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Monday, March 29, 2021

[6.25/10] The Dig (2021)

The Dig (2021)

Quick Review: Elegantly-shot and set against the grim, foggy, rainy, if beautiful English countryside, "The Dig" digs deeper in its characters and the dynamic between them than it does in the ground to seek buried old treasures, which along with the great performances by Fiennes and Mulligan, and Mrs Pretty's sad, yet heartfelt personal backstory make this a moving human drama with a touch of history, but the movie is too slow and uneventful to deliver more than charms and beauty.

Friday, March 26, 2021

[4.75/10] Boogie (2021)

Boogie (2021)

Quick Review: It tells the personal story of an Asian American kid and his dream to become a professional basketball player, but "Boogie" is so sluggish, dull, and uneven in tone, it ends up being uninspired instead of inspiring, as it can't decide whether it wants to be a straight-up sports drama, or an interracial romance, refusing to take in either direction, which result in a bland experience devoid of thrills, joy, or emotion, not to mention the title character is not particularly likable either.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

[6.00/10] My Salinger Year (2020)

My Salinger Year (2020)

Quick Review: Based on Joanna Rakoff's memoir of the same name, this one may not have the strongest story to tell, but thanks to the brainy script, Qualley's gentle and alluring central performance, Weaver's truly charismatic turn, and some simple, but cool retro looks, "My Salinger Year" is basically the less funny and fancy, but just as witty version of "The Devil Wears Prada" that gives us an interesting and insightful look at the work and ethics in a literary agency in '90s New York.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

[6.25/10] Come True (2021)

Come True (2021)

Quick Review: The 'shocking' twist ending hardly works in its favor, and makes the build-up rather pointless, but purely as a medical exploration of subconscious and the horror of sleep paralysis, "Come True" is an intriguing visceral chiller with a few solid jump scares and some of the most ominous nightmare sequences ever shown on screen, even if the movie gets a bit carried away in its second half, getting somewhat lost in its own surreal dreaminess and melancholic moodiness.

Monday, March 22, 2021

[5.50/10] The Stylist (2021)

The Stylist (2021)

Quick Review: This psychological slasher thriller deserves credit for its fresh concept, stylish looks, and Townsend's nuanced, chilling turn as the lonely and totally demented hairdresser, obsessed with having what she lacks, but despite all that and some gory bits that will please horror fans, "The Stylist" ends up as a sluggishly paced wanna be slow-burner that takes too much time in building up, leading to a predictable conclusion that's too far-fetched to be effectively shocking.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

[8.50/10] Zack Snyder's Justice League a.k.a. The Snyder Cut (2021)

JL: The Snyder Cut (2021)

Quick Review: With slicker effects and slow-mo-stylized action on epic scale, more fleshed-out characters, way cooler and far more intimidating villain, and deeper, more cohesive, and emotionally complex story-line with sensible personal touch, which makes justice to Cyborg, gives WW significant focus, and surprises with cameos, "ZSJL" is bigger, badder, bolder, darker, grittier, flashier, more visually imaginative than Whedon's, and the ultimate cinematic ecstasy pill for every DC junkie.

Friday, March 19, 2021

[7.25/10] Way Down a.k.a. The Vault (2021)

Way Down (2021)

Quick Review: A skillfully-executed and smartly-conceived 'old school' heist thriller with an intriguing sense of enigma, "Way Down" seems a bit formulaic in its approach, but thanks to the snappy direction, taut pacing, a great teamwork by the European cast, and some interesting settings in Madrid during 2010 FIFA World Cup, which plays big part in the plot, the film provides high entertainment value by sustaining the tension and delivering some real fun twists and surprises along the way.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

[6.75/10] Slaxx (2021)

Slaxx (2021)

Quick Review: As ridiculous as its premise sounds, for a slasher about killer jeans, "Slaxx" is a surprisingly creative take on paranormal horror with clever Indian twist and daring social commentary on child labor, but also a pretty fun gore-fest filled with tons of guts and blood splatter, and considering how annoying most of snobby characters are, it's funny to watch them being torn to pieces, while laughing hard at the feral pair of jeans, and enjoying the movie's stylishly colorful visuals.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

[5.00/10] Yes Day (2021)

Yes Day (2021)

Quick Review: A very lighthearted, family-friendly romp with charming cast and pastel-colored visuals that could be enjoyed by kids and their parents alike due to its harmelessly 'anarchic' spirit, "Yes Day" is a jolly comic mayhem with good message that will be mostly enjoyed by the target audience, though everyone else might find it a bit contrived, not particularly amusing, and trying too hard to be fun, and yet there is a sweetness about it that makes it a pleasurable experience.

