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   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: SHE WHO MUST BURN Scorches The Hubris of Human Behavior

The miracle of She Who Must Burn, a film perhaps most efficiently described as Red State for grown-ups, is that it offers three well worn elements - scripture quoting after committing an abhorrent act of violence (and the Ezekiel quote... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: CHERRY TREE Yields Rotten Pits

The mantra "Death is only the beginning," is repeated throughout Irish occult horror Cherry Tree by the coven of witches who have infiltrated a small-town high school. Their sexy long tressed leader wears a guise as the girl's field hockey... 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   
  

Fantasia 2015 Review: CASH ONLY, Both Sharp And Vulnerable

What is colder, Albanian hell or Detroit in winter? Elvis Martini sits rather uncomfortably in the middle of both over the course of a few days where his world spirals out of control. He has the courts breathing down his neck... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Review: HORSE MONEY, Beautiful, Mesmerizing, And Striking

Horse Money is astonishingly beautiful in its visual poetry! Pedro Costa, who wanted to capture the life in Lisbon's ghetto area called Fontainhas in the late 90s, made a beautiful film called Bones (Ossos). During the shoot, he saw much... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Review: PHOENIX, A Noir Revenge Flick

Christian Petzold (Ghosts, Barbara), perhaps one of the most gifted storytellers working in cinema today, strikes gold again with Phoenix, a Hitchcockian, postwar noir revenge flick. Clocking in at a very lean 98 minutes, the film revolves around a concentration camp survivor named... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

Review: WAYWARD PINES, The Show That Is Not What It Seems To Be

Halfway through the series Wayward Pines, episode five lands a serious twist, a bold move that might have arrived too soon, yet performs as a mighty cliffhanger and game-changer for the whole show. Wayward Pines is currently running on the... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  

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   
  
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