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Saturday, July 4, 2020

[7.25/10] The King of Staten Island (2020)

The King of Staten Island (2020)

Quick Review: Honest, endearing and candid, but above all enjoyable, funny as hell, and utterly hilarious, and featuring one of the sweetest, good-natured, most likable losers in history, played very wholeheartedly by Pete Davidson, whose character grows naturally and becomes more likable with each scene, "The King of Staten Island" is urban dramedy with equal amounts of raunchiness, wit, laughter, and heart that touches as much as it entertains.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

[5.25/10] Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020)

Eurovision Song Contest: Story of Fire Saga (2020)

Quick Review: As cheesy as the contest it attempts to parodies, this one flaunts some glossy production values and flashy musical numbers, plus, it benefits from its refreshing Icelandic perspective and McAdams' allure and impressive vocal abilities which dazzle in the absolute show- stopper of a final performance, but Will Farrell is irritating, the romance doesn't work, and the humor ranges from dry to flat to goofy, therefore, the film fails as a satire.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

[6.25/10] Premature (2020)

Premature (2020)

Quick Review: No, it's not the best love story ever made, and the gritty urban feel and low-key style will not appeal to those who like their films vivid, though the subdued tone fits perfectly the essence of its simple, yet affecting story, but "Premature" has one huge strength and that is -- everything from the natural acting and the couple's unforced romance, to the ups & downs of their relation feels super real and 100% genuine, and that's what makes it a poignant and heartfelt experience.

Monday, June 22, 2020

[5.25/10] Intuition (2020)

Intuition (2020)

Quick Review: Hardly suspenseful, lengthy, and needlessly convoluted, if involving at times, this Argentinian crime thriller attempts to add layers to its story-line and give the double murder mystery more depth, but the end result is a disjointed clutter with one too many sub-plots that lacks focus, therefore gets inevitably over explanatory in parts, plus, "Intuition" struggles to make a firm decision on which character to be the main one, switching between Juanez and Pipa throughout the runtime.

Friday, June 19, 2020

[5.50/10] You Should Have Left (2020)

You Should Have Left (2020)

Quick Review: From the inventive camera angles, muted color palette, and effective use of scenery, to the chic design of the multi-dimensional maze of a haunted mansion it is set in, the film certainly flaunts style, but "YSHL" suffers from а sluggish and uneventful first hour and muddled final act, and neither its cool visuals, nor the eerie tone, nor Bacon's solid turn can make up for the lack of true frights or the vague, surreal mystery behind the loopy house.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

[7.25/10] Eye for an Eye (2020)

Eye for an Eye (2020)

Quick Review: Cleverly-conceived, remarkably original, expertly-crafted and acted extremely convincingly by Tosar and the rest of the cast, this Spanish thriller is more than just a cat-n-mouse 'game of fate', offering an intriguing, intricate, suspenseful, and multilayered plot-line, filled with twists and turns, concerning multiple characters and intermixing the fatal consequences of their actions, and though it's a story about revenge, in its essence, "Quien a hierro mata" is thoroughly karma-driven.

[5.50/10] Malasaña 32 (2020)

Malasaña 32 (2020) 

Quick Review: Revolving around a farmer family who moved to Madrid in an apartment that happens to be haunted, "Malasaña 32" takes place in an eerie urban setting and has an ominous tone that generates sense of dread, but sadly, the film decides to relay on jump scares, instead of its sinister imagery, which becomes weary after a while, with the weakest bit being its built-on-tropes plot that wants to unfold the ghost's mystery, grippingly, but it's too muddled and crowded to succeed at it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

[4.25/10] Artemis Fowl (2020)

Artemis Fowl (2020)

Quick Review: Apart from some decent CGI work, and the presence of the always great Colin Farrell and Judi Dench, who are not just vastly underused, but also forced to work with an insipid script to portray their one-note characters, "Artemis Fowl" is a rushed, erratic, emotionally void and juvenile nonsense of a fantasy flick, suffering from a half-baked plot with flat ideas, under-explained bits, an unlikable protagonist, and lack of proper villain, which sets the bar for the franchise rather low.