[6.00/10] Land (2021)

Land (2021)

Quick Review: A character study of a grieving woman who isolates all by herself in the remote mountains to find peace, "Land" benefits from both the beautiful landscapes and Wrigh's engaging performance as the mentally disturbed Edee, who tries to overcome her sorrow and despair, and though the film is a bit too emotionally reserved to leave a powerful impact, her acquaintance with Miguel and the bond they grow together is as genuinely moving as the heartbreaking finale.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

[6.50/10] Moxie (2021)

Moxie (2021)

Quick Review: It goes a little too overboard with the 'teen feminism' idea, even if it fulfills its ambitions only on 'high school' level and there are a few tonal issues along the way, but it embraces its refreshing take on 'girl power' in an inspiring way, although the best thing about "Moxie" isn't its cool, riot-y heroine, or the sassy characters around her, nor its spirited nature, but the fact that it doesn't care whether you like it or not - it's here to make a point. Unapologetically at that.

Monday, March 15, 2021

[5.50/10] Cherry (2021)

Cherry (2021)

Quick Review: Stylish and led by a solid turn from Holland, if overlong, tonally muddled, episodic, and not very intriguing or original, "Cherry" ranges from sweet and romantic to frustrating and heavily depressing, following the degrading life journey of one military medic turned robber turned junkie, the grim love story with his high school sweetheart, and their descent into addiction, but the the whole thing ends up unbalanced and implausible --  especially during the comical bank thefts.

Friday, March 12, 2021

[6.00/10] Red Dot (2021)

Red Dot (2021)

Quick Review: Frustrating, albeit rewarding in the end, as everything happening early on falls into place in the third act, "Red Dot" kicks off as a 'make up' trip to the mountains, then turns into a grueling and tense game of survival that starts to make sense after the big twist reveals the couple's 'ugly secret', and although the protagonists are unlikable and most of their decisions bad, it's the vicious and disturbing nature of this chilly Swedish thriller that makes it effectively nightmarish.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

[5.25/10] Coming 2 America (2021)

Coming 2 America (2021)

Quick Review: It's very nice to see Eddie Murphy back to his comedic roots -- he does his best with the given material and looks fresh as a daisy here, but sadly, this 30-years-later sequel, though respecting the classic original, feels too gimmicky, contrived, and uninspired to create sense of nostalgia or to deserve its existence in general, as apart from its visual grandeur, striking costume design and imposing African sets, it provides little to now fun, flat humor, and no big laughs at all.

[4.75/10] The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021)

The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021)

Quick Review: Andra Day delivers a sensational debut performance as the iconic singer, who she portrays with rawness and emotional depth, but the sketchy story around her centers more on Holiday's addiction to heroine and degradation, then on her genuine passion for music and how she affected people with her voice and big talent in this overlong, uneven, heavy-handed and dull by-the-numbers biopic made with style, but possessing little soul.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

[4.00/10] The Devil Below (2021)

The Devil Below (2021)

Quick Review: Inaptly titled, hence misleading, "Devil Below" promises to be a real underground nightmare with a diabolical twist, but turns out to be a shameless "The Decent" rip-off, stealing heavily from Marshall's modern horror classic, but failing to create the sense of claustrophobia, the sheer terror, and the intense, uneasy atmosphere, ending up as a low-grade creature feature set in a fake-looking cave, with no genuine frights, suspense, proper mystery or characters to care about.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

[6.25/10] To All the Boys: Always and Forever (2021)

To All the Boys: Always and Forever (2021)

Quick Review: A worthy finale to Netflix's teenage romance hit trilogy, "Always and Forever" might be tad too sweet at times, but on the other hand it explores the uncertainty of a future long-distance relationship in a mature way built on compromises that reflects the growth of it alluring heroine over the series, but it's the vibrant chemistry between Centineo and Condor that remains the driving force of this charming, sparkly, and visually-vivid conclusion.

Monday, March 8, 2021

[8.75/10] Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)

Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)

Quick Review: Disney takes visual creativity to a new level with "Raya", a SE Asian-flavored fantasy, whose dazzling imagery creates a world of wonder that inventively matches its vibrant, daring, and thoughtful story with adventurous spirit, pure heart, and a thing for food, which balances out an emotional moral message of trust and unity with spectacular set pieces, thrilling action, and a bunch of fun, colorful characters, elevated by a brilliant voice work.

[4.25/10] Shook (2021)

Shook (2021)

Quick Review: There's a lot going on, but very little make sense in this cyber thriller that tries too hard to be scary, shocking, and disturbing by throwing so many twists during its brief running time, it turns into a convoluted nonsense that neither work as an effective cat-and-mouse riddle, nor as a proper slasher, nor as commentary on SM influencers as 'easy targets', plus, the limited setting, pretty mediocre acting, and low-budget feel and look don't work in "Shook"'s favor, either.

