Intense and unnerving for the whole duration, this based-on-true-event survival thriller is an anti-terrorism message that often becomes too over-sensationalist.
November 2008, Mumbai were under siege by foreign terrorists. Brutally
coordinated terrorist strikes targeted several key locations in India’s financial
capital, including the magnificent Taj Mahal Hotel Palace, in which most
portions of the movie take places. In portraying the horror, Hotel Mumbai, Anthony Maras’ directorial
debut, presents an anti-terrorism docu-drama which often goes too far in its
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Andy Serkis’ directorial debut is a flawed but breathtaking love story saved by its powerful leads.
Review: Breathe, directorial debut from Andy Serkis—the man who should’ve gotten lifetime achievement for dedication to performance capture, is surprisingly a grounded, imperfect but breathtaking love story inspired by Robin Cavendish, a responaut who survived from paralyzing polio, and his loving wife, Diana.
Andrew Garfield, as per his recent standard, is astonishing as Robin, an energetic British tea-broker who ventures in Africa. His social fluidness helps him winning over Diana Blacker’s (Claire Foy, The Crown) heart, despite her reputation as a professional heartbreaker. Love blooms quickly and, before long, Robin marries Diana before his tenure in Kenya began. Yet, life gives as quickly as it takes. During Diana’s pregnancy with Jonathan Cavendish (who apparently becomes the film’s executive producer), Robin falls sick as he inhales polio virus and was paralyzed from the neck down. With three months to live—according to doctor’s initial diagnosis—and weak will to live, only Diana’s love nurtures him back to life Continue reading “Breathe (2017) – Review”
Review: Behind the heavy testosterone-laden drama, Only the Brave highlights true act of heroism in the most respectful way. It might look like a show-off of masculinity, but who knows that it’s never really about muscles. It’s the story of hearts.
Director Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy, Oblivion) assembles a combination of veteran actors and rising ones, ranging from Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin and Jennifer Connelly to Miles Teller and Taylor Kitsch, in telling a real story of Granite Mountain Hotshots, sub-group of Prescott Fire Department. Only the Brave covers how the group rose into prominence, saved thousands of acres from forest fire, and culminated the devastating event of Yarnell Hill fire. Continue reading “Only the Brave (2017) – Review”
Review: As timely and important than ever, Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit makes an unsettling yet poignant film about racism-induced Afro-American uprising in Detroit circa 1967. While Bigelow presents downtown Detroit riot in Hurt Locker fashion where smoke soaring high and dusty ruins are practically adorning every corner of the city, it’s not the carnage which is highlighted; but, the root of it all: white’s oppression.
Combining real footage with sharp recreations of the event, Detroit immediately plunges into the warzone, displaying the horror and volatile circumstances. Without warning and proper exposition, pivotal characters—including racist cops, undervalued security guard, white girls among black, black ‘Nam veteran & black musicians—are introduced and lured into the climactic standoff patiently; while audiences are expected to draw the thread between them. Circumstances, characters and the film’s message culminate in robust one-location havoc in a place called Motel Algiers.
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Review: Love is a many-splendored thing again in The Big Sick, a highly relatable rom-com about multi-cultural relationship inspired by real-life story of its writers—Pakistani-American comedian, Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley), and his wife, Emily V. Gordon.
This Judd Apatow-produced delight package grounds closely to reality and is utterly apprehensible in presenting a witty, sweet story. Some of the aspects are more digestible (also debatable) for people of Eastern culture than those of Western; but it’s never alienating. After all, this is a warm and honest cross-culture romance that attempts to bridge the differences. In short, it’s the kind of old loving-you-loving-your-family love story, which works in the heart of ‘modernity.’
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Review: In case you haven’t heard, Tom Cruise’ latest American Made, is a crazy real-life story of Han Solo the Smuggler. Well, it’s actually a story of a real figure, Barry Seal (portrayed by Cruise), a pilot prodigy who left his delightful life as an airline pilot to pursue ‘careers’ to make, live, and make living out of CIA, Nicaraguan right-wing guerillas, Pablo Escobar’s Medellin Cartel, to the White House. It’s so dirty, so obscene, and so ludicrous that it almost busts out the line between reality and fiction.
Barry Seal’s life, despite everything, feels like it’s been written solely for Cruise. Seal is an adrenaline junkie (which matches up with Cruise’ personality as he insists on doing his own stunt) who gets entangled in an obscure world full of corruption, double-crossings and crimes. In living such a life, he’s quite a narcissist and a fancy talker (in one scene he’s talking DEA, State Police, FBI and other law enforcers out promising them a Caddy for a person, while he knows they won’t accept). And, the best part is that he’s doing his operation airborne—flying small planes, reuniting Cruise with his aviation tenure in Top Gun.
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“I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure,” said Eric Liddell to his pious sister.
Of God and men, of faith and patriotism, for serving God and breaking stereotypes, Hugh Hudson’s Chariots of Fire wraps them all in a biopic about British athletic team’s triumphant victory in the 1924 Olympics. It’s a rare picture which concatenates the urgency of nationalism, ambition, and the evangelism on running tracks, making it one of the strongest Best Picture winners. Continue reading “Blindspot: Chariots of Fire (1981)”