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Johnny Depp gives a great performance in this beautifully haunting movie
Minamata is a must-watch for all cinema lovers to appreciate the cinematography, direction and the choice of background scores used, about the Minamata disease that caused havoc in the early 1970s.
Johnny Depp, perhaps one of the greatest and most versatile actors of all time, turns in a powerful and sombre performance where he is able to emote mostly from his eyes. Once again, he goes right into the skin of the character in this case, the late Eugene Smith and is definitely worthy a performance to ATLEAST an Academy Award nomination. Bill Nighy is good in an extended cameo. Minami is very good in her role as well.
To summarise, this movie is a must watch for Johnny Depp's excellent performance, his best since Black Mass, and the topic of mercury poising and the environmental damage by conglomerates, which I personally believe needs to receive more attention. This movie personofies art & cinema's true purpose.
The Irishman (2019)
Pacino-Pesci-Deniro-Scorsese: A 9 year long wait
I remember that in 2010, when I heard that Martin Scorsese wanted to make a movie with Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci, I immediately put this movie in my IMDB watch-list. Even when there were rumors of this film being shelved, I did not lose hope.
So, finally when I got to see the movie, at TIFF, last night, it was a dream come true.
Let's speak of the acting first. It was the best by an ensemble cast, in YEARS!
Robert DeNiro as Frank Sheeran was very good, especially towards the tail end after a surprising incident.
Joe Pesci was impressive in a an uncharacteristically calm mob boss Russell Buffalino. It was a treat to finally see him out of retirement.
And finally... AL PACINO.. stole the show, as Jimmy Hoffa. You have got to see it to believe it. His scene with Joe Pesci, was outstanding! Of all the movie so far, his in my personal opinion, is by far the best in the Supporting Actor category, and he deserves to take the Academy Award home.
Martin Scorsese's direction was trademark and simply brilliant. All the slayings in this movie, seemed like the real deal and managed to shock me every single time. And yes, there was a lot of that tongue in the cheek humor that we have come to expect from all of his movies.
The screenplay for the most part was taut.
The only drawback with this movie, in my view, is it's duration. Especially the last 30 minutes. The whole movie could have been reduced by at least 40 minutes.
Summary: This movie is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You can watch it now in select theaters or wait till 27th November,2019, to watch it on Netflix. But, DO watch it.
Gali Guleiyan (2017)
For all the fans of popcorn cinema, this movie could act like a stepping stone towards appreciating proper cinema and nuanced acting.
When I saw the climax of this movie, I confidently predicted what the story would be and what would happen at the end.
But, then this movie was released to rave reviews at a foreign film festival and Manoj Bajpayee, who happens to be one of my favorite actors received rave reviews for his acting from all the critics.
In addition to this, the presence of Neeraj Kabi and Ranvir Shorey made me give this movie a shot.
As a cinema lover who despises the horrendous "paisa-vasool" films being churned out by the Hindi film industry, I wanted this movie to blow my mind.
Now, while the acting performances of the entire cast was spectacular, this movie fell short when it came to the story-line and direction. Despite, having all the right cards the director absolutely folded. AND the biggest disappointment was that my earlier mentioned prediction was 100% accurate thereby ridding me of any possible suspense.
While the cast of this movie deserves full credit, the makers do not.
Summary: for all the fans of popcorn cinema, this movie could act like a stepping stone towards appreciating proper cinema and nuanced acting. For cine-lovers like me, this was a miss.
The Ranveer Singh show
Sanjay Leela Bhansali's an"ode" to the famous Queen of Chittor, Padmavaati, explicitly showcases the pride and "courage" of the Rajputs. It is also long and at best an average watch. The primary reason for this is the direction which seems to have gone completely wrong. Including a lot of unnecessary songs and rushing through the battle sequences and the climax were the prime contributors.
There has been a lot of hue and cry around this movie ever since filming began because the Rajputs thought that it would not be an accurate description of their history which would result in showcasing their society in a negative light.
While, it is clearly stated in the pre-movie notes that it is a word of fiction, it doesn't cast a negative light on the Rajput society. THERE. I said it.
The cinematography of the film, falls below the standard that has been set by Bhansali himself in the Hindi film industry. Story-wise there is nothing that would spring a surprise on anyone who is remotely aware of the poem on which the movie is based.
The Music and background score was a major letdown and frankly speaking , unnecessary(except for Ghoomar).
