Monday, March 31, 2014

Need For Speed (2014) - Action / Thriller

I had no hopes of catching this one up on big screen since it was already in its second week in theaters and we missed the only show on Saturday evening by a whisker as couldn’t make it on time. Since the day I saw Aaron Paul’s interview with Top Gear guys on the show – the makers claimed that they didn’t use any CGI for this one rather employed practical effects, which required the cast to receive extensive driving lessons. Missing this would’ve been a crime for me, finally saw the only show today and trust me – watching a movie on Monday afternoon is double fun. What more could I ask for in a movie which starts with a Shelby Mustang racing at the top speed, moves on to three Koenigsegg Ageras racing and killing one of the guys, sending the hero to jail and setting up a revenge story for us down the line. I would have cared about a story in this one but to my shock and surprise – they indeed had one and a good one at that so much so that I could actually connect with it as well. The whole cross country road trip from NYC to SFO was so much fun that the whole auditorium which was almost full was in splits. Action no doubt is brilliant and I actually mean BRILLIANT, I loved the way these beauties sounded and the way they have shot it all unfortunately they did use some CGI – they may or may not agree but one could tell with the way they were banging cars but other than those little things it makes up for a super fine action thriller – a movie which shouldn’t be missed on big screen. Imagine the end of the movie – I guess its almost a 10-15 minute long race sequence with cars like a Koenigsegg, Lamborghini, Mclaren P1, Bugatti Veyron and two more (Missing those names). I myself am a big big Mustang fan and totally loved the way it ends with the couple driving away in one, I’ve definitely gotta give it a damn good 4/5 and will wait for its BlueRay to get released. Totally recommend to all action / thriller lovers – if your idea of fun is car racing with minimal CGI with some good story – don’t miss this one.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Ankhon Dekhi (2014) - Comedy

Rajat Kapoor is one of those few guys of Bollywood that you can definitely trust blindly – may be when he is a part of a project or the best is when he is at the helm of things. Like the movie in subject – the moment I realized he has written as well as directed this one – I had my hopes and expectations at exactly the right place and he didn’t disappoint me rather made me way too happy. WOW! What an amazing movie this one turns out to be – it actually made me “Time Travel” and sent me 3 decades back to my hometown where every mohalla (neighborhood) had its own “Bauji” or “Ammaji” as we used to call them, without whom none of the decisions will be made and who will be a very important part of society, may it be for people to meet them just like that over gossip, evening tea or time pass. Sanjay Mishra who had been a part of movie industry for so long – finally gets his due in the form of a full fledge movie and what an amazing way he pulls it – superb! Kudos to Rajat Kapoor, his team, his circle of friends in the industry (Almost every one of them has a cameo of some sort). It’s a roller coaster ride of a middle aged man “Bauji” (Outstandingly played by Sanjay Mishra), who suddenly wakes up to his own theory that what he sees is the reality and not what he hears from someone’s mouth. How that theory changes his life upside down or we can call it – messes his life up is the movie all about. But the way it’s all done is hilarious, loving, emotional, inspiring, heartening and a lot of other things that you will surely feel if you watch it. Not for one moment the story feels unconvincing or not even one single character which feels out of place – almost everyone is an important part and makes a great impression too. But the movie belongs to two brothers and their family, at times it made me feel that I was watching my own family drama, location is fantastic and almost feels so damn real that I just can’t explain that in words – you’ve got to see it to believe it. I am sure if not all – almost a majority of us would have lived in a house like that at some point or the other. It’s a must watch for all cinema lovers – may not do well from commercial aspect but will definitely be remembered for a long time and I am surely up for a couple of more viewings. I will give it a damn good 4/5 with two thumbs up recommendation for all.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014) - Horror

A typical American done to death topic – this one is the 5th movie from the series again shot in its entirety by a handheld camera which one of the leads of the movie actually buys it in the movie in $200. After watching a dozen of the similar movies which fail to scare me one bit I can definitely certify that almost every second American is an adventurous guy who knows (if not) at least tries to confront a kind of a spirit or a ghost and will definitely screw his own life in quest to capture them in a camera. This one has no story, no chills, no thrills and it’s so goddamn long in length that I actually was yawning throughout its length as it was predictable like anything. By the time the guy gets some idiotic superpowers and they incorporate some crappy CGI with trademark Paranormal Activity background – I had lost all interest in it and was waiting for it to end abruptly yet again – so they could make another movie after it (And that’s exactly how it all ends). To make this movie all they needed is some good for nothing kids (and a chick of course) with a handy cam, roaming around neighborhood, looking for a ghost right below their apartment. Paranormal Activity is another series which kept going down on quality with almost every new movie they made, first one was good, even the second one was worth a watch but after that they started sucking big time and this is how it all going to end now – I guess in a couple of years they will make some 2-3 more movies to finish it off, I am definitely giving it a way below average 1/5 for some special effects and going to ignore the any new releases in upcoming years. Give it a miss and you will miss nothing.

