Pastoral: To Die in the Country poster

Pastoral: To Die in the Country

by Shûji Terayama
Also known as
Den-En ni Shisu
Specifics
Japan [1974] - 104 mins
Genre
Drama, Fantasy
More info on
3.0

My first Terayama and I have a feeling I'm going to like this guy. A unique take on cinema that has served as a clear inspiration for some of my own favorites. It's pretty weird, not very linear and at times quite absurd, but it's also very atmospheric and intruiging. A bit rough around the edges, but definitely worth a try if you're in the mood for something different.

Shanghai Fortress poster

Shanghai Fortress

by Hua-Tao Teng
Also known as
Shanghai Bi Lei
Specifics
China [2019] - 107 mins
Genre
Sci-fi, Action
More info on
2.5

It's nice that China is getting into sci-fi, but they'll have to do better than this. While it looks like the budget was there, the talent clearly wasn't. Terrible editing, poor CG skills, lifeless designs and a bland story don't do this film any favors. Luckily the action is okay and the alien invasion setup is fun enough, but that's not enough to turn this into a good film.

Jules and Jim poster

Jules and Jim

by François Truffaut
Also known as
Jules et Jim
Specifics
France [1962] - 105 mins
Genre
Romance, Drama
More info on
1.5

Faltering classic that revolves around a love triangle that fails to engage. Poor acting and failed stylistic experiments make it very difficult to get into the film, what remains are some less than intruiging characters struggling with their relationship. I've seen some fine Nouvelle Vague films, but sadly this wasn't one of them.

Falling Inn Love poster

Falling Inn Love

by Roger Kumble
Specifics
New Zealand [2019] - 98 mins
Genre
Comedy, Romance
More info on
1.0

Noticed the pun? Well, that's about as good as it gets for this film. Terrible actors, a cheesy and extremely predictable plot and no effort at all to add anything unique. Kumble merely goes through the motions and hopes that some poor eco-babble and a nice setting will be enough for his audience. For me it clearly wasn't.

Roar poster

Roar

by Noel Marshall
Specifics
USA [1981] - 102 mins
Genre
Adventure, Comedy
More info on
3.0

There's strange, there's absurd and then there's batshit crazy. The idea that Roar was filmed with untrained, untamed animals is completely insane, but there you have it. There's hardly a plot to speak off, but if you like watching a family of ill at ease, often downright scared people living amongst a bunch of big cats, this is a must-see.

The Axiom poster

The Axiom

by Nicholas Woods
Specifics
USA [2018] - 98 mins
Genre
Horror
More info on
2.0

Another well-meaning horror flick that can't escape its no-budget roots. Poor acting and sloppy camera work stand in the way of this ever becoming something truly worthwhile. There are some decent ideas in here (though few original ones), sadly the result is another mediocre attempt by a director who just doesn't have the talent for making films.

Seto & Utsumi poster

Seto & Utsumi

by Tatsushi Ohmori
Also known as
Setoutsumi
Specifics
Japan [2016] - 75 mins
Genre
Drama, Comedy
More info on
3.5

A manzai-based comedy with a manga background. It's definitely not a film with big international appeal and fans of Tatsushi Ohmori should expect something completely different from his other work, but the mix with drama is surprisingly effective and well executed. Short, sweet and loveable, but very niche.

De Patrick poster

De Patrick

by Tim Mielants
Specifics
Belgium [2018] - 97 mins
Genre
Comedy, Mystery
More info on
4.0

The weird blend of darkly grim and absurdly deadpan that seems quite typical for Belgian comedy. Add a dash of mystery and a confident director exploring his own unique directing style and you get a film that isn't meant to appeal to the big masses, but should find a warm place amongst the lovers of the strange and the peculiar.

Magellan poster

Magellan

by Rob York
Specifics
USA, Australia [2017] - 103 mins
Genre
Sci-fi
More info on
1.5

A very basic sci-fi genre flick that lacks the budget and talent to turn it into something worthwhile. The camerawork is terrible, the sets look awfully cheap and the actors are low grade. The mystery keeps the first half of the film alive, but once that is cleared up there really wasn't anything left to keep me interested.

Tone-Deaf poster

Tone-Deaf

by Richard Bates Jr.
Specifics
USA [2019] - 87 mins
Genre
Comedy, Horror
More info on
3.5

Wacky and mean-spirited horror/comedy that features a nasty battle between a prissy millennial and a grumpy baby boomer. Bates' sense of humor is not for everyone, but there's plenty of laughs here, mixed with some devious horror and a healthy dose of general weirdness. The execution is a little flaky in places, but apart from that this is another solid effort from Bates.

Rise Up poster

Rise Up

by Ryo Nakajima
Specifics
Japan [2009] - 84 mins
Genre
Drama
More info on
3.5

A sweet, genuine and slightly dramatized story about two boys and a girl starting a somewhat unlikely friendship. Nakajima is young director and uses this to his advantage, going for a more natural approach to bring some extra depth to the characters. While it lacks something to set it apart from its peers, it's a quality drama nonetheless.

The Telephone Box poster

The Telephone Box

by Antonio Mercero
Also known as
La Cabina
Specifics
Spain [1972] - 35 mins
Genre
Comedy, Mystery
More info on
2.0

While The Telephone Box has a solid concept and there are some nifty ideas here, there just isn't enough material to fill 30 minutes of film. The execution is also pretty poor, then again that's probably expected for a TV project. It's not a terrible way to pass 30 minutes and there are a couple of fun absurdities, but ultimately it just wasn't enough.

In Fabric poster

In Fabric

by Peter Strickland
Specifics
UK [2018] - 118 mins
Genre
Mystery, Horror
More info on
3.5

Strange and mysterious film that mixes in horror and comedy influences, but is most of all absurd in a pretty artsy way. Strickland no doubt had a lot of fun bringing this strange tale of a murdering dress to life. The soundtrack stands out, but it doesn't quite have the visual chops to be a true masterpiece. Jolly good fun though, if you can appreciate the weirdness.