Showing posts with label movie review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movie review. Show all posts

Baahubali: With great budget comes greater disappointment.

Look, the poster of the movie is a good way to predict how the movie is going to be, right? So when you see a six pack stud sauntering with a sixty ton shiva lingh, some of us would sigh and say, "oh! another shitty movie" and others would be mentally retarded single cell amoeba. But then we hear that the director has invested 2 years and 200 crores to make a movie, and we begin to think, maybe,  just MAYBE, that a fraction of it would have gone into coming up with... oh! what is it called, that thing which every Hollywood movie has... no! not special effects... yes! a STORY and a PLOT!

So we go to the movie, and it is payback time for the single cell amoeba. Our brain is assaulted with all the cliches of the 1960's once-upon-a-time-there-was-a-king movie; brothers (one evil, one virtuous) fight for throne, virtuous brother is betrayed and killed, his wife is chained in city square for two decades and of course the biggest cliche of them all, the virtuous brother's infant escapes and comes back... as spitting image of his father. You know what they say: good might get eclipsed for a while, but it will come back as double action.

To be fair to the movie, the cliches are rendered in spectacular visuals. The story takes place in a mythical country called mahishamathi which is home to a spectacular waterfall, a dense amazonian jungle, snow clad mountains and a wide desert where war can be choreographed. You wonder how this is possible, but the answer is not hard to find. The answer is that the kingdom is a blessed land, a land blessed with special effects.

So against a picture perfect backdrop of snowy mountains complete with icicles hanging from every leaf, the hero (clad in tropical cotton dress) stripteases heroin (who is already in what could be called as a revealing warrior costume) to reveal that beneath the warrior she is just a woman. The enlightened heroine falls for hero because, you see, in this mythical country there is no concept of feminism... or frostbite. Then the hero takes couple of steps, lands in a warm city and frees a woman who has been languishing in chains for twenty five years near a conveniently placed horse cart.

At this point the movie goes into flashback, to fill in the minor details like the chained woman is hero's mother and his father was the original king. Never mind that everybody in the theater knows these already at this point. There has to be a flashback, because, you guessed it right, the director wants a VFX heavy war scene. To be fair again, the war scenes were spectacular. But for all its greatness, special effects have indeed failed at couple of places, the notable being that the hero's expressions were always plastic.

Summary: Quantity poops on Quality. Again.

Mad Max: Fury Road review

Hey everyone,

I reviewed Mad Max: Fury Road -- a two hour dose of weird craziness and action -- for Comic Vine. Don't worry, the review's spoiler-free!

Marvel's The Avengers Review

Marvel's The Avengers Review

Marvel's The Avengers is a movie we've been anxiously waiting to see for years now.  If you're a comic book fan, the dream of watching this A-list team together on the big screen could be over a decade old.  What really hit home was when Nick Fury came out of nowhere and blew our minds with that post-credits scene in Iron Man back in 2008. It was the collective fanboy jaw-drop heard around the world.  The Avengers was a reality that was continually teased in the other Marvel Studios movies, and now, it's finally here.  Does it live up to the Galactus-sized hype or fail harder than the Red Skull's attempt at world domination?  I'm beyond thrilled to say it not only meets the expectations, but also completely smashes them.  Marvel Studios has managed to create a ridiculously fun superhero movie that'll make both fanboys and casual fans want to see it over and over again.

The story here is absolutely big enough to justify the gathering of the team and manages to keep you engaged the whole time as it takes elements from both the classic Avengers stories and the second volume of Mark Millar's The Ultimates.  The mischievous Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is looking to conquer Earth, and to do so, he's aligned himself with an alien army (I won't spoil who they are).  With the tesseract (cosmic cube), Thor's "brother" is a cosmic force that would require a miracle to stop. Luckily for us humans, Nick Fury (Sam Jackson) has this little thing called The Avengers Initiative on file.  And yes, this movie positively lays out the groundwork for a follow-up.
A film like this is insanely difficult to pull off.  The chore of juggling so many characters isn't easy and we've seen it play a role in obliterating comic book movies before (you know what you did, X-Men: The Last Stand and Spider-Man 3).  Thankfully, director Joss Whedon ( The Cabin in the Woods, Firefly) was the perfect man for the job. "In Whedon we trust" is a common phrase by Whedonites.  If you weren't  saying it before, I'm damn sure you will be after seeing this film.  The roster is packed and Whedon is able to give the varied characters the respect they deserve. Each hero (and villain) is given a good amount of screen time for depth and they definitely have their fair share of incredibly bad-ass moments.  I've always said that Whedon's greatest talent is his ability to craft top-notch banter, and Marvel's The Avengers is proof of this. These characters are all so drastically different when it comes to their personalities, so when they go at it verbally, the result is pure gold most of the time. There are countless laughs to enjoy in this one.

