At times I questioned the decision to make a feature about a monster hunter without the budget to actually depict scenes of monster hunting—but "The Head Hunter" does a lovely job of filling in the gaps with small details and evocative world building. And at 74 minutes, this isn't quite feature-length, more of a 'proof of concept' for the film (or series) you wish director Jordan Downey had been able to make. Intimate, grounded low-fantasy movies are in short supply, so while this is no "Black Angel," it certainly deserves the small following it's cultivated online.
A mysterious sickness; a knight's household in disrepair; a young and pure maiden in thrall to a seemingly undead warrior cloaked in black. Yes, "Black Angel" delivers precisely what you'd hope from a medieval fantasy short film by the art director of "Alien"—a visually lush, incredibly ahead-of-its-time window into a distant and mythic age. Roger Christian cites Tarkovsky as an influence and that's evident; even so, the 25 minute runtime flies by, leaving you hungry for a feature-length exploration of…
"But I love silence. I love loneliness. And they—they are in me. Their strength, warmth. They're soft, they're soft." A Jungian fever dream of life in the urban jungle. Pop psychology, sexual repression, and marital regrets stir in the film that kicked off Val Lewton's string of RKO greats. Might be the most effective use of light, shadow, and fog in the history of its genre. The Criterion Blu-ray looks incredible.
Stretching a $40 million budget to look like it's $200 million up on the screen is probably the closest Michael Bay will ever get to guerrilla filmmaking, but it's a good look for him: a simple premise of 'bank heist gone wrong turns into one long getaway—and a really bad day' fuels one of the most relentless, chugga-chugga thrillers we've seen since Tony Scott's "Unstoppable."
It was easy for haters to hate when a movie like "Transformers: Revenge of the…