Saturday, January 23

Tag: Comedy

Review: Sobat Ambyar / The Heartbreak Club (2021)
Focus: Indonesia, Movie Review

Review: Sobat Ambyar / The Heartbreak Club (2021)

Heartbreak is arguably the second most universal thing after love. To say that everyone who knows how to love knows how broken heart feels like might be an innocent understatement; but, after all, it's universally a feeling that people try to avoid. For the late Didi Kempot (1966 - 2020), however, heartbreak is a source of inspiration in writing his folk songs. Dubbed as 'The Godfather of Broken Heart', the Indonesian singer had written hundreds of sentimental songs to ironically dance to. The singer was a folk sensation back in the 90s who found the career resurged in the recent years. Sobat Ambyar (a.k.a. The Heartbreak Club), directed by Charles Gozali (Finding Srimulat) and Bagus Bramanti (writer of sleeper-hit, Yowis Ben), is a light rom-com inspired by the finest and the bluest ...
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: Palm Springs (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Palm Springs (2020)

We've seen it before and we'll see it again: a problematic guy is doomed to repeat the same day over and over again in a seemingly endless time-loop. Now, imagine putting together the phrase ‘time loop’, ‘rom-com’, and ‘original’ in the same sentence as ‘one of this year’s best.' Then, add 'not trying to be the next Groundhog Days' and 'relevant to the current situation' into the equation; and you'll get Palm Springs, a directorial debut by Max Barbakow, written by Andy Siara. Coincidentally, the premise somehow mirrors the condition of almost everyone around the world—trapped in a devastating loop and a cycle of tedium during the quarantine period. (more…)
Review: The Personal History of David Copperfield (2020)
Movie Review

Review: The Personal History of David Copperfield (2020)

Into a world where any Charles Dickens' adaptation is considered an old-school artefact, Armando Iannucci (The Death of Stalin) brings a fresh and distinctive rendition of the author's semi-autobiographical work, David Copperfield as originally titled 'The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery (Which He Never Meant to Publish on Any Account).' The director, co-writing the screenplay with Simon Blackwell, retains the author's sense of adventure and exotic characters in the presentation. Additionally, Iannucci's version is gifted with merry-making ensemble of casts and playful narrative that makes his take —shortened into The Personal History of David Copperfield— a jolly British Victorian experience. (more&hel...
Review: Another Round / Druk (2020) – Denmark’s Oscars 2021 Submission
Featured, Movie Review

Review: Another Round / Druk (2020) – Denmark’s Oscars 2021 Submission

Under Thomas Vinterberg's direction—also co-writing the screenplay with Tobias Lindholm—Mads Mikkelsen is another unhappy teacher struggling with midlife crises. Unlike The Hunt (Jagten) where the unhappiness roots from innocently vile, external threat, the roots of despair comes from within his character's mind this time in Another Round. Once a prominent figure with charisma and sexual charm when the grapes are ripe, Mikkelsen's character, Martin, becomes less of himself in his midlife period. Now he's a mere shell of his former self; he's soured himself to be a dull person through and through—an unattractive spouse, a passive father, a boring teacher, everything he can think of. This lead to the vaguest tragicomedy premise that this film offers: Martin dozes off his insecurity by resor...
Review: Extra Ordinary (2019)
Movie Review

Review: Extra Ordinary (2019)

To simply classify Enda Loughman and Mike Ahern's full-feature debut, Extra Ordinary, as a banal, non-specified, ordinary horror comedy might be an understatement through and through. There are ghosts in it, but not in a horror mood; there are jokes in it, but not of some straight gross-out mode. In fact, a woman—Maeve Higgins—stars, leads, and co-writes hearty yet ghastly comedy that isn't a product of try-hard. It's an oddball, tongue-to-cheek movie with lots of ghost and lots of heart at the same time, finding a consensus with a troublesome midlife crisis in the background. (more…)
Review: Cleaners (2019)
Focus: Asia, Movie Review

Review: Cleaners (2019)

