Accepted poster

Accepted

by Steve Pink
Specifics
USA [2006] - 93 mins
Genre
Comedy
More info on
3.0*/5.0*

I'm not a big fan of college comedies, but this one was a welcome exception. Steve Pink doesn't confuse coarseness with comedy, Justin Long is perfect for his part and there is remarkably little in the way of drama and/or setbacks. It's just a fun little film, with a decent message and plenty of positivity to spare.

Film Socialisme poster

Film Socialisme

by Jean-Luc Godard
Specifics
Switzerland, France [2010] - 102 mins
Genre
Experimental
More info on
2.0*/5.0*

It's nice that some directors want to be experimental and explore new ways to push cinema as an artform. Godard used to be very good at it, but ever since he's been embracing new technologies his work has become so crude and blunt that it can be difficult to watch. The potential is there, the execution isn't.

The Truth Is in the Stars poster

The Truth Is in the Stars

by J. Craig Thompson
Specifics
Canada [2016] - 86 mins
Genre
Documentary
More info on
2.0*/5.0*

There are some nice bit here, about the importance of theoretical science, the current negativity in everything sci-fi and the adventurous nature of science. But they're spoiled by Shatner, Star Trek pimping and some truly worthless interviewees (Stiller and Goldberg?). Could've been so much better.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials poster

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

by Wes Ball
Specifics
USA [2015] - 131 mins
Genre
Action, Sci-fi, Thriller
More info on
2.5*/5.0*

A pretty decent sequel. There isn't much left from the original concept - very little maze running going on - and the new direction of the plot is hardly interesting, but the film can be surprisingly dark and it features some decent action . It's all still very young adult, but one of the better franchises amongst it peers.

Smokey and the Bandit poster

Smokey and the Bandit

by Hal Needham
Specifics
USA [1977] - 96 mins
Genre
Action, Comedy
More info on
3.0*/5.0*

Pretty fun action flick. At times it's just a little too "yeeha USA!" for my taste, but it's incredibly action-packed and it supplements that with some juicy comedy bits. The film doesn't really slow down, doesn't get too dramatic and doesn't try to be anything else but good fun. Others could learn a thing or two from that.

The C Word poster

The C Word

by Meghan O'Hara
Specifics
USA [2016] - 89 mins
Genre
Documentary
More info on
2.0*/5.0*

Another one of those documentaries with "obvious" answers that the world isn't willing to see. There are some shocking bits here, but none that haven't been discussed in other docs. And the fact that living a healthier life reduces the risk of cancer isn't that big of a revelation. Still, I've seen much worse in this category.

The Jade Bow poster

The Jade Bow

by Hsin-Yen Chang, Qi Fu
Also known as
Yun Hai Yu Gong Yuan
Specifics
Hong Kong [1966] - 107 mins
Genre
Action, Drama
More info on
2.5*/5.0*

Haven't seen too many 60s martial arts films yet that dabble in the fantastical, making this somewhat of a surprising watch. The pacing is nice, the sets look fine, sadly though the fight choreography is pretty bad. Lame effects and boring fights let the film down, but there is still some fun to be had besides the action.

The Island poster

The Island

by Bo Huang
Also known as
Yi Chu Haoxi
Specifics
China [2018] - 134 mins
Genre
Comedy, Drama
More info on
3.0*/5.0*

Chinese comedian Bo Huang working in front and behind the camera. The beginning is a little shaky, but once they arrive at the island it becomes a decent film. The setting is interesting, the cinematography is nice and the plot is quite original. Not a big fan of the comedy, but that's only a small part of the film.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 poster

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

by Francis Lawrence
Specifics
Germany, USA [2015] - 137 mins
Genre
Action, Adventure, Sci-fi, Thriller
More info on
1.5*/5.0*

A feeble finale to the series. There isn't much left from the Battle Royale-like concept and children staging a revolution isn't that good a replacement. The acting is pretty poor, the film is way too serious and even though the budget was clearly sizeable, it just doesn't look that spectacular. Disappointing.

Munich poster

Munich

by Steven Spielberg
Specifics
France, Canada [2005] - 164 mins
Genre
Drama, History, Thriller
More info on
1.5*/5.0*

If Spielberg has one real skill, it's turning something decent into something hellishly boring, especially when he tries to make a serious film. The acting is below par, the film looks professional but lifeless and the story never really managed to get interesting. Just bland and boring Hollywood film making.

Patterns of Evidence: Exodus poster

Patterns of Evidence: Exodus

by Tim Mahoney
Specifics
USA, UK [2014] - 115 mins
Genre
Documentary, History
More info on
1.5*/5.0*

Doc that tries hard to be scientific, but when trying to prove that the exodus was a real event that validates religion, you're bound to make some leaps in logic. There are some interesting ideas here, but when it all gets tied together it looks like an answer in desperate search of proof rather than actual science.

Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru poster

Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru

by Joe Berlinger
Specifics
USA [2016] - 115 mins
Genre
Documentary
More info on
1.0*/5.0*

Promo video for Tony Robbins' shows. There are few interviews to make it look like a doc, but it's mostly just a registration of what Robbins does on stage. If you feel the need to go to a motivational speaker this might be somewhat decent, but for others this is just completely pointless. Best to avoid this one.

Lost and Found poster

Lost and Found

by Chi-Ngai Lee
Also known as
Tian Ya Hai Jiao
Specifics
Hong Kong [1996] - 109 mins
Genre
Drama, Romance
More info on
3.5*/5.0*

Surprisingly good film. '96 isn't a good year for Hong Kong cinema, but Lee shows it wasn't all bad. There's some traces of Kar Wai in here, but also a glimpse of Johnnie To's comedies. The film looks pretty good, the soundtrack is nice and the acting is solid. No standout elements, just overall fine.

Jason and the Argonauts poster

Jason and the Argonauts

by Don Chaffey
Specifics
UK, USA [1963] - 104 mins
Genre
Adventure, Family, Fantasy
More info on
1.5*/5.0*

If you like the work of Ray Harryhausen there are some good bit here, but at the same time it's a solid reminder I'm glad to live in the age of CG. The rest of the film is pretty boring. Acting is poor, the story is dull and the film is way too slow for an adventure. Watch it for the stop-motion, that's all there is to it.

Flower and Snake 2: Paris/Shizuko poster

Flower and Snake 2: Paris/Shizuko

by Takashi Ishii
Also known as
Hana to Hebi 2: Pari/Shizuko
Specifics
Japan [2005] - 118 mins
Genre
Drama
More info on
3.5*/5.0*

Sequel to Ishii's earlier reboot. If you're familiar with Ishii (or the other films in the series), you'll know what to expect. Rather raunchy and risky material, but delivered with style. The film looks nice, the actors are solid and it's appropriately dark and moody. Some scenes go on too long, but apart from that pretty interesting.

Lu over the Wall poster

Lu over the Wall

by Masaaki Yuasa
Also known as
Yoake Tsugeru Ru no Uta
Specifics
Japan [2017] - 107 mins
Genre
Fantasy, Drama
More info on
4.0*/5.0*

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.

Stir Crazy poster

Stir Crazy

by Sidney Poitier
Specifics
USA [1980] - 111 mins
Genre
Comedy, Crime
More info on
1.5*/5.0*

A pretty silly comedy that relies on Pryor and Wilder to draw some laughs from the audience. Their style of seemingly improvised overacting isn't really my kind of thing though. The few funny bits that are there are actually ruined by the duo. Poitier isn't much of a director either and 110 minutes is just way too long.

Pet Fooled poster

Pet Fooled

by Kohl Harrington
Specifics
USA [2016] - 70 mins
Genre
Documentary
More info on
1.5*/5.0*

Docs that start with a seemingly random event ushering in a question that already holds the answer. They call it documentaries but really it's just propaganda. There's a core of truth to Pet Fooled of course, the pet food industry is pretty dire, but this poorly constructed and leading film isn't the answer.

Narratage poster

Narratage

by Isao Yukisada
Also known as
Narataju
Specifics
Japan [2017] - 140 mins
Genre
Drama, Romance
More info on
3.5*/5.0*

A typical Yukisada film. A solid mix of drama and romance, some tougher themes and soft styling. If you've seen some of his other films, you'll know what to expect. Good acting, fine camera work and some touching moments without becoming too sentimental. A bit too long though, but otherwise very good.

Concerto of the Bully poster

Concerto of the Bully

by Chi Keung Fung
Also known as
Da Yue Shi. Wei Ai Pei Yue
Specifics
Hong Kong [2018] - 96 mins
Genre
Comedy, Drama, Music, Romance
More info on
3.5*/5.0*

A fine blend of comedy, drama, crime and romance. Fung doesn't alternate between the different genres but attempts and succeeds in a creating a homogenous mix. Acting is solid, the films looks great and even though the music is pretty poppy, it fits the film. Not masterpiece material, but overall pretty nice.

Tomb Raider poster

Tomb Raider

by Roar Uthaug
Specifics
UK, USA [2018] - 119 mins
Genre
Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Thriller
More info on
1.0*/5.0*

Lame and lifeless Indiana Jones copy. Vikander fails to impress, the action is tame, the traps and the adventure boring. Daniel Wu is quickly becoming the Ken Watanabe of China and for a film set in Japan, there's a remarkable lack of Japanese actors. Unless you're starving for more Indiana Jones-like films, avoid.

