Circus of Books (2019) is a tender insight on LGBTQ landmark and the accidental family behinds it

It’s hard to described Rachel Mason’s documentary in a few sentences. It’s regarding a porno shop and the obscenity of it, yet at times it feels like a homemade family video. Circus of Books is indeed a legendary porn store moonlighting as a book store in Silver Lake, Los Angeles. The place became the usual hangouts for cruising, meetups and eventually a gay sanctuary in the 80s when they were held by Barry and Karen Masons. Continue reading “Circus of Books (2019) is a tender insight on LGBTQ landmark and the accidental family behinds it”

Mank (2020) is a boring tale of self-absorbed Hollywood that critics seemed to love

Why am I not surprised that Mank is beloved by many critics? The 131 minutes film has some good moments and captivating performances by Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried, but its shallow, self-absorbed notion that everyone is interested in Hollywood is quite a stretch.

*Spoilers Alert* Continue reading “Mank (2020) is a boring tale of self-absorbed Hollywood that critics seemed to love”

How Minari’s slice of life turns out to be the best film of 2020

Lee Isaac Chung‘s Minari is easily the best film of 2020. With the COVID-19 Pandemic shutting and delaying films from releasing last year, the “shortage” of decent films seemed apparent. However, the silver lining is perhaps it allowed viewers to watch the available ones with ease, just like Minari that revolves around a Korean immigrant family who start over in a rural farm in Arkansas. Continue reading “How Minari’s slice of life turns out to be the best film of 2020”

Mesh’s List: 10 Most Disappointing Films of 2020 (RANKED)

Hello all! Hope you’ve had a nice run in this bizarre 2020. Following my last year’s post, I will continue with this year’s disappointing films. In all honesty, I haven’t been watching a lot of films (mostly Real Housewives marathon to cope up with the quarantine stress!) but I do switched it up once in a while with titles that piqued my interests. I don’t want to write the “worst” films of 2020 because I still believe the team behind any productions worked hard for their products and as films are subjective – what I like might not always fare well with you. So, here are the 10 disappointing films [RANKED]!

10) Raat Akeli Hai

While the trailer is enticing this Netflix India’s production suffers from bad executions, confusing storytelling and mystery plot holes. For a murder-mystery, Raat Akeli Hai has too many characters to start off and it ends in a rush manner. Good thing they got amazing leads (Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte).

9) Fantasy Island

I love a bad campy slasher film but sadly Fantasy Island lacks the excitement and characters development for a good one. When several strangers were invited to come to a mysterious island that can fulfill any dreams, sinister plot unravels soon. Lucy Hale is amazing in everything she stars in, really. I could watch bad film for her and I did with this one!

8) The Sleepover

This action-comedy switched gender role, making Malin Akerman as the retired thief who’s asked to perform one last gig. But what follows is a tiresome and full of cliche adventures. The kids were a saving grace same goes with Ken Marino as the goofy husband, but the rest were just forgettable.

7) The One and Only Ivan

Disney’s outing promised a heartwarming film and fantastic CGI. While the CGI is absolutely terrific, the heartwarming plot is recycled so many times that it becomes mundane. This reminds me of last year’s Dumbo but at least that was more enjoyable.

6) You Should Have Left

Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried starred in a mystery-thriller about a couple who rents a supernatural country house in Welsh. The film starts out strong but derailed in the end. Explanation weren’t clear and its supposedly heartwarming ending made me feel numb.

Note: Dave Franco’s The Rental (2020) is a better pick if you’re interested to watch a massacre in the countryside type of film.

5) Dashing in December

This year we got two gay Xmas rom-com but sadly MTV’s Dashing in… is not on par with the heartfelt Christmas cheer. My problem is with Peter Porte who stars as the usual Scrooge – a big shot capitalist returns home to sell his Colorado’s family ranch. Mr Porte might be a good actor, but here as Wyatt, he was not. The charming Andie MacDowell stars as his mother also acts strange, making me believe that perhaps she doesn’t want to starred in this film at all.

4) Love Wedding Repeat

Where should I start? First, I am so done with ‘Groundhog Day’ films, it needs to retire. While Love Wedding… has a likable ensemble with Sam Claflin, Olivia Munn and Freida Pinto, the Dean Craig directed fails in the comedy department. The film actually aggravates me, I want it it to stop.

3) I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Okay, hear me out this Charlie Kaufman’s flick is claustrophobic as it is boring as hell. It ranks high among critics and this shows the more bizarre, random and long any film is, the more they eat it up. Or simply, I couldn’t connect with I’m Thinking… The cast, Buckley and Plemons, gave amazing performances but the supposedly “eccentric” ending got lost in me; it’s too pseudo-Indie.

2) Rebecca

After I finished watching this Daphe du Maurier’s film adaptation, I tweeted: “They were better off staying in Monte Carlo”. Lilly James is adorable and I don’t get the hate. But, the Ben Wheatley directed could use a better polishing and coherent storytelling. What Gothic element was in the book got lost in the translation for sure and should we talk about the hideous party dress? What the heck was that.

1) 365 Days

Let us take a moment of silence for the brain cells I’ve lost. I couldn’t believe how atrociously horrible this is and wished I hadn’t seen it. Listen, if rough sex and mental manipulation gives you orgasm then I ain’t going to judge. But, 365 Days is a slap in the face for other filmmakers who actually made decent films yet suffered from poor audience and profits simply because theirs didn’t have the retarded racy factors in it. Go watch a porn instead and don’t fall for a sleazy entry like this one!

