tomholland2016

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Reviews

The Gentlemen
(2019)

Suit up, The Gentlemen balances both style & substance like beauty with brain.
Once in a while comes a movie that centres on a violent crime caper that will either make it or break it. Guy Ritchie's gangster-comedy, The Gentlemen is one that is entertaining as hell though it asks viewers to carry the load much higher than most of other commercial movies because Ritchie's style of providing information is skilled like a sharp shooter person.

The Gentlemen unbuckles its load by telling the whole narrative with a real sense of maturity. There is an impalpable weight the audience has to carry during the two hours but the lumbersome feels as if it was afloat in a suction of vacuum because the narrative would keep you intrigued to the very end. The story is told in a uniquely satirical way that would unquestionably amuse viewers who would consider themselves as cinephiles. What wonders us is Ritchie is able to mix the satirical ingredient into the rich storytelling perfectly just like the prince who found out that Cinderella's feet is the most fitting for the sparkling silver high heels. However, the film bounces back and forth which is not easy to follow but as long as your mind does not detract from the real deal, you are along for the ride.

With the title suggests a group of classical men, the actors' performance/character is the essence of the film. McConaughey's Mickey is boosted with the oh-so-handsome charisma that not only is indispensable for the narrative, but would also drool your girlfriend. Charlie Hunnam is brilliant as always, this extremely underrated actor proves that he's always got something to offer which The Gentlemen has provided ample time for him to rival against those who have the audacity to look away his talents. Fletcher, played by Hugh Grant is the main storyteller here, giving the audience directions for what's about to come while doing his best Cockney accent. Jeremy Strong as Matthew is in his name, a strong contender. This will probably be his breakthrough career in the industry. Farrell plays Coach, he is great portraying a cocky head slash boxing trainer with a handful of minions to hang around with. The only female here is Dockery as Mickey's beloved wife who acts in full shrewd and confident. Everyone is remarkable here except for one, Henry Golding. His character is not a memorable villain and the offering gets worse with his acting. With his irritating perennial lips movements like a sided-O everytime he talks in every movie added on top of his try-hard expression, he is perhaps the weakest link of the movie.

An exciting part to talk about in this kind of films would be the action set pieces unfortunately, The Gentlemen does not offer much. With those that is familiar with Ritchie's past works (not Aladdin sorry), he is capable to entertain audience with frenetic action and violence. In his latest work, Ritchie's fans may be disappointed to see that the only actions lying around is assassination through targeted shootings. Not to mention that they are always served with repetitive style of negotiations before the action takes place, making it seems as if the movie barely has any at all.

Which brings us to this part where the most exceptional thing is the outmaneuvering of one another to stay one step ahead of the opponent. Even greater when there are hilarious jokes to ice the ever-thicken plot as time runs out. It feels like a game of cat-and-mouse but it reveals itself in subtlety, thanks to the matured storytelling. The 'who is who' would keep you entertained 'till the end.

First look on the poster and you'll see Kingsman. Second look and you'll probably say, this is a disguise to a Kingsman sequel. By the third look, everyone is already speculating the same thing like a link of wired brains. Ladies and gents, hold my beer. As shocking as it may sound, this is nothing like Kingsman. Nothing! From the storytelling, the action scenes down to the universe and its type of humours. Unless if you consider the costume design and some of the locations, then yes. In comparison, The Gentlemen makes Kingsman looks like child's play.

For those looking forward on the costume design, you are in for a luck. Michael Wilkinson surely knows how to distinguish each character with each classic look. From the hair styles to the leather boots, he nails it! Not only The Gentlemen, but also Dockery as Rosalind is a charm beauty wearing that thick blazer suited with 1.5 inch circumference of golden-coloured buttons.

Ritchie offers a movie about the men without focusing on the 'woke' subject nor does he care about being politically motivated. If one should care, then The Gentlemen provides the opposite of supporting the men... nor the women. It contains strong language that is offensive, racist and homophobic. Not to mention a gross sequence inspired by the debut episode of Black Mirror that is disturbing but deliberately hilarious.

Verdict: Guy Ritchie proves again he is able to create an authentic storytelling, for those who are fans of his works would be pleased to follow the train. The Gentlemen is a work of art targeted for matured adults but not necessarily only for men and of which it has potential to be nominated for Best Costume Design & Best Screenplay at the grand awards early 2021!

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
(2020)

A great all-girls group film, Birds of Prey eases itself up in the sky though meeting some obstacles to finding its worthy predators.
Admittedly speaking, remember there was a time when DC Universe was bashed because most of their movies were directed by Zack Snyder who decided that style-over-substance was more pivotal to making superhero films? Then, came David Ayer with a set of the best movie trailers ever created but the outcome for the anti-hero film, Suicide Squad was at best, a mediocre motion picture.

Now after Shazam!, Aquaman & the masterpiece Joker, DC presents us with Birds of Prey, the fourth entry movie that proves that their tables have pretty much turned around by finding suitable directors for their movies and that they are catching up to compete with the Marvel Universe. No feud here please.

Here's my thoughts on Birds of Prey:

The movie features slick action scenes which complete with very acrobatic-like choreography that constantly pleases the eyes of everyone who are looking forward for femme fatales kicking ass. There are plenty of them to keep you amazed.

Birds of Prey also delivers a vigorous energy throughout, it feels like you are high on drugs. The close-ups feel very intimate yet feel very caricature in a positive way. The quality of cameras & the colour palette capture a reality of life, giving a sense of how rough it actually is, very dark and gritty but... also sometimes sprinkles the dour tone with graciously boisterous and delicate tinted colours. The occasional slo-mo ampes up the already intense energy.

Some of you might have asked regarding the feminist movement. Birds of Prey is a done right feminist film. A key successful factor to driving a feminist film is to create an innate story on women without being pushy on the political agenda. Birds of Prey does that. Another thing is this is not a guy-turn-girl remakes (Yes, I'm watching you Ghostbusters & Ocean's 8). And BOP does not or rarely knocks down the men genes as weak or indecisive. Kudos Birds of Prey!

Now, let's talk about Margot Robbie & Mary Elizabeth Winstead. These two really go beyond the next level to dive into their character as uniquely as possible. Margot Robbie as always should be receiving a standing ovation as Harley Quinn again, after the meh Suicide Squad. She restrains from letting anyone steals her spotlight. If her and Joaquin Phoenix's Joker are caught together in a love story, it will be the best romance movie of the decade. The complexity and different types of deranged personalities they uphold. Wow! Winstead as Huntress is the runner up here, she gives out a hot breeze of aura that it is hard to back away from. Her charismatic sexual energy captures the attention like a bullseye 🎯. Bell as Black Canary is cool, but not as great as the other two. Bella as Cain shows to be mischievous but her character only pretty much follows where the major characters take her.

It also offers decent humour overall. Harley Quinn is consciously great in this, her facial movements contribute a lot! Some are fresh from the oven, others are a bit obsolete but those humours though feel old keep us glued to the screen.

Final battle, the best thing is the lack of unrealistic weaponry that they occupy which makes it all feels so real. It is entertaining and fun too as there are certain scenes that feature a low amount of quick cuts.

Now, the most detectable problem with this movie is it spends so much time on character development of the all-girls group that it forgets that they can excite the audience with the combo pack. An hour later and they are still focusing on so many character devs!

Because of this, the relationship between members of Birds of Prey is very shadowy and leaves an unsatisfied feeling by the end. Like somehow they have been forced exponentially to know and work with one another.

So many developments but they forget Roman's character, the main antagonist which feels quite underdeveloped. When a scene of him pops up especially after 40% of the film, it really wants to tell something meaningful about him, but eventually moves on with it, providing us with a lack of knowledge of what his wholesome embodies.

Hyena & police cop. With a lack of screen time, we do not really see Hyena attacking people at all which some of you might have anticipated. Renee as the cop is one that is really bad at acting, it needs fixing. It is like watching a brick talks with try-hard emotions.

While this centres on supervillains, Birds of Prey fails on the costume design. Not a single character clothes himself/herself as a good superhero model portrayal of a costume. It feels very lazy thus, this however tones down the great energy the movie has possessed. It is so bad that varsity students can design them better.

