Review: After nearly two decades, Luc Besson finally materializes Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, a space adventure adapted from his childhood favorite comic ‘Valérian and Laureline’—which he’s been craving to make ever since The Fifth Element (1997).
With visual endeavors the size of Cameron’s Avatar and vibrant universe to rival Star Wars (if not Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending) also with largest budget in French cinema history, it is exactly the size of Besson’s ambition on full creative control mode. The result is an elegant (borderline to over-the-top) space odyssey if not a style-over-substance one by any measure. What Valerian doesn’t have is a compelling script to cover the whole duration.
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Review: In establishing his own ‘Sony’ world, the all-new Spidey (Tom Holland) has to swing across Marvel Cinematic Universe, find a more established mentor in Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) and make an experimental entrance in Sokovian Accords feud—which made it into Spider-Man: Homecoming as Peter Parker’s vlog. Head-started with the Civil War (2016) stunt, director Jon Watts (Cop Car, Clown) along with five other writers deconstruct the web-slinging hero’s origin story, infuse it with coming-of-age gusto and redefine the old formula to make this third cinematic incarnation of Spider-Man a frivolously clumsy one.
As you’ve seen in his Captain America’s hijack, Holland’s Spidey is no more than a high school chap—barely 15 and a member of school’s decathlon team. Homecoming highlights his return to school after that ‘Stark internship’ in Berlin, where his mundane geeking/being bullied/being unpopular life has waited. Tenure with Tony Stark has given him high hopes of big action and great vigilante stunts; but a month has passed and he’s only becoming ‘the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, as an extracurricular activity. Continue reading Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) – Review
Review: Michael Bay’s criticproof franchise returns with another Bayhem galore—a non-stop clink-clicketty-clank-bang-boom juggernaut slugfest—in what’s dubbed as Bay’s final Transformers film, The Last Knight. The final result though—after decade with five installments so far—offers no new insight to the storyline but bunch of same day, different spectacles.
Starting off as an expanded myth of Camelot, where ancient transformers assisted King Arthur and his knights of round fighting Saxons, The Last Knight immediately leaps sixteen centuries ahead. While Optimus Prime has left the earth in search of his home-planet, Cybertron, other transformers keep coming to earth and are declared as threat; therefore, a counter-transformer task force called T.R.F is deployed to exterminate them. That’s when Cade Yeager from Age of Extinction encounters a versatile kid, Izabella (Isabella Moner) and ‘get chosen’ to partake in an ancient myth. Continue reading Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) – Review
Review: In Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, the near-future world is depicted as a real horror show, especially for women. A theocratic totalitarian government of Gilead rises from the ashes of what once known as the United States—which has perished in aftermath of a civil war leading to environment contamination and financial crisis. In this dystopian world, stability is built upon sacrifices; but the sacrifice is too tremendous: women’s position in the society.
Gilead—a fascist regime, which lays its foundation upon Biblical inspiration, diabolically confiscates women’s right and subjugates them to the outer realm of society. Those women—who mostly become infertile due to the war—are considered low and no longer allowed to work, even read. Those who are lucky enough to still be fertile aren’t actually lucky. They are enslaved as Handmaids to be legally raped in a ceremony to conceive children for the bourgeois. Continue reading A Season with: The Handmaid’s Tale (2017) – Season 1
Review: Intriguing how Alien: Covenant opens with a birth, a genesis, in a majestic all-white background contrasts with the franchise’ primal return to its origin. That birth accompanied by Wagner’s Entry of The Gods Into Valhalla is designed to bridge over two worlds – the stark, horror space of Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) and the odd, philosophy-heavy world of Prometheus (2012) – and continue the cycle. Of gods and men, of gods and monsters, this bleak covenant is more a continuation than a return.
For the flight of Covenant, Mr. Scott amalgamates small dose of Alien’s infernal, frigid space horror with larger dose of Prometheus’ dialogue-laden, existentialism wisdom unevenly, but perfectly, to ignite nostalgia, while at the same time, connect dots. Continue reading Alien: Covenant (2017) – Review
Review: In The Circle, James Ponsoldt – a promising director with sympathetic character-driven dramas (Smashed, The Spectacular Now, and The End of the Tour) – attempts to create a Dr. Strangelove of the 21st century while substituting ‘The Bomb’ with ‘The Internet.’ Based on Dave Eggers’ 2013 novel, this is projected as a poignant satire to criticize how internet has taken over real life and, especially, threatened privacy. And yet, Ponsoldt ends up making a star-studded mess with mostly underused idea and, more, superfluous subject.
What happened was, by the time Eggers published the novel, the subject matter became highly relevant with global circumstances IN REAL TIME. Yet, one click later, three years have passed and, ironically, Eggers’ fears had some surfaced, emerged, and made real life stranger than fiction; and that’s how The Circle becomes irrelevant and, as I mentioned previously, superfluous. Continue reading The Circle (2017) – Review