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Friday, November 30, 2018

[6.75/10] The Christmas Chronicles (2018)

The Christmas Chronicles (2018)

Quick Review: Sweet, goofy, fun, and sustaining the joyful Christmas spirit the whole way through, while telling a heartfelt story about, loss and rocky family relationships, "The Christmas Chronicles" is a breath of fresh air into the holiday film genre that offers a magical adventure with a big heart, full of energy, laughs, action, and cute cartoonish effects, charged by Kurt Russel's too-cool-for-school turn as the sharp, sassy, witty and amusing Santa.

[4.75/10] Peppermint (2018)

Peppermint (2018)

Quick Review: Jennifer Garner is fierce, fit, furious, and a true force of nature in this frantic revenge flick, and she does the best she can do with the one-dimensional character and generic script she has to work with, but that's not enough to save "Pappermint" from being an absurd and exaggerated vengeance thriller with no actual thrills, which focuses more on its ultraviolent shoot-em-up action instead on the dramatic bits of its otherwise tragic story, leaving zero impact whatsoever.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

[6.25/10] May the Devil Take You (2018)

May the Devil Take You (2018)

Quick Review: From haunting and possession to witchcraft and occult, and the devil himself, this Evil Dead -inspired Indonesian mish-mash of a horror blends various sub-genres to offer a new and interesting take on the genre, but apart from the scary opening and almost-too-nuts third act, "May the Devil Take You" is an incoherent mess that has too much going on, and often feels like it is trying too hard, wasting its potential to be a proper frightfest.

[5.50/10] The Little Stranger (2018)

The Little Stranger (2018)

Quick Review: Pretty atmospheric, thanks to its subtle Gothic tone, old- fashioned feel, and properly vintage production values, if painfully slow, often sluggish, snoozy, and terribly uneventful, "The Little Stranger" has a few spooky bits here and there, but overall for a film that labels itself as horror, this Irish feature is neither sinister, nor frightening enough to deliver any chills whatsoever, not to mention its last minute 'ghostly' twist is too vague and anti-climatic to be as effective as it intends.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

[6.75/10] The Grinch [3D] (2018)

The Grinch [3D] (2018)

Quick Review: Just as bright, vivid, colorful, and dazzling as a sparkling Christmas tree, beautifully-animated in striking 3D, and jam-packed full of sweet, cutely-designed and amusing -looking characters, "The Grinch" is pure eye-candy, and even though it barely enhances its familiar 'stolen Christmas' story to a different level, relying more on its vibrant graphics instead, this cartoon version is still a sweet and funny holiday feature that not only delivers on fun and laughs, but also warms the heart.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

[7.75/10] The Hate U Give (2018)

The Hate U Give (2018)

Quick Review: Heartfelt, powerful, empatic, gut-wrenching and uplifitng all at once, "The Hate U Give" is an emotional rollercoaster which works as much as a coming-of-age story about love, loss, family values, and friendship as it does as an affecting drama that concerns relevant racial issues in a hard-hitting, yet movingly humane manner, with the end result being an engrossing and profoundly impactful film, driven by Stenberg's outstanding turn as the fascinating, fierce, and fragile Starr.

[6.50/10] Sweet Country (2018)

Sweet Country (2018)

Quick Review: Set against the wild and barren, yet beautiful backdrop of Australian outback, which takes such a big part of the film, it makes the sharp visuals just as important as its powerful, often gut-wrenching story of cruelty, violence, racism, the intentionally titled "Sweet Country" is mostly tough to watch, feel-bad, and everything but 'sweet', and despite the sluggish and demanding pacing, and unpleasant subject matter, it's a gritty and gripping revenge western with real genuine acting.

Monday, November 26, 2018

[7.00/10] Hold the Dark (2018)

Hold the Dark (2018)

Quick Review: Ambiguous in tone, chilly in atmoshphere, and enigmatic in style, this experimental horror with supernatural undertones refuses to provide any explanation about all the odd stuff happening on screen, giving only a few vague hints, but that's exactly what makes "Hold the Dark" grim, unsettling, and effective, along with the baffling plot's sheer unpredictability, the vastly intriguing characters, the shocking violence, and the bleak Alaskan scenery that will give you the shivers.

