Saturday, April 17

Tag: Thriller

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: 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: Tenet (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Tenet (2020)

Christopher Nolan is cinema's own golden son—the prodigy to save the so-called cinematic experience and the giant screens from the impending extinction. His latest spectacle, Tenet, becomes the solid proof of how the cinema's grandiosity must survive amidst atrocities. This is an original action blockbuster at its finest with a clear-cut demand: to be indulged in the best available cinema. From the cutting-edge practical effect showcases; blustering globe-trotting set-pieces; exhaustive narrative that demands re-watches; to Ludwig Göransson's electrifying scoring complemented Jennifer Lame's merciless edit; everything about Tenet is cerebral. (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: Promising Young Woman (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Promising Young Woman (2020)

Carey Mulligan stars in Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman (2020) From the showrunner of Killing Eve, Emerald Fennell, here comes a rape-revenge thriller that feels familiar in bits, but unlike other films with similar theme, it operates on a completely different modus operandi. Aimed for precision in the narrative, direction, and lead performance, Promising Young Woman is a thriller that stings hard and never let go. At its center, there's Carey Mulligan who singlehandedly carries the mission—taking vigilante mantle and serving revenge the way it should be served: cold. She dives head first to the full-raged war against everyone who has wronged her; but, more to it, she plans to take the war more structurally and mercilessly. (more…)
A Season with: RIG 45 (2018 – 2020)
TV Series

A Season with: RIG 45 (2018 – 2020)

There has been a mysterious death on an offshore oil rig in North Sea. The oil company sends someone to investigate the event for any possibility of accident or even a foul play. Encountered with discomforting silence from the crews and challenged by the news of an upcoming storm, RIG 45 invites audiences to race against the time to find an answer and proves that a murderer may have walked among them in a remotely isolated rig in the middle of nowhere. (more…)
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: Run (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Run (2020)

After the sleeper hit, Searching (2018), everyone seems to look forward to what Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian bring for their next story. The highly anticipated follow-up, Run—starring Sarah Paulson—was announced immediately after the release of Chaganty's debut for a Mother's Day release in May 2020. After some schedule amendment, this thriller eventually streams directly on Hulu. Look closely and you will find just how close Run thematically is with Searching, in which both exudes borderless parental love in nasty thrillers that could have gone out of hand in a matter of minutes. (more…)
Review: Just 6.5 (2019)
Focus: Asia, Movie Review

Review: Just 6.5 (2019)

Peyman Moaadi (A Separation, The Night Of) stars alongside Navid Muhammadzadeh (Life and a Day) in this Iranian crime story about drug trades and the harrowing law that follows in Just 6.5 by Saeed Roustayi. Starting out with a fast-paced, neatly choreographed alley chase and concluding with a bone-chilling, man-cry ordeal, Roustayi's clear-cut action thriller with open-ended morality doesn't want to give peace in the audiences' mind—with bitter, almost sympathetic feeling lingers after almost every important conclusion in this story. With slick set pieces that draw comparisons to Hollywood's finest ones blended in with close observations of Iranian law system, making a referential gesture to political crime movie like Steven Soderbergh's Traffic, this is the kind of crime movie that won'...
A Season with: Serigala Terakhir (2020)
TV Series

A Season with: Serigala Terakhir (2020)

Over 10 years after the release of Upi Avianto's gangster blockbuster, Serigala Terakhir (a.k.a. The Last Wolf), a sequel in the form of a 6-episode miniseries arrives. Helmed by Tommy Dewo (assistant director in A Copy of My Mind and Gundala), the story takes place a few years after the original movie. Alex (Abimana Aryasatya), previously a minor character, takes over the main stage from the opposite end. Some narrative elements remain, but, the rest suggests that it's a completely different story seamed only by his existence. (more…)
Review: His House (2020)
Movie Review

Review: His House (2020)

In His House, Sudanese refugee couple flee their war-torn home country and, against all odds, manage to cross the sea—leaving the past nightmare behind. Upon reaching the UK as asylum seekers, they are granted a house as a means of a fresh start, a new beginning. However, when a malicious force lurking inside the house tells them otherwise, they are torn between clinging to the past or moving on to the new life. (more…)
A Season with: Bad Genius: The Series / ฉลาดเกมส์โกง (2020)
TV Series

A Season with: Bad Genius: The Series / ฉลาดเกมส์โกง (2020)

Nattawut Poonpiriya's Bad Genius is a success story when it donned heist elements in exam-cheating drama, making it an effective, nerve-racking thriller. Not only did it orchestrated the rise of newcomer, Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying (Happy Old Year), it also sparks waves of remake (Erik Feig and Patrick Wachsberger have been keen to produce a Hollywood remake with Eva Anderson's writings; meanwhile, Neeraj Pandey's currently supervising a Bollywood rendition). This also includes an expansion by the production house, GDH, to what eventually becomes Bad Genius: The Series a.k.a. ฉลาดเกมส์โกง—with total of 12 50-minute episodes. (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: Nocturne (2020)
Movie Review

Review: Nocturne (2020)

A unfairly fate-rigged sibling rivalry has forced twin sisters, Juliet (Sydney Sweeney from The Handmaid's Tale and Sharp Object) and Vivian (Madison Iseman from the new Jumanji franchise and Annabelle Comes Home), into an unhealthy sisterhood. Living almost exclusively under her sister's shadow for her entire life, the former is driven into the brink of sanity. In a desperate time, desperate measure, she discovers an unlikely help—a force larger and darker than her ambition. (more…)
Review: The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)
Movie Review

Review: The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

The year is 1968. A massive anti-Vietnam War protest at Democratic National Convention in Chicago has broken into an unprecedented turmoil. In the aftermath, Justice Department charges a group of protest leaders, soon to be called as The Chicago Seven, with conspiracy, inciting the riots, and other deranged charges. Nearly two decades later, it's the time for Aaron Sorkin to bring charges against this legal clownery in his directorial effort, The Trial of the Chicago 7. (more…)

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