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A Perfect Fit – Review

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An accidental meeting initiated by a prophecy, a love that is hindered by fate and the will of the family, a third person who is far better than the lover, are all basic formulas, you can even call them cliches, in romance stories. The main character of A Perfect Fit also realizes that his fate is similar to a movie cliché. Best Movie Site

The word “cliché” is rarely mentioned together with Garin Nugroho, who wrote the script for A Perfect Fit, while Hadrah Daeng Ratu is the director. But it’s worth remembering, recently that Garin also wrote the script for Danial Rifki’s 99 Names of Love (2019). A pop religious film, which presents a different point of view, is also much better than its peers. Could A Perfect Fit have the same fate?

Taking a Balinese background that is synonymous with spirituality, Garin tries to link his romance to these elements. How the meeting of two people is a form of universal blessing, then vice versa, separation (due to weton incompatibility, for example) occurs because nature does not support it. So when Saski (Nadya Arina) is predicted to find a “new path” by Mrs. Hadrah (Christine Hakim), the prediction is interpreted as representing the voice of the universe.

As a result, when Saski stopped at a shoe store, while the camera was focusing on the offerings that were in front of him, it seemed like the will of nature, not an ordinary coincidence. Incidentally, Saski needs new shoes to attend the birthday celebration of his girlfriend, Deni (Giorgino Abraham). Rio (Refal Hady) as the shop owner chooses a pair of shoes, arguing that the shoes “fit Saski’s character”. Why? Unfortunately not explained. Whereas the related explanation will strengthen the meaning of “a perfect fit”.

Predictably, Saski and Rio fell in love, when in fact, they were “destined” to be with someone else. Saski and Deni are engaged, and Rio is about to be paired with his old friend, a successful businessman named Tiara (Anggika Bolsterli). We are also invited to spend the first half, watching the development of the “forbidden” relationship between Saski and Rio who began to secretly meet. Movie Review

What’s fun about A Perfect Fit (which makes it called “A Perfect Flirt) is the teasing activity of the two main characters. Two humans who already know each other’s feelings, but because they realize that feelings shouldn’t grow, instead of expressing them verbally. clearly, they just throw “signs” at each other. Not only sweet romance, sexual tension (one of Garin’s characteristics) is implied between them. That’s what a fun affair feels like in real life.

Refal Hady becomes more charismatic, makes it easier for us to support his victory, and is also able to overcome some “poetic” rambles that often sound ridiculous (another characteristic of Garin, but this time it doesn’t seem suitable to be applied here). Meanwhile, Nadya Arina’s loveable appearance makes me hope that one day she will get a role in a romantic comedy. Previously he had played in Love Reborn (2018), but his character there tended to be serious. Refal-Nadya’s chemistry is so strong and fun, the film suffers a decline in quality when the two are separated more often in the second half.

Their engagement process continues, which should add to the dilemma, but unfortunately A Perfect Fit is stuck in a cliché, where the main character’s love interest is portrayed as an antagonist. Beni is the son of an arrogant and spoiled rich man, and Tiara is an arbitrary boss. A simplification, which makes the second act tiring, because apart from knowing the result, the audience doesn’t need to be trapped in the dilemma of the two protagonists. We don’t have to bother making choices.

Maybe Garin wants to insert a critique of the cruelty of capitalism promoted by greedy businessmen, which is fine, but why should both of them be given these characterizations? Especially Tiara, especially when we are finally invited to sympathize with her. Without making her a vile businessman, it will be completely successful, because Anggika Bolsterli, after a hiatus of almost two years (last appearing in Eggnoid which was released in December 2019), proved that she still deserves to be in the ranks of top young actresses through her capacity to play with emotions.

A Perfect Fit’s shortcomings were indeed collected in the second half. In writing, there are inconsistencies regarding the message, when on the one hand Garin seems to want to criticize sexism in the practice of checking virginity on the first night, but on the other hand, instead raises a sentence about “women must accept their nature”. In directing, Hadrah whose career is worrying after directing the horrors produced by the King of KKD, proves that she still has sensitivity in handling romance. Even though at one point, his style didn’t seem right to translate Garin’s signature script.

The scene in question is when Saski’s mother (Ayu Laksmi) who is seriously ill, performs breathing movements, while her husband (I Made Sidia) recites a mantra/prayer. If Garin handled it himself, it is likely that traditional music would be used. Hadrah uses a seductive orchestra, which strips the scene of the spirituality of the scene. Luckily, after the series of weaknesses above, A Perfect Fit was able to close the story romantically, again thanks to the sweet combination of Refal Hady and Nadya Arina. Top Movie

Come True – Review
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Come True – Review

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Come True is a well-constructed film. Creative, mysterious, gripping, brilliant. Very good, to the point of raising concerns, if like many other high concept shows, this film will have difficulty summarizing everything, and then lead to a disappointing conclusion. This concern unfortunately occurs, although it does not erase the fact that Come True is one of the few horrors that has succeeded in provoking real horror.

After the initial 8-10 minutes that move very quickly and tend to be rushed (not without reason), we finally get a clear picture of the protagonist. Sarah (Julia Sarah Stone), an 18-year-old teenager, who due to a bad relationship with her mother, chooses every night to sleep outside, or stay at a friend’s house. Sarah’s sleep was never restful, due to a strange nightmare that led her into a dark room, where a mysterious shadowy figure with glowing eyes seemed to be waiting for her. Top Movie Site

The sleep disturbance prompted him to register as a participant in an experiment. Besides for the sake of money, the process also sounds easy. He just had to sleep, while the researchers monitored his condition through various tools. The first day went well. Sarah had slept soundly after a long time, while judging by their response, it was implied that the experiment yielded a positive result (at this point we don’t know what the result is yet). Until Sarah noticed some oddity.

An unknown man (later we know named Jeremy, played by Landon Liboiron) follows him, but it’s nothing compared to the fear that settles when the shadowy figure in Sarah’s dream slowly begins to appear in the real world. Sarah’s feelings were conveyed by Anthony Scott Burns, who directed and wrote the script, set the camera, and edited the film himself.

The dream world that we often visit, becomes an extraordinary visual achievement. The precise CGI, coupled with Burns’ vision of “nightmare”, creates a creepy, yet eye-catching scene. The term “hellish” might be worth mentioning. When I have a bad dream, even if it’s subconscious, I often feel scared before the terror really hits. An anxiety over something that is not yet clear, but is believed to be ambushing. The feeling was successfully translated, by Burns. Best Movie

The more often Sarah (and us) visit the dream world, the more slowly the shadow’s form begins to unfold, and the higher the level of anxiety Come True gives off. While many alternative horrors have a tendency to pursue elegance but instead end up eliminating terror, Come True, even though it tries to “beautify” its terror, is able to maintain the most essential element of horror films, namely to incite fear. The atmosphere is so strong, with one or two jump scares that take the principle of “quality over quantity”.

Come True cultivates dreams through an approach that contains surrealism, while the storytelling is thick with sci-fi colors. If David Lynch tucked in elements of pseudo science in his work, maybe the result would be like this. Burns’ script then raises the question, is the shadow creature’s terror a manifestation of “common fear”, or is it the work of an invisible entity that controls everything from behind the scenes?

Either way, it’s not really a problem. In essence, reaching the middle of its duration, Come True promises an extraordinary creative narrative, full of mystery that is effective in attracting the curiosity of the audience. But as I mentioned in the opening paragraph, of the many options, Burns actually took the most disappointing path through a twist at the end of the duration.

It’s true that the twist is able to justify the hasty movement and the sense of being forced at some points of the plot (including when Sarah, just from seeing the stalker’s one dream, ends up falling for her). The Jungian Archetypes (The Persona, The Anima/Animus, The Shadow, The Self) written on the screen also explain their meaning. Even the twist still contains something to convey (the process when reality and the subconscious intersect). But compared to what was promised and potentially achieved, the conclusion is a cliché choice, full of simplification, and of course, disappointing. Movie Review

No Sudden Move – Review
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No Sudden Move – Review

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During its existence, film noir, which later emerged in the form of neo-noir, has always represented public fear. Real fears that are feared, or even have affected daily life. Not ghosts, zombie outbreaks, or alien invasions, but World War, Cold War, government conspiracies, technology, and others. No Sudden Move is no exception, as Steven Soderbergh’s latest work, which, despite being set in Detroit in the 1950s, reflects the anxiety of today’s society. Top Movie Site

But as with deepest fears, the issues raised by Ed Solomon (Bill & Ted series, Men in Black, Now You See Me) through his script, are not immediately apparent. First, let’s see how the protagonist, a gangster named Curt Goynes (Don Cheadle), goes on a light mission with a high fee. At least that’s what he thought, but viewers who are familiar with the characteristics of film noir will know that it is only an opening gate to complex and dangerous problems, which are beyond the capacity of the main character.

