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Alice Through the Looking Glass Review (2016)

Surprisingly good!

If Lewis Carroll would have been alive today he would have given a nod to Alice Through the Looking Glass. Of course not for the reason that they totally changed his book and messed with every single detail to weave something different altogether, but for the mere fact that it is brimming up with an equal fanciful inclination and zeal that Carroll shared.


Alice Through the Looking Glass personifies ‘Time’ which is both poetic and enigmatic as Alice embarks on a journey to bring Hatter back to life. Time’s depiction is downright extraordinary and aced superbly by Sacha Baron Cohen. The blue tinge in his eyes and his animated mechanical body help him lip a fantastic creation.

“Time is a thief, and a villain.”

There are a lot of time references that have been brilliantly thought of and executed nicely. Watch out for that bit when Time is made fun of by Hatter, Cheshire Cat, Thackery, Mallymkun and the rest. The movie packs in the concept of toying with timelines, which happens to be one of my favourite fancies. Unfortunately they fail to make it palpable.


You get to hear the voice of Alan Rickman as Absolem which was endearing per se as if he sprang up back from the dead. It was ephemeral but it makes you think of him which was really pleasant. Mia Wasikowska is as outstanding as she was in the prequel. So was Helena Bonham Carter as Iracebeth. Her rampaging confidence is a joy to watch. Also, Andrew Scott has a short cameo, that was actually quite satisfying.

Screenplay is kind of a beautiful literary affair, and will keep you interested throughout. Visually it is gripping. The plot oscillates a little betwixt the real and the virtual but finds a firm grip in both the worlds. Well thought of, I must say. It isn’t really that dark and grim as Tim Burton’s style of movie-making is. But it is still fun.


The thing that seemed a little out of place in Alice Through the Looking Glass was the huge plot punch on which the whole movie was based upon. If you look at it closely you wonder Alice goes to all that trouble just to make Hatter, who is already mad, happy? Is that it? To answer that you must think from Alice’s perspective. It is this whimsical world she tries to fit in, and petty things that entail in it that matter to her the most. If one was to weave a story out of her life, it would always surround tales with such quaint things, things that matter to Alice, if not to you. Well, if you can’t digest that, a simple – “Hatter was going to die with gloom” should do it.


Alice Through the Looking Glass isn’t really that serious when trying to skip alongside the time component that it so profusely tries to milk. It will flabbergast you beyond limit, vex you if you try to connect the dots, and elude you as you try to reason with it. At the end of the flick you realize it’s Disney after all. What do you expect?

Eventually, you wonder if Alice Through the Looking Glass even came close to how Lewis had intended his book to be, but to be honest there are more creative juices at play in today’s fantasy scenario. The world is constantly growing. We improvise, don’t we?

Far from the Madding Crowd Review (2015)

An ode to the jilted!

Far from the Madding Crowd is a movie that lets us dig into the extraordinary Thomas Hardy genius that gorgeously scales his unique style of story building. David Nicholls knits a fine screenplay to complement the powerful Hardy plot. Thomas Vinterberg on the other hand helms sheer magic. His direction is subtle, focuses on the call of the hour and displays only the best bits he thinks worth depicting.


Born in this era I didn’t have the good hap of watching the first one first, so I decided to accept whatever was flung before me. The setup even though modishly shot doesn’t even for once gives away the intended timeline. You can’t help but compare it to the likes of Gone with the Wind. There are magnificently shot landscapes that will compel you to marvel at innate scenery our planet offers. Lush farms and the tranquility surrounding it will force you to have second thoughts about all the urban choices you made.


When we look at the cast, Carey Mulligan was an extraordinary find. The role she plays – Bathsheba Everdene is a girl with education, an independent woman who doesn’t want to be tied down by promises of love. She can’t be picketed down like someone’s property, until she hits an infatuation herself in the form of Sergeant Francis Troy played by Tom Sturridge. She becomes bewitched at once, slave to her emotions and that’s when a terrible mistake happens. Like she puts it “between jealousy and distraction” she marries him. It is hard not to feel sorry for her to find the inconsiderate guy that doesn’t give two rats about her, and two jilted lovers who only hoped for the best in the backdrop. Carey’s character will also peeve you beyond limit when she turns down brilliant advices by Gabriel Oak played by Matthias Schoenaerts. But isn’t that how life happens to us all? One moment we think we are right only to tumble and rise again. Bathsheba is quite relatable in that respect, and she gets forgiven as well.


