Posts by Phil Brown

TIFF 2014: Maps to the Stars Review

Maps to the Stars Gala From the cold, calculating, and cynical brain of David Cronenberg comes an unexpected Hollywood satire. At first, it’s jarring to see Cronenberg staging a gleefully foul mouthed and filthy comedy amidst a group of drugged up, self-obsessed, La-La-land phonies. The script from Bruce Wagner is not particularly funny, but an […]

TIFF 2014: Over Your Dead Body Review

Over Your Dead Body Vanguard It’s been a while since we’ve seen the side of Takashi Miike that’s on display in Over Your Dead Body. Miike continues to live up to his legend by making multiple films every year and including and least one sequence of toe-curlingly visceral violence. But he hasn’t trotted into the […]

TIFF 2014: Alleluia Review

Alleluia Vanguard Writer/director Fabrice Du Welz established himself a purveyor of deeply disturbing relationship studies that mutate into horror films in the 2000s with Calvaire and Vinyan. After a painfully long seven-year gap, he’s finally returned with a project that very much delivers a new twist on his old themes. Alleluia is based on the […]

Life of Crime Review

The lightweight, but fun Elmore Leonard adaptation Life of Crime should leave fans of the late author happy.

Home Entertainment Review: The Sacrament

Ti West is one of the most exciting filmmakers working in the horror genre today, so it comes as a bit of a surprise that his latest feature abandons his greatest gifts as a director for found footage schtick.

Into the Storm Review

Into the Storm might not necessarily be a “good” movie, but it is certainly a thrilling, exciting, entertaining, and impressive one.

Home Entertainment Review: Need for Speed

Need for Speed (Scott Waugh, 2014) – There are few things more thrillingly cinematic than a car chase, which is why it’s odd that so many movies based around that twisted metal movie thrill tend to be so dull. Need for Speed is a perfect example. Here’s a movie directed by a former stunt man […]

Home Entertainment Review: Under the Skin

Under The Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2014) – Jonathan Glazer’s Under The Skin is one of those visually stunning, brain-tinglingly complex, and deeply disturbing science fiction movies that were all the rage in the 70s until Star Wars. It’s an art film that never feels like homework and proof that there’s still audacious and original work […]

Home Entertainment Review: Nymphomaniac

Nymphomaniac (Lars Von Trier, 2014) – For years Lars Von Trier has threatened to smack audiences with his take on an “erotic” movie. The plucky provocateur always brought an exploitation filmmaker’s chutzpah and showmanship to his art house career, and chasing the metaphorical white whale of a serious erotic drama that porn kings and legitimate […]

Home Entertainment Review: Insomnia (1997)

  Insomnia (Erik Skjoldbjaerg, 1997) – Though sadly overshadowed by the Al Pacino and Christopher Nolan American remake, Erik Skjoldbjaerg’s Insomnia remains one of the greatest thrillers of the 90s. While Skjoldbjaerg never quite managed to deliver an adequate follow up, his directorial debut was one of the most striking of his era. It’s a […]

Home Entertainment Review: Transcendence

Transcendence (Wally Pfister, 2014) – More than anything else, Transcendence is a lesson in how tone can kill a movie. The premise is goofy, the science is half-cocked, and the message is obvious. However, it is a blockbuster, so those things wouldn’t matter quite so much if it were bright, colorful, and silly. But Transcendence […]

Home Entertainment Review: The Raid 2

The Raid 2 (Gareth Evans, 2014) – The Raid: Redemption was a wonderfully nasty little action movie that came out of nowhere to tickle the shriveled hearts of fans of blood soaked entertainment in 2011. The instant cult classic was a perfectly structured bit of B-movie bliss. A few minutes of set up, followed by […]