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Showing posts from December, 2016

Rogue One [3D]

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Rogue One was essentially an extended prologue for the original Star Wars - now with the subtitle A New Hope. And by golly! Disney and director Gareth Edwards sure ain't gonna let you forget that. And that was just one of the many problems plaguing this film.

Rogue One was also a space-set, heist film, but one without the thrills and the excitements. There never really was any risks of failure to make us care or worry about the heroes. However, most importantly, in a heist film, the core characters also absolutely lacked chemistry. There was close to zero emotional weight to the characters and it all felt highly impersonalised.

For a film that we already knew the ending, they sure took a long time (133 minutes) to get there. And that journey spanned many, many quick scenes that did not allow the story to breathe. It felt as though Edwards just wanted to rush through all the (character, emotional and narrative) build up to get to the big climatic battle. Which then was upstaged even…

La La Land

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This film is an absolute crowd-pleaser! A feel good musical rom-com that hits all the right notes and beats. The chemistry between the winsome and enchanting Emma Stone and the charismatic old-school suaveness of Ryan Gosling was as electrifying as Damien Chazelle's superb directing! A serious award contender especially for Best Film, Chazelle (writer/director) and Stone (actress).

Reminiscent of the charms of The Artistand the insider-look of BirdmanLa La Land has a serious shot to be the first original musical to win the Oscar for Best Picture in a long, long time (Chicago - a Broadway transplant - won in 2006).

This is not to say this film is without it flaws. If Stone and Gosling could belt it out as well as they act then this film would be even better. But at the same time, their - especially Gosling's - thin vocals had been used by Chazelle to the advantage of the film to make the story that he is telling seemed all that more sincere, honest and raw.

As much as I appl…

Sing

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A juvenile and definitely child-friendly animation with a thin plot stretched out to feature-length. The fun really start in the third act and the musical numbers were really the draw. Unfortunately, this was more Glee-like in its execution rather than a musical per se.

Coming out after the terrific Zootopia did not help it too, as comparisons between these two anthropomorphic-animals cartoons will be inevitable. Whereas Zootopiawas surprisingly layered and nuanced, Sing felt more like a Sunday-morning cartoon. The characters were one-dimensional, the plot telegraphed from a mile away and there was nothing really original about it. Even the song choices were expected.

But like I said, children will love it - as from judging from my audience.

Matthew McConaughey is as lousy a voice-actor as Cate Blanchett was in How To Train Your Dragon 2. An inconsistent voice with his texan drawl creeping in and out. And if your lead character is a Koala, how hard is it to get an Australian actor fo…

Lion

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The real life story might have been more interesting than what the film gave us. Other than an outstanding supporting performance by Nicole Kidman, the rest of the film paled in comparison to the true story behind the fiction.

Garth Davis attempts to emulate Slumdog Millionaire failed, as his version of India lacked the chaotic bustle and confusion to really sell the desperation and despair of a lost boy. There was way too much manufactured drama throughout the 129 minutes run time, such that the emotional climax fell flat. There was not enough exploration into the motivation and mindset of Dev Patel's character to really make us feel that the search was important and the eventual eureka-moment worth celebrating.

Then again, it was also Patel's general flatness and apathetic portrayal of the main character that failed to drive the film. There was an intellectual disconnect between what should be happening and what was happening. He lacked the depth and experience (and age) to…