Reviews by Country
I hate spoilers. I am a massive spoiler-free zone. I’ve been burned too many times by sexy trailers and the internet rumor mill, where the film itself turned out to be so much less than promised. So what I let myself know about something amounts to the title, maybe who’s in it, and what the poster looks like. It might sound completely illogical, but that’s what I base my omg yay levels on, and when I saw the poster for … (read more)
While the latest films of relatively young directors like Mamoru Hosoda and Makoto Shinkai feature the supernatural in all its intimate and archetypal forms, Studio Ghibli, in an almost been-there-done-that gesture has instead turned its gaze elsewhere, this time into the imperfect past as opposed to the fantastical present. Based on a girls’ manga illustrated by Chizuru Takahashi and written by Tetsurou Sayama and serialised in 1980, From Up on Poppy Hill is an unabashedly old-fashioned feel-good straight out of … (read more)
Children Who Chase Lost Voices From Down Below is screening around the country at the Reelanime Festival 13-26 September. Please check the website for session times.
Children Who Chase Lost Voices From Down Below might seem like an unnecessarily long title, (let’s be honest, like all of them seem to be) but director-writer Makoto Shinkai still hasn’t lost his ability to tell a poignant and entertaining story. This feature is, deep in its depths, about grief and acceptance, a tale … (read more)
Berserk: Egg of the King (Golden Age Arc part 1) is screening at the Madman Reelanime Festival, 13-26 September. Check the website for screening times at a city near you.
Okay, I’m going to say this once and only once – be warned. If you’re already familiar with the original 1997 anime series then you’ll be aware that it is, possibly beyond all expectation, a surprisingly gripping story. If you’re not already a fan and just thought you’d check … (read more)
Wolf Children screens nationwide at Reelanime, 13th – 26th of September. Check the website for session times.
You could probably be forgiven for wondering whether you’re watching a secret project of Hayao Miyazaki’s in Mamoru Hosoda’s new animated feature film Wolf Children. His sweet-bordering-on-saccharine domestic fable about two siblings gifted with the tendency to turn into wolves shares many a standard “Ghiblism” – the quaint rural setting to which the family escapes the stress of urban life; the … (read more)
I almost wasn’t going to review this film – what I have to say about it is hardly the kind of thing that is going to make you want to see it (at least, that’s what I’m assuming). But then again, I thought, in the interests of full disclosure, why not talk about it? After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right? As so many of the reviews around seem to attest.
I wouldn’t go so far as … (read more)
The blockbuster horror movie, much like the blockbuster action movie, is a genre from which you can, and most certainly should, expect certain things. And, yes that does mean taking the good (things lurking around in the dark, people dying horribly and spectacular man-monster showdowns preferably involving explosions and/or heavy machinery) with the bad (contrived plot devices, stereotyped characters, average dialogue and predictable developments). When you know what you’re in for and the good balances out the bad, well, surely … (read more)
Sometimes I wonder if I read film titles too literally. Take Inseparable by Chinese-American director Dayyan Eng (Waiting Alone, Bus 44) for example. Who is inseparable? What is? Is Eng talking about the couple in the film, or the main character and his new and slightly loopy friend? Or maybe he means to imply that the main character is inseparable from the experiences that make him human, or that all of us are inseparable from the systems within … (read more)