By Month:

January 2017

1. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, Germany) 2. American Honey (Andrea Arnold, United Kingdom) 3. Aquarius (Kleber Mendonça Filho, Brazil) 4. After the Storm (Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan) 5. The Red Turtle (Michaël Dudok de Wit, Netherlands) 6. Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt, United States) 7. The Handmaiden (Park Chan-wook, South Korea) 8. Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve, […]

December 2015

1. Cemetery of Splendour (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand) 2. Love (Gaspar Noè, France) 3. The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan) 4. Chi-Raq (Spike Lee, United States) 5. Mustang (Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Turkey) 6. Taxi (Jafar Panahi, Iran) 7. Office (Johnnie To, Hong Kong) 8. The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin & Evan Johnson, Canada) 9. Yakuza Apocalypse (Takashi […]

January 2015

1. Goodbye to Language (Jean-Luc Godard, France) 2. Li’l Quinquin (Bruno Dumont, France) 3. Still the Water (Naomi Kawase, Japan) 4. Winter Sleep (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey) 5. The Midnight After (Fruit Chan, Hong Kong) 6. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, United States) 7. The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, Australia) 8. Gone Girl (David Fincher, United States) 9. […]

December 2013

1. The Grandmaster (Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong) 2. Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, United States) 3. The Great Beauty (Paolo Sorrentino, Italy) 4. Camille Claudel 1915 (Bruno Dumont, France) 5. Only God Forgives (Nicolas Winding Refn, Denmark) 6. Stranger by the Lake (Alain Guiraudie, France) 7. Paradise: Hope (Ulrich Seidl, Austria) 8. Bastards (Claire Denis, France) […]

Spring Breakers is a kind of Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio, a play on the rites of Spring tuned through the mythology of the early aughts with Britney and K-Fed styled mythic lovers. What it accomplishes, in all its loopy, repetitive, and dayglo-ness, is a pretty quick excavation of entitlement, class and race around […]

November 2013

1. Wolf Children (Mamoru Hosoda, Japan) 2. Amour (Michael Haneke, Austria) 3. Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, United States) 4. Barbara (Christian Petzold, Germany) 5. Vulgaria (Pang Ho-cheung, Hong Kong) 6. Tabu (Miguel Gomes, Portugal) 7. Killing Them Softly (Andrew Dominik, United States) 8. Holy Motors (Leos Carax, France) 9. Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg, Canada) 10. […]

January 2012

1. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, United States) 2. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, Iran) 3. Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen, United States) 4. We Need to Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay, United Kingdom) 5. Wu Xia (Peter Chan, Hong Kong) 6. Guilty of Romance (Sion Sono, Japan) 7. The Turin Horse (Béla Tarr, Hungary) […]

Comrades! Once again, the list-making season is upon us, and I must answer the call. As per usual, for a film to be eligible it must have received a theatrical release in its country of origin in 2010. Of course, these lists are never immutable, but here are ten great films that defined 2010 for […]

It’s that time of year again, when I join my cineaste brethren for some list-making goodness! As always, my ground rule: I only listed films that received a theatrical release in their country of origin during 2009. While there are still a few films that I haven’t seen, I’m confident that this list is more […]

July 2009

Let me cut straight to the point – Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea is phenomenal. It is a ceaselessly gorgeous showcase for Miyazaki’s unmistakeable cinematic genius. It is potentially his finest film since 1997’s Mononoke Hime, and perhaps the most joyful motion picture to be made by any director since his […]

June 2009

Less about baseball and more about the difficulties inherent in being Chinese and bi/homosexual, City Without Baseball has received no small amount of press in Hong Kong. This is, without question, the most mainstream, high-profile film yet from HK addressing one of China’s great unspoken taboos. It’s also a fascinating exercise in creative casting: all […]

April 2009

Moon is an auspicious debut from Duncan Jones (née Zowie Bowie), a talented new director who happens to be the son of David Bowie (let me officially be the first person to predict that every review of this film in the mainstream press will have the tagline “SPACE ODDITY!”). Sam Rockwell gives a truly remarkable […]

I was blown away by this debut feature from Lucrecia Martel, an Argentine director who had previously worked in television. Translated as “The Swamp” or “The Bog”, La Ciénaga explores the relationship between two cousins: Mecha, a bourgeois alcoholic drinking herself to death in the shadow of the mountains; and Tali, a harried city-dweller looking […]

