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Thursday, September 30, 2021

[7.00/10] No One Gets Out Alive (2021)

No One Gets Out Alive (2021)

Quick Review: An inventive, sleek, and atmospheric take on 'haunted house' formula that also works as a social commentary, as it deals with the struggles of young immigrants, particularly the fragile Ambar, which Rodlo's alluring turn makes easy to connect to and sympathize for, this effective blend of personal drama, ghost story, captive thriller, occult horror and creature feature is equal parts emotional, creepy, grisly, gory, violent, and frightening.

[4.00/10] Prey (2021)

Prey (2021)

Quick Review: A pretty forgettable German thriller revolving around a bunch of friends getting hunted by a woman during a trip into the woods, "Prey" attempts to make sense by revealing piece by piece a dull 'love triangle' backstory that further on leads to an inner conflict between two of the characters, but none of it is particularly intriguing, thrilling, or something to care about, and when the supposed payoff finally arrives, it's baffling, somewhat random, and completely unsatisfying.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

[6.50/10] Coming Home in the Dark (2021)

Coming Home in the Dark (2021)

Quick Review: A disturbing, brutal, and uncompromisingly violent Kiwi horror thriller that features some of the most intimidating, often terrifying intruders-turned-ruthless-killers you will ever see, and whose gritty looks suit its savage nature, "CHitD" loses some of its tension as it goes, but the raw acting and the shady twist that makes you question who's bad, who's good and who deserves what in this situation will keep you glued until the fatal conclusion.

[5.50/10] Superhost (2021)

Superhost (2021)

Quick Review: The whole 'creepy host' scenario is both disturbing and great fun, with the fancy mountain villa in a remote location makes it being even more so, and Gillam is more than convincing as the loud, moody, obsessive, and batshit crazy Rebecca, who hides a dark, violent side behind her friendly attitude, but the problem with "Superhost", aside from its predictability, is that she is more likable than the phony vlogger couple we are supposed to root for, but don't mind them die.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

[6.00/10] Escape Room: Tournament of Champions (2021)

Escape Room Tournament of Champions (2021)

Quick Review: The escape rooms are even more clever and creative than the ones in the first, and "ToC" sustains the tension throughout and wow us with the visual execution of the deadly traps, but what makes it a lotmore fun is the fact that no one other then Zoey is there to care for, so there's a level of guilty joy during the kills, even if the film ends on a bad note with an explanatory final act that's too silly and far-fetched to work as a 'dark' ending.

Monday, September 27, 2021

[5.75/10] Kate (2021)

Kate (2021)

Quick Review: Though as generic as 'female assassin' action thrillers go, "Kate" kind of makes up for all the genre tropes used in its overly simplistic plot with cool visual style, a moody location of neon-lit Tokyo, and some absolutely savage, gore-splattering, cut-throat fist, knife, and sword fights, but what really makes it watchable, despite the inevitably bitter finale is Winstead as the 'killer babe' Kate and the relationship she builds with the sassy little Ani, who actually steals the show.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

[6.50/10] Fatherhood (2021)

Fatherhood (2021)

Quick Review: Balancing out fine humor with strong emotional depth, "Fatherhood" tells its real-life family story of loss, love, and care in a delicate and sensitive, if sweet and humorous manner, with the driving force of the film being the endearing dad-daughter relationship between the cute Maddy, played candidly by Hurd, who builds a strong chemistry with Hart, the latter delivering one of his most pleasurable performances so far, in the talented company of a brilliant supporting cast.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

[5.50/10] No Sudden Move (2021)

No Sudden Move (2021)

Quick Review: Soderbergh's worst effort in years, "No Sudden Move" has a brilliant A-list cast, who do the best they can with the material, but sadly they are all wasted in a dull, purposeless, and lackluster vintage crime thriller devoid of any intrigue and tension that is very convoluted in plotting, but goes nowhere really, plus, the choppy editing and irritant use of fish-eye lens don't do the movie any favors either, leaving the fine period production design being the only technical merit.

