Tag Archives: Asian Cinema

Night in Paradise it’s not a gangster movie, it’s a movie with gangsters in it

When we talk about Park Hoon-jung, we talk about a storyteller.

Night in Paradise tells us the story of Tae-gu and Jae-yeon; their lives end up intertwined for a bigger purpose, without knowing it (nor planning it), but they share something in common: the loss of their families in the hands of gangsters and with that, the loss of desire to live.

Tae-gu from the gangsters perspective, where he is just a pawn in his boss game, the guilt consuming him and the desire of revenge as his only life purpose.

You suffer with him the transformation from a loyal, methodic, good-at-what-he-does but still with a heart to a cold-blooded killer, just a shell of a human; still trying to hold on to something, someone worth protecting

Jae-yeon from the gangsters innocent relatives perspective, where she had to witness her whole family die because of his uncle, they were all innocent and her world shattered into millions of pieces.

Now she has to live with her uncle, the one that she hates and wants to see dead. After all she had to endure, she is terminally ill, with less than a month to live, she doesn’t care about anything anymore and continually plays with the idea of ending her life once for all.

They cross paths when Tae-gu avenges the deaths of his sister and niece and has to fly to Jeju Island, to live undercover for a week, with Jae-yon’s uncle.

This super stylish noir brings us a breathtaking cinematography by the hand of Kim Young-ho, every shot, every frame you can just print it and hang it in your living room; the color palette is simply exquisite.

At the beginning we can see a nod to master Wong Kar-wai with the lighting choice he made to introduce us to this world; after that the colors are cold, even the warm ones looks like they are behind a sun screen, because they look a bit gray, washed out, even dirtier to set the tone of what and who we are watching.

Not only the cinematography is a state of the art, but the music accompanies perfectly the sequences, Mowg guides us through the whole rollercoaster this film is.

Is not a happy story or about remarkable people, but is a story about life and death and what we do with them, a story that is predictable, you know what is going to happen but you are so immerse in their world that, nonetheless, you enjoy the journey.

Hoon-jung usually gives us a really slow first half in his movies, so you can meet the characters, the background stories and even empathize with them; the second half on the other hand is the messy, passionate one, where all the contained emotions explode and nothing can stop what is about to happen.

I could split the movie in 4 scenes: 

The opening scene with all the prisoners, all the yellow lighting working perfectly at introducing us to this world; 

Tae-gu sitting on the street, emotionless, the camera focusing in the rain drops hitting the ground, haunting music with a car accident as background;

Tae-gu in the car, fighting for his life, face up, with mixed emotions between terror, courage and resignation at the same time while a melody of despair, sounds in the background making us feel hopeless and

The last scene, in the ocean, a bright one again, giving us a fulfilling feeling even if is not the happiest, is how things should be.

These scenes are tied by rain, rain is in important parts of the movie, when something is about to change, you can see is raining.

And what is the rain? Water in the form of droplets that have condensed and then become heavy enough to fall under gravity… that’s what we have in Night in Paradise, small decisions and events that have cluster and become a ticking bomb with just one possible outcome.

And of course, after the storm comes the calm and while we see the credits roll, we can enjoy really bright and warm shots with vivid colors, what we didn’t have through the whole film, finally wrapping up with the sense that “life goes on”.

The excellent performances of Uhm Tae-goo and Jeon Yeo-been made this story really worth of being told.

Park Hoon-jung keeps surprising us, this time with a full circle story (some words at the beginning that will make sense towards the end) and what it feels something like poetic justice.

Next Entertainment World, we will be waiting for a special edition release, because this needs to be in our personal collection.

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Thailand & South Korea join forces for new horror The Medium

Wow! I got some great news for all you Asian horror movie lovers! Thai director Banjong Pisanthanakun and South Korean director turned producer Na Hong-jin have joined forces for a new horror movie The Medium

Banjong Pisanthanakun who is best known for co-directing the supernatural Thai horror film Shutter is back with a fresh new terrifying tale.

