I did not anticipate that May was gonna be a quite busy month, but I managed to watch all the biggest spotlights of the month. For my cinematic experience, May gave lots of surprise—fun surprise, which gave me lots of thrills. Alien: Covenant is good and Wonder Woman defied all the expectation! Riverdale wrapped and the third season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was all fun!
So, here I present you a recap to help readers digest what have been going on Sinekdoks along May 2017!
Here’s list of new releases I watched on Indonesian theaters along May 2017 (listed from the highest score to the lowest):
The Lost City of Z (James Gray): It’s a spiritual exploration of humanity and nature’s grandiosity as reflected in Percy Fawcett’s perplexed range, carried on by Charlie Hunnam.
Alien: Covenant (Ridley Scott): Alien: Covenant has convincingly become a bleak amalgam of Alien’s horror and Prometheus’ spirituality
A Silent Voice (Naoko Yamada): Its bittersweet slow-burning drama about friendship and acceptance has transcended and overlapped the visuals; and that’s the best part of it.
Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins): Imperfect, but Wonder Woman is truly a gift to mankind.
Ziarah (BW Purba Negara): Between the nature of discourse and storytelling, Ziarah walks as an arbitrator.
Critical Eleven (Monty Tiwa, Robert Ronny): It’s an anti-romance romance film.
Free Fire (Ben Wheatley): There’s just too much fun for this deal-gone-wrong bonanza.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (Guy Ritchie): An exhilarating medieval heavymetal fest weighed down by thin, ineffective narrative and empty characterization.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg): While the nautical myth is still enchanting as ever, this reunion goes nowhere fascinating with its overlong and overdue sails.
The Circle (James Ponsoldt): The Circle falls flat in narrating the story, making it into a jumpy, incoherent collection of floating, outdated ideas.
Satria Heroes: Revenge of Darkness (Kenzo Maihara, Arnandha Wyanto): This tokusatsu is good at being intentionally campy and funny, despite the technical flaws.
In the end of May, Blindspot Series 2017 (by Ryan McNeill of The Matinee) led me to Kevin Costner’s Wild West drama, Dances with Wolves (1990), which won Best Picture in Oscars 1991. Set in arid prairie of American Western landscape, this film revolves around the live of a Union soldier who dwells along with Native American Sioux during the Civil War. By today’s standard, this would make a legit controversy, but there are more that makes it an enjoyable ride. Check out my review for further thoughts about it!
The World of Ghibli Jakarta brought Ghibli Studio’s instant classic My Neighbor Totoro a.k.a. Tonari no Totoro (1988, Hayao Miyazaki) for screening in May. That was my second Ghibli films I finally have watched in theater.
Review: There’s barely a single interconnected plot in My Neighbor Totoro, only some plot threads spreading over the course of the duration. However, Totoro and other magical beings crafted by Mr. Miyazaki manifests into storytelling perfectly to make a moving tale of imagination about childhood – something which grown-ups would regret for leaving the era behind. Score: 3.5 out of 4
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998, Guy Ritchie)
In his directorial debut, Guy Ritchie crafts a frontal malarkey dressed as a comedy of errors with guns and smoke. Lock, Stock… entangles many threads into a single unprecedented clash of errors, which are so wrong from the beginning to the end. The final results: total laughter moment is directly proportional with total casualties. Score: 3 out of 4
Snatch. (2000, Guy Ritchie)
Ritchie’s follow-up to Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is of similar tropes and substance, only with abundant of steroids. Bringing back all the best formula from Ritchie’s directorial debut, incl. Jason Statham and Vinnie Jones, then combining them with A-listers, i.e., Benicio del Toro and Brad Pitt, Snatch. showcases neater plot threads and Ritchie’s distinctive style, which will later become his trademark. Score: 3 out of 4
Dear White People (2014, Justin Simien)
In accordance with binge-worthy Netflix serial, Dear White People, this feature film that spawns the eggs for the serial is an essential watch. Justin Simien creates a clever satire about racism in America with style. Dear White People plays over super-sensitive issues with full-frontal & provocative approaches that almost nudge nihilism at one point and another. From what this film has reached, the late Malcolm X would’ve been taken it more proudly than Martin Luther King Jr. Score: 3 out of 4
Raw (2017, Julia Ducournau)
Raw has a quirky premise about a vegetarian girl, who suddenly feels a strange case of appetite rises in aftermath of a freshman ritual to eat raw meat. Julia Ducournau’s film works on so many levels as a story under ‘love-your-body’ or ‘accept-your-true-nature’ label. Never had I known that such kind of story could be this raw, visceral and appetizing at the same time. Score: 3 out of 4
In May, I’ve seen one 2017 TV series that wrapped the season and two Netflix binge-watching niches. Below are the reviews with links and descriptions.
Riverdale (Season 1): It, despite all, has established itself as the guiltiest pleasure of the year. Score: 3 out of 4
Dear White People (Season 1): Based on 2014 film, it shifts from being a full-frontal black comedy into a poignant satire in how addressing sensitive issues with such confidence. Score: 3.5 out of 4
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Season 3): Kimmy Schmidt and friends’ struggle to tackle real world issue is one thing to anticipate for now… and in the future. Score: 3.5 out of 4