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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

[6.50/10] Loving (2016)

Loving (2016)

Quick Review: A sensitive and sad story about love and the strength of human spirit through hard times, the movie's simple, yet polished visuals contrast dramatically with the tough theme it deals with, but that's exactly where its beauty lies in. Although its reasonably slow, but steady pacing may test more inpatient viewers, the film is worth-seeing for the two main performances alone, notably Negga who's portrayal is movingly heartfelt. Emotive and bitter-sweet, "Loving" is cinematically significant.

Monday, January 30, 2017

[8.00/10] A Monster Calls (2016)

A Monster Calls (2016)

Quick Review: Sad, poignant, and rather wise, "A Monster Calls" deals with grief in a darkly unique way, but also conveys a moral message. J. A. Bayona creates a grim atmosphere by setting a somber tone, soaked in sorrow and gloom that matches the difficult subject. The CGI monster is spot-on, but it is the state-of-the-art watercolor animation that makes the biggest impact, being totally one-of-a-kind. Kebbell gives a powerful, yet emotive performance, and Neeson's voice is pure perfection.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

[6.25/10] Moonlight (2016)

Moonlight (2016)

Quick Review: Telling a profoundly intimate story about sexuality, drug- related family issues, poorness, and bullying, by following three different stages of an oppressed black man's hard life, "Moonlight" is a simple, yet tender look at self-discovery, led by some impressive performances, but truth to be told, Barry Jenkins' slow and melancholic film is sadly neither compelling, nor poignant enough to grab all your senses and emotions, being too clichéd, and stereotypical to be something special.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

[7.00/10] Snowden (2016)

Snowden (2016)

Quick Review: Its otherwise pretty intriguing subject matter that reveals a lot to those unfamiliar with the true story, may not be relevant in 2016, and the approach Stone makes is not at all edgy, and yet "Snowden" succeeds in being a fairly intense, thrilling and compelling biographical drama telling many truths about how dominant the US are over the rest of the world, and that there's no such thing as an online privacy. Gordon-Levitt's powerful performance drives the whole thing strongly.

Friday, January 27, 2017

[6.75/10] Split (2017)

Split (2017)

Quick Review: Likely Shymalan's best flick since "Signs", "Split" is an expertly-crafted horror, in which the director builds suspense steadily by creating an unsettling mood, adding a vital sub-story, as well as teaching some curious, and at times shocking facts about DID, all resulting in one effective whole. Playing a character with multiple personalities is a tough job, and McAvoy does it effortlessly, convincingly, and pretty dementedly. The final act is totally spine-chilling. Watch out for the Beast!

[4.25/10] Masterminds (2016)

Masterminds (2016)

Quick Review: Taking into account how flat-out moronic and ridiculously superficial the entire thing is the fact that this film is based on a true story is in fact laughable. Why? Because for a heist flick whether a comedy or not "Masterminds" has nothing witty, sharp or smart about it and it's sadly everything but matermind-ish. Okay, the well-picked cast all have a comic talent more or less, with Kristen Wiig standing out, and there a few funny scenes, but other than that it's very trashy, not only visually.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

[6.00/10] Elvis & Nixon (2016)

Elvis & Nixon (2016)

Quick Review: Witnessing the full preparation of the meeting between Nixon and rock star Elvis Presley is interesting enough in itself, but what makes even more entertaining is the lighthearted, humorous fashion it is presented in. Well. Short and sweet, "Elvis & Nixon" is worth-watching for the excellent acting alone, thanks to the gifted ensemble cast and mainly the two leads Shannon and Spacey, who work equally as amazingly when they are on screen on their own, as when they are together.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

[7.25/10] The Accountant (2016)

The Accountant (2016)

Quick Review: The autistic central character is way too invincible, and untouchable to be credible enough, but that doesn't mean Affleck is not doing a convincing job playing it, as this is a role that fits his acting style. Speaking of style the film surely has one, as it is ably-directed and pretty smooth, and classy in its execution. Also, thanks to the clever writing the dialogue-driven scenes are just as engrossing as the sharp action, with King's story near the final act being the most absorbing part.

