Straight From a Movie

Pensive Thoughts on Paper | Movie Reviews and Quotes Website

Tag: movie review (page 1 of 10)

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:

 

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:

 

The Girl on the Train Movie Review (2016) | A Whodunit Thriller That Leaves you Guessing

The Girl on the Train is a whodunit mystery. Tate Taylor tries to keep the real murderer well under the wraps at all times in the girl on the train movie, trying to do ample justice to Paula Hawkins’s novel of the same name. However, in an attempt to cover up, and tie everything down to the story’s culminating point, he seems to be unknowingly rushing towards the ending. That leaves Tate Taylor’s work a tad impoverished for its grim theme. Characters of the movie don’t get a proper focus, and you kind of hate every one. Nevertheless, when you focus on its fine plot you realize that Paula Hawkins had weaved one hell of a tale, and for that you cannot praise her enough.

Characters in The Girl on the Train Movie

The Girl on the Train movie commences with a slow jerk, with overwhelming thoughts of Rachel portrayed brilliantly by Emily Blunt. I am pretty sure it would have sounded a bit different if the screenplay had zoomed in on her broody thoughts more than focusing on just the materialism. Her yearning to live someone else’s life, her vantage that sees a stranger’s rewarding world and tries to compare it with hers, her perceptive theories that try to write stories on already written pages, and her constant yammering and reasoning with herself in search for a direction were all literally shouting for better subtle and artful frames. Unfortunately Tate didn’t realize that.

still of emily blunt as Rachel in the girl on the train movie

We move on just like that speeding train without getting a hang of her emotional trauma. Then we see Tate introducing us to the second most crucial character, Megan portrayed by Haley Bennett. She is a perfect fit with a constant gloom that looms over her. She tries to display all phases of her life, the past, the present and an impending horrible future in her countenance. Her comportment is that of an intense indifference that lurks somewhere in the hollows of her eyes.

Other Characters

Anna played by Rebecca Ferguson on the other hand gets the least amount of focus. You don’t see her unfurling that well. Tom’s character portrayed by Justin Theroux seems most of the time absent. Edgar Ramirez creates Dr. Kamal Abdic as Megan’s shrink, and is a guy who basically listens to her, and given his profession, understands her troubling woes more than anyone else. Scott played by Luke Evans is simply a guy who ends up being cheated upon, and later lied to by Rachel. He doesn’t get a proper screen time. With such cameo kind of roles you feel like, it is the director and not the story that is basically trying to steer you towards the enigma.

The Inebriated Plot (Spoilers Ahead)

Rachel is an alcoholic, and she drinks so much that she has become amnesic. So much that she is in a constant wont of blacking out every day. It is then others who fill her in about her acts. That’s like a curse per se. She has been divorced by her husband, who has married Anna now and has a baby with her. Glimpses from the past haunt her, and it is hard for her to move on.

still of haley bennett as megan in the girl in the train movie

Megan is a gorgeous lady with a troubled past. She babysits Anna and Tom’s child, and lives a few blocks away from their house. But her backstory will bring tears to your eyes. I just wished her dismay to be captured better than what Tate showed us. She lives with Scott, the guy with the perfect body, but unfortunately she has been cheating on him.

In a series of fuming events, Megan disappears and nobody seems to know where she is. Rachel who had unknowingly bonded with her, (a one way) by simply staring at her life through the panes of a train ends up blacking out on the very night of her disappearance. And sadly she was the only one who could have guessed the culprit.

The movie is then her attempt to figure out who the real murderer is, and she doesn’t rule herself out as well.

You can pre-order the movie The Girl on the Train here:

Other Issues

The thing with crime drama is that it mostly revolves around characters. And each one demands irrefutable attention. But there is so little to the character development here that makes you hate each and every one of them. There is nothing relatable served to you, and that’s where the disconnect lies.

The timing of this movie is also one of those issues. It was released alongside Inferno, another movie that had belied memories to blame for, almost a same amnesic plot build up. The similarity is very uncanny.

still of Rebecca Ferguson as Anna the girl on the train movie

Another vexing fact is that Tate Taylor tries to confuse the viewers even more by showing glimpses from the past in constant running frames. Even though it’s a ballsy attempt at subtlety, trying to dislodge the timeline into dissonance, it sometimes becomes too much. As if trying to figure out what’s happening wasn’t enough!

