Maleficent: Mistress of Evil poster

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

by Joachim Rønning
Specifics
USA, UK [2019] - 119 mins
Genre
Fantasy
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3.5

Very capable sequel that brings the same level of fantasy as the first film. Not a simple remake/reboot made to earn a quick buck, but a film that respects and exploits the freedom that the fantasy genre brings. The effects are amazing and the designs creative. The rest is closer to the norm, but that's hardly a bother.

976-EVIL poster

976-EVIL

by Robert Englund
Specifics
USA [1988] - 92 mins
Genre
Comedy, Horror
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2.5

Amusing genre flick from horror icon Robert Englund. It's extremely 80s and it takes quite a while to get going, but there's a light-heartedness that makes it pretty amusing to watch. The kills aren't all that explicit and true goreheads will be disappointed, otherwise there's plenty of fun to be had for genre fans.

Bad Guy poster

Bad Guy

Also know as
Nabbeun Namja
Specifics
South Korea [2001] - 100 mins
Genre
Drama
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3.5

Strong and enigmatic drama, but not quite as overpowering as the last time I watched it. The actors do a great job and the characters are intriguing, but the score isn't as effective and visually it's a bit dim. Definitely not a bad film and there are some superb scenes here, but overall not the masterpiece I remembered it to be.

Sisters poster

Sisters

by Brian De Palma
Specifics
USA [1972] - 93 mins
Genre
Thriller, Horror
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1.5

Rather tepid and predictable thriller, with some minor horror elements. There are some interesting split screens and the reveals, while hardly surprising, were properly executed, but that wasn't enough to keep me interested. Mediocre performances, a lack of suspense and tame chills render this De Palma obsolete.

The Creepy Line poster

The Creepy Line

by M.A. Taylor
Specifics
USA [2018] - 80 mins
Genre
Documentary
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1.5

Overly sensationalist and doomish documentary, which is a shame considering several valid and important points being made here. The insinuations and dark complot theories are quite over the top and the makers themselves resort to some rather cheap tricks in order to drive their point home. Should've been so much better.

Adrift poster

Adrift

by Baltasar Kormákur
Specifics
Hong Kong, Iceland [2018] - 96 mins
Genre
Adventure, Thriller
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3.0

Nothing too remarkable here, but I'm always in the mood for a good "adrift at sea" film. The actors do a decent job, the CG is convincing, the gravity of the ordeal is tangible and the film doesn't overstay its welcome. Even though Adrift houses few surprises and I'd seen it all before, it was more than solid, entertaining filler.

Love's Twisting Path poster

Love's Twisting Path

by Sadao Nakajima
Also know as
Tajûrô Jun'ai-ki
Specifics
Japan [2018] - 93 mins
Genre
Action, Romance
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3.0

Decent samurai romance that doesn't try too hard to stray from the norm. There are some familiar faces in secondary parts and the film is solid in all departments, but little effort has been spent on elevating the film to stand out from its peer. This is pure genre cinema, made for people who are already in love with the genre.

Ikebana poster

Ikebana

by Hiroshi Teshigahara
Specifics
Japan [1956] - 32 mins
Genre
Documentary
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1.0

Short doc on Ikebana, i.e. the Japanese art of flower arrangement. Watched this solely because Teshigahara directed it, but his influence is rather limited. It's hard to make this topic interesting and with so little time to spend the film can't really make an in-depth case for its topic. It's probably best to just skip this, unless you love flowers.

Orchids Under the Moon poster

Orchids Under the Moon

Also know as
Gekka no Ran
Specifics
Japan [1991] - 88 mins
Genre
Crime, Thriller
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3.0

Solid, straight-forward crime flick by Takashi Ishii. Ishii keeps his trademark pinku influences to a minimum and goes for a more direct revenge flick. There are some decent performances and a few tense moments, but it's the moody soundtrack that sets this film apart from its peers. Simple genre film, well executed.

It's Boring Here, Pick Me Up poster

It's Boring Here, Pick Me Up

Also know as
Koko wa Taikutsu Mukae ni Kite
Specifics
Japan [2018] - 98 mins
Genre
Drama
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3.5

Celebration of youth. A typical Hiroki drama, that languishes in the mundane, but manages to hit several deeper themes along the way. The actors are great, Hiroki's style is fitting and the light-hearted tone makes this a very easy watch. Not one of his best films, but a very fine drama that will effortlessly appeal to Hiroki fans.

Killer Clans poster

Killer Clans

Also know as
Liu Xing Hu Die Jian
Specifics
Hong Kong [1976] - 97 mins
Genre
Action
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2.5

Visually quite accomplished and a clear step above the usual Shaw Bros films, but the strong focus on an uninteresting plot keeps this film from becoming a true Shaw Bros classic. The somewhat mediocre fight scenes don't really help out either. Decent Chor production, but he should stick to pure fantasy and action cinema.

Pretville poster

Pretville

by Linda Korsten
Specifics
South Africa [2012] - 91 mins
Genre
Musical
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3.0

A pastiche if I ever saw one. A modern, South-African remake of Grease, which is every bit as weird as it sounds. Some of the songs are a little too long and the surprise effect wears off during the second half, but there's a lot of fun to be had with this film, even for people who don't really care for musicals. A fun oddity.

Call for Dreams poster

Call for Dreams

by Ran Slavin
Specifics
Israel, Japan [2018] - 83 mins
Genre
Mystery, Crime
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3.0

Interesting film that sports moody and dreamy cinematography, but is let down by an overly harsh, sharp digital look. Slavin shows a lot of promise and delivers a unique film that is hard to pin down, but fails to fully immerse the viewer because of some technical hiccups. But worth a try if you're looking for something different.

Fulltime Killer poster

Fulltime Killer

Also know as
Chuen Jik Sat Sau
Specifics
Hong Kong [2001] - 102 mins
Genre
Action, Crime
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4.0

One of the films that foreshadowed a new beginning for Johnnie To. Stylish action, brooding crime and quirky details would come to define his films in the 00s. Fulltime Killer puts the most emphasis on action, but all the elements that would launch To as one of the prime HK directors of the decade are already present. Good stuff.

Horse Girl poster

Horse Girl

by Jeff Baena
Specifics
USA [2020] - 103 mins
Genre
Mystery
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3.0

The first half hour is a little slow and uneventful, but once the paranoia starts to surface the film gets better. The direction is solid, the actors do a decent job and the film is pleasantly unpredictable. There are some memorable scenes here, but on the whole it's a little light for my liking. Still, not a bad film.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout poster

Mission: Impossible - Fallout

by Christopher McQuarrie
Specifics
USA, China [2018] - 147 mins
Genre
Action, Thriller
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2.0

Another episode in a seemingly never ending franchise. Some chase scenes, a couple of rather predictable twists and Tom Cruise, who seems to have stopped ageing. It's not a terrible film, but this 6th instalment doesn't really add anything of value. It's just going through the motions and hoping to cash in at the register. Not great, not terrible.

Hanagatami poster

Hanagatami

by Nobuhiko Ôbayashi
Specifics
Japan [2017] - 168 mins
Genre
War, Romance
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3.5

Oddball romance, set right before the start of WWII. What may look like a pretty basic romantic drama on paper is elevated to something completely unique and quirky by director Ôbayashi. It reminded me a little of Suzuki's Pistol Opera, a film not of this era, but so special that it doesn't really matter. It's a shame the film is so long though.