Amour & Turbulences (2013) - Romance / Comedy

One of the best things that I like rather love about movies from foreign lands is that neither I have any clue as to what they have in store for me nor any expectations. And when they turn out to be based on a situation like this one is – two complete opposite strangers meet on an international flight and as I expected that they will fall in for each other by the time they land – I got proven wrong yet again as they actually had a past and were separated for quite a while before they meet again. One of them is going for a job interview from NY to Paris and the other is about to get married the very next day. What works big time in the favor of the movie is that the subject is ripe with so many situations, confusions; laugh out loud moments, engaging storytelling, predictable outcomes, beautiful leads and amazing support cast (not for the first time that I saw a movie of this sort – I am sure I have seen at least two movies from Hollywood with exactly same plot). Ludivine Sagnier as Julie is simply amazing (And stunning) and so was Nicolas Bedos aptly cast as Antoine the Casanova who just couldn’t stick to the same girl more than two weeks at a stretch. What happens when he decides that he has actually fallen for Julie and wants to make it work. How situations go out of hands and the utter chaos that follows to a fantastic finale is simply amazing – if not outstanding it at least makes up for a light hearted comedy that I just couldn’t help but fall in love with. The way story moves forwards and I totally loved the way they walk in from one scene to another – that was something very creative and amazingly shot out stuff. I also loved the support cast – people around them in flight who are totally hooked to the story right like us audience. I will definitely rate it a good 3.5/5 and will recommend to those who like light hearted romantic comedies – go ahead watch it and you will surely like it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

300 Rise of an Empire (2014) - War / Fantasy

Another sequel or prequel or whatever you call this crappy movie – becomes a classic example of how a movie shouldn’t be made in the first place. This totally spoils the taste of 300 and the memory of the fantastic movie I ever had engraved in my mind forever. Disaster of the first order – it is such a boring, lousy and yawn inducing movie that’s very hard to review – all they did actually shot and show is three days of war and tried their level best to match the standard of first movie with more blood, action, drama and even sex (One Topless shot of a female and another fantastically aggressive sex scene with Eva Green) even then it fails big time to impress. I was surprised that even with the runtime of hardly 102 minutes – it wasn’t able to engage me one bit. 100 or more look alikes (at least physically) of Gerard Butler too don’t help much in doing 1/10th magic of Zack Snyder’s 300. Although it can be called out an out Eva Green movie – as it’s an author backed character and she truly shines in the negative character unfortunately that’s the only saving grace of the movie, otherwise nothing else works in the favor of the movie. I am going to go with a 1/5 rating and that one too is only for Eva’s outstanding performance. Give it a miss if you haven’t seen it yet as it is definitely going to spoil the taste of 300 but if you haven’t seen (300) you may give it a shot. I am going to pick up the Gerard Butler movie this weekend to format this disasters memory from my mind for sure.

Ragini MMS 2 (2014) - Horror

I understood the meaning of the word “Contrasting” very well after watching two opposites back to back in a single day, first it was “Queen” in the afternoon followed by the ultimate disaster called “Ragini MMS 2” right after it. Another classic example of a movie which should have never got made in the first place – they have actually picked up a handful (Read Half a Dozen) over the top actors to play some real lousy characters and given them enough freedom to do whatever and however they want – end result – this movie. The only two saving graces for me were Sunny Leone of course (no denying she is fuming hot as long as she doesn’t open her mouth to say anything) and the dude who plays that writers character – he was no doubt good, intensive and what not. Rest all can plainly be ignored with a special mention of Sandhya Mridul – wow – one can stoop to what level to pay the EMIs – she actually plays a character based on Rakhi Sawant and the way she pulls it off is laughable. Another laugh riot character is that of the psychiatrist (Divya Dutta) who returns from US of A to take care of this particular case of Ragini and that gives her a right to wear anything which is 4 or 5 inches above her knees and trust me – not exaggerating – she actually borrowed dresses from Vidya Balan after she was done shooting for “Shaadi Ke Side Effects”, if you don’t trust me – go check out the movie and her outfits. There are so many laughable words in the movie like “Script”, “Story”, “Research” etc, its more of a comedy of errors than anything else. They are rightly calling the movie a Horrex and I am sure that means “Horrible Sex” and nothing else. Barring one scene where Sunny fakes an orgasm in front of the whole unit – guess this was the real movie unit as I actually saw the camera man coming out from behind the camera and wipes off his sweat – nothing else works in the favor of the movie. This one had not thrills, no chills, no sex and let alone any kind of horror either. If you haven’t seen it – I will say - give it a miss as I refuse to rate this one anyways.

