Asian Film Ratings & Reviews  •  Photo Galleries  •  Movie Trailers
This site was created to help people select Asian films to see. 498 films are listed alphabetically within 9 rating categories.
Use the category list below to navigate the site. Click once to go to that page, on the page click again to go to that category.

       Page 1: My All-Time Favorites
      Page 1: Films I Love
     Page 1: Films I Like Very Much
    Page 2: Films I Like
   Page 3: Films I Like Some Aspect Of
   Page 4: Bad Films
    Page 4: Films I Dislike
     Page 4: Films I Hate
      Page 4: Films I Despise
     Page 5: New & Upcoming Theatrical/DVD Releases
    Page 5: Films I Want to See
   Page 5: Films I Haven't Seen
      Page 6: Favorite Films by Genre
      Page 7: Favorite Films by Country
      Page 8: Favorite Films by Actress
      Page 9: Favorite Chinese Pop Singers & Songs
    Alphabetical Index of All Films on this Site
    Asian Film Trailers and Photos

  Bad Films
 Anna & Anna
with Karena Lam Kar Yan (photo), Singapore / China 2007 Drama 1:30 DVD
In Singapore, a strong, successful business executive, with an effeminate chef-rocker boyfriend, travels to Shanghai on business and discovers, by coincidence, her passive, artist doppelganger (duplicate persona) married to a previous boyfriend, a depressed pianist. Because both women are unhappy, they decide to switch lives for a few days. Telling this story with multiple timelines makes it even more confusing. Pointless and depressing.
 Another Meltdown
(The Blacksheep Affair / Bi xie lan tian) with Shu Qi (photo), Hong Kong 1998 Action 1:36 DVD
A patriotic Chinese cop is reassigned to an East European country as punishment for ignoring orders during a plane hijack operation. He encounters his ex-girlfriend, who fled there after the 1989 “Beijing Massacre” in Tiananmen Square. Their paths soon tangle with the charismatic, but evil, leader of a Japanese cult. Shu Qi is very beautiful, but this is a really bad film.
 Asoka
with Kareena Kapoor (photo), India 2001 Drama 2:30 / 2:49dc / 3:00uc DVD
Asoka was a king during the Mauryan dynasty in India from 268 to 232 BC. In 261 BC, he conquered neighboring Kalinga to expand his empire. After learning a hundred thousand people were killed in the battle, he was overwhelmed with remorse, became a devout Buddhist, an advocate of non-violence and sent out ambassadors to spread the message of right conduct, called “dharma.” But his is just a silly Bollywood musical romance.
 Before the Rains
with Nandita Das (photo), India / UK / USA 2007 Drama 1:38 DVD
During the waning years of the Raj, a married British spice grower in Kerala, southern India, satisfies his sexual urges with his beautiful Indian servant, a married woman from the local village. Because the British ruled India and his wife was in England at the time, this man thought he could do whatever he wanted without suffering any consequences. Then along comes Karma; and he is confronted with the local tribal customs and laws. Unfortunately, of all the people involved in this affair, the man suffers the least. A downer.
 Beyond Rangoon
UK & USA 1995 Drama 1:45 VHS
American woman visits Myanmar (Burma) just as military government ruthlessly attacks peaceful demonstrators. She runs, military chases. The movie should have presented much more about Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the non-violent movement for human rights and democracy since 1988, winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize and 2000 Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor, who was under house arrest for six years.
 Blue
(블루) with Shin Eun-Kyung (photo), South Korea 2003 Action 1:45 DVD
Two gung-ho Korean Naval Academy deep-sea diving cadets live as if life were a never-ending bachelor party. Best friends since childhood, they compete against one another and fall for the same beautiful colleague. Predictably, there's lots of macho, ego, testosterone, ambition, arrogance, animosity, insubordination, drinking, some streaking plus contrived danger and suspense. Tedious except when Shin Eun-Kyung is on screen.
 Butterfly and Sword
(Xin liu xing hu die jian) with Michelle Yeoh (illustration), Joey Wang, Taiwan 1993 Action Comedy 1:27 DVD
Michelle Yeoh attempts to prevent the empire from being overthrown by revolutionaries. Tony Leung and Joey Wang are lovers, but he is also loved by Michelle who is loved by Donnie Yen. With these stars, this could have been an entertaining romantic comedy. Instead, we get a ridiculously complicated story with lots of fighting, scenes of decapitation, torso splitting and blood spurting in geysers. A huge disappointment.
 Chicken Poets
(Xiang jimao yiyang fei) with Qin Hailu (photo), China 2002 Drama 1:34 VCD
An unsuccessful poet, undecided about his future, seeks the advice of a former poet friend who has gone into business breeding black chickens because they lay highly nutritious black eggs. Now discouraged to the point of giving up writing, he meets a lonely, color-blind young woman, who tries to re-motivate him as a poet. A pointless film about a untalented poet made by an untalented director. But I did like Qin Hailu.
 Coffin, The
with Napakpapha Nakprasitte (photo), Karen Mok, South Korea / Thailand / Singapore 2008 Horror Thriller
An architect and a dietician decide to participate in a bizarre Thai ritual, lying in coffins for an evening, to cheat death and avoid bad luck – only to be faced with terrifying incidents afterwards. I saw just the first 20 minutes, but that was enough to dislike this film. Never saw Napakpapha though.
