Our Hospitality poster

Our Hospitality

by John G. Blystone, Buster Keaton
Specifics
USA [1923] - 65 mins
Genre
Comedy, Romance
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1.5*/5.0*

Like most Keaton films, Our Hospitality takes a while to get up to speed. The first half isn't great, then again I'm not a fan of Keaton the comedian. Luckily he pivots to more stunt-based scenes in the second half, though it's clear that is one of his earlier films. It's not as exciting, but it's short and still pretty impressive for its age.

Sansho the Bailiff poster

Sansho the Bailiff

by Kenji Mizoguchi
Also known as
Sansho Dayu
Specifics
Japan [1954] - 124 mins
Genre
Drama
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1.0*/5.0*

Me and Kenji Mizoguchi don't seem to be getting along. Sansho the Bailiff is a loud, unsubtle and overly dramatic tale of folklore. The appeal of these films is totally beyond me, as they are simplistic, badly acted and terribly long-winded. Somewhat of a must see if you like critically acclaimed films, but that doesn't mean it's any good.

Salyut-7 poster

Salyut-7

by Klim Shipenko
Specifics
Russia [2017] - 111 mins
Genre
Action, Drama, History
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3.0*/5.0*

Not a bad space flick, although it feels like Gravity light. Based on a true story, the film comes with a serious dose of added heriosm and sentiment. Luckily the space scenes are magnificent, if a little short and small in number. The editing isn't perfect and the drama can get in the way, but all in all a fun diversion.

Things We Lost in the Fire poster

Things We Lost in the Fire

by Susanne Bier
Specifics
USA, UK [2007] - 118 mins
Genre
Drama
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1.5*/5.0*

Overly sentimental and grave drama. Benicio Del Toro does a decent job, but he can't prevent Bier from going all out. Overbearing music, leading camera work and a story that gives way too much support to the melodrama. It's clear Oscar bait and it's not even very good at it. If you're looking for anything subtle, avoid like the plague.

One More Time poster

One More Time

by Robert Edwards
Specifics
USA [2015] - 98 mins
Genre
Drama, Music
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2.5*/5.0*

A very mediocre drama. Performances of Walken, Heard and Garner make it bearable, but the family issues fail to move and most, if not all characters are pretty damn annoying. The film meanders without any discernible highlights and even though it never truly lost me, there is hardly a memorable scene. Pretty forgettable.

Book of Monsters poster

Book of Monsters

by Stewart Sparke
Specifics
UK [2018] - 84 mins
Genre
Comedy, Horror
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1.0*/5.0*

Cheap shlock. Horror/comedies get away with a lot, but if the horror doesn't get better than strings, bed sheets and ketchup, then it is beyond saving. No doubt a project of love, as it was funded on Kickstarter, but the result is complete and utter nonsense. I'm afraid Sparke simply lacks the talent. Avoid unless you like them really cheap.

Stratton poster

Stratton

by Simon West
Specifics
UK [2017] - 95 mins
Genre
Action, Thriller
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2.0*/5.0*

A truly standard action flick. You'd think Simon West would be capable of more by now, but the action scenes are tepid and fail to excite. The editing is bad, the continuity is a joke and the action choreography is dull. Don't expect too much from the actors either, but at least the pacing is decent and the film is short. Borderline acceptable filler.

Asleep poster

Asleep

by Shingo Wakagi
Also known as
Shirakawa Yofune
Specifics
Japan [2015] - 91 mins
Genre
Drama
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3.5*/5.0*

A nice, subtle and modest Japanese drama, perfect for the likes of Sakura Ando. There is no high drama, no cheap sentiment, at the same time though the film lacks any standout moments that could've lifted it to even greater heights. That said, worthy of your time if you like them heartfelt and small.

Dumbo poster

Dumbo

by Tim Burton
Specifics
USA [2019] - 112 mins
Genre
Fantasy, Family
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3.0*/5.0*

Not a bad remake by Tim Burton. Plenty of elements from the original return, even so this adaptation is different enough to stand on its own two feet. There are splashes of Burton magic littered throughout the film, though ultimately this is clearly Burton light. It's a fun little diversion, but I prefer his original work.

The Final Wish poster

The Final Wish

by Timothy Woodward Jr.
Specifics
USA [2018] - 95 mins
Genre
Horror
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1.5*/5.0*

Timothy Woodward Jr. is clearly a horror fan, but that doesn't make him a good horror director. With famous names like Shaye and Todd on the roster he has the fanboy elements down, but bad acting, lack of tension and poor mimicry of established horror tropes really let this film down. Not really worth the effort.

Twin Sisters poster

Twin Sisters

by Ben Sombogaart
Also known as
De Tweeling
Specifics
Netherlands, Luxembourg [2002] - 137 mins
Genre
War, Drama, Romance
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1.5*/5.0*

A long-winding drama set during WWII. Per usual, the visuals are stuffy, the acting is pretty rigid and the plot is extremely predictable. But worst of all is the soundtrack, which lacks subtlety and simply can't seem to stop. Twin Sisters is typical Oscar-bait, just not coming from Hollywood. It's not my kind of film.

The Accountant poster

The Accountant

by Gavin O'Connor
Specifics
USA [2016] - 128 mins
Genre
Thriller, Action, Crime, Drama
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3.0*/5.0*

A pretty decent thriller. The setup is by far the most interesting part of the film, with some interesting elements that keep the plot vague and intriguing. The second half is more predictable and the action scenes aren't all that, but the film retains its stark and polished exterior, keeping it fun until the very end. Not bad.

Run Away poster

Run Away

by Toon Wang
Also known as
Ce Ma Ru Lin
Specifics
Taiwan [1985] - 115 mins
Genre
Action, Adventure
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2.0*/5.0*

A Taiwanese martial arts film that is a lot harsher and dramatic than its Hong Kong counterparts. Wang clearly wanted to elevate his film, but doesn't quite succeed. That leaves us with an arthousey martial arts film that doesn't really convince either way. There are a few interesting scenes, but on the whole it's just not good enough.