In the acting department Ranveer Singh takes the cake for his portrayal of the power-hungry, lecherous and ruthless ruler Alauddin Khilji. Shahid Kapoor does a commendable job in his role of the principled-to-a fault Rajput king, Maharaja Rawal Ratan Singh. Deepika Padukone, frankly speaking her character of Queen Padmavati play second fiddle to the 2 male leads. Aditi Rao Hydari, Jim Sarbh and Raza Murad, are very good in their respective roles.
To summarise, Padmaavat is a movie which highlights an important battle of moral values fought by the Rajputs, which ended with over 1600 women committing Jauhar, an act of self immolation, to save themselves from being enslaved by their captors. This is not a thing of pride. It was a last resort that required a lot of courage by those women. This movie misrepresents that act as as something to be proid of, whereas it should have been their courage in the face of adversity that should be cherished.
Jagga Jasoos (2017)
A brave attempt by Anurag Basu and Ranbir Kapoor
Acting by Ranbir Kapoor , Saurabh Shukla,Saswata Chatterjee and even Katrina Kaif(who seemed to give her career best performance, not that she had set the bar very high).The cinematography is outstanding.The entire concept of making a full fledged musical.The songs are a treat to the ears. The music by Pritam is good(Not sure if it is original).
Jagga Jasoos has an engaging first that manages to peak your interest towards both the content and the presentation. However, it is in the second half that the narrative loses a little steam. At the end, Jagga Jasoos is about a boy's search for his missing father-like figure. Perhaps I was expecting a lot more from it despite being aware of what the core plot was and the lack of any real mystery seems to have been a turn off for me.
However, the end of the movie left me asking for more. Much more. But based on the kind of movies that we Indians are used to , I don't expect Jagga Jasoos to be a commercial hit and consequently, don't see there to be any valid reason why the producers should opt for a potentially engaging sequel.
This movie is a one-time must watch, in the theaters. Such movies need to be encouraged. Jagga Jasoos may not be the perfect movie, but it is a bold move in the right direction.
The Revenant (2015)
Alejandoro González Iñárritu's The Revenant is a breathtaking visual spectacle.
The Revenant is a simple revenge drama. It is inspired by the book, of the same name, written by Michael Punk, which was inspired by the life of Hugh Glass, a fur trapper who is motivated not by revenge, as depicted in this movie, but, simply by a desire to get his furs back.
But, revenge makes for a more engaging movie, or so the team that created this movie must have thought.
Let's first address the most important reason why this movie has been on the watchlist of the majority of the people, including me, an admirer of Leonardo DiCaprio. This is supposed to be the film that finally gets him the elusive and his first Academy Award. Like most of his movies, Leo does deliver an intense performance. Looking at it as an "individual performance" it is clearly visible that he has given it his all and put in a lot of effort, like he always does. His performance is mainly physical, as he mouths only a few dialogues, most of which are in a tribal language. Eats raw bison liver and sleeps inside an animal carcass. Such acts, require determination, not acting skills. If any other actor was to play this role, then even he would have done so. Taking all this into account, I feel that this performance is behind many of his previous and more Oscar-deserving roles. The main reason behind this is that, when you compare it to those previous ones, it becomes abundantly clear, that this performance is like a collage of some of his previous ones. From an acting point of view, he has never experimented a lot and his always restricted himself to a particular kind of serious roles, which he has undoubtedly excelled at. But , he has hardly ever done anything innovative. Unfortunately, he does the same, in this movie too and this year with other brilliant performances in the mix, Leo's performance, doesn't seem like a front-runner, who deserves to win, now.
The star for me was, Tom Hardy, as Glass'comrade, John Fitzgerald, who leaves him for dead, kills his half-Indian son, and robs him of his furs. He is the most gifted actor of his generation and he puts his acting skills on display, yet again.He perfects his western accent. He beautifully expresses his character's varying feelings, from the bottled frustration of staying back to look after a nearly-dead Glass; to the shock and pain of realizing when he accidentally kills Glass' son; to the feeling of paranoia of being caught for his deeds; Hardy carries himself with authority and dominates which ever scene he is in. It is unfortunate, that he is not getting as much praise as Leo, when he truly deserves more.