Curt is not alone. Ronald Russo (Benicio del Toro) and Charley (Kieran Culkin) also participate. It’s not easy for them to work together, especially Ronald and Curt. Ronald, is a racist who even refuses to sit with Curt in the car. Disappointing for Curt, but a blessing for us, because it’s very interesting and contains funny jokes from the script, so it’s facilitated.

Of course Don Cheadle and Benicio del Toro played a big role. I feel at home for a long time watching the two throw sentences at each other. Cheadle, with his raspy and deep voice, perfectly represents the tone of the film. No Sudden Move doesn’t use classic film noir voice over, but I can imagine Cheadle fits perfectly into it, describing every dark corner of Detroit that could take a human life at any time, expressing a cynical perspective on life, implying the hardships he has and will experience.

Their mission is simple. Visits the house of an accountant named Matt (David Harbour), then forces him to take documents in his boss’s safe. Charley leaves with Matt, while Curt and Ronald take the accountant’s family hostage. Sequences in Matt’s house demonstrate Soderbergh’s ability to build dynamics, through directing that is not flashy. The tempo is slow, but with the accompaniment of jazz music by David Holmes, Soderbergh seems to produce a very strong magnet that drags the audience into each event. Best Movie

The chaos began when the safe was apparently empty. The chaos that, although quite complex and multi-layered, is unfortunately too familiar to provoke curiosity. After the first act hits, No Sudden Move’s second act is like a journey through a maze that we have visited hundreds of times.

Entering the final round, twist after twist began to emerge. The twist at first seems like an exaggerated attempt to surprise the audience, before the real intention is revealed at the end of the duration. As I discussed in the first paragraph, film noir is often used to represent fear at a time, and No Sudden Move’s twist, which involves various betrayals, is the same.

Fear of greed, of human dissatisfaction when looking at the coffers of money. Of course “lower classes” like Curt and Ronald also contracted the disease, but in the end, they (and us) are just victims of the greed of the rich people at the top of the food chain. Isn’t that what the public is afraid of now? Fear of powerlessness, when they become food for the owners of capital, who control everything (including the apparatus and government) from behind the curtain. Meanwhile, the common people had already lost everything (wealth and even lives), before they could open the curtain of injustice. Movie Review

The 8th Night – Review
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The 8th Night – Review

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The 8th Night has the potential to be a gripping atmospheric horror. After the opening reminiscent of The Exorcist (1973), debutant director Kim Tae-hyung immediately showed off his talent for building an atmosphere through audiovisuals, without the need for a jump scare. He co-wrote the script, and as the minutes go by, Tae-hyung’s writing definitely isn’t as strong as his directing abilities. By midway through, The 8th Night had run out of fuel due to the lack of biting storytelling. Top Movie Site

The opening above shows the discovery of artifacts in a desert, by Professor Kim Joon-cheol (Choi Jin-ho). It is said that the box-shaped artifact is the place where Buddha locked one eye (red eye) belonging to an evil entity that threatened human life 2500 years ago. The box contains one more eye (a black eye), under the care of the monk Ha-jeong (Lee Eol). After the monk died, the box was entrusted to his student, Cheong-seok (Nam Da-reum).

Cheong-sok’s task is to deliver the box to Park Jin-soo (Lee Sung-min), a former monk who is believed to be able to exterminate the evil entity, which has begun its action, after Professor Joon-cheol opens his box. The film’s title refers to how the entity, for seven days, possessed the bodies of seven humans, to finally rise on the eighth night.

The early half, just before Cheong-seok and Jin-soo go any further on their mission, is the best part of The 8th Night. Collaborating with Choo Kyeong-yeob (The Battle of Jangsari) as cameraman, Tae-hyung creates an aesthetic visual presentation that evokes a haunted air. Sound comes into play. Best Movie

In one scene, Jin-soo sits alone in a dimly lit room, while a disembodied scream for help is heard. At first the screams seemed to come from Jin-soo’s hallucinations. Then blackout, leaving one voice asking to be helped step into the afterlife. Yes, it’s not Jin-soo’s hallucination, but a spirit that follows him wherever he goes, hoping the ex-monk will be willing to “drive” them. Shocking, but subtle. Creepy.

Unfortunately, the horror didn’t last long. Apart from the two protagonists, we occasionally turn to the police investigation, led by detective Kim Ho-tae (Park Hae-joon aka the jerk from The World of the Married). Should the police investigation be the subplot that dominates the duration? Not. The police exist, only as a means of exposition. It is limited to describing the details of the plot, which is still confusing, due to the untidy arrangement of the story in the script.

There’s no reason to care about Ho-tae (nor his partner), let alone to give the detective a traumatic experience in the past, which ends up just passing through. As a result, time to explore significant things, such as mythology and the relationship between Cheong-seok and Jin-soo (which should provoke sympathy) is wasted.

The two monks became half-baked characters. Whereas Lee Sung-min appeared convincing as a “tired” old man, who had given up pursuing material as well as spiritual pursuits. Likewise Cheong-seok, who was supposed to be Jin-soo’s wake-up call, helps him get back on track after years of being lost. Nam Da-reum tries her best to present a likeable figure, but the shallow script makes her character seem to be transformed in an extreme way, from a naive young monk to an ignorant boy with minimal manners.

The 8th Night is a tale of a race against time, but the overlapping subplots undermine that concept. There is no urgency. There is no tension when you find time is running out. Not to mention, as the duration goes on, the horror lessens. Practically only a brief appearance of the figure of a student with a creepy smile alone can haunt. Movie Review

Censor – Review
Movie Review

Censor – Review

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Such a traumatic event shakes the psyche, can trigger the human brain to erase the memory of it. A self-defense mechanism as a form of protection. But is it really always protective? Especially when memory loss actually causes confusion, which is not impossible, leading to another mental shock. Top Movie Site

Through his feature directorial debut, Prano Bailey-Bond, who also wrote the script with Anthony Fletcher, presents a parallel between this psychological condition and the process of film censorship, which is said to be carried out to protect child audiences and the nation’s morale. But just as memory loss confuses a person, cropping a scene has the potential to spoil the film.

Our protagonist is Enid (Niamh Algar), the rigid and introverted woman who works for the British censorship agency. Not in the present, but around the 1980s, when exploitation horrors categorized as “nasty videos” were mushrooming. Enid strictly obeys the rules, cutting scenes that he feels are inappropriate, because he believes that this work is done to protect people.

Enid censors films every day, but something else is also subject to censorship: the memory. Enid doesn’t remember what really happened, when his sister, Nina, was lost in the forest. Is Nina lost? Kidnapped? Or even died in the hands of Enid himself? Until he was assigned to censor a film called Don’t Go in the Church, which is reminiscent of the events of Nina’s disappearance. Enid begins an investigation, to find out whether the parallel between fiction and reality is just a coincidence, or if there is a hidden secret behind the film. Best Movie

Censor shares an aesthetic resemblance to the nasty video, particularly the giallo in terms of expressionism lighting that is dominated by vibrant reds and greens. Even so, atmospherically, Bailey-Bond actually takes the opposite approach to the subgenre being discussed. Not cheap, not exploitative, even artsy. Reaching about 54 minutes, then there was a bloodbath, which, although a bit late, was enough to prove the director’s ability to “copy” the over-the-top massacre scene typical of nasty videos.

The problem with most artsy horrors has always been about the less sinister terror, as the price to pay to produce a “classy” spectacle (critics tend to heap praise, but I doubt they actually “scared” when they saw it). Censorship is the same, which is actually a bit unfortunate, when a tribute appears against the subgenre being honored.