 Dragon Chronicles: Maidens of Heavenly Mountain (Semi-Gods and Semi-Devils / Xin tian long ba bu zhi tian shan tong lao) with Gong Li (photo), Hong Kong 1993 Action Fantasy 1:37 DVD Two feuding sisters and a bad guy fly through the air and fight with lightening bolts. Ridiculous. Gong Li is the only redeeming feature of this film.
 Driving Miss Wealthy
(Juet Sai Ho Bun) with Gigi Leung (photo), Hong Kong 2003 Romantic Comedy 1:40 DVD
A reclusive tycoon has a totally spoiled and irresponsible daughter with really terrible hairdos. He pretends to go into a coma, and assigns his aides to pretend to steal the entire family fortune from his daughter in the hope that she will learn to stand on her own two feet. He hires a Chinese ex-cop to pose as her Filipino driver to make sure she doesn't get into too much trouble. Random inanity and annoying performances. But I still like Gigi Leung.
 Empress Dowager, The
(Xi tai hou) with Gong Li, China 1988 Historical Drama 1:36 DVD
China's Empress Dowager, Ci Xi, rose from the emperor's lowest ranking concubine, to ruling all of China for 48 years (1861-1908). Her shrewd political mind and ruthless ambition made her one of the most formidable women in history. When she doesn't allow her only son to marry a servant girl, he frequents the local brothels, contracts syphilis and dies. Gong Li's first film and one she would probably like to forget. Amateurish.
 Equation of Love and Death, The
(The Encounter of Li Mi) with Zhou Xun (photo), China 2008 Thriller 1:36 DVD
A female taxi driver pining over her missing boyfriend keeps a book of photos inside her cab to show passengers, just in case they've seen him. Two passengers steal her photo book but drop it when they witness a man throw himself off a bridge to his death on a car below. The driver of that car picks up the photo book and sees that it's filled with pictures of himself... Zhou Xun gives a terrific performance, but this complicated, sometimes unpleasant ordeal is not worth enduring to see it.
 Eye 2, The
(Jian gui 2) with Shu Qi, Eugenia Yuan, Hong Kong & Thailand 2004 Horror 1:30 DVD
A depressed young woman attempts suicide after breaking up with her boyfriend who has gotten her pregnant. After this near-death experience, she starts seeing dead people and is stalked by a ghastly, dirty-looking woman who stares disturbingly at her. She constantly teeters on the brink of madness. The cause for all these hysterics is just a common experience. Tedious. A complete waste of Shu Qi and Eugenia Yuan who have so much charm.
 Flower Island
(Ggot seom / Kotsom) with Kim Hye-na (photo), Im Yu-jin, South Korea 2001 Drama 1:50 / 2:06 DVD
A teenager gives birth in a public rest room and afterward flushes her newborn down the toilet. To buy her daughter a piano, a middle-aged housewife prostitutes herself with an 80-year-old man, who dies while doing it. A singer in her twenties gets throat cancer. All three travel together to Flower Island because they believe it will cure their sadness. The script ended after the setup. If there was a point to all this, I missed it. Tedious and sad.
 Flying Dragon, Leaping Tiger
with Eugenia Yuan (photo), Jade Leung, Hong Kong 2002 Action 1:37 DVD
A very young brother and sister are separated by violent circumstances and their respective adopted families become bitter enemies. Both siblings become kung fu masters. Twenty years later, after many misunderstandings and fights, they discover the truth. A very amateurish film that attempts to capitalize on the success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Eugenia Yuan is really cute in her first film.
 God of Gamblers III: Back to Shanghai
(Du xia II zhi Shang Hai tan du sheng) with Gong Li (photo), Hong Kong 1991 Comedy 1:56 DVD
A gambler gets sent back in time from 1991 Hong Kong to 1937 Shanghai where triad gangsters gamble with invading Japanese. Hyper-activity, inane fast talk, slapstick kung-fu, plus dozens of people are machine-gunned to death. Excruciatingly unfunny comedy written and directed by Wong Jing who has made more bad films than anyone in the history of cinema. Enjoy the beautiful and elegant Gong Li in slo-mo and fast-forward through all the rest. WARNING: This is a Wong Jing film.
 Growing Up
(Ren xi gui da) with Shu Qi (photo), Hong Kong 1996 Romantic Comedy DVD
Three high school guys are out to score. One pursues the sweet, innocent-looking ex-girlfriend of a triad boss. Sleazy. Shu Qi is the only reason to see this film.
 Last Life in the Universe
(Ruang rak noi nid mahasan) with Sinitta Boonyasak (photo), Thailand & Japan 2003 Drama 1:52 DVD
Through tragic events, a mysterious, obsessive-compulsive, suicidal Japanese librarian living in Bangkok is forced to hide out with a Thai woman at her shabby beachside home. He is a neat freak who keeps his dishes washed and his books neatly stacked and categorized. She dresses like a slob, smokes pot and never picks anything up. But these two lost and lonely souls help each other find meaning in their meaningless lives.
 Looking for Mr. Perfect
(Qi feng di shou / Kei fung dik sau) with Shu Qi (photo), Hong Kong & Malaysia 2003 Comedy 1:41 DVD
On vacation in Malaysia, an unlucky-in-love Hong Kong policewoman meets a man she thinks is the man of her dreams. But he is investigating her on the suspicion that she may be trying to buy a stolen missile guidance system. Mildly entertaining. Worth seeing for Shu Qi. Although completed in 2001, its release was delayed until 2003.
