Wednesday, September 22

Tag: Action

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…)
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: Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

Diana Prince a.k.a. Wonder Woman, portrayed as eloquently as ever by Gal Gadot, makes a sweet come back in Wonder Woman 1984, set in the titular year at least 66 years after she's last seen in the Armistice of 11 November. The heroine is currently living a serene routine as Smithsonian Institution expert in Washington while cautiously and secretly helping people and fighting crimes. When an ambitious con-artist, Max Lord (Pedro Pascal), comes up with a foul plot that might cause ridiculously mythical cataclysms around the world and turn an innocent gemologist and Diana's colleague, Barbara Minerva (Kirsten Wiig), into an apex predator like never before, she must take her super-heroine mantle once more even when she's faced to the ultimate vulnerability she doesn't know she has. (more&...
Review: Mulan (2020)
Focus: Asia, Movie Review

Review: Mulan (2020)

Disney's live-action adaptation of Mulan is probably the boldest move the studio has taken in the recent years. Putting forward representation in the production by casting actors of Chinese descent (a mix of those familiar faces to mainstream American viewers and some fresh faces from the Mainland) with Chinese-born Liu Yifei portraying the titular character suggests the Mouse House' commitment for diversity (in the brink of fight against whitewashing in Hollywood). While seeking after an Asian director to no avail, New Zealander Niki Caro (Whale Rider and McFarland, USA) lands the job making her the second female director to helm a Disney movie (after Ava DuVernay with A Wrinkle of Time). In a critical and controversial move, Disney released it as an on-demand perk in their streaming ser...
Review: Just 6.5 (2019)
Focus: Asia, Movie Review

Review: Just 6.5 (2019)

Peyman Moaadi (A Separation, The Night Of) stars alongside Navid Muhammadzadeh (Life and a Day) in this Iranian crime story about drug trades and the harrowing law that follows in Just 6.5 by Saeed Roustayi. Starting out with a fast-paced, neatly choreographed alley chase and concluding with a bone-chilling, man-cry ordeal, Roustayi's clear-cut action thriller with open-ended morality doesn't want to give peace in the audiences' mind—with bitter, almost sympathetic feeling lingers after almost every important conclusion in this story. With slick set pieces that draw comparisons to Hollywood's finest ones blended in with close observations of Iranian law system, making a referential gesture to political crime movie like Steven Soderbergh's Traffic, this is the kind of crime movie that won'...
A Season with: Serigala Terakhir (2020)
TV Series

A Season with: Serigala Terakhir (2020)

Over 10 years after the release of Upi Avianto's gangster blockbuster, Serigala Terakhir (a.k.a. The Last Wolf), a sequel in the form of a 6-episode miniseries arrives. Helmed by Tommy Dewo (assistant director in A Copy of My Mind and Gundala), the story takes place a few years after the original movie. Alex (Abimana Aryasatya), previously a minor character, takes over the main stage from the opposite end. Some narrative elements remain, but, the rest suggests that it's a completely different story seamed only by his existence. (more…)
Review: Mystery of the Dragon Seal / The Iron Mask (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Mystery of the Dragon Seal / The Iron Mask (2020)

Who would have thought that Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger would appear together in a movie again? Last time they shared a screen together, it was in the remake of Around the World in 80 Days—the latter's final movie before his gubernatorial duty. Strange but true, the latest collaboration between the two action heroes from the bygone era is in a bizarre Russian-Chinese adventure flick, Mystery of the Dragon Seal, even when their involvement is a little too minuscule. (more…)
Review: Extraction (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Extraction (2020)

Chris Hemsworth has gone into a complete action-hero mode in Extraction, a ‘Call of Duty-esque’ bravura with so much machismo and bravado. Written by Joe Russo and helmed by his Civil War and Endgame stunt collaborator, Sam Hargrave, this actioner is the closest to a non-comical comic-book movie for Hemsworth. It’s undoubtedly a cliche-ridden no-brainer, but it’s done right. (more…)
Review: Bloodshot (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Bloodshot (2020)

Vin Diesel single-handedly bears the burdens of spectacles in Bloodshot, a live-action adaptation of a Valiant Comics property. With narrative reminiscing the story of RoboCop, the super-human story is meant to a throwback to retro-action movies involving conspiracies, tech-wars, and cold action sequences. A while ago, Bloodshot was intended to open a certain kind of shared universe (involving another Valiant property, Harbinger); but, the idea was now scraped, even when the projects still develop, and that's possibly a correct decision. Diesel is an ex-military man who was kidnapped and assassinated with his wife (Talulah Riley). He's then brought back to life by a group of scientists led by Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce) with literal bloodshot transfused into his dead body in the enti...
Review: Guns Akimbo (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Guns Akimbo (2020)

