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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

[6.50/10] Annabelle: Creation (2017)

Annabelle: Creation (2017)

Quick Review: Technically superior to the first, if barely more terrifying, "Annabelle: Creation" creates some fright-soaked tension throughout its long build-up, letting us connect with the characters, while benefiting from its sinister tone, but its familiar origin story fails to avoid the cliches, and makes little sense until the third act. Luckily, the latter not only provides all the answers, but it also delivers some hair-raising scares. Annabelle is eerie as hell, but the demon gives the biggest creeps here.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

[3.50/10] The Hatton Garden Job (2017)

The Hatton Garden Job (2017)

Quick Review: Inspired by one of the biggest real-life bank robberies in Britain, yet uninspired in terms of execution, being all over the place, lazy, and lackluster, "Hatton Garden Job" is devided into two destinctive halves, the first of which is about the strategy and preparation for the job, and the second for the heist itself, but neither of them is that amusing, exciting, or interesting to watch, and not even the fine cast can save this corny borefest of a film.

Monday, August 14, 2017

[5.25/10] Everything, Everything (2017)

Everything, Everything (2017)

Quick Review: Both the luxurious interiors and lavish exteriors please the eye, plus, the two young leads are adorable in their roles as the SCID-suffering girl, and her first love interest, but "Everything Everything" is so sugary for the most part, it is basically the cinematic equivalent of diabetes. The sudden turn of events in the third act turns the movie from corny to cruel, which on one hand adds an edge to it, but on the other kills all of the sweetness.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

[6.75/10] 68 Kill (2017)

68 Kill (2017)

Quick Review: As darkly funny as it is outrageously violent, this trashy, grindhouse-flavored indie heist flick takes absolutely no prisoners, being brutal, wicked, uncompromising, and very sick in the head, and delivering shock value, one twist after another, and in-your-face gore that make it a 'crazy ass shit' experience. Although male-led, "68 Kill" assigns its female characters to dominate the story by turning them all from secondary into main ones in a skillful, inventive and pretty unpredictable way.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

[4.50/10] Jasper Jones (2017)

Jasper Jones (2017)

Quick Review: Based on the novel of the same name, and taking place in late 60's Western Australia, "JJ"'s visual authenticity, and subtle tones match its toned-down approach, but sadly, all of the intrigue around the small-town murder mystery it deals with is killed by the muddled pacing, and unfocused direction that pays way too much attention on the family dynamics involving the protagonist, and not enough on the main story. The acting is all-around strong, with Collette shining the most.

Monday, August 7, 2017

[6.00/10] Dance Academy: The Movie (2017)

Dance Academy: The Movie (2017)

Quick Review: Based on the Aussie TV series ofthe same name, "Dance Academy: The Movie" fails to avoid the straightforwardness typical for the most films of this sub-genre, but at least it doesn't rely only on the ballet routines to sustain the viewers interest, and nothing about it feels forced, or exaggerated -- heartfelt, emotional, and featuring characters that are easy to relate to, this one is as much about passion as it's about friendship and true love.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

[6.25/10] Sleight (2017)

Sleight (2017)

Quick Review: Light on production values, if real heavy on imagination, "Sleight" makes up for its ordinary looks with a clever, often innovative script which blends a few seemingly unsuitable genres, ending up being magical, romantic, and thrilling all at once, without losing its true sense of realism. Latimore's screen presence helps him deliver a genuine turn as the likable street magician, coping with his troublesome gang life. The moody tone does not always work in the film's favor, though.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

[4.75/10] The Dark Tower (2017)

The Dark Tower (2017)

Quick Review: Badly-adapted from King's thematically complex material, "The Dark Tower" basically contains three decent scenes -- the gunfight one, the hospital one, and the final combat, with the second being the only funny moment in this lackluster misfire. All the rest of it is a rushed cheese-fest with zero thrills, minimal action, and many cliches, further let down by a colorless tone and spotty CGIs that make it look low-cost. Elba and McConaughey are solid, but the poor script wastes them.

