Straight From a Movie

Pensive Thoughts on Paper | Movie Reviews and Quotes Website

Tag: Will Smith

Collateral Beauty Review (2016) | It Sounds Good But It Isn’t

Okay we get it. The theme of Collateral Beauty was purely based on grief, and so it had all the good actors attracted to it naturally. They had a beautiful imaginative script, and if you read something like that on a paper, it does sound good. Unfortunately when you try to play it, it becomes plain stupid. That’s what happened with the gloomy David Frankel project.

Plot and Direction of Collateral Beauty (Spoilers)

All fingers don’t just point towards Allan Loeb‘s sad script, one of the middle one points towards the movie’s direction too. David Frankel still has a lot to learn about subtlety. It’s absence shows in his work at so many occasions that it makes you want to shake your head. You end up getting a cramp because it is lodged throughout the flick.

To begin with let’s take the character of Will Smith into account. Howard is a man that snaps out right at the prologue. He doesn’t hand us over even a second to relate to him. Then you think maybe, just maybe, the reason for his anguish might be inbound for a thorough melodramatic coverage in the later half, and that it would help us come to his frequency. But unfortunately you never crack his psychotic level at all. Very unconvincing!

The description of his grief starts when his co-workers Claire, Whit and Simon, played by Kate Winslet, Edward Norton and Michael Pena respectively, gossip behind his back talking about the why, the what and the how of “aftermath daughter death”. It flings us into the primal plot almost immediately. So, we actually know the paramount reason right in the beginning of the movie itself.

image of Will Smith as Howard in Collateral Beauty

Then starts dispensable charades. Tons of them actually, where you see Howard nodding his head in agreement as if listening to what people are saying to him, and then deliberately ignoring them. Then we see Claire leaving things for him that stay untouched. Whit trying to come up with ideas that puts questions against his friendship with Howard. Oh! oh! and Simon, Michael Pena’s character begins to cough suddenly out of nowhere just for the sake of creating sub-plots.

Laughable sub-plots

The sub-plots. Don’t even get me started on them! Horrible! Why were they even there in the first place? Oh right unless the writer wanted to come back to it at a later point? Heights of the platitude!

Movie tries to personify love, time and death. And it does so with characters of Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley and Jacob Latimore. Then you see these characters suddenly focus their spotlight towards people who had hired them instead. Stories you don’t want to worry about suddenly becomes their prime concern. And these issues are so irrelevant to the main tale, that you know for sure something’s up. And then lo! You can see through it all. All of it! You see the predictable climax appear from far away.

The only thing you don’t see coming is Madeleine‘s bizarre angle portrayed by Naomie Harris, which shows us Howard visiting her as a stranger. And the only reason you don’t see that coming is because they both act like absolute strangers. But even when that gets uploaded on the big screen, you can’t help but giggle.

The Goodies

Focusing on the good stuff, as I generally do, Will Smith goes in full acting mode when he tries to overcome figments of his head. When he shouts at them trying to justify his case, he leaves them in a vexed mode. That’s where you get to see his wound slash open. So if you are a Will Smith diehard fan you are going to enjoy that incessant frown on his head.

Also, you see Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren and Edward Norton toil really hard to deliver their bits. Even though it appears like a resounding debacle, never for a second they let you feel anything amiss. There is real pain in Kate’s

“I am really sorry, Howard!”

and there’s genuine concern in them Norton eyes for his daughter. Real blush lurks on the semblance of Keira and there’s real distress in Smith’s eyes.

You can pre-order Collateral Beauty from here:

Screenplay

Screenplay is so cliched that it hurts your ears when you try to listen to them. Okay I am exaggerating there. What is worse is that it gets delivered by theater actors (at least that was intended in the first place) who think a cliched definition is all a grieving person needs to listen to.  Some of them are actually pretty good too, but the smart stuff is intentionally kept for the hero to deliver.

The Final Verdict

It’s almost as if I tell you the story of Collateral Beauty you might actually like it, and not think of it as something cheesy. But when you actually see it get dramatized and performed by actors you begin to realize how idiotic it truly looks, and that it was better off as a script unplayed.

Despite Collateral Beauty has stellar actors in the vanguard, it falls owing to its unrealistic and super contrived look and feel. Some scenes are simply out of the blue and context for that to matter.

It could have been so much better if David Frankel had decided not to helm it. Even better handed it over to Spike Jonze instead and taken some time off to concentrate on comedies instead.

You can check out the trailer of Collateral Beauty movie here:

Suicide Squad Review (2016) | Entertaining But Falls Bland

A whole lot of bang with no deafening noise to cover it all up. Suicide Squad might not be that DC movie you have been impatiently waiting for, and it is highly probable that we are never going to hit that old Nolan high ever again, but it still manages to rope you in with entertainment galore. What is important that we are joining DCEU pieces together, and trying our level best to build something beautiful in the long run. Aren’t we really looking up to it?

Direction of Suicide Squad

The problem with David Ayer’s direction is that he doesn’t retain focus. The guy wouldn’t let you pivot on anything. His direction gallops like a speeding steed, and by the time you are trying to put sense into something he canters around to imminent frames to cloud his shoddy direction, without caring about how spectators feel. That’s where he goes wrong. What we need is depth, a gorgeous profundity to hold onto something serious, so that we have something to reflect, and possibly tag along to a frequency that keeps us on our toes to meet those elusive frames. Sadly, Ayer doesn’t have that tranquility and he storms like Usain Bolt.

