International: UK, NZ & Australia Reviews

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Blu-ray Review: DEAD END DRIVE-IN, Punks, Classic Cars and Explosions From Brian Trenchard-Smith

Director Brian Trenchard-Smith is a giant among men when it comes to exploitation cinema. The director, a British transplant to the Land of Oz, is responsible for some of the most incredible examples of Ozploitation that the island has to...

Review: WE ARE X, More Than Just a Music Doc About X Japan

From director Stephen Kijak, best known for his documentary about the Rolling Stones, Stones in Exile, comes We Are X, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year. It is an excellent record of the history of X Japan,...

Toronto After Dark 2016 Review: KILL COMMAND, A Promising Debut From FX Supervisor Steven Gomez

An elite squad is sent to a remote island for a dull and routine training session. A techie, a cyber enhanced human, Mills, is assigned to the group to monitor the team and investigate mysterious line of code in the...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: DOWN UNDER, Not a Land of Racial Wonder, But Maybe It Should Be

The day after massive race riots in Sydney, Australia some 10 years ago, two carloads of impassioned and perplexed characters are moved to respond, calling upon deeply felt emotions that surge out of their bodies like cascading waves. What could...

Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: A DARK SONG: The Dark, Hard Labour of Forgiveness

All deaths are hard to deal with, but I would argue there is nothing worse than losing your child (after all, a parent is not supposed to outlive their children). Certainly, when we lose a loved one of any kind,...

Toronto 2016 Review: THE LIMEHOUSE GOLEM, A Giallo-Infused Theatre of Bedlam

We might think that in the 21st century, with social media platforms or instant video uploads, we are at the apex of what might be called the theatricality of life in the public eye. But even if Twitter didn't exist,...

Toronto 2016 Review: THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS Delivers All The Goods

Opening with the eponymous girl locked in a cell and counting upwards to a thousand, The Girl With All The Gifts may as well be ticking off the sheer number of zombie films that a fan of the genre is...

Blu-ray Review: ONCE WERE WARRIORS, Still Vibrant and Effective 20 Years Later

The early '90s were a magical time for independent cinema. There has always been a lot of talk about how American independent cinema became a major cultural force during those years. Books like Spike, Mike, Slackers, & Dykes focused on...

Venice 2016 Review: Andrew Dominik's ONCE MORE WITH FEELING Is a Blossoming Bud of Pain

If 20,000 Days on Earth is a film you watch to get high, then Once More with Feeling is very much a downer. That’s because it deals with the deeply painful loss Nick Cave experienced after the death of his...

Venice 2016 Review: Alice Lowe's PREVENGE Seems Destined to Become a Cult Classic

Once known for her experimental theatre and playful roles in hit British television comedies such as Black Books and The IT Crowd, Alice Lowe has now hacked and slashed her way into the male-dominated world of the cult slasher with...

Review: OUR KIND OF TRAITOR, Slick Yet Simple Spycraft

Veteran screen adapter Hossein Amini (The Two Faces of January, Drive) teams up with famed author John le Carré for yet another big screen espionage thriller joint with Our Kind of Traitor. Le Carré, who serves as executive producer, brings...

Review: HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE, Funny and Heartfelt

Taika Waititi can do no wrong. From his wonderful short films to his features, and through his work on the hilarious TV show Flight of the Conchords, all of his efforts have been pitch perfect. Yet because of his last...

Review: TICKLED, A Deeply Engaging Ride-Along

Tickled is a documentary about power when one is the 'tickler'. Tickled is a documentary about the sudden whiplash from silly to terror when one is the 'ticklee'. Tickled is David Farrier's investigative reporting magnum opus, a deeply engaging ride-along...

Review: GENIUS, A Theatrical Pageant That Goes Terribly Wrong

Elvis Costello famously quipped, "writing about music is like dancing about architecture", and while I hardly agree with the overall sentiment -- if I did, I wouldn't exactly be doing this -- his point is well taken. Success in one...

Rooftop Films 2016 Review: "This is What We Mean By Short Films," A Wealth of Miniature Gems

Rooftop Films Summer Series 2016 got off to a great start with their opening night presentation, “This is What We Mean By Short Films,” an eclectic and incredibly accomplished selection of shorts, some of which had their New York premieres...

Review: THE ONES BELOW, Beware The Kindness Of Neighbors

Properly moody, The Ones Below brews up a strong cup of neighborly paranoia. It's a familiar story. Kate (Clémence Poésy) and Justin (Stephen Campbell Moore) live in a lovely flat in a lovely building in a lovely London suburb. Kate...

Review: SUNSET SONG, An Impeccable Masterpiece From Director Terence Davies

A sweeping tale of changing times in Scotland in the early 20th century, Terence Davies's new film Sunset Song centers around a farm girl Chris Guthrie (Agyness Deyn) in the fictional rural town of Kinraddie near Aberdeen. Chris is a thoroughly...

Review: HIGH-RISE, A Provocation To Disengage

As audience empathy tests go, killing the dog is perhaps the most capital of movie-crimes. Here it is gleefully committed in the opening minutes; a bellwether for the casually curious to beware.    Several other canine-murders are peppered throughout the...

Review: Kurosawa's RAN, 4K Restoration DVD/Blu-ray Release

One morning, several years ago, I finished an interview with a documentary filmmaker at a little café within the cavernous underground of the Tokyo train station. The political nature of the film, combined with the fact the station was on...

Hot Docs 2016 Review: TICKLED, A Tale From Which It Is Difficult To Squirm Away

Tickled is a documentary about power when one is the 'tickler'. Tickled is a documentary about the sudden whiplash from silly to terror when one is the 'ticklee'. Tickled is David Farrier's investigative reporting magnum opus, a deeply engaging ride-along...