Cinematography & Background Score
A third consecutive Oscar nomination for cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki— who films in such exotic areas as Chile's Tierra del Fuego and also parts of Alberta, British Columbia and Montana, seems imminent. He also deserves to win it.It is one of the 2 reasons, that raises the level of the movie and makes it a must watch on the big screen. Those beautiful mountains and gleaming rivers in the sunlight, on the big screen, will be an experience worth remembering.
The background score had a raw and tribal feel to it. The most invigorating score, since The Last of the Mohicans, that is sure to pump up the adrenaline during the battle scenes and give us chills during the more tragic and sensitive scenes.
Alejandoro González Iñárritu is the Picasso of modern cinema. He is a creative genius. Each and every single frame was like a beautifully and patiently drawn painting. If, Birdman (2014) was him using the camera in such a subtle way that the entire movie appeared to be like one large painting; The Revenant too is extremely realistic, although, compared to Birdman, it is much more violent and raw, which was to be expected, because of the several scenes that involved battle and bloodshed. It requires a special kind of genius to portray even such scenes, that would normally be gory, as precisely made brush strokes on a canvas. His direction complemented the cinematography, perfectly. It turned The Revenant from a 156- minute long slow period revenge drama into a visual spectacle to be experienced and remembered for the rest of our lives.
If this movie deserves an Oscar, it is only for the Best Director.
Mr. Iñárritu is the rarest of the rare breed of talented individuals. He is man of great vision and aesthetics, as can be seen not only by The Revenant and Birdman, but, also by the movies that he directed prior to these. His talent is to be cherished. We can expect even greater things from him in the future.
The Revenant is Alejandoro González Iñárritu's most brutally realistic movie till date. The way that he has captured the actor's performances and the beautiful landscapes, will propel The Revenant to break to great heights in the history of Hollywood. It is his direction, that puts the performances by the lead pair and every other technical element in the film, on a higher pedestal for everyone to see and admire.
Kudos to him and the entire team, for shooting in such trying conditions and presenting us with an experience of a lifetime.
A hard hitting tale
Concussion, is a dramatic story-telling depiction of Dr. Bennet Omalu's, lone fight against the NFL, over the consequences of years of head injuries suffered by football players, primarily CTE.
Will Smith delivers a good performance. He is an inconsistent accent throughout the movie, but that does not deter him from delivering a strong performance. Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Albret Brooks were also superb in their respective supporting roles. David Morse, as the deceased Mike Webster,manages to pack a punch with a splendid cameo appearance.
William Goldenberg, deserves a special mention for editing this film and making it a crisp and riveting drama.
Deserves a watch, to recall the point Dr. Omalu tried to make and remember it, this time.
Steve Jobs (2015)
1. The 3-act presentation.
2. Jeff Daniels and Kate Winslet gave great performances.
3. The background score was really powerful
and was the sole reason of the tension created in a few scenes.
Negatives 1. Aaron Sorkin said in several interviews that this is not a biopic of Jobs. However, he did take several instances from his life and juxtaposed with even more unreal events. They were entertaining to watch, but made it a bit convoluted and it seemed as if the whole team was unsure as to whether they were trying to show a biopic or a fictional tale of Steve. While watching it , one knows throughout the whole time, that 80% of what is being shown is fictional. So, it all seems pointless.
2. Michael Fassbender is a very talented actor of his generation, but was terribly miscast.Firstly, as most of the people already know he looked nothing like Jobs in the first two acts and only partially so,in the last one. Second, he failed to embody Steve. Not for one second,did I think it was Jobs on the screen. It was basically Michael Fassbender playing a mean and self- centred version of himself, something that could have been done by any actor in the industry. But, the point was to play Jobs and to show his dark side, in doing which he was at best, partially successful. This too added to the whole feeling of pointlessness.
Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin dropped the ball on this one. Having the official biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Issacsson, as a dependable reference, they could have hit this one right out of the park. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Making a fictional movie on the life of a self-centered tech wizard who revolutionized the entire world, is never a good idea. For certain topics, the facts lay down the foundation towards making a good movie. It was because of this reason and his failure to present himself even remotely as Steve, that Fassbender's overall performance, in my opinion, has been over-hyped,thus far and is certainly not worthy of all the acclodes it has been receiving. He has given far more award deserving performances in Shame and Macbeth. However, there are several better and much more deserving performances this year, than this portrayal .
Excellent story-telling supported by brilliant acting performances.
