Udine 2015 Review: THE END OF THE WORLD AND THE CAT'S DISAPPEARANCE, A Quirky Little Sci-Fi Film

Takeuchi Michihiro's The End of the World and the Cat's Disappearance, a zany, modestly packaged apocalyptic sci-fi film revolving around Itsuko (Izukoneko aka Mari), a vlogger-cum-J-pop-idol who attempts to singlehandedly save the world from a gigantic meteor, but ends up... More »
By Patryk Czekaj   
  

Udine 2015 Review: FORGET ME NOT, A Touching Mixture Of Fantasy, Mystery, And Teen Romance

One of the most affecting and enigmatic teen-targeted Japanese films of the last few years, Horie Kei's Forget Me Not (not to be mistaken with Hirayama Hideyuki's 2010 drama that bears the same English title) defies easy categorization, veering confidently... More »
By Patryk Czekaj   
  

Hot Docs 2015 Review: The "Fuckery & Shenanigans" Of FINDERS KEEPERS

What would you do if you acquired a storage locker and all its random contents, only to discover one such item consisted of a barbecue containing a human foot? I guess the answer largely depends on who you are. If... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  

Stanley Film Festival 2015 Review: SUN CHOKE Brings Ambiguous Back

Writer-director Ben Cresciman's second feature, Sun Choke, premiered at the Stanley Film Festival this weekend. It's a film that's not easy to describe: imagine a fever dream sprung from the mind of an unreliable narrator that is both a murderer,... More »
  

Udine 2015 Review: Political Thriller HELIOS Aims High But Misfires

Following Cold War, an interesting and surprisingly bureaucratic action film, Sunny Luk and Longman Leung strive for bigger and louder with Helios, an overambitious and convoluted thriller that had its international premiere at the 17th Udine Far East Film Festival.... More »
  

Udine 2015 Review: War Drama DRAGON BLADE Might Be The New UNESCO Representative

The Udine Far East Film Festival (FEFF) opened its 17th edition with a bang. Not only did the Italian festival hold the world premiere of the international cut of Dragon Blade, it also managed to have Jackie Chan himself introducing... More »
  

Udine 2015 Review: PARASYTE - COMPLETION, A Conclusion In Need Of A Pay-Off

Much like how Parasyte Part 1 suffered from being all set-up, so its sequel, Parasite - Completion, is similarly hobbled by being mostly a series of climactic stand-offs and philosophical summations, with precious little build-up or satisfactory pay-off.An unspecified yet brief amount... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Hot Docs 2015 Review: UNBRANDED, Wild, Wild Horses Couldn't Drag Us Away

Four Texas A&M University graduates choose one hell of a in-between-school-and-real-life adventure, opting to adopt a dozen or so wild mustangs, train them, and make a 3000 mile journey from the Arizona-Mexican border up the spine of former 'wild west'... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Hot Docs 2015 Review: DEEP WEB Examines Justice On The Electronic Frontier

The 21st century is a foreign country. If you had asked someone in the 1989 what the charming fantasy adventure The Princess Bride, and slacker time travel history lesson, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure had in common, you would likely have... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Hot Docs 2015 Review: DRONE And The Terror Of "Point And Click" Warfare

Here in the 21st century, we find ourselves sliding down the slipperiest of slopes. As the paradigm of warfare undergoes yet another significant metamorphosis, one of remote assassinations, or as one drone pilot succinctly puts it, "just point and click."Tonje... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Tribeca 2015 Review: MAGGIE, An Elegant Zombie Melodrama

Geoff Gilmore, chief creative officer of the Tribeca Film Festival, in his introduction to the world premiere of Maggie, the first feature by Henry Hobson - starring some guy you may have heard of named Arnold Schwarzenegger - called the... More »
  

Night Visions 2015 Review: I AM THOR, From Naked Waiter To Rock Star To Retirement And Back Again

He was a bodybuilder, a naked waiter, and a Las Vegas showman before he became a rock star. Above all else, though, Jon Mikl Thor has always been a modest, 'never say die' entertainer, as made apparent in I Am... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Imagine 2015 Review: LIZA, THE FOX-FAIRY Magnificently Kills With Kindness

This weekend, Liza, the Fox-Fairy won the Silver Méliès Award at the Imagine Film Festival Amsterdam. It was hardly the first award it won either: a few weeks earlier at Fantasporto, it won awards for Best Film and Best Special... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Calgary Underground 2015 Review: NIGHT OWLS, Kitchen Sink Drama Both Tender & Brutal

In many ways, a lot of American Indie cinema is becoming as formulaic and predictable as its big budget cousins. Be it a Baumbach jam, a Swanberg swing or a doozie from the Duplass', there are clear expectations that... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Night Visions 2015 Review: AMERICAN BURGER Serves Up Cross-Cultural Beef

Watching an English-language splatter comedy, made in Sweden by a married British / Swedish couple, at a film festival in Helsinki, Finland, in a bar converted into a screening room, certainly ranks among my top 10 most unusual cross-cultural experiences... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Istanbul 2015 Review: THESE ARE THE RULES Provokes With Civil Horror

Dramas which keep the tension tightly under the lid while eschewing a boiling melodramatic outburst can be challenging. On the other hand, de-dramatized dramas with smoother edges are easier to chew on for laid-back, cerebral viewers. Croatian director Ognjen... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

Night Visions 2015 Review: SERIAL KILLER CULTURE, Why So Fascinating?

What drives ordinary-looking men and women to become obsessed with serial killers? Is it a dark corner of their psyche that makes them feel that they have something in common with horrible people who have caused untold pain and suffering... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Indian Film Fest LA 2015 Review: HARAAMKHOR, The Dangerous Distance Between Loving And Being Loved

Does love make monsters of men? Or, as Shlok Sharma's debut feature Haraamkhor suggests, does the idea of love merely magnify the monstrous tendencies latent within men? This is one of many complex ideas that weave through Sharma's film, but it... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Hong Kong 2015 Review: TWO THUMBS UP, A Delightfully Gonzo Heist Flick

Long-time screenwriter Lau Ho Leung (Painted Skin, Kung Fu Jungle) makes his directorial debut in this energetic action comedy following a gang of thieves who masquerade as cops to pull off a heist, only to encounter a rival posse with... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Review: ERBARME DICH - MATTHÄUS PASSION STORIES Targets The Purpose Of Sadness

(Don't feel bad, feel worse! Then, listen to exquisite music...) A documentary about classical music does, on paper, not seem to be a crowd-pleaser. Yet Ramón Gieling's Erbarme Dich - Matthäus Passion Stories was one of the big surprises at... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  
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