At least, thanks to strong writing plus solid pacing (the director can tell the difference between slow tempo and stagnation), although there is minimal horror, especially in the early half, Censor is effective in capturing the audience’s attention. Curiosity was successfully provoked, then without realizing it, half the duration had passed. Niamh Algar’s acting also contributed here. He is like a magnet that seems to attract the audience to enter, then trapped in the maze of memory of his character.

Enid’s ambiguous memory triggers a series of surreal journeys, culminating in a bloody climax (although not yet at the nasty video level), before being closed by a sharp and intriguing satirical conclusion, which quips the statement that “the loss of the existence of nasty videos will be directly proportional to the loss of crime”. Movie Review

Operation Varsity Blues – Review
Movie Review

Operation Varsity Blues – Review

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A man runs a dirty business in the form of sending the children of the rich to the top universities in the United States. The trick (of course other than bribing insiders) is to fake the identities of prospective students, making them “fake athletes”, so that they can be accepted through sports.

The paragraph above is not the premise of a fictional film, but a real event, namely the scandal known as the “2019 college admissions bribery scandal”. This documentary, directed by Chris Smith (the filmmaker behind the documentary Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened) examines the modus operandi of the perpetrator, as well as criticizes the dilapidated American education system (an issue that has been targeted by many documentaries). Top Movie Site

The culprit is Rick Singer, and since the opening sequence, the film immediately gives an idea of ​​how Singer carries out his actions. Singer was involved in a telephone conversation with a client (read: parents of prospective students), discussing the amount of the “donation”. The client will pay a sum of money to Singer’s foundation under the guise of a donation, then he guarantees that their children will be accepted at any university. On the sidelines of the chat, we see a photo of a boy being fabricated. His face was taped to the body of a water polo athlete, as “proof” he was a real athlete. In fact, the boy had never played water polo in his entire life. Operation Varsity Blues immediately appeared binding from the first minutes.

Are there no suspicions? One or two parties are suspicious, but there is no guise of a consultant for prospective students, for more than two decades, Singer has been very neat in carrying out his actions. The client kept his mouth shut, as did the “insiders” as Singer’s accomplices. Not only because they receive profits, they also believe, this tactic is guaranteed to be successful and safe. Best Movie

Singer, as mentioned by several sources, is indeed an accomplished salesman. His persuasion abilities are extraordinary. Even when his resume is full of lies (claiming to be on the Starbucks board, claiming the company has branches all over the world, etc.), he is able to make it sound like a reality.

Even though his stature does not reflect the impostor figure, which can be seen from the reenactment scenes, with the script based on the FBI intercepted recordings of Singer’s phone calls. Matthew Modine plays Singer there, and through the actor’s solid acting, we can observe his figure. His face was stern, smiling rarely (like Clint Eastwood and Harrison Ford combined), but not intimidating. Plus the way he spoke was orderly, calm, and confident, it was understandable why so many people were willing to follow him.

Operation Varsity Blues actually does not present anything new. Although it does not only contain talking heads, the use of re-enactment is by no means a breakthrough. Even with a little effort, it is easy to find details of the case on the internet, or in other words, the film does not offer significant additional information. But Chris Smith, an experienced documentary maker, knows very well the power of the medium. A good documentary is not just a “copy” of the news. Through the visualization of Singer’s telephone recordings, Smith builds intensity. Gives an attraction, so that the audience’s learning process feels dynamic, even entertaining. Like lectures, this is an informative and fun class.

The further the case is investigated, the more surprising facts emerge. Whether related to Singer’s modus operandi (one of the most heinous is the exploitation of special access for people with learning disabilities, during the SAT test), or the names involved.

Of course Operation Varsity Blues condemns the perpetrators of this fraud. But the film is not naive. Smith is well aware that the root of the problem is much bigger. Singer was able to act because of the poor education system. The rottenness of the system has been so entrenched that it has developed into a culture. A culture in which the “best” campus is the prima donna, not for the sake of pursuing quality education, but for prestige (derived from the Latin “praestigium”, which means “illusion”). Prestige that only privilege owners can pursue. The prestige that shapes students’ perspectives, that in order to be successful, they must be accepted at a top university. If it fails, great pressure will hit, which has the potential to trigger mental disorders. The conclusion highlights that. This FBI operation cut only one branch. As long as the system is not fixed, “other Singers”, with possibly different methods, will continue to grow. Movie Review

Pipeline – Review
Movie Review

Pipeline – Review

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Pipeline is written and directed by Yu Ha, who made the erotica period drama A Frozen Flower (2008). But the name is certainly more synonymous with gangster films, thanks to titles such as A Dirty Carnival (2006) and Gangnam Blues (2015). So even in Pipeline, which explores the act of theft, the identity is still strong, while the uniqueness that is the attraction of a caper story/heist film he fails to show. Top Movie Site

Though the basic idea is quite interesting. Instead of money, gems, gold, or high-tech goods, oil becomes a target for theft. Meanwhile our protagonist, Pin Dol-yi aka “Drill-bit” (Seo In-guk), is a legendary figure who is known to be able to drill all kinds of oil pipes. His abilities reach the ears of Gun-woo (Lee Soo-hyuk), a businessman who asks Pin Dol-yi to carry out a massive oil heist. The team was formed. Besides Pin Dol-yi, there is Jeob-sae (Eum Moon-suk) the welder, Chief Na (Yoo Seung-mok) the geographer, Geun-sab (Tae Hang-ho) with the muscles, and the supervisor (Bae Da -son).

Looking at the description above, Pipeline already has an adequate team. In-depth characterization is not mandatory, as long as everyone has varying abilities, and several heads with opposite personalities to clash with. But in writing, Yu Ha seems to have not mastered the characteristics of the caper story, because throughout the duration, there are almost no “special performances”, where the skills of the characters are in the spotlight.

Dol-yi only once showed the reason why she was nicknamed “Drill-bit”. The rest, just ordinary drilling. Geun-sab is just a manual laborer, Chief Na often makes analytical mistakes while struggling with illness, Jeob-sae is practically useless and only exists to add to the conflict, while the character that Da-bin plays is just a sweetener.

The five personalities are not strong enough to give birth to the banter that characterizes the genre. It’s true that they often fight, but only to yell at each other. It’s not friction that serves to enrich the dynamics, or a source of entertainment (Yu Ha’s writing is too rigid). When a character’s fate finally leads to unity, it’s hard to believe it, let alone care about their fate. Best Movie

A theft-themed film is synonymous with style, and that’s not what the director has. Just as Dol-yi works in a tunnel in a suit, even though she presents a dirty oil theft, as a heist film, Pipeline should not lose its cool and elegant impression. At a minimum, this impression is present where each character shows off their respective skills. But what can you do, when the characters themselves don’t have skills to show off.

It’s not that Yu Ha isn’t trying to be stylish at all. Synth-based music in the style of heist films, to adrenaline-pumping rock is occasionally heard, even visual techniques such as crash zoom are sometimes used, but the impact is not much. Yu Ha is like a boomer who tries to look modern in the eyes of young people, by touting the term “millennial generation”, without knowing what it really means, and what they like.

But basically, he is still an experienced filmmaker. Style issues are successfully covered by solid pacing, so the 108 minutes duration is never (too) boring. Even the raw fights between gangs that define gangster films can still be found. Of course, the climax features a chaotic brawl, with humor here and there, like most popular South Korean action-comedies. Pipeline’s lack of success is a shame, considering that Seo In-guk, with his suit and charm, is clearly able to bring the stylish protagonist of a heist film to life. The potential he has shown through a drama entitled Squad 38 (2016). Movie Review

Luca – Reivew
Movie Review

Luca – Reivew

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Luca has the same dream as The Good Dinosaur (2015), Incredibles 2 (2018), and Onward (2020). The titles above are far from bad. It’s good, and if it was released by another studio, it might be called the studio’s best work. “Unfortunately”, they were released right after the films labeled “Pixar’s best outputs”, which had unbelievably high standards. Luca comes six months after Soul, and looks inferior by comparison. In fact, the only “sin” of Enrico Casarosa’s debut in this directing chair, is just a familiar impression.Top Movie Site

Once upon a time, there lived Luca Paguro (Jacob Tremblay), a 13-year-old sea monster who was curious about life on land. That curiosity must be suppressed, because of the prohibition that Daniela (Maya Rudolph), his mother always throws. The reason is, humans will definitely kill all the sea monsters they see. The sea monsters themselves refer to humans as “land monsters”. Yes, it’s a matter of perspective. The issue of stigma arising from ignorance. About the difficulty of being “different”.

