RSS feed for Niels
  • Detention

    Detention

    ★★★½

    Pretty weird, insane and over-the-top horror/comedy. Not really a fan of the American high school setting, but the absurd comedy, the bloody slasher elements and the exuberant presentation make this a damn fun and entertaining film. Probably too weird for many, but it has everything to be a worthy cult hit.

  • Dolittle

    Dolittle

    ★★½

    Amusing adventure flick. The comedy is a little cheesy, the plot quite flimsy and Downey feels a bit stiff, but some decent set pieces and a general light-heartedness make this a pretty easy film to sit through. It's also rather short, which is always a relief with these kinds of blockbusters. Not as bad as I'd feared.

  • Dead Kids

    Dead Kids

    ★★★½

    Charming little film about a couple of unpopular boys planning to kidnap one of the school bullies. Mikhail Red's direction is solid, the film looks very nice and the action is on point. It's maybe a bit too plain to be a real stand-out feature, but Red is clearly growing as a director. Solid genre work and very nice filler.

  • 8

    8

    ★★★½

    A very solid horror flick. The execution is stylish and on point, the actors do a good job and the local (South-African) folklore gives it a little extra shine. It's never truly creepy or tense, but overall the film is pretty atmospheric and there are definitely some memorable scenes here. A very fun and welcome discovery.

  • Brahms: The Boy II

    Brahms: The Boy II

    ★★

    Pointless and soulless sequel. I quite liked Bell's first film, but at least that one had something new to bring to the table. This is little more than a feeble haunted doll flick. Some decent scenes at the end, but the entire run-up to the finale is tame and derivative. And even though they left the door open for a third film, let's hope Bell will go on to direct something better.

  • DRIVE

    DRIVE

    ★★★★

    Drive is a film that has aged quite gracefully. Stylistically it's clear this is a film from a bygone era, but Tanaka's superb sense of humor, several stand-out performances and a couple of very memorable scenes make Drive worth your while. It's an extremely solid entry in Tanaka's rich oeuvre and it's a shame this film isn't more readily available for people who might be interested. I had a lovely time revisiting Drive and I really hope there will come a day when I can finally plug this hole in my collection. Well recommended, if you can find the film that is.

    Full review:
    www.onderhond.com/blog/drive-review-hiroyuki-tanaka

  • First Love

    First Love

    ★★★½

    Slightly disappointing, especially considering all the hype. The film feels a little tepid and too streamlined for a Miike film. There isn't enough craziness, there is too much focus on plot and it's just a little monotone. It's not a bad film really, but within Miike's oeuvre it is quickly eclipsed by much better films.

  • Pop Skull

    Pop Skull

    ★★★★★

    Films like these don't come around too often, so they should be treasured. It's a difficult film to recommend as it's not really your average drama that can be enjoyed with a bucket of popcorn and a couple of handkerchiefs on hand. Pop Skull is an intense experience that will take you to rather unpleasant places in a pretty bold yet straightforward manner, but when it hits you the effect is tremendous. It's the kind of cinema I like and love.

    Full review:
    www.onderhond.com/blog/pop-skull-review-adam-wingard

  • Lock Me Up, Tie Him Down

    Lock Me Up, Tie Him Down

    ★★★½

    Fun and quirky little thriller. A less overt comedy from Jeffrey Lau this time around, but apparently that's not really an issue for this seasoned director. Solid performances from Vivian Hsu and Bo-lin Chen, pleasant pacing and snappy editing make this an entertaining film. A lovely and likable filler flick.

  • Lust for Love of a Chinese Courtesan

    Lust for Love of a Chinese Courtesan

    ★★★

    Not long ago I completely dismissed Yuen Chor's ability to do romance, now I have to retrace my steps. In a typical history/Shaw Bros setting, it appears Chor can work his magic. De mix of romance and action is solid, the film looks nice enough and the drama actually hits. An interesting experiment that is a lot classier than I expected it to be.

  • Table 19

    Table 19

    ★★½

    The potential is there in the beginning, with a varied cast of quirky characters all gathered around the losers table at a wedding. But then the film gets swamped by poor drama, made worse by the cheesy ending. Actors like Robinson, Merchant and Kudrow keep the film from becoming a total disaster, but this could've been so much better.

  • Promare

    Promare

    ★★★★★

    This film has everything I hoped for in a second Imaishi feature. Promare is bonkers, hyperactive, grotesque and madcap, a dream come true for those who chase adrenaline cinema, executed in such a way that it oozes unbridled quality and creativity. I'm a little afraid we won't see anything like it in years to come, although the somewhat surprising popularity of this film may put some gears in motion. Whatever happens next though, Imaishi made another masterpiece. I can't say I'm surprised, but I sure am relieved.

    Full review:
    www.onderhond.com/blog/promare-review-hiroyuki-imaishi