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   
  

Udine 2015 Review: PORT OF CALL Proves Philip Yung's Most Ambitious And Polished Film To Date

A decidedly bleak yet surprisingly meditative exploration of the lower depths of contemporary Hong Kong, Philip Yung's Port of Call clearly articulates its genre-bending aspirations and effectively taps into the generational anxieties of youth today. Based on a case that... More »
By Patryk Czekaj   
  

Review: A FOOL, A Stark Reminder That In China Nice Guys Finish Last

Based on Hu Xuewen's novel Running Moonlight, actor Chen Jianbin's directorial debut is a harsh reminder of humanity's predatory nature, as an honest farmer's efforts to help a young homeless man set of a chain of calamitous events.Chen Jianbin was... More »
By James Marsh   
  

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: THE WICKED, An Effectively Thrilling Exercise In Low-Budget Filmmaking

Bolstered and braced by a wonderfully sinister performance from the relatively unknown young South Korean actress Park Ju-hui, Yoo Young-sun's The Wicked is a slow-paced but nicely modulated and effectively gripping exercise in low-budget indie filmmaking. Shot in a mere... More »
By Patryk Czekaj   
  

Udine 2015 Review: MAKEUP ROOM Makes Perfect Use Of Its Very Limited Location

Genuinely funny, touching, and cleverly realized, Morikawa Kei's Makeup Room (メイクルーム) plays like a modest but deft combination between a chamber-like dramedy and well-observed ensemble piece that derives most of its energy from a wealth of enthusiastic performances and witty... More »
By Patryk Czekaj   
  

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   
  

Review: JASMINE, A Claustrophobic Twilight Zone Of Revenge

Dax Phelan, veteran screenwriter and producer based in Los Angeles got the Hong Kong bug on a writing research trip to the city in 2005. By his own tongue-in-cheek admission, it had become somewhat tedious being handsomely paid for writing... More »
By Ezra Emerson   
  

Review: DON'T THINK I'VE FORGOTTEN Resolutely Remembers Cambodia's Rock & Roll Days

If you are a hipster who picked up a copy of Cambodian Rocks Vol.II in the World Music section at your favorite vinyl shop then you might already be familiar with musicians like Sinn Sisamouth, Pan Ron and Yol Aularong.... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Review: BROKEN HORSES Deserves A Swift Mercy Killing

Where does one draw the line between pitiable and risible? On the one hand, it just seems mean to want to pick on the slowest kid in the class, especially when you see just how far behind they are lagging.... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

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   
  

Review: DETECTIVE BYOMKESH BAKSHY, A Reimagining Of The Bengali Sherlock Holmes

Sometimes I loathe the expectations with which I burden myself.Dibakar Banerjee's latest film, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy, is a period piece that focuses on the origin of India's greatest literary sleuth. The Byomkesh Bakshy character comes from the many works of... 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: MAN FROM RENO, Hit & Miss Neo-Noir

Dave Boyle's fifth feature, Man From Reno, is in many ways both refreshing and frustrating in its pulp leanings. It is far less a typical pulse-pounding thriller, and more a good ol' fashioned mystery with its roots firmly planted in... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

ND/NF 2015 Review: K Transposes Kafka to Inner Mongolia

Here is a thought: what if Kafka's Castle was transposed from the cramped, dreary, dark Eastern European city to the airy, spacious word of Inner Mongolia? It is realized by Mongolian director Darhad Erdenibulag and English born Emyr ap Richard... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Review: ZHONG KUI: SNOW GIRL AND THE DARK CRYSTAL Delivers Genuine Romance But Flawed Fantasy

Acclaimed Hong Kong cinematographer Peter Pau takes another swing at directing a major motion picture with this grand scale fantasy about legendary demon queller Zhong Kui. Assisted by co-director Zhao Tianyu and featuring some spirited performances, the result is a... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Now On Blu-ray: AN AMERICAN HIPPIE IN ISRAEL Is One Far Out Trip

Shot in 1971, released in 1972, and almost immediately forgotten, Amos Sefer's An American Hippie in Israel was a cult classic just waiting for a rebirth when the film was found by Grindhouse Releasing co-founder, Bob Murawski. Murawski is best... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Review: THE DEAL, A Serviceable But Generic Korean Revenge Thriller

Korea delivers yet another serviceable revenge thriller with The Deal, a well-oiled but overly familiar addition to the longstanding local genre staple. With young women violently murdered during downpours and Kim Sang-kyung once again playing a hapless detective at his... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  
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