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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:

The Peanuts Movie Review (2015)

The Peanuts Movie does brilliant justice to one of our favourite cartoons.

“Whenever I feel really alone, I just sit and stare into the night sky. I’ve always thought that one of those stars was my star, and at moments like this, I know that my star will always be there for me.”

Peanuts has finally made it big into the 3D animated era. It has ushered in with the whole gang right from the underdog Charlie Brown to the wonder dog Snoopy, from Marcie, Peppermint Patty, Linus, Lucy, to Pig-Pen, Sally, Schroeder, Freida, Violet Gray and the little red-haired girl. To top it all they look downright cute and outrageously adorable.

The animation of The Peanuts movie is very lively which takes in comic strip elements into account. Little trivial things like eyebrows of characters changing shapes with their expressions, how they would dangle even on hats and how anything from Pig-Pen would always carry dirt around it, give the movie a beautiful comic picturesque touch.

There are things that will at once hit you with reminiscence. The way Snoopy would jump up in rapture with his nose pointing upwards. How Patty would always exploit Marcie for her work and how the former would always sleep in the class. How Snoopy and Woodstock will work together contradictorily and still be the best of friends.

Some of the bits in the movie are downright brilliant. These frames are subtly manifested just like a Schulz comic strip would. Like the face of the little red-haired girl has never been properly depicted. Also every old character in the movie has a “hard-to-make-out jabber” suggestive of how the Peanuts world only focuses on the young and the imaginary. The flick never even for once depicts the existence of a grown-up in the Peanuts universe which is quite an exceptional and thoughtful way of helming a movie.

Snoopy comes in with a sub-plot, as Schulz often would, where his imagination comes into play. His story adds up extra spice to the tale, and runs parallel to the original. Steve Martino’s Snoopy however is a hyperactive animal which was quite unlike Schulz’s quiet dog that would only speak through his typewriter. He has been turned into a cartoonish element that packs in or endeavours to pack in that extra bit of snappy yet clumsy comedy that was otherwise missing from the movie. For some this could be a driving factor, but for me Schulz strips seemed more profound as his quiet would speak a lot.

The plot of The Peanuts movie is an exceptional dig into the head of the fallen. The wishy-washy Charlie Brown who just can’t do anything right, ends up being a hero by doing the right thing. It is an educational chapter in disguise for people who have strayed away from morality.

Oh I almost forgot! Watch Scrat fail yet again in the little short that runs in the beginning of the flick. The Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe is as hilarious as Scrat could get. And now we wait for Blue Sky’s next venture – Ice Age: Collision Course!

Ricki and the Flash Review (2015)

Ricki and the Flash has bits of fun, drama and entertainment blended with a lot of musical elements.

There is nothing in this world that Meryl can’t do. In her variegated film roles, she has played almost everything. She has gone grim to witty, to fun, to casual. Every cup of tea is hers. Even at the age of 66 she is so full of energy and she doesn’t fail to deliver. She keeps experimenting with new personas and always ends up creating a new character altogether in every flick she does.

We see another side of her in Ricki and the Flash. She plays a washed-up wannabe rockstar who fails to make it big but apparently walks out on her family. Pete played by Kevin Kline calls her to his home to check on her daughter (real-life too) Mamie Gummer who was going through a hard time. This becomes Ricki’s chance to make amends with her children, and at the same time, buff up and fix things with her current love affair band member Greg played by none other than Rick Springfield himself. The drama is brilliantly helmed by Jonathan Demme, although the tone of the drama is deliberately kept jovial. This makes the melodrama look mediocre. I just wished things to heat up and the mother and daughter bits to blow out of proportion like August: Osage County. But it did not.

But boy can she sing! Meryl performs many different songs in the movie and all her versions are downright brilliant. The song ‘Cold One’ which she performs cozily sitting on a sofa is absolutely marvelous.

There is one thing terribly wrong with the movie though – its editing. There are full songs that have been shoehorned into the flick that makes the movie a tad long. Also, the screenplay doesn’t have much in its basket. The movie also craves for profundity which gets lost owing to the comical theme of the flick.