Monday, June 15, 2020

[5.75/10] Da 5 Bloods (2020)

Da 5 Bloods (2020)

Quick Review: A tonal mess of an action drama about PTSD-suffering war veterans-gone-gold diggers that connects the past and present in a visually clunky style, "Da 5 Bloods" benefits from Lindo's excellent turn and the lush scenery, but Lee bites more than he can chew in his desire to make a relevant, urgent, affecting story that concerns important topics, as the films has a patchy, talky and contrived first half, ferocious second one, and a supposed to be powerful ending with little impact.

[3.75/10] An Affair to Die For (2020)

An Affair to Die For (2020)

Quick Review: Far-fetched, hence preposterous, verging on ludicrous, lamely-scripted, and entirely taking place in a single fancy hotel room, which makes it limited, along with the just three characters it features, "An Affair to Die For" is a low-grade revenge film done in a not-so-clever cat-n-mouse style that offers cheap thrills, laughably absurd situations, little to no suspense at all, mediocre acting, and an abrupt ending that neither makes a lot of sense, nor it's satisfactory in any way.

Friday, June 12, 2020

[7.50/10] Pinocchio (2020)

Pinocchio (2020) 
  
Quick Review: A faithful, yet fresh take with enough lightness for kids to enjoy, but not without its gloomy nuances, this is an imaginative and sumptuously-shot rendition with true fairy tale feel and enchanting tone, thanks to the fantastical sets, props, make-up and special effects, whose familiar, but still magical, moving and edifying story follows the wandering wooden protagonist, his encounters with fabled creatures, but above all his growth as a person throughout the adventurous journey.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

[5.25/10] Shirley (2020)

Shirley (2020)

Quick Review: Elisabeth Moss yet again dominates the screen as the feisty, if fragile horror writer, stealing every scene with her emotional turn, but that, and some spot-on period production design aside, "Shirley" is a murky, moody, and monotonous biopic with exiguous dramatic impact and even lower entertainment value, whose twisted nature, surreal tone, and haunting fairy tale feel make its relationship-driven story about egos and manipulation too muddled and odd to get compelled by.

[5.00/10] Outback (2020)

Outback (2020) 

Quick Review: Revolving around a US couple exploring Australia during a bad period of their relations, this is on one hand a break up-make up personal drama with not much of an emotional impact, and on the other a survival thriller with your common lost-in-the-wilderness scenario, but sadly, apart from the barren beauty of Aussie wasteland, and a few taut bits of agony, struggle and despair, "Outback" is neither staggering, nor thrilling enough to firmly keep you on the edge of your seat.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

[2.50/10] The Last Days of American Crime (2020)

The Last Days of American Crime (2020)

Quick Review: Excruciatingly long, uninspired, incompetently directed, and devoid of any sense, style, and substance, "Last Days of American Crime" is a brain-dead stinker of a dystopian heist thriller which, for its lengthy running time, offers nothing but a painfully lifeless, cliche-ridden plot with lame twists, horribly-acted and obnoxious characters, third-rate action scenes, and tasteless, often ugly visuals that all combined make it a torture to sit through.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

[5.50/10] Body Cam (2020)

Body Cam (2020)

Quick Review: Cleverly-conceived, if underdeveloped execution-wise as it leaves unanswered questions and refuses to give an explanation about the evil entity seeking for justice it deals with, "Body Cam" would have worked better as a straight-up crime horror, instead of focusing on social commentary issues about corruption and racism, but for what it is, it's a fairly intriguing and surprisingly gory supernatural cop mystery, driven by M.J. Blidge's determined, yet hardly convincing protagonist.

Monday, June 8, 2020

[4.75/10] Becky (2020)

Becky (2020)

Quick Review: Truly far-fetched in concept, if sub-par in execution, and unintentionally funny for taking itself seriously, "Becky" plays it like a teen variation of  "I Spit on Your Grave" and attempts to outrage with over- the-top violence and very excessive gore, all coming from a 13-year-old killer girl seeking for revenge, but in the end, this 'home invasion' thriller ends up laughable in its absurdity, neglecting both Kevin James' nasty Nazi character and the 'key' mystery behind his vile motives.

