Some nice decors and fine cinematography, but boy were those songs grating. I'm not a very big fan of musicals to begin with, but the music and lyrics here seemed to be squarely aimed at children. The rest of the film is decent, though predictable and fleeting. Not a terrible film, but bring earplugs if you can't stand cheesy pop music.
A passable comedy that is a little too dependent on Amy Schumer's particular style of cringe comedy to be truly good. The pacing is solid, there are some decent jokes and the film doesn't take itself too serious, but there are also plenty of comedy bits that fall flat. It's decent comedy filler, but a little hard to recommend unless you're a big Schumer fan.
After a long hiatus, Miki returns with a new film. The music-based plot isn't all that great, but a superb cast and some typical Miki weirdness elevate the film to prime entertainment. It isn't very subtle and maybe not as deadpan as his earlier work, but it's nice to see Miki is still getting some work done, and he clearly hasn't run out of good ideas.
A pretty solid romantic comedy that features a level of political nuance well above accepted expectations. Rogen and Theron make a surprisingly fun couple, the comedy is decent and even though the finale is quite predictable, Levine makes it work. Far from a masterpiece, but some solid good fun nonetheless.
Romantic comedy that turns a little darker toward the end. While there is enough interesting material here, director Hitoshi Ône keeps things a little too clean and poppy. The film has a solid cast and looks pretty enough, but my overall impression was that the film is a little too fleeting and light-weight. Decent filler, but nothing more.
A decent invasion flick that suffers from a slow start, bad drama and poor acting. It takes way too long before the actual horror starts, which is a shame because once it gets going it turns out that Oblowitz is pretty apt at raising tension and throwing blood around. The second part of the film is pretty great, it just takes a while to get there.
Quirky Japanese drama that mixes the slightly odd with the darkly dramatic. It's a coming of age film in the truest sense of the word, but Saeko's transition from girl to woman is a tough one. Her dad is struggling to keep his business afloat, Saeko hates school and doesn't have any real friends to fall back on. A typical Ishii film: solid, but stops short of greatness.
Very run-of-the-mill Shaw Bros production. Good versus evil, a basic plot that revolves around revenge and some martial arts action to resolve everything. Shaw Bros fans should know what to expect from Cheh Chang's films, others do well to seek out more prestigious Shaw Brow directors first.
A dark and loaded drama that isn't without its moments of joy and beauty. Felix van Groeningen finds a great balance, forgoing the typical spiral of tragedy for something a bit more realistic, though without losing any dramatic punch. Well acted, solid soundtrack, very nicely shot. It lacks something to truly set it apart, but Groeningen did very well for himself.
Russian war flick that conforms to Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket. We meet the boys, we go through the drill training with them, and we follow them into battle. The action scenes are decent and it's nice to see something else than the American wars for a change, but the film's too long and I'm no fan of the classic war film template, so this still felt a little too familiar.
A very basic and expected heist flick. It feels like a blueprint for many heist films that would follow, the problem is that this takes away most of the tension as it is all so predictable. Technical qualities are mediocre, acting is decent, the plot is a little long-winded. I'm sure it might've been a decent film in its time, but very little of that original shine remains.
A pretty great genre film that made me think of Carpenter's dark fantasy work. Jissoji is clearly the better director though, with strong camera work, great lighting and some solid special effects he delivers a film that is not only good fun, but also looks surprisingly beautiful, even to this day. Quite the discovery this, I'll have to look into Jissoji some more.