Despicable Me 3 (2017): Two Grus can’t Escape the 3rd Films Curse

Directed by: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda | Produced by: Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy | Written by: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio | Starring: Steves Carrell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Miranda Cosgrove, Jenny Slate, Steve Coogan | Music by: Heitor Perreira, Pharrell Williams | Edited by: Claire Dodgson | Production Company Universal Pictures, Illumination Entertainment | Distributed by Universal Pictures | Official Website

6.7/10

When I first saw the trailer of Despicable Me 3 few months ago, I was thinking, “Oh here we go again, the third installment.” After so many great movies are ruined just instantly when they released the third installment, I wasn’t expecting more of this movie. I was watching for the girls. And always the girls. For me, Margo, Edith and Agnes are the cutest element of Despicable Me that need to be explored more than just those boring, squeaky, yellowish thing that try so damn hard to look cute called Minions. I never thought the whole Despicable Me franchise to be as hilarious as other people think. They’re funny yes, but not hilarious. This movie even has some more cringed moments instead of hilarious one.

In this third movie installment of Despicable Me franchise, regardless the spin-off movie Minions (2015), Gru (still played by Steve Carrell) and his wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) are fired from the Anti-Villain League after they were failed restraining Balthazar Bratt (played by South Park’s Trey Parker). Going home to their daughters, Gru finds out that he has an estranged twin brother that lives on Freedonia, called Dru (also played by Steve Carrell). Dru should be an upgraded physical version of Gru with less villainous character. He is blond, lives on a mansion, having many luxury cars and even helicopters. However, since he is lack of villainy character, their father thought he is a shame to family tradition. So, he contacts Gru to teach him how to be a villain. Gru then ask Dru to steal the biggest diamond in the world that has been stolen by Bratt. 

Anyway, this movie is suffered to what’s called “the third films curse” that happened so many times before and ruined such great franchises like The Matrix, Alien, Tobey Maguire’s Spiderman and even The Godfather. This movie has lost its charm, thanks to the busy plot so it feels like a TV series that try to air all their multiple episodes at the same time. The movie is also not entertaining enough for adults, and not colorful enough for children. They probably think that the key to Despicable Me’s success is The Minions, so they try to give the minions more portions in this movie. Those additional Minions portions are also failed. They seem to forget that the main element of this movie is Gru, and when Gru lost his charm, the movie also lost its charm. 

Gru has lost his cunning as one of the world’s greatest villain and awkwardness when it comes to his interactions with both Lucy and the girls. Carrell seems to only differentiate Gru from Dru by giving Dru a weirder accent. I believe you can feel the boredom of Lucy and the girls watching Dru and Gru complete each other’s sentences. While Gru is trying to reconnect with his estranged twin brother, Lucy is trying to be a mom for her three adopted daughters. The cuteness of the girls have not gone and still would give you those “aaaawww” moments, but the other humors is more cringing than it should be.

After all, this movie is a good choice for family and friends gathering and watching without thinking about other worldly traits. Be careful watching this movie with your kids, there were some Minions nudity here.

Spiderman: Homecoming (2017): Holland is Spiderman We Deserve in a Wrong Timeline

Directed by Jon Watts | Produced by Kevin Feige, Amy Pascal | Screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers | Starring Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Zendaya, Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr. | Production Company Columbia Pictures, Marvel Studio, Pascal Pictures | Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing | Official Website

7.8/10

I spent my latest 15 years watching three different Spideys: Maguire, Garfield, and now Holland. I tried to look at each reboot like I look at James Bond movies every time they change the actors, but I can’t. Every reboot is like being in the different timeline from the others, and this movie is no exception to that rules. Every time they reboot the franchise, they got a new actor, with different character of the (should be) same Peter Parker and different love interest. There’s no longer radioactive spider bites nor Uncle Ben’s death to that legendary “with great power comes great responsibility” scenes. So yes, the lack of these scenes give us a brand new Spiderman.

Begins with the event after Loki summoned the Chitauri to New York on The Avengers (2012), Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) is running salvaging business on the remains of Chirauri’s high-tech weapons. Soon, Department of Damage Control took over the cleanse up and gave Toomes reasoning to build his own underground factory of illegal weapons. Then we are brought to eight years later where we meet teenage Peter Parker (Tom Holland) after he joins up team Ironman on Captain America: Civil War (2016). Peter Parker in this movie is a 15-years-old high school student from Queens, Brooklyn, who lives with his aunt May (Marisa Tomei). There will be no explanation what happened to Uncle Ben, but Parker refers it as “after what has happened to her”. A new love interest is introduced too, a girl named Liz (Laura Harrier), instead of a girl named Michelle, or the new MJ (Zendaya). 

Clumpsy and awkward, Parker is trying hard to prove his worth to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), while he ends up being reckless and irresponsible to his own harm. When he tries to convince Stark that Toomes has turned into a man with metal wings called The Vulture, and he’s up to no good, Parker realizes he’s on his own, saving the world at his school’s Homecoming night.

