Rocketman (dir. Dexter Fletcher, 2019) – Revered musical legend Elton John re-lives his breakout years in a fantastical musical.
Topped with inviting shades of fantasy, Rocketman leads us on an outrageously gratifying wild ride from start to finish.
Estranged families, addictions, and struggles with sexuality. Present are all the usual suspects of rock star adventures in Rocketman. But based on a true fantasy, this is clearly no biopic from the mould. Director Dexter Fletcher chooses his own perfect way to retell Elton John’s highs and lows.
Showered in flamboyance and operatic excess, the film proves befitting for the Pinball Wizard known and beloved for his larger-than-life personality. Big musical numbers never feel too out of town, bringing tinges of hope to the darkest moments.
Continue reading Review: Rocketman (2019)
Avengers: Endgame (dir. The Russo Brothers, 2019) – With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to undo Thanos’ actions and restore order to the universe.
Ten years in the making, Endgame delivers a moving culmination of a brilliantly constructed story.
Review (Warning: Spoilers!)
The very day after watching Avengers: Endgame, I penned down my thoughts and left it sitting in my drafts. I had been hesitant to post it, given how any new review would be rehashing the same few points on the Phase 3 conclusion.
But the franchise deserves every possible tribute for the writers and filmmakers, who have elevated the MCU films above the average superhero fare. Most of all with this 3-hour finale, where the Russo brothers have done it again.
The set pieces are nothing short of epic. Humour and tragedy hang in perfect balance, hitting the right notes for the most part. Above all, every original Avenger found a due end to their arc.
Continue reading Review: Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Brightburn (dir. David Yarovesky, 2019) – A ship crash-lands on Earth, bringing with it a child who proves to be something far more sinister.
Brandishing the violence that Superman is capable of, the reimagined mythos however squanders the more interesting questions of the ‘why’ and ‘how’.
Kal-El, an all-powerful hero who can as easily save humanity as he can, destroy. Thank Krypton for Jor-El, who shares his faith in humanity with his son, just as his foster parents Jonathan and Martha Kent showed him every reason to use his powers for good.
His family pushed him upon the path of good, believing that Man deserves salvation and hope. But what if he had chosen different?
Away from Kent Farm in Brightburn is the very antithesis of the Superman we know. Finding out who he truly is, Brandon Breyer (Jackson A. Dunn) sees himself as superior to mankind, and ravages the planet that he believes to be weak.
Continue reading Review: Brightburn (2019)
Pet Sematary (dir. Mary Lambert, 1989 / Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, 2019) – In rural Maine, Dr. Louis Creed and his family discover the secrets of an old pet cemetery in the woods near their new home.
While Mary Lambert’s adaptation of King’s grotesque terror has long left an indelible mark, the new Pet Sematary cuts commendably deeper into the subject of grief.
Acceptance never comes easy for the bereaved. When the grieving are loath to let go, they become haunted by their guilt and regrets. Proclaiming that dead is sometimes better, Mary Lambert’s film adaptation of Pet Sematary brings these inner demons across the barrier in literal terms.
In rural Maine, Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff) learns of a burial ground beyond the pet cemetery. He goes against warning of its dark magic and buries his family cat Church after its passing, only to witness its return. Tragedy soon strikes and takes three-year-old Gage Creed (Miko Hughes). But this time, Louis knows that he no longer has to deal with grief.
Continue reading Review: Pet Sematary (1989 / 2019)
Us (dir. Jordan Peele, 2019) – A family’s beach vacation turns into a living nightmare as they come to face their violent doppelgängers.
Following Get Out, Jordan Peele presents another fiercely intelligent and thoughtful sophomore work, though its ambitious narrative fails to bear the weight of scrutiny.
Review (Warning: Spoilers)
Once upon a time, there lived a happy family, each with suffering shadows whom they knew nothing about. Then came the day when their doppelgängers broke their silence and rose above ground, demanding to take their places.
As a home invasion thriller, Jordan Peele’s sophomore horror effort Us succeeds as an original masterwork of sustained tension. The horrifying premise puts an original spin on the home invasion trope, revealing The Strangers to be more than familiar faces.
A brilliant cast make the uncanny duplicates grotesque through subtle actions and crooked smiles. Michael Abels’ score with its chilling vocalisations work well to go along. But amongst its many technical accomplishments, what genuinely stirs interest is the meaning that Us urges its audience to infer.
Continue reading Review: Us (2019)
Durante la tormenta / Mirage (dir. Oriol Paulo, 2019) – Two storms connect a woman’s murder and a child’s vanishing, 25 years apart.
Director Oriol Paulo has produced yet another compelling genre film that delivers in suspense and heart, despite predictable turns.
25 years ago, during a 72-hour storm, young Nico (Julio Bohigas-Couto) was killed in a car accident after witnessing a murder. Present day sees another storm occur, during which Vera (Adriana Ugarte) find a way to reach Nico before his death. She prevents his death with a warning, only to be swept up in the butterfly effect of the altered events.
Something a small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can cause a typhoon halfway around the world, so claims the Chaos Theory that rings true for Vera. Her perfect life falls apart when she learns that her child Gloria was never born, and that she is no longer who she believed herself to be.
Continue reading Review: Mirage / Durante la tormenta (2019)