‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Review: A Not-So-Grand Finale For the Skywalker Saga

✯½

It’s finally over, the Skywalker saga that began in 1977 with George Lucas’s Star Wars (or otherwise known as A New Hope), has finally ended with J. J. Abrams returning behind the camera to bring forth The Rise of Skywalker. One would already find themselves wondering where could the saga have gone following Rian Johnson’s radical approach to the series with The Last Jedi, which had divided many fans for betraying their image of the characters or the approach after having been reintroduced to them in The Force Awakens. In an attempt to hand the series back to those fans following the reception of The Last Jedi, The Rise of Skywalker concludes this long saga on a sour note.

Continue reading →

‘Triple Frontier’ Review: J. C. Chandor’s Most Expensive Film Bites More than It Can Chew

✯✯

J. C. Chandor’s filmography has only been shifting in scale in some sense but maybe not always to the most consistent of results. His fourth feature, being his first one in five years since A Most Violent Year happens to be his most expensive project yet, sadly also happens to be his worst feature to date. With how much Margin Call and All is Lost have managed to accomplish with what little they had around them, and despite A Most Violent Year showing promise for Chandor to go for much bigger projects, it seems like the increasing scale may also have gotten the worst of him too. Triple Frontier if anything seems so much more like a film that’s overwhelmed by its incredible scale rather than one that is able to work properly within what’s been given to Chandor, but there’s almost no control over what it is that he wants to show us here – so much to the point it even makes its more dramatic moments feel as if they’re not even capable of carrying any weight.

Continue reading →

The Fragmented Beauty of At Eternity’s Gate: A Review

✯✯✯✯

I thought for a minute that after Loving Vincent I would be put off from watching more films about the life of Vincent Van Gogh, yet Julian Schnabel comes out with a new take on the life of the troubled painter with At Eternity’s Gate. But there’s something about a mix like this that would only make a blend seem so incredibly tempting, and it’s made clear through the fact that Schnabel’s work had also been influenced by his own artistry as a painter, therefore his view of the very artistic process that would have allowed Vincent Van Gogh to become so distinctive would have that added touch of being told by another artist in that same regard. Schnabel’s mindset as a painter also adds yet another dimension to exploring the troubled psychology of an artist like Vincent Van Gogh, because it’s be difficult enough to describe what went on in his mind. But perhaps it would only be fitting enough that the film about his own artistic vision would be equally baffling in that same measure and if there were anything else that allowed At Eternity’s Gate to become so mesmerizing, it would already come forward in Willem Dafoe’s portrayal of the artist.

Continue reading →

Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Review

✯✯✯✯

Rian Johnson’s latest film, a Star Wars film for the matter – isn’t the sort that one would expect him to pull off, but even for those who have stuck so closely with the Star Wars franchise, they didn’t get the same story that they would have wanted. If The Force Awakens only was the welcoming return for the franchise to the big screen after George Lucas’s prequel trilogy has come to an end, through the reintroduction of nostalgia – then what Rian Johnson has set his audience in store for is more possibility, all from the fact that he of all people had went behind what we would want to recognize on the surface as a Star Wars film. But nevertheless if this film were proof of anything, it would be that Star Wars finds its way of speaking to many generations over the years.

Continue reading →

Annihilation – Review

✯✯✯✯

Annihilation is a strange product, the sort that would be expected from Alex Garland after Ex Machina – but maybe for the very best at the same time. I’ve admittedly never always been sold in on Alex Garland, so it was one among many reasons that I was unsure as to how Annihilation would have turned out for me, although what I still find fitting enough to say about it is that it’s a commendable effort. Nevertheless I think it’s only fitting that the experience that Annihilation is set to provide will be discomforting for the senses from start to finish, even if I’m not exactly sure I would say that everything about it works. Nonetheless I feel bad for those who won’t be able to witness it on the big screen as per their own wishes, but alas the experience it is set to provide is one not to be easily forgotten.

Continue reading →

Suburbicon – Review

✯½

How exactly can one describe what Suburbicon is about? Is it a satire of the ideal “peaceful neighbourhood community” along the lines of Pleasantville? In some sense, but maybe you can also give Suburbicon the fitting name of Unpleasantville in the meantime. At the same time, it also happens to be a commentary on race relations in America, as they call themselves the “greatest nation on Earth.” But not until it is also a murder mystery about one family, and what it leaves on a mild-mannered man, his son, and the boy’s aunt. It’s easy to ask oneself how all of these three manage to tie up together with one another and the only way you can answer it is by saying that Suburbicon tries to be all three at once and ends up becoming a much bigger mess.

Continue reading →