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Category: 2016 (page 1 of 8)

Holds movie reviews from the year 2016

Moana Movie Review (2016) | One of Disney’s Finest

A ravishing hoot! Moana movie is a fantastic animation that doesn’t stop at anything to give you what you came for. It’s a non-stop joyride. It bides by cool contemporary vibes when it comes to cracking up conversations, alongside weaving an ancient fanciful tale of Gods and Humans to teach us so many valuable lessons. This Disney movie delves into rhythmic notes a couple of times (music is amazing by the way), chips in classy slapstick humour, and mesmerizes you with its amazing animation. The level of detailing its animators touch is highly commendable.

Inner Workings Short Film

Even before the movie begins we get to see a beautiful short called Inner Workings directed by Leo Matsuda. It scales the story of a man named Paul whose real life decisions are marionettes to his internal organs. So there is a brain, a heart, lungs, a stomach and a bladder that steer Paul into choosing his purpose.

paul's brain in inner workings short film

The Sean Lurie short will beam you up instantly as it has that ounce of exciting humour that will crack you up. Also, Inner Workings is a gorgeous lesson per se rolled up in its jesty bits. Do pay attention!

Metaphor in Moana

The tale of Moana is quite relatable if you try to look at the figurative side of it. It’s as if watching elements of our own world take form into a tribal mythical story. It is all woven by extant human emotional conundrum, that tries to show us how some dreams are tied down by people who stop us from flying.

It also expounds how life throws rocks at you in an attempt to steer you away, but despite all the punishing atrocities we gotta learn to sway with it. Pitfalls should not be the end of your pursuit. The flick inspires you take a stand, not to be dependent on someone to get something done, rather do it yourself.

To fight for what you believe in, to chase your dreams, to keep persistently trying and to never lose hope. And it does all of that effortlessly with the help of two stunning characters created for the movie namely Maui voiced by Dwayne Johnson and Moana voiced by Auli’i Cravalho.

Plot of Moana movie (Spoilers Ahead)

Its plot being dipped in fantasy starts with Moana’s grandmother giving a backdrop to some children about the Goddess Te Fiti. The Goddess had a heart that could create life itself. It was stolen by a demigod Maui but in a fight with Te Ka, the lava monster, it had disappeared into the ocean. Moana, who was chosen by the ocean (Yes! it can high five you and stuff), was the one who discovers the pounamu stone at a quite young age. That entire sequence is so cute that it would make you want to cuddle everything in it.

still of baby Moana in Moana movie

Growing up she forgets all about the stone, and gets lost in the humdrum of a life her parents wishes for her. But then one day, confronted by Gramma Tala she finally decides to venture out in the sea. To fulfil Tala’s dying wish and also to save her tribe from a sure-shot drought, she seeks Maui the demigod asking him to restore the rock to Te Fiti’s heart. What follows is their relentless comic sojourn to achieve the one Herculean goal that would reinstate balance in their lives.

Before I forget! Watch out for that dumb rooster called HeiHei. The cock is messed up in the head.

You can pre-order Moana from here:

Music in Moana movie

Moana entails musical elements that gets mocked by at one point by Maui who says:

If you are gonna start singing, I am gonna throw up.

It goes on to show the genius of its creators. They were well aware of how some people are averse to the inclusion of too many songs, and so they were careful enough not to turn it into a musical. It doesn’t leave its fun enclave even when things seem to escalate at certain points. So, even after a song gets over, there is something funny lurking at the corner to make you smile.

“I Am Moana” sung by Rachel House and Auli’i Cravalho is one of the most powerful and inspiring songs in the movie. Followed by “How Far I’ll Go” another beautiful venture sung by the protagonist herself. “Shiny” by Jemaine Clement literally breathed a crab alive. Tamatoa will be remembered for days to come.

Beats on “We Know the Way” will have you up on your feet. It’s that gorgeous a song!  Opetaia Foa’i and Lin-Manuel Miranda together just take it up to another level.

Downsides

Moana movie was well edited and wrapped up in its remarkable story-line. Not for a second do you feel its pace deteriorating. One of the drawbacks the movie has is that it is way too much imaginative, which takes away its plausibility. You almost blurt out thinking how can a tattoo move around on a body? Or how can an Ocean have a brain of its own? Or how can an Island move? But with the touch of divine, you have to settle with the fact that anything is possible in an illusory turn of events.

The flick also, at times, feel too much rushed. When you are trying to wrap your head around one thing, it shoots past into another frame. But mind you, leaving its precursor doesn’t make it less awesome.

Also, there is always that point where someone is having a song in their mouth. And you might sometimes end up reacting like Maui, “Here we go again!” But if you try to really listen you will see its captivating charm that will wipe out any indifference.

The Final Verdict

Moana movie is everything you wish to see in an animated movie. It is non-stop fun, retains a beautiful story and has outstanding music to top everything off.

Check out the trailer of Moana here:

Arrival Movie Review (2016) | Denis Villeneuve Helms a Masterpiece

Wonderstruck! Dumbfounded! Arrival movie confounds you as it crushes dams of conventions. It is the arrival of a change, a different outlook at the word ‘alien’. So many movies we have seen hitherto, all showing aliens in an ugly limelight, branding them destroyers, marauders or invaders. It used to paint the same old picture with its destructive cliches.

Arrival movie changes everything. Your perception about strangers in our land. It stresses on the fact they could be here for a reason other than war. The movie unfolds gorgeously from a stupefying elusive pickle into a mind-boggling explosive revelation. That’s the entire driving force on which Arrival runs.