 Love Is Forever
(Passion and Valor / Comeback) with Moira Chen (photo), USA 1983 Romance 2:30 > 2:07 > 1:36 DVD
Based on a real life event, a journalist, while stationed in communist-controlled Laos in 1977, is accused of being a spy, tortured and expelled from the country. One year later, he swims across the Mekong River to rescue the Laotian woman he loves. An inspiring love story, mawkishly told.
 Love Is Not a Game, But a Joke
(Fei yi ban ai qing xiao shuo / Fei yat boon oi ching siu suet) with Shu Qi (photo), Hong Kong 1997 Romantic Comedy 1:33 DVD
In Hong Kong, three friends begin a contest to find a girl they all like without using radio or newspapers ads. The guy who finds her first gets to woo her and the other two will stay out of his way. During their quest all three men meet three different women and begin to think that maybe the one they've just met is better than the one they all supposedly want. Shu Qi was nominated for Best Actress at both the 34th Golden Horse Awards and the 17th Hong Kong Film Awards.
 Lust, Caution
(Se, jie) with Tang Wei (photo), Chu Chih-ying, Joan Chen, Taiwan 2007 Erotic Thriller 2:37
In 1938 Shanghai, some university students plan to assassinate a vile Japanese collaborator who heads the Secret Police. They convince a college girl to seduce him into an assassination trap. Like Hitchcock's Notorious which had attractive, charismatic leads, romantic chemistry, an exciting story and fast-paced direction; but this film is devoid of all those qualities. I didn't care what happened and just wanted this pointless film to end. The notorious NC·17-rated nudity and explicit, violent sex is gratuitous, exploitive, ugly and unpleasant.
 Martial Angels
(Jue se shen tou / Chuet sik san tau) with Shu Qi, Hong Kong 2001 Action 1:29 DVD
Good actors and pretty faces, Shu Qi, Kelly Lin, Teresa Mak, Sandra Ng and Rachel Ngan cannot save this low budget, Wong Jing, stupid action thriller. If you want to watch gorgeous women kicking butt, see the vastly superior So Close.
 Mary from Beijing
(Mungsing Sifan / Awakening) with Gong Li (photo), Hong Kong 1992 Drama 1:37 VCD
A Chinese woman living in Hong Kong tries to get an identity card so she can stay and work there as a legal immigrant. When she becomes convinced the wealthy jeweler she lives with will never marry her, she befriends a neighbor across the hall. Even though I love Gong Li, I found this film is boring. Written and directed by Sylvia Chang.
 Mongol
with Khulan Chuluun (photo), Kazakhstan / Russia / Mongolia 2007 Biography 2:06 DVD
Part one of an intended film trilogy recounting the life and legend of Genghis Khan whose empire extended all across Asia from the Pacific Ocean to the Caspian Sea. Temüjin (Genghis) was born in 1162, the son of a minor tribal chief in Mongolia. When nine, his father is poisoned, and he must endure starvation, slavery and imprisonment before conquering all of Mongolia in 1206. Graphic, slow-motion battle sequences with bright red 3-D blood splattered in your face. A 2-hour ordeal, repeat ordeal, repeat ordeal...
 Most Distant Course, The
(Zui yao yuan de ju li) with Kwai Lun-Mei (photo), Taiwan 2007 Drama 1:53 DVD
Three people, a young heart-broken unemployed sound recordist, a seriously deranged recently-divorced psychiatrist and an attractive young female office clerk with an unfaithful lover/boss begin traveling around Taiwan looking for something to change their unhappy lives. Two endless hours with unhappy people having meaningless experiences. The psychiatrist was skin-crawl creepy. The sound recordist, a pathetic loser. I couldn't wait for their scenes to end. But I enjoyed watching the adorable Lun-Mei listen to her headphones.
 Namesake, The
with Zuleikha Robinson (photo), India / USA 2006 Drama 2:02 DVD
A young Bengali woman marries a Bengali man and they move to New York. They grow to love one another and adjust to life in America. They have a boy whom the father names “Gogol” in honor of the Russian author. The boy grows into an extremely obnoxious American teenager who hates his name. He marries an Indian woman too hot and sexy for him (see photo). She cheats on him; no surprise. A very boring, mundane story made interesting only by occasional family tragedies.
 Noble House
with Julia Nickson (photo), Tia Carrere, USA 1988 Drama 5:55 VHS
The two most powerful businessmen in 1963 Hong Kong struggle for domination while engaging in espionage, stock manipulation, drug smuggling and beautiful women. A tv mini-series based upon the James Clavell book. Nowhere near as good as Shogun, but not as dreadful as Tai-Pan. Cast includes Julia Nickson, Irene Tsu, Helen Funai, Nancy Kwan and Tia Carrere.
 Once a Thief
with Sandrine Holt (photo), Canada 1996 Action 1:32 DVD
Two guys and a gal, members of a clandestine international crime-fighting agency, pursue the son of a powerful Hong Kong underworld crime lord. All three guys fight over the gal. While Sandrine Holt is definitely worth fighting for, John Woo's made-for-tv remake of his own 1990 Hong Kong film isn't worth watching.
