Category Archives: Movie Review

Rinzy Reviews ‘Happy Death Day 2 U’ (2019)

Release Date: February 13

Starring: Jessica Routhe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Phi Vu, et al.

***

When the first Happy Deathday movie was released in 2017, I thought it a beautiful entry into the slasher movie genre. It was beautiful, and everything I needed at that time. This sequel, as all other movies bearing the tag, had the burden of surpassing the first in entertainment value, and I think that self-consciousness is where it went a tad wrong.

Whereas Happy Deathday was a slasher/comedy movie, Happy Deathday 2 U ventures into the realms of SciFi; using it to explain the reason why main character, Tree, is stuck in a ‘Groundhog Day’. Almost everything you know about this universe from the first movie, including who’s behind the mask, is useless in this one as the writers try to be creative in spinning the story around, a move I really applaud.

Happy Deathday 2 U wouldn’t be winning awards for 2019 Best Picture, buy it take risks in its sometimes bonker story that actually works; and for that I consider it a good sequel. It’s entertaining, albeit on a whole different level from the first one.

Directed By: Christopher Landon

Rinzy’s Rating: 3/5

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Rinzy Reviews ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ (2018)

Release Date: December 25

Starring: Stephan James, Kiki Layne, Regina King, et al.

***

The first trailer for If Beale Street Could Talk left me enthralled. How it raked in award-after-award even without hitting the cinemas stirred up a hunger in me, the kind I haven’t experienced for a movie in recent time.

Based on the hit novel of the same name, this movie, set in early ’70s Harlem, tells the story of daughter and wife-to-be Tish as she vividly recalls the passion, respect and trust that have connected her and her artist fiancé Alonzo Hunt, who goes by the nickname Fonny. Friends since childhood, the devoted couple dream of a future together, but their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit. With the help of her family, Tish seeks to clear Fonny’s name before the birth of their child.

The story is a love story between a guy and a lady, and also between parents and their children. It’s also about racism, corrupt police practises, and the importance of having unconditional love and devotion in times of trouble. All these themes are very relevant today.

The movie is beautiful written, and the direction’s even more awesome, Barry Jenkins continues to deliver one amazing work after another. My favorite scene is easily the first sex scene. It clearly depicts all the anxiety and uncertainty that comes with two people in love baring their body and soul to each other for the the first time. The scene is deliberately longer than what many have come to expect from sex in films, but that’s what makes it even more special.

The choreography and lightening is also good. And the acting is perfect… Regina Kings 😍!

One aspect I felt lacking was in the depiction of the glories of the ’70s. This movie didn’t win any award for set and props because it wasn’t part of the story set out to be told in the beginning, and that’s very okay. The set is believable but doesn’t go out of its way to impress.

The chemistry between leads Stephan and Kiki is superb. It’s evident from the very first time I laid my eyes on them. And that chemistry is what made their sex scenes (mentioned earlier) very believable.

Side notes

1 Stephan James looks so much like Russell Hornsby of ‘Grimm’ fame, and Kiki Layne like Rutina Wesley of ‘True Blood’ fame. If both are cast as younger versions of these actors, they’d fit so well.

2 The ending of the movie is sad. Why’d it have to end that way. 😥

Directed by: Barry Jenkins

Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse’ (2018)

Release Date: December 1

Starring: Jake Johnson, Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Nicholas Cage, Liev Schreiber, et al.

***
Teen Miles Morales becomes Spider-Man of his reality, crossing his path with five counterparts from another dimensions to stop a threat for all realities.

When Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse started showing at cinemas, many referred to it as not just the best superhero movie of 2018, but the best movie of the entire year. That’s saying a lot judging from the fact that not only is it the seventh cinematic Spider-Man adaptation and that it was up against the likes of Marvel’s 10th year cinematic event – Avengers: Infinity War – but it’s also an animated movie.

2018 saw the likes of Avengers: Infinity War and Aquaman, both which raked in $2B and $1B respectively, but they both got nothing on the critical reviews Into the Spider-verse raked in.

To many fans, the idea of having more than one Spider-Man swinging about walls in a movie sounds weird; but this movie made it appealing. It took an unusual material and made something glorious, yet very relatable, out of it.

I dare say it’s the best Spider-Man movie yet.