Direction of Arrival Movie

Denis Villeneuve stays highly revered in my head owing to all the uncanny topics he picks. He isn’t afraid to experiment, takes bold awe-inspiring risks and literally fuels avant-garde cinema. His direction abounds with intelligence that nips at our traditions of perceiving movies. He challenges us to think, knocking us out of our comfort zone. It’s ballsy, different and simply remarkable. Something we don’t see everyday in cinema today. Primarily because such films vexes many, and then all the movies end up becoming nothing but moderate crowd-pleasers. But this man right here, never ceases to take risks.

still of Amy Adams as Louise Banks and Jeremy Renner as Ian Donnelly in Arrival movie

In particular I love how Denis Villeneuve imparts tranquil focus to his frames. Everything happens for a reason. It merges and overlaps with wistful thinking and asks of you to do the same. In those momentary transitions you are forced to hear your thoughts, you think of the possibilities and given his reputation try to envision the figurative side of the story.

Plot of the Arrival Movie (Minor Spoilers Ahead)

Created on a story by Ted Chiang titled ‘Story of Your Life‘ the movie runs beautifully making up stunning placid frames for its plot. To understand the movie truly you must get this first: There is no definite order! It is a ragbag of tenses. And Denis, the genius he is, intermingles them often supersedes them brilliantly amongst each other. The main theme goes like this:

Louise Banks is an insanely gifted linguist who is sought after by a US Army Colonel to communicate with alien spaceships that have landed on Earth. She meets physicist Ian Donnelly who has also been hired to accompany her for the job.

still of alien letters and symbols from Arrival movie

I loved how Denis decided to show repercussions of alien arrival. Betwixt his poised frames we get to see our world flame up in chaos, even though all alien ships did was stand still on our ground. The contextual insinuations that human mind read are beyond our grasp. It goes on to show how humans are akin bubbles waiting to explode with a mere instigation without comprehending the what, the why and the how of a situation.

What then follows is constant prodding in order to understand the language of the aliens to figure out their true purpose of visit. The final revelation is so huge (and yes it has time theory entailed) that I have decided to pen a separate article to expound it better. But really, you need to watch it to experience that climactic relentless pile driver yourself.

You can pre-order Arrival movie here:


Music and Screenplay

The music of Arrival has been given by none other than 2 times Oscar nominee Johann Johannsson himself.  It is beautifully done, you have to live it to truly experience it. It being an art movie, limited words get spoken. But those that are there try to expand how huge the subject of language is. Also, there are pretty cool one-liners that don’t fail to titillate your ears every now and then. Like when Ian Donnelly confesses:

You know I’ve had my head tilted up to the stars for as long as I can remember. You know what surprised me the most? It wasn’t meeting them. It was meeting you.

What also constantly elevates the movie is an artful performance by Amy Adams. Being the lead protagonist, the driving force, the film basically revolves all around her. If it weren’t for her, things would have been really different. A nod to the movie casting there! Great Job.

The Final Verdict

Arrival is not for everybody. I learnt this the hard way as I was compelled to hear two of my friends, who accompanied me to watch the movie, snore profusely throughout the movie. It was ‘their’ loss of course. Because it was only by the time we reach the end that we get to learn the colossal secret. It wraps up beautifully around the concept that eludes us throughout. It almost brings back memories from Christopher Nolan‘s magnum opus Interstellar movie.

Read Interstellar movie review.

You know what else really makes me happy? It is the director’s next colossal project. It is none other than Denis Vileneuve himself who helms the Blade Runner sequel with Jared Leto and Harrison Ford in the vanguard. Can’t wait for that one as well.

You can check out the trailer of Arrival movie here:

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Review (2016) | Recreates Magic

Years of missing J. K. Rowling’s genius on the big screen finally felt quenched with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie. It flickered in me those familiar goosebumps I used to get on witnessing the Warner Bros Pictures logo hit the big screen. It would sublime that renowned rad symphony that went Na-Na-Na-Na-Na in the backdrop.

Direction of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fewer directors could ace a prologue in such terse frames than David Yates himself. The beginning of the Fantastic Beasts movie is so laconic, and yet so colloquial that you can’t stop yourself from feeling mesmerized by his fleeting frames.

still of Tina and Newt in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie

Years of directing Harry Potter franchise has chafed off its shine on him. It becomes evident the moment Yates gets behind the lens. There is plenty of experience under his collar that he has garnered over time, and it has prepared him upfront to deliver some fine seamless finishing.

David Yates’s work speaks volume when you find him easing into the magical world without us realizing it. It is apparent with his overtly long and meandering walks alongside our protagonist that only stops when he successfully wraps up his scene. He is that kind of a genius that magically seems to get better with magic.

References and Comparisons (Spoilers Ahead)

Comparisons ensue when you place it against the likes of one of the best Hogwarts franchises of all times. In Fantastic Beasts movie, the frequent disappearing acts seem to happen effortlessly. There is more magic entailed here which acts as a great plus. What makes it further embellished? None other than the movie’s thrilling 3D effects. They are absolutely ravishing! David Yates makes sure there are plenty of them sandwiched at odd junctures to aggrandize the flick’s theatrics.

Fantastic Beasts franchise appears to be much darker than Harry Potter series if we take their first epicsode into consideration. But as far as storytelling pace is concerned, Potter franchise would beat it to pulp any day. There are references galore from the Potter world that don’t hold back from tingling your inner “pensieve”.

Calling Hogwarts Hogwash is a smart jest deliberately put to show what others think about the best school we know hitherto. That remark brings a smile to your face as it tries to wryly devalue our favourite fantastical school. Then at one point you hear the word Dumbledore and you can’t pay attention enough. The fact that Dumbledore supported and believed in Newt Scamander even though he was expelled helps you to accept him more easily. Then doors get opened with the only opening charm that we have ever come across: Alohomora. All of it takes you back in time.

