Kindred Spirits poster

Kindred Spirits

by Lucky McKee
Specifics
USA [2019] - 90 mins
Genre
Thriller
More info on
3.0

Decently acted and directed, but not quite as edgy as McKee's better films. While the setup shows enough promise, the middle part is somewhat tepid and the ending feels rushed and conflicted. It's not a terrible film and it does have its moments, but it's definitely not part of the McKee essentials, so keep your expectations in check.

Adoration poster

Adoration

by Fabrice Du Welz
Specifics
Belgium, France [2019] - 100 mins
Genre
Thriller, Mystery
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4.0

Quite ominous, slightly fantastical, somewhat dramatic. Fabrice du Welz' latest films is a lot of things, even then it's quite hard to qualify and slap a few labels on it. Not that it matters when the result is this impressive of course. Beautifully stylized, wonderfully acted and sporting a perfect ending, this is another du Welz classic.

The Tale of Genji poster

The Tale of Genji

by Gisaburô Sugii
Also know as
Murasaki Shikibu: Genji Monogatari
Specifics
Japan [1987] - 110 mins
Genre
Animation, Drama, Romance
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3.5

Extremely stylish and dignified. This old tale draws its inspiration from classic Japanese paintings and folklore, so don't expect a typical anime. Beautifully animated and sporting a superb score, this film is quite a sight to behold. The story is a little too rigid for my liking, but this film definitely deserves wider recognition, because this was quite unique.

Deadman Inferno poster

Deadman Inferno

by Hiroshi Shinagawa
Also know as
Z Airando
Specifics
Japan [2015] - 108 mins
Genre
Action, Horror, Comedy
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3.5

A wild mix of action, horror and comedy. Deadman Inferno is a zombie flick with flashy fight scenes and plenty of fourth wall breaking comedy. Shinagawa's direction is notable and the pacing is incredible, but it's not quite insane enough to be a real masterpiece. Still, if you're looking for some brutal entertainment, this film delivers in spades.

Shanghai 13 poster

Shanghai 13

Also know as
Shang Hai Tan: Shi San Tai Bao
Specifics
Taiwan, Hong Kong [1984] - 90 mins
Genre
Action
More info on
2.0

A film in two parts. The first part is a little slow and dull, a sluggish spy story set in a modern day martial arts setting. The 30-minute finale on the other hand is one big fight sequence that shows what Chang is best at: martial arts action. I still feel it works better in a more historic setting, but the killer here is the slow first hour.

The Addams Family poster

The Addams Family

by Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Specifics
Canada, USA [2019] - 86 mins
Genre
Animation, Comedy
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1.0

Unsightly animated remake of the classic comedy series. Some of the characters are decently adapted (like Wednesday and Lurch), but the comedy is painfully unfunny and the art style looks incredibly cheap. The whole thing feels utterly pointless, some weird attempt at a cash grab that will hopefully be soon forgotten.

Saga of the Phoenix poster

Saga of the Phoenix

by Ngai Choi Lam, Sze Yu Lau
Also know as
A Xiu-lo
Specifics
Hong Kong, Japan [1990] - 93 mins
Genre
Action, Fantasy, Comedy
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3.0

A zany mix of Chinese Ghost Story and Gremlins. The production is seriously camp and most of it is played for laughs, but overall this was a pretty amusing film, featuring crazy monster designs, cheesy comedy and some decent action scenes, in equal amounts. Ultimately though it's the pleasant pacing that makes sure the film doesn't cave in on itself.

Revenge of the Pontianak poster

Revenge of the Pontianak

by Glen Goei, Gavin Yap
Also know as
Dendam Pontianak
Specifics
Singapore, Malaysia [2019] - 92 mins
Genre
Horror
More info on
3.0

Local folklore is always a great starting point for a horror film, sadly the Pontianak is little more than a vengeful spirit looking for redemption. That makes the film rather predictable, which quickly takes away most of the underlying tension. Still, the execution is pretty decent, just don't expect anything beyond a basic genre film.

Killing End poster

Killing End

Also know as
Sha Ke
Specifics
Hong Kong [2001] - 90 mins
Genre
Crime
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2.5

A pretty basic Hong Kong crime flick. It's mostly a genre exercise for Herman Yau, a little filler to bridge the gap between bigger projects. It's not a terrible film and in places you see Yau's talent shining through, but you won't miss much if you skip this one, as there are a million films just like it.

