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, 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, Adventure, Animation, Cartoon, Comedy, Fiction, Hollywood, SciFi

Pokémon Detective Pikachu – Reminiscing, slightly.

I wasn’t going to watch this film for Pokémon or the characters and hell I didn’t even know many of them. What really got my attention was when I read that Ryan Reynolds has given his crazy voice to the character of Pikachu. The Deadpool star is one of my favorite actors because of his great sense of humor.

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This collaboration of actual human actors and Pokémon monsters was really well thought of, yet, lacks so much in the story and the addition of various other characters/monsters. There are 812, according to Wikipedia. It is a secret as to why Reynolds adds his comedic manly touch to the cute, adorable Pikachu, which, shall be revealed way after the climax of the flick.

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Inclusive of a display of some next-generation technology, some great graphical representation, this film is adventurous. It has a good portion of comedy, thanks to Ryan Reynolds, of course. Rob Letterman, the director, who has made a few beautiful films in the past, unfortunately, couldn’t bring out the charisma, which was very much required in this game-adapted Pokémon Detective Pikachu.

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Apart from some moments of recollection of our good old memories concerning this legendary Japanese game and characters (or monsters) [which has been played on various different mediums since 1995], there are only a few notable things this film has to offer. Which reminds me to mention about a superb upcoming actor, Justice Smith (as Tim Goodman). With great dialogue delivery and facial expressions, he is quite the impressive one. A year younger to him, the female lead, Kathryn Newton (as Lucy Stevens) still has a few skills to master, however, is not that bad an actor. Probably experience shall teach the pretty one some more.

2/5

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

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn – Exquisite.

As described in the title of the film, this flick is not even a bit short of adventure. Packed with tons of action sequences and shipshape comedy, this movie does not fail to entertain.

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The graphics nowadays, are just eight to ten percent far from reality. In a few years’ time, I’m sure, developers will clone the real motion films completely. When I used to read Adventures of Tintin in a comic book, I never thought that it would turn into an actual film. Director Steven Spielberg gave a full square deal to the direction, taking into heed the minor most details of the characters and the scenes.

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Janusz Kamiński‘s cinematography is just gnarly. I wasn’t inattentive at any point of the film. Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis and Daniel Craig gave terrific voice expressions. Snowy, the dog and Thompson (voiced by Nick Frost) & Thompson (voiced by Simon Pegg) brothers are very jocular! Furthermore, I would appreciate specifically how each scene changed into another. Very innovative.

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The character of Tintin in Adventures of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn is displayed exactly how it is in the book. How he ends up in a ship from his house, suddenly or how he has a lot of questions or how he reacts to every action or even how he solves every mystery towards the end of the story. Spielberg and screenplay artists Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, have succeeded in this obligation, which would have been one of the most arduous tasks.

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“There are plenty of others who are planning to call you a failure, a fool, a looser, a hopeless souse! Don’t you ever say it of yourself. You send out the wrong signal. That is what people pick up. Do you understand? You care about something, you fight for it. You hit a wall, you push through it!”

– Captain Haddock.

4/5

 

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

Thor: The Dark World – Hit and miss.

As exciting the first part was, introducing Thor as a super hero, this sequel didn’t exceed or even reach to that level. It had a good build, howbeit, consisted a mediocre story-line. I am glad I didn’t opt to watch it in 3D. It would have been a waste of money.

Apart from the wondrous Chris Hemsworth (as Thor), Tom Hiddleston (as Loki) had a very short and sweet role but towards the end he tends to leave us with a lot of questions. Needless to say, all of these actors, Natalie Portman (as Jane Foster), Anthony Hopkins (as Odin), Stellan Skarsgård (as Erik Selvig), Idris Elba (as Heimdall, Christopher Eccleston (as Malekith), Ray Stevenson (as Volstagg), Zachary Levi (as Fandral), Kat Dennings (as Darcy Lewis), Tadanobu Asano (as Hogun), Rene Russo (as Frigga), Adewale AkinnuoyeAgbaje (as Algrim/Kurse) and Jaimie Alexander (as Sif) are par excellence.

