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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

[4.50/10] Claire in Motion (2017)

Claire in Motion (2017)

Quick Review: Though completely underwritten, the script does a good job at keeping things real and Betsy Brandt is as genuine as it can get in her role as the Maths teacher, who's struggling big time to overcome the sudden vanishing of her husband, but "Claire in Motion" offers nothing regarding all the mystery behind the 'missing person' premise, choosing to become an overly simplistic story with no real point of purpose, apart from showing the emotional state of its frail central character.

Monday, May 29, 2017

[6.00/10] Before I Fall (2017)

Before I Fall (2017)

Quick Review: Based on the 2010 novel of the same name, "Before I Fall" is far from the most engaging or creative stuck-in-a-time-loop flick ever created. Happily, though set in the same day over and over again, it doesn't feel too repetitive, thanks to its clever idea to make this day at least reasonably different each time, allowing its protagonist to make the best out of the loopy situation she's in. Speaking of her, Deutch delivers a tender lead performance, making the film fairly watchable.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

[4.75/10] Kidnap (2017)

Kidnap (2017)

Quick Review: Halle Bery is really unstoppable as the powerful mother, determined to bring her son back, in spite of all the struggles she is going through, but watching her chasing a car for nearly the entire running time gets pretty tiresome, even if the car chases themselves are intense, and technically well-shot, considering the movie's tiny budget. Worst of all, we never get to know the full motives for the kidnapping, and that, along with the utter predictability, makes it one very run-of-the-mill affair.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

[7.25/10] Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales [3D] (2017)

PotC: Dead Men Tell No Tales [3D] (2017)

Quick Review: It drags a bit in the middle, and most of the characters are outshined by Jack Sparrow, but making up for that with fresh humor, spooky villain, first-rate CGIs, flashy set pieces, and innovative directing choices, with the cool 'ghost sharks' scene, and the nifty finale being the highlights, "Dead Men Tell No Tales" is a harmless, wild, and adventurous caper of a sequel, which proves this fun franchise can still tell tales, and it is far from being dead.

Friday, May 26, 2017

[4.50/10] The Shack (2017)

The Shack (2017)

Quick Review: What starts off as a moderately gripping, if manipulative domestic drama about loss and grief takes a suddern turn after the first 40 minutes, becoming some sort of spiritual tale of faith that attempts to touch, uplift, and inspire, but playing it like one long church sermon, ends up being tiresome instead. Octavia Spencer does not take the role of God seroisuly, Worthington fails to carry the movie, and the CGI-heavy recreation of paradise ranges from gorgeous to cartoonish.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

[5.25/10] iBoy (2017)

iBoy (2017)

Quick Review: Both relevant and interesting, this Netflix original aims a new take on the superhero genre, and it suceeds to a certian extend, being pretty current in its approach, considering the obsession with hi- tech these days, having a relatable hero who's special powers control everything digital, and being visually passable for what it is, but "iBoy" falls victim of all the cliched involved in its script, dealing with romance, justice, and family drama, yet failing to balance them out well.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

[4.75/10] Table 19 (2017)

Table 19 (2017)

Quick Review: Considering all the comedic talent on screen, especially Anna Kendrik, who can do no wrong with her bubbly acting style, making this film watchable here and there, "Table 19" could have been tons of fun, indeed, but do to its uninspired script full of cliches and tired gags, it ends up being the worst table at the wedding party, playing as half rom- com, half overly talky we-are-losers sort of comedy, neither of which is amusing, or at least half as original as its premise suggests.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

[6.50/10] Gifted (2017)

Gifted (2017)

Quick Review: Too straightforward and by-the-numbers in its approach, Webb's latest is nothing we haven't seen before, and far from being as extraordinary as its clever heroine, who's charming looks and ingenious mind will instantly win you over, but happily "Gifted" turns out sincerely heartfelt, and often moving, without being way too manipulative or overly sentimental, thanks to the intelligent script, helped by the capable cast -- Evans delivers, and the little Grace is a true force of nature.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

[5.50/10] Alien: Covenant (2017)

Alien: Covenant (2017)

Quick Review: A contrived hybrid between "Alien" and "Prometheus", "Alien: Covenant" aims to bridge the franchise logically, but oddly, it feels both disjointed and reused instead, offering 'more of the same', but also revealing a sleazy explanation which contradicts the series' key concept, focusing mostly on the androids. All the Neo and Xenomorphs look badly CGI-y, the characters are dull, but at least there are moments of intense, gore-filled terror, and the imagery is stylish in its gloominess.

