Tag Archives: foreign

AMAD-Horror Edition: Kwaidan

10 Oct

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October 10th, 2009–

Would you like to hear a ghost story?

 Look around; the days are soon to shorten, the leaves to color and then fall, and the chill of winter is already intruding. There is really no better time for one. And this one, I promise, you will like. It’s a story you have probably heard before. But not like this. Never quite like this. Continue reading

AMAD-Horror Edition: Eyes Without A Face

5 Oct

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Oct 4th,2009–

cinemagrade A-I’m a little surprised that I never saw Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face before this. With its French art-house sensibilities and Universal horror movie tropes all jammed together into a crusty old shell of pulp contrivance, the movie is a monster mash gone wild. Rejected by the snobby French critics of the time and dumped over here in the U.S. to double-bill with The Manster, this psychological thriller was far ahead of its time. My wife and I were legitimately shocked by how graphic the surgery sequences are and how stately and poetic the rest of the film is. The movie hides its madness underneath  a high-class painterly veneer but make no mistake–it delivers a wicked jolt. Continue reading

AMAD:The Silence of Lorna

28 Sep

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September 26th,2009–

cinemagrade A-I love the work of the Dardenne brothers. The Belgian siblings responsible for films like The Son, The Child and Rosetta specialize in quiet, close-quarters observations of human behavior. While their pictures can occasionally be  slow and methodical, they are full of rich characterization and a stark sense of reality that drive home the moral implications of the narrative. They are not often easy films to watch, as much for the pacing as for the less than savory choices made by the characters central to the story.  The Silence of Lorna  follows these same guidelines but ventures from the path by expanding beyond the claustrophobic camera work and micrcosmal drams to present a compelling portrait of a woman struggling with the consequences of her actions. Continue reading

Friday Flicks: New to Theaters 09/25/09

25 Sep

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It’s another jam-packed movie weekend in Baltimore and the fall season is off and running. There’s a really great selection of films opening today and I’ve currently only seen one of them. With the four (count ’em–four!) new movies debuting at The Charles and three other high profile pics opening everywhere else, there’s more than enough to go around. Add in all the films already playing and it’s a smorgasbord of choices. Continue reading

Fantasia 2009 Review: ‘Daytime Drinking’ Without the Hangover

24 Jul

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Daytime Drinking (NR) 116 min. Written and Directed by: Young-Seok Noh Starring: Kang-Hee Kim, Sam-Dong Song Cinematography and Original Music by: Young-Seok Noh

cinemagrade b+

 After seeing so many of the Fantasia Fest entries this year (and I’ve got a ton of reviews on the way) one begins to notice the overarching differences between the various strains of Asian film. China seems to still be primarily focusing energy on martial arts and historical action pictures; Japan is all over the wacky place with some really bold dramas and alot of comic-book fueled madness; Thailand is mostly concerned with how to actually kill its stuntmen during filming; and then, there is South Korea. In the past five or six years Korean film has leapt to the forefront of the cinematic landscape. Producing work both provoking, artistic and just plain-out entertaining, Korean filmmaking is in the midst of a significant evolution forward. When I look at movies like Oldboy, The Chaser, or the work of Kim Ki-Duk, what I see reminds me of the artistic explosion that occurred in the film world here in America during the 1970s. That era bought about a new viewpoint through which artists considered the opportunities the medium of film afforded. Continue reading

Fantasia 2009 reveals complete updated film schedule!

