Reviews written by registered user

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332 reviews in total 
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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Powerful Melancholia, 9 December 2016

Can't remember the last time I cried in a movie theater, but man A Monster Calls perfectly sums up my biggest anxieties of growing up: the fear of loss, fear of change, that moment when you feel like you are never entitled to express your frustration that you become violent. The existence of this movie is more than enough for me. It's not quite subtle, though, but I didn't mind. Either way, I needed this. So it's like... Inside Out... and ParaNorman... and Bridge to Terabithia... except it's better... way better... Did I mention that it's also incredibly stunning? The acting is great: Lewis MacDougall is one of the most impressive kid actors I've seen this year, he amazingly carries this film that it would be a shame if he doesn't get nominated along with probably Felicity Jones.

Overall, it's powerful. It also gets a little too devastating. Even with all the pretty colors, it just straight-up acknowledges the pain and complexities of life and humanity. Reality stinks, but life's a journey. And dealing with it has always been a part of it.

(Saw this movie last month, but again, better late than never.)

5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Enjoyably Thrilling, 26 November 2016

Well, that was a lot of fun. The Age of Shadows is a spy thriller that is basically a ticking bomb and once things go wrong, it just gets brutal and chaotic. The set up for these characters and their plot is well put together enough to be engrossing. And the set pieces are just excitingly executed. The film is unafraid of showing something terrible from their consequences. Though there is one point at the third act where I wished the film had ended. It gets to feel a little too long as it goes on, but man, the train sequence alone is one hell of an exercise for suspense. The production is also too impressive and the acting is quite engaging. Overall, it's a dark and brutal, yet quite an edge of your seat cinematic thrill ride.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Downright Beautiful, 26 November 2016

I know this review is too late. I saw this movie back in mid-October, but better late than never.

Kubo and the Two Strings has everything I wanted for it and more. Firstly, the animation is tough to be taken for granted. It's just too beautiful. Every detail, the scale, the whimsy, it's just incredible to look at! I also like how it lingers to them, unlike most animation today that is mostly frantic. The plot itself is also pretty engaging. The quest pretty much felt like a Legend of Zelda game, with all the strategies, the monsters and even how the items are presented. But the center of it all, it's classic animation where it doesn't really care how dark it gets, it's all about telling a compelling story, even genuinely. I know it's a shame that not many are actually seeing this in theaters, but I can see this movie being remembered in the next few years, the same way how people remember Scott Pilgrim more than The Expendables. And yeah Laika, never stop making movies, please!

20 out of 37 people found the following review useful:
Mind-Blowing, 26 November 2016

The atmosphere it builds, the eeriness of the children humming from the music score, how brilliantly orchestrated that opening scene or the entire first act was, are just everything you need to get excited on how things will unfold.

When the actual plot kicks in, it somewhat follows the familiar zombie/outbreak movie tropes, with them wandering around this rubble. The second act does slow things down, since the zombie's dynamics here are pretty standard. But the subtext is what keeps it more interesting. The whole setup is basically a metaphor on how we treat the next generation: we get Gemma Arterton's character who finds hope on the young infected girl, Melanie, while everyone else fears on how she and her kind could threaten their existence. It's a complex dilemma that makes it tough to predict how everything would turn out. The greatest feat of the directions is how it keeps its scenarios quite disorienting, especially with its music score, increasing its disorientation. It's amazing.

And the movie ends with probably one of the cleverest punchlines I've seen in film. This movie is basically the I Am Legend movie done right. This movie is based on a book and contradicting to what I said, the readers claim that the ending of this movie was mishandled. I dunno in what way, but it makes me more curious about reading it. For now, I think The Girl With All the Gifts is mindblowing. If Glenn Close fighting a zombie is not enough for you to see it, I dunno what will.

Lights Out (2016/II)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
More Fun than Scary, 22 July 2016

Lights Out is another example that horror movies today are getting effort again. Yeah, The Conjuring, The Babadook and a few indie horrors have already proved that, but Lights Out would have been just a throwaway concept. Except it fully utilizes its idea and the characters are worth rooting for and actually smart. The allegorical core feels underdeveloped in spite of spending a chunk of its plot devoted to these backstories. The villain isn't so interesting, apart from her abilities and shortcomings. But the final act is worth the payoff. Maybe not much for the ending. Overall, it's a lot of fun than it is scary. For just another trip to the cinema, that's all you need to know.

