It Comes poster

It Comes

by Tetsuya Nakashima
Also know as
Kuru
Specifics
Japan [2018] - 135 mins
Genre
Mystery, Horror
More info on
4.5

Nakashima doing horror, it's a sight to behold. The man can't stick to a single genre it seems, then again everything he touches turns to cinematic gold, so who am I to complain. Intriguing, beautifully shot, smartly structured and with a long finale that dazzles for almost 30 minutes. This is another masterpiece.

Legend of the Mountain poster

Legend of the Mountain

by King Hu
Also know as
Shan Zhong Zhuan Qi
Specifics
Taiwan, Hong Kong [1979] - 192 mins
Genre
Fantasy, Mystery
More info on
3.0

A fine King Hu film with some surprising fantasy elements. It's clear that he was a better director than his Shaw Bros pals, his film aren't really in the same league as theirs, sadly they're not that good that they warrant a 3-hour running time. It's a shame, because if you would cut a full hour out of this one, you'd probably end up with a much better film.

Terminator: Dark Fate poster

Terminator: Dark Fate

by Tim Miller
Specifics
USA, Spain [2019] - 128 mins
Genre
Action, Sci-fi
More info on
2.0

A sizable improvement over the last episode, then again that was an enormous atrocity. Hamilton and Davis aren't really suited for their parts, Schwarzenegger's return feels superfluous and whenever the film slows down it gets painfully clear that there's really nothing left to tell in the Terminator universe. At least the action is decent.

1917 poster

1917

by Sam Mendes
Specifics
UK, USA [2019] - 119 mins
Genre
War
More info on
3.5

Exceptional war flick. Mendes' approach is perfect for this type of film, though in the end I wished he'd gone even purer, with less chance encounters and more solitude still. Technically amazing, visually arresting, overall very captivating and only a smidgen too long. One of those rare occasions Hollywood gets it right.

The Nocturnal Demon poster

The Nocturnal Demon

by Ricky Lau
Also know as
Yeh Moh Sin Sang
Specifics
Hong Kong [1990] - 93 mins
Genre
Action, Comedy
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2.5

Silly but fast-paced and amusing Hong Kong comedy. No vampires this time for Ricky Lau, just some daft gags and wild overacting, but the result is pretty decent. Some affinity with 80s HK comedies is probably needed to get any enjoyment out of this film and high art this is not, but if you're looking for comedy filler that are worse options out there.

The Courier poster

The Courier

by Zackary Adler
Specifics
UK, USA [2019] - 99 mins
Genre
Action, Thriller
More info on
3.0

A pretty solid action film that offers just that little extra in the bad-ass department. Some solid fights and gruesome kills set it apart from its peers. The acting is mediocre and the plot is barely enough to keep the film rolling, but if you're looking for a simple action flick that offers decent entertainment, look no further.

Live Flesh poster

Live Flesh

by Pedro Almodóvar
Also know as
Carne Trémula
Specifics
Spain, France [1997] - 103 mins
Genre
Drama, Romance
More info on
2.0

Almodóvar's film looks quite accomplished and rich without being overly pretty. Sadly the drama isn't half as convincing, neither are the actors. A rather construed story about three couples and their complex relationship that never really finds its footing. It's not terrible, but it really didn't do all that much for me.

An Elephant Sitting Still poster

An Elephant Sitting Still

by Bo Hu
Also know as
Da Xiang Xi Di Er Zuo
Specifics
China [2018] - 230 mins
Genre
Drama
More info on
2.5

Chinese arthouse being Chinese arthouse. It looks quite nice compared to Jia's films and the actors do a good job, but the film is rather one-note and the 4-hour running time is extremely hard to defend. If sluggish Chinese poverty porn is your thing that this film is a dream, otherwise it's sure to get on your nerves, regardless of its technical qualities.

Magnificent Wanderers poster

Magnificent Wanderers

Also know as
Jiang Hu Han Zi
Specifics
Taiwan, Hong Kong [1977] - 94 mins
Genre
Action, Comedy
More info on
2.5

A decent Cheh Chang film. Nothing too out of the ordinary, but Shaw Bros addicts are sure to get their fix from this film. A couple of solid martial arts fights, some light comedy and a limited runtime so there's little time to get bored. It's remarkable how many of these films Chang directed, but they provide solid entertainment so who am I to complain.

Close-Up poster

Close-Up

by Abbas Kiarostami
Also know as
Nema-ye Nazdik
Specifics
Iran [1990] - 98 mins
Genre
Documentary, Crime
More info on
1.5

Poorly shot documentary about a guy who got caught impersonating a famous Iranian film director. The story itself is pretty interesting and definitely worth documenting, but the overly long courtroom scenes and the re-enacted inserts don't really make it all that compelling. Not worthy of all its critical praise.

Ten Years Japan poster

Ten Years Japan

by Akiyo Fujimura, Kei Ishikawa, Yusuke Kinoshita, Chie Hayakawa, Megumi Tsuno
Also know as
Jû-nen: Ten Years Japan
Specifics
Japan [2018] - 98 mins
Genre
Drama
More info on
2.5

Japan's take on the "Ten Years" anthology project. It should've been a good chance to discover some new talent and dissident voices, but the result is way too safe and expected. Produced by Koreeda, but it mostly feels like a project directed by lesser skilled Koreeda knock-offs. The shorts themselves aren't terrible, but there is lots of wasted potential here.

The Lion King poster

The Lion King

by Jon Favreau
Specifics
USA [2019] - 118 mins
Genre
Animation, Adventure
More info on
1.5

Technically impressive, but that's about all I can say about this remake. Just as tepid, soulless and boring as the original Disney classic. The soundtrack is excruciating, the comedy doesn't work at all and the longer runtime is in no way justified. As a tech demo it's pretty cool, as a film it's a full-on disaster.