Fantastic Beasts

Since the primal theme of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is revolving around amazing creatures, we find it as one the major driving plots. But J. K. Rowling loves to make connections, and everything connects so beautifully that the end result becomes really satisfying. You don’t really see the end coming from miles and it kind of flabbergasts you.

Out of all the amazing creatures that were unleashed in New York, Niffler is the most adorable of all. The creature was first referenced in Harry Potter series where an allusion of sorts was made when Lee Jordan  had released two of these fantastical creatures to trouble Dolores Umbridge. It is a cute little thief who has an inbred penchant for shiny things.  We see plenty of it to fall in love almost immediately.

still of niffler in fantastic beasts movie

Then there is a creature called Bowtruckle that has letting go issues. It looks like a stem cum mantis and stays most of the times hidden under Newt’s collar. Swooping Evil is one of the most badass creatures which assists our protagonists during desperate times.

Demiguise‘s power to grasp futuristic events has been beautifully portrayed. The concept of Occamy ‘s, the serpent’s, behaviour to occupy space is brilliantly thought of. Thunderbird is one of those titular fantastical beasts that reminds you of Buckbeak from the HP saga. However, this one has weather control under its aegis and is closely related to a phoenix.

You can pre-order Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them here:

Downsides

If we squint hard at its downsides, the first one would be the introduction chapter to the Beasts. It is almost abrupt, something that takes away the joy from a well written account. The need of the hour was the wonderment that it was supposed to tag along whilst launching each creature. We have been fed fantasy so much in the past that the way Yates introduces them ends up becoming a tad forgetful.

Do you remember how Buckbeak made a lasting impression, and is still remembered whenever you get a faintest reminder of its colossal import? To match that level of recognition David Yates should have resorted to some awe-inspiring calm.

Then there was this moment when Newt takes Kowalski into his suitcase. There in an attempt to introduce him to the astounding abode, he does some eye-popping magical shenanigans. It becomes almost overwhelming at one point. I overheard one of the fellow spectators complain:

“What is he trying to do?”

Primarily because Newt stays reticent most of the times and well quilted under his acting wraps. To play a nerdy character that asks him to stay shy, gnaws on his character’s capabilities.

The Pairing Up

The chemistry Queenie (Alison Sudol) and Kowalski (Dan Fogler) bring into the tale is akin magic. Their side-plot is amazingly portrayed as well. It almost takes the lead characters Newt and Tina out of the picture entirely. It is both a good thing and a bad thing for the story. Reason being it leaves you with a rare feeling of insouciance towards any budding relationship between the latter couple, taking away their supposedly thunder. Their lack of nerd chemistry “obliviates” you from seeing them go anywhere in the long run.

still of graves colin farrell in fantastic beasts movie

Colin Farrell does plenty of justice to the character of Graves. And then that remarkable acting in those final rad moments make for a resounding icing. Johnny Depp was an insane revelation as the badass villain we all wanted. But a lesser renowned face would have done Grindelwald justice I think. Let’s see how he fares in the future runs. Keeping fingers crossed on that one.

Music by James Newton Howard is extraordinary as well. Very soothing and aptly placed! Sways you like an Occamy to a tune of roach!

The Final Verdict

Overall, the Fantastic Beasts movie was beautifully packed in one magnificent capsule of delight. Can’t wait to find out where this brilliant prequel takes us. Most interested in how Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will connect dots and give more Easter eggs to make magical omelettes from.

Check out the trailer of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie here:

Bad Moms Movie Review (2016) | A Light Watchable Hoot

Mila Kunis can still run a one woman show. So she proves in Bad Moms movie. The light comedy might not have a huge plot under its belt, it still manages to wade through owing to its comic pleasantries. The feel-good factor that it bides by, when you see all the goodness going on in the life of Amy, you almost realize that this movie is going to leave you satisfied. And surprisingly it does.

Plot of Bad Moms Movie

If you look at the plot of the movie, it is more like a dreamy take on how things pan out for three fed up moms who decide to loosen up a little, taking time off from some punishing parenting. Of course, it appears too fanciful to be true, as good things keep happening on a roll. But you think about all the bad times Amy (Mila Kunis) had to suffer in, and suddenly that positive snappy home run begins to feel kind of okay.

Parenting can be really debilitating sometimes. There are thousands of sacrifices and selfless gestures to be made that could take its toll on anyone. For a woman who works every single moment of her life each day, who doesn’t even have time for herself, things are supposed to be tough. As a result she winds up with a cheating husband and ungrateful  kids (You can’t really do anything about the latter). And to vent out all that, the inevitable happens – Amy decides to chill.

still from bad moms movie watching a movie in a theater

With a failing marriage that was a downward tumble, she needed to let out all the chaos that was eating her up. She encounters Kathryn Hahn‘s Carla and the cutesy Kristen Bell‘s Kiki and they strike a perfect chord together. In an attempt to shake things up and live a little, they all become Bad Moms thus justifying the movie’s moniker.

The movie also banks on an iniquitous element Gwendolyn  portrayed by Christina Applegate that fills the movie with promising twists. However, in an attempt to show the dark side, the flick ends up becoming nothing but an attempt to right the wrongs after a wild crazy run. The PTA subplot becomes the main plot which makes you want to shake your head quite often.

You can order Bad Moms movie here:

Downsides

In an attempt to take us to the fairyland, the movie overlooks a lot of things. I am afraid there is nothing intelligible that Bad Moms movie offers. Goofs are good but they seem driven by a vapid story-line. Characters other than major Moms stay in a vague zone, clouded most of the times. Everything appears exactly what a tired mom would want. Yes, that again waves at you far away from a fancy enclave.

