Where Eagles Dare
A very archetypal WWII war flick featuring an infiltration mission of British soldiers deep into German territory. The fact that all parties speak English is awkward, even though the plot actually depends on it to lend the film some credibility. The action is rather poor though, the film is predictable and 150 minutes is way too long. Too dated for me.
A pretty tepid and uninspired hospital drama with light mystery elements. The plot is a little aimless and Nakamura's direction feels lazy, almost as if he was finishing up a temp TV project. Some decent performances and a little intrigue make the second half a bit easier to stomach, but this is one of Nakamura's poorer films.
She's Just a Shadow
Sherman's move to Tokyo is pretty awkward and his unfamiliarity with the country shows. Even so, the material at hand should've been more than enough for a fun, over-the-top crime flick. The performances are terrible though and Sherman's direction is insufficient. It's better to stick with Japanese crime cinema than waste your time on this watered-down version.
Men in Black: International
A mediocre attempt to revive a mediocre franchise. Hemsworth is a decent replacement, sadly Thompson falls flat besides him. The CG isn't very impressive and the creature design and voice work are dumb and childish. There's some silly action fun and the light-hearted tone keeps it watchable, but the film lacks any core qualities.
Ace in the Hole
A film that hasn't lost much of its relevance in 70 years time, but that simply speaks for the lack of social impact cinema has. The critique on the media is rather shallow, Douglas takes overacting to new extremes and Wilder's attempts at cynical drama feel contrived. The first half of the film is one of Wilder's better moments, but this film takes a fast and deep dive during the second half.
A slight improvement over Anvari's first one, but something is clearly lacking from his work. The drama, mystery and horror elements never really gel together and the mood is anything but captivating. There are some decent scenes here, but these are little more than stand-out moments in an otherwise inconsistent film.
The Forest of Love is a film about a loose canon in a world gone mad. As things start to spiral out of control, Sono rids himself of every last bit of restraint and delivers a film full of raw energy and excess, raging towards a completely warped and grueling finale. Not for the faint of heart, but Sono fans are sure to have a blast with this one.
A Page of Madness
Weird and unsettling Japanese classic that feels like Tsukamoto's Tetsuo avant la lettre. Stark black and white photography, amazing editing and a fine score by the Alloy Orchestra make this film pure emotion. This was by far the best film from the 1920's I've seen so far, an easy recommend for everyone with an interest in classic cinema.
League of Legends: Origins
Slightly disappointing doc that spends too much time documenting the birth of the studio and the game and fails to give broader insights into the community behind the game. Iwerks has a tough time finding the balance between documentary and promotional video and unless you're totally new to the game and esports there's little of value here.
Neat little creature flick that confirms J.D. Dillard's status as rising talent. The setup is nothing new, the quality of the CG can be insufficient at times, but there are some great scenes here and the creature reveal is one of the best in years. Short, sweet and satisfying. I'm sure this won't be the last we'll hear of Dillard.
Simple but decent action/comedy that fails to bring anything new to the table, but stands out ever so slightly because of Stephen Chow's part. The direction is mediocre and the action quite random, but Chow's funny, and he is given plenty opportunity to shine here. Definitely not his best film, but it's decent filler that doesn't overstay its welcome.
Village in the Woods
A film that aims for an unsettling atmosphere and succeeds, but just barely. McCormack's intentions are clear from the start, the execution is sufficient but the film has some trouble hiding its low-budget roots and McCormack can't always overcome his own inexperience. Horror fans will find a decent genre exercise here, others probably shouldn't bother.
Insane horror/comedy that mixes political satire with cheap splatter. It's an absurd combination, documenting an incel's crazy mad fantasies and theories. The budget is microscopic, the content is quite vile and the comedy is definitely and acquired taste, but all in all this was an incredibly fun, if cheap, mess of a film. Don't watch if you're easily triggered though.
Once a Gangster
Felix Chong's Triad parody, not really what I was expecting going in. It's fun to see Ekin Cheng and Jordan Chan in Y&D-like parts, the Internal Affairs running gag is funny, but all too often the film comes off too serious, which makes for a somewhat jarring mix of comedy and straight-faced crime cinema. The result is a bit half-arsed, but at least there were some fun bits.
Typical Spanish horror flick. Very stylish, very meticulous and extremely solid across the board, but not quite as scary or tense as you'd have hoped. There's really nothing wrong with this film, except that I've seen this so many times before that it lacks the necessary impact. Solid horror filler, but if you're not big on horror it's safe to skip this one.