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Thursday, April 30, 2020

[6.00/10] Abe (2020)

Abe (2020)

Quick Review: A light, sweet, airy dramedy with multicultural flavor and just enough zest not to be mawkish, "Abe" is on one hand an enjoyable story of an aspiring young cook with passion for food, who takes on an urban journey of exploring fusion cuisine, and on the other a domestic drama about inner ethnic clashes among Abe's family -- and those two blend in one appetizing cinematic meal with a pinch of spicy wit, that's often too blandly seasoned to leave a memorable aftertaste.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

[5.50/10] The Lodge (2020)

The Lodge (2020)

Quick Review: Uncanny in tone, if never frightening, "The Lodge" ably makes you question the situation between the future stepmother and two grieving kids - is she messed-up or they play tricks on her, and the twist hint midway implies an 'afterlife' direction the story takes in, but the vagueness is more frustrating than riveting, the script never digs deep into Grace's disturbing past, and the only chilling thing in it is the isolated frosty setting, and yet Keough gives a haunting performance.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

[6.75/10] Bad Education (2020)

Bad Education (2020)

Quick Review: It is overly talky, a bit hectic, and rather uneven, hence too offbeat to be easy to follow or apprehend, but "Bad Education" is a truly delightful satire with surprising amount of dark humor, considering its outrageous subject matter, which depicts the events and outcome of a real-life public school theft scandal with style, wit, and bravura acting by Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney, who turn their engaging characters from charismatic darlings to greedy monsters so effortlessly.

Monday, April 27, 2020

[6.25/10] Uncorked (2020)

Uncorked (2020)

Quick Review: A simple, yet frank and genuinely realistic story about love, loss, and passion for wine that centers on a young black man who's torn between following his dream of becoming a sommelier, or helping the family bbq business, "Uncorked" conveys its 'never give up' message in plausible way, and benefits from Athie's grounded turn as the likable and humble, albeit driven Elijah, but the real star of the film is the upbeat hip-hop and r'n'b original score that accompanies his journey.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

[8.25/10] Extraction (2020)

Extraction (2020) 

Quick Review: A stimulating, edgy, ultraviolent, and thrilling carnage of a high-octane actioner boasting with expertly-staged shootouts and hard- hitting knife and fist fights, as well as exhilarating stunts elevated by deft camera work, Hargrave's film gains from Hemsworth's star power as the bulky and skillful Tyler who takes no prisoners against a vicious drug lord and his people in a taut 'rescue the kid' plot set in gritty city of Dhaka, in contrast with "Extraction"'s tastefully sleek yellow-tinted looks.

Friday, April 24, 2020

[4.50/10] Four Kids and It (2020)

Quick Review: It has the potential to be something rather magical, but Sky's attempt at kid-friendly fantasy feature falls flat on its face, as there is very little wizardry, even less heart and too much family melodrama, not to say the kids are rather annoying than cute, the wish-fulfilling creature is more creepy than charming, both of the parents are horribly miscast, and the villain is lousy, but at least "Four Kids and It" looks decent, and there are a few enjoyable bits in the dream-come-true scenes.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

[7.00/10] The Willoughbys (2020)

The Willoughbys (2020)

Quick Review: Moving along at a vigorous pace and telling an equally as sweet, funny, and poignant story that delivers strong message about unity and support, whilst satirizing bad parenting, "The Willoughbys" is a cute family adventure with heart, wit, and humor, driven by a bunch of delightful sibling characters, but it's the thoroughly unique visual style, extraordinarily quirky CGI animation, and absolutely striking use of flashy, vivid, saturated colors that make it a sheer treat for the eyes.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

[6.00/10] Misbehaviour (2020)

Misbehaviour (2020)

Quick Review: Visually, it captures the early '70s vibe beautifully, and it features a terrific cast, who portray their characters with devotion, but although "Misbehaviour" remains a pleasurable watch, its very simplistic approach on its rebellious 'feminist activism' subject lacks both depth and balance, somewhat neglecting the women of color, not to say the 'beauty pageant' subplot dominates over the main one, yet thankfully the latter is disclosing enough to keep you engaged in the film.