The movie ends up coveting for an imaginative perfect life for mothers that seems to be waiting just right around the corner. So it’s in a way shouting – “All you have to do is wait for your husband to cheat, and things are going to be just like a fairy tale. Oh and wait you need to be hot too!”

The Final Verdict

The primal theme on which the flick tries to work really hard on is by depicting how it’s alright to be a bad mom. That life isn’t perfect, and that it will fling at you all its dirtiness. Sometimes it’s alright to loosen up. So the frames in the end try to pay tribute to some Celeb Moms as they try to recall the bad things they subjected their kids to. It is fun, yeah!

Bad Moms movie is solely driven by its light-hearted spirit. Also, by Mila Kunis powerful performance as the resounding badass Mom who revolted. Other amusing equations join in to make it a hoot. Worth a watch!

You can check out the trailer of Bad Moms here:

Kubo and the Two Strings Review (2016) | Bewitching Animation

Words bereave me as I try to put this one together. Kubo and the Two Strings had me mesmerized. And not just by its breathtaking realism, but by the calm in its thoughtful direction, and the peerless work that it tagged along. Very satisfying!

The movie forever carries a hint of grim element, and is not afraid to walk across dark enclaves in order to provide us with an amazing tale of a one-eyed young boy named Kubo who is on a magical quest to find his father’s armour to defeat a wicked Moon King.

Extraordinary Animation

Looking at the animation of the movie, you can’t help but wonder – Can stop motion really reach such fascinating levels of allure? Well, Kubo and the Two Strings surpasses all! Who makes that possible? None other than Travis Knight the lead animator, also the actual mind behind exceptional movies like Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls.

You can’t applaud Travis Knight enough. Apart from the fact that he can ace Herculean jobs as an animator, he can also direct better than most of the directors out there. So, he proves with his sharp presence of mind. The transition of frames happens through walking into a tree or a wall. And it does so with such a peaceful nimble snap that it is hard to tell if the frame had actually changed in that teensy swift scale.

What I also loved about Travis’s direction was how he imparted Kubo and the Two Strings with a charming gait. The movie is literally abounding with focus. It lets you feast on every single frame letting things percolate beautifully. You can perceive minuscule details in his frames, and that’s what makes his frames stunning to look at. Owing to that, even though Kubo and the Two Strings banks on a fictitious tale for its plot, the movie doesn’t falter at all at any point.

Plot of Kubo and the Two Strings

The story is more of a fantastical take set against the backdrop of ancient Japan. One-eyed Kubo takes care of his ill mother. He uses a Shamisen to bring inanimate papers to life. He performs in a nearby village to get himself and his mother by.

If you must blink, do it now. Pay careful attention to everything you see and hear, no matter how unusual it may seem. And please be warned, if you fidget, if you look away, if you forget any part of what I tell you, even for an instant, then our hero will surely perish.

Kubo is a storyteller and he barely knows his past. In her mother’s ephemeral jovial moments is he able to fill himself up with stories of the past. He is fascinated by tales of his father and yearns to meet him in person. But her mother warns him not to venture out when it’s dark coz that’s when the moonlight shines bright meaning the Moon King, his grandfather and his aunties might see him. His mother tells him that they are after his other eye, and that this rule be followed at all costs.

One fine day however in an attempt to rekindle with his father’s soul, Kubo ends up staying out late.

I just wish you were here, so I could talk to you, see you, find out what I should do.

A big mistake! That’s when the attack of the aunties happen. His mother pays the price for it as she intervenes just when things were about to go south. She saves him asking him to find an armour, the only way that can possibly defeat the evil Moon King.

Ensuing Magical World

still of monkey and kubo in kubo and the two strings movie

As Kubo wakes from a tumultuous backdrop, he finds a monkey voiced by Charlize Theron calling out his name. He realizes that the monkey was in fact none other than a toy he used to carry around with him at all times. The talking monkey tells him that she was brought to life by his mother before she died. The only thing Kubo is left with is a strand of her mother’s hair.

This bracelet, her hair, it’s a memory. And memories are powerful things, Kubo. Never lose it.

On their quest to find the armour they find a human soul trapped inside a beetle. He claims to be working for his father Tatsu but isn’t sure because of a memory wipe out scene.

Thus the ultimate quest begins to find armour elements that are placed at unusual places, as magic and perversion from Moon King and his mother’s sisters try to stop them from achieving that goal. In a life that had reeked of loneliness almost all the time, Kubo reflects of how amazing it was for him to be a part of someone’s company, with:

I have never had a meal sitting between anyone before.

Sentient Kubo

Kubo is so thoughtful that it syncs you instantly with his feelings. His one eye can grasp little things that are of colossal import to him and you can’t applaud him enough for that.

Sometimes I would tell my mother stories about little things. Like skimming rocks across the river or catching fireflies in the mulberry fields. And when I told those stories, I could see her eyes were mostly clear. I could tell she saw me. Really saw me. I could see her, too. Her real self. Her spirit trying to fight its way out. It was beautiful.

Tiny lippy movements of the protagonist are so beautifully done that it almost makes you feel as if he is an extant creature.

You have to give it to Tatsu voiced by Matthew McConaughey who makes his character even more lovable. The story of his mother that climaxes with:

You are my quest.

and which is soon followed by:

I had seen the wonders of the universe, but the warmth of his gaze as I looked into his eyes. That, that I had never known. It was his humanity I saw. And it was more powerful than anything in my cold realm.

brings power in his story and it makes it even more warm.

still of all characters from kubo and the two strings movie

Then it has that contemplative paragon of a song as well which is depicted by flying golden heron that are believed to carry the soul of the departed.

How do you see a song?

To which the reply goes:

You look.

That moon reflection, water droplets falling everything was beautifully imagined and executed.

