PARTY, Studio 4* C (* = degree
ranging anime of 7 short works + opening credits. Beautiful
images, powerful music & imaginations bordering on
genius make this collective one to look for in future.
Jaume Balaguero, Paco
TV profile of the Barcelona Fire Department in action.
Routine call to help an elderly lady screaming in her
apartment. They enter & find themselves facing a situation
that no training could have prepared them for. Shot in
the same style as Blair Witch & Cloverfield. Very
intense & frightening.
HAPPY CHAIN SAW EDGE, Takuji
girl & giant with a chainsaw as hand intent on battling
the girl. Weak plot & character development = So What.
THE RIGHT ONE IN, Tomas
(12) meets Eli (12). She's a vampire & needs blood
to prevent her body from deteriorating. One of the best
vampire movies ( apart from 1922's Nosferatu, of course)
I have seen. Vampire mythology adhered to yet updated
in surprising ways. Tightly scripted & directed. The
2 leads were natural & credible.
fiction: A man caught in an increasingly complex time
loop. Intriguing subject, inconclusive ending.
SUBSTITUTE, Ole Bornedal
don't adults believe their children when they say something
isn't right with their new teacher. She must be an alien.
Humourous but too predictable.
SUNDAY, Jin Kwang-Kyo
corrupt cop, obsessive infatuation, a study of human psyche
and wounded conscience creates in viewer a sense of unease
and beauty that comes from facing the truth. Top notch
cinematography, fine performances.
AWAKE, Lee Kyoo-Man
promising debut film. Gripping, complex thriller about
a man who as a boy was wide awake during an operation.
Compelling piano based score, startling images. Well edited.
DETECTIVE, Johnnie To &
thriller about detective with unique method of solving
crimes: he sees inner spirits. Superb acting throughout.
The complexity of characters made film hard to follow
which is typical of Johnnie To's films. Should be seen
ASSEMBLY, Feng Xiaogang
Historical Chinese war drama (civil war of
1948). Thoroughly engrossing; beautifully shot on location.
Superb acting, taut direction, easy to read subtitles.
Confusing psychological horror film that threatens
to become a nightmare. Fine acting and editing and score
but ultimately disjointed.
OBJECTIVE, Daniel Myrick
Political thriller whose thrills are all too
predictable. Fails to deliver on early promise. Blair
Witch fans will be disappointed big time, especially stilted
GAUGE TRAMA, collection of 11 shorts
collection of edgy, audacious, unforgettable shorts from
around the world. Some disturbing adult content: mutilation,
Zombie, revenge. Perfect fit for Fantasia mandate.
OF DEATH, Masaya
fantasy of grim reaper that follows the life of a young,
attractive woman with low self-esteem. Compares favourably
to Death Diary. Exquisite cinematography, compelling leading
MOVIE, Christophner Denham
horror horribly done. Script lacking in credibility. Acting
average. Film was too short in that its main themes weren't
sufficiently fleshed out: some very good humour. Debut
from director whose next film should be better.
IN TOKYO, Satoshi Miki
road trip. Debt collector proposes 'walkabout' through
Tokyo to one of his clients. Excellent chemistry between
two leading actors, augmented by the many zany characters
they meet along the way. Atypical but engaging road film,
showing humane side of Tokyo rarely seen.
IN THE PALACE, Kim Mee-Jung
Korean Royal Court drama featuring murder and intrique
and spectacular costumes and touch of para-normal. Promising
debut film; Kim, who wrote the script, handles her material
deftly. Keep in mind Royal Court films risk courting boredom.
Two friends are vacationing in hot springs resort in obscure
village. Borrows from The Wickerman but laughably cliched.
Disjointed, predictable script.
allegory featuring mutant freaks of nature. Excellent
animatronics. Director intended to make a sick, perverse
and outrageous adult film -- and succeded. Good fun but
not for everyone. Compares favourably to Lloyd Kaufman's
THE WORLD, Hideo
Thrilling addition to Death Note series. Highly
creative treatment of subject.
An extremely infectious virus is about to be unleashed
upon the world. Excellent acting, editing, cinematography,
script -- potential to become a classic. Definetly intend
to see the whole series again.
Extremely violent, sexually charged comedic slasher film
with a bit of a twist. Crazed serial killers stalk a coven
of gorgeous witches in an isolated cabin in the woods.
Pure entertaining fun.
A marshal arts zombie action B movie that tries & fails
to be taken seriously. Totally unconvincing.
THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE, Jonathan
Slasher film that shatters all standard conventions. Mandy
is a dreamily georgeus girl who is the object of all the
boys. Average acting, plot & editing yet film is a joy
to watch. Becomes too predictable half way thru.
