Lu over the Wall poster

Lu over the Wall

by Masaaki Yuasa

Yuasa's ode to Hayao Miyazaki. The link to Ponyo and Totoro is obvious, even so this is still very much a Yuasa film. A weird blend of folklore, fantasy and psychedelic animation, not as extreme as some of his other films, but there is nobody out there doing what Yuasa is doing. Fans won't be disappointed.

Kissing Candice poster

Kissing Candice

by Aoife McArdle

The drama is a little stale at times, maybe because we've seen this all before, but McArdle does her very best to keep things interesting. The soundtrack is an absolute winner and the visuals too add a lot of flair and atmosphere. A promising film that shows the potential of McArdle, I do hope she gets a second chance.

The Sunshine Makers poster

The Sunshine Makers

by Cosmo Feilding-Mellen

Dry and lifeless documentary describing the advent of LSD. There are a lot of interviews, sadly the people being interviewed were pretty silly and obnoxious. It's really just their story, the doc fails to provide a broader context and watching them go on about LSD really isn't that much fun.

Yellow River Fighter poster

Yellow River Fighter

by Hsin-yan Chang

A pretty fun and spectacular martial arts film. It's nice to see a change of scenery, apart from that though it's a pretty standard martial arts affair. A goofy apprentice, a reclusive master and a bad guy that deserves a good ass-kicking. Fast-paced, fun and action-packed, but nothing too memorable here.

Seven Sisters poster

Seven Sisters

by Tommy Wirkola

Wirkola isn't the man to do serious sci-fi. This could've been a very amusing genre film, but Wirkola takes the film a bit too serious, which only draws attention to its flaws. The concept is interesting enough and Rapace is good times seven, but the film fails to make a lasting impression and feels way too flimsy.

Avengers: Infinity War poster

Avengers: Infinity War

by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Incredibly messy film that left me completely cold. It's an action spectacle from start to finish, but it still manages to be boring as hell. A dumb (purple) bad guy, extremely lazy writing and terrible pacing all add insult to injury. I've never been a very big Marvel (franchise) fan, but this is a pretty big low, even for them.

The Mad King of Taipei poster

The Mad King of Taipei

by Tien-Lun Yeh

Sweet and romantic drama with fantastical touches. The story between a store owner and a drifter doesn't look too exciting on paper, but the execution is colorful, amusing and creative. Lacks some truly standout moments, but the quality is overall high and I'm sure Yeh has the potential to do even better.

Tyke Elephant Outlaw poster

Tyke Elephant Outlaw

by Susan Lambert, Stefan Moore

Doc that details the life of Tyke, an elephant working for a circus that escapes and is shot down. It's nice that we get to hear different sides of the story, but the event itself isn't all that interesting and the doc never manages to place the events in a broader context. Kudos for trying to avoid being too one-sided though.

The Angels' Share poster

The Angels' Share

by Ken Loach

Starts off as a social drama with comedy touches, but switches around halfway through to become a lighter and more uplifting film. It's doesn't make all that much sense really, but the characters are fun and fans of whisky are sure to appreciate the setting. It's a pretty basic drama, but it's not a bad watch.

Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings poster

Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings

by Hark Tsui

Tsui is back for the third part of the Detective Dee series and that's a good thing. The quality remains high and even though it never attempts to be anything beyond solid entertainment, that's fine with me. Four Heavenly Kings is another lush, fun and amusing action mystery that entertains from start to finish.

Snuff Bottle Connection  poster

Snuff Bottle Connection

by Lili Liu, Chin Hu Tung

Basic martial arts flick. If you're familiar with 70s martial arts, chances are you'll get the feeling you've seen it all before. There's a lot of fighting here though, but the choreographies just aren't that exciting. The film lacks memorable moments, that said it's still quite amusing, if you're a fan of martial arts that is.

Solo: A Star Wars Story poster

Solo: A Star Wars Story

by Ron Howard

Better than the current batch of Star Wars films, but that's not saying much. Because the story is more straight-forward, the sci-fi get a little extra room to breathe. The comic relief is terrible, action scenes are poor and the fanboy pandering annoying, but at least there are some good moments to balance it out.

Sky on Fire poster

Sky on Fire

by Ringo Lam

Ringo Lam trying to relive his former glory days. A rather typical film from an oldskool director who isn't quite with the times anymore. There are some decent action scenes and the drama is above average for a Hong Kong action film, but overall it lacks panache and it fails to stand out from the rest. Not bad, not great.

Hell House LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel poster

Hell House LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel

by Stephen Cognetti

Sequel that wants to be bigger and more complex, but on the same shoestring budget. The result is a cast that's decidedly worse and some badly executed extras. The found footage haunted house bits are still fine, there's just less of them now and that makes the film worse off. Not terrible, but I preferred the first one.

Hell House LLC poster

Hell House LLC

by Stephen Cognetti

Old meets new. The haunts niche is doing quite well with a steady influx of fresh films every year, the found footage presentation may be past its prime but is a perfect match for this niche. The premise is very simple, the execution is on point. Pretty good filler, especially with October right around the corner.

Every Thing Will Be Fine poster

Every Thing Will Be Fine

by Wim Wenders

Didn't even know Wenders was still making films. He surrounded himself with a good cast, made sure the styling was classy (BenoƮt Debie, need I say more), yet he trips over the somewhat overbearing drama. The fragmented structure doesn't really help either. The potential is here, but the execution is lacking.

Troublesome Night 2 poster

Troublesome Night 2

by Herman Yau

Herman Yau took over as director and turned this into one of Hong Kong's swiftest horror franchises. This second film keeps to the same formula, three loosely linked short films that combine horror and comedy, with the same perks and caveats as the other (early) entries. Not great but passable fun.

To Be or Not to Be poster

To Be or Not to Be

by Ernst Lubitsch

Farcical comedy that stands out because it was filmed during WOII and makes fun of Hitler. It sounds very bold an edgy, but the comedy itself is pretty tame and predictable. The first 15 minutes are pretty smooth still, but it gets staler and slower with the minute after that. Wasn't very impressed with this one.

Marauders poster

Marauders

by Steven C. Miller

Starts off pretty promising, but quickly devolves into boring police stuff. The plot is too basic, the conspiracies are tame and Miller isn't talented enough to add something interesting to the premise. It's just a very simple action film with mediocre thriller elements and a lack of memorable moments.

New Kids Turbo poster

New Kids Turbo

by Steffen Haars, Flip van der Kuil

Wacky, crude and absurd comedy based on a popular web series. Not sure how well the comedy travels as the characters and caricatures are extremely rooted in Dutch culture, but there's plenty to laugh at beyond the people's silly looks and juicy accents. Clearly not for everyone, but I had a lot of fun with this one.