The script by Jesse Andrews (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) and Mike Jones (Soul) is a story filled with messages that we might find in a new film every week. Everything is presented solidly, although indeed, it lacks a unique Pixar-style touch. There is no detailed world mythology as we saw in the Finding Nemo series, for example, as fellow Pixar films set under the sea. The same is true for the mother-daughter relationship, which usually offers fresh insight, rather than the “rigid parent versus curious child” conflict. Best Movie

But again, all the elements are in the right place. Familiar, yet solid. It’s even more interesting when Luca meets Alberto Scorfano (Jack Dylan Grazer), a sea monster who has experience living on land. From Alberto, Luca learned to live on the surface (after learning that the body of a sea monster can transform into a human), and even found his dream, namely to ride a vespa. How do sea monsters get a vespa?

Meeting with Giulia Marcovaldo (Emma Berman), the girl with an adventurous spirit, opens the way there. Giulia provides information about the prize money races that are held each summer. The three start to form a team, training together, while Luca slowly learns about how vast the world he doesn’t know is.

Set in Italy in 1963, it’s only natural that Enrico Casarosa inserts several tributes to Italian films from that era, although when it comes to visuals, the influence of Studio Ghibli films, especially Ponyo (2008), will dominate the conversation. For example in some surreal scenes as a picture of Luca’s wishful thinking, which is reminiscent of Federico Fellini’s 8½ (1963). Fellini’s work did have a big influence on Casarosa’s direction, including one of the substantial scenes I’ll touch on later.

The Luca-Alberto relationship produces interesting dynamics. A teenager who wants to appear to know everything, and a naive younger teen. Alberto often seems to know a lot, but it’s not based on arrogance. There is a heartbreaking story about a young man who felt his life was a miserable failure, thus turning it into a defense mechanism. Tremblay and Grazer appear impressive as fillers, both when handling humor that is at least able to provoke a smile, as well as conveying emotions.

Even though the majority of them revolve around the familiar realm, there is one interesting modification that the script did, related to the formula for the coming-of-age film set in summer vacation. The story often depicts individuals who spend vacations in a place (usually a city smaller than where they live), to then study, then return home after experiencing maturity. It’s a bit different here. There is such a figure (Giulia), but she is not the main character, but the one who opens the door for the main character. Luca is not about a “visit”, but a “going out”, or perhaps more accurately a “departure”. Movie Review

The final round experienced ups and downs in quality. After the heartbreaking (and surprising) peak of the conflict, the climax is filled with formulaic chases, before offering a solution full of simplification about community acceptance. But Casarosa’s directing was able to deliver a heart at the right time, dose, and place. Including the closing scene, which is a tribute to Fellini’s I Vitelloni (1953), although most viewers seem to tend to associate it with Call Me By Your Name (2017). Depending on how you look at it, what kind of relationship actually exists between Luca and Alberto.

Twivortiare – Review
Movie Review

Twivortiare – Review

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Twivortiare. The film adaptation of the novel with the same title, tells the story of a husband and wife couple, Beno and Alexandra. The two married for the second time. Have a second marriage with the same person. Will their household journey be different from the first? Top Movie Site

With the background of a failed marriage and wanting to try again with the same person, you will be made irritated by Ben (Reza Rahadian) and Lex (Raihaanun) who still like to fuss over small things.

From the beginning of the film, you are already stirred by emotions. When Lex turns out to have a new lover, but on the one hand Lex and Beno still love each other. You can see this from the trailer.

In this film, apart from the actors who played well, you also have to appreciate director Benni Setiawan. He managed to create an atmosphere that awakens each scene.

You will feel annoyed with the behavior of the Lex and Ben couple. To the extent, for those whose feelings are sensitive will be made to cry, because it turns out that the love of these two couples is very strong.

He has been well-known as a director of romantic genre films since 2009. Benni Setiawan admitted that he had no difficulty working on the Twivortiare film.

“For the production of this Twivortiare film, I didn’t feel any difficulties, starting from the reading process between Reza and Raihaanun which immediately built up the chemistry, to the performance of the cast and crew who always created a pleasant atmosphere,” said Benni at a press conference in Jakarta (26/26/2020).

With the support of competent cast and crew, the process of making the Twivortiare film did not experience any major problems. Seen from the results of the film that can make the audience baper. Best Movie

No less important than the director, the scriptwriter of the film Twivortiare, Alim Sudio (99 Cahaya di Langit Europe), is also the key to the success of this film. Ika Natassa’s novel, which is well known for its heart-touching sentences, can be mixed sweetly but doesn’t feel too overwhelming. Working with Ika Natassa, who according to Alim is a perfectionist, made Alim try his best to produce a script that fits the novel.

The setting in this film is the modern life of Jakarta. So visually, nothing special. Just a panoramic view of the city of Jakarta with a touch of retro effect in some parts.

Meanwhile, it was silenced by its scoring that managed to build the atmosphere of the Twivortiare film. You will feel sad too, especially during the part when Lex fights with Ben, then Lex chooses to go home.

Even though the scoring is good, your ears will be spoiled even more with the soundtrack sung by a sweet black singer who is already famous for his troubled song, Glenn Fredly. With the title “Back to the Beginning” makes your heart cool listening to this song.

It’s not complete, when you watch a movie, you don’t take the positive values ​​from the story. In Twivortiare, there are many lessons to be learned. Especially for those of you who are married or still in a relationship, but want to take it to a more serious level.

For those of you who are bored or feel your partner doesn’t care, you must see how Ben’s attitude is in this film. Different people express affection in different ways. All you need is to look at it from a different point of view.

You can’t be selfish like Lex at the beginning of the story. One of the most important things in being in love is not comparing. Because when you start comparing your relationship with other people, you always feel lacking.

Broadly speaking, this Twivortiare film will win your heart. Especially those who really like the romantic drama genre. Movie Review

The Disciple – Review
Movie Review

The Disciple – Review

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The first Indian film since Monsoon Wedding (2001) to pass the main competition selection at the Venice International Film Festival, The Disciple invites audiences to enter the world of Indian classical music. One of the cultures, which according to this film, is likened to an “eternal quest” that requires sacrifice and suffering, in order to fully master it. Not just music, but a spiritual process. Top Movie Site

At least, that’s what Chaitanya Tamhane (Court)’s latest work has to say, because I’m not going to pretend to know the intricacies of Indian classical music. I’m still groping about the sport (improvisation-based melodic framework) that plays an important role in it. Still a mystery. The protagonist, Sharad Nerulkar (Aditya Modak), is also trying to solve the mystery. It’s not about the technicalities of the music, but about the question, “Is he really talented?”.

Since childhood, he was guided by his father (Kiran Yadnyopabit), for years he studied from his teacher (Arun Dravid), also listened to recordings of music lectures belonging to Maai (Sumitra Bhave), a mysterious and legendary musician who is reluctant to publish his works or performances. All of that makes Sharad ambition to be in the top ranks of classical musicians. He regularly trains, runs all disciplines, even putting aside many things, such as making money and a partner (for the second, Sharad replaces it by masturbating in front of the computer).

But is all that enough? Because no matter how hard Sharad tried, he felt he was still far from perfect. The defeat in a competition, to criticism from the teacher (including in the middle of the show), sparked his doubts. For some artists, especially young ones, the realization that he is not a maestro often brings a crushing blow. I was once in Sharad’s position. When the turmoil of work is smoldering, colliding with something called “reality” is indeed terrible. From (feeling at) the top of the world, one can instantly fall into the deepest trough. Best Movie

I was lucky enough to only be in that phase for a short time. Sharad is not like that. In the second half, the film even takes more than a decade to jump in time, showing Sharad, who is 36 years old, still struggling with similar, if not worse, concerns. But as Maai says, classical music is a perpetual quest. In theory, Sharad knew that, but in practice, endless quests weren’t easy.

Sharad goes through the process of seeking the truth, both regarding himself and others, especially the figures he admires and plays an important role in his musical life. In addition, Tamhane, who co-wrote the script, also discussed “tradition vs modernization”. Sharad adheres to the principles of classical music which is full of tradition. But on the other hand, he makes money by transferring the cassette tapes to CDs. So to what extent is modernization acceptable? Tamhane offers a satisfactory middle ground as a conclusion.

