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War Dogs Review (2016) | Smart, Witty and Fun | A Tad Unscrupulous

War Dogs is a crime biopic made thoroughly exciting by its cast. I have always enjoyed watching a Todd Phillips movie. It doesn’t rip you apart with humour alone but also thrives on a great theme throughout, primarily with a story that makes every bit delectable. The bottom-line is that there is always something to look up to in his frames, and that makes the imminent, full of promises.

War Dogs is no different. The biopic though fictionalized beyond limit to scooch in theatrics, comes out as an enjoyable piece that shatters doors of gravitas to bring that smile to your face. What work for the movie are hands down mind-boggling performances by its duo, and its uncanny witty theme. Where at one hand, Jonah Hill makes his character one of the most cherishable ones ever, Miles Teller cannot certainly be overlooked either with his riveting gazing mien that brings profundity to the cinema. Both of them, with their dynamic chemistry together, make War Dogs a fun yet intriguing watch.

PLOT OF WAR DOGS

The plot is basically an intensified theatrical look into the lives of Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz. With David joining his high school friend Efraim in his pursuit to supply arms and ammunition to the US army, the movie gets into the fine detailing of how their jobs were pulled off. It is a sheer mockery of the then existent feeble policies of US that saw opportunists getting their hands warm in the Iraq and Afghanistan fire.

War Dogs begins with a brilliant diegetic tone from David’s perspective, and delves into the story of David’s life even before he meets Efraim.

“War is an economy. Anybody who tells you otherwise is either in on it or stupid.”

War Dogs is divided into various chapters with lines of crises from its own screenplay for chapter names. Each section gives away what is about to happen which isn’t actually the best way of storytelling to be honest. It takes out that element of surprise of what’s coming from it. But you have to give it to Todd for his creativity to weave Guy Lawson’s Rolling Stone article “Arms and the Dudes” into something tangible.

At one point when you almost begin to think, if War Dogs is just meant to caper all along on its fun theme, the movie proves you wrong almost instantly. You see it enter deeper waters. Drama becomes impactful and you realize all that hourly fun of awesomeness is heading straight for the deep muck they had signed their checks for. Dramatics come galloping then and it levels the movie with its theatrics giving it a perspective and a direction.

DOWNSIDES OF WAR DOGS (SPOILERS INCLUSIVE)

If you stare hard at the downsides of War Dogs you will see how much of the detailing have actually been overlooked. To show you what you wish to see, a lot of the backdrop is made to disappear in your subconsciousness. A city in despair doesn’t feel like it when you visit it through Todd’s fun frames. There is no real tension you perceive. It wasn’t intended to get serious at any point, I surmise.

Also, you can say the same by looking at the character Iz played by Ana de Armas. Tension is not allowed to transpire at all. She ends up becoming nothing but a nagging wife.

still of ana de armas as Iz in War Dogs movie

War Dogs also elongates the Iraq visit too much, creating dispensable humour for one Dick Cheney’s America scene, which seemed quite unnecessary. It feels like Todd might have had some extra time frames to cover or might have ran out of substance. So, he creates something that actually didn’t happen.

I really wished a profound character came along to show the perpetrators what they were actually dealing with. Why war is not what they think what it is. The gravity of working with elements of chaos as if they were playthings of a child; I think it was important to show them the misery they were offering.

They get a poetic justice in the end, which was nicely wrapped up. A surprise visit by Henry Girard played by Bradley Cooper, who prefers wearing sunglasses, felt justified on the levels of David’s morality. But when the question is posed about Bashkim’s whereabouts, Henry shuts him with money, thus leaving all his threads out in the open.still of bradley cooper as henry girard

CELEBRATING CRIME

At the end of it all, you have to understand, both Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz were really bad men. The way the movie gets manifested is as if what the actors were doing was a good thing. A context that its direction feeds you, and it is sad that something rogue and out of line like that gets celebrated.

