Thirteen Asian Movies

Since it’s Friday the 13th, I thought I would present thirteen Asian movies I recommend! ^^ They all are relatively unknown movies, but I think they deserve some more attention!

13 Assassins (Japan – 2010)13 AssassinsWow. This movie was spectacular. The acting was superb and the battle scenes were very fluid and felt authentic. I got completely absorbed into this movie. Late in the Edo period, a lord’s vassal commits seppuku in front of the gate of another lord’s home. In doing so, he alerts everyone to the acts of cruelty committed by his lord. It is decided that the peace in Japan will be threatened as long as he is alive. A samurai is ordered to secretly assassinate this lord, and he chooses a group of others to help carry out the plan. However, things get complicated when the lord’s “bodyguard”, an old friend of the samurai, learns of their plot.

Blessing Bell {Koufuku no Kane} (Japan – 2002)Blessing Bell
This movie had me thinking by the time it was over. The plot was a bit unconventional, but the execution of it really made it interesting. The story follows a man who has effectively lost his job when the factory where he works will be closed down the next day. Instead of wallowing in his sorrows, he decides to go for a walk. It turns into one of the most bizarre and unbelievable walks someone has ever taken. Many things happen to him, some good and some not so good, but all these encounters have an impact on the man.

Going by the Book (South Korea – 2007)Going by the Book
This movie is hilarious! The plot is very clever and the acting is very well done. When a string of bank robberies occur in a town with a new police chief, the citizens demand action. The chief decides to better prepare his officers for the situation by creating a simulated bank robbery that he oversees (so that the citizens think something is actually being done). He picks a straight-laced traffic cop to play the part of the robber. Let’s just say that the chief bit off more than he could chew. ^^

Castaway on the Moon (South Korea – 2009)Castaway on the Moon
I was originally going to watch the first few minutes to see if it would be something I would want to watch only to end up watching the whole thing without realizing it. :p This movie is incredible; the camera work, the acting, the story-telling… The interaction between the two main characters is very unique and you end up engrossed in everything that happens to them. It’s about a guy down on his luck with his girlfriend, his job, and his money. He decides to end it all in the Han River, but through some stroke of fortune, he ends up stranded on a small island, completely alone. A recluse living in her parents’ apartment finds him through her lens one day, and a strange relationship begins between the two.

Waterboys (Japan – 2001)WaterBoys
This is what you get when you combine high school boys and swimming! If you like Free!, then you should definitely watch this! ^^ There were some really good laugh-out-loud moments and a few tender moments as well. I had a lot of fun watching this one. It’s based on a true story about a group of young men who prepare to enter a world dominated by women: synchronized swimming. And all for the sake of a school festival.

When the Last Sword is Drawn (Japan – 2003)When the Last Sword is Drawn
Can you tell I have a thing for historical/samurai movies? 😛 This one tells its tale from within the Shinsengumi. It has an old school feel, but I think it adds a little something special to the movie. The story revolves around a samurai who is forced to leave his clan in order to better provide for his family. He ends up with the infamous Shinsengumi and quickly becomes known as a hard-working, money-hungry man. As relations disintegrate between the Emperor and the Shogun, we are given a glimpse into the samurai’s private life and how his code of honor affected those around him.

Dororo (Japan – 2007)Dororo
This movie ranks up there as one of the strangest movies I’ve ever seen, but not it a bad way. I really enjoyed the glimpses into Japanese mythology. I also like the chemistry between the the two main characters. When a female thief, who disguises herself as a man, meets a man who is the victim of his father’s demonic thirst for power, the two form an unlikely friendship. As they battle together in search of the man’s humanity (literally), they grow closer. However, the journey does not progress smoothly for the pair, as previously unknown secrets get revealed.

Musa: The Warrior (South Korea – 2001)Musa: The WarriorThis one left me a bit sad at the end, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. The fact that they had Koreans act as Koreans, Chinese as Chinese, and Mongolians as Mongolians gave it a really nice impact, especially as you watch cultures and egos collide. The accuracy of the historical aspects of it were nice as well. In the late 1300s, a Korean envoy to China gets accused of espionage and are sent into the desert to die. However, when a group of Mongolians attack and kill the Chinese escorts, the Koreans get a second chance at life, and at redeeming their wrongly tarnished reputations. It turns out that the Mongolians have a Ming princess in their possession, and the Koreans are desperate to rescue her.

Punch (South Korea – 2011)PunchThis is an amazing movie. It beautifully portrays the harshness of life, but it is not a sad or depressing story. Rather, it offers a nice glimpse of hope. The main character is a high school boy who struggles with schoolwork and poverty. Originally at odds with his teacher, who also turns out to be his neighbor, the two eventually form a friendship that helps the boy to discover something that changes him for the better: a passion for kick-boxing.

See You After School (South Korea – 2006)See You After SchoolThis is a completely ridiculous movie, but it was so much fun to watch. There were some parts where I couldn’t stop laughing and others where I was completely dumbfounded. 🙂 After spending a year in psychological therapy to try to cure him of his insanely bad luck, the protagonist enrolls himself into high school to get a fresh start. Unfortunately for him, things don’t go so well. Shortly after falling in love at first sight with the prettiest girl in school, he tries to defend her from some thugs in an effort to look cool and prove that he is not a loser. However, it turns out that the thugs were the most notorious guys in school, and their leader challenges the protagonist to a fight, after school.

Summer Time Machine Blues (Japan – 2005)Summer Time Machine BluesThis is the kind of movie you need to watch twice. So many things happen that don’t make sense the first time around; watching a second time really brings out the best in the story. It’s quite fun and clever, actually! ^^ When the members of the sci-fi club at a local college spill a drink on the air conditioner’s remote, thus ruining it, they are left to suffer in the sweltering clubroom. Or are they? A time machine suddenly appears and they decide they should just go back to the moment before the remote is ruined and save it! It can’t be that hard…

Viva! Love (South Korea – 2008)Viva! LoveThis movie caught me completely off guard! I wasn’t expecting it to turn out the way it did, but I thought the movie was hilarious and heart-warming at the same time. Since her husband always lazes about, a frustrated middle-aged woman is left to manage a lodge house and a karaoke bar by herself. One day, her moocher adult daughter runs away, leaving her parents in confusion and her boyfriend (also one of the tenants) heartbroken. Sad to see the young man drowning his sorrows in alcohol, the woman tries to cheer him up and visits his shop often. One night, after she drags him back home while he’s drunk, she realizes she’s fallen in love with him and they spend the night together. After that night, the relationships between the four adults get rather complicated.

Love in Space (Hong Kong – 2011)Love in SpaceI really like the way this movie was presented. It’s four separate yet interconnected love stories all tied into one, and it’s very well done. The lovelorn lives of three sisters are about to change during one eventful summer. The eldest sister is reunited with an ex-boyfriend in space, the middle sister meets a garbage man in Sydney, and the youngest sister is hit on by a broke student while working undercover at a café in Beijing. Their widowed mother also finds a little romance along the way.

Well, there you have it! I hope that you’ll watch at least one of these movies and that you will like it! Don’t forget to let me know what you thought~! ^^

Until next time,

ChibiChin.  (ノ◕◡◕)ノ*:・゚✧


1 thought on “Thirteen Asian Movies

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