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Criterion Roundup: PHOENIX, FANTASTIC PLANET and THE IN-LAWS

Suspense, belly-laughs and a jaw-dropping bit of adult oriented animation round this series of Criterion Collection reviews. I highly recommend them all.   In April the label released an edition of Phoenix (2014) a film which was nominated for, and...

Review: INTO THE FOREST Focuses on Individuals to Superb Effect

What will we all do when the lights turn off? Wait impatiently for them to come back on, trying to maintain a normal existence and the planned future? Begin raiding other people's homes? Go off in search of some semblance...

BiFan 2016 Review: EVA DOESN'T SLEEP Spins a Elliptical and Thought-Provoking Tale

Few politician's wives have been as mythologized as Eva Peron. The wife of the President of Argentina in the late 1940s, she reached iconic status during her life, as a poor girl from the countryside who married well, rose to...

Now on Blu-ray: A Definitive Release of ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST / DR. BUTCHER, M.D. From Severin Films

When I was a teenager and the internet was young, there weren't many resources readily available in suburban Sacramento for finding the weird, way-out films that made me smile. In fact, at the time, there was really only one place...

Review: HIERONYMUS BOSCH: TOUCHED BY THE DEVIL, A Fascinating Look at Dutch Master's Dark Imagination

To mark the 500th year of his death, Hieronymus Bosch: Touched by the Devil follows a team of Dutch Bosch scholars and experts, headed by art historian Matthijs Ilsink, as they try to shore up existing paintings by the Dutch...

BiFan 2016 Review: THE FOREST Is A Slow Burn Beauty

In Paul Spurrier's The Forest, Preecha (Asanee Suwan) walks into a bucolic village in nowhere Thailand to begin a new chapter in his life as teacher in the local village. Whatever hope and passion he has for his new profession...

BiFan 2016 Review: GRANNY'S DANCING ON THE TABLE, Beautiful and Brutal

It might seem that we have choices for our life’s direction; we can choose whom we spend tie with, who we marry, whether or not to have children, our career. But often those choices are invisible to us, impossible to...

Now on Blu-ray: Grindhouse Releasing's CAT IN THE BRAIN Will Have Fans Purring

Italian director Lucio Fulci had a 40-year career that saw him working in every conceivable film genre. However, no matter how varied his work was, he will always be remembered as the Godfather of Gore. Fulci's horror films, starting with...

Now on Blu-ray: Erotic Fantasy BELLADONNA OF SADNESS is Resplendent in HD

A few months ago we reported on the singular animated erotic experience that is Yamamoto Eiichi's Belladonna of Sadness. The film, produced in 1973 as part of the experimental adult animation trilogy Animerama, was one of the most unique cinematic...

Fantasia 2016 Review: REALIVE Deeply Engages With Medical Morality And The Human Condition

When screenwriters turn towards directing their own features, the case is often that they can make their talkiest screenplay into a film. This is not necessary a bad thing at all, especially considering the case of Mateo Gil's new science...

Fantasia 2016 Review: SHELLEY Marries Parenthood To Horror Without Enough Consequence

A classy, atmospheric take on the hysteria of new parenthood, Ali Abbasi's Shelley wears its influences boldly on its sleeve (and right there in the title), only the Frankenstein's monster here is a baby born by way of our modern medical...

BiFan 2016 Review: CAPTAIN FANTASTIC Takes Quirky Journey to Known Destination

There's a certain type of film that'e become prominent and popular among a lot of American indie filmmakers in recent years; I like to call it the Sundance Film (though not all have played at that festival). It's a social...

Fantasia 2016 Review: I, OLGA HEPNAROVA, A Meticulous And Confrontational Look At A Mass Murderer

At one point over the course of this haunting and difficult film, the lead character is reading the Graham Greene novel, The Quiet American. She highlights a passage from the novel that is the lynchpin to understanding the unanswerable questions left...

Review: KABALI, Superstar Rajinikanth's Best Film in Years

For millions of people around the world, the release of a new film from Tamil actor Rajinikanth is more than just a movie, it's an event. Superstar Rajinikanth is a performer whose mere mention inspires near-religious worship. Unfortunately, this has...

Review: TRAIN TO BUSAN Rides the Rails With the Undead

For his live-action debut Train to Busan, indie animation director Yeon Sang-ho, whose films The King of Pigs and The Fake have drawn international acclaim, has taken the zombie thriller, stuck it into the claustrophobic confines of a train, and...

Review: THE CHILDHOOD OF A LEADER, Making of a Monster in Brady Corbet's Accomplished Directorial Debut

An allegorical tale set in the shadow of WWI Europe, The Childhood of a Leader is a very accomplished first feature from 27 year-old American actor Brady Corbet. Considering his face has been showing up in the films of who's...

Fantasia 2016 Review: FURY OF THE DEMON Offers Film History With An Occult Twist

Suspension of disbelief is a critical element to the pure enjoyment of a movie. Whether it is the premise of the story, the matte lines (or digital uncanny valley) of the special effects, or even character motivations, a good storyteller...

Fantasia 2016 Review: IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE Is A Talky If Slight Examination Of Western Tropes

In Sergio Leone's classic The Good The Bad And The Ugly, one of many iconic scenes involves a gunfighter sneaking up to murder Eli Wallach's Tuco in the bath-tub. The anonymous heavy lost his arm in a shootout with Tuco...

Fantasia 2016 Review: THE UNSEEN, An Exceptional Observation of Disappearance

In a cluttered single-wide trailer in a snowcovered, and anonymously dreary logging town in northern British Columbia, Bob Langmore finds himself disappearing. That it not to say that running away from his wife and daughter almost a decade ago to...

Blu-ray Review: A TOUCH OF ZEN Comes to the Criterion Collection

Halfway through a year already crammed full of impressive releases (with no sign of slowing down... Dekalog for September!), The Criterion Collection has also taken advantage of the recent 4K remaster of King Hu's seminal A Touch of Zen, adding...