Sigaw.

Posted by: Todd | Jan 3, 2006 12:02:02 PM

from the Philippines: what about Exodus? Is that flick already out there or is it coming in the next year?

Posted by: glenn | Jan 3, 2006 12:02:25 PM

Yeah, Exodus is on my list, too. It's already screened there, but no word on whether it'll make it out of the country or get a subbed DVD. Matti's last one didn't, the one previous to that did.

Posted by: Todd | Jan 3, 2006 1:05:33 PM

Grady, don't jettison all the snark in 2006. You do it so well!

More Thai films I'm relatively intrigued by: THE COFFIN, director Eakachai Uekrongtham's follow-up to BEAUTIFUL BOXER. FIRST FLIGHT, by Thanit Jitnakul (BANG RAJAN), and THAI THIEF, by Pisuth Praesang-iam (BANGKOK HAUNTED).

Posted by: Frisco Brian | Jan 4, 2006 12:54:07 PM

Dear ,

could you please advise me that Goa yuanyuan can speak English or not. Since I would like to meet and Contact her In China.

Thank you for your kind response in advance


Posted by: Pual | Nov 13, 2006 4:43:11 AM

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