Lisbon & Estoril 2014 Review: Abel Ferrara's PASOLINI Hits Some, Misses Some

Abel Ferrara's take on Pier Paolo Pasolini's life (more than his career as a filmmaker, poet or philosopher) is the breed of biopic that seems modest and straightforward enough to make up for its obvious shortcomings. Its modesty comes from... More »
  

Cairo 2014 Review: SILVERED WATER, SYRIA SELF PORTRAIT Will Break Your Heart

We often see fleeting images of war and its victims, or brief scenes of torture on the news, but these are often presented in a sensational way, or sometimes sanitized, or more than often, ignored if they are happening in... More »
  

Third I 2014 Review: MEET THE PATELS Mixes Modern Love And Timeworn Tradition

Ravi Patel is an actor. He's one of those guys. You know, that guy. The guy who plays a doctor or a lawyer on TV, typical Indian American jobs. He's not setting the world on fire, but he makes a... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Cairo 2014 Review: A CINEMA OF DISCONTENT Deftly Explores Censorship

I'm sure many cinephiles are familiar with the Motion Picture Production Code, used by Hollywood in the mid-20th century to govern 'morality' in films. A self-imposed censorship, it banned any sexual acts beyond kissing, excessive violence, profanity, and many other... More »
  

Cairo 2014 Review: THE BOY AND THE WORLD, Wonderous Animation and Storytelling

Within the first few frames, it's easy to see why The Boy and The World won both Best Feature and the audience award at Annecy International Animated Film Festival, considered to be the most important of its kind. This is... More »
  

Cairo 2014 Review: QUEEN AND COUNTRY, Funny and Heartfelt Nostalgia

John Boorman's 1987 film Hope and Glory, about the London Blitz seen through the eyes of a nine-year-old boy, is a favourite in the Rowan-Legg household (seriously, we can all quote it almost verbatim to the point of annoying guests).... More »
  

Los Cabos 2014 Review: FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK: THE STORY OF RODRIGO Y GABRIELA Salutes The Mexican Guitar Duo

For Those About to Rock: The Story of Rodrigo y Gabriela is a straight celebration of Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo and Gabriela, going from their origins in Mexico City to their eventual worldwide success. Mexican journalist and the documentary's director... More »
  

Review: Kurosawa's SEVENTH CODE, More Complex And Thrilling Than It First Appears

Those expecting another genre bending, bone-chilling spectacle from J-horror master helmer Kurosawa Kiyoshi may be a little disappointed with his low-budget, brisk, slow-moving 2013 feature Seventh Code. Without explaining anything, Kurosawa throws the viewer into a story that at... More »
  

Review: THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - PART 1 Slows Series To A Crawl

With two global smashes that have banked $1.5 billion between them, the Hunger Games series has captured the imagination of spectators around the world with a well-balanced combination of spectacle and emotional depth. Mockingjay - Part 1, the first part... More »
  

Cairo 2014 Review: THE CHALLAT OF TUNIS, Brilliant And Disturbing Satire

The words 'satire' and 'mockumentary', when referring to films, might automatically be thought to reference humour. But there is no humour, except very dark, in director Kaouther Ben Hania's brilliant The Challat of Tunis. It is a searing portrait of... More »
  

Cairo 2014 Review: THE CUT, A Good Epic Journey

With the exception of Atom Egoyan's Ararat, the Armenian Genocide has not had much attention in Western cinema. German-Turkish filmmaker Fatih Akin, whose previous films have often looked at issues of the marginalized, transnational cultures and violence, attempts to tackle... More »
  

Cairo 2014 Review: THEEB Doesn't Quite Live Up to its Promise

Stories of war or violent conflict can often seem more acute and terrifying through the eyes of a child, especially if it is only from the periphery, when the child knows less than the audience. Theeb, Jordanian director Naji Abu's... More »
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E12, DEATH IN HEAVEN (Or, Maniacal Missy And Her Cybermen)

While last week's "Dark Water" was patient and tense in ways Doctor Who rarely is, this finale reverts to the mode of rushing around while nothing that happens makes any sense. It has more than a few moments of brilliance, but... More »
  

Review: SET FIRE TO THE STARS is Cinematic Poetry and Rage

It isn't easy to portray the literary arts on screen. Apart from having someone recite from a book (which can become tedious), the challenge becomes how to find the connection between the writer being portrayed, their work, and how that... More »
  

Tokyo 2014 Review: GARM WARS: THE LAST DRUID, Mamoru Oshii Delivers Magic Dogs Amidst Turgid Fantasy

Mamoru Oshii has built a loyal following over the years with his penchant for thought-provoking animated features, 1995's Ghost in the Shell being his masterpiece, but the turgid fantasy stylings of Garm Wars: The Last Druid will test the most... More »
  

Review: WHY DON'T YOU PLAY IN HELL?, A Brash Bundle Of Boundless Fun

[This review originally ran following the film's premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. And, yes, thanks to the general craziness of of R100 I did, in fact, eat my shirt.] Mark my words: If another film brings even half... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Review: OPEN WINDOWS Thrills And Chills

Early on in Open Windows, Spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo invites easy comparisons to Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window, but then, pardon the expression, he throws them out the window. What begins as an homage quickly morphs into a thriller with its... More »
  

Review: LA LEYENDA DE LAS MOMIAS, An Animation Ruined By Its Poor Writing

La Leyenda de las Momias (The Legend of the Mummies) is the third entry of a popular series of animated movies - for little kids - created by Mexico's Ánima Estudios. The main concept behind these films is to showcase... More »
  

Review: DIE FIGHTING, An Energetic, Meta Martial Arts Flick

Die Fighting, the latest from martial arts maestros Z Team, also marks the full-length directorial debut of Wushu specialist and choreographer Fabien Garcia, after making the short films Duel, Fantasy Story, and Brothers Forever. It's a nice bit of undemanding... More »
  

Review: Antoinette Jadaone's BEAUTY IN A BOTTLE, A Witty and Self-Deprecating Comedy Directed At Beauty Consumerism

Six Degrees of Separation From Lilia Cuntapay (2011), Antoinette Jadaone's first feature, revolves around a real-life character named Lilia Cuntapay, a bit player who has become some sort of celebrity for portraying ghouls and witches in a number of Filipino horror movies. It... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  
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