Archive | Reviews

‘Kanako’ pits esteemed actor against a lot of pointless gore

‘Kanako’ pits esteemed actor against a lot of pointless gore

By Andrew Hamlin Northwest Asian Weekly “The World of Kanako” begins with a Christmas celebration or, to be more precise, several Christmas celebrations. Snow falls slowly. Bright lights twinkle in the night. And young people, at least, dance together in a club, done up in their immaculate fashions. Intercut with this, though, is cursing, hissing, […]

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Posted in At the Movies, Vol 35 No 4 | 1/23-1/290 Comments

NWAW’s January must-reads — Mysterious murders, a petite pachyderm, and not-so-hardboiled detectives

NWAW’s January must-reads — Mysterious murders, a petite pachyderm, and not-so-hardboiled detectives

By Samantha Pak Northwest Asian Weekly One of my favorite things to do when the weather is cold is curl up under a blanket with a good mystery. The following are my January must-read picks: “Grave on Grand Avenue” By Naomi Hirahara Berkley, 2015 LAPD bicycle cop Ellie Rush is back and on the case […]

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Posted in On the Shelf, Vol 35 No 2 | 1/9-1/150 Comments

Top reads in 2015

Top reads in 2015

By Samantha Pak Northwest Asian Weekly From murder mysteries and adventures as far as outer space, to superheroines in the making and meaningful relationships, this past year, I delved into a number of literary worlds. Here is a list of my top 10 reads from 2015 (in no particular order). Winter By Marissa Meyer Feiwel […]

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Posted in On the Shelf, Vol 35 No 1 | 1/2-1/80 Comments

Top 10 films of 2015 — Films worth seeing again

Top 10 films of 2015 — Films worth seeing again

By Andrew Hamlin Northwest Asian Weekly Troubling. Challenging. Problematic. Call 2015 what you want, it had plenty of reasons to stay in bed with the covers pulled over your eyes. Here are 10 visions worth getting out of the house for (although, in fairness, you can ingest most of them through your television). 10.  “Cambodian Son,” directed […]

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Posted in At the Movies, Vol 34 No 52 | 12/19-12/250 Comments

Worlds of fantasy — Monkey queens, princesses, and rice cookers?!

Worlds of fantasy — Monkey queens, princesses, and rice cookers?!

By Samantha Pak Northwest Asian Weekly Winter By Marissa Meyer Feiwel & Friends, 2015 Cinder the cyborg mechanic from New Beijing, Scarlet the farm girl from France, and Cress the former secret Lunar programmer are still working to overthrow Queen Levana of Luna (better known as the moon) and start a revolution. And in this […]

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Posted in On the Shelf, Vol 34 No 50 | 12/5-12/110 Comments

Bae’s N.K. ordeal  to be told in book

Bae’s N.K. ordeal to be told in book

SEATTLE (AP) — Kenneth Bae, a U.S. citizen who was detained in North Korea for two years before his release last November, plans to tell his story in a book. The W Publishing Group, an imprint of the Christian publishing firm Thomas Nelson, says “Not Forgotten: The True Story of My Imprisonment in North Korea” […]

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Posted in Briefs, On the Shelf, Vol 34 No 47 | 11/14-11/200 Comments

East Side Sushi — Impactful food film hits Seattle theaters

East Side Sushi — Impactful food film hits Seattle theaters

By Tiffany Ran Northwest Asian Weekly We live in a time when films like the recently released “Burnt” and “Chef” (2014) project the glory of chefs and the culinary profession to the yelping masses, but “East Side Sushi” is not that. Protagonist Juana is a single mother struggling to support her daughter with menial jobs […]

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Posted in At the Movies, Vol 34 No 47 | 11/14-11/200 Comments

Jafar Panahi’s “Taxi”

Jafar Panahi’s “Taxi”

By Andrew Hamlin Northwest Asian Weekly If Jafar Panahi’s new movie comes off less than perfect—or even if it seems perfect—one must consider the circumstances. The Iranian director’s own government banned him from making films for 20 years. In a statement issued earlier this year, Panahi replied that “Nothing can prevent me from making films […]

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Posted in At the Movies, Vol 34 No 47 | 11/14-11/200 Comments

The Assassin

The Assassin

By Andrew Hamlin Northwest Asian Weekly I settled into my seat wondering how Hou Hsaio-Hsien, a Taiwanese director with an eye to the quirks, and subtle quakes of human interchange, would approach a martial arts film, specifically, a “wuxia” (“martial hero”) narrative, with its implicit practices. And “The Assassin,” his first full-length film since 2008’s […]

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Posted in At the Movies, Vol 34 No 46 | 11/7-11/130 Comments

Missions, mysteries, mathematics

Missions, mysteries, mathematics

By Samantha Pak Northwest Asian Weekly The Sun Gods By Jay Rubin Chin Music Press, 2015 It’s the late 1950s and Bill Morton is about to graduate from college. He’s with a young woman he loves and is considering marrying, and the two of them have plans to do missionary work abroad after they graduate. […]

