Monday, March 8

Focus: Asia

All about recent Asian movies

The Wailing / 곡성 (2016)
Focus: Asia, Movie Review, Review Bahasa Indonesia

The Wailing / 곡성 (2016)

Review The Wailing: Sebuah kota kecil di Korea dihantui wabah mengerikan yang tak hanya mematikan bagi korbannya, namun juga menjadikannya homicidal. Seorang polisi lokal, Sersan Jong-gu (Kwak Do-won), yang plin-plan dan inept, ditugaskan untuk menginvestigasi kasus pembunuhan yang dilakukan korban wabah tersebut. Saat pembunuhan dengan motif serupa kembali terjadi, kecurigaan mengarah kepada seorang pendatang dari Jepang (Jun Kunimura). Dan ketika putri Jong-gu allegedly terjangkit wabah yang sama, ia tak bisa tinggal diam. Tanpa sepengetahuannya, bahaya yang lebih besar tengah mengintai kota itu. (more…)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (2016): Memangnya Bible perlu dibuat sekuel?
Focus: Asia, Movie Review, Review Bahasa Indonesia

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (2016): Memangnya Bible perlu dibuat sekuel?

Review Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny:  Sejatinya, Ang Lee membuat Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon selayaknya menulis sajak Tiongkok kuno tentang cinta, kehormatan dan ‘jalan pedang.’  Selain alurnya yang menghipnotis, diksi-diksi yang indah tertuang dalam visual panache-nya, rima-rima yang melagu merdu tertuang dalam koreografinya, filosofi membijaksan dalam setiap dialognya, sementara imajeri-imajeri pun berjejalan memberi konteks dan simbolisme. Perlu waktu 16 tahun dan Netflix untuk akhirnya melanjutkan kisah yang telah lama ditinggalkan ini. Wo-Ping Yuen, sutradara sekaligus aktor wuxia gaek dari Tiongkok, didapuk untuk menyutradari sekuel berbahasa Inggris ini. Ya, berbahasa inggris. (more…)
Thursday Movie Picks #47: Non-English Language Movies – Asian Language Movies Set in South East Asia (Non-Horror)
Focus: Asia, Movie Review, Thursday Movie Pick

Thursday Movie Picks #47: Non-English Language Movies – Asian Language Movies Set in South East Asia (Non-Horror)

Finally, I return to Thursday Movie Picks series by Wandering Through the Shelves. As for this week, the theme is kinda close to me: Non-English Language Movies - Asian Language Movies Set in South East Asia. I'd traditionally choose Indonesian flicks for this kind of theme. However, there are other Southeast Asia movies, which really deserves attention. From a Singaporean family drama, Indonesian Alice in the Wonderland to Thai equivalent to Lost in Translation makes my picks for this week. So, I present you my picks.  (more…)
Attack on Titan: Part 1 (2015) – Review
Focus: Asia, Movie Review

Attack on Titan: Part 1 (2015) – Review

"The world is cruel..." --- Mikasa I realize that adapting a popular manga/anime into a live action is like a mission impossible yet doable. Determining an appropriate act is one thing, attempting not to modifying characters' appearance, motivation or, most importantly, fate is the direst challenge. However, as a purist to Shingeki no Kyojin manga along with the anime (source materials from which this live action is adapted), I cannot hide rooting disappointment over this. To boldly highlight: this live action, seemingly, only borrows the source materials' enticing premise as well as some most important characters to create a completely different self-proclaimed live action (which I prefer calling this a fanfiction).  (more…)
A Touch of Sin (2013) – Review
Focus: Asia, Movie Review

A Touch of Sin (2013) – Review

"The gods are to blame – if you have grievances, tell heaven about them!" This violent, outrageous and brilliantly cinematographed movie by Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhang-ke tells about four random crime stories based on real events that spread out in some places in China. The English title is likely an Easter egg to 1971’s wuxia movie, A Touch of Zen. A Touch of Sin was nominated at Cannes and winning Best Screenplay nomination.  (more…)
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
Focus: Asia, Movie Review