Alice, Sweet Alice poster

Alice, Sweet Alice

by Alfred Sole
Specifics
USA [1976] - 108 mins
Genre
Horror, Thriller
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2.5

Starts out pretty nifty, but runs out of steam halfway through. The twist is dull, the plot becomes sluggish and the creepiness quickly fades from the film. Sole takes some very odd decisions and doesn't seem to realize that he could've made something quite special from this material. Not terrible, but the potential was there to make a real classic.

A Diary for Timothy poster

A Diary for Timothy

by Humphrey Jennings
Specifics
UK [1945] - 40 mins
Genre
Documentary
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0.5

A very bland and lifeless doc on WWII, as seen from the British home front, linked to the birth of a young boy. It might have been more interesting in its time, but I've seen so many WWII now that there's hardly anything of interest here. Not only that, the structure of the documentary makes it unnecessarily cheesy.

Those Were the Days poster

Those Were the Days

by Eric Tsang
Also know as
Si Ge 32A He Yi Ge Xiang Jiao Shao Nian
Specifics
Hong Kong [1996] - 101 mins
Genre
Romance, Drama
More info on
2.0

A rather plain coming of age drama that sticks to the script a little too closely. Some typical hurdles in the lives of a couple of young teens make up the meat of this film, but Eric Tsang probably wasn't the best guy to direct it. He is a better at comedy and clearer genre work, the drama here feels a little forced and overworked. Not a terrible film, but a little hard to recommend.

Hush! poster

Hush!

by Ryosuke Hashiguchi
Specifics
Japan [2001] - 135 mins
Genre
Drama
More info on
3.0

Decent drama about a wayward woman who ends up with a gay couple and asks them to father her child. While the topic sounds quite heavy, the film is actually pretty light and comfortable. The acting is solid, cinematography a little basic and the drama somewhat predictable, but overall not a bad film.

Duel of Fists poster

Duel of Fists

Also know as
Quan Ji
Specifics
Hong Kong [1971] - 102 mins
Genre
Action
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1.5

The one where Cheh Chang tries out kickboxing. Not really his strong point I'm afraid. It seems that he was desperately trying to branch out during the early 70s, luckily he changed his mind soon after. The plot is pretty dull, the acting quite poor and the action doesn't help to cover up any of that.

Ray poster

Ray

by Taylor Hackford
Specifics
USA [2004] - 152 mins
Genre
Biography, Drama, Music
More info on
2.5

Decent but somewhat inconspicuous biography about the life of Ray Charles. Foxx is pretty great here, but the focus of the film is quite predictable and the structure is borderline boring. The film is too long and it feels like I've seen this story countless times already. A shame because Foxx's performance deserved better. No real weak points, just overall a little dull.

Yamagata Scream poster

Yamagata Scream

by Naoto Takenaka
Also know as
Yamagata Sukurîmu
Specifics
Japan, France [2009] - 115 mins
Genre
Comedy, Horror
More info on
3.5

Wacky, insane comedy, the kind only Japan is able to make. Naoto Takenaka directs and features in multiple parts, the plot is too silly to even bother with and the comedy is daft but infectious and funny. Add a cool cameo by Noboru Iguchi and Japanese comedy fans get a film that more caters to their needs.

The Chrysanthemum and the Guillotine poster

The Chrysanthemum and the Guillotine

by Takahisa Zeze
Also know as
Kiku to Guillotine Onna Zumô to Anarchism
Specifics
Japan [2018] - 189 mins
Genre
Drama
More info on
3.0

A strange mix of politics and sumo wrestling. It's a solid drama and Zeze's maverick style vies the film some extra appeal, but it's not enough to fully support the 3+ hour running time. Properly acted though and there's plenty of intrigue, but the film starts to drag a little in the final hour. Not quite a Wakamatsu successor.

Assassin's Creed poster

Assassin's Creed

by Justin Kurzel
Specifics
USA, France [2016] - 115 mins
Genre
Adventure, Sci-fi
More info on
3.0

A decent blockbuster. Some interesting lore and a fun plot that alternates between a historic and near-future sci-fi setting. The actors do a pretty decent job, the film looks nice enough and the fantasy elements feel creative and original. Not the greatest of films, but pretty entertaining and it doesn't overstay its welcome.