Reviews

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Crazy People Need Bear Hugs Too (published in Asia Pacific Arts; 9/10/12)
Starring Dylan Kuo and Alice Ko, Cheng Fen-Fen’s Bear It is an off-beat Taiwanese comedy full of unique personality.

 

Singafest: My Wedding and Other Secrets (published in Asia Pacific Arts; 3/8/12)
My Wedding and Other Secrets is what other Asian American “my parents don’t approve of my non-Asian boyfriend” stories aspire to be.

Only Only You You You: Show Luo concert review (published in Asia Pacific Arts; 10/1/11)
At the Los Angeles (aka Indio, CA) stop of his 2011 Encore Tour, Show Luo sparkles as only an Asian music idol can — nailing K-Pop-caliber choreography dressed in futuristic robot gear and belting love ballads while rocking red cheetah print.

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Best of 2011: Asian Films (published in Asia Pacific Arts; 1/2/12)
Udaan, Milocrorze: A Love Story, Bengali Detective, and The Day He Arrives receive multiple mentions in APA’s annual rundown of the best of Asian cinema.

2011 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival: Emir (published in Asia Pacific Arts; 4/27/11)
Emir is a Philippine version of an epic Bollywood film, except more exceptional since the actors are required to do more than lip synch.

Berlinale 2011: Late Autumn (published in Asia Pacific Arts; 3/22/11)
A Chinese prisoner Anna (Tang Wei) is given three days of parole to attend her mother’s funeral, and on the long bus ride home, she meets Hoon (Hyun Bin), a playful young Korean man who we later find out is a gigolo on the run from one of his client’s husbands.

Covert Affairs: review of Im Sang-soo’s The Housemaid (published in Asia Pacific Arts; 1/29/12)
Im Sangsoo’s version of The Housemaid takes the demented love triangle of the original film and vamps it up a few notches.

Chicks are Weird: a review of Break Ke Baad (published in Asia Pacific Arts; 11/30/10)
Break Ke Baad attempts the impossible: making us find Deepika Padukone unattractive.

2010 Vancouver International Film Festival: Fortune Teller (published in Asia Pacific Arts; 11/12/10)
A poor, crippled 60-something fortune teller (Li Baicheng), his deaf-mute mentally-retarded wife (Pearl Shi), and a sample of his lonely, star-crossed clients are the subjects of Xu Tong’s mesmerizing documentary Fortune Teller.

2010 Vancouver International Film Festival: The Man from Nowhere (published in Asia Pacific Arts; 11/12/10)
The Man from Nowhere was gold to Korea’s box office, in large part due to the appeal of Korean heartthrob Won Bin, this being only his second film following his five-year hiatus from acting.

2010 Vancouver International Film Festival: My Film and My Story (published in Asia Pacific Arts; 11/12/10)
My Film and My Story is an unusual inclusion in a film festival program. The film is made by seven student filmmakers from the Art and Design School of Konkuk University who were assigned by their professor to collaborate on a seven-part film.

Romantic Compromise: Review of Walkaway (published in Asia Pacific Arts; 10/29/10)
Shailja Gupta’s directorial debut Walkaway follows four South Asian male friends (and their relationships) in New York City

Love and Loss: My Name is Khan DVD review (published in Asia Pacific Arts; 8/17/10)
In My Name is Khan, Shah Rukh Khan shows that he can still dramatically move audiences while playing a character that is emotionally restrained.

LA Asian Pacific Film Festival: Mao’s Last Dancer (published in Asia Pacific Arts; 7/23/10)
The majority of Mao’s Last Dancer is set in the 80s, and the film really looks like it was shot a few decades ago. It’s not that the production values are low, rather something about the haziness of the lighting, the warm color tones, the flat bangs Chi Cao (as Lin Cunxin) sports as a young man until he blossoms into a full-blown star.

Soul-crushing Politics: a review of Raajneeti (published in Asia Pacific Arts; 6/14/10)
No platforms for freedom, no dreams of changing the world, Raajneeti is a movie about politics with no place for social change, only brutal survival.

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