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Friday, October 30, 2020

[4.00/10] Hubie Halloween (2020)

Hubie Halloween (2020)

Quick Review: It features a bunch of great cameos by A-list actors and the richly-decorated Salem streets during Halloween are a treat for the eyes, but that's about it, really, as despite its attempts to demonstrate heart and be sweet enough to make you care, there is too much going on in "Hubie Halloween", and none of it is particularly funny, or spooky, not even in fun way, plus, Sandler's goofily-voiced Hubie, although kind and good-natured, is too much of a loser to evoke sympathy.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

[4.25/10] Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020)

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020)

Quick Review: Filmed in a sleazy docu-style, and feeling like a bunch of randomly thrown in scenes, this "Borat" sequel yet again uses satire and cultural contrasts to tell some ugly truths, and does it in-your-face, but none of its signature profane humor, embarrassing situations and moronic dialogues are as fresh and outrageously funny as they were in 2006, but at least it greenlights the promising Bakalova to stand out as the crazy-ass daughter.

[6.75/10] Eternal Beauty (2020)

Eternal Beauty (2020)

Quick Review: Single-handedly led by the emotionally diverse role from Sally Hawkins, whose portrayal of schizophrenia is rather uplifting than depressing, but above all poignant in a kind of amusing way, "Eternal Beauty" gets lost in its own oddity, leaving the viewer confused about what is real and what is imaginary, but that's where its strength lies in, making June's story a mesmerizing experience with a touch of surreal romance that explores the charming side of mental condition.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

[6.25/10] Bad Hair (2020)

Bad Hair (2020)

Quick Review: A set-in-the-80s B- level folk horror dealing with African witchery and Indian mythology which underneath its supernatural surface plays it as a social commentary on black pop culture and whitewashed beauty norms, "Bad Hair" is tonally shaky, with a dramatic and realistic first half, and more comically creepy second one, but thanks to its fairly original concept, Lorraine's gripping lead turn, and cool retro visuals, the film works effectively as a metaphor, if never as a scary flick.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

[5.50/10] The Empty Man (2020)

The Empty Man (2020)

Quick Review: The prologue set in Bhutan is sinister as hell, but after it the movie shifts tone and turns into a mumbo-jumbo supernatural teen horror, then transforms into a crime- solving occult thriller, dealing with a multi-layered LoveCraft-ish mystery that gets progressively intricate and twisted, and although the latter is riveting and enhanced by a chilling score and eerie atmospherics, "The Empty Man" is sluggish, draggy, low on scares, and overly esoteric, and its climax -- unsatisfying.

Monday, October 26, 2020

[5.00/10] The Wolf of Snow Hollow (2020)

The Wolf of Snow Hollow (2020)

Quick Review: An oddball, subtle in tone 'small town' horror comedy that is neither ghastly or frightening enough, nor particularly amusing to work as either, and too mild to work as a blend of both, this debut film by Jim Cummings, who also stars in it, has his typical quirkiness written all over it, but it fails in its attempt to balance the beastly murders with the 'inner beast' life struggles of its barely likable protagonist, plus, the climax is underwhelming.

Friday, October 23, 2020

[6.75/10] The Witches (2020)

The Witches (2020)

Quick Review: Brought to life by del Toro's frisky script and Zemeckis vivid direction, and lit by Spencer's enthralling presence and a few cute CGI mice, this reimagining of Dahl's novel is a wild and enjoyable caper with plenty of kid-friendly frights and cartoony visual effects, which along with the colorful retro imagery, give it a spellbinding Disney feel that fits well with "the Witches"' viciously fun nature, but it's Hathaway's wickedly over-the-top turn that will make you smile ear to ear. In fear.

[4.50/10] Centigrade (2020)

Centigrade (2020)

Quick Review: It has all the right ingredients to be a claustrophobic and suspenseful chiller, considering the frozen barrenness of its scenery and the tight space it's set in, but it hardly takes an advantage of either, plus, "Centigrade" is not only limited in setting, events, and characters, but also in thrills and tension, big time, and not even the fact that it's based on real story helps it elevate itself above the usual family drama, despite all the dramatic struggles of the stuck young couple.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

[6.25/10] Unhinged (2020)

Unhinged (2020)

Quick Review: The whole thing is a bit far-fetched, hence implausible, but that can't change the fact that "Unhinged" is a consistently intense thrill-ride with brutal kills, non-stop chasing, shocking car crashes, and a sympathetic protagonist you root for in spite of her bad choices, but the movie's driving force is Crowe's unsettling turn as the intimidating, vicious, and psychotic stranger, who brings road-raging to another level - one that will make you rethink your entire driving behavior.