Verdict: Imaginative & darkly flamboyant, Birds of Prey proves that the comeback of DC is possible, adapting many characters into the big screen as a beacon of call to level itself with the colossal Marvel.

Bombshell
(2019)

Bombshell lights up Fox News with tons of firecrackers.
The theme & issue centre on one that is very prominent. This true story magnifies the abusive story of sexual harassment & women discrimination which both need to be addressed to the audience as to how corrupt and dirty the workplace can be.

Bombshell approaches its ideas with full throttle by flooding gallons of the controversial contents without meeting its ends. The better thing is that those contents which are presented do not seem to pull the punches. The transparency is out in the air at all times, letting viewers with very sensitive info.

Powerful performances by the femme fatales but the one who steals the spotlight is Margot Robbie. Her acting is miles better than Theron & Kidman especially the on-the-phone scene near the end.

With a triple threat of female leads, Bombshell is an undeniably good feminism film. This is a movie that gets it right to show its support for the prevalent political movement without forcing the agenda too much of a slap to the viewers watching.

Bombshell has unique transitions since its beginning. They opt for many powerful filmmaking techniques to entice the audience as much as possible.

The tension is placed in the gray area. The elevator scene is the highlight of heightening its raw tension masterfully. However, the movie overall lacks this aspect mainly due to its pacing.

Pacing is the main problem Bombshell is facing. The middle part addresses one of its sub-storytelling in a painfully slow build-up. The final 20 mins opposes it by rushing the plot promptly.

Another problem it faces is the connection those three leads have. They don't establish a good interconnected relationship resulting in each of the character's story feels disjointed from one another. Only the third act that the connection starts to develop well.

Throughout, there is no background song being played except for two or three scenes. This is the problem, the movie has it so good without no song but when they do, they emerge this bizarre atmosphere because it feels forced to just put the song so suddenly.

Verdict: Though Bombshell has its problems to light up its incendiary, it manages to drop the bomb very hard to deal with its worthy subject, its terrific cast who magnify the subject and its enticing story which ticks off better than expected.

1917
(2019)

A century and three years old, 1917 relives the terrifying but excellent journey of two unsung heroes.
It features a realistic portrayal of a true remarkable story following the appalling journey of two soldiers having to call off the attack against Germany.

1917 is a massive technical achievement done right. The camera tracks this pair of individuals with a smooth good-looking one continuous shot for 110 mins! Despite it's not exactly one shot, the slick technique where it manages to trick the audience's eyes when a one shot jumps from the other is brilliant.

Cinematography is riveting to the eyes. There are so many important close-ups that picture a thousand words of these two soldiers about their past and their emotional trauma of the World War 1 effect. The better thing is it knows when to pull back from those close-ups to reveal the true scale of the horrendous and the shock of the battlefield.

Immersively done, 1917 sucks you into the sheer horror of experiencing the daunting moments of World War 1. You will feel as if you are walking with these men.

1917 is a highly suspenseful film from the front 'till the end of the line. I can assure you, the intensity is greater than 90% horror movies in the last decade. Sam Mendes escalates the tense atmosphere little by little before he uncovers everything in the final 20 minutes.

The set feels very much like a breath of air back in the early 1900s. It is unrelenting seeing objects, locations and soldiers are bombed into pieces, excellently enhanced by how specific the layouts are to justify the maddening era of bloodbath.

Though feels gimmicky, the music projects a powerful influence in increasing the gritty war moments and giving the sense that every scene should be appreciated as much as possible.

George Mackay & Dean Chapman's performances are great however, I wish they could give more. The former expresses his raw emotions clearly but sometimes, he falls flat and the latter's way of characters feels quite unbelievable due to Chapman's failure to construct expressions that is substantially connected to the impacts of war. For mega-awards like Golden Globe & Oscar, the lack of creativity to create nuances details on their face, resulted in them not nominated for Best Actor/Supporting Actor.

1917 renders much of a survival movie like Dunkirk rather than non-stopping war shootings genre. The plot is where the downside comes. Mind that it is great and propulsively executed but the emptiness of the sub-stories is what 1917 suffers.

1917 also hurts by putting in dialogues that does not drive the story further, but only to give a sense of what personality the characters embody.

Verdict: 1917 is a warfare that feels immersive and nerve-wracking with its glorious cinematography and visual designs however, it occasionally steps into the landmines which is forgivable as the whole movie transmits an experience that is substantially novelty and worth living for.

Underwater
(2020)

Underwater is a mixed attempt at finding new resources for our entertainment industry.
Remember three years ago, there was a movie called Life acted by Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal & Rebecca Ferguson? Okay, but instead of venturing into space, let's dive into water. And that's what you get from this movie, just that this is worse from Life. Not that it is bad either.

Underwater feels very similar to Life in a way that it keeps the direction all the same. Plus, the lighting will also remind you of the 2017 movie.

The storyline goes as these engineers who are looking for resources 7 miles below the ocean are unexpectedly bombarded with floods within their facilities and as time runs out, they must find a way to get back to land without knowing that something is lingering in the dark waiting to devour them. Basic storyline, formulaic one-by-one technique but its spotlight mostly covers on the intense escapade to find their way back to the shore. No worries, it's better than those 47 Meters movies.

As everyone is wondering how Stewart performs, her acting here is not bad but not great too. It's acceptable. For a not-so-serious sci-fi film, she pulls this off quite decently. The tension is there, it's always there, and it manages to increase its intensity by styling the camera work and also the lighting effect. It does not rely fully on cheap jump scares.

The best thing about Underwater has got to be its starting point. The film does not drag the movie with 30 minutes development before anything starts to occur. It goes straight to its main plot; 'survival is the key'. But here what it suffers, the development only shows its strength by half of the film and by that time, it's already too late for the audience to even give a thing about the characters.

Now let's get to the slo-mo parts. They utilize this aspect quite a lot in the beginning and final 10 mins. Usually, we would get irritated by how much it sprinkles onto every scene but Underwater gets it right. And for a thriller/sci-fi, Underwater increases its thrilling factor by slowing down its motion picture. Adding to that, it looks cool.

What I dislike the most is Underwater brings very little to the table. It's short with merely 90 minutes and instead of flooding the audience with many sub-stories, it leaves you feeling almost empty with only drops of information to satisfy our experience.

By the final 20 minutes, you will be wondering if this is a spin-off to Godzilla. I thought the unknown species were gonna be realistically scary, but nope ,it rejects the notion to push that scary button and entertains the audience with a yet another tame PG-13 monster. But I can guarantee that the ending will not be as depressing as Life. Life has a good ending for those who want to find different satisfaction. For Underwater, it will please most of the audience thought it ends quite abruptly.

Verdict: Underwater is a not-so-exciting adventure that tries to find its resources more than what other movies of the similar genre have provided, but in the end, the only thing you might find here is a sea of mineral water.

The Grudge
(2020)

I'd rather comb the ghost's hair for 100 minutes. It's only the 2nd day & my 2020 is already a horrible mess.
Here we go again... another Grudge/Ju-On/Kayako films that comes out in the month of January curse. The Kayako's curse really works on the movie, it is just awfully bad.

The trailer says it is a 'Twisted New Vision' to shift the plot into something new but somehow the director/screenwriter doesn't do his research, it's another horror movie done 100 times. The movie is also slow with no exciting details. Unnecessary dialogues further drag the movie with no developments. No interesting characters. Plot holes? Don't mention it. A lot. And the ending... oh my God. It's that another, 'Okay we did it, we defeated the ghost, only to realize later that the ghost is one step ahead of them and bam! End credits title shows up.'

However, some of the things are great. One of them is the lighting. It really feels very dark and ominous all the time. Second, the main girl who also acted in the Crocodile episode of Netflix's Black Mirror, she pulls it off excellently for a performance in a horror film. Finally, though jumpscares is a lousy technique, the final 30 minutes is full with effective ones.

Overall, it is a movie that you should watch only if you love any of the actors/crews involved in this film or if you love The Grudge series very much.

Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker
(2019)

Satisfying, It Must be. With Us, the Force Should be. There is No Try.
Pros:
  • Loving the action sequences, most of the scenes are as intense as they would get. You would see that most of the actions here focus to entertain and to elicit highlight moments in the movie.


  • The acting here is well-crafted by the actors. Daisy Ridley is exceptionally good as Rey, she oozes strong affection feeling and her poignant gestures render her character a good three-dimensional development. Not to miss out Adam Driver as Kylo Ren. Though not as great as Ridley, but he fairly treats Ren redeemable of the character's good inherent qualities, trying to preserve what was left out in The Force Awakens and regains the character's strength of the damaging curve of The Last Jedi.


  • Great fan-service for the final film of the trilogy. Many previous films' characters appear mostly to give out a new hope to the Resistance. Excessively not, the amount here is acceptable enough to make the fans happy and not annoy others.


  • JJ Abrams knows extensively the appropriate time to which every character should appear. Rey and Ren steal most of the screen time. Finn and Poe always stick together as bromance partner. BB8 has more spotlight than R2D2 for driven story effect. One thing that I salute is that JJ Abrams throws Rose Tico out of the window for good. The Asian character who first surfaced in The Last Jedi was the character that did not move the story forward at all. She just further dragged the story for no reason. In this film, she plays a minor, a reindeer to Leia which is a great thing.


  • Powerful line of tracks playing out in the background. John Williams finds his true potential to give this final story an epic feeling.


  • The Rise of Skywalker answers some of the questions the fans have been longing all year long. Rey's lineage, Luke's whereabout, Snoke's origin and etc.


Cons:
  • The plot lays out in very thin threads, the focus here is to entertain the audience with a racing game of cat-and-mouse. What's worse is it is derivative from the action/adventure video games. It plays out a like a Playstation story mode, where an avatar needs to find a missing object at a location before going onto the next level by finding another lost item before venturing into a mission that seems forever.


  • The biggest problem with The Last Jedi is its awkward and ill-placed comedy. The Rise of Skywalker has moved on so good from Rian Johnson's cringey not-worth-it laughter. However, as the run time goes along, the out-of-place comedy resurfaces and it get worse and worse. By the final battle, it contagiously affects an awkward direction to the whole plot as well, no longer to the comedy aspect alone.


  • Albeit answers are spoken out, some of the other questions have yet to be revealed. Rey's lightsaber, final battle, Rey's skills and etc.


  • There are problems with the editing, the exhilarating action scenes are layered down by dreadful cinematography. The camera fails to capture focal points of scenes resulting in the death of tre cinematic experience.


  • The Rise of Skywalker loses its grip to find the light side of previous trilogies' atmosphere which is the fundamental reason people go into the cinemas to catch this beloved franchise. The lack of the Star Wars' atmosphere makes The Rise of Skywalker an effortless attempt for one last ride.


Verdict: The Rise of Skywalker proves that it is a satisfying conclusion to the third trilogy of the Star Wars Saga but that's only it, its lackadaisical effort to drive more approach to good storytelling and powerful emotional moments place this film in the midst of the light and dark sides.

Dua Garis Biru
(2019)

Dua Garis Biru crosses the line to reaching its good title.
A movie that proposes a central theme about sex education, how important it is and the consequences if one not learn in an early age. It relates with the 21st century millennials who think that personal boundaries is not an issue.

What I love is that the film brings you of the similar concept that has been recycled, but the execution is different. It shows you a set of different plot-points to let the audience go down a different road from what you have seen before.

The performances by the actors are executed brilliantly. You can see the differences between the struggles of two families regarding the same subject.

The cinematography is on an international level! It blends in arthouse and commercial styles of camera movements that are both creative and innovative. What's even better is that there is one crucial scene that longs its one-shot for 5 minutes!

A film that throws in effective jokes that makes the whole audience giggles. These one-liner do not overshadow the serious tone of the film that needs to be addressed to the public which is a good thing. P.S: Be prepared to hurt your stomach during the fruit scene in the hospital. 😂

From beginning 'till the end, all songs that are featured suit the tone of the film. The lyrics are melancholic and they are all great enough, making you want to Google the soundtrack back at home.

Fast introduction scene. The movie should have invested some time on character developments so that audience may be able to express true emotional on the unethical action that leads to ebing the theme of Dua Garis Biru.

The concept however, feels derivative. It has been done quite many times in advertisements, 7 o'clock dramas, and movies from different countries.

Being a huge fan of his, Angga Yunanda's dark skin tone irritates me as it is unsuitable with his look. He looks unnatural and the makeup team should have not asked him to undergo the tanning process under the scorching sun.

Verdict: Better than both Ada Apa Dengan Cinta and Dilan, Dua Garis Biru is a film that touches many hearts. If there is one Indonesian film to send to the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, Dua Garis Biru is at the top of the line.

It Chapter Two
(2019)

IT ends with a big balloon.
"For 27 years, I dreamt of you. I craved you. I've missed you!"

Pros:

  • The casting director very much shines in the spotlight here. If there is a category for Best Casting Director in the Academy Award, I am all in to bet that It: Chapter Two's will not just get nominated, but win very big. The casting director deserves a standing ovation for choosing the right actors for the right characters that resemble a lot with the younger-selves from the predecessor.


  • You will feel the emotional impact of The Losers' Club as a whole. The fear that feeds their souls, the memories that hunt them & the hopeless feeling that manipulates their strength all leave a strong impression to wonder within & about.


  • The various & disparate forms of IT should give a blast of excitement to the audience. This is the most entertaining part of the movie where you get to watch new other-worldly creatures lingering within the shadows or the old monsters are back to haunt them with a peek-a-boo! It is gross, weird and definitely strange.


  • The heartwarming story of The Losers' Club friendship is the beautiful gem you will find in no other horror movies this year. The connection they have is so strong and palpable,


  • An excellent set of transition techniques that jump from one place to another, giving that ominous vibe and at the same time feels like an adventure.


Cons:

  • Albeit the creatures are entertaining to watch, however it lacks the manifestation of the scary rituals that should follow. This is the main problem with the IT movies, it is not terrifying nor scary enough to make you have a nightmare. Even sometimes it is laughable due to its unprecedented nature of the creatures' features.


  • The real form of IT is upsetting and disappointing. I can strongly say that the majority will love IT's true form from the 1990 Television Mini-Series in comparison to the remake because that looks scarier, deadlier & more realistic.


  • It is super slow and draggy that it doesn't need to be at almost 3 hours mark. 2 hours should be the best run time for this movie like IT Chapter One. It has nothing much to talk about especially during the first hour. Reunion, get together, a few jumpscare parts. That's all there is to it.


  • The second act of the movie (halfway) feels as if you are watching 5 to 6 different short films instead. Because it has that slow-burning nature, the scenes feel disjointed from one another. It spends around 45 minutes to an hour to look at every members of The Losers' Club being haunted by Pennywise.


Verdict: IT CHAPTER TWO is certainly fresh and enjoyable. Hopes up not, its extremely slow-going story may make the audience bore enough to put you into sleep mode. IT CHAPTER TWO walks you into a journey of the insidious Derry town albeit its lack of formidable creatures.

Ready or Not
(2019)

Are you Ready to rumble on your wedding night???!!!
  • Ready or Not is a fresh take on the slasher genre. It crafts a creative arch on the basic storyline concept that is rarely done in movies with similar genre. It is not the typical house invasion or vacation goes wrong.


  • Ready or Not serves a plate of dark comedy that escalates as the run time goes along. What makes this so great is the general get to spot each laugh easily, not just its specific target audience.


  • For a slasher film, Ready or Not deserves an applaud for its remarkable acting performances by the cast. Everyone shows their distinct characters from behaviour to costume that they are so entertaining to watch similar to that feeling when you get dozens of characters to choose from in a game.


  • The lead character, the one who you will be rooting for is created in such a way that she is not dumb like in most movies. However, she is not smart either but the circumstances make her character safe from the trap of being a daft person. In other words, the movie does not unravel her intelligence nor her ludicrous manner.


  • Also, the lead character has little to no character development. The fundamental question of her historical context and background is extremely lacking that we as the audience fail to connect with her as humanely as possible.