Friday, September 24, 2021

[6.75/10] Free Guy (2021)

Free Guy (2021)

Quick Review: Packed with goofy humor, fantastically digitized visuals, ridiculous action sequences, tons of film and pop culture references, and surprise cameos, "Free Guy" is a delightfully nerdy trip into the world of video gaming and the obsession of playing, brought to life by flashy CGIs, and a bunch of playful, often cheesy acting -- Reynolds levels up his foolish side as the likable NPC-gone-viral, Waititi's overacting is so-bad-it's-fun, and Comer is a badass as Guy's romantic crush.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

[6.50/10] Candyman (2021)

Candyman (2021)

Quick Review: Part relevant social commentary, part body horror, part supernatural slasher, part homage to the genre from '90s -- all brought together in an urban legend fashion with art-inspired concept, and linked to the first through beautifully eerie papercut flashbacks, "Candyman" is a neatly-shot, smooth in style, and fairly gory sequel that mixes old and new in a refreshing, if hardly scary manner, working better as an origin story or deep moral tale, rather than a blood-minded sequel.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

[5.50/10] Old (2021)

Old (2021)

Quick Review: The 'rapid aging' is an interesting, if unoriginal idea, as this concept has been used before, but what really prevents "Old" from being a fun 'no-brainer' is the poor acting, and terrible dialogue, as the characters are too silly to figure out the time issue this easily, not to say the latter affects some of them in a senseless way, and the though film attempts to bring it all together with a 'scientific' twist, it's still misfire that could make uneasy gerascophobic viewers afraid of aging.

Monday, September 20, 2021

[6.25/10] The Power of the Dog (2021)

Power of the Dog (2021)

Quick Review: A period piece set in '20s Montana, recreated nicely by the muted grittiness, earthy tones, and picturesque scenery, "TPOTD" deals with themes such as jealousy, manipulation, toxic masculinity, and self-repressed sexuality, but it relies too much on Cumberbatch's stellar performance to take us slowly and subtly through the incoherent read-between-the-lines chapters, none of which is very eventful, and lead us to a perplexing conclusion with little clearance or any impact.

Friday, September 17, 2021

[4.00/10] Prisoners of the Ghostland (2021)

Prisoners of the Ghostland (2021)

Quick Review: As an eclectic mix of vivid Japanese-flavored sets and "Mad Max" style scenery, the movie doubtlessly has a level of artfulness about its visuals, but that and some cool katana fighting in the third act aside, it's an inadequately directed and written dystopian nonsense with sluggish pacing, bizarre characters, and humdrum plot with no trills that neglects Boutella in favor of Cage, who wants to be a badass, but looks incapable of being one.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

[6.00/10] The Guilty (2021)

The Guilty (2021)

Quick Review: A technically slicker albeit less impactful remake of the 2018 Danish "Den skyldige", "The Guilty" changes little to nothing from to the original, being the same low-concept thriller relying on a single character and engrossing dialogue to make out the best of its simplicity and limited setting, but what makes it watchable is Gyllenhaal's nerve-racking and constantly intense turn as the 911 operator with dark secret who single-handedly generates and maintains the suspense.

Monday, September 13, 2021

[5.75/10] Vacation Friends (2021)

Vacation Friends (2021)

Quick Review: Ranging from silly, raunchy, inappropriate, and hugely embarrassing to sweet, feel-good, and heartfelt, "Vacation Friends" is filled with sexual gags, and awkward situations that deliver laughs along the way, but what's surprising is the heart it demonstrates in the wild, yet endearing relationship between the two couples, who the four leads play sincerely while having fun, and in the end, you can't help but dream of having such goofy, if frank and loyal friends as Ron and Kyla.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

[7.50/10] Malignant (2021)

Malignant (2021)

Quick Review: Wan's '80s-inspired supernatural fusion of slasher, body horror, and a creature feature with Giallo-style feel and stylishly trashy B-grade look is not only refreshingly original and completely bonkers, but it knows its ridiculousness is meant to entertain rather than scare, and though the twist is semi-predictable, the big reveal is still nasty, but what follows in the over-the-top third act is a gore-filled carnage of savagely inventive action, and a tricky ending that is not what it seems.

