1BR poster

1BR

by David Marmor
Specifics
USA [2019] - 90 mins
Genre
Horror, Thriller
More info on
3.5

Pretty solid horror flick that takes a couple of unexpected turns. Tension and gore are quite limited, but there's a definite sense of dread that makes the film quite effective. Performances are good, direction is decent and the runtime is perfect. Not a stand-out horror flick, but it's memorable and to the point.

Airport poster

Airport

by Koki Mitani
Also know as
Daikûkô
Specifics
Japan [2013] - 100 mins
Genre
Comedy
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3.5

Impressive, especially for a TV movie. It's vintage Mitani, but the fact that he made it a one-shot movie is not something I was expecting. The comedy is solid, the family banter is fun and the pacing is exquisite. Airport can't really hide its TV roots, but for once I couldn't really a fault a film for that. Watch this if you can.

Jaws: The Revenge poster

Jaws: The Revenge

by Joseph Sargent
Specifics
USA [1987] - 89 mins
Genre
Horror, Thriller
More info on
1.5

Pretty cheap, lame and nonsensical, but not quite as boring as the first two films and a lot shorter too. And it's better than the third one of course, but that's hardly an accomplishment. It's pretty basic genre fare, brought down by terrible effects, an overall lack of tension and some subpar performances. Not good.

We Are Still Here poster

We Are Still Here

by Ted Geoghegan
Specifics
USA [2015] - 84 mins
Genre
Horror
More info on
3.0

A solid horror flick. The beginning is a tad slow and the haunted house shtick is pretty dull, but halfway through Geoghegan ramps up the tension and things get pretty nasty. Decent special effects, solid acting and a couple of gory moments make this a good recommend for horror fans. Not great, but great filler.

Nowhere poster

Nowhere

by Gregg Araki
Specifics
USA, France [1997] - 82 mins
Genre
Drama, Comedy
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3.0

A very strange coming of age drama, one that combines the usual partying and boozing with comedy, horror, aliens and LGBT issues. The acting is a bit flaky and the films looks a little cheap in places, but it's so lively and off-kilter that it didn't really bother me that much. Not one of Araki's better films, but definitely interesting.

Full Throttle poster

Full Throttle

Also know as
Lie Huo Zhan Che
Specifics
Hong Kong [1995] - 114 mins
Genre
Sports, Drama
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3.5

Classic HK street racing flick, a somewhat forgotten niche by now. The film delivers on the promise of the talents involved. With Yee behind the camera and Lau in front of it, this is a solid drama with some slick racing scenes and plenty of fan service for race bike enthusiasts. A tad long maybe, but good fun nonetheless.

Duel of the Century poster

Duel of the Century

Also know as
Liu Xiao Feng Zhi Jue Zhan Qian Hou
Specifics
Hong Kong [1981] - 94 mins
Genre
Action, Mystery
More info on
3.0

A fine Yuen Chor martial arts film. The sets look pretty cool, the camera work is on point and there's plenty of action. The plot is not quite as interesting, but because the production design is well above average Shaw Bros quality, that's not really an issue. This is the kind of film Chor built his reputation on.

Puppet Master II poster

Puppet Master II

by David Allen
Specifics
USA [1990] - 88 mins
Genre
Fantasy, Horror
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2.5

Considerably less ambitious than the first movie, but ultimately the better film. The sequel is a more straight-forward horror flick, but at least it plays to its strengths. It's pretty camp and silly, but that makes it a lot more enjoyable and digestible than the first one. Not great, but at least it was quite entertaining.

Shark Tale poster

Shark Tale

by Bibo Bergeron, Vicky Jenson, Rob Letterman
Specifics
USA [2004] - 90 mins
Genre
Animation, Comedy, Adventure
More info on
1.0

Completely overshadowed by the release of Finding Nemo, looking back on both films that isn't too surprising. There is so very little here. Poor voice acting, dumb characters, a flimsy story and terrible jokes. At times, it felt more like a cheap TV cartoon instead of a blockbuster feature film. Not good at all.

