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Thursday, December 31, 2020

[4.50/10] Wild Mountain Thyme (2020)

Wild Mountain Thyme (2020)

Quick Review: It benefits from the green and lush scenery of its Irish countryside setting, and the allure of its two sadly miscast leads, even if the baffling script keeps them too distant to allow them to generate chemistry, plus for a wacky romantic comedy with musical bits, the oddly melancholic "Wild Mountain Thyme" neither has the charm to excite, nor the heart to touch, nor the humor to amuse, let alone to enchant with its pseudo 'magical realism'.

[6.00/10] I'm Your Woman (2020)

I'm Your Woman (2020)

Quick Review: Despite a couple of twists and turns and some moments of tension, "I'm Your Woman" is too uneventful and not dramatic enough to be constantly gripping for its two- hour running time, and the sluggish pacing doesn't help either, but what makes this neo-noir-ish crime thriller watchable is the visual authenticity of it's 1970s setting, recreated with flair and style, and some interesting dialogues, but mainly Brosnahan's nuanced turn as the 'mom'-on-the- run vs. the underground.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

[4.00/10] The Midnight Sky (2020)

The Midnight Sky (2020)

Quick Review: Though the cosmic shots are absolutely gorgeous and often awe-inspiring, if visibly all CGI, Clooney's latest film "The Midnight Sky" is a dull, bland, uneventful and surprisingly lackluster space drama, which patches some elements from "Contact", "Gravity", "Ad Astra", and "Intersteallar", and the end result is a non-plot bore with zero thrills, or any entertainment value that goes nowhere, and totally wastes its solid cast and premise, and the few cool ideas it has on its mind.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

[6.25/10] Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020)

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020)

Quick Review: Flaunting a pair of bravura performances - Boseman's last, but also his best, and Davis' strongest since "The Help", as the self-centered blues diva, and some radiant recreation of '20s Chicago, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" sadly underwhelms with a simplistic run- of-the-mill story with limited setting, too much dialogue, and barely any singing, which in the end gives it the 'uncinematic' feel of a stage play, on what the film's based on.

Monday, December 28, 2020

[8.50/10] Soul (2020)

Soul (2020)

Quick Review: Everything from the incredibly like-life NYC scenery and charmingly-designed characters, to the dazzling astral imagery in neon-lit pastelly colors make this one eye- candy, but "Soul" is just as creative within, telling a moving, exhilarating, soul-stirring, and thought-provoking story about our 'purpose in life' in a metaphysical manner, balanced out with some comic relief from 22, and complemented by killer voicing, and a tuneful jazzy score that embodies Joe's passion for music.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

[7.00/10] Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

WW84 (2020)

Quick Review: Displaying more of Diana than WW herself exposing her human, fragile, vulnerable side, "WW84" ranges from goofy and fun to sappy and serious, which further muddles the tone of its busy 'dream stone' story, and it fails to convey its 'greed for power' message strongly, but it makes up for that with Gadot's radiant allure, some cool retro looks bursting in glaring colors, and a few thrilling action scenes, the highlights being the opening set piece and the ferocious Cheetah fight.

Friday, December 25, 2020

[6.00/10] The Kissing Booth 2 (2020)

The Kissing Booth 2 (2020)

Quick Review: Overlong, if never boring, mostly thanks to King's lively turn as the bubbly Elle, who always keeps things fresh and funny, this sequel improves on its predecessor in numerous areas, bringing both laughter and tears, and though the outcome isn't particularly satisfying, "TKB2"  remains a sweet, charming, playful, and pretty exhilarating teen romance dealing with the difficulties of long-distance relationships and the purity of friendship.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

[7.75/10] Sound of Metal (2020)

Sound of Metal (2020)

Quick Review: Directed and paced with punctual precision, and utilizing inventive sound effects that not only elevate it stylistically, but put you in the shoes of its flawed, albeit likable protagonist, played by Ahmed with remarkable dedication, "SoM" is an emotionally powerful journey of self- discovery, an insightful look at deaf community, and also a raw story of despair, struggle and determination that alternates between sad, scary, moving and inspiring, being steadily engrossing throughout.

