Saturday, December 19, 2015
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Written and directed by Imtiaz Ali, this movie portrays a story of a man named Ved, played by Ranbir Kapoor, who has always loved hearing and telling stories since childhood. However, due to familial pressures, he ends up becoming an engineer. He meets a girl named Tara, played by Deepika Padukone, in Corsica. They fall in love; however, they decide not to reveal each other's true identities. She ultimately finds him in India, where she helps him realize that he is not his true self in real life. This realization shakes up his whole identity as it brings back the repressed frustrations of following familial expectations, which has led to his daily mundane routine in life. How he finally breaks free and is able to follow his dream of becoming a storyteller is what forms the crux of the second half of this flick.
Sunday, October 25, 2015
I preferred the 2013 version titled Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher in the main lead because it showed us a series of chronological events in his life and how he became a successful entrepreneur. On the other hand, the 2015 version mainly shows us a series of dialogue exchanges between seven main characters: Jobs, his friend Joanna Hoffman, his ex-girlfriend Chrisann Brennan and daughter, Lisa, his coworker Andy Hertzfeld, Apple CEO John Sculley and Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak before three major launches of the Macintosh, Next and iMac. Maybe that was intentional but it was not as enjoyable a movie experience as I had hoped.
So I would say, if you are interested in finding out why the arrogant Apple founder makes for a fascinating subject matter for film makers, just watch the 2013 biopic on Netflix.
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Don't be fooled by the trailer! If you haven't read the novel with the same name, the trailer for the upcoming release, Room, may not appeal to you. I didn't think it was my cup of tea when I saw the trailer because I have not read the book. However, I had the opportunity to watch a free screening of the film and the trailer does not do it justice at all.
Can you imagine being abducted and locked in a garden shed for several years and being raped by your captor every day? That's what Joy, the main character of Room, had to suffer through. She ends up giving birth to a boy. Her son, Jack, has no perception of the outside world because he has been raised in the shed. When he turns five, she seeks his help to escape. How they both adjust to life after forms the crux of the second half of the story.
Directed by Lenny Abrahamson and written by Emma Donoghue, who is the also the author of the novel, Room is indeed a thought-provoking film. It will certainly make you appreciate life more as daily problems will seem minute in comparison. A lot of credit goes to Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay, who gave extremely touching, Oscar-worthy performances as Joy and Jack.Though distressing at times, this movie is a must-watch!
Sunday, September 13, 2015
Sunday, September 6, 2015
We Are Your Friends
Directed by Kabir Khan, Phantom is a political thriller based on the book, Mumbai Avengers, written by Hussain Zaidi. The main premise involves a foreign intelligence agency in India that hires an ex-Army officer, played by Saif Ali Khan, to assassinate terrorists involved in the 11/26 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E
Directed by Guy Ritchie and based on the 1964 TV series with the same name, The Man From U.N.C.L.E had a riveting plot. This spy film showcased how a CIA agent, played by Henry Cavill, and a KGB operative, played by Armie Hammer, work together to bring down a criminal organization in the process of making nuclear weapons. It was funny and sexy just like the leading actors.
She's Funny That Way
Directed by Peter Bogdanovich, She's Funny That Way revolves around six characters: an escort/ struggling actress, Broadway director, his wife who is also the leading actress in the play he is directing, the playwright, his girlfriend who is also a therapist and the leading actor of the play. Despite a good cast including Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, Kathryn Hyne and Will Forte, this comedy film didn't quite hit the mark for me. It was quirky but wasn't that funny or interesting.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Ricki and The Flash
Though I won't be surprised if Meryl Streep is still nominated for an award in some category, let's just say her performance in Ricki and The Flash was not her best. In my opinion, her real life daughter, Mamie Gummer overshadowed her performance with her commendable portrayal of a distraught woman.
Streep plays the character of a rock star who abandoned her family in pursuit of her music career, leaving her kids in the care of her husband played by Kevin Kline. When her daughter, played by Gummer, is going through a tough time because her husband left her for another woman, she returns to mend her strained relationship with her kids.
I feel the writer Diablo Cody spent too much time on having Streep sing than developing the characters and fleshing out the story. Directed by Jonathon Demme, this comedy drama was not as great as Streep's films usually are much to my disappointment.
Written by Max Landis and directed by Nima Nourizadeh, the main premise of the action comedy, American Ultra, revolves around Jesse Eisenberg. He plays the role of an awkward stoner, who suddenly discovers he has fighting capabilities he didn't know he possessed when people try to attack him. It turns out he is actually a trained CIA agent, who has been deemed a liability by Topher Grace's character. Grace's character has sent orders for him to be killed, whereas Connie Britton's character is trying to save him. It was a bit hard to believe the likeable Grace as an arrogant villain taking undue advantage of his position at the CIA but nonetheless, he made a good attempt in portraying one. The supporting cast included Kristen Stewart, Tony Hale, Bill Pullman and John Leguizamo.
