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  • Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool

    Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool

    ★★

    Annette Bening and Jamie Bell soars admirably despite given no justice by director Paul McGuigan’s stale, uninspired biopic Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. Following the later days of silent film star Gloria Grahame and her short-lived passionate affair with a young actor—the film doesn’t rise up to the occasion nor matches the sharp vigor of its lead stars. It’s surely a pas-de-deux between Bening and Bell, but Bell conquers the latter half with a more determined turn as a…

  • Annihilation

    Annihilation

    ★★★★½

    Ex Machina director Alex Garland returns with yet another mesmerizing, thought-provoking, female-centric film that explores the intricacies of human condition particularly about the process of grief. Annihilation focuses on five women scientists, and professionals who sets out a mission to cover the mystery behind “the Shimmer”—a quarantined environment filled with mutating organisms and landscapes.

    Annihilation follows some of the thought-provoking patterns of a science fiction film particularly reminiscent of Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin, but it has its own way…

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  • Whiplash

    Whiplash

    ★★★★½

    Damien Chazelle's smashing, adrenaline-fueled, electrifying drama is bloody exhilarating to watch as it is uncomfortably compelling. Chazelle is surely one of the up and coming directors we need to watch out for. His youthful, energetic, intense direction is felt on screen and it's mind-blowing. The film follows a young jazz drummer and his quest to be the best among the rest in a prestigious music conservatory.

    This film reminds me of Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler, and Black Swan, as their…

  • Force Majeure

    Force Majeure

    ★★★★

    Ruben Östlund's sophisticated, wickedly funny, and intriguing dissection of masculinity, gender roles, marriage, and relationships is irresistibly alive, uncomfortable, yet absolutely clever. Östlund's psychodrama follows a couple and their kids in a ski vacation somewhere in France, but the couple's relationship is severely tested by an avalanche that will trigger their inner demons, as well examine their moral dilemmas.

    It's like Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage meets Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf with special participation of Haneke's cold precision. Ostlund…