Produced and developed by South Korean director Na Hong-jin. If you are a fan of South Korean cinema then Hong-jin is a name you will all be familiar with. He has been responsible for writing & directing great flicks including The Chaser, The Yellow Sea and The Wailing. If you somehow have managed to miss the above-mentioned flicks, I highly recommend checking them out. They helped pave the way for an endless love of Asian cinema.

Nah Hong-jin is the founder of the production company Nothern Cross. The Medium will be the first movie produced under his new production banner.

PLOT

The Medium is described as a horrifying story of a shaman’s inheritance in the Isan region of Thailand. But the goddess that appears to have taken possession of a family member turns out not be as benevolent as it first appears.

Image from new Thai horror The Medium

The Medium is definitely one to watch out for. These two guys are quite the filmmaking team. It can only mean good things, right?.

We have releases like Satans Slaves, May The Devil Take You 1&2, The Queen Of Black Magic. Can The Medium offer us something refreshing in the possession sub-genre? I think it can.

Currently in post-production with FineCut Productions in charge of international distribution. More news to follow when it is announced. As always, thanks for reading.

Article by GG 
Founder/Owner/BigCheese @ Moviehooker
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
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New Asian Films You Should Know About (Japan & South Korea)

We are back again with another brand new list of films for you all. This list will focus on Asian films that I think you should know about. I hope you enjoy it.

For this list we just focus on new upcoming releases from Japan and South Korea. Stay tuned for a new list of movies from different parts of asia including indonesia, India, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. Let’s get to it!

THE FABLE

New Asian Movies You Should Know About 2021 Moviehooker List The Fable

Based on a manga series of the same name, The Fable tells the story of a legendary hitman called Akira, known to everyone else as The Fable.

After years of hard work, killing and commitment, Akira is ordered to take some much-needed time off to relax.

With a part-time job at a design company, Akira’s assassin days seem to be a thing of the past. But his past comes back to haunt him when he finds out that another assassin named Suzuki is targeting someone at the company.

THE CINDERELLA ADDICTION (Melancholy)

Written and directed by Ryohei Watanabe (Shady, Sailor Zombies).

The story of a woman who loses everything she has in one single night and finds herself at the end of the line.

After falling in love again in what seems like a fairytale setting, she commits a horrendous and vicious crime that couldn’t be further from the new life she believes she is leading.

And what a fantastically creepy poster!

BRAVE: GUNJYO SENKI

A group of elite archery students find themselves thrown back in time to the 1500s’ Samurai-era Sengoku Japan.

Not only must they battle ancient samurai warriors but they are about to enter the famous Battle of Okehazama

Also based on a manga series of the same name.

RIDE OR DIE (no poster available)

Ride or Die is a new Japanese murder mystery movie with a crazy psychotic female thinking killing is ok…if you’re doing it for love.

The film focuses or two women, Rei and Nanae. Rei has been in love with Nanae for as long as she can remember.

Things take a crazy turn when Rei kills someone saying she done it in the name of love for Nanae.

Although terrified of Rei, Nanae still risks everything to save Rei from herself and from hurting others.

HOMUNCULUS

New Asian Movies You Should Know About Homunculus Moviehooker Movie List

Based on a hugely successful Manga of the same name and from the creator of ICHI THE KILLER.

Homunculus tells the story of a 34-year-old homeless man Susumu Nakoshi who agrees to undergo an experiment to earn some much-needed cash.

He agrees to have a hole drilled in the centre of his head in a procedure known as trepanation. This experimental and highly dangerous procedure opens up parts of the brain and improves its functions beyond normal human capacity.

After awakening from the operation, he finds that he can now see two different sides to people through each eye. Through one eye, he sees what we see but with his left eye, he sees a much darker, evil and sinister version of that person. He learns that what he is seeing is the dark side of someones dark sub-conscious.

Described as extreme psychological horror. And guess what? it is coming to Netflix this April.

SIGNAL THE MOVIE

Signal (series poster)

South Korean series, Signal is a hugely popular time-bending detective drama about cops on the hunt for a serial killer.

