Dean Devlin's Bad Samaritan offers a playful twist on the usual good Samaritan tropes with a light thriller. After a series of writing gigs for Roland Emmerich in the 90s and his directorial debut, Geostorm, it feels like a massive departure from his safety zone. Devlin's studio Electric Entertainment bought the screenplay written by Brandon Boyce in 2013, and it immediately enters development hell until the producer finally steps in the directorial duty.
Extraterrestrial exploration has seen its resurgence on screen again in the recent years. Brad Pitt has gone into space looking for his missing father in Ad Astra; Eva Green has parted with her daughter for an ISS mission in Proxima; Matt Damon was stranded alone on Mars in The Martian. Now, it’s time for two-time Academy Award winner, Sean Penn (Mystic River, Milk) to go ad astra per aspera himself, but on a smaller screen. Starring in FIRST, Penn portrays Tom Hagerty, an astronaut prepared for the first human mission to Mars.
There has been a mysterious death on an offshore oil rig in North Sea. The oil company sends someone to investigate the event for any possibility of accident or even a foul play. Encountered with discomforting silence from the crews and challenged by the news of an upcoming storm, RIG 45 invites audiences to race against the time to find an answer and proves that a murderer may have walked among them in a remotely isolated rig in the middle of nowhere.
The story of Don Pedro I of Portugal and his dead queen, Inês del Castro, is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated Portuguese love story. It's an epic tragedy whose grandiose has transcended the medium of storytelling, having the most recent rendition in António Ferreira's three-fold adaptation, The Dead Queen. Instead of narrating the titular story directly, Ferreira wraps it with an umbrella story of a man, in the modern time, admitted to a psychiatric hospital for travelling by car with the corpse of his lover, and branches it off into three stories that reflect the legendary stories.
Coming from the vision of Sex and the City creator, creator, Younger almost breathes the same air as the cult series in celebrating the agelessness and complexity of adult life. Constructed as a single-camera sitcom, the series—which has ventured for six seasons (all are available at Mola TV) going to seven—peels off the meaning of growing up and restructures as a question. What if people can deceive adultness? By acting like a younger version of herself, the protagonist tries to deconstruct adulthood and exploits it for her own sake.
Humans, created by Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley—based on a Swedish series, Real Humans—explores a futuristic world where humans employ androids to do menial works. The story focuses on poignant themes like discrimination, social inequality, and abuse with allusions to real-world stereotypes. In delivering the message, it poses a though-provoking question to ponder upon for the whole 3 seasons (now streaming on Mola TV). What makes us human?
With only 15 minutes, Aditya Ahmad's Kado delivers a poignant study of gender fluidity through the story of an androgynous girl. Observed through the lens of society with conservative views about gender and sexuality, this irony is keen to challenge the very same society about "how it really feels" to counter the traditional "how it seems." It's heartfelt without having to relegate its beautiful story to melodrama; but, most importantly, it's thought-provoking, probing a continuous discourse.
The idea (as mentioned by Ahmad in an interview with SINdie) roots to the native Buginese views of gender. Traditionally, there are five genders: male, female, calabai (physically male but is identified as female), calacai (the opposite of calabai), and bissu (gender-ambiguous). The question is wh...
Lee Chang-dong's Burning challenges audiences with a mesmerizing narrative, which feels surreal and actual. At times, it might resemble a murky thriller or simply a baffling mystery; at some other times, it transcends the ordinary romance and documents the country's inherent poverty issues. The narrative never settles in one trajectory; but, that might possibly be the movie's luxurious vehicle to become one of the most absorbing movies in recent history.
Loosely adapted from Haruki Murakami's short story, Barn Burning, Chang-dong surprisingly treats the movie like a visual breakdown of Murakami's style. The detail of it might be a story for another time. Burning depicts Murakamian lonely people adeptly in a story that feels dreary, sensual, and jazzy at the same time. The narrative tre...
Welcome back to Sinekdoks with the annual ‘Best of the Year’ series—an appreciation content to honor my most favorite movies that were released in 2018.
