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Justice League Movie Review (2017) | An Undercooked Meal But Not Insipid

Justice League movie is entertaining nevertheless a slight step down from all the standards DC had set in the past, and I am simply ruling Suicide Squad out from the squad. With Nolan nowhere in sight, it is quite apparent, we are not going to get the DC movie we all want. So we are not looking for Nolanish elements anymore frankly, but something to satiate that fanboy zest in us at least. Really, to be honest, we have learnt to make do!

The Justice League movie feels like an undercooked meal primarily because you don’t see your favorite superheroes getting proper justice. They get eclipsed a lot and feel helpless against an enemy they don’t understand. Whilst the movie packs in theatrics galore, at times you feel its CGI fidgeting (don’t even get me started on the moustache thing), and feel it galloping quickly towards an ending.

While there are directors who drench you ‘in the moment’ to let you feel the horror and the pain, Zack Snyder, on the other hand, runs away from it. He does the exact opposite of what he did with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice keeping all the gravitas at bay.

still of Justice League movie

The movie’s editing becomes really questionable towards the end, and you see it flailing and breaking into pieces. Most of the action scenes were already there in the trailers, and it feels like you have already seen the better parts of the movie in the trailers itself. With Hans Zimmer nowhere around for rescue, the music department badly gets affected too. Danny Elfman fails to impress much.

The good thing, however, is that the League gets formed. They have set their temporary HQ and are ready to take more projects.

When you look at the flick’s action bit, it’s all brilliantly done. Entertains you enough with some of the best parts hiding in the middle of the movie. The story is good too, well fabricated to keep you riveted at all times.

There are heroes among us. Not to make us feel smaller, but to remind us of what makes us great.

Let’s quickly move to the spoilers part because talking about it will give away the essence of the story.

Plot of Justice League Movie (Spoilers)

With BvS opening all gates of doom (forget that Martha bit for a minute) to allow villainous elements like Steppenwolf to step in, the story of Justice League movie was already onto something.

No protectors here. No Lanterns. No Kryptonian. This world will fall, like all the others.

So why is Steppenwolf really here? That’s what forms the basis of the Justice League movie story.

The Backstory

Batman tries to capture a Parademon flying around in Gotham who fed on people’s fears. As he vanishes, a trail of three boxes, paints itself on the wall, later revealed to be Mother Boxes. Steppenwolf and his Parademons are after these boxes who are trying to once again remake Earth, a failed attempt that was foiled thousands of years ago by the Amazonians, the Lanterns, the Olympians and the humans, who fought side by side. The mother boxes were separated from each other and placed at different locations.

Steppenwolf successfully retrieves the first Mother Box from Themyscira, as Hippolyta warns Diana of the impending danger. Diana approaches Bruce Wayne to brief him about it, as they try to contact other metahumans Arthur Curry (Aquaman), Barry Allen (Flash) and Victor Stone (Cyborg) in order to form a team to fight Steppenwolf. Curry and Stone refuse and Flash says yes without a second thought, the geek boy he is.

I eat a lot of snacks to fill this black hole. I’m a snack hole!

Steppenwolf attacks Atlantis where the second mother box is located forcing Aquaman to join the league. Stone agrees when he finds out his father Silas is kidnapped along with other S.T.A.R. labs employees.

Justice League movie stills Silas STAR Labs

With the help of Commissioner Gordon (J.K. Simmons) the League tags the employees to an underground tunnel. An epic battle ensues as they manage to rescue the employees, however, fail to defeat Steppenwolf and his army. The resultant fight floods the tunnel with water as Aquaman intervenes just in the nick of time to allow them to escape.

Failing to stop Steppenwolf by themselves, everyone agrees to Plan B of resurrecting Superman by using the third Mother Box that Victor had already with him. With a contingency plan up in Batsy’s sleeves, Mother Box is charged up by Flash to bring the Kryptonian back to life.

The Death and Return of Superman

While the DCEU’s version of the death and the return of Superman plays a little different, it isn’t entirely bad. While it sped things up with Doomsday, bringing him in and then killing Sups in BvS’s eventuality, the return of Superman was once again hastened. But to abate things down, his return is lathed with sheer badassery.

You won’t let me live, you won’t let me die.

When Superman returns he is all whacked up, struggling with his memories, and he finds Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Cyborg right in front of him. He is already eyeing them as a threat, when Cyborg does an accidental friendly fire of reassurance. A war ensues as Superman delivers some of the best action scenes the movie has right then and there.

