Wednesday, September 22

Tag: Family

Review: June & Kopi (2021)
Focus: Indonesia, Movie Review

Review: June & Kopi (2021)

From an unlikely place, here comes a classic story of dogs becoming human's best friend in Netflix-bound Indonesian family drama, June & Kopi. Unlike Hollywood with dozens of doggo movies (ranging from Air Buds to Marley & Me) or Japan with Hachiko Monogatari (1987), Indonesian cinema has a little to none in terms of pet stories, let alone dogs, in the repertoire at least in the last three decades. Noviandra Santosa's new film, co-written with Titien Wattimena (Salawaku, Aruna dan Lidahnya), comes like a breath of fresh air with not only one, but two dogs headlining the film. This doggo-drama comes with a saintly message even when the execution isn't always at the top level. Related Post: Review: The Secret Life of Pets (2016) The story revolves around a married couple,...
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 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: 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: Nanti Kita Cerita tentang Hari Ini (2020)
Focus: Indonesia, Movie Review

Review: Nanti Kita Cerita tentang Hari Ini (2020)

Nanti Kita Cerita tentang Hari Ini (NKCTHI), Angga Dwimas Sasongko's eleventh movie, is an intimate yet moody slice-of-life family drama. Written by Jenny Jusuf and Melarissa Sjarief, the movie is inspired by a best-selling book of the same title by Marchella FP. Here's the deal: the source material is a non-narrative piece; it, instead, is a visual self-improvement book full of quotes and reflective thoughts. The movie, deconstructing the message of the book, aims to seek some contexts and backstories—which are as meaningful. While mostly filled with quotes and thoughts, Marchella FP's book is not without any narrative elements. It's told from the perspective of Awan, who wrote life-lessons and wise advice to her daughter. The movie went further—to reinvent the book's backstories whic...
Review: Imperfect (2019)
Focus: Indonesia, Movie Review

Review: Imperfect (2019)

In his fifth movie, Ernest Prakasa returns to his forte—family drama-comedy tropes—after a high-profile gig, directing Ada Apa dengan Cinta spinoff, Milly & Mamet. In Imperfect (subtitled Karier, Cinta & Timbangan, trans. Career, Love & Weight Scale), the writer-slash-director-slash-actor throws an uplifting Mean Girls-esque formula, the director's penchant for warm dramedy, and a bold message about body positivity all on the boards. It has everything you can expect from an Ernest Prakasa movie—grounded story, heartfelt reconciliation drama, instant laughs, and exhilarating line-ups of comic reliefs. Written by the director's spouse, Meira Anastasia, Imperfect has a relatively more straightforward narrative in comparison to Prakasa's own writing, which usually tends to over...
Review: The Addams Family (2019)
Movie Review

Review: The Addams Family (2019)

Sausage Party directors—Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan—attempt to recreate the transcend the utter absurdity of their R-rated cult animation with a more established material. They think that the creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky, and ooky Addams Family by Charles Addams might be it. The half-century-old material, which has spawned multiple incarnations—including multiple animated series, long-running television series and the reborn, as well as several movies—might bear the absurdity the directors are looking for; but, The Addams Family's first venture in 3D animation is a banal adaptation. Portrait of the extended Addams Family in The Addams Family (2019) The character design combines the over-the-top scale of the 60s cartoon with the characters' look in their recent embodiments—mo...
Review: Abominable (2019)
Movie Review

Review: Abominable (2019)

You might have heard and seen the archetypal stories of a bizarre creature befriending teenage humans and embarking on a life-changing journey that will forever affect both parties. You have known this kind of story in many forms; be it Steven Spielberg's E.T., Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are, Stephen Chow's CJ7, and many others. DreamWorks Animation, with Pearl Studio (Kung Fu Panda 3), brings the familiar story again for another magical journey in Abominable, a story about a mythical Yeti and a teenage Chinese girl voyaging all the way from the Mainland to the Himalaya. The blue-eyed, white-furred Yeti breaks loose from the forced captive before it roams around the urban-jungle of Shanghai. At the same time, Yi (voiced by Chloe Bennet, née Wang) tries to cope with the grief o...
Review: Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019)
Movie Review

Review: Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019)