Meghna Gulzar manages to keep us on the edge of our seats with a taut screenplay. She had a cast comprising of some of the finest actors in Indian cinema at her disposal and she used all of them extremely well.
Based on the infamous Noida double murder case, Talvar is the story of how a 14 year old girl and her housekeep are found murdered and the girl's parents are the main accused. This movie highlights how the first investigative team led by the local police botched up the entire crime scene and contaminated all the evidences, which could have made it a possibly an open and shut case. The indifference of the police and the hollowness of the Indian Judicial System is portrayed in an eerily realistic fashion. The worst part is that it's all true.
Of the cast, Irrfan Khan as Ashwin Kumar steals the show, as the reclusive CDI investigator, who's personal life is in a turmoil and is handed over the charge of this infamous case. He's absolutely fabulous. You can't help,but laugh out loud whenever he ridicules the system or cracks a witty one liner. Neeraj Kabi and Konkana Sen Sharma as the victim's parents are also very good. Sohum Shah as Irrfan's deputy is good too. SUmit Gulati and Atul Kumar also do well in their respective roles. Gajraj Rao as the highly irritable and unprofessional police inspector who is the first cop on the scene is fantastic. Prakash Belawadi as the CDI chief who is approaching retirement and is a mentor to Ashwin, is hilarious in his cameo. Tabu, in her extended guest appearance, is the only weak link in the entire film. And this upset me considering she's one of India's all-time best actresses.
The song Insaaf will give you goosebumps. It complements what is being shown on the screen extremely well. Kudos to Vishal Bharadwaj for the composition and the evergreen Gulzar for penning down such hauntingly beautiful lyrics, in an unfortunate age where anything can pass for a song.
Lastly, A. Sreekar Prasad has done a spectacular job with the editing. It really helped to keep the screenplay interesting, throughout.
This film is a must watch. It needs to be seen on the big screen to get a real grip on the case and why we were never convinced of the final judgment, right till the very end.
Final rating: 8.5/10
Black Mass (2015)
A average film saved by top-notch acting performances.
Six years after Public Enemies, Johnny Depp Depp plays infamous Boston Mafioso James "Whitey" Bulger, an Irishman who rose from being a petty street thug to being No. 2 on the FBI's most wanted list just behind Osama Bin Laden.This role has once again put him in the limelight for a possible fourth nomination for the Academy Award for the best actor and if, he is lucky; his first and very well deserved win.
Black Mass is a biopic on the life of Bulger ; a "Southie" gang-lord who formed an "Allegience" with the FBI to eliminate his own personal interests.
There is Oscar buzz surrounding Depp's performance, and understandably so. His Jimmy is equal parts likable, stubborn, and monstrous. Depp captures the Boston accent, walk, and mannerisms we expect of someone in Jimmy's position, but what will leave movie- goers remembering the most are his eyes, which are steely, demonic blue beads. They suggest an omnipresent hardness about Jimmy that fits perfectly with his cryptic smile and sallow complexion. On more than one occasion Jimmy is friendly with someone, then kills the person moments later. It's frightening because it's the worst kind of menace: The kind that smiles to your face and then stabs you in the back, when you least expect it. I don't think we've ever seen Depp this cold and dangerous before.
The screenplay of the movie is decent and keeps you on the edge of your seat for sometime. The direction is good, could have been better, though.Of the supporting cast, Joel Edgerton hits the nail on the head with his portrayal of the disgraced ex-FBI agent , John Conolly who in his attempt to impress his "friend" Bulger, ends up being charged for second degree murder. Benedict Cumberbatch as Whitey's kid brother also does an excellent job. It was hard to imagine that a person from England could shed his accent so easily and put on an impeccable Boston accent, one of the hardest to master. Dakota Johnson and Julianne Nicholson, both were fabulous in their respective parts. Kevin Bacon was okay.
Coming back to Depp's performance and his chances of getting an Oscar,it is absolutely clear that this is the best acting performance of the year(YES, i have seen The Revenant,Steve Jobs,Trumbo,Youth,Concussion,The Danish Girl).In my opinion, he deserves the Academy Award, but, the whole whoopla around Leo "deserving" it for a one-dimensional role that could have been played by anyone and Depp's eccentric and carefree attitude that is not appreciated by most people,might see him miss this opportunity.