The sheep bit in the beginning was one of the gloomiest unfortunate events to have befallen Oak. It was impactful in a way that was capable of flinging you in a sudden gush of emotions. There was nothing Oak could have done to stop that from happening. As the sheep fell all I could remember was being the “The Catcher in the Rye“. Really powerful stuff!


The thing that miffed me in Far from the Madding Crowd was Gabriel Oak’s acting. Even though the script desired him to stay taut like a rock, we don’t see him nail any kind of emotion ever. His act is banal and makes you wonder if he was the right choice for the role. William Boldwood played by Michael Sheen, au contraire acted brilliantly and aced his character to perfection. Jilted finds a meaning on his face, as he takes the gun to pass the eventual poetic justice. Also, I couldn’t help but notice there was no such gut-wrenching drama to it, presence of which could have possibly made the movie even better. However, in the end every frame was worth it.


Far from the Madding Crowd is a very well written, acted and shot flick! Far from the Madding Crowd will impel you to question the choices your reckless head makes.

Captain America: Civil War Review (2016)

High on breathtaking action and bro-feels!

Captain America: Civil War subtly disembarks crucial Marvel characters into the MCU grounds without overlooking the originals. There is a morsel for everybody, as they get a shot at each other with some rad action to ice the intriguing melodramatic plot. Nobody gets left out with their screen time, which was a Herculean thing to achieve. Marvel simply aced it.


Bro-feels are hopping around throughout the movie as you see Cap and Iron Man digress from their paths to go against each other, in a gradually developing storyline. You can’t help but feel sorry for both of them as they try to rip each other apart. Like other characters in the movie you end up taking sides yourselves. Iron Man is understandable but Captain America can’t be written off either. Both are on such pedestals of morality that Civil War between them becomes inevitable.


Action is sheer bonkers! So many cool stunning bits that you have to see the movie again to keep your cross-hairs locked. The biggest action driver is no doubt the Winter Soldier again, as Bucky Barnes ravages through every one who tries to either stop or catch him. Watch out for that highway action scene! He single handedly decimates every superhero who comes in his way. Black Panther gets introduced brilliantly to the tale. So does Spidey! Looking forward to watching their solo movies now.


Civil War is high on humour just like any Marvel movie is, with Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland, Anthony Mackie and Paul Rudd doing us the honors of throwing us off into non-stop guffaws. Brilliantly penned screenplay as usual with great music to cover things up. Editing is exceptional as well.

Captain America: Civil War’s drama lets you dig deeper into the heads of the superheroes, and make them fairly relatable. You can’t help but relate your plight to these characters who get hammered under egotism, friendship, choices and conscience. Despite everything the movie packs in, you have to establish hands down that Iron Man stays the coolest, and Captain America undoubtedly the finest!


The weird thing about Captain America: Civil War is that you divide the movie into sub-sections and you still get awesome mini-movies that hit extraordinary feat per se. Wrap those little plots and there’s the big one that reveals like an eye-opener eventually in the climax.

One downside could be that there is no true villain in the movie. Rather a pointer that directs them into mangling each other to gnaw at the team from inside.


Not going into the spoilers much I would recommend you go get on this awesome bandwagon called Captain America: Civil War at once, and enjoy the thrilling action-packed bromancing ride. Watch it over and over if you wish to relive its classy mind-numbing action.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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?

Tomorrowland Review (2015)

Bird soars!

Disney’s fast paced sci-fi adventure Tomorrowland is an entertaining package. With a great fantastical story in its vanguard, the flick unfurls into a beauty thanks to powerful performances by Clooney, Hugh Laurie and the brilliant Britt Robertson. What constantly gallops the story is its mystery quotient that unfolds gorgeously with luster, amazement and pizzazz. Britt lets you see everything with her eyes of awe as you sit on her saddle to perceive the beauty of an unseen futuristic world that is not only downright advanced but marvelous too.

Tomorrowland is something we have always dreamt of. A place where limits of the mundane don’t bind us. We are free to choose our profession and use ideas to build something beautiful without inhibitions from stuff that bring us down – malice, regulations and confinements.

As a kid, I have always wanted to split open the world’s mystery and walk, with open arms, into the magical dimension of what-ifs. The possibility of the existence of different dimensions in our own has always beamed me up. The part that follows Britt discovering the pin that shows her Tomorrowland is an excellent reflection of our childhood fantasies. How many times have I dreamt of finding something that took me away from all this! Also the frames that follow Britt literally globe-trotting to see the future are visually majestic.

This movie skims the surface of dimensions, portals, and time travel subtly, without prodding into it like pros. This could be counted as a con to the movie. However, it being a Disney flick the specifics can be overlooked. Also, at times you feel the profundity factor missing from the movie, but not for once does the cast drop its guard. Excellent performances I would say buffed up everything, not to mention the concept that keeps you riveted.

