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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

[6.25/10] Pig (2021)

Pig (2021)

Quick Review: Led by a restrained and subtly expressive, yet powerful, and, quite possibly, career-best turn from Nicolas Cage, the beautifully-shot and tonally moody "Pig" is a revelation to those unfamiliar with the pristine life of truffle hunters and what their pigs mean to them -- a business partner, a pet, and a best friend, but also a moving personal revenge tale of grief and remorse, with a few twists and turns, even if the slow pacing takes away from the film's mesmerizing aura.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

[6.50/10] Being the Ricardos (2021)

Being the Ricardos (2021)

Quick Review: A talky biopic that reveals the creative process behind Lucy and Desi's popular comedy TV show, as well as its execution, and curious details about their marriage, "Being the Ricardos" may be a bit busy, uneven, joyless, and slightly disjointed, but it's worth-seeing for the sharp dialogues full of wit, the tasteful vintage feel and look, and above all the superb performances from both Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem, whose intense chemistry is the movie's driving force.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

[8.00/10] The Worst Person in the World a.k.a. Verdens verste menneske (2021)

The Worst Person in the World (2021)

Quick Review: As raw and real as a romance (or two) can get, but also a deep character study of loss, love and choices, "WPitW" is a brilliantly-written emotional roller coaster, split into 12 chapters, which range from witty, funny, and romantic to intense, grim, and truly sad, all led terrifically by Reinsve, whose messy character may be inconsistent, reckless, a bit shallow, and selfish, but Julie grows with each part, always staying frank, pure and true to herself.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

[6.75/10] Eternals (2021)

Eternals (2021)

Quick Review: Tossing all at once - an elaborate, yet slow and uneven plot, a bunch of all-new characters with little depth, and busy, if always swanky action, "Eternals" is a lot to take in, little of which is thrilling, but it stands out with an untypically dim tone, racial and sexual diversity and all the serious topics it touches, as well as with Zhao's flair and skill to visualize grand cosmic imagery and flashy superpowers with the help of first-class CGIs, even if her direction feels kinda passion-less.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

[6.75/10] Pleasure (2021)

Pleasure (2021)

Quick Review: Beneath its 'filthy' exterior of explicit sex scenes and outrageous physical and emotional exploitation in modern porn industry, "Pleasure" has a very 'human' core that portrays adult stars with all their feelings, emotions, and fears in a revealing, yet personal story about ambition and rivalry that follows the rough journey of a young Swedish rookie Bella, played so convincingly by Kappel, who takes in a role that requires bravery and courage - and "she's a natural", indeed.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

[6.50/10] Sing 2 (2021)

Sing 2 (2021)

Quick Review: Tad less fun, funny, or endearing than its predecessor, but just as enjoyable and tuneful, "Sing 2" reveals curious details from the tricky world of show business, and though the plot is formulaic and often predictable, this visually vivid sequel fascinates with its super-cute characters design, densely colored imagery of the vibrant animal world exteriors, and glossy Crystal Tower interiors, but also the superb voice work, and musical numbers you just can't help but singalong.

Friday, January 7, 2022

[7.00/10] Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)

Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)

Quick Review: Cleverly connected to the original '80s movies in way that it generates nostalgia, but also revitalizes the franchise, "Afterlife" is a sweet, entertaining, amusing, and poignant reboot with action, humor, heart, and some memories-inducing surprises which, in addition to its sweet family-driven story, adorable junior new additions and familiar old faces, offers plenty of cartoon-like visual effects and crazy-fun 'busting' to appeal to every age.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

[6.25/10] The Lost Daughter (2021)

The Lost Daughter (2021)

Quick Review: A simple, but oddly impactful story about the struggles of motherhood, many women would relate to, and whose flashbacks add layers of depth to the honest and bold subject of 'bad parenting', "The Lost Daughter" is neither eventful, nor full of likable characters, but the true mastery here is how Colman's restrained portrayal of the flawed, guilt-filled, middle-aged Leda makes you feel sympathy for her, despite that she comes across as reckless, selfish and irresponsible.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

[7.25/10] Mass (2021)

Mass (2021)

Quick Review: Even though at first you have no idea what the uneasy meeting between the two families in a church room is about, you can still feel their pain and devastation, due to the candid portrayal from the four leads, but as soon as the anxious dialogues start to reveal the tragic reason behind the meetup, "Mass" exploits the sorrow, anger, growing tension and moral clashes between its genuine characters to tell a soul-stirring story of loss and forgiveness with poignant disclosure. 