Friday, May 19, 2017

[5.75/10] Colossal (2017)

Colossal (2017)

Quick Review: Way too odd to be easily enjoyable, yet far too original not to praise, in terms of concept, "Colossal" is a creature feature like no other, but execution-wise it's so moody, surreal, and darkly bizarre, it might leave mass audiences a little confused and rather unsatisfied, but those embracing the weird will find the film extraordinary, as it combines social satire, vengeful romance, and monster mayhem in its own peculiar way, benefiting from its very capable lead, who fits in just fine.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

[4.00/10] Dead Awake (2017)

Dead Awake (2017)

Quick Review: With a premise that concerns sleep paralysis, this horror flick suggests something fresh, but the idea of mixing this phenomenon with the paranormal doesn't turn out as good as it's supposed to, making "Dead Awake" one snooze-fest of a nonsensical bummer that will neither keep you awake at night, nor it will scare you to death, in spite of all the eerie images it throws at your face. Not to mention how stereotypical the characters are, and how low-quality is the sub-par execution.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

[5.50/10] Their Finest (2017)

Their Finest (2017)

Quick Review: Make no mistake, "Their Finest" is a prettily-shot film -- everyhing from the true authenticity its period production design exudes to the smooth editing, sophisticated costumes and hazy cinematography is on point. However, in spite of its beauty, and Arterton alluring central performance, this film suffers from identity crisis, trying to be a wartime drama, romance, and love letter to cinema all at once, but fails to focus enough on either of these, playing it way too safe to succeed.

Monday, May 15, 2017

[6.25/10] The Hunter's Prayer (2017)

The Hunter's Prayer (2017)

Quick Review: No, it will not break any new grounds with its hackneyed hitman-turned-protector plotline, but "The Hunter's Prayer" turns out a lot more entertaining than it appears -- moving along at a taut pace, never sinking into dullness, and featuring some thrilling car chases and tense hand-to-hand battles, "The Hunter's Prayer" is a passable action thriller with a surprising amount of soul, led by Worthington's solid performance, and further uplifted by Rush's truly mesmerizing presence.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

[9.00/10] The Invisible Guest a.k.a. Contratiempo (2017)

The Invisible Guest (2017)

Quick Review: Almost too tense to bear, this masterful Spanish thriller is truly something Hollywood should learn from -- built on a highly clever plot structure, further lifted by some skillful editing that contributes to the increasing suspense of its intriguing mystery-within-a-mystery story full of hidden clues and unexpected turns, "Contratiempo" is a visually-polished and brilliantly-acted shocker, whose rewarding twist ending will leave you with your mouth open, being the key piece of the whole riddle.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

[5.25/10] Voice from the Stone (2017)

Voice from the Stone (2017)

Quick Review: Surrounded by an enigmatic atmosphere and providing subtle chills, "Voice from the Stone" is an elegantly-directed, and visually refined mystery drama that benefits largely from its eerie period setting, and though it keeps you moderately intrigued, its "The Others"-like ghost story is too slow and uneventful for the most part to be exciting enough. Besides, Emilia Clarke's acting is so irritating, you'll probably struggle to bond with her character.

Friday, May 12, 2017

[4.75/10] Awakening the Zodiac (2017)

Awakening the Zodiac (2017)

Quick Review: West & Bibb make a credible on-screen pair, and they portray their characters adequately enough to hold your attention, plus, considering the film's tiny budget, it is pretty sleek-looking and well-shot, but being about a couple trying to track down the Zodiac serial killer with a very amateurish investigation, "Awakening the Zodiac" is way too flat, gimmicky, and absurd to make sense, and the thrills it provides are rare and on the low side.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

[6.25/10] Extortion (2017)

Extortion (2017)

Quick Review:  It is great to see a no-big-studio movie with no familiar faces that's well-made for what it is, and that is exactly the case with the Caribbean-set "Extortion" - a family- holiday-gone-so-wrong blackmailing affair that keeps things as realistic as it gets, and maintains the tensity through, despite the plot's inevitable predictability. Eion Bailey carries the entire film, portraying fear, exertion, and desperation rather credibly, and Barkhad Abdi proves to be the right pick playing the bad guy.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

[5.50/10] A Dark Song (2017)

A Dark Song (2017)