Downsides

Trying to look at the downside, things escalate too quickly. For example you are not really prepared for a whimsical alteration, but then it happens which kind of kills the mood. And then the final bits with the Moon King doesn’t fill you up with wonder much since you are prepared for the cliched ending of the tale. There is nothing eye-candy like about it and you can’t help but wonder if the trouble to reach that grimy end justifies truly.

Also the fact that the gloom that comes right after when his parents get killed hasn’t been shown properly makes it even less plausible. The story however nibbles such drawbacks.

The Score of Kubo

What makes stop motion frames of Travis even better is Dario Marianelli‘s outstanding score. It imparts depth to his ethereal animation. It complements the actual story-line of Kubo, and gives much more meaning to it. Even when Kubo is simply walking down a forest or a desert there is always that beautiful composition playing wonders in the backcloth.

You can check out the trailer of Kubo and the Two Strings here:

 

Neighbors 2 Sorority Rising Review (2016) | Inane and Absurd Fun

Neighbors 2 Sorority Rising or Bad Neighbours 2 is no doubt funny, but is brimming with gross jests. The movie seems more of a sad attempt at a sequel trying to justify its original theme. Alas! it walks in with an insipid and pointless plot. Also, despite the natural fun flair, there is that textbook coarseness lurking too, that Seth Rogen‘s movies are usually never without.

Plot of Neighbors 2 Sorority Rising

The story-line seems like a deliberate attempt to justify the original theme of the movie – Bad Neighbours. It’s like since they couldn’t bring the already placed Zac Efron‘s Teddy Sanders into the tale, a plan was concocted to introduce him somehow. And then there he is, scooched in with a chafed entry, evident with the limited stuff he is provided with. A story so implausible, stupid and dumb that you cannot accept it ever for a real thing.

still of seth rogen and rose byrne in bad neighbors 2 sorority rising movie

Mac and Kelly are trying to sell their house, but to their surprise, Shelby played by Chloe Grace Moretz has moved in the neighbourhood with two of her friends in order to start their own sorority. Now, they find a potential buyer but the house goes in the escrow period, meaning the Radners have to ensure the neighborhood doesn’t scare them away. Thus begins the attempt to scare off the teens and stop them from organizing loud parties. The counter attack is equally punishing for the Radners, so much that they end up befriending their old nemesis Teddy. So ensues the same pointless endless charade of trying to fight off each other to hold the fort.

What works at times

Despite an unrealistic setup, that seems a tad forced, the only thing working for the movie is the cast’s perfect comic timing. That includes Rose Byrne who reprises her role as Kelly Radner, the comedy king Seth Rogen himself, Zac Efron and the literal clown Ike Barinholtz who plays Jimmy yet again.

Nicholas Stoller ensures there is little of everything. By that he does give everyone an opportunity to showcase their comic talents. Lisa Kudrow finds herself yet another cameo as Dean Carol Gladstone. He tries to squeeze in Dave Franco too so that he has something to do. Even though the latter was a sub-plot that seemed like the most dispensable element.

You can order Bad Neighbours 2 Sorority Rising movie here:


The Final Verdict

Neighbors 2 Sorority Rising rampages past many crucial sanity lawns in an attempt to tickle you. At times it becomes outright dumb, while at times it cracks you up and throws you into fits of laughter. It is a brainless comedy and can be watched if you are feeling a little low and need something hilarious to cheer you up.

You can check out the trailer of Bad Neighbours 2 here:

Trolls Movie Review (2016) | A Movie for Kids | Cuddly Mushy and Dumb

Trolls movie is more like a fairy tale product of someone who believes the world is all candies and sugar. It tries to force that very idea with three things namely hugs, singing and dancing.

Trolls movie gives you an impression as if a little girl has helmed its story. It doesn’t have any gravitas to it, lacks even an ounce of good humour and makes you shake your head at its dumbness on so many occasions. That being said, don’t forget Trolls is still good enough to show to your children. They are gonna love it. Primarily because it is for them.

CGI of Trolls Movie

When you look at the animation corner, Trolls just rolls. It has been beautifully animated. Gives plenty of focus to the world around, shows you a brilliant environment that gels up with the main characters. Precarious animals are created out of nothing, and yet they don’t look creepy. There are colors everywhere; sometimes they become too bright for your taste. Everything is kept cheerful and lively.

The movie tries to bank on something unusual in order to hold things apart from clichés. The first one being that it tries to give Trolls an image make-over. So they aren’t the bad guys really this time. They are in fact, super cute and cuddly. To make up for that we have contrasting creatures that are much more hideous called the Bergens.

Plot of Trolls (Spoilers)

Bergens aren’t exactly adversaries either. It is just by a mendacious concept that their eyes are clouded with, that they are trying to live by. A feigned concept of misplaced judgment that eating a Troll would make them happy. So the logic would be if you are sad, eating a happy person would make you happy. Something this video aptly depicts:

Now in order to justify that we have an antagonist Chef voiced by Christine Baranski in the movie, who is banished from the Bergen kingdom since trolls escape under her watch. In order to take revenge and earn her rightful place back, she is on the hunt for trolls.

Poppy voiced by Anna Kendrick is the main optimistic character in the Trolls movie. She isn’t watchful of her acts and just wishes to have a good time, irrespective of how loud their celebrations go. The surly Branch, voiced by Justin Timberlake, on the other hand is more of an opposite pole to Poppy’s character. He is always on the lookout for Bergens, plans beforehand, and is despondent and sarcastic most of the times.

still of branch and poppy in trolls movie

Owing to their loud party habits, Chef discovers the secret hideout of the Trolls taking a couple of Trolls captive. Poppy then sets out on a singing, dancing and beaming sojourn to get her friends back accompanied by a fed-up Branch. Their quest to retrieve fellow Trolls back is what forms the crux of the movie.

