Terrible 90s Bollywood film, full of terrible dance routines, horrible music and atrocious cinematography. I appreciate its attempts to be colorful, but it's just an eyesore. Why this has to last for 3+ hours is also completely beyond me, as the characters are completely cardboard and forgettable. No, this wasn't worth it.
Stunning little drama about three unlikely characters who meet up in a small Hong Kong fishing village. Doyle's work is as great as ever, this time around he got the help of Jenny Suen to straighten out the rest of the film. Superbly acted, beautifully shot and featuring a strong score, this is one of the most overlooked films of 2017.
Feels like a classic Godzilla best-of film. All the monsters are here, there's a bunch of weird sci-fi stuff and some random extraterrestrial interference. Some Godzilla entries can be a little slow and tepid in between the fighting, there's simply so much happening here that they didn't have the time or money to waste film on any serious conversation. Good fun, but very, very cheesy.
Fly Me to the Saitama
Quirky and goofy comedy, set in a universe that offers an unparalleled mix of modern, historic, realistic and fantastic elements. The film looks rich and there are some solid laughs, but somehow the direction itself felt a little too timid. This film deserved a full-on Tetsuya Nakashima treatment, even so there's plenty of fun to be had here.
Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator
Like many of its contemporaries, this is a documentary with a mission. A more honest approach and a hint of objectivity would've been appreciated, but clearly that wasn't in the cards. I was clueless about the man before though and there are some moments where it's fairly informative, but overall this was pretty bad.
I sometimes complain that many of the Shaw Bros films are too much alike, the problem is that when they try to do something else, it often ends up worse than their core offerings. This contemporary brawler is pretty dull and lifeless. Without all the typical martial arts drama and the historic settings, Chang's films just aren't that good.
Amusing and light-hearted adventure that follows a family's attempt to survive a long-lasting power outage. With no electricity, society quickly collapses, though Japan seems to take on the looming apocalypse relatively dignified. Nothing truly exceptional, but the trip though the country is quite quirky and entertaining.
McCabe & Mrs. Miller
Altman is a better storyteller than most Western directors and Beatty's performance was commendable, but the dreary 70s visuals and the ill-fitting score are a pain to sit through. My quest to find something worthwhile in the western genre continues. McCabe and Mrs Miller didn't really help me forward, but at least it was different enough from the usual genre fare.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Third and (hopefully) final part in this franchise. I didn't dislike the first two films, this one isn't terrible either, but it's clear that it gets progressively worse as the saga continues. The action feels too derivative and the characters are boring, which makes some of the more sentimental moments a drag. This is the worst one of the three.
Plot, sci-fi elements and drama all are kind of mediocre, but the film has a handful of truly outstanding action scenes that make it very watchable indeed. The CG to create Smith's younger self isn't flawless, but isn't really distracting either. A pretty decent blockbuster, especially with Lee directing, but nothing truly great.
A pretty tepid and basic heist/hostage movie. With Yee in the director's chair and the two Tony Leungs in front of the camera, expectations were slightly higher, but this is just a run-of-the-mill genre film. It's not terrible and the limited runtime definitely helps, but it's far from memorable and lacks any stand-out moments.
Pinkaew is back ... with a horror film. The intro feels a little rushed and at times I wondered if this was part of an existing franchise, but once things start to fall into place this became a fun and entertaining little film. The monster designs and cheap CG keep it from reaching a higher score though. Whether it was intentional or not, the cheesiness felt out of place.
I'll Give It My All ... Tomorrow
Goofy and understated comedy about a 40 y/o guy who quits his job and vows to become a manga artist. Fukuda is a skilled comedy director and Tsutsumi hasn't lost much of his flair. It's not a real stand-out film, but there are some good laughs and the film never drags or gets boring. Very good filler indeed.
At times a decent blockbuster, but some scenes are so sentimental and over the top that it's closer to a genre parody than an actual bona fide adventure flick. Daniel Lee has the skills, but he needs to show a little more restraint if he wants to get back on top. This was borderline entertaining, but much more than that.
Some fancy camera work and experimental editing making this an interesting classic, but the excessive runtime and the excruciating orchestral score really take away from the experience. The score isn't really Gance's fault, but the length of the film betrays his lack of restraint. I'm quite glad the sequels were never made.
80s horror flick that takes a really long time to get going and turns out to be a little too kiddy-proof once the shit hits the fan. The effects are rather poor, the characters are cheesy and the actors are unqualified, but there's a certain charm that peeks during the final 30 minutes, which saves the film from being a complete failure.
This was pretty fun. You get a kaiju film and a space exploration film rolled into one. It's all very cheesy and cardboard-like of course, but there's hardly a dull moment and some there are some truly stand-out scenes. Apart from the original Godzilla film, this is one of the best Honda films I've seen so far.
Stay Out Stay Alive
Visual effects man Dean Yurke directs his very own feature. No surprise then that it looks pretty awesome, especially for a film where the inexperience of its director is almost tangible. It's a relatively original and well-made horror film, with a couple of stand-out moments and a pretty intriguing premise, well worth a try for genre fans.
A basic genre flick that recycles a lot of familiar sci-fi ideas and doesn't add much of its own. People are stuck in space, their life support is running out and communications with Earth are cut. It's not a horrible film, but chances are that you've seen this before, executed more skillfully. If you're starving for some space sci-fi though, it's not a bad choice.
It's the 80s, a group of teens is attending summer camp and someone is looking for revenge. This is core genre fare, a bit more serious than some of its contemporaries, but still quite lazy and derivative. The murders and the killer are too lame to make a real impression, the gore is minimal and the rest is just filler. It's not terrible, for extremely forgettable.
Another tomb raiding fantasy from Mainland China. The genre is incredibly popular right now and supply can't seem to meet demand. That means there's a lot of cheap shlock around, but this was a pretty decent film. Of course, it suffers from some subpar CG and it's not very original, but it's a decent genre film that offers 90 minutes of solid entertainment.
A nonsensical Godzilla film that slaps two unrelated plot lines together and still manages to get some additional Godzilla action in there. There's a lot of different monsters present, but they only appear in a kid's dream, and they're just battling it out on their own territory. It feels pretty cheap, but at least it's short and the scenes on Monster Island are decent.
You Were Never Really Here
Dark and chilling character portrait that felt like the film Joker should've been. Ramsay's direction is impressive but cold and menacing, Phoenix is subdued and introverted, the way I like him. Some beautiful, stark cinematography and a very nice and effective score further elevate the film, only the ending is somewhat of a letdown.
Tucker: The Man and His Dream
A surprisingly fun and playful biopic that leans heavily on the performance of Bridges, but is aided by some solid direction of Coppola too. I don't care much for the US car industry, nor for all the practical and legal issues Tucker had to face, but his flamboyant character was infectious and the film does justice to the man's legacy.
Kiss Me Deadly
I'm afraid I'm just not enough of a noir fan to recognize how this film differs from its peers. I only noticed the same elements that annoyed me in other noirs. Uninteresting characters, a tepid plot, poor acting and dull dialogues and a complete lack of visual bravura. It's really not my genre I guess, I found it quite a chore to sit through.
A very peculiar sequel that in some ways echoes Oshii's work, but is something completely different. The Patlabor crew are mere visitors in their own franchise, instead the film focuses on detective Hata and introduces some unexpected Kaiju action. It feels more like a spin-off than a real Patlabor film, but the quality is still there.