I am guessing you will wanna watch series before you delve into the movie. Both seasons are now available on Netflix.

Like Bong Joon Ho’s Memories of Murder, Signal deals with the same serial killer that inspired Joon’ Ho’s classic.

UNDERDOG

Underdog New Asian Movies You Should Know About

Underdog tells the story of three boxers all from different backgrounds; A struggling boxer, a boxer who grew up in an orphanage and one who is getting a documentary made about him for a comeback fight.

A sports drama infused with some amazing fighting choreography and action.

THE LEGACY OF DR DEATH: BLACK FILE

New Asian Movies You Should Know About Legacy Of Dr Death: Black File

A new Japanese serial killer drama about a doctor who killed his patients. Based on the true story of a doctor who euthanised over 130 patients

Based on the novel The Legacy of Dr. Death by Shichiri Nakayama. Directed by Yoshihiro Fukagawa

That’s it for this list. We hope we have hooked you up with some new future-viewing. As always, thanks for reading.

Article by GG
Founder/Owner/BigCheese @ Moviehooker.  
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Secret Zoo Film Review: A lighthearted comedy that definitely hit the mark

Son Jae-Gon keeps making contributions to the comedy genre (The Man Who Saw Too Much, My Scary Girl, Villain and Widow), now with a trendy but beautiful message in it; in this Globalized World, there is still people with principles who believe we can coexist with Mother Nature.

Even when it has some cliches, you can find some originality in it.

It’s based on the webtoon “I Don’t Bully You” by Hun.

The film begins with Tae-soo, who works in a temp position in a very well-known law firm; he is a bottom feeder there, of course he wants to impress his boss and the opportunity comes as the new Dongsan Park Zoo Director; he has to revitalize the failed zoo in 3 months so that the firm can make more money by selling it to another client, the problem is… there are no animals and he has no budget.

He comes up with the idea of making animal costumes for the staff to wear and fool people, until they make enough money to get their animals back.

They are not doing well until a happy accident happens, a marketing strategy in real life that helps them go viral and start having hundreds of visitors; at times it feels like they are sponsored by certain brand of carbonated drinks, still is funny how people enjoy the show, even when sometimes they are rude.

It seems it would be easy but we need a villain, in this case the Law Firm, which will become greedy and reveal their true plans.

I think by now, we all know what will happen, but is still a really fun ride to see and laugh with the characters; I would see it’s 98% family friendly because it has a few “adult jokes” but nothing outrageous.

I enjoyed the performances, cast is fantastic in their characters, very charming; the animal costumes are incredible well made, they look realistic… I think the polar bear looks more realistic than “Black Nose”, the “real” polar bear (CGI) in the movie.

If you are looking for a fun movie to enjoy, I highly recommend Secret Zoo.

Cast includes: Ahn Jae-Hong, Kang So-ra, Park Yeong-gyu, Kim Sung-oh and Jeon Yeo-been

You can watch it in Korean with subtitles in English and English SDH or dubbed in English.

Secret Zoo it’s already available on VOD and DVD.

Watch the trailer here:

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Perempuan Tanah Jahanam aka Impetigore Review: A little village full of creepy people who have a thing for puppets and satanic rituals

Joko Anwar has delivered some amazing films, like “Modus Anomali”, “The Forbidden Door” and “Satan’s Slaves”; obviously I was thrilled since I learned he was filming a new horror movie (after “Gundala”) and finally we got the release in this side of the world.

We have the amazing Tara Basro (Maya), as our lead actress and Marissa Anita (Dini) as the support one, both of them have previously worked with Anwar, in different films, “Gundala” being the last one.

Perempuan Tanah Jahanam aka Impetigore, tell us the story of two friends who are struggling with money, Maya finds out that probably her family was rich and there’s a huge house that both of them could use to live; she wants to claim the inheritance without knowing that probably this is the worst idea she could have had.