  • The biggest complaint has got to be the rushing third act (final 30 minutes). The first two acts peel its layer off one by one steadily but the third act however loses its balance and goes downhill. They tried to do something completely different but it fails to satisfy the audience because we want something more pleasurable than what they have given us.


  • Verdict: Ready or Not is a phenomenal gem that breaks the stigma free of 'slasher genre is dead'. However, it is not considered a masterpiece although seems very close due to its disastrous third act nature that falls short compared to the other two acts.

Gisaengchung
(2019)

A cordial invitation to welcome this Parasite gem in the 21st century full of remakes and reboots.
Following the step of Get Out, it is a powerful film that comprises of metaphors and allegories which need you to think beyond a certain level as they are manifested throughout. No worries, you will understand the film even if you fail to unlock the codes unlike Mother! & Us.

Parasite welcomes the audience into multi-genres and tonal shifts that mix and take its turn after every act. Pure comedy, dark comedy to heavy dramas, horror, thriller, mystery, you name it. The director, Bong Joon-Ho wonderfully converts them smoothly without letting the audience feels bizarre of the transformation.

With merely 10 characters into play, Parasite brilliantly executes layer after layer of interesting character developments which progresses the plot forward to ultimately produce a comprehensive film.

Parasite professionally handles cinematic tricks to synchronize every possible element for the greater good such as excellent use of cinematography techniques with superb artistic values, information-packed dialogues, lavish architecture production designs & vibrant colours.

Quite certain scenes feel a little too long and weary. If they can cut short and add new scenes instead, the pacing will be better and more entertaining.

Majestic musical set pieces is utilized in the background to help produce a richer tone to the distinct elements.

The suspenseful moments would have you at the edge of your seat without noticing until the point you recall your experience inside the hall.

Verdict: A strongly crafted masterpiece film on social themes and satire that finds its place in audience's heart.

In short, it is one of those episodes of Black Mirror.

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
(2019)

It's Fast! It's Furious! It's Wanker!
Hobbs & Shaw features the most basic and simplest storyline compared to the others. Another take on saving the world because the bad guy thinks to murder people is okay as we are now overpopulated with one another.

The movie should have been cut from 136 mins to 100 mins. Too many unnecessary dialogues and fillers that jeopardize your mood and excitement.

Hobbs & Shaw carries genes from the bad seed of Fast & Furious 8. F&F8 introduces a concept of abandoning physics and logics comprehensively which affects this movie like chewing gum and guess what? It's even more preposterous than ever.

Astounding and remarkable non-stop action sequences that you may have never seen before in previous movies. Anyhow, it is the support system of the film after all and the only thing worth mentioning.

Cameos that may excite you the millisecond they show up on screen but leaving you disappointed because of the coincidentally-know-someone-and-I-need-your-help-now-or-else-you-will-be-useless-in-this-movie.

As the running time moves forward, the action scenes just get more and more dizzier due to the uncontrollably fast pacing.

Excellent slo-mo effects that quite blend in with the amazing cinematography and lighting which will leave you gasping for more.

Powerful soundtrack and sound effects that create more impactful action scenes.

Verdict: A fast-paced action-packed movie that kicks your adrenaline to maximum impact but unfortunately, treats its audience like dumb people.

Dark Phoenix
(2019)

Dark Phoenix flies with just enough blazing fire to end the Saga.
The story of Jean Grey does have an in-depth quality into it and but some of the topics brought are quite redundant with 2005's X-Men The Last Stand. What I love most is that the story sucks you in and affects your emotions to the struggles Jean has to face against herself and the sacrifices she has to make for her friends and family.

From all of the 4 prequel X-Men movies, this and Days of Future Past have got to be two of the most emotional and heartbreaking premises in comparison with the other pair.

Some of the major characters have ample of screentime but some others have too little screentime. We only have a few major characters and yet the screentime is not perfectly balanced at all. It does not give justice especially when this is the final X-Men film.

Beware of one unexpected and shocking moment. It comes out so suddenly you won't be prepared mentally and emotionally of what's to come. The idea is excellent enough for a superhero movie but the execution may be a bit off as... telling more would just be a spoiler so I will stop here😂.

There is a twist that affects the whole saga. Fox has to break the long chain of the beauty creation they have planned for two decades because MCU has bought the rights from them which they have to abruptly end the franchise. You may feel bewildered with the plot given and it is up to your heart to leave you feeling impressed or disappointed.

There are lack of humors throughout and if there is one, it would fall flat or downhill. As in Malaysia, only very few will detect the jokes made because most of them rely too much on voice intonations and body languages. This movie does not aim towards a dour tone thus, it feels weird when humors are switched off for wasted purposes.

Plenty of actions are thrown here and there and I genuinely love the art of cinematography they opted. Some of the fighting skills are remembering and uniquely executed.

Verdict: Dark Phoenix is not the perfect film to end the Fox's X-Men Saga, but it at least tries to end them impeccably on a high note and a suitable viewing with your family or friends as it promotes the real distinctive meaning of what it is like to have them in our lives.

If to choose from the best to the worst X-Men's prequels, it'd be:

(Best) 1. Days of Future Past 2. Dark Phoenix 3. First Class 4. Apocalypse (Worst)

I'd say if you have the free time, give it a try.

Fly By Night
(2018)

A Flying Bullet that Hits the Bullseye.
Grab and Uber platforms have both been a part and parcel in everyone's lives in the hectic world we live in today. As much as they are of utmost importance to the public, an insidious agenda from the drivers may be upon us.

The director (Zahir Omar) comes forefront with his debut film that serves as a gritty neo-noir which is a rare subject from Malaysia's film industry.

This crime thriller with a fresh and critical perspective is set in a half-cooked fictional world that stays true to rough reality in the midst city of Kuala Lumpur but also wanders off to uncharted territory to define the ridiculously gory premise with undisputed splatters of Tarantino-esque style and tone to the heavyweight drama.

It kicks off by introducing a not-so poverty stricken family who are taxi drivers but use their service to the group's own advantage by committing an extortion racket. The partner-in-crime group is led by the Boss (Sunny Pang), his younger brother Sailo (Fabian Loo) and his best pal named Gwailo (Jack Tan), and its newest member who also happens to be an old friend of Boss, Ah Soon (Eric Chen).

Things take a dark... or a darker turn when Gwailo does a dirty job behind Boss' back that puts his entire gang into jeopardy after revealing his impulsive behaviour to a bunch of do-not-mess people.

The family is then forced to play a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with Kamal (Bront Palarae), a cop who is praised of always getting his job done but with dirty methods and Jared (Frederick Lee), an eerie psychotic crime boss who might be applauded for his talented acting skill and could become the Malaysian Joker or replace Joaquin Phoenix after all.

As the world unfolds, it seems that the director has made a promise to himself to show the audience of the corruption that happens in today's world. He loads the grimmy world with scarred-face hooligans, cops with erosion of values, a revengeful mistress and puffs of cigarette smokes.

With the explicit showcase, fortunately the director handles them with care to steer clear of the potholes designed by the strict Film Censorship Board of Malaysia.

It is also noteworthy that the director manages to invent characters with three-dimensional structure that successfully makes the audience feels vulnerable to both ends of emotional spectrum. What makes this more interesting and exciting is that he weaves and interlocks each of the character's story with one another and untangles them smoothly as soon as the credits roll.

The film serves a solid story by throwing in various genres to the recipe. At one point, it feels like a dark thriller comedy but another moment is abruptly altered to be a crime solving puzzles which then turns to a melodrama genre.

Talking about the action line-ups, the film offers plenty of adrenaline rush gobsmacking moments which includes perfectly choreographed chase sequences and contains a few bloody violence scenes that will unexpectedly make the audience look away and at the edge of their seats.

The score feels wonderfully unique and authentic in its own way as it syncs along with the scenes showed on the screen.

The climax feels a bit rushed and gets a little crowded with the interconnected characters.

As a result, it never explains the 'Who?' question in the final minute of the film as the director already stated that it is up to the audience's expectations to answer the question. Albeit the film prevents from spoon feeding the audience, however the daring quality and the stakes that it brings to the table for the conclusion is overwhelming. You will never be disappointed to the cliffhanger as everyone will have their own suspect by the end.