Kabooms happening in the middle of the light and the crowd not caring, people disappearing without people noticing, not capturing the world’s reactions are some of the instants that would make you think out loud, “Really?” The dark is completely absent from the movie. There is no time where people sit and brood for a while about the happenings. Even the animation sometimes looks…well really animated. But that was the kind of movie it was supposed to be. A Disney movie!

Screenplay is great, with the majority of the melodrama brought in to play by the animate Athena, and Frank taking things up from there. Hugh Laurie as Nix is exceptional with his villainy touch. His reflection on mankind’s recklessness was really something.

Overall a good movie! Worth a watch!

Cinema: The brush that paints our roads

Cinema is hands down the biggest influence on us. That colossal screen that homes in wonder has been toying with our lives ever since we were kids. Something created merely to keep us in line, keep us from drifting away. Every thought, every action of ours, drenched with a heroic mindset, as if we were the protagonists of our own story. If we didn’t feel love, we felt it because the big bad-ass screen told us to. If we didn’t know what to do, the talking wall taught us what to pick. If we didn’t know where to go, the story in the wall pointed us towards. Our lives smeared by its boisterous presence. It is like a religion that keeps us in check inadvertently.

No one on this wretched planet of ours has a clue about one’s destiny. No one knows what needs to be done. What is life’s ultimate goal apart from crumbling down to nothingness? Who told us to build? Who told us to live? Who told us to do anything? What if I decide to slay a day by doing nothing? Would it change anything? Who is to judge? Who is to say that I wasted it? But you never told us what to do! How can it be called futile? If living is the only thing that matters, didn’t I just live?

But that gigantic thingy guides you to the right grooves. Pushes you into professions and things that you didn’t have a clue about. Suddenly the clueless you, jumps off your seat to pursue a life that the screen aggrandized. Out of the blue you have a purpose. And lo! You are caught in a wretched pointless living cycle once again, following a thing you do not know, that sieved its way into your head all because a screen, that must be true and a story that you could relate to, fed you.

Cinema has the power to project the living in a flamboyant way. It has the power to exalt the trodden too. It can depict future, can let you live the past, can focus on the uplifted, or make you empathize with the destitute. It could be a mere projection of one’s imagination, of the societal happenings, of fantasies from a child’s head, of the dark life, of the heroic of the norm, of fears unexplored, of places unattended, of the truth, of the lies or could be a product of someone’s big plan to keep us engaged, keep us from thinking the unthinkable, to keep us brooding, to keep our brains in check with lives of others, so that we forget ours!

Run All Night Review (2015)

Run All Night is a pleasant surprise.

Having made above average movies like Orphan, Unknown and Non-Stop, Jaume Collet-Serra comes with yet another flick that gets down straight to business – kicking ass, taking names and shooting bullets. Run All Night, despite its forgettable title, manages to stick to its name. You witness events that occur in a single night. Packed in with exceptional performances by the cast, this movie literally breathes on its constantly moving storyline.

Run all night comes with a surprisingly good story taken on the vanguard by great actors like Liam Neeson and Ed Harris. The direction of the movie could have gone better, since there were a lot of useless filler frames that Jaume used to connect scenes. Some of them were really unrelated. Also the frames in the movie skipped so fast that it sometimes became hard to follow up. Incessant movement of the cameras made it hard to focus and taking in the gravity of the situation became really daunting.

Joel Kinnaman as Mike too was a big disappointment. All he did in the movie was act tough, and walk around expressionless. Poor casting choice there, I would say. Also, what is with the poster of the movie? So bland and meaningless!

Melodramatic bits of the story aren’t that great and look more animated than real like the conversation between Mike and Jimmy in the car. Screenplay is hence just okay.  As we reach the end, things become a bit clichéd and predictable. It took me back to ‘Road to Perdition’ for a while.


There is one great face-off scene between the two protagonists in a restaurant where Jimmy urges Shawn to spare Mike. Shawn is pissed beyond limit to let Mike off easily and resents him with a wrathful threat. It looked pretty badass. Also, Jimmy’s backfiring act when he barges in Shawn’s place looked pretty dope too.

Overall the movie was above average. If it weren’t for shaky cameras and really fast paced storytelling this movie could have slipped into the bag of the greats.


Kingsman: The Secret Service Review (2014)

Kingsman is exhilarating!

