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12:00 PM on 07.04.2014

NYAFF Review: The White Storm

Before the screening of As the Light Goes Out, NYAFF co-founder/the world’s greatest salesman Grady Hendrix made a pitch for people to stay for The White Storm, the film that was playing immediately afterward. He descri...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

6:00 PM on 07.03.2014

NYAFF Review: As the Light Goes Out

There’s something uniquely fascinating about firefighters. When they arrive on a scene, they aren’t armed to the teeth and ready to take down some villain; they are there to save lives. That’s pretty much th...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

12:00 PM on 07.02.2014

NYAFF Review: Top Star

When one of NYAFF's programmers introduced Top Star, he said that it was surprising that this was Park Joong-hoon's directorial debut. Park has worked as an actor in the Korean film industry for 28 years, but this is his...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

8:15 PM on 06.30.2014

NYAFF Recommendation: Han Gong-Ju

Han Gong-Ju is incredible. It's easily the best film I've seen at the New York Asian Film Festival thus far and among the best I've seen in a long time. It's also extremely depressing, to the point where I'm not sure I can re...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

7:00 PM on 06.25.2014

Review: Snowpiercer

Snowpiercer has been among my most anticipated films for the past several years. Every time we did a preview of what's upcoming, Snowpiercer has been on there in some capacity. When it got its Korean release last ye...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

2:00 PM on 06.24.2014

Review: Nothing Bad Can Happen

The German title of Nothing Bad Can Happen is "Tore Dances," something I knew from the beginning thanks to the multiple attempts I have made at learning German in my life. It's one of the few things I remember, but ...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

8:00 AM on 06.23.2014

The 2014 New York Asian Film Festival is about to rock you

It's that time again. Summer is here, which means that New York City residents have retreated to their air conditioned apartments, offices, and movie theaters. For the next few weeks, that theater of choice should be the Film...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

10:00 AM on 06.17.2014

Flix for Short: O Futebol Classico, a Mickey Mouse short

To celebrate the FIFA World Cup kicking off in Brazil, Disney has crafted a new Mickey Mouse short entirely in Portuguese, O Futebol Classico. It's short, sweet, and funny. You don't even need to know Portuguese to like it!  JOSE CARIOCAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.  

Nick Valdez

12:00 PM on 06.04.2014

Review: Rigor Mortis

In Hong Kong, vampires hop. The Jianshi (literally translated as "stiff corpse," but who cares about literal translations?) are undead creatures that, arms outstretched (not unlike our vision of Frankenstein's Monster) jump t...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

4:00 PM on 05.09.2014

Review: Blood Glacier

When I heard there was a movie titled Blood Glacier, I knew I wanted to see it. After learning about its premise, my heart was set on it. What Blood Glacier ended up being was more, oh -- so much more, than I ever expected. I...

Liz Rugg

4:00 PM on 05.06.2014

Reviews: Whitewash and Big Bad Wolves

I like film festivals for a lot of reasons, but one of the best is the way films are forced into context with a number of other, entirely unrelated films. The act of watching multiple films in a day alone creates all sorts of...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

2:00 PM on 05.01.2014

Woman replaces the dead with dolls in "The Valley of Dolls" documentary

Filmmaker Fritz Schumann visits the mostly abandoned village of Nagoro in his creepily sweet short documentary The Valley of Dolls. Schumann profiles 64-year-old Nagoro resident Ayano Tsukimi, a woman who constructs lar...

Isabelle Magliari

8:00 AM on 03.17.2014

Review: Himizu

I can see why Sion Sono was drawn to Himizu. The manga, which ran from 2001 to 2002, seems like exactly the sort of thing that would appeal to the man who made Cold Fish and Suicide Club. But that's not really a com...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

5:06 PM on 03.08.2014

SXSW Review: The Desert

The Desert is a strange beast. A low-budget Argentinian zombie film where the main way money was saved was by having almost no zombies in the film at all. In fact the camera almost never leaves the house the three protagonist...