Holland’s Parker is, as I said before, clumpsy and awkward, and looks like a crybaby who tries so hard to get the attention of his parents, or in this case, Tony Stark. The lack of reasoning why he becomes a hero, like the death of Uncle Ben or so, has influenced this too. He also lacks of the greater reason why he must save the world, other than prove himself worthy by restraining The Vulture hijack Stark’s stealthy jet. However, the script makes Parker loveable, and gives us a character we can laugh at. 

The actual star of this movie is The Vulture. Plays by the man who plays Birdman himself Michael Keaton, he looks both terrifying and intimidating with or without his metal wings. Keaton also gives us glimpse of his peculiar Bruce Wayne from Batman 1989. The Vulture, or Adrian Toomes, is a good villain who has brain and backgrounds, reasons and motives, make the character believable and understandable for every single thing he did. 

Finally, don’t leave your seat too early. There are two post-credit scenes you can enjoy the most.

Surat Kecil untuk Tuhan (2017): Tolong Kembalikan Joe Taslim ke Film Laga!

Directed by: Fajar Bustomi | Produced by: Frederika | Based on Novel with the same title by: Agnes Davonar | Cinematography by: Yudi Datau | Screenplay by: Upi | Starring: Bunga Citra Lestari, Joe Taslim, Izzati Khanza, Bima Azriel, Lukman Sardi, Teuku Rifnu Wikana, Aura Kasih, Maudy Koesnaedi | Distributed by: Falcon Pictures

7.2/10

Ini reviu kedua yang saya tulis dalam Bahasa Indonesia. Mungkin trend ke depannya akan demikian. Film Indonesia akan tetap direviu dalam Bahasa Indonesia, sedangkan film selain film Indonesia akan direviu dalam Bahasa Inggris.

Ketika mencari tahu tentang film ini, saya baru tahu kalau ada film dengan judul serupa yang rilis tahun 2011, dibintangi Alex Komang. Usut punya usut, novel dari mana film ini diadaptasi rupanya semacam antologi dengan banyak cerita. Film ini, sebagaimana film tahun 2011, adalah salah satu dari cerita dalam antologi yang ditulis Agnes Davonar dengan judul Surat Kecil untuk Tuhan. Jadi, dua film dengan judul sama ini tidak berkaitan sama sekali, meski dua-duanya punya adegan sama dimana si tokoh utama menuliskan harapan dan doanya melalui surat untuk Tuhan.

Surat Kecil untuk Tuhan (2017) bercerita tentang sepasang kakak beradik yatim piatu Anton (Bima Azriel) dan Angel (Izzati Khanza) yang nekat kabur ke Jakarta karena kerap disiksa pamannya sendiri. Di Jakarta, Anton dan Angel tertangkap dan dipekerjakan oleh Rudi (Lukman Sardi) untuk jadi pengamen jalanan dan harus menyetor uang setiap harinya. Suatu hari, Angel tertabrak mobil ketika hendak menyeberang jalan dan ditolong oleh Soraya (Maudy Koesnaedi). Selagi Angel dirawat di rumah sakit, Rudi memberi tahu Anton bahwa ada keluarga yang siap mengadopsinya. Lima belas tahun kemudian, Angel dewasa (Bunga Citra Lestari), yang belakangan diketahui diadopsi oleh Soraya dan suaminya Edward (Jeroen Lezer), menjadi pengacara sukses yang memilih bekerja membela kaum tertindas di Sydney. Namun, selama lima belas tahun ini pula, bayangan Anton terus menghantui Angel. Angel pun nekat kembali ke Indonesia untuk mencari jejak Anton, meninggalkan karir dan pertunangannya dengan Martin (Joe Taslim), seorang dokter ahli jantung muda.

Saya jarang nonton film Indonesia, tetapi percayalah sampai detik ini, jarang sekali ada film Indonesia yang bikin saya tergerak dan salut. Tahun ini, baru film Ziarah (2017) yang sukses bikin saya menangis dan terpukau meski jalan ceritanya sederhana dan jauh dari kemewahan. Film ini, meski digadang-gadang sebagai “film yang menguras emosi”, nyatanya gagal membuat saya gak ngantuk selama menontonnya. Alasannya sederhana. Saya mengakui kalau plotnya ambisius, berpotensi menjadi both tearjerker dan satir terhadap fenomena di balik kehidupan jalanan Jakarta yang selama ini dipandang sebelah mata. Plot bagus dibangun dari scene-scene awal dimana penonton dihadapkan pada kondisi Anton dan Angel yang cuma menampilkan satu nada: elegi.

