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Destination Wedding (2018)
Charming and mostly interesting
When the film isn't being overly negative and pretentious about the "meaning of life" , it's largely entertaining. And, the chemistry between winona and keanu is fantastic. A harmless way to spend 1.5 hours.
Baby Driver (2017)
I caught a premiere of this movie in May, thanks to Sony pictures, and UC San Diego. I never thought a free movie could be THIS good.
First of all, this is an Edgar Wright movie. That itself should make you go to the theatre. The story is quite simple - A good guy is unfortunately stuck in a world of crime as a getaway driver. He needs to pull one last job before he elopes with his girlfriend. But the story is never the most important thing in an Edgar Wright movie. The razor sharp humour, the amazing soundtrack, and the gorgeous visuals bear his signature. This Edgar Wright-ness is the film's USP. And, the stunts, OMG !! The stunt/chase sequences in this movie put all the 8 Fast and Furious movies to shame (I wasn't a fan to begin with).
I can't give you a single reason to NOT watch this movie. IT IS phenomenal. So, go for it ! It's the Wright way to start this summer.
The Big Sick (2017)
Feel-good, fresh, funny
I caught a free premiere of this movie a couple of weeks ago, thanks to UC San Diego and Amazon. I went with a fairly high expectation since Judd Apatow and Amazon produced it, and boy was I satisfied !
The story - A stand-up comedian of Pakistani origin falls for a white girl. The girls falls into a coma, and the guy needs to bond with the girl's family while she is recovering. This inter-racial thing forms the basis for many a gag in this movie - The most hilarious one is about 9/11, and I have not heard a theater laugh louder.
This film is a a real life account of the events that happened between writers Kumail Nanjiani, and his wife Emily Gordon. And because it comes from real life, there's no stereotyping here - every aspect of the movie is genuine. The difference between east and west is so splitting, and you laugh at both sides. Ray Romano, Holly Hunter, Zoe Kazan, Anupam Kher - everyone in the cast does an adequate job. Kumail, the leading man, needs some improvement in the serious scenes. He's a natural in the stand-up sequences. Oh, and Holly Hunter is a blast !
I've not seen a funnier movie about a girl in a coma. It's funny, and it's heart warming. I mean what else are you going to do this weekend? Watch transformers? Go for "The Big Sick", you will have a hearty laugh.
A once in a lifetime movie (BVS ultimate edition)
I know I know. I saw it in theaters too, and felt like it could've been so much better. While the Batman element was good, the narrative felt fractured, and the third act was just one long stunt scene. Superman was relegated to a supporting character, and other characters didn't get a chance to shine. And then I chanced on the ultimate cut. Calling it 30 mins of "extra" footage is unfair to Zack Snyder because it's exactly these 30 mins that makes the movie a worthy one. What I can say about the theatrical cut is this - It had the blockbuster elements - music, visuals, stunts, CGI. But, it lacked the human elements.
The first 20 mins of the movie had it, but not after that. The extended cut in comparison has a flow to the narrative. There are no disjointed scenes, everything flows smoothly, and there's connective tissue. Superman gets to spend some time with his father, and mother. Clark Kent does some investigative journalism. Superman helps the people after the blast. Lois Lane doesn't jump to conclusions, she gets to the bottom of the crime. Lex Luthor apparently had a coherent plan - everything is explained pretty well. Wonder Woman was already good, so there's no change there :) Also, the "Martha" scene seems better executed, because it is a few seconds longer, and there's time to breathe it in.
So, here's my take on this movie - The theatrical cut was junk. Get the Bluray for ultimate edition, and you shall not be disappointed. I've seen it so many more times now, and it's the definitive cut. It is the movie we deserve. It's a unique take on Batman, and Superman. It's a gritty take on the superhero movie genre, and definitely the best DCEU movie, and the best DC movie since The Dark Knight.
P.S. Yes it's dark. We're adults, and we should appreciate mature film making without intentionally silly moments. It attempts to be philosophical, and something deep instead of just trying to make you chuckle.
