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Showing posts from December, 2018

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

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Now this was how a superhero should be done. And not only that, how an origin story should be told. Easily the best Spidey since the first two Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire films. It was fresh, it was exciting; it had heart and pathos and the courage to go into some dark corners with faith in its audience. Miles Morales was a hero in the making and like all heroes the journey is never smooth, and we connect with his story - his excitement, his anxieties, his fear, his courage and his convictions. The energy throughout was infectious and the plotting was efficient and tight, with an excellent cast (and voice-cast) and music that actually propelled the narrative. And of course, the animation was brilliant, effectively emulating the visual sensation of reading a comic but paired with a stunning palette and kinetic design.

At just under 2 hours, the film achieved all it set out to do. It entertained whilst it told a predictable story, incorporating life lessons along its way whilst not forgett…

Aquaman [IMAX/3D]

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This film was so painful to sit through. It was bloated and over-stuffed with unoriginal directing, unimaginative sequences, bad CGIs, poor acting and casting, and an atrocious soundtrack. Not even Jason Momoa's charm could save this film. Sitting through all 143 minutes, one could not help but think how much more superior Black Pantherwas in terms of world-building and rules-setting for Wakanda, and now I really cannot wait for James Cameron's underwater Avatar to show them all how an underwater adventure should be done(I could be wrong, but in Cameron we trust).

One of the biggest problem in this film, other than the fact that Amber Heard needs more acting lessons and has zero chemistry with Momoa, and that Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe and Patrick Wilson were all horribly miscast (guess even stars need to cash a paycheck), was the absolute lack of originality and imagination in James Wan's directing. Other than a very few moments that showcased his excellent grasp of hor…

Bohemian Rhapsody

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Some films engage the heart and trigger an emotion reaction, whereas some film engage the brain and connect with the audience on an intellectual level. Great films win over both the heart and brain, but unfortunately Bohemian Rhapsody was not one of those film. What it did instead was that it totally won over the heart with its blatant emotional manipulation and re-writing of history for maximum impact, and all through the electrifying power (and nostalgia) of Queen's songs. If it were not for the songs, the film may not even be half as successful as it was.

Intellectually, the film was riddled with faults, other than the aforementioned historical untruths, it was undecided if it wanted to be a retelling of the story of Queen or a biopic of Freddie Mercury. This resulted in a film that had no depth or emotional complexity for its lead character who is surrounded by a cast of stereotypical supporting characters (other than Mary....ah Mary, the saving emotional grace of the film), …

Sorry to Bother You [SGIFF 2018]

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Boots Riley's directorial debut was an wholly original story that bit off way more that it could chew. It was ambitious and original and creative, but the execution lacked style, focus and discipline. At times the film got mildly excruciating to watch as we waited - albeit with some bated breath - for the conclusion which, despite its originality, still ironically felt predictable and unearned. Riley had too many ideas and they were all over the place, and a stricter, more disciplined director could have focused these themes into a biting satire. But instead now, we were left with an original comedy that had potential but just missed the mark.

The screenplay is a gem. It was unexpected and zagged when you would expect a zig. It juggled magical realism with social satire and black comedy, but it never fully explored any of these realms. This ain't Gabriel Garcia Marquez or Haruki Murakami, and neither was it The Death of Stalin or Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Ril…