Allied (2016) – Review

Review: Robert Zemeckis’ new espionage romance drama, Allied, somehow soars before it even flies. Overshadowed in the heat of 2016’s most controversial celebrity divorce news between Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Allied gets all the attention with accusation that leading actress, Marion Cotillard, is Pitt’s mistress. Given the resemblances of Mr. & Mrs. Smith issue in background, coverage to Pitt-Cotillard involvement and talks about Allied is up on the sky… but not until it finally flies.

When it flies, it ejects a seemingly younger and more Quebecois Brad Pitt as Max Vatan parachuted to midst of desert. He soon joins in a lethal behind-enemy-line mission with a French femme-fatale agent, Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotillard) in the barren land of exotic French-occupied Casablanca, Morocco. Posing as a husband and wife, the feat spends too much and too intense time in this assasination mission that something more profound embarks from within them. Continue reading Allied (2016) – Review

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) – Review

Review: Expanded from an encyclopaedia of the same title and penned to screenplay by the only J.K. Rowling, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is surprisingly a fun ride to American non-pretentious wizard world, which goes much more muggle-friendly than its British counterparts in Harry Potter series.

Set in the same universe in which Harry Potter saga takes places, Fantastic Beasts goes further behind in time as it sets in 1926, decades prior to the British counterpart. At the same time, it also goes across the ocean from London to New York in America, where the adventure of Englishman named Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) straightforwardly begins. While the spin-off might present some nods to the most famous wizarding world nowadays; it never feels nostalgic nor formulaic because what’s presented here is an original tale, which enriches the existing universe with more than just trivia. Continue reading Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) – Review

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2016) – Review

Review Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk: After a succesful documented tour to Al-Ansakar Canal in Iraq during 2004 U.S invasion, the second unit known as the Bravo Squad led by Sarge David Dime (Garrett Hedlund) returns to the country as national heroes. The squad is brought for nationwide promotional tour and the country is showering the surviving members of the unit, especially the war hero Specialist William ‘Billy’ Lynn (Joe Alwyn) with praises and congratulations.

Several hours before their second tour, a national conglomerate has invited them to a football game where they’ll be honored during the halftime entertainment, which presenting the famous Destiny’s Child. Unbeknownst to most of them, this finest hour might be the hardest, the most crucial moment where Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk takes its time. Continue reading Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2016) – Review

Café Society (2016) – Review

Review: Since the acclaimed Annie Hall, writer/director/playwright/stand-up comedian, Woody Allen hasn’t stopped crafting films annually. His latest tenure, Café Society—his 47th film or 39th after his Best Director winning—is a star-studded, light romance set in the 1930s Hollywood, which bears his trademark comic elements and dialogue-heavy narrative.

Café Society bears Allen’s formulaic love story which emanates more than affection but also satire—in this case, to Hollywood as an industry and to the nature of romance itself. While the clever goofiness in Allen’s script is unarguably impressive and his attention to details in direction is astounding, it’s inevitable that, as the story goes, this Allen-esque formula fatigue embarks. Continue reading Café Society (2016) – Review

The Girl with All the Gifts (2016) – Review

Review: There’s a well-known paradox known as Schrödinger Cat, a thought experiment in which a cat is put into a box with a toxic acid that may kill it. While inside the box, without observer, the cat is said to be simultaneously alive and dead. One character in The Girl with All the Gifts mentions about the paradox, while simultaneously posts a most appropriate allegory for this film.

The best way to plunge into The Girl with All the Gifts is knowing less beforehand. Not that it is full of surprises and twists, but the adaptation of Mike Carey’s bestselling novel relies much on its first act which serves as a mind-boggling sci-fi mystery with minimum clue available. The less you know about what this film is about, the more this part crawls along your skin with dozens of question marks. Continue reading The Girl with All the Gifts (2016) – Review

Hacksaw Ridge (2016) – Review

Review: There’s a sense of accomplishment embarks after watching Mel Gibson’s comeback, Hacksaw Ridge; a contention knowing that ‘faith’ eventually found a path to a Hollywood spectacle in its most honest manifestation. As much as it is a celebration of technical achievement, this off-beat war film is also a real-world answer to Gibson’s first two faith-laden adversaries, The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto.

Hacksaw Ridge isn’t a preach about faith whatsoever, yet, it is honest in admitting that faith is the epicenter of this biopic of a Seventh-day Adventist who received Medal of Honor in aftermath of World War II. Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield, in his quirkiest role by far) is the unsung hero; he’s enlisting in World War II like many other youths at that time, but not as a soldier, but rather a paramedic. Despite objection from his war-traumatized father (Hugo Weaving), Desmond keeps going on and ‘fights’ to finally receive the highest honor for his courage in saving 75 lives without ever touching a gun. Continue reading Hacksaw Ridge (2016) – Review