We'll tackle any film foreign or otherwise, paying exclusive attention to Arthouse, Indie & Cult features. Selected up to the minute News will also be given prominence.


May 31, 2008

Match Point







Director - Woody Allen

Genre - Thriller/Drama/Romance



Woody Allen goes all dark and moody in this psychological thriller. Humor that is Allen's forte is discarded here and surprisingly, he is just as adept. So much so you wonder why he doesn't do it more often. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is magnificent as the lead actor and the script by Woody Allen despite being very unlike his previous works, is sinfully sharp.

4.5 STARS!

All about Match Point

May 29, 2008

I'm Not There









Director
- Todd Haynes

Genre - Biography/Drama/Music


Legendary singer Bob Dylan's multi-faceted persona is explored in this intriguing film. By having different actors play Dylan, we get to familiarize ourselves with this complicated talent through a host of characters. Was he a poet, an artist, a political activist or just a simple folk singer? Might he be the sum of all these? Much praise have been heaped upon Cate Blanchett for her portrayal but we feel the performances of Heath Ledger and Christian Bale were distinctively more fascinating.

3 STARS!

All about I'm Not There

May 28, 2008

The Fountain









Director
- Darren Aronofsky

Genre - Drama/Romance/Sci-Fi


Darren Aronofsky has never made easy, audience-friendly films. Directed like a cross between '2001: A Space Odyssey' and Bjork's music videos, this is a love it or hate it movie. The plot itself is infuriatingly difficult to grasp but at times the cinematography is just out of this world. Having said that, the decision to have Hugh Jackman in Shaolin monk attire complete with bald head is just inexplicably silly and uncalled for.

2 STARS!

All about The Fountain

May 26, 2008

A History of Violence





Director - David Cronenberg

Genre - Action/Crime/Drama/Thriller


Based on a graphic novel, it is a lamentation of revenge and its ensuing aftermath. Viggo Mortensen is a revelation as a man driven to forget his past in the mob but ultimately, it catches up with him devastatingly. Ed Harris provides a menacing and edgy performance too. The cinematography is deliberately comic-like, each scene shot to look like from the pages of its source material. It lends a certain unique quality to the overall film.

4 STARS!

All about A History of Violence

May 25, 2008

Eastern Promises





Director - David Cronenberg

Genre - Crime/Drama/Mystery/Thriller


Overhyped movie about the Russian mafia directed by David Cronenberg who did exceptionally better with 'A History of Violence', also acted by Viggo Mortensen. The movie is let down by a soap opera-ish script that is overly melodramatic despite its violent scenes. The whole movie feels disappointingly like a tv-pilot for a mini series. Mortensen's Russian accent is terrific but it's not enough to save this movie.

2 STARS!

All about Eastern Promises

May 23, 2008

I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK








Director - Park Chan-Wook

Genre - Comedy/Drama/Romance



Can love blossom between mentally-ill persons? Would a relationship embarked in an asylum actually be viable? Korea's sensational filmmaker Park Chan-Wook directed this curious film that is part romance and part psychological exploration. Made after his 'Vengeance Trilogy', this is somewhat a departure from darker-themed topics. The mood in this though is still heavily tinged with irony as all of Park's movies are wont to. Loaded with inventive tracking shots and wacky camerawork. Check out the one-of-a-kind opening credits!

4 STARS!

All about I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK

May 21, 2008

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring









Director
- Kim Ki-Duk

Genre - Drama


The calm, tranquil existence of a temple and its inhabitants is slowly changed by the turbulent world that surrounds it. Spanning years and change of seasons, the life of a child monk as he grows up to learn of lust and greed is poignantly told. Kim has a religious habit of studying the human psyche in his films and here, he has chosen the loss of one's purity as his theme. Innocence ravaged, can never be whole again. Kim even makes an appearance here displaying his toned physique. An enlightening and spiritual work of art depicting the karmatic circle of life.

5 STARS!

All about Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring

May 19, 2008

Made In Hong Kong






Director - Fruit Chan

Genre - Crime/Drama/Romance/Comedy


This is an impressive directorial effort from indie filmmaker, Fruit Chan. The story centers on a small-time gangster played by Sam Lee with aspirations of underworld grandeur. Literally picked from the streets by Chan, first time actor Lee is a natural born star. Chan's interpretation of Hong Kong as a city is claustrophobic and constantly on the verge of chaotic and violent societal eruptions. A cool and uncompromisingly original jewel in a sea of HK crap.

4 STARS!

All about Made In Hong Kong

May 18, 2008

Eraserhead




Director - David Lynch

Genre - Drama/Fantasy/Horror


Oddly unnerving and unlike anything we've ever encountered, this movie defies classification. The leading character could be David Lynch's alter ego. It might not. The setting could be in Mars or even the 1950's. Shot in black and white, the whole experience is enigmatic and looks like a manifestation of a person's nightmare or unusual dream. Lynch made this feature film debut with very little money yet the end result is amazingly commendable. However you want to interpret the story, this little picture in its small way broke new grounds.

3.5 STARS!

All about Eraserhead

May 16, 2008

Lynch And Herzog To Team Up


According to The Hollywood Reporter, the legendary masters of weird David Lynch and Werner Herzog are teaming up on a horror-tinged thriller. Based on a true-life tale, 'My Son, My Son' is all about a San Diego man who after becoming heavily influenced by the ancient Greek dramatist Sophocles kills his mother with a sword. The low-budget feature will flash back and forth in time, in typically Lynchian style, as the disturbed man's back story is intercut with scenes of the murder. Herzog and his longtime assistant director Herbert Golder co-wrote the script and a guerrilla-style digital video shoot on Coronado Island is tentatively set for March 09.

