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Monday, June 26, 2017

[5.25/10] The Belko Experiment (2017)

The Belko Experiment (2017)

Quick Review: With a very familiar scenario that's lacking any inventive ideas to sets itself apart from all the other 'kill one another' movies, and weak execution that has no style or visual flair, "The Belko Experiment" plays it out as some kind of satirical metaphor, albeit a poor one, but in the end that's just an excuse for all the gruesome nastiness on screen, which isn't that fun, especially when watching flat characters you do not care about getting killed.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

[6.00/10] The Bad Batch (2017)

The Bad Batch (2017)

Quick Review: Set in the bleak TX wilderness, which gives the film an instant gritty feel, and backed up by a wickedly moody pop/electro score that elevates the surrealism when it should, "The Bad Batch" is an odd, and tonally offbeat, if fairly original and mesmerizing hybrid of cannibal horror, revenge thriller, and obscure romance with a heavy touch of black humor that benefits from Amirpour's untypical, yet pretentious approach, and a small, spot-on cast helped by a surprising appearance.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

[4.50/10] Transformers: The Last Knight [3D] (2017)

Transformers: The Last Knight [3D] (2017)

Quick Review: Painfully overblown, overlong, and overstuffed, this mess of a sequel is yet another 'Bayhem' with plenty of huge explosions, rabid chases, clashing metal and colossal robo battles, all resulting in a forced spectacle that is more numbing than exciting, and whose flashy CGIs aim to distract from the blunt humor, and sheer banality of its joyless plot, and how much everyone involved barely cares what an incoherent nonsense "Transformers 5" truly is.

Friday, June 23, 2017

[7.50/10] Hounds of Love (2017)

Hounds of Love (2017)

Quick Review: Set in late 1980's Perth, and representing the period accurately through its vintage visual vibe and refined production design, this Aussie abduction shocker is so credibly horrifying, outrageous, and unnerving, it will get under your skin and stay there until the end. What makes it so effective is not its simple story, but its excellent direction, and powerful acting, with Cummings and Curry portraying one of the nastiest, nuttiest, most disturbing kidnappers ever showcased on film.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

[5.00/10] Unforgettable (2017)

Unforgettable (2017)

Quick Review: It's nice to see the rom-com queen Heigl finally showing some acting range by playing as the 'evil ex' here, and she actually turns in a pretty malicious performance, in contrast with Dawson's sympathetic and kind one, adding a slight edge to this domestic so-called thriller, but the inaptly titled "Unforgettable" is a mundane affair with stereotypes and outdated premise that fails to deliver due to a way underdeveloped script, and though rarely boring, the film is very far from electrifying.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

[6.75/10] Cars 3 [3D] (2017)

Cars 3 [3D] (2017)

Quick Review: A step above "Cars 2", if weaker than the first, "Cars 3" impresses more with its glossy, near flawless, and breathtakingly realistic graphics in spot-on 3D, than with its 'retiring champion' premise, but the metaphorical approach, the uplifting 'never give up' message it conveys, and the new spirited, show-stealing character it introduces, help Pixar's latest win the whole race in the end, having just enough wit, humor, and on-wheel thrills to fuel up its sweet, moving, even sad story.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

[3.75/10] The Shadow Effect (2017)

The Shadow Effect (2017)

Quick Review: Big on ambition, if short on imagination, "The Shadow Effect" is a well-conceived, but badly -excuted sci-fi bummer, whose tricky violent-dreams-become-reality story gets messier as the film progresses, leading to a payoff that is not only disappointing and terribly unoriginal, but also one that makes very little sense, if any at all. Not to mention the horrendous special effects, and mediocre script, which Gigandet and Meyers are both obviously having a difficult time working with.

