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Monday, April 24, 2017

[3.00/10] The Dark Tapes (2017)

The Dark Tapes (2017)

Quick Review: The found footage sub-genre has many terrible entries, and this one falls into that category. An anthology of four bonded shorts, each one weaker than the last, "The Dark Tapes" is not even mixed bag. It's just plain awful. Yes, the practical effects on the demons are solid and make them look eerie, the ending is kind of clever, and there are some twists that shake things up a bit, but those can't make up for the cheap execution, mediocre acting and total lack of genuine scares.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

[4.75/10] Rupture (2016)

Rupture (2016)

Quick Review: Rapace turns in a taut performance, and the different color tints contrast well with the grim setting, but in spite of the intriguing premise, "Rupture" has some issues with its identity, as it kicks off as a confront-your-fears torture porn-like hostage thriller, but later on infuses some out-of-place sci-fi elements in ti, so it becomes a horror, but what it really becomes is a mess, whose big reveal in the final act is nonsensical, vague, and unclear, not to mention the unsatisfying ending.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

[5.00/10] Pet (2016)

Pet (2016)

Quick Review: Based entirely on the premise alone, you cannot help but think this horror film will be your ordinary seen-it-all-before hijacking affair, where the kidnapper tortures its captive to death, but it turns out "Pet" has a major twist up its sleeve that changes the game. It's too bad this twist ruins the frangible balance, turning the flick into an improbable, borderline absurd cat'n'mouse story that's neither smart, nor particularly unsettling. Thankfully, the gore, and the acting are on-point.

Friday, April 21, 2017

[6.00/10] The Void (2017)

The Void (2017)

Quick Review: A hell-ish mixture of occult mystery, and creature feature that pays homage to the 80s era of blood splatter with all its "The Thing" -like imagery, and in-your-face gore, "The Void" is a difficult-to-get genre hybrid that won't be everyone's cup of tea for sure, but those eager to see something rather old-school yet still enigmatically ambiguous will be intrigued by this shocker, whose real gruesome death scenes and superb practical effects are good enough to make it often successful.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

[5.50/10] Personal Shopper (2017)

Personal Shopper (2017)

Quick Review: Undeniably, Kristen Steward gives the best performance in her career as the moody, troubled and pretty fragile personal shopper, battling her inner fears in search of herself, but the actual movie, being an abstract blend of coming-of-age drama with a touch of mystery, and even horror, is not an easy watch. Though captivating in its own way at times, "Personal Shopper" has way too many tonal problems, and never gives a proper explanation about its paranormal components.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

[4.75/10] Aftermath (2017)

Aftermath (2017)

Quick Review: Revolving around a plane crush, without such shown in it, "Aftermath" is a low-concept, and low-budget drama that relies mostly on its mood and tone to generate a sense of realism, and evoke some emotion, telling a story about loss, true grief, and justice, but the overly subdued, often even lazy approach never really manages to achieve the dramatic impact till the jolting payoff, and the arguably miscast Arnie gets a role that is beyond his skills, and capabilities as an actor.

Monday, April 17, 2017

[6.75/10] The Fate of the Furious (2017)

Fate of the Furious (2017)

Quick Review: The sloppy editing, and uneven pacing make this entry a bumpy ride, plus, there are some eyerollingly cheesy lines and 'yeah, right' moments in the otherwise solid script fueled with wit, but the A-list action-star cast is constantly on fire, and "F8" gets full-throttle fun during its high-octane chases and over-the top stunts, with the 'zombie cars' set piece in the middle being too wowza not to be mentioned. Theron clearly wins the attention race here, playing one wickedly hot villain.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

[6.50/10] The Boss Baby [3D] (2017)

The Boss Baby [3D] (2017)

Quick Review: With a silly premise that suggests nonsensical fun, "The Boss Baby" turns out to be funnier, wittier, and smarter than you'd think. Yes, it is a goofball, and most of the gags are crude, and not suitable for kids, but the hysterical laughter they provide is almost non-stop. Charged with crazy energy, going in direction you won't foresee, and standing out with its big-eyed/headed characters, this adorably-animated cartoon has both soul and sense of humor, even if those are off-balance.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

[5.25/10] The Space Between Us (2017)

The Space Between Us (2017)

Quick Review: The story is original and worthy for the big screen, but is it adapted finely enough? Well, not really. Though well-paced, and often watchable, "The Space Between Us" is half underdeveloped space affair, half sugary teen romance mash-up, clumsily glued with some catch-me- if-you-can road-trip cliches, which all combined result in one sentimental, contrived, badly-executed nonsense with bland characters, who lack both charisma and chemistry.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

[6.00/10] Smurfs: The Lost Village [3D] (2017)