The Greatest Lover poster

The Greatest Lover

by Clarence Yiu-leung Fok
Also know as
Gong Zi Duo Qing
Specifics
Hong Kong [1988] - 115 mins
Genre
Comedy
More info on
1.5

Silly but overly long 80s Hong Kong comedy. Not really Chow Yun-Fat's strong point, not really an outstanding niche to begin with. At nearly two hours long, this film really started to drag and annoy during the final 30 minutes. A fun cameo by Jing Wong and a decent performance by Eric Tsang couldn't save this one I'm afraid.

Jay and Silent Bob Reboot poster

Jay and Silent Bob Reboot

by Kevin Smith
Specifics
USA [2019] - 105 mins
Genre
Comedy
More info on
3.0

Smith and Mewes are way too old for this, but the rest of the film is pretty zany and fun. Some decent meta jokes, a couple of funny pop culture references and solid pacing make this an amusing, though slightly dated comedy. Not quite up there with Smith's better films, but if you're looking for a silly diversion this is a pretty solid option.

Ultimate Secrets poster

Ultimate Secrets

by Jeff Zhou
Specifics
China [2019] - 83 mins
Genre
Fantasy, Crime
3.5

Capable, short and amusing Detective Dee knock-off. Three mysterious deaths, a young detective and plenty of people without a workable alibi. This clearly isn't the most original film, nor the most expensive one, but director Zhou makes good use of his budget, the pleasant pacing and colorful cinematography do the rest.

Judy poster

Judy

by Rupert Goold
Specifics
UK [2019] - 118 mins
Genre
Drama, Biography
More info on
1.5

Judy Garland's fall & fall story. Garland's tale is a dramatic one, then again so is every biopic about the rich and famous. Zellweger does a good job but can't escape her own persona, the drama is more than a little overbearing and the limited focus makes it difficult to get a solid impression of Garland's off-stage self. A missed opportunity.

The Boxer poster

The Boxer

by Shûji Terayama
Also know as
Bokusâ
Specifics
Japan [1977] - 94 mins
Genre
Drama, Sport
More info on
2.5

A more tempered Terayama that feels like a precursor to Kitano's Kids Return and Tsukamoto's Tokyo Fist. The scenes in the bar are amusing and the matches are energetic, the drama on the other hand is a little less intriguing. All in all not a bad film, but just a little too plain to really stand out from its peers.

Land Without Bread poster

Land Without Bread

by Luis Buñuel
Also know as
Las Hurdes
Specifics
Spain [1933] - 30 mins
Genre
Documentary
More info on
1.0

The shoddy black and white cinematography feels lacking, the narrative doesn't inspire any trust in the subject matter. Of course the approach by Buñuel, known as a surrealist, is vehemently defended by his fans, but I simply failed to see the point of this documentary. At least the footage might have some historic relevance, the rest feels nonsensical.

The Assent poster

The Assent

by Pearry Reginald Teo
Specifics
USA [2019] - 93 mins
Genre
Horror
More info on
3.5

Though the characters and drama are a little overdone and the exorcism genre isn't exactly my favorite niche, The Assent turned out to be another fine Teo film. Stylish, atmospheric, dark and that slightly more twisted finish that make Teo's work stand out from the rest. Not quite a classic, but definitely one of the better films in the genre.

Varan the Unbelievable poster

Varan the Unbelievable

by Ishirô Honda
Also know as
Daikaijû Baran
Specifics
Japan [1958] - 87 mins
Genre
Adventure, Horror
More info on
2.0

A very simple Godzilla knock-off by Honda, the Kaiju master himself. If you like giant lizards with spiky backsides and grueling howls, destroying Japanese villages (small and large), this film has everything you need. The monster is somewhat pointless though and the film is extremely predictable, but it's fun enough while it lasts.

The Mad Masters poster

The Mad Masters

by Jean Rouch
Also know as
Les Maîtres Fous
Specifics
France [1957] - 36 mins
Genre
Documentary
More info on
2.5

Strange and somewhat unsettling documentary that challenges the boundary between fiction and reality. The ritual is real, but the overt presence of the camera is bound to have had an influence on what is shown. The form makes it difficult to take it fully serious, but the footage is pretty fascinating nonetheless.

The Blossoming of Etsuko Kamiya poster

The Blossoming of Etsuko Kamiya

by Kazuo Kuroki
Also know as
Kamiya Etsuko no Seishun
Specifics
Japan [2006] - 111 mins
Genre
Drama, Romance
More info on
3.0

A solid, but extremely static and talkative drama. If you want something dynamic or fast-paced, don't even think of watching this one, because most of the film is filled with living room conversations. The superb performances and nuanced drama kept my interested, but running 110 minutes long you better know what you're getting yourself into.

The Anonymous Heroes poster

The Anonymous Heroes

Also know as
Wu Ming Ying Xiong
Specifics
Hong Kong [1971] - 103 mins
Genre
Action
More info on
1.5

Cheh Chang trying out a different kind of action cinema. And somewhat predictably, it doesn't end well. The focus on plot kills the first part of the film, the overreliance on gunfights weakens the second part. Chang is a very solid martial arts director, but he should stick to what he knows best. This was a pretty disappointing film.

Who Is Running? poster

Who Is Running?

Also know as
Ta Fa Likit
Specifics
Thailand [1998] - 105 mins
Genre
Thriller, Mystery
More info on
3.0

A solid start to Oxide Pang's career. The colorful cinematography and sharp editing are already present, but the level of execution isn't quite there yet. A decent but somewhat predictable and episodic plot keep the film advancing at a steady pace, making this an enjoyable, though slightly forgettable film.