James Marsh

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From Mr Six to Tokyo Story – the best Asian films about growing up and getting old

Cinema is filled with stories about journeys, and none more so than the long, slow march towards death that each of us must travel. Ageing and mortality are inevitable facts of life, and, as such, have inspired many wonderful films.

20 Aug 2019 - 6:22PM

Cinema is filled with stories about journeys, and none more so than the long, slow march towards death that each of us must travel. Ageing and mortality are inevitable facts of life, and, as such, have inspired many wonderful films.

From Mr Six to Tokyo Story – the best Asian films about growing up and getting old
Review | A Rainy Day in New York film review: Woody Allen’s dated shtick should have stayed buried

Comedy of romantic misadventures starring Timothée Chalamet and Elle Fanning and set in New York is full of classic Allen tropes. Yet director’s understanding of romance is woefully out of date, and the film is stilted and phoney.

17 Aug 2019 - 3:37AM

Comedy of romantic misadventures starring Timothée Chalamet and Elle Fanning and set in New York is full of classic Allen tropes. Yet director’s understanding of romance is woefully out of date, and the film is stilted and phoney.

A Rainy Day in New York film review: Woody Allen’s dated shtick should have stayed buried
Review | The Divine Fury film review: The Exorcist meets mixed martial arts in limp Korean thriller

Kim Joo-hwan follows the excellent Midnight Runners with a flop. This supernatural thriller about a God-hating mixed martial arts fighter teaming up with an exorcist is a sluggish, pedestrian genre mishmash.

14 Aug 2019 - 5:00PM

Kim Joo-hwan follows the excellent Midnight Runners with a flop. This supernatural thriller about a God-hating mixed martial arts fighter teaming up with an exorcist is a sluggish, pedestrian genre mishmash.

The Divine Fury film review: The Exorcist meets mixed martial arts in limp Korean thriller
Review | The Third Wife film review: Vietnamese teen bride discovers sex and finds her place in sensual drama

This story of a teenager becoming a landowner’s third bride in 19th century rural Vietnam is told with elegance and grace. Newcomer Nguyen Phuong Tra My is entrancing in the title role, ably supported by Mai Thu Huong Maya as the second wife.

14 Aug 2019 - 11:00AM

This story of a teenager becoming a landowner’s third bride in 19th century rural Vietnam is told with elegance and grace. Newcomer Nguyen Phuong Tra My is entrancing in the title role, ably supported by Mai Thu Huong Maya as the second wife.

The Third Wife film review: Vietnamese teen bride discovers sex and finds her place in sensual drama
Hong Kong Summer International Film Festival 2019: 10 best films, from Woody Allen romcom to Maradona documentary

A Woody Allen romcom, an Almodovar retrospective, a Maradona documentary and Jim Jarmusch’s take on the zombie genre are among a slew of new releases and restored classics. Don’t miss Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing.

12 Aug 2019 - 5:49PM

A Woody Allen romcom, an Almodovar retrospective, a Maradona documentary and Jim Jarmusch’s take on the zombie genre are among a slew of new releases and restored classics. Don’t miss Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing.

Hong Kong Summer International Film Festival 2019: 10 best films, from Woody Allen romcom to Maradona documentary
Review | The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale film review – dead funny South Korean ensemble comedy

South Korean horror comedy about a zombie with restorative powers, a victim who decides to cash in, and his daughter who falls for the undead hunk offers plenty of laughs, even if sticklers for zombie lore may object.

6 Aug 2019 - 10:56PM

South Korean horror comedy about a zombie with restorative powers, a victim who decides to cash in, and his daughter who falls for the undead hunk offers plenty of laughs, even if sticklers for zombie lore may object.

The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale film review – dead funny South Korean ensemble comedy
Review | Weathering With You film review: Makoto Shinkai follows up Your Name with another fantasy youth romance

Shinkai’s tale of young love looks amazing, with photorealistic scenery and splashes of light and colour. The plot, however, is let down by loose threads and the lack of a clear vision

6 Aug 2019 - 12:19PM

Shinkai’s tale of young love looks amazing, with photorealistic scenery and splashes of light and colour. The plot, however, is let down by loose threads and the lack of a clear vision

Weathering With You film review: Makoto Shinkai follows up Your Name with another fantasy youth romance
Review | Yuli film review: like a Cuban Billy Elliott, Carlos Acosta biopic recalls the ballet dancer’s struggles and successes

Director anchors Yuli with the overbearing, combative relationship between a young Acosta and his father, Pedro, and the film breezes past some pivotal events in dancer’s life. Havana’s intoxicating energy is beautifully captured.