[5.25/10] Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020)

Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020)

Quick Review: Traveling through time to gather the world's greatest musicians and sing a song together to save the planet sounds like a fun idea on paper, but the excessive goofiness, lame humor, surprisingly tacky execution, disjointed plot and Reeves and Winter's awkwardness playing the otherwise optimistic title characters with odd charms, make this moderately amusing, but never truly funny sequel strictly for fans, who simply like it as it is.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

[6.75/10] Cuties a.k.a. Mignonnes (2020)

Cuties (2020)

Quick Review: On the verge of losing its balance, being almost too naughty and indecent for e pre-teen drama, hence largely controversial, "Cuties" will make a lot of viewers angry for crossing the line here and there, but in its core, it's a profound and candid depiction of adolescent sexuality which also concerns other vital cultural and social themes, as well as passion for dancing, with the lively, emotive, and zealous turn by Youssouf being the driving force of this delicate French film.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

[5.25/10] Friendsgiving (2020)

Friendsgiving (2020)

Quick Review: Akerman is alluring and likable as the recently divorced movie star devoted to motherhood, Dennings brings a few solid laughs as her eccentric lesbian friend, and Seymour stands out as the naughty mom, but despite its intentions to be a well-balanced dramedy that is as much about fun and games, as it's about complex relations with friends and family, "Friendsgiving" ends up being a busy and crowded holiday movie with little soul, even less wit, and lots of crude humor.

Monday, October 19, 2020

[6.50/10] The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

Quick Review: The back-and-forth plot structure is busy and uneven, often choosing to depict instead of display the events, there are far too many characters involved, and the non-stop talking is overwhelming at times, but Aaron Sorkin's fact-based courtroom drama still engages with a timely topic, sharp dialogues with depth, wit, and humor, silky late 60s look, and terrific cast that drives the whole movie from the riveting set-up to the poignant ending.

[5.00/10] The Boys in the Band (2020)

The Boys in the Band (2020)

Quick Review: Adding little on both the stage play and the original 1970 film, refusing even to modernize the period it is set in, this unnecessary remake definitely looks good due to its cool retro feel and slick visuals, but the tiny setting, unlikable queer characters, and simplistic plot driven by cheap intrigues and spicy talks makes "Boys in the Band" mostly for LGBT audiences, and not even the 'relevant' all-gay cast can help it feel less false and contrived.

Friday, October 16, 2020

[4.00/10] No Escape a.k.a. Follow Me (2020)

No Escape (2020)

Quick Review: A sloppy crossover between "Saw", "Escape Room" and "Hostel", this uninspired and overly familiar 'torture porn' bummer built on 'social media' gimmicks offers a few gory death scenes and a cool location, but "No Escape"'s potential to be an entertaining guilty pleasure of a horror is completely ruined by a bunch of obnoxious, vastly unlikable characters you can't help, but want to die, and a ludicrous, far-fetched twist ending that comes across more laughable than shocking.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

[6.75/10] Enola Holmes (2020)

Enola Holmes (2020)

Quick Review: It puts a fresh spin on Holmes legacy, the missing mom mystery is intriguing, the clues are fun to follow and solve, there are plenty of engaging side characters, and the period production design is absolutely exquisite, as is the warm color palette, but the movie belongs to the sweet, lively, curious, alluring and adventurous Enola, played with such passion and energy by Brown, and watching her blossoming from a country girl to a true detective in the making is a pure delight.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

[4.75/10] Love, Guaranteed (2020)

Love, Guaranteed (2020)

Quick Review: From its ridiculous premise to the Hallmark-like style, and mawkish execution, everything about "Love, Guaranteed" screams cheesy rom-com, which it really is for the most part, but at least Cook's sweet, alluring and lovely working woman of character and her likable love interest Nick have some decent chemistry, even if the developing romance between them is not only too obvious and awfully predictable, but not particularly strong, affecting or heartwarming, either.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