[4.50/10] Sightless (2020)

Sightless (2020)

Quick Review: Neither as clever, nor as shocking as it thinks it is, and very limited in setting and otherwise -- taking place in a single apartment and featuring only a few characters, this one builds its plot on blindness and uses paranoia to blur the lines between real and imaginary, hence to trick the audience, but the whole thing is so disjointedly put together, the thrills so cheap and the big twist so foreseeable, not even Petsch's solid turn can make up for the film's preposterous messiness.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

[6.25/10] Uncle Frank (2020)

Uncle Frank (2020)

Quick Review: Revolving around complex family dynamics, while also depicting homosexuality as a taboo among small town communities, yet driven by the sincere bond between a teenage girl and her gay uncle, the latter being brilliantly portrayed by Bettany as the grounded, caring, and understanding titular character, "Uncle Frank" may be a bit flat and melodramatic at times, but it's a taut and engaging queer drama, not to say how appealing his early 1970s vintage looks really are.

Monday, December 21, 2020

[5.75/10] Black Bear (2020)

Black Bear (2020)

Quick Review: It benefits from a career-best performance by Plaza, who reaches new heights portraying a complicated, disturbed character, and it explores the creative process of film-making with chaotic artistry, but also playing as a tricky cat-n- mouse game involving love triangle, "Black Bear" can be seen as either a mess, or a pure mind-bender, the latter due to its ambiguous narrative and unpredictability, but the end of the day it goes nowhere and ends on an unsatisfying note.

Friday, December 18, 2020

[6.50/10] Godmothered (2020)

Godmothered (2020)

Quick Review: Putting a fresh, fun, and silly spin on 'fairy godmothers' by carrying one in the modern 'real world', this is an enjoyably whimsical family fantasy, whose dreamy looks and kind and sweet, yet quirky and amusing protagonist, played by Bell delightfully, both enchant with their charm, and tough "Godmothered" is built on 'believe in magic' positivism, it also concerns 'true friendship' and lack of self-belief, displaying sense of care, support, and empathy in a heart-warming manner.

[4.00/10] Ip Man: Kung Fu Master (2020)

Ip Man: Kung Fu Master (2020)

Quick Review: With a lackluster execution, bland portrayal of Ip Man by Yu-Hang To, and gimmicky story filled with overused cliches, familiar elements,  and dragged out sappy moments that make it even more tedious, not only "Ip Man: KFM" fails to do its iconic character justice, but also to impress with choreography, as it features only two decent fight scenes, one of which is an inferior, blatant rip-off of "Kung Fu Hustle"'s axe gang mass combat.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

[6.25/10] Let Them All Talk (2020)

Let Them All Talk (2020)

Quick Review: Entirely unforced, almost improvised, and low-key, yet subtly nifty, thanks to Soderbergh's ever-innovatory directing style, "Let Them All Talk" is a tonally light, but sharply-written set-on-a-cruise-ship dramedy about broken friendships and re-connection that's equally as amusing, entertaining and involving, which it mostly owes to the brilliant acting from it lead trio of veterans, and the intense dynamics between their totally opposite characters with distinctive personalities.

[6.50/10] Let Him Go (2020)

Let Him Go (2020)

Quick Review: A dismal and murky blend of family drama and revenge thriller with neo-noir tone set in 60's Montana, this one requires patience and it's far from pleasant to watch, as it's slow-moving and thematically heavy, dealing with loss and grief, but the great pair of leads, who both turn in strong performances as the old couple determined to bring their grandson back, and some extremely tense moments in the second half make "Let Him Go" a rewarding, yet devastating experience.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

[4.75/10] The Prom (2020)

The Prom (2020)

Quick Review: Glamorous, vibrant, and glitzy in looks, yet tacky within, "The Prom" is an occasionally glee, pretty silly, often embarrassing, and constantly over-the-top musical built stereotypes and cliches that tries too hard to be fun and convey its queer-friendly message with cheer, but does it sloppily instead, and not even the glossy production design and star-studded cast can make up for its cheesy approach and mildly enjoyable musical numbers with so- so singing and dancing.