Mark Neale’s unusual biopic of William Gibson is a strange and polarizing film. Neale placed Gibson in a limousine wired for sound, equipped with several video cameras and outfitted with a laptop and cell phone (no mean feat for 2000) and sent him on a cross-country trip from California to New York, supplying him with […]

March 2009

Why is writing “The Watchmen Review” proving to be so difficult? I’ve had no less than 7 lengthy conversations at this point with various respected human sounding-boards detailing my issues with the film, and started many a draft. Yet still the issue is complicated, in ways I could not have foreseen when I skeptically entered […]

Yes, Slumdog. I agree with the consensus complaint that it is completely contrived that Jamal knows the answers to every question because something happened in his past that informs every answer, but let me add to that by saying that the questions are all common knowledge in the first place, and it drives me insane […]

January 2009

1. The Dark Knight: (Nolan) 2. Synecdoche, NY: (Kaufman) Shall I project a world? An uneven film from first time director Charlie Kaufman about creation, solipsism and empathy. Arbitrary bruises along with green poo and brown pee pee make this one of the few movies to really grab the strangeness of personal suffering. Arbitrary time […]

First the films, then the yattering. 1. A Christmas Tale (Arnaud Desplechin, France) 2. Let The Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, Sweden) 3. Fine, Totally Fine (Yosuke Fujita, Japan) 4. JCVD (Mabrouk El Mechri, France) 5. Be Kind, Rewind (Michel Gondry, United States) 6. Sparrow (Johnnie To, Hong Kong) 7. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, […]

July 2008

The siren song of my film-blogging peeps has sucked me once again into listville, and this time the subject is being left to the discretion of the individual. Some folks are doing their favorite movie theaters (I don’t have 10 of those), some are doing their favorite movies of the year thus far (I don’t […]

May 2008

If ’78 is often considered the Year of the Vietnam War Movie because of the box-office and awards-season battle between Coming Home and The Deer Hunter, it’s informative that there is comparatively little critical work involving Coming Home, whereas The Deer Hunter has graduated to the pantheon of the classics. And I am not the […]

April 2008

Oh, Jean Rollin… What does it even mean when I say that this is probably my favorite Rollin film? As with his contemporaries Joe D’Amato and Jess Franco, you don’t go into a Rollin film expecting excellence – you expect abstract, face-melting sleaze! If you are like me, you will struggle through vast fields of […]

March 2008

In John Carpenter’s classic Escape From New York, a military-type badass with an eyepatch infiltrates a quarantined area on a political mission for a government he doesn’t (and shouldn’t!) trust. In Neil Marshall’s new picture Doomsday, a military-type badass with an eyepatch infiltrates a quarantined area on a political mission for a government she doesn’t […]

I’m a Jackie Chan junkie, and so it was a pleasure to watch Drunken Master, the film that catapulted Jackie to stardom when it was released in Hong Kong in 1978. It takes the familiar martial arts story of Wong Fei Hung (a role also played by Jet Li during his early career in the […]

It’s not my intention to be throwing around high-star ratings willy-nilly so early in our endeavor, but I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize what I believe are the best movies out there simply because I have this nagging feeling that there is some kind of predetermined allowance of nigh-perfect films that I can’t […]

Debbie Does Dallas is one of those much-talked about porn classics that few people have actually taken the time to see. For my part, I’ve seen it about eight times over the course of the past decade and used it as a teaching tool. I’ve watched two different modern remakes and I even took in […]

It seems difficult to write something new and exciting about a cinematic masterpiece that’s been studied and analyzed for thirty years, so you’ll excuse me if I abandon profundity in favor of enthusiasm. Days of Heaven is of course the second of Terrence Malick’s four film communiqués to the outside world, a beautiful stream-of-consciousness poem […]

They certainly don’t make movies like Jack Gold’s The Medusa Touch these days, and that’s a crying shame. It’s wickedly clever and features a host of excellent performances, including wonderful turns by Richard Burton as John Morlar, a dying writer who may possess the ability to kill with his mind, and Lino Ventura as the […]

February 2008

It’s time to take a look at an early work by another writer-turned-director, Walter Hill. Hill is an icon, writing or co-writing the first three Alien movies and Peckinpah’s excellent heist pic The Getaway, in addition to helming perennial underground favorite The Warriors. The Driver has developed quite the cult following amongst car-chase aficionados, and […]

Precious few exploitation films retain the power to shock and disturb as decades pass and audience tolerance evolves, making Meir Zarchi’s I Spit On Your Grave, the great-grandma of the rape/revenge genre, all the more impressive. By turns reviled or sheepishly apologized-for, the time is well-past due for a reevaluation of this picture. Grave’s dirty […]

