James Mudge

James Mudge
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
James Mudge has been writing about film for over twenty years, and is the head writer at easternKicks.com, as well as the co-host of the easternKicks.com podcast, and the host of the Silk Road Movie Podcast. James has previously written for publications such as Beyondhollywood and YesAsia, and is regularly interviewed about Asian cinema by international media, including The Guardian and China?s CCTV. He also runs The Next Day, a London-based production company, and works as a producer and director between the west and Asia.
Publications: easternKicks.com

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4.5/5 No Score Yet The Shameless (Mu-roe-han) (2015) Bolstered by accomplished writing and direction, the film's success is down in no small part to Jeon Do-yeon, who again proves herself one of Korea's most talented actresses - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2020
4/5 56% The Tenants Downstairs (Lou xia de fang ke) (2016) A great deal of mad, bad fun for the right viewer - while it might well turn off the average exploitation fan through its sheer weirdness, it's a bold slice of Grand Guignol - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2020
3/5 25% Police Story: Lockdown (2015) A reasonable action film from Mainland China, and one which should just about satisfy Jackie Chan fans, if not fulfil their dreams of seeing him return to his glory days - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2020
3.5/5 No Score Yet The Throne (2015) Bolstered by some handsome production values as well as its powerhouse lead performances, the film is another fine, if over-long period drama from Lee Joon-ik - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2020
4.5/5 100% The Tiger: An Old Hunter's Tale (Daeho) (2016) Anchored by a fine performance from Choi Min-sik and Park Hoon-jung's accomplished direction, it's a winning marriage of the breathtakingly grand and the quietly philosophical - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2020
4/5 No Score Yet The Phone (Deo Pon) (2015) Marking an accomplished debut for Kim Bong-joo, the film offers a slice of highly enjoyable schlock for viewers able to suspend their disbelief for a couple of hours - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2020
4/5 60% Cold War 2 (2016) Though undeniably somewhat of a challenging watch, Cold War 2 is a superior sequel and a great, gripping film in its own right - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2020
3/5 No Score Yet The Sound of a Flower (Dorihwaga) (2015) Let down somewhat by Suzy's average performance and lacking in substance, as a look at the world of pansori it does have its charms, and Lee generally keeps things interesting - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2020
2/5 No Score Yet League Of Gods (Feng Shen Bang) (2016) To damn the film with faint praise, League of Gods is vaguely watchable and reasonably entertaining, if only due to the fact that it could have been worse - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2020
3/5 22% The Bodyguard (2016) There's enough here to entertain, with adjusted expectations at least, and it's always great to see Sammo Hung on screen and behind the camera - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2020
3.5/5 No Score Yet The Mobfathers (2016) There's a great deal here to enjoy, and with Chapman To, Anthony Wong and the rest of the cast on fine form, it comes recommended, especially for fans of Triad cinema - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2020
3/5 No Score Yet A Violent Prosecutor (Geom-sa-oe-jeon) (2016) Perfectly watchable but imminently disposable, it's a film which should be enjoyed by Hwang Jung-min fans, though which perhaps needed a little more innovation and effort - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2020
3.5/5 No Score Yet Journalist (Teukjong: Ryangchensalingi) (2015) Though lacking in focus at times, it's nevertheless a fine sophomore offering from Roh Deok, and marks her as a director worth keeping an eye on - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2020
4/5 97% Kaili Blues (Lu Bian Ye Can) (2016) An outstanding effort from Bi Gan, and while perhaps not one for mainstream audiences, it's a wonderful piece of craftsmanship that's well-deserving of its reputation - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2020
3.5/5 41% Kickboxer: Vengeance (2016) Van Damme and Bautista are certainly the main reasons to watch Kickboxer: Vengeance, and help make it an enjoyable piece of old fashioned martial arts fun - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2020
3/5 43% The Himalayas (2016) While it's hard not to feel frustrated at the thought of a more tightly edited and less hysterical take, Lee nevertheless offers up a couple of hours of polished entertainment - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2020
3/5 No Score Yet Detective Chinatown (2016) Detective Chinatown gets a lot right, and serves up effective laughs and an interesting murder mystery, Chen Sicheng proving himself a capable helmer of commercial fare - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2020
3.5/5 No Score Yet Dongju (2016) Though the film isn't the most entertaining of watches, it's one of the more even-handed explorations of Korean history and culture of late, for the right audience at least - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2020
3.5/5 No Score Yet Finding Mr. Right 2 (2016) Well-made and benefitting from appealing leads and locations, it avoids the crassness of many other commercial Chinese romantic comedies, and makes for an entertaining watch - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2020
3.5/5 No Score Yet Like for Likes (2016) Forgettable and the very definition of froth, it's nevertheless a couple of hours of charming fun, with its all-star cast helping to lift things up several notches - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2020
2.5/5 89% Three (Saam Yan Hang) (2016) Though the film is still a worthwhile watch, and works well enough as a slick, if flimsy piece of occasionally thrilling fun, it's clearly a minor offering from the director - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2020
5/5 No Score Yet Himeanole (2016) Shocking, surprising and moving, it's a rough though rewarding ride that benefits from great character writing and some excellent performances from its cast - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2020
3/5 No Score Yet iGirl (2016) Though entirely forgettable, fans of Ekin Cheng and Chrissie Chau won't feel short changed, and, for what it's worth, the film is a pleasant enough way to kill time - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2020
3/5 84% Sweet Bean (An) (2016) Anything Kawase directs is not without interest and even when offering up something more accessible and middle of the road like this, there's an artistry to her work as always - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2020
