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6:30 PM on 08.04.2014

Fantasia Review: WolfCop

Puns are a lot more interesting than most people give them credit for. While they're exceedingly easy to come up with and throw into literally every conversation ever, they're much harder to actually pull off. The title for t...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

12:00 PM on 08.02.2014

Fantasia Review: Live (Raivu)

To those who know it, Noboru Iguchi's name brings up a very particular image. In fact, when people with only a tangential knowledge of Japanese cinema, Iguchi's work is probably the first thing they think of. It's exactly the...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

3:00 PM on 08.01.2014

Review: Behaving Badly

If you've followed my reviews here on Flixist, you'll realize that I'm particularly drawn to smaller VOD projects in between the big releases for any bevy of reasons. Whether it's because it features pretty ladies, pretty gen...

Nick Valdez

8:00 AM on 08.01.2014

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

I should admit this outright. Whether it's the nature of my job, or the seemingly endless deluge of Marvel Studios news that we write on everyday, I've succumbed to Marvel fatigue. That's why I was instantly drawn to Guardian...

Nick Valdez

8:00 AM on 07.25.2014

Review: Hercules

I've been anticipating Hercules' release for a while now. I love Dwayne Johnson, and want to see him in more leading roles that aren't just kid films. I figure he's got the charisma and talent just buried somewhere in there a...

Nick Valdez

6:00 PM on 07.23.2014

Review: Kill Team

The war in Afghanistan is the longest military conflict in which the United States has been involved. The operation is nowhere near as successful as hoped, which is part of the reality of fighting a war in Afghanistan, a less...

Hubert Vigilla

8:00 AM on 07.18.2014

Review: The Purge: Anarchy

The Purge came and went without much fanfare. It had an interesting premise (which spawned the #CrimeDay Twitter game here on Flixist), but wasted it with a by-the-numbers home invasion film. When The Purge: Anarchy was ...

Nick Valdez

1:00 PM on 07.17.2014

Review: Boyhood

12 years of shooting, watching every actor grow older and change along with the times and the styles. That's how long it took for Richard Linklater to create a film  about life (a boy's life to be precise). Many films ha...

Matthew Razak

9:00 PM on 07.15.2014

NYAFF Review: Aberdeen

You never know what you’re going to get from a Pang Ho-Cheung film. In 2010, you got an ultraviolent slasher with Dream Home. In 2012, you got uproarious sex comedy Vulgaria. Before and between, you’ve got any oth...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

3:00 PM on 07.12.2014

NYAFF Review: Firestorm 3D

I wish I’d seen Firestorm 3D a week and a half earlier. In my review of The White Storm, I talked extensively about expectations. The film had been sold as X and turned out to be Y, which was good bu...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

7:00 PM on 07.11.2014

NYAFF Review: Cold Eyes

Some of my favorite movies are ones that make me want to go and do something after the lights come up. Some films make me want to travel the world or shave my head or something. Others take professions and make them seem so m...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

8:00 AM on 07.11.2014

Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

When a prequel to Planet of the Apes was first announced, it seemed like yet another cynical cash in. Yet Rise of the Planet of the Apes tried its hardest to prove everyone wrong with top notch visuals, acting, and score. Alt...

Nick Valdez

6:00 PM on 07.10.2014

NYAFF Review: Silent Witness

Before the screening of Silent Witness, it was introduced as an example of what mainstream Chinese filmmaking is like in the modern era. Many of the films that play at the New York Asian Film Festival fit into some sort of ni...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

8:00 PM on 07.08.2014

NYAFF Review: Why Don't You Play in Hell?

Last year, Japan Cuts played Sion Sono's Bad Film, a project filmed back in 1995 but not finished until 2012. In my non-review of the film, I unequivocally called it a masterpiece, and I stand by every word. It is a labo...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

11:00 AM on 07.08.2014

Review: Deliver Us From Evil

In all my years seeing movies, I don’t think I’ve seen a collective shrug quite like the one my theater experienced upon leaving Deliver Us From Evil. A passive gesture of that magnitude could only have been ...