Jason Lei Howden's erratic online behavior is utterly disgusting, but Guns Akimbo is not a total reflection of the director's douchebaggery. While envisioning the writer-director's toxic masculinity, Howden's visions are also crafted with an electric action bonanza that might resemble action video games in terms of the over-the-top sequences and camera movements. That might be understandable since the movie observes a game-developer which is tangled in a real-life game of death after, out of boredom, troll-hunting in an illegal, snuff streaming service. The poor guy is Miles Lee Harris (Daniel Radcliffe), who is bullied at the office by his superior before succumbing himself into Skizm, an underground fight club that streams death match between sociopaths, psychopaths, criminals, and b...
Review Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)
Movie Review

Review Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)

Sonic, the blue flashy hedgehog, might be a speedster; but, the road it takes to finally land a live-action adaptation is never an easy one. Against all the video-game adaptation curse, this adaptation of SEGA property hits the wall when the first trailer was released. The internet immediately stormed the filmmakers booing the grounded-to-reality design of the titular character (with smaller eyes, shorter legs, and teeth that looks like a real hedgehog). Director Jeff Fowler had to take the spotlight and announced that the release would be delayed by 3 months to finally get the look. One thing for sure, the effort of VFX artists behind Sonic the Hedgehog is fruitful. The VFX is not utterly revolutionary; however, they have succeeded in giving the blue devil an actual shot to show some ...
Review: The Gentlemen (2020)
Movie Review

Review: The Gentlemen (2020)

It has finally come to the era where Guy Ritchie is popularly known more as the director of big-budgeted blockbusters. His name is almost immediately associated with the lots like Disney's live-action Aladdin or Sherlock Holmes saga, or else to second-tier gigs like the adaptation of The Man from UNCLE or the fizzle King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. The era of Ritchie's reputation as the director of foul-mouthed, gangster-and-gun crime movies like Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, or Snatch has long gone; even, Rocknrolla (2008) has already been labeled as a welcome-back flick. His recent tenure, The Gentlemen, starring Matthew McConaughey and Charlie Hunnam, channels the energy which the director manifested in his early careers. With some jabs and jolts of popcorn entertainment, howe...
Review: Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020)

Lately, Warner Bros-DC has continued to indulge in the sweet taste of triumph after their Extended Universe fiasco (culminating in the disoriented Justice League). Their new recipe to focus on a more standalone, vibrant feature (learning the best from Wonder Woman) has proven to be fruitful. Aquaman proves his worth, Shazam is highly entertaining, and the somber Joker is a serious inferno—a real award contender. Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn is about to prove that the recipe, after all, works. Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) returns from Suicide Squad with a completely different arc. She will, then, narrate the whole story with her audacious voice-over and occasional breaking-the-fourth-wall look straight to the audiences sassily. Harley's narration is...
Review: Bad Boys for Life (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Bad Boys for Life (2020)

It's been 25 years since two Miami detectives, Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) and Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) teamed up in Michael Bay's directorial debut, Bad Boys—a highly reinvigorated buddy-cop comedy with high levels of violence, explosions, and profanity. And apparently, it's been 17 years since Bad Boys II turned up to be a catastrophe—two hours of offensive and derivative sequel where the boys proudly sang "bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do when they come for you" when there is not a single thing to be proud of. Only after a series of development delays, the third movie, Bad Boys for Life, has finally arrived without Bay getting attached to the production, except for a short cameo. Involving none from the previous productions behind the steering wheels, it's clear that Bad Bo...
Review: Underwater (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Underwater (2020)

It's hard to tell if Underwater is an under-water homage to Aliens' franchise or simply a rip-off of some under-water survival horror, like Leviathan or DeepStar Six. You will see bad-ass Kristen Stewart running for her life wearing only underwear like Ellen Ripley; but, her haircut is taken unashamedly from ALIEN³. The setting, however, suits George P. Cosmatos' Leviathan quite unashamedly as well. You are excused if thinking the whole event feels derivative because it is what it is. Stewart (straight from Charlie's Angels) portrays Norah, an engineer on a mining station located approximately seven miles under the ocean's surface, precisely around Mariana Trench. The location alone should have given you a chilling atmosphere (there is a convincing tracking shot at the beginning of the...

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