REVIEW: Un couteau dans le coeur [Knife+Heart] [2018]

“She’s playing with real life” Anne Parèze (Vanessa Paradis) has ruined her love. What she’s done to push Loïs (Kate Moran) away is unknown, but her desperation ensures we know she was dumped and not the dumper. Whatever happened hasn’t soured their relationship completely, however. Loïs still cares enough about Anne as a person and […]

FANTASIA19 REVIEW: 白蛇:緣起 [Baishe: Yuanqi] [White Snake] [2019]

“Do you ever have to do what you don’t want to do?” Filmmakers Amp Wong, Ji Zhao (directors), and Damao (screenwriter) have taken the Chinese fable Legend of the White Snake and reformatted it into a prequel/remake with sequel possibilities (if a mid-credits sequence is any indication). The concept of reincarnation keeps the characters the […]

REVIEW: Anastasia [1997]

“In the dark of the night she’ll be gone” In a fantasy world where royalty was adored as idyllically benevolent leaders thinking only about how to protect and serve their people, the Romanovs were betrayed by the evil Rasputin (Christopher Lloyd) who subsequently consorted with the Devil to wield dark magic powerful enough to curse […]

REVIEW: Last Night [1998]

“Would it hurt you to play along just once?” The cause might be unnamed, but the fact it’s still sunny at midnight guarantees the giant star at the center of our solar system is going supernova (whether or not physics deems it possible). Because all life on Earth will cease in a predetermined instant, you […]

REVIEW: สุดเสน่หา [Sud sanaeha] [Blissfully Yours] [2002]

“I feel like hitting someone” After witnessing the arrest of two young Burmese women while shooting his previous film in Bangkok, Apichatpong Weerasethakul decided to create a new work depicting the political injustice caused by growing tensions between Thailand’s government and illegal immigrants. Because those familiar with his oeuvre know he’s built his career upon […]

REVIEW: Ophelia [2019]

“Why do the hens peck at you?” A lover distraught and driven to madness after her father’s murder at the hand of the man she loves, himself destined to die by order of his uncle: Denmark’s unjust and power-hungry king. This is Ophelia’s fate within William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, a woman used to mourn and incite […]

REVIEW: Always Be My Maybe [2019]

“Kale can’t hold on forever” The premise is familiar. Two childhood best friends of the opposite sex lose touch after growing up only to find themselves in close proximity again almost two decades later. One became a huge success elsewhere while the other remained home and thus without much opportunity for escaping that neighborhood’s limited […]

REVIEW: Doubles vies [Non-Fiction] [2019]

“An infinite minority” You know when you go to a get-together and the conversation inevitably turns to current affairs for which everyone has a fringe understanding? So rather than provide true opinions, they simply start regurgitating what they’ve read on the subject. Most times their content doesn’t even come from a primary source because we’ve […]

REVIEW: The Wedding Planner [2001]

“Dark tower demolished” I shouldn’t be surprised that my nineteen-year old self wasn’t a fan of The Wedding Planner when it came out. Romantic comedies weren’t my genre of choice and I surely didn’t pick it upon going to the theater with friends. So I probably watched with an immovable bias, honed in on its […]

REVIEW: 江湖儿女 [Jiang hu er nü] [Ash Is Purest White] [2018]

“Armed men tend to die first” The genesis of Zhangke Jia‘s Jiang hu er nü [Ash is Purest White] is intriguing. After thinking about cut scenes from two of his earlier films starring now wife Tao Zhao (Unknown Pleasures and Still Life), he found himself merging her characters into one. He saw this woman having […]

REVIEW: Rafiki [2018]

“We’re going to be something real” Some will dismiss Wanuri Kahiu‘s Rafiki as derivative simply because they refuse to see what makes it so special. They’ll mention its Romeo and Juliet parallel as far as having the children of opposing political candidates fall in love. They’ll compare it to generic love stories—and generic gay love […]