The inclusion of King Gristle and Bridget‘s sub-plot keeps things light and interesting. There is a Cloud Guy who is voiced by Walt Dohrn who is pretty funny, but alas its role is like a cameo.

Songs by Artists

When you place great singers together, you can’t stop music from flowing sporadically. The flick features plenty of songs that come from the likes of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani, Zooey Deschanel, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar and Ariana Grande.

It features a lot of new songs, and some of them have been performed giving their notes a brilliant twist. Almost all of them get embellished by the beauty of the film’s CGI. They look better than most music videos too.

You can get the Original Soundtrack of Trolls from here:

The Final Call

Yes, if you are a sane adult you might not like this movie. But this movie wasn’t made keeping that in mind. For kids, it would be a blast. Girls are going to just love it, since Poppy’s character has been built as a relatable center of attraction. It might rhyme with their wannabe lives.

You can definitely watch this movie with your junior.

You can check out the trailer of Trolls here:

Doctor Strange Review (2016) | Benedict Cumberbatch Uplifts the Uplifted

Doctor Strange is as badass as Marvel gets. You take the inbred flamboyance of Benedict Cumberbatch into consideration and remove those palisades of expression that bind him, you take his innate knack for humour and let it flow with his perfect timing, you let him really get under the skin of a character that you so profusely adore, and lo! You have got yourself a winning movie.

Benedict Cumberbatch: The Winner (Spoilers Ahead)

Haven’t we always secretly wished Benedict Cumberbatch to portray a superhero at some point? With a diverse portfolio like that of his, that keeps getting better every day, playing a superhero for him was always on the cards. Yes, he gives you more reasons to love him every day. This time by joining forces with the Marvel golden goose that has never really missed. It doesn’t miss this time either.

benedict cumberbatch as doctor strange in doctor strange movie

When you take a good look at the movie, Benedict Cumberbatch is it. He is there in the entire movie. In every frame, in every act you can feel his strong presence. That being said, Doctor Strange is all about it too. Such a great sorcerer he is that you can’t want him enough. And so he delivers! His solo movie that runs all by his magic fuel.

Humour in the movie is just the right amount as Marvel prefers. Melodrama is superbly complemented by Benedict’s knack for it. You can’t help but feel sorry for him when you see him completely decimated by that car accident in the beginning. The seemingly torture that follows is havocking for him, and he makes you feel all of that. It is a relief when you find his life head towards a different purpose.

Characters in Doctor Strange Movie

Rachel McAdams does a great Christine Palmer, firing up that fun element whenever Strange’s strangeness is around. Scott Adkinson as Lucian gets another ephemeral yet a fairly good part with Marvel; he doesn’t go unnoticed. It is Tilda Swinton however as The Ancient One that steals the show forming the primal carver of the story. The part where she wishes to go, when time stops has been gorgeously manifested. The screenplay there reaches levels of awe.

still of mads mikkelsen as kaecilius in doctor strange

Mads Mikkelsen invests himself well, doing a powerful Kaecilius but unfortunately gets a very limited part to prove his perversion. Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo looks very promising and has a bright future ahead with Marvel.

Astounding Bits

Even in those rare vexing fight scenes, Scott manages to hold everything together. The depiction of the Sanctums, and the confusion of topsy-turvy worlds have been helmed with a superlative touch. One of the finest things that happen to Strange is the Cloak of Levitation. Instantly takes you back in time to remind you of Aladdin’s Magic Carpet. Extraordinary stuff!

Steve Ditko’s original comic series has been paid plenty of tribute on numerous occasions. That scene where they fight in an Astral plane as Palmer operates on him, is so intelligently thought of that you cannot applaud the creator enough.

There is beauty in Scott’s depiction as Strange bends time to his will experimenting with the fate of an apple. The final climactic scene to force Dormammu to bow down to Doctor Strange’s bargain was one of the most brilliant ways to vanquish someone. It goes on to show how insane Doctor Strange’s powers really are. You can’t help but wonder how strong is Doctor Strange really?

You can pre-order Doctor Strange movie from here:

Direction of Doctor Strange

I have always admired Scott Derrickson’s direction. Even in a movie as powerless as Deliver Us from Evil we found him steady as a rock, working hard. He never lets his sobriety wane, and that shows in his diligent work. Thus Doctor Strange has been helmed too. Right from the point of giving us a badass perspective into the life of the extraordinary yet egotistic surgeon Stephen Strange to the point of him coming to terms with subsequent dimensions in our reality, scenes have been brilliantly directed.

Downsides

It is what follows immediately after however makes you wish there was a better visual exploration about the things we don’t know, rather than immediately getting up to speed with Strange quickly packing in powers, and heading towards unveiling the secrets of the Eye of Agomotto. It seemed as if that was the only thing left to do at Kamar-Taj. Forced!

still of tilda swinton the ancient one showing doctor strange astral plane

With that awe-inspiring push into the extant multi-dimensions, Doctor Strange’s vision is something that will give you goosebumps. It makes you think of all the possibilities that stay hidden from naked eyes. Till that point of time you are gnawing at a lot of plausibility. But then it bereaves you when things kind of speed up. You don’t see the Ancient One taking Strange for a ride after he begins learning stuff, which in fact, sadly pulls off the plug from reality.

You come back wondering – it’s a comic after all. Stephen’s transformation into the superhero we think he is, gets affected owing to that, and it heads into your vantage of Marvel’s illusion almost immediately.

Doctor Strange Movie Editing

Editing, I am afraid, hasn’t been done properly either. As the movie quickly gallops towards an astral perspective, you see a lot of scenes getting chopped off mid-way, in order to move on. Viewers aren’t allowed to have a proper focus when it’s the learning hour for him.

