Review: You might remember John Wick (2014) for the over-the-top gun-fu bravura and feasts of headshots; or, better, for a revenge actioner triggered by a mob son stole a hitman’s ’69 Mustang and killed his dog. Yet, you must agree that, with John Wick, you’ve witnessed taciturn Keanu Reeves makes an instant, original iconic role that bitch-slaps a band of remake/reboot/adaptation goons.
John Wick: Chapter 2 immediately follows up the frenzy in the first film with a high-octane car-nage sequence which pumps up the adrenaline; and, since then, those ballads of bone-crunching and brain-scattering actions never stop. Shortly, an Italian mobster, Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), to which John is indebted, pulls the hitman out of retirement with a mission to assassinate Santino’s own Camorra sister, Gianna. Forget the ridiculously exhilarating premise from the first film because what John faces in this second film is the real deal. Continue reading John Wick: Chapter 2 (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: As a director, Ben Affleck has displayed an adroit proficiency in crafting artfully meaningful takes of crime and drama-thriller. His directorial debut, adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s Gone Baby Gone, sets a high bar for his prowess in mood, characters, small-explosive thriller; the follow-ups, The Town and Oscar-winning, Argo, prove it. A decade after his debut, Affleck returns to Lehane, adapting a 2012 novel, Live by Night, a story of a police son turns a crime-lord during Prohibition era.
Affleck’s homage to retro gangster films is undeniably lavish; only, Live by Night, which was postponed for Batman v Superman‘s production, hasn’t been able to leave our descendants a new classic. It’s a completely a Ben Affleck’s film material, but there’s something about it (I could say it’s his ambition off-screen and on-screen, but there’s more to it), which makes it far less successful than his previous works. Continue reading Live by Night (2017) – Review
Review: Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) returns after his underseen tenure in Jack Reacher. Never Go Back, as a sub-title, might contradict with the idea of a sequel, but it might also means something else. Meaning to say, Jack Reacher isn’t the same thing as he was in the 2012 film: the helmer, the dynamic and the pace is completely different. Yet, seriously, both underlying meanings of the sub-title are true.
Reacher comes back as a solitary man who repetitively claims himself to be an ex-Major. He fights again for justice when Major Turner (Cobie Smulders), a female major who sits in his former position, is arrested for a mysterious cause which, according to Reacher’s instinct, might lead to a conspiracy in military. Meanwhile, he also just knows that he might allegedly have a 15-year-old daughter (Danika Yarosh), and he’s eager to find her to unravel the real relationship between them. Little does he know that both threads might be intertwined as he goes deeper into his fighting for justice. Continue reading Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) – Review
Ben Affleck is the estranged, titular character—”their accountant, an accountant, the accountant.” Christian Wolff is his persona and he’s not a common accountant. He’s a math genius working for largest world’s criminal organizations; he’s a martial arts expert and a gunslinger; and he’s a man with Asperger’s syndrome.
The Accountant is an offbeat action-thriller built upon the superiority of the titular character. Apparently, Mr. Wolff himself might be Batman if the hero decides to take off his cape and is an autistic. He’s got the wealth, remote assistance, physical endurance, self-repentance and Affleck’s deadpan face; what differentiates him from Batman is: the plot, which sometimes goes laudable and, mostly, goes laughable—in a positive way, supposedly. Continue reading The Accountant (2016) – Review
Review: Blessed-with-curse Harvard symbologist, Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks for 3 times in a row), returns to a Ron Howard-directed adaptation of Dan Brown’s novel, Inferno. While it’s originally the fourth entry, but given Sony’s reputation in switching The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons chronologically, dropping a National Treasure-sque The Lost Symbol to pave the road for Dante-inspired Inferno might seem clinical.
While, technically, Inferno is Dan Brown’s most filmable novel and, undeniably, the weakest among others; what happens in Howard’s Inferno proves that, by far, adapting Dan Brown’s into a good film without convoluted plot is still a chimera, a nearly impossible thing. Continue reading Inferno (2016) – Review