Dying To Survive – Review
Movie Review

Dying To Survive – Review

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Dying to Survive (Wo bu shi yao shen) is a film from China with a drama and comedy genre. This film by director Muye Wen features talented actors and actresses such as Zheng Xu, Chuan-jun Wang, Zhuo Tan, and Yu Zhang. Dying to Survive was first released in China on June 19, 2018. Releases in countries such as South Korea to Canada and Japan were carried out as follows, namely from June 30, 2018 to October 16, 2020.

The story in this Chinese and English language film was made based on on the true story of the life journey of a patient with CML or chronic myelocytic leukemia named Yu Long. In his life, Yu Long illegally smuggled cancer drugs to poor patients in China. With a duration of 117 minutes, the film Dying to Survive successfully delivered one of these touching stories. Top Movie Site

Funds disbursed for making this film is estimated at 15 million US dollars. In its opening week in the United States, Dying to Survive only made around 3.2 thousand US dollars in profit. However, the screening of this film was managed to get massive revenue globally, with a profit of around 451 million US dollars.

The recognition of the quality of this film is evidenced by a number of awards. This film won 60 awards and 52 nominations. These awards include the Asian Film Awards (2019) with Yu Zhang as the winner of the Best Supporting Actor category, and the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards (2018) in the Best Asian Film category. The movie review site IMDb, gives a rating of 7.9 out of 10 for Dying to Survive. Best Movie

Meanwhile, film critic site Rotten Tomatoes gave 86 percent (Tomatometer) and 95 percent viewership scores for Dying to Survive. Synopsis of the film Dying to Survive Set in 2002, the story in Dying to Survive centers on Cheng Yong (Zheng Xu), a drug dealer from China. His business selling ‘love’ medicine from India is not going well, while his father is lying weak in the hospital. He also faces divorce issues with his ex-wife Cao Ling (Beibi Gong).

Once upon a time, one day a CML patient named Lv Shouyi (Chuan-jun Wang) came to Cheng’s drugstore. Shouyi asks Cheng to illegally sell a CML medicine named Glinic. Shouyi offers Cheng a deal, if he can get Glinic from India and sell him cheap, there will be a profit for both of them. Glinic is the name of the drug for CML patients. In China itself, this medicine is sold at a very high price. The patients, who mostly come from poor families, find it difficult to buy. Movie Review

WONDER WOMAN 1984 – Review
Movie Review

WONDER WOMAN 1984 – Review

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In one of the scenes, Wonder Woman / Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) is swinging by hooking the beam onto a rocket. That alone is already a riveting moment, but what makes it special is, Wonder Woman bothering to do it not just to defeat the enemy, but to save two small children who are on the way. Director Patty Jenkins cited Superman (1978) as his inspiration when working on Wonder Woman (2017), and the influence of Richard Donner’s work was even more apparent in Wonder Woman 1984. An escapism, a superhero film full of magic, heart, and hope. Top Movie Site

In the midst of the pandemic, many thought that Christopher Nolan would save the film industry, including the survival of cinemas, through Tenet. The prediction missed. But it is possible that Wonder Woman 1984 is the savior to look forward to. The audience is in need of hope. Instead of the brain, the liver needs more food. The film has answered that need right from the start, when cinematographer Matthew Jensen swept the camera over the expanse of Themyscira, accompanied by Hans Zimmer’s music, which, although still epic, this time emphasizes magical nuances instead of boom. What a wonderful start, especially considering how many of us yearn for the freedom to be outside.

From there, we are invited to watch an athletic tournament, in which little Diana participated, against adult Amazonian soldiers. Lilly Aspel continued her role in the first film as little Diana, and what a gift this kid is. You will believe that one day he grows up to become one of the strongest superheroes in the DC universe. This opening has two functions. First, to provide a background for Diana as a figure who always holds on to the truth, and second, to plant seeds about Asteria, the owner of the golden armor that Diana will wear at the top of the film. Don’t miss the mid-credits scene that reveals who the cast of Asteria is. If you don’t know her, she’s a legend, one of the figures most credited with elevating Wonder Woman in world popular culture.

Wonder Woman 1984
Wonder Woman 1984

Jumping to 1984, adult Diana has lived in society and worked as an anthropologist at The Smithsonian, even though the grief of Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) ‘s death made her always immerse herself in solitude. At The Smithsonian, there was Diana’s meeting with a scientist named Barbara (Kristen Wiig), who idolized all the perfection of the World. Since the SNL era, Wiig has been a master at bringing out awkward characters that are easy on viewers to like, and Barbara is no exception. Even after transforming into Cheetah, I still sympathized with her. Barbara is not a power-hungry villain who wants to rule the world. He just wanted to feel his love in return.

But Cheetah isn’t Wonder Woman’s only enemy here. The biggest threat actually comes from a mysterious artifact that is said to be able to grant all requests. The artifact brings Diana into confrontation with Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal), the oil businessman and television star. The existence of more than one antagonist automatically multiplies the storytelling of the film, and Patty Jenkins, Geoff Johns, and David Callaham, who wrote the script, are able to put it together neatly. Best Movie

They even use these branches to create a massive series of stories with a duration of 151 minutes, which take the characters on an adventure to various locations, including Egypt. The stakes are high in this movie. Many superhero films feature threats on a global scale, but few are able to make the audience feel how big the threat is (especially if it’s not a team-up film) like Wonder Woman 1984. Although it must be admitted, at many points when the action is absent, this film often confused, due to the lack of writing interesting dialogues, as well as a stagnant story.

The massive impression above was also created by the series of actions. The first film did have “No Man’s Land” scenes, but the rest weren’t that special, especially the mediocre climax that was CGI oriented. Jenkis made up for all those flaws. The foundation is creativity in the realm of concepts. As one of DC’s holy trinity, it is illegal to involve Wonder Woman in a moderate fight. Together with Johns and Callaham, Jenkins makes use of Diana’s magical objects, which the audience outside of the comic book may not yet know about.

If Batman has a batarang, then Wonder Woman can throw a tiara to knock out enemies. Apart from being used to ensnare and force the other person to speak to be honest, Lasso of Truth can make Wonder Woman swing in the sky. Like Spider-Man? Wait a minute. Could Peter Parker’s net trap a striking lightning? Assisted by Matthew Jensen’s arrangement that made the camera move dynamically to follow Wonder Woman’s agility, Jenkins made each shot look big, massive, epic.

At this point, I think it’s just some stupid, spiteful, or accomplished haters who are questioning Gal Gadot’s selection as Wonder Woman. If in the first film he was tough but naive, here Gal Gadot gives us the figure of an experienced hero, who looks convincing when doing acrobatics, floating in the air, or pushing an armored car as a shield while running at lightning speed.

But as mentioned earlier, Wonder Woman 1984 is not just a bombastic treat. This film has a heart that is no less big. You may remember a shot in the trailer, where Diana and Steve are on the plane, while outside, fireworks decorate the night sky. One thing that was not clearly disclosed in the trailer (comic readers would have guessed it), they were both in an unseen plane. For me the most romantic moment is here. Under the colors of the fireworks, Diana and Steve were hidden from the outside world, as if space and time belonged to them alone.

And nothing is more perfect from the message of this film’s heroism than its climax. In other blockbusters, the climax might feel disappointing. Anti climax. But not in Wonder Woman 1984, a film that says that actually, the heroine is not Diana, but all of humanity. Everyone can save the world in their own way. What a valuable message in today’s world. Movie Review

The Wretched – Review
Movie Review

The Wretched – Review

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The Wretched isn’t the kind of horror that will overwhelm the common audience. The jump scare lonely approach is an excuse. However, alternative horror connoisseurs will also not be so impressed, when the film itself is confused about what they want to be. The duo of director and scriptwriter, Brett Pierce and Drew T. Pierce (called “Pierce Brothers”), try to give birth to another homage to 80s horror, but they are torn between side-currents that emphasize atmosphere and imagery, or the horror of the Spielbergian family, which tends to produce exciting adventures. Top Movie Site

The atmosphere isn’t tense enough, the line-up of imageries isn’t as uncomfortable as it should be, and the adventures aren’t as exciting. So when Devin Burrows’ music features several Spielbergian orchestrations, it never feels quite right.

Our protagonist is Ben (John-Paul Howard), a troubled teenager who is spending his summer vacation working in the harbor with his father, Liam (Jamison Jones), while his parents are undergoing divorce proceedings. That’s where Ben smells the irregularity of their neighbor’s house, Abbie (Zarah Mahler). A series of strange events prompts Ben to investigate, then concludes that Abbie’s body has been taken over by a witch who can erase someone from his family’s memory. The magician’s target is Dillon (Blane Crockarell), Abbie’s son.

Ben has a hard time convincing people of the story. Both his father and Mallory (Piper Curda), a fellow port employee with whom he has been in close contact, all refuse to believe. Naturally. As a spectator, I failed to be made to care about Ben. He is a brash teenager who kisses another girl just moments after nearly kissing Mallory, and also escapes from dinner with Sara (Azie Tesfai), Liam’s new girlfriend, whom he came up with himself. What is the positive side of this protagonist? Best Movie

Why should I care about his mystery, in the midst of the superficiality and inconsistencies that the Pierce Brothers build regarding the mythology of the magician, including his abilities? It is said that witches are capable of brainwashing humans. In just a whisper, someone will carry out all his orders. At one point, the magician orders the police to kill Ben, but because Ben is the main character, suddenly the policeman is unable to pull the trigger.

It must be admitted that The Wretched is supported by qualified make-up and practical effects. The witch’s appearance, also when she exits the human body looks so convincing, the weak-bellied audience may feel the need to look away. But overall, The Wretched isn’t terrible. As simple as that. Placing a strange figure in a dark corner doesn’t necessarily cause horror. The chaotic climax set in the dark forest is also more dizzying than tense, due to the flash editing that’s hard to see.

Not to mention talking about a twist that makes me question the narrative point of view of the script. A twist that makes our protagonist an unreliable narrator, but considering The Wretched is spoken through a third person perspective, the surprise feels nothing more than an attempt to cheat the audience. Movie Review

Come Play – Review
Movie Review

Come Play – Review

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Parents always ask their children to listen to them. But are parents willing to listen to the child? Through his own adaptation of the short film Larry (2017), Jacob Chase, as director and scriptwriter, raises the above issue, in a typical Amblin horror package that combines terror with family stories. The results are far from optimal, but an injection of the drama’s elements keeps Come Play from drowning in the midst of a rush of horror that refuses (and will never) recede. Top Movie Site

Given that this is an Amblin production, it should come as no surprise that the film has a child protagonist. Oliver (Azhy Robertson) is a person with nonverbal autism, who requires him to use a smartphone application to communicate. This condition makes it difficult for him to have social relationships, as a result of being labeled strange by his classmates. At home, the situation wasn’t much better. The mother, Sarah (Gillian Jacobs), is often involved in an argument with her husband, Marty (John Gallagher Jr.). Sarah felt that Oliver, who was reluctant to look Sarah in the eye, hated her and loved her father more. Even though Sarah thinks Marty was never present to care for their son together.

Until one night, a mysterious application called Misunderstood Monsters appeared on Oliver’s smartphone. The application contains a story about Larry, a monster who wants to make friends. Soon, Oliver experiences strange events. Predictably, everyone initially didn’t believe Oliver’s story about Larry. From there the film repeats the scenario, where a skeptical character opens the app, is visited by Larry, and finally believes. Best Movie

Three times the scene is repeated, making Come Play’s storytelling tend to be repetitive. In fact, a pile of topics has the potential to be explored, from the dynamics of children and parents (Sarah, who is often selfish, overprotective, and has high expectations, because her son is normal), to criticism of human dependence on technology, which makes them more frequent. see a screen rather than another human face.

Fortunately, the repetition was always accompanied by quite effective terrors, thanks to the director’s foresight in playing the timing of Larry’s appearance. Instead of being tempted to always step on the gas with loud looks, Chase tried to read the audience’s expectations. Every now and then those expectations were followed, and Larry lurched in exactly the way he expected. But on another occasion, Chase was able to hold back, let the audience observe the situation, in order to build a solid intensity. Several times, Chase has also used several technologies, such as photo applications and distance measuring devices (the use of which is always implied first), to keep his terror from becoming monotonous. Movie Review

However, as if running out of ideas, the Come Play climax is here the most mediocre part, where “hide and seek” and cliché cat and mouse are the mainstays. The climax also raises a hole related to the “rules” about the appearance of Larry, who is described as being able to enter the human world through electricity. Is there a certain distance that Larry can reach from the power source where it appears? Oliver takes Sarah to a field where there is no electricity. But Larry can still appear from Oliver’s smartphone, even chasing the two of them into the forest, which incidentally, also has no electricity.

Luckily, Come Play concludes with a satisfying conclusion, which provides “forgiveness of sins” for one of the characters, while adding emotional weight to the family drama. A lot of horror ends with elements of drama (or romance), but few are particularly flavorful. Come Play is one of the successful ones.

Collectors – Review
Movie Review

Collectors – Review

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Collectors mixes Ocean’s 11-style heist with “artifact hunting adventure” elements similar to the Indiana Jones series. Even one of the characters is nicknamed Indiana Jones, complete with fedora hat accessories. Best Movie Site

Kang Dong-goo (Lee Je-hoon) is our protagonist, a genius thief who relies on intuition. On one mission, in order to find the entrance to the buried tomb, he tasted the ground in the area. According to him, the ground where the door was located would feel like a human corpse. His talent is smelled by Sang-gil (Song Young-chang), a collector of stolen artifacts, who keeps his collection in a super tight safe. Through his assistant, Yoon Se-hee (Shin Hye-sun), Sang-gil offers Dong-goo to work for him. That’s where Dong-goo throws a plan to steal a legendary sword that is said to have been destroyed.

As with the heist film, Dong-goo begins to gather his team. Join Dr. Jones (Jo Woo-jin) the legendary tomb raider, and Shovel Leg (Im Won-hee), predictably, are the masters of digging. The greatness of Ryu Sun-gyu’s script is its success in avoiding the mistakes of many caper story makers, who tend to have the ambition to gather as many characters as possible in their team of protagonists, but end up wasting their potential. Movie Review

Dong-goo’s team only consists of three people. Five if you count Se-hee who occasionally helps out and Hye-ri (Park Se-wan), the girl who uses the drone who lives with Dong-goo. All of them are given the opportunity to shine to show off each other’s amazing skills. And neither of them have boring characterizations. Each of them is a colorful character, with a peculiarity that often contributes to refreshing the film through comedy. The confident Dong-goo tends to be arrogant, Dr. Jones, who is always lulled by every mention of his greatness, Shovel Leg who wants to have a girlfriend, Hye-ri who is “noisy”, to Se-hee as the neutralizer of the team’s silliness. All complement each other.

Of course the solid appearance of the cast made a big contribution. Shin Hye-sun appeared so charismatic that it made me forget that a twist on Se-hee was actually very weak due to not being accompanied by sufficient motivation. Meanwhile, Lee Je-hoon was able to make an arrogant man like Dong-goo, instead of being annoying, even cool and awesome, and again, made me forgive the weak construction of the protagonist’s background, which resulted in the film’s emotional impact not as expected.

