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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

[4.25/10] Looking Glass (2018)

Looking Glass (2018)

Quick Review: A voyeuristic thriller so low-key it's actually devoid of any proper thrills, "Looking Glass" has a few ideas on its mind throwing many different elements in its supposed-to-be-creepy story, but its director seems to have no idea how to make a logical connection between them, with the result being a nonsensical, hardly intriguing, often dull mystery that partially benefits from its eerie motel setting, and the unbelievably toned-down, almost wooden acting by its star Nicolas Cage.

[5.25/10] Legend of the Naga Pearls (2017)

Legend of the Naga Pearls (2017)

Quick Review: The disjointed plot, cheap humor full of typical Chinese-flavored goofiness, sub-par special effects, and cheesy make-up make "The Legend of the Naga Pearls" an overblown, yet mediocre martial arts fantasy flick which relies heavily on CGIs to support its confusing story, along with the unnecessarily large number of characters, but at least the wire-fu enhanced fight scenes are mostly fun to watch, and the film doesn't lack imagination.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

[8.00/10] Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017)

Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017)

Quick Review: An in-depth look at prison terror, but also an affecting story about determination, bravery, and self-sacrifice, hidden behind the mask of unbearable violence, "Brawl in Cell Block 99" is so unsettling and brutally graphic, it literally takes no prisoners. Raw in tone, and gritty in its approach, the film shows a whole new face of Vince Vaughn, who's intimidating turn as the tough and fearless Bradley Thomas is his very best performance so far.

[6.00/10] The Stronghold (2017)

The Stronghold (2017)

Quick Review: Although it follows the same old a-teenage-goes-back-in-time formula, and has an uneven plot-line full of holes, this flawed, yet decently-crafted Ukrainian medieval fantasy flick deserves credit for the efforts it makes too look like a big budget Hollywood picture, which it does to a certain extend, in spite of the questionable special effects and direction. Somewhat refreshing, and fairly enjoyable, if a bit goofy, "The Stronghold" is fun to watch when the action is on main focus.

Monday, February 26, 2018

[5.75/10] The Lodgers (2018)

The Lodgers (2018)

Quick Review: Deeply soaked with eeriness form the very first scene, morbidly atmospheric the whole way trough, and set in a big, spooky, old mansion that will surely give you the creeps, "The Lodgers" seems quite intriguing in the beginning with its 'there's something about the water' mystery behind the story, but the further this supernatural Irish horror drama goes, the duller it gets, never fulfilling its on-paper potential, with the only barely frightening moments being close to the finale.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

[7.00/10] Game Night (2018)

Game Night (2018)

Quick Review: As brilliantly original as it is darkly hilarious and cranky, "Game Night" is possibly the most twist-filled comedy you'll ever see, thanks to an inventive script which effortlessly balances out witty humor and utter thrills, constantly throwing curveballs to keep you excited, while bursting in laughter. Duo Daley and Goldstein give enough screen time to each of the characters to shine on their own, successfully delivering one game-changer of a comedy that looks pretty sleek as well.

[6.00/10] Tulip Fever (2017)

Tulip Fever (2017)

Quick Review: A sumptuously-shot period piece so exquisite in its visual authenticity, it successfully conveys you back in time, "Tulip Fever" may not be as inspired in its writing as it's awe-inspiring in its looks, as it tells an exaggerated, melodramatic love story that never blossoms into something deeply affecting due to a weak script with dry dialogues, but the stellar cast save it from rotting, even though the chemistry between Vikander and DeHaan doesn't have a real scent of credibility.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

[6.50/10] Darkest Hour (2017)

Darkest Hour (2017)

Quick Review: Thoroughly driven by the unrecognizable Gary Oldman who's committed portrayal of one of the most daring, clever, eccentric, and extraordinary historical figures, Churchill, is absolutely phenomenal, "Darkest Hour" is neither an easy, nor a pleasurable watch due to its heavy political and war themes, and at times overwhelming, albeit smart dialogues, but the brilliance of the period production design, and the competence of J. Wright's direction add technical value ot it.