What does a spy movie need? Eye-popping gore, ridiculous concepts, shreds of humour and some ballsy action sequences. Add a suit to it, and you have got yourself some classic JB stuff. But it ain’t James Bond. Kinda more like Jack Bauer! 😉

Matthew Vaughn hardly disappoints. He is a man of KickAss taste (see what I did there?)  He literally survives on theatrics. Take any of Vaughn’s work and you know he has this unique way of film-making that sways around with the actors, occasionally jumps at them for emphasis, and stays till the animation hangs around. Also, if Vaughn gets serious behind the camera, you just know how his work becomes grim all of a sudden. First Class reference intended! Fortunately we see everything in this movie.

You have a concept, even though how clichéd it might sound, that breathes on Vaughn’s pizzazz, which is seriously taken up with Firth’s splendor and well supported by Taron Egerton’s audacity. To fill in the voids you have Mark Strong to the rescue, whose facial expressions are enough to tell shit’s getting serious. Samuel steps up to fill in the boots of villainy with a lisp. He isn’t dangerous exactly but yes he wears a brainiac-head with an idea so hideous that takes care of the world’s population per se.

There are some ridiculous and uncanny bits in the movie but they are all passable because of this explosive entertainment package that we are shot in the head with. Also, primarily because it is a comic adaptation so I would suggest just go with it. Sit back and enjoy the theatrics. Get on a joy ride that would take you to the rails of awesomeness with bursting heads, popping eyes, plucked hands, flying prosthetics, split bodies and a cute little pug. Whoa! Quite a descent!

The finest part of the flick: Watch out for that church massacre! Amen to that! 😉

Whiplash Review (2014)

Intense and epic!

Damien Chazelle has landed a knockout blow in extremity with his epic jazz project. Whiplash is a story of a young drummer with a potential to stand amongst the greats and an abusive instructor who seeks perfection at every note to help his students achieve the greatness.

The casting couldn’t have been more perfect. Both Teller and Simmons fit the portrait of their characters superbly. Simmons is an exceptional actor. He dons the abusive and mean demeanour quite naturally and carries it throughout the flick, reeking of perversion, cruelty and foul-mouthed barbarism. Going inhumane to create a musical virtuoso was something Simmons was trying to achieve. Teller, an equally great actor leaves no stone unturned to play the obsessive drummer, who fumes with confidence and rage when tipped over the breaking point. You see him burn in wrath and conviction when he is trying to prove himself.

Direction is enthralling. The way camera moves quickly capturing every gesture of the instructor and the protagonist and then landing on every instrument in the orchestra was a delight to watch. Beats in the background subtly wrapping up New York buildings show exceptional direction skills of Chazelle. Editing was outstanding. There wasn’t a moment of ennui in the entire movie.


There are excellent dramatic scenes in the movie that simply goes on to show how Teller has significantly evolved in the acting department. Watch out for the bit when he gets rammed by a truck and still goes on to play. Also when he plays so fiercely that he bleeds and jabs the drum in resentment.

The climax of the movie would literally stop your breath. My hands were moving along with Andrew’s sticks as if I was drumming it. One of the best drums you would ever listen to.

Wasn’t a big jazz fan. This movie has transformed the way I looked at it. Highly recommended quality cinema ladies and gentlemen!

Nightcrawler Review (2014)

Nightcrawler is Jake Gyllenhaal, period.

Dan Gilroy’s debut flick is everything what it needs to be – a perfect reflection of his superb writing. His direction is subtle. Editing is just brilliant. The plot flows in a perfect rhythm through the head of a messed up guy Louis Bloom, who takes you on a high speed ride behind an exquisite red muscle to shoot stories up close.


Jake Gyllenhaal is hands down one of the finest actors in Hollywood. The heights he scales and the lengths he drive deserve a big fat ovation. A psychopath on the loose, Jake is something more than that, a perfectionist who does things that he is good at. A deft thief whose keen eyes fall on crime journalism. He crosses all human confinements and legal barriers to get stories that are still hatching. Every crime scene is his puppet. He beats even the police to it.

An equally good performance by co-stars Rene Russo and Riz Ahmed who end up being manipulated by the devilry of the badass diligent Nightcrawler. Sitting on the hood of the car listening to every word that the static says, learning everything about police radio codes, manifest how dedicated the protagonist is to his work. In his words:

“I am a quick learner.”

There are shots that Jake perfects without dropping his calm demeanor, unhindered and incessant speeches that make you want to clap for his effort. The screenplay brings magic through his lips. The time he breaks the mirror screaming with frustration shows the perfection he has achieved in his acting. A great actor, with the variegation he has scoured, makes him one of a kind. I place him amongst the greats. Bravo!

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