Film Review: Last Laugh

★★★☆☆ – What the film lacks in medium it makes up for in content, providing a micro-budgeted look at family fun and heartache in equal measure.

It’s clear from the outset that Last Laugh has been made on an amateur budget, and whilst that’s not always a bad thing, there’s a problem with quality that’s hard to ignore. An occasionally overbearing soundtrack and subpar picture can detract from what at its core is a charming comedy.

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Film Review: The Road to Mandalay

★★★☆☆ – Whilst very slow, the film’s ending pushes all previous notions of boredom to one side, and makes use of the dark tone perpetuated throughout.

Describing The Road to Mandalay as a ‘slow-burner’ feels almost inappropriate. There’s slow, and then there’s stagnated – which Midi Z’s film runs the risk of falling into with each stilted scene during the first hour or so. Using elongated silences and subtlety to convey meaning rather than outright action, his filming style is appropriate for its subject matter; but can often times feel flat and dis-interesting instead of thoughtful.

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Film Review: The Tiger: An Old Hunter’s Tale

★★★★☆ – Not necessarily enjoyable but entirely gripping, this film is a testament to Korean cinema, balancing duty and emotion with a deft hand.

As devastating as it is beautiful, The Tiger: An Old Hunters Tale is a face-off of epic proportions. Walking the line between life and death too many times to count, Hoon-jung Park has crafted a truly touching insight into an old hunter’s life, and the relationship he shares with the Lord of the Mountain – a giant Korean tiger.

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Film Review: The Unseen

★★☆☆☆ – It’s a good job Gary Sinyor titled his film The Unseen, as there’s nothing to be found when it comes to an interesting and engaging plot.

Stretched out to a painful almost-two-hours and full of pointless interactions that entirely miss the mark of an intense thriller, The Unseen is a let down – even though it disguises itself as something much better for the most part.

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Film Review: TAG

★★★★☆ – A bloody mess of a film with a message written in the entrails it leaves behind.

Described upon its initial release in 2015 as ‘arthouse meets grindhouse’, ‘Alice in Wonderland meets Tokyo Gore Police’, and probably most accurately: ‘flash-trash exploitation gorefest and punchy pro-feminist action-fantasy’, TAG is clearly a film of two worlds. Though getting technical, that would be wrong – it’s a film of three.

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Film Review: Granny of the Dead

★☆☆☆☆ – Deeper problems of a lack of character development, some truly dire acting, and a haphazard approach to stylistic content override most of the good the film does.

There’s a certain breed of films, and horror films in particular, where being absolutely atrocious works directly in their favour. There to offer nothing more than an entertaining poke at the film industry, their self-aware terribleness can be taken in good humour, transcending from awful to amazing.

Granny of the Dead is not one of those films.

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Film Review: Chicken

★★★★☆ – A truly touching portrayal of family and friendship.

Chicken is one of those films that I thought I had all figured out before I had even started watching. I believed I’d be faced with a cookie-cutter drama propped up by melodramatic plot points, working in as much emotional trauma as possible to get a reaction out of its audience. But that isn’t what I got.

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