Wednesday, October 18, 2017

'The Villainess' Is Disappointing; Still a Very Good Film Though

The Villainess starts promisingly: a mesmerizing, brutal action sequence in which the main protagonist – a cold-blooded female assassin named Sook-hee (Kim Ok-bin) – takes on an entire drug syndicate in their base of operations, and this is shown in her POV.  Think Oldboy’s hallway brawl mixed with the energy of the church scene from Kingsman: The Secret Service and projected through Hardcore Henry first-person shooter visuals.  That’s how glorious it is.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Chain of Thoughts on the Season Premieres of The CW Shows I'm Watching


The CW shows I’m following are now back with their respective new seasons.  Here are some thoughts after watching the premieres last week…

SUPERGIRL
  • The projection of my opinion of this show is still going southwards, but I thought season three’s first episode was pretty strong.  First and foremost, there was a cinematic quality about it.   It had some TV-amazing shots that really pleased my eyes (or is it simply because it had been a long time since I last saw an episode?), especially when Supergirl lifted that submarine.

Monday, October 16, 2017

'The Lego Ninjago Movie' Slows Down the Franchise's Momentum

The Lego Ninjago Movie is the third theatrical installment of the booming Lego film franchise.  Based on the Lego Ninjago toyline and TV show, the movie is about a superhero team of teenage, mech-piloting, elemental ninjas – kind of like the Power Rangers – who are trained by Master Wu (Jackie Chan) to protect the city of Ninjago from the evil warlord Garmadon (Justin Theroux).  However, the twist is, their leader (Dave Franco) happens to be the son of Garmadon.  As the Green Ninja, he’s celebrated by the people along with his teammates.  However, in his civilian alter ego, as Lloyd, he’s loathed because of his parentage.

'Atomic Blonde' Is Imperfect, but Succeeds in Being a Cerebral, Stylish Spy Thriller

Atomic Blonde was marketed as if it was going to be a female John Wick movie.  Though there are indeed a couple of cool fight scenes, it’s not anything like the fun, butt-kicking action fest that the John Wick movies are known for.  Rather, it’s more of an old-school espionage thriller involving undercover work, assassinations, seductions, double crosses, and securing critical secrets.

'Louis C.K. 2017' Tackles Abortion and 'Magic Mike' and Other Stuff in Between

Louis C.K. is one of the smartest, most cynical standup comics today.  His jokes, usually dark, are not only hilarious – which they are – but quite thought-provoking.  There’s almost as much insight to be had as laughs.  Though I don’t necessarily agree with all of his ideas – like most celebrities, he lies on the Left side of the spectrum – I nonetheless appreciate the consistency of thoughtfulness and meticulousness in his presentation.  That’s why whenever he gets vulgar, it’s not at all just for the sake of being vulgar and drawing cheap laughs.  There’s always purposefulness behind his premise, his execution, his choice of words, his structure, his phrasing.  The intention is always uproarious, intellectual comedy, and such is what Louis C.K. achieves in his act, both in parts and in whole.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Jeff Dunham and the Guys-in-the-Trunk Are as Sharp and Delightful as Ever in 'Relative Disaster'

I started following Jeff Dunham after I saw the viral Youtube video where he debuted Achmed the Dead Terrorist.  Since then, I’ve always held the opinion that he’s a comedy genius – something most especially displayed during the time he had to get around the government censors in Malaysia.

Thus, I was thrilled to learn that he’s recently had a new special.  I’ve been looking forward to one since Unhinged in Hollywood.  This time, it’s produced by Netflix.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

'Batman vs. Two-Face' Is a Delightful Last Hurrah for "The Bright Knight"

Batman vs. Two-Face is the sequel to last year’s Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, a brilliant revisiting of the beloved campy 60’s Batman TV series.   Once again, Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar reprise their roles from the original show as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Dick Grayson/Robin, and Catwoman, respectively.  Meanwhile, William Shatner – Captain Kirk himself – plays Harvey Dent/Two-Face.

This film also serves as a fitting swan song for Adam West, who died earlier this year, but not before completing his voice acting duties.  It’s simply perfect that he was able to get the chance of playing again the role that has made him a household name to cap his career and life.