Friday, March 5, 2021

[7.00/10] The Mauritanian (2021)

The Mauritanian (2021)

Quick Review: Straightforward, but in a refreshingly old school fashion, this is a taut mix of legal drama and post-9/11 terrorist thriller that tells it inhumanely humane, very harrowing true story in a factual, yet never too revealing manner, which one hand makes you shocked by all the terror and injustice involved, while on the other keeps you questioning Slahi's 'guiltiness', also giving you time to softly fall for his true likability, which Rahim portrays so frankly, he even outshines Foster here.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

[6.50/10] Finding 'Ohana (2021)

Finding 'Ohana (2021)

Quick Review: Fun, fresh, spirited, and surprisingly poignant, "Finding 'Ohana" finely balances out a back-to-roots family drama about a father daughter reunion with heartfelt and sad backstory, and an adventurous 'treasure hunting' escapade full of clues, riddles and obstacles, which involves a bunch of sweet and lively kids hungry to explore the history of the Hawaiian island the film is set in, taking advantage from the opulently lush scenery and Indiana Jones-like cavern filming locations.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

[6.00/10] Son (2021)

Son (2021)

Quick Review: Part satanic occult thriller, part paranormal body horror, part mental illness drama about the horrible consequences of long-time abuse, "Son" does not always blend the multiple sub-genre it deals with sensibly enough, making it hard to figure out what is imaginary, what is real, and what's based on paranoia, but it's the twisted vagueness of its story that makes it effective, with the help of Matichak's solid turn as the troubled young mother, haunted by her disturbing dark past.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

[5.25/10] Tom & Jerry (2021)

Tom & Jerry (2021)

Quick Review: All the hand-drawn animated animals are implemented real skillfully in the 'real world', and Moretz is as charismatic as always, but putting the two iconic characters in the background at the expense of a 'human' story that's neither funny, nor very fun, is both distracting and a total waste of Tom & Jerry, as the script uses them as a minor addition to the whole 'celebrity wedding in a fancy hotel' scenario, which creates a mess, but never evokes laughs or true sense of nostalgia.

Monday, March 1, 2021

George Beremov's TOP 20 Best-Reviewed Movies of 2020

[click on the title to read the quick review]

1. Wolfwalkers (8.50/10)

Quote: "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..."

2. Soul (8.50/10)

Quote: "..."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..."

3. The Swordsman (8.25/10)

Quote: "...this Joseon-set Korean wuxia tale of heroism is dramatically riveting, but it is the snappy and sharply-staged swordplay that
thrills it up, notably the kinetic first duel..."

4. Extraction (8.25/10)

Quote: "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..."

5. The Invisible Man (8.00/10)

Quote: "With an ingenious high-tech spin on its suspense-filled plot focused on mental abuse which offers deft twists, grisly jolts, splash of gore, dash of wit and killer finale..."

6. Sound of Metal (7.75/10)

Quote: "...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..."

7. Promising Young Woman (7.75/10)

Quote: "A darkly comic and delightfully nuanced feminist tale of grief, trauma, rage, and vengeance, powered by Mulligan's mesmerizing turn as the crafty Cassie with manic obsession for justice..."

8. Birds of Prey (7.75/10)

Quote: "...an unapologetically wacky, hecticly-plotted, and wickedly violent over-the-top superhero romp with boombastic score that
not only captures the kooky nature of Quinn..."

9. The Gentlemen (7.50/10)

Quote: "Cunning, brilliantly- cast, stylistically flashy, and 
smartly-conceived, Ritchie's new film plays it more like a 
'battle of the minds' than a straight action..."

10. Pinocchio (7.50/10)

Quote:  "...an imaginative and sumptuously-shot rendition with
true fairy tale feel and enchanting tone, thanks to the fantastical sets, props, make-up and special effects..."

11. The Occupant (7.50/10)

Quote: "...a slow if suspenseful, and quiet if cruel Spanish stalker
thriller about despair, intrusion, greed, and dark mania of destroying
 lives and relationships..."

12. Double World (7.50/10)

Quote: "...offering some inventive set pieces and thrilling battles, this is on one hand an engaging story about fellowship, vengeance, and genesis, driven by dignity and determination..."

13. Deliver Us from Evil (7.50/10)

Quote: "...this violent thriller also impresses with a slick photography and edgy camera work that benefit from the Jap and Thai settings,
and some frantic fist combats..."


14. Clouds (7.50/10)

Quote: "...balances out the pathos with sense of humor, sheer passion for music, warm family relations, and sweet teen romance, paying tribute to the real Zach in an arousing way..."

15. Tenet (7.25/10)

Quote: "..."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..."

Quote: "..."The King of Staten Island" is urban dramedy with equal amounts of raunchiness, wit, laughter, and heart that
touches as much as it entertains.."

17. 18 Presents (7.25/10)

Quote: "...an emotional roller- coaster of a tearjerker, featuring a rousing, heartwarming and poignant mom-daughter relationship, in which both characters grow and change in surprising ways..."

18. Another Round (7.25/10)

Quote: "..."Druk" is way more profound then it seems, concerning themes such as midage angst, catharsis, and how alcohol affects our lives, and when you add to that Mikkelsen's brilliant turn..."

19. Eye for an Eye (7.25/10)

Quote: "...this Spanish thriller is more than just a cat-n-mouse 'game of fate', offering an intriguing, intricate, suspenseful, and multilayered
plot-line, filled with twists and turns..."

20. Pieces of a Woman (7.25/10)

Quote: "...this is a deeply intimate story of loss and broken bonds that explores the contrary ways of coping with grief by juxtaposing the uneasy Sean and the quietly sorrowful Martha..."

Honorable mentions: