Review: Kurosawa's SEVENTH CODE, More Complex And Thrilling Than It First Appears

Those expecting another genre bending, bone-chilling spectacle from J-horror master helmer Kurosawa Kiyoshi may be a little disappointed with his low-budget, brisk, slow-moving 2013 feature Seventh Code. Without explaining anything, Kurosawa throws the viewer into a story that at... More »
  

Review: THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - PART 1 Slows Series To A Crawl

With two global smashes that have banked $1.5 billion between them, the Hunger Games series has captured the imagination of spectators around the world with a well-balanced combination of spectacle and emotional depth. Mockingjay - Part 1, the first part... More »
  

Book Review: Shawn Levy's DE NIRO: A LIFE Opens Up The Life And Films Of Robert De Niro

For me, a good writer makes you want to re-watch movies you've seen a dozen times. That's what Shawn Levy does with De Niro: A Life (Crown Archetype, 2014, 600 pages), a new biography that digs respectfully into the actor's... More »
  

Cairo 2014 Review: THE CHALLAT OF TUNIS, Brilliant And Disturbing Satire

The words 'satire' and 'mockumentary', when referring to films, might automatically be thought to reference humour. But there is no humour, except very dark, in director Kaouther Ben Hania's brilliant The Challat of Tunis. It is a searing portrait of... More »
  

Cairo 2014 Review: THE CUT, A Good Epic Journey

With the exception of Atom Egoyan's Ararat, the Armenian Genocide has not had much attention in Western cinema. German-Turkish filmmaker Fatih Akin, whose previous films have often looked at issues of the marginalized, transnational cultures and violence, attempts to tackle... More »
  

Cairo 2014 Review: THEEB Doesn't Quite Live Up to its Promise

Stories of war or violent conflict can often seem more acute and terrifying through the eyes of a child, especially if it is only from the periphery, when the child knows less than the audience. Theeb, Jordanian director Naji Abu's... More »
  

Review: FROM INSIDE Rides A Depressing Train Of Thought

(For those who thought Snowpiercer wasn't somber enough...) Cee, a young pregnant woman, sits on a giant train which drives through a post-apocalyptic landscape. Nobody knows if the train's destination still exists, or even if there are tracks beyond the... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E12, DEATH IN HEAVEN (Or, Maniacal Missy And Her Cybermen)

While last week's "Dark Water" was patient and tense in ways Doctor Who rarely is, this finale reverts to the mode of rushing around while nothing that happens makes any sense. It has more than a few moments of brilliance, but... More »
  

Review: SET FIRE TO THE STARS is Cinematic Poetry and Rage

It isn't easy to portray the literary arts on screen. Apart from having someone recite from a book (which can become tedious), the challenge becomes how to find the connection between the writer being portrayed, their work, and how that... More »
  

Tokyo 2014 Review: GARM WARS: THE LAST DRUID, Mamoru Oshii Delivers Magic Dogs Amidst Turgid Fantasy

Mamoru Oshii has built a loyal following over the years with his penchant for thought-provoking animated features, 1995's Ghost in the Shell being his masterpiece, but the turgid fantasy stylings of Garm Wars: The Last Druid will test the most... More »
  

Review: HANGAR 10 Is A Found Footage Dud

I got a little excited when I heard that the producers of Creep and Severance (two good films) were involved in a new film from IFC about aliens, Hangar 10. However, that's where my interest ended. Upon watching the film, I can say... More »
  

Review: WHY DON'T YOU PLAY IN HELL?, A Brash Bundle Of Boundless Fun

[This review originally ran following the film's premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. And, yes, thanks to the general craziness of of R100 I did, in fact, eat my shirt.] Mark my words: If another film brings even half... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Review: THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING Looks Into A Fascinating Relationship

James Marsh's eye for documentary storytelling is a welcome aspect to this biopic about one of the most recognizable scientists to have ever lived. Stephen Hawking is perhaps known more widely for his physical struggles, synthesized voice, and pop culture... More »
  

Review: OPEN WINDOWS Thrills And Chills

Early on in Open Windows, Spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo invites easy comparisons to Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window, but then, pardon the expression, he throws them out the window. What begins as an homage quickly morphs into a thriller with its... More »
  

Review: LA LEYENDA DE LAS MOMIAS, An Animation Ruined By Its Poor Writing

La Leyenda de las Momias (The Legend of the Mummies) is the third entry of a popular series of animated movies - for little kids - created by Mexico's Ánima Estudios. The main concept behind these films is to showcase... More »
  

Review: DIE FIGHTING, An Energetic, Meta Martial Arts Flick

Die Fighting, the latest from martial arts maestros Z Team, also marks the full-length directorial debut of Wushu specialist and choreographer Fabien Garcia, after making the short films Duel, Fantasy Story, and Brothers Forever. It's a nice bit of undemanding... More »
  

Review: Antoinette Jadaone's BEAUTY IN A BOTTLE, A Witty and Self-Deprecating Comedy Directed At Beauty Consumerism

Six Degrees of Separation From Lilia Cuntapay (2011), Antoinette Jadaone's first feature, revolves around a real-life character named Lilia Cuntapay, a bit player who has become some sort of celebrity for portraying ghouls and witches in a number of Filipino horror movies. It... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Viennale 2014 Review: OUT-TAKES FROM THE LIFE OF A HAPPY MAN Transforms Memories Into Reality

Anyone familiar with the work of legendary avant garde filmmaker Jonas Mekas will instantly feel at home with his 2012 work Out-Takes From The Life Of A Happy Man that screened together with Andy Warhol's Tiger Morse (Reel 14 of... More »
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E11, DARK WATER (Or, Meet Missy)

It was always going to be the case that Steven Moffat would only answer the question of time lords regenerating as any gender other than male on his own terms. He's made it clear he doesn't want a woman playing... More »
  

Review: HORNS, Sloppy, Rushed, And Undeveloped

"Are you horny?" asks Juno Temple of Daniel Radcliffe in one of the more tranquil moments in this goofy yet sincere adaptation of Joe Hill's (by all accounts) quite good novel, Horns. Two lovers, Iggy and Merrin, lay like Yin... More »
  
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