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Fantasia 2017 Review: A DAY (하루), Blockbuster, Rinse, Repeat

When a child dies in an accident, regardless of fault, the parents will live that horrible day over and over again in their mind. They will wonder if only something was different, a phone call, a change of plans, an...

Fantasia 2017 Review: THE LAPLACE'S DEMON, Philosophical Suspense and Dread

The Laplace demon is a mathematical theory, which supposes that, if someone knows the precise location and momentum of every atom in the universe, they could predict everything down to the smallest detail. Quite a creepy supposition (hence 'demon'), and...

BiFan 2017 Review: MON MON MON MONSTERS, Giddens Ko's Brutal, Stylish High School Horror-Comedy

Taiwanese filmmaker Giddens Ko returns to high school for his follow up to the massively entertaining and successful You Are the Apple of My Eye, but things take a much darker turn in Mon Mon Mon Monsters, a mile-a-minute horror-comedy...

Review: THE BATTLESHIP ISLAND, Impressive Action Torpedoed by Nationalism

Following a pair of blockbusters, action maestro Ryoo Seung-wan aims to outdo his past successes with The Battleship Island, the biggest Korean release of the year. Set on a Japanese labor camp island, this star-driven, big-budget period escape drama strives...

Fantasia 2017 Review: ANIMALS, A Mind-Bending Journey in Limbo

What is the temporal geography of pain and regret? If we remove ourselves from the physical space where something bad happened, do we distance ourselves from the pain? Or is that pain carried within, embuing each space a person enters?...

BiFan 2017 Review: RYEOHAENG Casts Abstract Light on NK Refugees

Director Im Heung-soon returns for his third feature, casting his artistic light on another under-served segment of the population with the documentary Ryeohaeng. Focusing on the lives of several female North Korean defectors in Korea, Im contrasts talking heads positioned...

Fantasia 2017 Review: DEAD SHACK, Mixed Results Hamper Canadian Zom-Com From Breakout Success

Jason is joining his best friend Colin and his family on a weekend getaway to a cabin in the woods. Along for the ride is Colin’s sister Summer, their dad Roger and his girlfriend Tina. Jason and Colin could not...

Fantasia 2017 Review: JAILBREAK, An Exceptional Addition to Martial Arts Cinema Coming Out of Southeast Asia.

A group of Special Task Force Officers are escorting Playboy, a reported crime boss of the Butterfly Gang to Prei Klaa prison. Playboy though, claims that he is not the true boss and will reveal their identity when he is...

Fantasia 2017 Review: Thai Period Action Flick BROKEN SWORD HERO Introduces a New Action Talent

Joi’s childhood was plagued with teasing and bullying by the governor's son and his friends. Though his father refuses to put him in a Muay Thai school, Joi secretly trains himself.   When a confrontation with his bullies leaves the...

Fantasia 2017: Born Of Woman Shorts Programme Highlights a Trio of Haunting Standouts

For its second year at Fantasia, the theme running across the curation for the shorts programme Born Of Woman has moved away from the cerebral physical fetishes, and queer emotional landscapes of last year, towards the nature of haunting. The highlights were...

BiFan 2017 Review: BEHIND THE DARK NIGHT Swedes Its Way to Victory

Low-budget, semi-autobiographical indies about young men trying to make their feature film debuts have been done to death in Korea (Cheer Up Mr. Lee, We Will Be OK and Director's Cut come to mind), so expectations were muted for Behind...

Blu-ray Review: Rossellini's WAR TRILOGY Gets Much Needed HD Upgrade From Criterion

Earlier this month The Criterion Collection rereleased Roberto Rossellini's War Trilogy on Blu-ray and it is one of the year's essential sets. The three included films, Rome Open City (1945), Paisan (1946), and Germany Year Zero (1948), are not only...

BiFan 2017 Review: GODSPEED Revs Up Violence and Humor in Artful Road Movie

Hong Kong comedy star Michael Hui returns after a long absence in the latest from Taiwanese filmmaker Chung Mong-hong, A road movie about a drug deal gone wrong, Godspeed may not appear special on the surface, but this mashup of...

Fantasia 2017 Review: LOWLIFE Confidently Infuses Absurdity With Heart

As a snappily dressed Luchador intensely monologues his desires and legacy to the camera, we are unsure of exactly who his audience is, and the movie withholds the answer to maxim effect. A dirty Immigrations Officer and a scuzzy surgeon...

Review: KILLING GROUND, Halfway to a Disturbing Classic

I love horror movies that are disquieting and suspenseful. I hate horror movies that traffic in sheer cruelty and stupidity. So I love the first half of Killing Ground. Sam (Harriet Dyer) and Ian (Ian Meadows) are the prototypical romantic...

Review: THE UNTAMED, Riveting and Shocking, It Needs to Be Watched to Be Believed

One of the reasons that I love fantastic genre film is that it can often find the most relevant and interesting metaphors for dealing with issues of social life, be they cultural, political, or sexual. The Untamed, which won the...

Review: VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS, Lush Visuals And Lackluster Everything Else

In Luc Besson's latest film, the extravagant science-fiction, hypercolor seizure Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, a pair of space cops set off on a devil-may-care adventure to save the universe. Or something like that. Valerian (Dane DeHaan)...

BiFan 2017 Review: ROOM NO. 7 Gets A 6 At Best

Following his acclaimed indie 10 Minutes, director Lee Yong-seung once again examines the plight of the working man in Korea with his commercial debut Room No. 7, which serves as the opening film of this year's Bucheon International Fantastic Film...

Review: DUNKIRK, Nolan Styles Overwrought War Epic

After a slew of tired franchise entries and superhero tentpoles, the summer finally delivers a truly essential big screen experience. Austere and nerve-racking, Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk is a bold big-screen gamble that employs an experimental structure and little in the...

Fantasia 2017 Review: JAPANESE GIRLS NEVER DIE Speaks Locally on Subjugation, Reaches Globally

28 year old Azumi Haruko simply vanishes one night. Two aspiring graffiti artists use her image from her missing poster to build a name for themselves and they become a viral hit. And a gang of high school girls are...