Quick Review: What starts off as a typical period ghost story, smoothly transforms into something way more visceral in terms of terror, and the end result is an unsettling blend of sheer dread and dark romance with a twist, that succeeds vastly due to del Toro's strong visual storytelling. Everything from the slick production design to the murky cinematography makes "Crimson Peak" one of the most atmospheric horror films ever made, that also benefits largely from its undeniably gifted cast.
Sunday, January 31, 2016
Sunday, December 13, 2015
In the Heart of the Sea [3D] (2015)
Quick Review: The huge contrast between the adventurous and fairly exciting first half and the difficult-to- watch and rarely compelling second one is so drastic, it basically kills the film's potential for epicness midway through, and makes it uneven. That said, the delightfully old-school style of storytelling is to be admired, the acting is really hard to fault and the 3D visuals are so sweepingly pretty they will take your breath away. Too bad the film lacks impact.
Friday, November 27, 2015
The Gallows (2015)
Quick Review: Effective only at the very end, "The Gallows" is basically cursed to hang out and collect dust on the shelves, as it has nothing to offer, other than shaky camera work that will make you dizzy, a bunch of obnoxious characters you'd love to see dead at any point, and one or two scares so cheap, they feel more like failed attempts at such. Instead of creating an ominous atmosphere, the low-key lightning cheapens the visuals, and shows that this film has technical issues as well.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Turbo Kid (2015)
Quick Review: Very nostalgic, very 80s, and very cool, if very sloppy in terms of execution, "Turbo Kid" is a post-apocalyptic flick that celebrates everything viewers loved about the cheap sci-fi flicks from the decade it pays cinematic tribute to, but those unfamiliar with it may find it tedious, amateurish, and too 'old-school' for their tastes. The colorful props, and objects pop out against the barren scenery, the score is a winner, and the acting is just over-the-top as the gore it splatters all over.
Sunday, September 27, 2015
Quick Review: With its bright color palette, that finely reflects the feel of the setting, and all of the references to this pretty location and its culture, "Aloha" succeeds as a 'love letter' to Hawaii but what distracts from that is the purposeless and incoherent plot which consists of dull romance, and an implausible 'revenge' back story, that never fit together well. And with so many great names amongst the cast, this film is pretty much a waste of talent, as the script fails to cope with all that 'star power'.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Quick Review: Being pretty by-the-numbers, hence, easy to predict for the most part, it fails to distinguish itself from all the rest sports dramas of this type, but thanks to Fugua's sleek visual style, and Gyllenhaal's ability to turn a good story into great one, through his superb acting and real dedication, "Southpow" remains involving from beginning to the end, while also striking a huge emotional punch. The boxing matches are the real deal, and the biggest highlight of this finely-crafted film.
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015)
Quick Review: Moving along at a taut pace for the most part and filled with heart-racing action set-pieces, but also carrying loads of dramatic weight to balance it all up, "Scorch Trials" is a bigger, scarier, and way more mature successor to the great original, if not necessarily superior, as it runs out of steam towards the end. It makes up for that with strong performances, and some beautifully gritty post-apocalyptic imagery. The 'mouse scene' is a killer!
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Four brand new stills / images from "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend" (Official Facebook Page), the upcoming sequel to Ang Lee's martial arts masterpiece from the year 2000, have just been released, and they look absolutely stunning, indeed!
Directed by the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping, mostly known to western audiences with his work as action choreographer in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", "The Matrix", and "Kill Bill" movies, this sequel tells the story of a group of noble and legendary knights and soldiers who fight for peace and justice by protecting a 400-year old blade named The Green Destiny in Qing Dynasty China.
Starring Michelle Yeoh, Donnie Yen, Harry Shum Jr., Natasha Bordizzo, and Jason Scott Lee, "CTHD: The Green Legend" is set for release in China on February 8, 2016 (The day of the Chinese New Year), a week ahead of the U.S. Netflix / IMAX release.