3 Jul

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July3rd, 2009–

If you are a genre fan, and if you are here at this blog you probably are, there is no bigger or better cinema event than Canada’s FanTasia Film Festival.  Since 1996( halting only once in 2002 when the fest was canceled), over 70,000 festival attendees travel every summer to FanTasia to take in the latest and greatest of independent, irreverent, and imaginative cinema from all over the world. As the title suggests, the festival’s original roots were in programming little-seen asian films, showing mostly Hong Kong actioners, martial arts pics and Japanese giant monster movies in their first year. Continue reading

Now Playing: ‘Big Man Japan’ trades zero for hero

29 Jun

 

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cinemagrade b-

 Giant monsters tromping around wrecking cities sounds like alot more fun than it actually is. I’ve been listening to nearly every beleagured friend who has seen the new Transformers movie complain; ‘it’s just giant things punching each other–that’s it!’ Well, duh. In their case, though, I have the perfect remedy; Hitoshi Matsumoto’s Dai Niiponjin, or the english translation, Big Man Japan. Continue reading

Movie Review: The Trouble with ‘Franklyn’

22 Jun

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Franklyn (R) 90 min. Directed and written by: Gerald McMorrow. Starring: Ryan Phillippe, Eva Green, Bernard Hill, Sam Riley, Richard Coyle. Cinematography: Ben Davis. Original Score by:  Joby Talbot.

Cinematropolis rating: 5

Ironically,  Jonathan Preest is the very last aetheist on Earth. Living in the Neo-Gothic shambles of Meanwhile City, Jonathan prowls the lonely rooftops like Rorshach on a Red Bull bender, seeking to avenge the death of  a girl he couldn’t save. His enemies are the fashion violating, Mad Hatter-esque Clerics who work for the Individual, head of the most dangerous religious sect in the city.  And in Meanwhile City, there are alot of sects. The world has abandoned reason and logic and its inhabitants embrace any possible glimmer of faith or desperate hope they can cling to; there is even a group of practicing Seventh Day Manicurists. Continue reading

Now Playing: ‘Revanche’ ponders the path of vengeance

18 Jun

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Revanche (R) written & directed by: Götz Spielmann. starring: Johannes Krisch, Irina Potapenko, Andreas Lust, Ursula Strauss, Johannes Thanheiser. cinematography: Martin Gschalt.

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Götz Spielmann’s Austrian thriller Revanche, nominated for Best Foreign Film at this year’s Academy Awards, is the kind of movie I usually adore. It takes it time in telling a story that on the surface seems unlikely and then uses the tools of the cinema to draw it out and bring it to life. For the most part it worked for me. I enjoyed the acting immensely. I appreciated the beautiful and pastoral cinematography and the brilliant framing of shots. I was engrossed in the story and invested to some degree in the characters. But, somehow, that doesn’t end up being enough for Revanche. Spielmann develops a languid drama based around the singular concept of vengeance but his keen eye for observation is ill suited to a would-be thriller that starts spinning its wheels mid-point. Continue reading

Monster fans, prepare to squeal like a pig for ‘CHAW’ teaser trailer!

28 May

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May 28th, 2009-

Giant killer pig movies. There really aren’t enough of these out there. Even the Sci-Fi Channel hasn’t really exploited the unsavory idea of hordes of mutant hogs attacking the human population. In fact, the only predatory pig film I can think of is Russell Mulcahy’s australian thriller Razorback from 1984. The image above is actually pulled from that movie, as CHAW has yet to release images of its sinister swine.

Korea has been sitting pretty at the forefront of asian cinema in the past few years and they have even given us a great bonafide creature feature in the form of The Host, an instant classic about a dysfunctional family fighting an aquatic mutant to reclaim their youngest member. Think of it as Little Miss Sunshine meets Godzilla.

The trailer for CHAW elicits both a pure schlock vibe and an popcorn action movie vibe. The hog looks quite cartoony, but as long as the movie manages to capture the same sort of discomfort and amuesement one gets when looking at the below photo, it has a chance of success.

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As for the title, while it isn’t as iconic as say, Hogzilla or Super-Swine: The Porcine Project, CHAW has a nice, grotesque ring to it. While I think it’s the giant pig’s name, it actually evokes images of a less than appeasing nature; whats the chance that we might get scenes of a giant pig happily munching on a human cranium?

Anyway, you can read more about CHAW over at TWITCH, the foreign film fan’s one stop shop for all current international and exotic film projects. 

You can catch the trailer itself HERE.