Horror of a Deformed Man poster

Horror of a Deformed Man

by Teruo Ishii
Also known as
Kyofu Kikei Ningen: Edogawa Ranpo Zenshu
Specifics
Japan [1969] - 99 mins
Genre
Horror
More info on
3.0*/5.0*

One of Teruo Ishii's most notorious films, based on the work of Rampo. I was only familiar with Ishii's more recent films but there really isn't that much of a difference. You can expect the same overstated performances, weird deformations and his typically morbid sense of horror. Not bad at all.

Spider-Man: Homecoming poster

Spider-Man: Homecoming

by Jon Watts
Specifics
USA [2017] - 133 mins
Genre
Action, Adventure, Sci-fi
More info on
0.5*/5.0*

Excessively dumb and childish, as if you're watching a Nickelodeon superhero film. Holland is irritating, the humor is 100% cringe and the bad guy is terribly boring. Action scenes are dull too and all of that is stretched to a lousy 130 minutes. One of the worst Marvel films in a while and that's saying something.

Lessons from a Calf poster

Lessons from a Calf

by Hirokazu Koreeda
Also known as
Mou Hitotsu no Kyouiku - Ina Shogakkou Haru Gumi no Kiroku
Specifics
Japan [1991] - 47 mins
Genre
Drama
More info on
3.0*/5.0*

Koreeda's first stand-alone project. It's a short doc on a class that takes care of a calf and has its entire curriculum based on that experience. It's a disarming doc that shows kids can handle mature issues if handled properly. Koreeda's "show, don't tell" approach is already on display here, production values are low though.

The Mask You Live In poster

The Mask You Live In

by Jennifer Siebel Newsom
Specifics
USA [2015] - 97 mins
Genre
Documentary, News
More info on
0.5*/5.0*

A doc on masculinity and the toxicity involved. It mentions social construct, videogames, bro code and whatnot. They threw everything but the kitchen sink at it and speak of tough social issues as if the answers are clear cut (and science-backed). A doc with an agenda in other words, this is just nasty propaganda.

Dawn of the Felines poster

Dawn of the Felines

by Kazuya Shiraishi
Also known as
Mesunekotachi
Specifics
Japan [2017] - 84 mins
Genre
Drama
More info on
3.5*/5.0*

A fine acquaintance with Shiraishi. The film starts off exquisitely and for a while it looked like this was going to be an amazing drama, but after 15 minutes or so it gets a little quirkier. It's a shame because it doesn't quite fit the mood, but that doesn't take away from the amazing potential on display here.

A Farewell to Jinu poster

A Farewell to Jinu

by Suzuki Matsuo
Also known as
Jinu Yo Saraba Kamuroba Mura E
Specifics
Japan [2015] - 121 mins
Genre
Comedy
More info on
3.5*/5.0*

Suzuki Matsuo features Ryuhei Matsuda and Fumi Nikaido in his latest comedy. The film itself didn't quite meet my expectations, but it's a fun and quirky movie regardless. Matsuo is truly one of a kind and the rural Japanese setting combined with slightly fantastical elements makes for a unique experience.

Swept Away poster

Swept Away

by Guy Ritchie
Specifics
UK, Italy [2002] - 89 mins
Genre
Comedy, Romance
More info on
2.0*/5.0*

Poor Ritchie. I guess we'll never really know how this film came to be, but it's clear that he never felt comfortable doing this. The acting is atrocious, the plot is dumb and the comedy never hits. But at least the setting is nice, the film is short and it's so blunt that some bits are quite funny. That doesn't save it though.

Granny poster

Granny

by Devashish Makhija
Also known as
Ajji
Specifics
India [2017] - 104 mins
Genre
Drama
More info on
3.5*/5.0*

A dark, moody and morbid rape drama with strong thriller elements. Granny is a great reminder that India doesn't equal Bollywood and that there are some very capable directors working there. Nicely shot, perfectly scored and well acted, Ajji is a film that stuns and leaves a strong impression. Good stuff.

The Devil and Father Amorth poster

The Devil and Father Amorth

by William Friedkin
Specifics
Italy, USA [2017] - 68 mins
Genre
Documentary, Horror
More info on
1.0*/5.0*

Friedkin should've been the ideal director to make a doc on exorcisms (after all, he directed The Exorcist), but the result is laughable. Conversations are amateurish, the exorcism footage is lame and the final reconstruction is something C-grade horror films would be ashamed of. Friedkin should stick to fiction.

