Imagine if there was a media series of school-aged children fighting for survival long before the Hunger Games was a thing. Alas, there was and always has been Battle Royale, a series set in post-apocalyptic Japan where a select high school class of children fight to the death in a last-man-standing competition. Gory and intense, Battle Royale is a fun watch with a few differences from the book and manga of the same name. You’ll want to see just who manages to survive the deadly competition and how they manage to do it among all of the other sordid deaths.
Memoirs of a Geisha
Based off Arthur Golden’s controversial book of the same name, Memoirs of a Geisha delves into the world of geisha, courtesans and artists of Japan that have existed since antiquity. Becoming a geisha and the rules and secrets of that world remains highly prized. The movie, featuring Ken Watanabe and frequent scene partners Michelle Yeoh and Ziyi Zhang, looks at a dramatized account of a real geisha’s ascent. The rise of Sayuri, a girl sold into the life who manages to rise to top of the profession in World War II and post-war Japan with pitfalls along the way, is chronicled splendidly.
crouching tiger, hidden dragon
The fantastical Oscar-winning tale featuring legendary martial artists/actors Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Chang Chen and Ziyi Zhang has long been one of the best films to ever be released. Smooth action scenes, beautiful sword play and a story of revenge and redemption that is simple yet enchanting, Crouching Tiger deserved all the awards and accolades it received and still garners praise nearly 20 years after its release.
The legendary Jet Li leads a cast featuring Donnie Yen, Ziyi Zhang and Tony Leung in a visually stunning wuxia film that must be seen to be believed. The detail in the tale of assassins attempting to eliminate the first emperor of China is at an elite level, and the action sequences are some of the best to ever be filmed. Hero combines history and breathtaking martial artistry to create a masterpiece wire work of art.