Flash vs Superman

That isn’t even the best part. It is when Flash is trying to move past Superman as Sups turns in slo-mo to look at him go whaaaaaat? Hands down the best scene in the movie!

When he finds Batsy and is about to shatter him to pieces, in those moments you realize how vulnerable Batman is.

Do you bleed?

It is as if in a way trying to justify all the ass-kicking Batsy did in BvS. It was like Zack Snyder decided to lift the curfew for Superman once, and said – “Go have a shot at him now Sups.”

But the contingency plan is what every Beast falls to – The Beauty. Read this interesting case study of Hulk and Betty Ross’s relationship in case you are scratching your head, why?

And another doomsday gets contained. He then flies with Lois Lane back to Small Ville to see his mother and to recover his lost memories.

Amidst all the chaos, Steppenwolf steps in and takes away the third mother box. That sneaky bastard!

The Final Clash

Locating Steppenwolf and his army in Russia, the rest of the team go all in. They fight the Parademons and try to ward off Steppenwolf’s plan of creating his own world by joining the Mother Boxes. While Steppenwolf was busy giving the Justice League a hard time, Superman joins the team and bashes Steppenwolf to pulp. Steppenwolf, for the first time, experiences fear himself, forcing his own Parademons to turn against him.

Remember how they sniffed fear? Well, no, right? That wasn’t shown enough.

He disappears into the portal he came from along with the Parademons as the Justice League rejoices in their debut victory as a team.

Wayne Manor is declared the Headquarters for the team’s operations as they carry on with their lives.

We have two post-credit scenes here. The first one showing the kick off to that one debatable race between Superman and Flash, leaving the audience once again fighting amongst themselves for “Who’s the fastest?” The second one is Lex Luthor‘s escape where we see him inviting Deathstroke a.k.a. Slade Wilson to make a legion of their own. You guessed it right Injustice League. That epic team of supervillains! \m/

Superman’s Justice League Movie

The way Superman is projected in the Justice League movie, it feels as if he was capable of handling things all on his own. None of the superheroes could do substantial damage to the main antagonist. It is true that the Justice League is incomplete without Superman but unfortunately the whole flick gets judged by his addition.

still of Superman in justice league movie

Whilst Batman goes suicidal at times, you can’t help but realize how ineffectual he stays for most of the parts. You wanted a good solid Snyder standalone tete-a-tete with Batman as was shown in BvS, but unfortunately, this movie becomes all about Superman.

Batsy, au contraire, does heroic things from his mouth sometimes slipping in beautiful advice like this one to a reluctant Flash:

Batman: Save one person.
Flash: And then?
Batman: Then you will know.

It was good.

Other Misses

While there were stories to be retold, something we had already seen the prequel stumble with, Justice League movie tries to do that all over again. Every superhero’s story that nerds already know about (not everyone) get subtly told. Aquaman’s tale however directly dived into it quite unconvincingly. I am guessing we have a solo movie on the cards, probably that’s why.

It’s good that we haven’t been including Green Lantern or the Martian Manhunter so far, or nothing could have stopped it from becoming a catastrophic hotchpotch all over again.

At the end of it all, however, you feel justice hasn’t been really done to your favorite characters. Batsy has been eclipsed way too much in front of Superman, and the Man of Steel literally shines out as everyone’s sole saviour, making every other superhero feel pointless.

Steppenwolf doesn’t create a memorable villain either. You will remember him as the guy who got his ass kicked by Superman. While we expected a lot of villainy from Steppenwolf, he had no master plan or surprises up his sleeves.

Steppenwolf in Justice League movie

With Steppenwolf’s dud trial, the movie seems like a stepping stone. That’s exactly what it feels like – a ladder to help you climb a gradually building universe. And there’s nothing wrong with that if you look at it in a positive way. At least we are building DCEU.

The Final Verdict

Justice League movie might not be the best of DC’s work, but it feels like a satisfying comic read that fills you up with knowledge. The movie is saved mostly by its storyline which is like a nicely written tale if not climactic.

To be honest with you, there’s nothing like the animated movie edition of Justice League: The Complete Series, that made me fall in love with the league in the first place. You can order it from here:


While we will find some really good directors to helm our favorite characters properly, sometimes we won’t. But the good thing remains, we are chugging forward with our DCEU, even though it feels like a dodgy start.  It’s good that we have quickly picked up the pace.

I really hope solo movies do them all justice in the long run. Keeping fingers crossed.

