Arth's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Jackie Brown
Jackie Brown(1997)
½

Jackson is hyper about it and De Niro is taking it slow. this choreography is more focused on stunts than authentic dance.

Jackie Brown

Tarantino is conning us. Literally. With a sublime texture scraped off from these characters, his display of the boneless flesh is too flamboyant to break or shock you. The co-writer and director, Quentin Tarantino's fourth film is adapted from the novel Rum Punch written by Elmore Leonard. And this adaptation unfortunately didn't go well for Tarantino. Busy in his own state of mind and comic timing, Tarantino is either leaping over stuff or overstretching stuff. This results in a bizarre pace for the film, something that takes us plenty of time to fit in into.

And clocking at more than two and a half hours, the flips and turns that Tarantino so effortlessly whispers in the script could barely be reliable enough to fiddle us with these many hokum events. And yes, it does work when it comes to pump our heart fast and scare us through one-liners by Samuel L. Jackson who states it without blinking his eyes. But that could have easily been carried off, without individually introducing these characters in the narration.

By the way, no one hypes up the name of the character like Tarantino, before they even arrive or impress us, the flown rumors are so bedazzling that you ought to cheer up when they finally enter the screen. Jackson has got the coolness of the all the plot points, with a gold membership card, he has access to every track of the film and yet, it feels like he never fully squeezes it out from the script. In fact, any of the cast member, they never come alive on screen, with such a caliber of cast, from Robert De Niro to Michael Keaton, you'd think you would be moved by them colliding on the screen and instead you have to rely upon Jackie Brown who will and does cheat you; she is told to.

Gloria Bell
Gloria Bell(2019)
½

The bell has been rung, protect your showcased possessions, this glass tower won't be able to survive the sharpness of it.

Gloria Bell

Lelio is not remaking but recooking the ingredients. And fortunately, it is as delicious as it was in the first place. Usually people consider the momentum of the previously ridden project- especially remaking it- and end up being vague and superstitious about their content, but not him, not Sebastian Lelio, the director. He is a gentleman, not when he is crafting the tiny aspects- the small talks Julianne Moore makes up in social visits or drive through songs she sings so religiously or how she dutifully attempts to mend the broken patches- of the struggle, women go through but when he puts the men in trial.

Fair is their lexicon and familiar is their behavior. Is he extracting this from somewhere, of course, this definitely seems like a work from a good observer; just as good a storyteller he is. Another notable and impressive armory of his, is how confident and serene he is while making multiple characters confront each other and expect us to be moved by the intensity of it. And it does. With such a stupendous dinner conversation among a family, the pivotal point of the film, lives up to the responsibility of it.

By now, Moore is just taking it easy. A career so spectacular and of such a wide range, she has pulled off a trigger like such before too, but not to this extent. She is punching hard frivolously for a more jarring impact and it works, we, as an audience, gets buzzed for it wolfishly. Lelio's world is a place where you would wish to reside in, it is hopeful and pragmatic, you get a chance to walk out of things and come back right into it, it is a free world just like ours, in fact it is ours, but not Gloria Bell, I don't know her but I would surely love to meet her.

Funny People
Funny People(2009)
½

Apatow relies upon little wins, in this successively disappointing chapter about depressed characters, Sandler is his biggest win.

Funny People

Apatow is closing down a comedy club. Ironically, despite of the film title, the director, Judd Apatow has made a film about unfunny people. Sad and lost, drinking their own sorrow, exhaling their fear and failure, this is an incredibly difficult story to pull off. With such poignancy involved- not that it depends upon it, but the route it takes is way too dark and upsetting- the grip could easily be lost with the viewers. Especially, if there is very little to feel empathetic about the characters, something that Apatow may earn in latter stages, but to have that in your pocket from the start would be almost impossible.

Also, he treats his film like a musical. With every step further advanced in the script, there comes a tight five minute of train of jokes plastered as some stand up gig, trying to balance the comedy and drama. Unfortunately, while doing so, what Apatow forgets is that, he is stopping the clock ticking every time he follows the jokes. And as always, a written down joke varies completely different from the one performed, boiling it down to a not-so-tight five minutes.

Seth Rogen is the perfect host, as in he never takes charge on the screen, he is supportive in the perfect way, he allows others to control the energy. And in control is, Adam Sandler in his most darkest role. He is somehow himself, from his intuitions and vocab and body language on the stage, but him destroying himself with various cooky tactics is definitely difficult to swallow. And that sombre part of Sandler is where he excels in the film. Funny Man is not funny and nor is about a common man, ergo the term "normal" gets a whole new definition and the film feeds on it every time, Apatow refreshes it with a new batch.

Barbershop: The Next Cut

Cube is getting the bigger cut and he never takes it for granted, just like the world he revolves around, the chemistry is off the hook.

Barbershop: The Next Cut

Lee knows it is the White House party of the parties. Everybody would want to be in it and everyone would want to have a big chunk of that cake. And offering them enough space to come in and present their show as they feel, the director, Malcolm D. Lee is rearranging the shuffled acts into one big discussion. Yes. Discussion is what the film feels like. And to be honest, it is a fair discussion, swooping in every opinion and perspective and idea and even a politically wrong comment. This is how honest, they are, they mock so arrogantly and accepts the insults and repercussions bravely.

In fact, the very first act is it. Ticking for almost the first half, the discussions are the best part of the film, it starts off from fighting over the equality, they find themselves tangled in a long chain, ping pong-ing back and forth, spewing and biting each other trying to prove their superiority sarcastically. The referential comedy is turned to 11. To someone who doesn't come from that background, would get definitely difficult to grab the momentum of the humor.

Another major improvement is scoffing off the limitations that their previous installments had, correcting themselves politically and going toe-to-toe with the generations, the pace has improved and sensitive content juiced up. Ice Cube is still the sober worker in this shop and Cedric still the most drunk one, no new character coming in with their fresh humorous vocab could beat Cedric's comic timing, he has been in their chair for more than a decade ago and that throne is well earned. Barbershop: The Next Cut may feel like the cut that you have been getting over the years, it's just that they have used the wave of the current media into account that will make you feel like you are new, once again.

Barbershop 2: Back in Business

Cube and Cedric are going hand in hand winning over each hurdle, they keep the legacy alive, while business comes in handy.

Barbershop 2: Back In Business

Kevin Rodney Sullivan, the director, has equally long film to run through. Jumping in the life of these familiar characters who have managed to exceed well enough in terms of capabilities both personally and professionally and yet as the film ages on screen, they have managed to stay the same. This is how excellent their command over the character is, they flaunt at their best and even at their worst. Not accepting to back down, should have been fabricated as their example of prowess but this is a rough town, and things go down pretty bad, pretty soon.

And yet they never learn, something that never covers the arc completely on their character which by now, I guess is a scheme to keep coming back as an excuse and well, make money; I mean, it is a Ice Cube production. Queen Latifah, the mixture of rivalry and friendly equation with our folks never could own the trash talk she is offered, the overdoing of that every bit of linguistic slices down the earned respect. But fortunately, these additional appearances are for brief moments, what stays with you is who has stayed with us up till now.

It is much more engaging to see an empty room crowded by the range that these revisiting characters needs for nothing but their sassiness. Ice Cube, this time, a bit mature, seeks for guidance to his father-alike figure Cedric who with his own long lost love story, clears all the fuss expressively. This is what I have loved about the series, if it is light footed, it stays by it all the way, even a crisis a big as such could be eradicated through easy mellow methods where the build up matters and not the impact, and that is how they are getting Back In Business.

Barbershop
Barbershop(2002)

Just to see Cedric shave and preach, you can stay for the whole day in this shop, it won't get wasted for sure.

Barbershop

Story is not much of a narrator, but definitely can tell a funny joke without any jokes. The film feels like some episode of a sitcom. Parallel-y the tales are enfolded with a revelation of foolishness carved out smartly and calculatively, the director, Tim Story, had to only juggle that very aspect and all was and is game. It is also incredibly and instantly likable, more than even Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing, and probably because it is light on feet, in contrast to Lee's heavy sensitive issue spewed like vengeance, fair and square. Never have I seen a film so smooth and confident in its tiny tales of woe it tells by mocking it and accepting the consequences of it.

Picturing the lifestyle of barbers in a barbershop, in one day, there is a lot to enjoy, learn and laugh from. And as Cedric The Entertainer once says, "If we can't talk straight in a barbershop, then where can we talk straight" and so it does feel that honest. The warmth between the characters comes in easy just as the bitterness does. They are ready to go at each other in a snap and also ready to make up in a snap with Marvin Gaye playing in the background.

Ice Cube as a mislead young man and easily seduced and troubled family guy trying to reach for more, spirals out a chaotic event so big that even a gang that cannot stand each other, stands once and for all, together. To me, Cedric would be the game changer in here, his elderly persona where he treats others like students, his students by heckling and inspiring them in each steps, is a proper reliable statement. Barbershop is a shop for sure, you come in and get what you want, you'd be surprised with the quality of the product and why not, it definitely is a new bold fashion look.

The Witch
The Witch(2016)
½

Robert pitches the idea to Anya and Anya, well.. brings the dead alive.

The VVitch: A New-England Folktale

Eggers respects the rituals and in return the rituals him. By the time you are done with the film, you ought to have some faith in these folks. The writer and director Robert Eggers having confessed that it is adapted after going through tons of tales and rumors and history of such themes, he has narrowed it down to a gripping family drama. Yes, a family drama. It may resemble with Nicholas Hytner's The Crucible, but before that it is about a family trying to get over from the past and heal themselves from the wounds rather than reminisce about it.

But when something so powerful and unknown casts his or her eye on the weak, there is very little time to fight back. And the family struggling with the outer threat, Eggers takes us through all the perspective, decisions and attempts they pull off to survive in this mayhem. That very middle act, is the best part of the film. You feel claustrophobic as the loved ones turns against each other and enraged when your host is put on trial.

Pointing fingers at each other, blaming at each other, we, as an audience, are also kept under the curtains, which not only teases our brains but our emotions too as we wish it to not go the way, that we have always feared, up till then. And Anya Taylor Joy at the centre of this family crisis, is giving her best as the character and actor, embracing the evil side of her and succumbing to the softer absorbing aspect, she spices up this formula, a long before it grasps a proper pace. The VVitch: A New England Folktale is English, is new, is Witch-y, is horrifying, promising and spectacularly painted with gore visuals that are definitely not for weak hearts.

The Cider House Rules

If Maguire is a teenager, then Caine is his father, watch this relationship go up and down, and swing by gleefully being a carefree kid, once again.

The Cider House Rules

Hallstrom is a funny man when it comes to shine the humor on a mellow drama as such. With introducing characters smoothly as installing jokes in sensitive situations, the director, Lasse Hallstrom has perfectly timed the tracks of each character syncing in one melodious and also ironically chaotic room. And boy how sketchy it looks and how sitcom-y it feels. You'll be giddy up for this whimsical world rooting each perspective wishing them to be successful just to see how far do they push the boundary to tone the temperature to their preferences. I am drawn to this light-footed world because I grew up watching them (it defines the 90s at best) with my brother in a lazy Sunday morning, I may not be an unbiased judge, but it surely is thoroughly engaging and entertaining.

What makes this script complete above all, is equal contribution of the characters in the final product. They come in with a new lexicon, fresh beat and originality in their opinions, they ought to stand alone, even the sinister ones, if thought about it, there is something sparkly about them; wrong definitely. Tobey Maguire proves it was a perfect casting, from being childish to a smart cookie- at least in his own field- he is the dream protagonist to such a rom-com.

Charlize Theron is the most misleading person in the film, admittedly she is successively on the wrong track, bridging the equation with a balanced natural view. But to me, this will always be Michael Caine's film. He mourns, he guides, he mocks and he comforts. His eyes gazes into an object and it somehow comes alive, so beautiful is his language and so picturesque his notes to these so called adolescent beings- the letter are some of the best part of the film- that you feel you learned something new, outside The Cider House Rules.

La Vie en Rose (La Mome)

Cotillard is alone on the stage, more than two hours of distraction is needed, gaze into her eyes and groove as she grooves.

La Vie En Rose

Dahan whispers the high pitched note with an authentic old style method. His calmness in the film is to be enjoyed. The director and co-writer, Olivier Dahan oozes warmth in Edith Piaf's life by embracing her innocence. His key ingredient is Edith Piaf (Marion Cotillard) being unaware of the social rigmarole which is usually much more sensitive and turned to 11, when you are a recognizable face in this show business. Tackling that very issue with different perspectives and going in step by step, taking his time, just like the enacted boxing match, he is hitting the right punches in every round. And so what if he asks for your patience, if the fruit is this.. fruit-y, be patient.

Another major hurdle he successfully jumps over, is the poignancy of the world painted in here. Despite of some jarring moves taken in her life, the film perpetually remains uplifting and full of hope; it is perfectly edited. Tiny aspects like make-up, costume design and stunningly shot musical sequences, helps Cotillard boost her performance as this infamous and beloved singer. Never for a frame, she flinches and you fall deep in her innocent big eyes forgetting an actor is acting, pretending to sing, and more importantly falling.

On terms of structure, the film pretty much is created with the understanding of being a textbook biography, visiting various range of characters in the form of guest appearances there is very little for us to stick by this train of social visits. This is the part where Dahan loses his audience for a brief period, switching from one scene to another, a push was much needed and unfortunately Cotillard is tied by her hands in those situation so not even her Jazz-ing La Vie En Rose will save this night.

La La Land
La La Land(2016)

Gosling and Stone shines and as a result Chazelle marks his name on the wall.

La La Land

Chazelle is on a strike. With successive jaw dropping projects coming out, his passion grows more intense and the cinema much larger. Coloring the 70mm screen with rich mesmeric visuals, the director, Damien Chazelle is boasting his love with proper understanding of the Hollywood culture that he so blindingly adores. Not an inch goes by in the film that looks pretentious, working over a year on editing along with Tom Cross, Chazelle wishes you to understand the "if's" and "but's" of this show business in one note. And boy what a note it is. I am sorry but that hooked theme of Justin Hurwitz, whispered in every line of the film always sobers me up.

All hail the production team for carving out this desert as fresh as it looks, from clothes to designing and from locations to set pieces, the view gets better and better and so does the performance. And daunting as this task may sound, but Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling might be the new Woody Allen and Diane Keaton. But unlike them they aren't quirky but are goofy about the relationship and flirty about their first love. If Stone going over the montages of failed auditions is a threat, then Gosling on piano is her equal competitor.

I have always preferred them alone, one is happy being stubborn and intuitive- something that she later on adapts from him- and other being mature and hard on herself. Together, they would fall apart, they are meant to be, no matter how in sync are they while dancing and how pitch perfect are they while singing, their rhythm is too vacuumed by the outer world to float in one room, maybe they should have just stayed in that cinema hall, but despite of claiming it to be a La La Land, this is the reality, they had to get out.

Casablanca
Casablanca(1942)

Bogart and Bergman are changing history, witness it now or a century later, something so pure as such, doesn't get rusty.

Casablanca

Curtiz is light on his feet and smooth as the Jazz that is continuously and melodiously played in the hotel. And I think it is his supervision that blends in sacrifice in romance, so pure and irreplaceable, that drama is overshadowed by its crowd pleasing concept. The director, Michael Curtiz installs tiny notions in the script that carves a momentum of live hotel and the do's and don'ts of a hotelier especially the magnetic reputation he or she juggles by dipping his or her hands on both the side of the dirt.

The Robin Hood figure, is their way in, and with Humphrey Bogart playing one of the most iconic character, the first act of the film is building up his figure that is latter to be shattered with such fragility. But the final act is brimmed with charm, so where they actually had to work was the introduction. And choreographed like some exotic dance, the entire hotel that is mapped out in front of us, makes us feel like home something that has aged well over the years. Personally, I prefer the sacrifice of his hotel's fairness regarding the gambling policies.

To me, that would always be the game changer, not only the actress's performance but the tone that shifts with such calculative baby steps that you are sinking in deliberately in those twinkling eyes. And if Bogart is boasting off with some of his best work then Ingrid Bergman definitely casts the magic powerful enough to rubble him down in a blink. Their equation is like some wine, you are buzzed with the aftermath soberness rather than their poetic romantic vacation. Casablanca defines the Hollywood version of Americana set in a different location, it was ahead of its time then and it is now; all hail the classic dish serving one purpose and one only.

Gosford Park
Gosford Park(2001)

A happy-go-lucky holiday is ruined by a loud bang, is the concept, and so does how the film come off.

Gosford Park

Altman would make a great crossword puzzle creator in one of the newspaper publishing team. So what if the themes are iterated. That is where, the director, Robert Altman's skills come in use, with a stable juggling act, the objects keeps increasing and the tension, surprisingly, released. Also, What is it with these mysteries confined within a boundary? Is it because it challenges us offensively and subjugates us to be the Stephen Fry of this tale? Who knows? All I know is that I was enjoying the social rigmarole of dominating each other with one note of superiority or in some cases none.

Couldn't we just have enjoyed watching these highly poised and self-acclaimed important people fumble knowingly and hide their secret amateurishly. But no, the party had to be ruined. I was drunk on how quickly their loyalty and friendship changes, so stupid it seems and yet familiar it sounds. The compactness of the house filtered equally among these characters is the best puzzle spread across this long dinner table. And, of course, along with it, the traveling route of the gossip that is smooth and clean as those suits these pretentious gentlemen are wearing in this mansion.

The casting is a bit of a give away, next time, if you don't want your audience to know the final act, cast B listed celebrities. As far as humor is concerned, Stephen Fry obviously, comes with a banner to take things lightly for apparently, it is a policy among the smartest detective, that is, they have to come with a sarcastic lexicon. Personally, I found Maggie Smith to be the real clown of this circus; who'd have thought of that. Gosford Park is exactly like some park, each character is set in its corner sulking and no one, mind you, no one is there for the fresh air.

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
½

There is a lot to explore in O'Brain's novel, but Weir's procedure is probably not the way to command this ship.

Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World

Weir has an apologetic letter to post. His somber world turns shade a bit darker every time this troop tries to celebrate small wins. Hanging by the cliff, these character and the director, Peter Weir is surviving this trip on low fuel. But, first of all, I think I should apologize before he does. "It is not him, it is me". The pirate-isc world was never my forte. Even in The Pirates Of The Caribbean series, Johnny Depp had to invent one of the most iconic character to lure me in. I am usually under the "tough audience" section in these shows.

And since there is no Johnny Depp (although, half way through I genuinely was hoping for him to appear and just.. escape) or mythology involved in this drama- more than adventure, for sure- there is very little in their kit to entertain me. Nevertheless, there is a lot to devour in here. Of course, the brotherly romance between Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany is the top contender, where I'd be honest, I didn't see it coming how deep and honest this equation would go; them sharing few tunes alone in a room- not a euphemism- is possible the only calm and stable scene that clears your mind.

Another textbook issue that emerges is for our hero Crowe to realize and respect the value of the post he is on, and with few mistakes and losses and wins, he finally gets there, although I'd say he was about an hour late. The production design is stunning along with the cinematography, Miramax is definitely showing off and why not, the Oscars season is coming up, they'd definitely need some higher authority to swoop in couple of those golden tickets, and this time they chose, Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World.

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
½

Reeves keeps changing suits and still has managed to looks the same, the theme is so deliberately definite on terms of information, that you will have to keep digging more.

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

Stahelski believes in the old testament. Strong and mystical is his command over the world, so rich and highly detailed that even the flawed characters and textbook formulaic writing will be overpowered as you sink in this poised light-reflecting clean job. The director Chad Stahelski is probably breaking record by going against everyone's expectation on delivering a chapter of higher quality, this series has never seen a fall and it has been quite a journey. Round after round, this brawling brutal match is taking a toll on our host and we, shamelessly, as an audience keep wishing for more.

Plus, the series has a get out clause, in a sense that it will get support from both the corners. With an alluring picturization of the R rated mythology, the box office gets crowded for the universal physical language and the critics drool over the smoothness of the film, they took a simple formula and applied it on high quality filmmaking. From dragging in old tricks (they use chalkboards) and relying upon simple creatures, to visual effects finally coming alive in the film proving how advance the production has grown in this age and day; you don't have to float through space to drop your viewer's jaws or make their eyes pop.

Keanu Reeves, goofing around with his old time friend Stahelski, is pitching avant garde visions and Stahelski makes those dream come true, ergo, the narration had to be engaging- although the weakest character is Halle Berry's in here. This time the world that they have created inside ours, seems more complete as other characters gets a huge chunk of meat on their side. And with Reeves leading them on, with a bumper sticker John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, his still face, red enraging eyes and gutted screams undermines all the possible one-liners you can think of.

Capote
Capote(2005)

It's a Hoffman show, and it almost made me believe that they dive in deep just to see more of him as this infamous writer.

Capote

Miller capes the authenticity of 40s filmmaking. It is informative, yes. Definitely, inspiring. But what has evolved since then in filmmaking is to crowd the film with surprising visits with buffed up but toned content whose priority is to keep the viewers engaging. Swooping in every trick, somehow, Bennett Miller, the director, lost the grasp of the final ingredient that balances the fictional or like here real word. If the world is practically stashed around formal dull government papers, then our host is frankly bedazzling us with his tricks. The profile is scintillating. To a degree that it blurs out the background world that it resides in. Is it the character or the actor?