Tamhane spent a year as a protégé of Alfonso Cuarón (co-executive producer of the film), during which he observed the making of Roma (2018). The influence of the mentor was felt. If you find the film’s musical elements hypnotizing, it’s because Tamhane spends a lot of time mixing Roma’s sound. Likewise in the visual department. The cinematography, directed by Michał Sobociński (based on the recommendations of Cuarón and Emmanuel Lubezki), uses a lot of minimally interrupted landscapes, which invites the viewer to observe.

Similar to Rome, The Disciple has a slow tempo, and often uses slow motion, which seems to match the atmospheric nuances of the music. Therefore, this film is not a journey that can be passed by all audiences. I myself admire all the advantages above. Admire how the director has become more solid even though he has only just reached the second film, admire his story which is able to neatly draw many branches from one idea of ​​quest, admire Aditya Modak’s acting, who even though words come out of his mouth full of confidence, his face conveys fear and doubt. I admire The Disciple, but don’t love it. Maybe like Sharad, I went on a journey that wasn’t meant for me, even though I admit it was a good one. Movie Review

THE DAY I DIED: UNCLOSED CASE – Review
Movie Review

THE DAY I DIED: UNCLOSED CASE – Review

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In a remote village when a storm hits, a girl named Se-jin (Roh Jeong-eui) disappears. A letter was found at his residence, while the girl’s shoes lay on the edge of a cliff. All findings lead to one conclusion: Se-jin committed suicide due to mental stress. All parties are reasonable, because the fate of this teenager is unfortunate. He is brought to the village by the police, as Se-jin is a key witness in his father’s major smuggling case. Living alone in a foreign place while bearing sadness is certainly not easy, especially for a child his age. Top Movie Site

Is it really that simple? If the answer is “yes”, of course Park Ji-wan’s debut as a director and scriptwriter will not be made. But don’t be fooled by the cover. The Day I Died: Unclosed Case does offer a mystery-style investigation, but rather than the case itself, more emphasis is placed on the victim. Victims who will be forgotten once the case is closed. Victims are only considered as one part of the case, like inanimate objects, instead of humans with all their complexities.

Then we are introduced to the main character. Kim Hyeon-soo (Kim Hye-soo), a police officer who has just returned from his recess. Hyeon-soo’s psychic condition is not good. Divorce triggered by the husband’s infidelity, until accusations of disciplinary action continue to haunt. Before officially returning to duty, he is asked to investigate Se-jin’s death. Not to dig up the truth or find out his whereabouts (whether he is alive or not), but a form of formality, so that the case can be closed immediately.

As a mystery dish, The Day I Died: Unclosed Case still has a basic problem, namely making simple things seem convoluted. For example, the names that continue to be thrown, without giving the audience a chance to digest, whose name is meant. This practice is commonly used in investigative-themed films, because basically, investigation is a matter of connecting a common thread (which is often tangled up) between many individuals. Understandable enough. We are required to pay extra attention.

It’s different about Park Ji-wan’s efforts to apply fast-paced storytelling, by refusing to linger at one point. On the plus side, the plot doesn’t feel draggy. But without neatness of speech, there is no need for complexities to be present, including from poor editing. Flashbacks appear several times, and there is often confusion as to whether the plot is in the present, or has entered flashbacks. Best Movie

But as already stated, The Day I Died: Unclosed Case emphasizes character studies rather than cases. Hyeon-soo’s investigation leads him to meet witnesses, the detective who used to help Se-jin, to Sooncheon Daek (if Lee Jung-eun terrorized us before in Parasite, this time on the contrary, he was able to steal hearts), a mute woman who lent her house to be lived in by Se -genie. As the process progresses, the detective begins to realize that his condition and that of Se-jin have similarities.

That’s where the drama aspect of the film comes from, and Park Ji-wan’s script finds its strength. A heartbreaking parallel is presented between the detective and the victim, making the protagonist (as well as the audience) question the essence of the police investigation. What is the true meaning of the term “case closed”? Is it when the case is officially declared over? Is that enough? If not, how far should the truth be sought?

Instead of “just” solving cases, Hyeon-soo tries to get to know Se-jin’s figure, which actually brings him closer to the truth. The truth about individuals who are suffering, injured, even exiled, due to the faults of others. Park Ji-wan presents a different perspective (which feels hopeful even though the feel of the film is dark and sometimes depressive) about suffering. When someone suffers to the point of being destructive, he doesn’t necessarily want to die. Maybe that’s how it survives. That’s the way to maintain “feel”, because losing taste is tantamount to death. Movie Review

Sweet & Sour – Review
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Sweet & Sour – Review

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Sweet & Sour, directed by Lee Gye-byeok (formerly Park Chan-wook’s director at Oldboy) offers more. His first act appears like the embodiment of many men’s fantasies, when Jang-hyuk (Lee Woo-je) must be hospitalized due to hepatitis. A nurse named Jung Da-eun (Chae Soo-bin) is in charge of taking care of her. This nurse is not only kind, but also shows signs of interest in Jang-hyuk. Always spreading a smile, kissing the patient’s infusion bottle sweetly, even sleeping soundly beside his bed. Engaged in romance with a beautiful nurse while being hospitalized. It seems almost all men have imagined it. Top Movie Site

At first Jang-hyuk couldn’t believe it. So did his friends. Because Jang-hyuk is not the type to fall into the “attractive” category for some people. He is not a female idol handsome man, and his chubby body makes Jang-hyuk’s self-confidence often shrink. But over time, their relationship grew even closer, until they were officially dating after Jang-hyuk was discharged from the hospital. Woo-je and Soo-bin gave birth to a sweet and adorable romance through their chemistry, and I also hope that this romance will never fade.

Jang-hyuk is a lover with a lot of attention. Things like making food and changing the lights at Da-eun’s house are out, willing to do. He also promised to take care of their bodies, so they could wear couple shirts. This is where the turning point occurs.

The plot jumps and now Jang-hyuk (Jang Ki-yong) seems to have succeeded in making that promise. His weight dropped drastically, while his career soared. He was assigned to work as a contract employee of a large company in Seoul. It’s a big challenge, as it means, Jang-hyuk has to commute to Incheon-Seoul every day (a distance of about 27 km). Leaving early in the morning, passing through extraordinary traffic jams, then returning late at night after working overtime for endless overtime. Movie Review

Overwhelmed by fatigue plus the declining quantity (and quality) of encounters, Jang-hyuk and Da-eun’s romance slowly fades. Moreover, in his new office, Jang-hyuk meets Han Bo-yeong (Krystal Jung), a fellow contract employee. Even though they hated each other at the beginning, because they continued to interact as partners in various projects, the seeds of love began to grow. Jang-hyuk’s loyalty is tested. As the title suggests, this is the phase when sweet romance turns sour when faced with real-world realities.

Of course, Jang-hyuk is at fault, but the script the director co-wrote with Sung Da-som doesn’t make it that simple. The reason for Jang-hyuk and Bo-yeong’s closeness is understandable. Both are contract employees who are not considered by permanent employees, while the demands of work force them to continue together. The audience is made to understand without having to justify.

Moreover, the chemistry of Ki-yong and Krystal almost matched the combination of Woo-je and Soo-bin in the first half. Krystal completed her transformation, from idol to screen actress, and is now a talented screen actress, having made her debut in More Than Family last year. Krystal with all her “antiquity” is a major factor in the success of Sweet & Sour comedy seasoning.

The second half was a bit repetitive, but at least not without reason. Because this is where the protagonist’s tiring routine is presented, although it must be admitted, the presentation is longer than the narrative needs. Luckily there are other points that try to convey. In addition to the test of love, and the difficulty of dividing work and personal life equally, Sweet & Sour is also a drama in the world of work, which also discusses the exploitation of labor, especially those who are contract employees. Not too deep, but enough to add variety and complexity to the storytelling.

