Rotterdam 2015 Review: WAR BOOK Makes For A Compelling Chamber Piece

(Thankfully a nuclear war isn't our biggest fear any more these days... or is it?) This year, the opening film of the International Film Festival Rotterdam was Tom Harper's War Book, a British drama about a governmental brainstorm session. It... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Göteborg 2015 Review: LUCIFER, An Intriguing Reimagination Of A Classic Tale

Belgian director Gust Van den Berghe concludes his triptych on the emergence of human consciousness that began with Little Baby Jesus of Flandr and continued with Blue Bird, the enticingly titled Lucifer. Speaking of consciousness, a better-suited mythological figure in the Western... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: SLOW WEST, A Deeply-Reflective Action Movie

The fact that the Western is a troubled genre is hardly news. It's gone from the most prevalent narrative film style to a far more niche set of works. Some neo-Westerns, like Star Wars or Serenity, go operatic, taking... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Review: SEVENTH SON Should Satisfy The Biggest Fantasy Fans

Based on Joseph Delaney's The Wardstone Chronicles -- more specifically on the saga's first volume, The Spook's Apprentice -- Seventh Son tells the story of Thomas (Ben Barnes), a young farmer chosen to be the new apprentice of Master Gregory... More »
  

Sundance 2015 Review: THE FORBIDDEN ROOM, Weird And Wonderful

There are few things as futile (or daunting) as trying to make sense on paper of a Guy Maddin film. Save for My Winnipeg, which given its relative specificity and coherent narration serving almost as commentary for the flood... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Review: ENTER THE DANGEROUS MIND Exerts A Gravitational Pull

It's always the quiet ones. In Enter the Dangerous Mind, Jim (Jake Hoffman) is a quiet, unassuming, hesitant, and incredibly shy young man. He escapes into music, whaling blasts of noise and harsh beats that he shapes into accompaniment for... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Review: DETECTIVE K: SECRET OF THE LOST ISLAND, Another Underwhelming Period Action Comedy

Detective Kim is back with his trusty sidekick Seo-pil in the follow up to 2011's hit period action-comedy Detective K: Secret Of The Virtuous Widow. A hodgepodge of genres delivered at breakneck speed, this new instalment, subtitled Secret of the... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: PEOPLE, PLACES, THINGS, Perfectly Pleasant

People, Places, Things - a dry, almost forgettable title that refers to a film much better than those adjectives strung together by commas. It's a quotidian moniker for a film that's kind of exceptional, celebrated not only because of... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: GLUCKAUF Combines Gritty Drama With Fantastic Acting

(What went down, must someday come up... right?) Looking at the map of the Netherlands, a few things stand out. The West and North are completely coastal, meaning the province of Limburg in the South-East is the most inland bit... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Review: JUPITER ASCENDING, A Thrilling Yet Contrived Space Opera

Originally set for June 2014, the Wachowskis' new blockbuster was eventually postponed to February 2015 with a diminished, low marketing campaign. Everything seems to indicate that Warner Bros don't believe in the film anymore, despite their massive investment. Yet, Jupiter... More »
  

Sundance 2015 Review: The Holy Fools Are DRUNK, STONED, BRILLIANT, DEAD

To those not fortunate enough to have come of age in the 60s heyday of revolutionary freethinking, it may come as a surprise to learn that the story of National Lampoon, in many ways, is the story of the birth... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: HOMESICK Charts A Tender Symmetry Of Yearning

Norwegian filmmaker Anne Sewitsky made waves at Sundance in 2011 when her feature debut Happy Happy won the Grand Jury World Dramatic Prize. Sewitsky returned to the festival this year with her third feature, Homesick, a deconstructionist family drama which... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: THE INSEMINATOR, Banned But Not Forgotten

This year, the International Film Festival Rotterdam had a section on surrealism, and one of the films playing in it was Bui Kim Quy's The Inseminator. And it took the festival a lot of trouble to get the film, as... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: Invaluable Happenings From STATION TO STATION

It consists of countless bands, playing on and off a polychromatic train as it passes through innumerable cities. But Station To Station is no rockumentary. That it often features brilliant bands playing live on a train will perhaps evoke, for some, the choo... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: THINGS OF THE AIMLESS WANDERER, A World-Class Stunner

To be absolutely mesmerized by a film, totally transfixed, is a rare happening in cinema, but should be the norm, right? Rwanda director Kivu Ruhorahoza's Things Of The Aimless Wanderer is just such a film, spectacular and ambitious in all... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: CARTEL LAND Documents A Moral Quagmire

An astonishing journalistic achievement, Cartel Land captures in unprecedented ways the moral quagmire that inexorably links the consumers of drugs in the U.S. with the suppliers south of the border. What sets this film apart is the unique way... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL, More Clever Than You Think

The title for Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is kind of appalling, a sing-song rhyming cadence that reminds of Lobo's buttery 1971 pop hit "Me And You and a Dog Named Boo". Its premise -- a young... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: ANGELS OF REVOLUTION, Soviet Avant-gardists Unite

Ethno-omnibus The Celestial Wives of Meadow Mari by Russian filmmaker Aleksei Fedorchenko, a witty and original wanderlust throughout the folklore peculiarities of the Meadow Mari people, a group considered to be last pagans in Europe, was one of the... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: ENTERTAINMENT, Seeking The Legendary Laugh To Masterful Effect

Many would say there are two distinct poles to cinema-going. There are those times when you want something warm and familiar. It's comfort food you can share with your family. Not too sweet or sour, not too heavy. And then... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: THE BRONZE Is Comedy Gold

This summer is sure to produce an onslaught of mindless trash disguised as comedy. Adam Sandler will make more cool millions, Paul Blart will potentially earn more undeserved revenue, and comedic celebrities who have shone in better films will be... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  
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