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: 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 »
  

Review: WAR STORY, A Devastating Study Of Conflict, From Within

Mark Jackson did not so much as burst forth onto the independent film scene in 2011 with his brilliant first feature Without. Rather he made a careful set of imprints and impressions, distinct and measured, over the entire year on... More »
  

Review: Cool KUNDO: AGE OF THE RAMPANT Has Some Swagger In Its Step

With big stars and a hefty budget, Kundo: Age Of The Rampant marches into theaters with confidence and tongue planted firmly in cheek. This hybrid period film owes more to spaghetti westerns than the history of its Joseon Era setting... 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 »
  

Review: Bleak And Gripping, HAEMOO Prizes Character Over Spectacle

At the request of Finecut, the film's international distributor, the title of the film has been changed to Haemoo. Sea Fog was a working title used up until this point. To date, the summer of 2014 has seen the majority... More »
  

Review: THESE FINAL HOURS, The Peak Of Australian Genre

These Final Hours is a firecracker of a production set in the Australian city of Perth, on the final day before the world as we know it concludes. It is exactly what it sounds like; an intense genre exercise respecting the... 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 »
  

Review: I ORIGINS, Ludicrous And Contrived, Yet Still Creates A Spell

"The eyes are the windows to the soul." This particular cliché forms the narrative and philosophical basis of Mike Cahill's latest, I Origins, which follows in the high-concept, indie sci-fi vein of his first feature, Another Earth (2004). The title also... 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 »
  

Review: A MOST WANTED MAN, All Cloak, No Dagger

The stakes are surprisingly low in Anton Corbijn's latest effort A Most Wanted Man; a skewed take of the war on terror and the complexities of institutions and stateless beings. The film, set in the wintry German city of Hamburg, purposely... 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 »
  

Review: LE CHEF Serves Up French Comfort Food

Served up by the smiling Jean Reno and the persnickety Michael Youn, Le Chef (originally, Comme un chef) is French comfort food in the traditional sense. It may not be particularly good for you, nutrition-wise, but it sure is tasty.... More »
  

Review: LUCY, Scarlett Johansson Goes Feral, And It's Glorious

Luc Besson's new movie cloaks itself in scientific literacy, but make no mistake: Lucy is a b-movie through and through, a gloriously nutty concoction that would be risible if it ever took itself seriously. Happily, it never does. Featuring an... 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 »
  

Durban 2014 Review: Documentary Short THE LAST BOERS OF PATAGONIA Is Sumptuous And Stirring

Around the turn of the 19th century, a few Boer families - Afrikaner descendants of the original Dutch settlers in what is now South Africa - fled the country to escape persecution by the British during the Anglo-Boer Wars. A... 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 »
  
 
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