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

"Till the end of your life, I'll be watching you. Understand?" said the girl who walks home alone at night. Ana Lily Amirpour showed the world a bold exclamation mark---that Iranian cinema got a thoughtful vision not to be taken for granted. In her debut, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, the director combines genre beauties of spaghetti western and elements of noir film into a highly-stylized vampire genre---the first one in Iran. (more…)
Hansel and Gretel / 헨젤과 그레텔 (2007)
Focus: Asia, Movie Review

Hansel and Gretel / 헨젤과 그레텔 (2007)

"Can't you just stay with us?" said Young-hee. My thirst for Korean gems of mystery, thriller, and horror is---undoubtedly---unquenchable. Ever since a more traditional Kim Jee-won's A Tale of Two Sisters to some Hollywood smogs like Park Chan-wook's Stoker and Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer, Korean filmmakers' cinematic taste have never diminished. What I like best is that they know how to breach cultural taboo effectively---with sufficient amount of blood, visceral suspension, profound mysteries, and some doses of black comedy enough to make you sick. (more…)
The Garden of Words / 言の葉の庭 / Kotonoha no Niwa (2013)
Focus: Asia, Movie Review

The Garden of Words / 言の葉の庭 / Kotonoha no Niwa (2013)

Clocking in at 46 minutes, The Garden of Words briefly wraps up all Makoto Shinkai's earmarks, with gorgeous Malickian pictures and a heart-wrenching story told mostly in monologues. As proof of his natural approach (shown in the visual elements and the lack of fantasy taste), this movie has been my second favorite feature of Shinkai's masterpiece (after 5 Centimeters per Second). Baca review ini dalam Bahasa Indonesia: klik di sini! The story revolves around, Takao (voiced by Miyu Irino), a 15-year-old boy, who dreams of being a shoemaker. On rainy days, he likes to skip classes and goes to a garden to practice making real shoes. There, he meets a much older woman, Yukino (Kana Hanazawa), who he finds very mysterious by a chance. Every rainy day, both of them meet in that gard...
5 Centimeters Per Second / 秒速5センチメートル / Byosoku 5 Senchimetoru (2007)
Focus: Asia, Movie Review

5 Centimeters Per Second / 秒速5センチメートル / Byosoku 5 Senchimetoru (2007)

"I strongly felt that if I looked back now, she would look back as well...," said Takaki.  Read the review in English: click here! Andai Terrence Malick membuat anime, pastilah hasilnya akan seperti 5 Centimeters Per Seconds, walaupun ia tak akan mampu menandingi tingkat emosi yang dimunculkan film karya Makoto Shinkai lewat Comix Wave Inc ini. Perpaduan gambar-gambar indah nan lembut serta detail, transisi yang 'seenak sendiri', pencahayaan yang soothing, sinematografi yang rapi, ditambah cerita yang kuat dan scoring yang emosional dari Tenmon menjadikan 5 Centimeters Per Seconds anime terbaik yang tidak ditujukan bagi anak-anak. Toono, the protagonist of 5 Centimeters per Second during the movie's climactic scene. 5 Centimeters Per Seconds: A chain of short stories abou...
Samaria / 사마리아 (2004)
Focus: Asia, Movie Review

Samaria / 사마리아 (2004)

Samaria a.k.a Samaritan Girl adalah film kedua Kim Ki-duk yang saya saksikan; dan semakin memperkuat anggapan saya bahwa sutradara ini benar-benar dabbling in art. Samaria terbungkus dalam nuansa drama arthouse yang kental, namun tetap bercerita dan berpotensi menimbulkan multi tafsir. Well, there's more. Click here!
Pieta / 피에타 (2012)
Focus: Asia, Movie Review

Pieta / 피에타 (2012)

Kisah kasih sayang seorang ibu kepada anaknya digambarkan dengan sangat indah sekaligus brutal dalam Pieta, film keluaran tahun 2012 karya sutradara eksentrik Korea, Kim Ki-duk. Sebuah penggambaran seni dalam balutan kisah keluarga sekaligus suspense khas Korea dengan sentuhan pembalasan dendam. (more…)

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