Cayle’s Movie Review: “A Wrinkle in Time”


A Wrinkle in Time follows Meg Murry (Storm Reid) as she sets off on an adventure throughout the cosmos to rescue her father Alex (Chris Pine) with the help of three mysterious astral travelers (Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling).


Storm Reid was great as the main character. She manages to carry the movie based on her performance alone. A Wrinkle in Time had an overall decent cast.

Not only that, the movie had some heartwarming scenes. The emotional scenes, especially the ones that involve Reid and Pine, felt genuine thanks to their performances.


The visual effects for A Wrinkle in Time were so atrocious, they make Black Panther’s visuals look like Blade Runner in comparison. The CGI for this movie felt rather unconvincing, especially the giant Oprah Winfrey (I wish I was making that up). I know that I’m supposed to suspend my disbelief when watching A Wrinkle in Time, but I couldn’t help but notice the obvious green screen effects.

It takes a while for the plot of A Wrinkle in Time to kick in. The movie’s pacing suffers because of this. Although the three actresses playing the three misses are fine, I felt their only purpose within this movie is to give exposition whenever it’s convenient for the plot. For a movie that deals with the topic of time travel, plot holes are inevitable.

The supporting characters for this movie weren’t that great either. The character of Calvin O’ Keefe (Levi Miller) has little to no development. He literally just shows up out of the blue without any pretext. As for Deric McCabe’s performance, I felt he was unconvincing in his portrayal of Charles Wallace Murry due to his young age. I get the fact that his character is supposed to be a child prodigy, but his dialogue felt unnatural.


Although I give this movie credit for being ambitious, A Wrinkle in Time is a mess in terms of both story and visual effects. Just like 2015’s Tomorrowland, I wish it had a better execution.

SCORE: 4/10


Cayle’s Movie Review: Annihilation


After a mysterious comet had struck a lighthouse in the southern United States, a strange environmental anomaly known as the “Shimmer” had inflicted the area and is threatening to spread out to surrounding areas. As a result, the United States government sends out an expedition to explore the Shimmer.


Although Annihilation is based on a novel, it is one of the more refreshing films that Hollywood has to offer right now. This is only the second film that Alex Garland has directed after 2015’s Ex Machina. However, he already has the potential to be a great director.

Garland manages to combine the surreal yet beautiful flora and fauna of the Shimmer with an aura of menace. Thanks to the film’s atmosphere, there is a sense of impending doom lingering amongst its dreamy landscape. The musical score for this film fits very well with its atmosphere. Annihilation works best as a slow burn type of film as it keeps the audience on edge until its finale.

Just like Aliens and The Thing, Annihilation mixes science fiction and horror. Speaking of the latter, the film has some genuinely terrifying scenes. I won’t go into detail, but it involves some of the mutated animals of the Shimmer.

The film has a solid cast. It’s nice to see Natalie Portman in a great movie again. Jennifer Jason Leigh shines as the leader of the expedition. The other three characters of the expedition are also worth mentioning. The audience gets to see the characters bond over their unusual predicament.


A major problem with this film is its subplot. Just like 2016’s Arrival, it seems that they were going to do a flashback that involves Natalie Portman’s character. However, this subplot unfortunately goes nowhere. There is also a framing device that manages to spoil the outcome of the film. I honestly think that was a studio decision rather than the filmmaker’s intent. The film’s ending and unusual pacing might be divisive amongst audiences.

The Final Verdict

While Annihilation is getting a theatrical release in North America and China (mainly because they are huge movie-going markets), the film is only getting a straight-to-Netflix release everywhere else. It’s a crying shame that Paramount has no faith in this movie because it’s too “intellectual” and “complicated” in their words. While everyone is going crazy over movies like Black Panther, films like this one are going unnoticed by the general movie-going audience. Annihilation might be the antidote for the generic Hollywood blockbuster.

SCORE: 9/10

Cayle’s Movie Review: Game Night


Max (Jason Bateman) and Anne (Rachel McAdams) are a married couple that share a mutual love for competition as evidenced by their game nights. One night, Max’s more successful brother Brooks shows up in town and invites the couple and their friends to his own game night. However, things go out of hand very quickly.


