Berlinale 2015 Review: 45 YEARS, A Heart-Wrenching Look At Late Marriage

How much can, or should we, let the past affect the present? If our lives went one way instead of another, can we mourn too much what we didn't have? If you think you were not your spouse's only great... More »
  

Review: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, An Incredibly Funny, If Slightly Bloody, Romp

From the opening title card that reads "New Zealand Documentary Film Council," it's pretty clear that What We Do in the Shadows is not going to be your typical vampire movie. Co-directed by Taika Waititi (Eagle Vs. Shark, Boy) and... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Review: WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD Races Away From Doomsday

Wildly apocalyptic with dollops of silliness, Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead proves to be a splendidly gritty affair, a tale that feels like it's being told from the back of a jeep as it races away from doomsday on a... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: HARUKO'S PARANORMAL LABORATORY Drowns In Quirk

(I'll never yell at my television again, lest it suddenly changes into an attractive member of the opposite sex... hey, wait-a-minute!) Last year, Japanese director Lisa Takeba presented her first feature film The Pinkie at the International Film Festival Rotterdam... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, Not That Terrible

Not wanting to be a snob, I attempted to read Fifty Shades of Grey, the bestseller inspired by the Twilight books (which I also haven't read). It's quite badly written, but hey, it was popular, so maybe I was missing... More »
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: ANOTHER TRIP TO THE MOON Is Both Sedate And Trippy

(Once upon a time, there were two beautiful young women, hunting in a forest...) What is the border between still photography and moving pictures? Footage shot by a camera pointed at a waterfall or a fireplace may technically be the... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: KNIGHT OF CUPS Sees Malick Repurposed

Rejoice ye fans of Malick - your wily transcendentalist has emerged again! And though the film doesn't equal (ahem... transcend) his previous highs, Knight Of Cups at least finds the idiosyncratic auteur trying something new. Malick's style remains the same;... More »
By Ben Croll   
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E02, MIJO (Or, Talking Your Way Out Of Being Held At Gunpoint)

Better Call Saul deserves to be talked about for its own merits, so I'm going to put the Breaking Bad comparisons to one side this time around. Saul's second episode, "Mijo", throws Jimmy into a dangerous and seemingly deadly situation, but... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: AS WE WERE DREAMING Dreams About Lost Emotions But Never Really Touches

Andreas Dresen's As We Were Dreaming, an adaptation of a German bestselling novel by Clemens Meyer, tries to change our perception of what happened in East Germany in the time after the collapse of the Berlin wall. Instead of presenting... More »
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E01, UNO (Or, Going Back Before BREAKING BAD)

Better Call Saul was always going to struggle, like all prequels do, to feel relevant. The nature of a prequel makes it an afterthought, but it's a good start that Saul firmly places itself in the world of Breaking Bad,... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: MR. HOLMES, A Fine Engagement With Age And Atonement

According to Guiness World Records, Sherlock Holmes is the most portrayed fictional character, by more than 70 actors in over 200 films, plays and television shows. I haven't seen all of those, but Ian McKellen can certainly put his performance... More »
  

Review: C'EST SI BON Trades Rich 60s Music Setting For Dull Romance

A terrific period setting is squandered in the disappointing C'est si bon, a twee and lethargic romance masquerading as a dynamic folk music biopic. Programmed as one of this year's two major Lunar New Year holiday releases (the other being... More »
By Pierce Conran   
  

DVD Review: Fei Mu's SPRING IN A SMALL TOWN From The BFI

Hailed as the greatest Chinese film ever made, Fei Mu's 1948 melodrama Spring In A Small Town arrives on DVD for the first time in the UK, courtesy of the BFI. A heartbreaking tale of loyalty, yearning and resilience in... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: SET ME FREE Impressively Keeps It Real

(Here's someone literally begging to be taken to church...) In Kim Tae-yong's debut film Set Me Free (original Korean title Geo-in), he deals with the memories he has about one of the darkest moments in his own childhood. His parents... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: MAR Fails To Capitalize On Its Great Actors And Their Improvisational Skills

Chilean cinema, more than in any other year in the history of the Berlin Film Festival, is present and with the greatest odds to win one or two awards once the fest comes to an end. There are new films by... More »
  

Berlinale 2015 Review: NOBODY WANTS THE NIGHT: A Beautiful But Flawed Epic

Spanish auteur Isabel Coixet (Elegy, My Life Without Me) opened Berlinale with her latest and most ambitious film to date, Nobody Wants the Night. Based on real life persons (though it was unclear whether the events actually occurred), it is... More »
  

Review: 2015 Oscar Nominated Short Films, An Eclectic, Globe-Trotting Selection

As much talk as there's been about the lack of diversity among this year's Academy Award nominees, there is at least one section where diversity, and an illuminating look at world cultures, can be found. That place is the in... More »
  

Sundance 2015 Review: THE VISIT, A Speculative Documentary

So, the aliens have landed. Well, not really. But let's for a moment say they have. E.T.s are in town, and they're ready to talk. To whom do they converse? Who do we, collectively, send out to initiate the... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: WAR BOOK Makes For A Compelling Chamber Piece

(Thankfully a nuclear war isn't our biggest fear any more these days... or is it?) This year, the opening film of the International Film Festival Rotterdam was Tom Harper's War Book, a British drama about a governmental brainstorm session. It... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Göteborg 2015 Review: LUCIFER, An Intriguing Reimagination Of A Classic Tale

Belgian director Gust Van den Berghe concludes his triptych on the emergence of human consciousness that began with Little Baby Jesus of Flandr and continued with Blue Bird, the enticingly titled Lucifer. Speaking of consciousness, a better-suited mythological figure in the Western... More »
By Martin Kudlac   
  
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