Monday, January 23, 2017

[5.75/10] xXx: Return of Xander Cage [3D] (2017)

xXx: Return of Xander Cage [3D] (2017)

Quick Review: Caruso knows how to make mindless entertainment and his new movie is no exception. Sure, "Return of Xander Cage" is a loud, exaggerated mess with a trite script consisting of cheesy dialogues, and witless humor, but who cares, when you have tons of stupendous stunts and action scenes shot with flair and solid dose of imagination. Vin Diesel is dope, Dobrev is amusingly dorky, but watching Donnie Yen fighting is the biggest fun for sure.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

[6.50/10] Aquarius (2016)

Aquarius (2016)

Quick Review: Raw and credible, if far from extraordinary, this Brazilian drama tells the very simple story of the 65-year old cancer survivor, and music lover Clara, who's determined to keep her home, while dealing with loneliness and everyday issues, and it tells it somewhat powerfully. Yes, "Aquarius" me be too slow, and half an hour overlong, but Sonia Braga's appealing character, and compelling central performance will make you feel for her, but also admire her big strength and confidence.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

[4.50/10] When the Bough Breaks (2016)

When the Bough Breaks (2016)

Quick Review: Painfully formulaic, and often absurd, "When the Bough Breaks" has an implausible storyline that has been told too many times before, and better, which makes it foreseeable from the beginning. Jaz Sinclair does a superb job with her seductive character, but the other two main actors have pretty little to work with, therefore, fail to make an impression. The subject could have been effective in the 1990s, but in 2016 it just doesn't work.

Friday, January 20, 2017

[7.00/10] Allied (2016)

Allied (2016)

Quick Review: Set in 1942 against the backdrop of WWII, this is indeed a beautifully-shot film that captures both the horror of war as well as the authentic feel and tone of its classy era. "Allied" may not have the twisty, cat-n-mouse intrigue about its story that keeps you guessing, but thanks to the consistent pacing, some truly memorable scenes throughout, and the explosive chemistry between Pitt and Cottilard, this old-fashioned spy romance proves that straightforward could be riveting as well.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

[7.25/10] Patriots Day (2016)

Patriots Day (2016)

Quick Review: Credibly disturbing in its own right, "Patriots Day" deals with a terrorist tragedy in a plausible way, without being by-the-numbers due to an atypical, finely-conceived plot structure with a few sub-stories that integrate with the investigating one effectively. The acting, including Wahlberg's is excellent, and Berg's shaky, hand-held-like shooting style adds a real-life grit to the film's raw tone, which is a smart directing trick to enhance the level of intensity and sense of sheer mayhem. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

[5.50/10] American Honey (2016)

American Honey (2016)

Quick Review: Part hippy road film part credible coming of age drama, "American Honey" is supposed to be a fine effort, based on its writing and directing qualities though apart form the real-life grit, and the authenticity it owns, this one ends up being way too long, carried away, dull in parts, and filled with dragged out scenes, which take away from its potential to engage the viewer. Sasha Lane is a promising young actress, and truly natural in her role, but at times even she appears a bit bored.

Monday, January 16, 2017

[8.00/10] Hidden Figures (2016)

Hidden Figures (2016)

Quick Review: Based on an actual story that really deserves to be told, "Hidden Figures" clashes civil rights with 'space race' in such a poignant, smart, funny, and uplifting manner, it quickly becomes an inspiring crowd-pleaser, with the help of its charming lead threesome, who each dazzle in their feisty roles, fighting for equality and recognition real wholeheartedly. Also, being set in the 60s, the movie has a fancy vintage vibe about itself that adds authenticity, vibrancy, and appeal to its good looks.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

[6.75/10] Race (2016)

Race (2016)

Quick Review: It's rather overlong, and maybe not as inspirational as it should be, but the real story it tells about one black athlete's battle over racism is great and significant in its own right, and also paced smoothly enough to arrest your mind. Director Hopkins captures nicely on camera the era the film is set in, with notable attention to period details, as well as production values, but what makes "Race" really compelling is Stephan James' incredibly genuine, quiet, yet dedicated performance.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

[4.75/10] Keeping Up with the Joneses (2016)

Keeping Up with the Joneses (2016)

Quick Review: The cast is terrific, with G. Gadot and I. Fisher basically stealing back and forth the scenes they appear in, and there a couple of hilarious moments throughout the formulaic story, but much like most spy comedies, "Keeping Up with the Joneses" often fails to find the right balance between humor and action, due to a script devoid of wit, and at the end of the day, it ends up being a mildly amusing comedy with some average action scenes.

