Istirahatlah Kata-kata / Solo, Solitude (2017): A poetry of growing seeds

Review: In 1996, political situation in Indonesia heated up. A turmoil involving Partai Rakyat Demokratik (PRD) – Democratic People Party – opposed authoritarian Soeharto’s regime. In aftermath of it, activists and supporters of the movement were hunted down to be silenced and wiped off from the history (possibly be killed in the process).

Wiji Thukul, a vocal anti-govt poet and an activist, was accused as the responsible one for mobilizing the masses prior to the turmoil. As a fugitive (of a war between people and govt), Wiji fled to Pontianak, Borneo – almost a thousand kilometers away from his family and hometown in Solo, Java – by himself. A weary poet is on the run by himself; in exile, he coalesces with solitude in Yosep Anggi Noen’s Solo, Solitude (a.k.a. Istirahatlah Kata-Kata). Continue reading Istirahatlah Kata-kata / Solo, Solitude (2017): A poetry of growing seeds

xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017) – Review

Review: There was once a stunt-and-steroid-heavy actioner – a Point Break-esque spectacle – called xXx in 2002. Vin Diesel, straight outta Pitch Black and The Fast and the Furious, was the center of it as Xander Cage, an adrenaline junkie and extreme sport enthusiast-turned-agent for NSA. But, the franchise seemed to be short-lived, following the disastrous second installment that crossed out Diesel’s name from the cast, substituting him with Ice Cube.

Xander Cage was pronounced dead in the 2005 sequel, but Vin Diesel has an agenda. Stepping in the producer seat, Diesel orchestrates his character’s own comeback like nothing happened in xXx: Return of Xander Cage. He turns a dormant franchise into a so-called Vin Diesel film – which draws lots of influence from his tenure in Fast and Furious series. Meaning to say: it’s going to be muscular, over-the-top, and eye-pleasing; but do not expect a story. Continue reading xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017) – Review

Patriots Day (2017) – Review

Review: In Patriots’ Day 2013, two bombs blasted off during Boston marathon, killed 3 civilians, including an 8-y.o. child and injured hundred others. Only three and a half year passes, a big-budgeted retelling of it has already made into screen, not as a kind of exploitation, but as a moving, respectful story. Patriots Day is an ode to a city survives from tragedy.

With Patriots Day, Peter Berg (Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon) has proven himself as an avid filmmaker, a specialist to craft an authentic reenactment with hearts within. There’s sympathy depicted in its dramatic docu-like pictures coupled with authentic footage and spotlights to certain people who directly involved in the tragedy. Continue reading Patriots Day (2017) – Review

Live by Night (2017) – Review

Review: As a director, Ben Affleck has displayed an adroit proficiency in crafting artfully meaningful takes of crime and drama-thriller. His directorial debut, adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s Gone Baby Gone, sets a high bar for his prowess in mood, characters, small-explosive thriller; the follow-ups, The Town and Oscar-winning, Argo, prove it. A decade after his debut, Affleck returns to Lehane, adapting a 2012 novel, Live by Night, a story of a police son turns a crime-lord during Prohibition era.

Affleck’s homage to retro gangster films is undeniably lavish; only, Live by Night, which was postponed for Batman v Superman‘s production, hasn’t been able to leave our descendants a new classic. It’s a completely a Ben Affleck’s film material, but there’s something about it (I could say it’s his ambition off-screen and on-screen, but there’s more to it), which makes it far less successful than his previous works. Continue reading Live by Night (2017) – Review

Thursday Movie Picks #2 – Fashion World

Welcome back to Thursday Movie Picks series hosted by Wandering through the Shelves! . The rules are simple: based on the theme of the week, pick three to five movies and share the reason. Should anyone be interested in joining in, feel free to visit the main page here.

This week’s theme is Fashion World. Same as Legal Thrillers last week, this theme isn’t my favorite spot. The reason is similar: too many jargons and names (of people, of brand) I barely knew before. Yet, I can still manage to pick three films about Fashion World (that I watched and found a little liking in them). Continue reading Thursday Movie Picks #2 – Fashion World

Thursday Movie Picks #1 – Legal Thrillers

Welcome back to Thursday Movie Picks series hosted by Wandering through the Shelves! I was on a year-long hiatus from this series last year, but I return as immediately as 2017 begins. Should anyone be interested in joining in, feel free to visit the main page here, where the schedule and rules are.

The theme for the first week of 2017 is: Legal Thrillers. I am not a fan of such kind of films, seriously; it often contains most sophisticated dialogues and specific terms that always got me cringed. My personal repertoire for legal thriller films is limited, but there are some wild aces that I personally like. Continue reading Thursday Movie Picks #1 – Legal Thrillers

Movie reviews, ratings, and discussions by Paskalis Damar