I am going to lean towards Philip Seymour Hoffman. Not that Truman Capote himself isn't intriguing but if played by someone else maybe he'd have come across a bit reserved and mellow in his language. But not Hoffman. No, sir. He comes from the exotic tales of P.T. Anderson. And also, personally, I have always felt like Hoffman is kind of a bragger. He loves to flaunt his skills. No matter how poised or formal, he is. He enters the frame and you are drawn to him. It is almost like he is dancing, with a straight face and not-so-steady eyes.

The caliber of the cast is impeccable, from Katherine Keener to Chris Cooper and as much as supportive they are, there is barely any place for them to be in charge. I was drawn to almost-like-trash talks occurring in the cell not by screaming but whispering, Hoffman and Clifton Collins Jr. resists an intense war in that cell. But above all, what's captivating is the stillness in that cell, steady and calm was their nature, discussing pivotal points of their life, fighting over the title, he loses, Capote does.

National Lampoon's Animal House
½

Beluschi drives the whole house in a burning jungle and he is the only one that comes out alive.

Animal House

Landis is just looking for the right angle that would somehow make it all tenable and sane to look at. And for the most part of it, he succeeds. What's debilitating is the script that dries up on its own sunny rides. Gags after gags, scoot over there is another gag on the house, with so many laughs- and yes there are- the rhythm of the film is uncanny. And maybe we are to blame the director John Landis, whose failed attempts of parallel narration doesn't capture the film in one frame.

There is a lot of editing, in the sense that it moves back and forth a lot, just for the sake of the joke and maybe I'd chug it all up if the joke was any better to take a detour of this long and stressful build up. Donald Sutherland as an eccentric teacher that obviously no one respects has some of the best moments. Personally, I loved all the scenarios regarding the classroom, from the fake court trial to a poorly ordered instructions. Then, there is obviously a party sequence, like all these teenage movie does, something that no one actually gets it right and end up just shooting jokes in the dark and drunk.

The jokes are not politically correct, they may not be accepted well with the time, but the quality, the lunacy is very much energetic. And among each characteristic handed over to various people, John Belushi triumphs over all the insane ingredients sprinkled in this overstuffed and overcooked dish. From grabbing lunch blindingly to heckling in the class, there is no one as confident as him while performing a physical comedy. He mocks and body shames himself, for the laughs, that very notion has a poetic sense in his enactment of animal like instincts residing in an Animal House.

The Social Network
½

Eisenberg and Garfield are slow dancing in this speedily surfed world, no one is streaming live and the highlight is loosing the art of the game.

The Social Network

Fincher is dancing. And boy what a dance this is. So flamboyant and confident in the jibber jabber-ish of the tech world. Yes, this is how it would sound like to others. But this is not narrated by some average writer, Aaron Sorkin, the game changer of the screenplay writing, is in charge of these real life characters. And with director, David Fincher, the time jumps from back and forth to weave out an engaging drama in their tech-y mundane world, that actually thrives on the dorm room, unofficial chats rather than online ones or even the court trials. Your friends are thrown out like some bizarre avant garde idea while creating a website.

The stabbing in the back comes involuntarily and the exhilaration a part of the game, but amidst this game of sacrifice- not of their own but other's, elimination is a way to success, breathes the film, or so it seems on the surface- the romance to make us groove with the momentum of these characters is lacked out by keeping them distant and dry of emotions. Yes, it is practically an apt depiction, but it should have been more unbiased to make us fall for this unknown backstage world.

Staring arrogantly with no empathy in his face, Jesse Eisenberg deserves the respect that he pursues so blindingly in the film. Call me childish, but I was drawn to Andrew Garfield's victimized character. In a virtually statistical world, where there is nothing or no one to actually root for, it is comforting to see Garfield broken and humanized in his porsche black suit. On the other hand, Justin Timberlake comes off disappointing where these major league players are hitting home run after home run, this is the kind of The Social Network Fincher wants you to log into, so give him your password, he is not a fraud.

Big
Big(1988)
½

Hanks is blabbering out his innocence with sensitive and easily adaptive body language, fall into it, he is big enough to catchy you.

Big

Marshall is a lover of old fairy tales. And just like it, it makes you feel warm and cozy, sipping coffee as it rains outside the window Saturday evening. The director Penny Marshall is served everything cooked up front in the table, that doesn't mean he isn't investing, it's just that there is very little for him to explore with his arms open. The writers Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg are the real deal. Their simplicity of the concept is so absorbing or "catchy" as kids say nowadays, that they not only to reel the viewers in, but the familiar joyous ride they offer for straight two hours is a sight to behold.

From being linearly sensible to complicated to the core, the elevation of the bar in the arc of these characters signifies the morale clause of how to live or experience your own life. And who'd have thought that, there will be a love twist in this resonating tale. Thought provoking ideas bubble up in this drama- it never was a comedy for me- where you want something wrong to happen even though you are well aware of its wrong-ness.

This is how good the writing is, the seduction knocks on your door and you want to welcome the person standing on the other side of the door, knowing he or she has the wrong address. Tom Hanks, playing a teenager, is keeping the emotions low and yet hyper on the bling-y or macho stuffs from the toy section. Even the job he works on, is so innocently motivated, I mean, of course his questions or ideas pitched on the meetings are a bit simpleton. I know that his relationship with Elizabeth Perkins is supposed to be the highlight of the film and yes, it is, undoubtedly. But the most underrated fatherly equation of him is with his boss and has some of the best moments of the film that actually makes it Big.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu

Reynolds is tapping to his own beat, peel him off from the project and he is giving you his tight twenty minutes on stage.

Pokemon Detective Pikachu

Letterman works like a teenager. Or maybe because of the film's theme, he has adapted himself into those avid video game players. But we will get into Rob Letterman's, the director, work later, first let's put the banners in trial. What is with this weird urge to magnify the gaming world into magnanimous IMAX screen? Failing perpetually and miserably on justifying the course of this virtual world into a throbbing storytelling arcs, even someone so skillful as Steven Spielberg could only barely reach there with his hands. And then to expect us to chug up all the pretentious dose of visual effects while compromising ourselves to understand the narration that THEY are trying to say.

And yet, they come in and say, every time, that this project is the game changer. Does the film contradict all your opinions on the adaptations of video games? No. It does not. Particularly, individually, the film is exactly like the vfx, fluffy and cute when the lens looks at our lead, and incredibly fake while focusing on others. And the term "entertainment" that they put so much weight on, is not their gripping or innovative storyline, but the incredibly self-claimed blabbermouth whose version of improv is the only reliable rope to hang on to.

From start to finish, all you want is to see Ryan Reynolds come up with some bizarre reference or hilarious comment to lighten up the dull scene. Justice Smith in the lead is confused, in a good way, but emotionally distant, in a bad way. Another major crisis is the effortfully choreographed action sequence where the whole world collapses and they are told to run the montage sequence of vfx explosion carrying the film for that section and then they dare promote Pikachu to Pokemon Detective Pikachu with no brains involved on investigation.

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
½

Sidibe and Mo'nique plays quite a long unbroken tennis game, the judges had to side for Sidibe, but personally, Monique stole the show for me.

Precious

Daniels doesn't have Spike Lee's aggression nor Barry Jenkins's cut throat vocab. What Lee Daniels has, is warmth. Warmth so incredibly moving and cozy that it rubbles you down when it fully embraces your mistakes. Yes. Flaws are his way in. With a balanced world that isn't overdosed by medication behavior, the obvious political correct expectations aren't even touched to fight a fair fight. Also, there is a whole new dimension to be explored in here and figuring out a way to resist the inevitable judging eyes, Gabourey Sidibe is dipped in plethora of troubles to come out off in here. And this is quite a big mountain to climb upon and if it would be just us watching her climb, it wouldn't be quite as engaging as it is.

Daniels convinces us to join the journey and he is a real trickster for he spreads crumbles of bread for everyone of varied appetite. The writing is really strong, especially the narration that mostly drives and guides the film, it is steady and informative, something every writers aspires to have. The hyphenated dialogues that mostly endorses cussing and rage spewed with sassiness does not only leave a jarring impression but also a levity that paints the practicality in a fight ensued in a house between a family.

Another tasteful ingredient sprinkled out is eerie camera work and dream sequences to express the views clearly without straining in the stick, it all hinges upon, which is the genre it claims to be that never derails. Precious unfortunately could never be rare, with dark spirits hovering around the film, it leaves a scar on you after it consumes a lot from you, and offering a cathartic finale, it is tipped towards the balance of an example of good filmmaking- Daniels is at his best.

An Education
An Education(2009)
½

Mulligan shines bright, she may not be emitting eye burning light, but she surely is reflecting an enlightening one.

An Education

Scherfig, first and foremost, is a pacifist. One of the greatest asset of his film is to try and avoid striking horns possible. And with a family drama like such that spirals out huge rage spewing fights on the house, it gets fascinating to see Lone Scherfig talk his way out of this family dinner blunder for two straight hours. And the reason why it stays true to the tone of the film, is that he actually never confronts his fear and instead pulls out another or might even be superior card to walk his way out of the club. Let's also give a round of applause for the screenwriter, Nick Hornby who has plucked engaging and informative highlight of Jenny Mellor's life played beautifully by Carey Mulligan.

Enacting a confused teenager, her unflinching and blinding confidence in her belief, is what digs the appropriate depth in her performance. But I'd say, amidst all the spotlights focusing each characters, the most underrated performance is of Peter Sarsgaard, his calculative steps taken while pulling off the most bizarre mood swing and silliness in her professional coat is quite the challenge. Plus, as an actor, you are waiting for a role juicy as such and seizing the opportunity with all enthusiasm Sarsgaard holds tightly to the other side of the rope.

Pike and Cooper stays the part of the act, the distraction, but the surprising element who stands by through all the storm is Alfred Molina as a protective father who is fixing himself along with keeping her daughter in track. The political correctness that the film whips you with, never overpowers the quality of the film, in fact despite of being one of the major contender among the morality clause shouted out in the film, An Education is the final winner in this marathon; it was a tough call and a rough race.

The Hustle
The Hustle(2019)

Remaking the comedy gold with undercooked ingredients, the property that has been unfiltered up till now, gets spoiled by bling-y loud attitude.

The Hustle

Addison is not even a decent cheater. All he had to do was just copy the Frank Oz version and they could have been gold. But then Chris Addison, the director, is not the only one to be blamed, the writers who treats its audience like their dumb characters ought to be put on trial too. The jokes just have to be translated into girl's perspective, is not their way in, they should have stretched their muscles a bit. Do they really think we are as gullible as the characters their lead ones revolve around? Has it been so easy to make someone laugh or con, everybody would be Hathaway.

With her looks so sharp and dunked herself into makeup and fake accent, there is a reason she is considered the best of our generation. For only Anne Hathaway without holding back, sticks to the silliest scenes of all. No matter how corny her line goes or how obviously monotonous the comebacks, she owns that fakeness like no one in the film. Rebel Wilson on the other hand who has also produced the film is as good as it gets when she body shames herself.

This is a strong asset, she criticizing her ownself even as an improv but then some little piece of hilarious note like such that goes well among the crowd, is rubbed down until you get tired of it. Over punching those same jokes, in fact an exact replica of a scene is recreated, just to get some cheap laughs. The warmth that Oz's version captured through Michael Caine's eyes is left untouched in here while the other hokums and twists and turns happily reiterated. The Hustle couldn't hustle its way out of its own loopholes and pretentious political correctness, leave the laughs, it couldn't even snatch a nod out of me.

Spectre
Spectre(2015)
½

Mendes is a fanatic for arthouse system, a love letter he writes to Fleming, I wonder who will do the same to him.

Spectre

Mendes is a local seller. This time, breathing pure England-ness and all the patriotism towards it, the director, Sam Mendes is going global with household methods. And to me, it is an ode to this franchise. Never has been a film so formal and personal altogether, like this. Many have come and gone, including his own version in the previous round, but no one was this professional. They have been claiming James Bond's excellence and superiority in his work shamelessly, and never had even cared to prove it. But with a clean polished job comes Mendes, with a neatly poised futuristic world i.e. the present one in which we are living. His huge set pieces gives away the clues. Armed with a huge production budget, Mendes colors the film with ravishing locations and Ridley Scott's Blade Runner-isc captivating tone.

Calculative steps and a simple pragmatic way out, from those steps, Daniel Craig is carrying a much heavy weight on his shoulder. Reinventing the character after a complete arc, he is given everything gift wrapped and untouched. And his version of sober Bond leaves a safe air in the room that is soothingly quiet and cathartic. Christoph Waltz, a mere pawn of the game, no matter how much he brags himself to be the puppeteer, he always stays a puppet.

Despite of a brief appearance, Monica Bellucci casts an unbreakable spell on us from which even the lead, Lea Seydoux couldn't free us. Personally, I feel for Ralph Fiennes, hiding someone else's mistakes and correcting his own, to bring down an evil empire Spectre, his job is to justify all the chapters of the franchise keeping in contrast to the materialistic world, this current generation is drawn to, "A license to kill is also not a license to kill." he concludes.

Skyfall
Skyfall(2012)

Mendes has a ground breaking method and chilling ideology to make them sweat, switching into old style beat, gadgets are tagged out and drama in the ring.

Skyfall

Mendes is the game changer. He sees what a rich character like such deserves. And creating an ugly yet polished world, offering a palpable environment for Bond to survive, Sam Mendes, the director keeps the job, a job. Despite of being the most personal and emotionally driven content, the mano-y-mano perspective let's you fill in on their shoes giving you the up close 3d experience with three dimensional characters which none of these hokum comic books extravaganza can give. This is also probably the first complete script of James Bond, in the sense that the linearity is easily followed and synced with crisp relevant action.

The Bond girl Berenice Marlohe leaves a resonant message in her brief appearance, also since this is the only Bond girl with almost no flirt talk, her fear makes her hand and voice shake and the film takes a steady U turn. This is where we catch up with Javier Bardem, who is celebrated with no care in the world by the writers, where you can see them bending the rules and even the script to make sure, he comes off as a magnetic righteous leader.

And if he is poised in every step of his plan, M, played by Judi Dench, makes him rubble every time, he encounters her and this cat and mouse chase is spiced with a love track that you not only don't see it coming, but also practically go wolfish to have some more. And amidst all the new recruits to the old employees striking horn for some noble agenda, Daniel Craig, gets overshadowed which too is foliated nicely by Mendes making him the empathetic character, just like Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner 2049 or even Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry to some degree. The ultimate question is, Is Skyfall the best in Bond collection? Yes.

Quantum of Solace

The second round takes a heavy toll on Craig, not accounting in the previous chapter scenarios, but individually, it is too effortful and tirsome.

Quantum Of Solace

Foster doesn't serve my cup of tea. I never fully got his rhythm. Even in Finding Neverland, his mundane events never woke me up. And now invading the Bond franchise with similar speech and agenda, Mark Foster, the director, is keeping things mellow which doesn't suggest that it is smart or mature. Let's dive in on the conversations, that actually made its previous installment so light in feet, but this time reminiscing about the past and approaching the mission with the safest way possible, it gets very hard then to make it commercially successful. In fact, Judi Dench's track has the objective to make sure Bond plays safe; practical(!), but who'd want that.

The action too, in this one seems like a bait, almost a reason to make it there on time, or more accurately to reach the two hour clock, ergo the flight chase, the water chase, the car chase and the running chase, too much of ingredients did spoil the appetite. Let me go back once again, to the rhythm of the film, with no whatsoever thread linked in the narration, jumping from one debate to another, there is zero romance between these characters to make us care for them- overcooked empathy for one character will not make up for everyone.

Daniel Craig with recent wounds is back on the hunt and with a more clenched jaw, he keeps his poker face on, that basically works as a guard who won't let us in on his emotional journey, creating a physical distance with the audience. The Bond girl gets quite a chunk of bite but unfortunately antagonist, almost an empty space in this chapter. Quantum Of Solace is the afterparty after what went down in Casino Royale, the memory is a bit hazy and it also fumbles a lot.

Casino Royale
½

Campbell and Craig had an easy job to do, just not to make the same mistakes, and scoffing off the limitations, it is a clear qualifier.

Casino Royale

Campbell has evolved. A lot. And keeping toe to toe with the ever-changing show business, he has quickly managed to grasp the essence of the crisp that this generation craves for. But mind you, it still doesn't make Martin Campbell, the director, the finest of all. In fact, looking at the 1-0-1 criteria of filmmaking, he may be able to JUST qualify as one. Let's take the Airport chase sequence, for instance. First of all it's one smooth ride, with all the elements of the scene mapped out neatly on the screen where its fast and gritty choreography makes the best of the run. Now as far as this was concerned, it is actually Campbell informing us with news, dry news.

What it fails to capture majorly, is the momentum of all the action. It's not that we don't get it, we are just asked to reach out for it, it isn't served us up front on the table. If these are its cons, then pros have to be the performances and the cast. But quickly before we sink into Daniel Craig's thunderous blue eyes, another thing Campbell places elegantly in the film, is how the time has passed in any circumstances, the selected highlights in both the narration and execution are subtle and exhilarating.

So now, Craig.. should we just gaze at him or appreciate his exceptionally powerful scene with Mads Mikkelsen as he tortures him brutally. The humor that has been questioned many a times is twisted and turned so beautifully in here that even a worthy one-liner doesn't make us laugh but leaves a jarring dramatic impression on us. Eva Green with her love track doesn't have that amount of electricity in her romance as that poker table does which ironically is negatively motivated, something that the theme of Casino Royale shares.

Die Another Day

Brosnan's final adventure(!), please make some room for the eligible ones and not those that are just easy on the eyes.

Die Another Day

Tamahori is a fan. He can't hide it, at all. And over the year, some of the best films are given by fans like Kevin Feige, Rian Johnson, JJ Abrams. But with a fandom like such comes responsibility to own that title with some finesse in the work. Lee Tamahori unfortunately doesn't have that, what he has is a good, nay great, banner that pays well. With production budget spewing money like a thirteen year old teenager cursing with his or her mates, this time along with huge set pieces even the actors hired are incredibly magnanimous. They don't have enough range to flaunt their skills but that's a different thing. This revenge based plot singing blood for blood has a familiar lyric in the song.

In fact, it is somehow similar to the original Sean Connery's chapter where after Brosnan's first act, things start up pretty much with 1-0-1 textbook mission ingredients. Another improvement has been the antagonist that they have been working on, from the previous chapter, not that they are linked but they are definitely appealing, in a sense that their perspective communicate with us, again not that we agree on it, NO, but they certainly do challenge our hero a lot.

The Bond girls are frisky with Halle Berry getting much, much attention, I would rather lean towards Rosamund Pike in her obvious duality persona, which she still presents with quite an engaging presentation, in those big eyes you can see an Oscar worthy talent in there. A masked theme explored- no pun intended- almost seems like a total waste in here where they had the opportunity to fool the viewers that might be manipulating but at least entertaining. Gadgets are a whole new thing now, to a degree that they are a character themselves. And I think, that Pierce Brosnan has been blessed with them, the most. Relying a lot upon them, he barely works hard no matter how loud and deep he grunts he is acting- well, let's not go there and wrap it up with the title Die Another Day.

The World Is Not Enough
½

Brosnan with his stealy cold looks, is quite a magician, disappearing logics and numbers, he quotes philosophy.

The World Is Not Enough

Apted acts almost like a robot in here. It is like he was told to make sure that this remains a one big sloppy kiss to commercial cinema. And Michael Apted, the director, with all the professionalism in him makes sure it does. The story revolves around the jungle where a bait is usually used to advance the storyline further, which sounds decent but only upto when the makers keep their vocab subtle and ask for some maturity; they don't. The chase sequence that has always been the major signature asset of this franchise bodes well on terms of pace, we are not even going to point out how absurd it is, just let it be.

Also they have always tried to push themselves in pulling out what's impossible practically and project it on screen, and in that very sense, it is an appreciative work. I can see why box office has loved Pierce Brosnan so far, for his films are incredibly fast and light on their feet, it embraces the macho-ism but unfortunately also defines it as not to boo-hoo in front of anyone, that marks it as a real deal. Which is also why many of critics have claimed it be the most sexist and ethically wrong icon to be rooted for.

The antagonist is given a lot a weightage but is unable to carry it off, the performance doesn't ooze the warmth it demands. Also in a case like such, our hero, the rooted character that we blindingly bet on, have to come up with something impressive or at least equally awe-gasping for us to make believe that good triumphs over evil. Plus, somehow they have projected Brosnan as a bit Sherlock-ian who is now apparently an overly sung hero in any intense sequence that breathes how belittling everything is and how The World Is Not Enough.

Tomorrow Never Dies
½

I wouldn't worry if I were Brosnan, the banner is ready to spend and people are ready to chug it all up, makes some more of this wrong universal language.

Tomorrow Never Dies

Spottiswoode is definitely going to be a guest director. Elevating the loud set pieces with a towering priority in the narration, Roger Spottiswoode, the director, isn't even whispering the equation that enables us a front row ticket to these well choreographed dance. He, himself, is considering the motives or plot point revelations as some jibber jabber, so it would be hypocrisy for him to expect us to listen to these flips and turns let alone nod to it. What annoys me the most to suffer through is the antagonist's evil plan, go through its own journey that will eventually lead to the world domination. How far are they going to get away with this formula, in fact I would even happily accept the other way around.

