Review: Trash (UK/Brazil: 2014): The proletarian adventure movie comes to Brazil.

Trash (2014)

Trash (2014)

While Stephen Daldry’s action/adventure film set in the the poverty stricken slums captures the energetic spirit of Andy Mulligan’s young adult novel, adults may be less than thrilled by the story while its content may lead it to be rated outside the reach of its intended audience. Still, the performances of the novice lead actors make it worth seeking out even if it never gets a US release.

Rating:

image

Continue reading

Suicide Room (Poland: 2011): Run! It’s the Internet!

Suicide Room (2011)

While the premise is interesting and the performances by the leads are strong, it is just too difficult to empathize with the characters in Suicide Room, Jan Komasa’s film about a troubled teen who withdraws to his room. Hikikomori isn’t actually a social problem in Poland that I’m aware of, and I think the director passed over several more interesting stories to theorize on what it would be like if it were. A wealthy, good looking teen throwing it all away might be arresting to watch, if only the protagonist’s most dramatic act for most of the film wasn’t to hide out at home.
Rating
image

Continue reading

Futureless Things (Korea: 2014): one never knows what’s in store next

Kyung-mook Kim’s off-beat third feature focuses on the everyday and sometimes surreal interactions in a convenience store. Futureless Things is more a series of comedy sketches than a unified narrative, but since everyone eventually needs a Coke, the setting is a good one to explore the many layers of contemporary society and the dreamers who find themselves stuck behind counters for a moment.

Rating
image

Continue reading

White God (Hungary: 2014): a familiar tale, this time with dogs

white_god

 

A Hungarian Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Kornél Mundruczó’s White God tells an allegory about betrayal, oppression and revenge, but also the durability of the bonds that form between pets and their caretakers. Canine lead Hagen walks away with this one, conveying surprising emotional depth for a newbie actor.

Rating:

3stars.PNG

Continue reading

Kung Fu Jungle (Hong Kong: 2014): Classic Fighting Film with Cameos Galore

kungfu-jungle-official-poster

 

Teddy Chen goes old-school in this martial arts detective story starring Donn Yen. The fighting is intense and the special effects muted in this story about a former martial arts champion released from prison to help capture a serial killer. An homage to the one-on-one Hong Kong action films of the past, Kung Fu Jungle is filled with dozens of cameo performances from the action stars of the past four decades.

Rating
image

Continue reading

Fish Story (Japan: 2009): A cult hit song creates a cult

Atsushi Ito finds inspiration from an obscure text

Yoshihiro Nakamura’s Fish Story appears to be most noteworthy for its non-linear narrative.  But syuzhet chutzpah aside, the story about a punk rock band saving the world comes together in the end to relay a clever story about the origins of belief, myth-making and finding religion in unexpected places.

 Rating

image

Continue reading

Crazy, Beautiful You (Philippines: 2015): Princess Selfish meets a Cinderfella

KathNiel

A romantic comedy that probably was designed to cash in on the popularity of the “KathNiel” pairing, Crazy, Beautiful You doesn’t stray much from the Poor Boy/Rich Girl love story formula. However, the leads do produce a certain amount of warmth together that may make it worthwhile for fans of the RomCom genre and not just the couple.

Rating:
image

Continue reading