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Showing posts from May, 2017

Alien: Covenant

Film: Alien: Covenant

Starring: Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs) and Billy Crudup (Almost Famous)

Director: Ridley Scott (Gladiator)

U.S. Release: May 26th, 2017 (Rated R)

Genre: Horror

Runtime: 123 minutes

For as puzzling and ambiguous as Ridley Scott's long awaited return to the Alien franchise was with 2012's prequel, Prometheus, the symbiotic relationship between filmmaker and sci-fi saga still rang true. And a handful of years since that release, Scott dives back into the unfriendly confines of outer space with the follow-up, Alien: Covenant. With similarities and differences abound, Covenant fully embraces its predecessor while unveiling its purpose with a massively altered approach.

A colonization mission is under way on the spaceship known as Covenant. But when an unforeseen issue awakens many of the vessel's passengers from their sleep chambers, they soon discover an Earthly signal from nearby inhabitable plan…

Spider-Man: Homecoming (NEWEST) and Despicable Me 3 Trailers

We've been given a ton of Spider-Man: Homecoming footage, perhaps enough to know most of the film's storyline already, but who would really refuse another look into Jon Watts' upcoming summer blockbuster? Tom Holland reprises his brief cameo role as Peter Parker from Civil War and we're given a deeper look into the teenager's chaotic life. Peter masks his alter ego with an internship at Stark Industries where Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) provides an assortment of gadgets to Spider-Man's suit that he'll need to master in order to defeat a new foe, The Vulture (Michael Keaton). Catch the final trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming below.

People who follow me know that I'm not the softest of critics when it comes to animated features. However, one franchise that has a direct line to my funny bone is the Despicable Me series. A third installment finds its way to theaters on June 30th, where former super-villain Gru (voice of Steve Carell) discovers a twin bro…

The Best Tom Hardy Performances

Tom Hardy's career trajectory is still trending upwards. Co-starring in another Christopher Nolan collaboration, Dunkirk, and with the recent news that Hardy has agreed to play the Marvel super-villain, Venom, the future looks bright for this British acting talent. Tom Hardy is a personal favorite of mine and I'm thrilled to devote May's movie list of the month to honoring his spectacular career (April's list).

Honorable Mention: Legend, Locke, Max Max: Fury Road and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

#5. The Drop (2014)

Michael R. Roskam's The Drop will forever be remembered as the late James Gandolfini's last film. This slow-burning crime drama, adapted from a Dennis Lehane short story. follows a bartender (Hardy) at the center of a bar robbery in the underworld of Brooklyn's mob scene. Hardy molds an emotionally broad character whose maneuvered development truly stands as the film's most impressive component. 

#4. Warrior (2011)

While I had certainly seen earlier …

The Glass Castle and It (NEW) Trailers

Brie Larson became a household name thanks to her Oscar-winning performance in the heavy 2015 drama, Room. Yet, anyone who's followed Larson knows that she's been offering quality work for quite some time now. Her most unforgivable omission came following a masterful turn in Destin Cretton's Short Term 12. The duo re-team in the 2017 August release, The Glass Castle. Larson stars as a young woman who must come to grips with her dysfunctional childhood upbringing at the hands of her drunkard father (Woody Harrelson), as she examines where her life currently stands. I was blown away by Short Term 12 and look forward to anything the collaborative talents of Cretton and Larson attempt. You can catch the debut trailer for The Glass Castle below.

Much has been made about the highly anticipated remake of Stephen King's classic tale, It. The film's debut trailer painted a familiar picture and Andres Muschietta's latest preview provides an in-depth look at the horror ico…

Battle of the Sexes and War for the Planet of the Apes (NEW)

As an outspoken fan of the directing duo Jonathan Davis and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine & Ruby Sparks), when news broke that they'd be teaming with the Academy Award winning screenwriter, Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire & 127 Hours), Battle of the Sexes immediately sprung to the top section of my year's most anticipated releases. In her first performance since capturing the Best Actress Oscar, Emma Stone stars as famed tennis player Billie Jean King, who accepted the circus-show challenge of former champ, Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell), to square off in a man vs. woman tennis match. Battle of the Sexes unveiled its debut trailer yesterday and the September release could set an early bar for the awards season.