On the whole; Black Mass is definitely a one-time watch. There is no way you can criticize the acting. The only thing that people may come out of the hall, cribbing about is the content of the film. To all the gangster movie lovers, I would like to say: THIS is no Goodfellas. It is very hard to replicate that. But it is right there at the top with the best.
Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015)
For a change, I was glad to see a Salman Khan movie having a sensible storyline. The topic has been handled with extreme sensitivity, so much so that I couldn't help myself from shedding a tear,during the climax. The movie is also powered by a couple of commendable performances. The first is by the young Harshaali Malhotra and the other by the awesome Nawazuddin Siddiqui's. The latter's introduction scene is hilarious.
Even Salman did a decent job, when compared to the rest of his films.
In my opinion, do give this movie is a bit over the top. But, it definitely deserves a watch. An ideal time pass. Go for it.
Simple comedy... Good for passing your time
Being a big fan of Johnny Depp who has seen all his films till date, Mortdecai was one movie I was waiting for particularly because of the negative reviews it had got, unanimously. Does Depp have a habit of choosing his films poorly? YES. Did Mortdecai deserve the level of criticism it got? NO.
This is a simple comedy film, with no mystery at all. That's all it is. A comedy. With tongue-in-cheek kind of one-liners and very basic jokes. The intention was to forget your tension and just LOL. This movie wasn't meant to be taken seriously. In my opinion, it is hands and shoulders above so many other movies that are being churned out nowadays by Hollywood.
Returning to the movie, Depp does a good job as Lord Charlie Mortdecai. He almost nails the English accent. Of course, this is nowhere close to his best acting performance, but, his comic timing was impeccable, throughout the movie.Gwyneth Paltrow and Ewan McGreogor were good in their respective roles too. I really found Paul Bettany, as Mortdecai's manservant, Jock,admirable. He is a really talented actor and I would like to see more of him.
Overall, do give this movie a try. It's not half as bad as it is made out to be.
Taken 3 (2014)
Better than the second one.
I slept through most of the second installment. It was a drag. So, I was a bit wary about watching Taken 3. To my great pleasure, this one was a much better action movie than the second part.
The story had it's twists towards the end and I was impressed by that. Liam Nesson , as always was good. I really liked Forrest Whittaker in his supporting role. Really impressed by the action sequence. Especially the hand combats. They really blew my mind. Needless to say, the highlight of the entire film.
It would always have been to outdo the first one, but, despite that, it was a nice way they concluded the series.
Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)
A major disappointment!!
If, any aspiring or established film maker who wants the audience to like their movies, reads this; note, that making a sequel to a laugh riot, without a story or a redundant one is ALWAYS a bad idea.
I sat down, to watch Horrible Bosses 2, with hardly any expectations and still finished it feeling disappointed.It failed to get even a single chuckle out of me and was unbelievably predictable. Spacey, Anniston, Foxx and Woltz were wasted. Chris Pine was the best thing in this movie(That surely speaks volumes about it). The lead guys were pathetic.
The prequel still is one of the funniest movies that I have ever seen, but, this movie single handedly pulls down the entire franchise. Majority of the audiences are going to forget what a great time they had during part 1, thanks to the repetitive and dull plot and barrage of boring jokes metted out to us.
DOn't make the mistake I made. Skip this one at all costs and cherish the first one instead.
One time watch..Amitabh is the soul of shAMITABH
1. Amitabh and too some extent Dhanush's acting. 2. An excellent first half. 3. Dialogues were witty and powerful. 4. Good BG score. 5. Love-hate relationship between the two main protagonists. 6. The sophisticated humour in the first half.
1. AKSHARA HASSAN: the girl can NOT act.
2. The lengthy second half was a major letdown. Lots of forced humour and a needlessly stretched ending reduced the momentum of the entire film. The editor could heave done a better job and knocked off around 20 minutes on the whole.
Of Balki's three films, this is my least favourite. But, his direction and Amitabh's yet another powerful performance, makes this ode to the Hindi film industry's greatest baritone ever, a definite one time watch.
Simmons' performance deserves an Oscar. The movie is forgettable.
Brilliant performances from Simmons and a well supporting act from Miles Teller, are the only reasons to watch this film. Besides this, it is just an ordinary flick. Side characters disappear into the background. The whole message has been presented to us before in different ways and this movie is just another example of an old wine in a new bottle.
Simmons deserves all the praise and even the Academy Award. The music and the BG score were about average.But, barring that this movie doesn't deserve another nomination.