[4.00/10] The Witch in the Window (2018)

The Witch in the Window (2018)

Quick Review: The title may sound promoising, but if you are expecting to see something like "The Woman in Black", you'll be disappointed, as this one is a cheap in look and feel haunted house horror flick that has no frights up its sleeve to scare you, therefore it attempts to incorporate some David Lynch-inspired mystery elements and supposed-to-be mind- boggling twists, but they all fall flat, barely make any sense and fit in the ghost story very clumsily.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

[6.75/10] Creed II (2018)

Creed II (2018)

Quick Review: Slightly sluggish in parts, and mostly predictable due to the familiar plot formula it pursues, this sequel is more of a knockdown than a knockout, but "Creed II" still works as both a solid follow-up to the original that packs a punch with its raw, taut and hard-hitting boxing and training sequences and Adonis' moving personal backstory, as well as a cleverly nostalgic link to "Rocky IV", powered by Jordan's passionate lead, and Munteanu's intimidatingly beastly screen presence.

Friday, November 23, 2018

[7.75/10] Widows (2018)

Widows (2018)

Quick Review: Dimly slick in style, and masterfully smooth in execution, "Widows" is an accomplished hybrid between a feminine drama driven by sorrow, pain, and affliction, brutally uncompromising gang crime, and a twisty and suspenseful heist thriller involving politics, with the end result being an engrossing, intricate, and richly textured fusion of a feature, elevated by McQueen's competent direction, and the powerful female- led all-stars cast, particularly Davis' dominant performance.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

[6.00/10] Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018)

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018)

Quick Review: Goofy, if also witty, and sustaining its lighthearted tone, without losing its sharpness, "Teen Titans Go! To the Movies" plays it as a refreshing spoof full of sarcastic gags and tons of references, which messes around with the characters from both DC and Marvel universes, and parodies all the craze around superhero movies in general, while bursthing with energy, thanks to its brisk pace, colorful protagonists and vivid cartoon animation.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

[5.50/10] Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald [3D] (2018)

FB: The Crimes of Grindelwald [3D] (2018)

Quick Review: Impressive opening scene aside, this chapter feels like a disjointed clutter of substories and backstories and flimsy main plot that neglects its intriguing title character, giving it a very limited screen time, and though the impeccable effects, striking visuals, and eye-popping 3D are magical indeed, the overstuffed and over-explanatory "FB 2" never spellbinds with anything other than its wondrous creatures and maybe a few ravishing set pieces.

[6.25/10] Papillon (2018)

Papillon (2018)

Quick Review: The sleek direction, smooth cinematography, and steady pacing contrast drastically with the harsh environment of its jail setting, Hunnam proves to be a powerhouse lead with his tough, confident, and determined performance, plus, the relationship between the two main characters gets stronger as the plot unfolds, but Papillon is far from an easy watch due to the rawness of its nature and hard violence it shows, which makes it a gripping, if hostile and drearing experience.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

[4.75/10] Mile 22 (2018)

Mile 22 (2018)

Quick Review: Iko Uwais' presence and 'wow' fighting skills are the film's strongest asset, but sadly, also the only one, as "Mile 22" is a rushed, uneven and badly-edited spy thriller with too much dialogue, a tricky one for that matter, in which everything moves along so fast and happens so quickly, it will make your head dizzy, plus, the faux tension it aims to create through all the chaos and manic action happening on screen, combined with Whalberg's irritating turn give it a heavy feel.

Monday, November 19, 2018

[6.50/10] The Guilty (2018)

The Guilty (2018)

Quick Review: Taking place in an emergency control centre and led by Cedergren, who's one-man-show performance drives the movie, this Danish low-concept thriller may be limited in both cast and setting, but the clever and thoughtful writing of "The Guilty" makes up for that and turns it into a dialogue-driven quiet little chiller, which gets progressively tense and thrilling as most of the mystery behind the crime is being reveiled, leading to a shocking twist that will give you shivers.