I’m sure the conversation about this film will be dominated by one element: twist. Surprising twist with awesome presentation. Neat, smart, not impressed by cheating the audience. Various “signs” have actually been spread, even from the first minutes through a visual clue. This twist changes the entire face of the film, from a spectacle that is potentially considered problematic, to empowering. From stories surrounding the test of loyalty, to touching illustrations of how the little things can make or break a relationship. How kindness is based on sincere affection is the key. Best Movie

Chaos Walking – Reviewo
Movie Review

Chaos Walking – Reviewo

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The Chaos Walking film can be said to be one of the adrenaline-pumping spectacles. Starring Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley, this film is the first book adaptation of Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking trilogy. The book series alone won the Guardian Award, James Tiptree Jr. Award, and the Costa Children’s Book Award. So, do not be surprised if this film is one of the most awaited this year.

Synopsis Chaos Walking tells the story of the New World, which is set in 2257. From Earth, it takes 64 years to reach the planet. The first batch to arrive in New World formed a community called Prentisstown. Uniquely, the men who were present in New World could not hide their thoughts and feelings in the form of voices. The form of their mind is called Noise. Top Movie Site

Chaos Walking
Chaos Walking

Todd Hewitt (Tom Holland) becomes a Prentisstown resident who has a hard time hiding his thoughts. His mind was even more confused when he met the wreckage of the starship that had crashed close to his village. Moreover, it is the first time he meets a woman, namely Viola (Daisy Ridley) in his life. Remember, all the women residents of Prentisstown were killed for mysterious reasons.

Actually, the choice of Holland in this film is like two sides of a coin. On the one hand, the role of Todd and the concept of Noise are suitable for Holland, who is expressive. But on the other hand, his role is less iconic because that’s Holland’s persona in several of his popular films.

The interesting thing, Tom Holland in fact exerted his totality for the Chaos Walking film. She was asked to grow as much facial hair as she could for her role. Unfortunately, in the span of five weeks, all he was able to grow was a thin mustache that was barely visible on camera.

Then, he had a broken nose after being punched in the face by a stuntman during a fight scene. He also fainted when he had to hold his breath underwater. In fact, he missed the premiere of Avengers: Endgame (2019) because he was busy reshooting Chaos Walking.

Bearing in mind, this film was originally scheduled for release on March 1, 2019 but was pushed back to 2020, due to a massive reshoot, and was pushed back to 2021. For your information, from the reshoot that took place in April 2019, it cost 15 million dollars (approximately Rp219 billion). .

Tom Holland’s acting shone even more when he co-starred with Daisy Ridley as Viola, a new Earth girl he met. The acting competition between the two makes the atmosphere of this 129 minute film feel like British films, because of their thick and sexy British accents. Indeed, both were born and raised in England. Best Movie

Daisy Ridley is equally stunning. She wore a blonde wig for her character. Her ferocious expression of distrust of Prentisstown’s men was on her face until the very end. This role reminds KINCIR of the figure of Rey Skywalker in the Star Wars Saga, which he also stars. As Viola, she is also equipped with a strong physique, resilient, good at using weapons, and unfortunately can’t swim.

Reading the synopsis of the Chaos Walking film and watching the trailer, it’s already made me curious about the storyline. How not, the premise of a dystopian world where men can hear each other’s thoughts becomes mysterious and interesting to explore.

Unfortunately, this film only focuses on the two main characters, and does more than just survive. Especially on Todd Hewitt who tried to protect the girl he just met. In fact, there are many mysteries that can be told, such as Spackle or about the stereotype that men shouldn’t cry, and so on.

Broadly speaking, the Chaos Walking film can satisfy Tom Holland fans, lovers of young adult novel adaptations, and fans of dystopian stories. The visuals and scoring are almost impeccable, because they manage to bring suspense and mystery about another world. Movie Review

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It – Review
Movie Review

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It – Review

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The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It really has a story. There is a mystery that is able to keep the audience’s attention, although then, the further you roll, the more the plot loses its way. Regarding proving that Arne’s innocence seems to be forgotten, it completely turns to the generic pattern of “defeating evil forces to save one’s life”.

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Lifting one of the mystical experiences of Ed Warren (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga). Precisely the murder known as the “Devil Made Me Do It” case that occurred in 1981, where the suspect, Arne Cheyenne Johnson (Ruairi O’Connor), claimed to be under the control of the devil when he killed. History records that this is the first time in a US court that the suspect “possessed with a demon” has used the excuse to deny all charges.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

At the beginning, we learn that the possessed is David (Julian Hilliard), the sister of Arne’s lover, Debbie (Sarah Catherine Hook). Ed and Lorraine perform an exorcism, which ends in chaos, when the demon moves into Arne’s body. Next as already written above, Arne commits murder, denies on the grounds of possession, while Ed and Lorraine carry out an investigation to prove the existence of demons in court.

Although the film doesn’t apply more courtroom drama elements (the process of proving mystical things in front of a judge and jury sounds interesting), the Johnson-McGoldrick script still has enough ammunition in the form of the Warren husband and wife investigation, so that the 112 minute duration is not limited to a jump scare compilation.

The biggest change in this film compared to its two predecessors lies in the way it throws terror. As usual, each series of The Conjuring always labels itself as “the scariest and/or most dangerous case that Ed and Lorraine have ever faced”. This time, the statement is not mere hyperbole, because in essence, it is true. Because here, their main opponents are humans, and human evil can be more dangerous than any demon. Best Movie

That’s also why the iconic ghost figure doesn’t appear like before. The terror prioritizes “what is done” over “who”. Was the result more terrible? Unfortunately no. Chaves’ level was still far below Wan’s. Some jump scares are quite surprising, but not to the point of really pounding the heart. The reason is none other than the messy set piece design. Either it’s too dark, the camera shakes too fast, or it’s a mess in the continuity of a sequence. Instead of being afraid, I am more often confused about an event. The same goes for build-ups. Chaves has not been very good at building audience anticipation.

At least Chaves presents the exorcism scene solidly (although Ed and Lorraine’s recorded real exorcism, which is played in the credits, is more sinister). The intensity can be maintained, while the characters perform “inhuman” movements, which is a characteristic of exorcist-themed films. Not to forget, Chaves slipped some nodes for The Exorcist (1973).

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It retains the spirit that laid the groundwork for the second film (and continues in Annabelle Comes Home), namely the romance of Ed and Lorraine. Both the motivation and the resolution taken are based on their love. The quality of terror may decline, but the success of maintaining that basic spirit, keeps this third film from being completely destroyed. Even without Wan in the director’s chair, we must be anxiously awaiting the continuation of this series. Movie Review

Cruella – Review
Movie Review

Cruella – Review

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Set in London in the 1970s in the midst of the punk rock movement, Cruella also carries a similar spirit. Talking about freedom by opposing the establishment, also shares an aesthetic that is in line with that culture. The result is eye-catching, although unfortunately, the script by Dana Fox and Tony McNamara speaks like a pop musician who is just trying out the punk genre for fun. Quick origin, slash origin, negligent that punk is “carelessly without origin”. Top Movie Site

The storytelling pattern feels right at many points, including the hasty prologue, so that some important points just pass away. At least now we have more understanding, why Cruella de Vil (Emma Stone), hates Dalmatian dogs. It all started when he was 12 years old and still bears the name Estella (Tipper Seifert-Cleveland in an appearance that will take him to the ranks of the top child actors).

Estella witnesses the death of her mother, Catherine (Emily Beecham), and feels responsible. Alone, Estella chooses to live as a thief with Jasper (Joel Fry) and Horace (Paul Walter Hauser), while still dreaming of becoming a designer. The opportunity arrives, when Baroness (Emma Thompson), a well-known designer, recruits Estella after accidentally witnessing her talent. Of course Estella was happy, at least to know the secret about Baroness, who awakened Cruella side in her. Best Movie

A little backwards, little Estella often caused trouble at school. Not without reason, because other children see her differently, because Estella was born with a unique hair color (half white, half black). Each time his anger ignited, his more violent personality came to the surface. The mother named that side “Cruella”. The script itself never takes a clear stance on the two personalities. Is it realist (multiple personalities), or fantasy.

There are many dramatic points, but hasty narrative without sensitivity, takes away the emotional impact, even if Stone does not treat the character with a superficial interpretation of “eccentric origin”, it makes Estella / Cruella a complex character. A lonely figure who takes extreme steps to free himself, feeling that it is time to stop being hurt. Stone performed Cruella like an explosive, anarchist rock star, but once he got off the stage, he was actually fragile.