Check out the trailer of Justice League movie:

The Accountant Movie Review (2016) | Ben Affleck’s a Badass Prodigy

Bill Dubuque’s story of The Accountant movie fits like a glove into the frames of Gavin O’Connor, one of the finest directors of our times. For those who are unaware, the latter’s the same guy who brought us the exceptional movie Warrior in the year 2011. The Accountant movie packs in a rare gem of a story that couldn’t have received a better director. Apart from a predictable climax, the movie retains just the right amount of action and a lot of awe-inspiring intelligible gestures that compel you to marvel at the protagonist, and his unworldly state of mind.

Gavin O’Connor isn’t the only one trying to furbish the brilliant frames of The Accountant movie. He is well supplemented at all times by extraordinary actors like Ben Affleck, Jon Bernthal, J.K. Simmons and Anna Kendrick. With Ben Affleck taking up the center seat to let us stay astounded at the genius his character is, you wonder if autism could really create something as badass as him.

DIRECTION OF THE ACCOUNTANT MOVIE

I love how tranquil Gavin O’Connor remains behind the lens, and it literally shows in his work. There is this rare calm in his frames that keeps telling you the story intended to be shown. He doesn’t move on like others do when he is done. That leaves his work with proper apt focus.

The Editing of the movie is a tad troublesome, more miffing. The trick of inserting convoluted stories, overlapping tales into other tales, doesn’t really work that well in the case of The Accountant. The broken timeline that is created, in fact, ends up creating hell lot of confusion. You are forced to wonder which one’s which. However, at all times, even in that dire seriousness of helming subplots, Gavin stays undeterred. I surmise that helps in keeping his work well polished.

THE ACCOUNTANT PLOT (SPOILERS AHEAD)

Christian Wolff is a licensed accounting genius working for a small business accounting firm in Plainfield, Illinois. His accounting “glitch missions” are provided to him over the phone by a voice, that seems to share his secret. Wolff had a harsh childhood with autism. He and his brother Braxton were left by their mother at a young age. With a military hardened father to tend to their actions, they had an even rougher livelihood growing up.

Another side plot introduces us to Raymond King (Simmons) who is keen on catching the one man that had eluded him ever since a painful meeting in the past. He hires Marybeth Medina played convincingly well by Cynthia Addai-Robinson to find him and arrest him.

Christian Wolff’s next mission is his final legal assignment in a Robotics Company where he is to solve a huge financial discrepancy issue. It also introduces him to Dana Cummings (Anna Kendricks). What follows is an intricate unfolding in an endeavour to find out who the real culprit behind the discrepancy is. What gorgeously skims alongside the revelation is an unknown figurine trying to shut everybody down by killing them with the help of a cool threatening assassin (Bernthal).

SCENES TO CHERISH: BEN AFFLECK GILDING

There are jaw-dropping moments squeezed into the accountant that will make you laud it profusely. To see Christian Wolff break all barriers of the mundane is insanely gratifying. His modus operandi of doing things, the unique style even before he begins focusing, and the things he does to stay confined becomes further embellished by Ben Affleck’s natural flair for acting. I loved how Wolff kept a painting of Pollock on his ceiling, that he would stare at the chaos on it before soothing himself to sleep.

still of Ben Affleck as Christian Wolff in the Accountant movie brooding

Also, the fact that Christian Wolff had everything in his life in order can’t be missed. Right from the point he would open his garage gates, to the precision in his entrance, to his parking and to the timely array of everything that composed his life; Everything, almost everything talked about how controlled he really was. Then how with an uncommon act of disarray, with the inclusion of a tinge of dissonance into his perfection, chaos ensued. It was beautifully portrayed.

Then there are dope action sequences that will leave you dumbfounded. Action is quick, stylized and decorated, just the way we prefer. His sniper shots are like music to the ears, and eye candy to the eyes.

You can pre-order the DVD of The Accountant from here:


DOWNSIDES OF THE ACCOUNTANT MOVIE

Robert C. Treveiler plays a tough army dad who wishes to see his kids prepped up for an unfair world. For that he trains them, a punitive ceaseless affair that goes on till they learn everything there is, in all kinds of fighting lessons. But in his abominable bluntness, there remains a brazen overlooking of children injustice that stays unaddressed. As if all of it was fine.

With Ray King’s (played by J.K. Simmons) constant twitching, you get an idea if there is a sub-plot at play, or if there is a relation with the protagonist, waiting to be dropped at any moment. Then when you are entertained with the conjoining of prologue you get to see why Ray is keen on finding about “the who” and also the whereabouts of The Accountant. The fact that all of that search accounts for nothing eventually bothers you beyond limit, since that leaves threads out in the open. You can’t help but wonder – Why that dispensable build up when it wasn’t supposed to go anywhere?

