“The Rebel”

By Jae-Ha Kim Amazon.com Janaury 5, 2009 A fast-paced, beautifully executed film, The Rebel works hard at being an epic martial arts picture set in 1920’s French-occupied Vietnam. While that may sound like a bit much, director Truc Charlie Nguyen does a formidable job creating a plausible scenario with some awesome fighting sequences. While not […]

“Shinobi: Heart Under Blade”

Equal parts Romeo and Juliet and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Shinobi offers breathtaking cinematography, appealing actors, and ninjas. What more could a movie fan ask for?

“The Death of Mr. Lazarescu”

“The Death of Mr. Lazarescu” is a sadly funny film that tells the story of an old man whom no one really knows or cares about. When he falls ill and needs medical treatment, he faces a team of busy doctors who are concerned because they have to be, not because they really care.

‘Returner’ delivers compelling sci-fi action

The year is 2084 and the human race has been isolated to the Tibetan mountains. Threatened by extraterrestrials who are taking over what’s left of Earth, the commanders send a young girl named Milly back in time to stop the aliens and thwart the threat. In Takashi Yamazaki’s stylish “Returner,” we see elements of films we’ve seen before. The slo-mo bullet-dodging shots are dead-on “Matrix.” The baby alien captured and tortured looks like it could be a first cousin to “E.T.” Throw in a little “Terminator” and “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” and you’ve got the makings of what could have been a lame ripoff.

“Mother and Son” crawl toward grave

By the end of “Mother and Son,” I felt as lethargic as the half-dead mother in the title. Laboriously slow, the 73-minute movie would’ve made an effective, moving 15-minute short. Instead, the film drags on at a snail’s pace, depicting the almost Oedipal relationship between a dying mother and her caretaker son.

African, Hollywood cinema battle in `Plot’

Halfway through the satirical film “Aristotle’s Plot,” the narrator asks, “Why are African filmmakers always asked political questions?”