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Thursday, July 29, 2021

[6.75/10] Blood Red Sky (2021)

Blood Red Sky (2021)

Quick Review: An effective hybrid between a nail-biting plane hijacking thriller, nasty vampire horror action, and poignant bond-driven mom-son drama, "Blood Red Sky" may be tad overlong, absurd and full of tropes, but it has sharp teeth and works as an intense and thrilling airborne ride with slick gore and creature effects, though the most impressive bit here is Baumeister's transformation from an anxious, overprotective mom with dark and creepy secret to a savage and blood-thirsty beast.

Monday, July 26, 2021

[6.25/10] Till Death (2021)

Till Death (2021)

Quick Review: It gets a bit too silly at times, and the whole thing is far-fetched, but this well-crafted hybrid between a captive thriller and home invasion horror successfully creates plenty of suspense during the taut cat-n-mouse game of survival of its struggling protagonist, which Megan Fox portrays with sheer fierceness and credibility in her determination to save herself and escape from the isolated, wintry setting, which gives "Till Death" a chilling feel, but also beautifully frosty looks.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

[5.75/10] The Forever Purge (2021)

The Forever Purge (2021)

Quick Review: Slightly superior to the last two, thanks to the genuinely likable Mexican lead couple, and the more dynamic and eventful 'on-the-road survival' approach with a "Mad Max"-ish vibe, "The Forever Purge" offers more of the same in terms of savage violence and sheer chaos, but this time around the anarchy on screen is extreme, even if the racial tension between the characters is the most uncomfortable part of the story, which ends with an irony, but in a moving kind of way.

Monday, July 19, 2021

[6.00/10] Gunpowder Milkshake (2021)

Gunpowder Milkshake (2021)

Quick Review: Essentially, it does have everything on paper to be an adrenaline-fueled feminist assassin action extravaganza -- a killer cast, authentic Neo-noir-ish feel, tasteful direction, wild action sequences with cool use of slow-mo, and plenty of bloody violence, but sadly in reality, "Gunpowder Milkshake" simply lacks zest, energy, and proper thrills to be more than just a visual treat, plus, it fails to take advantage of its brilliant secondary characters.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

[7.25/10] Black Widow (2021)

Black Widow (2021)

Quick Review: More of a 'family' reunion dramedy meets an assassin spy thriller, than your standard MCU 'origin' story, "BW" manifests a less ferocious and more sentimental side of Natasha, which Johansson owns, but it's truly Pugh's show as Yelena, who delivers all the wit and laughs, and though more talky than action- packed, the movie boasts with some stupendous set pieces, notably the prison break, as well as some hard-hitting fights with Task Master, even if he's vastly underused.

Friday, July 16, 2021

[6.75/10] The Tomorrow War (2021)

The Tomorrow War (2021)

Quick Review: Neither clever, nor inventive, and devoid of any logic, if well-crafted, highly entertaining, and led confidently by the lovable Pratt, "TTW" effectively blends time travel and alien invasion tropes to deliver one helluva fun sci-fi adventure with sense of humor that balances out touching family dynamics with flashy action sequences of monster havoc, elevated by high-end CGIs and slick creature design, with the electrifying Female Whitespike battles bringing spectacle and big thrills.

Monday, July 12, 2021

[6.25/10] French Exit (2021)

French Exit (2021)

Quick Review: Michelle Pfeiffer's brilliantly evil-ish, if truly alluring and often captivating lead performance wouldn't let you exit the whole thing early, and though "French Exit" gets a little too silly at times, this surreal family dramedy with dark edge and surprising supernatural bits has its quirky charms, sense of wit, and just enough emotional resonance to be an oddly enjoyable experience that showcases the talent of its star, who portrays the metamorphosis of her flawed character so well.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

[7.50/10] A Quiet Place Part II (2021)

A Quiet Place Part II (2021) 

Quick Review: The action-packed "Part II" provides 'more of the same' in terms of nail-biting suspense and jolting attacks, but balances it out with big heart and some genuinely touching moments that deepen the bond between the characters, with the most thrilling bits here being the opening flashback set piece of pure monster mayhem, and the third act, whose parallel narrative effectively doubles the tensity and terror, and leaves the ending open.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

[4.75/10] Infinite (2021)

Infinite (2021)

Quick Review: After a spectacular opening chase set piece, despite its ambitions in putting a fresh spin on the theme of reincarnation, "Infinite" quickly falls into derivativeness and turns into an overly serious, bloated mess that tries too hard to be wise and profound, bit it ends up being rather absurd and way too tangled instead, and though the film flaunts flashy action and slick visuals, those can't compensate for the dry writing, hollow characters, and bland acting from the miscast leads.