It starts like how Asian horror movies usually do (at least, ghostly ones)… a young woman working in the night shift as a cashier in a tollbooth in the middle of nowhere, talking nonsense with a friend, when a very creepy man keeps stalking her, subsequently attacking her; the guy is really really creepy, gives you an unease feeling, so kudos for that.

Obviously this odd person introduces us to what is gonna be the main storyline; family secrets and a world we know it’s out there but at the same time we don’t know it’s there.

Maya decides to go to the village where she was born, this is when we can see a change in the lighting and in the colour palette, from the previous extremely dark and gloomy… to a very alive but mysterious one.

In the beginning, the colour palette tells us how she and her friend, Dini, feel like they are trapped in a hole and that’s why they see this situation as a strong possibility to move on to a better life, with the only obstacle of being surrounded by secrets, mainly about Maya’s birth.

We keep getting changes in the lighting, the house and other houses, Anwar presents it to us all dark with only warm light, but instead of pure yellow, we have more red in it, telling us something bad is about to happen or that evil is close.

With the game of lights (that it really helps to set the mood), we have gorgeous cinematography from the hand of the amazing Ical Tanjung; every time we feel a bit of hope, a yellow ray of light is smartly set in the middle of the frame, then the scenery quickly changes, giving us fog and with this, despair.

Not only we are visually rewarded, but the incidental music is enchanting, it helps to create a very atmospheric movie.

This slow-burn builds up nicely, but unfortunately, the climax doesn’t have the impact we are waiting for.

Feels more like a “family secret drama”, with a few curses and ghosts here and there, but nothing that can make you shudder.

What you are expecting to happen with Maya, it doesn’t, it goes to “Hollywood cliche land” and that broke my heart.

In a way, I feel a little disappointed, but overall it’s entertaining, it has some good visual impacts with a mix of practical effects and cgi.

I liked the ending and the whole little-village-full-of-beliefs-secrets-and-curses vibe; but, I was hoping, at least, for some more killings or something that screamed to me “this is a terrible curse”.

Hopefully, Anwar will surprise us more with his next project.

Impetigore will premiere July 23 on Shudder (U.S., Canada and the UK).

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New Japanese Thrillers To Test Your Sanity

A new list of recently released Japanese thrillers you may not know about

As you probably already know, Japan offers us some of the most intense, brutal and uncensored cinema in film history. Recent Japanese thrillers like The World Of Kanako, and the superb serial killer movie, Creepy prove that Japan is still one of the leading names in the thriller/crime genre. This is a new list of Japanese thrillers that I think you all need hooking up with.

HARMONIUM

Japanese Thriller

DIRECTOR: Kôji Fukada

PREVIOUS MOVIES: Au Revoir L’Ete, Hospitalité, Sayonara

WRITER: Kôji Fukada

STARS: Tadanobu Asano, Kanji Furutachi, Mariko Tsutsui,

RELEASE DATE: 2016

GENRE: Drama/Crime/Thriller

OFFICIAL PLOT (AsianWiki)

Toshio Suzuoka (Kanji Furutachi) runs a small metalworking factory in the suburbs. He has a wife, Fumie (Mariko Tsutsui), and a 10-year-old daughter, Hotaru (Momone Shinokawa). They enjoy peaceful days, but Toshio’s acquaintance Kusataro Yasaka (Tadanobu Asano) appears. Kusataro Yasaka recently served time in prison. Toshio hires Kusataro and lets him stay at his house. Fumie is apprehensive about Kusataro Yasaka, but she warms up to him after seeing him teach their daughter to play the harmonium.


AFTER THE STORM

Japanese Thrillers

DIRECTOR: Hirokazu Koreeda

PREVIOUS MOVIES: Still Walking, Like Father, Like Son, Nobody Knows

WRITER: Hirokazu Koreeda

 STARS: Hiroshi Abe, Yôko Maki, Satomi Kobayashi

RELEASE DATE: 2016

GENRE: Drama

OFFICIAL PLOT (IMDb)

After the death of his father, a private detective struggles to find child support money and reconnect with his son and ex-wife.

