The Third Eye (Hong Kong) 2006


Produced by Andrew Lau of Infernal Affairs fame, The Third Eye originally premiered at the 30th Hong Kong International Film Festival, and features a promising young cast, including Race Wong (of girl group 2R, and Oxide Pang’s Ab-normal Beauty), Wong Yau Nam (of Fruit Chan’s Hollywood Hong Kong), and Derek Tsang (AV, Isabella). Director Carol Lai (Glass Tears, Floating Landscape) helms this voyeuristic and bloody thriller, examining a group of damaged souls who find themselves participants in a deadly game at a rundown motel located in rural Tai O. The motel looks like your typical seedy establishment for secret trysts and surprise rendezvous; among the temporary inhabitants are a drug smuggler, a menacing cop, and other suspicious folk who may or not be sinners. What these people don’t know is that someone is watching them, perhaps through peepholes, or through the motel’s many hidden cameras, which deliver the most private and incriminating moments of each guest to an attentive voyeur – who may ultimately have murder on his mind.

Cast: Farini Cheung || Kai Chi Liu || Kwok Cheung Tsang || Race Wong || You-Nam Wong
Directed – Miu-suet Lai
Genre – Thriller
Run Time – 95 min
Country – Hong Kong
Audio – Cantonese
Subtitles – English [.idx/.sub]
IMDB Links – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0778082/

I Wish I Had A Wife (2001) (Korean)

Bong Soo is a lovesick bank teller who can’t get marriage off his mind. He records videos for his future wife, telling her how curious he is to find out who she will turn out to be. When he meets a former classmate, he thinks he’s finally found his match. Meanwhile, a teacher who works across the street from his bank is secretly in love with him. After a few accidental meetings, she works up the courage to ask him out, but is rudely rebuffed.

Cast: Kyung-gu Sol || Do-yeon Jeon || Hee-kyung Jin
Directed – Heung-Sik Park
Genre – Comedy / Drama / Romance
Run Time – 123 min
Country – South Korea
Audio – Korean
Subtitles – English [.srt]
IMDB Links – < a href=http://imdb.com/title/tt0287583/>http://imdb.com/title/tt0287583/

Over the Rainbow (Korea) (2002)

Plot/Synopsis

Starring Lee Jung-Jae and Jang Jin-Young, Over the rainbow lingers upon two parallel stories to reflect the irony of love. Lee Jung-Jae, who once impressed the audience in Il Mare, takes on another romantic lead role in Over the rainbow as Jin-Soo.

He is a TV anchorman who is suffering from partial amnesia after a traffic accident and is now attempting to retrace memories of a lover he no longer remembers… Jin-Soo’s search leads him to a high school friend Yeon-Hee (Jang Jin-Young).

Yeon-Hee, working at a “Lost & Found” center of a subway station, is trying to erase the memories of her latest ex-boyfriend. A comfortable and relax movie, Over the rainbow centers on the mysterious rediscovery of a faceless lover and the struggle to let go of the pain of love. Under the brilliant light of a rainbow, will these two souls find what is closest to their hearts?

Cast: Jung-Jae Lee || Jin-Young Jang || Hyeong-jin Kong
Directed – Jin-woo Ahn
Genre – Drama / Romance
Run Time – 109 min
Country – South Korea
Audio – Korean
Subtitles – English [.srt]
IMDB Links – http://imdb.com/title/tt0313445/

A Stranger of Mine (2005) (Japan)

In one long Friday evening, Takeshi Miyata, a straight-arrow businessman, will encounter a number of people (some only fleetingly) who have intertwining fates. After six months he is still mourning the loss of his girlfriend, Ayumi and is lured from his apartment when his childhood friend, the detective Yusuke Kanda, telephones invoking Ayumi’s name. Arriving late at the appointed restaurant, Kanda says Ayumi is getting married and chides Miyata over not finding a new girlfriend. He then spontaneously invites a solitary diner, Maki, to join them. Although she is silently vowing to be alone because of bitterness over her engagement being broken just the day before, she quickly agrees. Kanda makes a sudden exit, leaving his friend to contend with the despondent and homeless girl. The two return to his apartment, but as Ayumi appears wanting some of her things she left behind, Maki says she must leave. Meanwhile, Miyata remains oblivious to the fact that both Kanda and Ayumi are being threatened by Asai, a Yakusa mob boss, and his mob over the disappearance of the “money” from Asai’s safe.

Cast: Yasuhi Nakamura || Reika Kirishima || Sô Yamanaka || Yuka Itaya
Directed – Kenji Uchida
Genre – Comedy / Drama / Romance
Run Time – 98 min
Country – Japan
Audio – Japanese
Subtitles – English [hardsub]
IMDB Links – http://imdb.com/title/tt0461857/

Wonder Women (Hong Kong) 2007

Gigi Leung stars as the main “Wonder Woman”, Joy Shing, a respected professional and a loving mother, who is promoted to Chief Financial Officer of her company on the very same evening that her husband To Lam (George Lam) is ousted as CEO. His replacement is the handsome, Mainland-connected Ching Bit-Chung (Nie Yuan), who has his own romantic designs on Joy. But Joy has little time for romance, with both financial and personal losses mounting. Her neighbor (Hui Siu Hung) cheats her out of millions of dollars, leading to a bitter falling out with her childhood sweetheart (Kevin Cheng). Also, her husband falls deep into debt, and the ensuing spiral of misfortune threatens to tear their family apart. But with the outbreak of SARS comes Joy’s most terrible loss of all.

Cast: Gigi Leung || Fiona Sit || George Lam || Kevin Cheng
Directed – Chun-Chun Wong
Genre – Drama
Country – Hong Kong
Audio – Cantonese
Subtitles – English [.idx/.sub]
IMDB Links – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1053898/

Blood Brothers (Taiwan | China) 2007

With the 30′s Shanghai as background, the film is a gangs story, a romance story, a brotherhood story and a simple story, with a theme portraying the lust for power against brotherhood piety. The narrative is unrestricted with plots generally linear albeit that it is told in flashback. The story embeds complex relations among characters with such relations & revenges constituting parallel narratives for similarity and contrast. The narrative is framed from the perspective of Feng (Daniel Wu) and supplemented with ancillary perspective from the other lead, Mark (Chen Chang). Director Alexi Tan attempts to make it moderately stylistic by use of freeze action (not freeze frame), complete silence and some other cinematographic devices (obviously Tan restrains it from being overdone). Though the movie comes with strong leads and their fine staging, the diegesis is relatively weak and shallow in portraying the evolution of the key antagonists’ personalities down the plots. Nevertheless, visual motif (flicking of cigarette on a cigarette box) is repeatedly used to reinforce the use of power and the desire for such. In terms of visuals, the film comes with replete elegant costumes and settings with Mckintoshes, western hats, suits and cuffed shirts’ sleeves filling the mise-en-scenes. Fine mastering of lighting and shooting angles in the presence of both diegetic and non-diegetic music delivers a moody combination of visual and acoustic amusement to the audience. The gun-pointing scenes are fairly flamboyant in mounting up tension whilst sudden fires and zigzags of characters’ motions bring occasional shocks to the audience and generate uncomfortable surprises to the audience. Yet the visual-acoustic artifice is less than sufficient to redress its shortcoming in the meek, if not weak, psychological coverage of the characters. The film is another product in which substance is subordinate to style.

Cast: Ye Liu || Daniel Wu || Chen Chang || Qi Shu
Directed – Alexi Tan
Genre – Action / Drama / Romance
Run Time – 95 min
Country – Taiwan / China
Audio – Mandarin
Subtitles – English [.srt]
IMDB Links – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0897287/