To the point where the learning of Dr. Strange begins, the flick works seamlessly with ample plausibility. And then in order to move the story forward you see frequent time lapses making it chug at the speed of bullet.

Also, the fact that there is no calm sieving explanation of how and why laws of physics are bent in their worlds or how it all functions. I wish Ancient One had taken him for a ride explaining their ways of living, even though it would have been a spiritual sojourn, it would still have made things a tad more believable.

The Final Verdict

At the end of the day, Doctor Strange remains a character in Marvel’s colossal database. And that too one of the finest ones! MCU has been blessed with Benedict’s presence now. I guess it is time to show him crossing ways with the other Sherlock. Can’t wait for that!

With Benedict joining the elite house of the Avengers, things are endearingly heading towards the ultimate act of badassery.  And Thanos wink intended.

Yes there are end credit scenes. Two of them. So you can wait if you like fitting pieces in the puzzle.

You can check out the trailer of Doctor Strange movie here:

Jack Reacher Never Go Back Movie Review (2016) | Reacher is Lost

We have lost him! I repeat. We have lost him! Jack Reacher Never Go Back movie has forced one of the most badass protagonists to fade into vacuity. All that smug style and mannerism whilst fighting and figuring out crime has lost its shine in this garish sequel. Jack Reacher that Christopher McQuarrie had so beautifully carved in the first one has been completely obliterated. And you can’t just blame the movie’s direction for it. Somewhere the plot asks of you to hold it against the wall too.

Lee Child’s Jack Reacher

Even though we hadn’t aced the Reacher Lee Child had created by taking Tom Cruise in the vanguard, he still looked fine in the first one. Primarily because Tom Cruise had created a different grim persona altogether that held him apart from his other roles. He let Reacher stories bank on his dour comportment and McQuarrie made sure of that with his subtlety. He wanted people to fall in love with him all over again.

Edward Zwick, au contraire, let go of that ingenuity. His frames miss out on the subtlety. The story chosen doesn’t give you the adrenaline rush either. It ends up becoming just any other movie, and not what Jack Reacher truly deserves.

Jack Reacher Never Go Back Movie has taken the heroics of the super human Reacher to new lows. We don’t see his intelligence unspool much here, which kind of beats the movie’s purpose in the first place. Jack Reacher has to be complete badass. Period.

Plot of Jack Reacher Never Go Back Movie (Spoilers)

A huge conspiracy is at play. It has swallowed up and is in the process of subjugating Major Susan Turner, played by Cobie Smulders. Jack believing her, since they used to talk on phone on numerous occasions in the past, ends up trying to save the wrongfully accused Turner. Jack is being pinned on a murder of Turner’s attorney as well with whom he was seen a couple of times before. With the intent to get Turner out, Reacher reaches in and sweeps her away to figure out who is trying to play her.

still of Cobie Smulders as Turner in Jack Reacher Never Go Back Movie

Unfortunately things are strangely contrived in Jack Reacher Never Go Back Movie, giving you an impression that every set up has been placed in order to create individual scenes. That being said, it lacks a natural flair of frames that is supposed to continuously hunt for awesomeness. We don’t see much of that going on here.

Another one of the greatest bummers this movie packs in is via its subplot. A stale tale of a daughter angle! There is literally a non-existent chemistry of father daughter relationship present in the movie. It wasn’t shown or acted properly. What would really make one shake their head is the climax scene, which you see coming BTW. You know you are supposed to feel for both the characters Samantha (Danika Yarosh) and Reacher, but you just can’t. Because in the entire movie there wasn’t anything solid given to you to chew on. How could one feel for its absent drama?

Screenplay

Looking at the screenplay of Jack Reacher Never Go Back, there isn’t much in that department either. One of the coolest lines in the flick, however, gets delivered by The Hunter portrayed by Patrick Heusinger.

still of Patrick Heusinger as the hunter in Jack Reacher Never Go Back Movie

It’s people like us. We can never go back to the world.

That’s when you realize how odd Reacher is, and how he doesn’t fit in the normal world. Amongst other ones, most of them are laughable, the others are pretty cliched like when he is bowing The Hunter out with a final blow, he says:

Look at me! Look at me!

It lets you in on the burning wrath in him. But it gets over in a jiffy with his blow, and dies down just like the antagonist.

Bright Sides

To look at the shimmering horizon, the plot was well kept under the wraps. And everything keeps happening for a reason. It doesn’t break the order as some movies often do by jumping to different frames to vex people. It is a gradual unfurling that makes everything perceptible. When you look at the fight scenes, even though there is nothing memorable that you go home satisfied with, it still is very natural, and that’s where the flick manages to keep up.

still of jack reacher in never go back jack on following him

There are some thrilling moments that are squeezed in as well. Like Jack’s disappearing act followed by him bashing a car window to warn those who follow him. Also, the unfazed jump at The Hunter in the end where they both fall off a roof. It goes on to show the colossal import of the concept of saving lives, and sacrificing himself for others without worrying about his well being or safety.

You can pre-order Jack Reacher: Never Go Back here

The Final Verdict

When you don’t go with high expectations to watch Jack Reacher 2, you will be surprised that it’s fairly enjoyable. But when you do, that’s when you begin to see its shoddiness, and how there isn’t even a pinch of subtlety in it. The movie doesn’t do anything to beckon ogles. It ends up becoming too mediocre for a character like that of Reacher’s.

Jack Reacher Never Go Back is Lee Child’s 18th book in the Jack Reacher series.