The Final Verdict

A movie like The Girl on the Train needs a profound calm. Something that lets you think alongside the protagonist, or may be relate to her character, by understanding her.  Sadly that’s profusely missing. However, the movie still remains a very intriguing crime story that will leave you wanting to know what’s coming at every juncture.

Bottom-line is, The Girl on the Train movie could have become so much great, but it ends up becoming a mere adequacy instead.

Check out the trailer of The Girl on the Train movie here:

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:

Don’t Breathe Review (2016) | Tortuous and Perturbing Thriller

Don’t Breathe or The Blind Man will hear you! Fede Alvarez comes with a twisted tale of a twisted blind man who lives in a land of the deserted. Those blind eyes tell a story that people always read without knowing about what secrets house in that wretched house of his, until one day three robbers decide to plunder him of his riches. That’s when you see past the belied story of the man. That’s also when you discover how abominable it is.

don't breathe movie trio Money Alex and Rocky

The titular thriller justifies the theme of the movie perfectly. I found myself literally holding my breath to ensure the protagonist made it unfazed. What works terribly well for the movie is its plausibility quotient, the way the storyline unfolds by staying true to its roots, and how everything stays connected one by one with steps in the same ladder. All of it makes Don’t Breathe seem very tenable.

Direction of Don’t Breathe Movie

Fede Alvarez’s direction is simply top-notch. The way his camera moves along with him in the house will leave you with goose bumps. To top that all there are weird surprises at every corner and that’s what makes it both terrifying and thrilling. To see Stephen Lang pop up out of nowhere breaking those absent rooms with his presence, is outright criminal!

still of the Blind Man in Don't Breathe movie

You cannot overlook the music of Don’t Breathe either; superbly complementing the theme, racing down alongside the thrill! It instantly puts you in the right mood.

Plenty of Dope Thrills (Spoilers Gasping Ahead)

The fact that there are many points of culmination in Don’t Breathe will often oscillate you to and fro flinging you towards a surefire neurotic arrest. You will constantly find your heart in your mouth as you try to escape the nefarious blind man yourself thinking at the speed of light just like the unfortunate trapped souls.

That time where the characters grope in dark has been brilliantly shot. Their eyes are dilated as they scrabble to escape their misery in pitch darkness. To have lived something as awful as that is bound to tingle your spines. Also, it hasn’t been stretched which makes it even more delectable.

To ice the accursed Blind Man, we have a badass dog, a Rottweiler that comes at odd junctures, making things even more baleful. It brings that frightening steer in the tale and that fills the movie with even more horror.

still of don't breathe dog in dont breathe movie

It takes in the vanguard a dispensable character Money played by Daniel Zovatto of the It Follows fame, Rocky played by Jane Levy whom we saw in Evil Dead in the 2013 reboot, and Dylan Minnette as Alex of the Goosebumps movie as the thieves who choose the wrong house. Each one of them were superbly cast.

You can pre-order the movie from here:

Downsides

One huge thing about the movie is the weighing in on of its crime. The fact that the intruders were criminals themselves, technically you shouldn’t feel sorry for them rather deem everything as poetic justice. But when the real trepidation begins to trickle you realize murder beats them all. You can’t help but take sides.

Also, we have seen plenty of thrillers that skim the line of Don’t Breathe before. Except for the fact that the killer here is blind; if you take out this apparent crux, the movie stands strangely on the lines of what we have seen plenty of times before. If it weren’t for Fede’s brilliance, it would have failed to impress.

The Final Gavel

Don’t Breathe is edgy, thrilling and an exhilarating joyride into the crime vale where you are left at the mercy of a psychotic blind man. If you are a thriller aficionado, this movie is just for you.

Go ahead and watch this one!