All the characters were well fleshed, but my favorite’s easily ALL OF THEM 😁. I loved them all, couldn’t choose a favorite. That’s to give more credence to the wonderful job from everyone involved in production.

A sequel and a spin-off have been commissioned. So, if you really enjoyed this movie, fret not, we aren’t saying goodbye to this universe just yet.

Side note: I really loved the Doc-Oc reveal.

Rinzy Reviews ‘Wreck It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks The Internet’

Release Date: November 5

Starring: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Taraji P. Henson, Gal Gadot, James Corden, et al.

***

Ralph Breaks The Internet is a direct sequel to Wreck-It Ralph released in 2012. And it’s an animated movie with a heart.
Video-game bad guy Ralph and best friend Vanellope von Schweetz leave the comforts of Litwak’s arcade in an attempt to save her game, Sugar Rush. Their quest takes them to the vast, uncharted world of the internet where they rely on the citizens of the internet “the Netizens” to help navigate their way.

I liked the movie. I liked how it reinvented itself, ditching storylines from the first, but still finding creative ways to retcon, and the familiar world of the arcade for the more adventurous one of the internet. It was a brilliant, creative move that made this sequel, although six-years late, worth the long wait.

Ralph and Vanellope are beautifully written characters, and hard not to love. Their friendship is a beautiful thing to admire, especially for children. Possibly more beautiful are the supporting characters – Shank and Yesss easily standout, and their presence is made even more awesome when you know they were voiced by Gal Gadot and Taraji P. Henson.

Favorite scenes for me were all the ones involving the Disney princesses. They were the highpoint of the trailers for me, and I was happy they didn’t disappoint in the final product.

There were important lessons about friendship to be learnt in this movie, making it even more appropriate for children.

I and a good time watching Ralph Breaks The Internet, and I approve of it for your consumption 👍!

Directed by: Rich Moore and Phil Johnston

Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Royal Hibiscus Hotel’s (2018)

Release Date: February 10

Starring: Kenneth Okolie, Zainab Balogun, Jide Kosoko, Rachel Oniga, Kemi Lala Akindoju, OC Ukeje, Deyemi Okanlawon, et al.

***

Ope (Zainab Balogun), a London-based Nigerian chef returns home to take her family’s heritage – The Royal Hibiscus Hotel – and turn it into all she’s ever dreamed of. Matter gets complicated when she falls for the man who wants to buy the hotel. The rest that follows is pure fairytale love.

Ebony Life Film is deep in the art of crafting fanciful rom-coms targeted at specific holiday seasons. Last Valentine, this was their big offering. Royal Hibiscus Hotel is a self-indulgent movie that promises you a good time. Does it deliver?

The movie had healthy doses of laughter, effortlessly incited, which I really enjoyed.

Zainab Balogun put up a strong performance as Ope, which would’ve been better given proper motivation. But, hey, it was her first lead-role; she’s gotten a whole lot better since then. Kenneth Okolie tries in his stint as the wealthy but surreal Deji. Okolie has almost the same set of expression in every movie or show I’ve seen him in (Hello, Husbands of Lagos?). Well, he and Zainab have got good onscreen chemistry, which made their romance believable even in places where the script failed. The bulk of the supporting cast, too, try their best… Rachel Oniga and Jide Kosoko, once again, show us why we should still revere veterans. It’s just a pity they were cast in their respective roles which they visibly struggled with from start to finish.

I still wonder whose idea it was to put Old Jacobs and Joke Silva onscreen in none-speaking roles 😒?

And… OC Ukeje 😍! Every scene with you is gold. A pity, you got a small role in this one.

Kemi Lala Akindoju’s larger than life Chika is easily one of my favorite characters. She’s annoying enough she gets to you, and easily reminded me of Rita Dominic’s performance in the 2011 movie The Meeting. The truth is, many of Chika’s behaviors would instantly get her a sack in the real world but then, the movie’s truly self-indulgent and doesn’t take itself serious, which is what makes it fun.

Same can be said for Deyemi’s stint as Martin, and the entire plot. The whole thing feels like a badly translated super-romance novels from older times. Very fantastic.

The movie doesn’t take itself too serious; you, too, shouldn’t. It demands that you watch and have a mindless good time.

PS: The choice of Nigerian hit singles for its soundtrack was a win for me. Every song was fit for the scenes they were in.

Directed by: Ishayo Bako

Rinzy’s Rating: 2.5/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ (2019)

Release Date: February 1

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Toni Collette, Natalia Dyer, John Malkovich, Rene Russo, Zawe Ashton, Daveed Diggs, et al.

***

Netflix is undoubtedly the place to go for diverse contents for a wide range of audience. Just about anything you want can be found on the streaming giant’s platform. With the rate at which they churn out content, one could be forgiven for thinking all their content is a fit for just about anybody. This takes us to Velvet Buzzsaw.

It wouldn’t be wrong of me to say Netflix is still finding its feet movie-wise this year, with none yet bringing in the kind of rave review synonymous with a hit. First was the Mad Mikkelsen’s led Polar, which I categorically didn’t like, and now Velvet Buzzsaw.

Let me say this here, Velvet Buzzsaw isn’t a terrible movie. It’s far from that. It mostly came across to me as a weird movie.

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Velvet Buzzsaw is a movie that marries art and the supernatural. Paintings from a long dead artist are recovered and put on the market even though he left explicit instructions to have them destroyed. He (or at least something) comes from the other side to artistically kill everyone who’s profited from it.

As expected, Jake Gyllenhaal gives a performance for ages. I wholeheartedly believe he’s one of the greatest actors of his generation. I haven’t seen him give a bad performance even in a seemingly-bad movie. I don’t think I’d be wrong if I say his performance is the bet thing about this movie; the plot dances unevenly making little to no sense, but is still able to keep you invested with the promise that it’s building up to something great. Sad thing is, that never really happens. Yet, the movie still isn’t terrible. It’s just mostly weird.

Many things didn’t add up for me: like what was the motivation for all those many deaths? What happened to Jake Gyllenhaal’s character – is he dead or what? I believe if answers to these questions were provided the movie would’ve risen up my ranking.

So, if you’re wondering if Velvet Buzzsaw is worth a try? My answer’s yes.

Directed by: Dan Gilroy

Rinzy’s Rating: 2.5/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (2018)

Release Date: November 2

Starring: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Tom Hollander, Ben Hardy, et al.

***

Bohemian Rhapsody is a 2018 biographical film about the British rock band Queen. It follows singer Freddie Mercury‘s life from his joining the band in 1970 to their Live Aid performance at Wembley Stadium in 1985.

Up until I watched this movie, I’d only been hearing the name Freddie Mercury, but knew next to nothing about the man and his legacy which still lives up till this day. His great contributions to music, and the many impact it had in the lives of those lucky enough to be alive when his show-stopping presence graced the world. They say ignorance is bliss, but finally knowing he and his band Queen were the ones that birth one of my favorite tracks of all times – WE WILL ROCK YOU – I feel silly for not looking them up until the arrival of this movie. Thankfully, Bohemian Rhapsody, like the many other film’s before it does its best to shed light on the life of one of the greatest musician and band to ever walk the earth.

Many argue the movie isn’t accurate, but if we’re being realistic we’ll know most biographicals aren’t ever, which really isn’t an excuse for mediocrity. But what Bohemian Rhapsody does do correctly is being a good movie. The viewing experience is beautiful. It immerses you into its world, and doesn’t bore you from start to finish. I found myself wanting every all all Queen related materials (songs included) I could lay my hands on; that says a lot about a movie. This great viewing experience is largely due to Rami Malek’s energetic performance, which I found to be mostly accurate. This 37-year-old star has a bright future in the industry as he’s continued to impress ever since we took notice of him in Mr. Robot.

In Bohemian Rhapsody, I believe we have a movie that’ll stand the test of time. In it I found an important lesson that can’t be over-flogged no matter how many times it’s preached – a risque lifestyle endangers you, and will ultimately shorten the time you have to spend on this Earth, causing your loved ones pain. It’s your responsibility to protect yourself (sexually and otherwise), and to make the best of everything life throws at you. Freddie Mercury was a force, and Queen was his symbol. He didn’t stop fighting until the very end (as I was made to understand), and so should you too.

Directed by: Bryan Singer

Rinzy’s Rating: 3.5/5