By Category:

Lists

The siren song of my film-blogging peeps has sucked me once again into listville, and this time the subject is being left to the discretion of the individual. Some folks are doing their favorite movie theaters (I don’t have 10 of those), some are doing their favorite movies of the year thus far (I don’t […]

First the films, then the yattering. 1. A Christmas Tale (Arnaud Desplechin, France) 2. Let The Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, Sweden) 3. Fine, Totally Fine (Yosuke Fujita, Japan) 4. JCVD (Mabrouk El Mechri, France) 5. Be Kind, Rewind (Michel Gondry, United States) 6. Sparrow (Johnnie To, Hong Kong) 7. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, […]

It’s that time of year again, when I join my cineaste brethren for some list-making goodness! As always, my ground rule: I only listed films that received a theatrical release in their country of origin during 2009. While there are still a few films that I haven’t seen, I’m confident that this list is more […]

Comrades! Once again, the list-making season is upon us, and I must answer the call. As per usual, for a film to be eligible it must have received a theatrical release in its country of origin in 2010. Of course, these lists are never immutable, but here are ten great films that defined 2010 for […]

1. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, United States) 2. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, Iran) 3. Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen, United States) 4. We Need to Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay, United Kingdom) 5. Wu Xia (Peter Chan, Hong Kong) 6. Guilty of Romance (Sion Sono, Japan) 7. The Turin Horse (Béla Tarr, Hungary) […]

1. Wolf Children (Mamoru Hosoda, Japan) 2. Amour (Michael Haneke, Austria) 3. Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, United States) 4. Barbara (Christian Petzold, Germany) 5. Vulgaria (Pang Ho-cheung, Hong Kong) 6. Tabu (Miguel Gomes, Portugal) 7. Killing Them Softly (Andrew Dominik, United States) 8. Holy Motors (Leos Carax, France) 9. Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg, Canada) 10. […]

1. The Grandmaster (Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong) 2. Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, United States) 3. The Great Beauty (Paolo Sorrentino, Italy) 4. Camille Claudel 1915 (Bruno Dumont, France) 5. Only God Forgives (Nicolas Winding Refn, Denmark) 6. Stranger by the Lake (Alain Guiraudie, France) 7. Paradise: Hope (Ulrich Seidl, Austria) 8. Bastards (Claire Denis, France) […]

1. Goodbye to Language (Jean-Luc Godard, France) 2. Li’l Quinquin (Bruno Dumont, France) 3. Still the Water (Naomi Kawase, Japan) 4. Winter Sleep (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey) 5. The Midnight After (Fruit Chan, Hong Kong) 6. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, United States) 7. The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, Australia) 8. Gone Girl (David Fincher, United States) 9. […]

1. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, Germany) 2. American Honey (Andrea Arnold, United Kingdom) 3. Aquarius (Kleber Mendonça Filho, Brazil) 4. After the Storm (Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan) 5. The Red Turtle (Michaël Dudok de Wit, Netherlands) 6. Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt, United States) 7. The Handmaiden (Park Chan-wook, South Korea) 8. Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve, […]

Reviews

Precious few exploitation films retain the power to shock and disturb as decades pass and audience tolerance evolves, making Meir Zarchi’s I Spit On Your Grave, the great-grandma of the rape/revenge genre, all the more impressive. By turns reviled or sheepishly apologized-for, the time is well-past due for a reevaluation of this picture. Grave’s dirty […]

It’s time to take a look at an early work by another writer-turned-director, Walter Hill. Hill is an icon, writing or co-writing the first three Alien movies and Peckinpah’s excellent heist pic The Getaway, in addition to helming perennial underground favorite The Warriors. The Driver has developed quite the cult following amongst car-chase aficionados, and […]

They certainly don’t make movies like Jack Gold’s The Medusa Touch these days, and that’s a crying shame. It’s wickedly clever and features a host of excellent performances, including wonderful turns by Richard Burton as John Morlar, a dying writer who may possess the ability to kill with his mind, and Lino Ventura as the […]

It seems difficult to write something new and exciting about a cinematic masterpiece that’s been studied and analyzed for thirty years, so you’ll excuse me if I abandon profundity in favor of enthusiasm. Days of Heaven is of course the second of Terrence Malick’s four film communiqués to the outside world, a beautiful stream-of-consciousness poem […]