Friday, January 13, 2017

[7.00/10] The BFG (2016)

The BFG (2016)

Quick Review: So let's be honest - we've all seen better from Spielberg, and although it does not dazzle with excellent storytelling, "The BFG" is а 100% kids-friendly fantasy flick with fairly light tone, which benefits from the sweet relationship between the spirited little Sophie, and the lovable giant, who's adorable friendship will move you. As expected, visuals-wise the movie is absolutely impeccable, from the astonishing CGI work to the beautiful shooting locations and top- notch production design.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

[6.25/10] Passengers [3D] (2016)

Passengers [3D] (2016)

Quick Review: When a stylish sci-fi film set in a fancy starship lacks vital energy, and startling action, like this one does, it needs to have brains or emotional depth to deliver and sadly "Passengers" has zero. Still, Morten Tyldum's ambitious, yet flawed effort is fairly engaging, especially during Pratt's 'one man show' at the start, and it never fails to capture the eye with its polished production design, and visual effects. J Law adds some necessary edge, aiming to make up for the script's flimsiness.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

[5.00/10] Why Him? (2016)

Why Him? (2016)

Quick Review: Franco's big charm and charisma makes this silly movie somehow watchable even in its most embarrassing moments and there're tons of them, considering how many awkward situations it really features, and the dad-vs-fiance clash is fairly amusing at least half of the time, but unfortunately "Why Him?" can't help but feel horribly familiar, due to the hackneyed plot it has, and a largely superficial script that relies more on swearing and cynicism, than it does on wit, and fresh humor.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

TOP 20 MOST-READ Quick Reviews on CineMarvellous of 2016

The TOP 20 MOST-READ Quick Reviews 
on CineMarvellous of 2016 are:
[click on the title to read the review]

1. In the Deep [7.50/10] (Early Review)
2. Mechanic: Resurrection [4.75/10] (Early Review)
3. The Whole Truth [5.75/10]
5. Train to Busan [8.00/10]
6. Sully [5.50/10]
7. The Fits [6.00/10]
8. Hacksaw Ridge [8.50/10]
9. The Monster [5.00/10]
10. Trolls [6.00/10]
11. Underworld: Blood Wars [3D] [5.25/10]
12. Southside with You [6.00/10]
13. Nocturnal Animals [8.00/10]
14. Skiptrace [5.50/10]
15. The Magnificent Seven [7.00/10]
16. Sausage Party [6.50/10]
17. Morgan [5.00/10]
18. Incarnate [5.25/10]
19. Indignation [6.25/10]
20. The Handmaiden [8.25/10]

Monday, January 9, 2017

[4.50/10] Demon (2016)

Demon (2016)

Quick Review: Bleak in tone, due to its washed-out color palette, and dim cinematography and finely-shot, this Polish possession flick is without a doubt a technically well-produced horror with a touch of black comedy, and even though there's something dark and sinister about its wedding party-gone-wrong story with Jewish folklore elements, at the end of the day, the one and only really fearful thing about it is well, its title. And not even the terrific acting helps the film in its attempt to frighten.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

[6.50/10] Fences (2016)

Fences (2016)

Quick Review: Being entirely, and utterly dialogue-driven, "Fences" is certainly a brilliantly-written film with a deliberate stageplay feel, though it's often so chatty, your brain might fail to catch up with all the talking. There's a big dramatic twist mid-way through that shakes the things a bit, but that aside it's an old-fashioned, albeit very relevant, domestic drama dealing with cheating, poverty, and oppression that benefits enormously from Washington and Davis' award-deserving performances.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

[3.75/10] Max Steel (2016)

Max Steel (2016)

Quick Review: Suffering from an uninspired, and random plot with no purpose, very poor characterization, amateurish direction, and probably the worst editing you'll see this year, "Max Steel" is a rather lame attempt at superhero flick, and a 'wannabe' one, with an unpleasant tone, and close to zero entertainment value, that has no reason to exist. Max is alright, Steel is the best part of this flick, indeed, and the costumes are passable, but the action is rare, and completely unsatisfying.

Friday, January 6, 2017

[6.75/10] Hell or High Water (2016)

Hell or High Water (2016)

Quick Review: While not really the masterpiece most people claim, this downbeat if, quietly intense western with neo-noir tone and pretty moody direction feels incredibly refreshing from the very start, offering classic, old-school thrills, and an enthralling story, whose taut final act will keep you on your toes. The razor-sharp script, filled with witty dialogues, and amazing acting from the entire cast, especially the faultless Jeff Bridges are this wonderfully-conceived heist film's biggest strengths.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

[7.25/10] La La Land (2016)

La La Land (2016)

Quick Review: Delightful, uplifting, and splendidly surreal, "La La Land" may not be a musical perfection, but with all of the dancing, singing, and acting featured in its 'dreamy' story, it's surely a love letter to performing arts. Though set in the present, the creative use of color, saturation and light give the film an almost vintage feel with an appealing, mellow tone. Gosling, and especially Stone shine in their lively roles, but the emotive, complicated romance between them is the brighest star here.