Coco (2017) – Review

‘Til death do us part’ is not a thing in Pixar’s Mexican odyssey about life, death and family that bounds them altogether.

Review: Seven years in making with thorough research in Mexico along with solid team led by Lee Unkrich to celebrate appropriate representation (including writer, Adrian Molina, who got eventually promoted into co-director), Pixar’s nineteenth feature, Coco, results in a highly respectful tribute to Mexican culture and tradition, specifically, ‘Dia de los Muertos’ a.k.a. The Day of the Dead.

In preparation of the carnivalesque, marigold-laden Mexican festivity of the dead, 12-year-old Miguel Rivera (voiced by Anthony Gonzales) is entangled in a fateful adventure between life, death and family that bounds them altogether. The boy only wants to follow his passion—to simply play guitar and sing like his hero, a famous Mexican singer and actor, Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt)—much to his shoemaker family’s dismay due to a past predicament. When a talent show is held at the town’s plaza, Miguel ignores his family’s cries of refusal and joins up anyway. For that, he steals the monumental guitar from de la Cruz chapel, which makes him cursed and strands up in the Land of the Dead. Continue reading “Coco (2017) – Review”

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Paddington 2 (2017) – Review

Paddington’s fully-integrated story to human family is a bear-y merry sequel.

Review: Paddington—the marmalade-loving Peruvian bear who has now become a permanent resident in Windsor Gardens, London along with The Browns—returns for another adventure in this bear-y merry sequel.

While having been entirely integrated into human’s life and become a local hero, Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw) is still the bear he used to be—the little bear saved and adopted by the late Uncle Pastuzo (voiced by Michael Gambon) and Aunt Lucy (Imelda Staunton). For Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, Paddington is keen to give her a unique pop-up book about London, the city of her dream. The lil’ bear will do anything to finally buy the book from Mr. Gruber’s (Jim Broadbent) antique shop; even when what he’s done gets him entangled into a malicious conspiracy orchestrated by a villainous former actor, Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant). Continue reading “Paddington 2 (2017) – Review”

Thor: Ragnarok (2017) – Review

Review: Giving Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) a Marvel gig is indeed the studio’s biggest game-changer, even bigger than Guardians of the Galaxy. After 17 films in some candy-colored superhero action mode with high-dose of witty comedy, the NZ director finally drops the bass and turns the table—making Thor: Ragnarok a.k.a. God of Thunder’s third tenure an exact opposite of Marvel’s procedural film: a full-time comedy with high-dose of action.

From the first scene where Thor (Chris Hemsworth) ‘infiltrates’ the lair of evil Surtur, a demonic presence prophesied as the bringer of Ragnarok a.k.a. Asgard’s apocalypse, it’s apparent that Ragnarok—despite bearing ‘apocalypse’ in the title—is never a grim story. It’s a story of siblinghood and friend-from-work-hood delivered as high octane hilarity which loves to have fun with typical CGI-laden blockbuster spectacles and Marvel-induced Norse mythology. However, even with the laughing-gas injection prescribed by Waititi, Ragnarok still ends up being that Marvel film. Continue reading “Thor: Ragnarok (2017) – Review”

The Babysitter (2017) – Review

Review: The Babysitter, Netflix new original flick, is surprisingly an exhilarating ‘Home Alone’ of teen-slasher thriller. It revolves around a fateful night for a pubescent school guy, Cole (Judah Lewis), who secretly admires his teenage babysitter, Bee (Samara Weaving), who seems to have similar interest to classic films and pop culture. Cole’s parents are out of town for a reconciling ‘honeymoon’, leaving him alone only with Bee. That’s how the crazy night begins.

FYI, the whole gonzo is McG’s new film and it comes like what McG films should be. It’s sexy, adrenaline-charged, over-the-top and stylish; although often coming all over the place and, basically, bland. This time, McG adds some touch of gore and references to classic B-movie slashers in presenting his latest guilty-pleasure ride. Continue reading “The Babysitter (2017) – Review”

Happy Death Day (2017) – Review

Review: A college student, Tree (Jessica Rothe), woke up in a random guy’s (Israel Broussard) dorm room before she went on and did what all mean girls should do: screwing everyone she encountered. There’s no stopping for her sinister behavior until she finally got herself into trouble: being killed by a masked killer, only to find herself waking up to the same room she woke up earlier and relived her final day again, again and again.

In short, Happy Death Day does Groundhog Day with teen-slasher tropes. Director Christopher Landon and writer Scott Lobdell utilize time-loop formula to showcase their references of old-school slasher films in creating tension. But, more to it, they also utilize the same formula to formulate a fun whodunit thriller with the victim as the center. It looks campy and a little generic, but it never stops bringing funride for its whole duration.

happy-death-day-01 Continue reading this review in English, click here!

Almacenados (2015) – BALINALE Review

Review: Jack Zagha Kababie’s Almacenados (a.k.a. Warehoused) houses an absurdly ridiculous two-man show about employment, specifically pre-retirement syndrome, in an empty warehouse, hence the title.

Set in a warehouse located in a Mexican suburb, the drama-comedy revolves on the last five working days of Mr. Lino (José Carlos Ruiz), an old, diligent employee, and first five days of Nin (Hose Meléndez). Each day represents a chapter in this smartly outlandish observational tale, which mostly comes in tranquility but always has the ability to trigger bittersweet laughs. Continue reading “Almacenados (2015) – BALINALE Review”