Hearing all the positive reviews, I really expected a lot more from this Oscar nominated movie. But, ended up disappointed.
One time watch.
Forces you to think.. One of the best directed films.
The story revolves around Riggan(Michael Keaton), a down-and-out actor, who after having lost his fortune and fame post a few superhero movies ,turns to Broadway with the intention of achieving the same success as he did in his prime. In pursuing this goal, he absolutely destroys his personal life. The most significant impact, can be seen on his relationship with his daughter(played by a brilliant Emma Stone), who is recuperating from a drug rehabilitation which was a consequence of her parent's divorce. Riggan is producing, directing and acting in a play co-produced by his friend-cum-advocate,Jake. Following an accident involving his lead actor,he finds a replacement in his lead actress' lover(played by Edward Norton),who in his own words, is leading a life of lie all the time he's not on stage. Riggan faces tensions from all the above characters. Not to forget, he keeps hearing the voice of his ego, actually the superhero, Birdman, he played. There is a highly narcissist reporter who plans to destroy his play in the mix as well. Despite all this, he demonstrates faith in himself and keeps fighting along. Towards the end , he finally realizes his unhealthy obsession with the play that had cost him his personal life and takes a drastic measure. The ending is the most talked about issue. It appears to be a figment of Riggan's/his soul's imagination that his daughter finally sees him for the person he thought himself to be; better and relevant than anyone else. One who was not going to be scared of going the extra mile to fulfill his dream.
The entire cast was phenomenal, especially Keaton and Stone; with ample support from Ed Norton.
The best thing about the movie is the fact that the entire movie is like a single take. Just like LIFE. No do overs, no replays and no fast forward. Except for in the end. Even the jazz music that's played, is a part of the film. The direction was Phenomenal to say the least and the director deserves an Oscar.
Chances are that you may not like the film, but dare to think outside the limitations to which are minds have been restricted to by the crass and dumb movies being made. If, you get it, it will blow your mind.It has got LOL moments in between and also serves as an excellent satire on the current mindset of the film industry all over the world. If you look close enough, you may perhaps see yourselves in the voice in Riggan's head.
Unique and dark story.. Excellent Acting.. Sheer brilliance!!
This movie had been receiving rave reviews and positive remarks from the audiences and critics alike. Once you finish watching Nightcrawler you realize that it deserves each and every single accolade that it got.
The story of Louis Bloom, a man with possible pyschopathic tendencies is shown to be genuinely trying to get a job or even a possible internship. But, after being turned down and labeled a thief, he witnesses an accident on a road being recorded by a couple of freelancers. This embeds in him the idea to record similar incidents on his own and sell it to a news channel for cash, which he most desperately requires. We get a look at how Louis, gradually blurs the line between being and observer and an actual participant. Money is no more his sole incentive. In addition to that he wants to be renowned for his videos. His pyschopathic tendencies can be seen when he threatens his assistant of how he does not like people or when it's very subtly revealed that he sabotaged his competitor's van and earns a reward by recording his story. And all this time he does not even flinch.
After a long time , somebody in the industry thought of making a movie based on an untapped premise, despite it being rampant all over the globe. You still feel irritated when Louis is ramming his camcorder into the face of a witness or sneaks into an active crime of scene,but, you still can't help but be astounded by his absolute audacity. In the end, he seems to have rubbed on his influence onto others as well.
Jake Gyllenhaal is the soul of the movie and delivers what is, undoubtedly his best performance till date,as Louis Bloom. Just when I thought he couldn't trump his performance in Prisoners, he pulls this rabbit out of the hat. Rene Russo, Bill Paxton and Riz Ahmed are also very good in their supporting roles.
Dan Gilroy has done a splendid job behind the camera and especially with the writing and screenplay. He ensured that the movie did not tend to drop it's pace anywhere and maintained the tension and twists throughout. He made it all seem real and definitely deserves an Academy Award for his effort(I still haven't seen the other movies nominated in this category).
The idea of not sticking to the novel; seemed to impress me till the end of the last movie. However, the way they ended it disappointed me. In this last installment, the final Middle-Earth movie, Smaug,the dragon who was such an important part of the storyline till the second movie, was killed off within the first 20 minutes, which seemed absolutely ludicrous. They could have shown that at the end of the previous installment and set up the stage for the battle then. But, what they did kind of ruined Smaug for me in this third movie and seemed to belittle his part in the storyline that preceded it.
