Movie Review: Searching

I didn’t know her. I didn’t know my daughter

directed by first time director Aneesh Chaganty, Searching stars John Cho, Debra Messing and Michelle La.

When Margot Kim disappeared following a study night session, David Kim is hellbent on finding his daughter uncovering secrets in the process.


The Good

One of the most notable features of the movie is how the movie completely takes place in a computer screen. This has been done before with movies like unfriended and unfriended 2. However what makes Searching great is that it used this style of film-making to engage it’s audience. From the moment the plot kicks in, you are hooked with what’s happening on the screen and you also find yourself looking for clues and answers with what’s presented to you.

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John Cho mostly carries this film, his acting is phenomenal and with what limited space he’s got to work with he’s done a great job showing a range of emotions throughout the whole film.


The Bad

Nothing bad to say


Rating

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Searching David Kim (John Cho)

Overall Searching delivers an excellent thriller mystery story with strong performances from John Cho and Debra Messing. The story keeps you guessing and puts at the edge of your seat, definitely one of the best this year and highly recommended.

Good Bad 4.8/5
    • Engaging story
    • Unpredictable/thrilling
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Book Review: The Anomaly by Michael Rutger

The truth? Who gives a fuck?

The Anomaly is a thriller science fiction novel by Michael Rutger. Nolan Moore is a documentary presenter looking for a big break in the media industry. When him and his team caught wind of a story about an explorer finding a mysterious cavern within The Grand Canyon, the team sets out to find the same cavern and try to document the mystery behind it.

The book starts out as your typical horror movie set up. A group of people heading to an exotic location, in their case to film a documentary and soon finds out something odd is afoot in said location. This book however is a lot more clever than expected.

The characters are likable and though they are types they’re all given personalities. The story itself is simple and though there are times where you think the book’s going a certain way, it manages to stay unpredictable until the very end.

Overall The Anomaly was very fun read, it’s highly entertaining and even though it starts off fairly slow it becomes a page turner halfway through. If you’re looking for a good science fiction/thriller/horror with some dab of comedy, check out The Anomaly.

Rating: 4/5

Book Review: Origin by Dan Brown

Sometimes, all you have to do is shift your perspective to see someone else’s truth.

Origin is the fifth book in Dan Brown’s series starring the Harvard professor, Robert Langdon. When futurist Edmond Kirsch gets assassinated during his groundbreaking presentation. It’s up to Robert Langdon and curator Ambra Vidal to disclose to the world Edmond’s discovery, the origins of life.

Origin has all the staple elements that makes a Dan Brown novel. A high stakes mystery, Robert Langdon’s female companion and a rogue assassin that’s after our heroes. Not to mention countless of commentary on art, architecture and several exotic locations. Though repetitive author Dan Brown still manages to keep it entertaining.

The book starts out strong setting up the premise of the story, the topic is intriguing and I found myself invested in the outcome. Like previous books starring Robert Langdon, this follows the same beats with our main character adding his commentary on everything around him. Sometimes it’s relevant to the plot however at times it feels tedious.

The novel touches on a lot of themes from religion to science to technology even to the ever growing topic of artificial intelligence. And though far fetched, there’s a level of plausibility on the concepts and ideas presented.

The book drags a bit and there are plot points presented at the start that were completely forgotten as the book goes on. At times it’s predictable and at times it’s hard to care about some characters, right around the middle the story got convoluted and by the third act it becomes a muddled mess.

Overall Origin isn’t one of the better Dan Brown books but it still manages to be entertaining. The ideas presented are interesting and I found myself researching on the history behind it. If you’re a fan of these books, you might find to your liking but if you’re not it’s not recommended.

Rating: 3/5

 

Movie Review: A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place is directed by John Krasinski and it stars himself and his wife, Emily Blunt, also stars Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe.

A family is forced to live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound.


The Good

With 90 minutes running time, John Krasinski managed to direct a tight and very straight forward horror film which is pretty good. This movie had very strong performances from our four characters and kudos to John Krasinski for his direction as well.

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One of the stand out is Millicent Simmonds, who’s deaf in real life, she plays one of the children and she is great. Seeing as she doesn’t have any lines her actions and emotions are conveyed through her facial expressions and she does it incredibly.

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The creatures were terrifying and they blend seamlessly with the environment, the visual effects on them were impressive and no doubt would leave an impression to the viewers.


The Bad

The major issues are the convenient plot points, there are a few of them and at times they follow the same beats. There are also character decisions that are questionable and at times there are things that could’ve dealt with in smarter ways.


Rating

A QUIET PLACE

Overall A Quiet Place is a very good horror/thriller movie, the actors were great and again John Krasinski deserves every credit he gets for acting and directing and even some screenplay writing. Emily Blunt is very good and even the kids were good too. The scares can be a bit predictable but most of the time they deliver. If you’re a fan of creature feature horror movies highly recommend to check A Quiet Place.

Good Bad 4/5
    • Characters
    • Creatures and Scares
    • Convenient Plot Points

Movie Review: The Foreigner

Politicians and terrorists, they are just 2 ends of the same snake

The Foreigner is directed by Martin Campbell (Spyfall) and it stars Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan.

When an explosion in a public street in London kills numerous civilians, Quan Ngoc Minh (Jackie Chan) who’s daughter was killed in the explosion, stops at nothing in extracting vengeance to the bombers.

