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One Smile is Very Alluring
0 people found this review helpful
11 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
When I saw this advertised I will admit I was a bit biased. I didn't think I would enjoy it as much as the TV show. I am like that with a lot of remakes. I wasn't sure the actors would be as good, or if the storyline would flow as well.
The chemistry between the main characters really helped to sell me on the movie. They seemed very natural with one another but also with the other characters.
I liked how they kept to the storyline in some ways but it wasn't exact. Different characters playing different roles, events happening differently, made it into its own thing. So, I stopped comparing it to the TV show and just enjoyed it for its own charms.

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Hansel and Gretel
0 people found this review helpful
11 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 9.5
Beautiful film just beautiful!

Like Wes Anderson meets Guillermo del Torro but darker than Anderson and lighter than Del Torros masterpieces, this one is definitely full of suspense and you'll be hooked by the mystery.

Honestly, Koreans have mastered the art of psychological suspense and drama.

This film is very visual, so it really treats the surroundings like a character, the forest and the house of course. I love fairytale retellings especially when they're done in this way. The colors, the objects, the clothing, everything serves a visual purpose, everything has meaning.

It's definitely sad but it's not too dark and not too much horror so anyone can watch it.

But when the ending rolls out you'll be just surprised. It's done so beautifully .

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Black Coal, Thin Ice
0 people found this review helpful
11 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
A deadbeat cop, a mysterious and beautiful woman, a string of unresolved murders... All the ingredients for an interesting Chinese take on noir cinema. It takes place in northeast China in winter, which you rarely see on screen, and makes great use of this environment. I really enjoyed the moody atmosphere, the melancholic and romantic mood, and the creative flashes of cinematography and direction (a shot of a woman screaming or of a man losing a bet, a quirky dance scene), which were delightful and caught you by surprise.
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Angels Wear White
1 people found this review helpful
11 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
What kind of vision does a female director bring to a movie? I don't know if Vivian Qu would oppose to being specifically called a "female" director, but I definitely thought that her movie centers the perspective of its female characters in ways few other movies - in the West included - do. The movie shows the various ways in which women are silenced, objectified, and abused at a personal and systemic level. It always does so in a subdued manner, which is respectful to its cast but still conveys a strong message. Some quieter scenes put forward powerful symbols (a marginalized character is asked twice to move out of a photographer's angle, happy couples taking wedding pictures on the beach, the Marilyn Monroe statue). An intelligent, truly feminist work.

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Brotherhood of Blades 2
0 people found this review helpful
11 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 9.0

How to top an already phenomenal first movie.

Brotherhood of the Blades 2 is one of those rare second movies that I liked better than the first (which also rocked). In this prequel, the younger Shen Lian stumbles upon a larger political conspiracy in the middle of an assignment to eliminate a controversial artist. The plot falls more along the lines of a mystery with just the right number of plot twists and betrayals. While the action scenes are still bloody, intense and masterfully choreographed, there is a better balance between close up lethal swordplay, suspenseful cat and mouse evasions and gripping high speed chases.

The plot in the prequel is easier to follow and more interesting to me. The cast is stronger and the characters are deeper and have to grapple with more inner conflicts. The three main characters - Shen Lian (Chang Chen), Lu Wen Zhao (Zhang Yi) and Pei Lun (Lie Jia Yin) have agendas, loyalties and morals that are at times in outright conflict, making them alternately allies and adversaries. Yet they are bound by a certain code of conduct and mutual empathy shared by those who are ultimately just expendable chess pieces. Chang Chen's Shen Lian silently brimmed with intensity from barely suppressed defiance, to lethal violence, to cold calculation and to longing and desire in this movie. Lie Jia Yin as Pei Lun was his perfect foil with his nonchalant mocking insolence and casually deadly innuendo. Their chemistry as both friends and foes was spot on - I could not get enough of them. In the first movie, the third male lead, his sappy love interest and the female lead were insipid superfluous characters. This second movie doesn't have any notable weak links in the cast. In fact all of the supporting characters were exceptionally well acted.

Also two thumbs up for the strong, yet paradoxical female lead character - a brave and independent woman with a voice that will not be suppressed but who yet loves not that wisely. Ever at fault with a damsel in distress, Shen Lian's reluctant yet burning infatuation with her had me squealing with delight. I was shocked however to discover Yang Mi's truly awful real voice - it is thin, reedy and at odds with the strong character she portrayed. She pretty much owes all her success to her voice dubbers and undoubtedly this is why she hasn't graduated to the big screen despite her popularity and success. Still there is something inexplicable about her that connects with all her leading men and Chang Chen was no exception here.