A great end to an excellent (comeback) season
To their credit, the Arrow writers did a good job through the first half of season 4, and messed up (albeit horribly) only in the second half. I guess once Ollie and Felicity broke up, they just couldn't get anything right. To make things worse they killed off Black Canary to get some shock value. But, with this season, they have managed to redeem themselves. I mean I could've definitely done away with the "who are you" episode (what a total waste of everyone's time). The writers insulted the actors, esp Katie Cassidy, and the fans with that episode. But that aside, the whole season was pretty entertaining.
Now, coming to the finale, "Missing" set it up quite well. The team up (more like squad up) was a great idea. I thought the writers were just desperate, in bringing back all the fan favourite characters (like the pointless 100th episode which just played on nostalgia, and served no purpose). But, I was wrong. The twists keep coming, and the episode keeps you hooked. It was satisfying to see Deathstroke helping Ollie, and him truly feeling regret for the things he'd done ( I didn't think it would be convincing, but they pulled it off). Most of the cast get a chance to shine, esp Quentin who just killed it with one liner about Siren. The sisters fight could've been better TBH, it was too short, and unconvincing that too for someone with Talia's stature. But, the final moments with Chase, and Ollie were really interesting. You do get bored with the "everyone around you, everything you touch" line, but the dude has a point.
The climax leaves the characters in an interesting place, I would like to see how they go from here. Really excited about season 6 :)
The Flash: Finish Line (2017)
A disappointing, cheat of an episode.
So, you show an amazing teaser - touching, melancholic, and set to wonderful music The hero is totally down and out. The audience feels it. And you describe the episode like so - With nothing left to lose, Barry takes on savitar. And then, 30 seconds into the episode shits on the teaser, and cheats everyone who wanted to see what they saw in the teaser.
There's a good way to surprise, and there's cheating. I couldn't possibly mention the word cheat enough. Yes, I expected the obvious "twist", but I really hoped they would be more honest with the story telling. What was with the "invitation" in the climax, instead of punishment for everything he'd done until then? Nothing made sense emotionally. Captain cold's advise couldn't possibly have mattered less ultimately, and I really wanted it to be that kind of a finale, an honest one.
To their credit, they explained the time stuff reasonably well. The finale was well executed in terms of visuals, and Savitar's plan. The dialogues in episode 9, and 15, and the ones about the stone/husks made so much more sense after you come to know the Savitar reveal. On rewatching the season a little while ago, I felt they had planned this season quite well, unlike season 2. So, Zoom can create so many time remnants, even kill them just like that, but he needs Barry to provide enough energy to the pulsar? What a load of bull.
But, as much as this finale made tried to make fans happy, it just failed miserably. It was passable, but not the touching, emotionally fulfilling conclusion the teaser promised us. Also writers, and this is really important, if you have 3 speedsters against 1 villain, don't make just one fight him ! It's so lame to even think of reasons to temporarily handicap them.
A disappointing end to an IMPORTANT, interesting enough season of The Flash. If you don't feel the way I feel, watch the 3x23 teaser again, and you will feel how I do.
Iron Fist (2017)
Had potential - Disappointing
I don't care about the Asian stereotyping, or the whitewashing controversies the show has been facing. I see a TV show as a TV show. Having said that, this is the weakest Marvel-Netflix product that has come out so far.
The first 2-3 episodes did a good job of setting things up - although slow, and longer than needed, they were engaging. After that, the show takes detour after detour into plot lines that served no real purpose. If you thought Jessica Jones (which I loved) could've been finished in 10 episodes, wait till you see this. It attempted a lot of things - corporate, mystic, personal villain, the hand, drugs, and crime - but couldn't create much of an impact with any. Ultimately, it was underwhelming.
Positives - Cast, interesting plot, cool stunts (but frequently underwhelming) Negatives - sloppy execution, music, long, slow, underwhelming dialogues, Iron Fist's character development
Bottomline - Didn't hate it, but it could've been so much better esp considering they did a good job with the 4 seasons so far.