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Showing posts from August, 2016

Remembering the Best of Gene Wilder

Sadly, we lost another wonderful performer this week. One that brought joy and laughter into our lives with a natural and unfettered ease that's so rare to find in this modern age of shticks and one-dimensional comedians. Gene Wilder lost his battle with Alzheimer's Disease at the age of 83. Delivering many iconic roles throughout his career, I've decided to devote August's movie list of the month to best performances from Gene Wilder (July's list). Yet, since I was only born in 1983, I admittedly haven't seen all of Wilder's work. Therefore, my list only comprises of those roles in which I've had the distinct pleasure of enjoying. So here they are, the best performances from another lost legend of Hollywood:

Honorable Mention:The Frisco Kid, Silver Streak and Stir Crazy

#5. Blazing Saddles (1974)

Comedy is a universal language. And when it comes to Mel Brooks' controversial comedy Western, Blazing Saddles, the laughs are in endless supply. A western t…

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS (2016) REVIEW : Tingkah Jenaka Rahasia Para Binatang Peliharaan

Sebuah film animasi mungkin adalah cara sineas untuk mengemas ide dari apa yang mereka pikirkan yang mana tujuannya adalah untuk dikonsumsi oleh penonton. Memang, sebagian besar film animasi ditujukan untuk anak-anak sebagai sarana hiburan setelah penat menjalani kegiatan belajar mengajar sehari-harinya. Banyak rumah produksi yang berlomba-lomba menghasilkan sebuah film animasi yang ditujukan sebagai medium untuk melepas penat sejenak bersama keluarga. Salah satu rumah produksi itu adalah Illumination Pictures yang dinaungi oleh Universal Pictures.
Rumah produksi satu ini berhasil sukses lewat Despicable Me, apalagi karakter minions yang sudah memiliki banyak penggemar. Selain proyek Despicable Me dan minion-nya, Illumination Entertainment berusaha membuat proyek setup baru untuk dijadikan proyek yang menjanjikan. The Secret Life of Pets, menawarkan berbagai macam kejenakaan para binatang peliharaan yang memiliki ‘kegiatan’ lain setelah para majikan pergi.
Kegiatan-kegiatan inilah y…

Manchester by the Sea and My Blind Brother Trailers

After earning an Oscar nomination for screenwriting with his 2000 directorial debut, You Can Count on Me, it took Kenneth Lonergan over ten years to return to filmmaking. And with controversial disputes between Lonergan and the movie studio resulting in a chopped down and heavily-trimmed version of the film, the 2011 indie Margaret never lived up to its hype. Lonergan finally returns with Manchester by the Sea, a Sundance selection that premiered to rave reviews. In the film, Casey Affleck stars as an uncle who's forced to become the guardian of his teenage nephew after the unexpected death of his brother. Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler and Matthew Broderick co-star in this November release that could be a huge Oscar player later this year.

On a bit of a lighter note, Sophie Goodhart's indie comedy and festival darling, My Blind Brother, unveiled a trailer earlier this week. Sibling rivalry takes on a whole new meaning when Bill (Nick Kroll) and his overbearing blind brother,…

Rapid Reviews: Don't Breathe and Florence Foster Jenkins

There horror genre has been exploding recently. James Wan has taken haunting and possession films to a whole new level while an impressive string of clever premises have surfaced in films like The Babadook, It Follows, Lights Out and Fede Alvarez's new endeavor, Don't Breathe. Alvarez is best known for his 2013 gory and visceral remake of the genre classic Evil Dead. While he tones down the violence in his latest work, he still develops another winning recipe that propels him among the best contemporary horror directors.

On the mean streets of Detroit a trio of friends earn their money through a seemingly flawless burglary scheme. And when news breaks of a secluded and blind war veteran sitting on a king's ransom, Rocky (Jane Levy) sees the opportunity as her way out of town. But on what's supposed to be their final robbery, they unlock a sinister secret and a freakish nemesis who refuses to let them make it out alive.

