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 28, 2010

Kick-Ass








Director - Matthew Vaughn

Genre - Action/Crime/Thriller


Our jaws dropped when we saw this latest film by Matthew Vaughn. It exceeded our wildest imaginations and more. Forget Spidey, Bruce Wayne, Watchmen, Sin City or even Iron Man. This is the best superhero movie ever! Adapted from a comic with the same title, the genius of its darkly humored yet gruesomely violent story lies in the fact that every blow, hit, kick and shot delivered or received by the characters are felt deeply by us. Dave Lizewski is an average student who questioned why nobody has ever lived out the dream of becoming a masked crusader in real life. Without thinking about the consequences, he dons a costume (it's actually a wet suit) in order to do his bit at fighting crime. The drawback to having viewed this is that we'll never be able to see others of its genre in the same, nonchalant way anymore. A very far divide exists now between this and other comic book adaptations. Let's not forget Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz)! She is simply the most awesome character to have hit (pun intended) the screen in a long time. Urgently recommended.

5 STARS!

All about Kick-Ass

May 25, 2010

Encounters At The End Of The World





Director - Werner Herzog

Genre - Documentary


In his documentaries, Werner Herzog often play the role of a child discovering something new. The questions he asks aren't necessarily scientific or meant to be in the pages of an encyclopedia. He wants to know what we as normal folks want to know as well and this is the reason we keep going back to his films. Whether he is focused on alien-looking sea creatures or the lives of the researchers and scientists of Antarctica, our interests run tandem with Herzog every time. We're elated when he unearths new discoveries previously unknown to us, and it has greatly enriched our stay here on planet Earth. Welcome to the end of the world, Herzog seems to say. It may be desolate and cold, but look a little closer and a whole new world will open its door for you.

4 STARS!

All about Encounters At The End Of The World

May 20, 2010

Antichrist








Director - Lars von Trier

Genre - Drama/Horror


Reports of people walking off during the screening in Cannes last year didn't deter us from watching this. We gave it a chance and hoped that Lars von Trier would have a sense of accountability for his latest film. Those who didn't stay till the end were just not used to cinema being thought provoking, we reasoned. We watched, and continued watching, and finally....end credits rolled, DVD player read 'STOP'. This is vulgarity at its pinnacle. Some would argue that evil was depicted here and therefore, it should appear without any sugarcoating, which is the case here. We wish von Trier had reined in his inner demons more, that he had spared us this walk through endless pain. Despite having cinematography so good our eyes turned watery with adulation, we wouldn't recommend this to our worst enemies. Well, maybe just that ass who owes us money.

1.5 STARS!

All about Antichrist

May 16, 2010

Ip Man 2








Director - Wilson Yip

Genre - Action/Biography


Continuation of part 1 sees Ip Man moving on to British occupied Hong Kong with his family. Since all he knows is kung fu, Ip Man sets up a 'Wing Chun' dojo to make a living. This then brings him on a head-on collision with the leader of all kung fu academies in HK, a stubborn old master played by Sammo Hung. Donnie Yen is so comfortable in the role here it feels to us like a second skin for him. Humble and with such impeccable manners, it is quite a jolt for the senses when Ip Man is stirred up for a kung fu smash up. This man doesn't need costumes or a cape to be a hero! And like the first part, there are literally no wires used throughout the entire film, making this a raw, bare knuckles experience. Donnie Yen is like a dark horse coming from way behind to snatch the martial arts superstar crown from Jackie Chan and Jet Lee.

3.5 STARS!

All about Ip Man 2

May 15, 2010

Ip Man








Director - Wilson Yip

Genre - Action/Drama/Biography/History


For those not in the know, Ip Man is the martial arts master who taught Bruce Lee his initial kung fu moves known as 'Wing Chun'. Donnie Yen took on the role with a scintillating vigour we've never seen before in any of his movies. In this, his character is so real and palpable you will feel that Ip Man is Yen and Yen is Ip Man. They're almost inseparable as a person and it'll be hard to imagine anyone else in the role (Tony Leung is slated to play Ip Man in another movie directed by Wong Kar Wai). Set during the invasion of China by the Japanese, the patriotic spirit of Ip Man who rips into all those who bully his friends and country will rouse anybody, Chinese or not. What's interesting here is that Ip Man doesn't even like to fight. All he ever wanted was to fully savour his cigarettes and tea in peace. Bonus points for very minimal usage of wires!

3.5 STARS!

All about Ip Man

May 10, 2010

Mother







Director - Bong Joon-Ho

Genre - Crime/Drama/Mystery/Thriller



In a totally weird sort of way, this is actually quite a moving tribute to mothers everywhere. Sure, the maternal figure here may not possess great morality and her behavioral patterns aren't necessary the acts of a good woman, but that is exactly what made her real to us. It was her cracked vision of a world in which nothing matters but her son that made us respect and understand her fall from grace, or whatever was still intact in her after suffering multiple setbacks. Won Bin took a rest from being his usual heartbreaker self to play a retard and he gave his all, but unquestionably, it is Kim Hye-Ja who took the film onto a different playing field - a golden arena of acting where only the bravest of performers dare play.

4 STARS!

All about Mother

May 6, 2010

Memories of Murder








Director - Bong Joon-Ho

Genre - Crime/Drama/Mystery/Thriller


Realistic, sorrowful look into the painstaking legwork and constant stumbling blocks which precede a criminal investigation. Watching this, we definitely came away with new appreciation pertaining to what cops go through in their line of work. Shocking, thrilling and asserting a mysterious allure throughout, we were totally submerged in this story based on a real case file. Its main cast and their performances would make even seasoned Oscar-nominated actors red-faced, while a steady stream of impressively shot cinematography made this as special as a thriller could ever hope to be. However, for those of you who perceive the world as a candy-colored carousel of endless wonderment, this is a hornets' nest you wouldn't want to disturb.

4.5 STARS!

All about Memories of Murder

May 2, 2010

El Norte








Director - Gregory Nava

Genre - Adventure/Drama/Thriller


Mexicans smuggling themselves across the border into America has been a recurring problem for the longest time. Many movies have portrayed them as a menace and an unwanted lot. This story however is shown from the angle of these desperate people. Downtrodden, poor and hunted like animals in their own home country, a pair of brother and sister try their luck by sneaking into the land of dreams. Living in fear and finding that America isn't exactly the perfect escape from their situation, they have to endure the slings and arrows of unforgiving reality. An eye opening and quite original piece of work, this film helped us understand the plight of illegal immigrants like never before. Loaded with life's lessons.

4.5 STARS!

All about El Norte