[6.25/10] The Nest (2020)

The Nest (2020)

Quick Review: What starts off as a plotless and random domestic affair with no direction, revolving around a family moving from US to UK due to an overambitious dad, gets sadder and grimmer as it unfolds at a slow but steady pace, until it transforms into an impactful and darkly realistic story of lies, despair, and deception, with things going out of control in the unsettling third act, thanks to an unpredictable script, helped by the top-notch acting by Law and Coon, the latter of which excels.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

[8.50/10] Wolfwalkers (2020)

Wolfwalkers (2020)

Quick Review: A myth-and-magick Celtic fable, crafted with artistry, skill and love for detail, that dazzles the eye with its lush, richly-textured, and fantastically hand-drawn animation, "Wolfwalkers" is as just imaginative narratively as it is visually, telling a profound, heartfelt and stirring story about the power of true friendship, and child-parent bond, narrated in a wild, whimsically vigorous fashion to match the adventurous nature of its free-spirited characters, brought to life by stellar voice work.

Monday, December 14, 2020

[5.75/10] I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020)

I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020)

Quick Review: Captivating in its monotony and morose visuals, yet perplexing and bizarre, "ITOET" is a surreal trap in one's mind, depicting hopelessness and loneliness in a way so vague, it's hard to figure out its actual purpose, and though the abstract final act subtly reveals it all, it's the eerily awkward 'parents visit' that remains the strongest bit in this frustrating, but finely-acted cerebral horror, which has a lot on its mind, but very little in its heart.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

[6.75/10] The Call (2020)

The Call (2020)

Quick Review: Devoid of any logic, sense, and realism, but in the most mind-fucking way possible – playing cool tricks with the parallel times it deals with, and blending past and present skillfully enough to intrigue you with all the confusion it creates, "The Call" compensates for the big lack of scares with suspense, gore, and diabolical twists, as it effectively forces you to question who's good and who's evil, and it is exactly the audacious approach that makes so gripping in its absurdity.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

[5.50/10] Black Beauty (2020)

Black Beauty (2020)

Quick Review: Lacking the vibrant spirit of the novel, and partially told from a talking-in-her-head horse's perspective, which is a lot more odd and inept on film, then it's on paper, despite Winslet's solid voice work, "Black Beauty" is about the genuine bond between a girl and her horse, who share similar sad fate, which is supposed to be touching, but the sappy script evokes limited emotion, and the bland direction exudes zero passion, even in the mildly thrilling, better-looking third act.

Friday, December 11, 2020

[5.75/10] Superintelligence (2020)

Superintelligence (2020) 

Quick Review: Intelligent it is not, nor it works as a humorous social commentary on 'technology mania' as it delivers its message clumsily, but purely as a rom-com involving a despotic A.I., "Superintelligence" is mostly watchable due to McCarthy's comedic talent, even if the middling script never allows her to be full-on, but as 'the most average person on Earth', she's charming and likable enough to inject heart in this sweet, mildly amusing, yet hardly poignant tech-inspired romance.

[5.25/10] Ammonite (2020)

Ammonite (2020)

Quick Review: The fiery chemistry shared by the two leads defines the restrained passion their characters have for each other, and the acting by Saoirse Ronan and Kate Winslet is hard to fault, with the latter truly shining in her deeply reserved, yet captivating turn, but in spite of all that, "Ammonite" remains a sluggish and slowly unfolding 'doomed love' type of lesbian romance with bleak and depressing period visuals that displays explicit sex but never packs a true emotional punch.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

[6.25/10] Honest Thief (2020)

Honest Thief (2020)

Quick Review: Little about it feels believable or realistic, and it leans more towards action romance than a heist film, which is refreshing in a way, but for what it is, "Honest Thief" is a zestful, violent, and slick little thriller with a few decent twists and turns, which works mainly because it never takes itself seriously, daring to show FBI in a very daft light, plus, it features a truly likable good-bad- guy protagonist, played with flair by Neeson, though it's Walsh as Annie, who shines the brightest.

[2.00/10] Jiu Jitsu (2020)

Jiu Jitsu (2020)

Quick Review: A soulless, plotless, senseless martial arts sci-fier about a bunch of shallow warriors battling 'alien ninjas' brought from space by a comet, "Jiu Jitsu" is a tackily-shot  nonsense with clumsily staged and lousily performed action, laden with overuse of sleazy slow-mo, which wastes the skills of its action stars-riddled cast, making even Tony Jaa looking average at best during the combats, and putting Cage in yet another ridiculous role that reminds of Seagal's worst period.