Friday, January 22

Tag: Adventure

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)
Featured, 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: Wolfwalkers (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Wolfwalkers (2020)

With The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea, and The Breadwinner all nominated in various Oscars seasons, Irish animation studio, Cartoon Saloon, keeps on knocking on the door. Along with American stop-motion studio, Laika, the studio has established themselves as serious contenders for prominent names like Pixar, Dreamworks, and even Ghibli. Their new animated feature, Wolfwalkers, directed by their first-in-commande, Tomm Moore, and veteran art director, Ross Stewart, is likely to be following the path of its predecessors with its heartwarming story and compelling visuals. (more…)
Review: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run (2020)
Movie Review

Review: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run (2020)

Stephen Hillenburg's The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004) was supposed to be the series finale for its third season (and possibly for the whole show for good). The commercial and critical success of it, however, has rekindled interests towards the franchise before finally sparking tons of additional contents (commonly described as land-sliding seasons in terms of quality). Nobody from the 2004 production might have predicted that the story continues and sparks many seasons plus two movies, including Paul Tibbitt's The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (2015) and, the latest, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run. (more…)
Review: Enola Holmes (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Enola Holmes (2020)

Now we are back again to Baker Street with Holmes and another mystery to solve. Sherlock (Henry Cavill) is home; and, so is his brother, Mycroft (Sam Claflin). And yet, this is not his story, not his brother's, not any man's in their universe; this is the story of Holmes' youngest sibling, Enola (Millie Bobby Brown). When Mama Holmes, Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter) went MIA, the young Holmes sets forth her own sleuthing duty in a quest to find her mother and, most importantly, discover herself. (more…)
Review: Da 5 Bloods (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Da 5 Bloods (2020)

Da 5 Bloods, Spike Lee's 2020 joint, couldn't be more timely. Released at the moment when the Black Lives Matter peaks after the murder of George Floyd, this joint serves as a poignant reminder of how African-Americans always fight the battles that aren't theirs and ends up being the victims of unfairness. The story of 4 black Vietnam veterans returning to the battleground that unite them carries the message—on America's repeatedly poor war policies and the impacts on black communities—perfectly. (more…)
Review Onward (2020)
Movie Review

Review Onward (2020)

When discussing any Pixar movie, the words 'magical' and 'heartwarming' have almost been sacred words to define the studio's finest movies. Pixar's latest tenure, Onward, brings the magic into its literal sense in a world where mythical creatures from various mythologies survive the test of time and make it to the modern world. Here's the thing; the magic in this world has long gone and been forgotten by the dwellers. In a movie about the magical world where the magic has vanished, will Pixar's magic still alive? The answer to such a question lies in the story of two elven brothers, Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley (Chris Pratt), as they discover a newly unraveled chapter of their lives. Since their father passed years ago, they are raised by their single-mother, Laurel (Julia Louis-Dreyfo...
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: Fantasy Island (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Fantasy Island (2020)

Blumhouse is keen to give Jeff Wadlow (Kick Ass 2) another directorial gig after his small Truth or Dare scored a massive USD 95.3 million (against the production budget of only USD 3.5 million). And then, he's granted the new project, Fantasy Island, an adaptation of a 70s television show about an island that has the capability to grant people's fantasies. So, here comes Wadlow playing out with the missing link between the original show (which was last aired in 1984) and the modern viewers to craft some pseudo-intriguing hyper narrative. The premise follows the series almost religiously. Mysterious Mr. Roarke (Michael Peña) is the host of the titular tropical island that makes the secret dreams of lucky guests come true. But, as he always explains, fantasies are not always what you th...
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: Dolittle (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Dolittle (2020)

The rumor of production fiasco might clearly shape the final outcome of Dolittle—another failing rendition of Hugh Lofting's beloved vet who helps and talks to animals. In the beginning, we learned the dropping of "The Voyage" from the title; then, the rumored extensive reshoots, which might alter a huge portion of the plot and, eventually, explain the altered title. In the end, we somehow learn that the movie doesn't count on the plot anymore. The only important thing that can help the movie salvaging the voyage-wreck are the talking animals. Even Robert Downey Jr., who takes up a mantle of another typecast character, cannot lift Dolittle's plot up from sinking. His Dolittle is a cocky, occasionally reluctant genius just like his other blockbuster persona, i.e., Tony Stark or Sherlock...
Review: Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)
Movie Review

Review: Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has changed the conduct of the game and created a franchise out of the classic holiday flick, Jumanji. In brief, it's way lighter and more carefree than the original. While the magic of the board game (eventually morphed into a video game console) still becomes the epicenter of the story, the magic of the story has gone astray. With an only two-year gap, Jumanji: The Next Level feels more closely to the 2017 movie than to the original one. When Sony decided to green-light the sequel, they have instead rebranded the franchise—leaving only the spirit of Chris van Allsburg's novel remains. Even when Jack Black confirmed via YouTube that Zathura is a part of the canon, the treatment for the whole franchise has taken sharp turns. The new direction for the fran...
Review: Frozen II (2019)
Movie Review

Review: Frozen II (2019)

Back in 2013, Frozen was a surprise giant. Continuing the streak of past-participle-titled Disney princess’ movies, Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck’s animation is a warm tale about the snow queen, Elsa (Idina Menzel) and her sister, Anna (Kristen Bell). While formulaic, the movie makes a breathtaking breakthrough—introducing two Disney princesses at once, powering the story with the shade of feminism, and shooing away the notion of Prince Charming. Critics, studio execs, and audiences jeered over with excitement back then. After several one-shots, including Frozen Fever and Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, the sequel is a certainty. Eventually, we are back to the Kingdom of Arendelle once more—where Queen Elsa rules alongside Anna. Frozen II moves further back before the events in the first movie,...

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