The theft missions are presented in an entertaining way thanks to the director’s deft pacing, plus a detailed exposition of the plan that is easy to understand, when many heist films put too much emphasis on complexity, forgetting that apart from the characters, the audience must also understand the plans being carried out. Unfortunately, at one important point, Sun-gyu uses the deus-ex-machina element in the form of a natural phenomenon, as a way out instead of the ingenuity of his character. But that doesn’t dampen my love for this group of cool thieves. When Collectors implies a larger-scale sequel, I also hope that the plan is carried out. Top Movie

​​Corpus Christi – Review
Movie Review

​​Corpus Christi – Review

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“We are all priest of Christ”, ucap Father Tomasz (Łukasz Simlat), in a lecture in a juvenile prison, where our protagonist, Daniel (Bartosz Bielenia), is languishing. This sentence implies that all human beings can spread goodness according to God’s teachings. But what if the words were applied literally? That is the main idea of ​​Corpus Christi, which succeeded in becoming one of the nominees for Best International Feature Film, as Poland’s representative at the Academy Awards earlier this year. Top Movie Site

Daniel was detained in a juvenile prison after committing second-degree murder, and due to his criminal background, Daniel could not fulfill his dream of becoming a priest. One day he was released on parole, then was sent to work in a sawmill in a rural area. “What should you do first outside?” Asked Father Tomasz. “Sober. That’s obvious, “Daniel replied firmly. A second later we see him enjoying his freedom by smoking cocaine, drinking, having sex, and partying all night long.

Having no place to stay the night, Daniel also visits the church, where he meets Marta (Eliza Rycembel), and casually claims to be a pastor. This fun seems to be taken seriously. When the local pastor had to leave some time for treatment, Daniel was asked to replace him to fill mass. Although initially confused, Daniel was able to get through it smoothly. Very smooth in fact. The parishioners like Daniel, who actually took Father Tomasz’s lecture, which he heard in prison.

The inaugural Mass was beautifully packaged by director Jan Komasa, where Daniel stood in front of a pair of angel statues, shining with a tinge of sunlight, with a facial expression that made him feel as if he was receiving a revelation from God. From there Daniel’s new adventure begins. This highly relevant adventure represents an issue that is rife these days, no matter what religion. It is enough to wear religious attributes, plus a little speaking skills, especially regarding mobilizing the masses, it is so easy for someone to call himself a cleric, priest, ustaz, and others. Best Movie

But Corpus Christi is a hopeful film about atonement and the process of forgiveness. So, instead of punishing “the copycat”, the manuscript by Mateusz Pacewicz shows that the lie can become reality, if there is great determination to change. Residents like Daniel because of his relatable figure, especially when he began to explore the tragedy that enveloped the village with sadness and hatred.

Apparently there had just been a car accident that killed six teenagers, including Marta’s sister. In front of the church, they posted photos of the victims and prayed in front of them every day. Daniel did not insist on understanding God’s decision, but invited them to pray that God would help them understand His decision, which felt unfair, even cruel.

That’s how awesome this film is. His status as a prisoner, rather than leading Corpus Christi to fantasy impossibilities, actually makes the character’s transformation and contribution to the environment feel believable. Prisoners like Daniel know best about human weaknesses and ugliness, making it easier for them to humanize the congregation, whether they realize it or not. Something similar happened in the subplot that flicked corrupt officials. Our protagonist refuses to resign, despite intimidation from the mayor (Leszek Lichota). Not because of faith, but the result of life’s hardships, both on the streets and in prison.

Pacewicz composes a script that’s full, almost blank, with several subplots that actually lie on the line between making the film overstuffed or rich. Corpus Christi fortunately falls into the second category, because the branches of the story have succeeded in supporting the main idea, that “Daniel is the right man for the job”. Likewise the actor who played it. Through the performance of Bartosz Bielenia, we can read the dilemma of the protagonist, who is crushed by two choices, whether to defend the truth or find it safe.

Corpus Christi talks about how the appendage of religiosity is losing its substance. It is not only caused by false religious leaders, but also ordinary people who easily take the name of God as justification for their actions. Today, it feels like God’s name has become very cheap. Movie Review

You And I – Review
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You And I – Review

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The 1965 incident in Indonesia became the spotlight of You and I. It was precisely when there were large-scale arrests of people accused of being PKI sympathizers. Movie Review

The names of the two women are Kaminah and Kusdalini. At the time the film was made, they were 70 and 74 years old, respectively. A row of photos and text explains the background of the two. Kaminah and Kusdalini were arrested for joining the communist youth choir organization. Kaminah was imprisoned when she was just in the second grade of junior high school and had to spend seven years in a cell, while Kusdalini spent two years. Meeting in prison, a strong brother-sister bond grows between them.

After leaving prison, Kaminah was rejected by her family. Luckily, Kusdalini and her grandmother were willing to accommodate Kaminah. The two of them settled in Solo, earning money by selling crackers, and living in a lack thereof in a very simple house, with a leaky roof here and there. Having no money for repairs, Kusdalini installed an umbrella right at the spot of the leak. Even though he is four years older, Kusdalini has to take care of Kaminah, who is both physically and mentally weak. Top Movie Site

Kaminah spends more of her day sitting or lying down. Kaminah’s knees could no longer support her body. Maybe only once a month he went out of the house, when there were regular meetings between survivors of the 1965 tragedy. At that meeting, the latest information was discussed, including the discovery of several mass graves.

Then several times we find Kaminah having trouble remembering the news of her comrades in arms. Kusdalini can always provide answers about who is still alive, who has died. Likewise when Kusdalini forgot the meaning of “red coat”. But after hearing Kaminah answer, “Never Forget History”, Kusdalini immediately replied that of course she wouldn’t forget. Kusdalini will have trouble remembering the terms and conditions of friends, but the injustice that befell her more than five decades ago will never be forgotten.

You and I itself is an effort so that people never forget, not only about the dark history of Indonesia, also about the importance of humanity. The two characters in this film are not siblings, but as fellow humans (who are victims of other human crimes), they feel the need to share their love without being asked. And love is also the source of the film’s biggest emotion.

Fanny doesn’t need to dramatize much. Seeing Kusdalini’s sincerity in caring for her life partner, and Kaminah who always responds with a loving smile is enough to provoke feelings of emotion. “Cheer up,” said Kusdalini to Kaminah, who neared the end of the film, her condition worsened and had to lie weakly in a hospital bed. If your heart is not moved to hear that simple sentence, maybe your human side needs to be questioned.

You and I closed in 2017 after Kaminah died (Kusdalini died a year later). Kusdalini sat alone. He was silent, while in the back, there was a recitation to pray for Kaminah being held. Sometime later, amidst silence, it was Kusdalini’s turn to pray. Because that’s all the common people who are victims of injustice in power holders can do that. Resign, while praying a prayer that will be answered in what way. Best Movie

The Boy with Moving Image – Review
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The Boy with Moving Image – Review

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The Boy with Moving Image has potential, both from story ideas and style. The story opens by showing Ning repeatedly slapping and choking himself. Suddenly Vaiyang arrives, who is about to make Ning’s house a filming location on the recommendation of his friend Roufy. Ning was willing to lend him the house for free, on the condition that Vaiyang would accompany him until he died tomorrow. Top Movie Site

For some reason, Ning was sure that his death would come tomorrow. Even though he was confused, for the sake of a free location, Vaiyang agreed. The two of them started doing various things together, from eating, playing badminton, playing music, learning to smoke, and so on. Vaiyang seemed to bring fresh air into Ning’s life through new things. And we also know that Ning became suicidal due to the departure of his parents, who died in a plane crash six months ago.

Slowly Ning began to smile, even laugh. The turning point occurred when Ning asked to be taught acting, then Vaiyang asked him to say the sentence, “My name is Emma Ningrum. I want to die soon so that I can meet my family in heaven ”, in front of the camera, with various emotions, including happiness. Acting can indeed be used as a medium for catharsis, even psychological therapy. Vaiyang (and Roufy) understood that.