Friday, August 4, 2017

[9.25/10] Baby Driver (2017)

Baby Driver (2017)

Quick Review: Ideally in tune with its eclectic score, "Baby Driver" is a sublime exercise in 'style on wheels' fueled with heart, wit, thrills, and fun that never takes its foot off the gas, thanks to Wright's frenetic direction, which knows no rest -- the vigorous camera work and edgy editing make the car stunts pure adrenaline rush, the vibrant use of color cools up the visuals, and the music-led shootouts are bananas! Elgort radiates appeal as Baby, and the rest outrace each other with brilliant acting.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

[5.00/10] Snatched (2017)

Snatched (2017)

Quick Review: On a positive note, "Snatched" successfully pairs two of the most hilarious women in history of comedy, however, the laughless, wit-free script they're forced to work with prevents them to demonstrate their natural chemistry and talent. Yes, it has a few moderately funny moments throughout, the pacing is fairly brisk, and the exotic backdrop gives it a proper summer-y feel, but the hackneyed vacation-gone-very- wrong story, and tired plot devices entirely ruin its potential.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

[4.00/10] Awaken the Shadowman (2017)

Awaken the Shadowman (2017)

Quick Review: Pretty ambitious in concept, yet mediocre in execution, "Awaken the Shadowman" is as silly as its title -- with an underdeveloped plot that revolves around a barely intriguing mystery, and makes little sense until the further disappointing conclusion, this poor-looking horror flick skips the 'boo' scares, aiming to affect on a more psychological level instead, but it never really manages to generate the proper sinister tone, or to deliver real frights.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

[6.25/10] Killing Ground (2017)

Killing Ground (2017)

Quick Review: Working because it possesses the plausibility factor, yet hardly bringing anything new to the 'horror' table, this decent Australian shocker set in the wilderness is your common camping-gone-wrong affair, but what makes it so effective is the realistic tone, grounded characters, and thankfully, the non-exaggerated approach. Definitely more disturbing than fearful, "Killing Ground" is at its best when things go out of control, providing some outrageous violence by the crazy harassers.

Monday, July 31, 2017

[3.25/10] Phoenix Forgotten (2017)

Phoenix Forgotten (2017)

Quick Review: Part documentary, part "X-Files" wannabe mystery, and shot in the well-known and worn out 'found footage' style, and terribly so, "Phoenix Forgotten" is very soon to be forgotten for various reasons -- generic, constantly  uneventful, and amateurishly-acted, this UFO horror doesn't have any right to be called such, as it is never chilling, or even close to suspenseful, not to mention it's so unattractive to look at, it hurts the eyes, and it is the poor flair and tacky direction to blame.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

[6.75/10] Mein Blind Date Mit Dem Leben (2017)

Mein Blind Date Mit Dem Leben (2017)

Quick Review: Inspiring, feel-good, and celebrating the power of human spirit, this dramedy may deal with a tough subject about blindness, but its positive attitude and uplifitng vibe never allow it to seem manipulative, or to come across as melodramatic. The film succeeds due to Ullmann's charming performance as the driven young man who never give ups on his dreams in spite of his disability, as well as the endearing friendship with his sassy colleague.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

[8.25/10] Raw (2017)

Raw (2017)

Quick Review: If you're hungry for a horror film that's as unsettling and gory, as it's clever and visceral, this is the proper cinematic meal for you, best consumed as its title suggests. A coming-of-age story like no other, "Raw" grows from quietly innocent to rabidly sexual, never losing its grim edge, getting a lot more twisted and gruesome as it unfolds, and peaking at a jarring finale that makes perfect sense. The tasteful style, compelling plotting, and faultless acting make it all the more captivating.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

[3.50/10] The Gracefield Incident (2017)

The Gracefield Incident (2017)

Quick Review: When you combine two tired horror sub-genres, namely 'found footage' and 'alien invasion', and choose so familiar setting such as 'cabin in the woods', it's hard to end up with a successful result, and this is exactly the case with this one. Derivative, cheap, poorly-made, and featuring cheesy aliens, and stupid characters who act illogically, "The Gracefield Incident" is as scary as a walk in the park, despite its shocker of an opening sequence.

Monday, July 24, 2017

[6.25/10] A Family Man (2017)

A Family Man (2017)

Quick Review: Driven by Butler's workaholic character who's very torn between his business goals and the needs of his family, "A Family Man" is a conflict between ambitions and emotions that depicts the struggles and of its protagonist in a believable way, even if the story gets inevitably manipulative from the point it takes a dramatic turn. Though predictable the films succeeds for what it is due to its movingly genuine characters, and its ability to take your emotions on a roller-coaster ride.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

[7.50/10] Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets [3D] (2017)

Valerian [3D] (2017)

Quick Review: Busy on the eyes, but easy on the brain, Luc Besson's CGI-laden sci-fi extravaganza has a lot going on about itself, visually, but he balances it out with a no-brainer plot, with the end result being a fun space saga which never takes itself overly seriously -- wildly imaginative, "Valerian" flashes high-end "Avatar" -like technology, and great creature effects that will carry you into a new world. DeHaan is not a charismatic enough lead, but Delevingne shows some sassy personality.