Tag Archives: Hollywood

Lion

Movie Review

My Rating: 7/10

There has been a recent spurt in the number of movies getting inspired by the real life incidents, and they make you believe that the real great stories are the ones that happen for real. Lion is one of those movies that did a fairly good job at translating a real life story into a movie.

There are a few things that I did not like much including the stereotypical depiction of the Indian poverty. But then it’s difficult to shy away from the realities of modern India. Acting performances of Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman were among the few good things about the movie, and so were those of the young debutantes – Sunny Pawar and Abhishek Bharate.

lion-5

Watch the movie for its story, and not for its situations, because you might not like all that you see.

 

Watch the trailer here:

Jackie

Movie Review
My Rating: 6/10
 
There are some movies that elevate the quality of the story, irrespective of how boring the original character might’ve been. And then there are movies like Jackie that can make an exciting plot really dull and boring to the extent that by the end of it, you are confused about whether or not to like Jackie.
 
Natalie Portman starrer Jackie is the story of Jackie Kennedy – US’s First Lady for around 3 years – for a few days after John F Kennedy was shot dead. The movie shows how Jackie held herself during those difficult times, trying to ensure that John F Kennedy’s legacy is carried forward. She makes certain “seemingly” mistakes, but she has not regret for them whatsoever. This first sneak peak into the life of history’s one of the most guarded characters could’ve been built into a masterpiece had the issue been handled with a little more delicacy.
jackie-movie
 
The plot of the movie is not about Jackie the layd, but Jackie the widow of US President. No context has been built for her actions, and no consequences have been shown thereafter. So it’s a plot picked up in isolation with no real build-up or closure. The movie leaves you as clueless about Jackie Kennedy’s life as you were before entering the hall.
 
I would suggest, don’t go to watch the movie and save yourself some money for next week’s releases.
Catch the trailer here:

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.

captain-america-the-first-avenger-movie-image-14

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:

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!

hacksaw-ridge-b

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.

null

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.

1f60f416-5164-11e6-ba91-9b331c0ddad9_1280x720

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.

Sully: Miracle on the Hudson

Movie Review

My Rating: 3.5/5.0

I don’t think there’s any need to talk about the acting skills of Tom Hanks; you know it all. But in my mind, I was always comparing this with his last few movies, also based on real life incidents – Bridge of Spies and Captain Phillips. And I think he did justice to the role.

The movie is about the enquiry into the landing of a US Airlines passenger flight ON (mind you, it’s not IN) the Hudson River. Captain Sully (Tom Hanks) has a firm belief that he did the right thing that saved the lives of 155 people on-board, but the investigators don’t always agree. But as you’d expect, Captain is proven right and hailed as a national hero.

sully-2016-clint-eastwood-movie-review

The story is powerful, but Clint Eastwood could’ve made the execution a tiny bit more engaging. I felt that the element of drama was missing from the movie that was essential for such a story where impossible was achieved.

Overall, I’d recommend that you watch this for the story and for Tom Hanks.

The Walk

Movie Review

Rating: 4.0/5.0

With this movie, I marked my hat-trick of watching movies based on a true story, and surprisingly, not even a single one has disappointed me yet. The other two movies were Everest and Into The Wild. Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk is a very exciting and exhilarating account of a remarkable incident from the past – when a man named Philippe Petit – wire-walked atop the twin towers of the World Trade Center in NYC.

Robert Zemeckis, the director of epics like Castaway and Forrest Gump, has shown his class again with an impeccable direction. But I guess the best part of the movie is its story, written by the man himself – Philippe Petit – about his journey to the top of the world, literally. The storyline begins with a little touch on the past life of Philippe, heading towards the ultimate goal of wire walking between the two towers of World Trade Center, which he successfully achieves.

thewalk1

The execution of the story was equally incredible. Though I wasn’t impressed by the acting skills of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but I still held my breath when the guy was walking between the South Tower and the North Tower on a steel wire without any safety harness in a way as if he’s walking in the Central Park. The movie has been executed with great care, not blowing it out of proportion, maintaining the integrity n still conveying the message that Impossible is Nothing.

Overall, I think the movie is based on a very strong storyline, and has been executed really well. Just imagining that it is all based on a true story makes your goosebumps rise like thorns. I loved watching it n I hope u too.

The Theory of Everything

Movie Review

Rating: 4.5/5.0

There are some movies that you watch, you like and you forget. There are others that you like and you remember. But then there are a very few movies that impact the way you look at life. James Marsh directed The Theory of Everything is one such movie that leaves you with more than a fresh outlook to life.

The Theory of Everything, adapted from Jane Hawking’s book Travelling to Infinity, is about the lives of Jane and Stephen Hawking right from the time they met to the time they departed. It is not a story of Hawking’s great discoveries or a documentary about his achievements. It is a story of the Hawkings as a family – the challenges that the couple faced together and alone, and the decisions they had to make on the way. I judge a movie primarily on two aspects – a strong storyline and an impactful execution. In my opinion, this movie nailed both aspects, making it a strong contender for the Oscars this time.

stephenandjane

Apart from mesmerising with the acting, direction and the story, the movie left me with a lot more respect for Jane Hawking who made many sacrifices in her life to keep the legendary Stephen Hawking alive and in great shape. It also left me thinking that if Stephen Hawking, with just a cheek muscle working, can fight the odds and achieve the heights that he has, what stops anyone of us to stop chasing our own dreams.

Not getting much into the philosophy, I think the movie is a definitive watch and I’m sure you will like it.

P.S.: The pictures have been borrowed from internet with thanks to the owners of the pictures.

Interstellar: Sci-My-Fi

Movie Review

Rating: 3.0/5.0

Before you read this any further, please note that there might be a spoiler in there, if you read carefully. So, read at your own risk.

Now that we have established that you are not afraid of spoilers, the first one is that this movie has been inspired from Bollywood. It’s got a hero, a heroin, a villain, lots of emotion, many twists and turns, many impossible things happening around, and a Happy Ending. On top of it all, there are ‘They’ who guide the astronauts at every step to help save the mankind from distinction. Not to say there is no adaptation by Hollywood. No prize for guessing who saves the world this time – USA. Long live America!

Interstellar

Let’s get to the nuts and bolts of the movie. This is set in the future when all of a sudden, there are dust storms all across (the USA) and the world is coming to an end. To resolve this issue, NASA has established that there is no other option but to transfer the whole human race to another planet (probably to destroy that as well over the next few decades before moving on). And then there is a father – the protagonist – who leads the way through wormholes, black-holes, galaxies and what not to ultimately find a very neatly laid out book-shelf in space from where he can communicate with Earth. And who laid out this book-shelf? ‘They’. That might all sound a little too complicated and absurd, but apparently, that is the reason for this movie receiving critical accolades. And while you are trying to move your head around with all this, there is some technical gibberish going around that is supposed to confuse you (and as a result appreciate the movie).

In a nutshell, this movie is all about emotions and relations, and not about the space or the Fifth Dimension. So, if you are interested in watching a little more ‘happening’ version of Gravity with more drama and more characters added to it, this movie is exactly what you are looking for.

P.S.: Pictures in this blog have been borrowed from internet with thanks to their owners.