Overall a fantastic movie to revisit, one that is hugely satisfying for any Chang Chen and/or Lie Jia Yin fan suffering from withdrawal after 2019's top dramas.

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Take Me Home
0 people found this review helpful
11 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
I'm just in AWE.
It's a wonderful feeling when you go into a movie without even looking at the blurb and encounter what is quite literally a diamond in the rough.
I've seen a few Thai horror movies now and I'm starting to see they can be just as nuanced and complex as Korean horror and this Swimmers being a prime example.
Take Me Home is a ghost story.
But in truth, this is a heartbreaking look at the reality of human shallowness and that accepting 'ugliness' is not that hard if you open yourself up to it. That you could potentially save someone's life if you just accepted them. But in a world where we worship physical beauty, there's no place for anyone who falls below those arbitrary standards of beauty and ugly that we alone came up, and these unrealistic standards might as well be the most devastating human invention.

Because when physical beauty means everything you force people to become ugly on the inside.

And the ending, that philosophy maybe it felt right to me so I thought it was perfect.

Anyway, that's all I'm going to say about it .

This film reminded me of Oculus which is another favorite of mine, but I don't mean it's the same concept or story, absolutely not, I just mean tonally and family ghost story.

If you can just deal with a little bit of deformed faces on ghosts, I really suggest you watch it.

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Perfect World
0 people found this review helpful
11 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 6.5
Emotionally and lovable love story where both the partner are right in their place .it is obvious a person who is handicap feel little insecurity but someone came in theirs life who showered happiness and make them valuable person so they love to spend more time with them (person) but some people realised them that they become a burden to their life and slowly they backoff but love is love nobody make this fact false.. the strong bonding between them so no one break them though they faced some struggle but eventually they back together .. a true support,truth and confidence and love make this bond strong. Never give up ,strong determination towards goal such thing also shown in this movie.
Thumbs up to the story and cute actors acting.

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Sweet Boy
0 people found this review helpful
11 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 6.5
I really enjoyed this movie. The description and poster makes it seem way more sexually suggestive then it actually is. Which is a relief since the main actor is only 16, and im glad they didnt over sexual his character (though there is one scene). The story is actually handled pretty well and while I personally think the bittersweet/sad ending didnt really have to happen (they couldve committed to the gay), im not mad that it did. The side characters where barely involved unless they were needed for plot. The ending was... something. Definitely wouldve loved a sequel with the two main characters (Toy and Nack). Theyre potential relationship was one of the best developed in any BL ive seen.

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Fires on the Plain
0 people found this review helpful
12 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 6.5
Rewatch Value 10

An anti-war movie

This is a rare classic and deserves all the applause it has got over the years. This movie is not for the squeamish, there are many moments that are really hard to watch and though there is some humour, it is rather dark. The story is set towards the end of World War II in the Philippines campaign. The Japanese are all but beaten and only Bushido is preventing them from surrender. This movie follows the travels of our hero through the jungle in a desperate struggle to survive. There are some unforgettable poignant moments such as when Tamara throws away his rifle, when he throws away his shoe, when he discovers an unseemly pile in an abandoned village, and when he realizes the origins of 'monkey meat'. The action sequences are few but they are hard-hitting. The actual action is momentary while there is intense buildup. The bombing of the hospital, the crossing of the road, the finale sequence, if the director had wanted he could have pulled off much more action but he chose not to. This is not an action film but a chilling reminder of the actual non-action reality of war.
This was made in 1959 but this is a movie that could not be improved upon. Its setting is unique and perspective from the Japanese side ( non-nationalistic and anti-war) is rare. The theatrical Japanese way of acting ( I personally dislike the overacting) is missing here and in fact the acting is remarkably subtle. The cast was so committed to the movie that they starved and did not take care of personal hygiene with the lead actually collapsing after two weeks of self imposed starvation.