There's an unruly tension caked beautifully into…

The Best Films of 2016 (so far) - Part II

Earlier this week I unveiled the first half of my list highlighting the best movies so far this year. If you haven't seen or read PART I, I recommend doing so before you go continue on. Now, if you're caught up with all of my films #6 through #10 and honorable mentions, then here they are, my top five movies so far this year:

#5. The Nice Guys

If you're seeking one of the most fun and entertaining crime-comedies of the year, look no further than Shane Black's The Nice Guys. As the director of the cash-printing superhero success Iron Man 3, Black trades his Marvel credentials for a return to his buddy-comedy roots. His career in the industry launched with writing credits on the first and second Lethal Weapon films only to earn his directorial debut with 2005's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Needless to say, Black's return to his roots goes very well as Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling star as a misfit pair who team up to solve the mystery of a missing girl and her connection …

The Best Films of 2016 (so far) - Part I

2016 is reaching that transitional period where the cinematic year navigates from early year and blockbuster releases to the Oscar-destined features. It's at this time where I like to look back over the past eight months and highlight my favorites of the year, so far. Here they are, the best film I've witnessed up to this point:

Honorable Mention:Cafe Society, Eddie the EagleKeanu and Loving

#10. Captain America: Civil War

Back in 2008 Marvel Studios kicked off Phase One of their ever-expanding film universe. It's been a long time coming and Phase Three finally arrived with the epic showdown between Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) in 2016's Civil War. Now I'm no comic geek or Marvel enthusiasts, but I have seen all of their films except one (Thor: The Dark World). And with the countless titles in their catalog, Civil War hovers confidently near the top of the totem pole. Boasting immaculate special effects, especially those during the …

Rapid Reviews: The Light Between Oceans and Hell or High Water

August is coming to a close and that means the summer blockbuster lineup will begin to give way to fall and winter's slate of starry-eyed Oscar hopefuls. One such film comes from ambitious auteur, Derek Cianfrance, an indie success story whose 2010 film, Blue Valentine, landed Michelle Williams an Oscar nomination. a pair of years later the director returned with The Place Beyond the Pines, a lengthy three-act effort that examines the effects of a parental tragedy on their children many years later. The arduous attempt failed to resonate with Academy voters, but was still well received by critics and viewers alike. And, unfortunately, Cianfrance's new bold effort, The Light Between Oceans, once again represents a challenging tale that should fall shy of Oscar contention.

Adapted from M.L. Stedman's novel of the same name, Michael Fassbander stars as Tom Sherbourne, a war veteran who returns and finds work as a lighthouse keeper on a secluded island off the coast of Australi…

Arrival and Allied Trailers

Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve has been on a successful run of late with films such as Sicario and Prisoners. He returns once again in 2016 with the intriguing new sci-fi drama, Arrival. Amy Adams stars as a linguistics expert who is summoned by the U.S. government to join a team of specialists after a mysterious spacecraft arrives on Earth. She must try to communicate with these alien lifeforms and discover their overall intentions. Arrival appears to have all the makings of a late year Oscar contender and its worth keeping an eye out for the film's November 11th release

Robert Zemeckis gave us one of the greatest films in cinematic history, Best Picture winner Forrest Gump. The brilliant visionary is also responsible for hits such as the Back to the Future trilogy, Contact and Flight. Zemeckis delivers his latest effort, the World War II action drama Allied, later this year. Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard co-star as an intelligence officer and a resistance fighter who cross …

Rapid Reviews: Suicide Squad and Pete's Dragon (2016)

One of this summer's most hyped blockbuster releases surrounded David Ayer's super-villain action comedy, Suicide Squad. Despite overwhelmingly harsh reviews, the film opened to a record-breaking $133.6 million dollar weekend. Clearly audiences weren't initially deterred by what the critics had to say, but which is it? Is Suicide Squad an over-analyzed summer sensation or another dud from the DC Comics film universe?

When a dire threat unveils itself, the U.S. Government is forced to assemble a specially selected team on super-villains to restore order. With promises of reduced sentences looming over their heads upon the completion of their mission, all eyes shift to these worst of the worst who must decide whether or not to do something for the greater good.

As someone eager and motivated to rush out and catch Suicide Squad on Friday morning of its debut weekend, I had high hopes for this massively marketed DC Comics flick. However, a punishingly poor screenplay destroys an…

SUICIDE SQUAD (2016) REVIEW : Penuh Ambisi Yang Hanya Sekedar Ilusi

DC Extended Universe sudah mulai untuk melebarkan dunianya. Banyak set up bermunculan yang sudah menetapkan tanggal-tanggal rilis hingga pada akhirnya menuju ke satu titik akhir bernama Justice League. Tetapi, keberadaan DC Extended Universe ini semakin lama semakin terancam. Kubu-kubu penikmat DC Extended Universe pun terpecah atas kualitas yang diberikan oleh Warner Bros saat memproduseri setiap film-film yang diadaptasi dari komiknya.
Ada sedikit ketakutan yang timbul di setiap film-film DC Extended Universe. Apalagi, Batman V Superman : Dawn of Justice memiliki performa yang kurang dapat diterima. Di tahun ini, DC pun mengeluarkan sebuah set up lain yang membuat DC Extended Universe semakin luas. Suicide Squad, film anti-superhero yang ditangani oleh David Ayer ini mendapatkan antusiasme tinggi dari calon penontonnya yang bahkan bukan fans komik DC. Tim marketing dari Suicide Squad pun mati-matian mendongkrak penjualan dari film ini hingga titik puncak yang ternyata membuat beberap…