Check out the trailer of Don’t Breathe movie here:

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:

Keanu Review (2016) | Key and Peele are at it again | Entertaining Comedy

Our favourite duo Key and Peele are here with their very own fully fledged movie. Keanu is sort of a strange unraveling comedy made better by its rib-tickling comic performances.

Brilliant comic timings of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele aggrandize every comic scene they are in. There constant reasoning with references is what fills their cajoling with plentiful humour. Their inane talks will have you wait for that impactful punch and that’s what they invariably bank on.

DIRECTION OF KEANU

Sitting on the director’s chair is Peter Atencio, who hands us over a slow paced yet perfectly plausible comedy. Does he make Keanu a winning affair? Oh yes he does!

The way he helms allows viewers to encash on perfect focus. You have plenty of time to comprehend what is going on. When you take the opening slo-mo sequence of Keanu into account, wherein a poor kitten gets trapped in a shootout escapade, you realize how he doesn’t rule out theatrics from his work at all. Peter Atencio pays attention to story building. He comprehends the crux of the theme he is directing and remembers to come around to justify it every now and then.

The bad thing is that you don’t see a lot of subtlety in his direction. He takes on a plain staid approach to depict his frames. Even though it works for him, to be candid, it ends up becoming a very jaded direction.

PLOT FRONT (SPOILERS AHEAD)

still of key and peele from keanu movie with the catKeanu is more of a sitcom that places cousins Rell Williams and Clarence Goobril in a really dangerous situation. Whilst they play along in order to find the kitten who took Rell’s heart almost at once, masks they wear are jocularly awkward. A series of lies get them finger deep in a muck of their own doing, and they end up donning an image they were never comfortable with.

Keanu, the adorable kitten, however ephemeral its role is, stays the rudimentary basis of the movie’s plot. It circles around the kitten constantly trying to put meaning into the no-nonsense comedy.

The good thing about Keanu is its unfurling pace. It runs on a brilliant conveyor that knows how to sieve in quality humour. The fact that every event has repercussions and is followed up properly with a plausible act is what makes this flick highly delectable giving it a proper movie-like contour.

PLENTY OF DOWNSIDES TOO

Keanu unfortunately has plenty of downsides that slam it down as well. The Anna Faris story was an unnecessary sub-plot that seemed weirdly out of place. It was stretched beyond limit, something that lets you see the emptiness in its shoddy editing. Then when they try to justify it in the end, its revelation is equally stupid.

Even though you might say looking at the Hi-C story, the one played by Tiffany Haddish that you didn’t see that coming, it was something that impoverished the original theme Keanu was trying to rail on. The Allentown brothers story also seemed promising from the prologue but it ends up going nowhere.

still of the cute keanu cat kitten in gangster style

There isn’t constant humour running in the veins of Keanu that will fail to put you into fits of laughter. Even though you realize at the end of it how little were those laughable bits in the movie, it still has aplenty to make the movie interesting and engaging.

THE FINAL VERDICT

Keanu is saved and uplifted mostly by Key & Peele and its great meaningful direction. The rest is kind of really thin.

You can check out the trailer of Keanu here:

Rustom Review (2016) | Enfeebled Courtroom Drama | Celebrates Crime

Rustom is a perfect example of how tawdry cinema gets showcased in India. This is what sells, unfortunately seems to work as well for the Indian multitude.

The problem isn’t with the aspiring filmmakers though; it is with the average Indian mentality. Even though we are sprawled out at ease in 2016, our thoughts are still abounding in the narrowness of our past. We are changing no doubt, but it is more of a scionic change that derives inspiration from time. One’s thoughts, perspective and feelings are forced upon every newborn. The posterity, with the lack of proper healthy unscrupulous environment, learn whatever their ascendants are trying to enforce upon. They reek of their parent’s, and are literally moulded by inbred ideologies. So, whatever we see today we try to weigh it with time, and judge them with our preinstalled memories. That’s the crime we commit – leaving our judgments into the hands of our narrow-minded notions that we still unknowingly judge the world by.

RUSTOM DEBRIEFING

Neeraj Pandey walks in again, this time in a courtroom, with Akshay Kumar in the vanguard as is his constant wont, the face he still encashes upon without batting an eye. Neeraj invariably manages to find the actor in him somehow, and as long as they deliver nobody’s really complaining.

