Monday, June 25, 2018

'Ocean's 8' Botches Up Its Biggest Twist

Ocean’s 8 is a spin-off film of the Ocean’s trilogy.  This time around, instead of George Clooney’s Danny Ocean, the focus is his sister Debbie Ocean, played by Sandra Bullock.  Debbie, who belongs on the same line of work as her legendary brother, has just spent nearly six years behind bars before getting paroled.  However, she didn’t waste any time in the slammer, as she planned for the biggest heist of her life while serving her sentence.  Once released, she puts it into motion, starting with recruiting her former collaborator Lou (Cate Blanchett).  Together, they assemble the crew required for the job – fashion designer Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), jeweler Amita (Mindy Kaling), hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna), street hustler Constance (Awkwafina), and profiteer Tammy (Sarah Paulson).  Their target?  A $150 million diamond necklace that is going to be worn by snobby celebrity Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) at the annual Met Gala.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

'Incredibles 2' Has Been Well Worth the Wait

Finally!  The Parrs, everybody’s favorite superhero family (sorry, Fantastic Four), is back in action.  It took Pixar 14 years – a period wherein they manage to make three Cars movies that nobody asked for – to make it happen.  But, hey, better late than never, right?

Saturday, June 23, 2018

'Isle of Dogs' Is a Delightful Wes Anderson Masterpiece

Wes Anderson is one of my favorite filmmakers working today.  The unique style of his movies’ narrative, tone, and visuals makes them immediately endearing.  One of my most favorite films of his, if not my most favorite, is Fantastic Mr. Fox.  I loved how his trademark filmmaking approach works impeccably through the stop-motion animated medium.  Then, it was his only animated work, and I really wished he would do more.

When the trailer for Isle of Dogs dropped, it was the first time I was made aware that Wes Anderson has a new stop-motion animated movie.  Since then, I was eagerly anticipating of finally watching it – which I’ve just done recently.  And, as expected, I adored it.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Rock and Being Unpretentious Make 'Rampage' a Fine Romp

Rampage is a monster action film based on the video game of the same name.  It follows primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) who is best buddies with an albino silverback gorilla named George.  One day, George gets accidentally exposed to a mutagen sample that gradually transforms him into a berserk, colossal ape.  While his gorilla friend runs amok, Davis works with genetic engineer Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) and government spook Harvey Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in finding a way to save him.  Unfortunately, things only get more complicated for them when it’s revealed that a wolf and a crocodile have been similarly mutated.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

'Violet Everdarden' Is a Beautiful Anime Tear-Jerker

Violet Evergarden is such a beautiful anime – emphasis put on “beautiful” because it is truly so in both writing and animation.  There’s an exquisite attention to detail in the craftsmanship involved that it visually and narratively flows with gracefully captivating quality.  As a result, it arouses a potently emotional watching experience.

Monday, June 18, 2018

In 'Barry', Bill Hader Solidifies the Case that He's Way More than Just a Comedian

Ex-marine Barry Berkman is unsatisfied with his life as a contract killer.  Having just finished a hit, he’s quickly given another assignment by his handler, requiring him this time around to travel to Los Angeles, which he acquiesces to.  While tailing his mark, he stumbles into an acting class, where he ends up getting fascinated with the art and being befriended by the students who are all dreaming of making it big in Hollywood.  Finding a new passion and purpose in life, he begins aspiring of becoming an actor, enrolls into the class, and decides to quit being a hit man completely.  However, he learns that shedding off his criminal life won’t come easy.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

I'm Not a Football Fan, but I Guess I Now Have to Root for Cristiano Ronaldo

I’m perplexed of how football a.k.a. soccer is such an internationally beloved sport. No disrespect whatsoever, but outside of a few highlight videos, I find it terribly boring to watch in general.  Hence, I couldn’t care less whoever wins the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

That said, I can’t help but admire this masterpiece…

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Top 10 Moments of the 2018 NBA Finals

Finals recap:
Other memorable moments of the 2017-2018 NBA Season:

This year’s Finals was pretty short due to a partly disappointing sweep.  Nevertheless, I thought it didn’t lack entertainment value, and there was a couple of memorable moments – amazing ones, fun ones, disappointing ones, weird ones.  Here are my ten-ish favorites (as well as thoughts on why LeBron isn’t the Greatest Of All Time yet):

10.) Love and LeBron’s Recurring Facial Expressions in this Series

It was like each time Durant or Curry put up a shot, Love was expecting a heart attack to happen.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Nick Young Is a Friggin' NBA Champion!