Note: 365 Days is officially Netflix’s massive hit this year thanks to its endless streaming times.

Close Contenders:

  • Sonic The Hedgehog
  • Project Power
  • The Witches
  • Desperados

I will be writing the Best Film of 2020 next week. Have a great New Year and may 2021 be a better year!

-Mesh

[Pros & Cons] Emily in Paris Season 1

Netflix has been the go-to source since this pandemic, and this month the streaming giant successfully released another binge-worthy series that caused quite the stir around the globe. Yes, I’m talking about Emily in Paris – the 10-episode, romantic comedy is ridiculed by the French, dubbed “the most-hated show”, but in the end it’s gotten bigger than anyone has anticipated that its memes on Twitter are getting hundreds of retweets and loves.

So, what are the pros and cons of Emily in Paris? Read on! *Some spoilers here*

Pros

The City of Lights

Be honest with me. You and I watched Emily in Paris (EIP) for well… the city. I think this is the only American-made show that truly explores foreign country to its maximum possible. From old apartment buildings, cobblestone roads, al fresco cafe to other haunts. EIP managed to avoid the City of Light’s overused landmarks (No close-up shots of Eiffel Tower, Louvre, etc) and gave us a different side to Paris. It’s gorgeous, quaint and très chic!

I also loved the soundtracks. Totally what I expected from a “French-themed show”. I mean there are only two songs by Edith Piaf and none by Carla Bruni lol.

Relatable drama

It’s a romantic comedy after all, so the drama is at its best. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to long-time TV watchers as its creator, Darren Star, was the man responsible for several American beloved shows: Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place & Sex and The City.

Emily in Paris itself follows the usual rom-com tropes and comedic charms. From having an American boyfriend, ditched him, fall head-over-heels for her hot French neighbour, another twists, hooked up with a snob Parisian, dated a rich and successful zaddy – the list continues.

But, one thing remains, despite learning that Emily has a healthy sex life, I also learned that the formula in the show is impeccable! Not to forget, Emily’s own office debacle took inspirations from Miranda Priestly’s toxic work place. Coincidence? Of course not. I appreciate the millennial work ethic, social media tips and its downside; feels fresh and relatable.

Size is everything

Mon Chéri, I mean the television size aka its duration. Darren Star created Emily in Paris with a strategic plan. He blends the usual, endearing tropes and delivered it in a fast-pace, compact twenty-minute episode. It works! Whatever you say, EIP is made for binge-watching and its twists and cliffhangers worked like a charm. I mean, we all are waiting with anticipations about Camille’s text in the end, right? 😉

Cons

Luckiest gal

Romantic comedy is a fantasy as it doesn’t follow the reality, and Emily in Paris is no different. An American girl who works in a Parisian marketing firm but doesn’t speak French? Check. Emily’s followers grew after a mundane, non-edited post on Twitter (mind you!)? Check, check. She always, always has the most-brilliant ideas. This quick-witted girl has to be the most-genius marketer ever! Check, check, check.

C’est ringarde!

The best French word to ever be learned by millions of people is applicable to this show. It’s a basic bitch, albeit addictive, in the end. Her romance life is predictable, her fashion choices are too. While her brilliant marketing ideas are impressive and I enjoyed the ‘sexy or sexist’ episode for zhuzhing up current events, the show still lacks other character developments.

Thank God for the Asian best friend (played by the brilliant Mindy Park!), but there’s only one token gay black guy (Samuel Arnold) and I wished to see more dimensions in Sylvie (played by the gorgeous Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu). She is tad wasted here despite having the best one-liners and fashion sense.

Conclusion

Three pros and two cons make it a win in my book. I binge-watched Emily in Paris in two days and I already look forward to its second season (still no official words as of date!). Yes, some might get bored of it, but if you’re into the good ole’ rom-com then this show will satisfy your cravings.

Raat Akeli Hai by Netflix India should focuses more on the suspects if it wants to be a whodunit film [Review]

I was quite excited to watch Raat Akeli Hai on Netflix, but sadly the film’s first half didn’t catch up with its second. The whodunit plot in its core is interesting, but the character development is so messy that towards the end my head was spinning. Continue reading “Raat Akeli Hai by Netflix India should focuses more on the suspects if it wants to be a whodunit film [Review]”

Mesh’s Rec: 5 Underrated TV Shows That Many Don’t Watch But Should

With bajillion TV shows these days, it’s hard to watch them all cause who can keep counts? I rarely watch new TV shows these days unless it’s hyped about cause’ who got the time to watch them all, Karen.

However, there are several shows that I liked and know many haven’t even heard about them. So, I’m making a list of underrated shows that you might like to put on your radar next time you’re looking for something new to binge (you can bookmark this ;)) Continue reading “Mesh’s Rec: 5 Underrated TV Shows That Many Don’t Watch But Should”

Three In One Review: The Oath (2018), Ghost Stories (2020) & Love Wedding Repeat (2020)

Since being home quarantined, watching films has been keeping me sane and thankfully there are plenty that I haven’t seen (I know!). Just like these three: a dark comedy satire, scary short films from India and Netflix’s new rom-com with Olivia Munn. Check it out! Continue reading “Three In One Review: The Oath (2018), Ghost Stories (2020) & Love Wedding Repeat (2020)”