HIMEANORU

Japanese Thrillers

DIRECTOR: Keisuke Yoshida 

PREVIOUS MOVIES: Nama-Natsu, Cafe Isobe

WRITER: Keisuke Yoshida (Screenplay), Minoru Furuya (Manga)

STARS: Gaku Hamada, Gô Morita, Aimi Satsukawa

RELEASE DATE: 2016

GENRE: Drama/Thriller

OFFICIAL PLOT (IMDb)

Getting two stories in one, Himeanôru depicts the story of co-workers where one of them is gunning to make a cafe’s waitress his. When the co-worker visits the said cafe to see the waitress his friend is yearning for, he also meets an old classmate he has not seen in some time. In a twist and transition, the waitress tells the visiting co-worker that she is being stalked by a man. That man is none other than the old class-mate.

– Written by aghaemi


DESTRUCTION BABIES

destruction-babies

DIRECTOR: Tetsuya Mariko

WRITER: Tetsuya Mariko (screenplay), Kôhei Kiyasu (screenplay)

STARS: Masaki SudaYûya Yagira, Nana Komatsu

RELEASE DATE: 2016

GENRE: Drama/Intense AF

OFFICIAL PLOT (IMDb)

At some point beating and ravaging others becomes a routine pastime when two kids go on a rampage. Taira picks his target of men and goes for broke, while Kitahara puts down his camera long enough to instead go after women. There is enough bloodshed during the course of one night to paint a mural of red for the whole city to see.

Written by aghaemi

THANKS FOR READING, HOPE YOU ENJOYED THIS  LIST. CHECK BACK SOON FOR MORE.

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Does GET MY REVENGE Capture That BATTLE ROYALE Vibe?

Could GET MY REVENGE be the modern-day BATTLE ROYALE we all want and need?

 

Get My Revenge featured on a previous article about upcoming Asian movies I thought would be worth looking out for. As always, I be scouring the Asian box-office and new releases and picking out the cream of the crop.

Get My Revenge is based on the novel “Fukushu Shitai” by Yusuke Yamada.

The Battle Royale-type storyline tells the story of a new law implemented in Japan. If you lose your loved one at the hands of murderer and you’re not satisfied with the verdict the courts hand down, you can enter the Get My Revenge program. In this program you will get the chance to get your revenge on the person who took your most cherished loved one from you and made your life unbearable.

You get 18-hrs to kill your target, if you can not kill your target within the 18-hr time period then the murderer will be released and the charges will be dropped.

get my revenge

I had no idea the trailer had dropped for this movie. Just by chance I typed into YouTube to see if it was there, and there it was. I have to say that I am a little underwhelmed by the trailer but I am still eagerly looking forward to it.

HOPE YOU ENJOY THE TRAILER

THANKS FOR READING

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New South Korean movies You Need To Know About

 A new list featuring some new titles coming out of South Korea 

 

As usual , we’ve got some films that you wont be forgetting about in a hurry …ENJOY. As for genres, we have some horror, crime, revenge, thrillers, and action…just about a little bit of everything.

 

 

insane2INSANE

A woman called, Soo-a gets violently abducted in broad daylight and locked away in a mental institution with no reason given.

She is held against her will ,force fed drugs, made to undergo horrible treatments, and mentally and physically abused.

Her only sanity comes from writing in a notebook about the horrific acts of abuse that she is forced to endure.

After a year passes, the notebook somehow finds its way to a TV broadcaster – he reads the torn and faded pages of the book and is horrified with what the woman had to go through and decides to look into the case, only to find that the woman is now in prison for murder.

The trailer looks impressive,  but it didn’t quite bring me the insanity that I thought I was gonna get from a S.Korean movie called Insane but it still looks damn impressive and it goes on the list.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZAK5SmIZxg

imgres-1 THE WAILING

This is a film that has featured on the site before, actually , probably a few times, but there is solid reasoning behind why I am so obsessed with this movie. That reason is that its the new film from Na Jong Hin, one of men responsible for my crazy passion for South Korean cinema.

