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Ocean’s Eight Movie Review (2018) | Classy Sans Thrill

One word – Elegant! While this latest Ocean’s adventure might be high on girl power, you can’t ignore the fact how elegant it looks. The cinematographer of Ocean’s Eight movie Eigil Bryld does a tremendous job. Shots in the movie are simply stunning with cameras placed in all the right areas. Not just that, you pay attention to any aspect of the movie and you realize that everything is top grade. From the wardrobe to the execution of dialogues, everything artistically crisp.

The clothes, in particular, you see the characters wearing feel drenched in modish waters. Cate Blanchett as Lou is an eye candy in whatever she slips into. So is the protagonist Debbie Ocean played by Sandra Bullock who can’t stop her kleptomaniacal urges which basically runs in the family. That being the theme on which the plot tries to build itself right from scene one. We will come to that in a sec.

You watch this movie and the words that come out your mouth right away are – CLASSY and STYLISH! So the question is – Is that the movie all about? And most importantly is that enough to make a movie?

The Theme of Ocean’s Eight Movie (Spoilers)

Agreed there are things galore that stand out instantly but what about the plot? What does it constitute?

So basically the story of Ocean’s Eight movie is more inclined towards a heist that Debbie has been planning from behind the bars. The first thing she does is steal as soon as she lays her hands on freedom. Calling her old partner Lou, filling her in on the plan they start executing it. That’s when we get introduced to the rest of the team and an actress forming the eight thus justifying the titles from Steven Soderbergh‘s series.

ocean's eight movie gang five members

The story trundles on with the rest of the team Amita (Mindy Kaling), Tammy (Sarah Paulson), Nine Ball (Rihanna), Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter) and Constance (Awkwafina). They are filled in on the plan to rob a $150 million dollar Cartier necklace from the Met Gala. The necklace is to be smartly planted on the neck of a snobbish actress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) from where they wish to rob it.

If you are going to have a problem with stealing, then you are not going to like the rest of this conversation.

A Vengeful Subplot

There is a subplot that runs alongside Debbie’s plan. She wishes to get back at her ex Claude Becker (Richard Armitage) for backstabbing her, costing her freedom. Lou is not happy about it, that she might be putting everything in jeopardy but that’s like a minor inconvenience obliterated by Debbie’s confidence.

The real plan gets depicted in execution as the team literally rips the diamond apart and come wearing it into the Gala defiantly. Getting away with it eventually, even replacing the original with a fake. Debbie even plants one of its pieces in Claude’s jacket eventually framing him as the guy responsible for the heist.

James Corden is a pretty surprise in the end who plays an insurance investigator John Frazier who tries to figure out who the culprit is. Even though he knows that Debbie is responsible he doesn’t have anything on her. On being tipped off by her, he sinks his fangs into Claude.

Helena Bonham Carter and Mindy Kaling in Ocean's Eight Movie

As is customary, the Ocean’s Eight movie allows the addition of another member to continue the franchise by showing that Daphne is not a dim-witted person after all. That she was at all times conscious of what was being done to her in order to steal the necklace. She decides to not rat out on them and eventually asks for a cut.

You can order Oceans Eight movie from here:

Yet Another Subplot

Towards the end, Ocean’s Eight movie attains new levels of vexation when it tries to show that more heists were performed behind the screen. It’s almost like the producers weren’t too happy with just one heist or with the not-so-impressive storyline that they decided to put in extra weight to the story. It’s like layering it unnecessarily for substance. Even though that just feels completely superfluous that’s been done in order to sound smart. Somehow you end up being not convinced even though they aim for that icing.

The movie ends with the crew doing what they intended to do – spending their money lavishly on things that were important to them. With Debbie sipping a martini in front of her brother’s grave, it tries to say that the legend will continue in one form or the other even without the legend himself.

You would have loved it.

The Final Verdict

Ocean’s Eight aspires to walk on the footsteps of its prequels but fails miserably in terms of how smart they were supposed to portray its heists. Sandra does a great job slipping into the shoes of Danny’s sister wearing that same old sly comfort on her face at all times.

But it feels somehow a let down from what the franchise had fed us so far. Earlier there used to be competition, mind-racking moments that used to have our hearts in our mouths. Au contraire, Ocean’s Eight movie almost makes it all seem really easy. There isn’t that thrill of a heist going wrong but an assurance and conformity of a sure-shot success.

Ocean’s Eight movie tries to blend in some cool jests that keep you riveted into the story and make you want to admire the characters in the story. However, it lacks the aura and the humour that were so eloquently present in Soderbergh’s version, however, leverages on the heist bit. The only thing that is baffling to watch is that there are no close calls or oomph factor that used to be the defining entertainer in Soderbergh’s version vide last year’s Logan Lucky.

It has good music to keep things running, complements the style of theft. Classy in terms of style, elegant in picturization and amusing at times. You can say it is neat, tidy and smooth like a good wine. But then again only if you have an appetite for wines.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Review (2017) | Insipid but with Great Visuals

Never judge a movie by its name. Though how cool it might sound, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is nothing like it. Although it tries to be on numerous occasions, it doesn’t even come close. From the guy who brought you the likes of Lucy, this wasn’t expected. I was really looking forward to getting blown away like a death star; the good news is I am still alive.  The trailer obviously sold a lie.

On the good side though, we have stunning visuals where you can see all the hard work that has gone in. As far as the acting department is concerned Dane DeHaan and Clive Owen seem quite convincing. The rest are not even trying. Rihanna is probably one of the worst additions to the tale. I mean whatever she performed and expected Major Valerian to like her for, I mean what was that all about? Her Bubble bit seemed like an unintelligent layering that was an outright drag and I remember myself shaking my head more than once.