5 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Worthy Bombast, 1 July 2016

The Legend of Tarzan is one of the strangest blockbusters I've seen this year. It kinda reminded me of Ridley Scott's Robin Hood where your favorite parts of the source material are replaced with political talk which is supposed to be boring, but since it's stunningly directed, it's oddly entertaining.

Except 2010's Robin Hood manages to succeed of ending up being a medieval epic. The Legend of Tarzan on the other hand... you don't exactly know where it's heading. It juggles so much themes and subplots; you can sense there is a rich lore around, but the movie doesn't exactly flourish them properly, at the very least. It's just one plot point after another.

On the technical side, again, the directing work is captivating. The action may go out of nowhere crazy, but focusing on the production and the atmosphere alone make it quite fascinating to watch.

The acting is predictable, but it's fine. Christophe Waltz plays a watchable cartoon villain, Margot Robbie does what she usually does, Alexander Skarsgard makes a convincing reserved/feral Tarzan and Samuel L. Jackson brings the energy that helps brightening things up in this rather gloomy version of the tale.

The Legend of Tarzan overall takes itself into some interesting directions, but it's also a strange mess. It can be impressive in its filmmaking and entertaining when everybody stops explaining stuff. It's a mixed bag at best. People might clamor it could have been a little more lighthearted fun as Samuel L. Jackson's character's bantering, because once you realize what kind of movie this actually is, there is no turning back.

4 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Blinded by Nostalgia, 3 June 2016

Yay, we finally have Bebop, Rocksteddy and Krang; but... that's it! They're nothing more than fan service and pretty much if you liked these characters then there's a chance that you'll be having fun, but just like X-Men: Apocalypse, it feels pretty empty, despite of the fan service.

Some characters seem to try establishing themselves throughout the plot; we get the turtles hoping to get the acceptance and recognition they deserve from the humans, while we're introduced to Casey Jones on the rise of becoming a vigilante since he's not given enough credit, either, as a law enforcer. But the problem is how half-baked these subplots are. The movie seems to prioritize the action scenes more, while it isn't bad, it gets a little too exhausting. Especially for its two hour runtime, it doesn't help when the movie doesn't have the intent of slowing things down for a little while.

The film decides to act like a total cartoon, which is appropriate enough for this material, but what troubles here is, their banter doesn't always work. While they still have their personalities, the jokes are often unfunny. This could be redeemed if it's not thematically problematic. But instead of using that chunk of its runtime for more character development, they just prefer blowing more things up.

Overall, it's fun at few parts, but it gets tiring in the long run. Maybe for 90 minutes, it would have been a magnificent mindless time waster, but again, this is a Michael Bay produced movie. The characters aren't developed well since their issues are easily resolved without any logical effort, whatsoever, and the plot is there just to set up a ridiculous set piece after another. If you like these characters and enjoyed them in the cartoons, then I see no reason why you shouldn't enjoy this, but then it's too long to appreciate it wholly.

Warcraft (2016)
22 out of 42 people found the following review useful:
Well this is Awkward, 26 May 2016

As someone who only tried the game once or twice or thrice, I surprisingly enjoyed this rather clunky yet strangely enjoyable film.

It's a pretty straightforward narrative that it doesn't wastes its time introducing much of its world. You gotta accept whatever you see; whether it's warlocks or orcs or whatever, the movie just embraces its world and trusts the audience to follow through. It kind of makes sense why those who were familiar with the game appreciated this more than standard film critics, but again, I'm not a big fan of Warcraft, but I can get immediately invested to this fantasy world (and I like fantasy stuff.)

Yeah, some moments feel a little too rushed, I don't want to use the term contrived since the movie does earn some of those moments, allowing itself to establish the arcs of these characters, but it's paced a little too quick that it doesn't spend much time to breathe for a little more gravity on its story choices. This is a big story sustained in a two hour runtime, so it's a tough choice.

The aesthetics however, while often being criticized for being too video game looking (yeah, isn't it obvious?) actually looks pretty neat. At times, it looks sort of uncinematic, but the scale it provides just brings an exciting sense of adventure to it. The acting is fine, there are worse ways you can expect from a video game adaptation, but here, you can actually care for these characters.

Warcraft is flawed for sure, but to what it is, it remains to be kind of fun. I can see why many aren't impressed for this film, so far, it will perplex to those who cannot dive into this mythology and again, the storytelling feels a little too quick, but the movie is careless to be concerned to those things that it has become both a benefit and a problem for its own good. As a first part of a series (hopefully) it's actually a solid try. There are problems you just can't avoid, but there are still a lot of admirable choices to appreciate, in the end.

