Cinema Escapist

Cinema Escapist is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Anthony Kao, Richard Yu
Rating Title/Year Author
Secret Zoo (2020) Anthony Kao The film mixes lighthearted humor with low-key social commentary, offering a heartwarming but passionless viewing experience. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
The Man Standing Next (2020) Anthony Kao Offers a rigorous retelling of events, but results in an overloaded narrative that caters to history buffs at the slight expense of casual viewers and cinephiles. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
Ashfall (2019) Anthony Kao Ashfall might be a trope-ridden blockbuster, but it's one with geopolitical significance. EDIT
Posted Jan 15, 2020
This Is Not What I Expected (2017) Richard Yu The film's heavenly portrayal of cuisine is better than any aperitif to prepare you for dinner EDIT
Posted Dec 29, 2019
Ip Man 4: The Finale (2019) Richard Yu Ip Man 4 captures the zeitgeist of the "yellow peril" that's swept across a contemporary America threatened by the economic and geopolitical rise of the People's Republic of China. EDIT
Posted Dec 19, 2019
So Long, My Son (Di jiu tian chang) (2019) Anthony Kao "So Long, My Son" offers a humanistic look at China in the wake of Reform and Opening...It's a winning formula for anyone who's into East Asian art cinema or modern Chinese history. EDIT
Posted Dec 17, 2019
() Richard Yu I'm Livin' It constantly reminds us of the value of emotional wealth over material wealth. EDIT
Posted Dec 14, 2019
() Richard Yu While Hollywood continues to highlight the glittering side of Singapore, local films like Wet Season will provide a valuable outlet for the less joyful moments of life EDIT
Posted Dec 8, 2019
Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains (2019) Richard Yu Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains demonstrates deep roots in Chinese culture...besides being set in a literal shan shui environment, the film also assumes the essence of a shan shui painting EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2019
Samurai Cat (2014) Anthony Kao If you're a cat lover, Neko Samurai is an awesome boredom-killer that will make you (and your feline companion(s), provided they're feeling up to it) purr with content. EDIT
Posted Nov 29, 2019
L'insulte (2017) Anthony Kao Unlike 2018's other Foreign Language nominees, "The Insult" has real political power-to help its homeland heal from the past. EDIT
Posted Nov 29, 2019
A Sun (2019) Anthony Kao A Sun crafts an intricate, character-driven drama that's compelling enough to entertain audiences throughout its two and a half hour runtime. EDIT
Posted Nov 29, 2019
Better Days (2019) Richard Yu While taking an emotional toll, the all-too-realistic bullying scenes also make the film more realistic and empathetic for audience members. EDIT
Posted Nov 11, 2019
The Shadow Play (2019) Richard Yu The Shadow Play is not a movie that you kick back and watch on Netflix at the end of a long day; it's a film that requires involvement and thought on the part of the viewer. EDIT
Posted Nov 4, 2019
Jangsa-ri 9.15 (2019) Richard Yu While on the surface Jangsari is "just another war movie,'' it's important because it recognizes that adolescents can rise to the task when their families and futures are threatened. EDIT
Posted Oct 11, 2019
The Climbers (2019) Richard Yu The Climbers had the potential to be a gripping drama-thriller and project China's soft power while doing so, but instead the overt focus on fighting for national pride makes the film a flop. EDIT
Posted Oct 1, 2019
Tazza: One Eyed Jack (2019) Richard Yu Between the entertaining characters and rollercoaster plot, Tazza: The One Eyed Jack is more than entertaining as crime thriller that will keep you thinking and engaged throughout EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2019
Midnight Diner (2019) Richard Yu By missing out on character development and eschewing presentations of Shanghainese dishes, Midnight Diner fails to entertain both drama-philes and foodies. EDIT
Posted Sep 21, 2019
Hua jiao zhi wei (2019) Richard Yu Even though Fagara doesn't overtly promote "One China," it ultimately reinforces the message that the components of the Greater Chinese community share a lot of similarities rather than differences. EDIT
Posted Sep 16, 2019
Shanghai Fortress (2019) Richard Yu While Shanghai Fortress is not likely to win any awards, it's adequate if you're looking for brainless entertainment EDIT
Posted Sep 15, 2019
The Bad Guys: Reign of Chaos (2019) Richard Yu [The Bad Guys is] a fun film for audiences looking for a respite from more serious dramas, or to get riled up with anti-Japanese sentiment. EDIT
Posted Sep 13, 2019
Ms. Purple (2019) Anthony Kao The film offers a meditative, timely, and multilayered exploration of how cultural legacies from the 'motherland' shape the lives of Asian diaspora. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2019
Miss & Mrs. Cops (2019) Richard Yu While Miss and Mrs. Cops hardly offers anything new in terms of plot, its timely exploration of the challenges women face in Korea makes it worth a watch. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2019
Ne Zha (2019) Richard Yu The film remains whimsical and entertaining for adults and children alike, and its treatment of a Chinese folk deity is surprisingly accessible for audiences unfamiliar with Chinese mythology. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2019
