Review: Taking full resilient force from Justin Simien’s 2014 indie-hit, Dear White People, Netflix’s Dear White People reuses the same force to launch this 10-episode of witty comedy into this year’s most thought-provoking spectacle. This works as an extension of the infamous black-themed white-people party in the feature film, although it starts off with effective reimagining of it; but, it transcends mostly as the aftermath with counter-racism and cross-cultural conversation at its heart.
Set in a fictional Ivy League university, Winchester College, Dear White People follows a tribe of black students living in all-black dorm named Armstrong-Parker house. If the film version combines multiple characters’ arcs in a full-frontal riot, the series presents the story differently. Each pivotal character gets a full 30-minute episode arc in exercising the doomed party’s aftermath. Continue reading A Season with: Dear White People (2017) – Season 1
Review: For starter, Riverdale “borrows” super-likable characters from your childhood Archie comics – from red-haired jock-musician wannabe, Archie Andrews (KJ Apa), the good girl Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart), smoky hot rich Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), quirky Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) to the thorn girl, Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch), throws them into a bleak, neon-bathed YA world, and give them a completely new storyline. While appearing campy and soapy for the whole season, the series has proven to be another guilty pleasure entry from the CW, which surprisingly works.
Set in a fictional town named Riverdale – hence the title – this series practically kicks off with the mysterious murder of Jason Blossom (Trevor Stines), a brother to Cheryl and a lover to Betty’s sister. From there, Riverdale quickly escalates into a provincial-townie, coming-of-age murder whodunit, which is often overshadowed by toned-down Game of Thrones/The Sopranos-esque faux complexities. Stories have never been an aspect this series excels in, but they’re important to make those likable characters shine like cents. Continue reading A Season with: Riverdale (2017) – Season 1
Review: With a title referring to an aviation term, critical eleven – three minutes after taking off and eight minutes before landing, where a plane is at the highest risk of crashing – Critical Eleven is not an actual film about flights; instead, it is a romantic manifestation of those critical minutes in a relationship.
According to the film (adapted from Ika Natassa’s bestseller of the same title), the same term is applicable to a meet cute as well; first three minutes of crafting impression, and final eight of leaving impression. And yet, the very same term is also applicable to enjoying this story, too. If the first three minutes (not exactly) gets you enthralled, you’ll desperately need to get prepared for the final eight minutes. Continue reading Critical Eleven (2017): An Anti-Romance Romance Film
Review: Technically, Satria Heroes: Revenge of Darkness has all the potentials to introduce audiences who aren’t familiar with Indonesian tokusatsu, Bima Satria Garuda and the sequel, Bima-X, to the saga; but, it tends to have fun with itself. In fact, it opts to be a (literally) simple, blatant, campy Kamen Rider-inspired bonanza, which might get you cringed and entertained at once.
Satria Heroes narrative is pretty simple – following up three-act structure with an additional backstory stuffed right before the mid act. It splits the focus to two key figures – Ray and an iron-masked antagonist – and presents it in three interrelated episodes. Ray and Iron Mask respectively get the focus in the first two episodes before finally they clash in the third episode ‘Revenge of Darkness.’ Continue reading Satria Heroes: Revenge of Darkness (2017): ‘Kay, Man. Right thurr.
Review: In The Circle, James Ponsoldt – a promising director with sympathetic character-driven dramas (Smashed, The Spectacular Now, and The End of the Tour) – attempts to create a Dr. Strangelove of the 21st century while substituting ‘The Bomb’ with ‘The Internet.’ Based on Dave Eggers’ 2013 novel, this is projected as a poignant satire to criticize how internet has taken over real life and, especially, threatened privacy. And yet, Ponsoldt ends up making a star-studded mess with mostly underused idea and, more, superfluous subject.
What happened was, by the time Eggers published the novel, the subject matter became highly relevant with global circumstances IN REAL TIME. Yet, one click later, three years have passed and, ironically, Eggers’ fears had some surfaced, emerged, and made real life stranger than fiction; and that’s how The Circle becomes irrelevant and, as I mentioned previously, superfluous. Continue reading The Circle (2017) – Review
Review: Recapturing the magic of the original/first film is often an arduous quest, even by Marvel standards. Let’s forget not about how Joss Whedon’s misery, in crafting Age of Ultron to follow up the groundbreaking Avengers assemble, could not live up to the expectation. Given that record, it’s not a big surprise that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 falls flat in its attempt to live up the virtuoso of Marvel’s biggest gamble; what’s surprising: it still makes an awesome fun-tertaining space bravura centering on galaxy’s most favorite dysfunctional ‘family.’
Element of surprise is what’s missed in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The Guardians – along with their closest relatives – aren’t unfamiliar faces anymore; same goes to Awesome Mix, the intergalactic vistas, and the typical jokes and banters they’re throwing. During their tenure in Guardians of the Galaxy, they’ve shared spotlight to finally form this band of misfits into a sort of universe protectors. Now, some must relegate into supporting roles and some must go upfront in not so typical disbanding-after-assembling sequel trope. Continue reading Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) – Review