Humour of Valerian and the City of a Thousand planets isn’t up to the mark either. There are some cool stunts but that too aren’t many. You would have turned all your attention to the screenplay but there is nothing out of the ordinary either except some one or two one liners that are good.

I’m afraid of a kiss, like a kiss from a bee.

Plot of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (Spoilers)

On the plot front, the story of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is actually good, but unfortunately isn’t presented so. The real thrill isn’t there and you know for sure there’s something trying to suck out all the mojo from it. Maybe the absence of some real tension, I surmise.

We have a space station Alpha formed around the planet Earth that has come to become a singular abode of thousands of planets living under one roof. We have special agents Valerian (Dane Dehaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) in the police force, with the former awkwardly hitting on the latter all the time.

Valerian dreams about an idyll dream about a utopian place that fishes for energy pearls. The people living there would duplicate them using an animal (converter). Valerian wakes up when he sees some spaceship debris crashing into that perfect place.

Valerian and Laureline go on a mission to retrieve the same converter from his dream secretly interrupting a meeting that is going on between the dealer and two customers. He also steals the pearl that was supposed to serve as a payment to retrieve the animal.

Commander Arun Filitt

Back in Alpha, Commander Arun Filitt (Clive Owen) is briefing everyone about an infection in the station. Valerian and Laureline show up with the converter with the latter refusing to give the converter to Commander for security reasons. Same humanoids from Valerian’s dream barge in the station taking Filitt captive. They head towards the same infected area Commander was talking about.

While trying to save Filitt, Valerian goes MIA. Then Laureline tracks Valerian using some weird techniques only to end up getting caught herself by a dumb species. Valerian infiltrates their location with the help of Bubble (Rihanna) and rescues Laureline. They both end up in the infected area where they come to realize that the infected area is, in fact, a stronghold of the humanoids who had kidnapped Filitt.

Friendly Mul

The friendly humanoids then fill them in about Valerian’s dream about their perfect Utopian planet Mul which was destroyed by a space battle happening just over their planet. We come to realize that it was Filitt who had ordered a destructive doomsday weapon to be fired that destroyed Mul as well, despite being confronted by his crew. He had then eliminated all evidence even though it came haunting him in the form of Mul survivors.

still of Mul Humanoids from Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

The survivors from the planet then took resort in a crashed spaceship thereby learning all about technology from scratch. They eventually came to Alpha where they assimilated ideas of building a planet out of a spaceship. All they were missing was their pearl and the converter that could duplicate it to generate lots of energy.

Valerian and Laureline do the right thing by handing over the pearl and the converter but the robotic soldiers of Filitt end up attacking them. They are then stopped by Valerian and the government as Filitt is taken in.

Big Market Technology

The most genius thing in the entire Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets movie is the Big Market. The inventive thought makes you wonder about such a place in the near future and the insane possibility of it actually metamorphosing. There is ample focus given to that bit for us to sieve in a world driven by interdimensional travel with a snap of a finger. It is beautifully depicted and holds probably a vision to our futuristic arrangements.

Another bizarre stuff worth remembering is Doghan-Dagui, three duck-billed platypus like aliens, that talk by finishing each other’s sentences off. Just watch out the visual effects on them and you will know these have been created with some real painstaking diligence.

still of Doghan Daguis in Valerian movie

You can order Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets from here:

The Lack of Chemistry

There’s an absolute lack of chemistry between Major Valerian and Sergeant Laureline which makes you want to hate them as a couple. The way things even start between the two makes you want to abhor them.

There is no real spark between the two. You can’t feel any vibes whatsoever. Plus what Cara puts on with her act is just not worth loving. You can’t blame Dehaan for that.

Ethan Hawke’s part as Jolly the Pimp might have been small but was performed nicely. Even though his role was actually dispensable. Seemed like oddly put like a cliched move that Hollywood often resorts to.

The Final Verdict

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets sometimes becomes too smug to be taken seriously. With Cara Delevingne playing hard to get with that cozy grin slapped on her face at all times, it becomes hard to fathom if she is for real.

Visuals are great to witness and probably amongst those few good things about the flick. The movie misses out on gravitas and profundity. You can’t take a lot of things seriously. Luc Besson disappoints.

The love angle is just the worst. But it is a good one time watch nevertheless.

Check out the trailer of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets here:

 

Home Review (2015)

Home is a cute and cuddly entertaining ride!

A delightful movie buffed up real good by Jim Parson’s voice. You see one of the most adorable aliens ‘Oh’ come alive through outstanding CGI. Not only that but you also see him change colours as per his ephemeral mood swings. Oh speaks with broken phrases, bizarre words and incorrect tenses but not for a second does he stop being adorable. Jim’s voice just fits in the right grooves to impart the alien, a goofy yet an endearing sweetness.

The movie is all Rihanna if you give the flick a close scrutiny. She has needle dropped her own songs in the flick to strike the right vibes along with giving her voice to a crucial character named Tip. Steve Martin sounds just as great as Captain Smek. The movie is packed with adorable aliens, cute acts, good laughs, plushy clumsiness and morality messages.

The story however is really vapid and predictable. Jokes seem to be intended and aren’t properly placed. The theme on which the movie runs is also quite clichéd. Being primarily a kid’s movie, nothing dark covers the plot. All objects in the story are harmless. Sometimes the humour turns too cheesy and immature. But hey! If the child sitting next to me is laughing like crazy, who’s complaining?

Home is basically a movie for kids, and for you, provided the kid in you is still alive!