Debbie Does Dallas is one of those much-talked about porn classics that few people have actually taken the time to see. For my part, I’ve seen it about eight times over the course of the past decade and used it as a teaching tool. I’ve watched two different modern remakes and I even took in […]

It’s not my intention to be throwing around high-star ratings willy-nilly so early in our endeavor, but I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize what I believe are the best movies out there simply because I have this nagging feeling that there is some kind of predetermined allowance of nigh-perfect films that I can’t […]

I’m a Jackie Chan junkie, and so it was a pleasure to watch Drunken Master, the film that catapulted Jackie to stardom when it was released in Hong Kong in 1978. It takes the familiar martial arts story of Wong Fei Hung (a role also played by Jet Li during his early career in the […]

In John Carpenter’s classic Escape From New York, a military-type badass with an eyepatch infiltrates a quarantined area on a political mission for a government he doesn’t (and shouldn’t!) trust. In Neil Marshall’s new picture Doomsday, a military-type badass with an eyepatch infiltrates a quarantined area on a political mission for a government she doesn’t […]

Oh, Jean Rollin… What does it even mean when I say that this is probably my favorite Rollin film? As with his contemporaries Joe D’Amato and Jess Franco, you don’t go into a Rollin film expecting excellence – you expect abstract, face-melting sleaze! If you are like me, you will struggle through vast fields of […]

If ’78 is often considered the Year of the Vietnam War Movie because of the box-office and awards-season battle between Coming Home and The Deer Hunter, it’s informative that there is comparatively little critical work involving Coming Home, whereas The Deer Hunter has graduated to the pantheon of the classics. And I am not the […]

1. The Dark Knight: (Nolan) 2. Synecdoche, NY: (Kaufman) Shall I project a world? An uneven film from first time director Charlie Kaufman about creation, solipsism and empathy. Arbitrary bruises along with green poo and brown pee pee make this one of the few movies to really grab the strangeness of personal suffering. Arbitrary time […]

Yes, Slumdog. I agree with the consensus complaint that it is completely contrived that Jamal knows the answers to every question because something happened in his past that informs every answer, but let me add to that by saying that the questions are all common knowledge in the first place, and it drives me insane […]

Why is writing “The Watchmen Review” proving to be so difficult? I’ve had no less than 7 lengthy conversations at this point with various respected human sounding-boards detailing my issues with the film, and started many a draft. Yet still the issue is complicated, in ways I could not have foreseen when I skeptically entered […]

Mark Neale’s unusual biopic of William Gibson is a strange and polarizing film. Neale placed Gibson in a limousine wired for sound, equipped with several video cameras and outfitted with a laptop and cell phone (no mean feat for 2000) and sent him on a cross-country trip from California to New York, supplying him with […]

I was blown away by this debut feature from Lucrecia Martel, an Argentine director who had previously worked in television. Translated as “The Swamp” or “The Bog”, La Ciénaga explores the relationship between two cousins: Mecha, a bourgeois alcoholic drinking herself to death in the shadow of the mountains; and Tali, a harried city-dweller looking […]

Moon is an auspicious debut from Duncan Jones (née Zowie Bowie), a talented new director who happens to be the son of David Bowie (let me officially be the first person to predict that every review of this film in the mainstream press will have the tagline “SPACE ODDITY!”). Sam Rockwell gives a truly remarkable […]

Less about baseball and more about the difficulties inherent in being Chinese and bi/homosexual, City Without Baseball has received no small amount of press in Hong Kong. This is, without question, the most mainstream, high-profile film yet from HK addressing one of China’s great unspoken taboos. It’s also a fascinating exercise in creative casting: all […]

Let me cut straight to the point – Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea is phenomenal. It is a ceaselessly gorgeous showcase for Miyazaki’s unmistakeable cinematic genius. It is potentially his finest film since 1997’s Mononoke Hime, and perhaps the most joyful motion picture to be made by any director since his […]

Spring Breakers is a kind of Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio, a play on the rites of Spring tuned through the mythology of the early aughts with Britney and K-Fed styled mythic lovers. What it accomplishes, in all its loopy, repetitive, and dayglo-ness, is a pretty quick excavation of entitlement, class and race around […]

1. Cemetery of Splendour (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand) 2. Love (Gaspar Noè, France) 3. The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan) 4. Chi-Raq (Spike Lee, United States) 5. Mustang (Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Turkey) 6. Taxi (Jafar Panahi, Iran) 7. Office (Johnnie To, Hong Kong) 8. The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin & Evan Johnson, Canada) 9. Yakuza Apocalypse (Takashi […]

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