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Posted in On the Shelf, Vol 34 No 46 | 11/7-11/130 Comments

Fantasy, story, and history through graphic novels

Fantasy, story, and history through graphic novels

By Samantha Pak Northwest Asian Weekly Just So Happens By Fumio Obata Harry N. Abrams, 2015 Yumiko lives in London but she was born in Japan. It has been many years since she left Japan and she has established a new life in England: She has a good job at a successful design firm and […]

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Posted in On the Shelf, Vol 34 No 43 | 10/17-10/230 Comments

Spotlight on Sri Lanka — 10th Annual Seattle South Asian Film Festival

Spotlight on Sri Lanka — 10th Annual Seattle South Asian Film Festival

By Andrew Hamlin Northwest Asian Weekly The 10th Annual Seattle South Asian Film Festival (SSAFF), opening on October 15th, showcases Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), an island country near southeast India. The Tasveer organization, parent organization of the SSAFF, chose Sri Lanka to showcase for several reasons, according to Dr. Alka Kurian, co-director of the Festival.  […]

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Posted in Arts & Entertainment, At the Movies, Features, Profiles, Vol 34 No 42 | 10/10-10/160 Comments

The Nightingale — No translation needed

The Nightingale — No translation needed

By Samantha Pak Northwest Asian Weekly After 18 years of living in Beijing, Zhigen is finally fulfilling a promise to his late wife and returning to their village in the Chinese countryside with the nightingale she gave him as a parting gift. For nearly two decades, he had been putting off this trip. But now […]

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Posted in At the Movies, Vol 34 No 42 | 10/10-10/160 Comments

Cops, Boys, and Chinkstars — Reading recommendations for the new season

Cops, Boys, and Chinkstars — Reading recommendations for the new season

By Samantha Pak Northwest Asian Weekly Murder on Bamboo Lane By Naomi Hirahara Berkley, 2014 Ellie Rush is a bicycle cop for the Los Angeles Police Department. And while she just wants to help those who need it, with a half-white, half-Japanese background but looks that can pass for white, she is not always welcome […]

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Posted in On the Shelf, Vol 34 No 41 | 10/3-10/90 Comments

“Jellyfish Eyes”

“Jellyfish Eyes”

By Andrew Hamlin Northwest Asian Weekly The poster and publicity for “Jellyfish Eyes,” the debut film from Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, left me wondering if the film might be an anime.  It isn’t, but it features a cornucopia of fantastic creatures interacting with what we loosely call the real world. The action starts with figures […]

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Posted in At the Movies, Vol 34 No 35 | 8/22-8/280 Comments

Assassins, voices in your head, imperfection… – Sci-fi selections for late-summer reading

Assassins, voices in your head, imperfection… – Sci-fi selections for late-summer reading

By Samantha Pak Northwest Asian Weekly The Lives of Tao By Wesley Chu Angry Robot, 2013 When Roen Tan finds himself being mugged after a late night at work, he goes into a panic, not knowing what to do. But then, a voice inside his head instructs him how to handle the mugger. Worried he […]

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Posted in On the Shelf, Vol 34 No 34 | 8/15-8/210 Comments

“Northern Limit Line” — Crossing emotional and historical borders

“Northern Limit Line” — Crossing emotional and historical borders

By Andrew Hamlin Northwest Asian Weekly Wikipedia and military refers to it as the “Second Battle Of Yeonpyeong.”  On June 29, 2002, two border patrol boats from North Korea slipped over the Northern Limit Line, the maritime boundary between the Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea (DPRK—North Korea) and the Republic Of Korea (South Korea) in […]

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Posted in At the Movies, Vol 34 No 30 |7/18-7/240 Comments

SE Asian intrigue — Selections to cover those extra summer hours

SE Asian intrigue — Selections to cover those extra summer hours

By Samantha Pak Northwest Asian Weekly Singapore Noir Edited by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan Akashic Books, 2014 For many people, when they think of Singapore, a few words and phrases may come to mind: caning, chewing gum, no littering, fines, and new-money wealth. But as clean as people think the streets may be, there is more […]

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Posted in On the Shelf, Vol 34 No 28 | 7/4-7/100 Comments

SIFF 2015 *DID* represent — A recap of featured Asian and Asian American films

SIFF 2015 *DID* represent — A recap of featured Asian and Asian American films

By Tiffany Ran Northwest Asian Weekly Few film festivals in the country can rival the diversity and caliber of films than our own Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), which has for the past 41 years also spotlighted a wide range of Asian and Asian American films. This year, the themes touched on by Asian films […]

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Posted in At the Movies, Vol 34 No 25 | 6/13-6/190 Comments

“Everything Before Us”

“Everything Before Us”

By Andrew Hamlin Northwest Asian Weekly Imagine your entire life governed by a number.  Imagine spending most of your entire life in an office waiting endlessly to change that number.  Imagine that even when you see a specialist, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to change that number to a better one.  In fact, […]

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Posted in At the Movies, Vol 34 No 25 | 6/13-6/190 Comments

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