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13 Tzameti (2005)
9/10
Unbelievable tension
14 April 2006
A very impressive debut film by a young french filmmaker. What starts out initially as a seemingly simple tale soon turns into a twisted thriller. The amount of tension this film builds is incredible. You'll be hooked. The black and white filming fits perfectly. I gives the film a different edge that I don't think would have been the same had it been filmed in color.

On a side note, I thought the lead actor, besides having an uncanny resemblance to James Franco, did a solid job. His emotions came across as very believable, and not forced.

This film is highly recommended. Be sure to avoid spoilers.
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Hostel (2005)
9/10
Eli Roth redeems himself with the kick-ass Hostel
17 September 2005
I was one of those people that hated everything about Cabin Fever. I wasn't anticipating Eli Roth's next film, but when I heard the Internet buzz around Hostel, and found it was showing at the 2005 TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), I decided to check it out.

Eli Roth, who was at the screening, mentioned to the audience that this was the first public viewing in North America. He also told us what we were about to see was a work in progress print of the film. What I saw was one hell of a fierce horror flick that works on every level.

All the actors do a great job in this flick. I was especially impressed with Jay Hernandez, and Derek Richardson, two relatively unknown actors. There are a lot of funny scenes, and dialog in the early parts of the film. It's not that slapstick, forced stuff that was so prevalent in Cabin Fever. There also lots of nudity in the early parts in the film as well. When things begin to turn towards horror, you truly feel the sense of terror the characters are going through. The build up to the climax is just done so well. I loved the fact the story is very believable.

Make no mistake about it, this is a violent, sick, and gory flick. It's not for the squeamish. I haven't seen this type of extreme violence in a North America mainstream cinema. The Takashi Miike, and Asian Cinema influences are clearly seen here.

This is a film that will shock people, and remain in there heads well after the film is over. It will be interesting to see how the film is edited, and rated. In it's current state, I don't see how it could get anything less than the dreaded NC-17 rating. I just hope that it's not butchered too much, as the audience deserves to see the film how it was intended. Eli Roth has completely redeemed himself for what I thought was a very poor film in Cabin Fever, and has made one kick-ass horror film.
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10/10
Amazing Spanish thriller!
22 July 2005
One of the best thrillers I have ever seen. This film keeps you captivated until the very last frame. Darío Grandinetti is truly chilling as Ramón. Goya Toledo as Laura is superb as well. Portrayals of the mind of a killer simply don't get better than this.

This film avoids every Hollywood cliché you could imagine. Everything that happens in this film is cohesive. Nothing outrageous is added just for thrills. This is such a smart film. Truly great writing and directing on display here.

This is another amazing example of how superior foreign made thrillers are compared to American thrillers. Don't miss this if you ever get the chance to see this Spanish gem. Beautifully done!
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Sky Blue (2003)
Stunning animation
6 July 2004
I was completely hooked from the opening sequence, which is breathtaking. I'm not sure if I've scene a better combination of traditional 2D animation, and 3D animation in an animated film. It's simply stunning (My jaw literally dropped during of some the scenes). This movie is worth seeing just for the visuals alone. The story is by no means amazing, but it was good enough to keep me interested. It definitely could have been better, but it didn't stop from really enjoying this film. I should point out that I viewed the original Korean language English subtitled "Wonderful Days", and not the English Dubbed "Sky Blue".

8 out of 10. Korean animation has a bright future.
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Love Object (2003)
Promising debut feature from Robert Parigi
9 May 2004
"Love Object" is a very effective, disturbing dark comedy/horror. It reminded be a lot of another really good, independent horror film called "May". Desmond Harrington has never been this good. It's a top notch performance. Rip Thorn is a great as the boss. The acting performances overall are very good in this film. They really take a taboo subject (can't think of any other film that centers around a sex doll), and make a good story. Robert Parigi's first foray into film making is off to a promising start. He's a writer/director to watch. I will admit that I had a bit of a problem with how the film ended, but I didn't derail my enjoyment of the film. This is recommend to anyone who's tired of the cliché Hollywood horror films, and whats to see something a lot more stimulating, and thought provoking.
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7/10
Solid Batman animated film
22 November 2003
An enjoyable Batman animated film. Not on par with "Return of the Joker" or "Mask of the Phantasm", but solid nonetheless. I liked how the movie kept you guessing as to who Batwoman was. There was nice twist. Nice action sequences. I've always been of the opinion that the Batman cartoons are better then any of the pitiful Batman live action film sequels. The trend continues here.

7.5 out of 10
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8/10
Refreshing
5 October 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Let me start of by saying that it's very refreshing to see an American movie starring Asian American actors. There simply isn't a enough of this.

Better Luck Tomorrow is another solid independent movie that is somewhat derailed or should I say lowered by the un conclusive ending. I think it was ironic that it was Ben committed such a violent act. I thought it would of been Virgil or Han. I'm not really sure that I bought into the fact that his character was capable of that as he hadn't shown any violent tendencies previously in the film. His character was pretty calm, and low key. Anyway, the film has very good acting performances from relative unknowns. I was enchanted with the actress that plays Stephanie. This was apparently her introducing role, and I think she has a bright future. The actor that played Ben was very good as well. In all, a very good film. I really liked the direction of Mr. Lin. He's one to watch. By far, the best movie that MTV films has been associated with.
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Underworld (2003)
Underworld rocks!!!
22 September 2003
Sure the movie may borrow from likes of The Matrix, The Crow, Blade, Dark City, etc, but the bottom line is it that it's very entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed the film. I really don't understand why most critics have bashed Underworld. I loved the plot, the action, everything. I really liked the fact that is very dark, and serious. No stupid character is thrown in this movie for comic relief. I found the story to be original in it's own right. Kate Beckinsale did a great job. She's a very believable female action star, unlike those who will remain nameless (who would of thought). I look forward to the sequel.
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Nine Queens (2000)
9/10
Hollywood take note (yeah, right)!!!
31 August 2003
One the better heist movies of movies that I've seen. This is very clever movie, and it doesn't bang you over the head with any of those ridiculous subplots or plot twist in your typical Hollywood heist movie (Unlike some Hollywood films that think they're clever, but there not). I found the ending to be a great surprise, and very rewarding. I didn't see that coming at all. This might the first film I've seen from Argentina, and I'm very impressed. This a foreign indy gem, and it deserves to be seen.
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Narc (2002)
An Indy gem!
5 January 2003
This is a great cop movie. An intelligent story, with great performances by Jason Patrick, and Ray Liotta. Liotta's performance is Oscar worthy. I don't think he's ever been better. I really loved that all out grit, no holds barred feel of the movie. Narc has some the best uses of flash backs I've ever seen in a movie. Don't mistake this movie for the typical Hollywood trash cop films. This great stuff. There's nothing like a great Indy film. Not sure if I'll see better cop film this year. Joe Carnahan is a talented film maker. This was the first Carnahan film I've seen. Look forward to seeing is other films. Narc is hands down one of the best films of the year!
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