 Operation Cougar
(Codename Cougar / The Puma Action / Daihao meizhoubao) with Gong Li (photo), China 1989 Thriller 1:17 DVD
A private corporate jet en route from Taipei to Seoul is hijacked by terriorists. Many people are killed. A beautiful young woman is shot in the head. This scene is shown again in close up at the end of the film just in case you looked away the first time. Tedious, low-budget, hostage thriller. An early collaboration between Zhang Yimou and Gong Li who was awarded the Hundred Flowers Award for Best Supporting Actress.
 Passage to India, A
UK 1984 Drama 2:43 DVD
In 1924 colonial India, tensions escalate between the Indians and British when a visiting British woman accuses an Indian doctor of rape during their visit to the Marabar caves. The British ruling class rallies to her defense, virtually convicting the doctor before the trial begins. Beautiful to look at; but much ado about nothing. Directed by David Lean and based on the novel by E.M. Forster. Nominated for Best Picture of the year at the Academy Awards.
 Raincoat
with Aishwarya Rai (photo), India 2004 Drama 2:00 DVD
An unemployed man from a rural village goes to Calcutta to borrow money from friends and see the woman he wanted to marry six years earlier; but she chose someone wealthier. They impress one another by telling lies about their lives. When she leaves to buy food, she warns him not to open the door. But he lets in a stranger who tells him the truth about his ex-girlfriend and her marriage. A filmed stage play, not a movie. Talky and boring.
 Rapa Nui
with Sandrine Holt (photo), USA 1994 Drama 1:47 DVD
The inhabitants of Easter Island (Rapa Nui) carve, transport and erect the huge Moai stone statues to placate the gods, but destroy their island's ecology in the process. Ridiculous beyond belief. The only good thing about this film is Sandrine Holt, but the director imprisons her in a cave for most of the film. What was he thinking?!
 Reincarnation of Golden Lotus, The
(Pan Jin Lian zhi qian shi jin sheng) with Joey Wong, Hong Kong 1989 Melodrama 1:40 DVD
Golden Lotus, determined to get revenge on the reincarnation of the man who murdered her, reincarnates in 1950's Shanghai. At school she is raped by the principal. Falsely accused of being a slut and beaten. Marries a very wealthy man she doesn't love. Has an affair. Is troubled by visions from her past life that parallel her current life. Just too bizarre.
 Restless
with Chen Shiang-chyi (photo), China & USA 1998 Romance 1:40 DVD
In present-day Beijing, a young American woman becomes romantically involved with her weiqi teacher. A young American of Chinese heritage, visits China for the first time, meets family members he's never known and becomes infatuated with a neighborhood girl. Mildly interesting, amateurish production.
 Rice Rhapsody
(Hainan ji fan) with Sylvia Chang, Singapore 2004 Comedy Drama 1:46 DVD
“Life first. Things second.” In contemporary Singapore's Chinatown, a conservative single mother fears her third son could be gay like his two older brothers. In desperation, she attempts to “straighten” him out by taking in an attractive French foreign exchange student to seduce him. Sylvia Chang is terrific, as usual. But all of the rest of the cast, the script and direction are painfully amateurish and tedious to watch. I couldn't wait for it to be over.
 Royal Warriors
(Huang jia zhan shi / Wong ga jin si) with Michelle Yeoh (photo), Hong Kong 1986 Action 1:36 DVD
A Hong Kong policewoman, air security guard and Japanese Interpol agent form an alliance when they thwart a hijacking attempt on a plane flying a mob prisoner from Tokyo to Hong Kong. When the mobster and his would-be rescuer die, their blood brothers vow revenge against these three resulting in a high-speed chase, car bombing, destruction of a nightclub, a spectacular suicide, dead bystanders and a flying coffin.
 Satan Never Sleeps
(The Devil Never Sleeps / Flight from Terror) with France Nuyen (photo), USA 1962 Propaganda Romantic Comedy 2:05 DVD
In the 1940s, an American Catholic priest is assigned to a mission in China during their civil war. A beautiful local girl falls for him. A Red Chinese officer brutally rapes her. When the priest learns she is pregnant, he encourages her to marry the rapist so the child will have a father! Then encourages the rapist to renounce communism so this romantic comedy can have a happy ending! A ludicrous mess worth enduring only for France Nuyen.
 Shadow of China
with Vivian Wu, Japan 1990 Drama 1:40 VHS
Chinese revolutionary struggles to escape his past for wealth, power and love in Hong Kong. Trite.
 Silver Hawk
(Fei Ying) with Michelle Yeoh, Li Bingbing, Hong Kong 2004 Action 1:39 DVD
In fantasy futuristic Polaris City, a beautiful, but reckless, billionaire heiress dons silver sunglasses, cape and hotpants to careen about the city on a motorcycle fighting crime for fun. Michelle Yeoh is gorgeous. Li Bingbing looks sexy in blue hair. The good guys are extremely annoying. The bad guys snarl, but are more likeable. The fight scenes are campy and contrived. But, if I ever get in trouble, send Michelle Yeoh to rescue me...   or Li Bingbing.