This also made the love triangle between Legolas-Tauriel-Kili seemed to be unnecessary and incapable of rousing any emotions in the movie. This could supposedly have been replaced by many crucial scenes, that the director had decided to show.
Azog's back-up plan seemed like a last-minute thing, as it was all to brief and convoluted. The fight at the end was well shot and was the only good part of this story.
Amongst the actors, Richard Armitage got to display his potential as a man who has lost his mind on acquiring an insane amount of wealth. Martin Freeman was as usual,very good in his role too. Sir Ian McKellen was good in his, surprisingly, very short role in this movie. Many other important characters seemed to have been wasted.
Disappointing, but still, the feeling that you got of having witnessed everything, before Gandalf enters Bilbo's birthday, and actually getting to witness their exchange at the door that fateful day(from The Fellowship of the Ring) left a smile on my face at the end.
Hope this last part would have managed to do the same,throughout.
An unrewarded gem of a movie
After more than 4 years of it's release and a million criticisms, I finally decided to watch Mani Ratnam's Raavan. After 122 minutes, I was awestruck by the poignancy and the minor details in this film that the director had focused on.
Let me tell all those who're reading this and have still not seen it. Most people got offended by the fact that this movie glorified Raavana, the antagonist in the mythology Ramayana and showed him to be a bigger man than Lord Rama, who they thought was being depicted as a selfish and shrewd person; who finally was able to make Sita fall in love with him or at least kindle feelings in her heart, contrary to the mythology. This is not the case. It's just a movie and the title of the film is with respect to what the police think of Beera(Abhishek Bachchan). He is a Robin Hood like character who loses a bit of his mental stability and innocence, but not his moral integrity, after a personal tragedy for which he holds the local police responsible. So he kidnaps the wife of the local police superintendent. During the period he holds her captive, both develop feelings for each other and the wife also becomes unsure about her feelings for her husband. During the chase, the SP becomes obsessed with the thought of nabbing Beera, while getting back his wife takes a secondary position. This is in no way comparable to the Ramayana, where Lord Rama was always genuinely offering Raavana a chance for truce and returning Sita back to him. The inability of the audience to separate the mythology from the movie is why it tanked in the the entire country except for in South India, where supposedly people worship Raavana and where the Tamil Version was a big hit.
Starting with the negative aspects, I absolutely loathed Vikram, in his portrayal of the Police SP. Then there was the editing, that could have been a little better and some scenes could have looked better polished rather than seeming unnecessary at certain places.
NOW, coming to the positive aspects . Abhishek Bachchan gave a powerful performance as the mercurial Beera and enacts the weird characteristic traits with aplomb. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is pretty good considering her limited acting talent. Govinda and Ravi Kishan excel in their respective roles. I really loved Priyamani , who plays the role of Beera's deceased sister, whose death is the layout for the entire story.
Another major reason for this film's criticism, is that most of the Indians have a tendency to enjoy brainless comedies, as we have a normal human tendency of running away from the stress in our lives and do not wish to see a movie that is a bit too serious.
I sincerely hope, that people do watch or re-watch this movie to observe it's sheer genius. It's unfortunate, that the role that should have cemented Abhishek's image as a versatile lead actor in the Hindi film industry,turned out to be just the opposite because of the inability of today's generation to appreciate intelligent acting.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Way beyond my expectations...Bravo!!!
I really do respect Tom Cruise a lot as an actor because of the amount of hardwork he puts into his films,but, had not enjoyed any of his previous ventures post MI4. To add to that I'm not a fan of Sci-Fi cinema. Despite that, I braved to watch this movie, as I had heard rave reviews about it, and boy, it was a treat!!
Europe is attacked by an ET species and their only hope is an officer with absolutely no prior experience in combat,who is stuck in a time loop,after accidentally killing one of the aliens and having it's blood transfused. Even though,dying repeatedly and going back in time to go through the same routine,like in Groundhog Day, seemed to be predictable and I expected to get bored. But, every time , Cruise presented his character in a different fashion and was able to emote almost all the feelings a human possibly can with ease. His comic timing was right on the money.