Friday, November 16, 2018

[7.00/10] The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018)

The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018)

Quick Review: Fede Alvarez ably replaces the 'cold' sense of grit of the Swedish series with a stylishly murky tone, in the same fashion as Fincher, still managing to keep the trilogy's trademark harsh edge, and Foy portrays the valour, toughness, and vulnerability of the madeover Salander captivatingly, and despite the far-fetched plot and a few flaws, "The Girl in the Spider's Web" is an often gripping thriller with superbly-crafted action set pieces.

[6.25/10] Outlaw King (2018)

Outlaw King (2018)

Quick Review: Even though it's not intended to be shown on big screen, this Netflix historical action feature is undoubtedly beautifully-filmed and possesses all the technical qualities of an outstanding genre picture, not only thanks to its visual authenticity, but also the well-staged blood-and- mud graphic battle sequences which often appear epic, but "Outlaw King" is too emotionally vacant, unevenly pacedg, and clumsily-narrated to be powerful, despite its historical value, and Pine's devoted turn.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

[7.75/10] Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Quick Review: Its refreshing take on 'meet the parents' concept not only elevates the rom-rom formula to another level, but "Crazy Rich Asians" silkily ties in old-fashioned romance, witty humor, and poignant family drama, while showing off the beauty of Singapore through its eye -candy production values, and the characters' glossy lifestyle, allowing its superb cast to dazzle as much as the lush visuals and take you on an emotional journey that will win your eyes, but also you heart.

[6.00/10] The Breaker Upperers (2018)

The Breaker Upperers (2018)

Quick Review: Some people may find it offensive due to the touchy subject matter, but those with more open mind will enjoy the honesty, raunchiness and crudeness of this constantly hilarious and often witty Kiwi comedy, which is a much about dysfunctional relationships and the struggles of breaking them, as it's about the true friendship between two women, portrayed so genuinely by the two amusing leads, you can't help but love them both.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

[6.50/10] The Great Battle (2018)

The Great Battle (2018) 

Quick Review: Taking into account the skillfully-executed grand battles, enhanced by some snazzy use of slow-mo, which are all epic in scale, sometimes even overwhelmingly so, "The Great Battle" definitely lives up to its title in terms of action scenes and their technical and visual value, but this busy and very overcrowded Korean historical saga has way too much going on about itself, and that combined with the large number of characters, makes it hard to follow and complicated to get.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

[7.50/10] BlacKkKlansman (2018)

BlacKkKlansman (2018)

Quick Review: An excellent blend of intriguing plot, top-notch writing, brilliant acting, sleek direction, and timely themes of racism, all wrapped with irony, wit, and even a touch of romance, Spike Lee's latest effort, and also one of his very best, is a thoughtful, important, and superbly-executed piece of film-making that will make you exhilarated as well as uneasy, being a thought-provoking roller coaster ride filled with laughs, drama and suspense that entertains just as much as informs.

[6.75/10] Sorry to Bother You (2018)

Sorry to Bother You (2018)

Quick Review: Thoroughly one-of-a-kind, if not everyone's cup of tea, "Sorry to Bother You" is a unique mix of comedy, fantasy and drama, injected with a dose of romance that plays it as a darkly humorous black satire revolving around workahlism, success, overambition, greed,  and further on, regrets and contrition, complementing its originality with a darkly humorous script, some oddly disturbing, yet very amusing horror elements, and Stanfield's fantastic rags-to-riches lead turn.

Monday, November 12, 2018

[5.25/10] The Nutcracker and the Four Realms [3D] (2018)

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms [3D] (2018)

Quick Review: Mostly exquisite on the outside, if empty within, the film's lavish production design, exuberant visuals, and splendid details capture the eye, but the shocking absence of imposing dance sequences, and the somewhat fabricated whimsical tone make "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms" look more like a fancy mish-mash of other fantasy movies, rather than shining with individuality, therefore lacks Disney's emblematic magic, heart, and soul.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

[6.00/10] Look Away (2018)

Look Away (2018)

Quick Review: While by no means scary, the movie's chilling looks and feel might give you shivers because of the tone alone, and even though its vagueness grows a bit too much as the story progresses, leaving a lot of confusion, it's fair to say "Look Away" is a fairly original horror flick with some decent ideas behind its concept, which also digs deep into the struggles and alienation of a proper misfit, acted capably by India Eisley, who's schizophrenic lead turn is disturbingly hypnotic.