In the first fifteen minutes of Dora and the Lost City of Gold, the titular character will remind audiences of how odd the original cartoon could be —from the bizarre talking objects, which include an all-knowing yet simple map and a bag with zipper mouth; the garrulous boot-wearing monkey, Boots; the wordy songs with nonsensical lyrics; to the oddity of Dora's break-the-fourth-wall trademark. The live-action adaptation begins with comprehensive mockery of such elements—reducing them merely as some products of children's imagination; therefore, those oddities are left behind in this new adventure. Only the carefree yet resourceful, Dora (portrayed enticingly by Isabel Moner), remains the same person as in the cartoon, even when she's grown up. The live-action gets fast-forwarded to the...
Review The Lion King (2019)
Movie Review

Review The Lion King (2019)

Jon Favreau’s photo-realistic remake of Disney Renaissance’s magnum opus, The Lion King, is best described as being nonurgent. As a matter of fact, it’s unquestionably prone to exoticism and aesthetic in terms of visual or musical, even more than Favreau’s vibrant rendition of The Jungle Book in 2016. Notwithstanding the artistic breakthrough, the redux, which might not be fair to be called as a live-action adaptation (since everything is computer-generated), lacks of originality and sense of purpose. Back in 1994, The Lion King has proven the worth as the magnum opus of Disney Renaissance, becoming the highest grossing traditionally animated films of all time. Boasting Shakespearean drama in the midst of African wildlife, the tale of Simba paved its way to become an instant classic. 2...
Review The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019)
Movie Review

Review The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019)

Upon the release in 2015, The Secret Life of Pets introduced nothing particularly new. While heartwarming, the titular narrative is familiar and formulaic at best. Even by glancing, people keep comparing the narrative to the first Toy Story with pets substituting the toys. The movie was a well-intentioned comedy spawning super-cute and likeable characters with less distinctive, non-merchandise-minded designs. Unable to develop an intriguing story to follow up the first movie, The Secret Life of Pets 2 decides to focus on the overly cute characters (more…)
Review Aladdin (2019)
Movie Review

Review Aladdin (2019)

When it comes to the live-action adaptation of Disney's classic Arabian Night story, Aladdin (1992), it might not be wrong to actually expect that it will show us a whole new world. We are expected to believe in this, especially as we learn that during the development, Disney has made several bold (yet right) moves: bringing representation to light in one of the studio's biggest assets. That move is an undeniably big gesture, if not a big gamble. Yet, in the end, Guy Ritchie's Aladdin shows us that the move works; the representation matters and the live-action is entertaining... even if it does not actually show us the whole new world. (more…)
Review Dumbo (2019)
Movie Review

Review Dumbo (2019)

Call it Disney's New Wave. As the Mouse House has been pretty busy in the recent decade with their project of revamping their classics into cash live-action adaptations, they have created an unwieldy atmosphere of family blockbuster. In terms of reception, their rosters of live-action adaptations had been hit-or-miss, even when most of them were box office hits. In this kind of atmosphere, visionary director, Tim Burton—who had previously worked in a loose adaptation of Alice in the Wonderland—returns for another gig: Dumbo, a live-action adaptation of the 1941 animated classic about a baby elephant that can fly. While his latest work is delicate, it belongs to the lukewarm side of Disney's live actions. (more…)
Review Christopher Robin (2018)
Movie Review

Review Christopher Robin (2018)

Review Christopher Robin: Disney’s new rendition of Christopher Robin reminds me of the twist that Mark Osborne has done to Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince in 2015. At some points, the story development also has similarities to Mr. Holmes. However, if there’s an invention to make to retell the century-long centuries of the titular character along with his animal friends, Winnie-the-Pooh and friends, Marc Foster’s Christopher Robin serves its purpose. Read more
Review Brother of the Year (2018)
Focus: Asia, Movie Review

Review Brother of the Year (2018)

Review Brother of the Year: In Vitthaya Thongyuyong’s GDH-produced blockbuster, what started out as a family dramedy about sibling rivalry quickly escalates into a full-fledged sentimental drama in an unexpected (but effectively presented) turn. GDH darling, Sunny Suwanmethanont, stars as Chut—a less-motivated slacker, whose perfectly filthy bachelorhood life breaks after his multitalented sister, Jane (Urassaya Sperbund) returns home from her university time in Japan. As a blockbuster filled with sharp comedy materials upfront, it’s surprising that Brother of the Year takes a bold (but not strange) move to bit-by-bit leave its non-serious material (which powered most of its first half) and focus on a serious material, which might, at least, get lumps in your throat. Similar to othe...

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