31 Jul 2019 - 2:45PM

Director anchors Yuli with the overbearing, combative relationship between a young Acosta and his father, Pedro, and the film breezes past some pivotal events in dancer’s life. Havana’s intoxicating energy is beautifully captured.

Yuli film review: like a Cuban Billy Elliott, Carlos Acosta biopic recalls the ballet dancer’s struggles and successes
Review | The Confidence Man JP film review: Hong Kong-set Japanese TV series spin-off is an enjoyable caper

Story of high-stakes con artists who travel to Hong Kong to steal a diamond from a triad boss is light, humorous and gets better as the action gets complicated. However, it does not make the most of the setting, with no local actors used.

24 Jul 2019 - 11:00AM

Story of high-stakes con artists who travel to Hong Kong to steal a diamond from a triad boss is light, humorous and gets better as the action gets complicated. However, it does not make the most of the setting, with no local actors used.

The Confidence Man JP film review: Hong Kong-set Japanese TV series spin-off is an enjoyable caper
Review | Lying to Mom film review: Japanese family drama on a white lie that turned into cruel deception

A moment of panic sees a mother lied to about her son’s suicide, starting a series of increasingly convoluted deceptions that uncover the family’s guilty secrets along the way.

18 Jul 2019 - 11:00AM

A moment of panic sees a mother lied to about her son’s suicide, starting a series of increasingly convoluted deceptions that uncover the family’s guilty secrets along the way.

Lying to Mom film review: Japanese family drama on a white lie that turned into cruel deception
Review | Jesus film review: a lonely Japanese boy struggles with Christianity in Hiroshi Okuyama’s debut feature

A surreal contemplation of organised religion, Jesus depicts the religious struggles of a nine-year-old enrolled in a prestigious Christian school as he seeks out tangible solutions to unanswerable questions.

17 Jul 2019 - 7:05AM

A surreal contemplation of organised religion, Jesus depicts the religious struggles of a nine-year-old enrolled in a prestigious Christian school as he seeks out tangible solutions to unanswerable questions.

Jesus film review: a lonely Japanese boy struggles with Christianity in Hiroshi Okuyama’s debut feature
Review | A Long Goodbye film review: Japanese drama on dementia, sacrifice and minutiae of everyday struggles

Writer-director Ryota Nakano offers a commentary on Japan’s ageing population crisis and the burden elderly citizens are putting on the country by focusing on the minutiae of everyday struggles that test family bonds.

3 Jul 2019 - 7:02AM

Writer-director Ryota Nakano offers a commentary on Japan’s ageing population crisis and the burden elderly citizens are putting on the country by focusing on the minutiae of everyday struggles that test family bonds.

A Long Goodbye film review: Japanese drama on dementia, sacrifice and minutiae of everyday struggles
Review | UglyDolls film review: animated feature inspired by plush toys lacks personality to truly stand out

Unremarkable and derivative, not even a stellar voice cast led by Kelly Clarkson can lift this film above the mundane. It’s no match for the Toy Story franchise.

25 Jun 2019 - 4:02PM

Unremarkable and derivative, not even a stellar voice cast led by Kelly Clarkson can lift this film above the mundane. It’s no match for the Toy Story franchise.

UglyDolls film review: animated feature inspired by plush toys lacks personality to truly stand out
Review | Stockholm film review: Ethan Hawke, Noomi Rapace in quirky caper exploring hostages’ sympathy for captors

Stockholm syndrome is a psychological condition that took its name from an attempted bank robbery in the Swedish capital in 1973; this quirky reimagining stars Ethan Hawke as the robber and Noomi Rapace as a sympathetic bank teller.

19 Jun 2019 - 7:00AM

Stockholm syndrome is a psychological condition that took its name from an attempted bank robbery in the Swedish capital in 1973; this quirky reimagining stars Ethan Hawke as the robber and Noomi Rapace as a sympathetic bank teller.

Stockholm film review: Ethan Hawke, Noomi Rapace in quirky caper exploring hostages’ sympathy for captors
Ranked: Parasite, Cannes festival winner, and the six other films of director Bong Joon-ho

South Korean director’s seven films span genres from science fiction to police procedural to small-town murder mystery; in each of them, Bong uses comedy to leaven stories about inequality, corruption, and abuse of power.

12 Jun 2019 - 8:19PM

South Korean director’s seven films span genres from science fiction to police procedural to small-town murder mystery; in each of them, Bong uses comedy to leaven stories about inequality, corruption, and abuse of power.

