The saccharine-heavy rom-com effectively uses its overly familiar ‘fake-first-date’ tropes to make a sweet & uplifting teenage love without over-abusing its sugary potential.
Review To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: “Make Teenage Romcom Great Again” should’ve been a tagline Susan Johnson’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (referred as To All the Boys on later paragraphs) carrying because it indeed does it. Based on a novel of the same title by Jenny Han, this Netflix production is a clichéd, sugary romcom with manipulated yet effective plot that will make audiences smile ear to ear.
To All the Boys revolves around the life of a 16 y.o. Korean-American girl, Lara Jean (Lana Condor, Jubilee in X-Men: Apocalypse) who loves to read romance novels and fantasize her older sister boyfriend who happens to be their next-door neighbor, Josh (Israel Broussard, The Bling Ring). When her older sister, Margot, leaves to pursue education in Scotland, Lara Jean is living a mundane life with her father and her little sister, Kitty, but not for long. An embarrassing incident happens, letters—that Lara Jean has written to the boys he used to love/have crush on but she never actually sent—unknowingly get sent to the addressees, which includes Josh and a childhood crush, Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo—the guy from Camila Cabello’s Havana), a jock and boyfriend of her high-school (sort of) rival. Continue reading “Review To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)”
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”
Review: It takes nearly 7 years for Eli Craig, writer-director of the 2010 horror-comedy sensation, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, to finally spawn a Netflix-produced sophomore project entitled Little Evil. Similar to what he’s done in his previous feature, Craig once again plays out with horror clichés and extracts a fresh spoof, which would test and tease audience’s references with clear-cut hilarity.
In Little Evil, Eli Craig spoofs clichés from spooky-kid films, incorporating tropes from Rosemary’s Baby and, most obviously, The Omen. Simply look at the poster and you’ll see the alleged prodigal son (striking a pose like Damien in Omen) taking up the axis between his biological mother, Samantha (Evangeline Lilly) and his stepfather, Gary (Adam Scott). That kid (portrayed by Owen Atlas) is, as the title might suggest, the little evil—the spooky kid in Eli Craig’s horror-comedy.
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Review: So, why bother remaking a story that feels Japan through and through in a same old brand new American setting? Or, why bother retelling a story that might venture well in nowadays internet-advanced world in a world which feels no different to early internet day? Why bother remaking Death Note in an all-American high school drama?
Those questions keep linger in my head while I watched Adam Wingard’s Death Note, an Americanized version of Japanese manga series written by Tsugumi Oba and Takeshi Obata. In presenting this story, Wingard (The Guest, You’re Next) keeps trying to impress audiences with his eye for stylish visual violence. Without ever losing his touch, there’s practically nothing wrong with the directorial effort; but, judging from the director’s adamant persistence in making the film and the end-results, there lies a much bigger question: is this all Adam Wingard’s vision to Death Note?
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Review: Netflix’ GLOW is a splendid blend of many things—from campy female wrestling, satire to telly industry, feminism spirit and rage against racial stereotypes—that work fascinatingly. Presented as a period piece which sees L.A. circa 1985, the show radicalizes the era’s fascination towards glazing neon and devotion to day-time soap opera, then mixes them together in an exhilarating, vibrant ‘fake-sport’ drama.
In GLOW, a struggling actress, Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie) is disheartened upon finding out that the industry has suppressed female roles to the brink of marginalization. When she encounters a desperate B-movie director, Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron)—who develops ‘The Gorgeous Lady of Wrestling’ a.k.a. GLOW for a TV channel, she surprisingly finds an absurdly empowering opportunity. From there, the line between pro-wrestling and soap opera begins to blur; and a road to stardom emerges. Continue reading “A Season with: GLOW (2017) – Season 1”
Review: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt returns elegantly in aftermath of the second season’s ultimate cliffhanger and sees our titular powerhouse, Kimberly ‘Kimmy’ Schmidt (Ellie Kemper), grown into a more empathetically, complex protagonist. While the cult captive PTSD theme is still revisited for once or twice, season three witnesses Kimmy arises above the ground, literally leaves the underground bunker, and gets integrated into a real world problem of empowerment and feminism.
At first, Kimmy’s got to do something to clinch the cliffhanger, where Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (Jon Hamm) demands a divorce; then, she’s going to college for education and, eventually, career; later, she’s learning something about herself that makes her different from other people. At the same time, creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock insert insightful quests for other characters to deal with, which take roots from their deeds in the second season; and make them a more integral part of the storytelling. Continue reading “A Season with: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2017) – Season 3”