Category Archives: Movie Article

Rinzy Reviews ‘Code 8’ (2019)

Release Date: December 13

Starring: Stephen Amell, Robbie Amell, Sung Kang, et al

You watch this movie and can instantly tell it’s a passion project – the Amell brother’s. 

When one powered man (Robbie) struggles to make ends meet for his sick mom, he turns to a friend (Stephen) who works for a high-powered drug lord (Greg Bryk, Ad Astra), and the two turn to superpowered crime. But they’re on the run from two detectives (Sung Kang and Aaron Abrams) and a scarily high-tech police force that feels like Robocop crossed with District 9. – Collider

Based on the 2016 short film, ‘Code 8’ revisits the familiar story (thanks to the X-Men franchise) of humans afraid of other humans who’ve evolved into something more. The story might be somewhat familiar, but the execution (writing, acting and direction) is undeniably good. The CGI used to bring the powers to life, too, is surprisingly clean for a low-budget movie. This is a commendable piece of art.

The Amell brothers (Robbie and Stephen – Fire Storm and Green Arrow) aren’t strangers to our screens, yet this movie showcases their acting range in a way the Arrowverse never could. After this, I’m excited to see more of Stephen’s career path, post-Arrow.

Rinzy’s Rating: 3/5

Directed by: Jeff Chan

Is ‘Jexi’ Really The Future Of Smartphones?

Release Date: December 27, 2019

Starring: Adam Devine, Alexandra Shipp, Michael Pena, Justin Hartley et al.

If Jexi is the future, I hope it doesn’t come. Just kidding. Everyone knows Jexi is our present alternate reality. Our mobile phones can do pretty advanced stuff already, but I hope they never grow a mind of their own (like in movies like Terminator and Matrix) or become psychopaths like Jexi.

Plot: Phil has a major dependency issue — he’s addicted to his cellphone. He has no friends and his love life is nonexistent. Forced to upgrade to a new phone, Phil soon learns that the latest model comes with Jexi — an artificial intelligence life coach, virtual assistant, and cheerleader. With its help, he begins to get a real life. But as he becomes less dependent on the phone, Jexi starts to morph into a tech nightmare that’s determined to keep Phil all to itself.

Now, while it’s easy to get lost discussing the interesting questions this movie raises about the present and future, it’s important to point out that it’s trash, theatrically speaking. It’s foul-mouthed without purpose and wastes no time throwing its talented cast into the wind.

For the fun of it, I’ll still recommend you see Jexi, though, it’s thought-provoking in a weird way. Can we really do without our smartphones?

Rinzy’s Rating: 2.5/5

Directed by: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore

Rinzy Reviews ‘Ford vs Ferrari’ (2019)

Release Date: November 15

Starring: Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Tracy Letts, Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, et al.

A political thriller of some sort, Ford vs Ferrari is an extreme Motorsport movie with a heart, based on real life events and people as automobile giants, Ford and Ferrari battle it out for who’s got the bigger balls.

The bone of contention is the 24 hours Le Mans endurance race in France, arguably the biggest racing competition for cars at the time (1960s). Ford had been experiencing decline in car sale numbers and hoped to enter the race to help boast those numbers and also to humiliate Ferrari for turning down a deal that would’ve seen both companies merge in some way, at last minute. To get the job done, Ford enlists the help of Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) one of the best race-drivers of his time, but is now a car designer and salesman. Shelby in turn enlists Englishman Ken Miles, the best driver he knows.

Miles knows his cars and how to use them to their limit for maximum productivity. With the help of Shelby, they build the GT40 for Ford and would go on to help them achieve all their desires at the tracks.

Ford v Ferrari spends less time beating about the bush and much executing. It’s a car-race action movie also about brotherly love; we could see it when Shelby stakes his company for Miles. It’s also a movie about commitment, good parenting and passion. Unfortunately, Ken Miles never got to achieve the height of the glory he deserved, even after going the extra mile to get Ford the Le Mans win in 1966. He died two months later and, for me, that was the saddest part about the movie.

Is Ford v Ferrari worth a watch?

Most definitely. Even if you aren’t a fan of car racing, you’re sure to enjoy this movie because of its truth – humanity.

Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5

Directed by: Jake Mangold

‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Should Be The Last One

Release Date: October 23

Staring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davies, Linda Hamilton, Natalie Reyes, Gabriel Luna, et al.

At this point, the Terminator franchise can best be described as average, cliche and forced. Hopefully, Dark Fate is the last one, we’ve had enough. Either the powers that be give us a total reboot with a story that isn’t remotely about two Terminators coming from the future to fight over a version of a resistance symbol, or nothing at all.

That said, ‘Terminator: Dark Fate‘ is a pretty enjoyable action flick. Like the other entries in its franchise, this is one, too, is plot driven – solid action sequences and stunts. Although this was a return to the originals in a way, Arnold Schwarzenegger got relegated for most of it and that’s a good thing, means the show can go on without him, probably in the capable hands of Mackenzie Davis.

