Amy Poehler's directorial effort, Moxie, brings back teenagers to the breakthrough movement of the bygone era fused with current issues. It's suddenly a DIY fanzine era again, with teen angst and niche poured all over, to send a sharp message. With themes revolving around bullying along with patriarchal and rape culture in US schools, you can almost observe the director's footprints here and there — without more aggressive whimpers than barks.
With a long-standing feud that has lasted for nearly 80 years, the infamous Thomas Cat and Jerry Mouse return for another showdown in what's become their second feature film (after Tom and Jerry: The Movie in 1992). In aftermath of the slow-moving development hell, Tom & Jerry finally arrive under WarnerMedia's cahoot with HBO for a hundred-minute slapstick bonanza between a couple of love-to-hate feline and rodent. This time, their story comes as a live-action and animation hybrid a la Roger Rabbit with Tim Story directing and Chloë Grace Moretz starring alongside the animated duo.
Coming to America is a surprising cultural touchstone. Eddie Murphy, possibly the greatest showman of that era, leads an all-Black ensemble of casts for a feel-good titular journey. He's portraying Prince Akeem Joffer from Zamunda, a wealthy African monarch country whose on-screen luster precedes Wakanda in recent history. The film's bold guts to choose how a Black community is portrayed and represented is a landmark of its own, even when its broad slapstick and shades of misogyny often draw egregious legacy.
Inarguably, Kepompong might be one of the most memorable Indonesian pop-culture paraphernalia from 2008. The daytime teen series went on releasing 290-ish episodes between 2008 and 2009 while resurging former child actor Derby Romero's career. At the same time, the series saw the rise of newcomer Mikha Tambayong and the gush of the one-hit cult-classic song by Sind3ntosca.
More than a decade later, a feature film reworks elements from the original series into a timeless high-school drama called Persahabatan Bagai Kepompong. One of the original writers, Alim Sudio, returns on the writing desk; meanwhile, Sentot Sahid (usually known as a film editor) sits on the director's chair. However, it's not a mere adaptation; it's more of a spiritua...
J Blakeson (The 5th Wave, The Disappearance of Alice Creed) must have written the script of his Netflix-bound thriller with Rosamund Pike, specifically her portrayal of Gone Girl's Amy Dunne, in mind. The protagonist (or maybe anti-protagonist) in I Care a Lot is a cunningly cool, manipulative woman whose words can twist the truth —blurring the lines between fact and fiction almost effortlessly. Here are the keywords: she is a human-prison. If anyone should portray such a character, Pike will always be the frontrunner; and she's the one with the role.
Here comes another romantic comedy —fluent enough at incorporating time-loop without getting tangled in the familiarity. It's fluent enough not to beat the dead horse and give away any exposition about the temporal anomaly's nature. It's fluent enough to give the time-loop a purpose in the narrative greater than a mere gimmick. It's fluent enough to make the titular Map of Tiny Perfect Thing a worthwhile journey.
Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky's high school romance has eventually come into the closing stage with To All the Boys: Always and Forever. Michael Fimognari, helmer of the second installment, returns in the directorial duty with Katie Lovejoy taking over the writing department. The power couple, Lana Condor and Noah Centineo return with the whole ensemble for a final stroke in this saccharine-heavy teen romance that starts exhilaratingly with To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018) and immediately shows sign of fatigue by the release of To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You (2020).
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 ...
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.
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Happiest Season embraces the notion that there's nothing more compelli...
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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