3 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Empty Grand Spectacle, 19 May 2016

Apocalypse is the lamest villain I've ever seen in an X-Men movie, it makes Deadpool from X-Men Origins look subtle. I believe this movie has the Dawn of Justice problem, except probably a little better. People would defend it to how close it looks from the comics, when the argument they would point out is only from the aesthetic. Example: The movie may have Psylocke's look, powers and leotard, however remains cipher that it's close to Batman v Superman's Wonder Woman. The movie throws in a ton of characters and cannot even juggle enough from them, especially when it comes to Jean Grey. She is supposed to be important to the story, but her arc is rushed and her involvement from the climax felt extremely unearned. Fans of the old movies might find the returning young characters such as Cyclops and Nightcrawler fun, but that's only for the sake of familiarity and if this is the first time you've encounter these characters, then you won't find anything remarkable from them. Good performances do help, mostly from Michael Fassbender, even when Magneto here is underwritten as ever, he manages to make a rather contrived sequence quite powerful. But even then, when he starts becoming the villain again, the bombast just compromises every talent on screen.

The movie is heavy on CG, but short on tension. All we see are spectacle, that it gets too exhausting that you're almost like watching a Roland Emmerich movie. It all looks cool, but there is nothing really exciting about it. To be fair, it's still quite watchable and fans might go crazy about its fan service like Wolverine (it's shown in the trailer,) bald Professor X and Mystique wearing her original costume. But even with these aesthetics, it's still pretty empty. These characters are too burdened from the past that it's kind of missing the point.

Oscar Isaac tries, but the role is just too silly to be taken seriously. James McAvoy does his best as Xavier. Tye Sheridan is the best cinematic Scott Summers so far, but that isn't saying much since this franchise never even cared for this character. Michael Fassbender is seriously the only one who can exceed from the film's shortcomings.

Overall, X-Men Apocalypse is pretty to look at, but the lack of enough connection with this rich amount of characters and tension towards the situation and the villain just rob all the fun. It's far from boring, at least. You can find worse ways to kill your two hours, but still, it's like the Mutant Apocalypse game; if you're looking for some action that looks like the comics, then you may have a blast, but movies aren't videogames. There has to be a story to impact the experience. And there is rarely any elements from the story here that actually flow. It's far from a blunder, but X-Men movies have become better than this. This movie is nothing more than a bucket of candies.

Deadpool (2016)
0 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Having Fun with the Material, 12 February 2016

Deadpool is said to be one of the most impossible material to put up on the big screen this soon. This hero is crass, the content is more vulgar and violent that may not be marketable for the mass. But the studio is smart enough to take risks, staying faithful with its nature and let things go wild. And as it goes, it's undeniably hilarious and really crazy fun. But for its ambitions of breaking new grounds for the superhero genre, Deadpool however falls short in that case. The tropes are kind of the same, except it's more self-aware and lurid. But this doesn't negate the joy the movie still provides.

It begins with an opening credits that pretty much name calling however typically involves in major superhero films. The movie then cuts establishing what kind of a character Deadpool is; he's cold-blooded with a sense of humor. It also flashes back to his origin story and how he lost everything after the experiment that is supposed to cure his disease. The main plot is basically a simple revenge story, only filled with the otherworldly craziness and breaking the fourth wall jokes. And as the story go, it's not that fresh, but it's all about the personality of the hero must shine and it does deliver. He also keeps poking fun at the clichés of the superhero genre and the limitation in the production of the film. It's amusing all and all, and that's pretty much what we wanted to see here.

Then again, it's nothing groundbreaking, but what we wanted to see here is just Deadpool playing around. Putting aside the playful stuff, the romantic subplot is actually kind of endearing. The villain is ought to seem like a stock one, but his petty weakness is what defined him. The action is pretty fun to watch, which mostly has headshots and decapitations. The CGI isn't always that impressive, but it doesn't keep the action from being watchable, as long as the velocity and clarity are good. The acting is a delight, Ryan Reynolds seems like he's having the time of his life playing this role and that shows in every scene he is in as Deadpool.

Deadpool isn't quite that revolutionary, well maybe for the confidence of major studios making more R rated superheroes like this. As the plot goes, it's all familiar. Then again, the movie is all about the personality and it works delightfully. People may just brag that this is just Kick-Ass except with higher budget and a more known property and that can be true. The movie doesn't have too much of a novelty, but as it executes your expectations, Deadpool has that passion. And that alone may satisfy comic book fans, anyway.

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