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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

[6.75/10] Greenland (2020)

Greenland (2020)

Quick Review: A constantly tense, tautly-paced, and often truly moving thrill-ride of a disaster film with real gritty tone and apocalyptic feel that, apart from a few sentimental bits, is totally devoid of any cheese at all, "Greenland" focuses mostly on the world mayhem caused by the comet than the destructive event itself, and although the 'crashing' action keeps you on the edge of your seat, the true force of nature is Butler's bold, wholehearted protagonist, who risks it all to secure his family.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

[5.00/10] The Owners (2020)

The Owners (2020)

Quick Review: A messed-up and nasty home-theft-gone-wrong thriller that leaves little to imagination when it comes to violence and brutality, this one delivers on both gore and tension, and the acting is more than solid, particularly by the freaky old couple, but sadly, "The Owners"'s attempt to elevate its simple concept by throwing a few twists is at the expense of its entertainment value, as it gets progressively ludicrous as it unfolds, culminating in a vague, pretty nonsensical finale.

Friday, September 25, 2020

[4.75/10] Ava (2020)

Ava (2020)

Quick Review: Superbly-cast and visually nifty, yet completely generic, ultimately soulless and depressingly moody, not only Taylor's sloppily put together 'top female assassin' crime thriller features some heavy-handed and mostly clumsily-choreographed fight scenes, proving that Chastain, though extremely talented, is by no means a real action star, but it also attempts to add an emotional depth with some complicated family drama involved in its conventional plot, but fails to leave an impact.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

[6.00/10] Stage Mother (2020)

Stage Mother (2020)

Quick Review: It's formulaic, dated and full of stereotypical characters, but this fish-out-of-water dramedy about a small town mother clashing with the drag culture in SF works in a crowd-pleasing fashion, as "Stage Mother" manages to be fun, sweet, funny, touching, and wild all at once, plus, it's a delight watching Weaver portraying the appealing Maybelline, who's insular at the start, but grows open-minded as the story unfolds, becoming big friends with everyone, including the audience.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

[5.25/10] Irresistible (2020)

Irresistible (2020)

Quick Review: Woefully everything but irresistible, this one plays as a mild satire on politics by depicting a small Wisconsin town mayor election campaign as a rivalry between two cynical strategists, showing the ugly side of it all, and though Carell and Byrne live up to their roles, with the latter being the standout, bringing some wit and raunchiness in a dirty game they play, "Irresistible" is far from clever or genuinely funny, well, at least not until the well-conceived twist towards the ending.

Monday, September 14, 2020

[6.00/10] The Sleepover (2020)

The Sleepover (2020)

Quick Review: It is outrageously silly, a bit too convoluted, and totally ridiculous, but if you are looking for a family-friendly entertainment with brisk pacing, light humor, fun action and even heart, "The Sleepover" is definitely the right choice, as it fully embraces its goofy absurdity, and makes the best of its banal 'secret agent mom' concept and charming cast, who all seem to have the time of their lives, even if purely visually, the film has the values of a decent made-for-TV production.

Friday, September 11, 2020

[5.00/10] The War with Grandpa (2020)

The War with Grandpa (2020)

Quick Review: It has a solid cast and brightly crisp visuals, with the Christmas-birthday-turned-a-messy- disaster being gorgeously designed, but "The War with Grandpa" is your typical juvenile, harmless, silly, and predictable 'older vs younger' family comedy without any wit or edginess, and even though some of the tricks Ed and Peter play on one another are mischievously fun, but the film is never hilarious, let alone warm when it desperately tries to be.

[5.75/10] Corporate Animals (2020)

Corporate Animals (2020)

Quick Review: It hardly shines with any technical merits, and there are some moments so dumb, you might regret seeing it at some point, but purely as a metaphor on employer-employees relationship, "Corporate Animals" works on various levels as an offbeat and darkly funny satire with a gory twist and claustrophobic setting that offers glimpses of with a few solid laughs, and succeeds due to its amusing cast, with Demi Moore stealing the show as the vile, cruel, and stone-hearted boss.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

[6.00/10] The Secret Garden (2020)

The Secret Garden (2020)

Quick Review: Benefiting from its gorgeous scenery, with the lushness of the nature contrasting with the grimness of the mansion, this pretty, if needless rendition of "The Secret Garden" tells a sweet, moving and enchanting story about 'the magic of friendship', even if the backstories don't always blend in smoothly with it, and though Egerickx's spoiled, if adventurous character is not exactly likable at first, she grows a lot as the film progresses, complemented very well by Walters and Firth.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

[5.00/10] The Secret: Dare to Dream (2020)

The Secret: Dare to Dream (2020)

Quick Review: Basically using its documentary precursor as gimmick, "The Secret: Dare to Dream" has an intriguing mystery up its sleeve that is not easy to predict, but that and the sleek looks and fine cast aside, this adaptation about a struggling single mother finding love neither works as a genuine romance, nor it conveys its 'think positive' message clearly, with the end result being a stodgy, sappy, and contrived drama with no emotional impact.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

[5.75/10] Mulan (2020)

Mulan (2020)

Quick Review: Alternating colorful fantasy scenes with grimly grounded ones, "Mulan" is tonally uneven and lackluster, due to Caro's incoherent direction and unclear approach, but the film adds fresh elements to the fable, and offers vibrantly ravishing, if at times overly CGIed visuals, and flashy, yet never epic wuxia-inspired action, and though Yifei gives it her all in the lead, she's no Zhang Ziyi, and all the rest of the A-list Chinese cast, are either underused, or seem distant, besides Gong Li.

Friday, September 4, 2020

[7.25/10] Tenet (2020)

Tenet (2020)

Quick Review: A time-twisting sci-fi mind-bender that trickily clashes the past, present, and future via loops, bridges, parallel universes, and time inversion, "Tenet" is as high-concept as it can get, and further enhanced by Nolan's astonishing vision, sleek looks, and thrilling action set pieces, featuring a wow 'inverted' technique, but what detracts its ingenuity is the excessive intricacy, no sense of fun, over usage of sound and score, and devoid-of-depth characters, despite the stellar cast involved.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

[6.25/10] Work It (2020)

Work It (2020)

Quick Review: Sure, it's formulaic, with no surprises along the way, and the romance is as corny as it can get, but all cliches aside, "Work It" is a fresh, sweet, and spirited comedy focused on what it should be -- the dancing, and the later is energetic, fun, and upbead, and boosted by the talent of professional dancers Koshy and Fisher, while Carpenter's charming and likable character, who picks passion over ambition, drives the film which, same as her, refuses to take itself seriously.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

[4.75/10] La Llorona (2020)

La Llorona (2020)

Quick Review: A family drama with political undertones and a touch of folklore mystery, but never a proper thriller, let alone a straight-up horror as it lacks chills, thrills, and frights, relying on an obscure tone instead, "La Llorona" deserves kudos for its more grounded approach, telling a story of sorrow, revenge and karma in a way so understated, it's nearly impossible to get involved due to an excruciatingly slow pacing, dull plot, and supernatural climax that barely fits in with the rest of it.