 Sound of Colors
(Di xia tie / Dei gwong tit / Dei haa tit) with Dong Jie (photo), Kwai Lun-Mei, Hong Kong 2003 Romance 1:37 DVD
A not-so-angelic cupid connects a sweet young blind woman with a fast-talking Hong Kong matchmaker and a shy guy in Taipei with a heartbroken young woman in Shanghai. Contrived, saccharine and shallow. The sentimental romantic mood is completely sabotaged by Tony Leung's trademark smartalec smirkiness. Three years earlier in Happy Times Dong Jie was a cute girl, now she's a beautiful young woman.
 Sunshine
with Michelle Yeoh (photo), UK 2007 Sci-Fi Thriller 1:48 DVD
It's the year 2067, the sun is dying and mankind is facing extinction. Earth's last hope rests with a team of eight astronauts traveling to the sun by spaceship to reignite the fading star with a massive nuclear bomb. The film's first act is basic Sci-Fi. In the second act, the film transforms into a “who's going to die next?” mystery. In the final act, it contorts to a slasher-horror flick with the few remaining astronauts terrorized by a scalpel-wielding, disfigured lunatic. Oh yeah, what happened to the sun? Who cares!
 Three Times
(The Best of Our Times / Zui hao de shi guang) with Shu Qi (photo), Taiwan 2005 Romance 2:15 DVD
A couple play pool in 1966, speak in subtitles in a 1911 brothel, and live pointless lives in present-day Taipei. This film consists of long takes of people doing almost nothing. Shu Qi won Best Actress at the 42nd Golden Horse Awards and was nominated at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival because, without her, this film would be excruciating to watch. Director Hou Hsiao Hsien's four other films listed on this site can justifiably be found in the “Films I Hate” category below. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Visible Secret
(Youling renjian / Yauling yangan) with Shu Qi (photo), Hong Kong 2001 Horror Comedy 1:41 DVD
A man is decapitated when hit by a bus. His ghost comes back seeking revenge against the son of the man who pushed him in front of the bus and to reclaim his lost head. Eventually he finds out he got pushed by accident. Oh well, never mind. It's not scary. It's not funny. It's just pathetic.
 When I Look upon the Stars
(Tian xuan di lian) with Shu Qi (photo), Anita Chan, Hong Kong 1999 Romantic Comedy 1:42 DVD
A guy with no personality travels to Tokyo to surprise his beautiful girlfriend (Anita Chan) only to find out that she's been unfaithful to him with his promiscuous and extremely annoying best friend. Actually, she's too good for either of them. While there, he meets an adorable young woman (Shu Qi) who offers to be his lover for 24 hours to cure his heartbreak. This film is incurably bad despite the presence of two attractive ladies.
   Films I Dislike
 Age of Miracles, The
(Ma ma fan fan) with Anita Yuen (photo), Christine Ng, Hong Kong 1995 Comedy 1:40 VHS
With her son dying, a young mother offers Death ten years of her own life in exchange for her son's life. The boy recovers. Grows up. Marries. Has a daughter. Feels major guilt. Sentimental story about mothers and family with lots of quarreling. Anita Yuen, who plays the mother, is made up to look 70 years old throughout most of the film. Of course, since it is her cute, youthful charm that makes her films so enjoyable, all this is lost in this one.
 All About Ah-Long
(You jian A Lang / A Langde gushi) with Sylvia Chang (photo), Hong Kong 1989 Drama 1:46 DVD
Alcoholic truck driver and his son live in squalor and eat like pigs in the slums of 1980s Hong Kong. They shout, hit and throw things at one another. The boy's mother had dumped his father ten years earlier for being unfaithful and beating her while pregnant. After giving birth, she was told that the child was born dead. Now she's a beautiful, successful advertising executive. The father wants her back. She wants her son to live with her in America.
 Cell Phone
(Shou ji) with Fan Bingbing (photo), China 2003 Drama 1:44 DVD
The host of China's most popular TV talk show, “Let the Truth Speak,” is a serial philanderer. After his wife divorces him, he starts living with a new girlfriend, but cheats on her too. Unlikeable men who cheat on their wives and girlfriends are betrayed by their cell phones. A tediously boring film with no redeeming qualities or women.
 Chihwaseon
(Painted Fire) South Korea 2002 Biographical Drama 1:57 DVD
In late 19th century Korea, an uncouth, self-taught painter, Jang Seung-up, becomes famous, drinks like an alcoholic, sleeps with courtesans and treats everyone badly. The sets, costumes and cinematography are beautiful, but I didn't enjoy spending two hours with this extremely obnoxious person. The director also made Chunhyang which I mostly dislike.
 Darkness Bride
(You Gou) Hong Kong 2003 Drama 1:44 DVD
A young woman is forced to marry an autistic young man. She lives with her husband's family and performs her household duties but regularly sleeps with a mutual friend of theirs. The illicit relationship is exposed and the three of them escape to the city where they become haunted by the spirit of a dead virgin who was forced to leap to her death to defend her chastity. A very low budget film that makes no sense and has no redeeming qualities.
 Deceivers, The
UK & India 1988 Adventure 1:52 DVD
In 1825, a British tax-collector for the East India Company is sent with his new wife to India. One night, he sees a group of men rob and kill a defenseless woman. He learns that the killers are members of a religious cult called the Thugees and resolves to do something about them. He disguises himself and infiltrates their organization. However, to win their trust, he must do what they do, leading him into a murderous secret life of his own. Inept.