There are some positives and negatives hovering around the third venture into the Planet of the Apes reboot. Matt Reeves is back at the helm in a clearly escalating franchise, all things worth getting excited over. However, you can only pit man against beast…

Rapid Reviews: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and The Wall

Recently I offered an outpouring of love for James Gunn's surprisingly successful first installment, Guardians of the Galaxy, by labeling it as the best entry within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Needless to say, my anticipation for the franchise's second film was astronomical, something I haven't said about any sequel for quite some time. Yet, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 fails to advance the Marvel story with a dull and lifeless character examination of Peter Quill.

Daddy issues resurface as the mystery surrounding Peter Quill's (Chris Pratt) biological father becomes quickly addressed. Kurt Russell co-stars as Ego, the mystery man who helped spawn Star-Lord, and he returns with a bit of surprising news. Ego is what's referred to as a celestial, a god-like being with immense powers, and he helps Peter recognize his own superior abilities as they slowly reconnect after decades apart.

As I have stated before, I am no purist to the Marvel comics. In fact, the…

CRITICAL ELEVEN (2017) REVIEW : Mempercayai Sebuah Cinta Dengan Segala Turbulensinya

Dari sekian banyak film-film dengan genre drama romantis di perfilman Indonesia, hanya ada beberapa film yang diproduksi dengan baik. Tak hanya dari segi teknis, tetapi juga dari sisi pengarahan film yang tak terlalu digarap serius. Menciptakan nuansa penuh akan cinta di sebuah film tak akan semudah yang dibayangkan orang. Apabila hal tersebut tak bisa diarahkan dengan baik, penonton tak akan bisa merasakan koneksi atas atmosfir penuh kasih sayang di dalam film drama bertemakan cinta.
Maka, inilah yang berusaha dilakukan oleh Starvision dan Legacy Pictures untuk membuat sebuah drama romantis dengan ideal. Mereka memutuskan untuk bersama-sama mengadaptasi sebuah buku dari penulis ternama Ika Natassa. Critical Eleven, salah satu buku laris miliknya akhirnya mendapatkan kesempatan untuk ‘lahir’ pertama kali sebagai sebuah film layar lebar. Critical Elevenmemiliki kru dan jajaran aktris yang tak sembarangan. Mulai dari Reza Rahadian dan Adinia Wirasti sebagai pemeran utama, Jenny Jusuf s…

Wonder Woman (NEW) and Blade Runner 2049 Trailers

It's no secret that the DC Comics has tried desperately to keep pace with Marvel's massive film universe and the results have been lackluster to date. Yet, DC  hopes that all changes soon with the upcoming releases of Wonder Woman this summer and Justice League in November. Gal Gadot continues her role as Diana Prince, a prehistoric princess trained to be an unbeatable warrior. Fast forward many, many years and Prince uses her alter ego of Wonder Woman to resolve a world-threatening conflict. Wonder Woman is meant to set up Justice League, DC's answer to The Avengers, making Gadot and company's film a pivotal moment in the newly expanding DC film universe. Check out the latest trailer for the June 2nd release below.

Ridley Scott's pioneering 1982 sci-fi thriller, Blade Runner, is getting the sequel treatment. And while many will naturally respond with a rolling of the eyes, and perhaps rightfully so, there's an enormous reason for optimism knowing that Oscar-nom…

DVD Outlook: May 2017

As the summer blockbuster season takes over movie theaters nationwide with Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 kicking off the annual tradition, May's DVD and streaming outlook offers a modest collection of new releases (April's suggestions). While I can't vouch for many of the titles arriving this month, I will say that the finest entry from 2017 I've seen so far headlines the crop of films for May.

