Tuesday, October 19

Tag: Rating: 2

Review: Akhir Kisah Cinta Si Doel (2020)
Focus: Indonesia, Movie Review

Review: Akhir Kisah Cinta Si Doel (2020)

The third and final movie in Si Doel trilogy obtains the official title, Akhir Kisah Cinta si Doel (trans. The End of Doel's Love Story), for one apparent purpose> It lets the audiences finally learn that this is the endgame. This is the real finale to Si Doel's chronicle that has been going on for 27 years, starting off as a telly phenomenon before spawning television movies and pointing out at this very moment. Taking off where the second movie left out, this final part—like the previous movies—slowly crawls around the protagonist's mundane life in Jakarta suburbs as Doel (Rano Karno) ponders on the bizarre love triangle between him, his wife, Zaenab (Maudy Koesnaedi, ), and the wife who left him, Sarah (Cornelia Agatha). Meanwhile, Little Dul (Rey Bong), Sarah's son, sets out to...
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: Underwater (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Underwater (2020)

It's hard to tell if Underwater is an under-water homage to Aliens' franchise or simply a rip-off of some under-water survival horror, like Leviathan or DeepStar Six. You will see bad-ass Kristen Stewart running for her life wearing only underwear like Ellen Ripley; but, her haircut is taken unashamedly from ALIEN³. The setting, however, suits George P. Cosmatos' Leviathan quite unashamedly as well. You are excused if thinking the whole event feels derivative because it is what it is. Stewart (straight from Charlie's Angels) portrays Norah, an engineer on a mining station located approximately seven miles under the ocean's surface, precisely around Mariana Trench. The location alone should have given you a chilling atmosphere (there is a convincing tracking shot at the beginning of the...
Review: The Grudge (2020)
Movie Review

Review: The Grudge (2020)

Rebooting a failing remake is maybe the most logical or, otherwise, the most cringe-worthy gig a Hollywood studio would do. While the argument to right the wrong is plausible, the tendency to repeat the same mistake is as imaginable. Sadly, Nicolas Pesce's remake of The Grudge (2004)—Takashi Shimizu's own remake of his own J-Horror classic, Ju-On—tends to take the messed-up path. While Shimizu's 2004 remake attempted to position itself as close as possible to the source material (the remake went even further to place it in the same geographical map), it's still a messy thread with more questions than actual terrors. One of the most bugging creative decisions is related to the mechanism of the curse, which becomes the franchise's epicenter. Shimizu engineers the curse to work as a super...
Review: Black Christmas (2019)
Movie Review

Review: Black Christmas (2019)

Black Christmas offers a progressive premise incorporating feminism and home-invasion slasher. It's a well-intended remake of Bob Clark's slasher classic of the same title. The idea is not highly revolutionary, but, from the corner of the eye, it is commendable in an idea-pitching award. Unfortunately, that's not the case. The remake falls where it should not be. The feminism-invasion slasher takes place in sorority houses where a survivor, Riley (Imogen Poots, Green Room) and other sorority women are terrorized by black-hooded killers with some medieval weapons. The killers are no other than some frat boys—endorsed by a supernatural force that doubles down their patriarchal pride which has made them somehow invincible. Only after the women began to speak up, the male supremacist force...
Review: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)
Movie Review

Review: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)

Albeit prudent, Disney's Maleficent is a lousy retelling of the Sleeping Beauty villain. Robert Stormberg's 2014 movie starts off wonderfully, giving an enticing backstory to the mistress of evil, however, the story immediately succumbs into CGI-laden mediocrity. Only the premise, Angelina Jolie's wickedly enchanting performance, and the box office result (garnering $758 million worldwide, making it the fourth-highest-grossing movie of that year) excel in. Those factors alone have secured the way for Jolie to spearheading the sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, helmed by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales' director, Joachim Rønning. Mistress of Evil serves more like a prolonged victory lap for Maleficent. The sequel reunites Jolie with Elle Fanning's Aurora and other p...
Review: In the Tall Grass (2019)
Movie Review

Review: In the Tall Grass (2019)

Without any metaphysical spice a la Stephen King, the idea of getting lost in the open field of tall grass is already harrowing to even imagine. From such idea, King and his son, Joe Hill, craft a puzzling horror story channeling the real-life dread of being lost in an open space and combining it with the bizarreness of otherworldly entity which, as in other King's stories, predates humanity. Canadian director, Vincenzo Natali (Cube), adapts, writes, and directs In the Tall Grass into a 100-minute horror, which is quite frightening in the beginning, but dwindling down to only become frustrating at the end. Natali's In the Tall Grass jumps into the terror as quickly as the movie begins. A pregnant lady, Becky (Laysla de Oliveira) and her sibling, Cal (Avery Whitted), are en-route to giv...
Review: The Divine Fury (2019)
Focus: Asia, Movie Review

Review: The Divine Fury (2019)

