Cayle’s Movie Review: Tully

THE SUMMARY

In the third collaboration between director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody after 2007’s Juno and 2011’s Young Adult, Tully follows Marlo (Charlize Theron) as she struggles to raise two children while expecting a third one. At the suggestion of her brother Craig (Mark Duplass), she hires a night nurse by the name of Tully (Mackenzie Davis).

THE PROS

What’s unique about Tully is its portrayal of parenthood, more specifically motherhood. I felt that Charlize Theron’s portrayal of Marlo was an accurate portrayal of what a mother goes through on a regular basis. The audience gets to see the more unflattering moments of motherhood as well as the good moments.

Although the movie doesn’t have much of a supporting cast, they still managed to be memorable. Mackenzie Davis does a fine job as the titular Tully even though she comes off as a mix of a Mary Poppins-esque character and the “manic pixie dream girl”. While Ron Livingston was also fine as Marlo’s husband Drew, I felt he was in the background for most of the movie.

THE CONS

I won’t spoil the movie, but it has a major twist in its third act. While the movie does explain the circumstances surrounding its twist, I felt it was kind of forced since it came out of nowhere. I know that the movie wanted to drive its point (i.e. the hardships of parenthood) home with its twist, but I felt it was redundant at that point of the movie.

THE FINAL VERDICT

Although the movie was carried by Charlize Theron’s performance, Tully is well-made movie about the hardships of motherhood. The movie shows both the good and bad parts of parenthood. Tully proves that Diablo Cody works best when she’s working with Jason Reitman. While it isn’t the best of their collaboration, it’s still a good movie nevertheless.

SCORE: 7/10

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Cayle’s Movie Review: “Overboard”

While everybody’s going to see the new Avengers movie, I’m stuck watching Overboard. Yay…

Although this movie is a remake of the 1987 movie of the same name, Overboard has a rather generic plot. You can practically predict its plot beat for beat. Except for a scene near the end of the movie that is played for laughs, Overboard does nothing new with its overused plot device. There is also a subplot involving the main character’s family that really dragged the pacing of the movie.

I know comedy is supposed to be subjective, but the comedic scenes in Overboard were rather hit or miss (mostly the latter). Although Overboard inspires a few chuckles (mainly from the side characters), it’s not a laugh-out-loud movie.

One of the few things that keeps this movie from being outright awful are its two leads. Both Anna Faris and Eugenio Derbez have a great chemistry with each other, and it shows during the movie’s more personal moments.

Overall, Overboard is another uninspired remake from Hollywood.

SCORE: 4/10

Cayle’s Movie Review: “Bad Samaritan”

BadSamaritanFilm

NOTE: I didn’t have the time to do a video review of this movie this weekend, so I decided to do a written version instead. Enjoy!

Bad Samaritan is pretty much your typical “cat-and-mouse” thriller with a couple of great leads. David Tennant, who is more popularly known for playing the Tenth Doctor in the long-running Doctor Who series, steals the movie as the serial killer Cale Erendreich.  He surprisingly has the range to play such a character. Robert Sheehan does a fine job as the everyman protagonist even though his character is breaking into houses at the beginning of the movie.

Dean Devlin, who is the director of this movie, also directed my least favorite movie of 2017: Geostorm. However, Bad Samartian is a much better effort this time around. The movie’s plot was engaging even though it has been done before

Although there are much better “cat-and-mouse” thrillers such as Se7en and I Saw the Devil, Bad Samaritan is a competently made movie.

SCORE: 6/10

Cayle’s Anime Review: Kids on the Slope

THE SUMMARY

In 1966 Japan, Kaoru had moved to a new town because of his father’s new job. Due to his intelligence, he has a hard time making friends at his new high school. However, he manages to bond with Sentarou, the local tough guy, and Ritsuko, the class president, over jazz music.

THE PROS

Shinichirō Watanabe, the director of Kids on the Slope, had previously incorporated musical elements into his earlier work such as Cowboy Bebop (i.e. western music/blues) and Samurai Champloo (i.e. hip-hop). This time around, not only did he manage to incorporate jazz music into its soundtrack but also into the animation of the show. The most memorable moment in this anime are the scenes that revolve around Sentarou’s love for jazz. Those scenes have some of the most fluid animation I have ever seen in an anime. As for the soundtrack, the jazz score is provided by Yoko Kanno, who had previously collaborated with Watanabe on Cowboy Bebop.

