At the conclusion of Gantz (2010), college student Kei Kurono (Kazunari Ninomiya) found himself at a crossroads. After being swept up in some kind of strange contest with other people recruited apparently at the point of death, Kurono fought in the service of a large black ball called Gantz, battlingRead More →

Some films get talked about because of the quality of their scripts or power of their performances. Some films get talked about because of the technical razzle-dazzle on display or the beauty of the imagery. Then you get films like what is perhaps the most talked-about film of the year,Read More →

Richard Ayoade is a British comic actor best known for his work in TV series such as Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace and, most prominently, as supernerd “Moss” in The IT Crowd. However, he has also a strong sideline in directing music videos for the likes of Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs,Read More →

In the middle of the 19th century, the traditional feudal system in Japan is in decline. The Bakumatsu war has seen the shogunate replaced by a centralised Government. The nationalist forces, fighting for a brave New Age, including the legendary skills of a swordsman known as Battosai (Takeru Sato). Now,Read More →

In 2000, Kinji Fukasaku’s Battle Royale hit like a cultural bomb. Adapted from the popular novel by Koushun Takami, the film managed to be scathing social criticism, teen melodrama and ultraviolent thriller all wrapped up in one. Its timing being so close to the Columbine massacre hamstrung its potential forRead More →

On its release, Luc Besson’s ambitious sci-fi extravaganza The Fifth Element was divisive, being lambasted by some critics while lauded by others. In retrospect, this is hardly surprising as it remains desperately short of its ambitions, but is certainly so jam-packed with ideas that some were always going to miss the mark…whileRead More →

Luc Besson has become a name best known for directing and producing action fare. But back in 1985, he was a little-known filmmaker with one dialogue-less feature to his name (the post-apocalyptic The Last Battle). With this minimal backdrop, he created the film that would make his first major mark andRead More →

Michael Peterson – better known by his bare-knuckle boxing name of Charles Bronson – is perhaps the most notorious prisoner in Great Britain. Originally arrested for the armed robbery of a post office in 1974, he has spent during the intervening years a mere 122 days outside of prison walls.Read More →

After the debacle and traumatic birth of Alien 3, it was 1995’s nihilistic Se7en that launched the career of former music video maker David Fincher and the film itself remains hugely influential. From the endless rain and dark interiors to the scratchy and almost tactile opening credits, the shadow of Se7en lies heavy across horrorRead More →

It is no secret that Dario Argento has failed to meet rabid expectations for a long time now. After a string of terrific flicks in the 70s and early 80s elevated him to the highest echelon of genre directors, anticipation has greeted his every release. But since some time inRead More →

There are many films that underperformed on their initial release, only to find an audience with subsequent home video or DVD releases. Bladerunner and The Thing are two such examples, as is another 80s movie…Withnail & I. Released in 1987, Bruce Robinson’s Withnail & I made little impact at the box office, but over time hasRead More →

Anime series tend to have a dedication to an inherent mythology that Western shows – with the exception of outings such as Lost – cannot measure up to. They also tend to be steadily paced, with answers coming on a progressive basis, rather than all of the exposition crammed up front. Darker ThanRead More →

Chang-yi Park (Byung-hun Lee) is a dangerous killer obsessed with his reputation, hired to steal a mysterious treasure map from a train in pre-World War II Manchuria. When the heist is foiled by a bounty hunter (Woo-sung Jung), oddball thief Tae-goo Yoon (Kang-ho Song) escapes with the map. Things quicklyRead More →