This is how low the expectations have grown, instead of working on creating a complex scene just to place a major stunt in narration, a better content would be appreciated much more. Even the cheesy one liners are turned to 11, and focusing all his energy into pulling off these jokes, Pierce Brosnan is always ready for the known counter attack or even pseudo reaction to huge fight sequences. There is not an ounce of humane like figure in his body which is a double edged sword, for you can only go so far with a photogenic face.

Jonathan Pryce gets few monologues to show off his skills while the Bond girl Michelle Yeoh gets her own ground to tap her feet on with probably the best fight of the film; and no the chase sequence doesn't make sense, so drool over all you wish to. Tomorrow Never Dies, I never got the hang of the title, I always took it is a mockery to all the loud background score they play in the first act where we are told to get psyched whether Brosnan will be able to escape a missile zone or not.

GoldenEye
GoldenEye(1995)

And he is here, the ultimate saviour of the franchise, he is going to line up quite an audience to watch him do, well, anything.

GoldenEye

Campbell raises the bar. It was light and easy to do so, and yet he failed to place it in the major leagues. The franchise does this every time, they take a big break and hype up their upcoming project and tease the fans to a degree that they go vulnerable enough to chug up any bizarre made up story that somehow revolves around the same cheesy, ethically wrong icon. And I guess, it's that very same controversial debate that what is it so absorbing to watch three hours of gangsters creating havoc and still root for them. But at least, there is some sort of originality and authenticity in every new version of Martin Scorsese's mean street boys.

Here, this almost a Royale personality, has been revoking his license for commercial cinema as a get out clause which never was and shouldn't be an excuse to low quality cinema. And Martin Campbell, the director, isn't adding anything new to it, yet with such huge fumbles in the past, this seems like a project where a lot of work was put on. And similar is our new hero Pierce Brosnan ready to be drooled over, he puts on a lot of effort even in the long chase sequences, unlike Roger Moore he doesn't just sit by in a boat.

But what comes in natural to Brosnan; a highly appealing personality, is never reflected back by him with equally sincerity. And when he does work hard, his performance makes sure you are aware of it, such an effortful is his process and painful our experience. Sean Bean, a worthy foe sweats hard for it just like Famke Janssen who yells loud for the effects, combining them lies a noteworthy set of evil partner which is undermined by Brosnan's stealy cold look with his blue-grey eyes and yet they called it a GoldenEye.

Licence To Kill
½

After Moore, it's Glen's turn to get on stage, with successive dull projects publishing out and about, he is quite the competitor now.

License To Kill

Glen claims this chapter to be an improvement and we agree with him finally on something, but as an individual project, is it really though? The director John Glen starts off, this second and after encountering it, what looks like also the final round of Timothy Dalton, with the Manchurian Candidate theme, a little derivative but a safe way to open any storyline, not that there is anything beyond that. In order to make Dalton empathetic and a guy with a shoulder to cry upon, the narration is made a bit sombre and adaptive, which we encounter through his eyes. Also, he is often wrongfully condemned which then gives him a complimentary arc to prove himself to both the characters and us, a smart move by the makers to keep him in check and convey that he does and will earn himself; it's a drop in the ocean, for sure, but that's a different topic.

Frankly, it would have been a lot better if this chapter was his entry to this exotically sketchy world. The humor is almost non-existent which was good considering the material the film deals with, but the thing that actually goes past mention are the make out scenes. The whole kiss and make up thing is something they don't even bother explaining, at this point, it's part of a charm, the makers counter argue, every single time.

It's like a textbook triangle love story with trust issues spiced up by a revenge driven plot, an eye for an eye action fabricated as a thriller; which so it blatantly has been claiming over the years; that's just misleading. The antagonist is given almost a parallel role that casts quite an impression compared to the previous baddies involved in Bond's memoir where unlike other times, he doesn't have a License To Kill, like that's going to change anything.

The Living Daylights

Behold another fiasco, taking massive hits and heavy losses, the banner has got to be vulnerable and is ought to make more mistakes like such.

The Living Daylights

Glen has a new asset to mold and present it neatly to the avid viewers. He fails in doing so, that's a one thing, but he couldn't even save the film either. Or maybe I should have gone the other way around. Maybe, it goes like this, the director, John Glen even failed to create a compelling bond chapter let alone stage the newer addition with sparkly lights and bright colors. This new and statistically the least successful Bond, has frankly no whatsoever rhythm in his body language to carry an entire film on his shoulder let alone a big banner like such. Addition to it, with zero empathy that he has to offer, Timothy Dalton is barely seeking for any opinion in here.

And if you find yourself cornered in a situation like such, he had the option to make an effort too. But ignoring that path perpetually, the boat he so graciously wishes to float on, is crooked itself. With an overlong and overridden concept, the film manages to convince you from time to time to, well, have a peak on the clock. And disappointed with how much is still left, the horrifying realization of what has been gone in over the last hour strikes with a jarring impact to us.

Since, the first hour is basically passing the parcel game, the romance between the lead characters. for a brief period in an intense scene, gives us a glimpse which apparently is meant to make up for all the drama that they cared for up till now. In a film, that desperately tries to be light on the feet and fast paced in its speech, to weave out a honeymoon sequence-- and not the obvious signature to-the-point scene but a train of rom-com alike montages-- has got to be a bold choice, it certainly gave me The Living Daylights.

A View to a Kill

Moore is the one with the most Bond films in his collection and he stole the worst ones too, that seems a bit selfish.

A View To A Kill

Glen is shooting all over the places. He is on a strike. He keeps breaking record and this time he has managed to pull out the worst chapter in this franchise. And he doesn't hold back to make sure it stays that way. It is almost admirable that John Glen, the director, has decided to go with an avant-garde structure. Don't get too excited, it is worse than your typical one. What has been so dull about the franchise is how linear and dogmatic the track and views are, but also in layman terms, it has meant that people would be engaged into the storytelling against all odds.

At least, it would be entertaining, is what box office has whispered over the years. But now with no zip and flow in the narration, the old method that was shucked out with such arrogance is regretted painfully by the makers. For often or not, familiarity makes things easy to adapt, easy to criticize too, but at least they will accept it and won't ignore it. Also, since we are down this lane, the ridiculous set pieces that the entire film is brimmed of, is obviously advised to ignore before the film even starts like some cautionary certificate.

But you know what, I'd happily gulp down the ludicracy but what aches you to see is then later on they want you at the edge of your seat when the pin down a stunt or antic following some bizarre logistics; that entire sequence not only annoys you but enrages you. As the poster suggests, Roger Moore has got his match, not that the bar was high enough but I would still request you to not raise your expectations, for this view is new in the town and not in a good way, ironically it was supposed to be groundbreaking with higher stakes especially with A View To A Kill.

Octopussy
Octopussy(1983)
½

Moore's trip to India is too much, too much of good stuff- well, not technically- and too much of bad, and still it isn't perfectly balanced.

Octopussy

Glen is back with a more raunchy version. Think of that, more raunchy than what we saw previously, so I guess that's a first. The director John Glen, as always has his track mapped out perfectly in his film. There is no doubt about that. In fact, accounting in both of his project, we can easily say that he likes to go deep, deep in his self-created maze. And just that bit, that very middle chapter is undeniably exhilarating. For as soon as you think, that Roger Moore, the Bond, won't go lower than this, this bottomless pit keeps sucking him or more importantly us, in its exotically well choreographed tricks and treats.

The humor is once again, an issue in here, especially the branches it spirals out, it never feels like a part of the narration and surprisingly coming this from a director who at first was an editor ought to be shocking. Digging out another new culture to explore upon, this gives the writers enough space to distract the viewers with stunning set pieces brimmed with colorful lights and embroideries that somehow represents the rich culture along with the staged traditions of India.

Similar to previous cliff hanging climax there is another antic like such that is more complex and nail biting than that one, which frankly is the film's double edged sword, for as soon as you start expecting things, it will let you down, even they can promise that. The Bond girl syndrome is respected and given both the title and agenda to run towards or more precisely backwards for Moore's characteristics in the film overpowers every motive and temptations in the film, which I can see that it might be a great idea to glorify the character, but the film suffers in doing so, for you can't take down the title, not even in this franchise, not Octopussy.

For Your Eyes Only
½

By this point, Moore doesn't care, he is on the run, shooting blanks, it might go really good or really bad; quantity will boil down to quality. is his motto.

For Your Eyes Only

Glen is new to the town. And so is his method. This breath of fresh air may not hold up against time, but for now, this is as good as entertainment gets. The script isn't breaking any ground here, but it is the director John Glen whose mano-y-mano approach to this franchise fabricates it with new color. And with fast gritty action that may not particularly be the smartest of all, the time slides by like melting butter, and just like it, it is unhealthy yet gestating a fun time for us, where often before reaching the climactic point, the film drops down all its weapons and reveals all its cards, this time with a nail biting tensed environment created around the set, it cuts deep and it cuts good.

Finally, they leave the film as they should, at its peak point; no pun intended. Not to say that the rest of the time is spent upon building this grand finale, there are plenty of antics to drool over. From the classic humorous chase sequence- another major scoffed off limitation is the humor that is more subtle, of course, compared to the chapters in this franchise- to a well choreographed and equally flawed escapism from the jaws of the death.

Even the Bond girl gets a more emotionally driven and less tempted towards the materialistic aspects of the world, arc to fill, it is still corny though. Roger Moore's performance seems a bit rushed over, almost like a runny ingredient in one big meal that was supposed to amplify the taste and instead undermines them. For Your Eyes Only, claims our lead actress, and is exactly how dogmatic the film travels, there is only so much a stuntman can do, please breathe some life on both paper and screen.

Moonraker
Moonraker(1979)

You've got to hand it to them, with no motive or a message to spark the battles, their dance is quite engaging.

Moonraker

Gilbert's sensational space opera is similar to its visual effects, jaw dropping in some sequences while off putting in others. Combining this recipe into one big commercial cinema, Lewis Gilbert, the director, sees this franchise as a gold digger and carves it out accordingly. Fortunately, after a few big fumbles, it is a relief watching these makers finally get what they want, no matter how derailing it might be to its reputation. Almost a continuation to the previous chapter, there is a flow or a familiar thread we can see that help us connect instantly. While the rest of the film, with derivative content and cheap shots convince us, not to invest in it. This tug of war is frankly fun.

Never have I seen any film fluctuate so frequently on screen. And now that I think about it, the good, the entertaining bits are the long action sequences whose ridiculous choreography, against all odds, is enchanting. And as soon as the story is supposed to advance further, the antics and agendas starts sounding like jibber jabber where you get enough time to buy some popcorn and even have some, only to sit back and enjoy as soon as the loud and uncalled-for background score starts drumming.

Personally, I felt for the antagonist more than our alcohol consuming and womanizer Roger Moore. There is innocence in his eyes, as once Javier Bardem, called it out and you sink deep into them and float without gravity and sense watching him survive possibly anything. The Bond girl has her own agency whom she might not work for and the baddie with a world dominating plan, between them lies Moore packed with his boat chase sequence as always, before dropping the curtains with a space fight like it is somehow supposed to justify the title Moonraker.

The Spy Who Loved Me
½

Let's turn down the mushy-gushy romance a notch, it is a marathon of Moore era where this is the only piece of chocolate you are going to get addicted to.

The Spy Who Loved Me

Gilbert is back, after a while now. And with a promising premise and a polished version, he recreates the spark and puts the franchise back on the map with a hope that the magic isn't vanished yet and they still have few impressive tricks under the sleeve. And even though the structure of the script and the concept itself seems derivative, the tiny moments that it thrives upon gives little wins to us and to those characters that keeps us engaged in this familiar exotic vacation. Cornered in vigorously by the previous chapters, Lewis Gilbert, the director, has decided to embrace all the ingredients that made these characters so magnetic.

Hence, a quick tour in Q's lab, that makes the audience gasp and the fan boys to drool over something. This is more of a repaired version of the previous ones. And simplifying this formula made it so entertaining, all they had to do was not repeat the same mistakes they have been doing and the result is well, not satisfying but at least qualifying. The Bond girl gets a chunk of role to portray or should I say Roger Moore, the Bond, gets to support the lead actress.

Walking parallel-y with the Moore, Barbara Bach isn't completely social with the audience but has surely pulled off a remarkable persona on screen that dares trick, James Bond himself- that's going to catch up! Speaking of whom, with a more convincing dialogue delivery, Moore's humor is palpable and smooth compared to the previous installments. He still lacks the- if I may- sexiness that the character demands, but I would presume that's what the gadgets are for and not-so-likeable antagonist to contrast out the color and infuse an incredible love track between him and Bond, that is much more romantic than girl who reminisces, "The Spy Who Loved Me" gazing into the abyss.

The Man with the Golden Gun

Hamilton and Moore are changing the game, the result is one of the worst chapter of the franchise, so there's that record now, to break.

The Man With The Golden Gun

Hamilton is behaving like some angenieux filmmaker. Usually when you go behind the camera for the first time, what you wish to make and what comes out creates a long distance between the audience and the characters. For, how you are pretending the scene to come off and how it actually does is the grey area where a qualified maker aims to bridge. And in here, along with this issue, Guy Hamilton, the director, has lost the complete balance on humor. This is probably the worst to come across in the franchise. In a sense that it is not only not funny but also clearly wrong.

It is more expressive about the offense that casts as a pseudo reaction than a purposeful message it tries to pass on- by the way, don't look for it, you'll be scrapping for hours before you find anything and if you do, then you've gone so deep that you are reading between the lines that doesn't exist. Roger Moore revisiting his character signifies his incapabilities in global scale. Now, I remember that this was the reason why I never fully understood his stardom, with questionable dialogue deliveries to an outrageously loud innuendos that makes you livid, he is surprisingly the anchor of the film.

The Bond girl phenomenon is once again, showcased as an object than a being and along with a weak antagonist that isn't even correctly motivated, the supporting characters are also dragging this down way too low; how far are they going to rely upon old cameos that are supposed to make you laugh. The Man With The Golden Gun sounds corny as it actually is, the fired shots are empty just like a reason to produce this film, except for the box office results which too is among the lowest, this time.

Live and Let Die
½

Hamilton is relying upon his new asset and Moore looking for some support, this misunderstanding leaves the chapter hanging in the middle of nothing.

Live And Let Die

Hamilton has a new gadget. It is neither effective nor impressive. But diving deep into rich and untouched culture- up till now in the franchise, at least- he has enough room to roam around which he does. There is a certain calmness when he does so, to a degree that even when you know that it has got nothing to do with the storytelling and it doesn't, you let him enjoy the dance, at least someone is, so why not. While as far as the set pieces are concerned, they have definitely expanded with big expectations to fill and smartly with levity in each action sequences that are inherited in these characters- in one big boat chase sequence, there is a character introduced just for the humor and since he basically has an outer perspective from this world, just like us, somehow his reaction makes it more absorbent than the action- they sail off smoothly to the shore.

Speaking of culture and traditions, similar to the original Bond, they have tried to recreate the magic with a celebratory note, the only issue is that we are unfortunately on the other side of the door, and the celebration feels more tensed than entertaining. Roger Moore, the actor with the most Bond films, is aggressively taking charge on the role, his passion and hard work is admirable, but it never communicated with me.

Primarily because he isn't flamboyant in his body or actual language, and me, as a fan of this ravishing persona keeps that priority number one. The supporting characters are victims of pawn like stereotypical villainous tidbit, that is basically filling the necessary blank written to have something pushing or ticking behind our host for him to run and he does, a lot. Live And Let Die, let us, if this is how you would wish to move forward, or more accurately backward.

Diamonds Are Forever
½

Connery and Hamilton are back for the crowd. the roar of cheering undermines their own voice, and visually, it is a textbook James Bond mission.

Diamonds Are Forever

Hamilton, after a while, is back in the game. A break that propelled into one big fumble in this installment. With very little skin in the game and passion to spiral out a thrilling thriller, Guy Hamilton, the director, who gave us one of the best chapters of James Bond, makes it look like it was a fluke. For, as far as execution is concerned the game of cat and mouse never grasps the momentum that it script demands. Our heartthrob and overly sung hero is definitely panting, but the effects are usually the aftermath, the journey that led him to this lack of energy isn't projected thoroughly to us.

Resulting in, this bizarre train of event, which makes us feel like, that the makers are overselling the product and the actors, well, overacting. Also, in doing so, the hype that they build up- mind you there is also the pressure of the big banner- is something that exceeds their potential and is also probably why, in these last few chapters, the final act has turned out to be the most disappointing one. Sean Connery revisiting his character seems much more confident this time.

No rocks in the drink and no bullets in the gun, he believes in old testament and the result is adorable; people are digging it. The bond girl syndrome is elevated to a more respected level- well, they are still working on that, it is a slow rickety skate- in a sense that it isn't there for glamorous event, they have got few cards hidden under those, umm, pockets; on terms of the whole gender equality notion, the franchise collapses from the first chapter itself, it is good that we can laugh about it now(!), for as far quality is concerned it didn't qualify, not even the first round, so let them say that Diamonds Are Forever.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Lazenby is bringing a lot of things new on the table, we may not like it or want it, but, hey, at least, it is refreshing.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Hunt is on a hunt. It is not well planned or equipped. In fact, if anything, it almost feels like an ambush while it clearly isn't. Peter Hunt, the director, has got one thing right for sure. The flirt of the game, it isn't thrilling, but is incredibly exciting to see these characters tease each other and us getting pumped for them. Such a connection was difficult to establish especially since the face of our beloved character was replaced.

And not only does it show the utter confident in their script but also on the actor George Lazenby who may not deliver complete list of requirements but somehow in its goofiness, it is an improvement to the previous installment- the film, not the Bond, NO, NEVER. But that's not saying much, is it, now. Clocking for more than two hours, the film asks a lot of patience from us, and against all expectations, the first and last act is mind numbing. The real treat lies in the middle chapter where the flirting is turned to 11 and watching them gleefully hide and reveal what they care for, is yes, fun to encounter.

If thought about, Lazenby, technically, isn't conjuring the essence of the Bond. He isn't confident, he cannot pull off even a one-liner let alone pull out a gun with an electrifying speed or handle his drink. He is good with girls though, so many, in here, some good and some bad, and frankly, the manipulative nature of their tracks did lure me in, instead of being aware of it. On Her Majesty's Secret Service we can see a lot of good "old style" methods that keeps you invested in the work days, as soon as you're on a holiday, it looks for cheap thrills; the very theme of action is off putting in here.

You Only Live Twice
½

Gilbert is not the guy to be invited in such a party, just focus on Connery and who knows you might end up having a good time.

You Only Live Twice

Gilbert is a guest. He is new to it. But that isn't an excuse. It shouldn't be. He has a rough idea on what or how should Bond be, and it is not only wrong but also is commercially motivated. And yes, there is also the script to be blamed, but also Lewis Gilbert, the director, whose agenda apparently is to go for a kiss or a punch or an explosion whenever you feel the viewers getting disenchanted from the screen. What could have been a gripping gritty adventure of half an hour is stretched to an entire two hours of labor that we, as an audience are told to work upon.

They are definitely pushing it, especially if the actual plot starts after the clock ticks to a forty five minute of bell, after which too, they dare to take detours. Shorter than the previous chapter, it still feels like a much longer one. I would presume that time has not been nice to it, but it has lost the flamboyant nature in its narration that made its predecessor what it is now. The antagonist that is kept behind the curtains, lacks a face to be feared upon and is why for the huge chunk of the film, you feel like Sean Connery is shooting in the dark and not in a good way.

Also, there is no empathy in the characters for us to connect with them. The rituals and traditions that our sung hero follows and adapts while visiting new places and people is also left blank in here; it's like they are not even trying to be better, somehow they have found peace in the everworking formulaic structure. But that didn't make its book famous, You Only Live Twice and you only film once, so let's make it count.

Thunderball
Thunderball(1965)

Third time's not the charm, Young fails and Connery takes the blame, while the banner might still be happy with the result.

Thunderball

Young is in charge again. And the vacation he took seems like, it was definitely an unaffordable one. The price this franchise faces, this time, is that it is the first upset of so many to come. But what's ironical is that while this film was pitched or presented with spectacular suggestions, it frankly would have seemed like the best of all. Using their budget to its best, what the creators have tried to pull off in such a scale is surely admirable. But tested with time, and it unfortunately doesn't hold up to the promises it has to offer. And mind you, it is not the inadequacy on technology or creativity, it is the execution itself.

With a narration so ambiguous and execution so precarious, there was always very little chance for it to ever make it into the big leagues. The director Terence Young is giving his all, from brimming his scenes with catchy one liners to levity and from brutal action to more fire blazing in the background, but while doing so, he left out a key ingredient: romance. The romance between Sean Connery and whoever the antagonist is this time, there is no dance between them for us to care about, frankly, either of them.

Connery playing this character for the fourth time, seems natural by now, flirting shamelessly and drinking carelessly, his unbiasedness towards his likes and dislikes has gone habitual to us. This longest chapter of the franchise, up till then, seems like a literal waste of time, for as far as brain is concerned, it doesn't have the ability to provoke us in using it. This Thunderball won't let you have a ball, it may not be even considered as an entertaining one, let alone a gritty thriller which so it blatantly claims to be.

