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Sema The Warrior of Ayodhaya (THAI 2003)

Director : Tanit Jitnukul
Cast :  Voravit Kawepand, Jaran Ngamdee and Sririwat Chevasud

Synopsis
Sema, the son of a swordsmith, has just come back home from a sword fighting training institute. With his strong sword skills, he’s made a sword trainer in the household of Khun Ram. There, he met beautiful Rerai, daughter of Khun Ram and they felt for each other. Unfortunately, she’s already been engaged to Moo Khan against her own will. However, Sema and his company are mistakenly recognized as rebels and they had to flee a guerrilla band. Then he heard that Burmese had been rallying a large war, he rushed to the war scene and he couldn’t stand the sight of Thai soldiers being slaughtered. He then chopped off the head of Burmese General. Sema finally gained back his reputation, but he still had to fight for his own love.

Review
by Edward Tang

“Sema” is one of those films you pick up because of the box art. Noting that it reads on the cover “An epic action adventure from Thailand”, I was intrigued for sure. Then obviously recalling that I just had seen Ong-Bak a week earlier, I was eager to check this bad boy out. What Sema delivers is more or less a watered down epic that doesn’t deliver in the action department. Everything is just very basic, down to the story and the acting. See dumb kid, he wants to be a soldier, he becomes a soldier, he has a boner for the hot chick, they become friends, mean bastard army dude gets angry because he has a boner as well, and then from there things are sketchy. Basically the editing was so bad, I didn’t know what the f*ck was happening most of the time, but I still felt that they would deliver on the action side. I’m afraid it didn’t hit up once.

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Seed of Darkness (MALAYSIA 2006)

Director : Michael Chuah
Cast : Sze-sen Wong, Amber Chia, Alvin Wong, Vick Teo

Synopsis
Seed of Darkness weaves a spooky tale of the life of a single mother by choice who decides to undergo the “in-vitro fertilization process” in Singapore to have a child of her own. 7 years later, she moves into a new apartment and her child begins to behave oddly, much to the bafflement of her young mother. Her fear begins to mount when she finds her child frequently talking to herself and insist that she can see her non-existent father.

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Save The Green Planet (KOREA 2003)

 

Director / Writer : Jang Jun-Hwan
Cast : Shin Ha-Kyun, Paek Yun-Sik, Hwang Jeong-Min, Lee Jae-Young, Lee Joo-Hyun

Synopsis
Byung-Gu explains to his girlfriend Sooni that aliens live on planet earth and are responsible for all the problems on the planet. Byung concludes that the wealthy and successful businessman Kang Man-Shik is a top alien and so he and Sooni kidnap the man in the hope that he will allow them to speak to the Alien Prince of Andromeda. When Man-Shik responds with confusion at his being kidnapped and doesn’t tell them what they want to hear, Byung-Gu is already prepared. To save the planet he will torture the truth out of the man…

Review
by Martin Cleary

For some reason I thought that Save The Green Planet was a ‘crazy’ comedy. The film’s colourful posters and adverts all depict Shin Ha-Kyun smiling like a moron. Even looking at the dvd case I was still expecting something possibly Stephen Chow-like. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Green Planet is partly a comedy – and yes, it has some brilliantly funny scenes – but it’s also quite nasty. Think Reservoir Dogs meets Men In Black and that’s still only part-way to describing this amazing film from South Korea.

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Crime Story (Joy Sales / Fortune Star)

DVD Information
Distributor : Joy Sales / Fortune Star
Audio : DTS-ES 6.1, DD-EX 5.1, Dolby 2.0
Discs : 1 (DVD9)
Languages : Cantonese, Mandarin
Format : NTSC
Subtitles : Chinese, English
Running Time : 106 minutes
Contents : 1 DVD, 1 pamphlet
Screen Ratio : 1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
Classification : III
Region : 3
Others : Year 1993

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Samurai Resurrection (JAPAN 2003)

aka Makai tenshô

Director : Hideyuki Hirayama.
Cast : Koichi Sato, Yosuke Kubozuka, Kumiko Aso, Tetta Sugimoto, Tomoko Kurotani.

Synopsis
37,000 peasants perished in the Shimabara Revolt; among them, the leader of that uprising, Shiro Amakusa. More than a decade later, Amakusa rises from the dead hell-bent on revenge. Resurrecting a ghastly army of living dead master swordsmen by way of an occult art called “Makai Tensho”(demonic transmigration), he sets his sights on overthrowing the Shoganate. Standing in their way Legendary Samurai Jubei Yagyu, who will have to fight the reincarnation of his own father before the fierce final confrontation with Shiro Amakusa himself!

Review
by Edward Tang

Samurai films can be done a few ways, the correct way as seen in every Kurosawa film, and this way, a horror samurai film that really never gets there. In watching this, I lost track of what was happening and why it was happening, because the story jumped around from this to that. I’m a fairly patient person, but seeing random images and things that just don’t make sense gets irritating. This film isn’t ugly and the action scenes are decent enough to keep you ready for something more, but unfortunately, that “more” never comes. I did some research for this review and came up with a film with the same title that starred Sonny Chiba. Reading up on it even more, it is somewhat of a “cult film”. I must check that one out, because this one was very disappointing.

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