Friday, September 24

Tag: Rating: 2.5

Review: Story of Kale: When Someone’s in Love (2020)
Focus: Indonesia, Movie Review

Review: Story of Kale: When Someone’s in Love (2020)

"Happiness is a personal responsibility," Kale (Ardhito Pramono) shares his life advice to Awan (Rachel Amanda) at the edge of their relationship that never happened in Nanti Kita Cerita tentang Hari Ini (NKCTHI). His one-sided withdrawal from commitment is mainly responsible to catalyst the melodramatic third act of the story. However, Kale's reluctance, as implied, is not without a root; and, thanks to director Angga Dwimas Sasongko and writer, M. Irfan Ramly (Love for Sale duology), he isn't going to just get away with it. Therefore, Story of Kale: When Someone's in Love, a spin-off and a prequel, seeks to walk down a memory lane and find the sought-after redemption. (more…)
Review: Pelukis Hantu (2020)
Focus: Indonesia, Movie Review

Review: Pelukis Hantu (2020)

Back in the mid 2000s, supernatural TV shows suddenly ruptured and became nationwide phenomena, with almost every national channel having one of it. Now that the trend dwindles, there's one gimmick that apparently survives —the ghost painter, a psychic who possesses the ability to paint metaphysical beings behind closed eyes, albeit generic, to visualize the ghosts to audiences. That profession, for whatever it is, is the epicenter of Arie Kriting's directorial debut, Pelukis Hantu (Ghost Painter). (more…)
Review: Evil Eye (2020)
Focus: Asia, Movie Review

Review: Evil Eye (2020)

Sarita Choudhury (from the arthouse hit, Mississippi Masala) and Sunita Mani (supporting star in the recently cancelled GLOW) star in a hybrid of South Asian and Hollywood horror, Evil Eye. Based on Madhuri Shekar's Audible original of the same title, the story chronicles the harsh conflict between a first generation Indian immigrant in America and the American-born second generation within a horror frame. In between superstition, cultural clash, and past trauma, the intercontinental horror has just enough odds to be heavily misguiding for unfamiliar audiences. Related Post: Review: The Lie (2020) We've seen it before and we've seen it again; the problem with American-born immigrants from Eastern culture has always been with the cultural clash. The older generation, however liberal,...
Review: Sabar Ini Ujian (2020)
Focus: Indonesia, Movie Review

Review: Sabar Ini Ujian (2020)

Dubbed as the first time-loop blockbuster in Indonesia, Sabar Ini Ujian arrives as the first original Indonesian feature in Disney+ Hotstar. Helmed by Anggy Umbara (Warkop DKI Reborn, Suzzana: Bernapas dalam Kubur) based on a screenplay co-written by Erwin Arnada, Gianluigi Ch, and himself, the movie marries off the playful time-loop trope with a sweet rom-com. The protagonist—ironically named—Sabar (Vino G. Bastian, Wiro Sableng: Pendekar Kapak Maut Naga Geni 212 ) wakes up on the wedding day of her former fiance he barely moves on from, only to find himself reliving the same day over and over again. As the premise and the title suggest ('Sabar Ini Ujian' in Indonesian means more or less like 'please be patient, this is only a test'), the temporal plot device works like a self-test and s...
Review: #Alive / #살아있다 / #Saraitda (2020)
Focus: Asia, Movie Review

Review: #Alive / #살아있다 / #Saraitda (2020)

From the modern-day outbreak in Train to Busan with the prequel, Seoul Station, and the sequel, Peninsula (slated for 2020 release) to the period horror taking place in Joseon era as in Netflix's series, Kingdom, or Rampant, zombie apocalypse suddenly comes in waves in South Korean blockbuster scene.This time, it's Yoo Ah-in's (Burning) turn to star in an almost-claustrophobic zombie survival movie, #Alive. He portrays Jun-u, an eccentric gamer who finds himself trapped inside his family's apartment when a mysterious disease rapidly infects people around his neighborhood in Seoul uptown. (more…)
Review: Bad Education (2019)
Movie Review

Review: Bad Education (2019)

Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney dive head first with their highly committed performance in portraying nasty perpetrators of the single largest embezzlement scandal in American history. Jackman portrays Frank Tassone, beloved superintendent of Roslyn High School. His character is a pretty man, charismatic and charming in any possible public endeavor. The boards hailed him as a role model, a successful orchestrator of the school's glimmering achievement. Meanwhile, Janney portrays Pam Gluckin, the assistant superintendent, who looks a tad too glamorous for someone working in academic field. Bad Education is the story of their downfall. (more…)
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 Sebelum Iblis Menjemput: Ayat 2 (2020)
Focus: Indonesia, Movie Review

Review Sebelum Iblis Menjemput: Ayat 2 (2020)