You can’t help but notice how the movie only plays out on the vantage of David Packouz’s perspective. It puts him in the spotlight as a person who had a conscience whilst slaying Efraim’s brazen demeanour altogether. At what point in the movie does Efraim ever realize what he did was wrong? Well, never!

OTHER ASPECTS TO NOTICE

War Dogs is thoroughly entertaining. It has plenty of humour all of it coming from Jonah Hill’s natural knack for it. Miles Teller brings percipience to the story. It always gives us pleasure watching people get insanely rich. It brings smile to our faces, and that’s what primarily the movie tries to earn its green on for the better part. In the later part, we see the decline, which is a fit downhill ride anyway.

Oh and whatever happens, don’t ask Efraim the full form of AEY. Watch out for that bit!

SCREENPLAY OF WAR DOGS

The movie’s screenplay is abounding with beautiful lines, at times touching rare levels of contemplation.

“I miss not taking shit from anyone.”

Miles Teller’s diegesis continues throughout the flick dropping brilliant lines that transcends War Dogs altogether. Some lines are subtly put as well, leaving things for viewer’s imagination.

“No questions asked.”

THE FINAL VERDICT

It is hard not to compare War Dogs with the likes of Lord of War. What Andrew Niccol had created was undoubtedly and effortlessly smart, something you see War Dogs struggling with at numerous points. But it still manages to rope you in with Miles Teller’s rapt eyes and Jonah Hill’s engaging performance despite the theme movie tries to cash in on.

Despite, how good the movie turns out to be it still remains unscrupulous nevertheless.

still of jonah hill and miles teller high on weed joint in war dogs

What you would definitely take from this movie would be Jonah’s signature laugh; no doubt about that.

Check out the trailer of War Dogs movie here:

10 Cloverfield Lane Review (2016)

An invigorating joyride like you have never experienced before! Extraordinary thriller!
10 Cloverfield Lane lets you get into the shoes of the protagonist Michelle played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead to experience a nail-biting gut-wrenching thriller that doesn’t even lag a bit. With a superb editing to do it justice that is all over its beautiful pace, it keeps you on your toes whilst the excitement lasts.

DIRECTION AND STORY OF 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE

Dan Trachtenberg’s fully-fledged debut is an exceptional dig into a theory that starts off a bud, only to reveal itself into a bigger plot at play. The way it slowly opens in psychosis is similar to a crime flick, and will leave you wondering if that is all to the tale. But no, Josh Campbell and Matthew Stuecken’s story is brimming with enthralling twists strewn all across per se to keep you wondering about the veracity of the storyline. It is just that impossible to see through it.

SPOILERS AHEAD IN THE REMAINING LANES

The most exciting thing about 10 Cloverfield Lane is the way the story picks up. One moment you are wondering it is an abduction, but then suddenly you see an affected zombie-like person smiting at the door. You are forever thinking akin the character Michelle, which further makes the story very tangible. A possibility that reeks of both fantasy and palpability.

Howard played exceptionally well by John Goodman keeps things interesting as it is difficult to get a read on him. One moment things seem ugly, the other fine, and then the perversion returns. You will keep questioning yourself has the world really gone kaput or is that psychotic villain just feeding you a shitload of bull. That is what the 10 Cloverfield Lane thrives on. But the beauty lies in whether or not to believe Howard, a blemished soul with a twisted head, who will do anything to stay indoors and slap judgments.

PROBABLE DOWNSIDE OF 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE

The only problem with the movie is that it bashes into an unpredictable climax something which the spectators weren’t really prepared for. For me it was a welcome twist. But I realized some people got miffed in the theater. For some it was too much to handle.

Then things kind of start sprinting and the movie loses its focus. There is little time for Michelle to grab a breath, which makes her character harder to believe and relate to. If I would have been there I would have pissed my pants, or died would be your first thought. But no, Michelle is a ballsy player. When cornered she does everything in her hands, to survive. You could say the aforementioned but then Mary Elizabeth Winstead looked a little out of place to ace those cornered emotions.

