Cinema Escapist

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East Asia

Review: “The Eight Hundred” Shows Valiant Chinese Heroes, But Falls Short of a Good War Movie


"The Eight Hundred" advances timely political viewpoints, but fails to showcase the camaraderie and empathy of other good war movies.

Taiwan’s Stylish Romcom “IWeirDo” Tackles Love and Mental Illness with a Strong Visual Aesthetic


Taiwanese romantic comedy “IWeirDo” uses a unique aspect ratio and aesthetic to underscore the painful evolution of a budding relationship.

Review: “Peninsula” Offers Ample Korean Zombie Action, But Less Originality


"Train to Busan" sequel "Peninsula" paints a dynamic post-apocalypse filled with flares and car chases, but lacks depth and distinctiveness.

Review: Action-Packed “Labyrinth of Cinema” Conveys A Strong Anti-War Message


Nobuhiko Obayashi's last film "Labyrinth of Cinema" challenges viewers to reject militarism and advocates for pacifism.

“My Prince Edward” Explores Notions of Independence and Freedom for Young Women in Hong Kong


Norris Wong's directorial debut “My Prince Edward” highlights young women's struggle against generational and societal pressures in Hong Kong.

Review: “The Shaman Sorceress” Explores Clashes Between Competing Faiths


Based on a 1936 short story, "The Shaman Sorceress" portrays how Westernization and modernization affected a Korean village through their shaman.

Review: “Extro” Captures the Unglamorous Hardships of Being a Background Actor


In the mockumentary “Extro,” director Naoki Murahashi pokes fun at Japanese film industry tropes and power hierarchies.

Review: “Sacrifice” Offers Airy Take On Japanese Cults And National Traumas


Taku Tsuboi’s directorial debut “Sacrifice” blends philosophical musings about the Tohoku Earthquake and Aum Shinrikyo with cat killings—but falls short of meaningful commentary.

Review: “My Sweet Grappa Remedies” Shows a Middle-Aged Woman’s Gentle Slice-of-Life


Japanese director Akiko Ohku depicts friendship and loneliness for a middle-aged woman in “My Sweet Grappa Remedies."

Review: “Book-Paper-Scissors” Honors Japanese Artisan Culture Amidst Modernity


"Book-Paper-Scissors" offers a contemplative and philosophical view on maintaining traditional Japanese art in a modern society.

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