Rotterdam 2015 Review: AS THE GODS WILL Leaves You Gasping For More

(Putting the Fear of God into someone was never taken as literally as here...) Miike Takashi must, by now, be the most experienced director in the world in several genres, especially if those genres are vaguely defined as "gory and... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Review: Delightful Performances Make TEMPORARY FAMILY An Above Average Real Estate Comedy

Speculate on property. This is HK lifestyle!To speculate on property amid Hong Kong's rapidly changing real estate market conditions is to speculate on emotions, according to Cheuk Wan Chi's (aka Vincci/GC Goo Bi) Temporary Family, a simple but perfectly enjoyable... More »
By Patryk Czekaj   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: LA LA LA AT ROCK BOTTOM Sings A Cute Tune

(How a thug's head sometimes contains both rock and a hard place...) If director Nobuhiro Yamashita is going to be remembered for something, it will be his ability to keep things real, to tone down craziness to an acceptable level,... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Review: GANGNAM BLUES, A Gorgeously Overwrought Gangster Classic In The Making

Yoo Ha returns to gangster cinema and knocks it right out of the park with his latest, an evocative and immensely entertaining saga that pits a common tale of brotherhood and betrayal against a thrilling period setting mired in violence... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: WAVES, A Quietly Emotional Cross-Cultural Drama

In Don Gerardo Frasco's Waves, a seemingly idyllic island paradise in the Philippines unexpectedly turns into a battleground of mixed emotions for two friends-turned-secret-lovers desperately trying to revive a brief yet intense love affair that, at first sight, clearly falls... More »
By Patryk Czekaj   
  

Review: R100, An Intensely Intelligent And Witty Study Of Human Behavior

By the time Matsumoto Hitoshi made the move into feature films with his 2007 effort Big Man Japan, he was already a massive star in his native Japan, his television comedy work having firmly established Matsumoto as one of the... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Review: THE ROYAL TAILOR Spins A Colorful Period Yarn

Period dramas are all the rage in Korea at the moment, but while some have been setting records at the box office (such as Roaring Currents), not all have been successful. No film is a guaranteed hit but period productions... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: CHRONICLE OF A BLOOD MERCHANT Favors Strong Cast Over Plot

Outside of indie cinema, actors directing themselves in leading roles are quite rare in Korean films, making Ha Jung-woo's Chronicle of a Blood Merchant something of an oddity. One of the country's biggest stars, Ha surrounds himself with a wealth... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: THE CON ARTISTS Aims Right Down the Middle And Is All The Better For It

There are many things we demand from films: good stories, strong characters, style... the list goes on. However, more than everything else, there is one thing people clamor for the most, particularly in its absence: originality. We readily point out clichés... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: Shankar's I: A Tale Full Of Sound And Fury, Signifying... Something?

I have a problem.I am a great admirer of Shankar, the director of I. Even when his films aren't great, as in the case of something like his take down of India's insidious corruption problem, Sivaji, they are engaging and... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Review: GANGS OF WASSEYPUR, A Monster Of A Film

Pulling back, deliberately and slowly, from a soap-opera musical on the TV (involving, of all things, character introductions), the 315-minute long Gangs of Wasseypur kicks off with a single shot, Johnnie To-style unbroken assault on the stronghold of Faizal Khan... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Review: BLACKHAT, Michael Mann's Moronic Cyber Scavenger Hunt

Humanity's fascination with the microchip started long before they became everyday necessities for the first world population. You see, we humans have always taken strides for some semblance of consistency and structure through networks and grids. Design and architecture in the... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: LA ULTIMA PELICULA, Featuring A Melancholy, Amusing Apocalypse

The year 2012 was, for most of humanity, a waiting game. The Mayans predicted the world's end. Riots sprouted. Floods happened. Scandals erupted. It seemed the Mayans spoke true, but there was still no assurance that the world was on... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: Dan Villegas' ENGLISH ONLY, PLEASE, Feel-Good Rom-Com That's Good For The Soul

Dan Villegas' English Only, Please opens with Julian (Derek Ramsay), a New York City-based financial analyst, on the hunt for a Filipino translator to translate the venom-filled speech he wrote for his ex-girlfriend and teach him to say the translation... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: THE TAKING OF TIGER MOUNTAIN, A Wartime Epic With A Sense Of Adventure

Tsui Hark scores a resounding success with his spirited adaptation of classic adventure novel Tracks in the Snowy Forest. Again exploring the visual possibilities of 3D, while eschewing the typically austere tone of most wartime epics, The Taking of Tiger... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Review: Rajkumar Hirani's PK Ticks All The Right Bollywood Boxes

It's been five years since Bollywood blockbuster specialist Rajkumar Hirani destroyed box office records and made international waves with 3 Idiots. That film, with the help of an endearing lead performance from 40 something Aamir Khan as a college student,... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Review: Superstar Rajini's LINGAA, For Super Fans Only

At this point in his career, Rajnikanth is more than simply a performer, he is an icon. The highest paid actor in South Asia, Rajini films draw fanatical crowds not only in Tamil Nadu, but around the world. So much... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Blu-ray Review: KILL LA KILL Kicks Ass And Has A UK Boxset

(For those with a sailor-suit fetish and/or a certain sense of humor, Christmas sure has arrived early...) Confession time: when the first trailer and images of the anime series Kill La Kill appeared on the Internet last year, I thought... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Japan Film Festival 2014 Review: TOKYO REFUGEES Clumsily Critiques Contemporary Japan

Director Kiyoshi Sasabe (My SO Has Depression) is no stranger to dark narratives, and his latest, Tokyo Refugees, could be his darkest yet. Based on the many seedy and sad things you may have heard about Tokyo, the film aims to... More »
  

Japan Film Festival 2014 Review: RUROUNI KENSHIN: THE LEGEND ENDS Caps An Explosive Trilogy

By this stage, the humble tale of the first film and the bombastic masterfully shot darkness of the second film should prepare you for what is in store in Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends. Namely, a lot of exposition, happenstance... More »
  
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