ANOTHER BIG LET DOWN

Unfortunately the Accountant movie has its Martha moment too. (I am a huge Affleck fan, but sorry it was too evident to overlook). You wait for that final fight to take place only to realize Braxton and Wolff were in fact brothers. You kind of see that from far away too. But then even after that big climax, the reason they start fighting for is something that will make you shake your head. That aftermath lacks proper melodrama, and their squabble ends up becoming a complete dud.

still of Jon Bernthal as Braxton in the Accountant movie

Another one of those I have already mentioned before. Bazillions of subplots! It is hard to keep track of them. It’s like someone is telling a story, and then even before it gets over, someone narrates another one. Perplexes you so much!

THE FINAL VERDICT

I would recommend you to celebrate the movie for its dark theme. However limited its action is, you are going to love it for its thrilling depiction. Also, there are two reasons to watch the Accountant movie. The first one – Ben Affleck, hands down. A clean winner! The second one is for Gavin O’Connor’s grim direction. He shoehorns in just the right amount of everything confirming nothing’s truly spoiled. So despite the vexing flaws it possesses everything’s overlooked.

You can check out the trailer of The Accountant movie here:

Kung Fu Panda 3 Review (2016)

Kung Fu Panda 3 is just as adorable as its predecessors.

KUNG FU PANDA 3 HIGHLIGHTS

Po is back with his unceasing shenanigans. The humour he manages to squeeze out with a droll face and his non-stop clumsy acts is just A1. Ice that up with the perfect comic delivery of Jack Black, and we get a Panda that just takes it up to another level of awesomeness. He still gets awestruck by trivial things. Still does all the things that he used to, to throw you into fits of laughter. Kung Fu Panda 3 is yet another installment that doesn’t stop at nothing to make you giggle whilst you chomp on your popcorn.

The movie is an info-taining lesson that teaches us a lot of crucial stuff like teamwork, improvisation, support, brotherhood, unity and forgiveness. CGI is just as great as the previous installments. If you are looking for fun, boy this movie is nothing but the Kung “Fun” Panda 3!

SPOILERS BOUNCING AHEAD

Sticking to its origin when it comes to the plot, where we always get served a badass villain who ends up getting ridiculed by the cloddish mien of our protagonist Kung Fu Panda 3 is no different. We are offered a fixed mainstream story-line when it comes to fighting bits. Exploring a little softer side, we find a pleasant addition to the tale in the form of Li, the biological father of Po. He is equally upbeat and cool like Po.

PLOT BIGGIES

Plot delves into darker waters as we find Li tricking Po into visiting his village convincing him to teach him Chi. Bubbly as Po is he gets sold to the faux story and walks, nay, clambers his way towards the awesome village of even cuter Pandas who overwhelm him with their unique acts. Kai, the ruthless villain from the spirit realm rummages through their village to have a final face-off against our hero. A complete entertaining package!

DOWNSIDES

If you look at the downsides, things go in a lot of fantastical zone like the introduction of Chi, learning which should be a Herculean task for the Panda town. But they ace it in a jiffy. So, wasn’t tangible exactly, but then again isn’t the movie franchise entirely fictional already?

So, overlooking everything incredible in the Panda series, I come to the bottom-line: Kung Fu Panda 3 is a great entertainer!

Terminator Genisys Review (2015)

Terminator Genisys falls apart circling bland horizons.

If you have been following the Terminator saga closely, which as a matter of fact I have, and which of course is hard for people to keep track of given the humongous year gaps, you would be thrilled to see the beginning sequence of the movie. The untold prologue gets told. What James Cameron had hinted in the first installment gets displayed. But the question goes: was it perfect?

What James Cameron had ignited long ago was a spark of sci-fi awesomeness. The cast then was stellar, their acting prowess unmatched! What Alan Taylor has with him is a bunch of renowned actors, some of them can’t really plunge into the sentient topnotch emotions that the then Sarah, Kyle and Connor had sparked amidst the Skynet terror stricken world. (Daggers intended at Jai Courtney!)

Genisys has a brilliant plot too, but unfortunately it negates everything James had built in his timeline. The time theory just gets trudged upon big time and little explanations of justification make things even more difficult to understand. If you aren’t up to speed with the Terminator timeline, you might as well miss it.