Yeom-lyeok (2018) Anthony Kao While Psychokinesis isn't as outstanding as Train to Busan, it's still worth examining as a commentary on Korean society. EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2019
Shi tu xing zhe 2: die ying xing dong (2019) Richard Yu Plot takes a backseat to action in Line Walker 2-the story merely existing to provide some context for shootouts and car chases EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2019
52Hz, I Love You (2017) Anthony Kao Director Wei Te-sheng's 52 Hz I Love You is a rare Chinese-language musical movie that highlights Taiwan's vibrance and modernity. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
Jack Strong (2014) Anthony Kao Jack Strong offers a compelling dramatization of a true story that takes its time to build a solid arsenal of suspense. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
Under the Sun (2015) Anthony Kao Russian filmmaker Vitaly Manskiy's Under the Sun is perhaps the most philosophical and artistic documentary I've seen about North Korea. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
If Cats Disappeared From the World (2016) Anthony Kao The film isn't the most artistic or innovative piece out there, but watching it is like drinking a cup of afternoon tea on a bright winter day whilst your cat naps... EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
From Afar (2015) Anthony Kao From Afar is not a political nor social commentary; it's one of those movies you'd expect to make a splash only at festivals and nowhere else. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
Girlfriend Boyfriend (2012) Anthony Kao [Girlfriend, Boyfriend] ended up being more like a "romantic movie that just happens to include politics" than a "political movie that just happens to include romance." EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
The Message (2009) Anthony Kao The Message is one of the more fresh takes on a well-established Chinese cinematic tradition of 1940s spies against Japan. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
Land of Mine (2015) Anthony Kao Concise, poignant, and captivating, Land of Mine offers a novel yet intuitive glimpse of a war we see quite often on film. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
A City of Sadness (1989) Anthony Kao Watching 'A City of Sadness' will give you a feel for all the different ways that people, even to this day, disagree about how to tell the story of Taiwan's past. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
The Land of Oblivion (2011) Anthony Kao It's a film that silently, like the radiation that plagued Chernobyl, explores the sources and lasting impacts of the trauma around the nuclear disaster. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
Left Behind Buddha (The Taste of Rice Flower) (2017) Anthony Kao I've seen quite a few films touching upon the theme of China's urban-rural divide, and 'The Taste of Rice Flower' is a rather unique member of the genre. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
The Mayor (2017) Anthony Kao "The film certainly signals lofty ambitions. Yet, as in politics, ambition does not necessarily translate into results." EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
Bitcoin Heist (2016) Anthony Kao "The film is a rollicking action-thriller that showcases a vibrant, modern Vietnam in the process." EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
Haider (2014) Anthony Kao Haider offers a rare combination of not only action-packed entertainment, but also literary panache and geopolitical enlightenment. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
The Great Buddha+ (2017) Anthony Kao Gripping, funny, and socially relevant-The Great Buddha+ is worth a watch if you have any interest in Taiwanese society or cinema. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
Have a Nice Day (2017) Anthony Kao The animations are top-notch and social critique (literally 'chasing after money') compelling, but it just doesn't seem made for Chinese audiences. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
The Host (2006) Anthony Kao With multiple artfully constructed layers of social commentary, 'The Host' offers an incisive look into South Korea's soul. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
The Spy Gone North (2018) Anthony Kao It's rare a movie is topical, authentic, and also entertaining-and 'The Spy Gone North' checks all three boxes. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
Salyut 7 (2017) Anthony Kao This space rescue movie offers gripping suspense...and insight into Russian geopolitics. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
() Anthony Kao Set amidst beautiful mountain steppes, this surprisingly entertaining musical movie might make you want to visit Kyrgyzstan. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
On Happiness Road (2017) Anthony Kao Beyond relatable and touching storytelling, 'On Happiness' Road's visual style creates a distinctive air of wistfulness. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
Take Point (2018) Anthony Kao An unexpectedly rich exploration of broader political ills that the rise of modern mercenaries portend. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
Buffalo Boys (2018) Anthony Kao 'Buffalo Boys' conveys undertones of Asian empowerment that will likely resonate with Asian diaspora. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019
Ten Years Taiwan (2018) Anthony Kao Though certain shorts might get a bit jumbled or too abstract, the anthology contains a wealth of subtext and opportunities to learn about Taiwan that no other film provides. EDIT
Posted Aug 14, 2019