Evil Dead's distant prodigal cousin, Sebelum Iblis Menjemput (May the Devil Take You), has finally gotten a tougher, grittier, and more fucked-up sequel dubbed as Sebelum Iblis Menjemput: Ayat 2 as if it's a chapter in a demonic bible. In the follow-up story, writer-director Timo Tjahjanto does not really bother with narrative merits as he's busy sacrificing souls to the cinematic god of death (as in The Night Comes for Us). Compared to the predecessor, the second chapter is way nastier, campier, and more frivolous with the "nightmares exist out of logic" credo held dear. The myth still follows the protagonist of the first movie, Alfie (Chelsea Islan), who has succumbed to sedative drugs in the aftermath of the first taking. The news of her survival from the cataclysmic nightmare has s...
Review: Toko Barang Mantan (2020)
Focus: Indonesia, Movie Review

Review: Toko Barang Mantan (2020)

There's a store named Toko Barang Mantan which allows people to sell and buy exes' stuff. People will come to the store and dump their exes' stuff in the hope of forgetting the memories; the store, owned and managed by a rebel colleague student named Tristan (Reza Rahadian), will then sell the stuff to the willing buyers looking for gifts or antics. The profit share mechanism is unknown. But, at least, that's the unique premise of this romcom—making memories a commodity. Directed by Viva Westi (Koki-Koki Cilik 2) based on the script by Titien Wattimena (Dilan series), Toko Barang Mantan treats memories of ex-lovers to be some products to sell (capitalism has found a way to people's feeling apparently). Tristan, leaving his study to focus on managing the store, has the history to have ...
Review: To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You (2020)
Movie Review

Review: To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You (2020)

A rom-com sequel is a thing of rarity. Happily ever after, which supposedly comes after rom-com ends, does not always need expositions. However, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, the 2018 surprise hit adapted from Jenny Han's novel is a part of a trilogy. The story of a Korean-American girl, Lara Jean (Lana Condor) dealing with the mess after her well-kept letters got sent into the boys she used to love is only the beginning of it all. To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You extends, if not stretches, the story a little longer; but, it eventually feels like a mere victory lap. By the end of the first movie, Lara Jean finally sorts out the mess and, in a twist of turn, finally gets herself a boyfriend, Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo). This is all new to her—having an actual boyfriend, be...
Review: Abracadabra (2020)
Focus: Indonesia, Movie Review

Review: Abracadabra (2020)

At least half of Faozan Rizal's Abracadabra is inspired by the works of Wes Anderson (or probably Alejandro Jodorowsky in some elements). The visual elements—including the symmetry, the pastel-colored palette, the static camera, and the theatrical blocking—somehow confirms the hypothesis. The visuals, however, match up to its whimsical storyline about a magician mystery comedy, which becomes the movie's bare-spine. Reza Rahadian takes up the center-stage as a flamboyant magician, Lukman, with a magical wooden box called Yggdrasil. On a big-league magic show, Lukman attempts to make a little boy vanish using the box. And yet, when the boy vanishes, the quirky magician fails to bring him back. This event draws attention to many other pivotal figures in the circle of magicians, including ...
Review: Habibie & Ainun 3 (2019)
Focus: Indonesia, Movie Review

Review: Habibie & Ainun 3 (2019)

Habibie & Ainun franchise has quite a storytelling development. While the first movie revolves around the glorified love story between the titular couple—former Indonesia's president and the First Lady, the follow-ups are aiming to be somewhat prequels with an overlapping timeline. The second movie, deliberately titled Rudy Habibie, follows the story of Habibie (portrayed excellently by Reza Rahadian) during his academic years in Germany before he reunites with Ainun (previously portrayed by Bunga Citra Lestari). Meanwhile, the third movie follows a subversive story of young Ainun (now portrayed by Maudy Ayunda) before finally reuniting with the love of her life. While mostly treading on familiar grounds which has either been mentioned or shown in the previous movies, Habibie &...
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,...
Review: Charlie’s Angels (2019)
Movie Review

Review: Charlie’s Angels (2019)

Elizabeth Banks' reboot of Charlie's Angels is a bold move for the whole franchise. It starts with an exclamation that "women can do anything." Sometimes, that includes utilizing their charm to get things done—something that Farah Fawcett and co. often did in the TV versions back in the 1970s. Some other time, they'll have to get into full-throttle actions—like Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu's angels in McG's 2000 and 2003 tenures excel in. Yet, as the opening conversation continues, Banks' version adds its credo—highlighting that women also "have their own choices." 'Choice' is a positive driving force in this third iteration of Charlie's Angels. Bosley still directs the angels' missions; but, in Banks' world, Bosley is not a mere character, it's a title instead. Several p...

Twitter Timeline

error: Content is protected !!