Ranked: Parasite, Cannes festival winner, and the six other films of director Bong Joon-ho
Review | Ramen Teh film review: food and family take centre stage in Singaporean drama

Required viewing for budget foodies heading to Singapore, Eric Khoo’s love letter to his country sees a visiting ramen chef sampling the city’s sights and tastes as he explores his mother’s Chinese roots. Mark Lee, as his uncle, elevates the film.

20 Jun 2019 - 6:24PM

Required viewing for budget foodies heading to Singapore, Eric Khoo’s love letter to his country sees a visiting ramen chef sampling the city’s sights and tastes as he explores his mother’s Chinese roots. Mark Lee, as his uncle, elevates the film.

Ramen Teh film review: food and family take centre stage in Singaporean drama
Review | 0.0 MHz film review: K-pop singers Jung Eun-ji, Lee Sung-yeol in second-rate supernatural horror

Jung and Lee make forgettable film debuts in this poor horror flick that brings nothing new to the genre, and crushing boredom soon sets in. Jung is barely more animated than the ghosts tormenting her, while Lee seems to be marking time before doing his military service.

10 Jun 2019 - 6:00PM

Jung and Lee make forgettable film debuts in this poor horror flick that brings nothing new to the genre, and crushing boredom soon sets in. Jung is barely more animated than the ghosts tormenting her, while Lee seems to be marking time before doing his military service.

0.0 MHz film review: K-pop singers Jung Eun-ji, Lee Sung-yeol in second-rate supernatural horror
Review | X-Men: Dark Phoenix film review – Sophie Turner plays Jean Grey in lacklustre final chapter in mutant series

The series’ all-star cast return for what must surely be their final outing following Fox’s recent acquisition by Disney, but this retelling of the Dark Phoenix saga fails to raise the X-Men from the flames.

6 Jun 2019 - 2:54PM

The series’ all-star cast return for what must surely be their final outing following Fox’s recent acquisition by Disney, but this retelling of the Dark Phoenix saga fails to raise the X-Men from the flames.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix film review – Sophie Turner plays Jean Grey in lacklustre final chapter in mutant series
Review | Birthday film review: Jeon Do-yeon, Sul Kyung-gu in mournful drama set after 2014 Sewol ferry disaster

Lead actors play estranged parents mourning their son, killed in real-life sinking; the boy’s mother hasn’t accepted his death, and wants a divorce. Those looking for a film about the disaster and its aftermath will be disappointed.

28 May 2019 - 5:00PM

Lead actors play estranged parents mourning their son, killed in real-life sinking; the boy’s mother hasn’t accepted his death, and wants a divorce. Those looking for a film about the disaster and its aftermath will be disappointed.

Birthday film review: Jeon Do-yeon, Sul Kyung-gu in mournful drama set after 2014 Sewol ferry disaster
Review | Brightburn film review: high-concept super-villain horror settles for clichés, half-baked ideas

The Omen meets Superman in this small-town coming-of-age tale of a boy who falls from the sky. Sadly, bar a few gnarly death sequences, there is nothing scary about this film, and its ending is deeply underwhelming.

23 May 2019 - 2:44PM

The Omen meets Superman in this small-town coming-of-age tale of a boy who falls from the sky. Sadly, bar a few gnarly death sequences, there is nothing scary about this film, and its ending is deeply underwhelming.

Brightburn film review: high-concept super-villain horror settles for clichés, half-baked ideas
Top 10 Godzilla films from the Japanese series ahead of King of the Monsters cinema release

A huge hit when first released in 1954, Godzilla popularised science fiction in Japan, and giant-monster movies in particular. Like a Japanese Star Trek, they have been vehicles for social, political and ecological commentary.

29 May 2019 - 5:42PM

A huge hit when first released in 1954, Godzilla popularised science fiction in Japan, and giant-monster movies in particular. Like a Japanese Star Trek, they have been vehicles for social, political and ecological commentary.

Top 10 Godzilla films from the Japanese series ahead of King of the Monsters cinema release
Review | Arctic film review: Mads Mikkelsen vs nature in captivating survival drama

Danish actor delivers one of the most impressive performances of his career as a man battling an inhospitable, endless winter in director Joe Penna’s debut feature.

15 May 2019 - 7:00AM

Danish actor delivers one of the most impressive performances of his career as a man battling an inhospitable, endless winter in director Joe Penna’s debut feature.

Arctic film review: Mads Mikkelsen vs nature in captivating survival drama
‘Of course I’m scared’: outspoken actor Anthony Wong on his Hong Kong future, and acclaim for Still Human

Anthony Wong is grateful to have won awards for his role in Still Human. It’s one of few meaty parts he has had since speaking out in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters, and he has a plan B if blacklisting persists.