Goldfinger
Goldfinger(1964)

Now, I am confused whether Midas Touch is a blessing or a curse, for this touch is something we all felt and are overwhelmed by it.

Goldfinger

Hamilton is on a whole new level. He sees what this character is and how to portray it on screen to its best. And with finesse like his, the content subverts the flaws or inadequacies of the plotline and embraces the super-ness of the characters in this sketchy world. Finally, after two long chapters, the finest quality of this franchise, i.e. its antagonist, is magnified to an almost parallel role in this chapter. And carrying the title and the fear of his name, the snidy villain to Connery is perpetually playing a long tennis game with him.

An ace for an ace and a set for a set, if Sean Connery has gadgets in his pocket, Gert Frobe has a contingency plan in his mind, to every reply he has a counter argument that desimmates Connery's view for a whole act. Even in its last act, he never, mind you, never for a split second accepts his lose, at its most vulnerable point, he throws an equally challenging punch to our Martini-consumer host. One of the primary reason how the sense of urgency is kept alive throughout this two hours of journey, is the bluffs of Connery and Frobe's that are called out up front.

And with almost an entire film, Connery spending under Frobe's shade, his cloaking or more accurately stripping of the revisited character has made to be "out of touch", in fact, he doesn't even get to say his name, "Bond, James..". The director Guy Hamilton brings less verbal sparrings in the script this time, which to be frankly seems like of barely twenty pages. Relying completely upon complex and witty physical sequences like an escape from a prison to stalling while shaving, these quiet moments on screen haunts us for the rest of the film, with not a monsterous face but a Goldfinger.

From Russia With Love

They are keeping it low in this second round, making their enemies sweat and maybe, maybe they will make a mistake.

From Russia With Love

Young is back in a sensible and calm state that is more Hitchcock-ian- there is literally a sequence similar to the North By Northwest, which surprisingly is both, more and less realistic than it was- than De Palma-isc. This verbally brimmed counter play of each characters might not be particularly smart but is surely a mature way of exploring the wry business vacation. Terence Young, the director, this time, is definitely bringing new things on the table. One would assume that after getting all the ingredients correctly mixed and cooked, it would be SAFE to believe in that recipe; one is wrong and also probably under pressure.

What was fast and smooth in the previous one, is slowed down and analyzed thoroughly from all the directions. And from this comes some of the finest tensed moments created on the screen, like sense of vulnerability or the tease of the upcoming guns-blazing and blood-dripping antic. These physical sequences are something that Sergio Leone used to rely upon, before breaking down into a big fist fight. Another major improvement is levity slipped in a scene, the one-liners are getting more sharp and gets a much bigger reaction from the audience.

Also, the makers and the actors on set seems confident and in a comfortable zone, considering some of the most ridiculous and questionable scenes- the entire cultural dance and eerie controversial rituals- are pulled off with such ease and conviction. Sean Connery revisiting his character oozes, yes, sexiness, but also a calculative, ethically wrong or mislead person that gives him quite a range to cover; he cares but often it turns out to be too late. From Russia With Love is the perfect formal vacation they could color, it is polished and poised in its tone, even at its dirtiest moment, the characters have enough courtesy to keep their gloves on.

Dr. No
Dr. No(1962)
½

Young and Connery are onto something here, who knows how long will it last(!), for now it is a sight to behold.

Dr. No

Young gives this everlasting legacy, the perfect introduction it required, a bit briskly and awful lot of raunchy. This mixture of genre that was present in Ian Fleming's book, is amped up to a cinematic level with a vocab so common and physically connective to the audience that it does reach to places where your usual projection doesn't. And since the inception of this franchise, ergo, this chapter, it didn't practically see the global phenomenon that it will spiral out in later years. And what has been fascinating about the franchise is how connected it is to the art behind the project that despite of getting an attention as such, the commercial aspect of this infamous character doesn't affect the quality of its vocab.

The storyline, even to this day, is kept above all the box office numbers, and is probably why this is one of those rare banners that holds up with time. Terence Young, the director, isn't bringing anything new on the table, but his skills on jumping from one sequence to another with a linear track, following only its lead character is a bold risk that pays off well in here. Usually, such a narration can be off putting or felt overridden, but with Sean Connery's perspective that we, as an audience, share, the risks are communicated and the thrills feared.

Speaking of whom, Connery started the dialogue deliveries to be delivered with a panache that mostly comes from his body language than his drunken yet firm voice. There is a smoothness on the punches he punches and physical acts shot in one shot, these little moments are much more valuable than the tricks, he keeps pulling out of his awe-gasping gadgets. With only one weak link of antagonist called Dr. No- primarily because he has very little skin in the game- Connery is the best asset of London's Secret Service.

Long Shot
Long Shot(2019)

Rogen and Theron are going hand-in-hand in a politically correct rom-com, it may not be the game changer, but it surely will sunny side up your weekend.

Long Shot

Levine has always had the lexicon to portray any cinematic event into a work day. Usually, it asks for the other way around, but since Jonathan Levine, the director's, world is often pragmatic and deals with common issues, it pins the entire film into the ground to a more convincing state. And quirky as the concept may sound, the writers, Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah (especially) enroutes a passage with a single string and no breaks. This linearity in the narration not only doesn't detour or distract the viewers but also doesn't have time or space to branch out a gag.

Hence, surprisingly in a film like such, the gags are part of a narrative which makes the storytelling smart and to the point. A rom-com like such falls under the pressure to create a villainous misunderstanding or a lie or childishness among the lead couple in order to split them before the last act. And as much as textbook the structure of the film is, the chemistry between Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron is so genuine, that you find it impossible to pick out a flaw in their homemade dish.

And even at its cheesiest or obligatory part of the film, there is a certain amount of maturity that is handled verbally and not some huge antic that is shielded by an emotionally wrecked system or hot heads floating around the crown. Theron gets a stereotypical forcefully reserved character whose key is held by Rogen who frankly oozes much more warmth than she does in their controversial relationship. Another excellent choice to be shout out for, is the awareness of the expectancy of the viewers that is accounted in, this precarious yet strong relation is build up by the writers like a jenga game where you are waiting for it to collapse brutally and that very Long Shot of relying upon the sense of vulnerability helps her get elected.

Avengers: Endgame

Feige is done with his first arc and so are we, this is more a palette clenser than a tease, bring it more, it is simply "old style" good.

Avengers: Endgame

Russo Brothers docks the universe in one colossal stage where our mighty heroes dances the dance of their life, it is extremely well choreographed. Never has this ever pulled off at such scale, claims Marvel, and Feige proves it, by swooping in every last drop of blood shed in this war. But mind you, it is unlike Infinity War, it never gets too much. There is a certain amount of linearity in their narration that is more focused and polished than the previous installment. It is the ultimate heist, in a sense that it is as big an ambition as the cast is. And so is the storytelling, as rich as the banner goes, the usual baggage of levity that Marvel often failed to own it, comes in natural in here.

Split into three acts, this wallop of emotional drama is not the tease for the game but the journey, that Robert Downey Jr. quotes to be proud of. The world of Russo Brothers, is perfectly balanced as Josh Brolin, wanted it to be. What could have been precarious is somehow its best asset, the film is obvious or even obliged to connect the dots. And as much as you feel overridden in this ride, it never grows dull; this overwhelming experience is plastered across the screen for three straight hours that is ought to make the fans giddy up for more.

What has been fascinating, is to see, not Thanos turned into a mere pawn of the game, his malleable philosophy is still threatening to the leftover superheroes. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the screenwriters, are free from the stereotypical MCU formulaic structure, it doesn't tap on- a joke, an emotional punch and an actual punch- to the safe beat, they have deconstructed their rhythm for the Endgame, tears are expected, satisfaction; a surprise package.

High Life
High Life(2019)

Denis has an agenda worth to be explored upon, but the assumed value of "x" in this formula, slams the bridge every time it attempts to connect or make sense.

High Life

Denis is a filmmaker that celebrates little wins. Colorful fireworks blazing through the sky that almost covers the space, she, with bottled-up-champagne sprees with all heart and no shame. Take its erotically (or probably just a battery!) charged exotic scene staged to enfold the reserved character of Juliette Binoche, into a magnanimous witch like mythological creature claiming what is rightfully hers through open dark long hairs that gives you the chills which you won't be able to recover from. These tiny moments, is where Claire Denis's, the co-writer and director, heart lies, she expresses metaphors through personifying on the screen and with a get out clause that comes by deeming the film of sci-fi genre, she visually colors it all bright, at times eye-stretching, but at least clear.

While the film distracts you with jaw dropping graphics, the characters are ignored, in fact, by the writers themselves. With no romance between the characters or any development as an individual one, Denis wants us to stay in this inescapable prison. Floating in a spatial bubble so blatantly, there are no bars held on projecting the envisioned theories, it comes with a price as it makes you cringe your body but also marks a vital note on the rule sheet.

Which begs the question, is that exaggerated version necessary to strike fear upon our hearts or is it a manipulative strategy to create a jarring impact? I always thought that as a creator, you are to describe the stakes, maybe Denis should have lowered that bar beforehand. Robert Pattinson never fully cloaks his father figure persona, no hazmat suits or empathy could help him give a boost in this anti-gravity system that may not have the very existence of life and yet claims it High Life- a typical, learning to run before it can walk, case, admirable yet not excusable.

Missing Link
Missing Link(2019)

Butler has made a longer than twenty minutes of a sitcom episode, it is light and public opinionated, it is going to get the attention, it is made to.

Missing Link

Butler's love story is not of the epic scale its theme suggests, it is more rich and high in its poem than it is or should have been electrifying. But then everything is left until the very last moment, whether it be then uplifting conversations or the punchline in the storytelling. Speaking of which, the humor isn't as smooth as it was in The Kubo And The Two Strings, there is a lot of extra effort that is to be dragged. While the rest of the effort is spent upon contradicting your opinion or expectations on how or where the film and characters are leading towards. Ironically, in order to do so, Chris Butler, the writer-director, has somehow managed to spring in that same fragrant flower that we all adore but also are familiar to.

The only possible way to reach for the "get out" clause in such a situation is to derive a maturity that would make him bulletproof. And pinning down the sequence where the lead, the protagonist, is helping his friend from falling into the sea, that very moment paints the poised nature of the film where it doesn't appeal to its viewers with irrelevant and incongruent flight jumps or heroic moments to draw in the gasps but stays true to the narration that makes sense in this loud train of summer blockbuster.

Personally, it would always be a love story for me, and not between two individuals, but one personality split into two diversely behaved men, shaved and not so shaved. The mirror like persona that they carry is a beauty to behold, with two separate paths leading to a rendezvous point which is then evolved into the "Home Sweet Home", is the Missing Link that they solve through shuffling the priorities, it starts off as the tale of "The One" and negotiates with us into the "We" type of allegory.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Reed and Rudd are finally pulling the same joke, what is extracted is a much more resonant message.

Ant-Man And The Wasp

Reed is literally improvising, in both the set and I compare to his previous installment, and this time, finally, in sync with Paul Rudd, the content that they nod to and have passed it as their "all-in" bet, is a humble brag worth exploring for its empathy and not the laughs. There are very few films that moves with such zip and especially when they have a light humor and higher stakes on their side, this feels like a week day in the superhero community. And if we look at it as the part of the MCU series, and we should always, it is the perfect after party to the jarring impact left by Josh Brolin in Infinity War.

Besides how often do you see a superhero running away in order to not get scolded by a teacher? The first half is basically knocking on each character's door, where the cards are revealed up front about everything and everyone, no matter how hard they try, "come on, man I thought you were cool." exhales Rudd to Laurence Fishburne. Unlike other Marvel chapters, the humor comes in smooth and never feels like they are going out of their way, even when they are, "It's a truth serum." gets its own arc.

One of the major disappointment is, not the build up of dramatic scenes or the tease that Peyton Redd, the director, lacks in his vocab, but the antagonist which makes us feel exactly like the writers were feeling whilst writing it down, still trying to figure her way out, The Ghost, is dead at basically anything. This entirely daughter-love driven content never fully grasps the momentum it should carry, the only relationship that comes out with the "World's Best Grandma" trophy, is of Rudd and Abby Ryder Fortson who should have been his partner and instead it is Ant-Man And The Wasp.

Avengers: Infinity War

Brolin is getting the icing of the cake, but then he deserves it, with such an absorbing nuanced performance, he breathes meaning into these loud behemoth battles.

Avengers: Infinity War

Russo Brothers recites a profound poetry in this heist of gems. Infinity Stones they call it, we, antics to step upon, or more accurately to sacrifice upon. This game of chess is as fun as it would be to watch one. With sacrifices subsequently dashing across the herd of multiple plots, the textbook 1-0-1 tricks of chess, is their way in. A pawn for a pawn and a Queen for a pawn, taking heavy awe-gasping non-affordable losses, Earth's mightiest heroes, has that one emotional punch left in their bags, which works every time despite of your awareness of its manipulative nature.

After going through a great deal of chapters, their magic trick wasn't the disappearance of your favourite face cards but the build up or the origin of their construction that led us here, THIS works because THAT did, Downey regretted his actions (Favreau's Iron Man) and made mistakes (Whedon's Age Of Ultron), that is why the birth of his gadgets and attitude towards this alienated phenomenon touched the ultimate membership of the rare 2 billion club. The writing is incredibly inspiring when it comes to blend in these many characters- which hasn't been done to this scale, although Soderberg's smoothness is yet impenetrable- but unfortunately it is also the one with the most mistakes, where you can clearly see that they sew in the missing links with poor cloth material later on in the production and called it "improvisation"- humor is not that necessary, especially the off putting references that disenchants the viewers from this mythology.

To be fair, even the structure of the film is above the safe formulaic method of MCU, with Josh Brolin at the centre of the narration, his invasion in each act of our heroes "turns the leg to jelly" and keeps the urgency alive and vulnerability, turned to 11, that you feel as he picks up each of our beloved caped saviour in the air, where the contrast of the power he oozes is impeccably nobel. But I think it is the confidence in his walk, his body language so stiff like it's views that you are molded and convinced in joining his family dinner party that will spiral out not some bickering but an Infinity War.

Thor: Ragnarok
½

Waititi has a housewarming party for the Asgradians with food and entertainment so rich, everyone gets to have a good time.

Thor: Ragnarok

Waititi is the surprising exotic vacation in this MCU. It is sunny and breezy in the realm of Asgard where the idea of mockery colors it like a phoenix for Chris Hemsworth who has been working hard in his subsequently failing chapters. It took them two major losses and Taika Waititi, the director, to finally get a clear vision of this "Lord Of Thunder" with sparkly fingers, of course. By taking itself not seriously, it takes a tremendous amount of effort, and Waititi walks that fine line and doesn't let the "joke" overpower the kinetic energy the film contains.

It starts off by literally make a tomfoolery out of its previous installments, by pointing out the elephant in the room, the storyline criticizes its own flaws making it impossible to blame for anything. Hemsworth, finally gets the feet tapping rhythm, and as he claims that the character eventually grew into himself to a certain extent, it makes it easy for him to portray and simple for us to swallow. But for me, the film would always be of the guest appearances, there are aplenty and they are just fun. From Benedict Cumberbatch to Jeff Goldblum, these hilarious distractions is what crisps up the hefty part of the material.

Cate Blanchett, as the first female antagonist in this franchise, strikes fear appropriately but what's absorbing is the equation of her with Hemsworth, where the train of battles are spiraled out by proving their superiority in a sibling rivalry, the honesty of it is bizarrely genius. Tom Hiddleston is hosted aptly by the writers for the first time, while on the other hand, Mark Ruffalo gets to share a few laughs with a drunken and fierceful Tessa Thompson whose innocent relationship plasters a broad smile on our face, in this dark critical time that mythology claims it to be an inevitable natural disaster called Ragnarok and Hemsworth a way out.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Watts has a great team, Holland, in the film, does not, he swings out as a hero without the "the one" clause.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Watts is in safe hands and the franchise in his. Most probably because he has more than five writers contributing majorly on developing a light hearted durable version of our friendly neighbor, that has lately been changing. With these many comic writers, that are mostly averted from their sitcom works for this huge banner film that has actually seen fame through this very character back in 2002, John Watts is simply following the rule, to a degree that his world that revolves around teenagers couldn't even be bratty properly, what a shame.

Revisiting one of the most successful superhero in the box office may not be a good idea, but somehow those filters that bars the imagination of the makers also makes them bulletproof. The history won't repeat itself, and Kevin Feige who has previously worked in the original Tobey Maguire trilogy, clears out all the speculations we have had of this character over the ages. Just freeing those limitations itself helps flow the narration with a quick pace and before you know it, you are having a serious talk with Aunt May played with an hip and happening attitude by Marisa Tomei.

But there is no point involving supporting characters in here, for even the writers never glances twice at them, and this is where the film stands alone in this franchise. Even for a brief period, each of the chapter in MCU feels obliged to include the supporting characters in narration but here, Peter Parker is the target and.. bullseye. For a film of more than two hours, Tom Holland runs on merit and pulls off an entire film on his shoulders, with a compelling performance that shifts according to the tone or maybe he himself controls the tone, after a major fiasco NYC's heartthrob returns home in this Homecoming.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
½

Gunn is high on humor, low on creativity, this mixed bag of feelings is good to look and good to feel.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Gunn is one of those deity of the world that he creates, that puts a specific, almost signature impression in his films which can not be replaced or recreated. Almost Tim Burton like is his world and instead of humanizing the cartoonish element, he speaks through music. And this time, although he stretches a bit much to express the momentum of the scene, there is a beautiful narration involved in these harmony. And yes, it usually does, but here Kurt Russell verbally explains his inspiring revelation- or so he thinks- through a song where he spirals out his plan while wording its lyrics, Brandy (You're a fine girl) is a vital character in the film. James Gunn, the writer-director doesn't have anything new to offer in this chapter, but then come to think of it, neither he did on his previous adventure.

His world on the other hand, is rich in details as it justifies the genre sci-fi completely, from the way a planet reproduces generations to the rituals these outlaws religiously follow, swooping in each character's perspective- especially Groot's since he doesn't have anything personal going on in this volume- Gunn keeps us engage with bright colors and spectacular visuals that may feel short handed yet are easily negotiable.

The primary reason, this second expedition fails so poorly is the core introduced character that Russell portrays which is so annoyingly predictable and one dimensional that it sinks even Chris Pratt along with it. And surprisingly the reprising characters have much more luminous to say, Bradley Cooper's character gets more depth and Michael Rooker, a satisfying arc with Dave Bautista sharing few laughs with no one but himself. Pretty much in its early stage, Groot- an innocently motivated adolescent- is staged in a moral dilemma of befriending an enemy to help his friend, this feeling is what's left with you at the end of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, we as an audience are compromising.

Doctor Strange
½

Derrickson has head spinning schemes and the whiplash you get is not your average painful regret but a breath of fresh air.

Doctor Strange

Derrickson has a spooky image when it comes to filmmaking but contradicting everyone's expectations, his entry on MCU is the simplest, smoothest and sanest of all. It makes sense. Period. That should have been his job and he made it his until you nod to the most senseless argument of all; not the visual effects, no, never. They make more sense than you'd expect it to be, even when there is an entire world flipped upside down; literally, Scott Derrickson, the co-writer and director, maps out an intricate puzzle for us to solve that is not just a delightful but an overwhelming experience. The writing is balanced on all the aspects, the physical sequences, visual galores, enlightening conversations and humor, so smooth and smartly weaved out where laugh goes unnoticed unlike any other chapter of this franchise.

So balanced is the writing that Benedict Wong gets a final laugh, Rachel McAdams- the respect, Chiwetel Ejiofor- a clean direction and Michael Stuhlbarg- an opportunity. But above all Tilda Swinton's captivating performance of a truly wise saint digs deeper than even Benedict Cumberbatch could. She pleads and cries like a four year old and blesses, "Death is what gives life meaning." and you THEN completely surrender to her sorcery.

There is a jarring impact on your emotions when her voice stutters in a disappointment, not in others, no she regrets and criticizes her own inadequacies. Cumberbatch, as the inflated egoistic mastermind with of course superiority complex, comes in handy for him, his years of practice in breathing life to Sherlock Holmes has given him a partial boost, but as the film ages, you discover how different he is from the previously cloaked version of him, and that journey is intentional and frankly a curvy joyous ride- observing Doctor Strange with an awe.

Captain America: Civil War
½

Russo Brothers are six-pack energy drink full, the after party is too much and fortunately the phrase, the more the merrier, against all logic, works.

Captain America: Civil War

Russo Brothers is painting the best of what this franchise can and does offer. This peak of MCU pulls every cat out of the bag they can, with political correctness that it breathes and a thrilling blood for blood revenge that it dwells on. This sci-fi genre that MCU has been claiming it so arrogantly uptill now comes alive in this final chapter of Steve Rogers. The film is not only confident but thought provoking where the makers being aware of the influence of these characters over the decades, crafts into the storytelling wisely; one of the primary reason why Zack Snyder's Dawn Of Justice fails to communicate with its momentum.