Monday, April 20, 2020

[4.75/10] Twin Murders: The Silence of the White City (2020)

Twin Murders: The Silence of the White City (2020) 

Quick Review: Jumbled, confusing, and often predictable, yet well-acted and shot with visual flair, this crime thriller from Spain not only reveals too much too soon, which ruins the whole mystery for the viewer, but it chaotically swings between several side stories that further muddle the plot, and involves a lot of secondary characters, which results in a busy, convoluted and un-intriguing 'serial killer' affair that leaves far too many questions undetermined.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

[6.75/10] Ordinary Love (2020)

Ordinary Love (2020)

Quick Review: Genuinely honest, profoundly moving, and often heart- wrenching, "Ordinary Love" follows the devastating story of an elderly couple dealing with illness, and the entire treatment process around it, depicted in realistic medical details, but in its core, this drama is about unconditional love and support, and the physical, mental, and romantic challenges families go through such difficult times, with the film's driving force being the true spark between the gifted on-screen pair.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

[3.75/10] The Turning (2020)

The Turning (2020)

Quick Review: Director Sigismondi demonstrates some sense of style, the setting is cool, and Davis is an appealing lead, who gives it her all to cover the crudely-adapted script which fails to re-imagine the classic novella, turning "The Turning" into a vague, chaotic, overstuffed, rather cheesy, but never chilling, let alone scary ghost story, full of trite frights, whose quasi-psychological twist and jumbled, frustratingly abrupt ending make the whole thing further inane, messy and nonsensical.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

[6.50/10] Sea Fever (2020)

Sea Fever (2020)

Quick Review: Hardly very original, but often clever, "Sea Fever" makes the best of its claustrophobic trawler setting, but also succeeds as both a gory and ghastly pandemic horror, dealing with nasty parasites, as well as an enigmatic 'creature feature', involving a giant sea monster, and though it avoids to explore the latter, this well-acted hybrid delivers some shivery scares and repellent images of slithery terror, while building and sustaining its low-key tension till the hauntingly surreal finale.

[4.75/10] Downhill (2020)

Downhill (2020)

Quick Review: Ranging between dry, goofy, mildly amusing and over-dramatic, "Downhill" shatters like a falling avalanche in its attempts to set a consistent tone and balance out its ditzy-to-serious and overall rather pointless 'sky vacation' story focusing on family dynamics, but at least the magnificently snowy alpine scenery is a breath of fresh air, and the cast of gifted comedians all do a solid job in this unnecessary, bland and odd remake of "Force Majeure", which wasn't great either.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

[6.75/10] Trolls World Tour (2020)

Trolls World Tour (2020)

Quick Review: Celebrating music in all its forms, by paying homage to variety of genres, often with sense of wit and humor, but also carrying a strong message about diversity and differences, "Trolls World Tour" is a cute, vibrant, spirited, vigorous, and surprisingly creative CGI sequel with pretty eye-candy animation bursting in vivid colors, tons of catchy tracks and cheerful singing, lovable known and new characters, and lively 'pop trolls vs. rock trolls' plot with uplifting finale that evokes smile.

[5.00/10] The Rhythm Section (2020)

The Rhythm Section (2020)

Quick Review: The talented Blake Lively delivers one of her best, most determined performances, but apart from that and some nice locations, "The Rhythm Section" is a lackluster female Bond wannabe thriller with an insipid 'revenge on terrorists' plot with events that are either unlikely, or absurd, and action that's soppy, but the worst bit is the unconvincing way the protagonist 'blossoms' from a grieving drug addict prostitute to a cunning, skillful assassin.

Monday, April 13, 2020

[4.50/10] We Summon the Darkness (2020)

We Summon the Darkness (2020)

Quick Review: Neither gruesome enough for a slasher, nor disturbing enough to work as a satanic horror, nor sharp, funny, or witty enough to evoke laughs as a horror comedy, "We Summon the Darkness" offers some decent gore, features a solid cast, and has a spot-on '90s vibe, but the majority of the characters are irritating, the terror is too basic, and the supposed to be clever cat- n-mouse plot verges on absurd, and lacks needed backstory.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

[6.25/10] My Spy (2020)

My Spy (2020)