Monday, June 19, 2017

[5.00/10] A Quiet Passion (2017)

A Quiet Passion (2017)

Quick Review: Certainly quiet, but sadly far from passionate, "A Quiet Passion" is a sluggish, chaotically-plotted biopic that aims to depict in details the life of enigmatic author Emily Dickinson in a subtle way, but the complete and utter lack of vigor makes it seem lazy in its approach, and not even Nixon's extraordinary performance, and the sophisticated period settings and costumes, which make it visually pretty, can't change the fact that this movie is a tedious experience to sit through.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

[6.00/10] Rough Night (2017)

Rough Night (2017)

Quick Review: At first it leaves you with the impression it is going to be the improved female version of "The Hangover", but beneath all its grimly comic surface, "Rough Night" is a bit more than just a bachelorette-party-gone-wrong -- it's about friendship, honesty, and forgiveness also, and that's what saves it from being your typical 'get drunk and do crazy stuff' nonsense, plus, the fabulous cast of charming, and damn funny girls will make you laugh hard about the wild situations they mess in.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

[4.50/10] The Recall (2017)

The Recall (2017)

Quick Review: A clumsy mash-up between a hackneyed cabin-in-the- woods teen thriller, and even more banal 'alien abduction' sci-fi rubbish, "The Recall" actually recalls all the familiar cliches typical for these two sub-genres, and throws a few lame twists here and there, with the end result being a chaotic patchwork of a film with a single likable character that's rarely dull yet too ludicrous, in spite of Snipes' goal to make it work. The aliens are hollow, but the use of practical effects is solid.

Friday, June 16, 2017

[4.25/10] CHiPS (2017)

 CHiPS (2017)

Quick Review: The most annoying thing about this downright dumb and pointless reboot of the TV show is not that it's not funny at all, as none of the blatant, sexual, homophobic, and overall thin jokes work, but the ridiculous waste of props during the filming of the sloppy action scenes, because to spend milions of dollars on such a pile of garbage is insane. Peña and Shepard are fairly likable, and few of the chases are fun, but the convoluted sort-of-plot and lack of wit will put you way off.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

[5.50/10] The Sense of an Ending (2017)

The Sense of an Ending (2017)

Quick Review: Telling two parallel stories, one in the present and one in the past, with the latter being the more involving and well-depicted of the two, "The Sense of an Ending" is a mature film which evokes some genuine emotions through its gentle narrative about warm memories and past love, plus, Broadbent is natural and so sympathetic in the lead, and Walter complements him finely, but this tardy movie gives you the sense it is never going to end.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

[6.50/10] Custody (2017)

Custody (2017)

Quick Review: Providing another bravura performance by the hugely gifted Viola Davis, and competently blending three poignant stories into one engaging whole, managing to find the right balance between the three characters it revolves around, "Custody" may not impress with its simplistic cinematography and made -for-TV production values, but the tight, multi-layered plot structure will compel you, and the sincere acting will make you emotionally involved in their personal struggles.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

[5.00/10] Drone (2017)

Drone (2017)

Quick Review: Sean Bean delivers the needed 'star power' to this little known warfare thriller which kicks off in the same fashion to the topically similar "Eye in the Sky", but unlike it, "Drone" feels sub-par in execution, cheap, and truly all-over-the-place, at least until the appearance of the Pakistani, when the movie goes in a more 'personal' direction, becoming a revenge flick that relies entirely on the intense conversations to get the viewer's interest, which it succeeds in, well, to some extend.

Monday, June 12, 2017

[4.50/10] Shimmer Lake (2017)

Shimmer Lake (2017)

Quick Review: As visually smooth as it is narratively complicated, this crime drama self-proclaims itself as inventive, attempting to tell its story in a reverse chronology, but does it poorly, as it starts from nowhere and goes back to the very beginning in a clumsy way, leaving the viewer very confused. The plot structure is not "Shimmer Lake"'s single flaw -- the entire mystery behind the robbery is unintriguing, the acting is weak, and the jokes are plain flat. At least the twist ending kinda works.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

[5.75/10] Black Butterfly (2017)

Black Butterfly (2017)

Quick Review: Despite the largely disappointing ending that ruins the rest of this otherwise well-conceived story, which happens to have tricks up its sleeve, the truth that "Black Butterfly" is an atmospherically-shot thriller providing several unexpected twists that keeps you intrigued can't be denied, plus the taut relationship between the writer and the stranger increases the level of suspense with every next scene, mostly thanks to Rhys Meyers' devilish, if charismatic comeback performance.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

[6.00/10] The Last Word (2017)

The Last Word (2017)

Quick Review: Although fairly witty, the script's predictability leads the story in a pretty expected direction, offering no surprises along the way, and yet "The Last Word" manages to remain consistently entertaining for all its two-hour running time, as watching a retired control freak and a spunky young writer trying to get along simply can never be boring, especially if those two are played by the spicy MacLain, and the spirited Seyfried, who make their on-and-off relationship really work.

