The Sword of Alexander (2007) (Japan)


Brace yourself for a hilarious action-filled ride with The Sword of Alexander! Based on a serial story by Yumemakura Baku, The Sword of Alexander (a.k.a. Taitei no Ken) is a rollicking period fantasy adventure, complete with ninjas, warriors, magical weapons, and a couple of aliens. With a host of colorful characters, impressive CG visuals, and genres colliding left and right, the film provides a sensory overload of comedy, action, and fun. Director Tsutsumi Yukihiko, last seen quietly inducing tears with Memories of Tomorrow, teams up again with Abe Hiroshi, the star of his Trick films, and puts the actor’s natural comic presence to good use. Hasegawa Kyoko (Ai no Rukeichi) plays the film’s precocious princess, alongside a supporting cast that includes Kudo Kankuro (Thirteen Steps), Endo Kenichi (The Sinking of Japan), and Kuroki Meisa (Under the Same Moon).

Free-spirited wandering swordsman Yorozu Genkuro (Abe Hiroshi) easily towers over everyone with his tall, lanky stature and all-mighty “Sword of Alexander”. His larger-than-life sword is one of three sacred objects carved from orichalcum, an otherworldly metal that brings its owner superhuman powers. He who possess all three objects will rule the world, and Genkuro is on a quest to find the other two items – a cross and a dagger – and a man worthy of wielding such powers. On the road, he rescues and befriends the lovely Princess Mai (Hasegawa Kyoko), who is on the run from the Tokugawa, and her scrappy ninja bodyguard (Kudo Kankuro). This turns out to be the beginning of a myriad of troubles for Genkuro as there are a plenitude of Tokugawa assassins and warriors, not to mention an alien-possessed bear hunter, out to get the princess.

Cast: Hiroshi Abe, Kenichi Endo, Masakatsu Funaki, Kyoko Hasegawa, Hirotaro Honda, Kankurô Kudô, Naomasa Musaka, Koji Ookura, Takashi Taniguchi
Directed: Yukihiko Tsutsumi
Genre: Action / Fantasy
Also Known As: Taitei no ken
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English Hardcoded
IMDB: www.imdb.com/title/tt0499261/

Loft (2005) (Japan)

Loft

Suffering from writer’s block, Reiko (Nakatani Miki) moves to a countryside villa at her editor’s beckoning, to quietly work on her next novel. Her new environment turns out to be anything but peaceful when she catches sight of her next door neighbor surreptitiously moving a thousand-year-old mummified corpse into his university lab for research. Though Reiko and her neighbor get off to a bumpy start, the two grow closer over time, enough so that Reiko eventually agrees to hide the mummy in her home. But the mummy isn’t the only unlikely guest within the walls, there’s someone or something else lurking in the background…

Cast: Miki Nakatani, Etsushi Toyokawa, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Yumi Adachi, Sawa Suzuki, Haruhiko Katô, Ren Osugi
Directed: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Genre: Horror
Runtime: 115 min
Also Known As: Rofuto
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English / Chinese
IMDB: imdb.com/title/tt0443231/

Kubrador (Filipino) 2006

Plot: The story of a woman who makes her living as a bet collector of an illegal game in the Philippines.

Synopsis: Kubrador revolves around ‘jueteng’, the game of numbers dating back to the Philippines’ Spanish colonial period (1521-1898). It chronicles three days in the life of Amelita, a jueteng kubrador or bet collector. Despite the regular crackdown on this illegal game, she continues to collect bets from her regular patrons every day. On the third day, a holiday, she takes a break from work and visits the grave of her soldier son who perished in war–It is All Saint’s Day. One day she is apprehended by the police. She joins the other kubradors in the police station until their handler bails them out. The following morning, Amelita returns to the streets and continues her clandestine activity. She meets the parish priest who informs her of a young neighbor’s sudden death in an accident. He asks her to collect donations from neighbors and friends. But then, a series of events turns her mundane existence into a perplexing game of life, luck and death.

