Alan Wong's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Nocturnal Animals
1 day ago via Flixster

As clinically and meticulously designed as a Tom Ford suit, this is an elegantly styled and pristine film about human relationships and revenge. The 3 narrative strands that make up the film crisscross between past and present and between fiction and reality. Executed and presented with clarity and precision, they form an intricate storytelling structure that draws the audience in, but despite great performances by a gamed cast and an impressive adaptation from Ford himself that always keep the suspense and tension brewing throughout, it ends on a dark and equally clinical but anti-climatic note that doesn't really satisfy. The fictional reenactments of the book written by Amy Adams' character's ex husband is supposed to give us an insight, via analogical inferences, into the character's motivations and emotions but the end result seems more of a red herring to me which left me cold and slightly puzzled. This has been a difficult review to write as I so wanted to like this film more. It certainly has all the ingredients that I am normally drawn to but while I was able to resonate with the loneliness of Colin Firth's cold and withdrawn character in A Single Man as he slowly thaws to reveal the layers underneath, the real heart of the story seems to be missing here in the deliberately distant and sketchily drawn characters so as to sustain a mystery that turns out to be less than the sum of its parts.

Arrival (2016)
12 days ago via Flixster

Arrival is labelled intelligent science fiction, but is really more of a thoughtful and thought provoking film that lives under the shadow of 2001: A Space Odyssey; Close Encounters of the Third Kind; and Contact. Aliens have arrived on Earth via 12 gigantic hovering contact lenses and we have to figure out whether they are friend or foe. In attempting to communicate with them, the film playfully explores the concepts of both linguistic and cinematic language. Denis Villeneuve's assured direction and a stylish production design makes the film feels particularly original and visually eye-catching. Amy Adams' character is relatable and her nuanced central performance anchors the film while Johan Johansson's soundscape of a score creates an atmospheric space for the film and the audience to feel and resonate with the emotive gravity of the storyline. However, this film is front and foremost an exercise in immaculately executed storytelling. Granted, the first third of the film, at first, feels slow and lumbering but it is to the film's credit, that once you have experienced it as a whole, that first third's existence is totally justified and more. Seemingly throwaway scenes and dialogue become more relevant and their significance revealed once the whole picture is presented and it is one doozy of a reveal that is well worth the 2 hours the film takes to get to. Comparison with Contact is inevitable as they both tell a similar story but for me, it is the disappointing Interstellar that comes to mind as Arrival is the film Interstellar wants to be but failed: a film where substance and style come together in an emotional story about Humanity and, with everything going on in our world right now, this film's arrival is all the more pertinent than ever before.

Demolition (2016)
20 days ago via Flixster

Jean-Marc Vallee's effective and stylish directing is the best thing in this film but it is sadly undermined by the rather plodding and over-metaphorical and at times, frustratingly twee script. Inspired use of fast-cut montages moves the story along briskly and provides us with the background and context for specific scenes succinctly in this heavy film that explores how his character copes after the death of his wife by dismantling or smashing things to smithereens and taking many, many showers. If nothing else, this film proves I will watch anything Jake Gyllenhaal's in, especially if he takes a lot of showers.

Edge of Winter
21 days ago via Flixster

In this film where the last Robocop meets the next Spider-Man, it couldn't decide whether it wants to be an indie drama or a third-rate The Shining. The end result is a slow and predictable descent into silly melodrama as Joel Kinnaman's divorced father tries to avoid losing his two sons when his ex-wife decide to move to a different continent. New characters appear out of nowhere to finally inject some much needed action only to peter out as suddenly as they appear and the film ends abruptly as if it has run out of steam and the final reel of film missing.

The Family Fang
21 days ago via Flixster

The new take on the indie whimsical family drama in which the grown-up kids try to escape their eccentric upbringing and parents is that they are a family of hippy-ish conceptual artists that begins in the 70s who ropes their children into their acts, whether they want to or not. Jason Bateman directs as well as stars as one of the grown-up (and seriously f-ed up) siblings but cedes the limelight of the film to Nicole Kidman's sister who seemingly struggles more with their childhood experience. But the highlight is definitely their parents played by Christopher Walken and Maryann Plunkett (and by Jason Butler Harner and Kathryn Hahn as their younger versions, the former is a spot on spitting image of Walken). A decent script, with an ending that doesn't undo all the good preceding it, and solid directing make this worthy of the Wes Anderson comparison that it will inevitably attract. Just look at the poster for god's sake...