Friday, October 13, 2017

'The Dark Tower' Film Adaptation Has Forgotten the Face of Its Father

One of the most exciting and fulfilling moments I’ve had as a bibliophile is when I finally collected all (original) seven Dark Tower books.   As a reader and collector, the way I came upon them was ideal.  I got to find and purchase them in their chronological order.  Hence, I was able to read them in proper sequence.  I bought the first three books all at the same time.  As soon as I was done with The Gunslinger (book one), I became obsessed with it (in fact, if I remember it correctly, it’s also the first Stephen King book I’ve ever read, meaning it’s what got me into Stephen King).  I just knew by then I have to get and read the rest.  With books four and five, I got them one at a time, and it took a while before I found them.  It also took some time before I found books six and seven, but were fortunately side by side on display.  And great was my glee then.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

There Is Room for Both 'The Orville' and 'Star Trek: Discovery'

Recently, two similar shows in The Orville and Star Trek: Discovery made their debuts on TV.  The fascinating timing makes perpetual comparisons and a sense of competition inevitable.  It can’t be helped.  It’s simply ingrained in the DNA of geek culture.  Nonetheless, enjoying both is not something impossible.

Monday, October 09, 2017

'The Little Hours' Is Hilarious but Disjointed

The Little Hours is a comedy film set during the Middle Ages about a trio of mad, raunchy nuns – Alesandra (Allison Brie), Ginevra (Kate Micucci), and Fernanda (Aubrey Plaza) – who are each dealing with her own flaws and issues, as they lead a simple convent life.  One day, the three savagely insults and bullies the gardener, who then quits his job.  Enter Massetto (Dave Franco), a deaf-mute found by Father Tomasso (John C. Reilly), the convent’s leader and resident priest, to fill in the vacant position.  However, he’s really a runaway servant hiding from the angry lord whose wife he has cheated with, and he’s only pretending to be deaf-mute in order to avoid conflict with the problematic sisters.  But their unseemly behavior makes it hard for him to keep his cover.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

'Blade Runner 2049' Is a Visual Feast; Has a Brilliant Story, Too

Many years ago, I saw the sci-fi classic Blade Runner several times in cable.  However, unlike many other films I got to watch a couple of instances as a kid – especially genre films – it didn’t really resonate with me.  I can’t even remember what particular version I had watched, for this movie is known for having seven different cuts.  A couple of years back – when I was in my late teenage years or early 20’s –  I saw its “Final Cut”, which is supposed to be its most definitive version, as determined by creator Ridley Scott.  I found it good, but it didn’t blow me away.

Friday, October 06, 2017

So I Gave 'The Emoji Movie' a Chance

The Emoji Movie is, well, an animated movie about emojis.  And it’s one of the fiercely panned movies this year.  Still, I decided to give it a chance.  I thought that maybe I would get to like it, since it’s not unusual for me to like movies that critics hated (one of best examples: Gods of Egypt).  I just have to frame my expectations to reasonable levels.  I wasn’t at all considering that it could be something surprisingly awesome like The Lego Movie.  In fact, I knew it’s going to be bad.  But, considering that it’s animation, there’s the chance that it has enough to appeal to children.  And if so, I hoped that it would, at best, meet the minimum standards to please the inner child in me.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

'Inhumans' Is a Disgracefully Unimpressive Addition to the MCU

After seeing the first two episodes of Inhumans, the latest small screen addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’ve decided to write my thoughts on it already.  For I’m not sure if I’m still going to watch the remaining six episodes.

Monday, October 02, 2017

‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ Brings One of Cinema’s Best Trilogies to an Epic, Tragic Close

2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes was pretty great.  2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was pretty great, too.  And this year’s War for the Planet of the Apes turned out being great as well.  Thus, an infrequent cinematic achievement is accomplished: a great film trilogy – one of the best.  On top of that, since it’s a reboot-prequel to the original 1968 Planet of the Apes, it also succeeds in being a great prequel – something less common than a great trilogy.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

'Gerald's Game' Executes an Engrossing Character Study Amid a Suspenseful Psychological Horror-Thriller

According to some, the best Stephen King film this year is somehow Netflix’s Gerald’s Game – yep, to them, it’s even better than It.  Having recently seen the movie, I don’t agree with this view.  However, I understand where it’s coming from.