Thursday, 29 May 2014

[Hollywood] 5 Biggest Letdowns of 2013

To sum up the parts, not every movie can be awesome. There will always be bumps in the ride which may not come with a cautionary sign. Worst case scenario is when you enter a movie expecting brilliance and end up having a sore experience. You rise up to the movie expecting heavens and skies and you fall spreadeagled on the floor, heartbroken.

Compiled below are the top 5 heart breakers of 2013 which resulted in numerous accounts of headaches, nausea, vomits and severe heart conditions among the viewers!

From here on, Rest In Peace Dear Expectations.

5. Gangster Squad

Sean Penn, with due respect, to me you are one of the greatest actors today. But why in God's good name did you try to pull Al Pacino? That alone if nothing else made me hate Gangster Squad to my guts. Well, that and the squeaky irritating voice modulation of Ryan Gosling. Enough said!

4. After Earth

Friend: Is M. Night Shyamalan of Indian origin?
Me: Yeah, you betcha! He is an Indian born American screenwriter who directed the famous 'The Sixth Sense'.
Friend: Yeah, I saw that movie, the plot twist dropped my jaw on the floor, it was actually awesome. I heard he made another flick this year, one with Will Smith and his son. That must be pretty cool too, right?

*Both bursts out laughing*

3. A Good Day To Die Hard

A Good Day to Die Hard is an exemplary scenario of 'How to make people hate an Iconic Character' manual. It takes the thrill and intelligence off a Die Hard movie and fill it with absurd humor that nobody wants. And guess what, it comes with additional features like the saggy faced, self deprecatory lunatic John McClane and his infuriating punchline that says, "I'm on a holiday". Remember Die Hard back in '88, we better watch that again.

A good alternative name would have been: A Good Day to Kill a Franchise.

2. The Counsellor

Before Watching: My my, what have we got here? Ridley Scott directing a star studded international drug thriller and Cormac McCarthy penning the script, legendary is the word we are looking for people!

While Watching: *Snores* *Snores* Oh, random gun fight. Wow, that shit is cool. No, don't you start talking again, nooo. Man, why? *Snores* *Snores*

After Watching: What a crap!

1. The Wolverine

From the director who previously made awesome movies from shitty subjects, comes a rotten movie from an amazing subject, The Wolverine. Get ready to watch two hours of talking, and more talking and some more talking as they take our favorite mutant and smother him to nothingness by giving him wooden claws in the climax. I mean, seriously, who does that?

Me: Well, lets believe it never happened. It never existed. 

Breaking News:  20th Century Fox recently scheduled The Wolverine 2 date as March 2, 2017.

Me:  Goddamit!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Top 15 Movies of 2013

15. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

A visceral political gut punch and an improvement over the first installment, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire portrays the cast and crew in total control of the content while being faithful to the novel. To put icing on the cake, it has Jennifer Lawrence, raw as ever, digging her nails in the character of Katniss Everdeen and making the persona her own. 

14. August Osage County

The movie for which Meryl Streep was robbed of an Oscar may result in diverse opinions from viewers due to its asymmetrical execution of the subject. But to me, the dissection of a dysfunctional family was a cinematic triumph to marvel at. Meryl Streep along with Julia Roberts gives powerhouse performances to make this drama wickedly funny and emotionally resonating throughout its length. August Osage County has exhausting brilliance hidden up its sleeve. 

13. Prisoners

Morally complex, disturbing and an exploration of law and order in today's society, Prisoners is meant to shock and thrill the audience with its premise and raw execution of the subject.

12. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

A solid improvement over the first yet far away from the masterclass of The Lord of the Rings, The Desolation of Smaug satisfied the dedicated fan base of the franchise. My bets are, you have not seen a better dragon than Smaug in the entire movie history.

11. Rush

Insanely intense, glossy and fervent to the core; Rush gave the Formula One Racing genre the respect and treatment it deserved. Daniel Bruhl and Chris Hemsworth went into the characters and weaved a passionate tale of rivalry set in 70's era between James Hunt and Niki Lauda that is bound to thrill one and all.