Action sequences (which are supposed to be the USP here) are adequate, not enough and definitely not mind blowing. All of the actors who weren’t utilized so much in the first part, are given longer screen time – which is nice to see. So, basically, Thor: The Dark World doesn’t bore you out completely, yet, it doesn’t leave you inquisitive about what’s going to happen next either.

After credit scenes always leave you with so many questions and are always worth the wait. Plus, many don’t even know that these scenes exist and unfortunately they miss out on one of the most important parts of the flick. As a Marvel fan, I would urge you to wait until the credits end, there is a surprise waiting for you.

2.5/5

Posted in Action, Adventure, Comedy, Crime, Drama, Fiction, Hollywood

Let’s Be Cops – A laugh riot!

I don’t think I have seen a funnier film in almost half a decade. Last I saw a film this entertaining was from the Hindi cinema. Directed by Rohit Shetty, it was called All The Best – Fun Begins. But this flick surpassed it by a good margin.

Director Luke Greenfield hasn’t directed any blockbusters, but has been responsible for a few television and commercial films, out of which The Girl Next Door is what he is best known for.

At first, when the theatrical poster of the film released, I thought the lead cast included Adam Sandler and Jamie Foxx, but then I came to realize that they were the New Girl (FOX TV series) duo Jake Johnson (as Ryan J. O’Malley) and Damon Wayans Jr (as Justin G. Miller)! Bulgarian actress Nina Dobrev (as Josie) is stunning and looks very similar to the Canadian actress Emmanuelle Chriqui. For quite a duration I thought they were twin sisters. To many doppelgängers in this one eh?

Truth be told, the plot (Greenfield and Nicholas Thomas) didn’t set any benchmarks and was nothing unusual. But, Daryn Okada‘s cinematography stole the show because EVERY scene shot and directed was hilarious and superlative. Let’s Be Cops has made more than quadruple times of their budget as of right now. Surprisingly, other critics of the world have given it a very low rating.

I didn’t expect this flick to be funny all the way till the end. Yet, Jake and Damon, who I think are one of the finest actors of Hollywood, managed to do keep it that way, quite effortlessly.

Post Script: I urge the Dubai Censor Board to please stop editing scenes out of an 18+ film. I mean what is the use of putting an age limit in the first place?

4/5

Posted in Action, Adventure, Comedy, Crime, Fiction, Hollywood, SciFi, Superhero

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – Glutted.

“Go Spidey!”, everyone shouts in the audience in the film. But did newly reformed Spider-Man go that far to impress us in this Spidey sequel too?

Forgive me, but I’ll mention this in every review I write on a Spider-Man movie, that, no one can outdo the first Spider-Man a.k.a Tobey Maguire in Sam Raimi‘s films. Although, this Spider-Man is slimmer, fitter, taller, cooler and more comical. It is funny and entertaining to watch how easily he takes on his responsibilities, when/if compared to the original.

The expectations were high because the first installment did well when Andrew Garfield was brought in to portray the new Peter Parker. He is new-aged and witty. Something new for Spider-Man’s character in films. Even Paul Giamatti (as Aleksei Sytsevich/Rhino) and Dane DeHaan (as Harry Osborn/Green Goblin) showed their charm.

However, I am truly shocked that even four story writers, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner and James Vanderbilt couldn’t make the plot engaging enough. Emma is adorable as his love interest. Jamie Foxx (as Max Dillon) proves to be a great antagonist to Garfield. In fact, some of the visuals effects given to his character Electro and some of the action scenes are jaw-dropping!

Lastly, the duration of the film went too long. Perhaps, there were way too many foes stuffed in, when just one could’ve been sufficient? Or the writers wanted to show it all, forecasting the dull future of this franchise.

P.S: Just read the newspapers, the film Neighbors starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron beat the records of The Amazing Spiderman 2. I rest my case.

2.5/5