TheBigSick

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Reviews

Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood
(2019)

Tarantino meets realism
This is a typical Tarantino style film, violent and funny. The jokes are throughout the film and the violence steps in when dealing with hippies. On the other hand, the film is also quite realistic and offers a sharp sarcasm towards Hollywood, stars and hippies. Pitt is handsome as ever, and DiCaprio gives one of the best performances of his career. The screenplay and editing are phenomenal.

The Farewell
(2019)

An Ang Lee style film
This is perhaps the best Chinese-language film of the year. The theme is similar to some of the early films of Ang Lee. The approach is suspenseful and the message is heartwarming. The script is pretty well-written, and there are plenty of jokes. The cinematography and editing are quite impressive. In particular, there are a number of close-ups. Awkwafina gives a convincing emotional performance.

Toy Story 4
(2019)

Pixar delivers again
The Toy Story series might be the most successful film series of all time. It is really hard to see the fourth film maintains the same high standard of the first trilogy. The animation is beautiful, and character development is very impressive. The voice performance of Tom Hanks is as perfect as ever. The message is so heartwarming that I really want to see Toy Story 5.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters
(2019)

A disastrous monster film
This film commits the same mistake as its predecessor. The title is Godzilla, but most of the film has nothing to do with it. The storytelling is uneven and highly problematic. Human drama is faulty, unnecessarily long, and does not possess any sense of credibility. The large-scale set pieces and monster fight sequences are sensational but too short. To the end, the film cannot explain why Godzilla is the king of monsters, which just begs the question.

The Secret Life of Pets 2
(2019)

Intense and entertaining
Narratively, the film is not without fault. In particular, the three storylines are fairly loose, and do not seem to relate to each other. Nevertheless, this does not prevent the film to be thoroughly unpredictable, wildly fun and extremely fast-paced. While introducing a new character Tiger or Hu, the film retains most of the characters from its predecessor, all of which are adorable and cute. The characters, dialogues and actions are super hilarious, and the children in the auditorium kept laughing throughout. Several scenes, including the cliff scene and the chase scenes, are pretty intense.

See the movie if you want fun and happiness.

Pacific Rim
(2013)

A disgusting monster film
Del Toro is disgusting as ever. The design of the monster is awful. The visual effects look utterly fake. The action sequences, plot and setup are all unconvincing. The storytelling is a mess.

Godzilla
(2014)

An unsatisfying sci-fi thriller
The storytelling is messy and the plot lacks credibility. The acting performances of some actors are questionable. The title is Godzilla, but most of the film has nothing to do with it. Thus character development fails. Fortunately, the action sequences and the visual effects are fine.

Avengers: Endgame
(2019)

Neither self-contained nor original
The film has too many references to previous Marvel films, and is not friendly to those who are not Marvel fans. General audiences may easily get confused: what is this and why is that? The story is not original either. We have seen too many time-travel films, such as Back to the Future and Days of Future Past. This film does not offer anything new. Besides, the last thirty minutes are kind of redundant, and the overall running time is unnecessarily long.

Shazam!
(2019)

The worst superhero movie of all time
The idea of the film is essentially copied/plagiarized from Tom Hanks's 1988 hit Big, but is much worse in every possible way. The visual effects are cheap and lousy. Levi's performance is a disaster. The tones of the young Billy and the grownup Billy are not consistent. The buildup is too long, and the plot lacks credibility. The result is a mindless comedy that is neither funny nor with heart.

Feng zhong you duo yu zuo de yun
(2018)

Pretentious and chaotic
The camera is shaky and obscure. The editing is a mess and the narrative is chaotic. The story lacks any sense of credibility. The result is just a pretentious and failed mystery film. Jing Boran's performance is a joke, and he does not fit into his role at all. Ma Sichun is OK. In a word, the film is style over substance.

Wonder
(2017)

A loosely constructed drama
The storytelling is not intense. Some subplots and marginal characters are unnecessary. The main plot is mostly predictable and also shattered by various subplots. The makeup and performance of Jacob Tremblay are convincing.

45 Years
(2015)

A quite powerful drama
The tension arises right from start and does not finish until the end. The pace is very comfortable, and the film takes a day-by-day narrative structure. The approach of the film is mild, subtle and nuanced. So is Charlotte Rampling's performance. The result is a powerful and thought-provoking drama on romantic relationships.

Big Hero 6
(2014)

A rip-off of Iron Man and Spider-Man 2
The quality of the film is actually not bad. In particular, the animation is pretty cool. The plot is OK too, with some twists and turns. However, I would give it a 0/10 rating due to plagiarism. Some of its action scenes are simply copied from the 2008 thriller Iron Man and the 2004 stunner Spider-Man 2.