Game Night is a movie that takes advantage of its absurd concept. If I had to compare it to another movie, it would be Clue (which is fitting considering its theme). Although a lot of the humor in this movie is rather hit and miss, the jokes that do land work because of the cast. Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams have a great comedic chemistry with each other. The supporting cast also has their moments as well. Jesse Plemons does have a memorable role as a creepy, spurned neighbor who is left out of the couple’s game night. I won’t spoil the movie, but it had a few too many twists in its third act. Overall, Game Night is a fun, harmless comedy.

SCORE: 6/10

Cayle’s Movie Review: “Black Panther”


Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is about to become the King of Wakanda and become the next Black Panther. However, there is another claimant to the throne…


Recently, I’ve been trying to watch new movies without any preconceived notions. On the other hand, it’s hard to judge a movie that’s overly hyped like this one. This makes Black Panther all the more disappointing.

The best part about this movie is its cast. Chadwick Boseman did a great job portraying T’Challa/Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War. He is also great in Black Panther. Andy Serkis (in one of his few non-motion capture performances) was entertaining as the comic relief Klaw. The movie also has a solid supporting cast thanks to the likes of Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya, and Forest Whitaker amongst others.

Among the handful of trailers that was shown before Black Panther, there was a trailer for the second Deadpool movie that mocked the extensive use of green screen in superhero movies. If that isn’t awkward, I don’t know what is. The CGI for this movie would feel right at home in the late ‘90s or the early 2000s.  At certain parts of the movie, I was reminded of the now-dated CGI of the Star Wars prequels.

Another problem I had with Black Panther is its writing. Most of the characters in this movie are either one-dimensional or they’re underdeveloped. While Michael B. Jordan does a great job as Killmonger, I felt his character was severely underdeveloped. While I won’t spoil the movie, but his backstory was only explained briefly during the third act. The movie’s plot pretty much reiterated the plot points made in Civil War. The movie wanted to be Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but it ended up being an unofficial remake of the first Thor movie. A common complaint of the more recent MCU movies is that they’re too reliant on its humor. Personally, I felt that most of the humor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was well-executed. However, most of the humor in this movie was rather forced in its attempt to be hip and fresh.


Black Panther felt like a generic superhero movie. This is the second time in a two-month period that I disagreed with the consensus of a movie (the other one being The Last Jedi obviously). Just like The Last Jedi, I felt that Black Panther had the potential to be a great movie. As much as I hate to admit it, Black Panther is one of the lesser MCU movies.

SCORE: 5/10

Cayle’s Movie Review: “A Silent Voice”


Shoko Nishimiya is a sixth grader who had transferred to a new school. Due to her hearing impairment, Shoko is singled out for bullying by her classmates. After a classmate by the name of Shoya Ishida takes the bullying too far, he is ostracized by his classmates.

Several years later, a remorseful Shoya (who is now in high school) happens to bump into Shoko. He uses this opportunity to apologize for his past mistakes and make amends with her. Although reluctant at first due to her past trauma, she slowly but surely accepts his friendship over time.


The best thing about this film is its character development. While Shoko is the focus of A Silent Voice, Shoya is arguably the main character since the audience gets to see his progression from an immature child to a young adult taking responsibility for his past behavior. At its core, A Silent Voice is a story about redemption. As for Shoko, you really feel bad for her since she has no control over her disability. You just want to give her a hug. The supporting characters are also worth mentioning, including Shoko’s younger sister Yuzuru and the comic relief Tomohiro.

Another great thing about this film is its visual style and presentation. The animation, which was provided by the Kyoto Animation studio, is just gorgeous. The film manages to take a few liberties with its visuals. For example, whenever we see people from Shoya’s perspective, there are literal x’s that cover the faces of the other students to signify the fact that he blocks people from his life out of remorse. Another example of this would be how the visuals (and the sound mixing ironically enough) are designed to represent Shoko’s point of view at certain points of the movie. During one important scene in the movie, I thought that the theater’s speakers were giving out. I then realize that the soundtrack was supposed to represent Shoko’s hearing loss.

The only showing for the movie I was able to attend was for the subtitled version. Normally, I would go see the dubbed version of an anime movie first since I’m unfamiliar with the Japanese language. Despite the language barrier, I thought the voice acting was great, especially Shoko’s.

