Hong Kong 2015 Review: TWO THUMBS UP, A Delightfully Gonzo Heist Flick

Long-time screenwriter Lau Ho Leung (Painted Skin, Kung Fu Jungle) makes his directorial debut in this energetic action comedy following a gang of thieves who masquerade as cops to pull off a heist, only to encounter a rival posse with... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Review: MAN FROM RENO, Hit & Miss Neo-Noir

Dave Boyle's fifth feature, Man From Reno, is in many ways both refreshing and frustrating in its pulp leanings. It is far less a typical pulse-pounding thriller, and more a good ol' fashioned mystery with its roots firmly planted in... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

ND/NF 2015 Review: K Transposes Kafka to Inner Mongolia

Here is a thought: what if Kafka's Castle was transposed from the cramped, dreary, dark Eastern European city to the airy, spacious word of Inner Mongolia? It is realized by Mongolian director Darhad Erdenibulag and English born Emyr ap Richard... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

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   
  

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: 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: 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   
  

Thailand International Film Destination Festival 2015 Brings Stars To Bangkok

The third annual Thailand International Film Destination Festival wound up last week with the glittering pantheon of the Thailand's A list actors and actresses gliding along the red carpet to celebrate their lustrous, beautiful selves - and of course their... More »
  

Review: BADLAPUR, Who Wins When Sweet Revenge Goes Sour?

Badlapur opens with a single take of a bank robbery gone wrong. In any other film, this sequence would be a garish mish-mash of flashing lights, loud yelling, and confusion, however, in this world the major faux pas turns out... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

NYC Happenings: Oshima's IT'S ME HERE, BELLETT and Eight Experimental Shorts by Tezuka, Rarities at Japan Society

For the past few months, New Yorkers have been treated to some great programs of rarely-screened films by major Japanese filmmakers at Japan Society. In the monthly film series "The Dark Side of the Sun: John Zorn on Japanese Cinema,"... More »
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: UNDULANT FEVER Is Not Fifty Shades Of Pink

(Love is: accepting that his lust for sex can be a substitute for love, unless it can't, in which case you should hate the bastard, unless you love him regardless and you keep chasing him, because then you should persevere... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Review: Johnnie To Hits The Mark Once Again With DON'T GO BREAKING MY HEART 2

Veteran producer and filmmaker Johnnie To is back to his old tricks with Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2, a thoroughly watchable, stylishly lensed, beautifully unconventional, and often just plain hilarious follow-up to his hit 2011 rom-com about a trio... More »
By Patryk Czekaj   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: HARUKO'S PARANORMAL LABORATORY Drowns In Quirk

(I'll never yell at my television again, lest it suddenly changes into an attractive member of the opposite sex... hey, wait-a-minute!) Last year, Japanese director Lisa Takeba presented her first feature film The Pinkie at the International Film Festival Rotterdam... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: ANOTHER TRIP TO THE MOON Is Both Sedate And Trippy

(Once upon a time, there were two beautiful young women, hunting in a forest...) What is the border between still photography and moving pictures? Footage shot by a camera pointed at a waterfall or a fireplace may technically be the... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Review: C'EST SI BON Trades Rich 60s Music Setting For Dull Romance

A terrific period setting is squandered in the disappointing C'est si bon, a twee and lethargic romance masquerading as a dynamic folk music biopic. Programmed as one of this year's two major Lunar New Year holiday releases (the other being... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

DVD Review: Fei Mu's SPRING IN A SMALL TOWN From The BFI

Hailed as the greatest Chinese film ever made, Fei Mu's 1948 melodrama Spring In A Small Town arrives on DVD for the first time in the UK, courtesy of the BFI. A heartbreaking tale of loyalty, yearning and resilience in... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: SET ME FREE Impressively Keeps It Real

(Here's someone literally begging to be taken to church...) In Kim Tae-yong's debut film Set Me Free (original Korean title Geo-in), he deals with the memories he has about one of the darkest moments in his own childhood. His parents... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Review: 2015 Oscar Nominated Short Films, An Eclectic, Globe-Trotting Selection

As much talk as there's been about the lack of diversity among this year's Academy Award nominees, there is at least one section where diversity, and an illuminating look at world cultures, can be found. That place is the in... More »
  

Review: DETECTIVE K: SECRET OF THE LOST ISLAND, Another Underwhelming Period Action Comedy

Detective Kim is back with his trusty sidekick Seo-pil in the follow up to 2011's hit period action-comedy Detective K: Secret Of The Virtuous Widow. A hodgepodge of genres delivered at breakneck speed, this new instalment, subtitled Secret of the... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: THE INSEMINATOR, Banned But Not Forgotten

This year, the International Film Festival Rotterdam had a section on surrealism, and one of the films playing in it was Bui Kim Quy's The Inseminator. And it took the festival a lot of trouble to get the film, as... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  
 
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