(click on the images to enlarge)
Michelle Yeoh as Yu Shu Lien
Donnie Yen as Meng Si-Zhao a.k.a. Silent Wolf
Harry Shum Jr. as Tie-Fang
Stills are taken from the movie's official Facebook Page
Monday, September 14, 2015
Quick Review: Far from scary, but totally disturbing, "Creep" lives up to its title 100%, owing all of that to Patrick Brice, who turns in a totally nutty performance as the seemingly friendly, yet obsessive troubled man skillfully manipulating his victims with his confusing behavior. It all comes across very credibly through Brice's camera, who also directs the movie. However, the fact that "Creep" takes quite some time to warm up can't be neglected, plus, it looks awful even for a 'found footage' film.
Sunday, September 13, 2015
Quick Review: The funny thing is, this very useless sequel pretty much suffers from the exact same issues it so-so predecessor does -- it never explains what causes the infection, showing just the consequences of it, which is frustrating. On top of that, "Phase II" attempts to include some poorly-developed crime elements in it, which further bring it down, along with the poor acting. The only good thing is it delivers the gross out gore everyone's expecting to.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Magic Mike XXL (2015)
Quick Review: Playing as a road movie -- a sassy, yet rather frivolous one, "Magic Mike XXL" is a passably enjoyable sequel, created mostly to make ladies happy, and guys pretty jealous, in which it succeeds, even if its so-so plot is, as expected, just an excuse for its well-built characters to take all of their cloths off and dance. Speaking of which, Tatum yet again proves he's got the moves, with his routines being the best parts of the film, which in the end owes all of its charms to the cool cast.
Sunday, September 6, 2015
Attack on Titan (2015)
Quick Review:Die-hard fans of the Japanese manga books, anime TV series, and video game of the same name will get almost everything they bargain for, but those unfamiliar with the source material may find "Attack on Titan" a bit unbalanced and hard to enjoy, due to its sluggish pacing, as it ranges from slow, and talky to extremely chaotic, and even though it cares for its characters and brings equal amounts of thrilling action and uncompromising terror, this contrast kills the intensity it aims.
Friday, September 4, 2015
Tale of Tales (2015)
Quick Review: Delightfully twisted in nature, obscure in tone, and even grimmer than any Grimm story ever told, "Tale of Tales" is far from being your typical 'happily ever after' fairy tale, telling three different stories, all of which equally as dark, freaky, and bizarre, that are effective enough on their own, but combined turn the film into a unique and deeply compelling experience, you will not soon forget, and not just because of its lavish art direction, slick cinematography, and stellar international cast.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Monk Comes Down the Mountain (2015)
Quick Review: Kaige's latest tries to blend one too many genres in it, and as a result the whole thing feels a bit messy and unbalanced, but at least the unusual style of storytelling makes it far from predictable. Due to the superb wire-work, sharp editing, and creative choreography, the fight sequences end up being best parts, and, luckily there are plenty of them. Moreover, "Monk" cares as much for its secondary characters as it does for its quirky protagonist.
Monday, August 31, 2015
Z for Zachariah (2015)
Quick Review: Featuring loads of wow shots of New Zealand's pretty nature, "Z for Zachariah" may be the most beautiful post apocalyptic film you will ever see, but that aside, it's mostly a pretentious piece with soap opera-like plot, that will bore you out with its lack of substance, and clear direction. The casting is odd, which results in a little chemistry between the three actors, who fail to engage the audience with their interactions. The abrupt ending only adds to the overall disappointment.
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Straight Outta Compton (2015)
Quick Review: Full of attitude and rage, if a bit rough in the beginning, this controversial biopic depicts the struggles of street life, and those of success, in a brutally frank manner, never losing its dramatic impact and gritty feel and benefiting from Gary's passion for black music, and his raw visual flair. The cast is on point, with all of the actors portraying the iconic rappers with sass, spirit, and sheer dedication. To sum it all up in N.W.A style... This shit is dope!
Friday, August 28, 2015
Quick Review: This biopic about the rise and fall of legendary blues singer Bessie Smith may have a few flaws, but its imperfection is exactly what turns it into such an emotional roller-coaster ride, you cannot help but being constantly engrossed by. Sure, it may be a made-for-TV film, but visually "Bessie" never feels as such – prettily-shot, bursting in retro authenticity, and slickly-produced by HBO, it's a pure delight for the eyes. Latifah is on fire, but Mo'Nique is the one that really triumphs.