Straight From a Movie

Pensive Thoughts on Paper | Movie Reviews and Quotes Website

Tag: Claire

Collateral Beauty Review (2016) | It Sounds Good But It Isn’t

Okay we get it. The theme of Collateral Beauty was purely based on grief, and so it had all the good actors attracted to it naturally. They had a beautiful imaginative script, and if you read something like that on a paper, it does sound good. Unfortunately when you try to play it, it becomes plain stupid. That’s what happened with the gloomy David Frankel project.

Plot and Direction of Collateral Beauty (Spoilers)

All fingers don’t just point towards Allan Loeb‘s sad script, one of the middle one points towards the movie’s direction too. David Frankel still has a lot to learn about subtlety. It’s absence shows in his work at so many occasions that it makes you want to shake your head. You end up getting a cramp because it is lodged throughout the flick.

To begin with let’s take the character of Will Smith into account. Howard is a man that snaps out right at the prologue. He doesn’t hand us over even a second to relate to him. Then you think maybe, just maybe, the reason for his anguish might be inbound for a thorough melodramatic coverage in the later half, and that it would help us come to his frequency. But unfortunately you never crack his psychotic level at all. Very unconvincing!

The description of his grief starts when his co-workers Claire, Whit and Simon, played by Kate Winslet, Edward Norton and Michael Pena respectively, gossip behind his back talking about the why, the what and the how of “aftermath daughter death”. It flings us into the primal plot almost immediately. So, we actually know the paramount reason right in the beginning of the movie itself.

image of Will Smith as Howard in Collateral Beauty

Then starts dispensable charades. Tons of them actually, where you see Howard nodding his head in agreement as if listening to what people are saying to him, and then deliberately ignoring them. Then we see Claire leaving things for him that stay untouched. Whit trying to come up with ideas that puts questions against his friendship with Howard. Oh! oh! and Simon, Michael Pena’s character begins to cough suddenly out of nowhere just for the sake of creating sub-plots.

Laughable sub-plots

The sub-plots. Don’t even get me started on them! Horrible! Why were they even there in the first place? Oh right unless the writer wanted to come back to it at a later point? Heights of the platitude!

Movie tries to personify love, time and death. And it does so with characters of Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley and Jacob Latimore. Then you see these characters suddenly focus their spotlight towards people who had hired them instead. Stories you don’t want to worry about suddenly becomes their prime concern. And these issues are so irrelevant to the main tale, that you know for sure something’s up. And then lo! You can see through it all. All of it! You see the predictable climax appear from far away.

The only thing you don’t see coming is Madeleine‘s bizarre angle portrayed by Naomie Harris, which shows us Howard visiting her as a stranger. And the only reason you don’t see that coming is because they both act like absolute strangers. But even when that gets uploaded on the big screen, you can’t help but giggle.

The Goodies

Focusing on the good stuff, as I generally do, Will Smith goes in full acting mode when he tries to overcome figments of his head. When he shouts at them trying to justify his case, he leaves them in a vexed mode. That’s where you get to see his wound slash open. So if you are a Will Smith diehard fan you are going to enjoy that incessant frown on his head.

Also, you see Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren and Edward Norton toil really hard to deliver their bits. Even though it appears like a resounding debacle, never for a second they let you feel anything amiss. There is real pain in Kate’s

“I am really sorry, Howard!”

and there’s genuine concern in them Norton eyes for his daughter. Real blush lurks on the semblance of Keira and there’s real distress in Smith’s eyes.

You can pre-order Collateral Beauty from here:

Screenplay

Screenplay is so cliched that it hurts your ears when you try to listen to them. Okay I am exaggerating there. What is worse is that it gets delivered by theater actors (at least that was intended in the first place) who think a cliched definition is all a grieving person needs to listen to.  Some of them are actually pretty good too, but the smart stuff is intentionally kept for the hero to deliver.

The Final Verdict

It’s almost as if I tell you the story of Collateral Beauty you might actually like it, and not think of it as something cheesy. But when you actually see it get dramatized and performed by actors you begin to realize how idiotic it truly looks, and that it was better off as a script unplayed.

Despite Collateral Beauty has stellar actors in the vanguard, it falls owing to its unrealistic and super contrived look and feel. Some scenes are simply out of the blue and context for that to matter.

It could have been so much better if David Frankel had decided not to helm it. Even better handed it over to Spike Jonze instead and taken some time off to concentrate on comedies instead.

You can check out the trailer of Collateral Beauty movie here:

Secret in Their Eyes Review (2015)

So this was supposed to be a remake of the Argentinian flick “The Secret in their Eyes”. Unfortunately this turned out to be one of the worst remakes ever made.