Regarding the rest of the talent, no one really falls short.  We've already seen most of these actors in their respective roles before and they do every bit as well, if not slightly better due to the sharp writing giving them more to work with.  Robert Downey Jr. continues to bring the laughs as the sarcastic Tony Stark, Chris Evans pulls off the confidence Captain America requires, Tom Hiddleston continues to make Loki the most interesting Marvel Studios villain to date, so on and so on.  If they're not exactly like their comic book counter-part, then they're certainly close enough to make you feel as though they've been stripped from the panels.
The action in this movie will make you feel like a kid again and leave you completely in awe.  We get just about every hero versus hero combination we've been dying to see and the final act is absolute perfection. War breaks out in New York and every Avenger is right in the middle of it.  This battle has a beautifully organic flow, moving from one character to the next as they continue to amaze us with what I can firmly call the best action sequence I've seen in a long time.  It has too many top-notch crowd-pleasing moments to count.

Hulk is without question the highlight of this movie.  He's the physical powerhouse he needs to be, and Mark Ruffalo does a fine job as Banner.  The CGI holds up the entire ride and it's amazing how this literally looks like a 'roided-out Ruffalo.  To go into detail would totally spoil his moments, but let's just say there's plenty of smashing and even more laughs to be had.  Hulk gets the amount of battles he deserves, and I can confidently say these will be the scenes you'll be talking about when you walk out of the theater.  It would be madness to not give this version of Hulk a solo movie, so they better make that happen in 2015.

Marvel's The Avengers will be heavily debated as the best comic book movie, but it's definitely not perfect (then again, what movie truly is?).  The first few acts are the low points as they go through the mandatory steps of establishing the overall plot and bringing the characters together.  It simply didn't feel as big or superb as the movie needs to be. The resolution also felt pretty standard and wrapped up a little too easily.  That said, these are minor criticisms and ultimately won't matter all that much because the rest will blow you away.

Marvel's The Avengers is sporting Hulk's strength and raised the bar for comic book movies.  So, unless you severely loathe the genre, there is no reason at all to not rush out and see it as soon as possible.  When the movie comes to end (sit through the credits for two extra scenes!), you'll want to go through the must-see experience all over again.  


The Raid: Redemption Review

Writing a review for The Raid: Redemption is an incredibly difficult task. It's not a complicated movie and I don't need to dance around spoilers, but it's just that no amount of praise will really do this film proper justice. People have been calling it the best action movie in awhile, and I can confidently say that those people are absolutely right. The Raid not only lives up to the hype, but it surpasses it with a roundhouse kick square in the face. You're going to have a ridiculous amount of fun watching this movie from start to finish.  It's simply an experience that all action fans need to check out at least once. It's brutal, relentless, jaw-dropping, and one of the most entertaining movies I have ever watched. I imagine I'll see it at least once more in theaters and get the Blu-ray right when it hits.

If you've watched the trailer, then you're pretty much up to date with the plot. A criminal kingpin is lurking in a tenement tower that's filled with goons who will obey his every command. A squad of incredibly talented SWAT officers are sent in to take the villain out. Simple as that. The focus is on Rama (Iko Uwais), the newbie on the team with a pregnant wife. Despite the dangers of the mission, his reason for going on the seemingly suicidal task will unfold over the course of the movie.