What Joss Whedon failed to do in Age Of Ultron, Russo Brothers, the directors, does it with such ease that the previous chapter seems like a joke. The depth that this film breeds in this accused franchise is impeccable in context to the passion of finally even attempting to raise bigger questions that not only puts its banner on trial but also exhales satire in those dinner table conversations. "..and conflict breeds catastrophe" so obvious is that conversation yet so enlightening on reaping the flag with a propaganda written in bold for each character in that room that may or may not emit their views.

"It must be hard to shake the whole double agent thing, huh?" whips Downey to Johansson that has a much more gasping effect than any of the staged battles in the film. Probably the most underrated antagonist in the franchise, all his clips edited and sprinkled on the storyline is much more nuanced that your usual scenarios in MCU, "there is a little green in your blue eyes.." he concludes and you know then and there with a satisfying feeling that the film has succeeded along with Daniel Bruhl that spirals out what they call it Civil War, he, an empire fallen.

Ant-Man
Ant-Man(2015)
½

Reed keeps throwing away the opportunity and Rudd keeps pulling it back in, this tug of war is pure fun.

Ant-Man

Reed's comic book film is more like a high budget-ed season finale of a sitcom. There is levity in its body language that seems God gifted. While the actual reason is, of course, co-writers like Edgar Wright and Adam McKay and Paul Rudd himself, along with the director Peyton Reed whose previous project has been of such genre. And yes, as far as the film cares for the joke, the punch line, it is of course difficult to beat this chapter, I think it would even surpass the second Iron Man. But there is always so much they can give in on humor, especially with a banner as big as of Marvel whose film evidently goes to places where not the average one does. And packing this mixture of diverse genre is where this Christmas gift goes wrong.

There are so many moments where you can see the lack of awareness between the screen time and the script, for instance, after Rudd finally manages to conjure the art of commanding an army of ants, the family drama that is ensued seems out of place, maybe the director's cut has the answer for it. The now-ripped Rudd fits right into the role from self-created quirkiness to how-to-train on a training montage, his carefree attitude still cracks me up.

But only until, Michael Pena hadn't arrive with a referential talk that he does so casually, his inevitability on not-evolving as a character is the best arc to it. Speaking of evolution, Evangeline Lilly never gets to experience that nor does Michael Douglas, in that case, their family drama despite of the past they have been through, seems monotonous and poorly crafted. Ant-Man is not a title nor a concept that would convince you to barge in on their heist, but once you do, your lazy bones would go stronger and you'd know that the film had succeeded in its entirety.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Whedon exits this group with a half grinned face after getting an applause for an admirable attempt.

Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Whedon is both straining and stretching it. For a brief period you ARE fooled, in believing that there is a lot going on, on this prodigious IMAX screen. But this misty figure will reveal itself and it is one big disappointment dressed in a bling-y superhero costume with gadgets so smooth and powers so unfathomable that it would giddy up the fans for more. But in this people-pleasing gold-digging chapter that is not only overstuffed with characters but also with irrelevant one-liners, the missing vital puzzle is the zip of the flow that its previous chapter was brimmed of.

With antics set oddly and the battles staged that can spiral out a heated debate in a bar, the purpose that drives all these characters into the battlefield seems outdated, overthought out and utterly complex in its malleability, yet eventually leads to the same old event that we had previously been part of. Joss Whedon, the writer and director, whose incongruent direction that somewhat made its previous chapter questionable, has clearly ran out of luck by this time. What this chapter does most importantly is shine the light on Downey's arc on this franchise, by this chapter, we can easily see that not only is he the nucleus of the group, but how rich the character gets as each side of his perspective puppets this cold world.

"We're mad scientist" he schemes with Ruffalo and there is an eye popping revelation that is cathartic for us as viewers. The antagonist is frankly dull, contradicting itself for few laughs, James Spader fails to shake the "Earth's mightiest heroes" which by the way Elizabeth Olsen does it in a snap!- no.. that was close. Jeremy Renner finally gets his mojo back with something to say that is both a criticism to itself and honest and as his speech grows longer quoting, "this doesn't make any sense.." it somehow does just not to the people residing in an Age Of Ultron.

Guardians of the Galaxy
½

Gunn and Pratt sticks out a branch in this infamous franchise that has the essence of friendship in its root.

Guardians Of The Galaxy

Gunn has made a family drama. This space isn't filled with pew-pew guns anymore- not technically!- it focuses on gritty 1-0-1 textbook drama that ought to warm you in this train of cold superhero blockbusters. James Gunn, the co-writer and director, of this surprise entry in the MCU world is every bit of fun as it doesn't sound. With new writers, director, actors and probably the least familiar characters of Marvel, this franchise has managed to work on merit and as they claim it, an "awesome" soundtrack. Gunn's film is filled with pop songs, his passion for music drives the script for the most part of it, in fact you can filter out those moments, some might call it an unpolished or unfinished job I'd like to call it an homage to "the greatest movie ever" Footloose.

Chris Pratt as the "Star-Lord"- a heartwarming name that has its own arc- is as good as the butt of the joke is, in a sketch show. He can never carry the whole show, yet the act would be incompetent without him and his major support and Gunn's trump card, is a raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper. Not only has the character an appropriate depth that any writer would die to have for, but with three dimensional perspective on his views that he shares through a dogmatic edgy humor in his vocab, "you are making me beat up grass.." he remains light headed with a deep voice.

Zoe Saldana never gets to complete her purpose or justify her existence contrary to what her performance says, and so does fall Dave Bautista under that section along with heart swooning Vin Diesel as Groot whose predictability is a double edge sword. Guardians Of The Galaxy is fast with a killer track that makes your feet groove with banal sense of humor and its approach to the sincerest plot points, are they ingenious or game-changing, I think it doesn't matter.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
½

Russo Brothers replaces the throne after appointing Chris Evans as their unbeatable knight.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Russo Brothers takes this franchise to a whole new level. And luckily- as Kevin Feige reported- and surprisingly this stage is politically correct and blow horns the society with an evidently essential message. Anthony and Joe Russo, the directors, have managed to blend in all the genres i.e. from humor to drama and from politics to action, but the way they paint sci-fi is inspiring, not for the highly rich detailing but how thought provoking it is. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the writers, as mentioned, fuels on the elements of the film and not the antics. No matter how MCU textbook formulaic the film is, the antics are distraction and what I love above all, is that the Russo Brothers too categorizes it as one big hokum.

Either fast forwarding the jibber-jabber or installing humor in it, they butter up the medicinal part of the script. Chris Evans suits up for the third time and yet this feels like a birth. Probably, for the fact that Russo Brothers are themselves the fan of this righteous man. And they are well aware of the fact that he is probably the most easiest character to connect and communicate with, from his references- yes, they are outdated, yet familiar- to his action sequences that are more mano-y-mano than you'd usually get.

The key to glorifying these films was to craft it into an espionage thriller and the result is as its banner claims to be "marvelous". Robert Redford, as their trump card delivers with pretty much straight forward attitude all the way through his track. The antagonist Sebastian Stan does make you clench your jaw with a loud yelling-like background score where Anthony Mackie gets overshadowed and Scarlett Johansson stays far away to beat her own drums after introducing the nickname The Winter Soldier for him.

Thor: The Dark World

Hemsworth and Hiddleston mourning for another loss, another weak chapter.

Thor: The Dark World

Taylor is an improvement. But that's not saying a lot is it? This Asgard is much more stylish and has a somewhat similar pace to its predecessor, the only positive aspect of the film. With an "in and out" mission executing from both the sides of the coin, Alan Taylor is unfortunately not bringing anything new on the table. The levity is taken granted for, so is its royalty. Despite of possessing neat polished set pieces, the script is still chalky enough to swallow it all in one. Still no romance between the characters, that results in an undesired physical distance with the audience. There is no reason or a fragment of this world that convinces us to feel empathy towards it, no emotions are felt, no hearts touched.

I would also blame the society that is created in here and even the characters envisioned along with the gadgets and the mobiles, every tiny detail of this apparently "dark world" is originated with something of ours, and yet they behave unconventionally to a degree that you, as an audience, feel alienated. Chris Hemsworth revisiting his character is decent enough on the ground he is given, there is yet a missing puzzle to be solved in both his character and performance.

Desperate attempts to include Natalie Portman in the narration, makes it more vulnerable since she barely is anything beyond a pawn in this visual galores chess. If anyone that shines above all, is once again, Tom Hiddleston as the God of Mischief, his tricks are predictable yet reliable. The primary reason why both of these Hemsworth chapters fail, is the inadequacy of the antagonist to cast a spell on us, you are neither threatened or concerned, their presence is an inescapable commercial obligation that is written with capitals alongside Thor: The Dark World.

Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3(2013)
½

Black and Downey reunited for no kiss but tons of bang; almost loud enough to drown out other voices.

Iron Man Three

Black definitely goes back to early filmmaking tactics. Scoffing off all the pop culture references and not including an analogous rhythm in the system, there is an admiring obligation that he feels towards his viewers. Shane Black, the co-writer and director, ought to and has to justify his characters by giving them enough reasons and room to pitch in, no matter what and how big a price he has to pay, he takes it with a big smile on his face. In the previous chapter of Favreau, the humor was turned to 11, and even though compared to it, it still is low and smooth, it also is questionable at times in here.

Personally, I feel that this is MCU's biggest threat, contrary to popular opinion, this double edged sword might one day consume a film in its sweetness. Take the last act, for instance, Downey in a port going mano-y-mano with Guy Pearce and taking heavy losses still keeps a certain levity in his vocab. Now, this is something that often happens in this franchise that vigorously rottens its sincerity. These tiny things are accounted, for the game this franchise is now, a mistake like such isn't acceptable.

And not that the film is competent in every other way, in fact, if anything, it sort of is a mirror to the original Favreau chapter, from cornering Downey to prove himself beyond and without his wealth and fame, to still trying to balance him on the edge of the responsibility factor. Don Cheadle gets a much bigger half in the supporting cast, with lots of eye rolling and sarcastic exhales. Excluding the fist fight, Pearce is not a threatening antagonist, nor is Gwyneth Paltrow or Rebecca Hall a decent supporter. Ben Kingsley's character paints the picture with accurate colors, where Downey tries a lot but against all odds, Iron Man Three remains a distraction, a colorful one though.

Marvel's The Avengers
½

Joss Whedon strikes the door hard and what's visible is Kevin Feige's dream team.

The Avengers

Whedon is much better a writer than he is a director. On a scale of McQuarrie, disappointingly Joss Whedon, the director, wouldn't even qualify as one. For when it comes to map the ever longed battles by the fans, he takes things lightly a lot. Whatever glory that bedazzles you on the screen, is a pure feat of bravery on paper not on screen. Too much cheese and too much sweet, his self-earned jaw dropping moments, are spoiled by him by the bitter afterbirth of his fandom. Fortunately, these battles are here as the starters, the main course is the "build-up" to that battle.

Whether then you watch gleefully these characters argue egotistically or see a train of awe-gasping moves by them to overpower each other on screen. There lies a profound poetry between these moments where you can see 8 year old Whedon playing with his toys in his room, creating banal engaging scenarios between Captain and Tony. This crowd pleasing franchise saw the maybe-expected uplift from this chapter, as it managed to bring out every adored content, from humor to drama to juicy visual effects. The dollars were written in the script and so it was visible on screen.

Among all the triumphs of Whedon, his biggest is combining these behemoth figures and weave out a compelling conversation that is worth ten times any battle shown. Downey is the singular actor that comes out with a sigh, his performance isn't interfered by the intertwining of multiple plots, which it seems like it did to others. If aligned the priorities of the makers, the characteristics of the characters that evolves into an essential element in the storytelling, is their way in, for this safe formula wasn't inscrutable enough to convince us that these guys, The Avengers, can avenge.

Captain America: The First Avenger

Chris Evans, with a physique so chiseled, can only carry this sinking ship so far.

Captain America: The First Avenger

Johnston's righteous passage has the key to celebrate his hero. But this hero is clearly in the wrong film. With a surrounding so incongruent to the characters, the visual effects is probably the worst enemy of the film. No matter how emotionally fueled the punches are, the picture that paints this battle pins it down to a more cartoon-ish look. On terms of writing, Christopher Marcus and Stephen McFeely, the screenwriters, who'd also carry the big responsibility of driving the Avengers franchise, had got that knack of installing style in their substance even back then.

Their script doesn't feed off on antics but elements (the challenges that the army keeps piling on, on Chris Evans, those little moments are gem-like), elements so rich and complete in their entirety that plasters a broad smile on our exhausted face every now and then. The entertaining factor isn't served upfront on the table but you have to work for it. For a brief period, when as a mentor a scientist describes the characteristics of Evan to himself, and somehow the film at that very moment seems balanced only to be tripped over by infusing it with humor in latter stages.

Evans as the worthy hero pours his soul into tight clothes, and the result is that it would be difficult for us to see someone else in this role from now on. The supporting actors like Tommy Lee Jones, Sebastian Stan, Hayley Atwell and even Hugo Weaving gets lost into the shadow of Evans, their mikes aren't attached to the speaker that reaches us. Joe Johnston, the director, has a long way to go, especially in tying up all his plots with one string, no hindrance and not an inch of lazy bone in his body, the film ought to have the ingredients that this Captain America: The First Avenger is made of, literally, "..out of a bottle."

Thor
Thor(2011)
½

Kenneth Branagh ignores the romance between the siblings and the film suffers.

Thor

Branagh has a fluent zip in his vocab that can make even a tiresome script look easy. But then, there is always so much he can do. The script whose birth seems more like an obligation than passion can only go so far. The film is a set-up to the big upcoming ergo has very little to stand on.. well, anything. Not only does the script rely upon cliched scenarios with daft one liners, but the irrelevant action on steroids, that may match Hemsworth's behemoth figure, doesn't bode well to the storytelling.

To narrate a tale of hotheads is one thing, but you still have to make sense at times but in here, there are no elements or tactics that drives this rage which each character is brimmed of, nor there is any lines to be read between the scenes, in fact, I think there is barely any editing in here. Natalie Portman, as an intense workaholic scientist is surprisingly funny and light on her feet. From her body language- it is always fascinating to experience the change in energy in the room when Chris Hemsworth takes out his shirt- to her subtle innuendos of leaning towards the god like creature, is some of the pure delights that the film has to offer.

A tourist entering a new arena and trying to blend in on their culture, is the best aspect of Hemsworth's role; something that Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman too goes through, and against all odds he is simply funny. Tom Hiddleston as the jealous trickster breathes commercial cinema in his performance, he craves for those cheesy moments- a loud vein-popping yell or a half ominous grin on his face- and you know what, you still are going to enjoy it, such is his persona on screen that he appeals so eminently and yet they call it Thor.

Iron Man 2
Iron Man 2(2010)
½

At this point, Downey is just having fun, and so do you as far he isn't serious, and when he does the clock unfortunately starts from zero only to tick backwards.

Iron Man 2

Favreau has the perfect comic timing. His revisit on this infamous character is surprisingly funny, passionately dark, yet funny. This underrated chapter of Downey in MCU is diplomatically cinematic and clearly way too mature for its audience. From pulling off a legal subpoena to creating a scenario without any written words (Downey annoyed at the spinning artifact at Paltrow's table), these things aren't encountered in a superhero flick and it is refreshing to see Jon Favreau, the director, extend his hand for the indie cards. But unfortunately, the day is sunny up till the last act arrives. With all the cards shown upfront, the climax is boiled down to a mind-numbing fist fight that has nothing but empty explosive punches in its hand.

The self-elected savior for the people and as Downey agrees once, "Narcissistic" persona, has an engaging and satisfying character development to offer and suffer through- which he still finds it correctly annoying. The new element discovering scene is equivalent to your usual training montage scene or a boy saved personally by his "sung" hero, these cheesy commercial scenes on the other hand often keeps undermining the standard of the film. Scarlett Johansson cloaking on first time, her tight leather suit has probably the dullest choreographed action scene in here, to be honest, at least Favreau packs a humorous punch.

Don Cheadle rebooting Downey's sidekick role is definitely an upgrade along with Gwyneth Paltrow who gets to say much more this time or at least she now can blatantly shut Tony up. Mickey Rourke as the baddie has his best moments with Sam Rockwell who is clearly a juicier antagonist than Rourke. And Robert Downey Jr. philosophizing his tin suit has another careful step taken, no matter how much unhealthy (Donuts) he eats. That very scene where a celebrity at its peak mollifies down to nothing is enough reason to take a peak at this aftermath titled Iron Man 2.

Iron Man
Iron Man(2008)

Downey and Favreau makes sure that these comic books does echo in the library with sharp illuminating sound.

Iron Man

Favreau tames an introductory animal with a smart cookie. When it comes to introduce a safe act on the play, he is the man for the job. Even take The Jungle Book, for instance, he may not have anything new to offer on the table, yet his authenticity comes with a certified and acclaimed label. The director Jon Favreau started this MCU franchise with not a bang but a promising milieu that thrives upon the character no matter how shady and dodgy the storytelling grows. Robert Downey Jr. conjuring this already-loved-by-fans comic character which drives the entire MCU for the most part of it, has an accurately bulletproof arc. Every step of his character spirals out these trains of unheard and thrilling adventures.

And with baby steps in this chapter, Downey is practically always in the lead when it comes to perform on screen, not only due to the substance offered to him to factor in, but his nature of being the attention seeker in the room makes him one of the finest actor; a quality that most probably every actor should have, at least it would make more sense. Jeff Bridges filling in, the stereotypical role of a sinister millionaire casts fear on us through his poised and reserved performance, a fine example of it is when Downey and him shares a press conference and meddles into an argument with a nuanced body language.

Gwyneth Paltrow gets very little to invest on along with Terrence Howard. To be fair, Favreau takes plenty of cheap shots, glorifying revelations with old school background score or even an almost weepy reunion between two friends, but there is a panache in his finesse on editing it to a pragmatic dusty ground. Besides, how often do you see, a so called hero sweat while working hard from the most privileged position, so if he goes rogue and wishes to claim his title, let's just go along with it and call him the Iron Man.

The Crucible
The Crucible(1996)

Lie At Your Own Will.

The Crucible

Hytner would never stutter, not even while revealing such a sensitive matter. But this is sort of an experiment that can only work as much as the project was engrossing on paper. If Nicholas Hytner, the director, deserves all the praise then Arthur Miller, the screenwriter, shares all the love with him. Never has been a courtroom drama so discreet and yet so incredibly sharp on its words. Scoff off the first act along with the climax, let's dive in on the second and the most compelling act of all. This is a pure feat of visionary bohemian work that inspires and challenges, still, plenty of writers to recreate that very magic.

And I've been wondering what made our heart pump faster and blood boil, is it the inadequacy of good guys to prove their innocence or familiar lies that in the form of religion strikes them or just simply Daniel Day-Lewis hitting hard and regretfully on the table as a plea. It is none of that and all of that, but what keeps us at the brisk of our seat is the sense of urgency with which the evil force hits us. And in fact, the entire middle section of the film almost runs on real time that jarrs us more than any content it revolves around.

This peeling of a supernatural force and abuse of one's belief is not only harrowing but also beautifully poetic on terms of how far beyond is this phenomenon stretch in the past to make us question everything. If Daniel, as always, proves to be an impactful factor on storytelling then so does Winona Ryder in her pale devilish looks that scares the bejesus out of you. Personally, I feel Joan Allen in her sensible cloak is much more effective along with Paul Scofield as the unterned, untouched and unfiltered messenger or so he calls himself, that affirmatively puts boundary on each character and The Crucible itself.

Shazam!
Shazam!(2019)

Recite The Passage.

Shazam!

Sandberg has a huge Christmas-calibered gift coming up at the front of his door. DC striking off its streak of fumbles, may still not yet be at its best self, but is fun enough to heat some more popcorns in the box office. This surprise Summer package takes itself seriously in order to not be taken itself seriously. And this Deadpool version of DC will and does get a wider range for its polished PG-13 lexicon and people pleasing concept that basically hovers around the pop culture references i.e. from earning through social media to heating vein popping debate about comic books.

While on the other hand the themes like foster homes and parenting and responsibilities are carried out, the director, David F. Sandberg who is sticking his neck out in here on weaving a tale of a genre that he has never been part of, is the most delightful package among all the powers the film has got. Probably, because no matter how sketchy things go in the storytelling, Sandberg keeps the film to the ground. He doesn't milk out laughs or emotional scenes with an extra effort, it just comes easy to him.

Another major notable work is how he grasps an authentic reaction before jumping in on to other scene, like when Mark Strong- the baddie- ambushes his father's business meeting and creates a havoc in the room, the energy of that room is set practically which makers often forget to do so in a film where activities like flying is normalized to running. If the first act is introductory and the second just mocks around here and there, the third and the biggest act of all is the best. With a long action sequence, that isn't just a feat of CGI colors but is also a part of gripping narrative.

From characters confronting their past to revelations of each other's powers and weakness and from teaming up against the baddie to a well orchestrated battle, this more than half hour of climax amplifies the film to its peak. Zachary Levi as the sort of dream version in a red sparkly skin tight suit is just as bling as his costume is, of course, in a good way. His shaking comic body language and stuttering before uttering one-liners is just as magnanimous as his inflated arm muscles.

