Drake Tsui's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
5 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

All in all The Last Jedi is another triumph for the franchise, but one can't help but wonder if it could have been written neater to seem less like 3-4 episodes of a TV show and more like an actual movie.

For a film that runs so incredibly long it sure as hell doesn't address quite a few plotholes either. We still have no idea who, how or where Snoke came to be or who the alleged "Knights of Ren" are that Kylo took with him in his rebel against Luke. It also has time to create new plotholes like how did Rei suddenly become so adept with a Lightsaber when Luke literally taught her no combat skills or why is Finn still considered a main character?

It fails as a sequel in the sense where it races to tell us more before resolving questions inspired from it's predecessor.

This isn't to say The Last Jedi is 152 minute failure though, in fact outside of the former problems mentioned I think it did an exceedingly great job bringing new character ideas and story elements into the franchise. Especially the relationship between Kylo and Rei as they walk parallel with each other in discovering their connection/role with the Force.

A lot of the subplots went beyond expectations because it's arguably there just so there's epic Sci-Fi battles to be had (A necessity in a Star Wars film, no?) I was really impressed with how much newcomers Dern (Admiral Holdo) and Tran/Ngo (Rose and her sister) quickly became favorites on screen.

I stepped out of the theater exhausted but still pretty satisfied with my Star Wars experience. Like The Force Awakens there's a lot of nodding to existing lore in the franchise and a lot of new stuff to sink your teeth into, I just wish it was written and presented more efficiently.

There seems to be a lot of the general negativity from fanatics. They're probably just unhappy with where they're taking the story or certain characters, it's unfortunate but loyalists will always hold onto that sense of entitlement.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
5 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Rogue One finally explores a bit of the expansive Star Wars universe that novels/comics and games have been doing for years.

Does it do the franchise justice? In many and most ways yes. It's certainly a great addition to say the least as a standalone film and connecting film between "Revenge of the Sith" and "A New Hope"

A familiar story of a rag-tag group of unlikely rebels banding together for a common cause against a much larger, impossible force... Rogue One sure follows the premise to a T. So much that a lot of the project would have fallen short if not for the established iconography of existing SW franchise material.

However that can only take the movie so far. The rest of it hinges on a colorful cast of characters that must deliver a compelling if not memorable story of their own and unfortunately some just do (K-2, Chirrut, Baze) more than others. (Cassian, Bodhi) The unevenness in their effective character presentation becomes more apparent during the climatic final acts when things start blowing up.

If more time was carefully spent making each of the key Rogue One cast stand out with quirks and interactions instead of the grandeur of action and explosions that was the Empire vs Rebel assault then the film would have benefited exponentially.

But as the film closes what we have is a very good "Star Wars Story" and nothing could ever take away from that. The nod at existing material didn't feel cheap (Except maybe C-3PO & R2D2 or CGI-face Tarkin) and the new characters felt real enough that their sacrifice mattered. This all on the backdrop of a serious War-drama without the hindrance of prophecies, destiny and space knights/royalty? A big plus!

Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman (2017)
5 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Diana is truly the god we all don't deserve and the much-needed smashing success for the DCCU. (Is that a thing? Do people call it that?)

Wonderwoman accomplishes the difficult task of creating a mythical being that's not only relatable as a coming-of-age tale but also much more relevant to humanity's plight than Thor could ever be. All this while delivering action sequences that are just as impossibly astounding!

It also respectfully portrays the horrors and difficulties of a World War without reducing it down to cartoon entertainment in laser guns to appropriate the superhero genre, a decision I strongly disagreed with in Captain America.

Marvel comparisons aside the film has a generally typical story with an acceptable revealing end but also has such intelligent, powerful themes plugged into it. Support characters are memorable and not wasted, playing key roles in Diana's character progression that eventually becomes pivotal in the plot as well.

Ah! The titular role. Gadot does such a phenomenal job conveying a sense of naivety and maturity in simultaneous form. The fish-out-of-water humor is delivered in grace and it's refreshing to not be bombarded with one-liners and zingers to have my amusement kept.

There are some visual technical hiccups (Snyder's handy work no-doubt) and Ares' final unmasking is a little improptu in delivery but to say Wonderwoman is anything less than an amazing superhero-origin movie would simply be wrong.

Bright
Bright (2017)
6 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I don't know why I thought "Bright" would be good, maybe because Will Smith was involved or that I absolutely love genre mixing but damn, what a bland script and unremarkable story.

The characters are cookie cutter and barely serviceable, supporting cast non-existent, the plot unimaginative but the biggest crime is how it more or less wastes the potential of it's premise of having a modern world filled with fantasy creatures.

Just shallow amateur work, truly a missed opportunity to make something great.

The Shape of Water
8 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

The Shape of Water is an ingenious fantasy romance that utilizes cold war era elements to the advantage of its premise while subtly challenging our preconceived notions of established archetypes.

Del Toro has an innate understanding of portraying beauty of purity in all it's forms while simultaneously showing us the grotesque underbelly and brutality of what it is to be human.

These skills help him build a boy meets girl (or girl meets creature xP) fairytale with a believable yet dynamic supporting cast.

The story is equal parts gripping as it is touching, overcoming it's formulaic approach by using unlikely characterization and story elements that come seamlessly together. Adding the films success to his repertoire definitely showcases Del Toro's ability to adapt and excel in multiple genres.