Drama involving a young man jailed for killing his parents,
who takes up karate for self defense & then hits the Thai
Boxing circuit. Just couldn"t get into it. Lacked excitement.
GORE POLICE, Yoshiro
gore (not enough according to director who was hosting).
Excellent score. Plot not clearly defined yet there semed
to be some "hidden message?" The hall was packed to over
capacity. Reactions were loud. Q & A animated.
Crazy comedy involving the mob, 2 pawns & a geek obsessed
with finding a huge robot that will save the world from
aliens. Fantasy elements make this good family viewing.
If you liked Ultraman you'll like this.
CHASING WORLD, Issai
SciFi involving parallel worlds where everyone surnamed
Sato are getting killed. The king is dressed in a Darth
Vader costume. Recalls TV series Sliders. Excellent handling
of a complex subject. Excellent score. Acting, script
& editing slightly above average.
A MAN: SAMURAI SCHOOL, Tak
A hilarious marshal arts comedy made so thru exageration
about first year students trying to get thru a Samurai
school. Repetitive in parts. Editing sub paar.
TINGLER! THE WILLIAM CASTLE STORY, Jeffrey Schwarz
on W. Castle. Professional handling of subject makes
me want to learn more and to seek out WC's films (Rosemary's
Baby, The House on the Haunted Hill). Difficult to read
identifiers. Insightful interviews and stills, well
MERCY FOR THE RUDE, Park Choel-Hie
Asian action comedy about mute professional hitman.
Debut film. Meandering script, unconvincing acting.
Very funny with top notch score.
EMPRESS AND THE WARRIORS, Tony
war epic set against the lush Chinese landscape with
ever-present orchestral score equal to the film's emotional
extremes. Similar in scope to Spartacus and Troy. Subtitled
in English and Chinese. Tour de force directorially.
social satire of two people both having bad days, literally
colliding. Unconvincing script, sub paar acting, somewhat
redeemed by ever-present humour.
18TH, Kim Ji-hun
told historical drama of military invasion of Guangkiu
(1980). Excellent ensemble performances, riveting script.
Compares to his earlier Slimieo (2003).
REBEL, Truc Charlie Nguyen
drama taking place in Viet Nam (1922). Sub paar acting,
technical errors in lighting, editing, colour and subtitles;
nonethess, director shows promise.
FLOORS, Pete Riski
stunning visual and creature effects but no story or purpose:
all style, no substance.
ECHO, Yam Laranas
psychological horror recalling Juon; The Grudge. Striking
sound effects, deliciously creepy, especially for an American
2.2 -- LA TUER, Cedric
Directorial debut. Film noir of a business man who has
a contract put out on him who makes a counter proposal
to the hit man. An uneven film when at it's best, points
to a director with considerable potential.
-- GOING BY THE BOOK,
Comedic farce about a cop who goes stictly by the book.
Flashse of Keystone cops. Not a classic yet good fun.
-- SPECIAL MAGNUM, Alberto
Typical 1970s exploitation action film featuring some well
known actors (John Saxon, Carole Laure). Too predictable.
-- ISLAND OF LOST SOULS,
Three adolesents battle a malevolent necromancer. If you
enjoy Harry Potter films you will enjoy this Danish
entry. Fine acting, good special effects, engaging story.
-- 7 DAYS, Won
Thriller involving a complex murder case & defense lawyer's
daughter being kidnapped. Brilliant acting & powerful
score combine to create a suspenseful & convincing film.
-- 4BIA, 4
Four completly different takes on the horror genre from
4 of Thailand's film makers: 1 set of credits. Each
part held its own.
1.2 --SASORI, Joe Ma
arts drama of an escaped female convict seeking revenge.
A common subject (ex Lady Vengence, Kill Bill). Disjointed
script & outlandish fight sequences.
-- HUNTING GROUNDS, Eric Bilodeau
DIY zombie film with a touch of science fiction.
-- TUNNEL RATS, Uwe Boll
violent yet honest & humane depiction of 1968 war torn
Vietnam. Tunnels were the underground used by the Viet
Cong. Disturbingly realistic a la Deer Hunter. Excellent
performances and cinematography. A film destined to
-- VOICE OF A MURDERER, Park
about a couple agonizing over the kidnapping of their
son. Similar to 7 Days but not as convincing. Too many
distracting subplots; music sometimes off the mark.
Banjong Pisanthanakun & Parkpoon Wongpoon
thriller about young woman haunted by death of co-joined
twin after separation. More mature than their first film
"Shutter." Brilliant script, outstanding performance
by leading actress almost undone by almost unreadable