Sayangnya, begitu plot diarahkan pada plot besarnya, yakni kehidupan Angel setelah dewasa, cerita lantas jadi acak-acakan, dan seperti membuang sia-sia suasana sedih yang dibangun sejak awal. Cerita ditarik dari pencarian Angel pada sosok Anton, hingga pengungkapan rahasia mengerikan di balik risiko yang mengancam anak-anak jalanan, yang sebenarnya punya potensi bagus untuk dijadikan plot utama. Saya tadinya berharap cerita akan diakhiri dengan drama courtroom macam episode di serial Law and Order atau Ally McBeal, dan menonjolkan sosok Angel sebagai pengacara sukses yang berjuang menghadapi masa lalunya yang kelam. Namun, film ini justru memilih untuk mengakhiri ceritanya dengan twist yang bikin film ini jadi lebih mirip Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) ketimbang Lion (2016) yang dianggap mengusung tema serupa. Drama courtroom-nya hanya dijadikan scene sekilas yang kehilangan emosinya. Parahnya lagi, twist-nya pun nanggung, padahal jika mau digarap lebih serius dengan menekankan pada revealing scene-nya, film ini harusnya berakhir dengan lebih memuaskan.

Aktor paling menonjol disini jelas Lukman Sardi. Dengan penampilan yang jauh berbeda ketimbang biasanya, Lukman lagi-lagi menunjukkan kelasnya sebagai salah satu aktor paling versatile yang dimiliki Indonesia saat ini. Lukman berhasil membuktikan bahwa jadi antagonis tak perlu identik dengan mata melotot dan nada suara tinggi. Posturnya yang kurus justru mendukung paradoks antagonismenya. Di lain sisi, Bunga Citra Lestari cukup sukses mengendalikan seluruh emosi film ini. Didapuk jadi penopang dari keseluruhan emosi film, Bunga menampilkan kemarahan dan kesedihan yang seimbang, meskipun lagi-lagi karena plot filmya acak-acakan, emosi Bunga jadi seperti terbuang sia-sia. Yang paling disesalkan dari casting film ini adalah pemilihan Joe Taslim sebagai dr. Martin, tunangan Angel. Joe Taslim mungkin merupakan salah satu aktor Indonesia paling populer saat ini, baik di Indonesia maupun di mancanegara. Sayangnya, skenarionya membuat Joe tampil inferior dibanding Bunga, sehingga terkesan Martin hanya lelaki cengeng yang rela melakukan apapun untuk meraih kembali cinta kekasihnya. Padahal, kalau mau digali lebih lanjut, karakter Martin seharusnya bisa jadi penyeimbang sisi emosional Angel.

Jadi kalau ditanya apakah saya merekomendasikan film ini, saya akan bertanya apakah kalian penyuka drama. Jika ya, silakan menonton film ini. Namun jika Anda adalah penonton film awam seperti saya, ya mendingan tunggu filmnya diputar di TV lokal saja.

Jailangkung (2017): Tenggelam dalam Nama Besar Pendahulunya

Directed by : Jose Poernomo, Rizal Mantovani | Produced by: Sukhdev Singh, Wicky V. Olindo | Screenplay by: Baskoro Adi Wuryanto | Starring: Lukman Sardi, Hannah Al Rashid, Amanda Rawles, Jefry Nichols, Wulan Guritno, Butet Kertaradjasa | Production Company Screenplay Films, Legacy Pictures

6.5/10

Saya memutuskan untuk menulis review ini dalam Bahasa Indonesia, meskipun saya menyadari saya jauh lebih confident menulis dalam bahasa Inggris. Jadi, saya mohon maaf atas ketidakpatuhan saya dalam kaidah penulisan tulisan argumentatif dalam tulisan kali ini.

16 tahun yang lalu, saya masih ingat saya minta uang pada mama saya untuk nonton film Jelangkung (2001). Film tersebut fenomenal, both haunting and pioneering the Indonesian horror genre. Terbukti sampai hari ini, dengan sekian banyak judul film horor Indonesia yang rilis selama 16 tahun ini, film Jelangkung yang rilis di tengah mati surinya perfilman nasional dan satu angkatan dengan Petualangan Sherina dan Ada Apa dengan Cinta ini masih memorable buat saya, dan merupakan salah satu film horor Indonesia di luar horor Suzanna yang bikin saya jadi parno beberapa waktu setelah menontonnya.

Hari ini, ketika saya pamit pada mama saya untuk menonton film ini (kali ini gak pakai minta uang karena alhamdulillah sudah lebih cerdas memanfaatkan voucher tiket Gotix, haha) mama saya nanya, “Lho, ini film Jelangkung yang tempo hari itu? Keluar lagi?” Jika kalian berpikiran sama dengan mama saya, maka saya akan jawab, “Bukan. Ini bukan film tahun 2001 yang diputar ulang macam film-film Studio Ghibli yang lagi tayang ulang di bioskop tiap awal bulan, atau remake dari film Jelangkung.” Meski dua tokoh utama di balik film Jelangkung, Jose Poernomo dan Rizal Mantovani, kembali reunian di film ini, film ini adalah film baru, baik dari segi cerita, atau dari segi, ehem, intensitas horornya.

