AFI FEST 2005 Reviews

My reviews, posted at Twitch:

SPL. Image courtesy of AFI FESTSPL (Hong Kong)

My initial reaction was “Zowie!!” The action is fierce and fabulous, the picture looks terrific — neon-tinged primary colors dominate the palette — and it’s wrapped up in a classic police story.

A second viewing still rocked my house as I became more attuned to the melodramatic flourishes, the finely-tuned performances by the underplaying Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung, the continual, subtle nods to films like THE KILLER (and possibly THE WARRIORS?), the razor-sharp, efficient editing by the superb Cheung Ka-Fai, and the thunderous musical score by Chan Kwong Wing and Ken Chan. (more … )

INITIAL D (Hong Kong)

Automotive porn in the finest sense, INITIAL D will please those who have both a racing fetish and a tolerance for broad Hong Kong-style humor. (more… )

THE RED SHOES (South Korea)

Dazzling, bruising, and hysterical, THE RED SHOES doesn’t so much tell a story as assault the senses. (more… )


With an occasional light touch, the film is not oppressively dark or grim. Muroi may not be a joyfully berserk rebellious cop, yet his rigid determination to do the right thing is strangely reassuring. (more… )

Interview originally published in AFI FEST Daily News:

THE SUSPECT Crosses the Pacific, Samurai Spirit Intact

Quiet, stubborn and honorable in a dishonorable world, Chief Inspector Shinji Muroi could best be described as a modern-day samurai. Ryoichi Kimizuka, writer/director of THE SUSPECT, would be pleased. (more…)

Coming soon: reviews of DEAD RUN, SHANGHAI DREAMS, and AMU.

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