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Imagine 2017 Review: GUARDIANS

(As the editor-in-chief of Preview Magazine exclaimed when introducing this screening: "Criticize it all you like, but it has a bear with a minigun!") If you've seen its trailers (and why shouldn't you have), you know exactly what to expect...

Indian Film Fest LA 2017 Review: THE CINEMA TRAVELLERS, Captures a Moment of Transition and Rebirth

Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya's The Cinema Travellers is a love letter to an age quickly coming to a close in India and around the world. Once upon a time in India, the only way that the small remote villages...

Indian Film Fest LA 2017 Review: TRAPPED, Loneliness Abounds in the Midst of Millions

Vikram Motwane's Trapped is the story of a man who becomes locked in his flat hundreds of feet above the bustling metropolis of Mumbai with no one to save him or even miss him. When the story first became apparent...

Review: YOUR NAME, A Wondrous Delight From Start to Finish

Body swapping, time displacement and comets of mass destruction all feature prominently in Makoto Shinkai’s heart-wrenching adolescent romance. Boasting an infectious soundtrack by RADWIMPS and luminous animation, Your Name proves a winning combination of laughter, tears and occasionally mind-bending concepts...

Review: THE PRISON Shackles Itself in Familiar Story

The run of corruption thrillers that have proven so popular at the Korean box office of late shows no signs of abating with The Prison, which takes the same themes that have populated works such as Inside Men and Veteran,...

Review: It's Oh So Quiet in Kore-eda Hirokazu's AFTER THE STORM

In Kore-eda's world, the storm is not a cause of destruction and pain but a helping agent to bond with each other- something the current Japanese society has lost due to modern life taking its course. But the film is so old-fashioned and soft-edged, it hardly registers on an emotional level. Still a great little film. But after the greatness that was Our Little Sister, After the Storm feels like a minor Kore-eda.

Review: HEADSHOT, Iko Uwais in a World of Fast Action and Brutal Violence

Off the coast of Indonesia, the body of man washes up on shore near a small village. As he lies comatose in a hospital a doctor from Jakarta, Ailin, looks after him. When he regains consciousness only fragments of his...

Review: A SINGLE RIDER Subtly Ponders the Small Regrets of Life

A few months after the explosive period spy thriller The Age of Shadows from genre maestro Kim Jee-woon, Warner Bros is back with its second Korean production, A Single Rider. Though both films share star Lee Byung-hun, who appears as...

Review: FABRICATED CITY, Mediocrity Hidden Behind Big-Budget Thrills

Twelve years after the success of Korean War comedy-drama Welcome to Dongmakgol, director Park Kwang-hyun is finally back in theaters with the action-thriller Fabricated City. A tale of gamers and conspiracies in modern Seoul, Park's latest presents itself as a...

Berlinale 2017 Review: Liu Jian Triumphs With HAVE A NICE DAY

Animated movies for adults are painfully undervalued, both at a festival level and as an art form, but Liu Jian's Have A Nice Day is a title that could smash through those barriers. Certainly one of the more interesting features...

Berlinale 2017 Review: ON THE BEACH AT NIGHT ALONE, Hong Sang-soo's Most Personal and Cruel Film to Date

A new year has arrived and with it the challenge of reviewing a new work from Korea's arthouse darling Hong Sang-soo. On the Beach at Night Alone, which borrows its name from the title of a Walt Whitman poem and...

Review: In Zhang Yimou's THE GREAT WALL, Matt Damon Saves the World

I've seen sillier attempts at blockbuster fantasy films than Zhang Yimou's latest, The Great Wall, but I must admit it's been a while. The director, one of China's most respected visual artists after his stunning work on crossover hit wu...

Rotterdam 2017 Review: BAMSEOM PIRATES SEOUL INFERNO Challenges Our Sense Of Liberty

Documentaries tend to do well at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and each year several manage to get into the audience top-10. The 2017 edition has proven to be no exception, as there are three documentaries in the top-5 alone....

Review: In Shanker Raman's GURGAON, Blood Makes The Grass Grow

Family can be a tricky thing. The bonds forged between blood relations are often tenuous and fraught with jealousy and distrust. You can't choose the people with whom you make those bonds, and as a result, those people aren't always...

Review: SAIGON BODYGUARDS Doesn't Phuc With The Bromance

Professional bodyguards Viên and Trịnh's latest assignment -- protecting Henry, a rich brat who becomes heir to the LeMilk company after his father's death -- will make them sweat: the funeral is not even finished before Henry is kidnapped by...

Review: CONFIDENTIAL ASSIGNMENT, A Routine Action-Comedy for the Whole Family

After taking a back seat to Joseon Era dramas and then Japanese Colonial Era films over the last few years, tales of North Korean spies are ramping up to make a big comeback on screens in 2017. The first of...

Now on Blu-ray: SUDDENLY IN THE DARK and NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND DESIRES From Mondo Macabro

Mondo Macabro has done it again with another killer pair of Blu-ray releases for films you didn't even know you couldn't live without. This time around the company tackles a duo of sexy horror films from opposite ends of the...

Rotterdam 2017 Review: SEXY DURGA, One Terrifying Night In Darkest India

Man is a dangerous beast. Long ago, before the time of cinema, before the time of television, and certainly before the time of the Internet, the Indian subcontinent was a land mostly known as a fruitful place for the nightmares...

Review: THE KING, Korea's Very Own Scorsese Crime Saga

Coming in the midst of an unprecedented political scandal and benefitting from a prime Lunar New Year holiday release date, prosecutor drama The King aims to be the first Korean hit of the year. A glossily entertaining saga with big...

Review: THE SALESMAN, Asghar Farhadi's Riveting Tale of Revenge and Shame

Farhadi has a real knack for portraying guilt of ordinary people. The degree of guilt he is showing might be a little too dramatic to pass as a real life. But that degree is small enough to make us uncomfortable. Deeply philosophical with human entanglements, culture, tradition, class and morality, The Salesman is a complex drama with a great narrative pull that is a richly rewarding experience.