Review: When Julia (Matilda Lutz) finds out that her boyfriend (Alex Roe) gets involved in the cycle of “killing videotape” of Samara Morgan from The Ring (2002), she willingly sacrifices herself by watching a copy of the videotape. While waiting for seven-day trial to end, she begins receiving strange metaphysical messages from the behind-the-video entity, which apparently has a hidden agenda for her.
The most obvious problem of Rings is: it attempts to reenact what the first Western Ring excels in. It questionably copies the repetitive cycle and add some superfluous backstory. Viewers of The Ring and sequel have already been too familiar – in other words, fed up – about it; and new viewers will find it worn-off in only 15 minutes in. Yet, what’s most problematic of it all is: it’s not scary at all. Continue reading Rings (2017) – Review
Review: In Manchester by the Sea, writer-director Kenneth Lonergan crafts a subtle chef-d’oeuvre of tragedy, involving grief and only grief. And by mentioning ‘tragedy’, what I mean is the ancient form of drama – based on human suffering that appeals audiences’ pleasure; therefore, that doesn’t mean it is a tear-jerking melodrama, although it indeed is a bitter story. And, if Lonergan is the god of this story, this god must have laughed over the tragedy-by-tragedy that strikes its main protagonist and the surroundings.
Grief is what force-starts everything in Manchester by the Sea. There we meet our man, Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck with devotion), a handyman in Boston and a divorcee. The conspiring nature calls Lee back to his home town, a Massachusetts coast town, Manchester-by-the-Sea, following the death of his brother (Kyle Chandler). Lee is called to tend his brother’s son, Patrick (Lucas Hedges), to mend his grief. Little did we know that the same town is where all Lee’s guilt and grief started; and, now, he must console his nephew from the pain Lee himself could not overcome. Continue reading Manchester by the Sea (2016) – Review
Review: Inarguably, the true event that inspires Garth Davis’ Lion is a blessing-in-disguise story. A five-year old Indian boy, Saroo (Sunny Pawar) gets lost while going away from home with his older brother. He’s stranded in Calcutta – 1,600KM away from home; survived hardships in street life, before being adopted by an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham), who lives in Tasmania.
Separated from his birth family and his compassionate brother, Saroo, now a Brierley (portrayed by Dev Patel), grows into a full-fledged Australian – who even forgets to speak Hindi. When hearing about Google Earth, Saroo becomes obsessed with it to trace down his memory lane in attempt to locate his home in India. Will he find his birth house after all? At this point, knowing how this story ends is moderately forgiven, because Lion isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey. Continue reading Lion (2016) – Review
At a glance, Moonlight resembles the spirit of Richard Linklater’s magnum opus, Boyhood, in a way that it follows the twisted voyage of a boy to become man, embracing what matters in him. Yet, Moonlight puts twists into this self-discovery drama – challenging black male masculinity with fragility to mirror Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain in a different scale.
Writer-director Barry Jenkins adapts Tarell Alvin McCraney’s unperformed play titled ‘In Moonlight Black Boy Looks Blue’ into a three-phase story of a black gay boy’s self-maturation in which each chapter resembles the identity he embraces. As a boy, he’s Little (portrayed by Alex Hibbert), a little bully target taken under the wing of a crack-dealer, Juan (Mahershala Ali); as a teen, he’s Chiron (Ashton Sanders), a taciturn boy who finds love in his own best friend; and as a grown-up, he’s Black (Trevante Rhodes), embracing the identity given by his long-lost love. Three phases might define him differently, but his inner identity stays intact; waiting for acceptance that keeps troubling him. Continue reading Moonlight (2016) – Review
Review: There were three African-American women working at NASA in circa 1960s and helping the institution sending man into space, winning the space competitions against the Soviets. Not everyone knows about that fact (me neither, in fact), until Hidden Figures comes and opens people’s eyes in the era where this substantial revelation is relevant. However, it’s never been a preachy, egghead’s story; instead, Theodore Melfi’s adaptation of Margot Lee Shetterly’s non-fiction is a high-energized feel-good film about equality and empowerment.
Those three titular figures are Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe). Those women are all brilliant in their own field even beyond; but their only problem is more complex than their minds; because they are women and people of colors. Continue reading Hidden Figures (2017) – Review
Welcometh to Thursday Movie Picks by Wandering through the Shelves. This weekly s’ries hast a simple ruleth: bas’d on the theme of the week, picketh three to five movies and shareth the reasoneth. Shouldst anyone beest int’rest’d in joining in, feeleth free to visiteth the main page h’re.
Nev’r und’restimate this week’s theme because t very much gets me excited, t’s: Shakespeare adaptations. Wouldst t beest hard to findeth three of thy most fav’rite ‘mongst his mast’rpieces? forsooth not. F’r this theme, i only picketh mod’rn day adaptations yond retain the dialogues. Same title, (mostly) same st’ry, same dialogues, diff’rent ‘ra. Prepareth f’r mine own picks and prepareth thy sharpest response! Continue reading Thursday Movie Picks #7: Shakespeare Adaptations