Apart from that the movie works like a charm, and is one hell of a family flick, which I am sure your parents would love too.

Tomorrowland Review (2015)

Bird soars!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall a good movie! Worth a watch!

The Water Diviner Review (2014)

Russell Crowe’s first big directorial venture isn’t a fiasco. It is good but there are so many things that stop it from being great.

The Water Diviner is a movie that starts off with exceptional score, awesome direction and then later dwindles into mediocrity in its main course, only to resurrect again in the end. Screenplay is good, sometimes covering great words brilliantly spoken by the cast. Score is enthralling. Plot is beautiful and well directed at times.

Movie is all Russell. Carrying a thoughtful face and wet eyes, he portrays a man in pain perfectly. You can almost feel for his loss, when the plot unfurls with a terrible tragedy that compels you to wear his shoes. With a big fatherly heart, Crowe carries the movie with his sheer emotions.

Olga is a disappointment. Her face lacks the much needed thoughtful lustre. Sometimes you can perceive her forceful put-on acts with a lot of unwanted animation to her features. Even Jai doesn’t get enough screen time. His addition to the tale ends up going to waste.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

Some of the greatest bits of the movie lie in its starting act where we see Connor finding water, and then digging a well to find the cold. Even before that, the war bit is also quite beautifully shot. It carries along with it an apt climax that delivers subtly a brooding thought. We are soon thrown into the pits of tragedy when we find Connor reading out stories to three empty beds.

At one point the movie loses its seriousness where the score changes to comic like undertone. Even though grim frames follow, something seems amiss and you cannot take anything that pursues seriously.

The gravity of the movie however lies at the war grounds where Arthur lies in mud along with his brethren, helpless, and also at Russell’s brows. The chaotic war aftermath is captured beautifully with all the wailing and crooning that shatters the quiet myth.

Eventually the flick narrowly escapes the jaws of mediocrity owing to the gloomy theme it runs on and revives with Arthur’s big conundrum and a happy-ending.

Good stuff! Worth a watch!

It Follows Review (2014)

No matter how far you go or how far you run, it follows. But just remember – it simply walks to you. So your best shot is to keep running. That or you could pass it on.

David Robert Mitchell’s horror tale is a perfectly written thriller buffed up quite beautifully by brilliant actors like Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Lili Sepe, Olivia Luccardi and Daniel Zovatto. The background score is simply outstanding and it gives an enthralling charm to the theme of the movie. Frequently used high notes that get exscinded often for emphasis complement the enactments quite impeccably.

Direction is simply outstanding. David chooses subtle ways to depict the mundane, like not for a second does he waste his frames on the protagonist’s family. Occasionally he would insinuate family members through photo frames, mirrored reflections, and blurred eyes, but he would never actually bring them into the vanguard for focus. David depicts how estranged one’s family becomes at a certain age, and manifests how they levitate in the background of a teenager’s life. His incessant single takes are top-notch. The rotating camera technique, the rear window view to capture crucial moments and the constant follow-through are a delight to watch.

One of the most wonderful things about the flick is that people close to the protagonist don’t simply pass into the oblivion. Unlike clichéd horror movies, they don’t become victims. They impart meaning to the word “friendship” by sticking together no matter what and by trying to overcome a problem at hand with pluck. Jay’s keen eye is captured marvellously as she watches trees, insects, shrubs, everything that brings her closer to nature. Societal imprints too are caught through the eyes of strangers in an exceptional way.

Screenplay is also very well written. The movie carries a brilliant gravity throughout its runtime which is furbished quite nicely by the occasional bad ass score that elevates the entire movie-viewing experience.

The flick ends abruptly at a high note that leaves the audience brooding. The closure is open to interpretation which deliberately forces your thoughts towards what’s impending.

An exceptional movie! But I am afraid, not for everybody. I am saying this because those who came in for a horror punch seemed disappointed and duped.