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Chocolate
0 people found this review helpful
12 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 6.5
Rewatch Value 8.0
Story (8.0):
As far as story goes, I was originally going to give it more of a 5 or 6, but I really really liked how they handled the story. If you're looking for exposition, there's none of that here. Instead they start showing you sequences, often covered in music, and you've got to follow along.
So, this isn't that 600 page novel you've been putting off reading, it's that flashy manga / picture book you easily devour before bed. :D

Now onto how they handled the action parts:
First off wow. If all you're looking for is an action movie, this won't disappoint. It's very reminiscent of anything Bruce Lee including the brutal hits and falls that look so painful and the frequent, ingenious, and often hilarious use of everyday props placed around the scene.
Of course, it does suffers a little from the "one on one" style, where all the bad guys seem to have made a pact not to jump in on the fight if she's already fighting somebody. Especially towards the end, there are so many guys just standing around watching her fight lol. But hey, I wouldn't want to get in on that either.

Acting/Cast (9.0):
A few stunted deliveries, but it's more than made up by the great fight sequences, especially from the lead actress who is also a very well trained martial artists (and it shows). She did a decent job of portraying autism and the emotional scenes were good too; but that's not what I was here for anyway...
The rest of the cast is pretty meaningless, most of them there for here to beat up. Sometimes, again as I mentioned, some awkward or over the top deliveries, but you don't really care when watching this kind of movie. I had to take at least 1 star off for that, but it was hard to take off more than that.

Music (6.5):
I only really paid attention to it during one fight scene and it blended in well. Other than that, fairly unmemorable.

Rewatch Value (8.0):
Well I write this after seeing it for the second time. The first time I saw it was before I began my Asian drama craze, so I did have a few years in between, but I can definitely see myself re-watching this again.

Overall (8.0):
I have to say, as an overall movie, my scores come out to an 8.
But if you're an action or Bruce Lee fan, I've got to say, this is a 10/10 action film.

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Train to Busan
0 people found this review helpful
12 days ago
Completed 1
Overall 9.0
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 7.5
This is by far the best zombie movie I have ever seen.

It's not hard to compare this movie to other zombie movies and fast notice the differences which makes this one stand out.

Location: most of the movie takes place on a train. The space is small and limited, which adds to the characters difficulties to adapt and survive.
Great characters: what I think is unusual in this genre is character development and a variety of fleshed out characters that makes sense. This is usually where I think most movies are lacking. I even cried watching this. Twice.
The special effects were great too.

Definitely a must watch in this genre.

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Memories of Murder
0 people found this review helpful
12 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 7.5
I first came in contact with this story through the drama Signal (2016). That peaked my interest into seeing a movie dedicated to this case specifically.
Eventhough I already knew the outcome of this story, I still found this movie very interesting.
The cinematography was great, likewise with the acting.
I have heard that some consider the pacing a bit slow, but to me the story developed at a rather pleasent and natural pace.

I would highly recommend this movie to those who enjoy crime/true crime and movies with older settings, as this was set in 1986.

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Love Exposure
0 people found this review helpful
12 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 6.0
I absolutely love this film! Sure, it was vulguar and perverted most of the time but it also contained a certain depth that I think is rarely seen in films. I'm sure the length of the movie added to that but concidering the ending I think it actually could have been a bit longer. The acting was brilliant, and though the plot was sprawling in all kinds of directions, it never got messy.

The music, escpecially the songs by Yura Yura Teikoku, added to the whole ambiance; quirky, messy and absolutly fantastic.
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Fortuna's Eye
0 people found this review helpful
13 days ago
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
" Fortuna's Eye " was, surprisingly, good.

They presented the whole story brilliantly, with the start being all mysterious and freaky and, in the end, everything came together and they explained the fantasy element and the other character's views. The fantasy element, moreover, was handled pretty well and the CGI were well made. The performances were good too. Finally, the ending was unexpected and interesting. However, I did found the final conclusion didn't do justice to the leading lady's characters and, even though they gave us a conclusion, that ending was just a bit frustrating.

So, overall, seven out of ten.

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You Shine in the Moonlit Night
0 people found this review helpful
13 days ago
Completed 1
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 10
This is my first review so hopefully you guys can understand what i said.

When i saw this movie i just barely get into the movie in about 5 minutes and its already touched my heart. Kitamura Takumi and Nagano Mei act was the best overall. I certainly hope that their both get another movie together again. And yes, as a couple.

This movie gave so many goosebumps from the first place, it makes us embraces for what happening next in the movie.

It's so straight into the line makes everyone who watch this movie can easily understand about the story progress.

For those people who likes some kind of youth-emotional-romance movie, I really recommend you to watch it.

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