15 May 2019 - 8:04PM

Anthony Wong is grateful to have won awards for his role in Still Human. It’s one of few meaty parts he has had since speaking out in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters, and he has a plan B if blacklisting persists.

‘Of course I’m scared’: outspoken actor Anthony Wong on his Hong Kong future, and acclaim for Still Human
Review | Krasue: Inhuman Kiss film review – Thai horror romance merges folklore with adolescent love triangle

There are not many laughs in this earnest feature, which occasionally works against it, but it’s an ambitious effort from director Sitisiri Mongkolsiri. By the time flying man-sized bat creatures and shotgun-wielding monks appear though, less-committed viewers may have lost interest.

13 May 2019 - 2:45PM

There are not many laughs in this earnest feature, which occasionally works against it, but it’s an ambitious effort from director Sitisiri Mongkolsiri. By the time flying man-sized bat creatures and shotgun-wielding monks appear though, less-committed viewers may have lost interest.

Krasue: Inhuman Kiss film review – Thai horror romance merges folklore with adolescent love triangle
Review | The Hustle film review: Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson play con artists in awful remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Anne Hathaway – not known for her comic touch – and the awful Rebel Wilson, who’s no Melissa McCarthy, play a pair of con artists in this excruciating feminist remake of Michael Caine-Steve Martin classic Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

9 May 2019 - 1:49PM

Anne Hathaway – not known for her comic touch – and the awful Rebel Wilson, who’s no Melissa McCarthy, play a pair of con artists in this excruciating feminist remake of Michael Caine-Steve Martin classic Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

The Hustle film review: Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson play con artists in awful remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Review | The Man Who Feels No Pain film review: Bollywood fantasy pays homage to vintage action cinema

Action films from Hong Kong and Hollywood get a nod from this Bollywood superhero story. Abhimanyu Dasani dazzles as Surya the superhero, and the obligatory singing and dancing does not take long to emerge.

1 May 2019 - 8:37PM

Action films from Hong Kong and Hollywood get a nod from this Bollywood superhero story. Abhimanyu Dasani dazzles as Surya the superhero, and the obligatory singing and dancing does not take long to emerge.

The Man Who Feels No Pain film review: Bollywood fantasy pays homage to vintage action cinema
Review | Avengers: Endgame film review – Marvel’s Infinity Saga reaches its perfect conclusion

The Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise wraps up with a three-hour masterpiece of irreverent humour, action and emotion. The Russo brothers managed to close more than two dozen character arcs with stunning efficiency.

26 Apr 2019 - 10:41AM

The Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise wraps up with a three-hour masterpiece of irreverent humour, action and emotion. The Russo brothers managed to close more than two dozen character arcs with stunning efficiency.

Avengers: Endgame film review – Marvel’s Infinity Saga reaches its perfect conclusion
Review | His Lost Name film review: Koreeda assistant makes debut with tedious, infuriating drama

Nanako Hirose fails to engage viewers with this lethargic story of a man recovering from a failed suicide. The film is ‘a gruelling ordeal, utterly devoid of meaningful symbolism or subtext’.

24 Apr 2019 - 7:00AM

Nanako Hirose fails to engage viewers with this lethargic story of a man recovering from a failed suicide. The film is ‘a gruelling ordeal, utterly devoid of meaningful symbolism or subtext’.

His Lost Name film review: Koreeda assistant makes debut with tedious, infuriating drama
2019 summer films preview: new John Wick, Toy Story, Men in Black movies and more – 10 Hollywood must-sees

From new films in the John Wick, Men in Black, Toy Story and X-Men series to Quentin Tarantino’s latest starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, we won’t be short of big Hollywood movies this summer.

24 Apr 2019 - 7:55PM

From new films in the John Wick, Men in Black, Toy Story and X-Men series to Quentin Tarantino’s latest starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, we won’t be short of big Hollywood movies this summer.

2019 summer films preview: new John Wick, Toy Story, Men in Black movies and more – 10 Hollywood must-sees
Review | Hotel Mumbai film review: 2008 terrorist attacks recreated in intense true-life thriller

The film has a documentary like realism, and the action has a breathless intensity. The terrorists are portrayed as emotionless killers and the victims are larger than life.

17 Apr 2019 - 7:17AM

The film has a documentary like realism, and the action has a breathless intensity. The terrorists are portrayed as emotionless killers and the victims are larger than life.

Hotel Mumbai film review: 2008 terrorist attacks recreated in intense true-life thriller