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! Review (2015)

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! is a movie that reads streets of Calcutta spectacularly. If you haven’t been to Calcutta before, this beauty of a flick ensures you do. As the credits of the movie breathe on a moving frame, we witness Banerjee’s subtlety at its best. The camera shifts its focus back and forth to display minute details of a city lost in history, wrapped in beautifully with the protagonist’s normalcy as he sits like a lost chap in a sloth Tram, next to a crime that lived crouched up in a newspaper a fellow man held. The Tram moves slowly depicting life as it was. The main theme of the movie – trying to hold city’s breath in bare hands, to save the living, to save a city from turning into rubble, dust and ashes!

Dibakar Banerjee is a pro when it comes to direction. There is subtlety lying in his frames that complement a story quite gorgeously. His pace lets everything sieve through and settle like sediments into our brains. With such a big bag of brilliance on his shoulders, he lets us on a thrilling ride into history smeared by wicked people, into a puckered city and into a mind numbing tangle that would only unravel with Bakshy’s head. Witness Byomkesh Bakshy, a lost hero resuscitate himself up on the big screen, to solve a crime that keeps on unknotting itself into bigger oblivion.

Taking up such a humongous project was a daunting job per se. To live up to the expectations of the public who lived a Byomkesh era through the books of Sharadindu and who literally saw the sleuth come alive on screen through the exceptional Basu Chatterjee’s TV show, was a rare feat to achieve. But Dibakar closed in on it, unlike any other Indian director could have even possibly imagined.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

Excellence drips through Banerjee’s direction. Little things that he pays heed to while creating a scene is absolutely commendable. Not saying the name of the protagonist for a considerable amount of time in the movie, jumping off from frames into clever openings, stopping time to depict a thriller, reiterating an act for emphasis, and icing shots with brilliant score that often metamorphosed into needle dropped hard rock songs, are some of the main courses that the audience could feast upon in the movie.

The big downside of the movie I felt was Sushant Singh Rajput’s charisma which was nowhere to be found for a sleuth like Byomkesh Bakshy. He just played a confused guy without imparting a personality to the character. There was no gravity on his face to carve such a strong character as Bakshy’s. On the contrary, Neeraj Kabi as Dr. Anukul Guha was downright exceptional. His transformation was a delight to watch. His face writes the experience he has garnered through theatre with pizzazz.

An intricate detective story that weaves out great! However, it is imperative that you pay attention. A minute lost could cost you an entire movie. There are so many subplots in the flick that could be hard to keep up with if you are not paying heed. That could be another downside to the movie: Complexity only gives birth to indifference.

With Urmi Juvekar and Dibakar Banerjee’s tale in the vanguard, everything pans out quite fine. At the end we see a loose end to the tale, that insinuates an impending franchise in the making. I wish Banerjee resumes his badass chaotic convoluted sojourn once again with a promising sequel.

Dibakar might have failed to reach a level ardent Bakshy fans had asked of him, but what he has certainly managed to do is revive a lost Indian hero that we only remembered through pages.

Furious 7 Review (2015)

“For Paul”

Furious 7 is all about flying Lykan, shattered skyscrapers, mammoth bullets, Gatling rounds, super-amped destruction, relentless drone syndrome, Jaa’s Parkour, badass rides, skimpily clad models, exquisite close calls, death defying moments, Herculean jobs, mind numbing head-ons and badass action. This movie is an action-pack adrenaline pumping madness just like its predecessor. But does it have a great story? My answer would be a big No to that.

Wan unfortunately doesn’t have a good story in his baggage. What he still has is some dope action to exploit, and he manages to create insanity with that! Watch out for that insane car-dive and the skyscraper stunt! Most memorable ones! Humour shines fine by Tyrese Gibson’s presence, and he occasionally takes off the heat.

Furious 7 is thrilling throughout. Adrenaline keeps on pumping constantly. Destruction doesn’t stop. Cars keep getting totaled. Bullets fly in the air like flies. The flick has pretty great one-liners that are downright bad ass. Snappy and witty comebacks make the screenplay quite clever in a way. Dramatic bits are kind of average, but make a dash for awesomeness to pay some quality Pablo homage in the end.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

Statham makes a badass entry as Deckard Shaw into the lives of Furious guys with a dope fight with Hobbs. It is here we get to see that eye candy Rock Bottom that we have been waiting forever. Unfortunately he gets sidelined by an unconvincing side-story.

