Very cool underwater adventure, with strong horror elements. Films like The Abyss and Sphere are never far off, but Eubank prefers a darker twist for this one. Superb monster designs, tense from start to finish and an above average cast make this an extremely entertaining blockbuster. Liked this a lot.
The first of the popular Muay Thai movies and the film that gave rise to Tony Jaa's stardom. The impact isn't as big compared to the first time I watched it, but there are still plenty of kick-ass action scenes and Jaa's screen presence is truly one of a kind. A martial arts classic that helped to put Thai action cinema on the map.
Extremely silly sci-fi/horror film about an AI wanting to create offspring, with a trite story that feels way too serious for its own good. At least there are some cheesy but fun special effects near the end, but there's also plenty of cringe and a long introduction that offers nothing but boredom. Pretty disappointing.
In Sickness and in Health
Typical Landis short, that combines horror with a certain lightness and feel for dark humor. The plot is pretty basic, but the twist is fun and the build-up is effective. Actors do a solid job too, though they're clearly not A-list material. A decent shot from Landis, who seems to thrive in this particular format.
Await Further Instructions
Very cool mystery/horror. It starts off quite slow, but from the moment everybody is locked in an uneasy atmosphere settles over the film. The build-up is good and the ending is pretty intense. Director Kevorkian shows a lot of promise and with a little more attention to detail, I'm sure he can muster a small masterpiece.
Solid short that thrives on psychological horror. An upright family man and a rapist/murderer die at the same time. When they're brought back to life, they've changed bodies. The direction of Yu is a little inconspicuous, but the story is nice and there are some decent twists. Nothing too special, but a fun little diversion.
City Hunter: Bay City Wars
Another fun and action-packed City Hunter special. Simple plot that resembles the first Patlabor film a little, put is played for laughs and action. The animation is solid, the characters are likeable and the pacing is perfect. Not particularly great or unique, but if you're looking for some fun filler this will do the trick.
Digital Devil Story – Goddess Reborn
Nifty but strange mix of fantasy and horror. This film is part of a cross-media franchise, with the games still running strong. The animation is pretty decent and the soundtrack decidedly 80s. It's the art direction and some cool monster designs that lift this film above its peers. If you're a fan of 80s horror, this comes recommended.
The introduction is a bit too long and uneventful, but once the film gets going it's a very effective, moody and creepy found footage affair. There's nothing new here of course, but if you want Blair Witch meets Bigfoot in the Alps, look no further. Delage proves himself a very capable director, hopefully more films will follow.
The setup is decent and there were definitely some creepy moments, but Eric Roberts was not a good fit for the lead role. His performance is completely over-the-top takes away any suspense and atmosphere that is introduced by Anderson. It's a shame because I expected quite a bit more from this short.
Straightforward sequel to Gordon Chan's Final Option. Lau delivers a decent but unremarkable Hong Kong police thriller that should feel very familiar to fans of the genre. The action is solid, the drama not so much, the overall finish mediocre. This is decent filler, but only for those who've already seen the myriad of better options.
Happy to see another bona fide, vintage Cheh Chang martial arts flick from the seemingly endless Shaw Bros library. This is what Chang does best. Rebellion, revenge, historic settings and people kicking and punching each other. There's nothing original or surprising here, but Shaw Bros/martial arts fans are sure to have a blast with this one.
A Night of Horror: Nightmare Radio
A capable horror anthology that brings together some very promising talent. The films lack a stand-out segment and the connecting story slows things down just a smidgen too much, but there are no weak entries and the film offers plenty of effective chills. If you want to know what the future of horror looks like, look no further than this film.
A solid horror short that offers a good twist on the old vampire genre. Nothing too exceptional or original, but the setting is cool, the effects are decent and the pacing/length is perfect. Some extra gore would've been nice, but Eisner's direction is good and the atmosphere is on point. Fun.
Voulez-vous Rire Avec Moi Ce Soir?
Film that promises to document the international world of stand-up comedy, but only hits five or six countries in total. It feels very unfinished (why was The Netherlands left out) and doesn't really highlight any major differences between the various scenes. Not terrible, but the promised scope and the reality of the doc simply don't match.
Wakamatsu didn't really go out with a bang, but this is a worthwhile final feature that at the very least shows he still had a couple of films left in him. An interesting family chronicle with a stellar performance by Shinobu Terajima. The film looks a bit too cheap and digital, it also lacks Wakamatsu's trademark grit, but otherwise it's a fine drama.
Trademark mix of comedy and drama that brought fame to Xiaogang Feng, not in the least because of how different it was from other Chinese films at that time. Not a very remarkable film otherwise, but good fun nonetheless, with decent performances, a funny script and solid ending. Feng rarely disappoints.
Film with a strong concept, though maybe a little too on the nose. Regardless of the double layers though, The Platform is a very solid mystery/horror flick that keeps the intrigue strong from start to finish, has a couple of nifty surprises up its sleeve and ends exactly the way it should. A must for fans of Cube in particular, fans of genre cinema in general.
A Gray State
Decent documentary about the death of an activist film maker and his wife and kid. While the doc promises a closer look into right-wing ideologies and rabbit holes, it's a pretty straight recount of the events leading up to the fatal day. That in itself is interesting enough, but I felt more could've been done with this story.
Raining in the Mountain
Another solid King Hu film. Like most of his films, quite low on actual martial arts, with more attention given to the plot and surroundings. The pacing is a little slow and I wouldn't have minded a slightly shorter version, but visually it's well beyond the competition and the story is nice enough to follow. Good stuff.
Great black comedy that shreds through America's political bitch fighting. The film is refreshingly blunt, doesn't skimp on the horror and underlines the childishness of the political discussions that largely happen online. It's a shame the finale loses some of its edge, but apart from that there's plenty of laughs and more than one body exploding.
For the Love of Spock
A simple, fan-focused documentary on Leonard Nimoy and his cultural heritage as Spock. Some familiar faces talking about how much they liked Nimoy/Spock and a rather elongated history on Nimoy's involvement in Star Trek offer little for those who don't care much about the actor, but I guess fans will love this.
A decent but very predictable drama. Performances are all over the place, the plot isn't all that interesting and characters remain quite stereotypical. It's not a terrible film though and Chen's baseline quality shines through from time to time, but I expected more from this film. Decent filler, nothing more.
Nasty and vile horror flick, sadly the cheap execution isn't all that flattering. While I understand its grindhouse roots, it doesn't make the effects any more convincing. It's all a bit too latex and ketchup for me, but apart from the disappointing gore there is still plenty of nastiness to keeps things afloat. But only barely.
Fun with Dick and Jane
A simple remake that relies just a little too much on Carrey's star power. The plot isn't great, the jokes are somewhat underwhelming and it's all very predictable. At least the film remains light-hearted from start to finish and is short enough not to become boring. Far from Carrey's best work, but decent filler if you're short on comedies.
Altered Carbon: Resleeved
Didn't like the series one bit, but this anime spin-off is pretty cool. The expected cyberpunk aesthetic mixed with strong Yakuza influences make for an explosive mix of sci-fi, action and crime cinema. The art style is interesting, the animation quite advanced and thank God Netflix provided a Japanese dub. Pretty good fun.
John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky
Documentary on the post-Beatles years of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. While the doc tries its best to shine some light on Ono's part, it doesn't quite succeed and in the end it's still very much Lennon who draws the spotlights to him. Likes most of these docs, interesting for the fans, not that much to find here for the rest of us.