Friday, June 9, 2017

[5.00/10] The Mummy [3D] (2017)

The Mummy [3D] (2017)

Quick Review: Neither very scary, nor a guilty pleasure, "The Mummy" has a few flashy scenes throughout, but apart from that, and some solid CGI work that is too good for such a lame, insipid plot without any clever elements, this needless reboot is a contrived, shallow, and overly murky clutter with forced thrills that has no idea how to benefit from its two big name stars, and features a creature that is too hot in its human form to be fearsome, and too underused as a proper creepy mummy.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

[6.50/10] The Exception (2017)

The Exception (2017)

Quick Review: Succeeding as both a spy thriller and forbidden romance between a German captain and a Dutch maid, this is a beautifully-shot piece with spot-on art direction that moves along at a slow, but steady pace, getting more gripping as the plot unfolds. "The Exception"s good intentions and warmhearted nature contrast drastically with its wartime setting, but that's exactly what sets it apart from most Nazi movies, plus, James and Courtney's hot chemistry charges the film sexually.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

[4.75/10] Free Fire (2017)

Free Fire (2017)

Quick Review: With a premise that implies mindless entertainment and effective gunfights a la Guy Ritchie, "Free Fire" lives up to its title, but sadly in a bad way -- let down by a script devoid of wit and imagination, taking place in a limited setting that gets boring too soon, and boasting with shootouts that are neither cool, nor thrilling, nor even fun to watch, this misfire of an action flick ends up being very sub-par in every aspect, apart from the good cast of UK and US actors involved in it.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

[5.75/10] Baywatch (2017)

Baywatch (2017)

Quick Review: Less cheesy than the TV show, but less enjoyable too, "Baywatch" offers much more than just watching fine-looking half-naked guys/girls running in slow-mo on the beach, adding some crime elements to its plot, and though in the end it all feels a bit far-fetched and over- the-top, the movie has just enough funny gags, crazy action, and likable characters to be watchable, in spite of the editing issues it suffers from, mostly thanks to the cool cast, and their eccentric chemistry.

Monday, June 5, 2017

[7.00/10] A Cure for Wellness (2017)

A Cure for Wellness (2017)

Quick Review: Providing just a few answers to the questions it raises in order to stimulate, but also playing as a metaphor for both overambition and overmedication in life, "A Cure for Wellness" is a bizarre journey of mysticism and paranoia that may be barely frightening, but it's heavy on suspense and atmosphere, thanks to Verbinski, who's aesthetic abilities turn this in one of the most striking-looking, dread-filled, uncanny horror films in recent memory that's visually and mentally hypnotizing.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

[5.50/10] War Machine (2017)

War Machine (2017)

Quick Review: Neither all that witty to be a proper satire, nor profound enough to be taken seriously as a fact-based war flick, "War Machine" struggles to find the perfect balance between important and comical as much as Pitt does to make up his mind whether he wants to portray a caricature, or an eccentric general. Yet, he still carries the movie along, being front and center, and bringing some sharpness of the very uneven story, at least till everything gets too serious towards the end.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

[9.00/10] Wonder Woman [3D] (2017)

Wonder Woman (2017)

Quick Review: Bold, kind-hearted, and witty, DC's first female-directed superhero flick screams 'girl power' in every frame, and is truly a wonder to behold -- neatly-plotted, polished in looks, crafted with tasteful sense of style by its creator, who executes the fight sequences in a stupendous manner, elevating them with swanky slow and fast motion effects, and led strongly by the utterly appealing Gal Gadot, "Wonder Woman" is a thrill ride of an origin story with heaps of action, humor, and soul.

[4.50/10] Dirty Dancing (2017)

Dirty Dancing (2017)

Quick Review: Not the worst movie ever made, but definitely one of the most redundant remakes, this ABC production ruins the '80s classic in a terrible way -- from the unimpressive dance routines, weak direction, poor editing, and inexpensive production design, the latter of which fails to capture the spirit of the era, to the awful choice of casting, with Breslin being physically unsuitable for the role, "Dirty Dancing gets it all wrong, apart from picking Scherzinger to show some great moves.