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 »
  

SXSW 2014 Review: STARRY EYES, A Surrealistic Trip Down The Boulevard of Broken Dreams

"Would you give me your body to be a vessel for my voice?," asks the nefarious casting director of the wide-eyed starlet Sarah Walker at the sort of audition parents, boyfriends, and general advocates of decency shudder at the thought.... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  

SXSW 2014 Review: SEQUOIA Rises High

Suicide can be a pretty tough subject to tackle in film. Nine times out of ten, a "will they/won't they" drama suffers from the major flaw of deflated stakes as the audience is smart enough to figure out the... More »
  

SXSW 2014 Review: HOME, Quiet Horror With A Touch Of The Creepy Crazy

A teenage girl in love with a teenage boy plays a cryptic game. A twenty-something woman goes about her rounds as a real estate agent in a depressed market, then visits her younger sister, a depressed artist. These three women... More »
  

Yubari 2014 Review: GUN WOMAN Is Bloody, Trashy Entertainment

Capitalising on a spirited central performance from Japanese actress Asami as the eponymous heroine, Mitsutake Kurando's blood-soaked US-based crime thriller rises above its budgetary limitations in suitably sleazy style.Killing time on a long drive through the desert, a pair of... More »
  

Blu-ray Review: Capt. John Noel's THE EPIC OF EVEREST From The BFI

The ill-fated 1924 attempt to reach the peak of Mount Everest was an incredibly politically charged undertaking, with British authorities desperate to reaffirm the country's superiority as a world force after recent attempts to be the first nation to reach... More »
  

SXSW 2014 Review: CHEF Cooks Up Profound Retrospect

I've been waiting 15 years to give Jon Favreau the glowing review he's earned in spades with his return-to-roots film Chef. He has no doubt had a very interesting career since his initial indie splash Swingers back in '96, but... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  

SXSW 2014 Review: PRINT THE LEGEND Is A Fascinating Snapshot Of The Men Behind An Emerging Technology

What is the most important invention of the 21st century? The smart phone? Hybrid cars? Twitter? Filmmakers Luis Lopez and Clay Tweel would have you believe it is the 3D printer. These desktop devices allow users to print immediate... More »
  

SXSW 2014 Review: NEIGHBORS Goes Directly For The Raunch

To put it bluntly, asking why things happen in Hollywood studio comedies is besides the point. It's all about getting to the funny as expeditiously and as often as possible. Neighbors, a new Hollywood studio comedy by Nicholas Stoller, quickly... More »
  

SXSW 2014 Review: VERONICA MARS, Older But Still Wisecracking

The idea of a wisecracking female detective in her late twenties may not be quite as fresh as a wisecracking female detective in high school. But the formula that creator Rob Thomas and company developed for a television series is... More »
  

SXSW 2014 Review: PREDESTINATION, Poignant And Haunting Time Travel

A guy walks into a bar and tells a spellbinding story that has nothing to do with time travel. It's haunting, it's poignant, and it takes up the first big chunk of Predestination, a new movie from the Spierig Brothers... More »
  

SXSW 2014 Review: THE INFINITE MAN Is Indie Time Travel Mayhem At Its Best

Though they have long been very popular, films that involve time travel almost always cause much consternation. Even the films that do it well become the subject of heated debate over logic (see: Looper). And when the logic is... More »
  
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