Smurfs: The Lost Village [3D] (2017)

Quick Review: Thankfully, this time fully animated as it should be, "The Lost Village" has little to impress the elder audiences with, other than the fascinating CGI scenery, rich in eye- popping colors and vivid 3D, it uses as a backdrop for its family-friendly, yet sappy story, whose predictability is rather intentional in order for it to be easy to follow by the kids, without being too superficial, as it teaches a lesson or two apart from introducing new amiable characters.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

[4.50/10] A Dog's Purpose (2017)

A Dog's Purpose (2017)

Quick Review: Watching cute dogs running around for over 90 minutes will melt animal lovers' hearts, as all the puppies are pretty adorable, but that aside, "A Dog's Purpose" has absolutely zero purpose other than trying to manipulate your emotions with its candied, overly sentimental story about reincarnation that is as ludicrous as it is unengaging. Not to mention the backstage abuse of the animals used in the film is obvious, which makes you feel real sorry for them. In a very bad way.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

[6.50/10] Power Rangers (2017)

Power Rangers (2017)

Quick Review: Darker in tone than the TV show, yet just as lighthearted in its approach, without being overly campy, or cheesy, "Power Rangers" fails to avoid the typical 'origin story' banality, but the pitch-perfect pacing helps it being watchable even in its weakest moments, as it never takes itself seriously, and most importantly it has heart. The flawed, yet selfless characters work great together, the villain is gloriously vicious, the CGIs are hard to fault, and the final act is enjoyably action-packed.

Friday, April 7, 2017

[5.50/10] Monster Trucks (2017)

Monster Trucks (2017)

Quick Review: Being literally about monsters and trucks, this film is truly ridiculous concept-wise, and yet it is still fairly creative in its own way, due to its unconventional idea to blend these two. Whether it does it skilfully is a different story. Till is a charming lead, the squid-like Creech monster is adorable, and very well-executed in terms of CGI, if overly cartoonish, but "Monster Trucks" will hardly get your attention if your older than 14, as it's mostly a silly, juvenile fun with cool action, yet no brain.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

[3.50/10] The Bye Bye Man (2017)

The Bye Bye Man (2017)

Quick Review: Severely borrowing elements and ideas from numerous slashers and supernatural films, with the final product being a derivative mishmash of tired cliches, and 'he's in my head' nonsense, the poorly- made and conceived "The Bye Bye Man" is full of one-note, badly-acted characters, but completely devoid of suspense or any memorable frights, introducing a new horror figure that is as creepy-looking as it is flat, yet refusing to explain a thing regarding its origin or appearance.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

[4.50/10] War on Everyone (2016)

War on Everyone (2016)

Quick Review: It has its moments of dark, edgy humor, and Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Peña have a great chemistry playing the two cop buddies who are absolute opposites looks-wise and otherwise, but "War on Everyone" seems totally clueless for the reason that its director does not seem to care for the plot, or for the characters, offering mostly long dialogues, odd energy, and offbeat pacing, turning the whole thing into a messy, weird, violent affair that is neither funny, nor smart.

Monday, April 3, 2017

[5.75/10] Prevenge (2017)

Prevenge (2017)

Quick Review: Delightfully British, the smartly-titled "Prevenge" plays it like a black horror comedy, but deep down it's actually about the despair and frustration of a single pregnant woman, who is being denied by all, due to her 'condition', which denial leads to some awful consequences. Cynical, violent, bloody, and entirely shocking, this twisted film makes no apologies, plus, Lowe is disturbingly amusing in the lead, but what lets it down is the pretty dull execution and largely unpleasant tone.

[6.50/10] Shin Godzilla (2016)

Shin Godzilla (2016)

Quick Review: In comparison to Edwards' reboot, this version is a notch below in terms of execution, yet judged by itself, "Shin Godzilla" has that authentic, old-school feel of the Shōwa, and Heisei periods, being 100% Japanese, and made for Japanese tastes. Sure, it takes itself rather seriously at times, and there's way too much dialogue in it, but the 'practical' Gojira, though puppet-y, looks refreshing and the destruction scenes convey all the chaos, terror, and fear.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

[6.75/10] Kung Fu Yoga (2017)

Kung Fu Yoga (2017)

Quick Review: Mixing the culture, history, and mythology of China and India by gathering an all-Asian cast whose protagonists are up for some treasure hunting, led by the always amusing Jackie Chan, set in various lavish locations, elevated by visuals bursting in color, and featuring over- the-top stunts, insane chases, brisk kung fu fighting, and tons of cheesy, cartoon-like effects, "Kung Fu Yoga" is a lively and adventurous caper on an epic scale that may be silly, but it is also hugely enjoyable.