Review: Rajkumar Hirani's PK Ticks All The Right Bollywood Boxes

It's been five years since Bollywood blockbuster specialist Rajkumar Hirani destroyed box office records and made international waves with 3 Idiots. That film, with the help of an endearing lead performance from 40 something Aamir Khan as a college student,... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Review: Superstar Rajini's LINGAA, For Super Fans Only

At this point in his career, Rajnikanth is more than simply a performer, he is an icon. The highest paid actor in South Asia, Rajini films draw fanatical crowds not only in Tamil Nadu, but around the world. So much... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Blu-ray Review: KILL LA KILL Kicks Ass And Has A UK Boxset

(For those with a sailor-suit fetish and/or a certain sense of humor, Christmas sure has arrived early...) Confession time: when the first trailer and images of the anime series Kill La Kill appeared on the Internet last year, I thought... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Japan Film Festival 2014 Review: TOKYO REFUGEES Clumsily Critiques Contemporary Japan

Director Kiyoshi Sasabe (My SO Has Depression) is no stranger to dark narratives, and his latest, Tokyo Refugees, could be his darkest yet. Based on the many seedy and sad things you may have heard about Tokyo, the film aims to... More »
  

Japan Film Festival 2014 Review: RUROUNI KENSHIN: THE LEGEND ENDS Caps An Explosive Trilogy

By this stage, the humble tale of the first film and the bombastic masterfully shot darkness of the second film should prepare you for what is in store in Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends. Namely, a lot of exposition, happenstance... More »
  

Review: ODE TO MY FATHER Puts Blockbuster Spin On Melodrama

Family takes centre stage in Ode to My Father, a new Korean melodrama that is every bit as bombastic as this year's naval battle hit Roaring Currents. Directed by JK Youn (Youn Je-kyun), whose last film Haeundae sauntered over the... More »
  

Japan Film Festival 2014 Review: LADY MAIKO Is A Languidly Lyrical Linguistic Lark

A loose remake of the hit 1964 Broadway musical My Fair Lady, Lady Maiko (also a musical) takes the basic premise of genteel sensibility and applies it to the contemporary realm of traditional Kyoto geisha and maiko (those in... More »
  

Review: WOMEN WHO FLIRT Sees Pang Score North Of The Border

After dipping his toe into China with his 2012 sequel Love In The Buff, Hong Kong auteur Pang Ho Cheung embraces the inevitable and presents his first full-blown mainland production, Women Who Flirt. Zhou Xun and Huang Xiaoming play the... More »
  

Five Flavours 2014 Review: SHADOW DAYS, A Bold Critique Of China's Notorious One-Child Policy

Zhao Dayong's meaningful and compelling drama Shadow Days offers an unflinching commentary on pressing social and cultural issues pertinent to contemporary China. The documentary maker's second foray into fiction, it revolves around an ordinary young couple who move into an... More »
  

Five Flavours 2014 Review: IN THE DARK, A Ridiculous Mess Of A Horror Film

If there's one thing that may help the viewers at least partially understand why In The Dark is such a poorly executed and totally un-scary horror (or rather an accidental comedy masquerading as a supernatural horror), it's the following story:... More »
  

Five Flavours 2014 Review: Psychological Chiller SOUL Centers On A Complicated Father-Son Relationship

What constitutes a soul? What is the connection between a body and a soul? And, hypothetically, if a person's soul were to get replaced by a totally different one, what would happen to its original owner?Mong-Hong Chung's third full-length feature... More »
  

Japan Film Festival 2014 Review: JUDGE! Scores No Points

Judge! is a satirical look into the Japanese advertising scene, which, anyone should know is a bizarre industry given the output of truly surreal commercials that are churned out daily. The film starts off promising with an over-the-top shoot... More »
  

Cinema One 2014 Review: Dodo Dayao's VIOLATOR Is A Masterful Exercise In Mounting Dread

A storm is coming and its bringing with it to Manila a rapidly escalating sense of dread. There would be panic, perhaps, were there any outlet for such an emotion but with the city on lockdown as water levels rise... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Book Review: Miyazaki Hayao's PRINCESS MONONOKE: THE FIRST STORY

This year, the legendary animation director Miyazaki Hayao got an honorary Academy Award for his stellar work in film. For the past thirty years he has been responsible for a string of films which range from very great to awesome,... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

SAIFF 2014 Review: DUKHTAR Exposes The Deadly Binds That Tie Together Tribal Pakistan

South Asian cinema has come to the point at which the international community has begun to take closer notice. Films, the vast majority of which hail from India's burgeoning Hindi independent cinema, are appearing on international film festival rosters at... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Third I 2014 Review: TITLI Watches The Ugly Caterpillar Emerge From Its Cocoon

Titli. In Hindi it means butterfly. A feminine sounding word, Titli is also the name of the lead character in director Kanu Behl's debut feature film, and an appropriate name it is. Titli is the story of a man struggling to... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Five Flavours 2014 Review: Handsomely Shot 2030 Sinks Under The Weight Of Its Own Ambitions

Second time Vietnamese helmer Nguyen-Vo Nghiem-Minh makes a come back on the international festival circuit with 2030 (Nuoc), a film that conspicuously defies easy categorization by melding elements of a romantic triangle drama, murder mystery, and eco-conscious sci-fi thriller. Originally... More »
  

SAIFF 2014 Review: X - PAST IS PRESENT Is A Look At Love Through 11 Pairs Of Eyes

We've all done it.We've all sat in the ruins of a destroyed relationship and wondered where exactly we went wrong. We've all become flush at the prospect of a new romance and felt our hearts flutter at the endless possibilities... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Cairo 2014 Review: A CINEMA OF DISCONTENT Deftly Explores Censorship

I'm sure many cinephiles are familiar with the Motion Picture Production Code, used by Hollywood in the mid-20th century to govern 'morality' in films. A self-imposed censorship, it banned any sexual acts beyond kissing, excessive violence, profanity, and many other... More »
  

Review: Kurosawa's SEVENTH CODE, More Complex And Thrilling Than It First Appears

Those expecting another genre bending, bone-chilling spectacle from J-horror master helmer Kurosawa Kiyoshi may be a little disappointed with his low-budget, brisk, slow-moving 2013 feature Seventh Code. Without explaining anything, Kurosawa throws the viewer into a story that at... More »
  
 
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