Friday, February 23, 2018

[7.50/10] Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)

Professor Marston & the Wonder Women (2017)

Quick Review: With its provocative content, from the kinky inspiration of  Wonder Woman and the scandal behind the comic book itself, to the invention of the lie detector and 'the perfect threesome', all tied in just wonderfully, "Professor Marston and the Wonder Women" is a curious, absorbing, revealing, and even a bit raunchy fact-based story with strong direction, splendid period feel, and brilliant acting from a gifted cast who share a fiery chemistry.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

[3.75/10] Selfie from Hell (2018)

Selfie from Hell (2018)

Quick Review: Dealing with dark nets, red and black rooms, and all sorts of mumbo-jumbo, "Selfie from Hell" is every bit as ridiculous as it''s silly title suggests. Moreover, this rip -off-ish cyber horror attempts to be current with all the cell technology and selfies craze, while shamelessly borrowing from such genre classics as "Shutter" and "The Ring", but it miserably fails to merge its gimmicky ideas, not to mention the acting and CGIs are equally as dodgy, and the scares are virtually zero.

[6.25/10] My Friend Dahmer (2017)

My Friend Dahmer (2017)

Quick Review: A quietly unsettling portrait of a future serial killer, "My Friend Dahmer" is focused entirely on Jeffrey Dahmer's troubled teen years, freaky obsessions with death, his largely dysfunctional family, and his relationships with his friends and classmates, but this odd 'the making of a murderer' approach works more as a high school drama than as a deeply disturbing piece in spite of Ross Lynch's chilling turn. The late 70s vibe is caught pretty accurately on every camera shot.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

[5.25/10] Proud Mary (2018)

Proud Mary (2018)

Quick Review: Its opening credits imply that the film is going to have a classic Tarantino-ish style about it, but it turns out there's nothing retro or old school about "Proud Mary" -- a derivative action thriller that feels more like a domestic drama rather than a straight-up shoot-em-up flick, and even though the relationship between Mary and Danny is mostly sweet, and Taraji P. Henson delivers a pretty charismatic turn as the title character, the movie falls very short on thrills and cohesion.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

[6.00/10] Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)

Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)

Quick Review: Almost on par with the last, if still lacking the delightful charm of the original, "Pitch Perfect 3" may be a bit 'pitchy' in parts due to a fabricated plot that recalls the first film in a desperately nostalgic manner, but this sequel remains fun and mostly enjoyable, plus, it's great to see the reunited Bellas perform again -- the singing is on-point, the numbers are entertaining, but it is Fat Amy that steals the show with her backstory, hilarious attitude, and action star-like fight skills.

Monday, February 19, 2018

[4.50/10] Accident (2017)

Accident (2017)

Quick Review: You know exactly what to expect from a film with such a reveling title, and although first- time director Dan Tondowski tries to shake things up a bit in the second half, adding a backstory, the movie becomes so ridiculously over-the- top in the final act, it loses all of its credibility, and becomes a nonsense that will make you roll your eyes in disbelief. Nevertheless, "Accident" is reasonably well-crafted, and those who suffer from claustrophobia may find it stressful at times.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

[6.50/10] Phantom Thread (2017)

Phantom Thread (2017)

Quick Review: Toned-down, if still exquisite, crafted with elegance and precision, and poetic in execution, "Phantom Thread" is focused on the draining relationship between the moody, pretentious, and egocentric designer, portrayed truly masterfully by Daniel Day-Lewis, and his muse- and-abuse love interest Alma, but the lack of an actual plot-line takes away from the film's quiet intensity, which Paul Thomas Anderson tries to compensate with an overbearing score that often distracts.

[6.75/10] The Square (2017)

The Square (2017)

Quick Review: Pretty much unlike anything you''ve seen so far, Ruben Östlund's latest feature is random, untypical, fascinating, wise, clever, satirical, and plain odd all at once, which makes it difficult to fit in any particular genre, hence it won't be understood or enjoyed by all those who prefer their films easy-to-get, but "The Square" deserves kudos for its performances, originality, and moral messages, plus, it possesses a sophisticated style that matches its truly artful approach.

Friday, February 16, 2018

[9.25/10] Black Panther [3D] (2018)

Black Panther [3D] (2018)

Quick Review: Racially significant, socially relevant, and respecting the vibrant beauty of the African culture and precious family values, without compromising on the big thrills, this origin story screams 'black power' in every scene, offering a dazzling 3D imagery of Wakanda which perfectly blends the traditional and futuristic, as well as some masterful combats, and tribal beats. Although Boseman fully rules T'Challa, Jordan and the sassy female supporting cast shine as much, if not brighter.

