Saturday, April 17

Tag: Rating: 2

Review: Tom and Jerry (2021)
Movie Review

Review: Tom and Jerry (2021)

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. (more…)
Review: The Mauritanian (2021)
Movie Review

Review: The Mauritanian (2021)

In 2001, a Mauritanian man was arrested by the US government in aftermath of the September 11 attacks. The govt accused him of recruiting members for al Qaeda. He was then detained at Guantanamo Bay from 2002 until 2016 without any official charge or trial. The man, Mohamedou Ould Salahi, wrote his misfortune in a 2015 memoir 'Guantanamo Diary' which becomes the inspiration for Kevin Macdonald's The Mauritanian.  Related Post: Review: Dark Waters (2019) Tahar Rahim sympathetically portrays Salahi with panache and extra sensitivity. However, The Mauritanian is ironically a more collective, multi-faceted story, rather than a focused story about Salahi's ordeal. The plot adds extra perspectives to the 14-year story with the inclusions of an Americ...
Review: Cherry (2021)
Movie Review

Review: Cherry (2021)

Anthony and Joe Russo pick up where they left in the aftermath of blockbuster classic (in the making), Avengers: Endgame with a provoking adaptation of Nico Walker's semi-autobiographical novel, Cherry. Written in a US prison, the 2018 novel follows a 'cherry' (slang for a fresh soldier in the battle) with his frail love story, his visceral tour in Iraq Wars along with the PTSD, his descend into illegal drugs, and his eventual notoriety as a bank robber. The cherry is Tom Holland in another attempt to shed the school-boy style out of his repertoire. (more…)
Review: I Care a Lot (2021)
Movie Review

Review: I Care a Lot (2021)

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. (more…)
Review: Bliss (2021)
Movie Review

Review: Bliss (2021)

It's hard to tell whether Mike Cahill's Bliss is a sci-fi drama or simply a wicked rom-com at least until half-way through the film. The film basically gives away the same promise his previous sci-fi dramas, Another Earth and I Origins, tries to deliver rather profoundly and philosophically albeit seeming comical at some intersections. This time, however, the premise ends up being more interesting than the actual film is—even when Salma Hayek's recently rare leading performance sparks some lights. (more…)
Review: Malcolm & Marie (2021)
Movie Review

Review: Malcolm & Marie (2021)

Euphoria's creator, Sam Levinson, brazenly brings at least two major elements from his acclaimed HBO series to his new film, Malcolm & Marie. First, he extends the admiration towards his Emmy-winning front woman, Zendaya, for another provocative role in a clash against John David Washington. Additionally, he also brings along the series style-over-substance tendencies and injects it into this exhausting relationship friction. (more…)
Review: Affliction / Pulang (2021)
Focus: Indonesia, Movie Review

Review: Affliction / Pulang (2021)

Seasoned Indonesian director, Teddy Soeriaatmadja (helming the Trilogy of Intimacy, consisting Lovely Man, Something in the Way, and About a Woman) returns with something that feels odd and out of place to his repertoire with Netflix bound movie, Affliction (also titled Pulang). Unlike his previous films that emphasize grounded, intimate drama with careful pacing and subtle yet moving performance from the lead, the director, also writing the script, now experiments with a new narrative drive: horror. By casting his own wife, Raihaanun (27 Steps of May) whose on-screen presence always illuminates, in the process, the film might have a shade or two of the director's signature prowess, but the end-result feels nothing like it. (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: The Call / 콜 (2020)
Focus: Asia, Movie Review

Review: The Call / 콜 (2020)

There's a mysterious phone that can connect people from different time and space. Will it do more good than harm? Or otherwise? That would become the underlying questions posed by writer-director, Lee Chung-hyun, in his thriller, The Call, adaptation of a 2011 Puerto Rican-British movie, The Caller. To provide hints for the answers, he pits Park Shin-hye (recently excels in #Alive) against Jeon Jong-seo (the breakthrough star of Lee Chang-dong's Burning) in a vengeful, almost sophisticated battle that intertwines two different timelines in the process. (more…)
Review: The Dead Queen / Pedro e Inês (2018)
Movie Review

Review: The Dead Queen / Pedro e Inês (2018)

The story of Don Pedro I of Portugal and his dead queen, Inês del Castro, is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated Portuguese love story. It's an epic tragedy whose grandiose has transcended the medium of storytelling, having the most recent rendition in António Ferreira's three-fold adaptation, The Dead Queen. Instead of narrating the titular story directly, Ferreira wraps it with an umbrella story of a man, in the modern time, admitted to a psychiatric hospital for travelling by car with the corpse of his lover, and branches it off into three stories that reflect the legendary stories. (more…)
Review: Lost Girls & Love Hotels (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Lost Girls & Love Hotels (2020)

Alexandra Daddario (Percy Jackson, Baywatch) portrays Margaret, an American expat living in Japan. During the days, she coaches stewardess-in-training English pronunciation; when the night falls, she wanders around the dismal, neon-bathed Tokyo to get drunk with fellow expats or (more often than) occasionally get laid with strangers in some random love hotels—BDSM mode. She's the lost girl and Lost Girls & Love Hotels attempts to follow her self-discovery path in a strenuous, almost tedious nightly contemplation. (more…)
Review: Rebecca (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Rebecca (2020)

To step onto the path that Alfred Hitchcock had once walked into—in a hard fought creative battle against David Selznick—is indeed a dire move for British director, Ben Wheatley. Hitchcock's Rebecca is an exemplary, classic thriller to portray an invisible threat at its finest. Wheatley, adept in making horror out of people (as in Sightseers, A Field in England, and High Rise), keeps assuring that his Rebecca isn't going to follow Hitchcock's path, but to rather faithfully follow Daphne du Maurier's novel. He's got the point to avoid direct comparison to the classic; but, even so, his rendition of this psychological thriller ends up being bland, at best. (more…)
Review: The Lie (2020)
Movie Review

Review: The Lie (2020)

Remade from the 2015 German thriller, We Monster, Veena Sud's The Lie premiered in the 2018 TIFF before Blumhouse took it under 'Welcome to the Blumhouse' anthology for Amazon. The story, as the title suggests, is built upon the titular lie; but, as you might have known, a lie does not stop on the first count. There has to be another lie and another to follow and cover up. In no time, the lies had spinned out of control; and, that's basically what the movie is all about. (more…)
Review: The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020)
Movie Review

Review: The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020)

The Babysitter: Killer Queen, the follow-up to Netflix's 2017 sleeper hit—The Babysitter, brings almost every single element of the first movie in for a supposedly victory lap. Judah Lewis, portraying the protagonist, Cole, has naturally grown into a fully bloom teenager; so does Emily Alyn Lind (Doctor Sleep), who portrays his neighbor. The all-spectacular Samara Weaving does not get into immediate actions as the titular sinister babysitter, Bee; but her presence is felt throughout the movie—fuels the narrative and literally takes the steering wheel. (more…)
Review: Bloodshot (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Bloodshot (2020)

Vin Diesel single-handedly bears the burdens of spectacles in Bloodshot, a live-action adaptation of a Valiant Comics property. With narrative reminiscing the story of RoboCop, the super-human story is meant to a throwback to retro-action movies involving conspiracies, tech-wars, and cold action sequences. A while ago, Bloodshot was intended to open a certain kind of shared universe (involving another Valiant property, Harbinger); but, the idea was now scraped, even when the projects still develop, and that's possibly a correct decision. Diesel is an ex-military man who was kidnapped and assassinated with his wife (Talulah Riley). He's then brought back to life by a group of scientists led by Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce) with literal bloodshot transfused into his dead body in the enti...

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