Let us crawl slowly through the direction department:

It isn’t intense. Doesn’t let you connect at all. The office romance of Chiwetel and Nicole lacks the chemistry it was supposed to reach. Billy Ray goes for two parallel storylines which further vexes the audience. Primary reason being, Chiwetel looks exactly the same in both timelines, (his white beard is the only thing that could have probably pin pointed, and the flick’s story, which as a matter of fact, compels you to spend minutes wondering what they are really talking about to grasp which timeline you are exactly in)

Moving on to the plot front. So they did change the story a bit with the inclusion of Julia Roberts to the tale. Making her daughter a victim. The initial bits of the movie were quite powerful where she gives a power pack performance whilst grieving. Then she too gets bogged down by the flick’s poor direction. Screenplay is sometimes fine, but at most junctures lanced by inappropriate editing.

The story also lacks a proper Dirty War backdrop. Here 9/11 terrorism is taken into account for a distraught system. Although the plot of the movie runs directly on the rails of the Argentinian version, you incessantly feel something isn’t right. Music of the movie isn’t profound and is the detachable kind, not present at most of the crucial junctures.

Nicole is pretty much simply there, expressionless yet sensuous. You almost don’t figure out if Nicole was bluffing whilst challenging Marzin of his manhood. So poorly made! Even the final bits where everything was supposed to actually matter, things become so hazy and bleak you start thinking if it would end in a different fashion altogether.

Chiwetel tries to hold every bit on his shoulders alone, but unfortunately falls in the muck of some weird unfeeling love and looks of his co-stars. A very bad remake, actually. Go watch the original!

Jurassic World Review (2015)

Jurassic World gives you the nostalgic jitters. Colin Trevorrow is no Spielberg. Yet he tries to nail an awesome project into the right groove. Jurassic World is a constantly entertaining, at times dramatic, thrilling joyride into the lost dino theme. We are introduced to the most dreadful, villainous and invincible creatures of all times, Indominus Rex, the hybrid that manifests multiple traits. She is relentless, aggressive, highly intelligent and untamable and she kills for sport. Things look pretty bad right there, huh! Wait till you see the other pack of dinos that Jurassic World hatches.

The story of the movie is technically quite similar to the originals however it races in as a sequel to them. The plot is a little bit predictable but Trevorrow manages to unfurl it gorgeously at the right dire moments.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

Dinosaurs are living things. They can communicate, understand each other, work as a team to topple the bad and avenge! Jurassic World runs on this very theme. It also exalts the brave, with Chris Pratt doing us the honours under the skin of Owen Grady, a relentless bad-ass who would do anything to save lives. A messed-up Claire played by Bryce Dallas Howard who thinks these animals are mere assets that don’t feel a thing, however has a change of heart at a later stage when she sympathizes with one. Two kids who are on their holiday to explore the park and a lot of tourists who are there just for fun. Irrfan Khan does a brilliant job as Masrani with his engaged acting. Vincent D’Onofrio too does a fine job with his character trying to milk opportunities. BD Wong has a short but powerful cameo and reprises his role as Dr. Henry Wu.

There are many Easter eggs in the flick that would throw you into the pits of nostalgia. Many references are made to Hammond and his mistakes, a revisit to the previous Jurassic Park place, the aviary aftermath with Pteranodons, ruthless Velociraptors, the red burning flare, the unflinching T-Rex and the deafening triumphant growl of the Rex everything simply takes you back in time.

Screenplay is well written if we concentrate only the first half of the movie. There are brilliant conversations between Masrani, Wu, Hoskins and Owen that pack in the dramatic quotient to the flick.

The movie however fails to revive the fear that all its prequels breathed on. Nobody is really afraid of dinosaurs. With Pratt doing ballsy stuff, you suddenly aren’t afraid of dinosaurs. Next thing you know even Claire goes on to summon a frigging T-Rex with a flare. We used to pee our pants with a Velociraptor around, and they are literally dancing with the dinos! Kids in the movie too don’t have much to do in the climactic scenes. Nature plays survival of the fittest once again and humans become mere spectators of destruction. In the end it boils down to teamwork and overpowering your killer instinct like valued lessons for humans which become a little indigestible.

After the attack of the Pterosaurs, the movie tries to dive into the dark from where things become a little shoddy. Editing goes a little poor there considering the classic frame cuts in the first half. Profundity in the characters of Claire and Owen loses its charm, and suddenly Owen is open for some Hoskins change. Claire’s change of heart has no gravity or a backdrop screenplay to nail the effect. There is no scientific rendezvous unlike its prequel. Also, sometimes you wish the family drama to be a bit engaging. Some flaws pop up too but apart from these little things the movie is a complete entertaining package into the past.

Watch and reminisce!