Posted in Action, Based On True Events, Biographical, Drama, Hollywood, Sports

Le Mans '66/Ford vs Ferrari – One for the automobile enthusiasts.

It becomes intriguing for even a normal moviegoer when a couple of huge motor company names are involved in the title of a film, let alone the excitement of the audience who actually are the motorcar aficionados.

What the trailer and poster clearly depicts is completely contrasting to what you actually see in regards to the story and the role of the actors. The plot showers light to one of the most epic actualities happened in the history. Brought to you by Jason Keller and the Butterworth brothers, this story will blow your mind when you witness the kind of events that took place in the 1960’s.

Named Ford vs Ferrari in many countries, Le Mans ’66 gives us an epic sports drama which explains how the two motorcar giants were actually at war, when they stood face-to-face on the racetrack of a legendary race called as 24 hours of Le Mans – which actually lasted for a period of twenty four hours. It also shows the twists and turns and politics within the corporate world of the leading automobile companies.

You are in for a full throttle of races, drama and some superlative performances. Praises fall short when we speak about both Christian Bale (as Ken Miles) and Matt Damon (as Carroll Shelby) because they have, in their own style and kind of films, given us noteworthy portrayals over the period of time. And this surely will be written in the books as one of their career’s best. May it be the direction of James Mangold or the support of the side cast – Jon Bernthal (as Lee Lacocca), Catriona Balfe (as Mollie Miles), Tracy Letts (as Henry Ford The Second), Josh Lucas (as Leo Beebe), Noah Jupe (as Peter Miles), Remo Jirone (as Enzo Ferrari) and Ray McKinnon (as Phil Remington), both are stupendous in their own way.

4/5

Posted in Action, Fiction, Hollywood, SciFi, Thriller

Gemini Man – Expectations into the bin.

When you tend to over-promote or market a film a bit too much, moviegoers usually get a hint as to what kind of film it might be. The best films normally don’t need awareness. They automatically become popular by word of mouth. The best way.

It is hard to believe that lead actor Will Smith and director Ang Lee actually believed in a story which might have taken 20 years to finalize but STILL proves to be the most common and gray concept, CLONING. The only reason I decided to go for this film was Will Smith because of my recently born love for him after I completed the TV series, The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air.

There are no complaints when the performances of Smith or even the supporting cast, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (as Danny Zakarweski), Clive Owen (as Clayton “Clay” Varris) and Benedict Wong (as Baron) are concerned. It is, yet again, the idea of the plot (originally by Lemke) and the screenplay which is completely outdated. Smith is going about everywhere, boasting the kind of technology which has been used in this film for it’s own benefit. Yet, the purpose it is serving or the reason it is being used for is literally of the golden era.

The approach of the film and constant change of locations really reminded me of the last week’s Bollywood release, War. There certainly were editing blunders, which were very much crystal for the naked eye. Especially in the last scene. It is quite shocking that Gemini Man hails from a director who has created marvelous films like Life Of Pi and Brokeback Mountain. However, the trio responsible for the bizarre tale are David Benioff (writer of Game Of Thrones and Troy), Billy Ray (co-writer of Hunger Games) and Darren Lemke (co-writer of Shazam! and Shrek Forever After). Mistakes do happen. And this is one of them for the these three, assuredly.

1/5

Posted in Action, Bollywood, Drama, Suspense

War – So much chaos for nothing!

It is necessary for me to see these kind of movies so that I can help you in deciding, whether to watch it or not. The numbers show that it is beating all the records. But so do Salman Khan and Rajnikanth movies, almost every time. And do they produce any logic?

It has all become about fan following now or it has been since many years. The massively promoted film, WAR, proves that just by having a couple of big stars and a huge YRF banner, every film can sell. Even if it has an asinine story and it can easily be anticipated. Even if it has the most grotesque background score. Even if it is majorly flawed in terms of detail (especially visual effects).

Just by flaunting your ripped bodies and slow motioning some of the scenes, including the ones to show off the actors’ entrances, you are making it even more crystal as to who are you making this film for. It is really frustrating for the audience who actually go to watch a film to find a little bit of sense in it.

I promise that I almost figured out the film JUST by looking at the trailer. With just one more amateur twist in the end, it just made a big joke of itself. Furthermore, the music department is well taken care of by VishalShekhar. That, the choreography and the supporting actors performing well, are the only things this film did well. Well and obviously Hrithik Roshan (as Kabir Luthra) showcased his class, as always.

War also evidently reveals how bad Tiger Shroff‘s (as Khalid Khan) performance, dialogue delivery and expressions are. There were scenes purposely added to show his Taekwondo skills. It also reveals how plastic can literally ruin your natural face – Vaani Kapoor (as Naina). She’s a good actor though. Also, it is not Hrithik versus Tiger, it is you versus your tolerance level. How much crap can you handle.

