Niels has written 67 reviews for films rated ★★★★½ .

  • Tetsuo: The Bullet Man

    Tetsuo: The Bullet Man

    Usually negative feedback lowers people's expectations (which is a good thing), in this case many potential viewers seemed to dismiss this film completely without even giving it a fair chance. Don't be one of these people. Tetsuo: The Bullet Man is a worthy sequel to Tsukamoto's first feature film. It bears the same charm and defects as the first Tetsuo and some very minor extra glitches, but the core is still there. An assault to the senses in pretty much…

  • My Man

    My Man

    If you're up for a slice of madness wrapped up in heavy-handed dramatics, Kumakiri created quite the masterpiece. With a superb soundtrack, two killer leads and some visual panache, Kumakiri delivers a film that has the power to linger. That is, if you can stomach the punches My Man dishes out. My Man is probably a film that only speaks to a selected audience, but if you think you're a part of that audience, you simply cannot let this film slip by. My Man is a sublime kick to the gut that screams future classic.

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  • Woman of Water

    Woman of Water

    Woman of Water is a film that stayed with me ever since the first viewing. The mix of drama and mystery is brilliantly executed. The symbolism might lack subtlety, but Sugimori goes a long way in compensating that with strong imagery that will burn itself deep in your mind. An audiovisual masterpiece bearing a strong dramatic undercurrent, it's a real shame that Sugimori hasn't made anything new ever since releasing this film

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  • Gamer


    Don't go in expecting anything serious or realistic and you might even be surprised with the satire running below the entire film. Gamer is a film perfectly tailored to my needs. If you're looking for a short, fun and action-filled film than Gamer is a prime choice. It's extremely visual, fast and without compromise. And above all, it's executed remarkably well. I wonder what the duo could do with a budget in Bay's league.

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  • Shell and Joint

    Shell and Joint

    Shell and Joint is somewhat experimental, pretty damn funny and extremely Japanese. A stylistic and comedic masterpiece that hides its wit really well, but for those who reach the end it's impossible to miss. Hirabayashi juggles around a tricky combination of elements that makes it really hard to blatantly recommend, not in the least because it hides a whopping 152-minute runtime, but if you're feeling adventurous, and you're in the mood for something different, then Shell and Joint won't disappoint. Fingers crossed this will one day become a treasured cult favorite, it would do its accolades proud.

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  • Fireworks


    Fireworks is a real delight. It's a simple, accessible film with enough unique elements to keep you surprised and interested. The film is the perfect showcase for Kitano's versatility. It's funny, poetic, violent and leaves you with a perfect dramatic punch in the gut that lingers long beyond the end credits. If you're new to Asian cinema, Fireworks is definitely a good starting point. If, on the other hand, you're a seasoned fan already, I cannot image you haven't seen this film yet. Should this not be the case, be sure to make it an immediate priority.

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  • Swiss Army Man

    Swiss Army Man

    It's clear this is a film people need to discover by themselves. Not everyone is going to appreciate the peculiar sense of humor on display here, but Kwan and Scheinert deliver a film that is witty, smart, well-made, pure and most of all unique. Films like these don't come around very often and even though it's probably not a guarantee for a future successful career, Swiss Army Man is a film that will be treasured by many for years to…

  • Moebius


    Reading up on the film, many have described it as a black comedy. I feel most (if not all) of the laughter is a direct result of unease with what is shown on-screen. There isn't much to laugh at really, unless it's the grotesque nature of the story that is making people laugh (much like crowds start laughing when horror films get too tense). I experienced Moebius as an extremely intense drama, a strict downwards spiral invoked by a family…

  • Kikujiro


    Kitano's humor is simple, somewhat childish and often improvised, but thanks to the typical editing and his superb comical body language it works wonders. The dramatic climax is beautiful, the overarching atmosphere relaxing. And what truly lifts the entire film above itself is Hisaishi's superb soundtrack. Kikujiro no Natsu is a lovely little road movie that I can recommend wholeheartedly to everyone willing to have a try. It's not my favorite Kitano, but that's just because he's made so many good films to choose from.

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  • The Clone Returns Home

    The Clone Returns Home

    The Clone Returns Home is one of the most impressive dramatic films I've seen in a long time. If you're looking for clear-cut answers or simple plot progression this is not a film for you. If you're looking for action or sentimental drama, stay clear. But when you're in for a prime example of Japanese drama set to a sci-fi background you're in for a real big treat. It lingers, it surprises, it impresses, and it'll leave you in a daze. Absolutely stunning stuff, definitely recommended.

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  • The Tenants Downstairs

    The Tenants Downstairs

    It's stylish, classy, funny and revolting. The acting is top-notch, the film looks incredible and the soundtrack adds a lot of atmosphere. I'm thoroughly impressed by this Ko/Tsuei collaboration, especially in this particular writer/director configuration. I truly hope they continue to work together. That said, The Tenants Downstairs is a tough recommend, as it might not do well with people expecting a traditional horror film, while at the same time some of the more dubious plot points might turn away…

  • Sparrow


    Hardcore To fans might find themselves on shaky grounds with Sparrow when they are expecting another gritty action adventure, but all those with a love for cinema should at least try this film. To's passion for the job shows in every single scene, choice and detail. Sparrow has a very particular and unique flow and knows to charm from start to finish. And to top it all, it boasts one of the most stunning finales ever seen on film. I can only hope To's box of tricks hasn't been emptied yet.

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