10. Nebraska

Nebraska comes from the warm heart of Alexander Payne who earlier directed Sideways (2004) and The Descendants (2011); famous for the knack of identifying the intricate and trivial stuff which sets things in motion in our lands. It is in this soft B&W'ed landscape where we lose our hearts and then gain them right back as the movie surprises beyond measure in its limited scope and appeal.

9. The Hunt

Make way for a foreign movie experience from Denmark that will shake your bones and make you question your faith on innocence. The Hunt (Jagten) is a cinematic tour de force with a climax that resonates long after the credits have rolled down.

8. Gravity

Apart from the mind numbing CGI and attentive detailing to setting of reality standards in space, Gravity excels in carving characters that one can actually root for. Get ready to pick your jaws right off the floor before watching one of the best space travel movies ever made.

7. 12 Years a Slave

It is indeed a tough task to look away from the eyes of Chiwetel Ejiofor in the movie after the horrors were done to him. You start questioning yourself, humanity and the world you live in. Unimaginable, dark, compelling and a force to reckon with, 12 Years a Slave is an experience that will beget sympathy even in the coldest of hearts.

6. Before Midnight

I agree to have a zenith of emotions while watching Before Midnight (2013), the third in the series, for witnessing such a grander sense of maturity and scrupulousness while depicting love’s longevity.

One might feel this trilogy is an unprecedented ode to the power love has and how beautiful life can be, but Before Midnight in all its essence exposed how fruitless it is to capture the ephemeral, fleeting nature of love. Mature, poignant and heartbreaking, Before Midnight raises the bar of indie cinema.

5. Dallas Buyers Club

A performance of a lifetime by Matthew McConaughey as a real life Texas cowboy, Ron Woodroof ensures that Dallas Buyers Club does justice to the HIV positive victim and his struggle to legalize alternative treatment for the same. Becoming the trademark American story which depicts the power of resilience and persistence, it sucks us in with its endeavor and spits us right out in the midst of emotional turmoil to make for a roller coaster of sentiments and emotions.

4. Short Term 12

A deep exploration on the power of empathy and compassion, Short Term 12 succeeds in concocting a tale which is natural and powerful at the same time. Now being hailed as a cult,  it is soulful to the fault and will make you revisit the weird yet resonating paths of your own youth.

3. Her

Soft, melancholic and a vivid portrait on human relationships and desperate longings for a connection in world drifted apart by technology, Her is the understated masterpiece of the year with a plethora of emotions ringing true from the face of his protagonist played brilliantly by Joaquin Phoenix. The loneliness, the agony and the love along with every shade of color you would have known, this is probably the romance of the decade.

2. Inside Llewyn Davis

What would a home be for an artist? A recognition, a praise here and there and a smile from the recipient of the art. And what would happen to the heart of an artist who goes broke chasing his art to a point where he has to beg for a place to crash for the nights? It breaks.

Inside Llewyn Davis is melancholic, poetic and soulful. It has wits and tragedies sprawled across its landscape like flowers on a grave. For all the cinephiles, it is a treat to the senses. To all others, well let me put it this way, it has Carey Mulligan, soft as a feather, crooning ‘A Hundred Miles’ on the stage.

1. The Wolf of Wall Street

Welcome to Merry-fuckin’-Land where first you lose all your inhibitions; second, portray obnoxiously eccentric conduct and then hit the accelerator to become filthy rich. Batten down your hatches and sail to Wall Street where more is the money, merrier are the people; where booze and drugs keep getting heftier; where materialism knows no zenith and greed flow like blood in the veins of one and all; more so ever in one gluttonous New York stockbroker, Jordan Belfort, in this maddeningly ferocious take of his life and lies in The Wolf of Wall Street.  

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Sunday, 18 May 2014

[Movie Review] Godzilla: Savagery over Heart

Cast: Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Director: Gareth Edwards
Runtime: 122 Minutes

Inhumane are those whose skin 
doesn't crawl when there are red trails in the skies, falling over a ruin of a city and the desolate landscape is being captured through the eyes of a gas mask accompanied by an eerie, ominous music. It is true that the scale is set gregariously, the cinematography is simply stunning and the behemoths are of breathtaking proportions, but when it comes down to the center, the warm spot where Godzilla’s core should have been, something went amiss.