Jailangkung (2017) berkisah tentang keluarga Ferdi Joyonegoro (Lukman Sardi), duda beranak tiga yang ditinggal mati istrinya Sarah (Wulan Guritno) saat melahirkan anak mereka yang bungsu. Ketiga anak Ferdi: Angel (Hannah al Rashid), Bella (Amanda Rawles) dan Tasya (Gabriella Quinlynn), tidak pernah mengetahui kalau ayah mereka kerap kali datang ke sebuah rumah di pulau terpencil di Jawa Timur, sampai suatu hari Ferdi pulang dalam kondisi koma. Berbekal nekat dan pengetahuan minim tentang konsep jiwa raga, ketiganya berangkat ke pulau tersebut ditemani Rama (Jefry Nichols), teman Bella yang juga pemerhati konsep kejiwaan. Disana, mereka menemukan fakta bahwa Ferdi datang kesana untuk memanggil arwah mendiang istrinya. Seperti sudah disepakati sebelumnya, pada hari naas tersebut, Ferdi memanggil arwah yang salah, mengabaikan peringatan Sarah bahwa ada arwah yang ingin membalaskan dendam lamanya pada mereka.

Seperti yang saya bilang sebelumnya kalau film ini menawarkan pembaruan daripada film Jelangkung, baik dari segi cerita yang lebih terkesan ingin menonjolkan drama keluarga berlatar horor, atau dari segi pace filmnya yang bikin saya pingin garuk-garuk kepala karena inkonsistensinya. Jika pada film Jelangkung (2001) lebih menonjolkan kisah anak-anak muda penasaran, maka film Jailangkung (2017) ini menambahkan sedikit latar belakang keluarga yang menghadapi kutukan karena perbuatan leluhurnya di masa lalu. Sukses? Gak juga. Saya agak bingung alasan di balik penambahan drama keluarga ini. Jika alasannya adalah untuk menciptakan diferensiasi dengan film pendahulunya, maka penambahan ini boleh dibilang memberikan nuansa baru. Namun demikian, nuansa baru yang ditampilkan sayangnya justru mengurangi intensitas kengerian yang ditimbulkan. Ditambah lagi, kenyataan bahwa akting aktor-aktor muda macam Amanda Rawles dan Jefry Nichols justru tenggelam setiap kali mereka berada dalam satu scene dengan Lukman Sardi atau Hannah Al Rashid. Selain ditambahkannya drama keluarga, berubahnya mantra juga mengurangi intensitas horor dari film ini. Alih-alih menambah kengerian dengan mantra baru “datang gendong, pulang bopong” menggantikan that famous “datang tak dijemput, pulang tak diantar”, mantra tersebut jadi terkesan lucu karena rhyming yang dipaksakan.

Pace filmnya juga penuh inkonsistensi. Untuk beberapa adegan, film terasa bagaikan dikejar setan (literally) sehingga penonton dibuat sulit bernapas dan teringat pada kengerian di Jelangkung  (2001). Beberapa adegan yang lain justru seperti dipanjang-panjangkan, bertele-tele dan bikin saya pingin tidur saja karena memunculkan banyak pertanyaan dan lubang-lubang di badan ceritanya. Beberapa adegan juga terkesan dipaksakan, dibikin seolah-olah mengerikan padahal ketegangannya tidak terbangun penuh sebelumnya, sehingga terasa janggal dan gampang ditebak. Sedikit spoiler, adegan paling dipaksakan menurut saya adalah saat karakter Angel melahirkan bayi setan di liang lahat. Adegan ini mungkin terinspirasi dari film Beranak dalam Kubur (1972), tetapi skenarionya buruk banget sehingga saya jadi bisa menebak jelas arahnya dan kengeriannya pun jadi jauh berkurang. Adegan ini juga gak terasa signifikansinya di keseluruhan cerita, atau memang mungkin disiapkan untuk petunjuk bakal adanya sekuel selanjutnya.

Casting para pemainnya juga menurut saya butuh perbaikan disana-sini. Lukman Sardi memang terasa dominan, tetapi menempatkan Hannah Al Rashid sebagai putri tertuanya tanpa membuat Lukman tampak jauh lebih tua kok ya seperti memberi obat batuk pada penderita maag. Tidak fatal, memang, tetapi gak pas juga. Belum lagi Amanda Rawles dan Gabriella Quinlynn yang gak mirip sama sekali sehingga tidak terasa seperti saudara sekandung. Karakter Rama yang diperankan Jefry Nichols juga nampak seperti memenuhi karakter laki-laki ganteng yang memang kurang di film ini. Hal terakhir yang buat saya cukup mengganggu adalah cara pengambilan gambar menggunakan aerial shot yang berlebihan sehingga jadi terasa seperti menonton via Google Earth. Belum lagi karakter hantunya yang lebih ngepop dan imut jika dibandingkan dengan suster ngesot yang dipopulerkan oleh Jelangkung (2001).

