Review: “Kita adalah sepasang kekasih yang pertama bercinta di luar angkasa. Seperti takkan pernah pulang, kau membias di udara dan terhempaskan cahaya…”
That piece of beautiful metaphor-ridden lyrics from Indonesian indie hero, Melancholic Bitch, heaves as my mind attempts to internalize the whole sense in Morten Tyldum’s Passengers. Roughly, those lyrics tells a story of the first couple of lovers, who make love in space despite the tragic life they’re living in. Sounds familiar It’s Passengers’ plot in brief.
Passengers is a journey, an unexpected journey set in Avalon, a starship transporting 5000 cryo-sleeping passengers to Homestead II, a new human colony, 120 years away from Earth. Unfortunately, a malfunctioned pod accidentally wakes a passenger, Jim Preston (Chris Pratt), 90 years before the arrival. The closest help is 30 years away behind him; the fastest assistance he can have needs 55 years to reach him. Out of isolation, Jim befriends a bartender android, Arthur (Michael Sheen), and does whatever he can do with the facilities, e.g., playing basketball, watching films, playing augmented reality game, or space-walking. Bottom line: he is isolated from “living” human. Continue reading Passengers (2016) – Review
Review: The “Makoto Shinkai is the new Hayao Miyazaki” buzz embarks again when his latest feature, Kimi no na wa, or as known as Your Name storms Japanese box office recently. Shinkai (5 Centimeters per Second, Children who Chase Lost Voices, The Garden of Words) is always known for his penchant in crafting picturesque, hyperrealistic 2D animation with heart-wrenching story and viable imagination, which transcends in his natural approach.
Shinkai’s works often radiate idyll from the inside, simultaneously emanate visceral, candid narrative. Kimi no na wa / Your Name is no different; only you might bet that it comes from Shinkai’s wildest dream, rather than from his sober contemplation. It might initially look like a usual gender-swapping drama, but as it goes, it unravels more: from time-travel to disaster-drama and quest for love. Continue reading Your Name / 君の名は。/ Kimi no na wa (2016) – Review
Review: Love is magic… in the world where going to New York from Jakarta is as easy as jumping blocks. It’s the world where Terjebak Nostalgia, a film inspired by Raisa’s song, takes place. This Nicholas Sparks-esque love triangle drama is saccharine-laced, and it’s stick to the title at its entirety.
Terjebak Nostalgia revolves around the life of a rising singer, Raisa (Raisa Andriana), in one of the most bizzare time in her life. She’s in love with her long-time lover, Sora (Maruli Tampubolon), a musician who shares mutual dream with Raisa. In achieving that dream, Sora leaves to New York with a sacred promise to return. Across the ocean, Sora keeps sending perfume-sprayed letters to Raisa, who waits impatiently in Jakarta.
The unexpected happens. Sora never returns to Jakarta; never holds on to his word; never makes the dream coming true. Continue reading Terjebak Nostalgia (2016) – Review
Review: Robert Zemeckis’ new espionage romance drama, Allied, somehow soars before it even flies. Overshadowed in the heat of 2016’s most controversial celebrity divorce news between Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Allied gets all the attention with accusation that leading actress, Marion Cotillard, is Pitt’s mistress. Given the resemblances of Mr. & Mrs. Smith issue in background, coverage to Pitt-Cotillard involvement and talks about Allied is up on the sky… but not until it finally flies.
When it flies, it ejects a seemingly younger and more Quebecois Brad Pitt as Max Vatan parachuted to midst of desert. He soon joins in a lethal behind-enemy-line mission with a French femme-fatale agent, Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotillard) in the barren land of exotic French-occupied Casablanca, Morocco. Posing as a husband and wife, the feat spends too much and too intense time in this assasination mission that something more profound embarks from within them. Continue reading Allied (2016) – Review
Review: Since the acclaimed Annie Hall, writer/director/playwright/stand-up comedian, Woody Allen hasn’t stopped crafting films annually. His latest tenure, Café Society—his 47th film or 39th after his Best Director winning—is a star-studded, light romance set in the 1930s Hollywood, which bears his trademark comic elements and dialogue-heavy narrative.
Café Society bears Allen’s formulaic love story which emanates more than affection but also satire—in this case, to Hollywood as an industry and to the nature of romance itself. While the clever goofiness in Allen’s script is unarguably impressive and his attention to details in direction is astounding, it’s inevitable that, as the story goes, this Allen-esque formula fatigue embarks. Continue reading Café Society (2016) – Review
Review: Bridget Jones was a phenomenon; she’s undeniably a woman empowerment icon when the milennium’s still early. Bridget (from-Texas-to-England, Renee Zellweger) is a singleton with plausible retorts, bad-fortune magnet and quirky personality; caught up in a bizarre love triangle with her charismatic boss Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) and an England top man, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth).
Adapted from Helen Fielding’s Pride and Prejudice inspired novel of the same title, Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) was a triumphant victory, especially for the actress, who eventually took over the early years of the 2000s following Oscar nom for this film. The sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, though, failed to replicate the predecessor’s hit despite having the same cast and managing to have fun with Madonna’s Like A Virgin. There’s where Bridget Jones’s diary ends for the 2000s.
12 years a downer, Bridget Jones returns with a new journey, apparently, a terrific one (hint: the title) in a good ol’ drama, brand new conflict, Bridget Jones’s Baby. While the title says it all (read: what Bridget Jones would deal for the rest of the movie), it never really wants to give it up that easy; reason is: Bridget Jones, however old she’s become, is still the same ol’ Bridget Jones. Continue reading Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016) – Review