Chicken and Duck Talk poster

Chicken and Duck Talk

by Clifton Ko
Also known as
Gai Tung Aap Gong
Specifics
Hong Kong [1988] - 95 mins
Genre
Comedy
More info on
2.5*/5.0*

Hong Kong comedy with lots of local appeal. There isn't any martial arts to draw in international audiences, this is Hong Kong comedy at its purest. There are some funny bits, but overall it's just a lot of mediocre and predictable jokes. Luckily the pacing is okay and the film doesn't last too long, but great it ain't.

Tonight, at the Movies poster

Tonight, at the Movies

by Hideki Takeuchi
Also known as
Konya, Romansu Gekijo De
Specifics
Japan [2018] - 109 mins
Genre
Fantasy, Romance
More info on
2.5*/5.0*

A romance with fantastical touches that hopes to please fans of classic cinema. In the hands of Takashi Yamazaki this could've been great, but Takeuchi isn't the man for this kind of film. The romance is a little stale and the fantasy elements don't quite work. It's not a bad film, just a little boring and by the numbers.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 poster

Guardians of the Galaxy 2

by James Gunn
Specifics
USA [2017] - 136 mins
Genre
Action, Adventure, Comedy, Sci-fi
More info on
1.5*/5.0*

Same old, same old. Some misfits save the universe from a madman, Marvel bad guys really are the dumbest, most incapable creatures alive. Cue some gruesome classic pop hits, lots of colorful scenery, poor action scenes and a very questionable sense of humor. Nopes, this is just another Marvel failure.

The First Purge poster

The First Purge

by Gerard McMurray
Specifics
USA [2018] - 98 mins
Genre
Action, Horror, Sci-fi, Thriller
More info on
3.0*/5.0*

Fourth film and first prequel in the Purge franchise. Starts off rather well, especially those first hours into the purge. There's a cool and creepy horror vibe that gives the film some bite. Sadly the finale turns full on action, which isn't really McMurray's strong point. Still, four films in and this series is still pretty decent.

Fatal Move poster

Fatal Move

by Dennis Law
Also known as
Duo Shuai
Specifics
Hong Kong [2008] - 117 mins
Genre
Action, Crime, Drama
More info on
3.5*/5.0*

Very amusing Triad film. A mix of gun action, martial arts and Triad drama, in Law's typical no-nonsense style of directing. Law isn't the greatest director, but he knows how to make an entertaining genre film. It's a bit more extreme than most of its peers, hence the Cat III rating, but apart from that it's pure genre material.

Presenting Princess Shaw poster

Presenting Princess Shaw

by Ido Haar
Specifics
Israel [2015] - 83 mins
Genre
Documentary, Music
More info on
1.5*/5.0*

I've been looking for a good YouTube doc for some time now, but this one clearly wasn't it. Boring and self-absorbed ego-doc that is little more than a promo video for the featured artist. If you look really hard you can see some of the sadness that lives behind these videos, but clearly that wasn't the point of this doc.

My Heart Is That Eternal Rose poster

My Heart Is That Eternal Rose

by Patrick Tam
Also known as
Sha Shou Hu Die Meng
Specifics
Hong Kong [1989] - 90 mins
Genre
Action, Crime, Drama
More info on
3.0*/5.0*

A film that reminded me of Wong Kar-Wai, Johnnie To and John Woo. Quite a handful, sadly Tam isn't as great a director. The terrible score, mediocre performances and lack of slick editing downgrade this film from what could've been a masterpiece. The potential was there, the execution was a little lacking though.

Brain on Fire poster

Brain on Fire

by Gerard Barrett
Specifics
USA, Canada [2016] - 88 mins
Genre
Biography, Drama
More info on
2.5*/5.0*

Pretty basic drama that does a decent enough job recounting the story of Susannah Cahalan, but shows very little spirit. It's a pretty functional film, whenever Barrett tries to do something more creative it falls flat though. Moretz is okay and the build-up is somewhat decent, but it's a pretty forgettable affair.

Bleeding Steel poster

Bleeding Steel

by Leo Zhang
Also known as
Ji Qi Zhi Xue
Specifics
China, Hong Kong [2017] - 109 mins
Genre
Action, Adventure, Drama, Sci-fi, Thriller
More info on
2.5*/5.0*

It's time for Jackie Chan to rethink his career. While the start of this film is still somewhat okay, the sci-fi elements make no sense at all and are super cheesy. The only reason this nonsensical mix of genres half-works is because the film itself doesn't take itself too seriously. Not terrible, but not very good either.

Deadpool 2 poster

Deadpool 2

by David Leitch
Specifics
USA [2018] - 119 mins
Genre
Action, Adventure, Comedy, Sci-fi
More info on
3.0*/5.0*

Slightly better than the first one. A little smoother, with a higher percentage of funny jokes. It seems like Reynolds has grown into his characters and while at times the story does get in the way of the film, it never gets too stale. The ending is pretty lame, but I guess that's a given with Marvel films. Pretty fun.