Review: The first thing Life has successfully proven is: space horror is still helluva sub-genre. While most space-themed films recently focus on breaking more grounds with cerebral sci-fi euphoria, Daniel Espinosa’s latest feature confidently takes a retro influence to remind us of that notion.
Life opens with approx. 7-minute continuous shot (that suddenly reminds me to Gravity’s opening) revolving around the space-life of 6 crew members of ISS, who at one night make the greatest breakthrough in humanity’s space voyage history: an organic evidence of extraterrestrial form in Mars. The alien being, at first, seems hazardless as a single-cell form; but, then some conditionings ‘awake’ the creature – dubbed as Calvin – to its incredible form: all cells are muscular, neural and photoreceptive – or simply, all cells are muscle, brain, and eyes at once. While the whole world is awe-struck, a noob-mistake in the space station lab triggers a butterfly effect that leads to what I’ve mentioned previously: space horror. Continue reading Life (2017) – Review
Review: Oscar winner, Matthew McConaughey gone method portrays an inspired-by-true-figure prospector, Kenny Wells, in Stephen Gaghan’s Gold. Born with silver spoon, inherited father’s wealth, and ended up as a loser, that’s how Kenny’s life ventures. McConaughey looks hideous and vexing at the same time as ambitious Kenny – bald, black-lunged and pot-bellied; he almost looks like Christian Bale in American Hustle. However hideous he looks, but this man is the epicenter of this greed-ridden adventure – The Wolf of the Wall Street from the jungle.
Inspired by a real event about world’s biggest gold hunt scandal in Indonesia, which cost investors millions of dollars, Gold is never a sympathetic story. You wouldn’t be surprised if this Kenny man brings apocalypse to stock market. He’s innocently ambitious and greedy at the same time. He often claims that what he sees isn’t money, but gold; but, in fact, the prospects of money plus some daddy issues got him blinded. I almost admire his persistence; but getting admiration isn’t really his best aptitude. While the million dollar (or 24 carat) fraud is a big serious deal to tell; Gold practically is McConaughey’s one-man show. Continue reading Gold (2017) – Review
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