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Monday, February 20, 2017

[4.75/10] Fifty Shades Darker (2017)

Fifty Shades Darker (2017)

Quick Review: Ironically lighter in tone than its already terribly sugary predecessor, "Fifty Shades Darker" is very vanilla even when it attempts to be naughty, and that remains this series' biggest issue, along with the fact that the entire affair feels a bit too fabricated. And it's not the lack of chemistry to blame, as both leads share such, even though they can't act at all, but it's the badly adapted script's fault, as it turns the movie into a cheesy, unintentionally funny romance with zero edge.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

[4.25/10] Shut In (2016)

Shut In (2016)

Quick Review: Naomi Watts is no stranger to horror, giving her best with the given material, and making the film watchable here and there, but too bad the material is extremely poor -- suffering from an awkward script and confusing narrative, and limited by a snowy, isolated setting that is not particularly eerie, "Shut In" should have really stayed locked in and never released, as it doesn't contain a single scare, failing to thrill with its supposed-to-be-likely horror story with so little sense.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

[7.25/10] Julieta (2016)

Julieta (2016)

Quick Review: Well, it might not be as defiant and outrageous as some of the director's past work, but that doesn't make it any less successful. Crisp in looks and vibrant in palette, "Julieta" unfolds around the sensual protagonist, and her life full of love, pain, lost, and struggles, profoundly exploring her human nature. Julieta, portrayed by Suárez and Ugarte as older and younger versions of her is this deep, because of their genuine acting, guided finely by Almodovar's ever so strong direction.

Friday, February 17, 2017

[6.00/10] Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2016)

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2016)

Quick Review: Arguably Ang Lee's weakest film in years, if not ever, yet still a reasonable effort, "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" is all about the psychological consequences of war on soldiers' mentality, being also an in-depth character study, but unlike many other similar-themed movies, this one is truly peculiarly satirical in its approach. The 'High Frame Rate' technology, combined with the super vivid, saturated color palette gives it a lucid, yet realistic feel.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

[5.00/10] Don't Hang Up (2017)

Don't Hang Up (2017)

Quick Review: A reminiscent of a phone abuse '80s slasher, but with a modern twist, this a-game-turned- nightmare revenge thriller is largely implausible and painfully predictable due to the fact it's something we've seen so many times already. Sure, it is bloody, occasionally entertaining, and at times fairly intense, and the 'phone guy' is menacing enough to send a chill or two down your spine, but "Don't Hang Up" falls flat on its face, having shallow characters that are tough to care about.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

[7.00/10] The Edge of Seventeen (2016)

The Edge of Seventeen (2016)

Quick Review: With a sharp script that avoids most teen cliches, witty dialogues, and spot-on humor, "The Edge of Seventeen" is definitely not your by-the-numbers coming-of-age story, being equally wise and utterly hilarious without losing its cool edge for a second, and getting everything right. Hailee Steinfeld is a true force of nature, giving a fresh, and feisty lead performance as the fascinating Nadine, complemented brilliantly by the fine supporting cast.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

[6.25/10] Miss Sloane (2016)

Miss Sloane (2016)

Quick Review: Even though the entire story revolves around the title character, "Miss Sloane" is certainly a dialogue-driven political affair built on a smart script, which involves the viewer on a more deeper level with every next scene. Having said that, the movie owes it all to its main star Jessica Chastain, who turns in one of her most powerful performances yet, playing the sassy Miss Sloane. The first act is the most problematic being overly talky, and having some irritating pacing issues.

Monday, February 13, 2017

[6.75/10] Things to Come (2016)

Things to Come (2016)

Quick Review: A rather simple, yet genuine, and impactful story about life as it is, told in a rough-and-real fashion, with no sugаrcoating or any gimmicks at all, "L'avenir" may have an easy-breezy summery feel about itself, displaying the beauty of Paris' city views and France's countryside but deep down, it's actually a harsh film dealing with emotional conflicts, conveyed pretty impressively by the extremely talented Isabelle Huppert, who yet again shines in a role that is perfectly meant for her.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

[5.00/10] It's Only the End of the World (2016)

It's Only the End of the World (2016)


Quick Review: Although it flaunts a superb cast consisting of one of the finest French actors working today, each of whom perform their parts of dysfunctional family members more than convincingly, "It's Only the End of the World" is too hysterical, blunt, and emotionally empty to reach the dramatic big impact it's supposed to, not to mention all the characters are far from profound and the fact that it takes place in a single house makes it pretty limited in setting.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

[7.25/10] The LEGO Batman Movie [3D] (2017)

The LEGO Batman Movie [3D] (2017)

Quick Review: Surely the funniest Batman film ever made, "TLBM" is a restlessly-paced animated spectacle with mad action, flashy graphics rich in gloss and color, a script filled with witty humor, and tons of pop culture references, teasing with glimpses at the entire DC comics universe, one teaching that life is much better with mates and that team work is always the best work. Batman himself steals the show with his sassy personality, and the voicing is magic.

Friday, February 10, 2017

[4.50/10] Rings (2017)

Rings (2017)

Quick Review: With a muddy script that attempts to make the killer tape concept more current by digitzing it, which results in fully destroying the ominous feel that made "The Ring" memorable, and a direction that has more style than focus, "Rings" is a lazy sequel that chooses to echo its predecessors than to realize the few ideas of its own, and to chill with boo scares and CGI imagery, instead of building suspense. At least the new tape footage, and the 'grave scene' are reasonably effective.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

[4.00/10] Don't Knock Twice (2017)

Don't Knock Twice (2017)

Quick Review: Just another forced horror film that relies more on sound effects and jump scares than it does on atmosphere, "Don't Knock Twice" revolves around some urban legend that is absolutely ridiculous, barely frightening, and so much less tense than the disturbed mother-daughter backstory. Visually, the movie is very toned-down if not washed-out, which gives it a sense of obscurity but also a sense of cheapness. The 'demon' itself is freaky-looking yet they show too much of it too soon.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

OSCAR post: My Reviews of the 9 Best Picture Nominees at Oscars 2017

My Quick Reviews of the 9 Best Picture Nominees at Oscars 2017
[click on the title to read the quick review] 
[8.25/10] Arrival
[6.50/10] Fences
[8.50/10] Hacksaw Ridge
[8.00/10] Hidden Figures
[7.25/10] La La Land
[7.25/10] Lion
[6.25/10] Moonlight

Should win: Hacksaw Ridge
Will win: La La Land
Could win: Moonlight

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

[7.25/10] Lion (2016)

Lion (2016)

Quick Review: Beautifully-crafted, and proving that home is where the heart is, indeed, "Lion" is a refined film, tonally divided into two halves, both equally as emotional, gripping, and moving, with the first one really capturing the true essence of India. The fact that this deep, yet uplifting story actually happened in real life is amazing enough in itself, but what makes it even more plausible is the grounded, natural acting, especially the one from Patel, who plays a role that was meant for him.

Monday, February 6, 2017

[6.00/10] Jackie (2016)

Jackie (2016)

Quick Review: Yes, Portman fully inhabits the titular character, giving the best performance of her career, with a role that is powerful, sensual, fragile, and seductive all at once, for which she deserves an award, with the other great aspect of the movie being the so sophisticated costume design, but putting the stellar acting aside, "Jackie" is an adequate film- making at best, depicting a period of Mrs. Kennedy's life that is definitely the most dramatic, but also the least cinematically absorbing.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

[5.00/10] Silence (2016)

Silence (2016)

Quick Review: Set in Japan, yet shot in Taiwan, "Silence" is prettily- photographed, taking full advantage of its gorgeous scenery and spot-on art direction, both complemented by the highly polished cinematography. In spite of the importance of its faith- based spiritual story, this real murky, heavily religious film is slow-moving, overlong, and difficult to watch, due to a monotonous script that doesn't allow its strong cast to deliver their best, and dozy execution that makes it a tiresome experience.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

[6.75/10] Call of Heroes (2016)

Call of Heroes (2016)

Quick Review: It doesn't have the neatest plotting, and the numerous characters involved make it a bit too busy at times, but "Call of Heroes" is still an entertaining, well-crafted and surprisingly gory spaghetti western-inspired wuxia film that delivers. The action scenes are brutal, and finely-executed, thanks to Sammo Hung's outstanding fight choreography, and the flawless wire-work, and the film's classic, old-fashioned tone and feel are, in a way, a slight reminiscent of Lee's "Crouching Tiger".