International: UK, NZ & Australia Reviews

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Berlinale 2017 Review: BERLIN SYNDROME, Cate Shortland's Skin-Crawling Thriller

From Jutin Kurzel's Snowtown in 2011 to Ben Young's recent Hounds of Love at last year's Venice Biennale, Australia has developed a real knack for messed up cinema, and Cate Shortland's recent Screen Australia and Film Victoria supported skin-crawler is...

Review: WAR ON EVERYONE, A Hilarious Affront to All That Is Decent

Within its first 10 minutes, War on Everyone smashes at least two dozen stereotypes familiar to anyone who has ever watched a cop movie made by a Hollywood studio, doing so in a rollicking and hilarious fashion. It's a barrage...

Slamdance 2017 Review: KURO Spins a Spellbinding, Exquisitely Photographed Tale

Don’t you wonder sometimes ’Bout sound and vision … – David Bowie, “Sound and Vision” When you’ve seen a countless number of films over your lifetime, the effect can be somewhat numbing, especially after viewing many examples of standard variations...

Review: A PATCH OF FOG Dramatizes the Discomfort of Strangers

Exhausted by the travails of celebrity, a writer wants to retire. This in itself is a strange proposition. Writers want to write -- need to write -- and the idea of retirement is usually only entertained by those who are...

Review: DETOUR, Christopher Smith's Mind and Time-Bending Neo Noir

Christopher Smith's neo-noir thriller, Detour, should keep audiences guessing until the end

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...