So does this film talk about the process of self-healing as loneliness goes away? I thought so, until the conclusion said differently. There The Boy with Moving Image turns into a story about a man who has expectations without trying to understand. Ning repeatedly conveyed images of the sorrow he felt, but Vaiyang, as if without sensitivity, let the images pass, moved away without trying to capture them. Best Movie

Again, an interesting idea, and of course with a different approach. But again, is different always better? No, if it is not done properly like this film. I understand the limited costs, and appreciate Roufy and the whole team who keep going even though at a limited cost, but the poor sound system, where so many voices are leaking (motorbikes passing as well as other noise), is really disturbing. And if anyone considers the sound to be a nuance enhancer, I firmly argue with that.

The Boy with Moving Image is wrapped using many still shots, strange and awkward nuances, and deadpan comedy. Perhaps Roufy was inspired a lot by the works of Roy Andersson and Yorgos Lanthimos. Unfortunately, apart from perfunctory cinematography which is unable to support the quirky development as expected, Roufy’s modeling is not yet mature. The only laughter was produced in the closing shot, thanks to the absurdity of precision that gave birth to tickling irony.

Absurdity like that is what this film needs. At least the second half shows a lot of effort to get there, although it seems like, by the time it gets to that point, the audience is already tired, or even like me, upset. How come? The first half was unbearable. The chatter about existentialism is presented through makeshift sentences, which let alone provoke the contemplation of the audience, it is not pleasant to hear.

It got worse when the players, especially Bryancini Galgala, played poorly. Either tense, I don’t know what was being said. Whereas apart from Roufy, the script was also written by the two main players. For example, when Vaiyang explained the film Good Will Hunting to Ning, it was not smooth, flat, and awkward. The aim was to generate Ning’s interest in watching Gus Van Sant’s work. But let alone moving the girl’s heart, making the audience interested in paying attention to her words was unable. Movie Review

Run – Review
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Run – Review

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After making his brilliant directorial debut through Searching (2018), director / scriptwriter Aneesh Chaganty is back in another thriller, which, although more conventional, still shows his captivating talent in building intensity. Run displays terror through the figure of a mother with Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSbP), a condition in which a caregiver fakes the condition of the person she is caring for, usually to seek attention.

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One of the most famous cases of MSbP is Dee Dee Blanchard’s treatment of his daughter, Gypsy Rose, who was made as if she was suffering from a pile of illness. Before the end, due to excessive control, Gypsy kills the mother. Meanwhile, on the big screen, The Baby (1973) by Ted Post discusses similar conditions.

Asthma, arrhythmia, hemochromatosis, asthma, diabetes and paralysis. According to Diane Sherman (Sarah Paulson), these are the conditions that her daughter, Chloe Sherman (played by Kiera Allen, who like Chloe, also uses a wheelchair) has. At the age of 17, despite her many limitations, Chloe is still excited about studying from home under Diane’s tutelage, and wants to study at the University of Washington. Unlike other parents whose children are schooled at home, Diane is not worried. At a meeting between parents, he is the only one who feels happy, because Diane believes in Chloe’s. Best Movie

Sounds like a dream family right? Chloe felt the same way, until one day she found her mother gave her a different drug. A suspicious drug, where instead of her name, Diane’s name was on the box. It is not difficult to guess in which direction Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian are leading the way in their manuscript. And that’s not a drawback. Not fatal. The problem lies in the hasty progress. After 17 years of manipulation, it shouldn’t be that easy and fast for Chloe to suspect Diane, who she has known as a loving mother who has never restrained her at all.

That hole of logic keeps the story apart. Even though the content of Run’s story is closer to reality than it seems. Without having to suffer MSbP, aren’t there so many parents who control, curb, and manipulate their children, but say that everything is done for the good of the baby. With her trademark hysterical style, Sarah Paulson’s appearance may not have the significant emotional impact of her family conflicts, but it is appropriate when compared to the “b-movie face” of her film, as a psychotic antagonist.

On the other hand, Kiera Allen makes it easy for the audience to support her character’s struggles, in the sequences that Aneesh Chaganty successfully packaged. Even Chloe’s physical condition plus her skills give birth to various creative situations, for example when she tries to escape from a room that Diane has locked. This creativity fades a bit when the climax is limited to displaying cliché chases, before (fortunately) the film is closed by a “sick” moment that will make you smile with satisfaction. Movie Review

Project Power – Review
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Project Power – Review

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In August 2020, the Netflix streaming site is back with an original film called Project Power. The film, which carries the theme of science fiction and superhero, stars a number of well-known Hollywood actors, such as Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jamie Fox, Rodrigo Santoro, and also Dominique Fishback. Top Movie Site

Project Power tells the story of a mysterious pill that is able to make its users get super strength with a duration of five minutes. Unfortunately, these pills are often used by people who are not responsible for committing crimes. This then prompts a local police officer, teenage drug dealer, and former soldiers to track down the mastermind behind the construction.

This film focuses on the search for the mastermind behind the spread of a super pill. One of the most determined figures to find out about this is a former soldier named Art aka The Major (Jamie Foxx). This was done by Art because the party that produced the super pill had kidnapped his only daughter.

After conducting an investigation, Art began to find a bright spot related to the organization through a teenager named Robin (Dominique Fishback). Robin is told as a teenager who trades the super pill with the aim of buying medicine for his sick mother. In undergoing this action, Robin is accompanied by a policeman named Frank (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who protects him when there is a problem. Best Movie

When Robin is kidnapped by Art to find information about the source of the pill, Frank immediately finds out where the teenager is and saves him. However, Frank actually has other goals too. The problem is, he actually considers Art to be the mastermind behind the super pill which has resulted in many crimes in his city. The storyline of this film is even more complicated after this point.

The description above is arguably only a summary of the Project Power film plot, which is actually very dense and full of conflicts. However, the storyline is very short, even for a two-hour film. at the end of the film you will definitely feel ’empty’ because there is something missing after watching this film. One of the factors was the concept of a world possessing a super pill that could randomly assign power to the user. This definitely makes the audience expect that they will be presented with various cool super powers. Unfortunately, this doesn’t materialize in this film.

In Project Power, the organization that produces and distributes super pills is seen as a bad guy or a villain in the film. Behind the organization, there are three important figures in it, namely Biggie (Rodrigo Santoro), a bearded man named Wallace (Tait Fletcher), and doctor Gardner (Amy Landecker). Unfortunately, none of them seem to be the main antagonists of the film.

The figure of Wallace, whom Art first sought out, turned out to be only a member of the organization who kidnapped his son. Then, Biggie, who was thought to be the main villain, received a very small portion and only appeared until the middle of the film.

Meanwhile, Gardner might arguably be the mastermind behind the conflict in this film. However, again he is only described as a doctor who does experiments related to the super pill and doesn’t have any powers. This certainly makes the film’s absence of a fierce battle scene involving Gardner and the protagonists.

The absence of the main antagonist in Project Power also makes him feel bland because the peak of the conflict is less “nervous”. Apart from the concept of the film, which may want to portray the evil corporate conflict against the public, the presence of the main antagonist is quite important for films that carry the theme of action and superhero.

Despite a number of shortcomings in the film, Project Power still presents quite an interesting visual, especially when using the super pill. Every time someone took the pill, the scene would be made into a slow motion to show the strength of the pill. Unfortunately, this superpower visual moment is less pronounced in the film due to the lack of exploration of the characters using the pill. Movie Review

Broadly speaking, Project Power will be suitable to watch for those of you who like science fiction films that are peppered with non-stop action.

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Peninsula – Review

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Peninsula opened convincingly, through some footage that implies a picture of how the scale of the zombie attack has grown, and affects the lives of South Korean people. Considering the greatness of Korean filmmakers regarding inserting humanitarian stories in various genres – which is the strength of Train to Busan – I am also excited to look forward to what this sequel will offer. Top Movie Site

That spirit slowly faded, once realized that Peninsula was following the formula “the bigger the better” in the making of the sequels. Not a problem as long as it is implemented properly. But not only stripping away the elements that made Train to Busan loved by the public (even though I think it’s overrated), Peninsula even failed to execute the formula, to at least give birth to an entertaining follow-up story.

