some quotes....

I just want to tell you, I'm the one who was supposed to take care of everything. I'm the one who was supposed to make everything okay for everybody. It just didn't work out like that. And I left. I left you... And now, I'm an old broken down piece of meat... and I'm alone. And I deserve to be all alone. I just don't want you to hate me.

-Randy 'The Ram' Robinson, The Wrestler

samedi 17 juin 2017

One sentence reviews (11)

Phần 5
Phần 6
Phần 7
Phần 8
Phần 9
Phần 10

01. Magnificent Seven (2016): 3/5

A surprisingly okay action film with lazy script but decently-laid-out characters. Of course you can hardly go wrong with the tight structure and archetypical characters of "Seven Samurai", but bringing in a bunch of dependable or at least decent actors ("actors", as the only leading female Haley Bennett was unremarkable in her role, although partly due to the typically Hollywood and disappointing treatment of female characters in this film), and setting the film in the fresh environment of the Wild Wild West really help. The film would have been much better had its director and writers paid more attention to actual character development instead of cheesy and sometime annoying sequences full of banters or nonsense dialogues. The ending of the film also noticeably lacked the underlying message of the original "Seven Samurai", which is the "magnificence" of common people ("the villagers") with simple mind but stronger will than any "hero" of extreme prowess. Nevertheless, still a very enjoyable action film this one definitely is.

02. Silence (2017): 3/5

Supposed to be an inspiring cinematic experience, this film turned out to be very underwhelming with slow pace, uneventful script, and uninspiring acting. Of course the source material being a psychological novel with strong focus on theological thoughts must make it difficult for Martin Scorsese to translate its values into his language of cinema. But  such obstacle should not be considered an excuse for such beacon of world cinema like Scorsese, especially when the film still possesses the best technical characteristics of a Scorsese's work, from the cool palette of cinematography (Rodrigo Prieto really is a dependable DoP), to the smooth editing by none other than Thelma Schoonmaker, but the poor performance by Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver and ALL Japanese actors did not provide the audience with any chance to sympathize with the ordeal of the film's protagonists. The acting of the Japanese cast is really atrocious, the often-charismatic Tadanobu Asano included, which can be attributed to either poor casting, or lackluster direction of Scorses, or simply subpar talents, or all of them, but when even Liam Neeson could not impress the viewers (his way smaller role in "Gangs of New York" is much more impressive than his appearance in this film), one should question the quality of film-making here. Cinephiles all over the world can only hope that Scorsese will bounce back in his next film, because this one is really disappointing given his high standard and consistent turn-out.

03. The Brand New Testament (2015): 4/5

A surprisingly refreshing film. Although its script is not really sophisticated with a less-than-satisfactory ending, this film still warmed my heart with its humanistic approach to daily struggles of "normal" people under the religious disguise of a "rewritten Bible" with simple but charming characters, rough settings but full of superb visualizations that reminded me of Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro at their peak twenty (!) years ago (with a bonus that is a frame-to-frame replica of the famous "nudes in supermarket" sequence from "Cashback"). Jaco Van Dormael really is a low-key excellent director.

04. The Bodyguard (2016): 1.5/5

The film synopsis reminded me of "Man on Fire" (how I miss Tony Scott!) but the actual film is just a mess, pure mess. Incoherent plot, extremely poor acting, lackluster choreography, such a forgettable flic.  

05. Logan (2017): 4/5

An okay superhero film but not as breakthrough as I thought. The R-rating of this film really is a bless for its choreography, as the film's action looks raw, realistic, and different from other tone-down superhero films. But the plot, which obviously borrows elements from Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" and Naughty Dog's "The Last of Us", seemed to be refreshing at first but grew to be repetitive and tiring as the film went on due to the lack of character development/revelation (especially regarding Professor X and Laura) as a sacrifice for the heavy focus on Wolverine, who is still as grumpy and aggressive as in any other X-Men film despite the newly-found resignation. The conventional ending is another disappointment, especially given the underuse of the young mutants during the climax (including the almighty Laura), and a very one-dimensional cast of villains. A 4-star is as generous as I can give for this film. 

06. The Accountant (2016): 3/5

The plot is incoherent at parts but the action is surprisingly solid, whereas the character "The Accountant" himself is well-built (despite all the mumbo jumbo about his past) with cool appearance (post-"Gone Girl" Ben Affleck seems to be much comfortable in his roles), John Wick-like abilities (a new trend these days), and the necessary absence of cliches about a troubled past or cheesy romances (the subplot about Anna Kendrick's Dana is totally unnecessary in this regard). The "revelation" in the end is another disappointment, but otherwise this film laid out the ground work that is promising enough for any decent sequel (and indeed it is under preparation).

07. Okja (2017): 3.5/5

The first half really reminded me of "The Host", only cuter and more focused. But the second half is just meh, except for an exhilarating sequence inside the slaughter house. An okay action film but not more than that.  

08. Proof of Innocence (2016): 2.5/5

An honest but silly attempt in "remaking" "Chinatown" with South Korean setting (slashed nose again, really?). The acting is actually not that bad, but the forced script with a ridiculous "villain" and ending really undermined the film's positive emphasis on human interaction.