FrightFest 2014 Review: ALLELUIA, A Fire-Charged Thriller

The madness and obsession of love is a recurring theme in Fabrice de Welz's first two films Calvaire and Vinyan, and his latest, Alleluia, continues this trend. Taking on the infamous tale of the Honeymoon Killers (an American couple who conned... More »
  

Lima 2014 Review: VIEJOS AMIGOS, A Light, Harmless Comedy About Growing Old

The debut film from director Fernando Villarán, Viejos Amigos is one of the most anticipated local films of the year. For some odd reason, its theatrical run has kicked off on the same week it plays at the Lima Film Festival, which just... More »
  

Melbourne 2014 Review: LIFE AFTER BETH, A Tame Zom-Com

The ever sardonic Aubrey Plaza stars as Beth, alongside Dane DeHaan's Zach, in this frequently odd but half-cooked zombie comedy from the writer of the excellent I Heart Huckabees. Director Jeff Baena only lends some of his brain to... More »
  

Melbourne 2014 Review: GOD HELP THE GIRL, A Twee Little Mess

Coming from Belle & Sebastian front-man Stuart Murdoch, God Help The Girl is a directorial debut disaster. The film is stung by lashes of awkward editing, a sloppy screenplay, and a cloying suffocation of artificial, twee characters.Our 'girl' in this modern... More »
  

PiFan 2014 Review: GIOVANNI'S ISLAND, A Moving Tale of Post-War Survival

Director Nishikubo Mizuho's ode to post-war survival, Giovanni's Island (Jobanni no shima), offers a heartbreaking account of the struggles of two brothers, as the world they grew up in changes around them, amidst the aftermath of the Second World War. Junpei... More »
  

Fantasia 2014 Review: THE HUNDRED YEAR OLD MAN WHO CLIMBED OUT THE WINDOW AND DISAPPEARED

For all of us who feel Robert Zemeckis's Forrest Gump is a sentimental, condescending insult to cinema audiences everywhere, and David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is not a helluvalot better, we finally have an entry into 'the man... More »
  

Cinemalaya 2014 Review: Milo Sogueco's MARIQUINA Maps Familial Heartbreaks With Astounding Elegance

In one sequence in Milo Sogueco's Mariquina, shoemaker Romeo (Ricky Davao, who inhabits the role with unabashed fragility) attempts to salvage whatever he can save in his warehouse from the flood. His teenage daughter, Imelda (Barbie Forteza, who inhabits the delicate... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Melbourne 2014 Review: In TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT, The Dardennes Eschew Nothing

Why did Two Days, One Night work so well for me? It's not easy to explain. This is especially the case, considering this is my first experience watching a film by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, and the fact I know nothing about... More »
  

Melbourne 2014 Review: HAPPY CHRISTMAS Boosted By Its Characters

Joe Swanberg directs and stars in an 'indie' family drama that is as equally generic as the non-descript title suggests. The free-formed plot involves a couple with a child; Jeff (Swanberg) and author Kelly (Melanie Lynskey) and the slight stress... More »
  

Fantasia 2014 Review: TIME LAPSE, A Sharply Written Indie Sci-Fi Picture

Opening with a shot of swirling red paint, which then has tiny flecks of white thrown into the mixture to disturb the surface and complicate the image, Bradley King and B.P. Cooper's Time Lapse shows just how bloody far you can... More »
  

Fantasia 2014 Review: THE DROWNSMAN, The Super Soaker Terror Gets Too Silly At Times

Madison has a fear of water. A year ago she had an accident and nearly drowned. When she was under, she was pulled into the lair of The Drownsman. Since then she will not go near water. She even misses... More »
  

Fantasia 2014 Review: THE CREEPING GARDEN Explores The Brave New World Of Plasmodial Slime Mould

In one of the year's most original and bizarre documentaries, Tim Grabham and Jasper Sharp dive headlong into the largely unknown world of plasmodial slime moulds, and what emerges is a pioneering and at times hypnotic crawl through a largely... More »
  

PiFan 2014 Review: Horror Comedy MOURNING GRAVE Aims Low But Hits Its Mark

Korean horror has been in the midst of a rough streak for the past half decade. Relying on worn out themes, new works been have trotted out regularly every summer but even with lowered expectations, each year has put forth... More »
  

Fantasia 2014 Review: THE HARVEST, A Coming Of Age Fable Of Wicked Proportions

After a very lengthy hiatus into directing for TV, ranging from single episodes of John From Cincinnati to Masters of Horror, John McNaughton (Henry: Portrait of A Serial Killer) is back with his first feature film since the turn of the... More »
  

Melbourne 2014 Review: CATCH ME DADDY Imbues Stunning Tension And Displays Confident Direction

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 2014 Review: THE ONE I LOVE Offers Smart Couples Therapy, With Big Laughs

I doubt I will laugh out loud more at a film this year. Charlie McDowell's couples therapy session par excellence, featuring a very game cast of two, namely Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss, made me smile so hard at times my... More »
  

PiFan 2014 Review: MY ORDINARY LOVE STORY Is Not Your Ordinary Rom-Com

Expectations play a large role in how we consume and react to cinema, particularly in the commercial realm. Genre formulas are so clearcut than any deviation is immediately noticeable. Some variation is required to prevent things from getting stale but... More »
  

Fantasia 2014 Review: CYBERNATURAL

Man, I hate Facebook.Sure, it's what the cool kids have been using these days, at least until Snapchat started taking over as the dominant way of communicating without your mom seeing. While for us old people it's a great way... More »
  

Fantasia 2014 Review: Indonesian Action Flick GUARDIAN Frustrates

Marysa is getting pretty sick and tired of her mom, Sarah, haranguing her about her martial arts studies. She just wants to be a normal teenage girl and hang out with her best friend. But Sarah is insistent on these lessons,... More »
  

PiFan 2014 Review: ZOMBIE FIGHT CLUB Loves Shooting Ass Way More Than Kicking It

Joe Chien's follow-up to the bafflingly tasteless and salacious Zombie 108 delivers a generous second helping of the same Z-grade trash and splatter. Andy On and Jessica C are the attractive, if helpless, leads who - eventually - find themselves... More »
  
 
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