At first, I kept thinking that the movie was a bit weird but as the story developed, I realized how interesting the concept was. So where did the film fail? Honestly, it is hard to pinpoint exactly what went wrong. Perhaps it was the acting or maybe the casting should have been different. Except for Grace, most actors including Eisenberg, Stewart, Leguizamo and Hale didn't bring anything new to the table and their performances seemed similar to their past ones. Except for Eisenberg's cool action sequences, his performance seemed very similar to his portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. Hale's character reminded me a lot of the character he plays on the HBO show, Veep. Leguizamo's and Stewart's characters also seemed familiar. If their performances were what was expected of these characters, then perhaps the blame lies on the screenplay or the director for not providing them much potential to showcase a different performance.
Though almost everyone really hated the reboot of the Fantastic Four film franchise directed by Josh Trank, I didn't think it was too bad - perhaps because I had really low expectations. Though the story was interesting, I think the execution was poor. It was not as great as the Fantastic Four with Jessica Alba and Chris Evans.
Miles Teller plays the role of Mr. Fantastic, whereas Michael Jordan plays the role of The Human Torch. Kate Mara portrayed the role of Invisible Woman, whereas Jamie Bell and Toby Kebbell portrayed the roles of The Thing and Doctor Doom, respectively. Among all the actors, I believe Teller and Mara are extremely talented based on their performances in Whiplash and the Netflix show, House of Cards, respectively. However, they both looked bored in this film perhaps because the screenplay or the director didn't allow them much potential to showcase their incredible talent. Based on all the rumors surrounding the film, who really knows? Let's hope the next installment is way better!
Friday, August 21, 2015
The movie was indeed very well-paced. The way the story unfolded about the family's past through songs was really enjoyable to watch. Even Jacqueline Fernandez gave a good performance as a troubled mother and the concerned, supportive wife of Kumar's character, which was refreshing to watch. It is no surprise that Shefali Shah, who played the mother, gave a commendable performance. The costumes and makeup of the female characters were not flashy but simple and fit the premise really well.
Though I don't enjoy watching fights, my heart was racing with every fight in the second half of the film. I felt I was personally invested in the characters of the brothers and was on the edge of my seat, waiting to see which brother would come out the winner. I think a huge credit to the actors who played the roles of the commentators for creating such an edgy atmosphere during the fights.
No doubt Kumar is an ageless and a great actor. I am really happy to see Malhotra maturing as an actor since he starred in Ek Villain. He really transformed his physique for this role and it is commendable to see such dedication by an actor.
Kudos to director Karan Malhotra for a great job!
Monday, July 27, 2015
Monday, July 20, 2015
Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the reporter, who accompanies and helps Bajrangi in his mission and Kareena Kapoor, who plays his love interest, gave really good supporting performances. However, Harshaali Malhotra, who plays the Pakistani girl, definitely stole the show! She was so adorably cute!
The movie was touching and heart-warming with the backdrop of the well-known rivalry between the two nations of India and Pakistan. I hope Salman Khan continues to play such subtle roles and such films continue to be made with the hope that they will help cause unity between the two nations.
Saturday, July 18, 2015
I didn’t think it was possible for a movie to be worse than Magic Mike. Apparently it is. How and why Magic Mike XXL scored a 65% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes is beyond me!
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Directed by Seth MacFarlane, the storyline revolves around a guy, John Bennett, played by Mark Wahlberg and his talking teddy bear, Ted, voiced by MacFarlane himself. It may seem like a silly idea but the script is so well-written that it almost makes MacFarlane, who co-wrote the screenplay, seem like a genius! The sequel takes us into the next chapter of these two thunder buddies (for those who have not seen the first movie, during a thunderstorm, Bennett as a boy wished for his bear to come to life so he could have a friend). The main plot revolves around Ted, who has to fight for his civil rights to be legally declared a person vs. property with the help of a young lawyer played by Amanda Seyfried and civil-rights attorney played by Morgan Freeman, so he can adopt a baby with his wife. With the recent federal law passed whereby same-sex marriage is now legal, I thought the plot was relevant and even more interesting than that of the original movie.
Wahlberg and MacFarlane indeed have great comedic timing and chemistry, which made the movie hilarious and fun to watch. As such, along with other audience members, I laughed throughout the film and we all even clapped at the end! Seyfried and Freeman (I could seriously hear him talk all day long!) as the supporting cast gave really good performances as well. The music composed by Walter Murphy is like icing on the cake! Furthermore, what's so great about this sequel is that you don't have to see the first one to enjoy it. Have I convinced you yet that Ted 2 is a must watch? Then what are you waiting for? Go watch it now!