Director Doug Liman did a great job behind the camera. The story was innovative and almost all the loose ends were tied by the time the film ended.The special effects and BG score were good. Of the cast, Emily Blunt was brilliant; so was Bill Paxton. But, the film belonged to Tom Cruise, who was absolutely perfect. It was easily his best performance in the last decade or so. Sheer delight.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Slightly confusing, still an entertaining watch.
Really had been waiting to watch this installment of the X-Men,one of my favourite series. Needless to say it was far more entertaining than the second Wolverine movie and X Men-3.
The story was well written, although would have been better had they explained the time-travel aspect a little more. The story picks up in 2023, when the sentinels have all but eliminated the mutants and the humans who had tried to defend them. The only was is to go back in the past and stop an assassination, that would inturn cause the sentinels to be made.
Of the cast, Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine marches right from the front. This has been his best portrayal as Wolverine. Jackman's acting is on the rise since Les Miserables and again he was truly impressive. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, were again superb in their respective roles of the younger Professor X and Magneto; especially McAvoy. Jennifer Lawrence, Peter Dinklage and Nicholas Hoult were also good in their respective roles. However there was not enough screen time for Patrick Stewart(old Professor X), Sir Ian McKellen(old Magneto) and Halle Berry(Storm) to make a mark on the viewers and their performances could be regarded as a guest appearance at the most. Ellen Page, again had hardly any screen time, but did a decent job. The other X Men, sadly to say were wasted. But, this was expected,wasn't it?
The major disappointment for me was the lack of a characteristic Marvel soundtrack, that would give a normal guy goosebumps.The energy was totally amiss, because of that. However, like most other Marvel movies there is an end credit scene, which from the looks of it was good and I would like to see the characters shown in that scene, in the next X- Men movie.
Short and Delicious!!
Jon Favreau has come up with a beautiful film.The story of a cook trying to regain his image, after a twitter feud with a food critic, has been beautifully integrated with the development of a father-son relationship.
Favreau leads from the front in the acting department as well. He took cooking classes(bits of which can be seen during the end credits)and was very convincing in his role as a chef.Sofia Vergara was also decent. Emjay Anthony,essaying the role of Favreau's son is good. So is John Leguizamo, as his best mate and sous-chef.
Dustin Hoffman, Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr. were well cast in their respective cameos and did justice to their roles and moreover, to the storyline.
At 109 minutes, it's definitely a must watch.
Watch it for Jon Favreau. He has won a new fan in me , and I'm pretty sure, many more, with his work in this movie. Great Job!!
The Normal Heart (2014)
Depressing, yet a must watch.
A gut-wrenching depiction of the first struggle against AIDS and how the government tried to sweep it under the mat and the kind of blunt and shameless discrimination they faced then.
The cast did a splendid job and made it look real. Julia Roberts led from the front,portraying the role of one of the first doctors who were avoided and their researches regarding the HIV ,shunned during the initial years. She did an excellent job with the suppressed anger of having been crippled by polio herself and the injustice faced by the gays. She was supported well by Mark Ruffalo,as the loud-mouth gay activist;Matt Bomer, ALfred Molina and the rest of the closeted gays.
But, for me, Jim Parsons, was the star of the lot. This guy's versatility was on display throughout the movie and he surely deserved an emmy for his performance. Hopefully this movie basks a lot of awards during the Golden Globes in 2015.
For all of you out there, give this one a shot. You won't repent it.
The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)
Simple, yet much better a tale than most films.
I had not planned to watch this movie. It was just out of pure boredom that I opened my local newspaper to check for the list of movie shows in the next hour and decided to go for it. There was a show of The Hundred- Foot Journey and am I glad that I went to watch it.
The director was able to successfully depict the initial struggle of an Indian family, that has moved to France, after losing their matriarch to the fires of the local riots; their belligerent yet funny competition and subsequent truce with the owner of a local and famous restaurant right opposite theirs; and finally nurturing the talent of the Indian boy who had a gift of cooking by the very same French lady and his rise to stardom .
The film also has a touching moment that all the people staying away from their loved ones must have felt in their lives. Actor Manish Dayal did a splendid role in that scene and gave a good performance,overall. The trio of Om Puri, Helen Mirren and Charlotte Le Bon did a splendid job and kept me laughing(Puri and Mirren to be specific) and intrigued the whole time. Not a moment of boredom.
Charlote Le Bon is not only an ocean of talent, but, is insanely gorgeous. Looking forward to seeing her in more movies.