Friday, June 25, 2021

[7.25/10] Cliff Walkers (2021)

Cliff Walkers (2021)

Quick Review: Slickly-crafted, yet often incoherent, "Cliff Walkers" is a bit hard to get invested into, due to its intricate plotting and big amount of characters involved, but Yimou's melodramatic and emotional, albeit violent and action-charged vintage espionage thriller strikes with some stylishly exquisite imagery of wintery 1930s Manchukuo, with the muted, somber color palette and the 'cold' beauty of the ceaselessly snowing scenery adding a chilling vibe to the twisty cat-n-mouse affair. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

[6.75/10] Luca (2021)

Luca (2021)

Quick Review: Though vibrant, the graphics are hardly as elaborate as we've used to see from Pixar, and the story is simple and lightweight, but none of that makes "Luca" any less enjoyable as a coming-of-age fantasy adventure set underwater and in rural Italy that takes us on a brisk, racy and fun 'discover a new world' journey of curiosity, dreams, and the power of pure friendships, which fascinates with its endearing 'misfit' characters and touches with its truly poignant finale.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

[5.50/10] In the Heights (2021)

In the Heights (2021)

Quick Review: A lofty celebration of Latino community and legacy, "In the Heights" tells an emotional story about family, friends, love, dreams, and aspirations in a lively, feel-good and cheery fashion, led by a bunch of alluring characters, and flaunting elaborate musical numbers, but the whole thing feels a bit too stagey, plus, singing or rapping pretty much every line quickly loses its charms, and goes from pleasurable to loud and irritating, and even exhausting towards the sugary end.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

[4.75/10] Things Heard & Seen (2021)

Things Heard and Seen (2021)

Quick Review: Seyfried is solid as the anxious Catherine dealing with her toxic husband and uncovering dark secrets about their new home's past, but "THS" is too obvious, often predictable, and hackneyed mystery thriller that leans on the same old 'haunted house' tropes, instead of further exploring all the interesting elements its story has to offer, and the final result is a dull, draggy, and muddled effort, let down by messy script and a weak twist.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

[6.25/10] The Water Man (2021)

The Water Man (2021)

Quick Review: A poignant, sad, and inspiring family drama with a touch of adventure about a bright and imaginative boy, who, inspired by an urban legend and driven by faith and hope, takes on an unsafe journey into the woods to save his dying sick mother, "The Water Man" certainly has heart, as it deals with courage, bravery, belief, family love, and building new friendships, but its dreamy approach might be deceitful for those anticipating some proper fantasy elements here.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

[6.50/10] Four Good Days (2021)

Four Good Days (2021)

Quick Review: Exposing a totally new, different side of Mila Kunis who demonstrates acting diversity in an unusual role, paired with the always brilliant Glenn Close, "Four Good Days" depicts the struggles of drug addiction in familiar, yet engaging and moving way, but it works even better as a 're-connection' domestic drama about forgiveness, help, and support, following the tough journey of rehab, which is as agonizing for the heroine junkies themselves as is for their beloved ones.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

[7.50/10] The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)

The Conjuring 3 (2021)

Quick Review: Taking a new, less demonic, if just as sinister direction you won't see coming, "Conjuring 3" creates a dread-filled tone through the low-key lighting and murky color palette, and delivers a few effective frights, notably during the exorcism opening and the twisted finale, but the true horror here comes from the chilling mystery around the Warrens dark descent into the unknown, and the vulnerability of Ed and Lorraine, despite their powerful personal and professional relationship.