 Eros
with Gong Li (photo), Hong Kong, USA & Italy 2004 Drama 1:44 DVD
Three erotic stories by three directors. The Hand by Wong Kar-Wai is interesting, the second story by Steven Soderbergh is boring and tedious, and the third by Michelangelo Antonioni is appallingly bad softcore porn. In The Hand, an apprentice tailor makes beautiful clothes for one of his master's clients, a gorgeous courtesan. She flirts with him and he falls in love with her. But she sees no future in him and favors her rich clients; alas, to no avail.
 Everybody Has Secrets
(Nuguna bimileun itda) with Kim Hyo-jin, Choi Ji-woo, Chu Sang-mi, South Korea 2004 Sex Comedy 1:40 DVD
A rich, immoral playboy beds three nice sisters including one who is already married. A date movie for the guy who hopes to get lucky afterward. Not funny or entertaining.
 Far East
Stage Play / TV Special USA 2000 Drama 1:27 n/a
In 1954, a naïve young American Naval officer, stationed in postwar Japan, wants to marry a Japanese waitress knowing his bigoted, wealthy family would not approve. His commanding officer's wife also disapproves, seduces him herself, then tells his family back home about his Japanese girlfriend. Another officer compromises top secret naval information about Viet Nam in order to keep his homosexuality a secret. Theatrical contrivances.
 Far North
with Michelle Yeoh (photo), Michelle Krusiec, UK 2007 Drama 1:29 DVD
A woman and her adopted daughter struggle to survive far from civilization in the desolate, frozen Arctic tundra. To escape marauding soldiers taking over their homeland, they flee to an uninhabited island. One day a man appears, close to death. Despite their fears, the women save his life. When the man recovers, both women compete for his attention. A tedious, unpleasant film about two beautiful women, ugly men, harsh conditions, rape, strangulation and lots of throat slitting.
 Far Pavilions, The
(Blade of Steel) with Sneh Gupta, UK 1984 Romance 1:48 DVD
Forbidden love between a British cavalry officer and a half-caste Hindu princess, promised in an arranged marriage to a despotic ruler, in 19th century British colonial India during the second Afghan war. The entire production is an abysmally incompetent attempt at recreating that period in Indian history especially with the Hindu princess played by an American actress. The original made for tv movie was an interminable 5 hours and 20 minutes.
 Golden Chicken
(Jin ji / Gam gai) with Sandra Ng (photo), Hong Kong 2002 Comedy 1:46 VCD
Sandra Ng plays a happy hooker with the heart of gold who loves her profession. Trapped overnight in an ATM, she tells her would-be mugger the story of her life as a prostitute over the past 22 years, in a series of raunchy escapades starting when she was only fifteen. In the background is Hong Kong's turbulent history from 1980 to 2002. In Cantonese slang, “chicken” means prostitute. I could not wait for it to end. I will definitely not be reviewing the sequel.
 Happy Times
(Xingfu shiguang) with Dong Jie (photo), China 2000 Comedy 1:35 DVD
Unemployed man, who borrows money to survive, asks a fat, unlikeable divorcée to marry him. His intended spoils her fat, unlikeable son and mistreats her nice, blind step-daughter. After she attempts suicide, the man tries to help by making her believe she has a job in a massage parlor. Dong Jie is delightful, but the irritating schemer talks so unrelentingly, you want to shove a sock in his mouth.
 Miss Saigon
Stage Musical with Lea Salonga (photo) n/a
Saigon, Viet Nam, April 1975, a 17-year-old girl has fled the countryside after seeing her parents die in flames. Now she must become a prostitute to survive. She is sold to a marine guard and gets pregnant. She hopes he will take her to America. I am disgusted by the pimps, the American soldiers, and by the producers of this show who offer the tragic stories of these women as entertainment, virtually raping them again, this time with music.
 Monsoon Wedding
with Vasundhara Das (photo) India 2001 Comedy 1:54 DVD
Family members, their servants and secret lovers reunite for the arranged marriage of a young Punjabi woman in present-day New Delhi. This film was shot with a hand-held camera. After fifteen minutes, I was overcome with motion sickness and walked out. However, if the constantly moving camera hadn't driven me out of the theater, I think all the excessively frantic behavior would have. (Films like this should display a “No Tripod!” warning.)
 Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles
(Qian li zou dan qi) with “Jasmine” (photo), China & Japan 2005 Drama 1:45 DVD
A stoic, rock-faced Japanese fisherman goes on a Homeric journey to a very remote region in southwest China's picturesque Yunnan Province, causes lots of trouble and inconveniences many people just to help him accomplish impossible tasks in order to prove his love to a dying son with whom he has not spoken in ten years. You can also see Yang Yang go poo-poo. An unrelenting, interminable, joyless ordeal from Zhang Yimou. Poor Jasmine!
 Tale of Two Sisters
(Janghwa, Hong'ryeon) South Korea 2003 Horror 1:55 DVD
After spending time in a mental institution, two sisters return to the home of their father, cruel stepmother and ghost. I went to see this in a theater. After watching only 20 minutes somewhere in the middle of the film, I walked out.
 Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors
(Oh! Soo-jung) with Lee Eun-joo (photo), South Korea 2000 Romance B&W 2:06 DVD
A beautiful young woman is pursued by two undesirable men intent on deflowering her. One is the weak and incompetent film director she works for. The other is his dim-witted and goofy drinking buddy. Imagine spending over two hours with people you don't like. Making matters worse, the same story is told twice from supposedly different perspectives–this just prolongs the tedium. Low quality B&W. Poor Lee Eun-joo in her second film.
