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Monday, November 29, 2021

[6.25/10] House of Gucci (2021)

House of Gucci (2021)

Quick Review: Stylish, but far from fashion-centric, rushed yet sluggish, and murky in feel and look, if campy in its approach, "House of Gucci" is a tonally muddled affair of greed, wealth, betrayal, murder, alienation, and manipulation that also plays as an old-fashioned romance, and the result is a mildly intriguing and often amusing tale with a hit-n-miss cast - Gaga owns the cunning and driven Patrizia, Leto is comically over-the-top, Pacino and Irons are excellent, but Driver falls a bit flat.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

[6.50/10] Spencer (2021)

Spencer (2021)

Quick Review: Abstract in feel and small in scale, "Spencer" is far from what you would expect from a biopic about 'the people's princess', as it's only an extract of her life story that takes place during three days, but it is just enough to convey the anxiety, tension, horror, and claustrophobia she experiences within the Royals, thanks to the alluring Stewart, who captures every gesture of Diana's uneasy persona in a stellar turn that also highlights some of the princess' most iconic classy looks.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

[7.00/10] King Richard (2021)

King Richard (2021)

Quick Review: A by-the-numbers, if riveting and smoothly-paced 'rags to riches' biopic with an appealing 1990s feel and look, focused on the man behind the success of tennis prodigies Venus and Serena, "King Richard" gives an insightful, moving, and above all inspiring look at the Williams' breakthrough, in a rather dramatic fashion, but what makes it really work is Will Smith's dedicated lead turn as the determined father of five, whose ambitious plans more than pay off in the end.

Monday, November 22, 2021

[5.50/10] The Feast (2021)

The Feast (2021)

Quick Review: A subdued, offbeat, and deliberately paced supernatural revenge slow-burner filmed entirely in Welsh and set in a fancy house in rural Wales, "The Feast" is quietly deranged, tad baffling and featuring some truly gruesome imagery, which combined generate a very ominous tone and give it a surreal feel, but its sluggishness, inexplicable nature and dry acting make this folk horror demanding, hard to sit through, and impossible to get wholly satisfied by the foreseeable payoff.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

[7.50/10] Last Night in Soho (2021)

Last Night in Soho (2021)

Quick Review: A stylistically daring '60s-influenced genre mix, elevated by Wright's perky direction, somber, yet snazzy visuals, inventive editing, and brilliant use of music, "LNiS" is an imaginative, enigmatic, nuanced, twisty, eerie, and tad puzzling mash- up of romantic teen drama, murder mystery, and ghost story that works largely due to McKenzie and Taylor-Joy's equally as mesmerizing turns in their interchanging roles, with the transitions between them two being the most impressive bit.

Friday, November 19, 2021

[4.50/10] Held (2021)

Held (2021)

Quick Review: With a weak plot full of holes that feels like it's been conceived to conveniently lead up to the disturbing twist towards the ends, which is the film's only strong point, "Held" blends marriage drama and 'home invasion' revenge thriller in order to deliver something fresh and different, but in the end, the motives behind the mystery terror is not enough to excuse all the cruelty here, plus, the stiff acting, sub-par writing, and vapid tone don't do any favors to the film either.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

[6.50/10] Benedetta (2021)

Benedetta (2021)

Quick Review: Provocative, sinful, sexy, outrageous and controversial, Verhoeven's lesbian religious drama about lust, love, lies, deception, and betrayal will not be everyone's cup of tea, as it is definitely not an easy watch, but "Bendetta" is still a bold, ballsy, and beautifully-filmed period piece of blasphemy, power, rot, and corruption set in XVII century, whose explicit erotic imagery is every bit as scandalous as its titular character, who Efira portrays shamelessly well, and with no boundaries.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

[5.25/10] Seance (2021)

Seance (2021)

Quick Review: Yes, director Simon Barrett certainly has visual flair, as he sets a spooky atmosphere from the start with an 'urban legend' set up, eerie setting, and murky tone, but despite its technical merits, and some adequate acting, particularly from both Waterhouse and Smith, "Seance" turns out to be deceitful, and not in a good way, as it kicks of as a campy, potentially fun ghost story, and further on switches into a dime teen slasher, which makes you feel cheated in the end. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

[7.50/10] One Second (2021)

One Second (2021)

Quick Review: Amusing, poignant, sad and tad quirky, "One Second" is on one hand a story from a true film lover to true moviegoers, who treat films as treasure, and on the other a moral tale of unity and support, at the center of it being a cat-n-mouse game turned friendship, between a prison fugitive and orphan thief both with their equally as moving stories, this is a love letter to cinema from Yimou, who yet again displays visual flair, elegantly capturing the beauty of bare Chinese deserts.