Siddharth Anand (writer and director) has failed yet again by over-dramatizing many of the scenes, making some okay action scenes and writing a childish screenplay. I recommend this to fans only.

P.S: The producer and director called two international action directors for this. Even then the action bit couldn’t impress me. What a shame!

1/5

Posted in Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fiction, Hollywood, SciFi, Superhero, Technology

Spider-Man: Far From Home – My restrained views.

It is so difficult to write about Marvel films without letting out a spoiler. Especially in the second installment of this franchise.

It is a fun film. As usual. Since it gives you a very teenage kind of feeling, everything is really advanced, rapid and modern. I loved Chris McKenna and Eric Sommers‘s script, having just the right amount of everything. The story put through is obviously the next chapter, post Avengers: End Game and explains casually, how Peter Parker is affected, after the sad demise of Tony Stark (Iron Man).

The direction (by Jon Watts – who also directed the first part) is great. The technological/graphical parts of the film [which is most of the film] will impress you. A lot. It is really mind blowing what all you can create by just putting green screens everywhere around the actors and letting a computer do it’s part. Undoubtedly, the graphic and/or VFX (visual effects) designers do most of it.

One thing I couldn’t understand is that how Mary Jane’s (MJ) character has completely taken a turn from what we had witnessed in the Tobey Maguire‘s Spider-Man series. Herein, MJ (played by Zendaya) is completely obsessed with Peter Parker [and weirdly stalks him too] since the first part, Spider-Man: Homecoming. It was a complete different scenario in Sam Raimi‘s directed Spider-Man franchise.

It is rejuvenating to have a new character, Jake Gyllenhaal (as Mysterio) who actually enhanced the film. He is truly a brilliant actor. Sober, yet effective. The twists and turns in this sequel, along with great suspenseful moments will keep surprising you every now and then. The comedy portion is a little less, however present, compared to other Marvel films.

Everything has changed, ever since the brilliant Tom Holland (as Peter Parker/Spider-Man) has taken over. The costumes, the actors, the names, the villains. For the most basic examples, Aunt May/May Parker’s character is now played by the sizzling Marisa Tomei or Peter Parker has a best friend, Ned Leeds (played by Jacob Batalon). Beginning from 2002, what Spider-Man (played by Tobey Maguire) used to be and what it is now. How the characters revolving around him have altered. How Spider-Man got involved with Avengers. The inclusion of Tony Stark/Iron Man in his life. I have accepted it. It’s great. Yet, deep down somewhere in my heart, I will always miss Tobey Maguire. What he created on the screen was something else. Unspeakable. Magic.

4/5

Posted in Action, Crime, Fiction, Hollywood, Thriller

John Wick 3: Parabellum – Just for the action.

I was shocked to see the amount of people in the theater, cheering and applauding, for Keanu Reeves (as John Wick). My question to them is that where were they in the first two parts?

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Yes, there is a huge audience for insane action films with a hint of the thriller genre in it. Yet, I still remember vividly, there were ten or probably fifteen people in the theater, when the first John Wick (2014) had released. I am glad, for Keanu Reeves, for the fact that his fans have outnumbered the amount of how many there were before this. But were they really fans? When many of them weren’t even present in first two parts of this series?

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Let’s now get to the ultimate topic. The film. Look, it has always been a mediocre story-line when spoken about John Wick films. The director, Chad Stehalski and writers Derek Kosltad (lone writer of the first two parts), Shay Hatten, Chris Collins and Marc Abrams tried their level best to evolve the film, making it vast, including more actors and better villains. It is also appreciable that in that ‘vastness’, it’s not only guns what he is playing with this time, it’s horses, dogs, knives, axes, swords and motorbikes too.

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The drawbacks of this film might not be too many but one is that too much of Keanu’s physical skills were being displayed, where he looked fatigued and laid back. Now, there was an action scene [might be interesting for some], a fight scene rather, with one of the Japanese foes, where too much of screen time was being used and it literally felt elastic, given the fast-paced state of the film. Nonetheless, the background score excelled and the comedy content, taking a good portion in the film, also, makes it worthy of the extra point.

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Fortifying actors who reprise their roles, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Randall Duk Kim and Lance Reddick and the new ones, Asia Kate Dillon, Halle Berry, Angelica Huston, Saïd Taghmaoui and Jerome Flynn are simply fantastic, in their little roles.

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With all that being said, John Wick 3: Parabellum proves to be slightly better than it’s previous two parts. I will remind you to watch the first two parts before going for this one. It is not a standalone. It is connected.

