Review: ZHONG KUI: SNOW GIRL AND THE DARK CRYSTAL Delivers Genuine Romance But Flawed Fantasy

Acclaimed Hong Kong cinematographer Peter Pau takes another swing at directing a major motion picture with this grand scale fantasy about legendary demon queller Zhong Kui. Assisted by co-director Zhao Tianyu and featuring some spirited performances, the result is a... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E06, FIVE-O (Or, The Tragic Backstory Of Mike Ehrmantraut)

"Five-O" is the Mike-focused episode of Better Call Saul we've all been waiting for. It must be incredibly confusing for those that are fans of Breaking Bad to find themselves watching an episode entirely devoted to a Saul side character,... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Now On Blu-ray: AN AMERICAN HIPPIE IN ISRAEL Is One Far Out Trip

Shot in 1971, released in 1972, and almost immediately forgotten, Amos Sefer's An American Hippie in Israel was a cult classic just waiting for a rebirth when the film was found by Grindhouse Releasing co-founder, Bob Murawski. Murawski is best... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Review: MICHIEL DE RUYTER Brings All Cannons To The Fore

(Fear the man who yells louder than William Wallace, and kills more Englishmen than Joan of Arc!) In Dutch cinema, there isn't really a tradition of celebrating our (I'm Dutch) historical heroes. Not so much because we don't have them,... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

French Film Festival 2015: DIPLOMACY Is A Masterfully Convincing Chamber Drama

Diplomacy is based on a stage play, this becomes wholly obvious when viewing the film as realized by the static location and the two powerful figures that have dialogue, debate and a complex diplomatic, ethical and moral verbal Ping-Pong... More »
  

French Film Festival 2015: THE NEW GIRLFRIEND Is A Definitive Ozon Joint

The New Girlfriend continues director Francoise Ozon's investigations into womanhood and fragmented social mores. His prior work, the epic Young & Beautiful and to an extent In The House were attempts to depict sexuality in different socio-political spheres and generations,... More »
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E05, ALPINE SHEPHERD BOY (Or, Need A Will? Call McGill!)

More than any episode of Better Call Saul so far, "Alpine Shepherd Boy" questions whether Chuck's condition is something physical that he's really suffering from, or more of a psychological affliction. It's to the show's credit that this has been... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

French Film Festival 2015 Review: ELLE L'ADORE Keeps You Guessing, Until It Doesn't

Elle L'Adore is a curious first feature from former actress Jeanne Henry. It wastes no time getting into the grisly proceedings of an accidental homicide, but after the groundwork is laid out, the film practically crawls to a halt.Muriel (Sandrine... More »
  

Film Comment Selects 2015 Review: PHOENIX, A Masterful, Lean Film Noir

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: THE DEAL, A Serviceable But Generic Korean Revenge Thriller

Korea delivers yet another serviceable revenge thriller with The Deal, a well-oiled but overly familiar addition to the longstanding local genre staple. With young women violently murdered during downpours and Kim Sang-kyung once again playing a hapless detective at his... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Review: WILD CANARIES, An Effervescent Comic Murder Mystery, Both Retro And Modern

One of the most interesting forms of music sampling is what's known as the "mash-up." In some of the best and most creative examples of this practice - e.g. Danger Mouse's Grey Album (Jay Z's Black Album/Beatles' White Album) or... More »
  

FrightFest Glasgow 2015 Review: 88, Two Women, One Body

In British bingo, if the number 88 comes up, the caller will shout, "Two fat ladies!", as a conventional code for the two figures' pictographic appearance. Similarly the title of April Mullen's 88 represents a conundrum in need of decoding:... More »
By Anton Bitel   
  

Review: MAPS TO THE STARS, Cold, Dreary, And Dull

This doesn't bode well. For the second film in a row, David Cronenberg has made a stinker. Yes, there were some bits in Cosmopolis that didn't suck, but it was hardly vintage DC. As I mentioned in my review for... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Review: OUT OF THE DARK, Strong And Persuasive Suspense In South America

Attention, white people: Why do you keep going where you're not wanted? At first blush, Out of the Dark falls easily into the category of horror films in which white people -- usually Americans -- trespass into unknown territories, leading... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Review: '71, A Remarkably Assured, Emotionally Powerful Debut

Yann Demange is very clearly a filmmaker who knows what sort of stories he wants to tell and how he wants to tell them, the sort who clearly knows his own skill set, how to best put it to use,... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Review: MY LIFE DIRECTED BY NICOLAS WINDING REFN, Awkward And Thoroughly Intriguing

Note to filmmakers: If you capture the legendary Alejandro Jodorowsky in conversation with another filmmaker and he turns to the camera to ask you a question, be sure to lead with that. Wisely, that's what first-time filmmaker Liv Corfixen does... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Review: THE SALVATION, A Hell Of A Lot Of Fun

It's no longer really much of a bold move to call Mads Mikkelsen one of the finest actors working in the world today. A consummate thespian, his performances are always intoxicating to watch, be they in silly pulp-populism when playing... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E04, HERO (Or, The Plan Comes Together)

With its fourth impressive episode so far, we can now confidently say that Better Call Saul knows what its doing and is doing it well. It's a worthy successor to Breaking Bad, not because it slavishly mimics what that show... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: JOY OF MAN'S DESIRING, An Unusually Mature And Assured Feature Debut

First-time helmer Sugita Masakazu made a splash at the Berlin International Film Festival last year with Joy of Man's Desiring, a quietly devastating and deeply lyrical picture paying tribute to all the children who have lost loved ones as a... More »
By Patryk Czekaj   
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: DYKE HARD's Zany Queer Musical Rock and Roll Extravaganza Worships The Best Of Trash

The Berlinale belongs in the triumvirate of most followed film festivals, eagerly pushing its fingers on the pulse of world cinema. As such, it brings a vast variety of oeuvres from all over the globe dubbed as arthouse films. Many... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  
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