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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:

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:

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:

Masaan Review (2015) | Powerful Cinema Unleashed | On Love and Loss

I have been meaning to review Masaan for so long. It had always lurked in the corner of my brain as a profoundly helmed beauty that calls for unparalleled attention. So I am writing this, to celebrate it so that those who haven’t watched it already, should, and those who have, read it to experience its sagacity all over again.

Masaan beats Indian mainstream conventions hands down. A powerful flick that carves itself like a beautiful poem that elicits unmatched elation, a shattering pang and an aftermath that will steer your thoughts towards a rare contentment. The Varun Grover tale is reflective of all that he wears on his sleeves: a rare poetic depression, abstract lost love, and a constant struggle to be understood.

DIRECTION OF MASAAN

I was blown away by Masaan’s direction. So beautifully shot, and edited that it left me wonder-struck. Right at the juncture it takes off, the movie edits itself in a gorgeous fashion to show us only the important bits, allowing us to adjust us to its stunning pace. With no diegesis to support the frames, (a wise decision) spectators are left guessing for imminent frames. Something that settles in quite quickly. It is after the first few events of each tale that the story begins to unfurl in a beautiful flower thus giving us a better insight.

Neeraj Ghaywan has become one of my favourite directors all of a sudden. His intensity on frames feels instinctive that makes his direction absolutely stunning. It is important for a director to understand how he feels for his work, to place his feelings out there in the open for the world to see. Frames of Neeraj induce that successfully.

POWERFUL STORIES (SPOILERS INSCRIBED)

We have two primal parallel stories running for plot. The way they meet at a juncture lets us marvel at the concept of destiny.

still of Richa Chadha as Devi Pathak in Masaan movie

The first one is beautifully taken up superbly by actress Richa Chadha who embodies Devi Pathak making her one of her own. She gets decimated by lowlife societal thinking; her fate constantly followed up by a corrupt policeman. It is hard not to feel sorry for her. Her laconic conversations will have you listen to her thoughts. She talks with her acting most of the times, and you could literally see her blood curdling inside her heart with every profane remark she finds.

Struggling for reconciliation for her mishap, which she tries to set right by visiting the family of the guy whom she loved, Devi Pathak finds herself at the ugly side of abomination. It is like a colossal rejection she ends up facing by life itself. For her character, Richa Chadda retains a constant depression in her eyes which I don’t think any other actress could have done justice to.

THE SECOND STORY

The second story is spearheaded by Vicky Kaushal who plays Deepak Chaudhary brilliantly. In a backdrop of constant funerals, he is leading a life, rather trying to escape the detrimental. He is searching for rays of hope to escape the smothering ashes of pyres for good. The constant deleterious fire is setting ablaze his dreams and he can’t seem to get out. Until one day he falls in love.

still of Shaalu Gupta and Deepak Chaudhary in Masaan movie

Shweta Tripathi’s Shaalu Gupta is magnificently built out of thin air. You don’t really see their love story coming, and then out of the blue it arrives. So stupendous! Also it is so marvelously played that you will fall in love with both of them instantly.

Whilst Deepak is aware that he is going nowhere, that love is for those who have a future, as he beholds those manacles of casteism, prejudice and stratum dangling ahead, he decides to end it all. But then realizes it’s difficult to live without Shaalu and so he becomes more focused to get out of his conventional misery that constantly eats him from the inside.

Then that tragedy befalls that uproots his world, aftermath which nothing matters. The point he was living for disappears into nothingness. The ill-fated Deepak Chaudhary slithers into a gut-wrenching depression. Watching him like that will bring tears to your eyes. Watch out for that bit when he breaks down near the bank of Ganges.

still of Sanjay Mishra as Vidyadhar Pathak in Masaan movie

Sanjay Mishra runs a parallel sub-plot as well with a predictable plot but his unique acting style uplifts it nevertheless. He plays Vidyadhar Pathak, father of Devi Pathak. His ill-fated abyss wherein a corrupt Police Inspector Mishra keeps gnawing at him constantly and mercilessly will melt your heart with empathy.

LEAVING THREADS OPEN

Masaan doesn’t try to delve into poetic justice of the corrupt. India stays the land of corrupt in the eyes of Neeraj Ghaywan. That is one of the best decisions that Neeraj abides by. It is important to bring the injustice out in the open and not circle it to fruition by adjudication. If Neeraj had chosen to show the Inspector Mishra getting caught, it would have made us complacent. A feeling of insouciance towards corruption would have crept up on us unknowingly and we would have accepted the way of things, thinking – “Okay! So it all got sorted out in the end. But manifesting him getting away with it was intentional just to boil the viewers up.

