Ethan Hawks stars in the adaptation of Robert Heinlein's All You Zombies from the Spierig Brothers

‘Predestination’ – Ethan Hawke in a time travel twister on Amazon Prime

Predestination (2015) is a generic title for a perversely clever time travel tale but you can understand why The Spierig Brothers, the screen credit for filmmaking team Michael and Peter Spierig, didn’t go with the title of the famous Robert Heinlein short story they adapted. “—All You Zombies—” would give audiences the wrong idea. There […]

‘Miss Hokusai’ on Netflix

Miss Hokusai (Japan, 2015) is actually an artist from early 19th century Japan by the name of O-Ei Katsushika, a young woman who trained under her father, the legendary Japanese painter Hokusai Katsushika. Based on the biographical manga “Sarusuberi” by Hinako Sugiura, this is an episodic animated feature, like a collection of memories and vignettes […]

Karl Malden and James Franciscus in the giallo by Dario Argento

Dario Argento’s ‘Cat O’Nine Tails’ on Amazon Prime

The Cat O’Nine Tails (Italy, 1971), Dario Argento’s second feature, follows up his directorial debut The Bird With the Crystal Plumage in genre, style and “animal” theme (stretched into a trilogy with Four Flies on Gray Velvet). In Bird, Argento explores, pushes at, and plays with the mechanics of suspense and murder mystery spectacle in […]

Jackie Chan stars in the China / India co-production directed by Stanley Tong

Jackie Chan in ‘Kung Fu Yoga’ on Netflix

For Kung Fu Yoga (China, 2017), Jackie Chan returns to the Indiana Jones-inspired adventure comedy of his 1986 hit Armour of God, albeit as an older, more modest archaeologist adventurer, for this co-production between China and India. Jackie is Professor Jack Chan, ostensibly the same character he played in The Myth, who is lured back […]

Anne Hathaway stars in the giant monster movie twist by Nacho Vigalondo

‘Colossal’ – Giant monster hangover on Hulu

Colossal (2017) is the oddest and most inventive film to come out of the new wave of giant monster movies. It stars Anne Hathaway as Gloria, an out-of-work writer turned reckless party girl and black-out drunk who is kicked out of the Manhattan apartment she shares with her exasperated boyfriend (Dan Stevens) and returns to […]

Mohammad Rasoulof directs this Iranian thriller

‘Manuscripts Don’t Burn’ on Amazon Prime

What’s most startling about Mohammad Rasoulof’s Iranian thriller Manuscripts Don’t Burn (Iran, 2013, not rated, with subtitles) is its audacity. Iranian filmmakers have a history of couching their criticisms of life in Iran in metaphor. This film puts its portrait of authoritarian oppression out in the open. We open on a contract murder that plays like […]

Animated feature from France based on the graphic novels of Jacques Tardi

‘April and the Extraordinary World’ – Steampunk animated adventure on Netflix

April and the Extraordinary World (France, 2015), inspired by the graphic novels of the great French comic artist Jacques Tardi, is a steampunk adventure set in an alternate reality Paris where the World Wars never occurred, electricity was never discovered, twin Eiffel Towers anchor a direct cable-car route to Berlin, and the smoke that powers […]

Delphine Seyrig stars in Harry Kümel's elegant and sexy vampire

‘Daughters of Darkness’ on Amazon Prime

Daughters of Darkness (Belgium, 1971) – “Every woman would sell her soul to stay so young,” remarks smarmy, troubled Stefan (John Karlen) to his newlywed wife Valerie (Danielle Ouimet). He’s referring to the impeccably poised Countess Bathory (Delphine Seyrig), who sweeps into the off-season luxury hotel they previously had all to themselves, elegant and ageless, […]