Friday, June 5, 2020

[4.50/10] 7500 (2020)

7500 (2020)

Quick Review: An attempt at plane hijacking that aims to be realistic as possible, but ends up being exactly the opposite, due to a lot of illogical situations and characters decisions, "7500" is not a total disaster, thanks to Joseph Gordon Levitt's presence and a few moments of slight tension, but the sluggish pacing and the fact that it only takes place in the pilot's cabin, refusing to show the terror on the passengers, make this gloomy, limited-in-setting, toned-down thriller hard to get involved in.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

[5.50/10] The Vast of Night (2020)

The Vast of Night (2020)

Quick Review: Its puts a fresh spin on alien invasion, complemented by a spooky tone and constant tension, and visually enhanced by a proper vintage feel that carries you back in the '50s, but the simplistic plot, mild thrills, and overwhelming amount of dialogues sadly give the impression that "The Vast of Night" would have worked a lot better as a "Twilight Zone" episode than a full-length sci- fi movie, despite its undeniable retro charms and massive potential to be something really special.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

[4.00/10] Think Like a Dog (2020)

Think Like a Dog (2020)

Quick Review: Amateurishly-shot, cheap-looking, and totally wasting a decent cast, who struggle with the lame script they have to work with, the unexpectedly charmless "Think Like a Dog" may appeal to little kids because of its juvenile nature, but the older audiences will find it hard to enjoy the corny and predictable 'child-dog telepathy' nonsense of a story, nor they will be moved by the somewhat forced 'save the family' subplot which comes across as both sappy and unnecessary.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

[6.25/10] The High Note (2020)

The High Note (2020)

Quick Review: Depicting the busy life of a pop diva and the bond with her faithful assistant, with the focus being on the latter -- her desire of being a producer and her intimate story, this glossy-looking lightweight comedy is essentially about music, passion, and dreams, with the rom- com bits being only complementary, and although "The High Note" is too vanilla and too cheesy in parts to be pitch-perfect, the chemistry between the cast and the solid acting make it a feel-good experience.

Monday, June 1, 2020

[3.75/10] Motel Acacia (2020)

Motel Acacia (2020) 

Quick Review: Failing to take full advantage of its claustrophobic and eerie setting, and the creepy-crawly creature, as well as to clearly make a commentary on human trafficking and immigration, "Motel Acacia" is an overambitious, if underwhelming and utterly bizarre blend of politics and horror with abstract approach that's neither ghastly and scary, nor thought-provoking, as it is let down by a confusing, bland, and tedious story which aims to say quite a lot, but speaks rather softly.

Friday, May 29, 2020

[6.50/10] The Banker (2020)

The Banker (2020)
  
Quick Review: The approach on this biopic is a little safe and by-the- numbers, but the fact-based story about a very ambitious young black businessman's breakthrough in real estate in mid 1950s L.A. is still eye-opening in terms of racial inequality and prejudice, that's simple enough to follow, gripping enough to enjoy, and inspiring, but the movie's main strength is the terrific acting by the leads, with the slick cinematography adding a truly authentic vintage vibe coming in second place.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

[5.00/10] Awoken (2020)

Awoken (2020)

Quick Review: This exorcism indie horror gets an A for effort, as it puts a fresh spin on demonic possession through exploring insomnia, it's also adequately-shot, and led by a pretty spot-on performance by Sara West, but despite that, the morbid setting it takes place in, and some rather ominous old school footage it uses with chilling effect, "Awoken" never manages to be properly frightening, as it relies on jump scares, instead of examining the evil spirit in deeper, more revealing details.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

[5.50/10] The Lovebirds (2020)

The Lovebirds (2020)

Quick Review: Nanjiani & Rae are a likable pair, and they are both fun to watch in a way, even if the humor is either crude, uninspired, or simply not funny enough to evoke laughs, and though it moves along at a brisk pace, throwing the freaked couple in one batty situation after another in a 'we will deal with this mess together' scenario, devoid of rom-com tropes, "The Lovebirds" ends up being an amusing, but never hilarious attempt at crime romance that has the looks of a dime TV production.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

[6.25/10] The Photograph (2020)

The Photograph (2020)

Quick Review: Telling not one, but two love stories -- on from the past, and one in the present -- neither of which corny or sugar-coated, "The Photograph" is a tender, sensual, and heartfelt ode to love filled with variety of emotions that digs deeper than your usual romance affair, and although the slow pacing and back-and-forth plot structure let it down a bit, the movie makes up with smooth visual stylishness, sexy score of jazz and funk, and undisputed chemistry between the lead couple.