We get to see that it is an alien film that finally sieves in place as all the psychosis ends. Yes, it stands against some elite alien films helmed till date.

THE FINAL VERDICT

Whatever that little put off might have been for you, you have to establish 10 Cloverfield Lane certainly had a unique concept, a very disparate way of showing it just like the movie Room, with an outrageous stunning plot and a mind-boggling twist in the end. It kept us forever rooted. Isn’t that what a good movie is supposed to do?

Joy Review (2015) | Truly inspirational

What an inspiring flick! Joy is simply awe-inspiring.

Jennifer Lawrence is a girl with the golden goose. She never fails to deliver. Her portrayals are powerful. Her eyes are so riveting that it is hard not to empathize with the pain she wears. Her demeanour dons a skin that is hard not to relate to and she makes you sway to her rhythm. The natural act she puts on is unmatched.

DIRECTION OF JOY MOVIE

David O’ Russell cashes in on Lawrence just right. To helm Joy as a character so marred by spears of life that she forgets her true talents is what he tries to manifest. Bludgeoning her further are intricacies that end up in a chain reaction and pile her under the boulders of responsibilities. That’s where the flick takes off. It is a pleasant perspective taken in a diegetic tone by her grandma Mimi, played by Diane Ladd, an optimist with a very kind heart, sadly clouded like any grandmother is. Sidelined and unseen she keeps pointing out the good in her, and occasionally making Joy believe that she was special.

“Maybe your dreams are on a hold right now.”

ABOUT DREAMS

The bit about creation was an eye-opener. On behalf of all the creators across the world, I would like to thank Russell to have given it a proper coverage. If we don’t look at the reel life for a second and focus on the real, so many of us have dreams that we started up with, a natural flair that promised us silently our true purpose in life, but alas life happened to us and we got skimmed to the footpath, diverged.

Russell’s take is just brilliant when he focuses on the pointlessness of relations, tangled ways of the living, and the insanity of it all. He subtly delves into the territory of epiphany with Joy’s dreams, the only point I felt the flick’s balance missing as he tries to blend in melodrama and humour at the same time. The epiphany bit sadly needed more emphasis.

However what unfurls thereon is a constant struggle to prove the mettle, the malice in commerce and the hopelessness that doesn’t seem to stop, until it does. It is quite inspiring for people who have put their dreams on hold. There are so many people who point their fingers at you when you are doing something good, succeeding at it, so many near ones who reek of jealousy and try to pull you down, something which Russell captures magnificently.

He uses exceptional screenplay to dignify the fallen talent, and weaves some great words. The rest is picked up by the cast really well. There are bits that shatter you to pieces, despair that boils you up but you can’t simply help but marvel at the perseverance of Joy as she fights everything and comes out a victor.

If you wanna feel inspired just go for it!

Burnt Review (2015)

Burnt is fine, but not good, forget about the great ones in the culinary basket.

John Wells helms a good movie, but he doesn’t have a big rad plot to save him. A washed out burnt down Chef has cleaned up, buffed his act up, and put himself together in an endeavour to pursue perfection. He is reaching out for a third Michelin star and anything less would end up getting burnt by his wrath.

So we know how recalcitrant chefs are. Seen enough Gordon Ramsay to reach that conclusion. Bradley as Adam Jones touches that nerve wrecking breakdown to achieve what he has planned to do. He shouts, despises, scorns and insults his crew to get their juices running. He doesn’t care how evil he might look or sound while trying to get results. He is unaffected by emotions, reckless with his life but careful with the food he is preparing. If his preparation doesn’t meet the standard in his head, he flings it away and doesn’t even hold himself from bashing it to the wall.

