Game Over, Man!
Weird comedy that mixes in several other genres. Interestingly enough it completely fails as a comedy, but the rest of it is surprisingly fun. Some good action scenes, some funny horror bits and a randomness factor that keeps things fresh. It's definitely hit-and-miss from start to finish, but at least it wasn't boring.
Simple but perfectly executed horror/comedy that illustrates you shouldn't mess with brides on their wedding day. The comedy is fun and effective, the horror is tense and graphic. It's definitely not the most extreme film you'll ever see, but it's definitely on the more entertaining horror flicks in recent years.
A decent war comedy from the guy that brought us the Hangover trilogy. Teller and Hill are a solid duo, the tone of the film is light and slightly frivolous (though the story is based on true events) and the film never drags, even though it's close to 2 hours long. Some good fun, though not very memorable and far from a classic.
Tsutsumi's slightly twisted take on 12 Angry Men. The first half hour is spent setting up the mystery, the following 90 minutes are a roller coaster of twists and revelations. Even though the film looks very stylish and the direction is on point, the film is a little too talkative to make a smashing impression. Well recommended to people who dig twisty narratives.
The Choice of Hercules
An interesting take on the classic hostage thriller. Rather than focus on the criminals and the hostages, Harada singles out the administrative hell hole that opens up when local and national police corpses are forced to work together to defuse the situation. A bit long and a little scruffy in places, but Harada is a fine director and delivers an amusing film.
Interesting drama with slight fantasy touches. Kawase loses herself in the spiritual angle though and Binoche's presence is a hindrance. Luckily Nagase is solid as a rock and the setting itself is almost magical. That said, it was hard to shake the feeling that Kawase waisted the film's full potential. Pretty good, but could've been a lot better.
The Garden of Sinners - Future Gospel
A decent prequel/spin-off that feels like a natural extension of the original film series, but fails to add anything substantial. It's really just another case packaged into a full-length feature. The animation is decent, the plot intriguing and the pay-off sufficient, but in the end it fails to impress and it's just more of the same.
Monstrously bad action flick that can't even get the basics right. The direction is horrendous, the acting subpar and the action feels lifeless and flat. Joe Lynch directed some mediocre stuff before, but that cheap TV-series feel is quite new for him. Avoid at all cost, unless you're really strapped for action flicks. Even as mindless filler this is a complete and utter failure though.
Always Miss You
Decent romance slowed down by some narrative trickery. Romance-method narratives are never that interesting and it's clear Chen isn't the right man for the job. His talent shimmers through in places, the acting is decent and the payoff is fine, but it all feels a bit clumsy and derivative. Proper filler, but nothing more.
Cities of Last Things
A decent drama that gets a little too tangled up in its own structure and stumbles more than once over the genre elements it introduces, but the core drama is pretty strong, the acting is solid and the mood is properly sullen. Ho makes some original choices that pay off in the end, but the result is just a little too messy for its own good.
Deception of the Novelist
Chinese mystery/thriller that is reminiscent of the USA thrillers from the 90s. What looks like a pretty simple tale at first, turns out to be a web of lies and deceit that is slowly revealed throughout the film. Expect some twists and turns that aren't very interesting, luckily the film looks a good deal better than the drab 90s work this was inspired on.
A cool, fun and action-packed manhua adaptation. Hong Kong doesn't have a strong comic book culture and it's clear Yip struggled a little, but he makes up for it with superb action choreography and amusing over the top styling. If you can get past the cheesy dramatics propelling the story, there's a lot of fun to be had here.
Between Two Ferns: The Movie
Movie version of the cult comedy show, very much in line with the David Brent/The Office film. It's probably best to be familiar with the original, Galifianakis' take on comedy takes some getting used to, but I had a lot of fun with this one. As a film it's all very basic, but if you like the original shows then there's plenty to like here.
Fine space drama that has a little trouble finding a proper balance between its dramatic back story and its more action-driven sequences. Gray never quite gets it right, but there's enough meat here to spend two thrilling hours in space. The acting is on point, special effects are impressive and the mission is exciting. Not bad at all.