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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.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

[4.50/10] The Green Knight (2021)

The Green Knight (2021)

Quick Review: Its murky and misty visuals, sleek medieval production design and smooth cinematography are to be admired, indeed, but this metaphorical take on a classic story is a dismal, dreary, lifeless, joyless, and underwhelmingly epicless bore with sluggish pacing, irritating score, and zero entertainment value, that's tedious from start to finish, and too pretentious to be something more than a technically slick piece heavy on artsy-fartsy symbolism, if devoid of heart, soul, and vigor.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

[8.25/10] CODA (2021)

CODA (2021)

Quick Review: Equal parts sweet, humorous, romantic, heart-warming, inspirational and profoundly candid, "CODA" depicts the small-town life of a low-class deaf family and their difficulties with subsistence fishing, in contrast with their only hearing member's singing talent, thirst for independence, and first love, and it's an emotional roller-coaster of a story, in which the silent moments are the most poignant bits, and the dynamics between the characters -- heartfelt and endearing.

Friday, August 27, 2021

[5.50/10] Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins (2021)

Snake Eyes (2021)

Quick Review: Needless, in sense that it spoils the enigma around the main hero, "Snake Eyes" is tonally wrong, overly serious, and failing to work as a 'double' origin story, and find balance, as the film involves too many characters, some of which it wastes, but at least it's capably-shot and visually arresting, thanks to its exotic settings, and tough the action is satisfying, the shaky camerawork lets down some of the fights, which Golding handles just as good, as he does the dramatic parts.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

[4.50/10] Reminiscence (2021)

Reminiscence (2021)

Quick Review: Utilizing hackneyed and familiar 'memory reliving' ideas borrowed from other sci-fi films, and offering a dull mystery that's hard to get intrigued by, and an even duller romance that might leave you cold, "Reminiscence" is a monotonous, bland, and often confusing neo-noir dystopian affair that should benefit from its stellar cast, but since none of them seems invested, the only interesting thing about it is the CGI work on the water-logged Miami the lackluster story is set in.

Monday, August 23, 2021

[5.25/10] The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard (2021)

The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard (2021)

Quick Review: Contrived, generic, vulgar, and neither genuinely funny, nor particularly fun, as it fully relies on cynical humor instead of wit, and pompous, yet messy and unexciting action sequences, "THWB" benefits visually from the scenic European location, but fails to take advantage of its stellar lead trio due to some crude writing -- Hayek is a loud and irritating Latina, Jackson swears all the f**kin' time, and Reynolds is just too much of a goofball.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

[6.50/10] The Swarm a.k.a. La Nuée (2021)

The Swarm (2021)

Quick Review: A disturbing horror drama about a dysfunctional family and a desperate single mother with unusual locust breeding business, whose determination to provide for her kids turns into a self-destructive obsession, "The Swarm" might have some pacing issues, as it takes a lot of time till it gets into horror territory, but the blood-soaked third act of enraged flesh-eating bugs is worth the wait, if the main strength of this creepy-crawly li'l slow-burner is how credible everything feels.