Monday, November 15, 2021

[6.00/10] The Voyeurs (2021)

The Voyeurs (2021)

Quick Review: A voyeuristic game becomes an extreme obsession with tragically fatal consequences in this raunchy, sexy, naughty, and explicit Canadian thriller with attractive cast, and a few surprises along the way, and even though the whole thing is too far-fetched to make real sense, and the twist towards the finale is pretty obvious to leave the impact it aims to, you just can't take your eyes off of "The Voyeurs", due to its fetishist approach, seductive nature and graphic sex scenes.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

[5.50/10] Red Notice (2021)

Red Notice (2021)

Quick Review: A mixed bag of a 'heist' caper with a touch of Indiana Jones-like adventure, "Red Notice" benefits from its flashy style, zippy over-the-top action scenes, diverse settings, and the allure of its three stars, but there's too much going on in its ridiculously far-fetched, if very generic plot featuring one too many twists, and crazy amount of dialogue full of references, but devoid of wit, in which all the jokes, mostly coming from Reynolds who yet again plays Reynolds, fall totally flat.

[6.25/10] The Man with the Answers (2021)

The Man with the Answers (2021)

Quick Review: As charming, sweet and unforced as queer dramas go, as a road trip movie from Greece to Germany, "Man with the Answers" benefits from the lavish European scenery, but in its core, it's all about the explosive chemistry between the two strangers Victoras and Mathias, who build such a strong, genuine, and affecting bond throughout the journey, it's hard not to admire their falling for each other, and the film's free-of-tropes approach.

Friday, November 12, 2021

[6.00/10] Clifford the Big Red Dog (2021)

Clifford the Big Red Dog (2021)

Quick Review: As goofy, harmless, and good-hearted as its giant, fluffy canine protagonist, "Clifford" is on one hand a fun, playful, enjoyable, and often enchanting family-friendly comedy about an oversized red CGI dog causing frenzy in NYC, and on the other - an adorable story with a 'dare to be unique' message about the sweet bond between two misfits - with Camp and Whitehall injecting further heart and laughs to this feel-good film for pet lovers.

[4.50/10] Home Sweet Home Alone (2021)

Home Sweet Home Alone (2021)

Quick Review: A lazy, fabricated, and totally unnecessary sequel that neither has the charm, the heart, or the humor of the first two '90s films, "Home Sweet Home Alone" tries too hard to be fun, funny and poignant, but in the end it's a sloppy bummer with ludicrous attempt at a story and a far from likable protagonist, who's by no means a worthy substitute for Culkin's Kevin, but at least some of the tricks he plays on the desperate couple are creative...ish.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

[6.75/10] The Medium a.k.a. Rang Song (2021)

The Medium (2021)

Quick Review: Shot in a mock-doc style, even if the crew barely gets involved in the whole supernatural scenario, "The Medium" is blends a cultural study that explores Asian shamanism in an eye-opening way, a dysfunctional family drama of loss and alienation, and a possession horror with malevolent Thai spirits, that slowly builds tension and dread up until the particularly sinister night vision scenes, followed by a ghastly third act, filled with gore, true frights and disturbing imagery.

[6.00/10] Run Hide Fight (2021)

Run Hide Fight (2021)

Quick Review: The truly sensitive subject matter makes it undoubtedly controversial, and the idea for its creation a little bit vile, because of the alarming real-life events it was inspired by, but putting that aside, "Run Hide Fight" is an exceptionally well-crafted piece of entertainment with solid thrills, chills, and tension, and a likable and skillful heroine, portrayed by Isabel May, who is as convincing as an actor as she's as an action performer during all the deftly-crafted set pieces.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

[7.50/10] No Time to Die (2021)

No Time to Die (2021)

Quick Review: A solid send-off for Daniel Craig, who delivers his most restrained turn as Bond so far, "No Time to Die" may be patchy, uneven and free of memorable set pieces, but thanks to Fukunaga's slick and nifty direction, remarkable variety of settings, appealing new characters, and expertly-staged action scenes, it's a rousing and emotional finale to Craig era that succeeds as both -- a hearty love story and a thrilling '007' affair, even if it wastes the potential of Malek's creepy villain.