Queen (2014) - Drama

150th movie of the year for me and what an amazing movie this one turned out to be – I had no expectations (I’m lying) especially when I was watching it on big screen on its third week of running with a jam packed hall on a sunny Sunday afternoon, had to settle for 5th row from screen and we still loved it. It’s a simple heart touching story told in the most simplest way yet it works big time as almost every connects not only with Queen’s (superb Kangna Ranaut) character, but with her hypocrite husband to be Vijay (damn good Rajkumar Rao) and the family n friends too. Other than the leads Lisa Hayden as Vijay Lakshmi definitely makes a big impression too, I guess I actually liked her. This movie is going to do the same to Kangna what last year’s “English Vinglish” did to Sridevi. I don’t know if I am the only who felt this way but this one somehow feels like a prequel to that movie – I am sure Sri’s character would have gone through the same thing before she gets married to her husband who happens to be exactly the same guy Vijay was in this movie. This one tells the story of before marriage and that one was after marriage. Another thing what I loved about the movie was that none of the character is haphazardly written for example Vijay’s character – even after know Rani (Queen) for so many years and actually after falling for her as shown in various flash backs – he is human enough to get confused right before marriage and even walks out of it. Rani being a girl from a very conservative family still goes on to her preplanned honeymoon to a destination most loved yet unknown and almost all the strangers she comes across understand her way better than the people who should have, who know her for so many years. The movie and the characters never go overboard – she travels to foreign lands and doesn’t understand their language neither is perfect in English but the way it all is shown is so damn convincing. The way she comes out a winner – the journey which changes her inside out totally is simply outstanding, it’s predictable yet engrossing to say the least. Music is another highlight of the movie – my seat was actually shaking with so many people in my row, myself included were tapping their both feet on the floor that too so hard that I could actually feel – Amit Trivedi is simply brilliant. I will definitely rate it a damn good 4.5/5, a movie which deserves to be seen again and again – as it inspires one and all big time. A must watch for all.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Gulaab Gang (2014) - Drama

WOW, what a disaster and a confusing movie – I guess they wanted to make a docudrama, somewhere midway while writing the idea of a commercial movie stuck with the makers and they end up hiring two of the legendry actresses opposite each other to make a proper commercial masala and end up making this hotch potch which makes no sense at all. I mean so much is happening in one village that too such huge contrasting things is really amazing but I guess I needed to take it all with a pinch of salt as they claim “It’s a work of fiction and has got nothing to do with the life of Sampat Pal Devi” whose actual life people thought it was based on. Of course and I am dead sure that her life wouldn’t be half as interesting as Rajjo Devi’s (Madhuri Dixit) that a movie maker will pay any heed to make it into a movie. In this movie on one hand we have females getting beaten up / raped / tortured and left uneducated and right on the other hand we have females from the same village smoking, drinking and having premarital sex too. No background whatsoever on Rajjo Devi is given to audience, as why she is what she is? As well as no background on Sumitra too – I am still confused what was her title in the movie? What kind of a political figure she was – who was so bothered about a handful of females from one village standing up against the society (Read village) and to top it all – the election results too were dependent on one village. Fortunately the only one thing which works in the favor of the movie is the supremely written character and equally well acted Sumitra Devi (by ravishing Juhi Chawla), she gets to dome some amazing expressions and fantastic lines, totally loved it. Tannishtha Chatterjee gets to do another thankless character which will be soon forgotten just like her other Bollywood movies, along with two other actresses, Divya Jagdale and Priyanka Bose who do actually make a mark in the movie. I will give it a below average 2/5, one for the idea and concept and other one definitely for Juhi Chawla’s superb performance which kept me watching the whole 2 hours and a little longer movie which otherwise I wouldn’t have finished anyways. I am now looking forward to the documentary of the same name and hope that’s way better than this one.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Sinister (2012) - Horror