The movie released as part of Plan C Studios is helmed by Dharmendra Suresh Desai (Tinu Suresh Desai). The story of Rustom is inspired by the original 1959 Nanavati case however crashes in with a sub-plot that tries to celebrate the anti-hero primarily to justify murder.

still of Akshay Kumar as Rustom Pavri in Rustom movie

The case that had the nation by its throat finds itself in the spotlight again. It is a sad country we live in. Crimes tend to find poetic justice by the crowd. Criminals are worshipped like Gods as they bend the rules to their will. Courtrooms are akin mockery stages. Judges are like those people on the podium who fail to pacify the crowd despite bestowed with unrivalled power.

One good look at the movie and you will feel how it is nothing but a societal mockery of the Indian Judicial System. Oh wait! We have a living exemplary proof of that too. (Remember Bhai’s hit and run case?) Also, Rustom depicts Journalism in a way it has often worked in reality. This façade of it is abhorrent – trying to manipulate judgments, creating sympathy to save someone by painting its very own picture, inadvertently overlapping its thoughts on others and showing them a falsified misleading direction.

Yet there is a silent theme it gallops along, the one where we are expected to actually feel good for Rustom and Cynthia for making it out unfazed.

MOVIE’S DIRECTION

You have to give it to the director as far as frame-hammering is concerned. He manages to keep it engaging.

Tinu Suresh Desai is ambitious; you could see that from his frames. He occasionally tries to experiment by breaking the usual monotony of Indian Cinema by trying to make a scene fully furbished. Like that interrogation scene where he changed frames incessantly covering subtly and quickly the primal inquisition. Also, when the Prosecution lawyer asks Preety Makhija played by Esha Gupta to calm down and sit, we find her actually sitting in an altered setting – the courtroom. Well thought of, and superbly edited there!

Also, there are miniscule aspects consumed, like a waiting courtroom where close ups of fans, switches, gavel and door are covered beautifully from various vantages.

Whilst the direction had brilliant frames to show, there were numerous instances wherein enough ideas weren’t spread. Like the insipid build up and revelation of a second sub-plot that went on to create sole doubt in the brains of the Jury. Also, there was no follow-up that went on to show why the Jury system was shut down in India after this unique trial.

HUMOUR IN SOBRIETY

The stratum of prison is no longer demeaning. So Rustom proves by showing an unbothered Kumud Mishra giving mosquito ointment to Usha Nadkarni after she openly involves in an act of irreverence with the Judge. You can’t help but shake your head when you realize Desai found it funny enough to be included.

A guilty man walks out like a king, and the movie still celebrates him overlooking the despicable cold-blooded crime. The tone of the movie, the ‘story-ball’ is deliberately put in the court of Pavri. So that like million others in time, you too appreciate what he got away with. Rustom gives out the message:

“It is alright to kill a bad man.”

When are we going to truly escape this lawless pandemonium?

THE INEFFECTUAL CASTING

Also, Rustom has cheesy lines in profusion which might make you grit your teeth when they fall on your ears. There are some lines that are well executed, like when Akki and Pavan Malhotra play a game of chess in the prison. Others get lost in theatrics. Other important ones find themselves blended in with its lyrics.

My biggest complain however stays with the casting of the movie. Whilst there were actors that sat perfectly in their roles, like that of Kanwaljit Singh, Akshay Kumar, Pavan Malhotra and Parmeet Sethi there were others that didn’t fit the bill at all.

Even though Anang Desai plays a good Judge, he lacks a fuming persona that ends up making his act blunt. Choosing his light mien to judge makes it at once clear how the director wished to take the flick towards a light-hearted juncture.

Brijendra Kala shouldn’t have even been there. He was too overqualified not to get a proper screen time.

Still of Ileana as Cynthia Pavri in Rustom Movie

Ileana tries hard to wash away Cynthia Pavri’s acts with her tears. Vexed under her own guilt and Rustom’s wit, she portrays a character that is annoyingly contrasting. Her cheating act suddenly becomes an act of her helplessness which was obviously not the case at all.