In the prologue that feels like a tribute to the first film (it’s just that trains are replaced by ships), we are introduced to Jung-seok (Gang Dong-won), a military member who brought his older sister, brother-in-law, and nephew, to flee to Japan using ship. But the plague seems to have spread on the ship. Almost all of the passengers, including Jung-seok’s brother and nephew, died.

Four years later, Jung-seok, who lives in Hong Kong with his brother-in-law, Chul-min (Kim Do-yoon), is still overpowered by feelings of guilt. Until the two of them accept a simple mission, to bring a truck filled with money as much as $ 20 million, which suddenly disappeared on the Korean peninsula. Of course it’s not that easy. In addition to zombies, they must face the militia forces that control the area. Best Movie

Dong-won is convincing as a champion of the fight. We believe he can eradicate zombies, whether using firearms or bare hands. But the character he plays is empty. Jung-seok lost everything, before the audience got to know him more closely. Once we spend more time with him, he becomes a boring gloomy figure. Fortunately, later a more interesting line of characters appeared.

In the midst of a zombie siege, Jung-seok is saved by a pair of brothers, Jooni (Lee Re) and Yu-jin (Lee Ye-won). Jooni has the driving skills that will amaze Dominic Toretto, while Yu-jin, even though he is still a kid, is not afraid to face zombies, even though only armed with a toy car. Jung-seok is taken to a hideout, where their delusional grandfather (or is he?), Kim (Kwon Hae-hyo), and his mother, Min-jung (Lee Jung-hyun) also live. Jung-seok gets to know Min-jung, and a sense of guilt for her past actions grows. But I don’t care.

The more I get to know this family, the more I want to spend some time watching their unique dynamics and how the four of them survive in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. It would be better if they were all the main characters. But Peninsula does not allow that, and instead continues to add another side character, taking us to visit the headquarters of the Unit 631 militia, to meet a group of unattractive figures who represent the clichédness of wild survivors in post-apocalyptic films.

At the base of Unit 631 there is a “gladiator show”, where the prisoners are forced to fight zombies, in a sequence that is executed too tame to reinforce the impression of the law of the jungle. At least the sequence is still better and clearer than the majority of other actions that take place in the dark of the night, featuring things going fast (cars, trucks, zombies), in perfunctory CGI packaging. Plus the chaotic directing of Yeon Sang-ho (Train to Busan, Psychokinesis), as well as frantic editing as a way to manipulate several stunts, let alone feeling tension, digesting what appears on the screen is difficult.

Prior to this, I watched The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale which is entertaining and creative. This film needs a similar injection of creativity. The creativity that makes mainstream South Korean cinema so passionate, powerful and colorful. Closing the Peninsula is a conclusion to a story of penance and sacrifice that is lacking in emotion, except for extreme amusement, hearing the words of one of the members of the UN peacekeeping force, who delivered sentences that are basically ridiculous, so flat. One of the funniest endings this year. Movie Review

Evil Eye – Review
Movie Review

Evil Eye – Review

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Featuring players of Indian descent; created by people of Indian descent, from director Elan Dassani and Rajeev Dassani, scriptwriter Madhuri Shekar adapting audiobooks of the same title, to a range of producers including executive producer Priyanka Chopra Jonas; and contains elements of reincarnation typical of India. Plus the empowerment issue, from the outside, Evil Eye is an important film that seems impossible to fail. But there you have it. This is the worst title in the Welcome to the Blumhouse series.

Pallavi (Sunita Mani), similar to teenagers living in America, does not mind the fact that at the age of 29, she has yet to find a future husband. Not so with the mother, Usha (Sarita Choudhury), who has repeatedly planned blind dates for her daughter. Usha was also very superstitious. One of them is related to the evil eye, which is said to prevent a person from finding a life partner. Besides praying regularly, Usha also gave Pallavi a bracelet, which was believed to keep the evil eye away. Top Movie Site

Until Pallavi meets Sandeep (Omar Maskati), the handsome, kind and wealthy man, who quickly wins her heart. Instead of being happy, Usha was worried, even opposed to Sandeep’s presence. This concern is triggered by the belief that Sandeep is the reincarnation of a person who is responsible for Usha’s dark secret from the past.

Like other characters, at first the audience would think Usha was a control freak who acted silly. Then as the gradual disclosure of Usha’s secret, we understand the reason, even sympathize. The problem is, for almost the first hour, we witnessed more repetitions, in the form of Usha’s insistence on seeking justification for her worries, whether it was her husband, Krishnan (Bernard White), friends, or a fortune teller. Repetitive.

It’s annoying too, because almost nothing important happens. It’s just an attraction of suspicion that never leads to anything conclusive or a clue for the audience to think about. Although the Evil Eye is not short on ingredients. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, this film raises a number of important issues, especially the big impact of violent relationships with misogynist men who are obsessed with controlling women. This must be an emotional story about the awakening of women over their oppressors, if the various Evil Eye ingredients had been properly processed. Movie Review

These elements contradict each other. The message of women’s unity clashes with the issue of children’s freedom to choose their way of life. The supernatural element hinders the presentation of the trauma healing process. Like tangled threads that have expired before being tied. Then when it comes to the final act, the antagonist who is always calculating suddenly loses his cool and acts stupid, as if forced because the film’s time runs out to close the story.

A bit of a save is Sarita Choudhury’s performance. His eyes were blank, but also radiant with horror, as the reassuring embodiment of the wounds inflicted by male evil that had never (completely) healed. In the hands of more capable writers, it has the potential to produce stories with high emotional impact. Best Movie

Pawn – Review
Movie Review

Pawn – Review

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The synopsis of the Korean film Pawn is very interesting to discuss. This is because, the presence of this film shows the South Korean film industry is starting to rise during this pandemic. The film Pawn is a direction from director Kang Dae Kyu.

Kang Dae Kyu previously worked with Ha Ji Won in “Duelist” and “Haeundae”. Kang Dae Kyu gives input to Ha Ji Won always showing great acting. Even Ha Ji Won can attract viewers’ hearts. Top Movie Site

The film Pawn premiered in September. The main character is Ha Ji Won who returns to the front of the screen after 4 years of hibernation. This film collaborated with CJ Entertainment in producing it.

Pawn’s success is a sign that Korean dramas are increasingly showing his existence. This is proven by Pawn’s success in reaching 1 million viewers per Friday Korean Film Council time. This film is the first to reach such an audience.

This film started in 1993. There is a man named Doo-seok. Deo-seok’s figure is a bit creepy. His gaze was like someone who would be intimidating.

But that’s just his posture. Doo-seok’s heart is very kind and gentle. In fact, rarely get angry with people. Whatever gets in the way is sure to be done without anger.

Doo-seok works as a debt collector. That job made him look creepy. However, this isn’t a big deal for Doo-seok.

In the synopsis of the Korean film Pawn, Doo-seok appears to have never heed the words of those around him. This is his life no one has the right to mess it up. He has a client named Myung-ja.

Myung-ja’s figure is very pathetic. He is one of the victims of illegal immigrants. Myung-ja gets deportation from South Korea. He only lives with his little girl named Seung-yi.

Pawn
Pawn

One day Doo-seok visits Myung-ja. He visited with the aim of asking for a debt bill. When Doo-seok collects, he doesn’t get a penny. Best Movie

It was precisely the shock he found. Because Myung-ja gave his son Seung-yi as collateral. Suddenly Doo-seok feels shocked and surprised. He can’t stop thinking about the treatment Myung-ja has with his little daughter.

However, in the synopsis of the Korean film Pawn, Doo-seok appears with a warm heart. With a soft tone and low voice, Doo-seok asks Myung-ja what really happened. Myung-ja explains everything coherently from the beginning to her current state.

A pity Doo-seok finally agrees to guarantee Myung-ja’s will. He takes Seung-yi home, hoping that he can take good care of Seung-yi.

The closeness between Seung-yi and Doo-seok is increasingly visible. Not only that, Seung-yi is also close to Doo-seok’s best friend named Jong-bae.