So he makes sure. How the ignorant gets fooled by the bribing eyes of those in power. The abuse and misuse of power will have you brooding how despotism still lurks in a place that should be completely absolved of it. The land of God is run by vultures, who can do anything to fill their pockets. There is so much exploitation still prevalent in India that you will incessantly feel bad for the uneducated.

The sad thing is that we are living amidst it all. The corruption, that has diffused in our holy waters in profusion. We are drinking it everyday, accepting it and thriving with it. That is the saddest part of it all.

SCREENPLAY AND LYRICS

Screenplay goes above average at times. Songs like these:

“Tu kisi rail si guzarti hai, main kisi Pull sa thartharata hoon”

still of Deepak and Shaalu played by Vicky Kaushal and Shweta Tripathi in Masaan

Help in driving Masaan’s nail deeper. Its true metaphor lies in the embodiment of the inanimate. Image yourself as a quaking bridge, as that reckless train (her) passes over you, leaving you tottering craving for her affection. Then there is another beautiful line that is on the lines of:

“I am like a bubble, when I think about you I burst.”

There are two other great songs imbibed in the frames of Masaan. ‘Bhor’ has been aptly placed to complement its love theme. Both Shaalu and Deepak do it justice. ‘Mann Kasturi’ ambles on its impactful lyrics as well.

THE FUTURE OF INDIAN CINEMA

Masaan is like rising from the ashes. Building yourself from scratch because nobody bats an eye when you fall, or understands you in a way you do yourself.

The movie silently brings home a whiff of change. We are at the center of it, and I can feel it. Now all we have to do is encourage movies like Masaan, give our riveting attention and love, and we might see the Indian Cinema metamorphose itself into a enclave.

Check out the trailer of Masaan movie here:

Jason Bourne Review (2016) | Despite Minor Flaws Bourne Shines Through

Jason Bourne is back! The ever so popular duo Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass; they are at it again. They go full blown trying to recreate that obscured Robert Ludlum magic that we are all diehard fans of.

The theme we have here though is strangely similar to all the prequels. Unnecessary as it seemed to bring Bourne from the ashes, we end up having something banal as the plot nevertheless. But it still hatches gold in terms of action, technology and that outstanding Bourne foresight.

DIRECTION OF JASON BOURNE

I just love the direction of Paul Greengrass. His shaky camera technique always stands out. It fills his frames with rare gravitas, and compels the audience to pay heed. We see every bit of his extraordinary panache rolling on the big screen as we feast on the subtle grandeur of a constant commotion.

CHERISHABLE BITS (HIDDEN SPOILERS AHEAD)

There are numerous memorable moments that we take away from this Jason Bourne film.

The first one being the riot backdrop, the anti-government protest which cleverly shows the fight is constant and real. CIA carries out its covert operations unperturbed even in such ruckus. Hats off to that!

The rendezvous with Nicky Parsons played by Julia Stiles in a theatrical set of nerve-racking set of events will have you salute Jason Bourne for who he is. Watch out Vincent Cassel rampage in with his unpredictability. A perfect casting there! Well chosen!

still of Vincent Cassel as Asset in Jason Bourne movie

Another high note of Jason Bourne film worth jotting down is when Vincent takes the SWAT truck and decimates countless cars as he tries to escape Bourne fury. A thrilling scene that will have a go at your adrenaline. Breathtaking! That entire car chase scene was enchanting as well and superbly shot.

When you pay attention to the CIA hunting, you will be blown away beyond limit by noticing their jaw-dropping nimbleness to handle situations. Also, the technology they use! Ah! Simply amazeballs!

When the competition goes tough and effortlessly enters the nail-biting zone, that’s when Bourne flourishes the most. Watching him outsmart the smart is what makes every Bourne movie a thrilling joyride. It all gets justified here as well. Aren’t all the Bourne movies formed under that same niche?

OTHER CRUCIAL CHARACTERS

still of Tommy Lee Jones as Robert Dewey and Riz Ahmed as Aaron Kalloor in Jason Bourne

Another part worth noticing is how the government wishes to have their eyes on everything. As Robert Dewey portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones threatens Aaron Kalloor, a real life like character (CEO of a leading social media enterprise Deep Dream) played brilliantly by Riz Ahmed to work against the ethos he wishes to run his company on, you will be forced to wonder how the future of privacy really looks. Privacy is a myth and so the CIA proves by putting its nose in other’s business.

