Review: BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY Triggers Gag Reflex

For such an obviously small and grass-rootsy kinda dark comedy, Better Living Through Chemistry has a surprising lot going for it. Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Michelle Monaghan. That's a lot of solid talent rounding out the three leading parts, all... More »
By Jim Tudor   
  

SXSW 2014 Review: BIG IN JAPAN Is A Raucous Adventure In Wacky & Wonderful Tokyo

"It's not the language barrier... it's a different problem," states one of the members of Tennis Pro, the band at the center of Big in Japan, as the bandmates try to wash their clothes in a Tokyo laundromat. This... More »
  

Review: Do We Need NEED FOR SPEED?

I like Aaron Paul. I've met the guy a couple times over the last few months, and he seems like a mensch. He was at Sundance for Hellion, and came across as a genuine, down-to-Earth guy who was more... More »
  

Review: ENEMY Explores Villeneuve's More Unique Side

With film, things often come in pairs. Sometimes the doubles are explicit; some studio vying with another for a given plot, be it a tale of animated insects or impending asteroid impacts. Sometimes, the twinning takes the form of accidental... More »
  

Review: BAD WORDS Is Jason Bateman's Dark And Funny Directorial Debut

The career of Jason Batemen is rather fascinating. Rising from a sidekick on Silver Spoons early in his career, he stumbled through a number of films that his sister's sit-com sibling would pass on (including the truly egregious Teen Wolf Too). He showed... More »
  

SXSW 2014 Review: THAT GUY DICK MILLER Shines A Light In The Shadows Of American Cinema

Most film fans know the face, but very few know the name. Dick Miller is one of those guys we see in film after film, completely inhabiting the characters he's given for whatever brief amount of screen time he has.... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Review: THE COLD LANDS, Blink and You'll Miss a Terrific Performance From Lili Taylor

Often, films challenge morals: what is right, what is wrong, and what happens when you pick a side. There are times, however, when nothing is resolved yet the question lingers throughout the film. This is the baffling case of The... More »
  

Review: TEENAGE Is A Fascinating Look At The Emergence Of A Cultural Norm

Who are these fickle lords of pop culture? Where did they come from? Though the awkward age has by now been institutionalized as a demographic concept with immense cultural power (see: Beiber, Demigod), "teenager" is a relatively new social concept... More »
  

Review: THE ROCKET Shoots For The Heart

The feature debut from documentarian Kim Mordaunt follows the plight of a young village boy in rural Laos, who is believed to bring bad luck to his family, and his efforts to win them back by entering a dangerous rocket... More »
  

SXSW 2014 Review: A WOLF AT THE DOOR Huffs, Puffs, and Blows Sweet Love Goodbye

In the fairytale classic  the Three Little Pigs, -- you guessed it -- three little pigs set out in the world to find their fortune. Things come to an abrupt halt, however, when an asshole big bad wolf comes... More »
  

Review: KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE Fails to Fly

Kiki's Delivery Service started life as a 1985 novel by author Kadono Eiko, but it was the '89 Studio Ghibli version that brought fame to the little witch, particularly outside of her native Japan. Since that time the book has... More »
  

Rotterdam 2014 Review: SORROW AND JOY Could Not Be More Aptly Named

(Ever loved something you expected to hate? THIS FILM!) This year, the International Film Festival Rotterdam dedicated a whole section of its "Signals" program to Danish director Nils Malmros. As I was not really aware of his work, this event... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

SXSW 2014 Review: AMONG THE LIVING, A Horrifying Case of Boys Will Be Boys

For many horror fans it feels like a lot of the most exciting contributions to the genre these days are coming from France.  This is, at least in part, thanks to Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury's 2007 shocker Inside, a... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  

Review: 09 Is A Found Footage Thriller With A Twist At The End

09 might be the first Chilean found footage thriller film, and it may be the most middling effort done whenever someone tries to break into this popular brand of pictures. Specially when the film's promotion is a lie, as its... More »
  

SXSW 2014 Review: STAGE FRIGHT Sings, Dances, And Slashes Its Way Into Hearts

In the fall of 2010, everyone at Fantastic Fest was talking about The Legend of Beaver Dam, a short film that looked like a spooky horror flick until it burst into a musical. The short captured the disparate moods required... More »
  

Review: STONES FOR THE RAMPART Is A Serviceable Ode To Young War Heroes

There are two conflicting perspectives on how to approach Robert Glinski's Stones for the Rampart (Kamienie na szaniec). The first, and the more advisable one, makes the viewing experience increasingly pleasurable. It's based on an assumption that the forenamed film... More »
  

SXSW 2014 Review: LATE PHASES Is A Dollar Short

A friend of mine is fond of applying the phrase "a wolf in sheep's clothing" to genre films. The theory goes that a good genre flick should have a tried and true "A" genre suit of sheep's clothing, and a... More »
  

SXSW 2014 Review: OPEN WINDOWS Never Shuts Down Its Thrill Ride

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: Tone-deaf MONSTER Exhibits Unusual Cruelty Towards Women

Ingenue Kim Go-eun gets her first top billing in director Hwang In-ho's uneven and sadistic revenge thriller Monster. Exhibiting the same irreverence towards genre as in his previous film Spellbound (2011) but with none of the panache, Hwang fails to... More »
  

FICUNAM 2014 Review: THE SEARCHES (LAS BÚSQUEDAS), A Small Black And White Drama With Depth

José Luis Valle's The Searches (Las Búsquedas) reveals at the end that it was filmed in seven days using real locations, without artificial lights, and costing only $1,500 dollars in total. It is indeed a very small film, with a... More »
  
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