Cast: Nico Antonio, Soliman Cruz, Ran del Rosario, Fonz Desa, Fonz Deza, Nanding Josef, Domingo Landicho, Johnny Manahan
Directed: Jeffrey Jeturian
Genre: Drama
Also Known As: The Bet Collector
Runtime: 1:42:29
Country: Philippines
Language: Tagalog
Subtitles: English (External) [Custom Subtitle Created by: Gardol²]
IMDB Link: imdb.com/title/tt0782053/

Gubra (2006) (Malaysia)

Gubra Poster

Does being hurt permit one to hurt back and to break promises? Does repentance really bring redemption? These are the questions Gubra asks and attempts to answer in this unique and daring Malayasian film about life, love and faith.

Cast: Sharifah Amani Yahya, Adlin Aman Ramlie, Ida Nerina Hussein, Harith Iskander Musa, Adibah Noor, Alan Yun, Nam Ron, Noorkhiriah Ahmad Shafie, Roziwati Mohd Rashid
Directed: Yasmin Ahmad
Genre: Romance/Drama/Comedy
Also Known As: Anxiety
Runtime: 115 Minutes
Country: Malaysia
Language: English/Malay/Cantonese
Subtitles: English Hardcoded
IMDB: www.imdb.com/title/tt0484355/

Fudoh: The New Generation (1996) (Japan)

Set on the island of Kyushu, Fudoh: The New Generation tells the story of successful high school student Riki Fudoh, who leads a double life in organized crime. With his gang of underage assassins (forerunners of the kiddie killers in Dead or Alive 2 (2000), including five-year olds with hand guns and a teenage stripper shooting deadly darts from her vagina) he not only controls the goings-on at his school, but aspires to take over criminal affairs on the entire island. Fudoh’s true motivations are not just a lust for power. An extensive flashback at the film’s opening shows how as a child he witnessed the grisly murder of his older brother at the hands of his yakuza boss father and his subsequent wish for revenge. Buckets of blood flow (literally) when Riki and the kids start an assassination campaign against the top figures of the local yakuza, with his father as the ultimate goal. The underworld goes into a state of panic and calls in mysterious and powerful problem solver Nohma (Riki Takeuchi looking every inch the comic book tough guy). Riki’s father meanwhile sends out his own weapon in the shape of a former government agent, who goes undercover as the high school gym teacher and uses methods even more violent than those of young Fudoh’s minions.

Cast : Shosuke Tanihara, Kenji Takano, Marie Jinno, Tamaki Kenmochi, Tôru Minegishi, Miho Nomoto, Riki Takeuchi, Takeshi Caesar
AKA : Gokudô Sengokushi : Fudô
Directed : Takashi Miike
Genre : Action / Crime
Runtime : 98 mn
Country : Japan
Language : Japanese
Subtitles : English (hard)
IMDB : www.imdb.com/title/tt0123092

Dhokha (2007) (India)

Synopsis: Dhokha tells the story of a suicide bomber and an honest Muslim cop.

Zaid Ahmed Khan (Muzammil Ibrahim) is a dedicated cop in Mumbai. A terror attack rocks the city and kills dozens of people. Among the dead is Zaid’s beautiful Kashmiri wife Sarah (Tulip Joshi). Much to his shock, Zaid is told that Sarah was not a victim but the suicide bomber herself.

As Zaid digs into her past, he realizes that behind the beautiful face of his wife lay a woman scarred by atrocities. He also gets to know how some fundamentalists provoke such people to unleash terror in the name of Jihad.

Directed: Pooja Bhatt
Year: 2007
Genre: Action, Thriller, Romance
Runtime: 1:56:44
Country: India
Language: Hindi
Subtitles: English Hardsub
IMDB: www.imdb.com/title/tt1090650/
Cast: Muzammil Ibrahim, Tulip Joshi, Aushima Sawhney