My biggest gripe with this movie is its pacing. This movie is 130 minutes long and boy, does it feel that long. A Silent Voice unfortunately suffers from ending fatigue. There were several times where could have ended right then and there.

This is the third non-Ghibli movie I’ve managed to watch in theaters in the past two years (the other two are The Boy and the Beast and Your Name respectively). Although I prefer the latter two, A Silent Voice is still a movie that is worth watching in theaters. There is controversy within the animation community about how this film was snubbed by The Boss Baby and Ferdinand of all movies for the Best Animated Feature Academy Award. It’s a crying shame that non-Ghibli anime films go unnoticed at the Oscars.


If you’re a fan of anime, A Silent Voice is an emotional film that deserves to be watched in theaters. Please the sustain the anime industry.

SCORE: 8/10

Cayle’s Anime Review: “School Days”


The anime follows Makoto Itou, a high school student who develops a crush on Kotonoha Katsura, a classmate who happens to ride the same train every day. With the help of his friend Sekai Saionji, he gathers the courage to ask her out. However, a dangerous love triangle between the three characters ensue.


Where do I begin?

At first, School Days seems to be your run-of-the-mill harem anime. However, it all goes downhill fast. School Days has one of the most controversial anime endings of all time. I will go into further detail later in the review.

School Days is a show that heavily relies on its idiot plot. Most of the characters on this show are either horrible people or very stupid. Makoto Itou is both. I get the fact that teenagers aren’t known for their rationality. However, Makoto is a selfish asshole who fucks anything that moves.

Sekai isn’t much better either thanks to her shitty personality. She’s easily the most manipulative character on the show aside from Makoto. The only character that had any redeeming qualities was Kotonoha. You really feel bad for her…until the end, that is.

In the process of writing this review, I struggled to think of any good things about this anime. Is School Days the worst anime of all time? The simple answer is…no. That honor goes to Pupa.

In all seriousness, the anime does have some redeeming qualities. I’ll give the anime credit for subverting the usual tropes that is prevalent in the harem genre. However, I wish it was better executed. Call it schadenfreude, but it is satisfying when Makoto gets his just deserts. These elements keep School Days from being a terrible anime.


Although it tries to be subversive, the show fails to live up to its potential thanks to its unlikable characters. If it wasn’t for its rather infamous ending, this show would be forgotten

SCORE: 4/10

Cayle’s Anime Review: “FLCL”


The show follows the adventures of 12-year-old Naota Nandaba. Aside from having a man-child for a father, his older brother’s ex-girlfriend hitting on him and the fact that he lives in a city that has a factory that is shaped like an iron, Naota’s life is rather…mundane. That is, until he encounters Haruko Haruhara…


To say that FLCL (or Fooly Cooly) is a unique show would be the understatement of the century. FLCL is a show that embraces its absurdity. The show manages to blend many visual styles (including the cut-out animation of South Park) while having its own style. If I had to compare the show’s visual style to another piece of media, I would compare it to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World for its absolute insanity. There is a debate amongst anime fans on whether FLCL has a plot or not. However, there is a plot that is hidden beneath the insanity of the show…

FLCL is a show that requires multiple viewings as it uses a lot of symbolism. At first glance, FLCL appears to be a random sequence of events. With repeated viewings, however, the themes of the show start to unravel. Repeated viewings should not be a problem since this show has only six episodes.  At its core, FLCL is a coming-of-age story, albeit a strange one. The series is essentially a metaphor for Naota’s transition from boy to man. However, the show has a surprisingly subtle message about not growing up too fast.

Another great aspect about this show is its soundtrack. Instead of the J-pop that is the standard in most anime series, the show’s soundtrack is performed by the Japanese alternative rock band The Pillows. I would describe the sound of the band as Oasis-meets-Radiohead. This soundtrack is the ultimate antidote to the usual anime soundtrack.

My one complaint with this show is the execution of its symbolism. While some of the metaphors are well executed, others are as subtle as a bass guitar to the head. Case in point, the innuendo…


FLCL is a show that aged like wine. It is a show that was tailored made for the Adult Swim generation. Although the show seems a bit chaotic at first with its erratic visuals and far-out sense of humor, the show does have a heart. FLCL is probably the strangest coming-of-age story of all time…

SCORE: 9/10