BraveStorm poster

BraveStorm

by Junya Okabe
Specifics
Japan [2017] - 84 mins
Genre
Action, Sci-fi
More info on
2.0

Rather cheesy and just a little too cheap, but if you can get past the poor special effects and the over-the-top acting there's an amusing film hiding underneath. It's quite hard to recommend this one, but if you're in for a solid dose of camp then you won't be disappointed. Not great, but somewhat amusing when you're in the mood for this kind of thing.

Shall We Dance? poster

Shall We Dance?

by Masayuki Suo
Also know as
Shall We Dansu?
Specifics
Japan [1996] - 136 mins
Genre
Music, Romance
More info on
3.0

Well-made romantic comedy that has few weak points, but is just a little too long. The actors do a solid job, director Suo has everything under control and the film hits its emotional beats, it's just that the runtime is a little excessive. It's not the greatest film in the world, but it's a very fun and accessible film.

Cemetery Junction poster

Cemetery Junction

by Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant
Specifics
UK [2010] - 95 mins
Genre
Comedy, Drama
More info on
3.5

A social drama with the necessary laughs. Not quite the film you'd expect Gervais and Merchant to make, but the many cameos make it clear this is very much part of their universe. Well acted, funny and light-hearted, but also poignant and emotional in the right places. A nice film, not outstanding, but more than solid filler.

Bless This House poster

Bless This House

Also know as
Meng Gui Fo Tiao Qiang
Specifics
Hong Kong [1988] - 82 mins
Genre
Horror, Comedy
More info on
2.0

Silly horror comedy that's mostly just comedy. None of the scares are scary and the acting is so over the top that it's hard to believe anybody would be creeped out by this film. It's somewhat amusing and short, which makes it an easy watch, but it's not very memorable and not even close to Yu's best work.

Cruel Peter poster

Cruel Peter

by Christian Bisceglia, Ascanio Malgarini
Specifics
Italy [2019] - 95 mins
Genre
Horror
More info on
3.0

A typical contemporary Italian horror flick. The cinematography is very promising, but the editing feels forced and the use of English-speaking actors is a little awkward. Cruel Peter is a capable horror film with some memorable moments and decent scares, but it's also somewhat rough around the edges. Worth a try though.

A Record of Sweet Murder poster

A Record of Sweet Murder

by Koji Shiraishi
Also know as
Aru Yasashiki Satsujinsha no Kiroku
Specifics
Japan, South Korea [2014] - 86 mins
Genre
Horror
More info on
3.5

Interesting film, about a reporter visiting an old friend who is on the run from the authorities. A nifty handheld thriller, with a nice twist and some minor horror elements. Well acted, intriguing from start to finish and sporting a very rewarding finale. One of the better Shiraishi films I've seen.

Five Minutes to Tomorrow poster

Five Minutes to Tomorrow

Also know as
Mayonaka no Gofun Mae
Specifics
China, Japan [2014] - 129 mins
Genre
Romance, Mystery
More info on
3.5

Solid Pan-Asian romance that turns mystery halfway through. Yukisada is a great director and aces both genres, but the combination is somehow less than the sum of its parts. The two parts never quite gel together and I would've preferred it if the film had stuck to the romance. Still, there's plenty to like here, so well recommended for fans of Yukisada's work.

Finale in Blood poster

Finale in Blood

Also know as
Da Nao Guang Chang Long
Specifics
Hong Kong [1993] - 94 mins
Genre
Romance, Horror
More info on
3.0

A very capable early Fruit Chan film, that doesn't deliver on its horror premise (on par for most mainstream HK horror), but at least serves up a decent story. Chan's direction is also well above average and while the actors aren't quite perfect, they do a good enough job. Not an ultimate classic, but Chan's talent is already on display here.

The Close Encounters of Vampire poster

The Close Encounters of Vampire

Also know as
Jiang Shi Pa Pa
Specifics
Taiwan, Hong Kong [1986] - 72 mins
Genre
Action, Comedy, Horror
More info on
2.0

Woo-ping Yuen tried to cash on the vampire hype, but his attempt feels flimsy and rushed. Some mediocre martial arts, extremely over-the-top performances and loud comedy make this a forgettable affair. The fast pacing and some random weirdness kept me watching, but this is easily one of Yuen's worst films.

Scare Campaign poster

Scare Campaign

by Cameron Cairnes, Colin Cairnes
Specifics
Australia [2016] - 80 mins
Genre
Horror
More info on
2.5

The film tries a little too hard to come up with twists that you see coming a mile away. It ruins the scares and it kills the atmosphere, which is a shame because there's some real potential here. With a slightly better cast and less focus on some dumb reveals, this could've been a pretty solid horror flick. Not terrible though.

Fagara poster

Fagara

by Heiward Mak
Also know as
Hua Jiao Zhi Wei
Specifics
China [2019] - 118 mins
Genre
Drama
More info on
3.5

Mak returns with a stylish drama, claiming her seat as prime Hong Kong drama director. The film knows some thoroughly impressive moments, but overall the theme didn't quite appeal to me enough to make me fully invested in the characters. Mak's talent is unmistakable though and Fagara is a worthy addition to her oeuvre.

Warriors of the Nation poster

Warriors of the Nation

Also know as
Huang Fei Hong: Nu Hai Xiong Feng
Specifics
China [2018] - 95 mins
Genre
Action
More info on
3.0

A classic Wong Fei-hung narrative, sporting evil Japanese henchmen, corrupt Chinese officials and some serious ass-kicking by Wong Fei-hung and his apprentices. The execution is decent and it was fun to watch a simple martial arts film like this again, but it's hardly best in class and it's far from the most memorable Wong Fei-hung film out there.

Promising Miss Bowie poster

Promising Miss Bowie

by Yonfan
Also know as
Zhu Fu
Specifics
Hong Kong [1990] - 90 mins
Genre
Drama, Romance
More info on
1.5

A rather lifeless and ill-conceived romance. The drama has no impact, the actors can't bring their characters to life and the direction feels overdone. Yonfan had a rather rough start, this film is simply more proof of that. I guess one might appreciate the attempt to do more serious drama in Hong Kong, but the film itself is pretty dull.

All That Jazz poster

All That Jazz

by Bob Fosse
Specifics
USA [1979] - 123 mins
Genre
Drama, Music
More info on
1.5

Energetic and frantic, but also a little drab and grim. Too 70s to be a successful musical, not quite stylish enough to be the trippy and existential movie it fancied to be. The result feels muddled and forced, but at least the pacing made sure it never really dragged. That at least is something for a 2-hour film.