After the Golden State Warriors signed Kevin Durant during the 2016 free agency, the 2017 NBA title was basically as good as theirs.   And indeed they won it.  But for the 2018 title run, they decided to give the other 29 teams a slight fighting chance by giving themselves a handicap, and that is, they used their 2017 mid-level exception to sign Nick Young – a player whose most iconic NBA moment is this:

Monday, June 11, 2018

Sanrio's Office Comedy Anime 'Aggretsuko' Is Surprisingly Great

Sanrio is a Japanese company that is known for creating cute characters – the most popular of which is Hello Kitty – that aren’t essentially intended to be used in storytelling media, but to serve as marketing brands applicable for various kinds of merchandises.  Even when it ventures into creating anime content featuring its characters now and then, the purpose and the endgame have always been strengthening them as brands.

Thus, Aggretsuko a.k.a. Aggressive Retsuko, its recent anime web series that has been released through Netflix, has been surprisingly unique.  It doesn’t feel like a promotional ad masked as an anime series.  It feels like a legit anime.  Moreover, it’s not necessarily crafted to be attractive to kids, whom the company usually targets its products for.  Though kids may still find it adorable at a superficial level, its deeper appeal is mostly for adults to enjoy.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

The Warriors Put LeBron Out of His Misery in Game 4

My other Finals recaps:
Down 0-3 entering Game 4, the Cavs fought gallantly until the end with a never-say-die effort.  LeBron James was a monster with his six turnovers and five fouls.  Rodney Hood took a team-high 14 shots, and scored a whopping total of ten points.  Kyle Korver was a scorching 0-of-5 behind the arc.  Most importantly, their unselfish team play and balanced scoring were so impressive as multiple Cavs scored in single digits.  Meanwhile, their defense was so suffocating, it held Zaza Pachulia to just 2 points.

Just kidding.  The Cavs were pathetic.  No grit.  No heart.  They took this lying down.  They played as if they had already accepted their fate, and Game 4 was just the coup de grace.  They played as if they had already made their vacation plans and couldn’t wait for this to be over.  Thus, the Warriors never really met any resistance in completing the sweep, which granted them back-to-back championships and their third title in four years.

'The Tale' Is a Powerful, Meaningful Film about an Utterly Disturbing Subject Matter

So far, The Tale is the most terrifying film I’ve seen in 2018.  Now, it’s not a horror movie at all, nor is it a thriller.  It’s a drama based on the real-life experience of the writer and director of this film, Jennifer Fox.  But what she underwent is utterly disturbing.

Friday, June 08, 2018

For the Second Straight Year, Game 3 Saw KD Lead the Dubs in Pushing the Cavs to the Brink of a Sweep

The Finals shifted to the Cavs’ home court for Game 3, and as expected, the role players did a much better job helping LeBron James, who had 33 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds.  Kevin Love had a solid 20 points at 46% shooting along with 13 rebounds.  Game 1 MVP J.R. Smith had 13 points.  And Rodney Hood got unleashed, shooting 7-of-11 for 15 points in 25 minutes of play.  They were physical and active for most of the game.

Meanwhile, the Splash Brothers were awful.  Klay Thompson only managed to take 11 shots and score 10 points within 40 minutes.  And Stephen Curry, fresh from setting a Finals record for most three-pointers made, was an abysmal 1-of-10 from behind the arc, and just scored 11 points overall.

Didn’t matter.  Warriors still took a 3-0 lead.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

'Sherlock Gnomes' Is Mediocre, but I Still Enjoyed It

There are two reasons why I just had to watch Sherlock Gnomes.  First, I love Sherlock Holmes.  He’s probably my most favorite literary character ever, and not only that, I’m also fond of checking out different re-imaginations of him in various media, even those that are far-fetched or silly.  Second, even though it seemed like a Toy Story knock off, I actually enjoyed Gnomeo and Juliet, the 2011 animated movie it is serving as sequel of.