As her opponent is Emma Thompson as the cold tough boss. The Baroness reminded Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly, except that there was no hidden warmth behind that cold attitude. Only cruelty, narcissism and ambition. If the Estella / Baroness dynamic reminds Andrea / Miranda, it is reasonable, considering the original draft was made by Aline Brosh McKenna as the scriptwriter of The Devil Wears Prada (2006), before being revised by Fox and McNamara.

Although weak in terms of taste, at least Cruella is able to entertain. Imagine The Devil Wears Prada is transformed into a mix of heist and revenge movie. The protagonists launch an act of revenge while infiltrating then stealing, all in style. The highlight was when Cruella started to ignite what her haters would call “vandalism”. Not through scuffles or chases (although there are still), but “battle of fashion”. Like a punk rock figure who makes a stern statement without nonsense to the public, Cruella has shocked and amazed the whole of London through exhibitions of unique clothing that reflect DIY ethics in punk.

I was amazed. Jenny Beavan, who previously won an Oscar for her work on Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), designs costumes that feel worthy of the word “breathtaking”. Beautiful, glamorous, character. The costume itself voiced a statement with a tone of resistance to norms and wrongdoing.

If dramas are often limited to passing by, not with the presentation of the costumes. The directing of Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl, I, Tonya) made the audience feel as if they were watching a unique and magnificent show, each Cruella showing the latest outfits. Gillespie’s only weakness is in trying to make Cruella as fun as possible, using iconic songs from the 1960s and 1970s to accompany almost everything. Of course numbers like Feeling Good, Should I Stay or Should I Go, to Come Together encourage us to hum along, but the overuse makes the film look like a jukebox that lasts more than two hours. Movie Review

PG: Psycho Goreman – Review
Movie Review

PG: Psycho Goreman – Review

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PG: Psycho Goreman tells of a strange friendship between a boy and an alien. Yes, like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). It’s just that, because it was made by people who love b-movies from decades ago, instead of friendly little creatures, the alien figure that we will meet is a killer monster who wants to destroy the entire galaxy, with a form like a Guyver mix (one of our favorite shows). Steven Kostanski as director of this film) and the enemies of the Power Rangers. Best Movie

Our protagonists are Mimi (Nita-Josee Hanna) and her younger brother, Luke (Owen Myre). Luke has always been obedient to the, well, “eccentric” Mimi. The word “naughty” doesn’t really describe this little girl, who wants to bury her sister’s life as punishment for losing to Crazy Ball (a ball game with unique rules that will play a big role in the plot later), as well as calling their late grandmother “tormented in hell. forever”.

So the attitude that Mimi takes after finding a glowing rock buried in the backyard, which turns out to have the power to control a deadly alien figure (voiced by Steven Vlahos, while Matthew Ninaber is behind a costume), is not surprising. Instead of being afraid, the alien he named Psycho Goreman alias “PG” was actually made a friend (read: slave), forced to do all his will, including turning the boy Mimi liked into a disgusting monster in the shape of a giant brain, so he could follow his wishes. Movie Review

Based on the crawling text at the beginning of the film, which reminds us of the narratives of fantasy stories from the medieval era, we know that PG has been locked up for a long time because it threatens the safety of the universe. His nemesis is the Templars, soldiers who look like robots from tokusatsu treats. The Templars member we meet is named Pandora (Christian MacCulloch), who along with a group of aliens called the “Planetary Alliance”, learn about the resurrection of PG and begin to make plans to destroy it.

But Kostanski, who co-wrote the script, was not a devotee of virtue. And indeed for some people, the evil monsters in titles like Power Rangers or Japanese tokusatsu, are far more interesting and cool than the heroes, especially in terms of appearance. Based on this love of monsters, Kostanski did not portray the Templars as holy heroes. They are no different from the invaders. The despot who used goodness as a mask, as an excuse to invade (Oh, that sounds familiar).

Of course, Kostanski doesn’t prioritize the quality of the storytelling. The plot moves at its own pace, including the early minutes that seem to completely ignore the structure and neatness of the story. Even attempts to shift the absurd and sci-fi towards family comedy dramas in the latter half tend to create tone inconsistencies rather than warmth.

How Kostanski turned his low budget ($ 850,000) into a large-scale spectacle, which spanned the wings of conflict between planets, was his biggest advantage. Assisted by an extraordinary artistic team, Kostanski has had full experience as a make-up artist in films such as Crimson Peak (2015), Suicide Squad (2016), and It (2017), as well as the Hannibal series (2013-2014) and Star Trek: Discovery ( 2017-2018), gave birth to a line of aliens with unique and creative designs, which will make any monster lover experience eyegasm. Example? The monster has the body of a washing machine, which does not contain clothes and detergent inside, but pieces of a body full of blood.

Surely gore dominates, where Kostanski mastered how to present over-the-top violence in the style of b-class films, in order to appear crazy, fun, often surprising or sometimes disgusting. Supported by humor, which, although hit-and-miss, is thick and addictive (although some may be bothered by the portrayal of all female characters as “tyrant masters”) that will make viewers often say, “Wait, what ???”, PG: Psycho Goreman becomes a “cheap” but brilliant spectacle, and once it ends, you immediately expect a sequel to see more of PG’s journey to destroy the entire universe. Top Movie Site

Night of the Kings – Review
Movie Review

Night of the Kings – Review

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As the MACA prison gates open, the protagonist of the Ivorian representative at the 2021 Academy Awards (breaking into the top 15) is setting foot in a new world. So did the audience, who soon discovered that Night of the Kings offered one of the year’s most unique storytelling methods. A heightened realism that raises the power of the storytelling process.

Written by the director himself, Philippe Lacôte, Night of the Kings designed MACA as a place, which, despite its appearance no different from most prisons, operates like a fairy tale. The prisoner is in control, with one figure having the title Dangôro, ruling like a king. Blackbeard (Steve Tientcheu) is the current Dangôro. There was a rule, if Dangôro fell ill and was deemed too weak to lead, he had to commit suicide so that the throne could be given to the successor. Top Movie Site

Although at first glance it seems intimidating, Blackbeard’s health condition has deteriorated, including having to carry oxygen cylinders wherever he goes. But he refused to give up. In a final attempt to maintain power, Blackbeard appoints our protagonist, a new prisoner (Bakary Koné) to become Roman, who is tasked with telling the story in front of all the prisoners, as the red moon lights up the night. Not even one day in prison, the moment arrives, forcing Roman to form a story suddenly.

Of course, Roman can’t just talk, especially after Silence, the only white resident who always carries a chicken (Denis Lavant plays the role of … Denis Lavant), reveals secrets, which makes this storytelling activity like a death-defying battle. Put simply, Lacôte conveyed how powerful “telling” (or “the sharpness of the tongue”) can determine a person’s life and death. Best Movie

Although at first it halted, Roman finally found the foundation of his story, which is about Zama King, a famous criminal and chairman of the Microbes gang where Roman joins. He recently died due to the anger of the masses, but Roman’s story is not only about Zama’s death, it also penetrates his childhood, since he grew up in the era of the kingdom.

Filled with fantasy elements, Roman fairy tales sound the most interesting when the magic is left to the imagination of the audience, rather than actually showing the action of witchcraft battles like the third act, which appears rather ridiculous, including the consequences of perfunctory CGI. On the other hand, when we see a scene similar to reality but narrated hyperbolically like a fable, that’s where the film is able to hypnotize.

Especially when the occasional story is interrupted by prisoners singing, speaking like an actor playing a Shakespearean play on stage, or theatrical dances visualizing a Roman narrative. Through these elements Lacôte’s directing manages to establish a magical, once again, hypnotic tone. As if, that night the prisoners did not just gather to hear stories, but carried out rituals. The world of Night of the Kings is so unique and interesting, that viewers may complain about the lack of exploration of the mythology of the setting. Why did Roman have to tell stories during the Red Moon? Why was it considered important in maintaining the Dangôro’s power?