Get Out - Three stars out of 4 - (Read my rapid review here)

Jordan Peele, best known as one of the figureheads from Comedy Central's former sketch comedy show, Key & Peele, offers his directorial debut with the massively horror film, Get Out. Daniel Kaluuya stars as Chris Washington, an African-American man whose traveling to rural upstate area to visit his Caucasian girlfriend's (Allison Williams) parents for the first time. But the more time Chris spends at their upscale estate, the more he begins to notice how strange all of the other Black people he …

Dunkirk (NEW) and The Dark Tower Trailers

Christopher Nolan is one of Hollywood's most prominent filmmakers. So whenever he dons a new release, the whole world awaits with bated breath. This time around Nolan tackles the harrowing WWII evacuation of Dunkirk. Civilians assisted the British Naval fleet to help recover stranded Allied soldiers completely surrounded by German forces on the shoreline of Dunkirk, France. Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy and Kenneth Branagh star in Nolan's first work since the 2014 sci-fi drama, Interstellar. This early footage of Dunkirk doesn't disappoint and immediately catapults the film to the top of the Summer movie season. Catch the latest trailer for Dunkirk below.

From the unique mind of Stephen King comes Nikolaj Arcel's adaptation of The Dark Tower. The expansive book series gets its first film this August as Idris Elba stars as "The Gunslinger", Roland Deschain, who searches amongst a western backdrop for a mysterious tower and a "man in black" (…

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Vol. 2 (2017) REVIEW : Sekuel Dengan Kemeriahannya Yang Berbeda

Marvel Cinematic Universe fase ketiga sudah berjalan dengan diawali dari Captain America : Civil War di April 2016 lalu. Perjalanan fase ketiga ini memiliki lebih banyak komplikasi dibandingkan dengan beberapa fase sebelumnya. Tibalah di mana fase ketiga ini akan lebih membahas banyak tentang orang-orang yang berada di sekitar Infinity Stone. Mulai dari Doctor Strange, Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2, dan Thor : Ragnarok. Semuanya akan berada di titik temu fase ketiga yaitu Avengers : Infinity War yang akan bertarung melawan Thanos.
Di bulan April ini, para mantan penjahat dengan tujuan heroik ini akan menyapa penontonnya di edisi kedua filmnya. Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2 tetap diarahkan oleh sutradara film pertamanya yaitu James Gunn dengan naskah yang juga ditulis olehnya. Film pertamanya telah sukses merebut perhatian banyak orang sebagai sebuah film manusia super dengan latar belakang cerita yang cukup unik di jajaran film milik Marvel Cinematic Universe. Kelanjutan filmnya pun…

KARTINI (2017) REVIEW : Refleksi Tentang Emansipasi

Penikmat film Indonesia seakan tak akan pernah berhenti untuk diberi sebuah film biografi. Memberikan ruang bagi semua orang untuk sesekali mengintip kehidupan sosok penting di sebuah layar perak. Sosok itu bisa beragam, mulai dari yang sering orang kenal hingga siapa saja yang berjasa dalam melakukan perubahan. Hanung Bramantyo, bisa dibilang seorang sutradara yang sudah beberapa kali membuat film biografi. Mulai dari tokoh agama hingga mantan presiden Republik Indonesia telah memiliki memoir yang dibuat oleh tangannya.
Adanya inkonsistensi dalam berkarya membuat Hanung Bramantyo sering kali kehilangan kepercayaan penontonnya. Hingga April tahun ini, Hanung Bramantyo hadir menyapa penonton film Indonesia lewat film biografi tentang salah satu perempuan berjasa dan mahsyur dalam memperjuangkan kesetaraan antara laki-laki dan perempuan. Kartini, film ini mendapatkan sorotan yang cukup besar karena menempatkan nama Dian Sastrowardoyo sebagai pemeran Kartini.
Selain Dian Sastrowardoyo, K…