Captain America: The First Avenger

Movie Review

My Rating: 8/10

I’ve got this new-found interest in the Marvel movies and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. So while I’m waiting for the third movie in the Avenger series, why not catch up on how they got here. I’ve started with Captain America and I can say it was a good watch.

Now I know that Captain America’s original name is Steve Rogers and he was a little meagre thin guy before being the guinea pig of an experiment that transformed into a super human being with the special powers.  As with Marvel’s other superheroes, our Captain doesn’t get much time to try out his powers before getting his hands dirty with the bad guys. This time it was the neo-Nazi Schmidt who is hell-bound to destroy half the world to prove that he has got Godly powers. And we know how it all ends.

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What I like about Marvel’s superheroes is that they have a logic to them, which might be unrealistic, but it’s sounds believable. I just loved the face-over used to create a younger Steve Rogers; it’s just a great technique. I’m going to watch the second one in the series, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on my next Jeddah flight. If you have better suggestions, please let me know.

Catch the trailer here:

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Hacksaw Ridge

Movie Review

My Rating: 8/10

Andrew Garfield starer Hacksaw Ridge is an fixating movie, riveting you to its storytelling, cinematography and direction. This is one of those war movies (if you may say so) that doesn’t only tell you the story of Private Desmond Doss, but also pulls you in to the whole philosophy of non-violence in a time when we are surrounded by violence from all sides.

The movie is inspired by the true story of Private Desmond Doss Who refused to pick up a gun during World War II. He faced the ire of his C.O. and fellow soldiers, but he never gave up on the principles and fought his case to be allowed to go to the battlefield without a single weapon. Though he was hated by all in the beginning, he went on to save many soldiers on the battlefield by serving as a Medic. While the story does revolve around Doss’s heroics in the midst of constant firing and shelling, the real hero there was the cinematography and direction. Hats off to Mel Gibson for that!

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The gory battle scenes of dying soldiers, might put you off in the beginning. But give it a couple of minutes and you’d be thinking beyond the madness that this world has served itself to. Do we really need to kill people to prove our point? Are some beliefs better than others, or are they just different? Can each one of us not chose to be a Desmond Doss and help the peace conquer violence?

I left the theatre with these thoughts and a great respect for Desmond Doss and other soldiers who fight for a cause that they might not even believe in. I hope you will like the movie.

Check out the trailer below:

Doctor Strange

Movie Review

My Rating: 7/10

The latest addition to Marvel’s battery of Superheroes, Doctor Strange, came across to me as a amalgamation of Christopher Nolan’s Inception and DC’s Man of Steel, but a good one at that. Benedict Cumberbatch has adapted really well into his superhero avatar and I must compliment him for that.

The story of this movie is just that of every superhero movie – superhero is originally a common man, identified by somebody on the ‘good’ side, realizes his powers right before the antagonist finds out about him, our superhero then fights against the antagonist and wins after a lot of destruction, deaths and disaster. So, no surprises, nothing new. But what’s fresh in this movie is the shift from the physically strong superheroes to those fighting using mental power. Though the movie didn’t stick to this concept for long, but atleast they made a start.

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Coming to the overall experience, I have two suggestions. First, keep talking to the one sitting next to you because you might feel a little bored midway through; or maybe some of the physics terminology might just be in a seventh dimension that you can’t decipher (I couldn’t). Second, there’s no particular need to watch it in 3D; special effects are good, but don’t justify a 3D experience. Infact everything looked like a miniature version of itself in 3D, including the New York City.

For people who don’t mind watching superhero movies, do go and watch it.

Snowden

Movie Review

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

Just the fact that Facebook is not showing this movie in the top 5 searches, tells you how much is the apprehension about this movie in mainstream media in the US.

Storyline, acting, screenplay- all were just too good. The story brings to life the whole incident around leakage of US ‘security documents’ and the scale of government’s tapping into the personal lives of any and every living human. It’s scary to know that anything that you share in confidence with a near and dear can be and potentially will be read by someone sitting in Maryland along with watching you and listening to you live even when you think your phone and laptop are turned off.

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Apart from the background itself, the movie has highlighted on the most important aspects of preventing citizens’ privacy, without delving too much into the lesser important aspects of Snowden’s life itself. I have got a renewed sense of respect for what Snowden did, but what’s more disappointing is that nobody senior took any credible action and showed balls on the issue. We will have to wait for another generation to see a real change in the perception about privacy and drawing a line between national security and national prowess.

Do watch this movie.

MS Dhoni: The Untold Story

Movie Review

My Rating: 3.0/5.0

I’d begin by saying that I don’t like the idea of a biopic of somebody who’s still in action and hasn’t yet got time to reflect on his own life and his own decisions. That apart, I think the movie was only very average and did not make even a vague effort to be precise and concise.

The movie’s plot is chronology of the MSD’s life in that exact sequence without even missing out that he stayed with 5 people in a 2 bedroom quarter just behind AK Ganguly’s bungalow who had a concrete pitch in there for railway cricketers to practice. That’s a painful amount of detail getting packed into a 3.5 hours movie. What pissed me even further was that the movie focuses on the struggle of Dhoni much more than his success.

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It left me with more questions than answers: Why was there a rivalry between Yuvi and Mahi? Why did Mahi take off senior players from the team? How did Dhoni reach captaincy in just first few years of his international career?

I like Dhoni as a player, as a captain and as a human being. And I think that’s the reason why I would’ve loved to see a much better version of his biopic. I think he should not rush into making money by selling the royalty for his biopic to under-graded film-makers.

TVF Tripling

Web Series Review

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

With this series, TVF has reached another level altogether putting itself miles apart from so-called competition. An amazing story, combined with great direction did wonders for me and left me with many happy thoughts. Every episode presented a new way of looking at life and at relationships. While change in relationships is easier said than done, this certainly helps in thinking afresh about one’s own relationship challenges.

I wish TVF all the best for producing many more series like this. Brilliant work!!!

Shivaay

Movie Review

My Rating: 2.5/5.0

There are two questions hounding me badly at this moment. First, who told Ajay Devgn that he can direct? And second, why the hell did I not listen to my wife who warned me against watching this movie?

Before I say any further, let me warn you that the movie doesn’t have even a remote connection to the Great Lord Shivaay Himself. I fail to understand why they had to borrow this name and create a whole song around it.

Now the story is that of a Himalayan superhero – Shivaay who falls in love with a Bulgarian girl on a short trip there. Of this lovelock appears a mute child whose favorite time pass is shouting and punching her father in his stomach. Life takes them to Bulgaria where the girl is kidnapped by ‘dangerous’ people involved in human trafficking. And that’s the first half – torturing, boring, yawn-inducing. Rest of the story is only about fighting left, right and center getting the daughter out of trouble.

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While the story may sound interesting (more because I wrote it 😜) but trust me the execution was as screwed up as possible. Being the son of an Action Director, Ajay Devgn did justice to the stunts and action sequences. And that’s possibly the only reason you should watch the movie.

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