Fantasia 2015 Review: FATAL FRAME Has No Shortage Of Beautiful Images

Oh J-Horror! It has been years since you were worth my cinematic time. From your heyday in the late 1990s -- Ringu, Dark Water, Ju-On and Pulse -- to Sono Sion putting a very sharp fork into you in the mid-aughts with Exte:... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   

Review: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION, Back To Basics And All The Better For It

Ethan Hunt and co. are back in a familiar yet thrilling new instalment to the Mission Impossible franchise, which sees IMF's top agent face his most formidable foe yet. Following right on cue from Mad Max: Fury Road, Rogue Nation... More »
By Pierce Conran   

Fantasia 2015 Review: MISS HOKUSAI, Full Of Life And Spirit

Prolific animation house Production I.G. subtly captures the rhythms of mood of the art and publishing community in 19th century Edo, Japan. Miss Hokusai is simultaneously misleadingly quiet, and furiously idiosyncratic. Blending the magical realism sensibility of Studio Ghibli with Ozu... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   

Review: WILD CITY Welcomes The Return Of Ringo Lam

Ringo Lam's first feature in 12 years sees the Hong Kong director return to familiar territory, as a former cop and his tearaway younger brother take on a violent gang of Taiwanese thugs after their paths cross that of a... More »
By James Marsh   

Asian Film Fest Dallas 2015 Review: THE GOLDEN CANE WARRIOR, An Indonesian Wu Xia Drama

Over the last few years there have been a small handful of high profile Indonesian films hitting the festival and art house cinema circuits. The most recent resurgence in Indonesian films has come, strangely, via the intervention of a couple... More »
By J Hurtado   

Review: PIXELS, Game Over From The Get-go

Summer blockbusters get the Happy Madison treatment in space invasion action-comedy Pixels, the most excruciating experience you shouldn't put yourself through this season. A thoroughly unconvincing action lead, Adam Sandler phones in yet another performance, but no one comes away... More »
By Pierce Conran   

Review: VETERAN Deals A Knockout Blow

Korean action maestro Ryoo Seung-wan goes back to basics with his latest film Veteran, a breathless and hilarious crime thriller featuring a knockout performance from Hwang Jung-min. With fluid action choreography, punchy pacing and sharp editing, this infectious summer offering... More »
By Pierce Conran   

BiFan 2015 Review: OWNERLESS FLOWER UHWUDONG Can't Choose Between Erotica And Drama

Thirty years after Lee Jang-ho's landmark film Eoh Wu-dong (available to watch for free on the Korean Film Archive's Youtube channel), a period ero that became a surprise critical and commercial hit in 1985, Lee Soo-sung offers up his own... More »
By Pierce Conran   

Blu-ray Review: KILL LA KILL Finishes With A Bang

(No, not THAT kind of bang, you filthy...) Last December, Scottish distributor Anime Ltd. released their first boxset of Kill La Kill, which was pretty much kick-ass and which I reviewed here. Now, just over half a year later, the... More »
By Ard Vijn   

Fantasia 2015 Review: THE ARTI: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS, You Will Believe That Puppets Can Fight

The Arti: The Adventure Begins is the most impressive full length puppet feature I have seen since Strings. It also helps that it is equally a martial arts film, which is right up my alley. With its Wuxia themes of loyalty,... More »
By Andrew Mack   

Blu-ray Review: The PING PONG Anime Beats All Opponents

(Expect a back-and-forth between me and everyone who claims the film is better...) Last month in the US, Funimation released the DVD and Blu-ray editions of Ping Pong, the anime. And, as I have rather strong feelings about this one,... More »
By Ard Vijn   

BiFan 2015 Review: 12 DEEP RED NIGHTS: CHAPTER 1, A Competent But Unremarkable Practice Run

Horror anthologies are a great way for new filmmakers to take a swing at bat, while viewers (or industry folk) get the opportunity to seek out new talents in the making. Unfortunately, that also means they're mixed bags, to say... More »
By Pierce Conran   

Japan Cuts 2015 Review: THIS COUNTRY'S SKY, Love And Coming of Age In A Time Of War

In the 70 years since the end of World War II - or, more precisely, what will be 70 years this August - there have been countless cinematic depictions of the war, covered from just about every possible angle. Some... More »

Fantasia 2015 Review: LUDO Challenges You To A Deadly Game Of Dice

Ludo co-director Q has been a filmmaker that I've had my eye on since his brash explosion onto the international art house scene with 2010's Gandu. That film is loud, aggressive, and challenging to the viewer, in the way that... More »
By J Hurtado   

BiFan 2015 Review: ANGRY PAINTER Presents Artsy Revenge Erotica

Following his trip From Seoul to Varanasi in 2011, arthouse filmmaker Jeon Kyu-hwan takes a bigger leap overseas with his latest project Angry Painter, an indie tale of revenge and despondency that spends much of its running time trapping through... More »
By Pierce Conran   

London Indian 2015 Review: UMRIKA Looks At The Big City Dreams & Nightmares Of Small Town Boys

Set mostly in early '80s rural northern India, Prashant Nair's Umrika pulses with universally relatable warmth and emotion. The film is the story of a young man whose older brother leaves his modest hamlet on the way to better things in... More »
By J Hurtado   

Review: COURT, For India's Judicial System, The Verdict Is Devastating

Winner of the two prizes at the Venice Film Festival 2014, Chaitanya Tamhane's Court lends an earnest look at India's judicial system. The film is a sobering, eye opening experience.It starts with an arrest of an old folk singer and tutor of... More »
By Dustin Chang   

Japan Cuts 2015 Review: PIETA IN THE TOILET, A Cancer Story Told With Poetic Artistry

Pieta in the Toilet, the first fictional feature by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Matsunaga Daishi, is a two-hour drama about a young man who's dying of cancer. But fortunately, this film proves to not be nearly as depressing as that description... More »

Review: ASSASSINATION Shoots Up A Storm With Stuffed To The Gills Spy Yarn

What has so far been a slow year for Korean cinema is about to get a huge shot of adrenaline as Assassination, the latest from Choi Dong-hoon, is set to storm the stage and usher in the high season at... More »
By Pierce Conran   

Review: NORTHERN LIMIT LINE Mistakes Nationalism For Narrative

Last summer gave us the nationalist call-to-arms Roaring Currents and, following its record-breaking run, this year unsurprisingly treats us to its own entree of patriotic balderdash, the melee of melodrama and jingoism that is Northern Limit Line. Going right for... More »
By Pierce Conran   
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