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”

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Sweet 20 (2017): Ode to the youth not wasted on the young

Review: In the toughest time of her life, a fussy 70-year-old hag gets a second chance to compensate her lost youth and cheat aging when she is mysteriously transformed into her 20-year-old self. That’s the premise of Hwang Dong-hyuk’s mega-hit Miss Granny (2014), which has inspired series of overseas remakes, including the Indonesian version, Sweet 20, helmed by Ody C. Harahap (Me vs. Mami, Kapan Kawin?).

Transliterated from its South Korean roots by Upi (My Stupid Boss, Belenggu), Sweet 20 adeptly administers a profound adaptation into Indonesian culture and social value. Upi’s adapted script isn’t only changing the film’s geographical setting; it instead induces local view of family in Indonesia’s urban society. Even, the film’s Eid al-Fitr release adds up to the foundation of the story—underlying its ode to the motherhood, lost dream, and family’s worth. Continue reading “Sweet 20 (2017): Ode to the youth not wasted on the young”

Beauty and the Beast (2017) – Review

Review: I once wrote an abridged history of Beauty and the Beast roots on my review of Christophe Gans’ La Belle et La Bête. How this beautiful French lore has evolved, added more insight and backstories, and represented social issues from time to time alone has already made an intriguing tale. While adaptations and re-imaginings have altered it from the root, there’s one thing that never fades: the magic.

I can’t still see ‘the whys’ of Disney’s decision to remake their Renaissance animation with a live-action feature; yet, I can put aside that concerns. They’ve done it well with Cinderella (2014) by having courage and being kind and staying true to its root; and The Jungle Book (2016) by fulfilling the bare necessities. And for Beauty and the Beast, I can say that this live-action re-telling is not a must, but it’s necessary. Continue reading “Beauty and the Beast (2017) – Review”

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) – Review

Review: Expanded from an encyclopaedia of the same title and penned to screenplay by the only J.K. Rowling, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is surprisingly a fun ride to American non-pretentious wizard world, which goes much more muggle-friendly than its British counterparts in Harry Potter series.

Set in the same universe in which Harry Potter saga takes places, Fantastic Beasts goes further behind in time as it sets in 1926, decades prior to the British counterpart. At the same time, it also goes across the ocean from London to New York in America, where the adventure of Englishman named Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) straightforwardly begins. While the spin-off might present some nods to the most famous wizarding world nowadays; it never feels nostalgic nor formulaic because what’s presented here is an original tale, which enriches the existing universe with more than just trivia. Continue reading “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) – Review”

What the Hell… oween! #1: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)

Post pembuka dari series ‘What the Hell… oween! A Collaborative Post’ dari Sinekdoks dan Hzboy (hestiaistiviani.com) akan membahas Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children dalam sebuah 8-point analysis.

So, here comes the first entry of Sinekdoks X Hzboy’s What the Hell… oween! A Collaborative Post yang didedikasikan untuk merayakan bulan-nya Halloween.

Kami berencana menonton 4 film yang telah ditentukan sebelumnya dan menuangkan pemikiran kami dalam 8-point analysis yang akan di-post setiap minggunya. Dalam setiap post yang tampil di Sinekdoks, tulisan yang ditampilkan adalah tulisan Hzboy a.k.a. Hestia Istiviani dengan tambahan annotation maupun komentar bebas dari Sinekdoks di bawahnya (dengan warna font yang berbeda pula).

Untuk minggu pertama ini, pilihan filmnya adalah Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, yang memadukan gaya baroque-gothic Tim Burton dengan script queer gubahan Jane Goldman serta kisah yang serasa seperti gabungan Mary Poppins dan X-Men.

So, here’s Hzboy’s take:  Continue reading “What the Hell… oween! #1: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)”

Pete’s Dragon (2016) – Review

Review: It’s not too surprising when Disney decided to give its retro property a remake with CGI treatment. What surprised more is the choice of source material – a musical which blends animation with live action, Pete’s Dragon (1977) – which is considered as a classic flop. Things get more alluring when David Lowery – helmer of cinema poetry, Ain’t Them Bodies Saint – is announced to get into directorial responsibility.

Yet, that’s where the magic begins. When Lowery’s penchant for visual poetry transliterates the bond between orphan boy with a surprisingly furry dragon combined with little family elements, the result is a less-blockbuster summer blockbuster. A visually enchanting classic with heart and magic.  Continue reading “Pete’s Dragon (2016) – Review”