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Monday, October 14, 2019

[6.50/10] The Wolf Hour (2019)

The Wolf Hour (2019)

Quick Review: Set in a messy flat with low light, grim feel, and trashy interior, "Wolf Hour" finely captures the sense of isolation of its anxious, agoraphobic, broke, and disturbed protagonist, portrayed brilliantly by the remarkable Naomi Watts, whose devoted 'one woman show' turn as the struggling author June make this subtle, yet riveting mental journey so affecting, although the 'buzzing intercom' mystery remains unsolved, and the ending comes across wtoo surreal to fit properly in.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

[5.50/10] Gemini Man (2019)

Gemini Man (2019)

Quick Review: The 'motor chase' and the 'catacomb fight' prove that Lee knows how to shoot a frenetic, fast-paced action, and the de-aging effects are "B.Button"-level brilliant, but not only the film never lives up to its a secret-agent-stands-against- his-younger-self potential, but minus the fictional bit, "Gemini Man" feels like a derivative, dated, and ho-hum clone of other B-actioners, in which not even Will Smith's appeal, or the interesting settings can compensate for the uninspired script.

Friday, October 11, 2019

[6.75/10] Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019)

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019)

Quick Review: Doing justice to its source material by being faithful to it and recreating it with slick execution and tasteful visuals, enriched by an atmospheric vintage vibe and spot- on practical effects, "Scary Stories" is a lightweight, campy, and slightly juvenile, yet delightfully creepy and at times pretty tense horror flick with solidly-portrayed, likable characters, riveting story with very dark mystery behind it, and fearful creatures that will give you some chills.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

[7.00/10] The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil (2019)

The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil (2019)

Quick Review: A taut, fast-paced, riveting, and nifty Korean thriller with as much savage fights, thrills, and chases as sense of humor, this one centers on the uncommon team-up between an ambitious police officer and a ruthless mob, who join forces in a killer hunt, and grow a twisted love-hate bond that drives the plot, and though it avoids to reveal the butcher's motives, the film remains a darkly fun and bloody violent affair until the satisfying finale.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

[5.50/10] Depraved (2019)

Depraved (2019)

Quick Review: It deserves kudos for putting a fresh spin on a classic story, but apart from some macabre imagery and decent practical effects aimed to cause disgust, this semi- disturbing modern Frankenstein film has little to offer in terms of thrills or frights, as its 'playing God' plot lacks dramatic tension, and its tone is too tacky to be able to fabricate any sense of true eeriness, but at least the dime-looking "Depraved" boasts with acting that is very good for this caliber of indie b-horror.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

[8.00/10] Joker (2019)

Joker (2019)

Quick Review: Obscure, gritty, and with an off-putting feel that contrasts with its earthy color palette, but fits grimly well with the sense of havoc and mass disorder in '70s Gotham, Phillips's gloomy take on DC's most cruel villain, with social commentary on how despair can drive to extreme violence, is a deep character study of a sad, lone and mentally disquiet aspiring comedian turned a morbidly deranged monster -- an unsettling transformation portrayed masterfully dementedly by Phoenix.

Monday, October 7, 2019

[6.25/10] In the Tall Grass (2019)

In the Tall Grass (2019)

Quick Review: The very loopy plot structure may be baffling for some, as there are (plot) holes 'hidden' in the weeds, plus, too many questions remain with no answers at all, which makes the whole thing all the more convoluted, but thanks to Vincenzo Natali's skills behind the camera, "In the Tall Grass" is still a stylishly-shot Stephen King film adaptation that's reasonably absorbing, occasionally creepy, a bit nutty, and surprisingly claustrophobic, if repetitive and far from genuinely frightful.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

[6.00/10] 3 from Hell (2019)

3 from Hell (2019)

Quick Review: Trashy in looks and shoddy in feel, due to Rob Zombie's low-grade visual style, this 14-year late sequel to "The Devil's Rejects" is supposed to be a nostalgic and gruesomely epic conclusion to the barbaric trilogy, but apart from the sweepingly disturbing turn by Sheri Moon Zombie as the bonkers Baby Firefly, whose scenes are bananas, "3 from Hell" is a thinly-plotted and muddled bloodbath of a filthy horror built entirely on a cutthroat violence and gross-out brutality.