Alicia Vikander is one of the most exciting, and as the movie progresses we find out, seemingly powerful characters to have ever entered the Bourne franchise. She wears Heather Lee on her sleeves for the better part of the movie only to drop a bomb on us in the end. The way she gets on top of things with her technical skills is what makes her a girl to watch out for in the long run.

DOWNSIDES OF JASON BOURNE 5

The fact that Paul Greengrass tried to weave a plot that seemed kind of forced to blow Bourne out in the open isn’t the only downside the movie had. Even though every fact falls in place, and there is a constant pace justifying each and everything as to why a bit is shown, there are other things nay flaws that silently gnaw at the soul of the flick.

The first one being the shoddy screenplay of Jason Borne. There isn’t an eye-opening line by Paul Greengrass or Christopher Rouse inscribed in it unlike the prequels, that impoverish the quality of the written material.

still of Matt Damon as Jason Bourne fighting odd fights in Reykjavik

Bourne’s character still ends up being very manipulative on account of shattered memories in his head. The part where Dewey chooses to trust his mouth more than a gun against Jason Bourne will compel you to wonder how easy it is to dupe Bourne – with words from his past.

Then there are dispensable characters that don’t squeeze out melodrama at all. Like that Nicky Parsons fate, you don’t see Bourne feel sorry enough for. We had a past with Nicky. He had too. The movie had snappy casualties that were like dominoes that stood unattended.

There is a smothering fight scene as we reach the end of Jason Bourne for a climactic closure. Unfortunately with the previous levels of agent brawls, this one falls a little vapid owing to the zoomed in camera that makes it hard to concentrate. The fight, even though more plausible, ends up becoming a mere ‘meh’ owing to the way it ends, with a lot of choking.

The Jason Bourne movie DVD is out. You can get it here:

THE FINAL VERDICT

Overall I think the movie was fine. An unneeded sequel since the Bourne story was already told in three extraordinary bits before. But being an aficionado I wouldn’t ever mind watching Bourne kick Government’s ass every now and then just to break free through that mundane ripple.

still of Alicia Vikander and Matt Damon in Jason Bourne

The best part eventually indubitably and inevitably remains, when Bourne does something badass and the music of Moby goes literally Extreme Ways.

With the return of Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass, the future of the Bourne films look strong. But at one point you begin to wonder what will happen to the Bourne books ?

Check out the trailer of Jason Bourne movie here:

 

Lights Out Review (2016) | Intriguing and Appalling

Lights Out has everything you wish to see in a horror movie. But there are instants herein that stop it from reaching petrifying levels of a great riveting horror flick. It doesn’t retain the flair of a slow paced scare. However, within its nimble charisma lies its true heart throbbing dread. Also, Alexander DiPersia is a pleasant discovery in the movie. He encounters its ghost in the most thrilling setup ever.

Plot of Lights Out

The video project of the same name that had gone viral three years ago, has been finally moulded into an artistic piece. Augmenting it further is a thrilling story to tell an imaginative tale that walks on a thin edge of palpability. Still the magic works!

After making a series of shorts, David F. Sandberg finally gets a fully-fledged project under the aegis of James Wan. What’s reassuring is that he delivers too. He includes Lotta Losten to the tale giving her a cameo of sorts, trying to revive the lost lights out video and then furthers the tale with new elements.

Still of Lotta Losten as Esther in Lights Out Movie

Direction of Lights Out Movie

David F. Sandberg’s inexperience transpires at a lot of junctions, wherein you could point, “He didn’t think this through!” It is like you can almost taste the lack of percipience in his work. There is passion in his job alright, the love for horror so loud and clear, that you can find it lurking at weird corners. But there is always a sense of thoughtful trepidation missing from his cinema that seemed to have primped down his work into a mere 1 hour 21 minute affair.

You can feel as if he was on a constant canter to reach the end. Maybe the short in him will take some time to wear off. Even though his direction barely reached the levels of horror veterans, he still manages to weave out something above mediocrity, and that is what counts.

Characters (Spoilers in the Dark Ahead)

Sandberg’s entry into the horror world receives three cheers from people all across the globe, owing to his unpredictability. He breaks horror clichés in many ways.

still of alexander dipersia as Bret in lights out movie

Alexander DiPersia as Bret Owns it

The first coming straight from a character like Bret. Alexander DiPersia who plays boyfriend to Rebecca, cannot be simply ignored. Breaking banality profusely the character fits like a rare gem in the movie. He isn’t a hero exactly, and yet he survives Diana’s attack on three occasions with sheer presence of mind. We generally tend to think boyfriends die first, because they are not important to the tale, but Sandberg decides to break the chains of platitude by keeping Bret alive and breathing. Within his limited screen-time, Alexander DiPersia delivers too.

