Election 2 (Chinese) 2006

In post-1997 Hong Kong, even the long-established Wo Shing Triad Society has to succumb to the power of China. The entrepreneurial sect leader Jimmy (Louis Koo) seems to be the perfect candidate to lead the Society into the new Millennium. Only problem is, Jimmy wants out.
When Jimmy’s business venture in China stalls, the Mainland government approaches him with an offer: Become Wo Shing’s next Chairman and lead the Society according to Mainland government’s wishes. In return Jimmy will enjoy full government backing of his business empire. As other candidates engage in bitter struggle for the Chairman position, Jimmy begins to understand the real price he has to pay for the deal.

Director: Johnny To
Writers:Nai-Hoi Yau (written by) and
Tin-Shing Yip (written by)
Genre: Action/Drama
Starring: Simon Yam, Louis Koo, Nick Cheung, Lam Ka Tung, Cheung Siu Fai, Lam Suet, Wong Tin Lam, Tam Ping Man
RunTime: 1 hr 35 mins
Country:Hong Kong
Mandarin / Cantonese


The Red Shoes (Korean) 2005

A mysterious pair of pink shoes found on a subway platform seems to bring a curse on the owner. Those that see them must have them and a grisly end awaits those that forcibly take them. A mother, who has just left her cheating husband, finds them and ghostly apparitions and strange occurrences follow her as she tries to make a go of it with her young daughter. A helpful decorator helps her solve the mystery and put the ghosts to rest. Or does he?

Director:Yong-gyun Kim
Writers:Hans Christian Andersen (fairy tale)
Yong-gyun Kim (screenplay)
Genre: Horror/Mystery/Thriller
Runtime: 1:43:49
Country: Korea
Language: Korean
Subtitles: English (Hard-Coded)
IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0468683/

Grave of the Fireflies (1988) (Japanese)

Taking place toward the end of World War II in Japan, Grave of the Fireflies is the poignant tale of the relationship between two orphaned children, Seita and his younger sister Setsuko. The children lose their mother in the firebombing of Kobe, and their father in service to the Imperial Japanese Navy, and as a result they are forced to try to survive amidst widespread famine and the callous indifference of their countrymen (some of whom are their own extended family members). Some critics—most notably Roger Ebert—consider it to be one of the most powerful anti-war movies ever made.

Director:Isao Takahata
Writers:Akiyuki Nosaka (novel)
Isao Takahata (written by)
Language: Japanese (trk1), English (trk2)
Subtitles: English (srt)
Genre: Animation: Tragic War Drama

Vexille (2007) (Japanese)

The year is 2077, and for the last ten years Japan has closed itself away from the global community. Japan has been developing dangerous robotic technology banned by the United Nations, and a powerful force field around the country prevents any kind of communication and surveillance. A U.S. special task force led by rogue female agent Vexille is sent to infiltrate the country, but not even she is prepared for the terror and destruction that lies beyond Japan’s iron wall.

Japan takes animation to the next level with the eye-popping SF spectacle Vexille. Written and directed by Sori Fumihiko, the director of Ping Pong and producer of Appleseed, the film and its story live in the familiar anime genre of action sci-fi mecha, but the presentation is like nothing you’ve ever seen. Employing striking state-of-the-art CG animation, the film is a feast for the eyes with stunning visuals that live up to its lofty billing. With its sweeping landscapes, intricate mecha designs, breathtaking action, and strikingly realistic character designs, Vexille just may represent the future of animation.

Year: 2007
Directed: Fumihiko Sori
Genre: Anime/Action
Runtime: 109 minutes
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English
IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0970472/


Blind Shaft (Chinese) 2003

Two Chinese coal miners have hit upon the perfect scam: murder one of their fellow mine workers, make the death look like an accident, and extort money from the boss to keep the incident hushed up. For their latest “mark,” they choose a naive teenager from a small village, and as they prepare to carry out their newest plan, things start to get complicated…

Directed:Yang Li
Runtime88 Minutes
Subtitles:English SoftSub .srt
IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0351299/


The Road Home (Chinese) 1999

From acclaimed director Zhang Yimou comes this touching film about young love in rural China. Refreshingly unpretentious, the movie looks amazing and boasts fine performances from its cast of relative unknowns. Chinese “It Girl” Zhang Ziyi is her usual wonderful self.

I knew that Zhang Ziyi was beautiful. And I knew she was talented; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon provided ample evidence of that. But what I wasn’t quite prepared for was how absolutely captivating she would be in The Road Home, a simple, old-fashioned love story from Hero director Zhang Yimou. For every single second that she appeared onscreen, I couldn’t help but be enchanted by her presence. There was something so extraordinarily pure and wholly intriguing about her that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. But whatever it is, she’s got it and it works. However, even though Zhang is unquestionably talented, I suspect that her magnetic performance in The Road Home is not simply the product of fortuitous casting. No, director extraordinaire Zhang Yimou knows what he’s doing, and one can see a master storyteller at work from the film’s very first frame.

Based on the novel Remembrance by Shi Bao (who also wrote the screenplay), The Road Home begins and ends its tale in the present day. But, in a nice reversal of standard movie language, the modern sequences are shot in dreary black and white rather than in the usual color. In the first of many moments that will echo the film’s title, a young businessman named Luo Yusheng (Sun Honglei) heads back home to the tiny village of Sanhetun. It seems that Yusheng’s father Luo Changyu, a beloved schoolteacher, has passed away while trying to raise money to construct a new schoolhouse. In Sanhetun, Luo finds his mother, Zhao Di (Zhao Yulian), mourning at the school. In accordance with an old Chinese tradition, Di insists that her husband’s body be brought back home from the hospital on foot.

Director: Yimou Zhang

(Director of Raise the Red Lantern, House of Flying Daggers, Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles)

Genre:Drama / Romance
County: China
Language: Mandarin
Year: 1999
Genre: Drama/Romance
Runtime: 1hr26min
Subtitles: English .srt
IMDb link: http://imdb.com/title/tt0235060/