Review Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)

Detective Pikachu’s bold attempt to craft an independent story out of an overly established franchise only results in a parade of cute pokémons with small flickering jolts and less exultation.

Warner Bros’ attempt to revamp the Pokémon franchise with an independently standalone live-action is simply a go-big-or-go-home move. While the story is based on a game of the same title, Detective Pikachu basically ditches most minor elements that usually made it into Pokémon movies—including the famous Poké Ball—into some distant properties. For fans of the franchise who subsequently follows the game, this might look like an attempt not to be a verbatim adaptation; but, for casual fans, the whole idea of relegating the ‘pocket monsters’ into non-pocket-sized sidekicks might be a new invention. So, is it a blessing or otherwise?

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Review Long Shot (2019)

Theron and Rogen’s blithesome chemistry excels in this carefree political rom-com that feels somehow sincere and biting at the same time.

It’s unsurprising that Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen’s rom-com teaming up is an absolutely great idea. “Unlikely but not impossible,”as the tagline has suggested. Separately, Theron and Rogen had respectively excelled in their rom-coms (in which their characters are both troubled with some sort of identity crises)—the former in Young Adult and the latter in Knocked Up. In Long Shot—a political rom-com spawned from Dan Sterling’s story, co-penned with Liz Hannah, both stars once again excel as their blithesome chemistry ripened under the direction by 50/50 director, Jonathan Levine.

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Review Guava Island (2019)

Donald Glovers’ artistry meets Hiro Murai’s sensitivity produce an uplifting, musical dramedy which feels violent and elevating at the same moment.

In Guava Island, Donald Glover fully embraces his musical moniker, Childish Gambino, to do Beyonce’s Lemonade-ing on his own style. Directed by Glover’s frequent collaborator, Hiro Murai, who has been working on his music videos (including the recent phenomenon, This Is America) and his self-conceived series Atlanta, this 55-minute feature is another invention in Glover’s never-ending artistry. Premiering at Coachella (followed by a limited Amazon Prime distribution), this short feature might be a career celebration or, else, a hint on what Glover would do in the future about his music, acting, and writing career.

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Review Shazam! (2019)

DC revamps their superhero rosters with Zachary Levi as Shazam! — a fun-loving, absurd icon with a highly uplifting twist of the tropes.

We all know that DC execs’ realization that their superhero movie does not need to exactly follow Marvel’s trajectory came very late and with a dire cost. Yet, slowly, the hope rises. Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman has gone through a territory Marvel never ventured (at least until Captain Marvel); then, James Wan’s Aquaman, despite all the flaws, were an exhilarating, likable blockbuster. The breakthrough continues with Shazam!, a magic-powered superhero movie, which comes to fulfill childhood’s fantasy of those growing up with the lots of Power Rangers or BeetleBorgs.

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Review My Stupid Boss 2 (2019)

While Reza Rahadian’s performance is such a crown jewel, My Stupid Boss 2 still feels like a compilation of comedy sketch that only partially work.

In 2016, My Stupid Boss was a national box office hit in Indonesia – scoring more than 3,000,000 admissions. Helmed by versatile Indonesian director, Upi Avianto, the oddball comedy adapted from best-selling memoir by Chaos@work received mixed reception upon release. Major praises went to Reza Rahadian who garnered several awards and accolades for his portrayal of the titular goofy boss called Mr. Bossman. Meanwhile, the movie was also hardly criticized for the incoherent plot and the tonal mess.

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Review The Dirt (2019)


For every soulless Bohemian Rhapsody, we are granted an even soul-corrupted The Dirt, a biopic of an iconic band – who claims to “drink, snort and fuck everything in sight” – Mötley fuckin’ Crüe. Undergoing years of inferno from Paramount and MTV Films to Focus Feature before ending up in development hell, the biopic – eventually picked up by Netlix – ends up doing what every other biopic couldn’t bear to do: debauching the subject but proudly and deliberately. It’s campy, sleazy, nasty, dumb, offensive, but, nonetheless, fun.

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Review Friend Zone (2019)

Friend Zone, while building the narrative on an overly familiar material plus some jetset life clichés, can still deliver its hook right at the gut.

Friend Zone adopts an idea that has been too familiar that we almost take it for granted. A story of a guy who falls hard to a girl (vice versa) but ends up as friends, instead of lovers, is a tragedy since forever. Before the term was popularized by Joey Tribbiani in sitcom Friends, Edgar Linton has been friend-zoned by Catherine Earnshaw in Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and, since then, we’ve heard a lot of similar stories or even get ourselves tangled in such stories. That does not refrain this new GDH romance from reminding us on how beautiful and sentimental this state can be.

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