Fly By Night is a film that never afraid to reveal its true raw form of identity. Similar to One Two Jaga, it is packed with metaphors and hidden gems and it is meant to be watched over and over again. This Oscar-worthy film is a cinematic achievement for Malaysia's film industry that puts a higher benchmark to upcoming films in stepping up their games as well.

Us
(2019)

Us lets you see your true reflection and watch yourself in fear!
Let's get straight to the points, shall we?

The story is so structurally organized that it has its own stance and knows the direction to where it's going. The third act is a bit off the road because there is suddenly a lot going on that ultimately feels rushed but I'm guessing Peele wants to make a difference, something quite unexpected than the typical home invasion film.

Us provides plenty of metaphorical weight and hidden gems that are intellectually challenging to decipher, even harder than Peele's directorial debut, Get Out which has umpteenth of great inner messages. You must be mentally wise to break the codes. Watch out for every scene because all is important to recognize all the little deets hiding beneath the surface.

Horror and psychological thriller films tend to have bad or the most, decent actors but Us breaks the well-known curse by executing masterpiece performances by all of the actors including extras. They contribute to the horror sensation that you've been expecting for.

The twist is semi-blunt as it is half-cooked and predictable. It is that 'Ohh, I figured it out before the revelation,' or 'Another lame horror twist at the last minutes.' And there are more questions than answers provided that all those metaphors and theories you have gained become tangled, and as for you to unravel the mystery, the key is to untangle them and place them back again into a comprehensive understandable story.

Here, the scale of tension is significantly high up the skyscraper. It produces brilliant sound effects and numbers that make us at the edge of our seat 'till the closing credits. The lighting works in terrific mode which creates an ominous atmosphere to add the level of creepiness that is already tingling our spine.

Yes, Us brings some current political issues particularly in America such as discrimination, racism, corruption, injustice, homicide, identity and disorder. Peele transfers these messages so well, they stay true to the rough world we are in now and at the same time, giving us the opportunity to see clearly (if you smart enough) what's happening and make a change for a better world.

Verdict: Like Get Out, Peele's second directorial premise is an ambitious horror film that succeeds in every technical aspect. Us is not for everyone due to its mind**** nature which may leave you gasping for air and think twice of the reality that transcends us.

Happy Death Day 2U
(2019)

When you're uttering Happy Death Day 2U, you're saying to the movie itself.
First of all, if I wanted to write reviews on IMDb, I would surely follow the official techniques to write 'em. However, with Happy Death Day 2U, I'm quite pissed off with the movie, I thought it doesn't really deserve a review but I really have to say it out there because I was one of the very first to see it in theaters.

Happy Death Day 2U is disappointing. I wanted to like this movie as much as I would but I couldn't. 5 minutes in and it's already cheesy. The laughs weren't as hilarious as the first one, and I dare to say it's far from being funny at all. They opted for cheap jokes, only few that managed to get your stomach hurt like its predecessor. And what was up with the music background? The choices of songs and melodies were so different than Happy Death Day 1 and I mean it in an awful way. Ughh.

Albeit, I loved that they did at least try to make this one different than the previous installment and it will remind you of the DC Universe. For DC fans who will watch this, you will know what I meant. For a horror/thriller PG13 film, the acting here is brilliant. My hat tips off to Rothe, the lead girl. Her expressions were far more better this time.

Happy Death Day 2U is overall repetitive and redundant. I heard a girl seating behind me said that she's tired of watching the movie when by the start of the third act.

And I'm warning you, don't ever try to watch the predecessor and its sequel back to back, you'll get tedious. Trust me. DON'T! If you want to recap, make it a week of few days before you go to the theater for the movie but no need to recap, they will explain it again later on from A-Z in a fast forward manner.

PS: Oh and I think this will still cash in a lot of money though despite my review and I know there will be another one because trilogy is important in Hollywood. I have an idea that the third one will be named, 'Happy Death Day, Tree'. Why? Because Tree is the main character's name and 'tree' and 'three' are homophone. Cool, am I right?

And stay for the end credits scene!

Alita: Battle Angel
(2019)

As Alita battles in the futuristic world, she ought to hit the right angles in finding a spot to meet people's expectations.
Once in a while, there comes a time when a movie is constantly talked about due to its huge CGI element. Like Ready Player One, Alita: Battle Angel shares the same genes as those movies. It's already coming to an end of a decade, the beginning of the spectrum successfully wowed people merely with dazzling images and outstanding camera tricks but as viewers see this over and over again, they are numb by that so-called 'WOW' aspect. Hollywood may not acquire the thinking, but viewers want something more than 'just' CGI. Can and will Alita: Battle Angel surpass audience and critics' expectations?

The dystopian city is engaging to see as it manages to explore for the first 30 mins of the film, with groundbreaking motorball sport, new gladiatorial arena, visually striking neon-coloured lights and inventive vehicles.

Alita undoubtedly keeps the movie going by concentrating on the character development to drive the plot forward. Of course, it is imperative to possess the former however, it gets too dependent that the audience feels as if the movie is void of storytelling because of the meticulous details of the robotic-machinery cyborg's life.

Alita: Battle Angel truly deserves an Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects. The attention to visual details on Alita's figures is precisely well done as it blends the real-life human feat. CGI vessels into a character played by Maze Runner and Bird Box's actress, Rosa Salazar. What's spectacular is the audience will feel the humanity side of Alita as she makes careful nuances of expressions on her robotic face.

It does not deliver an action-packed showcase but every time Alita knocks down on enemies, she punches just the right angles to amaze you with her slick choreographed attack movements that neither bores or disappoints viewers.

Leaving the viewers bewildered, Alita: Battle Angel puts away the spotlight for introducing the focal point of an antagonist, instead we are provided by a foggy gallery of villians with each of them serves different agendas that lead back to square one, Alita.

Humorless script as it is, Alita stays away from the typical sideline jokes but one will wonder hilarious things that may be bared as plot holes unless are answered such as, 'Will Alita get pregnant after an intimate relationship?', 'How does she have intercourse?' and etc.

Most of the roles here are wasted due to the tremendous amount of time is sacrificed for Alita's story. Mahershala Ali's fails to show off his true villain, Lana Condor's only on the screen for a line of dialogues, Jennifer Connelly's chemistry with Alita and Ido is unbearable and Baby Driver hot girl, Eiza Gonzalez's character... erk... just shoot me already.

A few scenes fail to impress the viewers, as the contents may be lame or tedious albeit they move the story forward.

Verdict: Alita certainly captures the eyes of every beholder in theaters by the stunning and mesmerizing visual experience but the crew's lackadaisical attitude may drain down the greasy malfunctioning plot and it surely targets to produce half a dozen sequel after this beforehand predecessor or the least, a set of 'bermuda trilogy'.

Munafik 2
(2018)

Munafik 2 is NOT Another Sequel of Cash-Grab Hypocrite Movie in the Filmmaking Industry.
Munafik = Hypocrite

The original installment made grossing history of collecting approximately RM 20 million which is a big leap at that time in Malaysia and its neighbouring countries such as Indonesia and Singapore, two and a half years later comes the awaited sequel everyone has been longing for. It is as if you still haven't gotten the idea, Munafik 1 is known to have been the scariest, if not the best horror movie of 2016 in the continent of Asia. Will Munafik 2 live up to its success or will it fall down the dread hole eaten by its own hypocrisy of turning this into a cash-grab movie?

The sequel takes on a heavier and wider approach than the predecessor and that shows the maturity of the progress made for a better film and it pulls off successfully well.

Syamsul Yusof, the director, actor, editor and etc of Munafik 2 (Donald Glover's Malaysia, variety of talents) proves it again that he can break the tire and dire formula of horror films where the first act of the movie is the little to no scariness and lots of draggy parts for merely character developments while the audience thinks if they are watching a horror film or else but this guy... he does it by starting the movie with lots of scares that would make some of you at the edge of your seat not preparing for the demons to appear at all. He will leave you in the hall breathless since the very beginning.