Matthew Razak

1:17 PM on 03.08.2014

SXSW Review: Wetlands

Wetlands came out of Sundance with plenty of buzz for being shocking for its disturbing sexual content and brazen display of sexual acts. It was that movie every year that someone got up and walked out of because they we...

Matthew Razak

10:00 AM on 02.25.2014

Review: Child's Pose

At first glance, Child's Pose is making a political statement about the class divide present in modern day Romania. The narrative of a wealthy family trying to skirt its responsibilities to a poor family is heavily charg...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

10:30 PM on 02.19.2014

After the Credits: Not caring about unlikable characters

Last week, I saw a movie I didn't like very much, but I found the fact that I didn't like it interesting. I got about halfway through writing the review when I realized that I would rather talk about it than write. Hence thi...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

9:00 AM on 01.22.2014

Third trailer for The Raid 2: Berandal kicks ass

So can we just all agree The Raid 2: Berandal is something we're all looking forward to? I know I am. While the lucky few who are currently attending Sundance are watching it as you read this, the rest of us only have to wai...

Nick Valdez

1:00 PM on 01.21.2014

The Act of Killing returning to theaters in February

The Act of Killing is a stupendous documentary. It's chilling, gripping, and even slightly humorous. I even liked it enough to put it on my Top 15 of 2013 list, and it's got an Oscar nomination now! It's all with good reason....

Nick Valdez



The Top 6 Korean Films Released on Netflix in 2013 photo
The Top 6 Korean Films Released on Netflix in 2013
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

Nearly every time I tell people that I'm a fan of Korean films, I point them to the Korean subgenre on Netflix. It's easy, and even though many people won't ever check them out, I'm happy that the option is there. I understand that some of the films I see will probably never get a wider release, but there are others that people will get to see. And it makes me happy that I'm not the only white guy watching some of these things.

This past year was an odd one, though. It's not so much that there weren't many great releases (although there were definitely fewer than in years past), but that there weren't many releases that really impacted me personally. I saw the films that the films below hit the service and thought, "Yeah! Awesome!" Not, "Oh thank god! Now everyone else will know what I was talking about!"

What I'm trying to say is that 2013 didn't have a Sunny. (If you haven't seen Sunny, fix that right now. Nothing on this list is as good as Sunny is. Heck, nothing in life is as good as Sunny is. Except for the director's cut of Sunny, which is even better.)

But even though there was no Sunny, the following six films are all well worth your time. In no particular order, here are the six best Korean films added to Netflix in the past year.

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Review: Commitment photo
Review: Commitment
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

Every time I watch an Asian film, I check out its page on AsianWiki. It's a pretty great database, especially for Korean films, and I have gotten a lot of use out of it over the past few years. Much of the time, the User Rating is not too far off from how I feel about a film. In fact, at one point last year there was a string of films where my scores happened to be exactly ten below their user ratings. (But our system is presumably much harsher than the internal feelings of AsianWiki's audience.)

At last year's New York Asian Film Festival, I saw a film called Secretly Greatly. It was... average, but the AsianWiki score (with 1104 votes!) was a 95. I've been wondering how that was possible ever since, but I think I've figured it out: It's all about the fangirls.

With 441 votes, Commitment holds a 96 on AsianWiki. I didn't understand it, until I saw that the name of the lead actor was "T.O.P." What kind of horrible person goes by the alias T.O.P.? Well, an entertainer, of course! But not just any entertainer, T.O.P is an award-winning rapper/singer/composer/lyricist/beatboxer/actor/record/producer/model/member of the K-Pop group BIGBANG).

The girls love him.

[This film will be playing for free tomorrow night, January 14th, at the Tribeca Cinemas in New York City, starting at 7 PM. More information can be found here.]

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1:00 PM on 01.07.2014

Next Korean Movie Night NY is wild, wild, wild... and sad

New year, new Korean Movie Night series in New York City. This first series, entitled "Wild Days," is about coming of age, with four films that deal with teenagers doing wild things as teenagers are wont to do (especially in ...

Alec Kubas-Meyer