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 »
  

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 »
  

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 »
  

SXSW 2014 Review: WETLANDS Paints An Excitingly Vulgar Picture

When a film begins with a teenage girl deliberately smearing her genitals all over an especially disgusting public toilet seat, you pretty much have an idea what you're in for. Wetlands, director David Wnendt's sophomore feature after the award winning Nazi... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

SXSW 2014 Review: 13 SINS, A Gruesome Thriller That Starts With A Fly

Nicely-demented, Daniel Stamm's 13 Sins functions best as a gruesome thriller with a sense of humor. The deck is stacked quite heavily against Elliot (Mark Webber), a salesman who's preparing to marry his pregnant girlfriend Shelby (Rutina Wesley, from True... More »
  

SXSW 2014 Review: HONEYMOON Is All Parts Scare

From Honeymoon's opening montage of our newlywed couple reminiscing about falling in love, you might think you are settling in for romantic drama about the challenges of starting a life together. You'd be wrong. While plenty of challenges await... More »
  

Rotterdam 2014 Review: JACKY IN THE KINGDOM OF WOMEN Is Absurd, Rude And Very Funny

(Just imagine: what if Charlotte Gainsbourg had played a nymphomaniac in THIS film..!) One of the prizes to be won at the international Film Festival Rotterdam is the MovieZone Award, aimed at films which impressed the younger part of the... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2014 Review: THE CREATOR OF THE JUNGLE Stuns With Its Subject

(If Tarzan had had a handyman, his name should have been Garrell...) Documentaries are an interesting sub-category within films, because their "watchability" can be entirely caused by coincidence, if the director is lucky enough. Jordi Morató didn't need either luck... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Documentary Fortnight 2014 Review: CAMPAIGN 2, A Revealing Examination of the Absurdities of Japanese Politics

As the title indicates, Kazuhiro Soda's latest film Campaign 2, the fifth of his self-described "observational documentaries," is a follow-up to his 2007 film Campaign, which followed Kazuhiko "Yama-san" Yamauchi's 2005 run for a city council seat in Kawasaki City,... More »
  

Rotterdam 2014 Review: THE PINKIE Is Fun, But Comes Up A Bit Short

(Talk about a film trying hard to wrap you around its little finger...) Lisa Takeba's feature film debut The Pinkie was one of the many World Premieres this year at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. A flashy little comedy drama... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Berlinale 2014 Review: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Looks Spectacular, But Story Fails

In the 21st century, how is one to present a fairy tale? There are stories ripe with opportunity to create great visual, frequently with lots of action, but the stereotyping, themes, and gender representation can be a bit tricky in... More »
  

Berlinale 2014 Review: ALOFT Doesn't Quite Soar

The sense of touch can be tricky to convey in film. A filmmaker must rely upon visually accurate information in order for the spectator to 'feel' the sensation. Touch is very prominent in director and writer Claudia Llosa's Aloft, how... More »
  

Rotterdam 2014 Review: IN DARKNESS WE FALL Does Not Stumble

(In a cave, everyone can hear you scream...) While there is generally a dearth of genre films at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, on occasion we do get the odd treat or two. This year the festival had a bona-fide... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Berlinale 2014 Review: SPROUT's Short and Sweet Seoul Odyssey

A little girl's trip to the market becomes a charming journey through modern Korea in Yoon Ga-eun's delightful short film Sprout, which premiered at the Busan International Film Festival last October. Korean indie cinema often makes a point of demonstrating... More »
  

Berlinale 2014 Review: HISTORY OF FEAR Is Brooding, Atmospheric, And Glacially Slow

History of Fear is set in an unnamed Argentine suburb, an idyllic community where rich families' vast estates are bordered on every side by barbwire fences and imposing gates. The presumed effect is to keep the people inside safe, but... More »
By Ben Croll   
  
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