Terminator v Terminator

Seems Linda Hamilton got even fiercer with age; Sarah Connor is one badass you don’t want to f*ck with. A pity I can’t say the same for Gabriel Luna’s Rev-9 Terminator; he had less personality than a regular iron bar.

Director Tim Miller tried his best to carve a movie we all can love and enjoy, but asides the insane action, Terminator: Dark Fate doesn’t offer anything new. After five movies, that’s now a big deal! Hollywood really needs to learn when to let go.

Rinzy’s Rating: 2.5/5

Directed by: Tim Miller

Rinzy Reviews ‘Frozen 2’ (2019)

Release Date: November 22

Starring: Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Evan Rachel Wood, Josh Gad, et al.

After six years, we finally return to the enchanted land of Arendelle, where Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, Sven and Elsa are off to their next adventure. This time, it’s the sins from their parents’ past they try to outrun.

In a move to further expand its own mythology, this sequel sometimes bore resemblance to that of Avatar: The Last Airbender (remember the elements?)

Elsa starts hearing a mysterious siren out of the blues, so she and the her band of merry adventurers go into the unknown forest to uncover unpleasant truths about her family and Arendelle. Their adventure, once again, reinforces themes about sisterhood, love, teamwork and acceptance.

Frozen 2 is a considerably weaker sequel. For starters, none of its songs come close to the high-bar set by the monster-hit that was ‘Let It Go’. Also, there’s the noticeable absence of a worthy villain; what we get are giant rocks without any personality or backstory and another with a semblance of a backstory, but is already dead.

Although it took this long for Disney to commission a sequel, it’s hard to not think of this movie as a cash grab.

Rinzy’s Rating: 3/5

Knives Out: Whodunnit?

Release Date: November 29, 2019

Starring: Ana de Armas, Christopher Plummer, Chris Evans, Craig Daniel, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Katherine Langford, Michael Shannon, et al.

When prominent crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) dies just after his 85th birthday, it’s up to the indefatigable Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) to figure out who did it?

Who doesn’t like a good crime-detective-mystery movie?

I know I do. And I enjoyed watching this one very much.

Director Rian Johnson puts together a stellar ensemble of highly talented actors to bring this story to life. Watching Knives Out, it’s clear he’s one of the many disciples of profilic crime novelist, Agatha Christie, as her blueprint can be seen all over. But even with that familiarity, there’s still enough of Johnson to make Knives Out feel distinct and thoroughly enjoyable.

Knives Out is a murder mystery story alright, but in some ways it’s also a grass to grace story, and in another, a coming of age one.

Harlan Thrombey’s true fate is revealed early, so the bulk of the movie is about watching Daniel Craig in a southern accent trying to figure out which of Thrombey’s large, highly-dependent family members could have murdered him.

You want to know who did it, too, right?

Go see Knives Out today!

PS: I think Chris fuck’n Evans should play more villainous roles.

Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5

Directed by: Rian Johnson

Rinzy Reviews ‘The Farewell’ (2019)

Release Date: January 25

Starring: Awkwafina, Shuzhen Zhao, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, et al.

“… The Chinese people have a saying. When people get cancer, they die. It’s not cancer that kills them, it’s the fear.”

This is how I welcome you guys into my thoughts about another movie where cancer plays the villain.

Based on an actual lie, ‘The Farewell‘ positions itself as the swan song of a woman who’s lived a good life and doesn’t know she’s going to die soon because her extra-loving family won’t tell her she’s been diagnosed with stage-4 lung cancer.

Family can sometimes be troublesome, but the joy and humor they bring to our lives can never be overemphasized; this makes them a delight to watch in movies and in real life. Nai Nai’s family does what they believe is best for her once they learn about her condition, they drop everything and head over to China to say their coded goodbyes, under the guise of a lavish wedding. Poor Hoa Hoa.

Awkwafina’s Billi is the conscience of this movie. Billi’s parents moved to America when she was six and, as such, has a very different outlook on how these things are done back home. This dynamic raises a lot of interesting dialogues about how America and China aren’t so different from each other.

Billie’s also Nai Nai’s favorite, which makes it very difficult for her to play along with the lie when she first finds out; but in time, she does learn to put her personal feelings aside for the greater good of the family, as indicated by these detached monologues from her uncle.

“In the East, a person’s life is part of a whole”

“… It’s our duty to carry this emotional burden for Nai Nai…”

Watching some of the nuances of Nai Nai’s family felt like watching a Nigerian family. The writing is grounded in reality and very relatable, irrespective of nationality. I like to think of the language of this movie as human; not Chinese or the occasional spoken English — human. That’s what makes it so refreshing.

The delicacy with which the writers and director portray grief and its effect on the family is commendable. There’s nothing lavish about the cinematography, but the wealth of truth in its shots and angles cannot be overemphasized.

Awkwafina as Billi gives a really beautiful performance, one to remember for ages.

Thankfully, that surprise credit makes up for some of the sadness endured during the course of this movie. This is one tragicomedy to be revered and respected for a long time.

Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5

Directed by: Lulu Wang