Time passed, and Roman was required to continue the story, so he was confused about how to close it. Ironically, Lacôte experienced a similar condition. Reaching the final point, as if Lacôte ran out of ideas, then chose generic conclusions that seemed to be easy. But even that feeble ending can’t afford to weaken the power behind the uniqueness of Night of the Kings. One of the freshest forms of storytelling in recent times. Movie Review

Those Who Wish Me Dead – Review
Movie Review

Those Who Wish Me Dead – Review

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Those Who Wish Me Dead are like a throwback to 90s releases, which feature a simple chase, with an equally dangerous setting that occasionally also threatens. Top Movie Site

But there is something interesting behind the structure of the story. The protagonist named Hannah (Angelina Jolie), a smokejumper who finds it difficult to let go of guilt, shows signs of suicidal, due to the death of three young people in a forest fire. But the word “me” in the title refers to Connor (Finn Little), whose life is in danger, being chased by two assassins who are after his father’s secret. The two killers are Jack (Aidan Gillen) and Patrick (Nicholas Hoult), who get the most screen time, especially in the first half.

If the majority of 90s action thrillers were star vehicle status for the main star, then Sheridan wanted to create an ensemble that shared the spotlight equally. The story of a boy who is forced to survive even though he has just lost his father, the story of a woman’s penance, and the story of two murderers on a mission. While Jack and Patrick are clearly ruthless criminals, there is a dynamic that keeps the character from being one-dimensional. They are not cold-blooded obedient robots. For Jack, it’s all business. Meanwhile, Patrick occasionally implies that killing lives is not an easy job. Best Movie

But it cannot be denied, Those Who Wish Me Dead’s class are below Sheridan’s previous works. This is not the first time he has presented a psychically shaken protagonist, but only here is his presentation generic. Hannah’s background ended as a patch, even though her process of dealing with trauma through penance was filled with clichédness, which also oversimplifies the psychic dynamics of humans.

At least Jolie appeared believable as a firefighter who refused to be helpless, even though he had fallen from the observation tower, was hit by a lightning strike, was beaten up, until he was trapped in a fierce flames. But the attention-stealing woman isn’t just Jolie. Despite having Jon Bernthal alias Punisher as Ethan the cop, the film puts aside machismo and makes room for his pregnant wife, Allison (Medina Senghore) to take up arms.

Regarding the execution of the action, assisted by CGI, who was quite convincing in starting forest fires as the climax stage (Jack and Patrick lit a fire to create distraction), Sheridan is in fact still good at building intensity, even though his scale has increased compared to his debut. But the best point in the action of Those Who Whis Me Dead is when at some point, the character, who works as a firefighter to a survival school teacher, shows off several survival methods for various situations (using distress words, to avoiding lightning strikes and flames). Movie Review

Oxygen – Review
Movie Review

Oxygen – Review

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Similar to Devil (2010) and Buried (2010), Oxygen confines the protagonist in a narrow space. The script was written by promising debutant Christie LeBlanc, but in the directing chair sits an experienced figure: Alexandre Aja. This is not the first time Aja has handled a similar film. Finally, he created Crawl (2019) which trapped his character in the middle of a flood with a crocodile, and he also wrote a script and produced P2 (2007), about a woman trapped in an underground parking lot. Top Movie Site

But compared to the two, Oxygen clearly has a more difficult level. The setting is much narrower, i.e. a cryogenic capsule. A woman (Mélanie Laurent) awakens from hypersleep in the capsule, alone, panicking, memory loss, with only 35% oxygen remaining. The only source of information is a sophisticated AI named M.I.L.O. (voiced by Mathieu Amalric). Served almost in real time, we are treated to an attempt to save ourselves before running out of oxygen.

The less information you know, the more satisfying the film will be, so I won’t go into the plot further. But in contrast to the “one location film” examples above, Oxygen has a lot more variety, given that the setting is an advanced cryogenic capsule. Threats do not only come from depletion of oxygen, but also systems in it that run security protocols (for example, robotic injections).

Cinematography by Maxime Alexandre, which Aja has subscribed to since High Tension (2003), is also able to take advantage of various visual options as a way to remove monotony, such as panning out to take the audience out of the capsule (a technique also used in Buried), to shots. 360 degrees that increase the intensity, as well as mark the turning point of the groove. Through a twist, both the audience and the characters realize that the situation is far more dangerous than expected. Best Movie

This twist is a clever step to expand the scale, increase the choice of conflict, and also enrich the storytelling, which has previously been built through a series of flashbacks. Through flashback (which also aims to keep the monotony away), our protagonist periodically retrieves fragment after fragment of his memory, although unfortunately, some of the ways to restore the memory seem forced, only fulfilling the need for the story to continue, rather than a natural progression.

Not so with Mélanie Laurent’s acting. Nothing was forced from her superior appearance, which repeatedly jumped from anxiety, calm, then back to anxiety. We can also understand when the character makes inappropriate decisions, or is less cooperative with those who want to provide assistance. For additional information, previously this role would be given to Anne Hathaway, then moved to Noomi Rapace, before being obtained by Laurent. Rapace eventually became executive producer, while Hathaway voiced the English version.

Entering the last 25 minutes, another twist appeared, which was not like a turning point in the middle of the duration, this time it felt cheating. Referring to what the main character previously did, this twist should be impossible. But Aja, as one of the best “genre film” directors today, builds a spectacle that makes the audience forget, or even not realize the flaws of logic. The dynamics are consistent, through the presence of jump scares, several painful moments, and the intensity that is maintained. As a parade of terror and suspense, Oxygen is a complete package, because the makers clearly understand and love the genre they are making. Movie Review

Spiral – Review
Movie Review

Spiral – Review

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Spiral (full title Spiral: From the Book of Saw) is opened by a crushed body, scattered in the underground tunnels including the tongue left in a trap. Following that is a 180 degree situation where our protagonist discusses the absence of a Forrest Gump sequel because the main character has AIDS. Brutal death and intriguing chatter. The Saw and Chris Rock series have always had two things, but who would have thought that both of them would be combined in one film. Top Movie Site

Four years after the toothless tiger named Jigsaw, this series no longer has many options. Completely stop, or take a new direction. Spiral shows how the old faces of this series, namely director Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II – IV) and Jigsaw scriptwriters, Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger, take new directions that tend to be unpredictable. Chris Rock starring in horror as the son of Samuel L. Jackson? Sounds bold, even extreme.

However, the outline of the story still follows the formula of the previous films, with minor modifications to add relevance. Rock plays Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks who many cops hate. Not (only) because he often acts on his own, but because of his honesty. Honesty that made him a traitor. Even though his father, Marcus Banks (Samuel L. Jackson), is an honorable retiree.

At one point, the police are excited by the appearance of a killer who imitates the modus operandi of John Kramer aka Jigsaw (Tobin Bell). There is a slight difference. The voice recording changes, the doll as its alter ego changes, the victim changes. This time the killer was not just targeting the sinners, but more specifically: the sinner cop. Together with his new partner, William Schenk (Max Minghella) the novice detective, Zeke must race against time before any of his colleagues are victims.

Spiral is probably the first Saw film, where the reason for the perpetrator to do the action, can be understood personally by many people. The script does not provide deep enough exploration to sympathize viewers, but certainly many share the wounds, and think that corrupt cops who use uniforms and badges to do whatever they want (some are not much different from murderers), more deserving of death penalty than con wives or photographers. problem from the previous installment. Best Movie

Let’s put the identity of the victim aside first, because the Saw series is still a dish of torture porn, which prioritizes torture using a variety of traps. Related to that, Spiral deserves to be called “return to form”. The traps are brutal, as well as creative enough to present different horrible deaths. I will not discuss the details. Certainly, Bousman’s directing could make the array of traps look extremely painful. Achievements that cover his weaknesses are stories, when the inconsistency of the pace (making the film sometimes intense, sometimes boring) as well as the plural skipping stories that occur here.

The Saw series is also synonymous with a twist. Regarding the identity of the perpetrator, it’s easy to guess the truth, long before it’s revealed, especially when Spiral suddenly changes the way he shows the victim’s death in the middle of the film. The conclusions may not be a brilliant twist like the two premiere films, but not the forced stupidity of the last titles. The theme music for Hello Zepp is still effective at pumping up adrenaline, so it can fake the impact of a twist to make it feel even more astonishing than it should be. Plus, Spiral retains the character of its franchise, ending the film just as the intensity is at its peak.

What is the result of selecting an “undue” cast? Chris Rock tried his best, but it was clear that he had a hard time getting off the ground. As if he was tormented by the demands of serious play, and looked more comfortable, just when throwing a few one-liners tickled. Samuel L. Jackson? The actor pronounced “motherfucker”, so what else could you expect. Movie Review

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