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”

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Justice League (2017) – Review

DC has found its fun serum that does no justice

Review: Let’s break down Justice League into good news and bad news first. The good news is Justice League shows that DC has actually learned how to concoct a story out of their metahumans (yes, for them, the word ‘superhero’ is overrated) extensively since Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and how to sweeten up their preferably dark universe with proper humors, too, ever since Suicide Squad. While the bad news: the good news only slightly helps the film from being a total mess.

Following rave reviews showering Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman and news of reshoots along with post-production galore to Avengers’ helmer, Joss Whedon, expectation flown high on how Justice League would finally do the justice to DC. At some points, it might live up the expectation; thanks to balance between Zack Snyder’s grim visions and Whedon’s holly jolly. Snyder, who left during post-production, still gets the sole director billing for his extensive work; but, we know that it’s Whedon who invents and injects the fun-serum. The cahoots result in a fun, energetic, light and more accessible crowdpleaser using DC’s properties. Regardless, Justice League apparently not a back-to-back victory. Continue reading “Justice League (2017) – Review”

Beyond Skyline (2017) – Review

Review: Despite being critically lambasted, The Brothers Strause’ 2010 alien invasion flick, Skyline, is a legit B-movie success—grossing USD 79 million from USD 20 million budgets—locking the possibility of a sequel, hence Beyond Skyline. Helmed by the first film’s writer and producer, Liam O’Donnell, this sequel (or spin-off) seems to have learned a lot from the predecessor’s a-tad-too-serious execution of the campy material.

Beyond Skyline doesn’t bother to take things seriously. The result is an anachronistic B-movie feast which offers tons of fun if not weighed down by its gawkish, untidy execution and convoluted plot. The best thing about it: it can actually bring something even Star Wars failed to do—combining The Raid-esque action with alien invasion tropes. Continue reading “Beyond Skyline (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”

Blade Runner 2049 (2017) – Review

Review: It’s year 2049—30 years following the events in the original Blade Runner (1982). A new story embarks as a next-gen ‘Replicant’, now working as a ‘Blade Runner’, retires an older ‘Replicant’ model and unravels a decade-long mystery in the process.

Blade Runner 2049 comes as a genre-bending late follow-up, which appears as a slow-burning detective story to reveal answers to both philosophical and ‘physical’ mystery presented in the premise. Denis Villeneuve’s cyberpunk sequel deliberately yet subtly mirrors Ridley Scott’s original in terms of plot and general elements, but confidently delves into a new territory at the same time. All of those are wrapped exquisitely in one of the most stunning 164 minutes in the history of life.

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) – Review

Review: Taking up where the first film left, Kingsman: The Golden Circle revolves around the downtown-boy-turned-secret-agent, Eggsy (Taron Egerton), as he finally joins the rank of Kingsman.  While the young agent calibrates into his new secret life—including living in his deceased mentor’s (Colin Firth) mansion and secretly dating a Swedish princess he once saved, the secret service is undergoing a massive attack from a colossal crime organization called The Golden Circle. To cope up with the attack, Eggsy must enlist the help of the Statesman a.k.a. Kingsman’s American counterpart.

Matthew Vaughn apparently got highly invested in making Kingsman that he finally made his first sequel. This time, Vaughn—along with his frequent collaborator, Jane Goldman—takes the liberty in expanding this globe-trotting espionage bravura. His passion can be seen from his eagerness to amplify what he achieved best in the first film into double-powered action panache. It’s bigger in scale and in duration (clocking in at 141 mins); but, is it more fun? Barely.

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