[5.50/10] Books of Blood (2020)

Books of Blood (2020)

Quick Review: Presented as three shorts twined into one major story, but also made to work on their own, "Books of Blood" is a mixed back of an adaptation, with the first, Jenna's story being the creepiest, nastiest, and most visually slick, the second and most title-related one being too softcore, despite the gore, and too heavy on CGI, but never effective or grisly, and the last, the weakest and most forgettable one, which makes the film inconsistently put together, and sadly, hardly scary.

Monday, October 12, 2020

[6.50/10] The Devil All the Time (2020)

The Devil All the Time (2020)

Quick Review: The slow, if steady pacing, overlong running time, and numerous characters with complex interactions between them might be challenging for some, but "The Devil All the Time" is a capably-directed and finely-crafted retro crime thriller with toned-down approach that tells a pretty straightforward, but quietly gripping story of bleak misfortune, driven strongly by an ensemble cast bursting in talent, with Bill Skarsgård stealing the whole show.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

[11/10] Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair (2011)

Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair (2011)

Quick Review: Adeptly gluing vol.1 & 2 through a cool unseen footage, and highlighting in color the bloody brutal grandeur of the fierce 'Crazy 88' fight, "TWBA" is Tarantino's most exhilarating and technically deft film, and a true masterwork of a revenge thriller, featuring a brilliantly-scripted slaughter-them-all plot enhanced by a stylishly swanky action with razor- sharp choreography, and led by an rigidly badass female character, who Thurman fully embodies.

Friday, October 9, 2020

[5.75/10] Peninsula (2020)

Peninsula (2020)

Quick Review: Technically slicker than the first, yet never as intense, thrilling or moving, "Peninsula" does offer a few solid set pieces, gloomy post-apocalyptic imagery, and some fairly engaging characters that are easy to like and care about, but for its nearly two-hour running time, this mixed bag of a sequel fails to live up to expectations in terms of zombie terror and grisliness, as it relies on typical pure action instead, let alone leave an emotional impact as big as that in "Train to Busan".

Thursday, October 8, 2020

[4.75/10] The Lie (2020)

The Lie (2020)

Quick Review: Starting as a fairly riveting, bleak crime drama about a family trying to hide their daughter's fatal mistake, but turning into to a cruel and ugly story that goes totally out of control as the plot sluggishly unfolds, "The Lie" blatantly tricks its audience with a presupposed to be 'game changer' of a twist at the end that is so ridiculous, it comes across more as irritating than shocking, but you are over the film anyway, as the otherwise well-acted characters are too mean to care about.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

[5.25/10] Black Box (2020)

Black Box (2020)

Quick Review: More of a mystery with a sci-fi twist than a horror, this one feels like "Twilight Zone" meets "Black Mirror", borrowing ideas from both and other genre films as well, and although it utilizes those crafty enough by conflicting memory and identity in a vague way, "Black Box" never actually makes sense with all the 'virtual headspace' claptrap, not to say the curveball it throws in the third act makes the whole concept all the more ridiculous, but at least the acting is convincing.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

[4.25/10] The Bay of Silence (2020)

The Bay of Silence (2020)

Quick Review: A Hitchcockian noir thriller about love, secrets, and lies, whose tangled plot with several sub  stories pretends to be multi-layered, but it feels muddled, as they hardly merge together evenly, ruining the whole intrigue and giving away the mystery behind Rosalind's condition and the disturbing consequences of her actions, "Bay of Silence" has a bleak tone and enthralling settings, and features some okay acting, but it's neither suspenseful, nor it works on a psychological level.

Monday, October 5, 2020

[6.00/10] The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020)

The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020)

Quick Review: Goofy, gruesome, gory, crazy, and never taking itself seriously at all, "Killer Queen" puts a fresh spin on its 'occult babysitter' concept offering many surprises you won't see coming, but what makes this ridiculously fun sequel work is the attractive young cast and McG's hilarious, over-the-top direction, with the all-girl video game-inspired fight deserving a special mention, as well as all the outrageous death scenes heavy on blood platter.