Review: THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES, An Epic Poem

Rarely in cinema history has the notion of a journey there and back again been more aptly applied. Yes, the culmination of Peter Jackson & co.'s vast epic comes in an episode titled The Battle of the Five Armies,... More »
  

Review: CONCERNING VIOLENCE, A Potent Look At Colonization Of Africa And Its Ugly Aftermath

Whew, where do I begin.... Concerning Violence, a new stock footage documentary from Goran Hugo Olsson (Black Power Mixtape) is an extremely sharp indictment on the colonization and its aftermath of the African continent. The matter of fact headiness of... More »
  

Review: EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS Is Lost In The Wilderness

Meeting, but rarely exceeding, expectations, Ridley Scott's grand retelling of Moses and the Hebrews' flight from Egypt is strong on visuals and A-list presence, but slight on narrative and characterisation. Christian Bale and Joel Egerton both put in fine performances... More »
  

Japan Film Festival 2014 Review: LADY MAIKO Is A Languidly Lyrical Linguistic Lark

A loose remake of the hit 1964 Broadway musical My Fair Lady, Lady Maiko (also a musical) takes the basic premise of genteel sensibility and applies it to the contemporary realm of traditional Kyoto geisha and maiko (those in... More »
  

Review: ZERO MOTIVATION Is A Sharply Observed Military Comedy

Stationed in the middle of dusty nowhere, the girls of the administration hub in an Israeli military post spend their time making coffees for the senior officers and doing boring office duties day in and day out. It's far from... More »
  

Review: THE HOMESMAN Takes Tommy Lee Jones Out To Pasture

Hollywood's most high-falutin' varmint must be Tommy Lee Jones. As difficult and humorless as he's perceived to be (and sometimes said to actually be), he's gone and built a career on imbuing a certain curmudgeonly ease into whatever films he... More »
By Jim Tudor   
  

Review: WOMEN WHO FLIRT Sees Pang Score North Of The Border

After dipping his toe into China with his 2012 sequel Love In The Buff, Hong Kong auteur Pang Ho Cheung embraces the inevitable and presents his first full-blown mainland production, Women Who Flirt. Zhou Xun and Huang Xiaoming play the... More »
  

Review: THE BABADOOK Plays Havoc With The Ideals Of Family Life

Australian writer-director Jennifer Kent makes a promising debut with The Babadook, a dramatic horror film that plays havoc with the ideals of family life and the love of a mother for her child. Amelia has not had it easy. Once... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Review: THE IMITATION GAME Cannot Live Up To Its Inherent Drama

From a British nation that has had its fair share of scientific geniuses, it's perhaps no surprise that the life and work of Alan Turing has spawned its fair share of dramatic works. There have been TV versions, drama/docs, and... More »
  

Five Flavours 2014 Review: SHADOW DAYS, A Bold Critique Of China's Notorious One-Child Policy

Zhao Dayong's meaningful and compelling drama Shadow Days offers an unflinching commentary on pressing social and cultural issues pertinent to contemporary China. The documentary maker's second foray into fiction, it revolves around an ordinary young couple who move into an... More »
  

Review: THE PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR Rules The Animated Comedy Roost

I don't know whether to call this a TV spin-off or a bigger franchise's "side project." Whatever it is, The Penguins of Madagascar is something fresh to me. I went in, kids in tow, knowing nothing. I haven't laughed this hard... More »
By Jim Tudor   
  

Five Flavours 2014 Review: IN THE DARK, A Ridiculous Mess Of A Horror Film

If there's one thing that may help the viewers at least partially understand why In The Dark is such a poorly executed and totally un-scary horror (or rather an accidental comedy masquerading as a supernatural horror), it's the following story:... More »
  

Review: DEATH METAL ANGOLA Rocks Our World

Angola is the very definition of a war-torn African nation. The country endured almost constant war for the forty years prior to 2002. A lasting peace accord was finally reached, but four decades of violence have decimated Angola's cultural legacy,... More »
  

Blu-ray Review: STREET FIGHTER ASSASSINS FIST Is Fueled By Passion

Made on a relatively shoe-string budget with thanks to Kickstarter, this reimagined Street Fighter origin tale Assassins Fist came to fruition as brief twelve minute webisodes; ten in total. After its success on YouTube, the show was then turned... More »
  

Five Flavours 2014 Review: Psychological Chiller SOUL Centers On A Complicated Father-Son Relationship

What constitutes a soul? What is the connection between a body and a soul? And, hypothetically, if a person's soul were to get replaced by a totally different one, what would happen to its original owner?Mong-Hong Chung's third full-length feature... More »
  

Japan Film Festival 2014 Review: JUDGE! Scores No Points

Judge! is a satirical look into the Japanese advertising scene, which, anyone should know is a bizarre industry given the output of truly surreal commercials that are churned out daily. The film starts off promising with an over-the-top shoot... More »
  

Morbido Fest 2014 Review: AMERICAN MUSCLE, Smashing, Bloody, Rude, And Often Nude

John Falcon is mad. Imprisoned for 10 years, he's about to be paroled, but his prison sentence hasn't mellowed him one iota. If anything, it's made him a more fierce creature, the personification of fury, refusing to compromise on his... More »
  

Review: NOWHERE IN MORAVIA, Czech Gothic Painted In Bleak Comedy

Czech actor, theatre director and chief of the theatre Dejvické Divadlo, Miroslav Krobot, possessing as diverse acting experience on top of the directing work as playing the lead in Bela Tarr´s The Man from London or having himself rotoscoped for the Alois... More »
  

Cinema One 2014 Review: Dodo Dayao's VIOLATOR Is A Masterful Exercise In Mounting Dread

A storm is coming and its bringing with it to Manila a rapidly escalating sense of dread. There would be panic, perhaps, were there any outlet for such an emotion but with the city on lockdown as water levels rise... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Morbido Fest 2014 Review: FEED THE LIGHT, Beware The Sparkling Dust

Never separate a mother from her child. Sara is torn away from her daughter Jenny in the opening minutes of Feed the Light, a new film by Swedish director Henrik Möller that teeters between bad dreams and outright nightmares. Still... More »
  
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