[4.00/10] Daddy's Home 2 (2017)

Daddy's Home 2 (2017)
Quick Review: Yet another cliched and pointless been-there-done-that comedy sequel set during Christmas which is also a very cheap gimmick, "Daddy's Home 2" contains one or maybe to moderately funny scenes, with all the rest following the old and worn out grandparents-parents-kids formula without providing any actual laughs. The sub-par script entirely wastes the talent of its gifted cast, and yet the film should be grateful to Mel Gibson, who makes his parts fairly watchable at least.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

[8.00/10] Molly's Game (2017)

Molly's Game (2017)

Quick Review: Using its wittiness, sharp writing, and bright dialogues as a driving force to tell the amazing story of a former skier-turned-poker princess, and further enhanced by the masterful direction, cutting-edge editing, and clever plotting, "Molly''s Game" may be 140 minutes long, but it is so engrossing, and deeply absorbing, you won't want it to end, as it manages to be super intelligent without ever losing its sense of fun. Chastain's committed turn as Molly is absolutely sensational.

[6.00/10] Cold Skin (2017)

Cold Skin (2017)

Quick Review: The sluggish pace may be a bit demanding for some, as well as the fact that it features only two, if pretty well-acted, actual characters, but Xavier Gen's period monster movie still absorbs with its nostalgically old-fashioned story line about mythical sea creatures, also providing a few solid thrills here and there. The deserted island setting, murky cinematography and blue-ish, very muted color scheme combined generate a chilling tone that will give you the shivers for sure.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

[6.25/10] Braven (2018)

Braven (2018)

Quick Review: Set against the all so snowy backdrop of the Canadian mountains to create a chilling visual effect, and featuring a cold-blooded villain to match the harshness of its environmental conditions, "Braven" is a bit slow at first, as takes its time to introduce all the characters, but as soon as the action starts, it picks up its energy and transforms into a decent little action flick with credible characters, realistic situations, taut chases and shootouts, and a tense score to vigor it further.

Monday, February 12, 2018

[3.25/10] Fifty Shades Freed (2018)

Fifty Shades Freed (2018)

Quick Review: The silliest, corniest and also the most sloppily-directed and shoddily-executed of all three, this god-awful final chapter in the so 'popular for all the wrong reasons' erotic trilogy is an utter cheese-fest from beginning to end -- if you can get through the phony acting, stupid dialogues, maddeningly sappy plot, far-from-kinky sex scenes, and the poor attempts at thriller in the third act, you might survive "Fifty Shades Freed", and thank God you never ever have to see it again.

[5.75/10] Downsizing (2017)

Downsizing (2017)

Quick Review: Overly ambitious in concept,  yet weak in execution, as it raises too many questions whose inexplicable answers remain vague, "Downsizing" deserves some credit for its reasonable originality, good intentions, and hesitant attempts at moral messages about the future of humanity, but the direction it goes after the protagonist's 'downsizing' totally ruins its initial potential, plus, the unbalanced script neglects most of the great supporting cast, relying desperately on Damon.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

[4.50/10] The 15:17 to Paris (2018)

The 15:17 to Paris (2018)

Quick Review: Probably supposed to be inspirational, but sadly ending up being surprisingly uninspired in execution, Clint Eastwood's bluntest film in his career aims to honor the heroic act of three American young soldiers, portrayed inadequately by the actual persons, but watching 80 minutes of a corny, uneventful, and often dull backstory with zero impact or zest for that matter just to witness the intense final final act feels like a tiresome wait for a train, so long you think it will never arrive.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

[4.75/10] Wonder Wheel (2017)

Wonder Wheel (2017)

Quick Review: One of Allen's worst efforts, for a movie with such a title "Wonder Wheel" has zero wonder about itself apart from a few visual tricks, though the overuse of color saturation, fuzzy filters, and radiant lighting make the 1950s tone of the film feel forced and kinda fabricated. Moreover, even the mostly spot-on casting can't mask the corniness of its formulaic 'love triangle' plot about rivalry, jealousy, and manipulation. Winslet shines, but Timberlake feels awkwardly out-of-place.