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Death Note (2017)

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Death Note
ADeath Note high school student named Light Turner discovers a mysterious notebook that has the power to kill anyone whose name is written within its pages, and launches a secret crusade to rid the world of criminals.

Genre : Fantasy
Country : USA

Cast :
Nat Wolff : Light Turner
Lakeith Stanfield : L
Willem Dafoe : Ryuk

Director :
Adam Wingard

My opinion on “Death Note”

“Relax, Light.
You’re asleep and you’re dreaming of some eight-foot-tall,demon-looking motherfucker.”

The fact one outsmarted Death was the cause of a lot of trouble in “Final Destination, resulting in a whole series of victims. Recently I saw “Wish upon” with a Chinese music box falling into the hands of a teenage girl. A music box she used to fulfill certain wishes. Only this wasn’t without consequences and individuals here also died in gruesome circumstances. Death note” is again a variation on the subject. Here it’s the student Light Turner (Nat Wolff) who gets a mysterious notebook thrown into his lap. Whose name is written in it, is doomed to die. And this notebook is accompanied by Ryuk. A kind of hedgehog-like God of death who passes on the notebook if necessary and ensures that the rules described in the booklet are strictly followed by the owner of the book. Light Turner sees an opportunity to rid the world of unwanted criminals. Praiseworthy and noble, but of course not without consequences. Before Light realizes it, the entire police apparatus is behind the mysterious murderer of scumbags from all over the world.

Death Note

I guess you’d better skip it if you know the original manga.

Admit it! It sounds promising after reading the storyline. Well, I thought it sounded interesting. An original concept with plenty of possibilities to make it a breathtaking and extremely exciting fantasy story. And actually they largely succeeded in it. Provided you aren’t a fervent fan of the Japanese manga this film is based on. After reading a bit about the subject on the worldwide web, I can imagine that this film version feels somewhat limited compared to the original manga. The original story in that manga is being spread out over 108 chapters and bundled in twelve manga booklets. That’s why this movie seems so chaotic and the story flashes past you in a rush. In retrospect, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea if they had made a series of it. The book “The Hobbit” only has about 200 pages and yet Peter Jackson managed to produce roughly eight hours of film to tell this tiny story. If one extrapolates this to this manga, this would probably result in rougly 100 hours of footage.

Death Note

An amusing little Netflix flick (provided you don’t compare it to the original).

Fortunately I’m a complete nitwit when it comes to Japanese manga and I can judge this film without prejudice. I have amused myself with it. Not only did I find the concept intriguing and at the same time it was frightening how Light has control over someone else’s life, simply by putting a name down in a notebook. You can also expect some bloody scenes (“Final destination“-like) when an unfortunate victim dies. I found Nat Wollf convincing enough as the somewhat timid, bullied student who slowly grows into a merciless avenging angel. His girlfriend Mia (Margaret Qualley) has a fairly limited role and didn’t impress me so much. Ryuk is by far the most interesting character. It’s largely a CGI creation. But thanks to the magnificent voice-over by Willem Dafoe, the entertainment factor of this mythical figure rises swiftly. The most disappointing character was L. (Lakeith Stanfield). A mysterious, young detective who’s just a few steps behind Light. But I’ll always remember him as the masked dude who maintained a peculiar seating position.

Death Note

Japanese series … No thank you.

For a moment I was playing with the idea to watch the original manga one day. I think there’s little chance this will ever happen because I dislike series and Asian-oriented cultural objects aren’t quite my sort of thing. But I’m convinced the story will be far better and more intriguing. However, you’ve never seen the original? No harm done if you’d choose to watch this little treat.

My rating 5/10
Links : IMDB

Action

Wonder Woman 1984 | Official Trailer – HD

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Genre:

Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Release Date:

June 5, 2020

Director:

Patty Jenkins

Cast:

Gal Gadot, Pedro Pascal, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, Kristen Wiig,

Plot Summary:

Wonder Woman squares off against the Cheetah, a villainess who possesses superhuman strength and agility.