In the synopsis of the Korean film Pawn, Doo-seok’s fatherly nature appears. In fact, he has subconsciously replaced Seung-yi’s father. In his daily life, he tries to look after and guide Seung-yi like a real child.

Seung-yi is a little girl who hasn’t felt the warmth of a father’s embrace for a long time. Living with Doo-seok is the best way for him. Doo-seok is not his real father, but always shows his affection for Seung-yi.

Time after time passed. The days of fun passed. Seung-yi feels the presence of a father in his mind. The feeling of never ending comfort makes him think that Doo-seok is his real father.

This isn’t a big deal for Doo-seok. Every now and then Doo-seok tries to cheer up Seung-yi. Tells about interesting things about life. Doo-seok gives Seung-yi a lot of valuable knowledge.

Appears in the synopsis of the Korean film Pawn, the plot shows that Doo-seok is Seung-yi’s real family. While taking care of Seung-yi, Doo-seok always thought that this girl was his baby. His feelings are always haunted by turmoil in his brain trying to remember the past. Movie Review

This was revealed when Seung-yi returned to her mother Myung-ja. In fact, he tells Doo-seok the truth. This is the reason why Myung-ja has the heart to make Seung-yi a guarantee. He tries to get Seung-yi closer to Doo-seok.

How is the continuation and complete story of the Korean film Pawn synopsis? Watch it continue by watching the film Pawn.

BLACK BOX – Review
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BLACK BOX – Review

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Imagine Total Recall meets Get Out, but with less horror elements, no subtext about race, and more family drama. That’s about the Black Box by debutant director Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr., who opened the anthology parade of eight films produced by Blumhouse Television, which will be released exclusively on Prime Video, Welcome to the Blumhouse. It is also possible that Osei-Kuffour, who wrote the script with Stephen Herman, took some inspiration from Christopher Nolan’s high-concept science fiction titles, particularly Inception. Just look at the name of the protagonist: Nolan Wright (Mamoudou Athie).

The first time we met Nolan, he was having a hard time managing his life, due to amnesia he suffered after a deadly accident that also killed his wife. He has to lose his job as a photographer because his abilities are considered to be declining, and he also relies heavily on his little daughter, Ava (Amanda Christine), who always prepares breakfast and dinner. In addition to memory loss, Nolan also often shows unusual attitudes. One of them is an explosive emotion, even though he has been known to be kind. Top Movie Site

Nolan almost gives up, until his younger brother who is a doctor, Gary (Tosin Morohunfola), introduces him to the number one brain wave expert, Dr. Lilian Brooks (Phylicia Rashad). With Dr. Lilian, Nolan underwent an experimental treatment method, using a device that is able to bring him into the subconscious world, including visiting his memories.

The farther Nolan goes to visit the “past”, the more we understand why he suffers from amnesia… ..but in an unexpected way. Black Box saves two twists. First is the “big twist” that lays out the background to Nolan’s condition. Osei-Kuffour is reluctant to underestimate the ability of the audience to draw their own conclusions, so that you will never find a vivid, protracted exposition. Unfortunately, at the same time the script is not clever enough and pays less attention to the details of the foundations of its science-fiction elements. There are many irregularities around the “rules” of the film regarding the subconscious and brain waves.

Meanwhile, the twist of the two, although “smaller”, left an impression. Most mainstream Hollywood films will say, “those who are gone will always be missed”. But the reality is not. Sometimes relatives and loved ones feel happier after being abandoned. Best Movie

Among these surprises, you might be surprised to find that the Black Box only contains a handful of terror, to be exact, each Nolan enters the subconscious, then is attacked by a faceless figure, whose appearance reflects the creatures from many horror films, complete with sound effects. “Broken” and imagined as his way of moving. The rest, this film tends to have minimal tension. Moreover, Osei-Kuffour is not that mature to be able to maximize the smallest amount of material. Movie Review

Luckily the actors are strong. Mamoudou Athie, who previously stole the show in Uncorked as a wine enthusiast, was able to immerse the audience in his confusion. The biggest charm comes from Amanda Christine, as Ava, the boy who is more mature than his age. But that is not a character hole, because there is a reason why Ava was forced to prematurely mature, while the actress decisively embraces the complex role, simultaneously injecting emotional weight that easily provokes sympathy.

The Lie – Review
Movie Review

The Lie – Review

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A remake of a German film entitled We Monsters (2015), The Lie actually has the potential to become a media model, about how to shift the bitter family drama typical of European filmmakers, towards thriller / horror that is more friendly to a wider audience. Unfortunately, Veena Sud, who acts as director and scriptwriter, has stripped too much of her exploration of the impact of divorce on children, which is the foundation of all her character problems. Top Movie Site

Kayla (Joey King) the name of our protagonist. A girl who doesn’t receive affection after her parents divorce. He lives with his mother, Rebecca (Mireille Enos), who works as a corporate lawyer, after deciding to leave the police. Meanwhile, his father, Jay (Peter Sarsgaard), is still determined to pursue success through music. That day, it was Jay’s turn to take Kayla to ballet school. On the way, the two meet Brittany (Devery Jacobs), Kayla’s best friend who is also going to the school. Kayla also invited Brittany to join their car.

Because he wants to relieve himself, Brittany asks Jay to stop the car in the middle of nowhere. Together with Kayla, Brittany entered the forest, but soon, Jay heard her daughter’s scream. Jay rushes to search, and finds Kayla crying, sitting on the edge of the bridge, as if she were about to jump into the fast-flowing river below. Then Kayla admitted that she had pushed Brittany. Apart from the swift currents, the relatively high distance from the bridge, plus the river’s condition in winter, made Jay believe Brittany was beyond help.

Jay decided to hide Kayla’s actions. Rebecca initially refused, but once she thought about the series of consequences her daughter could face, she agreed. A lie, which later ends up creating other lies. Yes, as the title suggests, The Lie talks about the impact of lies, and Veena Sud’s script is quite clever in utilizing this theme as thriller material. Best Movie

We often make lies as a way out of problems. Here, we are invited to one lie leading to another lie, which instead of solving it, actually adds to the problem. If the first lie hadn’t been spoken, nothing would have happened. The question is, where is the “first lie”?

The cold snowy background gives a dark atmosphere accordingly, as a stage for Veena Sud to show off her directorial capacity, which is able to slowly build tension. The intensity of the creeping, while the occasional, every time it is needed, can suddenly grip. Sud is like having fun playing with the audience, making us nervous to see the protagonists making mistakes.

But as mentioned above, The Lie has almost completely abandoned his exploration of the impact of divorce on children, especially adolescents. What appears on the screen is only simplification, where the impact is only used as justification for Kayla’s stupid decisions. There was no further investigation or discussion.

I don’t think The Lie chose the right ending either. There are two moments that can be used to end the story better. The first moment at the dinner table is the riskiest option, given that mainstream audiences won’t like ambiguity. But in closing, the moment perfectly captures the irony of family togetherness, while simultaneously flicking the meaning of the concept of “families protect each other”.

Then comes a twist, which for the veteran genre film audience, of course, won’t be hard to guess. The twist that tries hard to be covered up, to the point where the film seems to be cheating the audience, by taking advantage of the mental instability of the character, as a teenager victim of divorce. The Lie can also be ended shortly after the twist, which, although problematic, still contains strong irony as a resolution. But The Lie felt that the audience needed clarity, so the story ended only after a long exposition, and a closing shot aimed at blowing hope, rather than amplifying the bitterness caused by the domino effect of lies. Movie Review

On The Rocks – Review
Movie Review

On The Rocks – Review

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Sofia Coppola (Somewhere, The Bling Ring, The Beguiled) gave birth to her most “friendly” work through On the Rocks, a comedy-drama that, although it often touches on themes such as family, marriage, to gender roles, broadly talks about happiness. . That the form of happiness is different for each individual. That the source of one’s happiness can change over the course of life. That happiness is not an absolute black-and-white thing, in which to feel it, one need not (always) imitate the paths taken by others. Top Movie Site

Needless to say, we know Laura (Rashida Jones) is unhappy. His days were filled with the routine of taking his two daughters to school and courses, which became increasingly repetitive and tiring. Never mind finishing her latest book, Laura didn’t have time to take care of herself. The white, punched T-shirt she wore in one of the scenes, confirmed that. Details that prove that apart from the aesthetic that always appears in his work, his background in fashion helps Coppola to lay the foundation of his character through the clothes they wear.

