Hwang Jin Yi (2007) (Korean)

Hwang Jin-i, also known by her kisaeng name Myeongwol, is the most legendary kisaeng of the Joseon Dynasty who lived during the reign of King Jungjong. She was noted for her exceptional beauty, charming quick wit, and extraordinary intellect. Her personal life has become almost myth-like.
Adapted from wikipedia

Cast: Song Hye-kyo // Yu Ji-tae
Directed – Yoon-Hyun Chang
Writer – Hyeon-jeong Kim
Genre – Drama / History / Romance
Run Time – 141 min
Country – South Korea
Audio – Korean
Subtitles – English [.sub/.idx]
IMDB Links – http://imdb.com/title/tt1059200/

Hinokio (2005) (Japan)


Satoru Iwamoto, an elementary school student, is temporarily wheelchair bound after an accident. Adding to his misery is the recent loss of his mother which has left Satoru withdrawn; locking himself away from the outside world. In an effort to help Satoru recover from his injuries, emotional as well as physical, his father, Kaoru, has designed a remote-controlled robot that will go to school in his place and allow him to interact with people and do normal things. The robot, “piloted” by Satoru from a large control terminal in his room, is nicknamed ‘Hinokio’ by his classmates. Hinokio is mostly admired by his fellow students, and together they start the new school year. But as time passes Satoru rediscovers both love and friendship with the help of his father and classmate, Jun Kudo.

Cast: Masatoshi Nakamura, Kanata Hongo, Mikako Tabe, Maki Horikita
Directed: Takahiko Akiyama
Genre: Drama/Family/SciFi
Runtime: 110 Minutes
Also Known As: Hinokio: Inter-Galactic Love
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English
IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0466375/

The Duel (Hong Kong) 2000

After a long absence, a master swordsman of royal blood, Yeh Cool-son, returns to the emperor’s palace to challenge Snow, a reclusive master, to a dual on new year’s eve. In the days before the dual, strange things happen in the palace, seen mostly through the eyes of Dragon 9, a leader of the guard who alternates between serious pursuit of duty and joking. His girlfriend, Jade, is a prostitute; Princess Phoenix, the emperor’s sister, has been his friend since childhood. There are murders in the palace, and evidence points to Snow, whom Dragon 9 believes is above suspicion. As the princess is attracted to Yeh and as the duel approaches, will Dragon 9 figure out what is going on?

Cast: Andy Lau, Ekin Cheng, Nick Cheung, Vicky Zhao
Directed: Wai Keung Lau
Genre: Action/Fantasy/Romance
Runtime: 100 Minutes
Also Known As: Kuet chin chi gam ji din, Jue zhan zi jin zhi dian (Mandarin)
Country: Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese
Subtitles: English
IMDB: http://imdb.com/title/tt0243876/

Cello (2005) (Korea)


A cellist is haunted by strange events after a car wreck.

Review: Mi-ju’s day has gone badly: A former student threatens revenge for a bad grade, an invitation to a concert reminds her of a friend’s fatal car accident and there’s a near accident on her drive home. Over the next few days, the past begins to take on a new and terrifying importance as people start to die and Mi-ju must discover where the evil resides.

Cast: Hyeon-a Seong, Da-an Park, Ho-bin Jeong, Jin Woo, Na-woon Kim
Directed: Woo-cheol Lee
Genre: Psychological Thriller/Horror
Runtime: 94 Minutes
Also Known As: Chello hongmijoo ilga salinsagan
Country: South Korea
Language: Korean
Subtitles: English
IMDB: www.imdb.com/title/tt0475532/

True North (International) (2006)

AvistaZ has allowed this posting of a non-Asian film due to the subject matter and the movie’s uniqueness. It is a rare independent film that deserves to be seen.

Plot: The crew of a bankrupt Scottish trawler turn to smuggling illegal immigrants over the stormy waters of the North Sea.

Writer/director Steve Hudson patterned his debut feature, True North, after classic Greek tragedy. This bleak and despairing drama concerns the Skipper (Gary Lewis) and Sean (Martin Compston), a father and son from the U.K. who co-pilot a small fishing boat called Providence. Though the Skipper remains aboard, Sean inherits all financial responsibility from his dad. But times are hard and the catch so inadequate that it cannot sustain the men. Terrified of being regarded as a failure by his father, Sean devises a dangerous scheme: he and deckhand Riley (Peter Mullan) will illegally pull Chinese immigrants from the far side of the North Sea while the Skipper sleeps, collect money from the stowaways, hide them in the ship’s hold, and deposit them in northern England. All goes according to plan until Sean realizes that they must locate some actual fish to mislead the British authorities. Meanwhile, the Chinese passengers begin to waste away below deck, while a storm and other unforeseen catastrophes threaten the lives and safety of everyone aboard.

Cast: Peter Mullan, Martin Compston, Gary Lewis, Steven Robertson, Angel Li, Hark Bohm, Wang Li Jun, Ren Hao, Shi Ming, Pat Kiernan
Directed: Steve Hudson
Genre: Thriller, Drama
Runtime: 96 Minutes
Also Known As: Dragnet
Country: International
IMDB: www.imdb.com/title/tt0497365

Han Suk-kyu [Forbidden Quest] (2006) (Korea)

Yun-seo comes across an ‘indecent novel’ by chance. Hesitant to read such a book at first, he is soon inspired to write one himself. He even asks his family rival and infamous captain of guards, Gwang-heon, to draw the illustrations for his books. Their book “Heukgokbisa” is soon the most talked about in town and is eventually read by Jeong-bin, the king’s favorite concubine. With Jeong-bin’s involvement, the two men are soon drawn in a tricky web of palace intrigue.

Cast: Jong-ryol Choi, Suk-kyu Han, Min-jung Kim, Beom-su Lee, Dal-su Oh
Directed: Dae-woo Kim
Also Known As: Eumranseosaeng
Genre: Comedy/Drama/Romance
Runtime: 139min.
Country: South Korea
Language: Korean
Subtitles: English