But let's be honest, the story isn't why you're going to see The Raid. You want insane action, and director Gareth Evans delivers an overdose of awesomeness in that regard.  Theses are some of the most impressive melees you'll ever witness. The choreography is stunning, wowing us with incredible technique in combination with using the environment for some of the most powerful impacts I've ever witnessed in a film. And this isn't the same fight scene over and over. Each will amaze you more and more as the encounters become more ruthless and engaging. I lost track of how many times people in the audience yelled "OHHH!"
What helps make the hand-to-hand battles even more powerful is the way the film is shot. Shaky cam rarely interferes with our focus and the camera work is done in a manner that lets us fully appreciate each and every one of the crazy fast and vicious punches, kicks and stabs. The lack of quick cuts is fully appreciated as well, helping us follow the almost super-humanly fast martial arts. Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park lends his talents to create the soundtrack, and the electronic songs compliment the pace of the film extremely well.

The plot isn't going to get you emotionally invested, but that hardly matters when you're so enthralled by some of the most amazing fight sequences you'll ever see. The Raid: Redemption is one hell of a good time and, for a lack of betters words, is ridiculously awesome. If you even remotely enjoy action movies, you absolutely have to see this one. Unfortunately, The Raid: Redemption is only a limited release, so go here to see if it's playing near you. And if it is, I highly recommend you see it ASAP.


Agneepath - Movie review. Not really!

Twentytwo years back I had a near death experience. My friend asked, "Do you want to go to agneepath?"
Back then my hindi vocabulary consisted of just three words - kintu, parantu and pitamah. I didn't know the meaning of the last word. But I knew that was the most used hindi word - that is after kintu and parantu. But I was sorely tempted. The alternative involved spending time with rigid bodies, point masses and Newton's laws - all fictional entities. I had been preparing for IIT JEE for three months, a time period long enough to finish physics syllabus twice if Newton had not been born.
"Can't. I have to study non-stop. For like next two years!" I chose hell to painful death.

But funny thing in life is what goes around comes around.
Last night my wife put a 'Made of right hand' gun to my head and said, 'Let's go to Agneepath.'
'What is agneepath?' My kid asked.
'It is a movie.' my wife said.
'good movie?' My kid wanted to know.
'Hrithik roshan is there.'
'Does fighting come?'
'Lots' my wife said.
'Take this.' My kid offered his gun to her. It had 'Made in Cina' printed on it.
'One of these days chinese are going to master English too and we will have no place to hide.' I observed.
My kid picked four more guns from his toy collection that consisted of guns, cars, more guns and more cars. He gave one to my wife and one to me. I had five guns pointed at my head.

'Let's go to agneepath.' My wife said and my kid repeated.
I couldn't come up with any reason against it. My hindi has improved considerably after my four years of college in north India. I had even finished with distinction the hindi courses mandatory in college - 'Male and female genital parts' and 'Improbable and Impossible mother-son and father-daughter relationships'.
And the alternative to going to movie was just candle light dinner, wine and night of passion - all fictional entities.
'Why not? Let's pay hard earned money and get our senses assualted.' I said.
'I want pop corn too.' my kid said.

Agneepath, if you don't know already, is a remake of the cult (a synonym for commercial failure) movie of the same name by the same production company. I don't want to name the company. But in all their movies a tune that is laden with thick syrupy sentimental shit comes at least once. The tune goes like

laah la laaah la laalaah, laah la laaah la laalaah, lalalAAAAAAAAARGH!

Usually the audience complete the tune with 'kuch kuch hota hai' while they are running to the nearest toilet.

Before the movie starts, they put a slide saying this is an attempt at adapting the cult movie for the modern times. It is a good thing. Because instead of a sixty plus Amitabh bachchan in an attire that reminds eighties, we have Hrithik roshan clad in the fashion labels that is making waves now.

'Doesn't Hrithik look like an Italian model?' My wife asks me.
'When have you seen an Italian model?' I ask.
'Why? Do you think you alone can watch ftv?' my wife asks.
I make a mental note to vote in the next election for BJP or any other party that has banning ftv in their agenda.
'Look! everybody wears and talks like they are in a slum in mumbai. But for Hrithik who comes in stitched to fit jeans.' I tell my wife.
'I will see even if he doesn't wear anything and doesn't talk a word.' She says.
I am not good at understanding women, being married for just ten years . But I definitely think Hrithik to women is like Aishwarya Rai is to men.

