Over the Moon (2020)

In this animated musical, a girl builds a rocket ship and blasts off, hoping to meet a mythical moon goddess. (Letterboxd)
Not all if its details or smaller moments land (the humour is mediocre, the bunny-love sub-plot pointless, and the lyrics occasionally awkward), but in its broad strokes it’s quite beautiful: the (terrestrial) cultural landscape is refreshing and elsewhere, Fei Fei’s emotional journey through grief is wonderfully captured in the colourful mixture of mysticism and metaphor on the moon (love that the question of its scientific “reality” goes unaddressed; “I like the mommy explanation best” too).
7/10 (Good)

Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

crazy_rich_asians_xxlg

This contemporary romantic comedy, based on a global bestseller, follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family. (IMDb)
Takes a while to get anywhere substantial conflict-wise, and when it arrives it’s weirdly inconsistent (the post-bach party tension was high but dissipated quite quickly; the side plot with Astrid didn’t help). Overall though it has some interesting things to say about prejudice, family, and relationships on its way to a solid climactic confrontation (the Mahjong game) and resolve (cliche but sweet), with lots of laughs filling in the gaps (Awkwafina and Jeong are both hilarious in their roles).
7/10 (Good)

The DUFF (2015)

the-duff-2015-tt1666801-poster

A high school senior instigates a social pecking order revolution after finding out that she has been labeled the DUFF – Designated Ugly Fat Friend – by her prettier, more popular counterparts. (IMDb)
Mostly standard high school rom-com fare (though the DUFF concept is fresh), with a social media motif that’s a little eye-rolling, especially in the editing. Whitman’s enjoyable as the quirky lead on a journey towards self-acceptance amidst the usual line-up of characters (Jeong is a standout as the weird teacher). It’s not groundbreaking, but it has its share of LOL moments (see the fireworks after her crush says “yes”) and touching ones too (her requisite “rock bottom” scene is well-crafted).
6.5/10 (Alright)

The Hangover (2009)

hangoverposter

Three buddies wake up from a bachelor party in Las Vegas, with no memory of the previous night and the bachelor missing. They make their way around the city in order to find their friend before his wedding. (IMDb)
The “what happened last night?” premise here provides a uniquely engaging and mystery-tinged plot–along with plenty of hilarious “WTF” moments (naked guy in the trunk, tiger in the bathroom, baby in the closet)–for what is in its slowest moments just a seen-before raunchy comedy with hit-or-miss humour. When things are at their most chaotic is when the film is at its best, so the ending is a bit of a come-down (especially the “here’s what happened” credit pics) but it’s still a fun ride.
7/10 (Good)