Review: THE BEAUTY INSIDE, High Concept Melo Is More Glib Than Its Title

A corporate-sponsored high concept web series gets the glossy Korean melodrama treatment in The Beauty Inside, the top romantic offering of the season. Featuring a laundry list of Korean stars all playing the same character, this debut film by music... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: NINA FOREVER Is A Threesome With Sex, Love And Death.

I had a university professor (English literature) who was fond of saying, "Nobody walks away happy from a threeway." I wonder what he would have to say about the Blaine Brothers' Nina Forever, a dark but droll relationship drama that... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Melbourne 2015 Review: DOWNRIVER Needs A Paddle

Downriver, the Australian feature debut from Grant Scicluna, certainly showed signs of promise: a dour but intensely quiet rumination of redemption set in a murky bush town filled with questionable characters. It certainly has the ingredients for an intriguing, mystery-fuelled thriller.... More »
  

Review: MEMORIES OF THE SWORD, Remembering Better Sword Fighting Flicks

The wild card in the quartet of major Korean releases scheduled for this year's high summer season (alongside Assassination, Veteran and The Beauty Inside), the star-driven period spectacle Memories Of The Sword proves to be a perplexing experience with jarring... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: CATCH ME DADDY, Searing Violence And Cool Pacing Add Up To Trouble

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 »
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: Time Travel Is A Bastard In SYNCHRONICITY

I never thought it would happen, but I have finally, personally, hit the wall with indie time travel flicks. Jacob Gentry's Synchronicity is not lacking in smarts or clockwork precision, but abjectly fails to convince in its core ideas of love... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Review: SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE, An Absolute Delight

Aardman Studios return to the big screen in cracking form with another rip-roaring roller coaster of action, smart humour and lovable characters. Shaun The Sheep Movie promises to delight fans of all ages, and long-time aficionados of the studio's signature... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Melbourne 2015 Review: Sebastian Silva Proves He's The NASTY BABY

Based on a true story (very loosely), Silva's latest film Nasty Baby is a completely misdirected comedy drama about a gay hipster couple, artist Freddy (Silva himself) and Mo (Tunde Adebimpe) who reside in Brooklyn and are trying to... More »
  

Melbourne 2015 Review: HOLDING THE MAN Explores Doomed Love Delicately

From Neil Armfield, the director of doomed addict romance Candy, comes his latest, also doomed romance Holding The Man. Another adaptation, this time based on the life memoirs of Timothy Conigrave and his epic love for partner John Caleo.... More »
  

Review: LA DAME DANS L'AUTO, Between Seduction and Manipulation It Manipulates

After a successful career as an illustrator and as a writer, Joann Sfar tackled the medium of cinema in 2010 when he directed Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque), a beautiful and surprisingly oneiric biopic about the famous French singer. He then followed... More »
  

Melbourne 2015 Review: SPEED SISTERS, A Slick And Slight Delight

Speed Sisters is a slick and entertaining documentary about a group of obsessed and undermined women who compete professionally in the West Bank rally race circuit. Providing a point of view that is strictly and politically feminine, the film surprisingly... More »
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: Sono Sion's TAG, Sure There Are Lots Of Japanese Girls In It, But...

Sono Sion's Tag opens with two busloads of Japanese school girls on a trip. It's all soft focus sweetness and light until the buses are attacked by an unseen force - literally a killer wind - and shy teen Mitsuko... More »
By Andrew Mack   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: DARK PLACES, An Affecting Autopsy Of The 1980s Satanic Panic

1985. In a rural community of Kansas there was a young teenager named Ben Day (Tye Sheridan channelling Ezra Miller) who was very into the punk rock outfit The Misfits. He filled his sketchbooks with black-inked antichrist art, and was accused... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Durban 2015 Review: THE SHORE BREAK Tries To Stem The Tide, But Only Time Will Tell

The 36th Durban International Film Festival in South Africa has wrapped its annual showcase of international film, with this year's menu providing distinctly more African fare under the new directorship of Pedro Pimenta.  South African documentary The Shore Break is... More »
By Stuart Muller   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: CRUMBS Finds Ethiopia In Tarkovsky's Zone

Ethiopian post-apocalypse dystopian fairy tale Crumbs has a decaying handsomeness to match its unique vision. It has a confident and accomplished auteur unwillingness for either pandering or traditionally pleasing its audience, while simultaneously offering an archetypal hero-journey tale. If features an optimistic message... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

BiFan 2015 Review: DEADMAN INFERNO Pits Iconic Aikawa Sho Against The Undead

Director and comedian Hiroshi Shinagawa has focused his film career on mining the drama, and subsequent comedy found in the relationships between partners and prospective teammates. Debut feature Drop followed a juvenile delinquent group, Manzai Gang features similarly unruly youths... More »
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: SHINJUKU SWAN, Sono's Glossy Yakuza Melodrama

The famous Shinjuku District in Tokyo is Times Square, The Vegas Strip and Magnificent Mile rolled into one (and multiplied by a hundred) is ward of so much light there is not an inch of darkness on the pavement, but... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: Much Love for Sono's LOVE & PEACE

It's fair to say my appreciation for the films of Sono Sion runs hot and cold. I was hot on Cold Fish, a near perfect blend of raw, visceral violence both emotional and physical, all told through a narrative... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

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   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: THE INTERIOR Exquisitely Balances Comedy And Horror

Somewhere up there in heaven (or hell) Samuel Beckett and Henry David Thoreau are tipping their coffee cups towards Trevor Juras' The Interior. For a first feature, this film is not only fully realized and confident, but has a deep understanding... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  
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