He might be a man with a mission, but he is arrogant, mean and a heartless prick. He is also in a huge drug debt which gawks him from a distance, and occasionally batters him up good. He is trying hard to reach it, and there is always someone or something that messes him up and compels him to start at Ground Zero.

What is quite interesting to watch is the brilliant presentation of its frames. The food shown in Burnt will at once make you hungry. There are great close up shots that will sizzle your palates. But everything disappears leaving you wanting for more. Also, there isn’t one great recipe that is highlighted marvelously or shown being cooked proper which will bum foodies out. The story lacks substance which is sad. Screenplay of the flick is good. The score is kind of okay, but could have used some more depth.

Cooper fans are gonna love him in this new avatar. His acting is still very engaging. His dramatic bits are great to watch and Siena Miller complements him yet again quite beautifully. Daniel Bruhl plays Tony beautifully too. Emma Thompson has been given some marvelous lines, while Alicia Vikander has kind of a cameo in there.

Remember the golden rule to truly enjoy anything: Don’t compare! Burnt shouldn’t be compared with other similar culinary movies in the library and you might relish it.

American Sniper Review (2014) | A rad biopic on Chris Kyle’s life

American Sniper is an engaging glimpse into the head of an iconic soldier Chris Kyle , a Navy Seal veteran and a badass sniper. The biopic juggles between his love life, his sniping badassery, his fame and the mental state aftermath war that had him vexed for a while. American Sniper goes on to show how war gradually takes its toll on soldiers. It manifests through the yearning eyes of Kyle how he would always prefer an explosive battlefield to a quiet time home.

Prologue Jitters (Spoilers Ahead)

As soon as the screen goes dark and the movie begins, we are subjected to an enthralling booming bass that echoes power and might, depicting annexing right. All thanks to the boom operators of the flick. A tank shows up, an apt manifestation of annihilation like a devastating predator crushing rocks. It walks alongside soldiers on a mission. Not far away a sniper rests in a prone position on a roof alongside another soldier searching his target with rapt attention, cracking jokes.

Entry a lady hiding a grenade earnestly waiting for the convoy to arrive. She is accompanied by her son to whom she slips the grenade. The child rushes towards the American convoy, fully fledged, unaware of the cross-hair and bang! The deafening noise takes us to the past to the hunting grounds where a father is busy teaching his son to shoot.

Still of Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle in American Sniper Movie

Such brilliant direction! The prologue is so beautifully shot that you almost know that you are in for a treat. The story captures every aspect of the ‘Legend’ with whom American soldiers felt invincible. The flick features all his four major tours. There is a beautiful melodramatic side story showing his wife wanting his husband home. What it also beautifully captures is the aftermath of war-turmoil in a soldier’s head.

Amazing Moments from American Sniper

One of the most exhilarating scenes from the flick is when Kyle takes off his belt to smack his dog without realizing it. Also, when he takes his longest shot that ranged around 1920m and executes it to perfection. It’s the one that places him at the 8th spot on the global meter of champs.

“I want you to be human again.”

There are many other gorgeous subtle bits in the movie. Like, slaying a woman and a child wasn’t how Kyle imagined his first kills to be like. Apt coverage is given to that to make you feel his sorrow. Some beautiful dramatic pieces like Kyle shouting at the nurse to tend to his baby, asking his wife to move on if he doesn’t return, his post-traumatic disorder, perspectives of people he met on war, Kyle’s recovery and the final goodbye lap it up further bringing quality to this great biography.

You can order American Sniper movie from here:

Downsides

A lot of hoopla surrounds the American Sniper movie owing to the delicate topic it touches viz. Iraq War. As a result, weird rumors and a lot of plot holes quickly showed up for this one. Some of the facts have been altered for movie viewing.

But if we overlook everything that raises brows and focus merely on how good the biopic really is, and experience the emotional quotient of the drama entailed, we would see how marvelous American Sniper movie really is.

A definite watch for everybody.

You can check out the trailer of American Sniper movie here: