Hamburg Filmfest Review 2014: JAUJA Is A Mystic Paradise Of Fiction

If there were any remaining questions about the status of Lisandro Alonso as one of the most important and brave contemporary filmmakers, Jauja answers them all. With a star like Viggo Mortensen as a magnet for those who otherwise would... More »
  

Hamburg Filmfest 2014 Review: AUGUST WINDS Gets Your Whole Body Covered In Coca-Cola

Gabriel Mascaro's August Winds (Ventos de Agosto) is a love-dance of life and death. With a remarkable background in documentary filmmaking, the Brazilian Mascaro combines an observational nonfiction-styled movement and a poetical reflection on age, youth, flesh, and memory. There is... More »
  

Review: ANNABELLE Is Worse Than Being Given An Antique Doll As A Gift

It is understandable that Warner Brothers and New Line would want to continue the success of last year's The Conjuring. The period haunted house flick proved a surprise summer smash last year, grossing over $300 million worldwide. Annabelle focuses on... More »
  

New York 2014 Review: TIMBUKTU Is A Strong Condemnation Of Religious Extremism

Timbuktu, that faraway place, the end of the world, is an actual city in Northern Mali in Africa.  It was once a bustling trade town in sub-Saharan Africa and now famous for its fabulous architecture, libraries and scholars. Abderramane Sissako... More »
  

Review: MEETING DR. SUN, A Playfully Poignant Coming-Of-Age Heist Flick

Yee Chih-yen, Taiwanese director of the much-celebrated Blue Gate Crossing, delivers a heartfelt, humorous and poignant coming of age story in Meeting Dr. Sun. Part high school drama, part adventurous heist flick, the film follows impoverished high-schooler Lefty (Zhan Huai-yun),... More »
  

Vancouver 2014 Review: WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD, Gregg Araki's Nostalgic, Seductive Puzzle

Gregg Araki's latest offering, White Bird In A Blizzard, is set during the time period when Araki first began making films (1988-1991). Because of this, the sets and costumes are rendered with a loving nostalgia that never feels overly novel.... More »
  

New York 2014 Review: GONE GIRL, Meticulously Crafted And Unabashedly Trashy

Gone Girl, David Fincher's latest, and New York Film Festival opener, based on the bestselling novel by Gillian Flynn, begins with a close-up of its central married couple, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike). Nick is gently... More »
  

Fantastic Fest 2014 Review: TOMMY, A Gripping Nordic Noir About Dames

The latest in a string of stylish crime thrillers to emerge from Scandinavia, Tommy is the new film from Swedish director Tarik Saleh, and offers a blistering change of pace to 2009's animated sci-fi odyssey Metropia.A daring airport robbery and... More »
  

Review: JIMI: ALL IS BY MY SIDE, A Momentously Audacious Musical Biopic

Making a movie about a musician is bound to be extremely difficult when you don't have the permission of the family's estate. Why has there never been a definitive Elvis biopic -- or Kurt Cobain either, for that matter?... More »
  

Fantastic Fest 2014 Review: THE STRANGER Delivers A Mixed Bag

Directed by Guillermo Amoedo and executive produced by Eli Roth and Nicolas Lopez (who collaborated on Aftershock, The Green Inferno, and next year's home invasion thriller Knock, Knock with Keanu Reeves), The Stranger is a vampire film that doesn't scream... More »
  

Fantastic Fest 2014 Review: V/H/S VIRAL Catches On

V/H/S brought us stories from Ti West, Adam Wingard, Glen McQuaid, and Joe Swanberg, among others. V/H/S 2 gave us far superior films from Gareth Evans and Timo Tjahjanto, Gregg Hale and Eduardo Sanchez, Jason Eisener, Simon Barrett, and Adam... More »
  

Fantastic Fest 2014 Review: I AM TRASH Lives Up To Its Title In Gloriously Reprehensible Fashion

South Korean indie provocateur Lee Sang-woo returns with the third and final instalment in his thematic "bad family" trilogy, which follows three grown up brothers, reunited when their pedophile father is released from prison. Inspired by a series of real-life... More »
  

New York 2014 Review: THE BLUE ROOM Shows Off Mathieu Amalric's Directing Chops

Mathieu Amalric's The Blue Room is a hard film to like-- its tone is cold and distant. But it is precisely designed that way to accompany in showing the mind of its passive protagonist. Based on the book of the... More »
  

Fantastic Fest 2014 Review: GOODNIGHT MOMMY Will Keep You Up At Night

Serving as the single secret screening at this year's Fantastic Fest, Austrian arthouse horror Goodnight Mommy gets under your skin early and stays there long after the credits. Within its sparse and sterile decor, this minutely observed chamber piece tears... More »
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E06, THE CARETAKER (Or, The Doctor Goes Undercover)

Now this is much more like it. "The Caretaker" is a considered and nuanced episode of Doctor Who that still manages to be great fun. It handles the complex relationships and emotions that are driving the show rather deftly, and... More »
  

Fantastic Fest 2014 Review: WASTE LAND, For This Detective, To Brood Is To Live

Diffusion is the name of the game in Waste Land, a brooding police procedural from Belgium that depends more on its pervasive ambience than plot twists. Actually, it's probably a disserve to describe the newest film by writer/director Pieter Van... More »
  

Fantastic Fest 2014 Review: FORCE MAJEURE Is The Funniest Of Black Comedies

There is a certain kind of Scandinavian black humor that when done well, is just about the funniest comedy around. This was on prime display in Morten Tyldum's Headhunters from a few years back. That film took a crime thriller... More »
  

Fantastic Fest 2014 Review: HIGH FIVE Revels In Drug-Fueled Mayhem

Manuel Facal's High Five (Relocos y Repasados) is an Uruguayan stoner comedy that belongs in the company of the greats. While drug movies have been around for at least 50 years, it wasn't until the legendary Lou Adler's adaptation of the... More »
  

New York 2014 Review: 3D As Visual Art Form In Godard's GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE

3D seems like it is here to stay, for now. It was a gimmick to win back the audiences the film industry lost to the emergence of TV in the 50s, now it is revived as a last ditch effort... More »
  

Review: THE BOXTROLLS Is Corrugated Yet Impressive

You give a kid a flashy brand-name mechanical toy, but he'll have more fun playing with the box. As that old truism goes for kids, perhaps it'll prove just as true for filmgoers. In 2014, Transformers: Age of Extinction -... More »
By Jim Tudor   
  
 
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