Almacenados (2015) – BALINALE Review

Review: Jack Zagha Kababie’s Almacenados (a.k.a. Warehoused) houses an absurdly ridiculous two-man show about employment, specifically pre-retirement syndrome, in an empty warehouse, hence the title.

Set in a warehouse located in a Mexican suburb, the drama-comedy revolves on the last five working days of Mr. Lino (José Carlos Ruiz), an old, diligent employee, and first five days of Nin (Hose Meléndez). Each day represents a chapter in this smartly outlandish observational tale, which mostly comes in tranquility but always has the ability to trigger bittersweet laughs. Continue reading “Almacenados (2015) – BALINALE Review”

Advertisements

Sweet Bean (2015) – JAFF Jogja 2016 Review

Review: Sweet Bean observes a sweet, subtle chemistry between a desperate man with an elderly woman through the making of sweet bean paste for Japanese-classic pancake, dorayaki. Here, sweet bean paste becomes a symbolic connection of present and paste in a frame of troubled people, living in alienation and barely having life. Continue reading “Sweet Bean (2015) – JAFF Jogja 2016 Review”

La Tête Haute / Standing Tall (2015): Rantai hukum untuk si l’enfant terrible

Review: La Tête Haute a.k.a. Standing Tall – yang mendapat 8 nominasi César Awards dan memenangkan 2 d antaranya – adalah sebuah perjalanan panjang dan melelahkan di balik proses hukum untuk kasus juvenile delinquency atau kenakalan remaja. Perjalanan panjang tersebut direfleksikan dalam kehidupan sang l’enfant terrible sekaligus orang-orang terdekatnya di tengah proses hukum yang berliku. Proses demi proses digambarkan dengan candid sampai berujung di final scene-nya yang ambigu.

‘Vokal’ dan ‘merisaukan’ mungkin dua kata paling tepat untuk menggambarkan Standing Tall. Dari scene pertama saja, film ini sudah tampil vokal kala menampilkan karakter-karakter utamanya dalam sebuah adegan yang frustrating saat Séverine (Sara Forestier) meninggalkan putra tertuanya, Malony (nantinya diperankan Rod Paradot), dalam asuhan jaksa Florence Blaque (Catherine Deneuve). Kesembronoan dan lepas tanggung jawabnya sang ibu itulah pusat drama sebab-akibat ini. Continue reading “La Tête Haute / Standing Tall (2015): Rantai hukum untuk si l’enfant terrible”

Straight Outta Compton (2015) – Short Review

Review: Exactly mirroring violent, candid, and depressing lyrics of gangsta rap behemoth, N.W.A a.k.a Niggaz Wit Attitudes, Straight Outta Compton is an unapologetic biopic of 5 Compton buddies rising from crime-laden suburb into million-dollar worth popularity.

F. Gary Gray’s directorial attempt is explicitly brutal and confident. However, the script seems loose in containing ‘what it meant to deliver’ in one vault—resulting in unequal storytelling. The first half is the most upbeat and power-house journey to controversial stardom with pumped-up energy—where the violent and straightforward lays. Meanwhile, the second half is a little letdown with unbalance portion of narrating the group’s downfall for several factors—Ice Cube’s departure, Jerry Heller’s fraud, and Eazy-E’s tragic death.  Continue reading “Straight Outta Compton (2015) – Short Review”

Best of 2015: Films

With all the glam and hype, 2015 is a very exquisite movie year. Unlike previous years, which saw the rise of young adult novel adaptations and superhero movies, 2015 saw a completely different constellation. From the rise of espionage movies (from highest score for MI5 to the lowest for Mortdecai), the return of dormant classic franchises (from a 30-year cryo-sleeping Mad Max to 3-year long 007), to blockbuster record breakers (from Jurassic World to The Force Awakens), 2015 deserves my personal 3.5 star as a mega-entertaining year.  Continue reading “Best of 2015: Films”

Best of 2015: Performances

Similar to the same list in 2014, I do not fancy classification in acting department. No leading and supporting, although – without question – they’re essential; no male and female, the way Chris Rock put amen to it during his Oscar opening monologue. Among hundreds of splendid, vigorous performances in 2015, I narrowed it down to 15 actors and actresses for their body of works.  Continue reading “Best of 2015: Performances”