Anyways I have sort of avoided as much as I can about this movie, which is good because no matter what I read, or what trailer or teaser I watch, I have still no fucking idea what the film is going to be about.

I do know that its dark and has some sort of sickness spreading in a rural village – also looks like there could be a serial-killer on the loose, or maybe both, who knows?

The_Handmaiden_filmTHE HANDMAIDEN

Park Chan-Wook, revenge, lesbians ?- I think we’re sold already. The director of some of South Korea’s finest is back with, The Handmaiden.

The film just seemed to appear out of nowhere and it has already had its premiere in Cannes Film Festival, and as you can probably imagine, the reviews have been pretty solid so far.

According to Screen Daily, Park Chan-Wook’s latest feature has already got strong worldwide distribution with it reportedly getting sold to over 100 countries.

OFFICIAL PLOT

Korea, 1930s. Con man Count Fujiwara hires a pickpocket named Sook-hee to become the maid of the mysterious and fragile heiress Lady Hideko, in an attempt to seize her wealth. But the story takes a twist when the lady falls in love with her maid.

 

Missing You (film) poster.jpegMISSING YOU

A new revenge thriller that focuses on the daughter of a detective who was murdered by a serial-killer. After her father was murdered , the killer was arrested but was only found guilty of one murder. He received a 15 year sentence instead of life.

Her father’s partner is still gunning for a conviction and when the serial killer is released from prison  – the daughter and her father’s partner try to put a stop to him , before he kills again.

This film almost got away  – I thought it was a S.Korean, mushy love story. I am glad I gave it a another look though. I now have one more revenge movie for my new Korean revenge movie list, which will be written up in the coming week.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nq-NUWmN7VE

ONE WAY TRIP

4 best friends decide to take a trip and plan a farewell party before one of them gets enlisted in the army. On the trip they rescue a woman who is getting viciously beaten by her husband. When the police arrive to the scene – the woman tells the cops a different story to what happened, which puts the 4 best friends in a situation that will change all of their lives forever.

Su saek

Su Saek is a new thriller/drama that focuses on 4 best friends who live is a poor area in Seoul. The area where they live is rundown and full of drugs and crime has been chosen for redevelopment and will host the 2002 world cup. The friendships are torn apart when one of them joins a gang of thugs to evict residents to make room to host the world cup.

Seems to be more of a drama than a thriller but we all know just how fast things can change in South Korean cinema.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYXdyYHk7BM

 

Train To Busan

The live-action debut from Yeon Sang-ho , the animation director who grabbed our attention with The King Of Pigs The Fake, and more recently, Seoul Station (which will be playing at the year’s Fantasia International Film Festival).

Train to Busan is the live-action sequel to zombie animation movie called, Seoul Station with the voice actors reprising their roles in the flesh.

Reviews have been solid but it looks like it may not be the gore fest that we had hoped for – still, I haven’t read a bad word about it.

Been looking forward to seeing some South Korean zombie action. These two films have been on the watch-list for a while now. I only learned recently that the sequel would be a live-action and not animated. Seems like a fresh and unique approach to the overpopulated zombie genre, and reviews have been solid.

 OFFICIAL PLOT (asianwiki)

A disastrous virus hits South Korea. Passengers on a KTX train from Seoul to Busan struggle to survive.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2rJeYUhe4U

 

the-priestsThe Priests

Something that I don’t think that has been featured on moviehooker before is a South Korean movie that focuses on demonic possession, but there is always a first time for everything.

I don’t think I have been satisfied by the South Korean horror genre – I mean , they make some of the most vicious serial-killer, disturbing dramas, and revenge movies that any movie fan could want. Yes, a lot of people would class most of those movies as horror, and I wouldn’t argue with that, but what I am on about is some sort of supernatural element, and I think S.K is lacking in that area.

This film has mixed reviews so it could go either way. I am still looking forward to it though

The story follows a priest who has to figure out if a young woman was attacked by the spawn of satan, or if she is a victim of molestation . He takes on the help of a younger priest to help him as all of the other priests

 

 

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