 Wesley's Mysterious File, The
(Weisili zhi lan xie sen) with Shu Qi (photo), Hong Kong 2002 Sci-Fi Action 1:27 DVD
Dr. Wesley, working for an extraterrestrial investigation unit, searches for the “Blue Bloods,” aliens with extraordinary powers. A completely incompetent science fiction flick by writer-producer Wong Jing who appears in an unctuous cameo. The only entertaining moments were the unintentionally hilarious dialogue. Obviously, no one knew what they were doing. Nothing could save this film, not even Shu Qi! One of the worst movies I have ever seen. WARNING: This is a Wong Jing film.
 Zubeidaa
India 2001 Musical Melodrama 2:33 DVD
A girl with an obstinate, domineering father and a weak mother wants to be an actress, but he forces her to marry, then divorce the son of his friend. She gives up her son to become the junior wife of a Maharaja. The film sympathizes with her as a modern woman stifled by rigid social restrictions, but she's just an insufferable, spoiled brat. The music by A. R. Rahman is wonderful, especially the song So Gaye Hain. Buy the CD, avoid the movie.
    Films I Hate
 Arabian Nights
with Vanessa Mae (photo), USA 2000 Fantasy 4:00 DVD
The Sultan has gone mad after an assassination attempt in which his wife collaborated and died at his hands. Now, he intends to marry a woman from his harem then execute her the following morning. To prevent this, Scheherezade offers to be his bride hoping to cure his madness. To delay her execution, she keeps him intrigued with tales of the Arabian Nights. Trash. Classical violinist, Vanessa Mae Nicholson, plays Princess Zobeide.
 Born to Be King
(Sheng zhe wei wang) with Shu Qi (photo), Gigi Lai, Sandra Ng, Hong Kong 2000 Crime 1:58 DVD
A Taiwanese Triad gangster by the name of Chicken (!) marries the daughter of a Yakuza boss in Japan, is suspected of murdering the leader of his triad so he can take over, and seeks revenge when his wife is raped. Lots of talking, infighting, treachery, double-dealing, backstabbing and violence. I hated everything about this film except Shu Qi.
 Cotton Mary
UK 1999 Drama 2:05 DVD
In 1954, seven years after independence from Great Britain, many Indians still think the British are superior to them. Cotton Mary claims she's the half-caste daughter of a British regiment officer. She sees herself as British and takes offense at being treated as an Indian because she considers them unclean and dishonest. Two interminable hours with an insufferable person.
 Flowers of Shanghai
(Hai shang hua) with Michiko Hada, Taiwan 1998 Period Drama 1:53 DVD
Prostitutes in a brothel in the British section of Shanghai in 1884 compete with one another over their customers. Director Hou Hsiao Hsien's movies consist of long takes with a stationary camera showing people talking. The camera is so far from the actors and there's so little light, it's hard to make out which whore is which. Interminably slow, frustrating and agonizing to watch.
 Good Men, Good Women
(Haonan haonu) with Annie Shizuka Inoh, Taiwan 1995 Drama Color/B&W 1:48 DVD
Director Hou Hsiao Hsien's movies consist of long takes with a stationary camera showing people talking. The camera is so far from the actors and there's so little light, it's hard to make out which character is which. Interminably slow, totally incomprehensible, frustrating and agonizing to watch. I endured this movie twice. I had absolutely no idea of what it was about until I read a synopsis.
 Herapurple: Devil Goddess
with Kim Chung, South Korea 2001 Thriller 1:33 DVD
A mother and housewife suffers from disturbing nightmares. She consults a psychiatrist, who hypnotizes her. The doctor learns that she was brutally raped as a child and, in her dreams, violently attacks the men responsible. At the same time, a series of real-life killings are occurring in the city. The psychiatrist begins to suspect that there could be a connection. A lurid mess with much nudity, explicit sex and considerable violence. Garbage.
 Lost Empire, The
(The Monkey King) with Bai Ling (photo), USA 2001 Adventure Fantasy 2:50 DVD
This film, based on the great Chinese classic, Hsi Yu Chi (Journey to the West), written in the 16th century by Wu Cheng En which tells the story of how Buddhism was brought from India to China, is the worst thing ever shown on television. The adaptation by David Henry Hwang is convoluted and pointless. The direction, dialogue and acting are painfully amateurish. The special effects are cheesy. A complete fiasco. Excruciating to watch, except for the many close-ups of beautiful Bai Ling.
 Millennium Mambo
(Qianxi manbo) with Shu Qi (photo), Taiwan 2001 Drama 1:55 DVD
Aimless young woman working at a night club bounces back and forth between an unemployed, neurotic, paranoid, obsessively jealous, abusive, drug-addicted punk with dyed blonde hair with whom she lives and a much older, tattooed gangster (modeled after the film's director, Hou Hsiao Hsien). The drug-addicted punk is unbearable to watch. Shu Qi was nominated for Best Actress at the 38th Gloden Horse Awards and the 2001 Cannes Film Festival for her performance in this film.
