Sundance Hong Kong 2015 Review: SONGS MY BROTHERS TAUGHT ME, Good With Reservations

The debut feature from Beijing-born Chloe Zhao focuses on the unlikely subject matter of adolescent Lakota indians in South Dakota. Beautifully photographed and confidently directed, Songs My Brothers Taught Me is a notable first film, marred only by a rather... More »
By James Marsh   

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: SPEED, A Youth Melodrama That Remains Perverse

Those who've seen the South Korean indie films I Am Trash and/or Dirty Romance might not recognize that the same director, Lee Sang-woo, is behind a new movie that begins like a very traditional, very conventional Korean melodrama. Oh, what... More »
By Peter Martin   

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: THE BOY AND THE BEAST, Hosoda Mamoru's Best Film To Date

If The Boy And The Beast doesn't cast away any doubts that Hosoda Mamoru will become the new king of Japanese animation, I don't know what will. Ever since Miyazaki Hayao stopped making feature films, the world has been eagerly waiting to see... More »
By Hugo Ozman   

Sundance Hong Kong 2015 Review: ADVANTAGEOUS, Underachieving Sci-Fi For Tiger Mums

Jennifer Phang's ambitious sci-fi drama presents some intriguing ideas about identity and sacrifice in a uniquely female context, but she invests her budget into the wrong elements, and is unable to fashion her final film into anything particularly engaging.In the... More »
By James Marsh   

Sundance Hong Kong 2015 Review: THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT Wields Significant Power

The events that went down at Jordan Hall in August 1971 have been recounted numerous times and inspired at least two films already - Oliver Hirschbiegel's excellent Das Experiment (2001) starring Moritz Bleibtreu and Paul Scheuring's American remake from 2010, starring... More »
By James Marsh   

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: DOGLEGS, An Intimate Look Into An Extreme World

Doglegs is a documentary that examines the inner lives of some of Japan's strangest wrestlers. The name refers to an underground wrestling circuit that pits disabled and able-bodied performers against each other in the ring, often to horrifyingly uncomfortable ends.... More »
By J Hurtado   

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: THE TREACHEROUS Sexes Up History In Convoluted King's Court Potboiler

History gets a savage makeover in The Treacherous, a new period offering from Korea detailing the tyrannical reign of King Yeonsan, long known as the most despotic ruler of the Joseon Era. High on provocation and low on historical accuracy,... More »
By Pierce Conran   

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: RUINED HEART, A Doomed Love Song Of Two Humans

Filipino director Khavn De La Cruz burst onto the radar of avant garde film lovers around the world with his 2010 feature Mondomanila. While far from a debutante with dozens of shorts and features behind him, Khavn's film made an... More »
By J Hurtado   

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: YAKUZA APOCALYPSE Plays Like Miike's Greatest Hits

Putting Miike Takashi at the helm of a yakuza action film that features a vampire crime boss and a man in a giant felt frog costume seems like a no-brainer. This is the kind of whacked out gonzo imagery that we've... More »
By J Hurtado   

Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: DIRTY ROMANCE, The Stuff Of Real Life Is Not Always Pleasant To Behold

If Korean director Lee Sang-woo's I Am Trash was difficult to watch -- and I found it an exceptionally brutal experience to endure when I saw his movie at Fantastic Fest last year -- Dirty Romance initially threatens to exceed... More »
By Peter Martin   

Toronto 2015 Review: TALVAR (GUILTY), An Indictment Of Indian Justice

In 2008, Aarushi Talwar, 14, the daughter of middle class parents, was found dead in her Mumbai home with her throat slashed. Suspicion quickly fell upon the family's servant, a Nepali migrant named Hemraj, but when he was found dead... More »
By J Hurtado   

Toronto 2015 Review: COLLECTIVE INVENTION Asks The Right Questions, But Has None Of The Answers

Wrapping a raft of social issues plaguing modern Korean society into a simple allegory, Collective Invention, a quirky new comedy-drama with dashes of the same humor found in Bong Joon-ho's work, is a succinct but relatively straightforward affair. The setting... More »
By Pierce Conran   

Toronto 2015 Review: Sono's WHISPERING STAR Is A Hushed-Tone Oddity, Even By Sono's Standards

In a career positively littered with oddball entries, Sono Sion's The Whispering Star may very well prove to be the most oddball, the most niche entry in the director's lengthy canon. And, surprisingly, this is because he chooses the path... More »
By Todd Brown   

Review: Johnnie To's OFFICE, Too Much Like Real Work

In a wild change of pace, Hong Kong director Johnnie To delivers an all-singing, occasionally-dancing adaptation of Sylvia Chang's successful stage play, Design for Living. While the script has undergone numerous changes along the way, and boasts brand new musical numbers... More »
By James Marsh   

Toronto 2015 Review: RIVER, Man On The Run, But Not A Typical Chase Thriller

As children, we are often taught that, when someone is in trouble, we should try to help, or if someone is being bullied, we should intervene. But sometimes, there can be unforeseen consequences that would endanger ourselves. Jamie M. Dagg's first... More »

L'Etrange 2015 Review: REMAKE REMIX RIP-OFF Is An Enlightening Joyride

I'm sure that many of us, when we were kids, enjoyed acting out scenes to our favourite movies and TV shows; today, spured on by the internet, fan fiction has taken on new heights of importance (some even arguing... More »

Review: COMING HOME, Something Of An Ordeal

Zhang Yimou returns to his more humble, socially conscious roots, reuniting with former muse Gong Li for an earnest, if rather underwhelming, adaptation of Yan Geiling's The Criminal Lu Yanshi. While the historical significance of the story will resonate strongly... More »
By James Marsh   

Review: DRAGON BLADE, Thrilling Fights And Beautiful Shots, Yet Sentimental To A Fault

Daniel Lee's war drama suffers from too much naivety that cannot be counterbalanced by its technical qualities. Grossing more than $50 million only a few days after its release in local theaters, the Chinese blockbuster revolves around the "true" story... More »

Book Review: THE ART OF SATOSHI KON Makes You Crave More

(Did you know there were Perfect Blue Trading Cards? Neither did I...) Me being a fan of anime director and artist Satoshi Kon isn't exactly a secret. I was very much shocked by his death five years ago, first because... More »
By Ard Vijn   

Blu-ray Review: ELFEN LIED Bares Bodies And Souls

(... and often also the insides of both...) British distributor 101 Films seems to own exactly two anime licenses, and it released one of those a few weeks ago on Blu-ray, in a beautiful shiny steelbook (seen here). I'm... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  Next »
Page 2 of 145