Saturday, June 27, 2015
It was definitely interesting to see a movie about the inner workings of the human mind. However, it was frustrating that pretty much the entire plot had been revealed in the trailers. There was not much new to see in the actual film. My expectations were too high and I left the theater disappointed.
Monday, June 22, 2015
As expected from the trailer, Anybody Can Dance 2 (ABCD2), starring Varun Dhawan, Shraddha Kapoor and Prabhu Deva, has no real storyline, just a dance competition. The best way to describe it would be the Bollywood version of the Hollywood Step Up franchise. It was not an exact replica but quite similar. Had the characters been fully developed, the movie could have been more entertaining. But that seems to be the trend in most dance films - perhaps it is intentional? With the jokes seemingly forced, the only saving grace of ABCD2 are a few good dances towards the end.
As much as I love Varun Dhawan, except for Student of the Year (SOTY), I have not been impressed with any of his films much to my disappointment. However, I do appreciate that he is not letting himself be typecast in any one genre. He has had an interesting film career trajectory - he has thus far starred in two romantic comedies: SOTY and Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya and an action comedy: Main Tera Hero. He then played a dark role in Badlapur and now he gets to show off his tremendous dancing skills in ABCD2. I hope his next film will not be disappointing as I do think he has a lot of potential as an actor.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
When I saw the Jurassic World trailer, I was definitely intrigued. Who wouldn't want to see the likeable Chris Pratt on the big screen again after his excellent performance in the Guardians of the Galaxy? Though I was unsure how I would feel about it because I heard mixed reviews, I was still curious given how well it did on the box office during its opening weekend. So I decided to go watch it yesterday night. Much to my surprise, the theater was fully packed even though it was a late show on a Monday night!
Two and a half hours later, as the audience clapped, I left the theater thinking, "Wow - that was pretty awesome!" I will admit the film had flaws. Some of the acting performances were not very impressive including those by Bollywood actor, Irfan Khan, child actor Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson. Though none of the characters were fully developed, the leading actors namely Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard were charming to watch. In addition to the beautiful theme park, which reflected elements of modern technology, I also enjoyed watching the dinosaur fights way more than I expected as the special effects were great!
Given that the story held my interest throughout the duration of the film, it was a fun and entertaining movie in my opinion.
Friday, June 5, 2015
Of the three movies I have seen this week, Dil Dhadakne Do may be the best one! I have awaited this Bollywood film, directed by Zoya Akhtar, for quite a while, preparing myself by listening to the awesome soundtrack on a daily basis. I was nervous that it would not meet my expectations because of the mixed reviews I have been reading. However, much to my joy, it exceeded my expectations - I absolutely loved it!
The movie includes an ensemble cast consisting of Anil Kapoor, Shefali Shah, Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma and Farhan Akhthar among others. All performances especially those of Anil Kapoor and Shefali Shah were really good. We definitely need to see more of Shah on the big screen! The credit also goes to the well-written script, which touched on many on-going issues in the South Asian culture including women's equal rights, divorce, familial and societal pressures that children from South Asian families face. I highly recommend this movie!
The latest collaboration between actress Melissa McCarthy and director Paul Feig, #Spy is an action comedy film about a CIA agent's mission to bring down an arms dealer. Just like their previous work together in Bridesmaids and Heat, this movie is hilarious! In addition to McCarthy's excellent comedic timing, it was a delight and very refreshing to see John Statham in a comedy role for the first time. I hope he does more comedies going forward. Other supporting actors including Jude Law, Rose Byrne and Miranda Hart were equally good in their respective roles. With excellent performances, a great soundtrack and beautiful locations, this film is indeed a fun ride!
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Being a big fan of the HBO TV show that portrayed well how most guys truly think, I had high expectations from the movie #Entourage. I will admit it was not as satisfying an experience as I had hoped. However, the film did make me laugh quite a bit with Ari Gold's (Jeremy Piven) epic short-tempered moments and the comical moments that Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) always tends to find himself in. Though it was hard to understand why the makers chose to include so many cameos when some of them seemed completely unnecessary. In my opinion, you do have to be a fan of the TV show to appreciate the movie.
Monday, February 23, 2015
Words cannot describe the joy I feel after watching a really good film. However, after #Badlapur, I felt uneasy. It was interesting to see Varun Dhawan in a different, dark and intense role in #Badlapur, which portrays the story of a man that seeks vengeance for the murder of his wife and kids. However, the screenplay writer spent too much developing the character of the protagonist and not as much time on the antagonist, which was disappointing. I was expecting to see a much more intense and gory film but I left the theater feeling unsatisfied. The story had a lot of potential; however, the movie was missing elements that could have made it a much more interesting and enjoyable experience.