Quick Review: Charming and fun, this action comedy with a touch of romance is more enjoyable than it has any right to be, considering its banal crude-big-guy-teams-up-with- cute-little-girl plot, but what injects heart into "My Spy" is the adorable friendship between JJ and Sophie, and the sincere chemistry between the leads, who are equally as sweet, plus, the awkwardly funny situations, spot-on film references, and partner Bobbi's hysterical personality bring some good laughs, too.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

[4.00/10] Love Wedding Repeat (2020)

Love Wedding Repeat (2020)

Quick Review: The idea of various versions of the same wedding party sounds interesting on paper, but watching a bunch of mostly irritating, often unbearable people to interact with each other in situations that are either awkward, uncomfortable, or downright embarrassing gets pretty exhausting at some point, and not even the Italian scenery and pretty indoor decorations can distract from the limited setting, but at least most of the cast is attractive.

Friday, April 10, 2020

[4.75/10] Enter the Fat Dragon (2020)

Enter the Fat Dragon (2020)

Quick Review: Donnie Yen takes on a Sammo Hung-esque role as a fat cop with love issues that barely suits him, but it is fun watching him kicking butt in well-choreographed if unsatisfactory action, and yet, this is a busy and overcrowded martial arts comedy with messy plotting, goofball characters, wacky humor and corny, ill-fitting moments of sentimentality, which thankfully ends on a very high note, with the Tokyo Tower final fight being literally smashing.

[6.00/10] Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020)

Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020)

Quick Review: With no sentiments or in-your-face drama, and keeping things very real, this coming-of-age story focused on a girl dealing with unwanted pregnancy and her tough journey through abortion is raw in its approach, effortless in its execution, and crafted with a sense of urban grit, and though the lack of sensible emotion in the characters' behavior may seem odd, it's worth-seeing for the candid acting and the wise way it conveys its message.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

[5.75/10] Gretel & Hansel (2020)

Gretel & Hansel (2020)

Quick Review: The stylish use of both color and lighting, along with the creative production design, and sinister setting combined generate a somber tone and sense of eeriness, enhanced by Krige's forbidding turn, but "Gretel & Hansel" does little to set itself apart by only twisting a few bits, and lacks a true fairy tale feel due to Oz Perkins' modernized take, which results in a half-baked version that's murky in looks, moody in tone, if monotonous in plotting, mundane and free of actual frights. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

[4.50/10] Like a Boss (2020)

Like a Boss (2020)

Quick Review: It's glamorous, crisp and appealingly glossy-looking, and features a terrific cast, even if most of them portray caricatures, but for a feminist chick flick that embraces 'girl power' and emancipation, "Like a Boss" is too phony and fabricated to deliver, nor it works as a 'buddy comedy' because of its stereotypical key characters and their far-fetched dynamics, but worst of all, the film's flat jokes and goofy slapstick humor never allow it to evoke laughs, being only moderately amusing.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

[5.50/10] Human Capital (2020)

Human Capital (2020)

Quick Review: Revolving around a car accident, by telling its story from numerous perspectives through the eyes of each of its interconnected characters, "Human Capital" dazzles with top-notch cast who give equally great performances, but the many sub-stories, though fairly intriguing, take away form the main focus, and muddle the plot, therefore make the whole thing seem under-developed, plus, the secondary 'business deal' topic seems as an excuse to relate the two families involved.

Monday, April 6, 2020

[6.75/10] Banana Split (2020)

Banana Split (2020)

Quick Review: As sweet, charming and candid, as it's raunchy, naughty and delightfully crude, this one kicks off as a passionate teen romance, then shifts into an endearing female friendship with strong message, but at the end "Banana Split" works best as a heartfelt, honest coming-of-age dramedy with all the ups and downs of adolescence, driven by the lovely chemistry between the two girls, and evoking laughs all the way, thanks to a witty script packed with as much dirty humor as sentiment.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

[3.00/10] Coffee & Kareem (2020)

Coffee & Kareem (2020)

Quick Review: Annoying, moronic, vulgar, and as unnecessarily violent as it is painfully unfunny, "Coffee & Kareem" is a dreadfully banal crime comedy about a kid and a cop who team up against drug criminals and police corruption, whose super-thin pseudo-plot consists of obnoxious characters, crude dialogues, cynical humor, and many messy shootouts, and concludes with a cheesy twist, with the only positive thing about it being Taraji P. Henson, even if she's shamelessly underused.