Mori, the Artist's Habitat poster

Mori, the Artist's Habitat

by Shûichi Okita
Also know as
Mori No Iru Basho
Specifics
Japan [2018] - 99 mins
Genre
Drama
More info on
3.0

A light-hearted, quirky, but also somewhat tepid and expected look into the life and habitat of a peculiar artist. The tone of the film is comfortable, the characters are enjoyable and the drama is pleasant, but overall the film feels a bit aimless and doesn't make a big impression. Good, but not great.

Hagazussa poster

Hagazussa

by Lukas Feigelfeld
Specifics
Austria, Germany [2017] - 102 mins
Genre
Horror, Mystery
More info on
3.5

Strong mood piece that relies heavily on its soundtrack. Dark and vibrant guitar drones lead the way, while pagan rituals, disease and barren circumstances torture the main protagonist. The acting is superb too, only the cinematography, while still beautiful, isn't quite on par with the rest. A very interesting film though.

Rise of the Guardians poster

Rise of the Guardians

by Peter Ramsey
Specifics
USA [2012] - 97 mins
Genre
Animation, Fantasy, Comedy
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1.5

The story is quite decent and the fantasy elements are nicely realized, but the characters are mind-numbingly stupid and the comedy is a total travesty. It's a shame they dumbed this down so much in order to fit it into the stereotypical USA CG animation mould, otherwise this could've been pretty good.

The Terrorizers poster

The Terrorizers

by Edward Yang
Also know as
Kong Bu Fen Zi
Specifics
Taiwan [1986] - 109 mins
Genre
Drama, Crime
More info on
2.0

Slightly more refined and polished than the other Yang films I've seen, but he still cannot make me care about his characters, not their mundane problems. I did appreciate the more distant, restrained approach, but Yang simply lacks the class and eye for detail needed to make a film like this work.

Matango poster

Matango

Specifics
Japan [1963] - 89 mins
Genre
Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
More info on
3.0

One of Honda's most serious films. The camp is almost entirely absent, which is a curse as well as a blessing. The plot is still pretty cheesy, but the execution is very straight-faced. Overall it's moodier and more atmospheric compared to his other work, but the radioactive mushroom stuff is just too goofy to be taken seriously. Quite fun though.

The Serpent and the Rainbow poster

The Serpent and the Rainbow

Specifics
USA [1988] - 98 mins
Genre
Fantasy, Horror
More info on
2.0

It's nice to see some classic voodoo zombie, but Craven has trouble building up the atmosphere. There seems to be a bit too much plot to wade through and whenever things get tense, Craven always takes one or two steps back in the next scene. It's not a terrible film, fans of 80s horror are sure to get their kicks, but I'd hoped for a little extra.

American Reunion poster

American Reunion

by Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Specifics
USA [2012] - 113 mins
Genre
Comedy
More info on
1.5

The fourth one is just more of the same (again). The protagonists are a little older, so the comedy takes aim at marriage and failure, but the nature of the jokes is still exactly the same. Only now they've tacked on another extra 20 minutes, which serve no good purpose at all. It's not a great franchise really.

Last Winter, We Parted poster

Last Winter, We Parted

by Tomoyuki Takimoto
Also know as
Kyonen no Fuyu, Kimi to Wakare
Specifics
Japan [2018] - 119 mins
Genre
Mystery, Crime
More info on
3.5

Very much by the book. Takimoto's latest crime mystery doesn't try very hard to bring anything new to the table, but at least the execution is on point. The actors do a good job, the film looks stylish and the twist, while hardly surprising, works well enough. Nothing exceptional, but very worthy filler.

Fantasy Island poster

Fantasy Island

by Jeff Wadlow
Specifics
USA [2020] - 109 mins
Genre
Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
More info on
2.0

A very messy and convoluted attempt to blend several popular genres together. There's a little horror, a bit of fantasy and an overarching mystery, but none of it really works. And that's ignoring the action and comedy bits thrown in for good measure. It's not a terrible film, but in the end it's not even all that memorable, despite its overload of genres.