All about David Lynch & Werner Herzog

Heima







Director
- Dean DeBlois

Genre - Documentary/Music


This may not fulfill all the requirements of being a movie but it's not exactly a conventional concert DVD either. Featuring post-rock phenomenon Sigur Rós in a series of free, unannounced concerts in Iceland, it is also a documentary of the band's inner workings. The ethereal music emanating from Sigur Rós is unlike anything on this earth. If Heaven exists, the symphonies orchestrated by winged angels would ideally sound like this. Punctuated liberally with out of this world images of Iceland, 'Heima' just left us eternally awed.

5 STARS!

All about Heima

May 15, 2008

This Is England






Director
- Shane Meadows

Genre - Drama

An uneasy, discomforting look at the skinhead culture in England. A very impressionable kid unwittingly becomes entangled with a gang practicing the philosophies of white supremacy. Spreading hate and creating havoc, they are a dissatisfied collective force taking the child along for a spiraling ride into a destructive world. Day by day, he becomes more and more like them and it is his character's psyche that engages us. Will he listen to the voice of reason whispering softly to him or will he turn his back on salvation?

3.5 STARS!

All about This Is England

May 14, 2008

Takashi Miike Mastery In CROWS ZERO Sequel

Source from Twitch

The cult of Miike is getting some good news this week. Yesterday it was announced that Miike’s critically acclaimed Crows Zero will be getting a sequel. Director Takashi Miike is again taking the helm, and popular actor Shun Oguri is reprising his role as the protagonist Genji Takaya. The story is set about 8 months after the first movie. Kyosuji is close to graduation at Suzuran High School, but one last matter must be settled with a rival school… this sequel is reportedly the story’s conclusion. Genke Yabe is also returning, though other cast members from the first movie have not yet been mentioned.

All about Takashi Miike

May 12, 2008

Swingers








Director
- Doug Liman

Genre - Comedy/Drama



This film from Doug Liman is like an insightful relationship guide for men. With a sharp and witty script written by Jon Favreau, this is also an extremely delightful watch. The story is basically about a man (Favreau) losing what he believes is the love of his life and finding out that it's not the end of the world with the help of some friends. It is his infectiously fun buddies who are the highlight here, especially his best pal played with magnetic presence by Vince Vaughn.

4 STARS!

All about Swingers

May 11, 2008

Teeth








Director
- Mitchell Lichtenstein

Genre - Comedy/Horror


This is a twisted tale in the vein of 'B-Movies'. A girl is born into the world with a set of teeth in her...southern region. Not realizing that her 'dental problem' is unique only to herself, she goes through life like an ignorant fool. But because she's a hot chick, guys fly to her like moths to a flame and soon, all hell breaks loose! If your idea of a great time is watching a film about a girl with a built-in mouse trap, this might just be your cup of special brew.

2.5 STARS!

All about Teeth

May 9, 2008

Clerks







Director
- Kevin Smith

Genre - Comedy


Kevin Smith's debut is a triumph for the indieworld. It's an inspiration for anyone who has ever thought about making a film to just pick up that camera and shoot. Of course, you would also need a kickass witty script like Smith's. Most of the movie takes place in a convenience store to keep the budget low but it's the spitfire dialogue that's the star here. Charming and made with a lot of heart, this is indie at its best.

4 STARS!

All about Clerks

May 7, 2008

Cinema Paradiso







Director
- Giuseppe Tornatore

Genre - Drama/Romance


One of the greatest films ever made. This epic masterpiece by Giuseppe Tornatore has everything and more. It is at once a tale of great romance, friendship and the burning passion for cinema. The love of a girl fuels the desire and ambition of a kid who dreams of becoming somebody. It is this boy's experiences of first love and missed chances that captivate us. A must-see for anyone who has ever claimed to be a cinephile or simply, a movie lover. An instant classic of monumental importance.

5 STARS!

All about Cinema Paradiso

May 5, 2008

Elizabethtown








Director
- Cameron Crowe

Genre - Comedy/Drama/Romance


Written and directed by Cameron Crowe of 'Jerry Maguire' ("you had me at hello" & "you complete me") fame, this film is contrived and forced from the 1st scene to the last. At least 'Maguire' had Tom Cruise and undeniably, Cruise has a certain appeal. Orlando Bloom without his elf ears has about as much appeal as melted ice cream. Crowe is good only when he does movies that draw from his music writing background as in 'Singles' and 'Almost Famous'. That's his forte and he should stick to it.

1.5 STARS!

All about Elizabethtown

May 4, 2008

CJ7







Director
- Stephen Chow

Genre - Comedy/Sci-Fi


In this film directed by Hong Kong's premier king of comedy Stephen Chow, we are treated to a child-like fantasy of a lovable extra-terrestrial and its whimsical powers. Seriously, the alien here is so adorable E.T. would look like an ugly old hag standing next to it. Filled with laugh out loud moments and also scenes that will keep you in a warm buzz, this is a joy to watch. The drawback though is that some of the jokes are rehashed from Chow's other movies.

3 STARS!

All about CJ7

May 1, 2008

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels








Director
- Guy Ritchie

Genre - Comedy/Crime/Thriller


British cinema rarely looks as cool and hip as this. Filmed in a raw and frenetic manner, it is undisputedly director Guy Ritchie's best. The script is filled with testosterone-rich dialogue and dark humor, making it an uproariously fun watch. As the dodgiest and meanest characters try their very best to outwit and hurt each other, a wild and edgy story taking the piss out of England's underworld is revealed. It is also Jason Statham's best performance in a movie before he sold out to become a transporter.

4 STARS!

All about Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels