Review: To the glorified 90s kids, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was an all-time phenomenon. Five candy-colored heroes in costume (well, sometimes six), guided by a hologram face and an android, fight fancy-designed monsters – who can morph into giant form – with mecha-assembles called zord. It’s an immortal childhood memories for those kids; and immortal money pit for the makers, hence the new Lionsgate adaptation, Power Rangers.
This new Power Rangers starts with a new invention to the Power Rangers myth where Zordon (Bryan Cranston) sacrificed himself to protect ‘Zeo crystal’ from his treacherous ex-Ranger-mate, Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks). Million years later, the battleground is now a small city called – yes you’re right – Angel Grove, where five teenagers: Jason (Dacre Montgomerry, Stranger Things), Billy (RJ Cycler, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), Kimberly (Naomi Scott), Zack (Ludi Lin) and Trini (Becky G.) reside. As predictable as ever, Power Rangers follows the ‘usual plot’; but what can you expect from a Rangers film but fun and campiness? Continue reading Power Rangers (2017) – Review
Review: I once wrote an abridged history of Beauty and the Beast roots on my review of Christophe Gans’ La Belle et La Bête. How this beautiful French lore has evolved, added more insight and backstories, and represented social issues from time to time alone has already made an intriguing tale. While adaptations and re-imaginings have altered it from the root, there’s one thing that never fades: the magic.
I can’t still see ‘the whys’ of Disney’s decision to remake their Renaissance animation with a live-action feature; yet, I can put aside that concerns. They’ve done it well with Cinderella (2014) by having courage and being kind and staying true to its root; and The Jungle Book (2016) by fulfilling the bare necessities. And for Beauty and the Beast, I can say that this live-action re-telling is not a must, but it’s necessary. Continue reading Beauty and the Beast (2017) – Review
Review: Undeniably, Silence is Martin Scorsese’s most personal and ambitious work to date. Adapting Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel of the same title about the voyage of two Jesuit priests in the 17th century Japan, in a misty era called ‘Kakure Kirishitan’ or ‘hidden Christian.’ It is a story about faith and questions that surround men of faith in a desperate time. Inarguably, it is poignant, visceral and though-provoking at the same time – just like faith itself.
Silence follows Father Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Father Garupe (Adam Driver), who voluntarily voyage from Portugal to Japan in order to locate the whereabouts of their missing mentor, Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson). Arriving in Japan, the priests immediately get plunged into the miserable life of Japanese Christians, who live and pray in silence and secrecy, for fear of being prosecuted and tortured by Shogunate Inquisitor, Inoue (Issei Ogata). Under such circumstances, the priests barely carry their initial mission out as they’re engulfed in rehabilitating the people’s deteriorating faith and survive the catastrophe themselves. Continue reading Silence (2016) – Review
“Every night I cut out my heart. But in the morning it was full again,” said Count Almásy.
In the 69th Academy Awards, Anthony Minghella’s The English Patient garnered 12 nominations and won 9 of them including Best Picture and Best Director, hence this post. Minghella’s tour de force practically owns it all and is praised as the film of the year in the same year as Fargo, Jerry Maguire,Shine et al. Clocking in at 162 minutes (as it was initially reportedly to have a 250-minute cut), this epic story is clearly ambitious and tough to watch for its lengthy duration; but, it really is worth the duration. Continue reading BLINDSPOT: The English Patient (1996)
Review: Inarguably, the true event that inspires Garth Davis’ Lion is a blessing-in-disguise story. A five-year old Indian boy, Saroo (Sunny Pawar) gets lost while going away from home with his older brother. He’s stranded in Calcutta – 1,600KM away from home; survived hardships in street life, before being adopted by an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham), who lives in Tasmania.
Separated from his birth family and his compassionate brother, Saroo, now a Brierley (portrayed by Dev Patel), grows into a full-fledged Australian – who even forgets to speak Hindi. When hearing about Google Earth, Saroo becomes obsessed with it to trace down his memory lane in attempt to locate his home in India. Will he find his birth house after all? At this point, knowing how this story ends is moderately forgiven, because Lion isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey. Continue reading Lion (2016) – Review
At a glance, Moonlight resembles the spirit of Richard Linklater’s magnum opus, Boyhood, in a way that it follows the twisted voyage of a boy to become man, embracing what matters in him. Yet, Moonlight puts twists into this self-discovery drama – challenging black male masculinity with fragility to mirror Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain in a different scale.
Writer-director Barry Jenkins adapts Tarell Alvin McCraney’s unperformed play titled ‘In Moonlight Black Boy Looks Blue’ into a three-phase story of a black gay boy’s self-maturation in which each chapter resembles the identity he embraces. As a boy, he’s Little (portrayed by Alex Hibbert), a little bully target taken under the wing of a crack-dealer, Juan (Mahershala Ali); as a teen, he’s Chiron (Ashton Sanders), a taciturn boy who finds love in his own best friend; and as a grown-up, he’s Black (Trevante Rhodes), embracing the identity given by his long-lost love. Three phases might define him differently, but his inner identity stays intact; waiting for acceptance that keeps troubling him. Continue reading Moonlight (2016) – Review