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (NEW) and Bad Santa 2 (Red-Band) Trailers

Following the massive success of last year's Star Wars The Force Awakens, it opened up the floodgates for franchise spin-offs to dominate box offices for years to come. First up is Gareth Edwards' upcoming film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope in the scope of the series' timeline, this new effort centers around a rebellion criminal named Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) who's freed to embark on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. Early footage has looked amazing and this new trailer divulges even more about the story. James Earl Jones also offers his voice for the iconic villain, Darth Vader, once again. Check out the second trailer for Rogue One, which opens on December 16th, below.

Comedy sequels have become as common as the sunrise, even if they take over a decade to happen. I absolutely loved the 2003 hit, Bad Santa, therefore you can count me all in for its long-awaited sequel this November. In the latest chapter W…

Sausage Party

Film: Sausage Party

Starring: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig and Michael Cera

Directors: Greg Tiernan (Thomas & Friends) and Conrad Vernon (Shrek 2)

U.S. Release: August 12th, 2016 (Rated R)

Genre: Comedy

Runtime: 89 minutes

It was love at first sight when I stumbled across the debut red-band trailer for Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's latest stoner comedy, Sausage Party. From the same minds that delivered comedic gold such as This Is the End and Superbad, this new animated feature tackles the clever perspective of food and everyday household items living within a giant grocery store. And even though I possessed the loftiest of expectations for Sausage Party, I couldn't help but leave the theater satisfied with this summer's biggest breakout comedy.

Frank (voice of Seth Rogen) is a packaged sausage living inside of a grocery store beside the bun of his dreams, Brenda (Kristen Wiig). While the star-crossed lovers patiently await their selection from the human "gods", a bit …

DVD Outlook: August 2016

August has arrived and the money-printing blockbuster, Suicide Squad, is breaking box office records. My review is coming shortly for the latest DC Comics film, but (spoiler alert!) it's a pretty lofty letdown. Therefore, you may want to turn to some of the new films arriving to DVD and Blu-Ray this month (July's suggestions). So without making you wait any longer, here are my picks for August's newest movie options.

The Nice Guys - 3 stars out of 4 - (Read my full review here)

Despite being known for his most recent superhero effort, Iron Man 3, writer/director Shane Black has delivered on of 2016's finest films so far with his crime comedy, The Nice Guys. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe star as a private investigator and an "enforcer" who team up together to piece together the suicide of a porn star in 1970s Los Angeles and its possible connections with another missing woman. The Nice Guys succeeds with a heavy dose of laugh-out-loud humor that eases the audie…

Masterminds (NEW) and Office Christmas Party Trailers

Despite an initial trailer release almost a year ago, director Jared Hess' (Napoleon Dynamite) action comedy, Masterminds, has dropped another preview before its late-September theatrical run. This unfathomable true story follows David Ghantt (Zach Galifianakis), an armored truck driver caught in the monotony of life and desperate for some thrills. And when David's work-crush Kelly (Kristen Wiig) convinces him to rob their armored truck together, they take off with $17 million which leads to a deep and twisted sequence of double-crossing. While I have some reservation regarding Masterminds, a mere 94 minute running time could be a breath of fresh air for this large collection of comedy stars. Catch the newest trailer for Masterminds below.

Another over-the-top comedy arriving in 2016 belongs to filmmakers Josh Gordon and Will Speck, co-directors of The Switch and Blades of Glory. Their latest endeavor centers around a branch manager named Josh (Jason Bateman) who discovers that…

Rapid Reviews: Bad Moms and Cafe Society

I've still been in search of that quintessential breakout comedy of the summer blockbuster season. Therefore, as I stumbled upon this past weekend's release of the well received female-centric comedy, Bad Moms, my fingers were crossed that co-writers and directors, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (21 and Over), wouldn't disappoint. Yet, despite a strong first half to the film, Bad Moms culminates in an all too familiar, over-the-top fashion.

Life has been hard for Amy (Milas Kunis) since she had her first child at the young age of 20. With a less than helpful husband at home, an unappreciative boss and constant pressure from the many "perfect" moms at her children's school, Amy deserves a much-needed break from it all. So when she discovers her husband has feelings for another woman, she unites with fellow moms, Carla and Kiki (Kathryn Hahn and Kristen Bell), to let loose and enjoy her newfound sense of freedom.

I've always appreciated the work of Mila Kunis. She…