Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival: Capsule Reviews, Part 2

The Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival celebrates it’s 15th Anniversary this coming Tuesday, November 8th. Part 2 reviews SURROGATE VALENTINE, BLEAK NIGHT, and


Long-time fans of the Elric brothers will have much to look forward to in their latest adventure.
On the trail of an escaped prisoner, the duo find themselves on Milos, a border city with a secret. and blood-soaked past. Deep within its caverns and labyrinths, lies a treasure of great power – the Sacred Star of Milos.

More after the jump.

Edward and Alphonse Elric are certainly the odd couple, a juxtaposition of motor-mouthed fiery temper, versus steel-calm shyness. Ed, the older of the two, leads with his mouth first, and Al generally ends up cleaning up after him. However, in this film, it is Al leads, as he helps the mysterious Julia, a political prisoner who’s fate is also tied to the city.

Filled with fantastic character designs, great fight scenes, and a final battle of volcanic proportions, TSSoM is a great romp for fans of the manga and series, and is a visual treat for the casual anime lover. But as for the title? That’s Ed’s nickname. Dare you to try say it in Japanese. (Hagane no Renkinjutsushi!)

*review by Franz Ombico


Singer/ Songwriter Goh Nakamura stars as himself in this quiet story about going after the one that got away. You can read a full review 8Asians already posted.

As a favour to his friend, Goh agrees to teach TV actor Danny Turner (Chadd Stoops) guitar for his role in an upcoming film. Danny wanting to give his character authenticity attempts to embrace and imitate Goh’s every move. What starts off as being an utter disruption to Goh’s mellow and chill life, turns out to be the shake he needed to finally get Rachel who he’s pinned for since they were teenagers.

The highlight of this film is not the dialogue, but the meaning in the silences between its characters. A definite leap forward for director Dave Boyle from his previous film, White on Rice. Entertaining – Recommended.

GOH NAKAMURA performs at Rancho Relaxo as part of LIVE SCORE ENCORE music night, Fri., Nov. 11

(South Korea)

*Writer’s note – I couldn’t find a trailer with English subtitles, but the film is fully subbed. 🙂
Three friends attending the same all-boys school study, play and joke as boys cruelly do. As if overnight, one starts to distance himself away from the group only to be harassed for his sudden awkward behaviour.

Misunderstandings, turn into violent confrontations causing the father of one of the boys to try to understand and piece together what happened.

An intimate and almost too realistic portrayal of the growing pains relationships between boys go through. Nothing is ever fully explained, leaving the audience wondering like the father, what happened?


BLEAK NIGHT will also be screening in Richmond Hill on Sat. Nov 18th.

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About Xxxtine

The main Canuck here I (sometimes) give a different perspective. I used to be 'read only' but you can actually hear me via POP 88 on 8Asians podcasting sister site Always trying to find that right balance between fluff and substance, I tend to focus my interests in discovering different perspectives. Look forward to hearing (and perhaps seeing) things you wouldn't anywhere else. Current vice and embarrassingly obsessed with: Kpop group AFTER SCHOOL
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