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 »
  

PiFan 2014 Review: Silat Drama YASMINE Fights From The Heart

An earnest and heartfelt coming-of-age story hailing from the tiny South-East Asian sovereign state of Brunei, Siti Kamaluddin's debut feature has attracted widespread attention thanks to its spirited use of en vogue martial art silat. While Yasmine trades the visceral... More »
  

Fantasia 2014 Review: THE MIDNIGHT SWIM, Where Still Waters Run Deep

In Werner Herzog's wonderful documentary Encounters at the End of the World, he makes a point of showing that if you dive deep enough in those cold, antarctic waters, the experience is not all that different than voyaging into outer space. Darren... More »
  

Fantasia 2014 Review: Can You Escape From THE DEVIL'S MILE?

The Canadian horror flick, The Devil's Mile, had its World Premiere at Fantasia Saturday night. It is the feature debut of long-time screenwriter and Rue Morgue magazine contributor Joseph O'Brien. Three kidnappers, Toby, Cally and Jackie, take a detour to deliver... More »
  

Fantasia 2014 Review: THE SEARCH FOR WENG WENG, Fruitful But Melancholy

I first encountered the work of Filipino action hero and tiny man-child Weng Weng at this very festival in 2007. Andy Stark and Pete Tombs ran an absolutely bonkers reel of money shots from their Mondo Macabro release label in front... More »
  

Fantasia 2014 Review: I AM A KNIFE WITH LEGS Cuts Away Comedy Conventions

It feels like there are no words to describe I Am A Knife With Legs. Just the title alone should give you an indication of the level of absurdity this comic gem reaches. It is utterly bizarre. Screamingly hilarious. Totally unconventional.... More »
  

Fantasia 2014 Review: THE RUN Strikes Familiar Chords With Fists And Knees

It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Then baby, let me tell you Malaysian action flick The Run is flattering a whole lot of folks from other parts of Asia. When Khaliff (Aaron Aziz) returns to his... More »
  

Fantasia 2014 Review: Iguchi's LIVE, Silly, Sordid, Satisfying

Out of his many obsessions, it's clear that Iguchi Noboru is an ass man.It's pretty obvious from his camera's obsession with ample posteriors, but in conversation with him, he confirmed his appreciation for the curved tuchas. If that wasn't enough... More »
  

PiFan 2014 Review: CAMERA Has A Good Eye But Lacks Focus

The debut feature from James Leong showcases the director's strong visual sensibility, but with an unimaginative and wasteful screenplay, Camera fails to capitalise on its intriguing premise.Set in a near-future Hong Kong, a gaping class and wealth divide has seen... More »
  

Durban 2014 Review: COLD HARBOUR Gets Moody About Corruption

Another South African film at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) brings another challenging reflection on the country's modern identity. This time, it's Carey McKenzie tackling corruption with her moody and noirish crime thriller, Cold Harbour, which just had its world... More »
  

Fantasia 2014 Review: Chew On This - ZOMBEAVERS Is Dam Excellent

It begins with the pun.Sure, you have a slew of straight-to-VOD crap that is little more than a title stretched too thin over its running time. Be it Sharknado or other of its ilk, it's as if a bunch of... More »
  

Fantasia 2014 Review: THE RECONSTRUCTION OF WILLIAM ZERO Has An Identity Crisis

There seems to be some kind of movement out there where low-key indie dramas of personal tragedy cloak themselves in the veneer of heady science fiction concepts: films like Mike Cahill's Another Earth, James Byrkit Ward's Coherence, and what is... More »
  

Durban 2014 Review: Kenyan Crime Thriller VEVE Is A Damp Misfire

Though it boasts handsome production values and Tom Tykwer amongst its producer team, Kenyan crime thriller Veve is otherwise a catalog of missed and squandered opportunities, a thriller that simply fails to thrill thanks to a script overstuffed with unengaging... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Durban 2014 Review: LOVE THE ONE YOU LOVE Is A Luminous, Perplexing, Engrossing Debut

Kennel worker Sandile and phone sex operator Terri have an unusual problem: Their life together is too good. They're perfect together. Their friends say so, holding the duo up as the ideal to which they aspire. Sandile's mother is pressing... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Karlovy Vary 2014 Review: CORN ISLAND, A Poetic Contemplation On Humanism

The flourishing festival runs of the coming of age drama In Bloom, directed by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Groß, and Levan Koguashvili´s comedy drama Blind Dates hint at a brighter future for Georgian cinema. The recently premiered second feature by... More »
  

Durban 2014 Review: BETI AND AMARE Is A Bizarre Ethiopian Oddity

It is 1936 and Mussolini is on the move, the fascist leader's troops pressing into Ethiopia to increase their foothold in Africa. Fearing the worst teenaged girl Beti is sent away from the big city by her mother to live... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Japan Cuts 2014 Review: TALE OF A BUTCHER SHOP, A Sensitively Observed Documentary Of A Working-Class Family

Tale of a Butcher Shop, Hanabusa Aya's sensitively observed documentary on a family of butchers in Kaizuka City in Osaka, Japan, begins in a very startling fashion, with an unflinching depiction of a cow's slaughtering. A man leads the cow... More »
  
 
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