Meanwhile, Laura’s husband, Dean (Marlon Wayans), is a successful young businessman. Because of his success, Dean was rarely at home, often traveling out of town and abroad, for the sake of the never ending meetings. Of course Laura was happy, but on the other hand, she began to feel abandoned. Once, at a party celebrating Dean’s company success, Laura stood alone, abandoned by her husband in a crowd of strangers. That’s where Laura meets Fiona (Jessica Henwick), a beautiful young girl who is Dean’s co-worker, as well as a figure who Laura suspects to be an affair with her husband.

Is it true that Dean was having an affair? Is the bag containing Fiona’s toiletries that Laura accidentally found in Dean’s suitcase sufficient evidence? Enter Felix (Bill Murray), Laura’s father, who even though he is old, continues his adventure as a love player. According to Felix, all men are the same: putting sex first, making it difficult to commit. Felix also offers his help to stalk Dean, to expose his affair. Best Movie

From there Coppola builds his most playful film, through the investigation of the two main characters, which involves driving a red Alfa Romeo in the middle of a busy New York street, to an impromptu trip to Mexico. Thanks to his penchant for traveling all over the world, plus the wealth of selling art goods, it’s as if everyone knows Felix, which makes it easy for him to gather information.

Murray is perfectly central to the Coppola script, which is composed of intriguing chatter full of sexist theory from the mouth of Felix, who repeatedly states that from time immemorial, the role of women is servants of male passions. But Murray’s charisma, which easily hypnotizes women, makes viewers less likely to hate him. Meanwhile, Rashida Jones is the polar opposite, becoming a figure full of insurances, like the women around Felix, lulled, then believe the words “reassuring” his father.

Maybe like me, you expected On the Rocks to immediately confront Felix’s sexism. In fact, not. Sofia Coppola is smarter than that. He let Felix joke around, while Laura tossed between worries. It was only in the final half, Coppola’s rebuttal. Not with anger or antagonization. All of that is unnecessary, because Coppola argued while bringing concrete evidence, which shows how men like Felix can only see things from one point of view. Movie Review

But no hatred. On the Rocks is a hopeful perspective on love, which does not close our eyes to the reality related to male sexism. The orientation is happiness. First we met Felix, he asked his daughter to whistle. Laura couldn’t. Precisely since having children. Whistling is synonymous with happiness, or when someone is enjoying something (read: life). Laura has had a hard time enjoying life since starting a family. In the end, he didn’t need to throw everything away to get that happiness again. Because as Felix said in one of the sweetest (even though simple) moments of the film, everyone has their own adventure.

Rebecca- Review
Movie Review

Rebecca- Review

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Rebecca (2020) based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier of the same name released in 1938. This synopsis of the film, starring Lily James and Armie Hammer, tells the story of a husband and wife who have just married. After living together, the woman leads an uncomfortable life because her husband is still trying to escape from the shadow of his first wife who died.

Rebecca opened in a Monte Carlo setting when the young female character played by Lily James was still working as an assistant to a wealthy woman. In that city, he also meets Maxim de Winter (Armie Hammer), a wealthy widower who owns a large land called Manderley. Top Movie Site

The two of them are getting closer every day and finally decided to continue their relationship to the level of marriage. The woman who is now known as Mrs. de Winter also lives with her husband in a large residence in the Manderley area. However, conflicts began to emerge when he moved into the residence and made the life of the woman never calm.

The reason is, Mrs. de Winter is “haunted” by the memory of Rebecca as Maxim’s ex-wife who has not yet disappeared from her husband’s memory. The condition was exacerbated by the presence of Mrs. Danvers (Kristen Scott Thomas), the manager of the Manderley residence who often evoked memories from Rebecca.

The storyline will also be very interesting if you have never read the original novel or the film version of Rebecca (1940), directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Moreover, behind the plot we are presented with a number of plot twists that are quite surprising.

However, for those of you who have seen the Rebecca version in the previous adaptation, this Netflix original film will be less memorable. The thing is, the storyline is exactly the same, so the plot twist in it is not surprising because it was guessed. Moreover, Rebecca who was directed by Ben Wheatley was “haunted” by the version of Alfred Hitchcock who won “Best Picture” at the Oscars.

So, as a whole, the storyline in this remake film will be enjoyed by those who have never watched the Alfred Hitchcock version at all. However, if you just want to compare the two versions, there’s nothing wrong with watching this film because there are a number of other factors that make you feel at home watching.

Movie Review
As a Netflix original, there should be no doubt about the visual aspect of Rebecca’s film. You will be presented with a number of stunning visuals of the scene, especially when most of the setting is located in Manderley. Your eyes will be spoiled by the panoramic views of the hills and beaches which are very beautiful and ‘soothing’.

One of the factors that make you feel at home when watching Rebecca’s film is the presence of actors with captivating visuals and their acting skills that steal the attention. Armie Hammer and Lily James successfully present husband-wife chemistry in this one film. The evolution of James’ character from an innocent girl to a very determined woman throughout the film also deserves appreciation.

In addition, there is one actor whose acting really stole the show in this film, namely Kristen Scott Thomas who plays Mrs. Danvers. Thanks to Thomas’s brilliant acting, you may also be resentful of Mrs Danvers’ bad attitude towards Mrs de Winter. Thomas is really able to play the emotions of the audience through his acting skills in this film.

Best Movie
Broadly speaking, Rebecca will be suitable to watch for those of you who like thriller-psychological genre films with elements of romance in them. If you are interested, this film can be watched streaming on Netflix starting October 21, 2020.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Review
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The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Review

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The Trial of the Chicago 7, which marks Aaron Sorkin’s second time as director after Molly’s Game (2017), addresses the above issues, giving birth to parallels between the events of 1968 when riots broke out at the Democratic National Convention and the present. The best period films are not limited to a journey through the past, they also make the audience compare with current conditions, thus creating the question, “How far have we gone?” Top Movie Site

The opening sequence is used to introduce the protagonists one by one, where in just a few short sentences, Sorkin manages to describe the ideology carried by each figure. The editing made it seem as if they were finishing each other’s sentences, as if implying that later these eight people would bump into each other. To be precise, they were forced to intersect in a long series of trials that lasted for about a year.

Eight people were arrested on charges of conspiracy after riots broke out amid protests against the United States’ decision to increase the number of soldiers sent to Vietnam. They are: Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong) as frontman of Yippies (Youth International Party); David Dellinger (John Carroll Lynch) for leading the pacifist movement against violence; Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne) and Rennie Davis (Alex Sharp) as activators of the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam aka the Mobe; Bobby Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) the leader of the Black Panther Party; and two activists, John Froines (Daniel Flaherty) and Lee Weiner (Noah Robbins).

For about 130 minutes, we were invited to attend what Abbie called a “political trial”. Their lawyer, William Kunstler (Mark Rylance) initially disagreed with the title. But over time, it became difficult for both us and Kunstler to disagree with Abbie, after the authorities did everything they could to criminalize the Chicago Eight (only became the Chicago Seven after the trial for Bobby Seale was split). Best Movie

Richard Schultz (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) as the prosecutor is already an equal opponent. But as if that wasn’t enough, Judge Julius Hoffman (Frank Langella) continues to commit ridiculous injustices. Not to mention the various other cheats, including when sending a threatening letter to the family of one of the judges using the name Black Panther Party as an attempt to slander.