Overall, film ini cukup bagus jika dibandingkan dengan beberapa film horor Indonesia lain selama kurun waktu 16 tahun setelah Jelangkung (2001) dirilis. Namun jika dibandingkan dengan Jelangkung atau dengan Tusuk Jelangkung (2003) sekalipun, saya rasa-rasanya masih lebih memilih untuk menonton kedua film pendahulunya tersebut ketimbang nonton film ini.

Transformers: The Last Knight (2017): A Compilation of 2017’s Worst Movies

Directed by: Michael Bay | Produced by: Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Ian Bryce | Story by: Akiva Goldsman, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Ken Nolan | Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock, Stanley Tucci, Josh Duhamel | Cinematography: Jonathan Sela | Production Company: di Bonaventura Pictures, Hasbro Studio | Distributed by Paramount Pictures | Official Website

3.7/10

When you heard the latest Transformers movie is out on the theater, what is the most thing you can expect? The cling-clang-boom-here-you-go Robots? The unnecessarily excessive explosives and cool vehicles trying to calm down army of angry alien robots? The somehow sexy, smart and talented woman who unexpectedly falls into a out-of-the-league man’s arm? The Mark Wahlberg’s abs, after the departure of the awkward Shia LeBeouf? Well, it’s all you can get from the fifth installment of Transformers live-action movie franchise, called Transformers: The Last Knight.

Open with the setting of British Dark Ages, where King Arthur and his Roundtable Knights fight their battles with the help of Merlin (the unrecognizable Stanley Tucci). Here, instead of using Magic like we used to know, Merlin is actually asking for help from the Guardian Robots, who trusted him with a staff that powerful enough to destroy a planet, while the 12 guardian robot forms a three-headed robodragon. From now, I exactly know this movie is leading to its self-destruction.

Over almost two millenia after, earth is being invaded by Alien ships, as told by one of Nasa’s physician, “They tried to make this earth a microwave, and we are the popcorn.” Failed inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) is trying to hide his Autobots friends in a car junkyard alongside his assistant Jimmy (Jerrod Carmichael). Joined with them are Izabella (Isabela Moner), an orphan teenager who has a high interest in Robots, and her pet robo Sqweeks who tries so hard to look as cute as R2-D2 and BB8. One day when their hides has been revealed and they were chased by both Decepticons and the government, they are found by Cogman, a robobutler who tries to impersonate C3-PO, who works for Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins). Sir Edmund Burton invites Yeager to England and he also invites Dr. Viviane Wembly (Laura Haddock), a History Professor from Oxford University. 

Meanwhile, on Planet Cybertron, Optimus has met his creator, Quintessa (Gemma Chan). Instead of original Hasbro’s Cybertron gods Quintessons, it seems like Bay is trying to simplify all things so the Quintessons are replaced by single entity, Quintessa. Quintessa wants the staff to be returned, so she hypnotized Optimus to follow her instructions and get the staff back. On earth, Sir Edmund tells them that the alien invasion that happens lately is caused by Merlin staff, that only can be activated by Merlin’s direct descendant, Viviane. Optimus is back to earth as an enemy, as Yeager and Viviane try to find the staff that said to be buried with Merlin.

The movie feels in total disorder all around. It’s like they messed up with everything. The plot is a chaos, you can’t barely even know the connection with the previous installments, and the movie itself destroy its own timeline. There’s so many things that feel like they were forced to be there just to maintain the running time of no shorter than 150 minutes, and for me the movie looks like the compilation of 2017’s worst movies. You can recall the “Hello I’m King Arthur” moment from King Arthur and The Legend of The Sword and “Why are we in England again?” moment from The Mummy. The CGI looks cheesy, predictable and the final moment states that this movie is a total destruction. 

The characters looks like they only be there for the paychecks. Mark Wahlberg looks hopeless, clueless but somehow be able to pull out The Excalibur. Ha, you know this is a mess now. Laura Haddock tries her best to look smart as a Ph.D degree holder from Oxford but somehow finally falls into Wahlberg’s arms. Their trying to render C3-PO and R2-D2-look-alike characters is also failed, though Sqweeks is bearable and Cogman’s interaction with Anthony Hopkins is probably the best scenes of this movie, and one of the reason why I give this movie rating of 3.7. The other reason, is Anthony Hopkins himself. As an Emmy and Oscar winning actor, he doesn’t lose his charisma at all, and an actor with his caliber dominates the screen whenever he appears.

And the final reason why I still watch this movie is probably my crush over Optimus Prime. Haha. Oh and if you think that this franchise needs to be shut down immediately, you’re wrong. They’re going to make the sixth installment.