3.5/5

Posted in Action, Adventure, Animation, Cartoon, Comedy, Fiction, Hollywood, Romantic

Aladdin – Ecstatic. A perfect remodel.

It is one of those jubilant films which you could watch more than once. It definitely makes you sentimental and glad at the same time, bringing those precious memories back, which you loved and adored in the early nineties.

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Guy Ritchie (direction and screenplay) and his co-writer, John August had two main responsibilities. First, not to make too many changes to the story and second, to bring the exact same feel of the cartoon film Aladdin to the moviegoers, in this realistic form/version. They did it. To all those critics who gave this film a mediocre or below average rating, I want to be on the contrary. It is a semi-musical [according to me]. Be prepared for that. Even the cartoon film was, where the characters would express their innermost feelings through the medium of a melody. It didn’t seem weird, even after twenty six years.

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Mena Massoud (as Aladdin) & Naomi Scott (as Princess Jasmine) are confident and are more than apt for their roles. You will understand that from their first respective shots. It is quite fascinating how they managed to sing their parts themselves, so tunefully, which really brought relevance to their characters. It is quite better than making a professional sing for you.

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There couldn’t be a better Genie in a half-animated Aladdin than Will Smith. He has agreed and followed the rules of a musical. He hasn’t hesitated and has shown a full spirit towards his role. He is singing, dancing, having fun and all so gracefully. Smith is one of the vital reasons I would recommend this motion-picture to everyone. The flavor he brought to the film is the tastiest you’ll ever get. Two characters, which I found to be a little less convincing were Jafar (played by Marwan Kenzari), in terms of his ability to portray the antagonist, and The Sultan (played by Navid Neghaban), who, when compared to the cartoon film, was cute, fun-loving, jolly and sometimes childish. Herein, he is rigid, not all over the place, a little strict and adamant.

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The parrot Lago (played by Alan Tudyk), which was played by Gilbert Gottfried in the 1992 animated film of the same name, sadly has a very limited role (alike The Sultan) in the flick. Numan Acar played the splendid Hakim. Furthermore, the soundtrack is remade by same composer of Aladdin (1992) Alan Menken, elegantly. He is accompanied by Golden Globe winner duo, Pasek & Paul, in making the background score and music flawlessly.

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What’s new about the film? Just a little. New generation music and dance (hip-hop, rap, beat-boxing etc.) obviously because Will Smith is in it. Also, the magic tricks genie performs, while exaggerating his powers, have been added with things which weren’t available back then, in the 90’s. An addition of a character, Dalia (Princess Jasmine’s handmaiden) didn’t seem unnecessary.

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Aladdin is the most perfect adaptation of it’s animation film. There is nothing to dislike in the film. With a world class direction, graphics, plot and soundtrack, it will keep you entertained and delighted till the end.

4.5/5

Posted in Action, Bollywood, Crime, Drama, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Sacred Games – Game changer.

I tweeted, tagging the cast and creators of this show post watching it, lauding and being really glad about India upping their game with this masterpiece. Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane have created a prodigy, after all.

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It is said that novels are much better than shows which are based on them. But, I think Kashyap (director) and Varun Grover, Smita Singh & Vasant Nath (screenplay writers) flipped that scenario by making this so craftily. Undoubtedly, it is based on Vikram Chandra‘s novel of the same name from 2006.

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About a year from the release of this glorious show, I had heard confirmations of Khan making his debut on a TV platform or rather web series which made him the first out of all Bollywood actors to do so. I was skeptical yet felt proud. Then when the poster released of this and Nawazuddin Siddiqui was seen playing an antagonist. There went my skepticism, out of the window, almost instantaneously.

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Let’s see what we have here. Exceptional veteran actors (Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Saif Ali Khan, Pankaj Tripathi, Aamir Bashir, Neeraj Kabi, Chittaranjan Tripathy, Samir Kochhar, Saurabh Sachdeva & Girish Kulkarni) and proficient new ones (Jatin Sarna, Rajshri Deshpande, Kubra Sait, Surveen Chawla, Geetanjali Thapa, Anil Charanjeet, Radhika Apte & Vikram Kochar). A well-written and conceptualized story (Grover, Singh & Nath). A mind boggling background score (Alokananda Dasgupta) and musical track (Phenom, Divine & Rachita Arora). Plus, to top it off, a phenomenal direction (Kashyap & Motwane) and superb photography work (Swapnil Sonawale, Sylvester Fonsenca & Aseem Bajaj). You cannot go wrong. Sacred Games is my Netflix recommend, if you STILL haven’t seen it.

4.5/5