• The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

    The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

    ★★★★

    SINEGANG Weekly Pick #29 [02|21|2020-02|28|2020]
    Recommended by: JUSTIN

    Time is a currency that no one will earn back, one might say. The late Jean-Dominique Bauby learned that in the hard way. Having survived through a cerebrovascular seizure, the French journalist underwent a re-evaluation, reminiscing past pleasures and reviewing painful mistakes with crushing regret. It's a sad reality he had confronted, and a tough situation he had tried to overcome. In many ways, he did. He wrote The Diving Bell and…

  • Decalogue I

    Decalogue I

    ★★★★

    What a great start. The first out of ten short films, Dekalog I deconstructs man's faith in logic and science by contradicting rationality in the means of harsh divine intervention. There are multiple ways where the plot can go to directions where it becomes unbearably preachy and didactic, but although Kryzysztof Kieślowski does have a specific theme to convey, it manages to avoid the trappings of such a parable by implementing uncertainty and bewilderment rather than straight answers. Heavy and layered tale with a well-defined and poignant family dynamic and questions about existence, fate and metaphysics, ending on a brutal and unforgiving climax.

  • The Cranes Are Flying

    The Cranes Are Flying

    ★★★★½

    SINEGANG Weekly Pick #28 [02|14|2020-02|21|2020]
    Recommended by: DENISE

    What's with Russians making such fantastic anti-war films? The Cranes are Flying centers on the young and beautiful Veronika (Tatyana Samoylova) as she yearns and longs for her only love, Boris (Aleksey Batalov), who has volunteered for the war. At first, the basic premise seems familiar, particularly Jacques Demy's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, who has almost an uncanny resemblance in terms of set-up. However, both films approach this concept in different ways,…

  • Islands

    Islands

    Islands has promising ideas, bogged down by some incompetent filmmaking and ham-fisted, out-of-nowhere self-indulgence. First hour and a half is divided into three sections, tackling a feeling of loneliness and longing for love. The downer tone is amplified by lots of empty space in multiple, prolonged static shots. However, it's hampered by disgusting use of green screen, and off-putting lighting that brings unmistakable artifice. It's a mediocre effort, made even worse by a pretentious left-turn it seems like something a…

  • The Neon Demon

    The Neon Demon

    ★½

    the neon demon is like what society sees in models: good-looking but nothing on the inside

  • Minari

    Minari

    ★★★★

    "Lee Isaac Chung is... ...more reflective in his approach and miniscule in scope, turning his most personal experiences to one of the sincerest slices of life in cinema."

    CHECK OUT THE FULL REVIEW on CLAPPER

  • Insiang

    Insiang

    ★★★★½

    There's no good excuse why I waited so long to watch this film. Incredible.

  • Spring Breakers

    Spring Breakers

    ★★★½

    Surprisingly good film. I didn't think I will enjoy Harmony Korine, but I did. The film is showered with neon lighting, sweat, booze and bullets with great soundtrack giving us the vibes of the decade. Fun. I needed a rewatch though.

  • Philippine Bliss

    Philippine Bliss

    ½

    This is not a film because?

  • Splatter: Naked Blood

    Splatter: Naked Blood

    ★★½

    Everyone is Cake: The Movie

  • Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

    Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

    ★★★★

    Gratuitously violent, but unlike many entries of its genre, it's not portrayed as mean-spirited acts. There's a great level of innocence and clumsiness that made the film wholesome and enjoyable, even if the splatter aspect gets disgusting and messy. Great, witty dialogue all throughout as the characters go through some of the most moronic, outrageous and unfortunate situations ever, all because of a great deal of misunderstanding between two parties. Fun movie, great practical effects, charming leads with genuine chemistry,…

  • A Speck in the Water

    A Speck in the Water

    ★★★

    The film's set-up is very promising. It properly establishes the community and their everyday struggles. However, the second half diverts its focus away from that and narrows it down towards a specific one-night-stand. Sure, you can argue that these characters closely resemble a number of particular individuals living in the same community, but they aren't characterized as interesting as the entirety of the community. Nonetheless, the film is beautifully shot and well framed, with a pleasant score.