The powerful drama of the franchise gets lost into mediocrity. Gravity in the characters is nowhere to be found. There is no impending dread like there used to be. It fails to milk on hard-to-defeat robot fear factor.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

All that had happened in ‘The Terminator’ is made to rest in dust, as Sarah encounters another Arnie (whom she calls Pops, and boy does he behave like one!) in the year 1973, who had come to save her from a Skynet cyborg sent from the future just like the first installment. Now the meeting with Kyle Reese in the year 1984 happens but this time with an already prepped Pops (who knows everything about the future) and Sarah who intercept Kyle and kill Arnie from The Terminator. What is the next logical thing to do? Avoid the judgment day. So that is what Kyle and Pops are in for, but Kyle breaks in with a memory he had in the time machine saying they have to go to 2017 as that is when the judgment day was bound to happen and not 1997 (Kyle and Pops don’t know that as they haven’t seen T-2 :P). So what appears to be a recalcitrant Kyle coaxing Sarah to go to 2017 (that looks horrible btw) was basically based on a memory Kyle had. Trusting that they reach 2017 where Genisys aka Skynet is about to go live.

What makes the story even more intricate is the fact that John Connor in the future gets affected by Skynet something that Kyle witnesses when he was about to time travel to 1984. The affected John Connor is then sent some years prior to 2017 to see to it that everything goes fine and that Genisys goes online without a hiccup (so primarily to stop Kyle and Sarah).

Along with Kyle, Sarah time travels to 2017 only to find the future bad John and of course Pops still up and running. What follows are some brilliant action sequences in an effort to stop Skynet/Genisys from going live. I know it’s one hell of a hotchpotch. Things were simpler when there was only one timeline to follow.

Jai seems literally absent with emotions. (Was he just chosen for the naked time travel scenes or was he really supposed to act?) He looked more cyborg than Pops! Emilia could have been a good Sarah, but sometimes it is really hard to read her. The Kyle and Sarah romance and the right chemical vibes are literally absent from the movie which makes it hard to relate to their commotion. Movie lacks profundity something that its predecessors had mastered. Arnold is showing too many expressions for a cyborg. The inclusion of J.K. Simmons looks dispensable. Jason Clarke doesn’t look that great as John too.

On the good side we have some pretty dope action scenes, like the one where Pops holds a T-1000 in the acid. Or when he rams a rotor into John, the bus action seq, and the final action bits that look pretty great. Other than that, mediocre!

Whiplash Movie Review (2014) | Nerve-Racking Energy | Extraordinary

Whiplash movie is astonishingly 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 among the greats, and an abusive instructor who seeks perfection at every note to help his students achieve greatness.

Casting of Whiplash Movie

The casting couldn’t have been more perfect. Both Miles Teller and J. K. Simmons fit the portrait of their characters superbly. Simmons is an exceptional actor who tries to create an abominable Fletcher. He dons an abusive and mean demeanour quite naturally.  He carries it successfully throughout the flick, and reeks of perversion, hubris and foul-mouthed barbarism. Going inhumane to create a musical virtuoso was something Fletcher was trying to achieve.

image of J. K. Simmons as Fletcher shouting at Andrew in Whiplash movie

Teller, an equally great actor, plays Andrew who leaves no stones unturned to play the obsessive drummer. He fumes with confidence and rage when he is tipped over the breaking point. You see him burn in conviction whenever he tries to prove himself. All of it gets unequivocally justified in the final climactic session of the Whiplash movie.

Damien Chazelle: The True Directorial Gem

Damien Chazelle directs the movie brilliantly. The way he moves the camera, rotating it throughout the orchestra by capturing the instructor gesture, the protagonist and then every instrument, is commendable. His frames were exciting. Beats in the background subtly wrapping up New York buildings help bring skills of the director into the limelight. The editing of the movie was outstanding as well. There wasn’t an element of ennui present in the entire movie.

You can order Whiplash movie from here:


Outstanding Drama (Spoilers)

Whiplash movie is brimming with dramatic scenes that insinuate how Miles Teller has significantly evolved as an actor. Watch out for the bit when he gets rammed by a truck and then still wakes up from that decimation to play. Also, watch out for the time when he plays so fiercely that he bleeds and ends up jabbing the drum in resentment.

The climax of the movie would literally take your breath away. So brilliant is the energy there that it would be a rare miracle if you somehow survive that nerve wreckage. My hands were moving along with Andrew’s sticks as if I was the one who was drumming it. Hands down 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! Go watch this one. Don’t miss it for the world!

You can check out the trailer of Whiplash here: