Eugenio Mira’s second feature is a strange but rare and beautiful bird. A blend of espionage thriller, gothic romance, and fantasy, the title refers to a neurological disorder in which the brain cannot properly interpret visual and aural stimuli, and thereby cannot tell faces and voices apart.
LucasArts brings us back to a galaxy far far away and into the shoes of Darth Vader’s insubordinate apprentice Starkiller, as he grapples with Vader’s mind games, searches for his lost love and aids the fledgling rebellion.
We had a chance to see the first two episodes of the new Marvel animated series Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. The show has some big shoes to fill, but Marvel has learned from their missteps and enlisted some serious talents to help mold this show into something that can be held up with the other fantastic comic book-based animation. Marvel Studios has totally nailed it.
It has been a derivative year for games. But it’s also been a great year for games. Old material doesn’t mean a bad game, and even when titles like Darksiders were dramatically close to plagiarism, they remain some of the most enjoyable entries this year. Ninja Theory’s Enslaved is an ‘adaptation’ of one of China’s earliest exports: fables. Specifically the Journey to the West, but I would argue that it’s a more accurate ‘adaptation’ of Ubisoft’s Prince of Persia series. Even if it’s monkey see monkey do, does this monkey shine?
Sega’s console dynasty, headed by Sonic and his masterful platformers on the Genesis, is long gone. The blue rodent’s high-budget 3-D games have had mixed results at best, with the occasional disaster that few franchises could ever recover from. With that in mind, Sonic Team and Dimps – designers of Sonic’s handheld “Rush” series – have come together to create Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1. It’s the first part of what hopes to be a grand return to the series’ salad days.
Last week's episode Stargate Universe provided a nice conclusion to the cliffhanger ending of season one, but also left many issues unresolved. Things are starting to get back to normal aboard the Destiny, or at least as close to normalcy as it can get on a ship lost on the other side of the universe.
Incursion (Part 3) is the third part of the cliffhanger season one finale of SGU. Members of the Lucian Alliance have boarded the Destiny and taken members of the crew hostage. TJ (Alaina Huffman) has been shot and the life of her and her unborn child hang in the balance. The Lucian leader, Kiva, has also been shot in the struggle, leading to tension amongst the guerrillas. With their leader incapacitated, Kiva's subordinates begin to squabble over the leadership of the group, with one sect wanting to treat the Destiny's crew humanely and the other opting to just kill them all.
Spider-Man has been lucky. Even on Peter Parker’s worst day his games are typically playable, and on his best day his games grow to become the finest titles for that particular console. So where does Spider-Man: Shattered Dimension fit in? Does this no-strings-attached swing at the spectacular webslinger pay off, or does Shattered Dimensions snap under the pressure?
As much as I always loved the first Fubar movie, I was very skeptical when I found out they were premiering the sequel at this year’s festival. To mix metaphors, I thought they were returning to the well to milk a dead cow. Fortunately there was enough water left in the well to keep the cow alive and ready to be milked for our viewing pleasure once again!
Director Wuershan’s feature debut, The Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman is pretty much the epitome of a Midnight Madness film. A combination of period film, slapstick comedy, food film, love story, martial arts film and revenge thriller, with objects, images, and a contemporary soundtrack constantly being thrown at the audience, this is a film that should not work, but somehow it does.
In a strange alternative past set during China’s Tang Dynasty, a woman is about to ascend to the Emperor’s throne. She has ordered that a great Buddha statue be built in her likeness, and it must be ready for her coronation. But on a tour for a visiting dignitary, a high-ranking official mysteriously burns from the inside out. The soon-to-be-empress, Wu Zetian, tells her most trusted warrior, the beautiful lady Shangguan Jing’er, to bring back Detective Dee, who has been jailed by Wu for daring to oppose her, to solve the mystery.
The Illusionist is director Sylvain Chomet's follow-up to the hugely successful The Triplets of Belleville, and while he is able to top his previous efforts' aesthetic beauty and craftsmanship, the story is perhaps too subtle and minimal to really draw viewers in.
A recent trend in horror and science fiction films is examining the world not in the midst of disaster, but once it has begun to adjust to the aftermath of a disaster. This can lead to some very interesting examinations of contemporary issues. Winner of the Cadillac People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award, Jim Mickle’s Stake Land is set in a future that includes vampires. But these are not sparkly vampires, nor ones that have souls. These are vampires are little more than animals, and like George A. Romero’s zombie film series, society must adapt to the new world order.
Directed by Bruce McDonald (Roadkill, Hard Core Logo, Pontypool), Trigger tells the story of Vic (Tracy Wright) and Kat (Molly Parker), childhood friends who once had an extremely successful rock band until on stage argument signaled their demise. Ten years later, Kat works in the music industry in Los Angeles and Vic is still in Toronto. Kat returns home to attend a benefit concert and convinces Vic to accompany her. Through the evening, the two women battle each other and their inner demons. Which of them is happy? Can you go back to where you were or are some bridges burnt beyond repair?
Korean cinema has churned out its fair share of revenge thrillers, chief among them being Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy. Kim Ji-Woon’s I Saw the Devil might not be as good as these films, but it is a solid revenge thriller that abandons any pretence of satisfaction and keeps piling on the tragedy.