Speaking of 2018…
The year has been the toughest one for Sinekdoks since the blog first established on 2013. I’ve been going on painstaking writing hiatus—something that I haven’t ever done before—for more than once during the year. I think the major reason behind it was some kind of breakdown iI experienced n the wake of the year. There was some kind of guilty feeling emerged when I start writing. I was lucky that it was only a temporary state. However, the consequence was more dire than I thought it would be. I was having difficulty in keeping up with blogging routine; at the same time, I began to luxuriate myself in the opulence ...
Review Wiro Sableng 212 Warrior: Wiro Sableng (trans. Crazy Wiro), a character created by Bastian Tito, is one of the most renowned & legendary martial art warriors in Indonesian comic scene—along with Panji Tengkorak (Skull Panji) and Si Buta dari Goa Hantu (Blind Warrior from Ghost Cave). From comic book, Wiro Sableng had been adapted into a several movies and, most notably, long-running television series that had gained cult-following and launched a one-hit wonder status to the star, Ken Ken. In 2018, a latest incarnation of the famous character is brought into existence by Angga D. Sasongko (Filosofi Kopi series, Bukaan 8), backed by Lifelike Pictures and Hollywood mogul, Twentieth Century Fox.
Review Christopher Robin: Disney’s new rendition of Christopher Robin reminds me of the twist that Mark Osborne has done to Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince in 2015. At some points, the story development also has similarities to Mr. Holmes. However, if there’s an invention to make to retell the century-long centuries of the titular character along with his animal friends, Winnie-the-Pooh and friends, Marc Foster’s Christopher Robin serves its purpose.
Review To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: “Make Teenage Romcom Great Again” should’ve been a tagline Susan Johnson’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (referred as To All the Boys on later paragraphs) carrying because it indeed does it. Based on a novel of the same title by Jenny Han, this Netflix production is a clichéd, sugary romcom with manipulated yet effective plot that will make audiences smile ear to ear.
Review Mile 22: It’s disheartening that, unlike Peter Berg’s previous three works (Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon and Patriots Day) which shows his craftsmanship in authentically reenacting tragedy with blatant details but smooth side for sympathy, Mile 22 is more like a mess here and there. The blatant details are mostly missed; the sympathy are stripped off completely; sadly, the heart of the narrative that excels in his previous movies is non-existent.
Bringing back his favorite collaborator, Mark Wahlberg, to team up with hottest action stars, such as Ronda Rousey and Iko Uwais (The Raid, The Raid 2, Beyond Skyline), Mile 22 seems to promise relentless spectacles. At least, the premise might look enticing as we are lured to the movie’s opening raid sequence which shows us a lot of ex...
Timo Tjahjanto's (half of The Mo Brothers) May the Devil Take You (originally titled 'Sebelum Iblis Menjemput') is the prodigal cousin of Evil Dead who lives too far abroad that it gets tangled deeper in the hardcore nastiness of occultism. The nightmare it introduces might feel close and yet so far; but then, this bone-chilling and blood-gushing diabolical phantasmagoria is a guaranteed tough watch. It's definitely not for the fainted heart; but, most definitely, it's not for the pious heart.
Pedantic resemblances to its influence are inevitable, however, May the Devil Take You is bold enough to differ in all its nightmarish way. While it's a cabin-in-the-wood story—only the cabin is changed into an abandoned resting villa (well, it's a holiday cabin for Indonesians after all) with a ...
Review Kafir (2018): After the gruesome death of the father, a family is plagued by mysterious atrocities in amidst of overwhelming grieves and senses of isolation. Simple as it may sound, Kafir (subtitled ‘Bersekutu dengan Setan’, trans. ‘selling one’s soul to the devil’) is surprisingly delivering an above-average performance among Indonesian new-wave horrors.
In Kafir, the terror comes when the recently widowed Sri (Putri Ayudya, delivering one of the best horror performances in the recent years) begins to believe that an insidious force is preying on her family. Starting off with her husband (Teddy Syah), the malicious energy she allegedly guesses as a result of ‘santet’—a form of evil spell in local occultism—gets enraged in endangering her and her two children (Rangga Azof and Na...