Kingsman: The Golden Circle poster

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

by Matthew Vaughn
Specifics
UK, USA [2017] - 141 mins
Genre
Action, Adventure, Comedy
More info on
3.0*/5.0*

Amusing sequel that's a bit bolder and over-the-top compared to the original. Like most sequels though, it's also a bit more predictable. Still, all the actors are clearly having fun with their parts, the setting is daft yet interesting and Vaughn has enough directing chops to keep the film from losing steam. A pleasant diversion, everything a good blockbuster should be.

Cutterhead poster

Cutterhead

by Rasmus Kloster Bro
Specifics
Denmark [2018] - 84 mins
Genre
Thriller, Horror
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3.5*/5.0*

A ruthless, almost primordial thriller. Three people stuck in a cramped machine, deep underground, with air running out and no help on the way. Things are about to get tense and director Bro makes good use of that. The result is pretty claustrophobic and harrowing, but the film lacks a little extra finish to make it a true masterpiece. Still, very worthwhile though.

3x3 Eyes poster

3x3 Eyes

by Daisuke Nishio
Also known as
Sazan Aizu
Specifics
Japan [1991] - 110 mins
Genre
Animation, Fantasy, Horror
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3.0*/5.0*

I used to own this series on VHS, needless to say it's been a while since I last watched it. 3x3 Eyes remains a fun blend of fantasy and horror elements, but it's clear that the animation has lost a lot of its shine. The level of detail is disappointing and the animation itself is extremely low-budget. But whenever demons are allowed to go bonkers it's still a lot of fun.

Bandersnatch poster

Bandersnatch

by David Slade
Specifics
USA, UK [2018] - 90 mins
Genre
Mystery, Sci-fi
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0.5*/5.0*

Not sure if it was the concept or the execution, but this was absolutely grating and excruciating. An endless sequence of boring and uninteresting choices, a lame framework that never grabbed my attention and a TV quality finish that was hardly flattering. If this is the template for interactive narrative entertainment, please count me out.

A.I. Rising poster

A.I. Rising

by Lazar Bodroza
Specifics
Serbia [2018] - 85 mins
Genre
Sci-fi, Romance
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4.0*/5.0*

AI Rising is an oldskool, but very moody and pleasantly focused sci-fi film. There's a little too much name-dropping in the beginning (Asimov's Law, Schrödinger's Cat), but apart from that it's a very strong and atmospheric exploration of the relationship between human and android. It's the kind of sci-fi I've been craving for a while now, glad to see it might be making a return.

Starfish poster

Starfish

by A.T. White
Specifics
USA [2018] - 99 mins
Genre
Drama, Sci-fi
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2.5*/5.0*

It's not that A.T. White failed to conjure up an intriguing universe, it's that he seems either reluctant or incapable to properly explore it. Instead of a solid sci-fi, horror or mystery (take your pick), we get a lot of teen angst and ill-conceived genre elements (the mid-way animation sequence being the worst offender). There's a lot of potential here, but the execution felt half-hearted.

Head Count poster

Head Count

by Elle Callahan
Specifics
USA [2017] - 90 mins
Genre
Horror, Mystery
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3.5*/5.0*

A nifty slow burner that seems oddly hell-bent on sabotaging itself. The mystery is explained away in the very first scene with some pointless rhyme and the monster reveal is one of the worst I've seen. It's a small miracle that the film is able to overcome these fault, then again it's also a good indication that the direction is pretty damn solid.

The Call of Cthulhu poster

The Call of Cthulhu

by Andrew Leman
Specifics
USA [2005] - 47 mins
Genre
Horror, Mystery
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1.5*/5.0*

A cute but largely ineffective attempt to create the silents of yonder. The acting isn't expressive enough, the visual fidelity is too inconsistent and the soundtrack feels a little too modern in places. It's probably nice if you're a big fan of silent (horror) cinema (which I'm not), otherwise there's really not much here.

Closing Time poster

Closing Time

by Masahiro Kobayashi
Specifics
Japan [1996] - 81 mins
Genre
Drama
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2.0*/5.0*

Kobayashi's first is a little too on the nose. With all the direct references to classic directors, this is clearly the work of a budding arthouse director who hasn't really found his own voice yet. The rhythm of Closing Time isn't too bad and there are some interesting characters that pop up, but overall it's a little too shallow to be worthwhile.

Sleight poster

Sleight

by J.D. Dillard
Specifics
USA [2016] - 89 mins
Genre
Sci-fi, Crime
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3.5*/5.0*

A nifty little and down-to-earth crime flick that is elevated by small but significant sci-fi touches. Don't go in expecting a big, futuristic spectacle, instead you get a fine crime drama with a little extra. Dillard's direction is solid, the actors do a decent job and the ending is spot on. A very pleasant surprise, looking forward to Dillard's next one.

Mid90s poster

Mid90s

by Jonah Hill
Specifics
USA [2018] - 85 mins
Genre
Drama
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2.0*/5.0*

Clark made Kids, Van Sant made Paranoid Park. Not sure why Hill would try to make another one of those films, apart from the fact that the 90s are somewhat hot again. The film is way too specific for broader 90s nostalgia and even though the actors do a decent job, the drama is dull and lifeless. Not that good of a debut.

Polar poster

Polar

by Jonas Åkerlund
Specifics
Germany, USA [2019] - 118 mins
Genre
Action, Crime
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3.5*/5.0*

Fun and over-the-top action flick that does its very best to be both hard as nail as well as funny and entertaining. Everything here is a little "extra", sadly Åkerlund can't quite stretch it to last 120 minutes. It gets a little less edgy as the end draws near, which is a shame because I was getting ready for a crazy finale. Still, I like films like this, there just aren't enough of them.

The Legend of the Stardust Brothers poster

The Legend of the Stardust Brothers

by Macoto Tezuka
Also known as
Hoshikuzu Kyôdai no Densetsu
Specifics
Japan [1985] - 100 mins
Genre
Music, Comedy
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3.0*/5.0*

Crazy and absurd musical comedy that doesn't score many points with its soundtrack or technical qualities, but wins you over with its completely mental absurdities. The film is pretty loud and hysterical, but from that spring a lot of insane jokes that make sure it never gets boring. You have to be able to appreciate the Japanese-ness of it all, but if you do it's a real killer.

Gangster Squad poster

Gangster Squad

by Ruben Fleischer
Specifics
USA [2013] - 113 mins
Genre
Crime, Action
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3.0*/5.0*

The story about a group of off the grid cops banding together to get a mafia mogul in California isn't all that special, but Fleischer brings enough flair to the table and the casting is pretty spot on. There are some solid action scenes, the atmosphere is the right mix of grim and romantic and although a little long, Gangster Squad never gets boring.

The Rock poster

The Rock

by Michael Bay
Specifics
USA [1996] - 136 mins
Genre
Action
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2.5*/5.0*

The rock is a decent action spectacle, though not quite the level of bayhem I prefer. There's a little too much talking going on and the camera work isn't as vital and energetic compared to his later films. It's an amusing little action film, with fun parts for Cage and Connery, it's just a little tame when putting it next to Bay's other films.