The energy in this movie is so strong and vigorous that constitutes from one effective scene to another which consequently makes your adrenaline rush and sends shivers down your spine. It sends off electricity that gets you nerving and keeps your eyes peel on the big screen. You'll be excited to know more of what's gonna happen next.

How shocked was I when I saw how brilliantly they worked on the technical aspect. The cinematography and lighting are top-notch, I was in awe with the unique inclined camera angles, the blue-green eerie atmosphere and the precision that it takes to construct such creativity to make it sing with the territory of this being a horror film.

My hat tips off for the excellent use of sound effect because this is probably the first Malay movie I solemnly think that is qualified to compete its sound mixing and editing with Hollywood. Plus, the music is paralleled to how the scenes are emotionally portrayed, means that if a scene ought to make you terrified, then the music builds up to its terror.

Syamsul Yusof and Maya Karin have the spotlight for Munafik 2. Syamsul's acting is getting better and better each time, he now knows how to make those nuances of expressions on his face and he plays Ustaz Adam in a very believable way. Maya Karin was in hiatus for a long time in the filmmaking industry, she plays as Sakinah, a woman in distress of having to defend herself and her family from the hypocrite Abu Jar played by Nasir Bilal Khan, as he and his followers is trying to manipulate into seducing her to commit apostasy with his misguided religious teachings. She is good in playing the role except sometimes, I expected her to be better because she could be but she's a bit lacking this time unlike her acting in Pontianak: Harum Sundal Malam. The others also contributed great performances.

Believe it or not, I shed tears as the movie comes to a closed credit, it is so hard these days to find a horror film with true powerful good meanings being thrown at us all the time. I love the core values this movie has given us especially when I was sensing the plot is taken bits by bits from Islam's Prophets' ideal stories. Albeit the climax is quite similar to the first, but the message is sublime and the last minute wraps it as a perfect ending.

The negative thing is that there are a few of unintentionally funny moments emerge throughout as the messages do get transmitted to the audience smoothly like a bullseye however, a slight awkwardness comes along because they go over-the-top at achieving something new but bizarre attempts.

Furthermore, a lot of twists and turns happen which most of them are unexpected and great, but there is one particular twist that I totally did not see it coming which should be good in general but I hated it because of lack of rational explanations and of the same reason, the excessive and exaggerated degree of the twist itself.

Verdict: It's a rollercoaster ride from the starting point 'till the finishing line. This is the true definition of a horror movie and a rare one in a good way as it flood with a full spectrum of emotions. Simply crowns as the best Malay and horror movie of 2018 and possibly my top 10 movie this year!

92/100

Mission: Impossible - Fallout
(2018)

Your Mission... Should You Choose to Accept It... is to Read this Review and See Mission Impossible 6: Fallout in Theaters Now Now Now!!!
As we all know, this is the sixth instalment of the franchise. Supposedly by this time, the series already started long to drag their wear and tear tires here and about, so within so without, sucking every preposterous and ridiculous ideas they can think of. However, Mission Impossible franchise has been one of the few to deny that statement, as the impossible becomes possible, as it suggests that statement is merely a myth, as the ideas never entirely run out, as the stunts are afresh and eye-catching but can this new instalment keep up with the others (putting aside the second one as if it never happens because the majority of us can agree it's the worst) or will it have a serious fallout?

One thing to talk about is the plot. It is superficially heavy this time, in fact the heaviest out of all the series. Plus, it is intertwined and ultra-complicated for a summer Hollywood movie that you will be exhausted after the 147 mins ride. What makes this successful is that it has that Oscar-worthy vibe and it solves the puzzles very neatly towards the end despite some revelations might come off as predictable. And before I forget to mention, this movie has a lot of deep connections with Rogue Nation (the 5th instalment). Watch the previous instalment before stepping into this new mission or you will hardly relate with the characters. And if you've had the time, revise the 3rd one too.

Now, you must promptly be wondering, how about the stunts? Let me get to this part. THE... STUNTS... ARE... REAL! Every time you go in watching this best ongoing franchise in the world, you should bear in mind that CGI is a non-existent element. And the stunts are performed by Tom Cruise himself. The daring set pieces are well choreographed and acted in a way that looks real and genuine that puts most of this year's other action blockbuster movies to shame. The BATHROOM scene... will leave you in total shock. The PARIS scene... will make you gasp due to many unexpected moments... The ROOFTOP scene... will make you wonder which one that got Tom Cruise injured... The KASHMIR scene... will make your heart jitters and probably, pees in your pants because... THE STUNTS ARE ALL REAL!

Acting is well done, of course. Henry Cavill savors his swashbuckler swagness, Simon Pegg brings less comedy to the table but executes a more matured lad, Rebecca Ferguson has improved a lot since her debut in Rogue Nation, and she has lost a lot of weight that perfectly suits her role, Michelle Monaghan makes us miss her character so much and eventually, fall in love with her and Tom Cruise is anything good you can possible talk about. He is a legend!

What I like is it plays a bit different this time in which there is less over-the-top artificial techs and more to realistic stunts that put the gadgets to rest this time. This is a classified mission where nothing is impossible in reality but it is impossible to commit because of how dangerous and menacing there are.

They opt on breathtaking locations as they fill with richness and intensity making the movie charges with a load of energy that transmits to the audience who becomes alive and fully realizes that this is the exact location without any usage of CGI.

When the action scenes come in especially the Paris scene, the sound effect is top-notch; you can hear those tiny details of engineered sound system waving in the cinema hall, sucking the audience as if we are in the action movie ourselves.

What I dislike is the repetitive dialogues by the characters, it is semi-cool and semi-irritating because they keep saying the same phrases. It comes off as irritating but why is it cool is because sometimes, it uses the third-act solution technique in creating a storyline... and humor apparently.

Another thing I despise is the scene when the theme song emerges on the big screen. Don't get me wrong... I love and salute the theme song. However, I hate it when it shows glimpses of scenes and stunts that about to happen afterwards followed by its almost-constructed chronological order. In my opinion, that is a big spoiler!

And I dislike that they fail to tell Jeremy Renner's character whereabouts after Rogue Nation (as far as I can remember).

Truth to be told, I wasn't a huge fan of the Mission Impossible series until... three months before this movie came out. I felt a whole energy down my spine and knew this is going to be a good one. Bloody hell! How wrong was I! It isn't just good, it is state-of-the-art masterpiece action blockbuster film.

So if I'm going to rank all the six impossible-made films, it would be: (From Best to Worst)

6, 4, 3, 5, 1 and 2.

Is there any hope for this franchise to survive in Hollywood? VERY POSSIBLE! Is there any story left that this franchise can get hold onto for the next instalment? POSSIBLE! Is there any chance you might doze off during the movie at any condition? IMPOSSIBLE! Is there any chance left that the stunts can get any better than Fallout? VERY IMPOSSIBLE!

Your mission... should you choose to accept it is to see Mission Impossible: Fallout in theaters!

Overall: 90/100

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Siberia
(2018)

Siberia feels like you're sitting in a Siber (Cyber) Cafe neither sipping caffeine nor surfing the Internet. You...just...doze...off........
Siberia is a benign romantic action thriller with routine action and not much romance, which is pretty much what you can usually expect from anything with Keanu Reeves, a cast of Russians, and a walk-on by Molly Ringwald. Even in a summer of forgettable losers, this one disappears without a trace.

No alleged action thriller about international intrigue that stars Keanu Reeves is likely to land on anybody's A list, but Siberia doesn't even try. This time the poker-faced stoic plays an adventurer named Lucas Hill who travels to St. Petersburg (Russia, you know) to sell a cache of blue diamonds from South Africa worth 50 million dollars to the Russian mob. When he gets there, the man who is delivering the gems has disappeared, so he moves on to the snowy wastes of a mining town in Siberia to find him.

Instead of action, he hooks up with a waitress in an all-night diner, gets beaten up by local toughs, and rescued by the girl. They have sex with their clothes on, he wakes up the next morning and makes French toast, and just sort of hangs around. The audience hangs around too, waiting for something to happen. Threatened with mutilation and death by both the mob and the girl's violent brothers, his brows furrow. So much for acting. Instead, the girl's brothers take him on a bear hunt. Everything is tenuous, including a performance by Keanu Reeves that borders on catatonia. Just because he stopped shaving doesn't mean he can suddenly act.

