CJ Sheu

Posted: 38

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CJ Sheu is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved, Taipei-based film critic for The News Lens and Critics at Large; he has been published by Bright Wall/Dark Room, Funscreen (Taiwan), and LeonardMaltin.com. He has a PhD in 21st-century American fiction.

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2022/04/23 | CJ Sheu

Zhang Yimou Crafts an Unusual Propaganda Film with ‘Snipers’

‘Snipers’ is an unapologetic Chinese patriotic melodrama. It’s not for everyone, but there were times that it was able to hint at a more multifaceted story.

2022/03/29 | CJ Sheu

What’s in a Slap?

Smith was wrong to slap Rock, in public or in private. And Rock and ABC were wrong for approving the joke. But commentators are also wrong for treating this incident the same as they would had all three people involved been White.

2022/03/28 | CJ Sheu

‘Microhabitat’ Is an Ozu Adaptation in Both Story and Heart

No matter how desperate Mi-so’s situation is, she’s always more concerned for those around her. Our view of her suggests that the critique is not just of modernity, but of contemporary capitalism.

2022/03/21 | CJ Sheu

‘The Dawn of Everything’ Is a (Qualified) Masterpiece

‘The Dawn of Everything’ not only shows that there are alternatives to neoliberal patriarchal settler capitalism. It tells a compelling story of how we “got stuck” where we are now.

2022/02/19 | CJ Sheu

Boredom Gives Rise to Experimentation in ‘The Cloud in Her Room’

Films in the quarter-life crisis genre often treat the drifting ennui of young adulthood as an aberration, or at most a regrettable rite of passage. But what if the ennui itself is what gets you through?

2022/01/04 | CJ Sheu

‘Being the Ricardos’ Turns ‘I Love Lucy’ into the Nicole Kidman Show

‘Being the Ricardos’ has divided critics on everything but one point: Nicole Kidman is a revelation.

2021/12/09 | CJ Sheu

‘Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy’ Encapsulates the Odd Vicissitudes of Life

Winner of the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, ‘Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy’ is a three-part anthology film full of incident, confidently walking a fine line between realism in acting and melodrama in plot.

2021/08/30 | CJ Sheu

The Unexplored Existential Angst of ‘Night Drive’

Between the trendy conceits of time travel and taxi drivers taken hostage, ‘Night Drive’ is an original and weird tale.

2021/07/06 | CJ Sheu

‘Longing for the Rain’ Makes You Long for a Shorter Film

Shot in Beijing and Changchun, Longing for the Rain’s explicit treatment of female desire clearly distinguishes it as a Hong Kong film.

2021/06/16 | CJ Sheu

‘River of Exploding Durians’ Makes a Virtue of a Small Budget

On the surface a critique of Malaysian political corruption and societal acquiescence — and it still is that — ‘River of Exploding Durians’ is grounded in one young man’s devastation at losing everyone he cares about.

2021/05/03 | CJ Sheu

‘Detective Conan: The Scarlet Bullet’ A Solid Entry in a Stellar Series

‘Scarlet Bullet’ is the latest in the Detective Conan crime manga film series. Its action, humor, and formulaic plot are the main draws.

2021/03/26 | CJ Sheu

‘Our Story’ and the Possibilities of Literature

The manga-influenced ‘Our Story’ has the charms of a coming of age story, but also contemplates the power of literature.

2021/02/20 | CJ Sheu

‘Recipe for Happiness’ Shows How Muddling Through Life Can Keep Us Sane

Following the everyday life of openly unambitious and mediocre civil servant Namgoong Jin-Soo, 'Recipe for Happiness' captures what it’s like to be a young adult in the age of precarious neoliberal ecotastrophe.

2021/01/07 | CJ Sheu

In the Age of Digital Streaming, Will Literature Survive?

How to learn to stop worrying and love the literature of our new streaming-centric life.