Review: After hitchhiking and helping to save the day in The LEGO Movie (2014), Will Arnett’s self-obsessed Batman finally gets promoted to his own spotlight as the lead role. In his solo, brick-world spin-off, The LEGO Batman Movie, Batman is the feeling-less, insensitive, heavy metal and beat box loving, lone vigilante of more-vibrant-and-frenetic-than-Tim-Burton’s Gotham. However, he’s not some taciturn, shy Dark Knight; Batman has embraced Bruce Wayne’s narcissism personality disorder and turned into a superstar of the crime-lair city.
Things go south when Jim Gordon retires and his daughter, a Harvard for Police alumnus, Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) steps in. She insists that the city doesn’t need Batman for the Caped Crusader, although succeeds in quelling city’s most notorious villains, cannot really wipe them off completely. At the same moment, Batman’s rejected arch-nemesis – the Joker (Zach Galifianakis, in a more sensitive role than Jared Leto’s swagger version) surrenders himself and his band of criminals. Fearing that it’s Joker’s mere villainous agenda, Batman aided by his cute adopted son Dick Grayson (Michael Cera) determines to stop Joker at whatever cost. Continue reading The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) – Review
“C’mon, Babe, why don’t we paint the town… and all that Jazz!” Velma Kelly sings on the stage.
In the 75th Academy Awards, Rob Marshall’s Chicago triumphed over with six winnings, including Best Picture, overpowering strong contenders like The Pianist, Gangs of New York, and Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Chicago becomes the second musical to win Best Picture after 1968’s Oliver!; and together with Moulin Rouge, it is responsible for the reemergence of musical film in modern days. Continue reading Blindspot: Chicago (2002)
Review: Damien Chazelle – the director of critically acclaimed Whiplash – crafts a sharp-witted, jazz-spirited romance in La La Land. It’s a love, no, passion letter to the beauty of music, of cinema, of L.A., and of dream.
La La Land, undoubtedly, is a bunch of happiness, blissful tunes and whoop-de-do wrapped in an ethereal rhapsody. It’s an exhilarating, feel-good musical that will take you to the stars and make you reluctant to touch the ground again, even if you’re not familiar with classic musical. Continue reading La La Land (2016) – Review
Review: In his directorial debut, Ngenest, Ernest Prakasa crafts a vocal identity conflict as a man of a Chinese descent living in a country with history of discrimination towards his people. As much as it is poignant, it hilariously leads the audiences to laugh with, instead of laugh at, the subject matter. The result is a witty, ironic self-esteem which works at multi-levels: comedy, romance, and satire.
In his sophomore project, Cek Toko Sebelah (literally meaning ‘Checking on the store next door’), Ernest takes a completely opposite approach in crafting a comedy that represent his identity. While Ngenest expands the identity issue outwards society, with specific frames to cope up with quest for acceptance and acknowledgement; Cek Toko Sebelah draws same issues profoundly inside to the basic, to the core of tradition, to the family.
Interestingly, Chinese families in Indonesia have many stories to share, from their tradition to the food, to the common stereotype that each family owns at least a specific store, which is inherited from generation to generation. This stereotype is the epicenter of a poignant family drama Cek Toko Sebelah offers. Continue reading Cek Toko Sebelah (2016): A treasure no store could sell
Review: In Raditya Dika’s Hangout, a mysterious host invites 9 Indonesian foremost celebrities to a lush resort in a remote island for three days with no definite reason. Thinking it is as a secret casting invitation, those 9 brats are coming around.
Among those 9 stars, versatile Indonesian director/poker-faced actor/writer/stand-up comedian/YouTube personality, Raditya Dika lurks around after being financially indebted. Along with Dika, Soleh Solihun, a stand-up comedian turned disastrous reality show presenter, also came while holding grudge to Dika for making him losing a role for box office hit called Korea Forever. Aside from the frenemy, other celebs i.e, veteran Mathias Muchus, flamboyant Surya Saputra, adventurousTiti Kamal, filthy Dinda Kanya Dewi, Gading Marten, YouTube vlogger Bayu Skak and teenage star Prilly Latuconsina, are coming for the invitation.
What started off as a tropical dream and a little inner circle reunion suddenly turns into massacre when body counts start to rise. A mysterious killer is targeting those Indonesian stars, one by one, for a reason nobody bloody knows. Continue reading Hangout (2016): Hanging out with Death
Review: Second animated feature from Illumination Entertainment (the studio who brought you Minions and, recently, The Secret Life of Pets) in 2016 brings tons of happiness and a whole playlist ranging from the 80s to recent hits in SING, an absurd blend of X-Factor and lots like Zootopia. While the plot is muddled and the comedy is outdated, most elements in SING really works. Just work.
The plot is pretty basic, juxtaposing a generic restoring the good ol’ day quest and formulaic zero-to-hero storyline. There’s an enterpreneur, a koala named Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) with minimum koala-fication to actually run a theater. His business collapses and he’s tangled in debt; to save his business (and his theater), he proposes an X-Factor-esque singing competition with total $1000 prize… initially. Continue reading Sing (2016) – Review