The Whole Truth (2016): A Bland Courtroom Thriller with Zellweger’s Stellar Performance

Directed by: Courney Hunt | Written by: Nicholas Kazan | Starring: Keanu Reeves, Reneè Zellweger, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jim Belushi, Gabriel Basso | Edited by: Kate Williams | Production Company Atlas Entertainment, Likely Story, Merced Media Partner, Palmstar Media | Distributed by: Lionsgate Premier

5.7/10

We are early introduced to our main character, Louisiana crime lawyer Richard Ramsay (Keanu Reeves), who is now defending his old friends’s son, 17 years-old Mike Lassiter (Gabriel Basso). Mike was accused of killing his own abusive father, Boone Lassiter (Jim Belushi). Ramsay was assisted by the young Janelle Brady (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who is also daughter of his old companion. Ramsay is so sure he could win the trial, and free Mike from his charge. His only obstacle is that Mike refused to talk to anyone, including Ramsay as his lawyer.

During the trial, almost all witness’ testimonials support the allegation that Mike did kill his father, due to Boone’s abusive behavior towards Loretta (Reneè Zellweger), Boone’s widow and also Mike’s mother. Ramsay, along with Janelle, works their best to free Mike from the accusation. They see opportunity when the prosecutor finally calls Loretta to testify, and her disclosure of Boone’s abusive behavior finally starts to reveal. However, when Mike decides he wants to testify, which Ramsay has objection towards it, the whole story starts to build themselves.

Led by Law and Order: Special Victim Unit’s director Courney Hunt, who has a law degree, I was quite expecting for a John Grisham-esque storyline. That expectation was enlarged by the cast of Keanu Reeves, which I thought would bring back his Devil’s Advocate’s persona. Sadly, that expectation wasn’t really match the reality.  The movie feels boring, bland with no clear explanation to the whole truth as the title implies. Even the twist and the conclusion at the very end feel lame and yawning. 

Keanu Reeves plays like a wooden doll lawyer, nearly no expression, nor the passion. He looks like he had been nervous all the time, despite the fact that his persona dominates the whole trial whenever he stands to speak. Miss Mbatha-Raw looks dashing, but she got almost no chance to develop her character. She, at the end, just looks like a platonic companion to Reeves’ wooden and dominating character. The only good performance came from trio Jim Belushi, Reneè Zellweger and Gabriel Basso who successfully convince us that their family is troublesome. Reneè Zellweger herself did a stellar performance as a survivor of abusive marriage, as weak, vulnerable and as pathetic as she could.

The Mummy (2017): A Big Confusing Piece of A Puzzle

Go back to Ancient Egypt and meet Princess Ahmanet here.

So wherever you are, please don’t forget to search for something that have value in the market, no matter it is, or whether it will cost your life. Or make you cursed. Well, meet our “hero” Sergeant Nicholas Morton (Tom Cruise), who is despite being in Iraq for his mission, he also searches for historical artifacts that have value at the Black Market. Alongside his bestfriend Corporal Chris Vail (Jake Johnson), he unintentionally opens up the gate into a tomb for an exiled Ancient Egyptian Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), who has been mummified alive and exiled to Mesopotamia after she killed her own father.

When archaeologist Jennifer Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) thinks this is her life finding, she wants to take the sarcophagus back to the US. At the plane, she just realizes that it is maybe a mistake taking the sarcophagus back, since the plane then crashes after being attacked by crows (literally). However, since this is a Tom Cruise movie and he is also our “said to be The Chosen One”, then he is being brought to life without any scratch. Voila! Discovering he might be cursed by Ahmanet for releasing her from her prison, Nick suddenly wakes up in a group of archaeologist led by the mysterious Dr Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe). Despite explaning to Nick the reason why he is being resurrected from his death, Dr Jekyll shows his true other personality, whom you surely can guess, Mr. Hyde.

This is not the only strangeness we can find in this movie. I mean, there’s so many pieces of puzzle that needed to be arranged in order to make this movie understandable. Just trying to compare it with the previous The Mummy franchise in early 2000s starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, this movie is lost most of its adventurous nature. This movie is just like a story about someone who’s being cursed but successfully turns the curse into superpower that makes him a savior for this world. This movie also maybe just a beginning of the upcoming installments, but it is a confusing beginning. There’s so many questions left behind, like how can Dr Jekyll still live until now? What is his true role in this franchise, because to be honest, you should not just cast Russell Crowe for just standing and showing his other monstrous side that is not frightening at all?

I don’t wanna comment about Tom Cruise. His cast is like putting Ethan Hunt in the Mummy franchise. He’s just being Tom Cruise, a die-hard superhero that shows no special ability other than being handsome. Sofia Boutella should steal the screen, I suppose, her build and her performance is truly frightening, but the script is bad. So instead of being a scary queen of evil, she just looks like a desperate woman searching for a man to resurrect her God of Death, Set. Her power is dominantly CGI, and her final battle against Cruise is a big let down. Not to mention the disappointing Annabelle Wallis that I prefer she just died since she has no wittiness of Rachel Weisz on the previous franchise. 

