Showing posts from August, 2016


After watching a film adaptation of a book and if the film makes one want to go out to read the book, it generally means that either the film was good or had squandered its potential. And in this case, thankfully it was the former, especially since it was a Philip Roth adaptation.

First time director James Schamus also wrote the screenplay and he has elegantly presented the 50s onto the big screen. An era where American idealism was at war and the sexual revolution was at its precipice, Roth/Schamus' flawed protagonist comes of age as he navigates the complicated terrain of sexual awakening/exploration and collegiate life. We follow his journey and explored what is the meaning of indignation. Is indignation a sign of principled behaviour? Or a show of weakness?

Logan Lerman matured as an actor, from his days as Percy Jackson to being a Wallflower, however he still has a distance to go. He may be the anchor of the film, but he lacked the depth and conviction of the role and only m…

Lights Out

A fairly enjoyable horror flick that relied more on jump scares and violin screeches to deliver the jolts rather than creating a tense-filled atmosphere. Nonetheless, the evil was suitably creepy albeit laden with an unnecessary, and utterly, generic backstory.

David F. Sandberg directed the film from a script by Eric Heisserer based on Sandberg's original short story. And it shows. The slim 81 minutes of run time barely had enough substance to sustain a plot, much less any sense of character development. Too much time was spent on trying to give the horror an unnecessary, and unfortunately thin, origin story,

Teresa Palmer did a commendable job as the lead but Maria Bello was the standout. Gabriel Bateman was inconsistent as the token child-under-threat-in-a-horror-movie trope. He was creepier in Outcast.

Some good scares in the short run time, but not enough elements to sustain a high interest throughout.

Star Trek Beyond

This Justin Lin directed sequel was thankfully devoid of lens flare, but despite its more straightforward narrative and competent directing, signs of franchise fatigue was obvious: the jokes ran thin (mainly courtesy of co-writer Simon Pegg), there was minimal emotional investment in the characters and all the actors looked like they were just dialing in their roles (and cashing the cheques), even Idris Elba.

Suicide Squad

This film was bad. Not Batman v Superman bad, but still it was the kind of film whereby you would actually enjoyed it if you checked your brain at the door. Incoherent plot, choppy directing and editing, flat and flimsy characters, and worst of all - for a superhero (or in this case a super-villain) film - it was funless.

Behind-the-scenes studio-involved shenanigans notwithstanding, writer and director David Ayers can be blamed solely on the failure of this supposedly subversive entry into the superhero genre. Ayer did try to inject some fun into the, thus far, dark and gloomy DC Universe with Suicide Squad. And he did succeed in the first third. With a fun introduction to the main characters, but the first signs of trouble were also apparent then with his mismatched choices of "fun music" (trying too hard to emulate Guardians of the Galaxy, DC) to preface the scenes.

It is sad when one of the best scenes is better known for Eminem's rapping.

With so many characters to…