Check out the trailer of Jack Reacher Never Go Back movie here:

 

Before The Flood Movie (2016) | The Damage Is Done | Let’s Undo It

Before The Flood movie is an eye opener.  It kills me inside to see how inconsiderate we have been all our life, to the planet that gives us the right to live. The right to survive in it, to experience its stunning creations, to stay ensnared by its bountiful fruits. While one man is on a mission to disclose our eyes, and has been ranting all his life addressing a situation so grave that it calls for immediate action, it becomes our moral duty to take care of our invaluable home.

It is high time, for once, we start caring about something that is real. Something that holds the fate of our future in its hands. Climate Change is happening as we speak. It is time we act.

Before The Flood Movie

Even though I have been following environmental acts by Leonardo DiCaprio closely, the true gravitas of the situation speaks volume in Before The Flood movie.  On the anvil of Fisher Stevens, Before the Flood Documentary is helmed. It gives us a knell of sorts, warning us of the impending danger our future holds for us. Trust all the environmental scientists that have been bawling out all this time – It does not look good!

Enric Sala and Leonardo DiCaprio in Before The Flood Movie

Improper Education: A Big Inhibiting Rock

It makes me really sad how I have never really looked into that direction. As if it was a sub-conscious distant issue that failed to affect my life on the go. Now that I pay the utmost heed, I feel swollen up with a dozen questions.

How growing up nobody ever taught me to do things the right way? Why was I not informed not to harm my environment by learning fossil fuels are not good? That their usage should call for an immediate ban? Instead I was taught how coal is formed with fossils. Why was I expounded everything about excavating hidden treasures for creating things? How about they should be left intact underground so that they don’t soil our future?

Yes, there were insinuations no doubt, but where was the focus? Where was the gravity in the teaching and my learning? Why wasn’t I taught anything about how to curtail prodigal actions? To not consume things that can’t be renewed? To not go for a bike or a car when all they do is create environmental pollution? Why didn’t I learn to create renewable sources of energy, and not just for the heck of it or for experimental purposes but to actually benefit a village or a group of house instead?

India: A Land of Unmindful Festivals

Half of the things in our lives are habits that have tacked along by following conventions. You can’t shut down a nation that dons its culture on its showy countenance. People are too ignorant to realize if anything could have such a massive impact. Half of the multitude has never even heard of Global Warming. Some are lost in their flashy ways of living. They do things simply because it elevates them to a stratum well above the others. That’s where their grimy satisfaction lies. Whilst what remains is a hoard that is just trying to have fun irrespective of repercussions.

If you say your festival is noisy, they get offended. You can’t even imagine bringing them to the gavels, because the judge wouldn’t find them guilty either. For a country that is written in bookish regulations that they follow by their heart, a concept like that of Climate Change is more like a fairy tale.

still of Leonardo DiCaprio in Before the Flood movie

Actions to Fend Off the Wrong

As Before the Flood movie documentary tries to show us the ugly side, it is time we get serious for once, and start doing something about it. I have made a list of little things we could start off with almost immediately.

  • Replacing Light bulbs

We can start off with something as small as changing our light bulbs to save energy. That’s one easy place to start, and ensure that we do something at least, take a step towards a positive direction. Opt for the bulbs that are environment friendly that will help you save a lot of energy.

LEDs are the new fad. They help you save tons. Make sure you keep yourself posted for technological advancement and move forward in the direction of beneficial change.

  • Stopping Festive Insensitivity

I wish a serious action is taken against them all those who bend festive celebrations to their liking by going loud. A law be passed against firecrackers banning them for good, and punitive actions taken against those who disobey. That’s one way to fight environmental pollution.

  • Beef Consumption Issue

To fight off that lingering beef issue, we need to ban it for good for the sheer fact of Methane eruption as shown in the Before the Flood movie and not because it has sentimentality attached. Even though with a heavy heart, you have to let go. Try Vegan products for once. You never know, you might even like it better?

We have to start becoming mindful of our acts. Saying no to things that are not environmental friendly. Lowering our consumption of food that are not heedful, we can deter their reckless manufacturing.

  • Replacing Thoughtless Smoking

People smoke for the sheer fact that others are doing it. Sometimes to justify a myth that it makes them look cool. Hell, their favourite stars are doing it! They just want to try everything that helps them to get under that radar of resemblance. That falsified image is not only killing them but also our planet in the process. It needs to be understood. Their protagonists need to slap those who smoke in their movies. That’s how it would instill. Learn instead from Leo guys!

An answer to smokers shouldn’t be an image of tarred lungs on the cigarette boxes rather the encouragement of vapes. How do we do that, you ask? Well replace cigarettes with e-cigarettes that will not only be harmless to the environment, but will also to the people who stand around them. Promote that shit! We can evolve! Just like we have always managed to.

  • Rallying Usage of Solar Energy

Then amongst other important things, we can start off with switching to solar energy completely. I think it is doable. One can start from one’s home, and then slowly inspire a society, a city, a state and then in the process the whole country.

It is also up to the government, to promote and advertise it on a daily basis, so those who don’t take note, do. Make it a thing that people understand. Those who still live by cow dungs for cooking food, are people who are trying to secretly wish for a lavish life. To tell them lavish is renewable is how we create a mindset. Let’s give them all better alternatives.

  • Move Closer to your Work

If you are not living in your own house, or if your house is a rental, the least you can do is to move closer to your office. You can cut short on the fuel that way. Walk your way to your work. It would be a perfect way to get off the cross-hair. You would be doing your bit unknowingly.

  • Introspect on Earth Day

In the end let us reckon how much we have done. Let the Earth Day be a sort of a reminder of how much we have achieved on an yearly basis. Make a list every year of things you have done in the favour of Environment. Show your gratitude by keeping up the progress.

Time to Act

We have done enough damage. It is time we take a stand. Instead of succumbing to all the imminent flood damage let’s build dams beforehand; Let’s take action before the flood inundates us.

You can watch the full Before the Flood movie here:

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