Melbourne 2014 Review: GOD HELP THE GIRL, A Twee Little Mess

Coming from Belle & Sebastian front-man Stuart Murdoch, God Help The Girl is a directorial debut disaster. The film is stung by lashes of awkward editing, a sloppy screenplay, and a cloying suffocation of artificial, twee characters.Our 'girl' in this modern... More »
  

Lima 2014 Review: GUEROS Takes You On A Ride Through Mexico City

Gueros, the debut film from director Alonso Ruiz Palacios, begins on a high note: a stylish, energetic opening detailing the inevitable collision between a woman carrying her baby on a stroller and a badly timed water balloon. This little act... More »
  

Review: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES Chooses Not To Compete, And Succeeds

Michael Bay gets his hands on another beloved property from our childhoods, but as producer of a new live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles feature his signature influence is somewhat muted. Director Jonathan Liebesman instead delivers a superhero adventure pitched squarely at... More »
  

PiFan 2014 Review: GIOVANNI'S ISLAND, A Moving Tale of Post-War Survival

Director Nishikubo Mizuho's ode to post-war survival, Giovanni's Island (Jobanni no shima), offers a heartbreaking account of the struggles of two brothers, as the world they grew up in changes around them, amidst the aftermath of the Second World War. Junpei... More »
  

Cinemalaya 2014: Carlos Siguion-Reyna's HARI NG TONDO (WHERE I AM KING), A Crowdpleaser With Some Semblance Of Substance

There are at least two disparate movies in Hari ng Tondo (Where I Am King), Carlos Siguion-Reyna's first feature film in more than a decade. The first movie is the one written by Bibeth Orteza, which was followed faithfully... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Review: DRAGON BALL Z: BATTLE OF GODS Stirs Good Memories, But Not For Very Long

Dragon Ball Z: Battle Of Gods is a really fun entry in Toriyama Akira's beloved universe that's just not up there with the most memorable ones. It manages to capture the absurdist essence of Dragon Ball very well, but disappoints... More »
  

Fantasia 2014 Review: THE HUNDRED YEAR OLD MAN WHO CLIMBED OUT THE WINDOW AND DISAPPEARED

For all of us who feel Robert Zemeckis's Forrest Gump is a sentimental, condescending insult to cinema audiences everywhere, and David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is not a helluvalot better, we finally have an entry into 'the man... More »
  

Cinemalaya 2014 Review: Milo Sogueco's MARIQUINA Maps Familial Heartbreaks With Astounding Elegance

In one sequence in Milo Sogueco's Mariquina, shoemaker Romeo (Ricky Davao, who inhabits the role with unabashed fragility) attempts to salvage whatever he can save in his warehouse from the flood. His teenage daughter, Imelda (Barbie Forteza, who inhabits the delicate... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Melbourne 2014 Review: In TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT, The Dardennes Eschew Nothing

Why did Two Days, One Night work so well for me? It's not easy to explain. This is especially the case, considering this is my first experience watching a film by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, and the fact I know nothing about... More »
  

Fantasia 2014 Review: TIME LAPSE, A Sharply Written Indie Sci-Fi Picture

Opening with a shot of swirling red paint, which then has tiny flecks of white thrown into the mixture to disturb the surface and complicate the image, Bradley King and B.P. Cooper's Time Lapse shows just how bloody far you can... More »
  

Review: THE MAGNETIC TREE Attracts, But Fails To Surprise

This Spanish-Chilean co-production was among the most lauded of the Valdivia Film Festival last year. Though it failed to win any official festival prizes, The Magnetic Tree (El árbol magnético) was easily one of the most spoken-about movies. It managed... More »
  

Fantasia 2014 Review: THE DROWNSMAN, The Super Soaker Terror Gets Too Silly At Times

Madison has a fear of water. A year ago she had an accident and nearly drowned. When she was under, she was pulled into the lair of The Drownsman. Since then she will not go near water. She even misses... More »
  

Fantasia 2014 Review: THE CREEPING GARDEN Explores The Brave New World Of Plasmodial Slime Mould

In one of the year's most original and bizarre documentaries, Tim Grabham and Jasper Sharp dive headlong into the largely unknown world of plasmodial slime moulds, and what emerges is a pioneering and at times hypnotic crawl through a largely... More »
  

Review: Strong Effects Play Second Fiddle to Patriotism in THE ADMIRAL: ROARING CURRENTS

When making films based on significant milestones in a country's history, nationalism can be a great asset in a filmmaker's arsenal but it's also a tool that must be handled carefully, as too much patriotic bombast can mar an otherwise... More »
  

PiFan 2014 Review: Horror Comedy MOURNING GRAVE Aims Low But Hits Its Mark

Korean horror has been in the midst of a rough streak for the past half decade. Relying on worn out themes, new works been have trotted out regularly every summer but even with lowered expectations, each year has put forth... More »
  

Fantasia 2014 Review: THE HARVEST, A Coming Of Age Fable Of Wicked Proportions

After a very lengthy hiatus into directing for TV, ranging from single episodes of John From Cincinnati to Masters of Horror, John McNaughton (Henry: Portrait of A Serial Killer) is back with his first feature film since the turn of the... More »
  

Melbourne 2014 Review: CATCH ME DADDY Imbues Stunning Tension And Displays Confident Direction

Director Daniel Wolfe came into recognition with his awesome music video Time To Dance for the band The Shoes. The clip featured a disturbed psychopath, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, who, essentially, murdered hipsters who could not dance. This tongue-in-cheek idea... More »
  

Review: THE WHITE HAIRED WITCH OF LUNAR KINGDOM Is A Soulless Remake, Devoid Of Magic

Jacob Cheung's new retelling of Liang Yusheng's bestselling novel makes a royal mess of its source material as well as bearing little resemblance to Ronny Yu's much-loved 1993 adaptation. Conflicted over whether to favour action, intrigue or romance, the film... More »
  

Review: THE STRANGE LITTLE CAT, A Masterclass In Minimalism, From A Newcomer

While cinema acts as a temporal artifice like no other medium out there, films that capture the absolute spark of a moment -- the Nowness of a breath or a look -- for all to experience at a further moment,... More »
  

Review: CALVARY, A Tragic, Devastating Masterpiece

John Michael McDonagh's 2011 directorial debut The Guard was one of the stronger debut films of recent years, combining as it did McDonagh's fabulous script, a strong but not overwhelming sense of visual style and a blazing performance from leading... More »
By Todd Brown   
  
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