Friday, June 4, 2021

[7.00/10] Profile (2021)

Profile (2021)

Quick Review: Just as captivating and believable, as it's suspenseful and deeply unsettling, "Profile" has much more depth than your regular 'desktop' affair, as on one hand it's a true eye-opener in exposing ISIS' manipulative recruitment tactics and radicalization through social media, while it also explores catfishing on another level, and the final result is an uneasy, intense, and horrifying voyeuristic thriller-turned-disturbing cyber romance that gets under your skin with chilling effect.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

[4.50/10] Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021)

Spiral (2021)

Quick Review: The stylized use of lighting and color makes it flashier looking than most of the previous entries, but despite the sort-of-new direction it takes, the lack of fresh ideas, imagination, and most of all Jigsaw, turn "Spiral" into a gimmicky, contrived and badly miscast reboot with a predictably generic twist that offers more of the same without any impact, and although the few nasty traps a grisly and well-executed, the real torture is the film's tendency to over-explain everything.

Monday, May 31, 2021

[7.00/10] Cruella (2021)

Cruella (2021)

Quick Review: A tastefully-crafted, glamorously dashing, and gloriously fashionable take on an iconic villain, with a chic 60s retro vibe and ultra- stylish costumes, "Cruella" uncovers the origin of its delightfully wicked, shape-shifting anti-hero, who Stone is having a blast playing, but it is the other Emma as the self-absorbed, snobbish and possessive Baroness, who oozes cruelty throughout their hilariously twisted ego/talent rivalry, filled with tricks, secrets, and darkly dramatic turn of events.

Friday, May 28, 2021

[7.25/10] Wrath of Man (2021)

Wrath of Man (2021)

Quick Review: Stylish in execution, gloomy in looks, smartly-edited, and driven by Statham's grieving, albeit cold, merciless, violent, and totally badass H, who takes no prisoners in his quest for vengeance, "Wrath of Man" has a fairly simple plot, but the clever narrative structure in 3 acts gives it layers of depth by merging the main story with a sub-story and a tragic backstory into one riveting, enigmatic and action-packed whole, even if it goes a bit out of control in the mayhem-y third act.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

[6.50/10] Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021)

Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021)

Quick Review: What this classic action thriller with e fiery twist makes up for its strictly conventional plot is Sheridan's slutry direction, the taut pacing, slick execution, and a bunch of intense scenes involving a couple of menacing villains, notably Gillen, but what really drives the film is the chemistry between the terrified and grieving Connor, and the audacious smokejumper Hanna with traumatic past, who the striking Jolie portrays with sass and charisma.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

[5.00/10] The Unholy (2021)

The Unholy (2021)

Quick Review: A sinister premise with great potential, let down by a sub-par execution, use of same old tired jump scares, and supposed-to-be ghastly images ruined by sleazy CGIs, "The Unholy" benefits from its gifted lead, creates an eerie tone, and reveals an effective twist, but it refuses to dig deeper into Mary's intriguing backstory, nor it delivers genuine suspense or true frights in its sluggish main plot, and the end result is a shallow, tedious and often cheesy religious horror.

Monday, May 24, 2021

[5.75/10] Army of the Dead (2021)

Army of the Dead (2021)

Quick Review: After the supercool mayhem-y opening, "AotD" gets into generic mode with a sluggish 'build the team' setup, but makes up in its second half, thanks to the eery king and queen of the undead, who help it remain watchable and fairly fun, in spite of the tonal and pacing issues, but considering its overlong runtime the film fails to deliver a satisfactory zombie action and gore, or a fresh apocalyptic setting, and it's let down by largely uncharismatic characters you can hardly root for.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

[4.50/10] The Woman in the Window (2021)

The Woman in the Window (2021)

Quick Review: A Hitchcockian-ish mystery thriller with little sense of enigma, flimsy suspense, and thrills that are either cheap or obvious, "TWITW" relies on Adam's ability to carry the story, but due to a weak script, its "Rear Window"-esque plot ends up more dull and messy than intriguingly puzzling, and culminates with an underwhelming twist, plus, the film wastes a brilliant secondary cast, who all play underwritten, one- dimensional characters.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

[7.75/10] The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021)

The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021)

Quick Review: A creative blend of classic animation and polished CGI work that results in an imaginatively-designed and vividly-crafted visuals with a touch of quirk, "M vs M" is a real treat for the eyes, and though straightforward, it's still a fun, wild, witty, and hilarious road trip family story with a poignant dad-daughter 're-connection' at its heart, but what dazzles as bright as the graphics is the charmingly zany characters and the vigor between them.