Normally, I am not a huge fan of slice-of-life anime, mainly because their plots tend to meander. Although Kids on the Slope doesn’t have a conventional plot per se, it more than makes up for it with its character development. The main three characters of the anime are very likable and felt like real teenagers instead of being caricatures. The audience gets to see the friendship between the main characters grow throughout the duration of the series. Like how My Neighbor Totoro revolved around childhood, Kids on the Slope is an anime that revolves around adolescence.

THE CONS

My only gripe with this series is the forced love triangle between the three characters. Did the audience really need an unwanted subplot to create conflict? To reiterate a point, the jazz scenes are easily the best in the entire series. I wished the plot revolved around these scenes instead.

THE FINAL VERDICT

Kids on the Slope is a solid coming-of-age story from a legendary anime director.

SCORE: 8/10

Cayle’s Movie Review: A Quiet Place

THE SUMMARY

In a post-apocalyptic future in which the planet is infested with mysterious creatures, a family tries to survive despite the odds being against them.

THE PROS

Although John Krasinski is mainly known as a comedic actor, he knocks it out of the park with A Quiet Place. He already has the potential to be a great filmmaker even though this is only his third film. Taking his inspiration from films such as Jaws, Krasinski knows how to create an atmospheric mood within A Quiet Place. Throughout the film’s duration, there is a sense of impending doom that the viewer can’t shake off.

A Quiet Place has amazing sound design. Aside from the occasional film score, the film uses the sounds of nature to create an ambience. This film might be a better experience in a home theater than in an actual theater, but that’s just my opinion. While there are some scenes involving dialogue, they are few and far in between. The film is the “show don’t tell” principle taken to its logical extreme.

Another great thing about this movie is its worldbuilding. Since the film involves a race of creatures who hunt by sound, the family within the film go to great lengths to avoid the creatures such as communicating by sign language (which is plausible in this case since the daughter is deaf), walking barefoot whenever they go out, and playing Monopoly with pieces of cloth.

Although the film has a small cast (seven actors in total according to IMDb), they are still memorable. While I was writing this review, I found out that John Krasinski and Emily Blunt were married in real life. In my opinion, this makes their performances more believable. While I am not a fan of child performances, the actors portraying the children were good.

THE CONS

While A Quiet Place is an atmospheric film, there were a few jump scares that were prevalent in this film. I don’t know if it was a studio decision, but it felt out of place.

Another problem I had with this film were the decisions that some of the characters make. As I have mentioned before, the main characters go to great lengths to avoid the creatures. However, they still make the same mistakes that other horror characters had made.

THE FINAL VERDICT

Thanks to its direction by John Krasinski, A Quiet Place is the Get Out of 2018.

SCORE: 9/10

Cayle’s Movie Review: Isle of Dogs

Stop-motion animation, along with hand-drawn animation, is slowly dying out. However, a few dedicated directors such as Wes Anderson are keeping the art form alive. This is his second stop-motion film after 2009’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. How does Isle of Dogs compare to his previous stop-motion feature?

The film has arguably some of the best art direction I have seen so far this year. Isle of Dogs is a visual spectacle that combines Anderson’s signature picturesque style with a style that heavily influenced by Japanese culture in a situation like 2016’s Kubo and the Two Strings. Just like Anderson’s live-action films, Isle of Dogs has a unique use of its cinematography. I would describe this film (as well as Anderson’s filmography in a nutshell) as a series of moving portraits.

For some reason, Anderson’s dry humor is translated very well into the stop-motion animation of the film. His signature offbeat sense of humor mixes well with the animation of each character, whether it’s a human or man’s best friend.

While the film’s story is basic (i.e. young boy travels to trash island to find his guard dog), it makes up for it with its characterization. Each character has their personal quirks thanks to the film’s ensemble cast.The film’s writing is witty with its use of satire.

Overall, Isle of Dogs is another addition to Anderson’s ever-growing portfolio.

SCORE: 9/10