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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

[5.50/10] November Criminals (2017)

November Criminals (2017)

Quick Review: Part teen romance, part harrowing murder crime thriller, "November Criminals" is low-budget indie flick that relies entirely on its two talented leads to maintain the audience's attention, and while the chemistry between Ansel Elgort and Chloe Moretz is definitely there, and proves to be the film's driving force, the mystery behind the tragic plot is not intriguing or stirring enough, nor the investigation behind it works in a fairly plausible manner.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

[7.00/10] Den of Thieves (2018)

Den of Thieves (2018)

Quick Review: Each character is too smart to be credible, there are a few elements that seem borrowed from classic heist films, and some of the flaws are obvious, but "Den of Thieves" makes up with a cleverly-conceived and compelling plot-line with enough mystery, intrigue, and twists to keep you on your toes, a very skillful technical and directional execution that fits its gritty essence, and a precisely-picked cast led by Butler's superb performance as the wicked, cocky, sassy cop.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

[4.50/10] The Open House (2018)

The Open House (2018)

Quick Review: This family tragedy-turned-home invasion terror has an interesting premise that suggest big thrills, but instead of providing such, "The Open House" chooses to be a slow burner that builds tension more than 2/3rds of its run time, but apart from a few odd moments, it fails to generate any suspense whatsoever, revolving around the up-and-down mother-son relationship, and when it finally enters the horror territory, the idea behind the mysterious intruder becomes truly pointless.

Friday, January 19, 2018

[6.00/10] Beyond Skyline (2017)

Beyond Skyline (2017)

Quick Review: Slightly superior to the original in terms of execution, "Beyond Skyline" amazes with even slicker CGI and practical effects that are simply too good for its budget, and even though the often messy plot ranges from cheesy to absurd, it's much more thrilling than the one of the first film, especially during the frenetically action-packed final act. Grillo is suitable for the lead role, but the best part of the cast are Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian, because of their great fight skills.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

[5.25/10] Wolf Warrior 2 (2017)

Wolf Warrior 2 (2017)

Quick Review: Written and shot by Wu Jing, who also plays the likable protagonist, who's bravery and fight skills contrast with his kindness and sympathy, "Wolf Warrior 2" is fairly over-the-top in terms of action -- brutal hand-to-hand combats, crazy stunt work, massive shootouts, tank battles, big explosions -- it has it all. That said, there's too much going on about it: alternating melodrama and romance with non-stop action and graphic ultra-violence, this one is pure chaos plot-wise.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

[6.50/10] The Disaster Artist (2017)

The Disaster Artist (2017)

Quick Review: Following the whole making of the infamous-turned-cult classic film "The Room" by Wiseau, "The Disaster Artist" is an amusing, oddly fascinating, and occasionally touching movie-about-a-movie with tons of unexpected cameos, which succeeds mainly because of James Franco's talent behind and in front of the camera - with a truly sensitive approach as a director, and a fairly eccentric, yet accurate portrayal as an actor, he delivers a biopic that is as flawed as it's genuine.

[6.00/10] Broken Sword Hero (2017)

Broken Sword Hero (2017)

Quick Review:  It is no "Ong-Bak", and it would have worked better as a pure martial arts film rather than one with ill-fitting comedy and goofy score, but "Broken Sword Hero" is still worth-watching for the smoothly color-muted cinematography, exotic scenery, and the pretty impressive and never manipulated Thai boxing combat scenes and wooden sword dueling, plus, the charming Buakaw Banchamek does a solid job as the determined maverick in his quest of becoming a great fighter.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

[7.50/10] I, Tonya (2017)

I, Tonya (2017)

Quick Review: Driven by Robbie's true emotional roller coaster ride of a role that equals the triumph of her character's triple axel achievement, and well-accompanied by Janney's determined portrayal of her harsh, cruel, overambitious mom, "I, Tonya" tells its outrageous fact-based story with passion, dark sense of humor, and profound emotion, and the end result is an exciting, yet bittersweet doc-like sports biopic with a trashy vintage vibe that is just as edgy as the blade of an ice skate.

