Gh0stman has written 61 reviews for films during 2021.

  • Ant-Man

    Ant-Man

    ★★★★★

    Holding up very well on a re-watch, Ant-Man is a stellar superhero flick and the series at large is probably one of the more slept on in the genre. What's intriguing in the film series is how Scott Lang is always defined as a ex-convict and by his dejection from society at large. Like many Americans today who were once incarcerated, the character is unjustly hampered by social norms, labyrinthian laws, and the police in his attempts to rehabilitate his…

  • Shock Wave

    Shock Wave

    ★★★★

    A thrilling action picture that features Andy Lau in his full movie stardom. At this point, this guy's basically China's Tom Cruise. He's that great a movie star. Although it's conclusion is a let down compared to what came before, Shock Wave entertains as a Die Hard-esque cop thriller that also gives something more to chew on in its story. The villain's plot is eerily plausible in its motivation and reminds one of Michael Mann's Blackhat (Terrorism + Stock Market…

  • The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity

    The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity

    ★★★★★

    A visionary picture that works exceptionally well as both a strong mystery film and a myth-making fantasy epic. Mark Chao gives a potent, Sherlock Holmes-like performance as the titular Yin-Yang Master and gives us a character who is immediately compelling and charismatic. The film is filled with many twists and turns as well as boasting some great effects work. It is a model film production and it further confirms that the Chinese film studios are now rivaling their western counterparts.…

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron

    Avengers: Age of Ultron

    ★★★★

    A messy, turbulent film but one with personality, zest, color, and boldness. It evokes a wide range of emotions. Although at times incoherent, Avengers: Age of Ultron is fueled by an aggressive questioning of its own heroes and the world they inhabit. It dares to ask the hard questions in a genuinely in-depth and self-reflexive way: Does force beget force? Does conflict beget conflict? It's imperfect but I find it more than worthwhile and it paved the way for more morally complex films in the franchise.

  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

    Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

    ★★★★★

    Hopeful, optimistic, emotional, iconoclastic, inspiring, and pure of heart, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a total masterpiece. One of the greatest things ever made. A beautiful work of art. A must see. Go see it now.

  • The Motorcycle Diaries

    The Motorcycle Diaries

    ★★★★

    An entertaining and humanistic picture, The Motorcycle Diaries gives us a young Che Guevara before he joined the revolution. Featuring two great performances by Gael Garcia Bernal and Rodrigo de la Serna, the film is an enjoyable buddy road movie that attempts to have a sociopolitical conscious. Although the film falls a bit short in portraying Che's political growth, I think the film needed to give another detour or two that cemented his values in a concrete way, it's a…

  • Nomadland

    Nomadland

    ★★★★★

    Wistful and mournful, Nomadland is an embittered ode to the hardships of working class America. Frances McDormand excels in her performance as a woman abandoned by society, a woman pushed out to the margins by the forces of capitalism. To watch this film is to witness generations of Americans become impoverished to the point of homeless and economic serfdom, even if the heroine is fiction. The reality of Fern's predicament is the reality of tens of millions of people in…

  • Dr. No

    Dr. No

    ★★★

    Dr. No is an entertaining film that, despite its regressive qualities, broke the mold for the action film. Although the film features xenophobic and misogynistic elements that have not aged well in the slightest, even for the older Bond films, one has to give it credit for conjuring a great cinematic hero in Sean Connery's Bond. To put it simply, the man created the bar for action heroes. One could also say the narrative template it set is the one…

  • Judas and the Black Messiah

    Judas and the Black Messiah

    ★★★★★

    A most compelling and haunting character study of a true snitch. While many have talked about how great Daniel Kaluuya, and he is, this is LaKeith Stanfield's movie and it is an outstanding showcase of what a brilliant performer he has become. This is an Oscar-worthy performance and the fact that the Academy placed him in the Best Supporting Actor category is a complete absurdity. Overall, the film is great and it speaks to how much the Left has been crippled and diminished over the years by the American government. A most necessary film.

  • The Fate of the Furious

    The Fate of the Furious

    ★★★★

    A solid rebound for the franchise after suffering from the unexpected loss and tragedy of Paul Walker's death. The picture is action-packed, as to be expected, but what surprises is how the film subverts Dom's code of family first against him. Forced to betrayal, Dom does what he must in order to save his only son; one he didn't even know he had. Charlize Theron's villain is a formidable one. Both cunning strategist and delusional sociopath, she is the perfect…

  • The Bride with White Hair

    The Bride with White Hair

    ★★★★★

    A truly ardent vision, a fantasy pure of heart. The Bride with the White Hair is a marvelous fable that stirs the emotions and hits the tear-ducts. The direction is bold and vivacious by Ronny Yu and Leslie Chung and Brigette Lin also give performances that are top tier amongst their own acclaimed bodies of work. This is a masterpiece. An epic of the soul.

  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters

    Godzilla: King of the Monsters

    ★★

    Overall, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a lumbered trudge of a movie that goes through the motions in its delivery of a monster movie. It's like one of those movies that they used to play on the Sci-Fi Channel on early Saturday mornings but with a massive blockbuster-sized budget and devoid of charm. The human characters are all annoying and constantly make bird-brained choices; the two standouts being a character voluntarily nuking himself to foster energy for Godzilla and…