Tokyo 2014 Review: GARM WARS: THE LAST DRUID, Mamoru Oshii Delivers Magic Dogs Amidst Turgid Fantasy

Mamoru Oshii has built a loyal following over the years with his penchant for thought-provoking animated features, 1995's Ghost in the Shell being his masterpiece, but the turgid fantasy stylings of Garm Wars: The Last Druid will test the most... More »
  

Review: WHY DON'T YOU PLAY IN HELL?, A Brash Bundle Of Boundless Fun

[This review originally ran following the film's premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. And, yes, thanks to the general craziness of of R100 I did, in fact, eat my shirt.] Mark my words: If another film brings even half... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Review: Antoinette Jadaone's BEAUTY IN A BOTTLE, A Witty and Self-Deprecating Comedy Directed At Beauty Consumerism

Six Degrees of Separation From Lilia Cuntapay (2011), Antoinette Jadaone's first feature, revolves around a real-life character named Lilia Cuntapay, a bit player who has become some sort of celebrity for portraying ghouls and witches in a number of Filipino horror movies. It... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Hong Kong Asian 2014 Review: Woefully Lowbrow, BREAKUP BUDDIES Proves Ning Hao Is Not Yet Forgiven

The long, punishing arm of China's censorship board still hangs heavy over the career of mainland filmmaker Ning Hao. The once-exciting auteur turns in another safe, audience-friendly offering with Breakup Buddies, suggesting his penance for the acerbic No Man's Land... More »
  

Toronto After Dark 2014 Review: WHY HORROR? Speaks To Fans And Outsiders Alike

As a longtime and committed fan of the horror genre, Tal Zimmerman takes us on a journey to discover its roots, influences, players and place in different cultures. His travels will take him as far away as Japan, England and... More »
  

Review: HAPPY NEW YEAR, Quick-Witted Candyfloss For The Spectacle Inclined

Say what you want about Farah Khan, the woman knows what it takes to make a good looking movie.The director of Happy New Year appears to have gotten her groove back after the disastrous multi-million dollar escapade that was Tees... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Review: KUNG FU JUNGLE Sees Donnie Yen Pay His Respects Then Kick Some Ass

Donnie Yen plays a convicted murderer sprung from jail to help track down a serial killer targeting martial arts masters in Teddy Chen's appreciably nostalgic action thriller. While Yen wisely gifts the lion's share of the fighting to opposite number... More »
  

Tokyo 2014 Review: BIG HERO 6, Sentimental Fun for Gamer Kids

As the opener of the Tokyo International Film Festival, the world premiere of Disney Animation Studio's adaptation of Marvel property Big Hero 6 couldn't be more fitting. Set in a world of technological innovation and a city directly inspired by this... More »
  

Review: ZOMBIE FIGHT CLUB Is An Apocalyptic Assault On Good Taste

Joe Chien's follow-up to the bafflingly tasteless and salacious Zombie 108 delivers a generous second helping of the same Z-grade trash and splatter. Andy On and Jessica C are the attractive, if helpless, leads who - eventually - find themselves... More »
  

Book Review: MASAAKI YUASA SKETCHBOOK FOR ANIMATION PROJECTS

(Book titles don't get more truthfully descriptive than that...) One of the most distinctly unique talents working in animation, Japanese artist Yuasa Masaaki has had quite some coverage on the Twitch site. You can say we're big fans of his... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Busan 2014 Review: THE NIGHT Boasts Strong Cast And Clear Message

The Korean winner of this year's Sonje Award for Best Short Film at the Busan International Film Festival, The Night is a simple 35-minute tale of college friends who fall prey to the norms of Korean society. Yet by touching... More »
  

Warsaw 2014 Review: DISCONCERTO, An Uninspired and Lengthy Sequel To A Charming Odd-Couple Comedy

Centering on the adventures of Japan's original odd couple, Omori Tatsushi's 2011 comedy-drama Tada's Do-It-All House proved to be a hit in its home country, winning the heart of Japanese audiences thanks to an imaginative story of Tada (Eita), the... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: Peter Chan's DEAREST Devastates

Based on multiple true story accounts of child abduction in mainland China, Peter Chan's latest film Dearest is definitely not an easy watch. It follows a divorced couple in Shenzhen, the father Tian Wenjun (comedic actor Huang Bo) and mother... More »
  

Review: THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA, Delightful For Children And Adults Alike

Director Takahata Isao's The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is a 10th century Japanese folk story which, despite some minor changes and an added love interest, is followed faithfully here. An old bamboo cutter, Okina is walking in the woods... More »
  

Warsaw 2014 Review: THE COFFIN IN THE MOUNTAIN, An Entertaining And Cleverly Written Black Comedy

To make effective use of multi-perspective narrative is never an easy task, but first-time helmer Xin Yukun has found a perfectly workable way of implementing the risky technique within a story of a peaceful, rural Chinese village forcefully awakened from... More »
  

Camera Japan Review: SHORT PEACE Has Great Shorts But No Peace

(Otomo Katsuhiro once again searches for beauty in violence and destruction, and this time he has brought some friends...) Seeing anime on a big screen is always a special affair in the Netherlands, and there are only a few... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Busan 2014 Review: THE TRUTH SHALL NOT SINK WITH SEWOL Invokes Tears And Outrage

The Sewol Disaster, the most significant event to rock South Korea since the IMF Crisis in 1997, gets its first big screen treatment with The Truth Shall Not Sink With Sewol, the first of what are sure to be many... More »
  

Warsaw 2014 Review: GENTLE, A Polished And Splendidly Acted Adaptation Of Dostoyevsky's Touching Short Story

Le-Van Kiet's Gentle starts with an unexpectedly drastic scene, as if trying to wash away the tranquility so pleasantly accentuated by the film's opening credits and its intriguing title, inspired by Fyodor Dostoyevsky's 1876 short story 'A Gentle Creature'.From the... More »
  

Warsaw 2014 Review: FANTASIA, A Beautifully-Lensed, But Overly Familiar Chinese Indie

In Wang Chao's Fantasia, one family's struggle to overcome a personal crisis, inevitably worsened by the father's progressive terminal illness, serves its purpose as a catalyst for the director to weave a tale of seemingly great social significance. Even though... More »
  

Busan 2014 Review: KABUKICHO LOVE HOTEL, A Raunchy Charmer

Kabukicho Love Hotel (better translated as Sayonara Kabukicho) is the latest urban-centric film from esoteric director Hiroki Ryuichi (Vibrator). Although the film contains the sprawling metropolitan malaise that permeates his contemporary films, this is a far more accessible and crowd-pleasing effort that plays... More »
  
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