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Friday, November 17, 2017

Sean Kelly

Reel Asian 2017: Stand Up Man

An aspiring stand up comedian finds himself caring for his teenage cousin in Stand Up Man. Moses Kim (Daniel Jun) is a Korean-Canadian comedian, who moves back to Windsor from Toronto to run his parent's Japanese restaurant, following his marriage to Yoojin (Rosalina Lee). Already dissatisfied with life in Windsor, Moses is shocked to find out that his parents have allowed his teenage cousin Joon-Ho (Daegun Daniel Lee) to come live with him while attending school to learn English. Joon-Ho ends up joining a K-Pop dance group run by Olga (Jessie Cox) and wants Moses' help for an upcoming competition.

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Sean Kelly

Review: Stegman is Dead

A retired criminal is called back to recover stolen evidence in Stegman in Dead. Gus (Michael Eklund) is a retired thief, who is contacted by his old boss Don (Michael Ironside), who had some incriminating security tapes stolen from him by a porn producer named Stegman, who is subsequently found dead at his house. Gus is sent to clean up the mess and along the way he teams up with an assassin named Evy (Bernice Liu), who has her own reasons for finding the tapes.

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sean Kelly

Reel Asian 2017: Blade of the Immortal

A young woman recruits the help of a samurai who can't die, in order to get revenge for his father's death in Blade of the Immortal. One night, the father of Rin Asano (Hana Sugisaki) is challenged and killed by the Itto-ryu lead by Anotsu Kagehisa (Sôta Fukushi). Now on her own, Rin seeks the help of Manji (Takuya Kimura), a samurai who is cursed with immortality. Working as Rin's bodyguard, Manji challenges the members of Itto-ryu one by one until they work their way up to Anotsu.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sean Kelly

Reel Asian 2017: Women of the Weeping River

A rivalry between two family's results in violence in Women of the Weeping River. In a remote area of the Southern Philippines, recent widow Satra finds herself in the middle of a conflict between two families. While Satra does want vengeance for the death of her husband, she also desires a peaceful life with her son Hassim. However, the violence between the families continues, leaving casualties on both sides.

Women of the Weeping River is a drama that tackles the armed clan conflicts in Mindanao from the point of view of the women caught in the middle. The film essentially drops you in the middle of the violent feud between these two families with little context or backstory, other than the fact that Satra's husband was recently killed. While Satra is initially supportive of her family's desire for revenge, she begins to have second thoughts as the conflict intensifies.

Women of the Weeping River is pretty dark story with the drama punctuated by sudden outbursts of violence. While the film is somewhat slow paced for about half its running time, the film really begins catching my attention as the continuation of this conflict leads some very tragic results. While ultimately Women of the Weeping River doesn't leave much resolved, it is still a compelling watch.

7 / 10 stars
  FAIR  
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Sean Kelly

Reel Asian 2017: Made in Vietnam

A young man travels to Vietnam in search of his father in Made in Vietnam. In 1981, Thi Vo escaped Vietnam with his mother, while his father was caught and thrown in jail. Growing up in Calgary with no connection to his father, Thi decided to make the trip to Vietnam and track down his father. Accompanied by his friends Daniel Nguyen, Kaleb Tekeste, and Lai Nguyen and only having pictures and an address of a family friend to help it, Thi makes the journey in search of his father.

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sean Kelly

Review: Murder on the Orient Express

Kenneth Brannah directs and starts in this new adaptation of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. After finishing a case in Jerusalem, Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (Brannah) is called back to London, disrupting his plans for vacation time in Istanbul. Poroit secures a place on the Orient Express, run by his friend Bouc (Tom Bateman) and prepares to make the three day trip back to London.

On the second night, the train is derailed by an avalanche and an American businessman named Samuel Ratchett (Johnny Depp) is found murdered in his compartment. Poirot agrees to help Bouc solve the case before the train is up and running again and he proceeds to investigate the other passengers, which includes Ratchett's valet Edward Henry Masterman (Derek Jacobi) and secretary Hector MacQueen (Josh Gadd), Governess Mary Debenham (Daisy Ridley), Dr. John Arbuthnot (Leslie Odom Jr.), Spanish missionary Pilar Estravados (Penélope Cruz), Princess Dragomiroff (Judi Dench), Austrian professor Gerhard Hardman (Willem Dafoe) and Caroline Hubbard (Michelle Pfeiffer). The case becomes a daunting one, as Poirot learns each other the suspects has a connection to the victim.

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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Sean Kelly

Reel Asian 2017: Brotherhood of Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield

An imperial guard finds himself framed for treason in Brotherhood of Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield. Shen Lian (Chen Chang) is an imperial guard captain in 1627 Beijing, who eight years prior saved, his now colonel, Lu Wenzhao (Yi Zhang) on the battlefield. Shen is assigned to assassinate artist Bei Zhai (Mi Yang), who is apparently working with a group of rebels. When Bei Zhai escapes and his lieutenant ends up dead, Shen is placed under investigation by Pei Lun (Jiayin Lei), who begins to unearth damning evidence against Shen.

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