On the other side of the door lies Mark Strong as brooding and growling for his character that gets an equal and powerful arc to walk on or fly, feel free. But these actors that relies upon CGI to pack a punch and are- let's be frank- on most of the posters would never be able to create the jarring impact if not for their brilliant younger supporting cast. Each of the family members are whispering their drama lightly and arguing loudly to draw in the laughs, this diverse family is something we can all connect to. Shazam! is actually the magic word that makes DC and their fans sore, look up high, the expectation has grown.

The Last of the Mohicans
½

Cover. Ambush.

The Last Of The Mohicans

Mann's ruffian ideology is undoubtedly tough and on the other hand is incredibly brittle. This political thriller that was aspired to be thought provoking feels like you tuned in a prime time news show that grows into a preaching to the choir tone within its first act. It is a long tiring process that Michael Mann, the co-writers and director, wants you to be a part of, why? Also, I couldn't imagine a film confined in its doomed script to ever come off winning, this wannabe Lawrence Of Arabia lacks the romance between the audience and the character that David Lean made sure his film was fueled of.

On the positive side, the hard work is transparent as water and pays off more than enough when it comes to create these behemoth action set pieces on such a large scale. Michael's passion and Daniel Day-Lewis's skin in the game makes all the effort worth. No matter how many times you find yourself watching the clock, you'd also want to see Daniel pouring his soul in on the magnanimous and generously fierce character. Madeleine Stowe and Russell Means is supporting Daniel and the film thoroughly to reach to a better end.

The script mainly works on the duality of the war and not the characters, and after its first act, the film gets pretty simple and unbearingly hard to watch. There is a lot of political correctness in the film, which unfortunately is turned up a notch that often undermines the emotions these characters go through and its major asset, the one dramatic scene that it all hinges upon is the major victim of this disease. The Last Of The Mohicans feels more like an Oscar bait than a deep dive on a rich Americana culture.

Ghost Dog - The Way of the Samurai

A Melting Ice Cream Cone.

Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai

Jarmusch has an exonerating comic book quality. Dipped in an ancient cultural theme, Jim Jarmusch, the writer and director, accounts in all these events and ideologies for a clean easy action drama flick. This is a quality product, not a thought provoking drama, but incredibly rich in details, where there are barely any words spoken. Jarmusch also uses animals like dogs and bears and pigeons and even woodpecker to explain the spookiness. Addition to that, he also adds a cartoon-ish world in all the television scenarios to express the guns duels or how a girl welcomes all the birds in her house.

But amongst all these metaphors, the one where Forest Whitaker observes a hunter being hunted by the victim, somehow paints the picture of the entire film. This employer gone wrong to the employee case, might be old but the heat extracted from that very ripped off storyline is a breath of fresh air. Another brilliant installation is of his unexpected relation with a girl and the ice cream seller. The girl whom he teaches by giving her a book to read somehow links and encircles all the character where the book is passed upon.

The parchment is every now and then displayed with some sort of profound poetry and a useful piece of information for an insight in the character's perspective as Whitaker is not your talkative neighbor. Whitaker in this conserved brooding character charges at you with fear and a lot of empathy with his love for innocent beings, whether it be coming then from his read and applied books or just his nature. Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai is similar to its slick homemade gadget, sharp and precise in its work, Jim means nothing but business in his new territory.

Broken Flowers

Behold These Words And Rejoice The Tears.

Broken Flowers

No one can be as transparent as Jarmusch himself. He documents the behavior of each character like some observationalist from a wildlife research center that is fascinated by humans' simple and banal thought process. From head to toe, this is a home run, not only is the concept so irrationally relevant but the narration so fluid and confident in its character, that you are practically giddy up for more of the sketchiness of this imaginative world. And at the throne sits Bill Murray as a non reactive persona that has very little emotion on his face.

And if you somehow find any, it definitely is a negative one, either being exhausted by his lifestyle or eyes rolled expression with rolling his eyes. Murray whose companion is an idiot box, is Jim Jarmusch's probably the greatest creation of all. Since, Murray is underwhelmed by possibly everything, it gets easy for Jarmusch to hit its audience with an adrenaline rush when he finally accepts his fate to be moved by ongoing events. There are lots of supporting characters in here, to a degree that they can be called guest appearance.

From Tilda Swinton to Jessica Lange, from Julie Delpy to Jeffrey Wright and from Frances Conroy to Chloe Sevigny, all these A list starers lives up to the hype their name comes with, personally I felt Sharon Stone's hilarious body language puts the film in a whole new track. The writing is more expressive when there aren't verbal sparring, and yes it is a sort of script that completely relies upon the performance but then, Murray is not going to let you down, not with Jarmusch assisting him so freely. Broken Flower has an addictive fragrance, where the quality of the humor is so magnanimous that those laughs can make you sad, not crestfallen but cathartic.

The Age of Innocence
½

Love That Travels Bad.

The Age Of Innocence

Scorsese has that knack of being an outlaw even in a period piece as such. A love story set in the backdrop of a 19th century, the love factor is transpired as a wicked disease that rottens the core of oneself that questions. Yet, there is a certain coziness in their body language, when Daniel Day-Lewis and Michelle Pfeiffer first encounter each other awkwardly, Martin Scorsese's- the co writer and director- target lies on a play going on in that room. That very play helps a lot in setting up the scenes, and despite of having a narrator in storytelling, Scorsese uses one of his best asset, Daniel, for introducing his point on the table.

Often when such a long film, that covers a lot of years from jumping one incident to another, tends to lose the grasp over the audience and for a brief period it does so, but Scorsese being himself, pulls out his trump card Winona Ryder that he has been keeping aside for the first half. Presumably, the reason why Winona comes off a lot powerful than any other, is that she is alone for the most part of the film. Daniel and Michelle fights against themselves to not unite together, while Winona takes away all the big chips.

The monologues in the film are crucial to both, the makers and the actors, and this early cinema vibe that it offers, feels like a Sunday morning. You don't often see a vein popping, throat bulging, red turning face on the screen when the actors fight so passionately against each other. The Age Of Innocence is similar to the play, that these characters are moved with in the film, all drama with a pinch of romance, this is old textbook filmmaking at its best.

The Boxer
The Boxer(1997)

A Love Punch.

The Boxer

Sheridan's sport drama isn't sporty at all. There is definitely hard work in here, but all the guns are aimed towards the aspiration of creating a big wallop of emotional drama that swoops in every political satire in this romantic tale. Now, as you can see, this is a culmination of multiple genre and unfortunately only romance soars above all. The reason being, an amazing lead cast, if Daniel Day Lewis is amiable to the tears of Emily Watson, then so is she to his gut wrenching punches. Combining it, they make one good cinematic couple facing and running away from their past. Fortunately, to cover in all the grounds, the film doesn't just focus on their perspective, the supporting characters too consume the screen time for the justification of their deeds.

Take Brian Cox for instance, his character that never helms charge in the film up till the last act, may seem like your average set up of a pawn-like stereotypical antagonist with money and power in his hand. Another surprising package that keeps giving us is Emily's nuanced performance that gets in on the ring through practical insertions like a fearful mother and a wife and more importantly an adolescent lover that as a past haunts her.

And in the end, it is all for the man himself, Daniel who is there in the ring himself, struggling and resisting his love towards Emily and a dodgy familiar arena that he adores and calls "home". Jim Sheridan, the co-writer and director, is often milking stuff, among this two hour of journey, there is somewhere a good one hour film that needed a better coaching. The Boxer is a hot headed fellow, easily swooned in and boiled up, unfortunately the makers couldn't manipulate it better to make it survive the 12th round.

Reality Bites

Hard And Simple.

Reality Bites

Stiller's hip and happening love track for the younger audience is mature on projecting the hardcore truth of a 20s lifestyle where the troubles are dug up if they don't exist. From practically fumbling and often cheesy conversation to a gripping screenplay, Helen Childress, the writer oozes a slick style for a larger appeal. But if there is your usual hokum of a love triangle, then there is also genuine warmth and familiarity that Leliana (Winona Ryder) goes through for her career searching for an opportunity wolfishly, that gives an unexpected and required depth to this storyline.

There is also a sense of urgency in, the director, Ben Stiller's lexicon to present the 20s mindset which is often quick and comes with less effort. Winona Ryder in the lead steals all the charm, she literally snatches it away from others, even when Ethan Hawke recites a whistle blowing and heart swooning one liners, her eyes staring him seeking for innocence, speaks more than he is allowed to. But mind you, it doesn't suggest in any way, that Hawke is just going to sit by, he has a bigger hand and so what if it is flawed, it gives him a three dimensional perspective.

And between these love birds, Stiller comes in from a mechanical world where rules are everything and art often forgotten, and with his performance you can easily see that, he doesn't hold back on expressing his "sorry"(s). In its final act, after Stiller has got you in his beautiful web of lies, the way he juggles these characters and our emotions, it definitely lives up to the hype when the last act lives up to its "climactic" title. Reality Bites, yes, but there is still enough chocolate for us to share with others and cherish it with a broad plastered smile.

Quiz Show
Quiz Show(1994)

The Applause Sign.

Quiz Show

Redford's show is more choreographed for me than it is rigged. And boy what a dance it is, it fiddles with well coordinated multiple characters that puts an elegant and corrupted show on the screen. The director Robert Redford has long productive procedure, that is more thought provoking than it is gripping. And this is where the film wins all the points, with a nail biting personal and emotional crisis that puts you right on the trial is not an experience you usually get. Even the courtroom drama doesn't go accordingly. Redford wisely builds up the entire film to a definite scenario and then when it reaches its last stage, he shakes up the entire base or premise of that topic.

And this vulnerable, hanging in the middle, feeling is a delightful to behold. What was a fight of good vs. evil, is now evolved into something beyond a personal vendetta or the glory that everyone is snatching to conquer it in this show business. And this juxtaposition of an entertaining field as such and what it represents is beautifully colored in the final note of the film. Paul Attanasio's adapted screenplay criticizes its own skillful script, and manages to "check and mate" himself out.

Ralph Fiennes is force to be reckoned with, as he accepts all the undeserved fame but his true self bubbles up in a glossy champagne glass when his father played by Paul Scofield goes head to head, it can leave you shook at the brisk of your seat as they peel each other off naked on screen. The other supporting cast has done a decent work where John Turturro stands alone for his acting that is basically on steroids. Quiz Show is less of a show than it pretends to be, this pack of gusto will make you think twice, before you tune in any show, from now on.

Dumbo
Dumbo(2019)
½

A Flight Gone Awry.

Dumbo

Burton's live action Disney take on an emotionally driven circus act is profoundly dull. Probably, this has always been the risk that Tim Burton's (the director) sketchy cartoonish world comes with. Even looking at his previous projects, you can easily say that each of the visual galores could have gone wrong. But it is that fine analysation of emotion that Burton personifies on a screen with one dimensional characters; that makes it, against all odds, much better. So when you hear about the collaboration of Burton and Disney, you would think that it is a match made in heaven. Unfortunately, you are going to lose that bet, for carrying out such a wallop of drama, he has decided to surf above it, in fact hover around it, but will not and does not get his hand dirty.

There is no string attached to the storytelling, no thread to link them all, ironically in a concept where everyone is rooting for one innocent character. You feel physically distant with this world, not when it tries to brag about its cookiness but when expresses the humane qualities. Although, for a brief period, it does get your feet taping in rhythm, but the credit goes to the "teamwork" theme that Disney has been endorsing since ages.

The performance is decent coming from Danny DeVito as a goofy manager and Nico Parker as a sweet host of the storyline. And on the other hand, major contenders like Colin Farrell as an over brooding post war hero, Eva Green as the dame and Michael Keaton as a stereotypical evil billionaire fails to make our heart pump fast. Dumbo is not the example to put on a table full of love letters to Disney films, what humanized the animated version in the early 40s, is alienated vigorously by shattering our childhood memories.

The Beach Bum

A Small Boat And A Bigger Man.

The Beach Bum

Korine's vacation gone wrong case wouldn't factor in on his carefree attitude, if anything it should be more fun for him. A dogmatic anecdote to possibly any crisis, is called being ignorant, but it is that long procedure where a character so subtle as Moondog (Matthew McConaughey) is not easy to deconstruct or simplify. And this wild ride deserves a character so rich and three dimensional. Similar to Steven Knight's Serenity- McConaughey's previous film- the film is jarringly fascinating enough to lure you in for a deep dive, no matter how banal things turn out to be later, for a brief period it will show you something that not ordinarily films does.

And this also could have easily been its downfall, since the storytelling is high all the time, it could be difficult for the makers to create an arc on a dramatic point that is actually the peak of the film. Fortunately, the writer-director Harmony Korine has smartly invested a vivid and eerie empathy in Moondog for us to vote for him effervescently among the contenders given to us. This longingly hilarious cloak that McConaughey has been dying to put on in his acting career is foliated with a broad smile in his face, smooth voice and flamboyant body language throughout the film.

The supporting characters like Snoop Dogg and Isla Fisher have funny gags to invest while Jonah Hill, despite of sharing a few laughs, gets a more pragmatic character to play- of course compared to these non-sober personalities. In fact, the first act of the film, where the characters are introduced and equation formed with the Moondog, all these first visits remains the highlight of the film. The Beach Bum is confined in an impenetrable cell and yet it never grows dark, justifiably pathos and one long drag, but never cringingly dark, and no, the light whimsical background score has got nothing to do with it.

Born To Be Blue
½

Art Over Anything.

Born To Be Blue

Budreau is reaching for something beyond his reach. After the dust settles, it somehow might be beneficial for him, but there is a void so remarkably unavoidable that sucks out all the fun from the room decimated by Ethan Hawke as Chet Baker humming couple of tunes. Its greatest trick that the entire structure hinges upon isn't its best asset, if anything it might be off putting, the tease in the game is meant for a greater appeal and not the punch line of the joke. Fortunately, the screenwriter and director, Robert Budreau wins long before the last act is staged.

The real romance of the film actually looks like a long hand of tennis match, where both Hawke and Carmen Ejogo keeps ping pong-ing each other for the laughs and attention. But amidst all that, the caped approval of both these actors is what makes us nod into their rhythm. This fast paced screenplay is enfolding layer by layer with a steady pace but unfortunately there isn't anything in the next page, so informative or bedazzling enough to sync the level of maturity the performance has to offer.

Hawke in his red unblinking eyes and crooked teeth, expresses loneliness in his body language even when he shares the screen with his better half. As much as reserved Hawke is, Ejogo is equally generous, she puts a lot into the table, competent for both of them, their chemistry is like of a 50 year old married couple in the very honeymoon period of their relationship. Contrary to popular belief, Budreau's world is the apt anecdote of the mixture of art and social lifestyle which it manages to teeter throughout the film. Born To Be Blue has the lyrics for the Ethan Hawke, by the Ethan Hawke and of the Ethan Hawke- it doesn't always have to make sense.

In a Valley of Violence
½

A Love Letter Burned To Ashes.

In A Valley Of Violence

West believes on doing a good job, no matter how B grade the work is. This Sergio Leone-isc style of his, practically whispers his love for the western genre. Call it a sincere homage or an open love letter to those Eastwood films, it locks and loads gun like they used to in the old days. The sharp sound effects that amplifies every step or a knock on the wood or an echo of a fired bullet or a horse ridden in a hot dry land, every aspect of it defines the genre it claims to be, along with the opening title and the eerie zoom-in of the camera.

The John Wick of the western world is the plot and surprisingly the style matches the background score it has got, with a competitive nature that each character is brimmed off, the hot-head world isn't balance at all, but then it sort of is the premise of this valley. And cloaking on this John Wick suit, is Ethan Hawke in Ti West's evidently and meant to be unoriginal film. Hawke enrages you with his cold looks coming from warm escapist familiar eyes where he is told to carry on the film with nothing but power and anger, not his forte to be honest, but this theater artist never disappoints.

If Hawke is left alone on the screen, John Travolta on the receiving end is dependent to someone else. He is always sharing the screen, the references he makes while justifying the deeds, even the plans he makes in attempt to kill Hawke. Personally, I feel connected with the most cinematic and practical character of all, Taissa Farmiga who leans in towards Hawke as part of an obligation that shines a complete honest light on her trajectory and how she must have survived In A Valley Of Violence.

Predestination

A Guy Walks Into A Bar.

Predestination

Spierig Brothers are creating havoc on screen as far as they are teasing us with the romance. And there is a whole lot of electric charge between Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook. So innocently sinister is their love, that it describes the entire film within that one conversation. To be fair that one conversation takes most of the time, in fact the first half, but this has always been Hawke's forte. There is no one that can talk like him on screen. He looks at her with an attractive fire in his eyes and you sink deep in the film. The Spierig Brother, screenwriters and directors, are playing a safe game by doing so, since the rest of the film is a basic time jump from one place to another, the first half is soothingly calm and harrowing equally.

Sarah Snook that goes through a physical transformation is exceptionally good in her portrayal to a degree that she challenges Hawke blatantly when they go head to head in a bar. There aren't any big themes explored in here, just so that if you are expecting, which works surprisingly in its favor. As we have experienced before too, in order to do so, it can come off as a big misconstrued hotchpotch that dulls our palette.

It promises an engaging time travelling adventure and that's what this thrilling ride offers, strong in its believable mythology, it hits hard and fast. This loopity-loop screenplay obviously comes handy with a hindrance in the structure that is ironically its most valuable asset in order to reboot one's mindset, a refreshing take on the whole time travelling religioso. Predestination is destined to stay within its barred sharp vision that may fail to cut across the genre, but the room has enough energy to feed on textbook thrills.

Incendies
Incendies(2011)
½

Cold As A Viscous Flame.

Incendies

Villeneuve is a gentleman when it comes to respect the genre he plays in. In fact, he respects the whole system, even the hefty hectic part of the film. If his film ticks for more than two hours, he definitely has edited at least half an hour from it. He isn't ashamed, afraid or lazy on going deep in to the tunnels and get his hands dirty. He foliates the darker side of the human as a compelling arc for the storytelling. Take the imprisoned part of Nawal's (Lubna Azabal) life, even something so informative and dry part of the script as such, Denis Villeneuve, the director, has crafted out a nail biting drama where the emotion is installed in it by introducing a song in it.

Now, this song isn't something he just throws out randomly, he first teases us by formulating a title to that very act as "The Woman Who Sings", so incredible is that name, that every time it is referenced for advancing the storyline, there is a pathos in its vocab that he armors in for this long, long battle. There are plenty of scenarios in the film and often the filmmaker loses the tone of the film and there is an uneven pace that itches the viewers, but Villeneuve's experience is mostly the saviour of it.

While the rest of it, is left upon the actors like Lubna and Melissa, where despite of going back and forth in timeline there is an equal force resisting the dogmatic postulates of the world. There is a poetic bridge connecting these parallel worlds and the answer is the performance so magnificent that it deconstructs all the semantics of the script. Incendies is the fire that will not spark the charge but will burn the whole forest down unapologetically.

The Heat
The Heat(2013)
½

An Odd Family Reunion.

The Heat

Feig's generously light case is an engaging goofy investigation that never proclaims its comic genre completely on its face. There is a lot to admire and lot to roll eyes on. Katie Dippold, the writer, is on the trial for the most part of the film. Not only is the structure of the script ripped off from your usual buddy cop films but even the elements too are eerily similar, the sassy introduction, a break-in on some criminal's house, a valuable friendly asset that is on the other side of the door and a melodramatic act that splits apart the somehow formed equation of the lead.

The only fresh ingredient is the involvement of Melissa McCarthy's family, in order to make it more personal and effective immediately- that was not planned. Paul Feig, the director, keeps his film neat and clean for us to skip in a rhythm that is his one of the best skill which makes his movie flow smoothly. Sandra Bullock jumping on a comic note after a while is a refreshing experience for both her and us. Although she is painted as a professorial know-it-all workaholic, her physical comedy is no match to the verbal abuse.

Speaking of which, McCarthy is the real gem of the film, from cussing like a sailor to body shaming herself, this is once again a home run from her. The expectations of a dynamic duo like McCarthy and Feig is over the roof now, and they may fulfill what the fans needs in some moments, but this is definitely a far fetched shot in their collection. The Heat is not something you ever feel, but as I said before, come in with a light hearted generous tone and you might end up having a good Friday night, if not remarkable.

Good Will Hunting
½

Accept Your Blessings.

Good Will Hunting

Van Sant's coaching is pretty much what you already know. His guidance isn't extraordinary but is undeniably productive. This vivacious film runs on nothing but the merit of the script. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, the writers, aren't bringing anything new on the table, but it is the Disney of the dramatic movies. Incredibly confident in its ingredients, the film never stutters, not even for a frame. What's been so crowd pleasing about the script, is its ability to create a topsy-turvy world in a pragmatic one. Usually, the concept of "power" in the hand is often presented as misused by the characters and also always is craved by them.

In here, Matt Damon who powerfully portrays a guy that accounts in, his photographic memory as a hindrance. His surrounding doesn't ask him to repel it, but his affection towards that very surrounding and the fear to go physically distant with it, makes him turn all this into a hobby. Damon's excruciating performance of an arrogant and blessed kid has a match that makes him rubble in a snap.

