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”

Only the Brave (2017) – Review

Review: Behind the heavy testosterone-laden drama, Only the Brave highlights true act of heroism in the most respectful way. It might look like a show-off of masculinity, but who knows that it’s never really about muscles. It’s the story of hearts.

Director Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy, Oblivion) assembles a combination of veteran actors and rising ones, ranging from Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin and Jennifer Connelly to Miles Teller and Taylor Kitsch, in telling a real story of Granite Mountain Hotshots, sub-group of Prescott Fire Department. Only the Brave covers how the group rose into prominence, saved thousands of acres from forest fire, and culminated the devastating event of Yarnell Hill fire. Continue reading “Only the Brave (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!

A Day (2017) – Review

Review: The idea of reliving the same day in a loop a la Groundhog Day gets a South Korean treatment in Cho Sun-ho’s (writer of Killer Toon) directorial debut, A Day (a.k.a. Ha-roo). When I said ‘South Korean treatment’, it means that this film has some touch of melodrama and another shade of revenge thriller wrapped in a moving, time-loop story about life, death and grudge that glues them together.

In A Day, a glorified surgeon Jun-young (Kim Myung-min) keeps living the same day when he loses his daughter in a traffic accident. He’s en route to reconcile with the daughter when a taxi hit the poor girl and instantly killed her. Soon, as the doctor began to get engulfed by sense of helplessness and trauma, he found out that he’s not the only person to suffer the looping fate. Continue reading “A Day (2017) – Review”