The only two reasons why I saw this movie was – one – it had Ethan Hawke in the lead and two – I love challenging myself by watching horror movies (In broad day light). Unfortunately it failed to scare me – yeah – it did had some shocking moments and only twice I had like real Goosebumps – I guess that qualifies this one as an average thriller as per me. Although it does impressed me as one good thriller cum slasher movie for sure as the way the families are killed is one awesome way – the entire sequences shot in a Super 8 film – I totally loved that 8mm projector. It had that been there done that feel right from the very start when they show that family moves into a haunted house – where whole of the family was killed and a kid goes missing. I could actually predict the very next scene and all those shocking moments too with terrific background score of images appearing and disappearing in thin air. Ethan Hawke is aptly cast as a writer in search of that one book which will turn his career and life to great success, that’s exactly the reason why he moves to this house with his wife and two young kids without informing them about the history of the house. What he discovers in the house is a box of home made films and his research to find the missing family member leads him to something big which changes his life. What happens next is a pretty predictable fare yet makes up for an average thriller at least, watch it if you like the guy, you may like the thrill(s) which comes with the movie. I will definitely rate it an average 2.5/5 – I usually rate a movie that much when I am confused if I liked it or not.

Omar (2013) - Drama

As the poster says it is indeed an incredible love story with superb story and a terrific ending.  Fantastic story of three childhood friends, a love affair, political turmoil in and around Palestine with Love, Passion, Friendship, Betrayal, Patriotism, Revenge, Drama, Emotion and so much more roped in one - making it a totally engrossing watch. I have never seen a better love story where characters say so less (almost nothing) yet their expressions speak loads, amazing casting and simply mind-blowing performances by the guy who plays Omar (Adam Bakri) and his love interest Nadia (Beautiful Leem Lubany) who is his best friend’s sister he looks forward to marry. It has so much going on that too at a break neck speed that I totally loved the way it moves from one emotion to another – like one moment we have this couple raring to go but couldn’t due to their backgrounds and the next – the dude gets into an amazing chase on foot with army / undercover agents (not once but couple of times). The way their lives change and go through the topsy turvy ride is totally heartening, one scene which will be etched in my memory for life will be the wall climbing at the very start and one towards the very end – it indeed made my eyes moist. The dreams that they live with it and how it turns out in the reality is one heck of a journey and told in such a fantastic way. Unbelievable is the way wiki says about the film: “Director Hany Abu-Assad describes putting together the idea of the film in one night, writing the structure of the story in four hours and writing the script in four days” – that’s incredible. And the film was selected as the Palestinian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards and was nominated is no mean feat. I will definitely rate it a damn good 4.5/5 with a must watch recommendation for all.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Shaadi Ke Side Effects (2014) - Comedy

I will remember this movie as another gold opportunity missed by the makers / stars to make a damn good quirky comedy movie which unfortunately is too long, yawn inducing, over the top, exaggerated and towards the ending I was so disinterested in the narrative that “Subway Surfer on my cell” was the only way out for me to let it finish. And before I forget to mention – I am sure this will be another movie which Vidya is sure to claim that she “Indeed put on weight to justify the character”. Farhan Akhtar’s career’s worst movie so far – whatever movies he has so far collaborated in any capacity were all damn good ones barring this one. As the name suggests and the expectations go – this should have been a light hearted comedy but unfortunately it actually tells only the one side of the coin (That too the Husbands) and not so convincing either. Of course life changes after marriage and it does changes big time after a couple goes for a baby, but then isn’t it part of life and we all do our own learning but absolutely not the way they showed in this one. It is full of half baked characters – every 20 minutes or so we get introduced to one character and then they vanish – they keep making appearances but no one makes an impression other than Vidya and Farhan as the couple in lead. One more thing which caught my attention big time was that Vidya in this movie (yet again) gets to wear superb western wear and as the critics have always been so unkind on her western dresses – even this one is subjective – I had no issues with her looks till she wears something which goes upto her knees beyond that – it becomes “Oh My God What The Heck”. If you haven’t seen it – give it a miss – watch it on some TV channel soon but if you have seen it – let me know how you like it? I will definitely give it a 2/5 for the ensemble cast and couple of good moments.