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Sunday, March 26, 2017

[7.75/10] Life (2017)

Life (2017)

Quick Review: Stealing ideas from the genre classic "Alien", yet having enough originality to stand out on its own, this is a refined and technically well-crafted sci-fi horror, whose neat pacing, and excellent cast will make you forgive the cliches. Jam-packed with thrills, chills, scares, and blood, complemented by Espinosa's tense direction, and featuring a real smart, adaptive, slithery alien creature that gets nastier as it evolves, "Life" is a frightful trip to space that will shake you up till its killer finale.

[5.50/10] Burning Sands (2017)

Burning Sands (2017)

Quick Review: This NetFlix original is undoubtedly well-shot, and even its made-for-TV look appears slick, and the dedicated main character, played with determination by Trevor Jackson, is utterly likable and easy to relate to, but other than showing the dark side of those fraternities, and what the hazing pledges have to go through, by throwing tons of violence at us, "Burning Sands" has no other purpose, really. At least the dramatic final act manages to evoke some genuine emotion.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

[3.50/10] The Chamber (2017)

The Chamber (2017)

Quick Review: Funnily, this cheap underwater flick self-proclaims itself as 'a claustrophobic survival thriller', which it certainly ain't -- set entirely in a pretty tiny submarine, revolving around a bunch of grumpy military guys who talk, fight, and scream at each other for ninety minutes, and devoid of any action or thrills, "The Chamber" is very limited not only in setting and budget, but also in ideas and imagination, and it is the perfect example of what not to do, if you aim to entertain, not to bore.

[5.00/10] Free State of Jones (2016)

Free State of Jones (2016)

Quick Review: Playing more like a history lesson, rather than a proper period piece, and a tedious one for that matter, "Free State of Jones" handles its otherwise very important real-life story pretty heavy-handedly with the result being a well-intended, albeit muddled, and rather tiresome experience to sit through, in spite of the excellent acting, especially from its dedicated lead. At least the film captures the authenticity of the CW era pretty finely, also featuring some awe-inspiring locations.

Friday, March 24, 2017

[6.75/10] The Birth of a Nation (2016)

The Birth of a Nation (2016)

Quick Review: Compelling, if wildly uneven, often difficult to watch, and beautifully-filmed in its own subdued way, this is yet another solid movie dealing with slavery, which tells us a story that is as much personal as it is one with significant historic value. Though it lacks the dramatic impact, and splendid visuals of "12 Years a Slave", "The Birth of a Nation" does make you care a lot for its suffering colored characters, played plausibly by the determined cast.

[6.00/10] A United Kingdom (2016)

A United Kingdom (2016)

Quick Review: An interracial love story about both political racism and cultural differences that exposes the emotional struggles of its deeply in love characters in a believable and heartfelt way, "A United Kingdom" is a finely written, acted, and shot film that will satisfy most fans of romantic drama, primarily thanks to Oyetolo and Pike, who make one more than convincing on-screen couple, even if you can't help but find the entire thing being overly familiar, and seen numerous times before.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

[6.25/10] The Love Witch (2016)

The Love Witch (2016)

Quick Review: Most viewers could find it downright bizarre, and tacky, if not trashy, and while it might really be all of the above, this urban witch story built on pure feminism has a lot to stand out with, visually, other than to entertain and provoke you, being an absolute exercise in style. You'll hardly end up bewitched by it, but "The Love Witch" will somewhat mesmerize you with its kitschy retro looks, and vivid color palette, while the over-the-top acting kind of adds to the horror-driven fun.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

[5.00/10] Collide (2016)

Collide (2016)

Quick Review: Though completely conventional in terms of plotting and balancing romance and action very lousily, "Collide" is by no means a terrible movie, offering some pretty intense car and on-foot chases, and finely-executed sequences for your entertainment. However, putting the fun bits aside, this mediocre flick is basically a waste of acting talent, as it flaunts some big names among its cast, but due to an uninspired script and poor dialogues, the film fails to take advantage of them.