I give this movie 6.8/10. All for Sofia Boutella’s beautiful eyes and Tom Cruise’s ripped body.

Wonder Woman (2017): So Long Lynda Carter, Gal Gadot IS Wonder Woman

So here’s the movie official site.

Made to fill the gap that has beein left empty by the previous DC Extended Universe release, Wonder Woman is an estrogenic movie that looks like a muscular Sailormoon trying to end World War II. With Gal Gadot’s background as an Israeli ex-military, no wonder she got the look of the most iconic female superhero. I have no expectation seeing this movie, nor have read any of the comic books. However, I end up leaving the cinema with smile.

Tells the story of Diana (Gal Gadot), Princess of Themyschira, daughter of Hippolyta Queen of The Amazon (Connie Nielsen), and note this, until the end of the movie, no one have ever addressed her as Wonder Woman. Well-trained since her younger day by her aunt General Antiope (Robin Wright), Diana fulfills her fate to be the bravest Amazon warrior when she meets Captain Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), US pilot and decides to follow him to leave Themyschira to kill Amazon’s archenemy Ares, the God of War.

Trevor then brings Diana to London, where he hands over the notebook of Dr. Isabel Maru (Elena Anaya), German chemist under General Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston). In London too, Diana shows off her brilliance in front of British Officials and steals the attention of Sir Patrick Morgan (David Thewlis, our beloved Remus Lupin of Harry Potter franchise). Though being doubted by his superiors, Trevor realizes his promise to bring Diana to the warzone, alongside Middle Eastern agent, Scottish sniper, and Native American smuggler, who contributes little to none to the main story, more to just fulfill the “color” of another Hollywood movie. At the warzone where she believes she can find Ares to end this war, she finally shows her superhero moments on this man’s, man’s, man’s movie. Her shattered glass, blown up tanks, destroyed tower and her long-lasting make up seem like a show that this woman is again, a muscular Sailormoon who is going to make a statement.

For those who have read the comic books, they maybe are going to prefer the comic. However, after the disappointing Man of Steel (2013) and Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice  (2016), this movie is satisfying enough. Playing the most iconic female superhero of all time, Gal Gadot looks tough, determined yet beautiful. I have never seen the satisfying Wonder Woman portrayal beside Lynda Carter, and yet Gadot’s performance is still stealing my attention. My most disappointment is maybe Chris Pine’s portrayal of her love interest Steve Trevor. As this world is a man’s, man’s, man’s world like James Brown sang, Trevor somehow always tries to shows his superiority over Diana by telling her what to do or what not to do, despite he knows that she is more capable, stronger and out of his worldly traits. The villain, Ares (I’m not gonna tell you who played it since it will spoil the entire movie twist), is nothing but an annoying man trying his best to be bad but he failed after all. As the God of War, and with his reputation told at the very first part of the movie, Ares should be a very good strategist, arrogant, cunning, despicable and formidable warrior. In this movie, yes, Ares is the main plot twist, but he’s lack of wittiness and reasoning, so the main villain is not working for me.

So, after all, I think this movie deserves a 8.2/10. A 0.2 extra is for Miss Gadot’s long-lasting make up style since World War II era until now. Haha.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017): Even Undead Javier Bardem can’t Save this Sinking Franchise

The official movie site is here.

When Disney first decided to bring one of its attraction to big screen with the first installment of Pirates of the Caribbean franchise: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), it was fun and appealing. Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow is funny, yet cunning and have strong determination, that convinced us why he is one of the most popular pirates on the Carribean sea. The addition of Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner and Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Swann makes this first installment more interesting. Will and Elizabeth is more than lovers, they have characters, and their characters somehow complement with Jack’s sloppy demeanor. 

On this fifth installment, Salazar’s Revenge, they seems want to reboot Will and Elizabeth’s addition into the body of their son, Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) and young astronomer Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario from the Maze Runner franchise). To release Will from the curse of The Flying Dutchmen, Henry promised himself to find the Trident of Poseidon, which is believed to be able to release any curse of the sea. To find the Trident he must find Jack, since Jack owns the compass that would bring him to the location of the trident. 

While working with British trade union, Henry meets Capitán Salazar, Spanish captain of Silent Mary who has been cursed in the Devil’s Triangle since he lost the battle against Jack. Salazar makes Henry promised him to tell the world about his return from the dead world, especially to get some revenge with Jack. Shortly, Henry then meet Carina Smyth, who has been false accused as witch thanks to her intelligence. They stand side by side to find the Trident with The Map No Man can Read, alongside Jack who is now run out of his luck and has to find the trident in order to beat Salazar.

