Wednesday, July 28

Tag: 2020

A Season with: Two Weeks to Live (2020)
TV Series

A Season with: Two Weeks to Live (2020)

In the aftermath of The End of the F***in’ World’s triumph as an on-demand hit back then, British coming-of-age dark comedy is also on the rise. Two Weeks to Live, a British 6-part mini-series, follows the step and attempts to replicate the success by bringing on some more familiar faces, like Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams, and Fleabag’s Sian Clifford. Written by comedy writer, Gaby Hull, and directed in its entirety by Al Campbell, it’s a revenge-infested comedy that feels pessimistic, but, interestingly funny in the process. Williams portrays Kim Noakes, a teenager raised in North of England, as the story exaggeratingly exclaims, by her single mother. Clifford portrays the mother, Tina, who single-handedly educates her daughter to be independent and, most importantly, vicious....
Review: Tenet (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Tenet (2020)

Christopher Nolan is cinema's own golden son—the prodigy to save the so-called cinematic experience and the giant screens from the impending extinction. His latest spectacle, Tenet, becomes the solid proof of how the cinema's grandiosity must survive amidst atrocities. This is an original action blockbuster at its finest with a clear-cut demand: to be indulged in the best available cinema. From the cutting-edge practical effect showcases; blustering globe-trotting set-pieces; exhaustive narrative that demands re-watches; to Ludwig Göransson's electrifying scoring complemented Jennifer Lame's merciless edit; everything about Tenet is cerebral. (more…)
A Season with: Romulus – Season 1 (2020)
TV Series

A Season with: Romulus – Season 1 (2020)

What if Game of Thrones is made in Italy to tell the Roman mythology about the founding of Rome? The result is Romulus, a 10-episode epic series centering on the origins of Rome. Instead of taking on a full mythological approach in portraying the renowned tale, showrunner Matteo Rovere and the writing department devised a more subtle and realistic rendition of the tale, making it more political even when the whole narrative leans toward action-adventure genre. (more…)
Best of 2020: Films that Help Sinekdoks Getting Through the Strange Year
Featured, Sinek-Talk

Best of 2020: Films that Help Sinekdoks Getting Through the Strange Year

Cinemas were closed for almost a year. Films went digital. Streaming prevails. Festivals went online. Yet, here's the best of 2020. I still went to the nearby cinema until early March 2020. The last film I saw on cinema was Vin Diesel's Bloodshot. Since then, relishing the cinematic experience in 2020 was never the same. By the end of March, most cinemas had already closed their door indefinitely (only a few of them finally has finally opened again with a completely new set of protocols in December 2020). By then, it's been an excruciating time for movie aficionado. With cinemas unavailable, streaming services become the last resort. Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+ and HBO become the primary "cinema." Indonesian-bound streaming services like Mola TV, KlikFilm, and Biosko...
Review: Babyteeth (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Babyteeth (2020)

There's something unusual in Shannon Murphy's directorial debut, Babyteeth, even when its premise about a terminally ill teenager finds a new breath in love is overly familiar, if not overused. The film, which went on winning 9 awards in Australian Academy Awards (AACTA) including Best Picture, exudes sentimentality in delivering the narrative, but never succumbs into the maudlin side-effects of it. There's little to none overindulging sappy moment even when death always lurks closely behind the protagonist's back. The story, written by Rita Kalnejais adapting her own stageplay, doesn't quite believe in seizing the day before the moment's gone forever, but it rather exuberantly celebrates what makes life worth living. (more…)
Review: Sylvie’s Love (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Sylvie’s Love (2020)

Back to New York of the 1960s era full of groove and the jazzy feelings exuding in the air, Sylvie's Love recreates the bygone era with precision—not only in look, but also in style. Presented like a Technicolor version of a black-and-white Hollywood melodrama with all the flairs and zeitgeist, this romance however takes a completely different route. It's vibrant for a reason: to defy the common portrayal of the era's main theme—a whitewashed pursuit of dream and love—with a story about Black lovers looking out for their own dream and love in a world that hasn't always been simple for them. (more…)
Review: Pieces of a Woman (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Pieces of a Woman (2020)

Kornél Mundruczó's Pieces of a Woman begins with a sense of urgency, a hasty afternoon full of mixed feelings between excitement and fear. Sean (Shia LaBeouf), an engineer, hastily leaves the bridge construction he's been eagerly working on and rushes home. Martha (Vanessa Kirby) can barely hide her emotions as she leaves her office's baby shower celebration. She's pregnant with a girl and she's due on that fateful evening. The smell of unease exudes in the air and, even, last-minute tension arises and cools down almost rapidly as the labor's arriving. Nobody has been prepped for whatever comes after and, apparently, nobody saw that coming even when it arrives with excruciating details. Related Post: Review: Critical Eleven (2017) The story, muddled with emotional tug of war, is...
Review: Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020)