And the answer is Robin Williams, that cloaks in a completely opposite persona to Damon in order to get in, in his game. If Damon likes to hurt, he keeps his wound open, if Damon oozes power and rage, he whispers warmth so gently that it makes your eyes teary within a blink. And despite of all the other tracks sprinkled amazingly in the film, Williams and Damon sharing a few laughs sitting in the room is the best asset of it, that Gus Van Sant is well aware of and encourages it like some big antic to stand tall and proud upon. Good Will Hunting is never a hunt, if anything it is the surrender in a long lasting lost game, that actually our host never cares for.

Seabiscuit
Seabiscuit(2003)
½

One Long Winning Race.

Seabiscuit

Ross believes in the old testimony. He breathes that old textbook method of being informative more than entertaining. And he is so confident in the malleability of his script, that details are encouraged- after being frightened by the sudden rise of some birds, the horse tries to run around the last act of the film that helps Tobey Maguire realize its capability- more than the antic itself. The first act is spent upon establishing the various characters before merging their subplots for one big dramatic event or a race, either one.

And so is its second half, similar to it, a mirror like adaptation is of Gary Ross and clean and clear vision he gets in the end. There is maturity and precision in each frame that keeps emotions above all, even the storytelling. Personally, I felt connected with the idea of each character sweating in the field for a pet animal that is never, for an instance, thought of as anything but a child to them. This sort of similar aspect to J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, is heartwarming.

The horse that is brimmed of a theme of being "the one" is moving enough to heal the broken characters, especially Maguire that goes through an incredible process comes off as the highlight of the game. Jeff Bridges as the father figure, not only sees the horse and Tobey as a metaphor, but tries to places them as their own kids that he loses unfortunately in the beginning of the film. Chris Cooper as the strict coach, the apt supervisor to the film, and surprisingly honest and practical that claims to speak the truth, he certainly tries to. Seabiscuit is a winning bet from the scratch, with a cast of caliber like such and a creator so passionate, it does appeal to a stadium filled audience.

Tootsie
Tootsie(1982)

Unmask The Voice.

Tootsie

Pollack has got his finest project out. A perfect balance of humor and comedy. Both illuminating and inspiring. Probably because it judges its own host, the protagonist, in the most subtle mature way possible. There is this one line that is enacted in its first stage by the protagonist, and then later that very same line by the antagonist. This is how balanced the world is. The director Sydney Pollack's romance between the characters is his sharpest knife.

He cuts deep with supporting characters, like when Hoffmann when dressed as a woman is forced just after he is being proposed by being sung in front of his apartment. That scene that may draw in the laughs is so beautifully haunting as the kraken is released in that very stage after being teased in the entire film. And these subtle nuances where some director keeps inappropriately touching and controlling his lead actress, is done so brilliantly that without any such loud intentions, he fights for equal rights like no one.

If Dustin Hoffman through his body language attracts you heavily with his performance, Jessica Lange in her completely opposite cloak oozes warmth and somehow the film has managed to be balanced again. This brilliant never-taken-for-granted concept is buoyant as far as the gags are concerned, after a certain while, this transformation of Hoffmann is considered to be the apparatus of the scene that is actually set in a backdrop of something beyond valuable than it. The supporting cast like hilarious Bill Murray, incredibly moving Charles Durning and brilliant George Gaynes have definitely helped in creating this ultimate illusion. Just like the pleased people of the soap opera viewers, Tootsie- if I may call her that- deserves the fame and respect she and he gets.

The Invention of Lying

Truth Or Dare.

The Invention Of Lying

Gervais and Robinson has a pretty good discussion about the concept of the film in the film itself. And that's as much as thrill you are going to get from it. Since, it never grows beyond a dinner table conversations. The ideas are thrown out here and there, the ambition is admirable, there is fluent levity in their vocab and they make a good team as far as entertaining the audience is concerned. But such a concept often is a double edged sword. And as much as gripping and easily spoken, the film is about, it is tremendously difficult to make it accurate.

Now, usually a viewer can let this go, but a film that completely revolves around that very idea and pushes further the boundary of the concept without double checking the so called secured area, that has got to be amateur-ish and also irresponsibly confident. From the very beginning, we are just told to mug up the fact, that without whatsoever change in the current society, the humankind has come so far without a lie. These questions continuously pokes you through out the journey and never lets you fully enjoy the film.

Is there anything to look forward to in the film beyond Ricky Gervais's performance? Probably not. If you don't count a literal rip off of the origin of religion and the concept of God; which is to be frank, funny. Gervais is a real artist. An actor, to be honest. There is empathy in his eyes and he uses it smartly, not milking it or manipulating it for the tears, his voice breaks and eyes mourns, and there you melt away with an awe. The Invention Of Lying is probably the apt description, it has a fresh concept but then it also is a big lie, except for the love track that Gervais claims to be like Billy Wilder's The Apartment.

Us
Us(2019)
½

.Cut Out The Middle Man.

Us

Peele is a good filmmaker. Even better in direction that he is at writing. For instance, I could see that there is barely anything on paper to make it run for an hour let alone two. But with sharp and clear of vision of creating a nail biting scene, he speaks effervescently on the topic of the day. But then, when scrambled together these finely crafted material in a dish, it comes off a bit confused. He has a lot to say and he does. Which makes you wonder is he trying to sum up all by respecting the "boundary" of the subject or is just a mere marketing strategy to get in your head?

He pays homage to classic horrors like "Jaws" and "Shining" and this is how you know how much aware he is as a director, his choice of costume design, background song and petty knock knock jokes actually advances storyline further. Primary aspect of his films are the elements that he works on throughout the storyline, for the arc of the character and the film. This old school method is both gripping and productive, from a failed magic to a broken boat, their trajectories can easily be seen and yet are thrilling to encounter.

He also uses nature for the horror. He doesn't animate or personifies the thrills, from rabbits to birds in the beach changing their behavior to even owl set up in a Scary House. The writer-director Jordan Peele's typical four part horror is actually elevated by the performance especially Lupita Nyong'o in the lead. Unfortunately, a world so rich has the lead that barely shows any of its quality, the double edged sword that is Lupita's character, never fully gets her story right. From Us to them, Peele's slow and wisely paced project increases the scale to an unexpected delightful experience.

Battling Butler
½

For His Friend, The Butler.

Battling Butler

Keaton's exploration on the sport genre has a formula so effective and moving, that it still is applied to win over millions of heart even after a century; almost! This journey from a no one to someone speaks the most with a common man that has ever aspired to make it big. The only weak aspect of the film is the storytelling in its second act, that gets way too hefty for it to surf above the level fluently. It goes deep with multiple characters coming in and out, where before you know you are in the final round where Keaton knocks you out with a sweet satisfying punch.

The gags come in handy in a Buster Keaton film, but what's surprising is that the obvious physical comic sequences like him training or boxing isn't his major asset. The smooth smart gigs that are kept to help put the audience at ease while the story advances, is real gold. Like the table that sinks under the ground or a couple fighting over a window pane or bickering sweetly with no bars held.

And as far as gags that are weaved to draw in chuckles are concerned, behold Keaton when he is trying to hunt in a boat or getting tangled in a rope or worrying to death when he is told to fix a bulb. His awareness of the characters and the plot can be derived from the scale of brattiness he exposes when he is out with the nature and his butler still provides him the luxuries like a king living in a palace- even a cigarettes is smoked with the help of the butler while his mother talks sweet with him. Battling Butler is a one big fight that starts off energetically and gets tired in its middle act only to end up on a high pitched dramatic note.

The Natural
The Natural(1984)

Character - 1. Game - 0.

The Natural

Levinson's game is played on familiar ground and cliched rules, but above all, it is fair. And that is his self-created window where he gets in from. This unusual journey of a young athlete- or so it seems when it starts up- is authentic and practical. The double edge sword where his method is productive and necessary but not cinematic makes you go back and forth on where you lie in the final scorecard. All the stages and characters that Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) encounters is executed brilliantly by the director Barry Levinson. But mind you, this journey is not gripping all the time.

Roger and Phil; the screenwriters, who adapted it from Bernard's novel could have been edited better and made it more thrilling for the viewers. There are very few such moments in the game where we get what we have been craving for. "I am here to play the game" claims Redford and it is a soothing medicine that makes up for all the sweat and blood we go through, which even his first swing or throw could never replace.

On terms of performance, Redford is supported magnanimously by Glenn Close whose both character and performance is a sight to behold. This never flinching attitude of Redford can only be shattered by Close's generous watery eyes. Other supporting cast like Robert Duvall and Wilford Brimley are definitely on track although Kim Basinger seems awfully distracted in her cloak of being an enchantress. The film fumbles right before its last act that turns out to be the major disappointment of all, it slows down more than it already was. The Natural is the apt description of the film, what's good about it comes from within, for it clearly isn't going to work harder, a typical sport genre feature.

Transit
Transit(2019)
½

Mourn For The Greater Good.

Transit

Petzold works on the vibes of the film. He is very careful about the fact of how the entire thread comes off to the audience. There is catharsis in your lungs when the air turns into navel-gazy nail-biting drama. This is where Christian Petzold; the director's, target lies. He feeds off on this energy and so does their character. Personally what appealed to me the most from the film is the calmness it conjures on the screen despite of the high stakes threats ticking behind these characters.

The protagonist, when alone, is always on the run, initially physically and latter in the film from his thoughts. But when he shares his screen with a boy having a catch or two, or having a cup of coffee in the cafe with a fellow being, there is a soothing humble look in his eyes where you find yourself sinking peacefully, a bit wounded, but satisfied. This mirror-like trajectory to Michael Curtiz's Casablanca rebooted with a style that matches the comparison it comes with.

The novel by Anna Seghers from which Petzold adapted the film, has had the essence of triggering impactful drama within a snap and Petzold has definitely encouraged that in here, from deriving the first meeting by iterating the scenario variously to bonding over a quick game that creates a heartwarming equation within a snap. Georg (Franz Rogowski) our host is pretty much reading someone else's diary throughout this journey, he is always the third person in the room that allows us to welcome him with open arms as he shares the same stage with us, while the other supporting cast does a decent work on advancing the storytelling. Transit is neither a romance nor a thriller, it is a typical drama that works it's way up the ladder through empathy and not manipulation.

Stan & Ollie
Stan & Ollie(2019)
½

Two Unfitting Hats.

Stan And Ollie

Baird teeters the film completely on the performance. Is it an inadequacy of the content of the script or a director so generous that he offers more room to the actor? It is a rickety chair, leant towards a productive result by the actors. For instance, consider a confessional encounter between Stan (Steve Coogan) and Ollie (John C. Reilly) in the last act of the film. That entire conversation has managed to grasp the essence of these two megadorms of talents, that never compromised their humor even for drama and still manages to create a heartwarming meaningful arc in their acts.

The film, just like their half an hour of acts, is simple and meticulous to the core. There is only one big scene that it all builds up for and as much as appreciative John C. Baird; the director's, approach is, there is some vital piece missing in the puzzle. And it is the tease for the game, the thirst of ours to wish for these beautifully performed actors to shook on each others term. There is real romance in their performance but no quest to make you lie at the brisk of your seat.

If Reilly is the underdog that takes pity pills in here, Coogan is morally complex and easy to absorb with his wide unblinking watery eyes. The writing is good as far as the conversations are concerned, like the way how this duo pretends to fight in front of their partners by using that same arrow that wounded them in the previous one. The screenwriter Jeff Pope has somehow created a mirror to Stephen Frears's Philomena, only this time it lacks the heavy drama that painted it bright. Stan And Ollie stages an incredible homage to its inspiration- from the vocab it adapts to the body language or structure- but, unfortunately, period.

Triple Frontier
½

The Survival Spirit Sparkles Up The Hunt.

Triple Frontier

Chandor is sticking his neck out here. He is shifting on another genre; primarily action, that has never been his forte. And usually it is hard to pull it off, but he has been exploring the borderline issues like such. This is why the action is crisp clean. With a meticulous thorough exploration of a well mapped out and choreographed action sequence, the film starts off with a typical "in and out" mission- or so you'd think. The first act that starts smoothly, is your usually convincing 1-0-1 writing method. This is what aches you throughout the course of the film, J. C. Chandor, the co-writer and director, pleads you to go through the whole process that frankly at times might be moot.

Like, the first act, where the baggage of all the character comes up with, is your expected hokum of unsatisfactory that would help them shake on this dodgy deal proposed by Pope (Oscar Isaac). After which the film and the characters strikes on their main target, where all the credit goes to Chandor and his execution on creating a tense environment among these characters as they go- almost without any proper preparations- in and finds themselves fighting with each other.

Their experience and the build up of their hype of being excellent in their training and work, is perpetually justified when all their aim is directed toward an outer threat. These little things is how Mark Boal- the creator- convinces you to be invested in this group. But all this razzle dazzle barely changes any dime in the game, the crux of the film lies on the aftermath of this mission. Despite of all the training and the experience these buffed up retired military boys have been through, what's fascinating is how easily seduced they are.

This fine analysation of human behavior- something that we have earlier seen in Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones The Last Crusader- is what sparks up viewer's attention. The bickering and smooth familiar slangs used among them is smart of them to keep it alive, the team is left no more a team in its last act, when these characters finally go three dimensional. Isaac, as arguably the leader and schemer of the whole project has done a great work especially when it comes to strike horns head to head with Ben Affleck that is kept under the shades along with other team members.

And hence is the reason why Affleck stands alone as he is- against all odds- trying to figure out the math behind the distraction Isaac has constructed. Pedro Pascal, Charlie Hunnam (as the reserved one) and Garrett Hedlund (the hothead and amateur one), unfortunately doesn't have much to offer on terms of the performance. The only major asset of the film is its surprised package, call it the second half or the last act, these macho guys tested by the nature is what justifies the storytelling. Triple Frontier works a marvel as a morality lesson for kids out there, but then they should think about everyone, especially if it dares to go that dark that quick.

Captain Marvel

Tit For Cat.

Captain Marvel

Marvel's detour in this people pleasing franchise is a slave to the formula that every other installment is brimmed of. "A safe play" claims Marvel, and protected is, their MCU in the eyes of their fans. The contribution of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck; the co-writers and directors, is merely integrating to this formula. But what comes off disappointing, is that this time the textbook format is rotten to the core. You find yourself stealing moments from the film to enjoy. The mind games played by the writers- or so they think- is just one big hotchpotch that we are told to mug up as a thought provoking sci-fi genre tidbit. Not only it fails intellectually on raising the questions, the news-like answers delivered seems like a conspiracy to fill in a political satire where clearly it compromises the narration.

Speaking of which, the writing is often dull, with cheesy lines, daft conversations and a fatal attempt of invading humor in storytelling. Boosting off with an introductory action sequence, the characters are transparent as water when it comes to hide their duality. This off putting behavior of the makers where they are overprotective about their obvious flips and turns, is frankly annoying. After which, Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) meets our host Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), a promising duo that had the brotherly romance between them to amplify the film.

Again, this equation is piled up by 1-0-1 comic writing, none of the small talks comes is smooth, their agendas are clearly visible on the screen. I would feel that this is the real culprit of the film, how bizarrely and easily deconstructive it is. So easy it looks, and yet so much effort it costs. The shape shifters theory comes in handy like the X Men's Mystique-ish cheats and tricks. Only once in the beginning it fools you with conviction while the rest of it grows predictable.

Larson in this glowing suit is way too ready for this job. Her calculative over thought out process is miscalculated, at least Gal Gadot owned the silliness. Her never-the-underdog dimension of the character is why we don't connect with her, there is no empathy for us to punch her that spaceship out of the sky. Jackson who had been fascinated on playing the early version of Nick Fury is as good as it gets when he is sharing the screen with a cat.

His words still sounds young and sort of amateur-ish but his body language can't hide the Jackson-ness in him. Jude Law and Annette Benning are victims of the worst aspects of the script, with wafer thin charisma or ambiguity, it is depressing to see this much potential thrown out of the window. How does it fit in the series? Aforementioned, obliged to connect the dots and mention the references, the film fails to stand on its own beliefs, its own content. I wish I could at least say that the Captain Marvel has the heart to look forward, it is busy reminiscing about the past, the result is, yes, sad.

Charlie Wilson's War
½

More Like A Mock Trial.

Charlie Wilson's War

Nichols is far from being authentic like some Spielberg's documentation but almost close enough to be gritty as Polanski. Either way, the result is a big mixed bag of feelings. You are left unsatisfied and a bit peckish for frankly anything, any sort of content to feed upon. The director Mike Nichols, clearly can't absorb the behemoth range of the screenwriter Aaron Sorkin's script on the screen. It is disappointing to see him fumble like such despite of having support from every possible directions. But I would blame Sorkin's take too. His game is actually a one long tennis match.

There is a great serve in the beginning act and a hefty rebound in its second one due to its previous powerful boost. But as it grows iterative, the audience gets tired and the pain is not felt in the head anymore. What was supposed to be a head scratching content is now a flimsy attempt to grasp the viewers. And these fatal attempts of Sorkin trying to get hold of something beyond the range of the storyline, turns it into a quirky foolish socialite world that is always read to negotiate but never shakes on it. The cast is undoubtedly the highlight of the film.

Tom Hanks playing once again a real persona gives a promising performance that is elevated by no one but Amy Adams as her secretary that literally helps him on tiny aspects of the film. Other supporting cast like Julia Roberts, Emily Blunt, Om Puri and John Slattery gets lost into words and never conquers them. The real crispy and juicy ingredient of the dish is Phillip Seymour Hoffman climbing the ladder along with waking people up. He is the unexpected chocolate delight in the cake, he is the cherry of this desert that comes in complementary and what might enrage you then, is that this is Charlie Wilson's War.

The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult

A Last Knockout Joke.

Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult

Segal directing this franchise starts to look like a mistake, as for the first time this franchise takes time to settle in among the audience. A price that David Zucker- the director of the previous installments- would never ask for. Nevertheless, with slapstick humor and witty satirical punch lines, the film goes right back on the track in its second act, soon after the lead couple splits up after a big fight. The marital conflicts and the humor that comes along with it, is pretty basic.

There isn't much use of the frame as it were in previous films, it is busy in its made-up theories that at times aren't funny. But if compared like such, the film would never be able to cope up with its predecessor. For an individual project, a parody mocking the drama with all its sincerity, is a work of pure passion. The writing is still silly enough to tickle you, but what comes in plethora, is the exact replica of the infamous dramatized sequence that is being laughed at.

Starting from the incredible intense sequence of Brian De Palma's The Untouchables to tiny fables of Ridley Scott's Thelma And Louise, it puts these films on trials to a point where you too start questioning them, I don't think I'll ever be able to look at them with that amount of sincerity. The performance is on the mark, with Leslie Nielsen hilariously portraying this iconic character for the last time. Also, this time the supporting cast too gets a lot of room to factor in, Priscilla Presley getting her own arc and Fred Ward squeezing in the most of his textbook antagonist job. Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult may not seem like a finale at all, but then it isn't an insult in whatsoever manner.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Go Long And Fast.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Miller has taken things too far even for this franchise. Are we supposed to chug it all up? As much as passionate and meticulously driven this post apocalyptic world is, I would like to think that the genre sci-fi; which so it blatantly claims to be, is either misinterpreted or taken for granted in here. This film is far from being thought provoking. This raw ruffian ideology that George Miller; the writer-director, thrives upon, is more admirable than overwhelming. His utter fierceful confident in his vision is frankly dangerous. To pull off such a heist- if I could call it- at this scale is purely inspirational.

It is so bizarrely grand that the narration or characters or even the cinema itself gets lost into the dust. Aforementioned, it can be difficult for some viewers to swallow in this whole tale, swirling around in a pathos unapologetic world, there is barely any host for us to root for. And this very three dimensional take is what helps the cast to portray a fluid creamy persona in this bumpy road. Charlize Theron as the most lethal and convincing among all, is more than a match for Tom Hardy's "one instinct-ish" iconic character Max.

In fact, if anything, Hardy has to try hard, even snatch a gun in order to helm charge on her, a fatal attempt as Theron refuses to share the steely cold looks with anyone on screen. Another fascinating factor is the supporting characters and how invested they are in telling this story, crossing boundaries and showcasing a feat of bravery and commitment, this ensemble of cast defines the term "teamwork" to a whole new level. Mad Max: Fury Road iterates the theme of the world in its long action sequences, a game of chess, not the sacrifice or the head scratching tricks of it, but a succession of winning attempts.

The Jungle Book

A Book And A Torch Of Fire.

The Jungle Book

Disney's favourite kid among all, is not some biased political act, but works hard and succeeds on nothing but merit. This is why after decades, this film has aged well. It welcomes every fear of ours with open arms and chirpy body language that makes this stay equally heartwarming as much as smart it is. In fact, the narration is so lucid that the writers might be making a fool out of us and we wouldn't know the difference. Now this is the sort of writing that we shouldn't mind, if anything we should encourage it. Passing on shoulder to shoulder- literally- our lead character Mowgli, meets plethora of characters.

From Bagheera The Panther to a pack of wolves, to Elephants, to Kaa The Snake, to Baloo The Bear, to a troop of monkeys only to visit the ultimate Shere Khan and the most underrated and hilarious Vultures. This back and forth of being taught on, our protagonist seems to be left a bit undercooked in the process. Often gullible and also dogmatic at times, Mowgli, the protagonist that we are told to root for, doesn't have anything to offer as an individual being.

