Review: When their mother died, two brothers – a divorcee Toby (Chris Pine) and an ex-con Tanner (Ben Foster) – get involved in a series of bank-robbing quests, specifically against Texas Midlands Bank – the bank which threats to foreclosure the family’s ranch. Toby, the younger one, is a more motivated mastermind; meanwhile, Tanner, the self-claimed Comanche, is a man with violent tendency. What the brothers bring in Hell or High Water is poetic justice.
To minimize risks, the brothers only rob small banks and small bills to get laundered; although Tanner’s explosive behavior always gets his brother frustrated. However, bank robberies have never been a small-time crime not to attract attention. Two Texas Rangers are assigned for the case – Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham) and Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges), an almost retired powerhouse. If anyone should be in the brothers’ way, the dodgy ol’ man is the perfect show-stopper. Continue reading Hell or High Water (2016) – Review
Review: Split might not be M. Night Shyalaman’s best treat; but it definitely marks the return of this slick storyteller to his powerhouse realm. In fact, Split is different from Shyalaman’s earlier works due to the absence of an actual, grandiose twist ending; but who needs a twist if the whole film has twisted narrative?
It kicks off like any abduction film, where a nerdy man named Dennis (James McAvoy, a powerhouse version of himself), who has OCD, kidnaps three teenage girls and locks them up in a windowless room. Dennis is living with Patricia, a very neat lady, and Hedwig, a 9-year old lisp boy who loves Kanye West. Yet, sometimes, a fashion-designer wanna-be, Barry, takes over; and, some other time, a history-enthusiast, Orwell, might be there too; also, a diabetic, Jade, might as well be there.
Yet, who knows that Dennis or Patricia or Hedwig or Barry or Orwell or Jade or any other alters is living in the same body? Yes, they’re living inside Kevin, a troubled man with acute dissociative identity disorder, who has 23 personalities living inside him, waiting to take over the spotlight.
Continue reading Split (2017) – Review
Review: You might remember John Wick (2014) for the over-the-top gun-fu bravura and feasts of headshots; or, better, for a revenge actioner triggered by a mob son stole a hitman’s ’69 Mustang and killed his dog. Yet, you must agree that, with John Wick, you’ve witnessed taciturn Keanu Reeves makes an instant, original iconic role that bitch-slaps a band of remake/reboot/adaptation goons.
John Wick: Chapter 2 immediately follows up the frenzy in the first film with a high-octane car-nage sequence which pumps up the adrenaline; and, since then, those ballads of bone-crunching and brain-scattering actions never stop. Shortly, an Italian mobster, Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio), to which John is indebted, pulls the hitman out of retirement with a mission to assassinate Santino’s own Camorra sister, Gianna. Forget the ridiculously exhilarating premise from the first film because what John faces in this second film is the real deal. Continue reading John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) – Review
Review: In Patriots’ Day 2013, two bombs blasted off during Boston marathon, killed 3 civilians, including an 8-y.o. child and injured hundred others. Only three and a half year passes, a big-budgeted retelling of it has already made into screen, not as a kind of exploitation, but as a moving, respectful story. Patriots Day is an ode to a city survives from tragedy.
With Patriots Day, Peter Berg (Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon) has proven himself as an avid filmmaker, a specialist to craft an authentic reenactment with hearts within. There’s sympathy depicted in its dramatic docu-like pictures coupled with authentic footage and spotlights to certain people who directly involved in the tragedy. Continue reading Patriots Day (2017) – Review
Review: In Raditya Dika’s Hangout, a mysterious host invites 9 Indonesian foremost celebrities to a lush resort in a remote island for three days with no definite reason. Thinking it is as a secret casting invitation, those 9 brats are coming around.
Among those 9 stars, versatile Indonesian director/poker-faced actor/writer/stand-up comedian/YouTube personality, Raditya Dika lurks around after being financially indebted. Along with Dika, Soleh Solihun, a stand-up comedian turned disastrous reality show presenter, also came while holding grudge to Dika for making him losing a role for box office hit called Korea Forever. Aside from the frenemy, other celebs i.e, veteran Mathias Muchus, flamboyant Surya Saputra, adventurousTiti Kamal, filthy Dinda Kanya Dewi, Gading Marten, YouTube vlogger Bayu Skak and teenage star Prilly Latuconsina, are coming for the invitation.
What started off as a tropical dream and a little inner circle reunion suddenly turns into massacre when body counts start to rise. A mysterious killer is targeting those Indonesian stars, one by one, for a reason nobody bloody knows. Continue reading Hangout (2016): Hanging out with Death
Review: Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train is reasonably dubbed as Gone Girl of 2015 when it became a bestselling phenomena awhile ago for sharing some mutual qualities with Gillian Flynn’s. Both are being written by former-journalist female authors, describing specific girls on the title, involving missing girls, devising unreliable narrators, and being bestselling thrillers.
When Gone Girl results in a compelling adaptation by David Fincher, the odds are high for Paula Hawkins’ to be adapted into silver screen. Yet, this time, The Girl on the Train adaptation simply is not the Gone Girl of 2016 if you might expect. Continue reading The Girl on the Train (2016) – Review