Eliza Hittman's Never Rarely Sometimes Always is a tough watch—not because of distressed theme or challenging nature, but because of the familiarity of its theme and how close it is to the ground. The title refers to options usually employed in Likert-scale questionnaires to measure attitude with nuance. In this case, those word collections refer to the questionnaire asked in a crisis pregnancy clinic sympathetically unraveling the protagonist's sexual activities preceding the story's bleak topic: unwanted teenage pregnancy. (more…)
Review: Minari (2020)
Featured, Movie Review

Review: Minari (2020)

Hope takes root. That's how Lee Isaac Chung's Minari roots all the stories of struggling Korean-American family in the early 1980s trying to settle in and chase the American Dream. Chung transports his childhood memories of moving to Arkansas into a semi-biographical drama that exudes grace, innocence, and enough authenticity in delivering a sentimental yet beautiful story of hope. It warmly sparks spell-binding moments from the beginning until the end, but always focus on where the roots are. (more…)
Review: First Cow (2020)
Movie Review

Review: First Cow (2020)

John Magaro stars in First Cow (2020). In the present day, Alia Shawkat walks her dog along the woods when she discovers remnants from the past that will transport the story back in the era of Oregon Country, an era of fur-trade competition between American and British companies. It's a harsh period; settlements were scarce and the pristine environment could be deadly to those unaware of the danger. Director Kelly Reichardt (Night Moves) and her collaborator, Jonathan Raymond, present a story about the age of opportunity—where friendship and early form of American Dreams take shape—in First Cow. There's a real cow with real milk; there are wildlife hunters; there's an aspiring cook and an immigrant with eye for business making a couple of unlikely BFFs taking the center stage. Relat...
Review: Promising Young Woman (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Promising Young Woman (2020)

Carey Mulligan stars in Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman (2020) From the showrunner of Killing Eve, Emerald Fennell, here comes a rape-revenge thriller that feels familiar in bits, but unlike other films with similar theme, it operates on a completely different modus operandi. Aimed for precision in the narrative, direction, and lead performance, Promising Young Woman is a thriller that stings hard and never let go. At its center, there's Carey Mulligan who singlehandedly carries the mission—taking vigilante mantle and serving revenge the way it should be served: cold. She dives head first to the full-raged war against everyone who has wronged her; but, more to it, she plans to take the war more structurally and mercilessly. (more…)
Review: Happiest Season (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Happiest Season (2020)

Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis star as a couple in Clea DuVall's Happiest Season. Abby (Kristen Stewart) and Harper (Mackenzie Davis) are planning to visit Harper's parent for Christmas, where the former secretly plans to propose the latter on the special day. "I'm good with parents," Abby confidently soars when Harper invites her over; unbeknownst to her, Harper never comes out to her parents about her sexuality, let alone her serious relationship with Abby. On the way to the parents' house, Harper finally gets the guts to confess to her lover and asks her to play along as someone she's not—an orphaned roommate who has nowhere to go during the holiday season. Related Post: Review: Charlie's Angels (2020) Happiest Season embraces the notion that there's nothing more compelli...
Review: We Can Be Heroes (2020)
Movie Review

Review: We Can Be Heroes (2020)

Super child heroes are the epicenter of We Can Be Heroes (2020) In an interview with NPR back in 2003, writer/director/editor/anything-he-can-do-he-will-do filmmaker Robert Rodriguez mentioned that he prefers working at nights and spends day-time hours with his kids (mostly named after cool things he would have in his movies). No wonder that every once in a while, amidst his grindhouse-inspired and comic book style filmography, he will create some family-friendly kid movies that bring along his trademark elements—comic book style heroes, cutting-edge gadgets, Latin relatives, and quirky plots most importantly. On the Christmas Day, the director revisits his 2005 creation, The Adventure of Sharkboy and Lava Girl, and expands it into a more wholesome, lite superhero action, We Can Be Her...
Review: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)

Viola Davis leads the band as Ma Rainey in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020). It's one of the most dogged days in Chicago, 1927. The trailblazing Mother of the Blues, Ma Rainey (portrayed brilliantly and almost menacingly by Viola Davis), is scheduled for an afternoon recording session of her ultimate hit, "Black Bottom." It's sizzling outside, but the heat on the street is nothing compared to the heat that is promised to be inside the studio. Ma is unsurprisingly and understandably too hot to handle even by his long-time white manager and producer; and, that's a recipe for a heated trouble. To add to the recipe, there's the hot-headed Levee Green (Chadwick Boseman in a posthumous excellence) staging a breakthrough coup d'état to boost up his own musical career. Based on August Wilson's ...
Review: Soul (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Soul (2020)

Jamie Foxx behind Joe Gardner in Pixar's Soul (2020) With Soul—released straight to Disney Plus on Christmas Day, Pixar grows more mature and sophisticated, but never loses the heart. Co-directed by Pete Docter (Inside Out) and playwright Kemp Powers (One Night in Miami), this jazzy soul-seeking odyssey between New York and the hypothetical astral field is like an adult-oriented drama version of Docter's 2015 work. That being said, kid-friendly feature works on surface level; but, underneath, there's a more philosophical and subliminal layers that only appeal for adult viewers grasping the meaning between life, death, and ideas beyond those distinctions. (more…)

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