Mike Cosimano

4:00 PM on 07.07.2014

NYAFF Review: R100

Thanks to R100, we know the proper recipe for a shirt: 24 hours in a slow-cooker, with red wine sauce, celery and carrots. Not because the film involves shirt eating (not directly at least), but because it forced Twitch found...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

1:00 PM on 07.06.2014

NYAFF Review: Fuku-chan of FukuFuku Flats

Japanese comedies have a reputation for being wild and crazy. Let me rephrase that, Japanese movies have a reputation for being wild and crazy. And there's truth to that argument. Japanese films are – on the whole &ndas...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

12:00 PM on 07.05.2014

NYAFF Review: The Eternal Zero

The Eternal Zero is one of the biggest blockbusters ever released in Japan. A tale of the World War II from the viewpoint of the fighter pilots who took on the American forces. An ostensibly epic tale celebrating... some...

Alec Kubas-Meyer

12:00 PM on 07.04.2014

NYAFF Review: The White Storm

Before the screening of As the Light Goes Out, NYAFF co-founder/the world’s greatest salesman Grady Hendrix made a pitch for people to stay for The White Storm, the film that was playing immediately afterward. He descri...

Alec Kubas-Meyer



NYAFF Review: As the Light Goes Out photo
NYAFF Review: As the Light Goes Out
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

There’s something uniquely fascinating about firefighters. When they arrive on a scene, they aren’t armed to the teeth and ready to take down some villain; they are there to save lives. That’s pretty much their entire job. Whether that is by putting out fires so they don’t spread, running into burning buildings to find people trapped in the blaze, or bringing kittens down from high up branches so little old ladies don’t die from loneliness, they are there for the sole purpose of minimizing body count.

This doesn’t make them better than police officers or soldiers or other armed forces, but when the bad guy is thick smoke, no one is going to think about its family when it is ultimately taken down. No one feels bad for a fire. There is only the heroism of the people who stop it.

As the Light Goes Out taps into that heroism, although its portrayal of the people beneath the helmets isn’t always the most sympathetic.

[For the next month, we will be covering the 2014 New York Asian Film Festival and the Japan-centric Japan Cuts. Click here for more information, and check back here and here for all of the Asian film coverage you can shake a stick at.]

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NYAFF Review: Top Star photo
NYAFF Review: Top Star
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

When one of NYAFF's programmers introduced Top Star, he said that it was surprising that this was Park Joong-hoon's directorial debut. Park has worked as an actor in the Korean film industry for 28 years, but this is his first time behind the camera. Over the years, he has starred in around 40 films, and has clearly amassed a wealth of knowledge about both the life of an actor and also what goes into the production of a film. The programmer called its style impressive and confident, the kind of thing you only see after a filmmaker has hit their stride.

Written as a combination of fiction and fact from his own experiences and those of friends, it definitely feels like a project from a more established director. But Park himself prefaced the film by saying he's not really a fan. He says there are problems with it and he sees many places where it could have been improved.

While I think I liked it more than he did, I tend to agree.

[For the next month, we will be covering the 2014 New York Asian Film Festival and the Japan-centric Japan Cuts. Click here for more information, and check back here and here for all of the Asian film coverage you can shake a stick at.]

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Review: Tammy photo
Review: Tammy
by Matthew Razak

Tammy is a film you really want to be good. An almost entirely female led cast in a raunchy comedy is still a rarity despite Bridesmaids showing us all it can be done successfully. This is the kind of movie we need to diversify the comedy scene and give us something else than Judd Apatow and Wayans brothers films.

That is it would be the kind of movie if it was any good at all. Unfortunately Tammy is a complete and total mess of a film devoid of much humor and suffering from even less character development. If you name your film after its lead character she better be damn interesting and Tammy is not. 

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