Movie Review Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)

With catchy tunes, heartfelt fan-service treatment and juxtaposed narrative, the uplifting prequel not only completes (even, exceeds) the original Mamma Mia, but it also works delicately as a standalone story

Movie Review Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018): Several years have passed since the kitschy Mamma Mia! (2018), where Meryl Streep teams up with all-star casts of all generations (including Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard plus younger generation casts, such as Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper) creating a campy—and tacky—musical drama about family and dream. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) brings audiences back to the Greek island, Kalokairi, where the first film commenced, for an (sadly) incomplete reunion.

Ol Parker (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and the sequel) pens and treats Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again as if it is the Godfather II with Streep as Brando and Seyfried as Pacino. To complete the Godfather manifestation, they even have Lily James as De Niro of Mamma Mia!. Even further, this second movie also serves as both prequel and sequel with stories that juxtapose into each other and into the original story. Wherefore, it makes a better movie in terms of presentation—‘correcting’ the flimsiness of the original. Continue reading “Movie Review Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)”

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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”

Blindspot: Chicago (2002)

“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)”

La La Land (2016) – Review

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”

Sing (2016) – Review

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”

Trolls (2016) – Review

Review: More than just merchandise-oriented bonanza, Dreamworks’ toy-based Trolls is surprisingly a simple, fun reflection of happiness. Child audiences will find this candy-colored, scrapbook materials amusing; while at some points, it serves as a working treat for adults, who happen to see it, too.

I might mention ‘simple’ here, but that doesn’t mean Trolls is a dumb, witless story; it only serves its purpose as a PG entertainment. Not at Pixar’s emotional and/or intellectual depth, but it still emanates good vibes. Simplicity in Trolls is about making people happy in any simple way.

Speaking of happiness, the titular trolls are little creatures of happiness—they sing, dance, hug and even fart glitters. Trolls might be the happiest creatures ever; unfortunately, they’re also edible. They’re foods for Bergen, hideous creatures which cannot be happy… until they eat a troll. Continue reading “Trolls (2016) – Review”