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Friday, June 30, 2017

[6.50/10] The Wizard of Lies (2017)

The Wizard of Lies (2017)

Quick Review: The otherwise fine dialogues are overwhelming at times and there's way too much going on, therefore "The Wizard of Lies" is not always easy to follow, or to absorb for that matter, but what makes this fact-based drama compelling is the sharp direction, and structural back- and-forth plot-line revolving around this historic financial scandal, giving an intimate point of view concerning the betrayal and its consequences, plus De Niro and Pfeiffer both shine, well, especially the latter.

[6.00/10] The Secret Scripture (2017)

The Secret Scripture (2017)

Quick Review: Partially set in WWII Ireland, whose natural surroundings are nicely captured by the elegant cinematography with a low-key tone, "The Secret Scripture"'s two-layered plot is on one hand a grim, female-driven romance, and on the other a moving story about loss, hope, and sorrow, and though the narrative is far from coherent and the emotional resonance is rather on the low side, the stellar acting and poignant finale make the film successful.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

[4.75/10] House of the Disappeared (2017)

House of the Disappeared (2017)

Quick Review: This so-so haunted house Korean horror flick could be described as "Insidious" meets "The Amitiville Horror", meets "Triangle", if sadly, not in a good way. Although well-acted, sinister in tone, and with solid emotional depth, "House of the Disappeared" fails to get rid of most genre cliches, at least until its thrid act, when it gets pretty twisty, even tricky. All the melodrama spoils the little tension it creates, and the 'fear factor' is so nonexistent.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

[6.75/10] 12 Feet Deep (2017)

12 Feet Deep (2017)

Quick Review: Simple, yet deeply effective, this well-acted hidden gem of a thiller about two sisters trapped under a hard cover of a public pool is so genuinely claustrophobic it will leave you struggling to breathe, with one of the siblings' condition making the situation even more tense. What indeed turns "12 Feet Deep" into a nightmare though is the involvement of the crazy cleaning woman, who's kooky behavior causes disturbance, but also provokes some revelations, and secret confessions.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

[3.00/10] Once Upon a Time in Venice (2017)

Once Upon a Time in Venice (2017)

Quick Review: Too awfully unfunny to be a comedy, and not containing a single combat, or chase scene to be an action movie, apart from the one in which Willis is riding a board nude across LA and a lame gunfight towards the end, if these two can be considered as such, "Once Upon a Time in Venice" is basically "Keanu" with a cute puppy, but even dumber, and more terribly purposeless piece of garbage that only proves it's time for its main star to retire.

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.