We already knew from the prequel, Shaw’s brother would be lurking in the shadows waiting to drop the chaotic bomb at Team Furious anytime. So he promised Dom via a phone call. And Bam! goes the ‘home’ in splinters with a sustained visual of 5-6 blasts occurring simultaneously that engulf the entire house. The predator calls for it and Dom gears up like a Daddy to teach him a lesson.

The entrance of Kurt Russell was so pathetic that it made us instantly hate him. I swear I saw perplexed people in the theatre wondering “Why?” out loud. Mr. Nobody’s addition to the tale was simply to weave two jobs that Dom could have lived without. Just so that he could find the hunter, he agrees to lick the candy Mr. Nobody was selling. But boy does it unroll into mind-numbing stunts! Skyscrapers hyperjump by the exotic Lykan hypersport would make your teeth turn into a nail clipper. Another pretty dope bit is the car sky-diving bit. Stunts like these ensure that the franchise isn’t dead yet. It will continue to flabbergast you, compel you to jump on your seat.

Unfortunately the screen time of Deckard Shaw is quite less, and he fails to create a villainy charm in the movie. He does pop up hither and thither to overthrow Dom’s plans but passes out weak as a very average forgettable villain. He looked puny compared to Dom fury.

The best thing however remains the show stopper – a perfect adieu to Paul. Final bits show Vin in pain, and you could almost read the tears that got masked by his acting. You could instantly comprehend and empathize with his loss. A series of flashbacks of Paul show up with Vin’s narration in the backdrop and your heart falls in a heavy pit. Such a big chunk tore away! You are left to ponder in tears. It was a great decision not to kill Pablo’s character. Giving him a respectful farewell from the franchise was really thoughtful.

In an action franchise like Fast and Furious, just remember you have to overlook everything. Logics are defied, Physics taps out to action, gravity stops working and time takes a hiatus for the protagonists. Just sit back and enjoy the action packed fun this movie promises to be and is. Be super-psyched and never forget Paul!

Run All Night Review (2015)

Run All Night is a pleasant surprise.

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

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

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

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

SPOILERS

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

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

 

The Pensieve: Lock up your memories

Movies are impactful. They leave marks and smears in our heads with their fantastical concepts and thought provoking ideas. But many movies are based on books. This takes us back to the origin, a place where a brilliant head conceived a particular notion out of mere thin air. Yes, the writers who were hit in the head with the out of the box rockets. So talented humans are! So talented! One such exceptional bit from a franchise we all loved beyond limit got impregnated in the head of Rowling. The Pensieve was one of the most badass ideas one could have ever imagined. Whilst there are myriad variants of this fictional inanimate beauty, Rowling’s invention still beats the craziest of all ideas.

Not only does it let you take out and store your memory but it also lets you revisit it like reality. You can have a third person vantage too, and experience someone else’s memory in a first class comfy seat. Just imagine the things you could do were this idea to breathe in reality! Jury would be dispensable as judges would have a blast giving judgments. You would be able to relive a joyful moment of your life thousand times. You can shun the worst ones, lock ‘em up and focus only on the good ones. Ah! Sheer bliss!

Straight from a movie Dumbledore

The memory cabinet was something we have always dreamt of. I have more than often found myself circling on the thought of storing my memories at one place, like a hard drive, to retrieve the crucial ones only when required. As a kid I used to ponder: Are we ever going to run out despite our storage space being so vast?

With the advent of a memory bowl like Pensieve in our lives, we would turn into better versions of ourselves. Wouldn’t that clear our heads for good? Wouldn’t that make us ballsier? I think we would be more focused, unleashed from chains of past, unaffected by fear of any kind, bold, brazen, zealous and more committed to every job at hand.

But Alas! It is chained to glimmers of fantasy and unfortunately we can’t have a shot at it. Can we hammer this beauty alive? Only in dreams, I surmise.

Straight from a movie Memory

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