Big
(1988)

One of the best comedies of all time
The story is audacious, imaginative and wildly unpredictable. The screenplay is well-written, with plenty of jokes. Hanks is perhaps one of the talented comedians ever, and in this film his stunning physical and emotional performances simply lift the film to another level. The result is a hilarious, fascinating, and heartfelt comedy.

Shang che zhou ba
(2000)

An impressive drama film
The screenplay and cinematography are pretty noteworthy. The tone of the film is sentimental and upbeat, and the pace is very comfortable. Gao Hu and Huang Bo both give immersive performances, particularly Huang Bo. The use of Jonathan Lee's song is surprisingly suitable.

Lao shi · Hao
(2019)

More like a stage show
The filmmaking is quite unprofessional. The production design is a disaster, and most of the scenes are just fake. The approaches of screenplay, editing and cinematography are the ones typically used in a stage show. The plot sticks strictly to the coming-of-age formula and does not possess any sense of credibility. The characters are either flat and one dimensional or completely marginalized. The actors are too old for their characters and their performances are merely amateurish. In a nutshell, this is not even a film.

Xiao Wu
(1997)

Awful filmmaking
The sound mixing is garbage, with a substantial amount of noise. The dialect cannot be understood. The camera is shaky. The performance is pretty amateurish. The pace is slow. All in all, this film is an unwatchable mess.

Lichun
(2007)

A solid dark comedy
The satirical tone throughout the film sets up this solid dark comedy. Almost every character in the film is hypercritical. The script is pretty sharp and the character development is quite successful. Wang Cailing is probably one of the most representative characters in modern China, thanks to the career-best performance from Jiang Wenli. This film gives deep depiction both about humanity and society.

Wan jian chuan xin
(2012)

Resonant and relevant
This is probably one of the best Chinese-language films ever. It successfully develops a memorable female character in modern China. The character, perfectly played by Yan Bingyan, is gritty, unflinching, unyielding, optimistic and stubborn, even under extremely difficult conditions like a disloyal husband or an ungrateful child. The script is realistic, the direction is suspenseful, and the performances are impeccable. We see such characters in everyday life, but no other films could be so sharp and resonant.

Di jiu tian chang
(2019)

An overlong and chaotic period drama
Wang Xiaoshuai is clearly a narcissist and just puts every shot into the film. If you cannot sleep well and really need some sleep, you are encouraged to see the film. It can cure the worst insomnia. The nonlinear structure is just a joke. If you put the key scenes in the beginning, every suspense would be eliminated. The editing is a mess. The film is simply unwatchable. I'm sure you would want to leave before it ends. Thematically, it is quite confusing too. It could have been a sharp and dark period drama just like Zhang Yimou's To Live.

Guo chun tian
(2018)

A horribly-directed film
There is no buildup, no climax and no suspense throughout the film. The plot is just like going nowhere and never catches the attention of the audiences. The cinematography is pretty pretentious and amateurish. There are too many close-ups and most of the shots are repetitive and meaningless. There are no deep discussions into social issues or family life. The story follows strictly to the coming-of-age formula. The music is merely noisy and disturbing.

Wong Gok hak yeh
(2004)

A stunning direction
The tension building is quite successful. The direction is suspenseful, atmospheric, and assured. The audiences just keep wondering what would happen next from start to finish. There are four acts. The first act is a slow setup. There are three enthralling action sequences in the rest three acts, each of which has its buildup and climax.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
(2019)

The lego franchise is dead
Actually the first lego movie and the lego batman movie are quite awesome, with interesting dialogues and original stories. Yet, this lego Movie 2 essentially kills the lego franchise. The screenplay is chaotic. The singing and dancing are merely noisy. The subplots are just irrelevant. The structure is very loose. The plot does not have any sense of credibility. I hoped that it could have become thrilling at some point, but it never did. There is neither anything new nor anything intriguing in the screenplay.

Captain Marvel
(2019)

Quite solid filmmaking
The two-hour long Captain Marvel has a standard four-act structure, where each act has thirty minutes. The first and second act present some old-school hard-hitting action sequences, and the sound editing is impressive. The third act and fourth act offer some stunning set pieces, particularly the plane crash scene and the missile intercepting scene. There is also a major plot twist in the third act. Jackson, Larson and Lynch all give notable performances. The illusory scene in the fourth act is a failure.

Inside Llewyn Davis
(2013)

An interesting one-man show
Oscar Isaac is great, whose performances in this film is pivotal. The whole film centers around his titular role and the character development is pretty successful. The plot is disposable but quite consistent. It is like an anthology film. The music is not bad. Oscar Isaac gives both great musical performances and emotional performances.

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