Monthly Archives: October 2015

The Visit (2015) ☆☆☆(3/4) : An odd, creepy week with grandparents

“The Visit” is as good as its two main characters wish. They hope to shoot something special with their cameras, and then they sort of get their wish as they become more aware of a certain sinister undertone around their … Continue reading

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An (2015) ☆☆1/2(2.5/4) : Would you like her pancake?

Japanese film “An”, which is also known as “Sweat Red Bean Paste”, is a lightweight drama about life, nature, and, yes, those sweet pancakes called dorayaki. While it is nice to get some glimpses of how this simple Japanese confection … Continue reading

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Southpaw (2015) ☆☆☆(3/4): A predictable sports melodrama galvanized by Gyllenhaal

To be frank with you, “Southpaw” brings nothing new to its genre as dutifully following many familiar conventions of its genre. First, we have a tough boxer riddled with personal demons, and we already know he must confront them sooner … Continue reading

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The Age of Adaline (2015) ☆☆☆(3/4) : A young woman at old age

“The Age of Adaline” sincerely believes in its preposterous premise, and it softly and somberly glides along its romance plot as its two good-looking characters adorably looking at each other. This is indeed a sappy stuff, but then there are … Continue reading

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A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (2014) ☆☆☆1/2(3.5/4): Being a human

Swedish film “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence” is as weird, absurd, and hilarious as you can expect from the final chapter of Roy Andersson’s human trilogy. Again, we get a free-flowing series of vignettes featuring unhappy … Continue reading

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The Martian (2015) ☆☆☆1/2 (3.5/4): Stranded Alone on Mars

Even though we have learned a lot about Mars since the Viking 1 lander touched down on its surface in 1976, our red neighbor planet still remains as intriguing and mysterious as many other distant places in our solar system … Continue reading

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Slow West (2015) ☆☆1/2(2.5/4) : A slow, offbeat exercise in genre deconstruction

As literally reflected by its title, Western film “Slow West” is slow and languid in its offbeat exercise in genre deconstruction. It tries a number of whimsical things here and there as its archetype characters meander toward the inevitable arrival … Continue reading

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Girlhood (2014) ☆☆☆1/2 (3.5/4): A girl’s life in Banlieue

  French word ‘Banlieue’ originally meant a middle-class suburban area in the vicinity of big cities like Paris, but its meaning was modified around the 1970s along with the increased influx of foreign immigrants in France. These immigrants, most of … Continue reading

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Cop Car (2015) ☆☆☆(3/4) : They stole a wrong one…

“Cop Car” is about two kids who get more than they wish for after they come across a vehicle they should not have messed with. While there are a number of uneasy scenes of these naughty kids being put into … Continue reading

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Turbo Kid (2015) ☆☆1/2(2.5/4) : Not for your kids, certainly

“Turbo Kid” is a junk food packed with cheesy and hammy elements while cheerfully drenched in a nasty hot sauce of violence. It is goofy and amusing at times, but the movie eventually feels more like an expired one-note joke … Continue reading

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