Surprising comedy from Patrick Brice. I never really liked his horror work, as a comedy director he fares a lot better. It's all very silly and on the nose, but there are some genuine laughs here and the balance between comedy and horror is perfect. It's hardly masterpiece material, but good fun nonetheless.
Death Note: The Last Name
A direct sequel to Kaneko's first film. I've never been much of a fan of the Death Note franchise and this film didn't do much to change my mind. Too long, too serious and too many poor twists. Kaneko's direction is mostly functional, honouring the narrative but failing to bring much joy to this production. For fans only.
Silly heist flick, it's a good thing Yuen seemed very much aware of the nature of the material. There are a few kick-ass action scenes, but for the larger part this is a goofy CG-fest that isn't very impressive nor sexy, but is surprisingly funny nonetheless. If you're in the mood for some brainless, nonsensical entertainment, this is a pretty solid pick.
The Pluto Moment
A Chinese arthouse film about a film crew making an arthouse film. This is hardly the most dynamic or original of films, but it's not the worst film either. A beautiful setting and decent acting are clear assets, but apart from that it's just a little too safe and expected. Chinese arthouse finds itself in a slump, they need some fresh blood to make things interesting again.
Call it an unofficial remake of Besson's own Nikita. While amusing in its own right, the film adds very little to the bottom line of the genre. A few well-executed action scenes make it worth your while, some predictable and contrived twists take away some of that fun. It's decent filler, but with Besson behind the camera you'd be excused for wanting a little extra.
The Green Fairy
Absolutely ridiculous documentary that tries to debunk the mystical properties or absinthe, while also making the case that some of the most prominent artists in recent history where absinthe drinkers. Badly acted and terrible cheesy skits are supposed to drive these points home, but they merely stand in the way of the short bits of factual content in between.
An intruiging setting and exquisite styling are what set this film apart, but a rather childish plot and bland characters hold it back from greatness. Waddington has the potential to become this generation's Tim Burton, but she'll have to embrace her dark site in order to add some extra spice to her work. Not bad, but could've been way better.
A superbly stylized film that was a little too spiritual and serious for my taste. It has a darker edge that is absolutely sublime, but its softer side is quite cheesy and at times even laughable. I also wasn't too happy with the late 80s/early 90s retro vibe, which felt pointless and tacked on. It's a shame, because the masterpiece potential was clearly present.
A failed attempt to mix horror and drama. The premise is as banal as can be, Hobson clearly put his money on the drama to give the film some extra flair. A cheesy soundtrack and poor performances stand in his way. At least the make-up is impressive and the cinematography deserves some praise too, but that's only barely enough to vindicate this one.
The Boy Inside
Sweet but somewhat overly constructed coming of age drama. While there's plenty to like here, Maeda's drama is hardly original and the story about a comatose boy waking up after 12 years feels a little tacked on. The acting is fine and there are some stand-out scenes, but overall it's little more than solid filler for genre fans.
A dark comedy that starts out pitch black and gets meaner and crazier as it nears its finale. Bates Jr. has a real feel for uncomfortable cinema, Trash Fire is another prime example of his talent. While his work tends to be a little rough around the edges, it's a breath of fresh air in a genre that has softened considerably over the past couple of years.
For Lovers Only
It's clear that the Polish brothers wanted to relive the Nouvelle Vague, but their attempts are a little half-arsed. The high-contrast black & white visuals are as fine as they come, but the flat soundtrack, poor acting and cheesy dialogues take all the spontaneity out of the film. It's one of those films that tries way too hard and loses itself in the process.
Quirky new Pang comedy. When a bunch of estranged friends band together once more in search of a bottle of breast milk, it quickly becomes clear this isn't a new Pang masterpiece. But if you're looking for a fun and cheeky comedy that resembles Pang's early comedies you're in for a pretty nice treat. A very amusing film indeed.
Fun and entertaining Stephen Chow film that delivers a perfect blend of Chow's trademark comedy with some martial arts ass kicking. An army of familiar faces, some hilarious action scenes and of course Chow himself add up to a film that is hard not to love. One of Chow's clear highlights, which makes this a must-see for fans of comedy.