Quick Review: Taking place in a single house, and featuring just two characters, Gavin's debut feature is not exactly diverse, but thanks to its director's ability to create a sinister tone with a limited setting, cast, and budget, "A Dark Song" succeeds in being an unsettling piece of occult horror that generates a great sense of unease. That said, the film never manages to get frightening, showing too much aggression and suffering, instead of wading into much darker psychological territories.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

[6.00/10] How to Be a Latin Lover (2017)

How to Be a Latin Lover (2017)

Quick Review: Surprisingly, for a film with such a cheesy title, "How to Be a Latin Lover" has а bigger heart than you might expect, even though it kicks of in a stereotypical and silly manner. As much about spoiled, old gigolos as it is about family ties, this satirical comedy alternates between rude and real heartwarming, always sustaining its huge sense of humor. The passionate cast, hot-tempered characters, and saturated tone add the needed Latin flavor.

Monday, May 8, 2017

[5.75/10] The Circle (2017)

The Circle (2017)

Quick Review: Half-baked and far- fetched, if never boring, "The Circle" is a cool-looking cyber thriller about digital culture with a few semi-smart thoughts on its mind that challenges privacy, and raises questions about personal data yet the answers it has are vague, verging on clueless, and the entire subject feels so outdated. That along with the sloppy direction, lack of coherence, irritatingly abrupt ending, and waste of acting talent turn this one into a pure example of 'an unfulfilled potential'.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

[8.00/10] Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 [3D] (2017)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 [3D] (2017)

Quick Review: More complex, and less refreshing than its predecessor, if still a blast, the CGI-driven "Vol.2" is as vivid and colorful as fireworks, and laden with mind-blowing effects, enhanced by some cool use of 3D, which also helps the action to reach epic level. The inappropriate humor brings laughter and that, along with the big surprises its plot has to offer, make it a fun space ride. Sure, Baby Groot is adorable, but it is Drax who actually steals the show.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

[6.00/10] I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017)

I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017)

Quick Review: As peculiar as its title suggests, this Netflix original is a darkly comical revenge thriller with loads of gritty humor, bad language, and some unexpected violence in its third act, that certainly wins point for originality, being both untypical and unpredictable in its approach as well as execution, even though its quirky mood, and oddball characters won't be to everyone's liking.

Friday, May 5, 2017

George Beremov's TOP 3 Non-Jaws Shark Flicks

Okay, we all know "Jaws" is still the best shark movie out there, and will probably always be. Therefore, I decided to exclude it from this list in order to make it a bit more unpredictable. There have been many shark- related films over the years, most of which either cheesy or terrible, but also some very successful efforts. Please find below my TOP 3 all-time favorite shark flicks. If you're a fan of the sub-genre, give those a go.

1. The Reef (2010)

As skilfully, and beautifully shot as it's fearfully thrilling, Traucki's "The Reef" is not only THE best Austsie shark flick ever made, but also the best in the sub-genre since "Jaws". Horrifyingly realistic, hyper-intense, paced to perfection, and featuring one huge, mean, and scary shark, this horror film will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout, with the best thing about being its non- exaggerated plot and characters.


2. The Shallows (2016)

Benefiting from all its surroundings, Serra's latest is all about the pretty visuals at first, featuring beautifully-captured beach scenery, and state-of-the-art surfing scenes, but once the Big White gets involved, "The Shallows" grows into an enthralling, taut survival thriller that alternates nasty, strenuous shark attacks with moments exposing the physical and emotional struggles of the allurignly likable female protagonist.

3. 47 Meters Down (2016)

The shabby start is not promising, but once the story sinks under the surface, your fears will quickly start to emerge, as the blend of sharks, gore, and claustrophobia, provides some deep-sea-thrills so big, they'll leave you gasping for air, but also struggle along with the two victims. Kudos to the director, who executes the underwater sequences capably, and makes them look scarily real, yet soaked in turbid atmosphere.


..... And since the list is a bit on the short side, here are a couple of honorable mentions:

Open Water (2003) - A believable, exhaustingly scary thrill ride. [6.50/10]
Deep Blue Sea (1999) - An enjoyable, far-fetched cheese-fest. [6.25/10]

Thursday, May 4, 2017

[5.00/10] The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2017)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2017)

Quick Review: Based on the book of the same title, "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" depicts a real- life story that's powerful in itself, but sadly does not translate well on the screen, because of a badly-adapred script with no emotional weight that neglects the title character, focusing more on the family issues than on HeLa, and her cells' contribution to medicine. The acting is superb, with Winfrey delivering an Emmy-worthy turn that drives the film.