The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, the Coen Brothers’ Western Anthology Hits and Misses, but Mostly Hits: Review

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The Coen brothers’s anthology The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a portrait of the many sides of the west, but like any other anthology film there’s always that challenge coming by as to how can all stories ever remain so compelling. You can only get so much charm out of the sort of wit that’s typical of the Coen brothers, but where the film already finds some of its very best footing it also comes right in between some of the weaker portions of the film. That’s not to say I was never entertained by The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, but I had only ever found myself susceptible to dozing off because certain stories didn’t capture my interest as much as another one did. But knowing that the Coen brothers had initially intended this as a miniseries, with every segment representing another facet of the American west, maybe it’s also reflective of what one could also expect from how each story mixes together here. You’ll already know which stories you would want to stick with, just as you would which ones you’ll also find yourself caring less about – but there’s always something entertaining to come out from each story.

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Paddington 2 – Review

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The first Paddington film took myself by a rather nice surprise, given as I’ve had no connection with the titular character and walking out, I saw a sort of charm that loads of modern family films have lacked. It wasn’t merely a family film that kept itself limited to children but created an entire world in itself where everyone felt welcome – bringing out the sense of warmth and fuzziness that one could only imagine an actual teddy bear can bring. Coming into Paddington 2, I expected more or less the same and Paul King certainly didn’t disappoint. It felt nice watching this to let go of my usual cynical self all in the favour of a cute little bear who wants to find only the good in everyone that he meets.

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A.I. Artificial Intelligence – Review

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Steven Spielberg’s ode to his friend Stanley Kubrick not only is one of his most underappreciated films, but one of his finest achievements as a filmmaker thus far. It took me a long while to come to this conclusion after having a somewhat indifferent reaction to A.I. Artificial Intelligence upon my first viewing but a subsequent rewatch only left more inside my head, because aspects of its own concept quickly had found themselves sticking with me – together with its stylistic approach of two directors trying to reach at one another. The final result almost plays like a modern fairy tale in some sense, yet one that ultimately asks its viewers about humanity within a perspective that only calls oneself closer.

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Edge of Tomorrow – Review

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I wouldn’t have thought that Edge of Tomorrow would have turned out nearly as fun as it was from looking at the ads alone, but I saw it in theaters anyway particularly because I happen to like Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, in spite of their runs of misses throughout their careers. In an age where action blockbusters have grown to become rather repetitive, Edge of Tomorrow shines from the many coming out during the summer, for it managed to provide the fun which I was awaiting amidst a sea of mediocrity. Watching Edge of Tomorrow did indeed prove an assumption from the advertising to be wrong, and revisiting it now after not having seen it since theaters proved it still held up rather well as one of the better blockbusters from recent years. Continue reading →

Mission: Impossible II – Review

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Often cited as the downfall of the Mission: Impossible franchise, I’m probably amongst the few that don’t hate Mission: Impossible II as much as the general public appears to, for at least what’s offered in Mission: Impossible II feels much less restrictive compared to the overtly convoluted nature of the first film. In spite of said weaknesses in the first, Mission: Impossible II is also not a film without its own faults for while it may be a rather slight improvement from the first, there’s not enough on the inside that can create a good enough film worthy of a recommendation. Continue reading →