Thursday, 18 May 2017

No Stick Shooter

Published at Digitally Downloaded.
On a completely unrelated note, I will add that by my reckoning this blog's queue is more than twenty reviews long at the moment. The management would like to apologise for these delays.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Vignettes

Published at Digitally Downloaded.
I will add here that I thoroughly enjoyed this game as well as reviewing it.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Gumballs & Dungeons

Published at Digitally Downloaded.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Crimson Peak

A highly stylised, high production value horror movie featuring A class stars that tries to make a bold statement on the maddening nature of love through a tale of horror and ghosts. When you pill the visual layers off, however, what you are left with is... nothing special.
Overall: 2.5 out of 5 crabs for this Guillermo del Toro film starring Aussie Mia Wasikowska, alongside some bloody foreigners such as Jessica Chastain (some would say Chastain is reprising her Zero Dark Thirty role) and Tom Hiddleston.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Sword of Destiny

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon was an instant classic, one of the rare few movies that did change my perception of what movies can be. Naturally, I was curios when I learnt Netflix has a sequel in its archives, Sword of Destiny. Even if Ang Lee was no longer directing and Chow Yun-fat no longer starring, it was still of much interest; besides, Michelle Yeoh is still around.
One thing that’s immediately clear is that Sword of Destiny is no Hidden Dragon. For a start, it capitulates in the form of speaking English. Yeoh is at its centre, with the theme of missed love repeating itself in a story of her character’s other love (the one that turned out to be second to her love of Yun-fat’s character). So yes, we are talking classic sequel material here.
There is less of that poetic sense to the movie and quite a lot of the fighting that, by now and to these eyes, does not seem as majestic as is did more than 15 years ago. I would say the movie overall does not look as good as the original, too.
Overall: “Not as good” is the key theme here, I guess. Sword of Destiny isn’t a bad movie at all, but it is simply not as good, begging the question - why bother in the first place? 3 out of 5 crabs material that occasionally reaches higher grades.

Friday, 14 April 2017

The Handmaiden

We’ve seen stories about double crossings, quadruple crossings and what not many times before. The Handmaiden stands out in crowd because its tale is heavily erotic, seeming to pit the woman against the men. And it is also a Korean production!
Affairs involve a Korean handmaiden looking after her Japanese master, but actually acting as an insider whose aim is to ensure the elaborate plot to rob her lady master works. Love, however, has a way of derailing even the most detailed of plans.
For a movie about double crossings, I felt like I was being double crossed myself by The Handmaiden. First because the story is told in three parts, each exposing us to more and more of the truth. However, unlike other movie playing this same trick, there does not seem to be a reason for each part to expose us to its certain truths other than pure manipulation; it is not like we are only seeing what a specific character saw, limited by their own perspective. Thus the film quite manipulative.
And second, while there is nothing wrong with erotic movies, The Handmaiden does tend to feel too gray shady trash like to me. Your mileage may vary, but I felt a bit conned.
Overall: Probably worth watching due to its historical context. Also, how often did you watch a Korean movie? 3 out of 5 crabs.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Always Shine

Two friends, both young and attractive female actors (stars Mackenzie Davis and Caitlin FitzGerald). One’s career is on the rise, with lead roles albeit in movies that mainly call on her to expose her body rather than acting talents. But she has a future and a boyfriend.
The other is struggling to make ends meet, financially, or - for that matter - get any acting role at all. But she feels like she is the real thing, much better than her seemingly successful yet lying fake of a friend.
Yes, when the two head into a retreat together, they will collide. Roles will be switched. And as movies go, yes, there is potential in there for a great movie, but the end result relies too much on the physical attraction of its leads than on anything else. Despite being short, I felt Always Shine is too long.
Overall: Torn by the conflict between an interesting idea and good female leads on one side, and the film’s inability to really get me truly hooked, I will give Always Shine 2.5 out of 5 crabs.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil

Two good hearted hillbillies, Tucker and Dale, take some time off to renovate a crumbling "vacation home" of their dreams that they bought in the woods. A bunch of well off and stuck up college kids encounter them along the way and, thinking our Dale and Tucker are evil (cos they’re hillbillies), starts attacking them.
One by one our college students die in the process of said attack through freak (and terribly funny) accidents, which only convinces their remaining mates further about the evil nature of their opponents. In the process, we go through the whole checklist of horror movies list of cheap tricks.
But jokes aside, it is the college kids that turn out to be the evil ones as the hillbillies do their best to save the day for everybody.  Tucker and Dale is a comedy, but it did leave me wondering how often did the above happen in real life between nations? Say, the USA knowingly falsifying evidence of WMDs in order to wage war on Iraq?
Overall: While no breakthrough in the art of cinema making, Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil is no average horror movie but rather a lot of fun. 3.5 out of 5 crabs for so benignly raising deep questions.