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The Good

Despite Jackie Chan’s age, this movie is proof that he still got it. From the action perspective of the movie, Jackie can still kick ass. The action sequence are thrilling and very entertaining. Jackie Chan also proved that not only he can kick ass as if he was in his 30s but he can also act as he delivers very compelling dramatic scenes.
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His counter part, Liam Hennessy played by Pierce Brosnan is also great. Though he’s not action oriented like his James Bond days, his performance is also compelling and with surprisingly having more screen time than Jackie Chan. He’s done a great job carrying the movie whenever Jackie’s not on screen.


The Bad

There’s a few things that may annoy people in this movie, one of which is the movie’s score. With a mixture of techno and electronic music, most of the time it didn’t mesh well with the scenes and at times was distracting. Another complaint is how the movie was cut together. Though not a major complaint, there were some scenes in the movie which felt randomly put together which in return did not resonate well on screen.


Rating

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Overall The Foreigner is a very solid action/political thriller. With 2 strong leads and a decent story. The Foreigner not only gives justice to it’s 2 hour running time but also it’s able to entertain all throughout. With very minor complaints, The Foreigner is highly recommended.

Good Bad 3.8/5
  • Jackie Chan & Pierce Brosnan
  • Good Action Sequences
  • Distracting Score
  • Odd Pacing

Movie Review: Death Note

Shall we begin?

Death Note is based of the 2006 anime hit with the same title. It involves a high school kid, Light, who picks up a death note, where whoever’s name is written will die.


The Good

Starting with the positives, one of the coolest aspects of the movie is Ryuk, the death god, voiced by Willem Dafoe. Though we don’t see very much of him, Ryuk is one of the characters they got right. His enigmatic yet humorous take on the events around him makes us like the character and with Willem Dafoe’s voice acting, it’s fun whenever we see him on screen.
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Another fun thing about the movie are the deaths themselves. If you’re someone who enjoyed the final destination series. The deaths and gore are very reminiscent of that. Some of the death scenes deliver impressive imagery but brutal at the same time.


The Bad

Unfortunately the movie is filled with flaws and incredibly dumb character decisions. Light, played by Nat Wolff is one of the most inconsistent characters in the movie. Being built up as one of the smartest characters in the movie, he’s easily swayed by his emotions allowing him to create decisions that makes you rip your hair out.

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Another problem is Lakeith Stanfield as L, even with a physical death god in view, the movie manages to stay grounded. L on the other hand felt like he’s a part of a completely different movie. His over the top mannerisms are not only distracting but it makes hard for the audience to believe that he’s working with the FBI or the CIA. Lakeith himself is a good actor however the over the top writing of his character didn’t do him any favors.

Lastly Mia Sutton, played by Margaret Qualley, is one of the most unnecessary characters they have in this movie. Her overreaction to the events around her makes her character unbearable. Not to mention she has moments that make you scoff and roll your eyes.


Rating

Lakeith Stanfield and Nat Wolff in the Netflix Original Film "Death Note"

Overall this version of Death Note isn’t very good, though it has some great moments our three leads were poorly written and even the story in itself is isn’t good. The movie felt like there were plenty of conflicting ideas and decisions that went in it and it shows. It’s incoherent script dragged this movie down and with very little saving grace, the fans of the hit anime will surely be disappointed.

Good Bad 2/5
  • Ryuk
  • Cool Death Scenes
  • Insufferable Leads
  • Dumb Character Decisions

Movie Review: Split

He’s done awful things to people and he’ll do awful things things to you.

Split is directed by M. Night Shyamalan and it stars James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy and Betty Buckley.

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M. Night Shyamalan is back with another thriller Split, James McAvoy is a man diagnosed with 23 personalities, however upon abducting three teenage girls, the girls find that a 24th personality is emerging and it puts all three of them in grave danger.


The Good

M. Night has done it again, following his last movie, The Visit, Split is surprisingly decent. James McAvoy who portrays Kevin and his other personalities is great. He is doing the performance of his life and it’s working on his favour. The personalities, though not very distinct from one to another, they are still interesting to watch and you want to know each persona that lives within Kevin’s (James McAvoy) body.

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The other characters are also great especially Anya Taylor-Joy, who despite their worrying situation manages to stay calm and think competently, though we are given a backstory as to why she is the way she is, she portrayed her character well and we root for her and her friends.


The Bad

There’s very little to complain about the movie one of it is the personas themselves, as mentioned they are not very distinct from one to another, apart from when Hedwig occupies the body. Simply put the highlighted personalities aren’t as fleshed out as the movie makes it out to be.

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Though this isn’t as much of a problem as the movie’s third act which the movie goes through a huge transformation in tone, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it does brake the movie’s rules, until they introduced the notorious Shyamalan twist. Though as forgivable as it is, it felt like a free pass to explain the occurrences in the third act.


Rating

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Overall Split is another great Shyamalan movie, Split is a good follow up from his previous movie, The Visit, and Shyamalan should keep walking this route. Split is thoroughly entertaining with great acting and great cinematography. The twist itself will no doubt divide the audiences, some people will love it, some won’t and it’s a case of either you roll with it or you don’t. That said, Split will make you look forward to future Shyamalan projects as long as they’re not big budget blockbusters. Split is highly recommended.

Good Bad 4/5
  • James McAvoy & Anya Taylor-Joy
  • Very Suspenseful & Entertaining
  • Not very distinct personalities