Monday, January 3, 2022

[6.75/10] Red Rocket (2021)

Red Rocket (2021)

Quick Review: As outrageous and naughty, as it's clever and fun, and and led by the eccentric Mikey who has a personality as vibrant as a pink frosted doughnut with colorful sprinkles, "Red Rocket" is a satirical depiction of lunacy, obsession, and 'wrongness' that's refreshingly non-judgemental towards its protagonist -- a broke, beaten and reckless, yet charismatic and ex porn star back to his hometown for a fresh start, who the perfectly-cast Simon Rex plays with fascinating appeal.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

[5.25/10] The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star (2021)

The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star (2021)

Quick Review: Since the first two coupled Stacy and Margaret, "TPS 3" had no choice, but to 'romance' Fiona too, which it does through a MI-style 'rescue the Christmas star' plot - and it's just as corny as you'd expect, but at least the holiday spirit is still there, the royal interiors are still sparkly, and Hudgens still does a fair job in a fun triple performance that is amusing to watch, plus, the movie ends up on a sweet note with a 're-connection' finale.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

[6.00/10] The Humans (2021)

The Humans (2021)

Quick Review: A dialogue driven domestic drama set in a half-empty flat on Thanksgiving, and gathering three generations family members, "The Humans" is a bit too dreary in tone and feel, and not consistently engaging throughout, but it unfolds its simple story in a progressively dramatic manner -- there's tension, there's laughs, there's confessions, there are secrets being revealed -- and it's all very raw and real, thanks to the truly credible characters and their genuine dynamics.

Friday, December 31, 2021

[8.25/10] Encanto (2021)

Encanto (2021)

Quick Review: Just as vigorous in spirit, as it's vivid in looks, "Encanto" dazzles with its crazy-bright colors, depth of graphics, and attention to detail, and manifests the richness of Hispanic culture with a vibrant visual creativity, complemented by uplifting Latino rhythms and cheerful songs, but the biggest wonder here is the hearty Mirabel in her determination to 'save the miracle', protect her home, and fix the domestic cracks, conveying the film's touching 'family is true magic' message.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

[5.00/10] A House on the Bayou (2021)

A House on the Bayou (2021)

Quick Review: The isolated rural house location and the intimidating intruders add up to the film's 'creep factor', along with some gruesome scenes later on in the story, but this demonic-ish take on family-reunion-gone-wrong tries too hard to shook by delivering one bonkers twist after another, instead of fleshing out its otherwise well-portrayed characters, besides, the anti-climatic conclusion doesn't do "A House on the Bayou" any favors at all, either.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

[6.50/10] Don't Look Up (2021)

Don't Look Up (2021)

Quick Review: Too halfwitted to be taken seriously, yet too grim to be funny, "Don't Look Up" is a tonally obscure and darkly amusing blend of a scientific disaster drama and a black comedy that gets the satire right in the thought-provoking way it depicts modern society as careless, shallow, cynical, and conspiratorial, that's alarming to say the least, and though the script far from sharp, the star-studded cast do their very best to add edge to the whole 'end of the world' drained scenario.

[4.50/10] Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021)

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021)

Quick Review: After a slow, banal and tedious first half, devoid of any thrills, horror, and action, it picks up the pace to deliver some watchable zombie sort-of terror, but in the end the '98-set "WtRC" is still a pointless and fun-free reboot with lazy writing, all-too-dark visuals and dodgy CGIs in which nothing new or even semi- frightful happens, and although the cast is fine, it's not the same without Jovovoich, let alone with a direction as insipid as Roberts' is.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

[6.00/10] The Emperor's Sword (2021)

The Emperor's Sword (2021)

Quick Review: Although it borrows creative ideas from modern genre films, "The Emperor's Sword" is still a prettily-shot wuxia flick with a fairly simple, easy to follow plot, plenty of gorgeous locations, and some well-choreographed fight scenes which are nearly ruined by the overuse of dramatic slow-mo, but sadly none of the characters excel and hardly any of the 'cool' camera tricks, utilized to shake up all the action, achieve the effect they are meant to.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

[6.75/10] The Matrix Resurrections (2021)

The Matrix Resurrections (2021)

Quick Review: Epilogue-y, built on déjà-vus and ultra-meta, "M4" offers a fresh take on 'what is real', inserts cool new bots, and cleverly reunites Neo and Trinity to deepen their love story and throw a debatable twist at the end, but it neither has the flair, style, looks, brains, nor the startling action of the first, despite the use of flashy motion tricks, ending up as a less cerebral and visually imposing, yet daring sequel that mocks itself, society and film industry.