Glenn Barit makes a visually ambitious anthology about the life of high schoolers in a provincial Filipino town in Cleaners. Revolving around a group of classmates in a Catholic high school, the narrative branches out into 4 chapters—each centers around different teen angsts—with a prologue and an epilogue that converge the stories together. The nostalgic atmosphere thickens as the narrative begins observing relatable high school moments—from extracurricular ambition, innocent romance, to identity crisis—acted by non-actor performers adding unforeseeable authenticity to the already grounded stories. (more…)
A Season with: Younger (2015 – 2019)
TV Series

A Season with: Younger (2015 – 2019)

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. (more…)
Review: Shiva Baby (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Shiva Baby (2020)

While family gatherings, in general, might be very overwhelming and anxiety-inducing for some people, Emma Seligman's Shiva Baby takes the sheer catastrophe to the the next level. Expanded from Seligman's 2017 short film of the same title, the story unfolds an utterly awkward and chaotic series of moments as the protagonist, Danielle (Rachel Sennott, in a downright thought-provoking performance), spectacularly sets all her secret lives, social discomforts, and piles of lies to collide into each other in a fateful shiva gathering. Set in a tightly cramped mourners' house, the whole moment boasts a claustrophobic atmosphere and an ironically hilarious thriller in an unexpected timing. (more…)
Review: She Dies Tomorrow (2020)
Movie Review

Review: She Dies Tomorrow (2020)

Amy Seimetz's new visionary story, She Dies Tomorrow, is nothing less enigmatic than her previous foray, Sun Don't Shine (2012). The baffling narrative comes together as if she's still co-starring in Shane Carruth's similarly mystifying feature, Upstream Color—an anxiety inducing sci-fi that feels like a psychotic dream. It is a film that focuses on an unknown fear which immediately crawls upon your skin and never lets you go as it becomes more baffling as it goes. With this, Seimetz showcases her bold and original storytelling prowess almost mercilessly. (more…)
Review: One Careful Owner / El Inconveniente (2020)
Movie Review

Review: One Careful Owner / El Inconveniente (2020)

Adapted from Juan Carlos Rubio's acclaimed play in Spain, 100 Metros Cuadrados—in which the playwright also co-writes with Bernabé Rico, One Careful Owner a.k.a. El Inconveniente is an unexpected character study masqueraded as a dry comedy. As it turns out, Rico's full-feature debut is a little, rewarding treat for those giving this movie a chance. In a dialogue-heavy, limited-setting fashion, the movie takes everyone by surprise—delivering an emotionally genuine portrayal of human longing for connection and companion in the direst moment. (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…)
A Season with: Yowis Ben: The Series (2020) – Season 1
TV Series

A Season with: Yowis Ben: The Series (2020) – Season 1

Director Fajar Nugros and YouTube personality turned actor, Bayu Skak, return to expand their double sleeper hits, Yowis Ben and Yowis Ben II to small screens. Dubbed as Yowis Ben: The Series, this expansion takes place in the same universe as the movies; yet, it sets a few months before the first movie—making it effectively a prequel. While retaining most of the casts, the series offers leisurely laid-back backstories leading up to the main events in the original movie. (more…)
Review: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020)

Nobody has the idea that Sacha Baron Cohen has been cooking a follow-up to his shamelessly controversial yet hilarious shockumentary, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan as simply known as Borat (2006), until a few months before its release on Amazon Prime Video. When it arrives, it arrives as timely as possible bearing a predictably longer title than the predecessor, albeit eventually known simply as Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. As it arrives, it takes everybody by surprise by going where nobody has dared to think of. (more…)
Review: Hubie Halloween (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Hubie Halloween (2020)

The sixth movie in Adam Sandler's 6-movie contract with Netflix (which has eventually extended to 10 movies ever since) arrives as a Halloween deadpan comedy. Sandler, a manchild named Hubie Dubois, is the city pariah living in Salem. Everyone in the town seems to love to ridicule and pick on him for nonsensical reasons. And yet, this Halloween, things might have changed for good... or for worse. (more…)

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