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 »
  

Tokyo 2014 Review: GARM WARS: THE LAST DRUID, Mamoru Oshii Delivers Magic Dogs Amidst Turgid Fantasy

Mamoru Oshii has built a loyal following over the years with his penchant for thought-provoking animated features, 1995's Ghost in the Shell being his masterpiece, but the turgid fantasy stylings of Garm Wars: The Last Druid will test the most... More »
  

Review: WHY DON'T YOU PLAY IN HELL?, A Brash Bundle Of Boundless Fun

[This review originally ran following the film's premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. And, yes, thanks to the general craziness of of R100 I did, in fact, eat my shirt.] Mark my words: If another film brings even half... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Review: Antoinette Jadaone's BEAUTY IN A BOTTLE, A Witty and Self-Deprecating Comedy Directed At Beauty Consumerism

Six Degrees of Separation From Lilia Cuntapay (2011), Antoinette Jadaone's first feature, revolves around a real-life character named Lilia Cuntapay, a bit player who has become some sort of celebrity for portraying ghouls and witches in a number of Filipino horror movies. It... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

Hong Kong Asian 2014 Review: Woefully Lowbrow, BREAKUP BUDDIES Proves Ning Hao Is Not Yet Forgiven

The long, punishing arm of China's censorship board still hangs heavy over the career of mainland filmmaker Ning Hao. The once-exciting auteur turns in another safe, audience-friendly offering with Breakup Buddies, suggesting his penance for the acerbic No Man's Land... More »
  

Toronto After Dark 2014 Review: WHY HORROR? Speaks To Fans And Outsiders Alike

As a longtime and committed fan of the horror genre, Tal Zimmerman takes us on a journey to discover its roots, influences, players and place in different cultures. His travels will take him as far away as Japan, England and... More »
  

Review: HAPPY NEW YEAR, Quick-Witted Candyfloss For The Spectacle Inclined

Say what you want about Farah Khan, the woman knows what it takes to make a good looking movie.The director of Happy New Year appears to have gotten her groove back after the disastrous multi-million dollar escapade that was Tees... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Review: KUNG FU JUNGLE Sees Donnie Yen Pay His Respects Then Kick Some Ass

Donnie Yen plays a convicted murderer sprung from jail to help track down a serial killer targeting martial arts masters in Teddy Chen's appreciably nostalgic action thriller. While Yen wisely gifts the lion's share of the fighting to opposite number... More »
  

Tokyo 2014 Review: BIG HERO 6, Sentimental Fun for Gamer Kids

As the opener of the Tokyo International Film Festival, the world premiere of Disney Animation Studio's adaptation of Marvel property Big Hero 6 couldn't be more fitting. Set in a world of technological innovation and a city directly inspired by this... More »
  
 
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