There is this rare moment where Alexander DiPersia’s Bret is almost a dead guy, and yet he revives himself twice or thrice with his sheer presence of mind. Watch out for that bit!

Teresa Palmer’s Rebecca

The second most important character is that of Rebecca played by Teresa Palmer. She has this constant confident mien that she wears like a pro at odd hours. The only problem is that she condescends and patronizes Bret beyond limit, so much that you begin to wonder why Bret’s with her in the first place. Yet she packs in an uncommon poise that seems to fill you up with pluck too.

Still of Rebecca and Martin in Lights Out movie

Others

Martin, played by Gabriel Bateman, her brother isn’t a wuss either. He is scared, terrified, but he always comes around. He has peerless tricks in his pockets that he comes up with to stay safe.

Billy Burke has a small cameo too in the prologue of Lights Out Movie.

Shortcomings

Apart from the directorial issues Lights Out had, there were other things that don’t go ignored either. Screenplay of the movie was terrible. At one point Martin drops a truism as if it was jostled out with originality. It seemed kind of stupid and forced needless to say.

When Rebecca is engaged in a face-off with Diana, she asks Bret to take Martin away. But when there’s a gunshot you see Bret still holding onto Martin unperturbed by what’s going on in the house. There was a gunshot for crying out loud. Why didn’t he come up with dozens of searchlights, or even better if he was short on time, light up the car lights and point it towards the house so there was at least some light that could save the inmates.

Still of Diana clawing raking and scratching the floor in lights out movie

Another question that miffs you is how come Diana plays with lights sometimes moulding them to her will, and then sometimes forgets to switch them off. The constant disconnect in the plot like that makes Lights Out like a sieve of implausibility.

Also, you cannot completely overlook the fact that despite knowing that Diana is in the house, characters give in to sleeping in the house with Sophie. They were all so unprepared even though they knew the truth. That was a tad too much.

The Final Verdict

Darkness has forever intrigued us. There is something about its still aura that has us questioning us our sanity. A topic that will forever haunt us, just by its sheer fancy. David F. Sandberg milks the fact enough. I am afraid, not properly but he still manages to fabricate us a good horror flick.

If we don’t look in the direction of the downside-darkness of the Lights Out movie we still have something that is way above thousands of pointless horror movies. To that we nod him welcome.

A must-watch horror fans.

Check out the trailer of Lights Out movie here:

Ice Age Collision Course Review (2016) | Just Like its Prequels

Hilarious! Okay, so I will be honest. Ice Age Collision Course wasn’t really needed, and we could have lived without it, unless we were driving on a stupendous plane that would have thrilled us beyond limit like Pixar movies generally do. Despite the apparent, Ice Age: Collision Course still manages to pull it off, owing to their awesome sense of snappy humour and their fascinating CGI that makes everything appear stunning.

PLOT OF ICE AGE COLLISION COURSE

Ice Age Collision Course comes with a very banal plot. The implausibility of Ice Age keeps on degrading as we caper towards exploring new parts of the franchise. Maybe Blue Sky Studios have been milking its installments too much, so much that they are actually running out of material. No doubt there is always humour galore in their work, but at one point it becomes kind of pointless when there is nothing in their baggage and they still try to squeeze every bit to make jokes out of thin air.

still of ice age collision course characters walking in style

The plot of Ice Age Collision Course is something as dumb as Scrat messing around with the universe. That’s what he does. He keeps showing up throughout the movie to accidentally mess with the fate of the planet. Things that avalanche therefrom aren’t exactly what we were expecting. It toys with everything – the story-line, the credibility, jokes, everything!

BEST BITS TO REMEMBER

Remember Buck? Well, the awesome weasel is here as well, and he is probably one of the best things about the movie. Simon Pegg returns to voice the one-eyed chap who will take you on a joyride to saving the planet. He is just the way we left him in the prequels. Totally loco!

A side plot of JulianPeaches story was an impending steer, which was quite thoughtful. It tried to give the story a perspective and a good direction. Granny returns once again with her incessant nagging which never bores you. Oh and we should never forget the true antihero of Ice Age franchise, Scrat who always brings hilarity to no matter what he does.

THE FINAL VERDICT

I say the humour is way better than what the Angry Birds movie came up with. If you liked that you are definitely going to love this. If you didn’t, well, you are still going to like Ice Age Collision Course for its magnificent animation and rib-tickling humour.

Check out the trailer of Ice Age: Collision Course movie here:

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