Sorkin actually uses these injustices as a medium to unite eight people with different ideologies (differences that often lead to disputes, especially between Abbie and Tom). The more the opposing side releases its weapon, the more aware the protagonists, that despite their ideological differences, they have the same enemy. Without needing to give a lecture, Sorkin also succeeded in making the audience aware that the real enemy was the power holders who rejected the rights of minorities, as well as ranks of thugs in uniform who were brutalizing the people they should serve and protect.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 also marks Sorkin’s efforts to produce works that are friendlier to audiences outside of his fans. The sentences are still rich, sharp, tickling occasionally, and of course memorable. “Martin’s dead. Bobby’s dead. Jesus is dead. They tried it peacefully. We’re going to try something else, ”said Bobby. Sounds odd, but provokes reflection. But in contrast to Sorkin’s habits so far, the delivery of these sentences was not as fast as an automatic rifle shell. The lay audience will have no trouble keeping up. Sorkin also offered crowd pleasing conclusions, which made me imagine what this film would be like, if the initial plan in 2007 to give the director position to Steven Spielberg was carried out.

Regarding directing, Sorkin is more mature. The best sequence is the first riot, when demonstrators march towards the police station to free Tom. The tempo increases gradually, the dynamic editing alternates showing two contradictory statements from each side, a combination of recreated scenes and original footage, plus adrenaline-pumping music by Daniel Pemberton (Steve Jobs, Spider-Man: Into the Spdier-Verse) Sorkin has perfected his ability to build momentum so powerful to drive the emotions of the audience.

No less shining ranks of players. As usual, Redmayne is solid as a fragile man who tries to be strong. A man who spoke words of conviction with complete disbelief. A man who seemed like he could collapse at any time but refused to stop halfway. Langella is an easy-to-hate antagonist, while Michael Keaton has a glorified cameo that leaves an impression.

But Sacha Baron Cohen is the best. Abbie is an activist, hippie, and comic. The combination that makes him at first glance just an unreliable silly man, but the more sharp and witty sarcasm escapes his mouth, the more admirable his figure, which helps explain how, under pressure from the authorities, democracy refused to retreat in 1968. Movie Review

Clouds – Review
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Clouds – Review

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In one of the most touching scenes in Clouds, after (accidentally) confessing his love for his best friend, Zach Sobiech (Fin Argus), who has terminal cancer, Sammy (Sabrina Carpenter) admits that he often wanders about the future, where they are will go to college, live their own lives, both have boyfriends, but maybe, one day, will meet again and realize that they both love each other. I was made to imagine scenarios about that future imagination. Top Movie Site

The same thing, but in a different context, also happened to Zach’s relationship with his lover, Amy (Madison Iseman). What was life like for Amy after Zach died? Surely he will have another lover, maybe even get married. How would Amy feel, if in the midst of a relationship with the new partner, she thought of Zach? Was the real Amy thinking the same thing as me when accompanying Zach through his last days?

Clouds is a film that makes me care so much about the characters, to imagine their lives outside of the film. The fact that this is based on a true story makes the above images add to the emotional impact. Based on the memoir Fly a Little Higher: How God Answered a Mom’s Small Prayer in a Big Way by Zach’s mother, Laura Sobiech (played by Neve Campbell in this film), the film chronicles Zach’s struggle against terminal cancer, resulting in a phenomenal song titled Clouds, which is able to perch at position 26 on the Billboard Hot 11 chart, even the video clip was viral and watched 15 million times on Youtube.

Zach is relentless, refusing to let cancer keep him from living a happy life. He likes to make dark jokes about his condition. Every morning he threw up in the bathroom, then dressed as neatly as possible, practicing a smile in the mirror, before appearing to his family, as if nothing had happened. Best Movie

Since childhood, Zach is friendly with Sammy, and as written in the opening paragraph, Sammy secretly likes Zach. Love is unrequited, because Zach fell in love with Amy, who later became his lover. Luckily there is no conflict love triangle. Even Sammy played a role in uniting Zach and Amy. The two teenage girls eventually became close friends. Thanks to that, Clouds becomes even more meaningful, telling a story in which death is not just a matter of separation, it can also unite.

Clouds is positive, but it doesn’t overlook the vulnerability of the protagonist. After all, knowing that one’s own death is approaching will certainly fuel fear and worry. “What’s the point of writing a college essay if I’m never going to college ?!”, says Zach. The narrative used as the opening and closing of the film helps us understand the turmoil of their hearts: “Most teenagers out there feel like they’re invincible. Not the Superman kind of invincible. The kind of invincible that tricks you into thinking tomorrow might be a better day to start chasing your dreams ”. At an age where he feels at the top of the world, Zach must face the end.

It’s hard to hold back the emotions for 121 minutes of its duration, when Clouds takes turns presenting sweet moments (Zach asks Amy to be his partner for the prom at a Jason Mraz concert, the process of writing lyrics when Zach and Sammy take turns writing sentences in a notebook), touching (concert at Metro when the entire audience sang Clouds together), and heartbreaking (the doctor told the Zach family that he was only a few days old).

The duration is indeed a bit too long, even though the plot lasts too long in one phase, before discovering new dynamics when Zach and Sammy (as duo A Firm Handshake) get a recording contract. The formula is very legible, namely a collection of moments of angling anguish, which luckily is executed elegantly with the right emotional dose. Similar to Zach’s lyrics, the script written by Kara Holden contains sentences that can convey beauty through simplicity, without needing to sound poetic. Meanwhile, Justin Baldoni (Five Feet Apart) directing never exaggerates the dramatization.

The ranks of players are no less great. Both the trio of young performers (Fin Argus, Sabrina Carpenter, Madison Iseman) and seniors (Neve Campbell and Tom Everett Scott) conveyed their feelings convincingly, making it easier for the audience to laugh, fall in love, and cry with them. Movie Review

Let Me In – Review
Movie Review

Let Me In – Review

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How many vampire-themed films have you watched? Even though using the same theme, each director has his own way of presenting a story about a vampire and his life. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Van Helsing, Blade, Underworld, I Am Legend, and Twilight Saga are some examples of vampire-themed films that are quite successful in the market. Carrying a “very Hollywood” concept, these films have always managed to perch on the box office board. Top Movie Site

In 2010, in addition to the famous Twilight Saga, there was another vampire film that unfortunately did not get much attention because of its packaging that was different from Hollywood films in general. The film by Matt Reeves is titled Let Me In, which is an adaptation of the Swedish film Let the Right One In (2008). The Swedish version of the film is actually an adaptation of a novel of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

This film is about the friendship of two children, Owen (Kodi Smith-McPhee) and Abby (Chloe Grace Moretz). Their friendship is very unique because Abby is a vampire. Owen, who had social difficulties at school because he was always teased by his older friends, seemed to have a personal “guard” who would always watch over him, wherever Owen was. Best Movie

This film, which is set in the 1980s, is packaged in a very different style. Even though it had been adapted before, Matt Reeves chose to reconstruct the film based on the novel version. This film does not take the point of view of how a vampire survives, but rather the essence of the friendship that exists between Abby and Owen. In this film, I see the other side of a vampire who is gloomy, sad, and “forced” to find victims just to survive. Abby’s only happiness and hope is Owen, the only person in the world who knows her situation and has vowed to be with Abby forever.

For some people who are used to watching vampire movies that are “very Hollywood”, this film may feel boring. The plot is very slow and tends to be filled with inner conflicts and romance. However, the essence of friendship and affection is very thick here, making us feel a little emotion and empathy for the characters in them.

Matt Reeves probably never chased box office milestones while working on this film. This can be seen from the film’s revenue which is only around US $ 21 million, compared to the initial budget of US $ 20 million. However, Reeves can be proud that this film has received a fairly good appreciation among film figures, making him nominated in 11 categories in eight award events. Many people give thumbs up for the excellent acting of Chloe and Kodi, which is considered one of the best acts. Movie Review