4/5 73% A Bride for Rip Van Winkle (Rippu van winkuru no hanayome) (2017) Fans of Iwai Shunji will find a great deal to enjoy, and the film's length never feels unnecessary, being justified by its understated and profound ruminations on modern life - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2020
3/5 No Score Yet No Tomorrow (2016) Though the true story behind it deserves a more substantial depiction, the film is worthwhile as an indie mystery, and patient viewers should find it rewarding - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2020
4/5 No Score Yet Love, Lies (2016) Though let down by its routine love triangle narrative, Love, Lies has a lot going for it, and is a superior and really quite gorgeous-looking Korean period drama - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2020
3.5/5 No Score Yet Remember You (2016) Remember You is more enjoyable than a lot of other Korean rom-dramas, and Lee makes good use of a central conceit that could in other hands have been far gimmickier - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2020
2.5/5 67% She Remembers, He Forgets (2015) Though there's nothing the film really does wrong, it's let down by a lack of originality in both plot and character, and an inability to pull its various elements together - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2020
2/5 No Score Yet Killer Snakes (1974) Although Kuei is due some credit for not glamorising the rape scenes and not playing them for cheap thrills, the result is still an ugly film that's quite hard to sit through - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2020
3.5/5 No Score Yet S Storm (ZStrom Ii) (2016) Never as weighty or intelligent as David Lam seems to think it is, the film still has its moments, and should be enjoyed by fans who like a lot of shouting with their action - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2020
3.5/5 50% Phantom of the Theatre (2016) While unlikely to challenge the spooky classics of the past, it's a very respectable genre offering from China, even more so given the situation with the anti-horror censors - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2020
3/5 No Score Yet At Cafe 6 (2016) While not as good as pure love genre favourites like You are the Apple of my Eye and Our Times, there's plenty here to entertain the already converted - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2020
5/5 No Score Yet Zhong gui (Seeding of a Ghost) (1983) Fully deserving of its infamy, the film is amongst the very best of its kind, and an absolute must see for fans of the Shaw Brothers' brand of gross out horror - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2020
3.5/5 57% One Night Only (2016) Though frustratingly let down, for this reviewer at least, by a bungled and melodramatic conclusion, it's a film with plenty to enjoy - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2020
3/5 40% Operation Chromite (2016) It's hard not to feel a little underwhelmed by the familiarity of it all, and many viewers will yearn for the day when directors might try to do something different - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2020
3/5 No Score Yet Seondal: The Man Who Sells The River (Bongyi Kimseondal) (2016) Making up for its lack of originality through the charms of its humorous script and amiable cast, the film is a reasonable offering for viewers not already tired of its ilk - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2020
4/5 No Score Yet The Last Princess (2016) Powered by excellent performances, most notably from Son Ye-jin, it's an intelligent and moving production, whether the viewer is familiar with its source material or not - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2020
3.5/5 86% Phantom Detective (Tamjung Hong Gil-dong: Sarajin Ma-eul) (2016) It's interesting to see an indie director like Jo Sung-hee making his way in the mainstream, and while not quite firing on all cylinders yet, he's a filmmaker worth watching - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2020
4/5 No Score Yet Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris (1999) Benefitting from more substance than usual along with excellent effects, the film represents everything enjoyable about the genre, and provides first-rate monster action - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2020
3/5 No Score Yet Heartfall Arises (2016) There's enough here to make Heartfall Arises worthwhile for viewers with suitably adjusted expectations, and though by no means a great film, it is at least entertaining - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 27, 2020
3.5/5 No Score Yet One Way Trip (2016) Amongst the many Korean films dealing with rites of passage in a grim manner, while it doesn't stand out, there's enough here to make it a worthy, if not terribly fun watch - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2020
4/5 No Score Yet Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell (2014) Those with a taste for lo-fi gore and Japanese cult splatter should find the film a real delight, and Shinichi Fukazawa's mad opus is well-worth seeking out - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2020
3.5/5 No Score Yet Luck-Key (Leokki) (2016) Given a definite lift and a dash of star power by leads Yu Hae-jin and Lee Joon, the film makes up for its lack of substance with its winning sense of humour - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2020
4.5/5 No Score Yet Pandora (2017) An important film, and one of the better big-budget Korean disaster blockbusters of late, as well as a welcome return from feisty director Park Jung-woo - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2020
4.5/5 No Score Yet Night's Tightrope (2016) While the film's bleak tone and dark paths will mean that it's not for all tastes, it's an impressive and accomplished offering from Yukiko Mishima - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2020
4.5/5 No Score Yet Derailed (Doo namja) (2016) A powerful and hard-hitting debut from Lee Seong-tae as writer and director, and a well-made, if resolutely bleak and depressing indie - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2020
3.5/5 No Score Yet Yi Lu Shun Feng (2013) For those willing to be patient and appreciate its languid, often obscure charms, it should make for an enjoyably idiosyncratic take on the road movie genre - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2020
4.5/5 80% Birdshot (2016) Taught, haunting and dark in a rewardingly contemplative fashion, it's an amazing achievement for a young director like Mikhail Red - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2020
3.5/5 100% The Age of Shadows (2016) A step sideways rather than back, though it doesn't do Kim's rep as one of Korea's best directors any harm - as an all-star blockbuster it's entertaining, if not enthralling - easternKicks.com EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2020