 Portland Street Blues
(Goo waak chai ching yee pin ji hung hing sap saam mooi) with Shu Qi, Sandra Ng (photo), Kristy Yang, Hong Kong 1998 Drama 2:02 DVD
A fearless lesbian survives in Hong Kong's violent underworld. Protected by her powerful uncle, she gains control over prostitution on Portland Street. Cruel people beating up rival gang members and defenseless people in a slum. Extremely unpleasant. Shu Qi won Best Supporting Actress at the 35th Golden Horse Awards and was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the 18th Hong Kong Film Awards for playing a drug addict. Not the way I like to see her. WARNING: This is a Wong Jing film.
 Puppetmaster, The
Taiwan 1993 Drama 2:23 DVD
Life of a Taiwanese puppet master from 1908 to 1945 using dramatizations of his life and on-screen interviews. Director Hou Hsiao Hsien's movies consist of long takes with a stationary camera showing people talking. The camera is so far from the actors and there's so little light, it's hard to make out which character is which. Interminably slow, frustrating and agonizing to watch.
 Sympathy for Lady Vengeance
(Chinjeolhan geumjassi) with Lee Yeong-ae, South Korea 2005 Thriller 1:52 DVD
A pregnant 18 year-old girl, unable to live with her parents, goes to live with a schoolteacher. After she gives birth to a daughter, he kidnaps and murders a 6 year-old boy. The schoolteacher threatens to kill her baby if she doesn't confess to his crime. After serving over 13 years in prison, she hunts down the schoolteacher for revenge. Unrelentingly unpleasant. Third film in a trilogy that includes Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and OldBoy.
 Tai-Pan
with Joan Chen (photo), USA 1986 Drama 2:10 DVD
In mid 19th-century Hong Kong the Chinese want the British to leave, but they send warships and force the Chinese to give them Hong Kong. Two men compete for the position of Tai-Pan, the British merchant ruler of Hong Kong. Based on the James Clavell novel, which I assume is quite good. But this adaptation is melodramatic trash with lots of unnecessary cruelty, violence and lechery. Joan Chen is the only redeeming feature of this film.
 Vive L'Amour
(Aiqing wansui) with Yang Kuei-mei, Taiwan 1994 Drama 1:58 DVD
Slow, plotless portrayal of isolation and disillusionment in present-day Taipei. Camera follows three alienated youths through the tedium of their lives: working, having sex, taking a bath, going to the bathroom... Interminably slow, pointless, frustrating and agonizing to watch. You might like it if you would enjoy seeing a woman cry for 30 minutes.
 What Time Is It There?
(Ni neibian jidian / Qi dao si bai ji) with Chen Shiang-chyi (photo), Cecilia Yip, Taiwan 2001 Drama 1:56 DVD
Young street peddler, his recently-widowed mother and a young woman on holiday in Paris desperately seek love and happiness in all the wrong places. You might like it if you would enjoy watching a man bang a wristwatch on a fence and a prostitute in a car, pee into clear plastic containers; women puke, kiss, cry and get it on with a wicker pillow. A few humorous incidents interrupted the tedium.
 Year of the Dragon
with Ariane Koizumi, USA 1985 Crime 2:14 DVD
Violent, racist police captain, who dislikes Chinese, is placed in charge of New York's Chinatown and wages his own private war against the local Triads. Pervasive bloody violence and a beautiful young woman is gang raped.
     Films I Despise
 Cyclo
(Xích-lô) with Tran Nu Yên-Khê (photo), Viet Nam 1995 Drama 2:09 DVD
In Viet Nam, a cyclo is a bicycle-drawn taxi similar to a rickshaw. An 18-year-old boy tries to survive in the desperate poverty of Ho Chi Minh City. Explicit language. Alcohol and drugs. Perverse behavior. Nudity. Depraved sexual situations. Graphic violence. Interminably excruciating. I absolutely detest everything about this film.
 Red Cherry
(Hong ying tao) with Guo Ke-yu, China 1995 War Drama 2:00 DVD
Orphaned Chinese girl living in 1940 Moscow is enslaved and tattooed by a Nazi officer during World War II. Based on a true story. Shows young schoolgirls naked. I absolutely detest everything about this film. But it was China's biggest domestic box office hit in 1996. Go figure.
 Taxing Woman, A
(Marusa no onna) Japan 1987 Comedy Drama 2:07 DVD
Determined female tax collector doggedly pursues a millionaire businessman equally determined to cheat the government. He is so overwhelmed by her persistence that he falls in love with her and proposes marriage! Supposedly a satire. Very popular in Japan. Words fail to express how much I detest this film.
 Three... Extremes
with Bai Ling, Hong Kong, Japan & South Korea 2004 Horror 2:06 DVD
A trilogy of short horror films. In Dumplings, an aging former TV star, desperate to regain the affection of her husband, eats dumplings to regain her youth and beauty. Depraved and profoundly disturbing! In Cut, a horror film director returns home to find his wife suspended by wires in mid-air above her piano. In Box, a novelist feels responsible for a tragic accident when she was a child dancing with her sister in their father's magic act.

Go to the next page.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
 
Gong Li


Shu Qi
 
Gigi Leung
 
Lee Eun-joo


Asian Actresses
 
Maebia
 
Asian Film Trailers
 Amy Chien
Taipei, Taiwan
Website designed and created by John Nicholson
Last updated 27 April 2009
Copyright © 1997-2012 John Nicholson.   All rights reserved.