Friday, September 10, 2021

[4.00/10] He's All That (2021)

He's All That (2021)

Quick Review: As superficial and shallow as a teen rom-com can get, this gender-swapped remake of '91 "She's All That" attempts to put a 'relevant' update on its cheesy and predictable 'makeover' scenario that feels very yesterday, but being all about social media followers makes it more sad than romantic, even if it tries to redeem itself with a moral lesson later on, but the only decent thing about it is Buchanan's likability factor, in contrast with Rae's corny, obnoxious performance.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

[6.75/10] Stillwater (2021)

Stillwater (2021)

Quick Review: Though it loses its momentum as it goes, turning from a self-investigation family drama to a middle-aged romance, "Stillwater" is a gripping, at times sweet, and often moving true story about hope, trust, love, drive, forgiveness, and discovering the truth that may be uneven and not as impactful as it should be, but thanks to Damon's brilliantly understated turn as the flawed father, Cottin's charisma, and Siauvaud's charm, the film remains engrossing throughout.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

[4.25/10] Demonic (2021)

Demonic (2021)

Quick Review: A clumsy blend of hi-tech sci-fi and possession horror, "Demonic" has a good idea behind it with the whole 'virtual recreation of person's memory' premise, but the diabolical spin on the 'a daughter's trip into her homicidal mom's mind' scenario feels ill-fittingly fabricated, and though the mother's history is unsettling, the scariest thing here is Blomkamp's fear to realize his vision and concept, delivering an uneven, poorly-made, shabby-looking misfire with no tension or frights.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

[9.50/10] Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings [3D] (2021)

Shang-Chi [3D] (2021)

Quick Review: A rousing if emotive story about an endearing friendship and a family torn by grief that shifts between the present and an 'wuxia' fantasy world which honors Chinese mythology, the deftly-filmed "Shang-Chi" flaunts vibrant visual artfulness alongside the masterful fights, jaw-dropping stunts, and swanky action, enhanced by superb CGIs and nifty use of 3D, but its Asian cast is just as glorious -- Liu breathes his hero, Leung domineers, whilst Awkwafina brings the wit and humor.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

[6.00/10] Don't Breathe 2 (2021)

Don't Breathe 2 (2021)

Quick Review: Entirely 'reverse' in concept, as it compels you to root for the 'bad guy' from the first film, "Don't Breathe 2" is pretty pointless, but then again, it's fun watching the flawed Norman, portrayed yet again very convincingly by Lang, playing a dirty 'who's the badder' game with a bunch of wicked men, while showing his soft side with Phoenix, but make no mistake -- this dark and twisted 'family' thriller has plenty of in-your-face gruesome kill scenes that will satisfy all gore fanatics.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

[4.75/10] Cinderella (2021)

Cinderella (2021)

Quick Review: A modern take on a classic story that does little to stand out, other than putting an LGBTQ+ twist on The Fairy Godmother, and throwing a bunch of terrible-to-okay numbers in a "GLEE" fashion that barely work, "Cinderella" has a crisp and colorful imagery that give it a true fairy tale feel, but the irritating characters, dodgy acting and insipid script that want to be bold, but plays it too safe make this one a cringy musical, in which Cabello sparkles, but never really dazzles.

Friday, September 3, 2021

[5.50/10] Resort to Love (2021)

Resort to Love (2021)

Quick Review: The breezy tropical scenery is easy on the eyes, as are the four attractive main characters, who work together decently enough, but in spite of a few sweet moments here and there, "Resort to Love" is your typical corny and predictable rom-com with a contrived plot that's too fabricated to work, and yet the film makes up up for all the mawkish cliches and love triangle nonsense with some lovely vocals from Milian, who may not be a great actress, but is surely a stellar singer.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

[7.00/10] The Protégé (2021)

The Protégé (2021)

Quick Review: An intriguing, often stylish, well-shot, and unpredictable 'female assassin' revenge affair with some nifty tricks up its sleeve, "The Protégé" has the brains, the punch and the looks, and so does Maggie Q, who is as delicate and alluring, as she's kick-ass smart in her quest for justice with a naughty sprinkle of 'sleeping with the bad guy' sort-of romance, but its the hardcore fights and shootouts where she shines the most, while Michael Keaton delivers in the acting department.