Drake Tsui's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Your Name. (Kimi No Na Wa.)
16 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Your Name manages to paint an insanely broad stroke of appeal without being convenient or contrive which is no small feat. Working as a highschool romance, escapist fantasy and a multilayered sci fi. It even utilizes cityboy smalltown girl archetypes to it's advantage.

It actually starts off rather unimpressively with its seemingly arbitrary freaky-friday premise, lighthearted teen romanticism and arguably sexist overtones... but when it begins to find a dramatic stage the story quickly races into suspense as pieces of the puzzle fall into place.

As with any Anime romance it clashes not once but twice with substantial melodramatic overtures but it's never a cheap feeling. Despite the protagonists almost lack of personality they feel real, even the supporting cast gets subtly fleshed out throughout the film.

This masterful attention to detail in character portrayal makes a satisfactory end when the curtain closes. Shinkai really knows how to play on a demographic's longing for purpose. Taki and Mitsuha appear to go through much hardship but how awfully wonderful would it be to have your life's purpose defined for you in a supernatural event that leads to an extraordinary love?

Ghost in the Shell
17 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Casting controversies and source material aside, GITS works in more ways than it doesn't as its own piece of entertainment.

Admittedly the film starts rather poorly with a myriad of bloated, cliche scifi dialogue, characters and things often caught trying too hard to explain itself. Scenes edited into the next without any real semblance of fluidity.

However once things pick up momentum it really manages to find itself as an intrapersonal thriller. So much that I was almost surprised the first half of the film was directed by the same person as the second. Eventually we're given a narrative of self discovery layered under a crime procedural that utilizes a lot of high concept sci-fi elements to its advantage.

The visuals are given much praise but were more than often a distraction and almost too much at times. If I were not a fan of the GitS franchise all the flash seems arbitrary and should have been used more sparingly for better impact.

Sure, it's not the philosophical endeavor of existential debate that was the original animated film; but it's irresponsible and foolish to say that it doesn't retain many of those themes.

GitS has seen many reiterations over the years, the manga, the films, the SAC series, the Arise series... each is very different but key elements/themes remain. This 2017 film is just another re-imagining that I was able to enjoy.

PS. Adding 0.5 to the rating cause I love this franchise.

The Lego Batman Movie
24 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Not as clever and neatly written as the original Lego Movie, but retains the same style of charm, humor and animation that made it great.

The drama and emotion portrayed was all overly contrive though, it's just too mechanically written to make ends meet for Batman's character progression. This wouldn't be such a glaring fault if it were not pivotal to the story's plot.

I hope this isn't an example of Lego movies to come, there are signs of lazy, formulaic production that squander the creative genius of the original.

Without these comparisons Lego Batman is certainly acceptable family entertainment, but where do we draw the line and accept that this franchise is aiming to be good, when it could be great?

Kong: Skull Island
24 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Unlike it's predecessors Skull Island isn't a Hollywood fusion of romance, drama and action. Rather It's definitely a Monster flick through and through. I think the simplicity in the Kaiju-bashing genre in conjunction with the movies approach in direction is what makes this work.

Without the skills of Vogt-Roberts this reiteration just might have been a dud, there are definitely notable stylistic choices in camera use, visuals and music that makes this film stand out.

It also helps to have an all-star cast that knows what they are doing. The humans are there to facilitate Kong who's the real lead of the story, but these actors know how to add just enough character to their roles to engage the viewer.

Kong works by being exactly what it has to be and not overreaching. Although someone will have to explain what justified hiring Tian Jing to be a sex doll on the set.

Logan
Logan (2017)
24 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Logan sees tremendous success by countering what has become expected of the genre that is Hollywood Superhero films.

It's more of a Western than anything, with it's desolate setting filled with gritty and nuanced performances. Even the abundance of razor claw action never feels manufactured on the backdrop of monochromatic realism. Yet, there's just enough style to make you shiver as he guts goons left and right.

Effective use of themes in legacy, family and belonging takes Jackman's trademark character through one last journey of self discovery. It prudently sheds ties with the franchise's previous failures and comes to it's own but still stumbles a bit into unsavory tropes with it's "big bad" villains.

Still, a well conceived send off for the Wolverine, may he rest in peace!