Liz and the Blue Bird poster

Liz and the Blue Bird

by Naoko Yamada
Also known as
Rizu to Aoi Tori
Specifics
Japan [2018] - 90 mins
Genre
Animation, Drama, Fantasy, Music
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3.5*/5.0*

A very sweet and warmly executed drama, with some stunning animation and several stand-out scenes. It just was a little too soft-voiced and piano-drenched for my taste. Yamada has talent to spare though and even a smaller drama like this one has plenty of beauty in it. An easy recommend for animation fans.

IO poster

IO

by Jonathan Helpert
Specifics
USA [2019] - 96 mins
Genre
Adventure, Drama, Romance, Sci-fi
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3.5*/5.0*

A small and subtle post-apocalyptic drama that may disappoint people looking for action, but it is well acted, intriguing and nicely presented. It's the kind of lo-fi sci-fi that isn't really aimed at pleasing a large audience, but if you like yourself a little sci-fi and can do without the action beats, this is a solid film.

Marmalade Boy poster

Marmalade Boy

by Ryuichi Hiroki
Also known as
Mamaredo Boi
Specifics
Japan [2018] - 127 mins
Genre
Romance
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3.0*/5.0*

Not of one Hiroki's best. There are moments where his talent shines through, but the story is a bit too convoluted and the theme is handled in a way that seems to reference the manga a bit too literally. Overall it's not a bad film with a couple of worthwhile scenes, but Hiroki has shown he can do better.

Going in Style poster

Going in Style

by Zach Braff
Specifics
USA [2017] - 96 mins
Genre
Comedy, Crime
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2.5*/5.0*

Going in Style is a decent, but rather tame and overly gentle comedy. There aren't too many actual laughs, but Freeman, Arkin and Caine put on a fine show. It's an amusing film without any obvious weak points or dull moments, it's a just a little too flat and predictable for me. Not bad, but very forgettable filler.

Life of the Party poster

Life of the Party

by Ben Falcone
Specifics
USA [2018] - 105 mins
Genre
Comedy
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1.0*/5.0*

There are a couple of odd moments that are genuinely funny, but they contrast heavily with the childish, sappy and forced writing that drives the rest of the film. A terrible script, lame jokes and so extremely moralizing that it might induce gag reflexes. And then there's Christina Aguilera. Not my idea of a good comedy.

Napping Princess poster

Napping Princess

by Kenji Kamiyama
Also known as
Hirune-Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari
Specifics
Japan [2017] - 111 mins
Genre
Animation, Adventure, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Sci-fi
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3.0*/5.0*

A cute but relatively complex story about fantasy, dream and reality blending together. The film seems geared at younger viewers, but the narrative may be a bit too complex for them. It's a strange mix of oldskool and modern, cute and complex, resulting in a somewhat confusing but nonetheless agreeable experience.

Diary of a Small Man poster

Diary of a Small Man

by Gordon Chan
Also known as
Siu Nam Yan Chow Gei
Specifics
Hong Kong [1988] - 93 mins
Genre
Drama, Comedy
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2.0*/5.0*

One of Gordon Chan's earliest films. It's a pretty basic comedy, like so many in the Hong Kong film industry Chan learned the chops by producing generic genre films and mimicking others. The blend of drama and comedy doesn't work too well, but at least there are some moments that show potential. Fans only.

Mind Game poster

Mind Game

by Masaaki Yuasa
Specifics
Japan [2004] - 103 mins
Genre
Animation, Comedy
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4.5*/5.0*

Highly original and completely insane animation masterpiece. Mind Game was Yuasa's first film and foreshadowed his rising talent, though it took me a second viewing to fully appreciate this film. It's hard to describe just what exactly it is, but boring it is not. Not for everyone, but definitely worth finding out for yourself.

The Boy Next Door poster

The Boy Next Door

by Rob Cohen
Specifics
USA [2015] - 91 mins
Genre
Drama, Horror, Romance, Thriller
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1.0*/5.0*

Very poor Cohen thriller. A tired story is reiterated for the umpteenth time, with little or no interesting bits added. The acting is mediocre, the direction is derivative and even though the film tries to be dark and tense, it just comes off as cheap and boring. It's better to avoid this one altogether, nothing lost skipping it.

A Star Is Born poster

A Star Is Born

by Bradley Cooper
Specifics
USA [2018] - 136 mins
Genre
Drama, Music, Romance
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1.0*/5.0*

Sentimental, Oscar-pandering nonsense. The acting is incredibly over the top, the story is pathetic and predictable, the music is downright insufferable. Everything is geared to making you "feel", but in the end I felt nothing for the characters and was simply pleased this ordeal was finally over. What an awful film.

Diary of a Big Man poster

Diary of a Big Man

by Yuen Chor
Also known as
Daai Jeung Foo Yat Gei
Specifics
Hong Kong [1988] - 86 mins
Genre
Comedy, Romance
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1.5*/5.0*

The idea of Yuen Chor and Chow Yun-Fat making a comedy may sound appealing, but the fact is that both just aren't made for the genre. It feels more like a cheap Jing Wong comedy, with some lame jokes, atrocious acting and a boring, repetitive plot. Best to just skip this one, unless you really like the people involved.

Fyre poster

Fyre

by Chris Smith
Specifics
USA [2019] - 97 mins
Genre
Documentary
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3.0*/5.0*

An amusing recount of all the things that went wrong leading up to the ill-fated festival. I remember the thing bombing big time, but never really knew the nitty gritty details. Smith's Fyre is a nice doc that digs a little deeper, though ultimately it lacks the voice of the man that was behind all the chaos. Not bad.

Fahrenheit 451 poster

Fahrenheit 451

by Fran├žois Truffaut
Specifics
UK [1966] - 112 mins
Genre
Drama, Sci-fi
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1.0*/5.0*

Silly and almost childish film that revisits the idea of book burning and adds some sci-fi elements to it. The acting is atrocious, the sci-fi elements are absolutely ridiculous and I never quite figured out how serious Truffaut was about the subject. Regardless his intentions, the result is terrible and utterly boring.