After he finally removes his Calvins, Siberia has more sex scenes than any previous Keanu Reeves movie, but the girl (Romanian actress Ana Ularu) is the only one who shows any flesh. Molly Ringwald plays his wife back home in the U.S., shown in only two brief scenes via Skype and long distance cell phone. Despite his limitations, Keanu's love scenes with Ms. Ularu are the rare stretches when the film threatens to come alive. Siberia looks properly deadly (no vacation destination or travel brochures here) but the film was shot in Canada. The romance grows cold while the plot grows incoherent, but nothing works out satisfactorily, including the finale, which looks like it was pasted on in post-editing with a Post-It.

Formless and meandering, Siberia is a film without much purpose or promise. The direction, by Matthew Ross, looks phoned in from a toll booth in the Ukraine. The screenplay, by Scott B. Smith, who wrote the vastly superior A Simple Plan, is incomprehensible and abbreviated. One saving grace: a lively performance by a Russian gangster named Boris (aren't they all?), played with grinning relish by Pasha D. Lychnikoff, who has put in some memorable time as assorted rapists, smugglers and white slave traders on TV shows like Law and Order SVU. Needless to say, things end badly for all concerned in Siberia.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
(2018)

Can Mamma Mia be the Dancing Queen of Movies for this Year's Summer?
Here We Go Again indeed, because in many ways this is a repeat of the first film's fizzy cocktail of big name stars, belting out Abba hits in a fun rom-com set against postcard-perfect Aegean scenes.

Oliver Parker directs the sequel to Mamma Mia! - the smash 2008 movie of the hit stage musical. A decade later, Donna's (Meryl Streep) daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is pregnant and worried that she'll not be able to cope with motherhood. By way of advice, Tanya (Julie Walters), and Rosie (Christine Baranski), take Sophie on a trip down memory lane. We learn how Donna fronted her band, The Dynamos; founded her Greek island villa; met Sophie's dads (Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, and Stellan Skarsgård), and single-handedly raised Sophie without the help of her own mother, Ruby, who shows up here in the form of Cher.

With a returning cast of reliable performers and a few fresh star turns (and brief cameos by Abba's Benny and Björn), it's the young newbies who shine brightest. As young Donna, Lily James is no Meryl Streep, but does just fine, alongside Jessica Keenan Wynn as the young Tanya, and Alexa Davies as young Rosie. The Abba hits keep rolling, the cast keep smiling and everything is just as it was in the first film, only somehow brighter and bolder. It would be easy to dismiss this unashamedly feel-good franchise as so much crowd-pleasing fluff, but beneath the cheesy topping beats a heartfelt love-letter to motherhood, family, friendship and ultimately, living life on your own terms.

Fanciful? Maybe. Corny? Absolutely. Escapist? Definitely. Take it all with a sup of ouzo, give in to the good-natured spirit and this sequel delivers everything you loved about the first movie. Then again, Knowing Me, Knowing You, if you loathed the original, this'll have you sticking your head in your popcorn-bucket and wailing Why Did It Have to be Me? all over again, because as every Super Trouper and Dancing Queen knows, when it comes to Mamma Mia!, that's The Name of the Game.

Skyscraper
(2018)

Skyscraper fails to be praised as high as its building.
Skyscraper is the kind of movie that renders bad trailers but the actual product is underrated. It's quite gripping and unexpected compared to the awful damn trailers. It's nothing outstanding but also to say it's a bad movie is a total understatement.

It pulls off a refreshing and original concept to grasp the audience's attention. The tallest building in the world whereby a married man with a dark past in progress to generate the most sophisticated security, only to discover that a group of terrorists is targeting the building and the people inside it. Realizing that the security is yet to prepare, he must be willing to sacrifice himself for the protection of the people and his family. Hearing this, at least it's not another remake or reboot or prequel or sequel.

I love on its take of borrowing ideas and subtly use other movies' WOW moments like the mirror room in John Wick, the Fast and Furious fighting styles at one scene, the Mission Impossible 4's Burj Khalifa's scene and Blade Runner 2049's quite-like Memory Room.

The Rock's acting has significantly improved from his last movie, Rampage. His face is getting better on finding its place with the little details of emotions. P.S: He's just an annoying bloke in Jumanji.

One thing that I extremely hate is the cinematography, of course there are a few times that those scenes make you shiver down your spine but most of 'em feel like I'm watching Jason Bourne (Bourne 5), the cameras like literally zoom in that you can't really see what's happening on the background and the ambience. But it's worth it to watch in IMAX, though.

Another thing I dislike is the ending....lazy ending, not a cliffhanger but lazy.

Skyscraper succeeds in marketing strategies, opting The Rock as the hero to persuade Americans, British, Australians to see this movie and construct the building in Hong Kong to produce high grossing in China which can contribute much money for a movie.

Solo: A Star Wars Story
(2018)

Entertaining as How Solo Always be the One Who Entertains Us
SPOILER: We know epic adventures and memorable triumphs and lifelong bonds and in some cases Shakespearean tragedy await some of the main characters in "Solo: A Star Wars Story."

We know where destiny will take them. We know, before they know.

This is part of what makes "Solo: A Star Wars Story" so much fun. Every time a character says something that hints at a future catch phrase; every time there's a reference to an as-yet-unseen planet or a character who will show up later in the timeline; every time we get a glimpse of an iconic piece of equipment; every time there's an initial meeting between characters who will share a lifelong connection - we smile and nod and maybe even clap a little, because we know EXACTLY how it's all going to play out.

The "Solo" story (superbly directed by the veteran Ron Howard, who took over after the original co-directors were fired over the time-honored "creative differences") takes place a decade before the events of "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope," which would put Han Solo's age right around 20.

Alden Ehrenreich ("Blue Jasmine," "Hail, Caesar!") is quite a bit smaller than Harrison Ford and he doesn't bear much of a facial resemblance to the man who made Solo a legend, but Ehrenreich delivers a winning performance and does a fantastic job at foreshadowing certain characteristics and tendencies of Ford-as-Han, without delving into impersonation.

Young Han is a cocky, independent wiseass specializing in small-time thievery and smuggling - and getting into big-time trouble. He's quick and smart and reckless and oh so green. (So green he doesn't even have a last name at the outset of this story. How he comes to be called "Han Solo" is a plot treat I won't spoil for you.) Han might one day become a great pilot - if he doesn't get himself killed first.

Three years after having narrowly escaped arrest on his home planet of Corellia (called a "sewer" by one character, and we can see why), Han is still trying to cobble together the funds to buy his own ship so he can return and hopefully rescue Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke), his girlfriend and partner in adventure.

Han's first meeting with Chewbacca starts with the big ol' Wookiee nearly killing him, and quickly progresses from alliance to true friendship. (Upon learning the big guy's name, Han notes he's going to have to come up with a nickname because he's not going to say "Chewbacca" every time.)

Spotting an opportunity to make that elusive big score, Han talks his way onto a team of rogue criminals (with Chewy part of the deal). Woody Harrelson is the legendary career criminal Tobias Beckett, a charming and duplicitous sort who warns Han to never trust anyone, ever. Thandie Newton is Beckett's partner in crime and life, Val. Jon Favreau voices the multi-limbed Ardennian pilot Rio Durant, who takes an instant liking to Han.

Han's former girlfriend Qi'ra resurfaces and joins the team, but her story is complicated and her loyalties are divided.

Everyone in the ensemble is terrific - but the show-stopping, effortlessly scene-stealing performance of the movie comes from Donald Glover as the charming, suave, sneaky-smart gambler and pilot Lando Calrissian.

Remember what I said about Ehrenreich not really resembling or imitating Harrison Ford, and yet doing such a great job? The same applies to Glover's interpretation of a younger Lando, who doesn't exactly become fast friends with Han but perhaps sees a little of himself in this arrogant up-and-comer. Ehrenreich and Glover click, whether they're facing off as rivals in a high-stakes card game, or having each other's back when guns are blazing and bombs are exploding.