After a long time into the movie there is a pelvic thrust sequence also known as item number by Katrina kaif. People in the front row whistle and clapp. I look at those young blood and sigh. Nowadays pelvic thrusts just remind me of back ache and spinal injury. Maybe I am getting old. I remember those wild days when item numbers meant something totally different to me - simple harmonic motion. 'What is the formula for calculating the time period of an oscillation', I try hard to think as the theater is immersed in the din of whistles and hoots. As they say, it is OK if you are a geek or old but if you are an old geek life is a lot like getting caught in arctic circle in peak winter during a snow storm.

I know I have not said anything about the movie itself in this post. So here it is...

The movie keeps you interested till the intermission. But once you get the pop corn and pepsi, there is nothing much to look forward to.

Headache... at a theater near you

Friday night, in a moment of weekness I did a pretty stupid thing. Men are like that, especially in nights. I switched on the T.V. I wanted to catch up on the latest developments. Instead, Raavan caught up with me. I have been escaping from Abhishek Bachchan for more than a year now. But he caught me in a big way yesterday. Six feet of muscles that refuse to act on a thirty two inch screen is a nightmare.

I have a simple theory for success. It states that that you don't need to be talented, hard working or good looking to be a success. You just need a better father. Abhishek bachchan is the proof on which the theory is built. I mean, he can't deliver even a single line! You would have thought that, 'Wow! I am going to be a father. I am so happy right now!' to be the easiest line to deliver. In India, that line gets delivered every two seconds. And most of the time the fathers perform reasonably well. Of course, their performance will not get an oscar but you can see that the fathers are trying to smile and look happy. So you can kinda guess how they are feeling - shit scared. But Abhishek couldn't deliver even that line. He copped out and asked his father to tweet to the world about the arrival of grandchild.

A friend of mine is a big fan of Abhishek. He likes all the movies of abhishek. That's the beauty of abhishek. If you like his acting in one movie then you will like him in all his movies. He repeats the same bad acting again and again.

Then on saturday we went to the final installment of Hairy Farter series. The great thing the movie has going for itself is that it is a popular movie. Plus the fact that it operates on two layers which when combined using a special glass gives a 3D feel. Do you know that they have something called jumbo cola? The best part of the movie! Skip the movie, stick with the book would be my advise.

On sunday, it was back to the theater and jumbo cola again. This time to watch ZNMD. ZNMD is a road trip movie. The kind of movie where three guys go on a road trip and two hours later audience come out tired. After watching the movie, I felt that Zindagi na milegi dobara should not have been the title but the statutory warning of the movie. As the credits rolled, I said, "I am feeling sick."

Next day the doctor said, "It's viral fever. Maybe it is the colas you drank." The doc is right. Bollywood cannot compete with the colas when it comes to dishing out stuff that makes you sick.

From Funny Side Of Life

Inception: Two middle fingers up

(Don't read in between the words. I am just showing my appreciation by using the longest fingers instead of thumbs.)

There are thousands of glowing reviews of the movie Inception on the internet.
But I decided to write my bit anyway.

If you have not watched it, you should immediately go and watch it. Especially if you are an Indian. You see, the name of the hero is Cobb. You know what it means phonetically in Hindi. Dream! Yes, Nolan is really a genius. I think he deserves an Oscar for life time achievement just for this.

But wait,he gets better. He is a master teacher too. Teacher? Yes! Right in the middle of the movie he takes a time out to conduct a class on Dream 101. He makes cobb assemble all the characters and the audience to cover concepts like dream levels,dream travel, dream-time space, totems, limbo. The people who would have shouted at their quantum physics teacher, "Stop bull shitting. Get Real, man!" and stormed out of the class chose to sit through this movie and came out saying, "Wow! He really exercised the tiniest of the tiniest cell of my gray matter! And I thought I came to watch a movie. I can't wait for Dream 102." He should get the award for best teacher too, if they have one.

What about Nobel prize? Oh yeah that too! This whole branch of science that inquires into dreams within dreams is his creation.
Really! So he is the first to come up with an idea of dream within a dream within a dream.
Of course, yeah! Engineers, especially software engineers, will blabber something about recursion. But don't let those geeks take away from the genius of Nolan. They just download code from Internet.

Okay, so Do I belong to the gang that believes he should have got the Oscar for best director or at least best movie? Well, Hmm.... Not really. He got couple of nominations, right? Good enough.