[5.50/10] Love Hard (2021)

Love Hard (2021)

Quick Review: If you can get over Dobrev's annoying trying-too-hard-to-be-funny overacting and the lack of credible romantic chemistry with her co-star Jimmy O. Yang, whose character is as endearing as he can get, you may find "Love Hard" cute, heartfelt, and amusing for a reason -- it's pretty sweet, it has heart, and it delivers a few good laughs, but in the end, it's a typically predictable Christmas rom-com with 'catfishing' twist, and a corny 'personality over looks' moral-ish lesson.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

[6.75/10] Army of Thieves (2021)

Army of Thieves (2021)

Quick Review: Executed with flair, shot with tasteful sense of style, and led by a quirky, nerdy, and alluring protagonist played by Schweighöfer himself, who displays as much talent in front of the camera, as he does behind it, the zombieless prequel to Snyder's "Army of the Dead" hardly breaks any new grounds into the 'heist' movie genre, but the actual robberies are intense, exciting, and loads of fun, and the subtle touch of romance adds warmth and charm to the whole stealing affair.

[6.00/10] The Beta Test (2021)

The Beta Test (2021)

Quick Review: A spicy mix of dark satire, real thought-provoking social commentary on online privacy, and a funnily cynical look at Hollywood entertainment industry, "The Beta Test" is yet another egocentric show by Jim Cummings, who co-directs and stars in it, and tough he does a solid job behind the camera with his co-star PJ McCab in keeping us entertained and amused, in front of it, it often feels like he's trying too hard to play a deranged pretender with raunchy obsession.

Monday, November 8, 2021

[6.75/10] The Manor (2021)

The Manor (2021)

Quick Review: Led by an alluring turn from Hershey, this horror puts a clever twist or two on the 'haunted house' genre, and offers a riveting point of view through the eyes of an old lady, who experiences ghastly events, but the scariest aspect of "The Manor" is not the supernatural side of the story, it's the questioning of elder's sanity, lack of trust, and loneliness that hit the hardest -- the rest is all about 'spooky fun', even the devilish reveal and the wickedly satisfactory conclusion.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

[5.50/10] Finch (2021)

Finch (2021)

Quick Review: Long, slow-moving, dragged out, and neither funny, nor thrilling, nor action-packed, nor very moving, apart from the tear-jerking finale, yet well-made and led by a solid turn from Hanks, "Finch" is a road trip survival drama about the relationship between a lone human, his dog, and his droid invention, set against the barren post-apocalyptic backdrop of sun-burned Earth, but nothing much happens, apart from cute and curious robot Jeff bonding with the struggling Finch.

[4.00/10] The Djinn (2021)

The Djinn (2021)

Quick Review: Taking place in a dark and tiny flat, and featuring only a couple of characters, "The Djinn" is tedious by these criteria alone, but when you add to that a bunch of cheap 'jump' scares, some cheesy demonic imagery, and the script's poor attempt to play tricks with your mind by making you wonder, if the little boy is experiencing something supernatural, or he is just grieving, the latter results in an ill-conceived ambiguity leading to an ending that makes you feel cheated.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

[6.50/10] The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021)

The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021)

Quick Review: Jessica Chastain is an absolute chameleon in her truly devoted, emotionally diverse turn as Faye, and witnessing her physical transformation throughout the years with the help of some phenomenal makeup is spectacular, but the way her life story full of rises and falls is depicted is too subtly to match with Tammy's eccentric personality, the greatness of the acting, or the film's glossy cinematography and opulent retro production design.

[5.50/10] Good on Paper (2021)

Good on Paper (2021)

Quick Review: 'Mostly based on a true story told by its lead star, this one boldly attempts an interesting approach at mixing an anti-rom-com story with some stand-up comedy, the latter of which is overused and not particularly funny, but in spite of some mildly amusing moments and a pretty engaging turn by comedian Iliza Shlesinger, "Good on Paper" is a bit of a mixed-bag that ironically lives up to its title -- it's neither as hilarious, nor as entertaining, nor as sweet as it wants to be.