(I also loved Phoebe Walter-Bridge's voice performance as L3-37, a brave and funny feminist droid who is Lando's co-pilot and best friend.)

"Solo" of course has a number of massive, rapid-fire CGI action sequences, sometimes accompanied by snippets of the famous "Star Wars" theme. (There were moments in the 2-hour, 23-minute adventure when I could have gone for more quipping and fewer explosions.)

The real treasures, though, are all those pre-iconic moments, all those launching points for beautiful friendships and future conflicts. In some ways this is one of the "lighter" of the "Star Wars" adventures, as we know beyond any doubt Han, Lando and Chewy will live to fight another day. (Not that there aren't moments of loss and sorrow and betrayal.)

This is a prequel as a space Western summer movie, entertaining as hell but not particularly deep. "Solo" takes place in rough and tumultuous times - but there's very little philosophizing, no talk of the Force or what it means to be a true Jedi.

Even if there weren't all those great "Star Wars" movies in our past (aka the futures of these characters), based on this adventure alone, I'd be excited to know what's next for Han Solo.

Deadpool 2
(2018)

Deadpool 2 is Alive of Pooling for Great Entertainment Purposes.
Delivering a sequel means that the predecessor is a mainstream hit and a big success. Audience wants what they saw before but keep in mind that they too do not want to see what they saw before off of the previous installment. The quality of driving the path of a sequel has always been the journey of a bumpy ride of whether that movie successfully dodges the bullets of negative reviews or hits the bullseye mark of getting bad responses from the audience. Walk the talk, does Deadpool 2 live up to people's expectation???

Deadpool 1 has been a massive hit and die-hard fans have been asking for the second entry ever since. This mischief premise opens with Ryan's character, Wade Wilson babbles about his ongoing life and what has happened to him before we get to witness what brings him to be of that kind of emotional feelings that struck him to that day.

The plot here is rather simple compared to the previous movie. He keeps to his promises to narrate his own story. The dark green-blue tone appears once again to help telling Deadpool's depressing story who is bent on taking revenge for the miserable life he had. Deadpool 2 also shares an unbelievable delightful moral lesson as the curtains closes its storytelling.

This sequel delivers a top notch comedy compared to the original entry. It leaves you wanting more between stupid physical antics and harsh banters. However, there is a massive problem for the jokes to work out for people who do not have the knowledge of pop cultures. Why? Because David Leitch (Director) and the writers make use of mega-hit pop culture references from the latest biggest opening movie of all time, Avengers: Infinity War to the try-hard erotic sexual romance, Basic Instinct. There are so many of them you definitely can't count with your own fingers. Nevertheless, what makes Deadpool so fun is that the lead character is fully aware of this and is constantly commenting on it. This proves surprisingly fruitful terrain for a comic book movie.

Action-packed? Well, I hate to tell you this but it's not much. Basically, the probability of of action scenes is of the same percentage as the first one but it's more promising and stylish with Hollywood effects being thrown around for the sake of a good quality movie. Similar to Deadpool 1, the Big Finale is relatively small. It turns off people who are awaiting to hit a gigantic impact in the face for a final showdown because it does the same mistake by wasting the potential energy for the heroes to show off their mega powers and use the advantage to build the characters' developments with violence especially when it is given the golden ticket for a rated-R film. However, the problem with Deadpool entries is that it tries to be semi-realistic in the sense of a comic book movie with less action scenes and centralizes more of real-life teenage hormones affection. Ex: Dirty jokes, dumb characters.

You must be wondering the entirety value of the post-credits scene of either it's a precious gem or another waste sequence of garbage merely to fill up its holes for future entries/entertainment purposes. First off, Deadpool 2 as the title says, gives the audience two end-credit scenes. Ladies and gentlemen, the wait for the scenes are worth it! Hilarious is the perfect word to describe how the audience feels of watching 'em. They don't relate much with the whole story but the crack jokes are powerful enough to make people care of the clips. But again, pop culture references are used in the making.

Verdict: 72/100. I personally feel that the sequel is better than its predecessor. It delivers humorous comedy that tickles both your brain and body. Deadpool 2 proves yet again that it is immature, childish, mischievous and entertaining in good ways. It also proves that Ryan Reynolds once again doesn't disappoint audience with his born-natural character. This is a movie that makes space for violence, sex, and swear words, but never bites the hand feeding it by diverging from formula. If there's one thing that we all can agree on, you will have a plenty of great time watching this movie.

Deadpool
(2016)

Live Long, Deadpool
Disney chief executive Bob Iger sat down for an interview with the BBC and uttered a sentence that horrified most of the film world's highbrow crowd - or at least those who consider themselves above the pleasures of a superhero blockbuster: "With Marvel, you're dealing with thousands and thousands of characters - that will go on forever." Forever, yes.

Nobody should have been surprised by Iger's statement; the man is in the business of making comic-book movies, and his company is obviously going to keep doing so until it has exploited every possible avenue of profit. But that doesn't mean we're all doomed to an eternity of rote superhero formulaics - films where the wisecracking, white-bread hero saves the day while doing everything right, for all the right reasons.

Like any other cinematic genre, the superhero movie is one ripe with opportunity for invention - even subversion. Hollywood may envision a never-ending future of spandex-heavy adventures, but, like the once-inescapable and once-beloved western, the superhero film can be twisted and torqued to last for decades. We've already witnessed some mild pivots: the sleek and gory vision of Guillermo del Toro's Blade II, for instance, or the crude and immoral antics of Kick-Ass. As some filmmakers - and the daring or possibly oblivious studios behind them - have come to realize, if we must live in an era of superheroes, let's at least make things interesting.

To call the new film Deadpool merely interesting, though, would be an understatement. It stars not a patriotic Ubermensch out to protect the world, but a reprehensible killing machine interested only in literally saving his own face. His superpowers aren't flashy, just gross. And his weapons of choice aren't mighty fists that knock out - yet never kill - but assault rifles, grenades and swords soaked in enemy blood.

In short, Deadpool is everything that Hollywood has raised audiences to believe heroes are not: crass, selfish and with a vocabulary that would have made George Carlin blush. Yet here he is on the big screen, slicing and dicing his way through his own origin story, one that somehow exists within the squeaky-clean X-Men cinematic universe.

The plot is refreshingly simple and low-stakes. Deadpool (a.k.a. Wade Wilson, a.k.a. the walking, talking smirk that is actor Ryan Reynolds) is a simple mercenary who's out for revenge after a generic British bad guy (Ed Skrein) mutates him, leaving his face a scarred, Freddy Krueger-like wreck. There are a few side characters in the mix - including a disappointingly one-note hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold girlfriend played with verve by Morena Baccarin - and amusing cameos, but this is mostly Deadpool's show, and he's eager to steal it.

The film has long been a passion project for Reynolds - who played a watered-down version of the same character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine - and the actor clearly relishes the opportunity. His Deadpool is an irrepressibly charming madman - as if a standup comedian decided one day to drop the mic and pick up a Glock. If Reynolds lays it on a bit thick here and there and everywhere, it's only because he's scared 20th Century Fox will wake up and realize what they've unleashed upon the world, and he'll never get such a chance again. (It's not every day that a major studio film, for instance, features a love scene in which the hero is sodomized by his girlfriend in a loving act of sexual exploration.)

Yet it would be dishonest to call Deadpool something truly subversive. Sure, the title character often pauses the violent action to break the fourth wall, and there are many winking meta-references to the genre as a whole, including Reynolds' disastrous outing as Green Lantern. But first-time feature director Tim Miller has created a work that's both aggressive and not aggressive enough.

Deadpool is a cold-blooded killer, but one who still must save a damsel in distress. He's a smart-ass, but only about half of his jokes land. And while the film's violence takes squishy delight in showing how real-world bodies would react to otherworldly superpowers, the action is strangely muted in sections and poorly executed in others. It's cultural irreverence designed for the mainstream.

Still, as Iger and the rest of Hollywood prepare for an endless era of comic-book franchises, it's heartening to glimpse a future where not everything is wrapped up in a tidy package. As Deadpool himself well knows, sometimes you just have to play dirty.

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