[6.50/10] Triple 9 (2016)

Triple 9 (2016)

Quick Review: Yes, it has way too much going on about itself, and that combined with the muddled pacing and large crowd of characters turn it into a mess that might confuse the audience in places, but then again, "Triple 9"'s gritty visual style, swanky execution, and top-notch cast make it worth checking out in spite of the fact that most actors just don't have enough screen time to give it their best. The action is solid, but it's the intricate plotting the movie relies on the most to deliver thrills.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

[6.75/10] Toni Erdmann (2016)

Toni Erdmann (2016)

Quick Review: Highly original, very unpredictable, and completely nuts, if pretentious and insanely overlong, "Toni Erdmann" has a lot to express through its complex, oddly engaging story that is equally amusing, quirky, and moving, but it is the deep main characters and the unusual father-daughter bond between them that makes this film special. And at times embarrassing. The title character is really charming in his peculiarity, but he's being somewhat overshadowed by his aspiring daughter.

[4.50/10] Cave (2016)

Cave (2016)

Quick Review: Sure,the Norwegian mountain scenery is nothing short of astounding, especially seen through the blue-green-ish tinted filter of the visuals which creates a chilling tone. But does the film deliver the chills? Well, there are certain scenes in the cave that will surely make you feel uncomfortable, and at times gasping for air, and yet those chills are very few and far between for the fact that the supposed-to-be twisty plot goes in a disappointing direction that lets the movie down big time.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

[7.00/10] Beauty and the Beast [3D] (2017)

Beauty and the Beast [3D] (2017)

Quick Review: Lacking the heart, and soul of the animated classic, yet still very faithful to it, this live-action rendition might be safe in narration, but it really casts a big spell visually. Flashing some gorgeous costumes, prettily-detailed sets, and first-class special effects in cool 3D, "BATB" is enchanting to look at, and thanks to the fun numbers, also a joy to listen to. Watson is cute, Evans is spot-on, but the movie belongs to the Beast and his lovely servants.

Friday, March 17, 2017

[6.50/10] I, Daniel Blake (2016)

I, Daniel Blake (2016)

Quick Review: Loach's minimalistic visual style may be too simple and low-key for mass audiences, but it establishes a high sense of realism that more than suits the film's down- to-earth essence of social drama. Empathic, moving, quietly powerful, and equally funny and miserable, "I, Daniel Blake" is all about facing the horror of bureaucracy, but also tells a powerful backstory that makes an even bigger impact then the central one, with the charming Johns being at the very heart of both.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

[7.25/10] Kong: Skull Island [3D] (2017)

Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Quick Review: Providing fun as big as its monsters, "Kong: Skull Island" is a brisk romp, light on plot if heavy on thrills, that displays the technical skills of its director in marvellous 3D. The stunningly-designed Kong rules the screen in spite of the great cast he shares it with, and the rest of the creatures are no less impressive in terms of CGIs. Shot in various exotic locations, the film flaunts some eye- popping scenery, plus, the final fight is hugely spectacular, as are all the other action set pieces.

[5.50/10] Office Christmas Party (2016)

Office Christmas Party (2016)

Quick Review: Neither an instant Christmas classic, nor a total failure, the sub-par "Office Christmas Party" delivers exactly what its title implies -- loud music, alcohol, cocaine and tons of people celebrating, and it's kind of fun to watch, plus, the 'firm rescue' sub-plot saves it from being entirely dumb. Honestly said, it's the supporting cast that delivers most of the laughs, but the fact that Aniston steals every scene as the angry bad boss cannot be denied.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

[6.25/10] The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)

The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)

Quick Review: A refreshing take on the drained zombie genre, yet still nothing extraordinary, "The Girl with All the Gifts" is a fairly relevant survival story with a few clever ideas on its mind, driven by its cast led by the spirited Nanua. With its credible post-apocalyptic setting, real vague cinematography, and 'camouflage'-y color palette, it demonstrates that a movie could look good with a limited budget too, by creating a tone that's as cool as it is obscure.

Monday, March 13, 2017

[3.75/10] Fallen (2016)

Fallen (2016)

Quick Review: Basically "Twilight" with angels, and lots of cheese, it is a poor attempt at mixing fantasy and romance -- predictable, derivative, and made with little money and even less taste, "Fallen" does not even manage to take an advantage of its charming female lead, providing her with lame material to work with, and a screen partner she has absolutely zero chemistry with. All the fantasy elements lack until the final act, and there is nothing great to say about the use of CGIs, either.