Midnight Runners' director, Kim Joo-hwan returns with a new blockbuster that reunites him with the Runners' star, Park Seo-joon. Combining the corniest elements of exorcism horror and comical action-hero tropes, The Divine Fury is a gothic action fantasy which immediately reminds us of Constantine minus the angelic apparitions. From spiritual imagery of Catholicism, priests chanting prayers in Latin to expel demons, to fistfight against demon-possessed people, you are up for an action-packed ride full of blood, holy waters and... campiness, nevertheless. The Divine Fury seems to seam unlikely components into one helluva narrative drive. The story roots on an enticingly crafted mythos of the Dark Bishop, a worshipper of the evil Holy Serpent. Dark Bishop corrupts problematic people and ...
Review Ma (2019)
Movie Review

Review Ma (2019)

Octavia Spencer portrays a mysterious, middle-aged woman who seems to be battling loneliness in Ma, a social thriller by Tate Taylor, the director of The Help—in which she won her Oscar. Spencer is terrific at full length; Taylor’s direction is unquestionably intense; yet, Ma isn’t the kind of movie that will make the collaboration thrives. It doesn’t shy away from being exploitative; and, Scotty Landes’ script only confirms its lethargic narrative. Spencer is Sue Ann, an assistant to a rude vet (Allison Janney). Albeit friendly to the customers (and their pets, as well), she is not a social person; something seems to wander in her mind. In one fateful moment, she encounters Maggie (Booksmart’s Diana Silvers), a new girl in town, with her new cliques as they attempt to buy liquors from...
Review The Hustle (2019)
Movie Review

Review The Hustle (2019)

In this gender-swapped remake of Frank Oz's buddy-con comedy, Dirty Little Scoundrels (which was also a remake of the older version, Bedtime Stories), two women are competing yet also teaming up to deceit older men into actually grant them what they desire. With Anne Hathaway (partnered up with Rebel Wilson, the movie has the potential to, at least, remind us why this remake, especially the gender-swap element, is necessary. And yet, the whole scheme is simply insensitive and problematic, even when the movie manages to have its fun moments. (more…)
Review Dark Phoenix (2019)
Movie Review

Review Dark Phoenix (2019)

It's time to bid farewell to the X-Men saga we once knew since 2000. Surviving for almost two decades, the franchise has gone through ups (X-Men, X2, X-Men: First Class, Days of Future Past) and downs (X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: Apocalypse). When it's high, it's soaring high, setting the bar high for other comic book movies; but, when it's down, it's down low. The mutant saga, known for its serious allegory to the marginalized people living in this harsh world, deserves an, at least, meaningful closure. It's sad that for the final showdown (to mark the end of the Fox era before the possible Disney-fueled reincarnation), X-Men is inclined to wrap it moderately with Dark Phoenix a.k.a. a missing chance. (more…)
Review The Pool (2019)
Focus: Asia, Movie Review

Review The Pool (2019)

A couple is foolishly trapped in an abandoned 6-meter-deep pool... without water, without ladder, without any visible way out. From the premise, Ping Lumpraploeng's The Pool seems to offer a frustrating, claustrophobic thriller assembling the force of bad luck and the consequence of ignorance. It immediately reminds me to Open Water series (especially the second installment) where sheer stupidity and malaise jeopardize people's life. While it sounds nonsensical and exaggerating, some of its suspense might work even better if the movie does not give away most of the thrills so easily. (more…)
Review The Curse of Weeping Woman (2019)
Movie Review

Review The Curse of Weeping Woman (2019)

The Conjuring universe keeps expanding its horizon with many unlikely, hit-or-miss ways making it one of the most successful sharing cinematic universes. Their recent cash-in period horror, The Curse of the Weeping Woman (also titled as The Curse of La Llorona), is based on a Mexican folk horror that dated back to the 17th century. La Llorona a.k.a. the weeping woman was once a woman who drowned her two children upon learning that her hidalgo husband chasing another woman; since then, she returns as a ghost who haunts and drowns other children of some poor women. There's no telling why, but after at least two centuries, the Mexican ghost eventually made it all the way from south of the border to Los Angeles, where the 1973 horror takes place. (more…)
Review Sunyi (2019)
Focus: Indonesia, Movie Review

Review Sunyi (2019)

Awi Suryadi has become a legit name in Indonesian horror cinema. His three recent horrors (Danur, Danur 2: Maddah, Asih; dubbed as Danur universe) were all blockbuster hits with mixed to negative reviews condemning his over-abuse of cinematic style (including the never-ending Duch tilts) that borrows from famous horror auteurs, jump-scares with blatant sound effects, and, mostly, weak scripts. His recent venture, Sunyi, is a loose adaptation of the 1998 South Korean horror blockbuster, Whispering Corridors—a horror which isn’t necessarily needing an adaptation. (more…)
Review Hellboy (2019)
Movie Review

Review Hellboy (2019)

There is a common defense for the new Hellboy: it is truer to the nature and style of the source material, Mike Mignola’s Dark Horse comics. That argument seems to undermine how imaginative and romantic Guillermo del Toro’s idyllic 2004 fantasy-adventure, which also spawns a sequel in 2008. Fact is, the reboot by Neil Marshall is a darker R-rated rendition with more profanities, more binge-drinking and more blood-gushing moments. (more…)

Twitter Timeline

error: Content is protected !!