The Farewell is a touching portrait of family that asks poignant questions about cultural values and identity without being either dull or histrionic. Writer-director Lulu Wang firmly establishes herself as a talent to watch, with star Awkwafina showing off impressive dramatic chops while still being appealingly funny.
The Low-Down: Set in 1920 Manchuria during Korea’s fight for independence from Japan, The Battle: Roar To Victory 봉오동 전투 zooms in on a 100-odd-men independence army comprising teenage soldiers, civilian fighters, farmers, and even bandits. Helmed by experienced stunt director Won Shin-yeon (Memoir Of A Murderer 살인자의 기억법), it’s...
The Low-Down: Director James Gray, known mainly for his contemplative dramas, launches into big-budget adventure movie territory with Ad Astra, while still retaining a more sombre, introspective tone than the typical movie of this type. ‘Ad Astra’ is Latin for “to the stars”. Brad Pitt was originally attached to star in Gray’s...
The Low-Down: Exit is what happens when a first-time feature film director Lee Sang-geun and his crew decide to add a Korean gag-show twist to a disaster movie. Surprisingly, the combination goes pretty well as K-Pop girl group legend Girls’ Generation (SNSD) Im Yoon-ah (or simply Yoona) and veteran actor Jo...
The Low-Down: Like Operation Red Sea (红海行动), The Bravest (烈火英雄) is a patriotic tribute film to China’s bravest firefighters who sacrifice their lives to protect the common people. Featuring Operation Red Sea’s star Du Jiang and Escape Plan 2’s Huang Xiaoming as fire squad captains, The Bravest isn’t all about...
The Low-Down: Die Hard 2’s director Renny Harlin collaborates with Hong Kong star Nick Cheung (The Trough, Line Walker) and Taiwanese singer Richie Jen to make Bodies At Rest, a heist at a morgue to destroy evidence. Bodies At Rest is at its best when it does what the trailer...
The Low-Down: Director Jason Kim Joo-hwan and Park Seo-joon (Parasite 기생충) return for another collab after a successful run of Midnight Runners 청년경찰, adding a demonic twist (but not without the usual tinge of comedy) in The Divine Fury 사자. Parasite’s lead Choi Woo-shik (Monstrum 물괴, The Princess...
The Low-Down: Featuring the perspectives of investigative journalists during the uncovering of the multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal and big Hollywood names, The Kleptocrats sheds some light on how billions of hard-earned tax payers’ money were stolen from right under their noses. Apart from Hollywood stars like...
The Low-Down: Sometimes, you build a cinematic universe by design (hopefully). Other times, you build it almost by accident. When The Fast And The Furious was released way back in 2001, no one could have foreseen it spawning a box-office-busting franchise that has since raked in more than $5 billion over eight...
The Low-Down: For the past decade, Disney has dedicated an immense amount of resources to translating its classic animated films into live-action blockbusters - with varying degrees of success. This new incarnation of The Lion King is unusual because it is, in itself, another kind of animated film: all its creatures, great...
The Low-Down: Veteran actor Kim Yoon-seok (Dark Figure Of Crime 암수살인, The Chaser 추격자) makes his directorial debut as a director-actor in Another Child 미성년, a melodrama about two dysfunctional families and how marital betrayal brings out the best (and worst) in individuals. Another Child is dark and harrowing, carrying...
The Low-Down: There’s a lot riding on the slim, young shoulders of everyone’s friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. Far From Home is the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) since the recent double-whammy of Avengers movies changed the status quo forever. Where does the most successful superhero...

Gemini Man (2019) – Review

The Low-Down: Will Smith is one of the biggest movie stars around, so perhaps there’s...

The Captain (中国机长) (2019) – Review

The Low-Down: Based on the true event where Sichuan Airlines pilot Li Zhangjian and flight crew...

Joker (2019) – Review

The Low-Down: This standalone movie takes inspiration from the pages of DC Comics, focusing on arguably...

The Farewell (2019) – Review

The Farewell is a touching portrait of family that asks poignant questions about cultural values and identity without being either dull or histrionic. Writer-director Lulu Wang firmly establishes herself as a talent to watch, with star Awkwafina showing off impressive dramatic chops while still being appealingly funny.

The Battle: Roar to Victory (봉오동 전투) (2019) – Review

The Low-Down: Set in 1920 Manchuria during Korea’s fight for independence from Japan, The Battle: Roar...