Best Things to Remember

Without wasting any time, let’s delve into the good the flick had to offer. The best thing about Suicide Squad is hands down Harley Quinn. A one woman show that swallows everything in its wake of perversion. Margot Robbie does justice to our good ol’ Harley successfully creating a stunning persona that is probably the most cherishable character we take from Suicide Squad.

still of margot robbie as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad movie

Another powerful one is that of Will Smith’s Deadshot. He has some of the best lines and he delivers too. But still I wished he was built as memorable as the animated character in Batman: Gotham Knight. Watch out for that one man army show though with his unmissable headshots.

Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag was a confident affair too. He carries a comportment that will have you believe things were actually serious. Amanda Waller was magnificently built with Viola Davis placing things in perspective. But she melts into immaterialism with a vapid story to back her.

The Jared Leto Joker

David Ayer fails to stun us with a Zack Snyder like theatrics when it comes to depicting fighting sequences, but he still manages to create memorable bits keeping Joker under the wraps. There are cameos of him that are absolutely dazzling, as Jared Leto masters that notorious Joker laugh, thrilling every frame with his occasional presence. There are theatrics entailed, no doubt, but I wished he was given more screen time to create an enchanting scene all for himself. His occasional visits with hooligans in dramatic veils sizzle the screen with pizzazz nevertheless.

still of Jared Leto as the Joker in Suicide Squad movie

Enchantress was gorgeously carved in the beginning. The part where Amanda Waller introduces her will have you mesmerized by her ghastly transition. But then as the movie progresses on its thinly built plot, she loses the charm and dread of enchanting us, and withers away like a dead flower. The worst part is when you see Cara Delevingne actually dancing as she performs her bewitching acts. Terrible!

Another good part was ephemeral Batsy cameos. Wish he had some more unexpected eye-popping bits at odd hours and we would have the whole hall erupting with his occasional presence. The part Zack Snyder shot for Flash was there too and will have you bite your nails for that Justice League movie build up.

Focusing on Other Aspects

Other characters in the movie have not been helmed properly. They fall like dominoes without having a proper focus on their abilities except for Diablo played by Jay Hernandez, who gets to have his proper super-villain moment. Incubus walks in strong with his outrageous annihilation in the beginning, but where it all mattered, he succumbs to one of the easiest victories ever.

still of jay hernandez as diablo from suicide squad movie

I am afraid, the screenplay has nothing much to offer. There were moments inscribed wherein you would be impatiently waiting for a funny one-liner, and then end up realizing it was already advertised in the trailers before. Side stories to the tale were like inevitable bits that didn’t have us feeling sorry for the characters. Those were the things that were highly plausible, and don’t reek of enough melodrama to sieve things in perspective.

For the better half of Suicide Squad, we have songs that play in the backdrop, that we all have been forever accustomed to. The flick has limited score strewn across that will make you feel how steep the fall really is, coming from Hans Zimmer’s gorgeous music in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Spoilers Ahead

Suicide Squad has fabricated bits too. Like that scene when Harley takes the elevator. It seems a deliberate attempt to create just one scene. To be honest, we could have lived without.

Killer Croc and Boomerang get shadowed beyond limit. I can’t believe they made Captain Boomerang so forgetful here when in animation he was so superbly sculpted. I can’t forget these memorable lines by Harley for him till date.

Anyone who throws boomerangs has some real issues letting go.

Slipknot is literally added just for one scene. Is he that expendable?

To put it out there candidly, you should watch the animation to witness how beautiful comic helming is done. To experience what the original Suicide Squad was capable of doing you must read the comic or watch the Batman: Assault on Arkham version.

Introduction to characters fell far away from the tree as well. It felt sped up as if you were playing some kind of game, and that time was the key factor. With such teensy moments to spare, there was a whole team to cover and it is understandable too. But really we needed some calm there too.

The Final Verdict

It goes without saying, DC has a lot of ground to cover. Whilst Suicide Squad might have come out a dud, it was entertaining nevertheless. In the end, we still wait with dilated eyes to see what DCEU has in store for us in future.

You can check out the trailer of Suicide Squad here:

Focus Review (2015)

What a disaster! Focus is a movie you can’t really focus on. Problem being, just downright pathetic!

Writers of the movie had a great story in their bag all along but the moment they put it down on paper it went chaos. Direction is poor. The plot lacks substance. Screenplay doesn’t impress much either. Editing is average too.

Even though the story took off at a great note manifesting the genius Will sells subtly, it started heading on a belt of shoddy towards the mouth of indifference in no time. One moment it seemed as if Wong was going to take it towards impending awesomeness but then boom!….comes another jackhammer and we are left without a great story. Okay so this keeps happening throughout the movie. Yet these twists and turns don’t lift you off your seat. You just end up with a ‘meh’. Then enters Rodrigo Santoro but alas he has a screen time of a blink. Without any power to his role he vanishes without posing a threat too. Character detailing is simply absent. You don’t even get to know Nicky’s team, forget others.

The chemistry between Will and Margot wasn’t engaging at all. It lacked spark and seemed more animated than real. You could literally see Margot flinching in her act (poor casting choice). Adrian Martinez was in there to throw in a few laughs. One time his humour goes so bizarre it becomes literally unfunny.

Really poor script, I would say, for a con movie. There are needle dropped songs replacing score here. Also, nothing flabbergasting that would blow your minds away. You almost see the end coming. Very predictable at times and quite average story build up. Can pass this!