Frozen II

by Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Specifics
USA [2019] - 103m
Genre
Fantasy, Adventure, Animation
More info on
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Frozen II poster

A decent sequel that serves another magical adventure, but trips over the same hurdles the first film did. The comedy is hit-and-miss, the musical bits are mind-numbing, the plot a little too convenient. Luckily the fantasy elements are quite creative and the animation is at times stunning, which elevates it above its peers.

Power Rangers

by Dean Israelite
Specifics
Japan, Hong Kong [2017] - 124m
Genre
Fantasy, Action
More info on
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Power Rangers poster

Better than I expected it to be, although it's a little hard to say who this film is for. It's a bit edgier and darker than the jolly kids show from my memories, but it's still a very cheesy and nonsensical piece of fluff that makes no sense at all. In the end I enjoyed it as an amusing blockbuster with a tinge of nostalgia, but I'm not surprised there's no word of a sequel yet.

Johnny Guitar

by Nicholas Ray
Specifics
USA [1954] - 110m
Genre
Western
More info on
rating
0.5*/5.0*
Johnny Guitar poster

Beyond terrible. I'm not a big Western fan to begin with, but this one was particularly awful. The acting and dialogues are laughable, the music is grating, the editing sloppy and the plot a complete bore. Apparently everyone involved thought this was supposed to be very intense and serious, which just made it all so much worse.

Death Note: Light Up the New World

Also known as
Desu Nôto: Light Up the New World
Specifics
Japan [2016] - 135m
Genre
Fantasy, Horror
More info on
rating
2.5*/5.0*
Death Note: Light Up the New World poster

Sato's film is the best in the franchise, but for someone who never got the appeal of Death Note the excessive lore is just a bit too much. It's all supposed to be very epic and intricate, but the result is just convoluted and sentimental. This franchise deserved a lighter, more horror-oriented adaptation, but clearly that was never in the cards.

Tokyo Blood

Specifics
Japan [1993] - 37m
Genre
Drama, Experimental
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Tokyo Blood poster

A short but interesting anthology film where Ishii tepidly explores his more introverted self in 4 unrelated shorts. The punk influences are still there, but they flare up in short bursts and never truly climax. The quality is pretty consistent and there are moments of greatness here, but overall it's just a little too short and restrained to be truly impressive.

Ambition without Honor 2

Also known as
Jingi Naki Yabô 2
Specifics
Japan [1997] - 98m
Genre
Drama, Crime
More info on
rating
1.5*/5.0*
Ambition without Honor 2 poster

Very cheap, lazy and lifeless sequel. It's another one of those uncharacteristically tame, early Miike films that feels more like a quick directing exercise rather than an actual film. There's some basic Yakuza drama and a pretty violent finale, but that's hardly enough to win over anyone but the most die-hard genre fans. Avoid unless you've seen all the Miike there is to see.

Piece: Fragments of a Memory

by Ten Shimoyama
Also known as
Piece: Kioku no Kakera
Specifics
Japan [2012] - 92m
Genre
Mystery
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Piece: Fragments of a Memory poster

Fun and stylish mystery regarding a wave of peculiar murders. A killer is on the loose and turning people into stone, a reporter and a mysterious man with split personalities are on the killer's tail. Shimoyama has a way to make films visually appealing, sadly the effects are a little cheap and the twists are too tame. Apart from that it's good fun though.

2101

by Kyle Misak
Specifics
USA [2014] - 56m
Genre
Sci-fi, Mystery
More info on
rating
0.5*/5.0*
2101 poster

Ugh. The acting is atrocious and the presentation is terribly cheap and amateurish. It's nice that anyone can make a film nowadays, but without talent you're still getting nowhere. Unless you're really into sci-fi or student films, there's absolutely nothing here. Do yourself a favor and find something else to watch.

1:99 Shorts

by Fruit Chan, Teddy Chan, Stephen Chow, Wai-Keung Lau, Joe Ma, Alan Mak, Johnnie To, Brian Tse, Hark Tsui, Ka-Fai Wai, Mabel Cheung, Alex Law, Dante Lam, Adam Wong, Peter Ho-Sun Chan, Gordon Chan
Specifics
Hong Kong [2003] - 70m
Genre
Comedy, Drama, Animation
More info on
rating
3.0*/5.0*
1:99 Shorts poster

Commissioned anthology that was made to lift the spirit of Hong Kong during the SARS epidemic. The who's who of Hong Kong cinema participated, but the result is a little uneven. Not too surprising considering the exterior motives behind this anthology, and there are a couple of worthwhile entries, but overall it's probably best to lower your expectations when watching this.

Shuffle

Specifics
Japan [1981] - 34m
Genre
Cyberpunk, Short
More info on
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Shuffle poster

An Ishii short that feels like a prelude to Tsukamoto's Tetsuo. The camera work isn't as manic or crazy as Tsukamoto's early masterpiece, but the soundtrack is absolutely stunning and makes this a tense and riveting experience. If it had been twice the length this could've been a masterpiece, but fans of Japanese cyberpunk cinema should definitely give this a go.

Peanuts

Also known as
Rakkasei: Piinattsu
Specifics
Japan [1996] - 87m
Genre
Comedy, Crime
More info on
rating
2.5*/5.0*
Peanuts poster

A very early, somewhat lackluster Miike film. Maeda and Takeuchi make a fine couple and the comedy is fun and light-hearted, but the poor presentation and the total lack of vintage Miike moments make this a film that is for completists and hardcore fans of the director. It's not a terrible film, but it doesn't stand out at all, especially not in Miike's oeuvre.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space

by Stephen Chiodo
Specifics
USA [1988] - 88m
Genre
Comedy, Horror
More info on
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Killer Klowns from Outer Space poster

Cheap and shlocky 80s horror/comedy. This could've been terrible, but the somewhat surprising dedication to the silly premise keep this film afloat. Don't expect any noteworthy gore or slick effects, but the comedy is completely daft and the film never runs out of steam. This was way more fun than expected.

Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster

Also known as
San Daikaijû: Chikyu Saidai no Kessen
Specifics
Japan [1964] - 85m
Genre
Action, Adventure
More info on
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster poster

Ghidorah may be one of the most appealing monsters within the Godzilla universe, his introduction to the series is rather plain. Mothra and Rodan are present for the battle, but all they really do is flick stones at each other, in a rural landscape. The result is a pretty plain and uneventful entry in the Godzilla franchise.

The Champion

by Charles Chaplin
Specifics
USA [1915] - 31m
Genre
Comedy, Sport, Short
More info on
rating
0.5*/5.0*
The Champion poster

Early Chaplin short that feels like a try-out for his later feature films. I'm not a big Chaplin fan to begin with (somewhat of an understatement), seeing him do his less elaborate jokes and routines didn't do a whole lot to change that. I just can't stand his characters and his particular kind of slapstick. I'm sure Chaplin fans will love this though.

Klaus

by Sergio Pablos
Specifics
Spain [2019] - 96m
Genre
Comedy, Adventure, Animation
More info on
rating
2.5*/5.0*
Klaus poster

Slick animation that delivers a pretty unique version of the origin story of Santa Claus. The art style is nifty and the backgrounds are lush, character designs are less attractive though and the hyperactive nature of the film is a real letdown. It's a shame because this could've been a great film, sadly they made it a little too childish.