Tigers Are Not Afraid (Vuelven) (2017)

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Image via miff.com.au

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Based on the real problem of children left vulnerable when their parents are captured or killed by Mexican drug cartels, Issa López’s horror take is cast primarily with child actors who do a decent job of carrying the story. Integrating fable-like elements and some competent special effects, the result is engaging although somewhat marred by sentimentality. Continue reading

Chris the Swiss (2018)

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3.5_orange_sm

Although unalike in style and purpose, this inventive blend of animation, interviews and live footage reminds me of Laurie Anderson’s Heart of a Dog in its approach to subjective documentary. Filmmaker and animator Anja Kofmel creates a story around her cousin Christian Würtenberg, who was a journalist and sometime mercenary, killed under mysterious circumstances in Croatia in the early 90s. Continue reading

Beast (2017)

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Image via miff.com.au

3.5_orange_sm

British TV director Michael Pearce does a more than decent job with his first feature. Like the best of British crime dramas, it takes its time to build the characters and the premise, has some top-notch actors, makes good use of the Jersey landscape and genuinely keeps you guessing right up until the end. Continue reading