Then we cannot overlook the chemistry section either. There was none. Period. Neither between Cynthia and Rustom or even in that feigned display of lust in the case of Vikram and Cynthia.

The cast made everything animated with their banal acts. It took out its staid naturality from the movie. Little things like the Jury shaking their heads when spoken to insinuated the apparent deficiency of vigour and verve that a court movie calls for.

THE FINAL VERDICT

Rustom ends up being a farce to bluntly put it out there. At the same time it is not really bad if you sunder out the originality and stare it as a separate issue entirely.

Rustom Pavri wasn’t a national hero. But this movie toils hard on making him one. We should not forget that it is just a perspective. A perspective that tries to project Preety Makhija as a rich spoilt brat with an evil sneer and Vikram Makhija as a spoiled horny perpetrator who deserved to die even before he set his eyes on Cynthia. It also tries to, without any justification, blemish the girl who cheated and then revive her at the same time. Above all, it tries to depict Rustom Pavri as a colossal national hero, a guy who murdered a man, a vigilante above the law who preferred calling his own shots to urging our Judiciary system.

Then again, when closely looked at, it isn’t that bad either. Because it touched a sensitive topic, it piggybacked mighty expectations naturally. On comparing it with other mainstream movies that Indian Cinema has been recently celebrating for no reason at all, I would say Rustom stays well above their echelon any day.

Check out the trailer of Rustom movie here:

The Brothers Grimsby Review (2016) | Passable Comedy One Time Watch

The Brothers Grimsby has laughable moments, no doubt, that you might end up discussing for being either too inappropriate or for the brazen fun of it, but that’s about it. The movie carries a banal plot to support its comedy on, and things kind of fall as it fails to retain anything tangible to put its feet on. It’s like they say:

“Leave your brains home and go watch this and you might actually enjoy it.”

HUMOUR OF THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY

Sacha Baron Cohen never fails to tickle you by bringing in forefront his natural knack for humour. To throw you into pits of laughter he also carries disgusting items in his baggage as elements of last resort. We are already aware of that. The Brothers Grimsby stays no stranger to his clumsy acts; herein he creates Nobby  yet another Sacha’s infamous character who will test your mirth-patience and have a go at your ribs. Creating a rib-tickling persona that is outright hard to predict.

He uses stark bawdy stuff, which he is known for, one by one to pack in hilarity that will throw you at times into stomach-churning laughter, and yet what’s seen can’t be unseen. Ye been warned!

But you were already in for it when you had decided to watch a Sacha Baron Cohen comedy movie. So, it shouldn’t surprise you at all if you were to see something off-putting cheesy dangling in front of you. Bottom-line: “You get what you ask for.”

That Elephant scene is hands down, one of the funniest bits from the movie. Beware! It might affect you on a psychological level. 😛

still of that elephant scene in the brothers grimsby

PLOT OF GRIMSBY

The Brothers Grimsby tries to cash in on its unusual story that tries to reveal its crux towards the end, but by the time we reach there, nobody cares about the story anymore. It becomes a hotch-potch of passable frames. At one point, the movie tries to amble on that famous first person fighting perspective made famous by Hardcore Henry,  which works for it a while as far as action sequences were concerned. But given the theme of the movie, it ends up becoming quite unnecessary.

It is good that The Brothers Grimsby not for a second leaves its brotherly love theme that it was based upon. It hasn’t been milked enough and yes there’s a constant disconnect that doesn’t hold the story tighter, but you can still manage to concentrate at the humorous bits that tacked along.

POOR EDITING AND DIRECTION

Both the editing and direction of the movie are equally shoddy. Frames tear up at weird junctures. You can’t take anything seriously not even the somberness that Louis Leterrier tries to put occasionally. It is like even at the end of it, you really don’t care if things steered or not towards a happy ending. Because everything is surreal, obnoxious and scattered in bits.

On the brighter side, The Brothers Grimsby is only good if you want something really light to gorge upon and wish to concentrate on your popcorn more. That’s it. Laugh it off!

Check out the trailer of The Brothers Grimsby here:

Older posts