Monday, January 15, 2018

[5.50/10] Devil's Gate (2018)

Devil's Gate (2018)

Quick Review: With its ominously dim, sepia-toned color scheme, neat cinematography, and good-to-great practical and CGI effects, this well-made indie flick is a fine example of how to execute good visuals with a limited budget, and though "Devil's Gate" seems like an inventive blend of horror, sci-fi, and drama in the first half of its eerily intriguing alien -themed plot, delivering some solid chills, it becomes a hot mess during its third act, with the cheesy payoff being another let down.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

[7.25/10] The Greatest Showman (2017)

The Greatest Showman (2017)

Quick Review: Enjoyable, magical, and always dazzling to look at, "The Greatest Showman"'s formulaic plot barely matches its gorgeous period production design, and remarkable visual artistry, but the film's catchy, pretty spectacular musical numbers, and the tastefully-chosen cast with brilliant singing and dancing skills, headed by Hugh Jackman in a role that was meant for him, make this original musical an absolute treat for the eyes and ears alike.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

[6.50/10] The Commuter (2018)

The Commuter (2018)

Quick Review: Yes the whole thing is a little too far-fetched and often absurd to be any probable, but that barely makes the intricate plot less intriguing or twisty, in spite of all its flaws, which Liam Neeson's strong presence will help you overlook. Set mostly on a train, "The Commuter" is hardly impressive visually, and yet Serra's untypical directing decisions and technical tricks give the film an underground stylishness that goes well with its rough feel, high tensity, and hard-hitting action.

Friday, January 12, 2018

[7.50/10] Paddington 2 (2017)

Paddington 2 (2017)

Quick Review: One of the very, very rare cases in which the sequel does surpass the original, from the wonderfully-executed fully animated opening sequence to the emotional finale, this one is a pure delight to experience -- sweet, vigorous, witty, and never losing its exciting sense of adventure, "Paddington 2" blends live-action and animation to deliver an entertaining family-friendly story, revolving around the adorable CGI titular character, to whom the movie owns all of its big charm.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

[6.25/10] Ferdinand (2017)

Ferdinand (2017)

Quick Review: With its adorable protagonist, who's hugeness equals the gauge of his heart, "Ferdinand" might not have the deepest, more emotional or memorable story, nor it's particularly laugh-out-loud funny, but thanks to its beautifully-made, cutesy animation, brisk pacing, and sympathetic animal characters, it's a delightful entertainment for all the younger audiences. The dance off midway through is the true highlight, and the energetic goat Lupe easily steals the entire movie.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

[5.75/10] Bleeding Steel (2017)

Bleeding Steel (2017)

Quick Review: Ranging from pretty action packed, especially during the thrillingly long opening sequence, to overly dramatic, and literally goofy, Chen's latest sci-fi caper suffers big time from identity crisis as it shifts tones quite chaotically, which makes it inconsistent, along with the messy plot, but in terms of entertainment, "Bleeding Steel" is a brainless fun, worth seeing for the exciting stunts, fast-paced fight scenes, cool special effects, and the fantastic shooting locations in Sydney, AU.

Monday, January 8, 2018

[7.75/10] Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Quick Review: Filled with anger, grit, and violence, "TBOE,M" seems straightforward at first, because of its deceptively simple plot and small town setting that masks its potential, but in fact the film's revenge-driven story gets more harsh, intricate and unpredictable with each next scene, thanks to the highly intelligent script, which balances out dark humor and intense drama effortlessly, with the help of McDormand's phenomenally determined performance.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

[6.75/10] The Florida Project (2017)

The Florida Project (2017)

Quick Review: During its first half, "The Florida Project" is so random, plotless, and improvised, it feels like a project instead of a proper feature indeed, but as the film progresses, the story becomes more focused and profound, and starts to evoke some genuinely raw emotions in the viewer through its harsh depiction of present day destitution and single parenting struggles, which contrast dramatically with the movie's vibrant cinematography, which is as colorful as the natural characters.

Friday, January 5, 2018

[7.00/10] Lady Bird (2017)

Lady Bird (2017)

Quick Review: Truly beautiful in its simplicity and fully driven by Saoirse Ronan's bravura main performance as the feisty, opinionated and very rebellious teenager Christine, who owns ever moment she's on screen, even when she shares it with the also superb Laurie Metcalf as her concerned mother, "Lady Bird" is surely one of the finest films about adolescence with all its intriguingly awkward and often fascinating story, even if it's not for everyone, due to its immensely indie feel.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

[4.50/10] Inside (2017)

Inside (2017)

Quick Review: Reasonably slick in execution, and atmospheric in tone, yet very Americanized, and not even half as gory, disturbing, or effective as the French original "À l'intérieur", "Inside" is yet another terrible and beyond unnecessary attempt at a horror remake, which aims to differ itself by changing certain parts of the horrific story, but the ideas its creator has in mind are so cheesy and ludicrous, they instantly kill all the credibility factor, along with the mediocre performances.