Friday, October 4, 2019

[4.25/10] The Mystery of Dragon Seal: Journey to China (2019)

The Mystery of Dragon Seal (2019)

Quick Review: A dry, overcrowded, sloppily-edited, CGI-laden mess of a fantasy flick with dodgy effects and unimpressive kung fu action, whose potentially adventurous story has no focus or sense of fun, this Chinese- Russian co-production is only worth- seeing for a couple of girl-dominant fights, and the amusing Jackie Chan vs. Arnold Schwarzenegger combat, though sadly both these actors are so way underused, their presence is of no benefit for the film.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

[6.75/10] Yesterday (2019)

Yesterday (2019)

Quick Review: Paying tribute to The Beatles in a quirky and playful fashion and celebrating the fact that classic music is ever inspiring and always current, "Yesterday" is a fun mix of musical, fantasy and romcom that works mainly due to its gawky protagonist, played by the charming Patel, who's also vocally gifted, and the heartfelt and sincere bond with his childhood sweetheart, but above all the catchy and nostalgic musical numbers, which add sense of joy to the often dramatic story.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

[7.50/10] In the Shadow of the Moon (2019)

In the Shadow of the Moon (2019)

Quick Review: Both a 'cop' crime mystery with a touch of horror and a sci-fi-enhanced family drama about loss, alienation, decay and personal obsession, this bold, well-acted and capably-executed thriller takes on a clever concept and develops it into something truly compelling, utilizing time-travel in a creative manner to fully realize its thoughtful ideas and deliver its moral message, although the twist-overloaded finale might be too perplexing for some.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

[4.75/10] Bloodline (2019)

Bloodline (2019)

Quick Review: It is refreshing to watch Sean William Scott  playing a psycho sociopath with difficult past, but sadly the otherwise cruel, gory, and gruesome "Bloodline" ranges from meh to mildly intriguing to real absurd, and rather laughable in its third act, as it has one too many twists, none of which is effective, not to say Evan's motives to ruthlessly murder child molesters are far from justified, and hard to believe, which makes the story far-fetched instead of believably disturbing.

Monday, September 30, 2019

[7.25/10] Crawl (2019)

Crawl (2019)

Quick Review: A hybrid between a disaster flick, creature feature, and family drama, Aja's plainly-plotted, if expertly-crafted "Crawl" combines a dire hurricane, nasty alligators, and rain flood to deliver one horrifying, intense, and gory thrill-ride with as much bite as heart that favors from Scodelario's tough, yet stirring turn, the grisly gator attacks, and the fact that it's set in a narrow, waterlogged crawl space underneath an outworn old swamp house, which also makes it claustrophobic as hell.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

[6.75/10] Haunt (2019)

Haunt (2019)

Quick Review: "Saw" meets "The Funhouse" in this slick, Halloween- vibed horror slasher which contrary to its title fully avoids ghosts and evil spirits, and chooses to creep out its audience with no less sinister clown-masked killers instead, but "Haunt" has more to offer then just repellent imagery, building real strong tension throughout, delivering steady chills, frights and thrills, and enough grisly and gore-soaked death scenes to gross you out and make you ignore its straightforwardness.

Friday, September 27, 2019

[6.25/10] Ad Astra (2019)

Ad Astra (2019)

Quick Review: Slow, melancholic in mood, sterile in tone, and with just a single thrilling scene, yet flaunting a sumptuous cinematography, cosmic authenticity, and mesmerizing score, Gray's interstellar drama is hardly a stimulating trip to the stars, despite Pitt's baffling, minimalist, engagingly laidback turn, besides, "Ad Astra"'s attempt to leave an impact through its supposed-to-be-poignant 'father- son relationship' fails to evoke any sentiment at all, letting its emotional core to lose all its gravity.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

[8.50/10] Midsommar [Director's Cut] (2019)

Midsommar [DC] (2019)

Quick Review: Glaring in looks, yet dark in essence, Aster's hypnotically bizarre and truly fucked-up Swedish folk-inspired horror allegory thrives as both an offbeat slow-burner with surreal dread and high shock value, as well as a mental journey of grief and desertion, and though it's more unsettling than scary, "Midsommar" gets under your skin with its visceral grimness, while ravishing your eyes with its visual vividness -- a contrast that mesmerizes, disturbs, confuses, and startles all at once.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

[7.50/10] Hustlers (2019)

Hustlers (2019)

Quick Review: With a glossy visual style that dazzlingly matches its juicy nature, a smart and thrilling 'stripper thieves' plot that never loses steam and an outstanding career-best turn by J Lo, the glitzy-looking "Hustlers" is a feminist, if seductively feminine caper of a heist dramedy that fluidly mixes suspense and humor, but also demonstrates heart by portraying its characters as real women with real issues, letting their special bond to be the core of its inspiring and fun, yet often poignant story.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

[6.75/10] Blinded by the Light (2019)

Blinded by the Light (2019)

Quick Review: Heavily inspired by Bruce Springsteen, but crafted in a typically British fashion with a Paki flavor, this set in the 1980s Luton musical is a nostalgic throwback at rock music obsession told through the eyes of a struggling teen and gifted writer Javed, that is as heart-warming as it's joyful and uplifting, but it also hits all the right notes as a coming-of-age drama about family issues, clashes of generations, and cultural heritage aspects.