A captured bank robber is forced to retrieve a kidnapped woman for a gang boss. A post-apocalyptic samurai/western hybrid, using a Mad Max/Escape from New York structure for all kinds of digressions. It doesn’t all work (the script is the culprit here), but it looks great in a neon Terry Gilliam kinda way, and everyone seems to be having fun.
Three middle-aged former martial arts students reunite to investigate the killing of their mentor. Straightforward but charming low-budget comedy with action elements: clearly a labour of love, there’s plenty to appreciate here, so the prospect of more from this writer-director is an appealing one.
A young engineer is recruited to help steal a priceless artefact from an impregnable bank. Slick, good-looking and well-directed but very straightforward heist flick. A decent cast of character actors help, but there’s the sense of an opportunity missed here.
In an alt-America where witchcraft is both real and outlawed by the Constitution, a family works to protect witches. Somewhat awkward allegory with some strong ideas that it doesn’t quite know what to do with. Worth your time, though not for everyone: not the genre pic it first appears.
An LA slacker investigates a neighbour’s disappearance: he soon spirals into a web of conspiracy. In the overlap of the Hitchcock / Pynchon / Paul Thomas Anderson Venn diagram, this 2011-set shaggy dog neo-noir is more a vibe than a movie: there’s indulgent pleasures along the way, but don’t expect a cohesive story.
A remote Oregon truffle hunter journeys to the city – Portland – to find his stolen pig. Excellent drama about loss disguised as an existentialist thriller. Cage is on fine meditative form, and sensitive and clever writing and direction are in evidence throughout. Highly recommended.
A hitwoman becomes embroiled in an escalating series of double-crosses when a job goes awry. Stylised John Wick-ish action comedy squandering an excellent cast on a cliched script, and on a baffling series of distancing techniques rendering the flick good-looking (and sounding) but empty, flat and uninvolving.
Four schoolfriends are trapped in an underwater ruin. Passable teen-oriented thematic sequel. Doesn’t have the singular purpose of its predecessor, and too much is demanded of an inexperienced cast. No great shakes in the scares department, either, though subgenre fans will have an at least passable time.
Vacationing sisters who take a shark-viewing excursion become trapped underwater. Straightforward and effective survival thriller with horror elements. Does what it can to explore the boundaries of its premise: a sequel soon followed.
A chartered seaplane’s crew and passengers are menaced by sharks. Straightforward at-sea survival thriller typical of the subgenre. Decent location and effects work offers production value, and the flick doesn’t drag matters out. No surprises, however.