Monthly Archives:

July 2018

Before We Vanish by Paul Attard Film

Good Manners | Juliana Rojas & Marco Dutra

Combining absurdist horror with social realism, Good Manners takes the werewolf fable and deconstructs it within the context of modern Brazilian society, taking into account factors of race and class that help alleviate some narrative problems in the second half. The first (much better)…

July 27, 2018
Blockbuster Beat by Lawrence Garcia Film

Unfriended: Dark Web | Stephen Susco

It could be that Stephen Susco, the first-time director of improbable horror-sequel Unfriended: Dark Web, is just a previously-undistinguished virtuoso, here aided by a team of tech wizards. More likely, it’s that the film’s text (i.e., the “dark web” of the Internet) is so…

July 20, 2018
Blockbuster Beat by Matt Lynch Film

The Equalizer 2 | Antoine Fuqua

The Equalizer provided a perfectly serviceable delivery device for bloody violence. The 2014 film starred Denzel Washington as former C.I.A. assassin-turned-neighborhood do-gooder Robert McCall, who memorably carved up, blew up, dismembered, or otherwise mangled a dozen or so bad guys in a hardware store during the film’s climax,…

July 20, 2018
by Sean Gilman Film

Men on the Dragon | Sunny Chan

Sunny Chan’s debut film, Men on the Dragon, is about four middle-aged men who work at a Hong Kong telecommunications company and signed up for a dragon boat race (basically an 18-man rowing competition), in order to woo a potential client. Since the company has been laying off…

July 18, 2018
by Sam C. Mac Film

The Looming Storm | Dong Yue

Chinese cinematographer-turned-director Dong Yue’s very, very rainy neo-noir The Looming Storm seems, for a while, like it may be doing something pretty impressive. While the film bears a great deal of resemblance to Diao Yinan’s 2014 slow-burn thriller Black Coal, Thin Ice (and in fact…

July 18, 2018
by Sam C. Mac Film

Missing Johnny | Huang Xi

The visual style of young Taiwanese director Huang Xi’s debut film, Missing Johnny, bears resemblance to the once-prominent New Wave movement established by his countrymen Hou Hsiao-hsien (who’s credited as executive producer here) and Tsai Ming-Liang, with long takes and beguilingly subtle pans that…

July 18, 2018
by Matt Lynch Film

Operation Red Sea | Dante Lam

Operation Red Sea, Hong Kong director Dante Lam’s latest military epic and follow-up to 2016’s Operation Mekong, is also loosely based on a true story: The evacuation of hundreds of foreigners and Chinese citizens from Yemen during the Yemeni Civil War. But the similarities…

July 18, 2018
In Review | Online film and music criticism