DC LEAGUE OF SUPER PETS ★★
◆ Directed by Sam J. Levine, Jared Stern
◆ Genre: Cartoons [US]
◆ Screenings: Cinemas
Krypto (Dwayne Johnson) meets a group of street dogs to discuss the importance of rescuing Superman (what else?). The indomitable hero is captured by Lois Lane (Olivia Wilde), who imprisons him. Yes, Krypto and his men (I mean his dogs) have to rescue Superman in order to get back to fighting crime together. I wish they would change the order in which this film was made.
Whatever the motivation for transforming this offshoot of DC's tech and entertainment industries, the result is an overabundance of characters and a scarcity of good ironies. The idea that Superman needs someone to get him out of jail and that the dog Krypto is the savior seems ridiculous, but a better movie could have been made, which the producer couldn't have had the ambition to make.
◆ Final Judgment: Smiles that are scattered and easily forgotten
HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN ★★★★
◆ Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
◆ Genre: Fantasy [UK]
◆ Gulf Screenings
When the third instalment of the "Harry Potter" series was entrusted to a Mexican film artist named Alfonso Cuarón in 2004, many in the media wondered what Cuarón might add to the series, which had been a huge success since its inception. The answer lies in the excellent treatment created by the director, which preserves the film's dark rituals and fantasy. Today, you can confirm that it is one of the best Harry Potter films of all time by re-watching it in a new version. Gary Oldman is a villain who has escaped from Azkaban and is out to kill Harry Potter.
The visuals are good, and the effects are smooth, going beyond the script on which the film is based to tell its story.
◆ Final Judgment: A good opportunity to restore history
ARNOLD IS A MODEL STUDENT ★★★
◆ Directed by Sorayos Prapapan
◆ Genre: Dark Comedy [Thailand]
◆ Screening: Locarno International Film Festival
A cinema that is limited to what new director Sorayos Prapapan has to offer in that the scenes are shot flat. There is no art in deciding how the image will deal with the subject, but the director is content with one treatment, with no exceptions. The camera in this case is a photograph. Total long shots. Medium for a few people, with no shadows or attempt at sophistication. This comedy begins with irony, as Arnold (Korbanai Mark Dautzenberg) provides a first impression of himself as a good and different student, but otherwise he will be paid for assistance in cheating.
The film depicts aspects of life such as family, religion, and, of course, school rituals, but it fails to pique the viewer's interest beyond curiosity.
◆ Final Judgment: It is deserving of more than it is receiving.
HELLO, BOOKSTORE ★★
◆ Directed by A.B. Zax
◆ Genre: Recording [US]
◆ Special Screenings
Burns, the owner of a large bookstore in a small town, is forced to close due to a lack of sales. However, the townspeople have begun collecting donations, and the bookstore is now open to the public. If the message was to discourage people from reading and buying books, that would have been preferable to the current film situation, which follows the owner of the bookstore as he sells through the gap of a partly closed window (the epidemic was spreading at the time of filming, and no one would be allowed to enter his store), reads some of them, and talks on the phone several times.
The film appears to be an excuse to present a single person's dilemma rather than a broad social dilemma for no apparent reason.
◆ Final Judgment: Revolves in on itself
◆ Directed by Ani Damaris Corbin
◆ Genre: Thriller [US]
◆ International Screenings
The plot is all too familiar—a black man (John Boyega) enters a bank with an explosive, threatening bank employees and customers. Of course, the goal is to make money, but the motivation is different. He is a former soldier who tried to get help from the army for his psychological problems after leaving the army and looking for work, but he failed on both counts.
The issue arises when the film loses control of events, and the situation revolves around a failed theft after the police have surrounded the location. The police appear unconcerned about endangering the lives of the detainees, and instead conducted the raid alone. There's some suspense here, but it doesn't last long.
◆ Final Judgment: It almost worked, but it's still good enough
TERROR ON THE PRAIRE ★★★
◆ Directed by Michael Polish
◆ Genre: Western [US]
◆ Gulf Screenings.
This western is well-written and executed.
There is a genuine desire to make a good Western film, despite the limited financial resources that cannot be overcome because the genre is not popular among viewers. It's about a woman (Gina Carano) who is forced to stay alone with her infant child in an isolated house. A gang is attempting to enter the house. The first half of the film is about the events that led the family into the wilderness, and how the husband's promise of a better future did not come true. The second half features an invasion by a gang that isn't afraid of a lonely woman armed with an old rifle.
◆ Final Judgment: This genre's fans will enjoy it.
★: Weak or average | ★★: Mediocre with merits| ★★★: Good | ★★★★: Excellent | ★★★★★: A masterpiece