Scientist Joe Brody played terrifically by Bryan Cranston (Am I biased for Walter White?) goes to extravagant length for the search of truth when his wife gets killed in a supposed nuclear disaster. Assisting him is his reluctant son Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) in a search that may change the face of mankind. The truth shrouded as a mystery for first half hour is slowly revealed until the beasts take over the plot with flamboyance and rest, well, its technical marvel.

Truth be told, it is not Transformers or Pacific Rim which suspends sentiments for CGI loaded action. It makes a viable attempt to inject passions in characters and to give them a purpose so as to shape a climax Godzilla deserves. It succeeds partly but feels two movies stuffed in one as the narratives rejects to gel up.

Gareth Edwards who earlier helmed the critically and technically superior Monsters might have been wondering what went wrong into making this multi-million dollar monster mayhem. Is it the money that stole the heart of Godzilla away or is it the heart of the movie that ran after the money!

To put it simply, Godzilla when being taken as a metaphor to nuclear disaster fails; but as a monster mayhem, it succeeds tremendously.

When everything will be said and done, one can’t look away from the screen or neither stop himself from uttering a high pitched glee when the big G makes an appearance. If that is not enough, there is always that roar which can turn your insides out and the final clash between the towering monsters is enough to make your jaw drop on the floor.

It is brutal, savage, unrestrained and colossally ambitious. Let it rip!

Did Godzilla meet the hype it created? Cast your votes and share your views in comments.
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Thursday, 27 February 2014

[Movie Review] Inside Llewyn Davis: A Hundred Miles Away From Home!

Actor: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman.
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen.
Writer: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Genre: Drama, Music

What would a home be for an artist? A recognition, a praise here and there and a smile from the recipient of the art. And what would happen to the heart of an artist who goes broke chasing his art to a point where he has to beg for a place to crash for the nights? It breaks.  

It is hard to follow Coen Brothers School of filmmaking. The miniscule nuances it carries combined with the cynic vision to see the world from a dark glass, makes it heavy handed and atmosphere driven cinema which is certainly not everybody’s cup of tea. Inside Llewyn Davis comes from the same backdrop, high on symbolic gestures and riding on the triumph of majestic screenplay and confident direction. It is often difficult to find shelter in a protagonist, who is treated like a douchebag (or in this case, ‘asshole’) by the leading lady of the movie, Jean (Carey Mulligan); but it is the coup of the director to make us vouch for his well-being and dig that warm center of care for Llewyn somewhere inside us as the narrative progresses.

Watch Llewyn Davis from the eyes of Coen brothers and you will find a dreamer who finally hits reality and is extremely infuriated by the findings of it.  Not all is heaven on this earth realizes the folk artist when he smashes a dead wall after his partner commits suicide. Unable to shell his talent for money, he becomes a disgruntled man, seeking for that one folk song, that one shot at fame and glory. What he do find is a cat, which is used as a flawless metaphor for complementing Llewyn’s state of affairs and existence.

The contrasting appeal of a genre of music which is the comfort of many a souls to the turmoil in the lives of people from whom the music arises, is so beautifully portrayed, that one is often lost in the melody and charm it weaves across us. Oscar Isaac is phenomenal in his portrayal as his eyes speaks volumes and he finally redeems himself from a shelf of poor movie roles. The screenplay adds gravitas as the claustrophobic and dejected baritones often overwhelms the quirky dry humor of the proceedings.

Inside Llewyn Davis is melancholic, poetic and soulful. It has wits and tragedies sprawled across its landscape like flowers on a grave. It is a blue dream, a refuge from the noise of the world. For all the cinephiles, it is a treat to the senses. To all others, well let me put it this way, it has Carey Mulligan, soft as a feather, crooning ‘A Hundred Miles’ on the stage.

Did you like 'Inside Llewyn Davis'? Cast your vote and share your views in comments!
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