Quick Review: Both set and filmed in Iceland, this promising film about a couple who might be the last two people on Earth after a mysterious event is pretty to look at, displaying the wonderful Icelandic nature. That "Bokeh" takes a full advantage of in order to create a bleak tone. What it fails to achieve, though, is to realize its potential being all fun at first, but later on falling a victim of its limited plot, without ever explaining a thing, or at least giving a slight hint at what caused this occurrence.
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Quick Review: The movie does not waste any time, and throws you into the disaster story shortly, and even though it loses some of its credibility midway through, this very well-made Korean thriller remains pretty tense, claustrophobic, and dramatic for the most part, making us ask ourselves what would we do in such a dreadful situation. Where "Tunnel" succeeds mostly though, is the genuine way it presents its real characters, and the huge amount of efforts they make to save a single human life.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
The Devil's Candy (2017)
Quick Review: Made in 2015, but released this year, this demonic flick has more to offer than your regular haunted house stuff. While not very groundbreaking, nor as effective as Byrne's hit "The Loved Ones", "The Devil's Candy" is more of a visceral horror, rather then one counting on jump scares, and sinister images -- moving fast enough not to lose your attention, accompanied by a metal score that plays a big part, and led by an intense protagonist, this one will get under your skin.
Warrior's Gate (2016)
Quick Review: Mashing up martial arts, ancient folklore, time traveling, video games, and teen comedy, this fantasy actioner is just as ridiculous as it sounds, and then some. Made for Western tastes, and targeted to youngsters, "Warrior's Gate" is just cheesy fun - a silly, ludicrous, often juvenile nonsense, whose contrived plot is easy to follow, but also easy to predict. The nice exotic locations please the eye big time, Shelton is a charming lead, but the action leaves quite a lot to be desired.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Brain on Fire (2017)
Quick Review: A fascinating true story about one young girl's descent into a rare illness, "Brain on Fire" is very straightforward and simplistic in its approach, but that is the proper recipe for it, being about important topics such as false diagnosis, and doctor errors. Chloe Grace Moretz's expressive face, and wide variety of skills help her to pull off a hard role that requires big diversity, and she's wonderful at portraying her suffering character, who you just cannot help but like and care about.
Live by Night (2016)
Quick Review: Behind the camera, Ben spends so much effort in giving his latest film the right neo-noir feel, by using the most elaborate period set design, sophisticated costumes, low-key lighting, and fuzzy filter, that he almost pays no attention to the already generic mob story, with the result being an unfocused, strained plot that is difficult to follow, also due to an overwritten script. Affleck fails in the lead too, playing a character you will find hard to root for. At least all the action is on point.
Monday, March 27, 2017
From a House on Willow Street (2017)
Quick Review: The effective use of both lighting and color give this film a macabre tone, which works in its favor, along with the decent special and practical effects featured in the many gruesome, demonic images it showcases, but what "From a House on Willow Street" provides in even bigger amounts is the mumbo-jumbo curse crap it deals with in the most cliched and un-scary way possible, and a bunch of one-note characters who act sorely illogically.
Sunday, March 26, 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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Quick Review: Moving at a rather slow and uneven pace for the most part, until it really explodes in the final thirty minutes, when it gets real ruthless, this based-on-a-true-story Nazi drama succeeds mainly thanks to its humane, yet determined main characters, both not afraid to show fear and self-doubt, played credibly by Murphy and Dornan. Looks-wise, "Anthropoid" is beautifully grim, with Ellis creating a sense of unease with his moody, yet slick direction, full of gorgeously murky shots.