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Action

Wonder Woman 1984 | Teaser – Full Trailer Tomorrow

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Genre:

Fantasy, Action

Release Date:

June 5, 2020

Director:

Patty Jenkins

Cast:

Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Robin Wright, Pedro Pascal, Connie Nielsen, Kristoffer Polaha

Plot Summary:
Wonder Woman squares off against the Cheetah, a villainess who possesses superhuman strength and agility.

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fantasy

Emma Roberts Shines in the Feminist Fantasy ‘Paradise Hills’

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Genre : Scifi-Fantasy
Rating : Unrated
Director: Alice Waddington

Cast:
Emma Roberts
Milla Jovovich
Eiza Gonzalez
Awkwafina
Danielle Macdonald

In the not-so-distant future the rebellious Uma (Emma Roberts) suddenly finds herself on an isolated island known as Paradise. Part reform school and part conversion therapy Paradise is a re-education camp run by the The Duchess (Milla Jovovich) and her all-male staff. Greeting Uma as she wakes are her roommates, the overweight Chloe (Patty Cake$‘s Danielle Macdonald) and metalhead Yu (Awkwafina). With her friends by her side she is forced into several different regiments ranging from make overs and yoga to “mirror therapy” with The Duchess and brainwashing sessions meant to turn Uma into the kind of subservient wife her mother and her rich suitor dream of. Things seem bleak for Uma and her companions until they get to know Amarna (Baby Driver‘s Eiza Gonzalez). Sent to Paradise for her lesbian tendencies she has concocted a plan to escape.

 

 

Perhaps the most noticeable part of Paradise Hills is how absolutely gorgeous it is. Opening to a lavish reception for newlyweds Uma and sleazy socialite Son (Arnaud Valois) you are immediately sucked in by its mix of tradition and opulence as revelers twirl around Uma with streams of white chiffon creating abstract shots as beautiful as a painting. All of which is topped when Uma reaches Paradise. With obvious inspiration from Alice in Wonderland and 1960’s television show The Prisoner it’s pastel flowers and deep primary colors are able to make the film look idyllic without ever really losing that bit of magic. Even as trouble begins to rear its head you can’t help but marvel at Waddington and production designer Laia Colet were able to do on their limited budget. As much as Paradise Hills excels visually its story can feel lacking at times.

 

With writing duties handled by author Brian DeLeeuw (Some Kind of Hate) and Spanish director Nacho Vigalondo (Colossal, Time Crimes) high expectations are to be expected. Vigalondo in particular has done a great job playing with sci-fi tropes in films such as Colossal. Instead what get is a pretty thin science fiction tale. Vaguely mentioning a class system and insight any attempts at commentary are brief. For the most part it follows a cliché-ridden story more appropriate for a YA novel than some of the more imaginative minds in genre film today with most of the story being fairly underwritten. Our world lacking any detail with hints like why The Duchess runs Paradise or the background of Uma’s new friends being vague and quickly glossed over. Instead most of the focus is on Uma who follows the same heroes journey we’ve seen a thousand times over.

 

 

Despite being given a role Emma Roberts could sleepwalk through she does an admirable job as Uma. Her evolution from rebellious prisoner to the leader of a prison escape never feeling forced thanks to her relationship with Amarna. Bonding over their need to break free of Paradise their companionship builds naturally with any hints of Amarna’s romantic tendencies never feeling too exploitative with their sisterhood taking a much bigger role. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same of Chloe and Yu. Despite being brought to life by the always good Danielle Macdonald, Chloe never really rises above playing supportive friend before blending into the background. Yu is given more to do but not much. Sent to the island by her family for anti-social tendencies before moving to mainland China. Whether intended or not it could have been a particularly poignant role had a the always game Awkwafina been given more screen time.

 

There’s no denying how beautiful Paradise Hills is. Showing herself to be a real visionary director Alice Waddington and production designer Laia Colet use a mix of Elizabethan glamour and futuristic technology to create a gorgeous world that looks unlike anything in movies today. Sadly, the same can’t be said for the story which feels like it came from the YA novel starter pack. With a story carried by some great performances Paradise Hills ends up being an engrossing, if somewhat hollow, experience.

Rating 7/10
Links : IMDB

Paradise Hills is now in theaters and on VOD

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