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   
  

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 »
  

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 »
  

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 »
  

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 »
  
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