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FANTASIA 2005: Enrique

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

We’ve got another AICN spy winging his way up to Montreal soon, and before he goes, there are a few titles he wants to recommend. Enrique’s a good guy who runs Cine-East, a retailer and wholesaler of Asian import DVDs. He just dropped off a batch of stuff here the other day including CRYING FIST and BORN TO FIGHT, and he decided to recommend a few titles for those of you already in Montreal still trying to decide what to catch:

Hey there this is Enrique from

Ok this is my first write up for AICN, so be nice. This bulletin is coming from Comicon but is actually about the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal. I’ve been drooling about attending since ’99 when I first heard of it, but alas scheduling always coincides with Anime Expo and San Diego and well, business has not permitted me the luxury. Fantasia is definitely one of the best shows for emerging Asian Cinema- our lucky neighbors to the north get to see some of the coolest Asian films before most of the English-speaking world. Well, this year I’ve promised myself to check it out even if only in part, so I am flying off to Canada on the 19th. I’ll only have a few days to enjoy the festival before its over, but I’ll still catch my fair share of fantastic cinema. Unfortunately, I’ll miss-out on Tetsujin 28 (Gigantor) which I haven’t seen yet.. and recommend for any of you bastards lucky enough to have the opportunity. Fantasia is an awesome place to catch a wide spectrum of genre friendly Asian fare- this years line-up is quite impressive. Since I can’t make it up there this weekend, I want to recommend some of the films I’ve already seen that are playing within my specialty. I’ve seen these on dvd and yes, I actually would love to watch them on the big screen, some films just deserve the best presentation possible. For all those there enjoy and for everyone at Comicon come say hi at booth 421!

Fighter In The Wind

A powerful Korean Martial Arts drama. Based on the true-life story of Choi Baedal, who incidentally served as the real-life inspiration for Street Fighter’s Ryu. Trust me that little nugget of information will make sense once you’ve seen this movie. The film tells the story of a larger than life character- a myth as much as a man- so it can at times be over the top. Fighter In The Wind is structured like a typical kung fu revenge film, it is within this traditional structure that director Yun-Ho Yang finds new ways to inject humanity into his characters as well as make one root like crazy for Choi as he achieves his status as one of the strongest men in the world. The first 40 minutes serve as a light appetizer before the feast of amazing choreography that lies ahead. Especially once Choi has finished his training in the mountains. Martial Arts fans looking for a film with depth, beauty and traditional kicking ass will find a lot lo love in Fighter.


If you have ever enjoyed a Johnnie To (The Mission, Running Out Of Time) film you owe it to yourself to catch last year’s Breaking News before it gets its US remake. To uses the media perception of image to illustrate and analyze some ugly truths. The film opens with a bravura action set piece that is one of To’s most accomplished moments. When a robbery goes wrong it erupts into a full-scale battle in the streets of Kawloon and the police are captured begging for help by a wandering camera. Before you could ‘say cheese’ the footage ends up on the tube and the police are humiliatingly disgraced. Enter Rebecca Wong (Cecilia Chung), who plans on giving the media a great show by exposing the robbers live. Unfortunately, things don’t quite work out according to her tidy plan, which turns out to be a great thing for the audience as we are treated to a succession of really great actions scenes. Without a doubt Ho is one of the best Hong Kong directors working today and Breaking News is proof positive.


A heartfelt mystery ghost story from Korea, that actually thrills. Hack TV producer Kim Su wanders the haunted Spider Forest in search of a story. What he finds is a story within a story that ultimately unravels the mystery of his youth. At times shocking, at times beautiful. This is the kind of film that demands your attention till the very end. Don’t worry if you start to think you can see it coming a mile away, because it is what you think, and then it isn’t, or is it? I think the hardest thing is categorizing this film, due to the fact that the director touches on quite a few genres with a deft hand. This is the kind of film that requires a little patience. This film completely and pleasantly surprised me; I look forward to watching it again.


Tadanobu Asano might be the coolest Japanese actor out there. And you might have already heard that. Well SURVIVE STYLE +5 might just be the coolest and hippest films to come out of the land of the rising sun starring Asano. One thing is for sure; you’ve never seen a film like this before. Bursting at the seams with color, outragious situations, electrifying music, and a nebulous narrative that kept my mind whirling. Each of the five stories play by their own rules and twist ‘reality’ into what you make of it. As the situations intensify, you begin to get the sense that these trains are accelerating head-on on the same track. What makes this film so much fun is director’s Gen Sekeguchi playful and clear vision. In lesser hands this type of film could end up quite messy. Sekeguchi keeps the eye on the ball and keeps the situation from collapsing under its own weight. With an all-star cast, that includes Vinnie Jones, Sonny Chiba and a host of familiar faces, this is the type of film that is you enjoy for its stylized visuals, unpredictability, humor, and depth. Wow, that’s quite a combo… doubtlessly, we’ll be hearing more of this film in the months to come.

I hope you get a chance to catch this wonderful films. I'll be back with full review from Fantasia next week. See ya...

Thanks, man. Enjoy the trip!

"Moriarty" out.

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