Jack Tung really likes his movies. Fortunately for the rest of us, he also likes to pen a review every now and then. (That usually means he really really likes it.) K.O.A. Zine is proud to present the first installment of:

Jack's Movie Reviews: 15, Calamari Wrestler, Crying Fist



One of the highlights of my weekend was watching the New York theatrical premiere of 15. From swallowing condoms of pills (for smuggling purposes) and assisting one another's suicides, to karaoke rehearsals and self inflicted violence, this film did not let me down one bit. I believe this project was initially a 25 minute documentary about these local hooligans from Singapore. Having received such amazing reviews from a handful of mini festivals, Royston Tan decided to go full force with it. Theyíre real kids with real tattoos, piercing, blood, tears, razors, and problems. Apparently all of the scenarios were re-enactments of their true experiences, and yes, they're all fucking 15. Iíve never seen Thirteen, and only remember parts of Larry Clark's Kids, but Iím sure Royston Tan's documentation of youth in Singapore makes the others seem like Buggs Bunny and laffy-taffy-Daffy Duck cartoons. Itís extremely stylish and visually stimulating for those who have short attention spans. Thereís also plenty of fun animation, and really heartfelt moments that'll make you "WUSS" up, and your worst nightmares seem petty. This film is fucking brilliant. Itís definitely my new favorite, next to Murderball. (4/17/05)



After vegetarian dim sum, I went to the Imaginasian Theater for the 8:00pm screening of the Calamari Wrestler. Wow, this film is absolutely hilarious! Being one of the 3 people in the theater Tuesday night, I may have laughed the loudest. An ex-wrestler, reincarnated as a squid, rediscovers romance and finds himself back in the ring, kicking more ass than ever, and facing his ultimate rival- the insectoid squilla boxer. Wow, again. Itís kind of like Kaiju Big Battel, but with a love scene (don't worry, I won't give anything away). Oh yes. Seriously, don't miss out on this. Itís a must-see. (5/19/05)



To hell with Cinderella Man. I liked it the first time when I watched ROCKY! The NYAFF came to an end on Saturday and closed appropriately with the latest Ryu Seung-Wan installment, CRYING FIST, followed by a Q&A session with the director himself. To describe this film as "sporty" would be inaccurate, I think. The good guy/bad guy concept is nonexistent in this film. Split into two dynamic stories of two absolute strangers with very flawed lives trying to overcome the enemies within themselves, Ryu deliberately sucks you into their every emotion and makes you feel what they feel, as well as the surrounding characters they affect (negatively & positively), with every drip of blood and tear they shed. The amazing cinematography and superb acting by the two main characters have seriously brought this film over the top for me. All I have left to say about this is that after the credits came to an end and the projector stopped ...EVERY single person in that theater had waterfalls for Crying Fist. A standing ovation was most certainly the case when director Ryu walked onto the stage once the lights went on. So, getting back to the main point at hand... umm, what was I saying earlier again? Oh yeah. Thatís right. Fuck Cinderella Man. Just, to hell with it. (7/5/05)


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