As I thought that they tried to remake the same formula of the first installment of this franchise, with Thwaites and Scodelario, I also thought that they are failed successfully. Thwaites is not charming as Bloom, and Scodelario has no wit of Knightley, and since their character supposed to balance Jack’S craziness, the movie becomes imbalance and Jack’s craziness sink to the bottom of the sea. Depp tries so hard to entertain us with his dry humors throughout the movie, and it turns to be perfectly failed. My heart is still jumping with Javier Bardem’s Salazar, who spills oil from his mouth while saying “Death”, but he also tries so hard to look frightening as the main villain. For me, he is more frightening in Skyfall (2012) than on this movie. Geoffrey Rush’ Hector Barbossa steal the spotlight, but the somebody is someone’s father moment ruined it all. I mean, now everything is trying to put Star Wars’ “I am your father” surprise in their movie? Oh, please.

This franchise is sinking, and Disney should consider to put it into an end, which I thought it would still be so far considering the extra after credit scenes showing that Davy Jones is back. I remember the old times when I enjoyed this franchise a lot, since it’s full of fun and games and interesting characters with beautiful CGIs, but this movie is a sign that probably this franchise has to remain with the dead. 

Oh, I do wonder. As long as I remember, Elizabeth Swann is the incumbent King of The Pirates on the third installment who has led the pirates to win the battle against the British trade union, right? Then Will Turner left his bride to fulfil his curse with the Flying Dutchmen crews and Elizabeth must be raising his son alone for ten years before Henry finds the location of the Dutchmen and promises Will he will release him from the curse. My point is, a woman with strong determination like Elizabeth and with her position as the King of the Pirates, will she just sit on the countryside for ten years instead of leading her pirates to release Will from the curse? Will she leave the duty on the shoulder of her 10 years old boy? That would be a more interesting storyline. Haha. Anyway, I give this movie 6.9/10.

King Arthur and the Legend of the Sword (2017): Not Good, Not Bad, Just Frustrating

Here‘s the movie official website.

After a lot of stories, books and movies about King Arthur and The Knights of the Round Table, this movie probably wants to mix up the classic story with the taste of 2017. With lots of (ehem, useless) CGIs, grandeur scenes on trailers and Ritchie’s successful latter movies like The Man from U.N.C.L.E (2015) and Sherlock Holmes (2009), this movie looks promising at the beginning, and turns to be a failed combination of the legend itself and The Lord of The Rings-styled CGIs.

Starts with The King Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana), who successfully defended his fortress Camelot from the attack of the evil sorcerer Mordred (the real Mordred is actually Arthur’s illegitimate son, said the legend). Soon, Uther Pendragon is betrayed by his own ambitious brother Lord Vortigern (Jude Law) and drifted the young Arthur away Baby-Moses-styled into Thames. Here’s where I start to eat my popcorn and wonder why my popcorn tastes sweet although I’m asking for a butter popcorn from the cinema snack counter, since the movie is getting to ruin itself. 

So shortly the young Arthur grows up to a ripped (not-so) young man (Charlie Hunnam), who is capable to combat thanks to the training he got from his early ages from The Kungfu George (Tom Wu). He makes trouble with the Vikings and since the Vikings are supported by King Vortigern himself, Arthur should leave the town immediately. However, he is taken by Vortigern’s Blackleg army, who deemed he is “at the right age” to fulfill the prophecy of the right born King, the heir of Uther Pendragon’s throne and the only person who can pull out the legendary sword Excalibur from the stone. So he is taken to the sword area, supervised by the charming Blackleg captain played by David Beckham, and as you can guess, he can pull out the sword but he passed out after that. 

And I can’t push myself to continue my review since I really wanna cry. Omg I don’t have any idea why they did such things to one of the finest legendary King? Well maybe the legend of King Arthur has been too often adapted before and Guy Ritchie wants a slightly different adaptation with his patented projection montages. On the other hand, that projection montages where the character games out to us what situation should or could develop has been used too often and it doesn’t suit the movie like this. It probably suits Ritchie’s other movies, and I admit that it suits Sherlock Holmes very well, but it doesn’t suit this movie. And what’s the real meaning of King Arthur’s legend of you can’t meet Merlin? In this movie, Merlin’s role as Arthur’s mentor is substituted by a young and beautiful Mage (Astrid Berges-Frisbey), who has casted out a snake (the last gigantic snake is overrated) a little bit too often. Charlie Hunnam feels nothing like royalty, actually can be understood since he is raised on the brothel, but the costume designer gave him clothes that makes him looked like a hobo ready to perform street arts. However, over all the bad things that came out from this movie, Jude Law plays his role believably good. His emotion and his ambition can be felt and convincing enough, but his script is totally garbage, so it wasted all the moods he has built perfectly.

So if you think that The Hobbit has been chopped out into a trilogy is overdone, you should think of what this movie would look like since Ritchie wants to make it into a six series movie! And I give this movie 5/10.