In fact, if anyone soars above all these bushy plants, is Baloo's carefree and father-ly attitude gluing this entire cast for a more meaningful reason. Bagheera too comes under the similar shade, but his almost non-flawed theories makes him one dimensional in certain parts of the storytelling. Nevertheless, this culmination of possibly every social satire brings in one delight night out for you to sleep on. The songs are catchy to a point where it is impossible to not hum "The Bear Necessities" for a couple of days. The Jungle Book has the quality to be wild, it may not be foliated to its best, but it certainly isn't discouraged.

Winnie the Pooh
½

A Perfect Dream.

Winnie The Pooh

Disney has still got that magic sketch artistry. And yes, it is every bit of enchanting as it should be. From humor to drama, it hits every note perfectly. It covers up the physical sequences of the razzle dazzle that its younger audience craves for and explores themes that will make adults wiser and hooked. And they do it with a humble broad smile on their face and old children's morale tales to create an arc on the storytelling. This is one of those rare collaboration of a bohemian work that fulfills every fanboy fantasies that we could imagine. Primarily because the makers themselves grew up watching these characters and the world they reside in, which glorifies each tiny aspect of the film.

The songs are delight to watch and catchy enough to make you hum along. It helps enormously for the writers to prove a point with repetition and expressive nature that these songs easily are. The visual effects, as always, is adorable, plus this time they have managed to blend in the real world and the imaginary one effortlessly with words floating around and each frame depicted as a page of the book. And this is not some new technique to lure the audience in, but a major factor of the narration itself.

Among many daft conversations, there are few that would straight out stand alone, the hilarious final act, where the wordplay and the puns grows habitual to you and the dumbness and maturity both loud enough for you to be thoroughly entertained as these characters intertwine with slapstick humor. The voice over cast is undeniably soothing to be heard, from which of course Jim Cummings bubbles undeniably, in his low calm speech that melts you down to your childhood memories where Winnie The Pooh was never a fiction.

The Road
The Road(2009)
½

Brood And Breed.

The Road

Hillcoat is confident in his world. Almost as if too much confident at times. The stillness and the rawness that he has captured is both his major asset and the upset. Stillness, mostly favors in on actors account as they never miss a chance to flaunt in their skills at these moments. But the rawness that makes it authentic, can also be jarringly haunting and off putting on terms of the appeal. Armed with a sharp absorbing adaptation, John Hillcoat- the director- has unfortunately lost the structure and somehow the spark of the game these characters are involved in.

What could have been fascinating is the film not obliged to specific various acts, since it is only one big act, a build up of the finale. But that one big act certainly overstay its welcome and takes things for granted. As far as verbal sparring is concerned there isn't much to rely upon, as mentioned before, the film relies upon physical sequences to speak volume and the man to look forward on such instances is of course Viggo Mortensen. His gaze whilst brooding onto various aspects of the location or situation comes in handy in this world.

But what grounds and humanizes his character, is the way he looks at his boy (Kodi Smit- McPhee), there is nothing but peace left in your heart as he teaches and corrects him. And when the time comes to take tough decisions, his pain and fear is what drives Mortensen to amplify the momentum or the drama to a cinematic level. The guest cast like Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall and Guy Pearce comes in and does their work expectantly and fulfills their importance on screen. The Road is hard, long and unfortunately bumpy, with none whatsoever rest in this journey, it can grow tiresome for the audience.

The Electric Horseman
½

Ride Slow. Ride Long.

The Electric Horseman

Pollack's take on cowboy and their lifestyle is fascinating as much as it should be, there is no effort beyond that, there is no layer beneath it. There are few moments were Sydney Pollack; the director, does steal the thunder but even at those moments, you would feel that the makers could have done a lot better. For instance, the one big chase scene, probably the only exhilarating antic in the entire film where all the adrenaline is supposed to be poured in, but the way it is shot could have been much more cleaner and crispier than it is.

And this is what is left at the end of the film, that inadequacy on everything that makes you wonder the bourgeois strategy of the filmmaker. Maybe, it's some new adapted technique that didn't work or was just meant to be accordingly. The adapted screenplay too, is another limitation to leap over, as much as standard it is, there is no crux in the game, no relation between these characters whatsoever. And the romance or the spark that you see between our lead characters is all driven from their performance.

Robert Redford playing a star past his fame and youth, broods as much as he should and oozes sexual charisma more than he should. This is where the film gets easy. Making Jane Fonda; an uptight skillful player in the show business, fall for the carefree natured cowboy. As much as stereotypical it is, it just works. Their isolated electrifying journey is the only reason you would want to take this ride. From silent still pitches on screen to their "slave to their behavior" nature where all the bickerings is drawn from, helps them immensely to walk on some solid ground where The Electric Horseman is the ultimate saviour.

Fighting with My Family

Fight. Fight. Fight.

Fighting With My Family

Merchant is probably the most authentic filmmaker you would get. Only because, he is a consumer at first. He breathes his fanboy moments onto papers that makes each mundane moment cinematic. He makes things look easy, familiar but easy. All his learned and adapted methods, on how to communicate with the viewers, from film itself, gives you a satisfying Friday night out feeling. He is not bringing anything new on the table, but is also smart enough to know what the audience wants and delivers a safe adored content on screen.

Is he taking risks? Probably not. Should he? Definitely not, if this works just fine. All his projects has had the essence of his vocab. The command over the language of Stephen Merchant; the writer-director, is both quirky and heartwarming. He has been selling this ever-working product for ages and it still holds up for its excellent quality. He works on detailings of the moment. Swooping in on all the angles possible, in a situation, he makes sure his world is diplomatic.

He accounts in every angle of a sequence, every perspective of the character, he gives them enough space to justify their deeds. This real life based comedy-drama maps out the tremendous amount of variations or fluctuations, one goes through, when he or she goes "big shot" and fame hits right on the face. Jolting down that very note is where Merchant's target lies. After which the cast brings in their magic in the ring. This eerie mixture of cast is a delight to watch, from their chemistry to their synced body language, they are just simply convincing.

Florence Pugh playing the infamous Saraya Knight or more commonly known as "Paige" has done an excellent work on conjuring the both physical and emotional aspects of her characters. Lena Headey and Nick Frost are protective and fairly negligent parents that we all can easily resonate with. Jack Lowden cloaking on the most complex character is convincing and also a big dose of electric charge when alone in screen, the bar fight is brilliantly shot and performed. Dwayne Johnson has done a great comic cameo where he is set loose with confidence by Merchant and there are no regrets.

Shockingly, Vince Vaughn as the coach of Pugh has much more to give than we would have expected, presumably since he is never sharing the screen with anyone, he is all on his own, brooding and inspiring his past for a better future. As mentioned, all the physical sequences are shot with well choreographed and multiple angle cameras that makes it look more exhilarating and profound of what they call it "fixed but not a fake" fight. The textbook structure of the script never grows into the culprit, it is entertaining even when Merchant is pulling off a montage sequence of the training our protagonist goes through. Fighting With My Family is like a big dinner at Christmas evening, it has few laughs and tears and bickerings, and in the end, is just pure fun.

Three Days of the Condor

An In And Out Inn.

Three Days Of Condor

Pollack has been into romance before anything. Even in a story of crime, betrayal and mystery like such, he cannot help himself lean towards crafting out a love story. And as we all can see in here, most probably this is his major asset. Not a witty film but a superficial one, not satisfying but soothing. As far as the thrills are concerned, they come in cheap. With only its first act, delivering and respecting the genre the film claims to be, the tone shifting in its latter acts is something that is not easy to nod along with.

The sense of urgency that Sydney Pollack; the director, wants us to feel is one big jolt of exhilarating dose that we wolfishly mug up and later regret on. He is of, course, no short on execution, his keen eye on details that sets and maps the room or a location in viewers' mind helps a lot in such a film. The physical sequences is another example, with multiple camera shots, the action is fast, cleaner than we usually get and well choreographed.

Turner (Robert Redford) as the victim of the film and being framed by bigger banners is on a run or so you would think. Since that run goes on halt after he meets Kathy (Faye Dunaway) and the appealing sensual love angle swoops in on storytelling. The mellow impactful moments shared by these two stars is something we can all devour with ease, if lopping off all the other drama and strings, the love story had enough potential to stand alone, but unfortunately this who-done-it case fumbles in its last act poorly. Three Days Of The Condor might be a shorter stay than in the novel it is adapted from, but then it also feels longer at times.

Sleepless in Seattle
½

A Necessary Nap.

Sleepless In Seattle

Ephron is a believer in simplicity. More importantly, she is a believer. Her entire film whispers to be it, her characters and her arc of the film, everything trying with full effort with all its heart. And on the other hand, her world is pragmatic as ours, often gullible and often mature, this is what keeps the film grounded. This culmination of two different tone sets the film in balance. There isn't too much manipulative melodrama nor too little of the sincerity that it requires. And armed with a dream cast like such, Nora Ephron; the co-writer and director, teases her audience with a panache that you are practically giddy up for more.

With dreamy eyes and goofy body language Annie, (Meg Ryan) is born to be a rom-com actress, she is having doubts on her engagement, she has a best friend that is there to settle the scoreboard with humor and she is a believer. But what makes her stand alone is her love for the film, "An Affair To Remember", in fact every female character in here goes on and on with their references, from someone who doesn't even show up to little girls. And man-spreading the boyish charm is Sam (Tom Hanks) who cries while even talking about "The Dirty Dozen".

His character falls under the sort of pity category and still Ryan's silliness steals the show, probably because she seems more honest and unfiltered than him. Ross Malinger as a sassy kid is utterly convincing in his cloak and plays a major part on getting these two lead characters together. The humor is not overdoing it, but subtle and satisfying and often relied upon other characters that are not part of the film. Sleepless In Seattle is dreamy but not that satisfying as your usual romcom, there is a maturity in its speech this time.

Unsane
Unsane(2018)
½

Sane But With No Logistics.

Unsane

Soderbergh has been in this street before. With well thought out conspiracies and policies and schemes, he always makes a crime look smart. But in here, it is also sadistic. There is no positivity in this arena of heeling let alone be levity. It is probably his darkest because of not the conflicts but the solutions. There are things scarred in here that would never leave haunting our protagonist and us. The first half is pretty much your usual prisoner-style adventure. Constraining the will and freedom of our relatable and absorbing host Sawyer Valentine (Claire Foy) where the testament of the excellence of Soderbergh's execution is when the irritation or annoyance does communicate with you.

The procedure how the screenplay keeps giving you enough reasons to stay is productive and also a bit avant-garde, from new camera angles installing in a room or the environment around it where Steven Soderbergh; the director, speaks expressly through it. Foy has a daunting task, to be adaptable to her audience. And since her character is completely opposite to being friendly, the content gets more compact and juicy.

Despite of what she is going through, she has her own flaws and issues to overcome and this is where Soderbergh swoops in and blends these two dilemmas in sync. The supporting cast doesn't have much to do, especially to that scale in order to stand alone. The vision is not that gore but the innuendos that leaves us with imaginations that screeches into our heart defines the apt horror-ness of the genre. The surprising element in here is the friendship developed by Foy with Pharaoh that gives us somewhat hope. Unsane is misspelled in its last act or maybe it never had that big a vision, not a dime changes at the end of this game.

Philadelphia
Philadelphia(1993)
½

More Than A Courtroom Drama.

Philadelphia

Demme is definitely armed with a sharp script but is unfortunately short on execution. With eerie camera work and enabling a cheesy environment in a professional work environment, this method is off putting and disenchanting the powerful words Ron Nyswaner; the writer, wrote. And this is how powerful his words are, for despite of having these many flaws, the film is one big powerhouse of drama. With monologues or speeches or even conversation drawn in for satire that are itself free from any whatsoever strings of the storyline.

Personally, among multiple such sequences, I connected the most when Andrew (Tom Hanks) gets lost on listening the Opera and describing the lyrics to Joe (Denzel Washington) with body language so flamboyant that you melt away in his performance. And this is film's major asset; the cast. With A list actors such as Hanks and Washington sharing the screen, there is an elevation in each scene as these two charge heavily on to others. Washington has a powerful three dimensional character to play, primarily because it struggles with his own issues along with a case that he is fighting which is about the very personal conflicts.

Hanks is on the softer side of the door, he is mostly incapable of taking charge with power. He is a pure magic while seducing you, with a slow speech and low voice, he is wiser than others and also humbler. The courtroom drama, as Washington says before the trial begins, is not your usual tear jerking melodrama but a long hard boxing match where you are not going to win by a knockout punch. Philadelphia is exactly as the title song states, advanced and also gullible on the acceptance logistics, either way, this cast lives up to the hype they come up with; style and excellence.

Ida
Ida(2014)

I, Solemly Vow.

Ida

Pawlikowski's black and white anthem is not to be hummed along with but to be listened attentively, persistently and infinitely. This eerie relationship between a girl and her aunt, that has previously been explored in many ways in a side track, is the real truth of the film. Encountering someone for the first time in your life is always a sweet sugar-coated meet, but when someone with bitter language greets you and welcomes you with open arms, you are obliged to be hooked into it. And this is how Pawel Pawlikowski; the co-writer and director, reels you in, in his first act, a long lost elderly relative meeting you by describing you with the references of your parents, is something we can all connect with.

A cinematography that celebrates the authentic busyness and emptiness of other characters' lifestyle is how the maker is speaking with us. A hitchhiking friend inviting you, a woman asking for the blessings of a child and a man on his deathbed regretting his deeds. These gem like moments aside, Pawlikowski has a poised manner in even crafting out a musical sequence, lost in an abyss feeling, he jarres his viewers with silent pitches.

Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska) our rooting contender, is the familiar nun on the verge of claiming her vows, speaks very little through her words but aplenty with her eyes. Personally, I will be biased to her aunt Wanda played beautifully by Agata Kulesza whose character is simply more cinematic than any other. Brooding, mocking and judging every other person with generous body language, she is the soul reason why the film grows more compact and ironically free too. Ida is a love letter with very little romance in it, it is a ride you should take, that is all, no other bourgeois excuse required.

Unforgiven
Unforgiven(1992)

Noted And Loved.

Unforgiven

Eastwood has been the front runner of this genre from the very dawn. But what's fascinating in here is that this time he is the creator of it. And yes, working with Sergio Leone for ages helped him a lot to glorify this genre to its pinnacle. But with it, also comes the sheer pressure of respecting the genre that has given him royalty and respect for ages. Finesse takes over fear, in this case, and walking a fine line between cinematic style and hardcore substance, it is a thought provoking ecstasy to behold. This two part parallel western tale has three dimensional characters to be loved and be impressed with. But I would also call it, the darkest of the collection of Clint Eastwood films.

Not only the followed content and the gore vision, but also the moral dilemma and typical bravery-cowardice antic it snatches from kid's story books. Holding that end of the bargain, is Morgan Freeman as an old skillful hitman, that is running from the in's and out's of the world for solace. His equation with a hothead amateur played by Jaime Wolvett shows some of the finest bickerings between two subsequent generations of all.

Cloaking as an involuntary judge lies Clint Eastwood, the sort of anti-hero which everyone fears, even audience. But this is certainly one big distraction, for personally, Gene Hackman's version of corrupt power in hand, is the best door to knock on. From long intense sequences like capturing Richard Harris or seducing him for one last shot in the jail, some of the finest acting is to be seen from his account, if anyone gets in your nerves, it's him. Unforgiven is exactly what it claims to be, a memorable cast colliding with guns blazing in their hands and slick one-liners to make your head spinning.

Juliet, Naked
½

Nothing Is New. Nothing Is Old.

Juliet, Naked

Peretz is clearly a fanboy for romantic films; or so it seems, gullible for cheesy emotional patches sticking it forcibly on uncalled situations. You can practically see him all giddy up for these tear jerking manipulative sequences, unfortunately the audience is much smarter than to swallow up any given pill. The film is low on such crafted works, along with the adaptation and the execution. Still the film manages to keep us thoroughly entertained and the credit goes to nothing but Nick Hornby's novel. He has chosen storytelling over the characters.

And no matter how questionable or even dodgy it gets, the eerie baggage that each character comes with, is just delightful to encounter. Take the first meeting of Annie (Rose Byrne) and Tucker (Ethan Hawke) for instance. The way Hawke juggles multiple characters barging in on the screen, one after another, he handles them with equal sincerity and foliating a definite background of their storyline by ignorance and light humorous tone or even "dad" jokes. A testament of his learned skills on playing theatres for ages, Hawke casts his character as an all bets lost rockstar, that is fixing his wounds with household tapes.

Byrne as our host isn't ready to take this huge responsibility on the screen, despite of having a wider range and good amount of alone powerful screen time allotted, she never gets to you. Chris O'Dowd as the comic relief in the film works just as fine as it was expected from him. Personally, the best bit and also the surprising aspect of the film is the sweet equation between Hawke and his son, Hawke teaching him and guiding him on every step is a gift you cannot wait to have more. Juliet, Naked doesn't dare to peel off nature to that extent and neither it can, what it can and does is offer you some good time.

Hearts Beat Loud

Smooth Familiar Guitar Songs.

Hearts Beat Loud

Haley is far from the vision and the audience he wishes to serve it. Still, there is an admirable stillness in the film that recreates a cozy environment on the screen for us to accept these characters quickly, easily. The narration and execution is pretty much standard or even cliched, in fact, the content is a big void floating around in space, relying upon performance. With basically nothing happening in the world of these incredibly sweet and appealing characters, the runtime might overkill the film but the viewers would still like to hang around them. And the real reason behind it, is obviously the core relationship of the father (Nick Offerman) and the daughter (Kiersey Clemons).

It picks out the most mundane, commercial and yet crucial career decision, also blending in with a social moral dilemma, in order to spice things up. But this overcooked or under cooked script, would need a lot more than some standard spicy ingredients. Aforementioned, performance is the only savior of this almost sinking ship and fortunately the captain on charge is Offerman as Frank; a haunted musical past that pulls and pushes him into professional and social lifestyle.

Sam, played by Clemons, as his daughter isn't supporting him accordingly. And yet, she is not the biggest disappointment, as Toni Collette is completely underused. Surprisingly, Ted Danson as Offerman's friend- or so he calls himself- has a much more moving investment in the storytelling than any other. The musical sequences are often stretched, so if you are up for the slow groovy music, this might be your jam, if not, you wouldn't wanna buy into this album. Hearts Beat Loud doesn't beat as it claims to or aspire to, it is a slow cycle ride that you would only take if your doctor recommended it.

Last Resort
Last Resort(2001)

Stay For One More Night.

Last Resort

Pawlikowski has a certain theme in his films. Never changing and yet always inspiring in its new dimension that it is confined in, Pawel Pawlikowski; the co-writer and director, manages to whisper a love story in every tale of his. Back dropping the entire romance in a political satire, he jolts down each moment into an antic that it can thrive upon. Speaking fluently at the brisk of almost seventy five minutes, he has a lot of ground to cover, in this one short sprint. The brooded figures analyzed in here has a mature levity in them, in a way that isn't humorous, but fascinating and expressive about their behavior.

Tanya our host of this temporary stay in a new world played beautifully by Dina Korzun, who is surprisingly far better whilst being goofy and silly around her companions, rather than sulking alone in a room. She gazes her child and the film somehow seems complete in its entirety. The fear goes away, along with all the threats and troubles, the chemistry crafted by her is enough to speak for all of them.

But personally, I feel for Alfie (Paddy Considine), he is the real backbone of the film and our protagonist, he is supporting without any questions or any trade, he is so good a character, that he seems superficial, sort of a fragment of Korzun's imagination. And her kid too has something to fill in, something to say, and that very character proves Pawlikowski's attempt of completing the circle, the script, to its full. Although, the theme explored are often dark in his films, there is a sweet innocence in its deeds that doesn't let go of your hand. Last Resort is neither the first nor last, it is a vital, memorable one that can't be replaced.

My Summer of Love

Excorcism On Love.

My Summer Of Love

Pawlikowski has always been keen on details. From camera work to his meticulous adaptation to Helen Cross's novel, he has reasons and rights to fall deep into them, as a result we too are falling into it. This short and often shifty ride that pops back and forth i.e. from romance to thriller and from drama to satire, the sense of urgency and provoking irritation of not achieving the freedom, speaks clearly how and when Pawel Pawlikowski; the screenwriter and director, triumphs on his work.

The first half of the film basically just sweeps away all the distraction and the introductory formalities of the structure where subconsciously Mona's (Natalie Press) lack of freedom on even an opinion and Tamsin's (Emily Blunt) flight of freedom is jolted down accurately on screen. The typical rift between siblings is exaggerated wisely to a suicidal rage in order to express the confound and cornered emotions of Mona completely to us.

And this tug of war of controlling each others lives is the core equation of the film solved effortlessly by the makers. Phil, Mona's brother, played by Paddy Considine is a forced to be reckoned with. His powerful character and performance creates a spiritual antagonist fighting both metaphorically and literally on screen. Blunt's performance defines when she listens to Phil and his ideologies that captures her; he is easy she claims later on, but she does fool us for a moment. Unfortunately, the lead actor, Press isn't as outstanding as her supporting cast is, her conflicts are easily absorbing hence it grows easy on us. The film is not as breezy as it looks, it notions towards dark territories and then beams within a snap, leaving us shook and satisfied. My Summer Of Love is a brief affair, exhilarating, bumpy and wiser.

The Full Monty
½

Shake And Groove Off Beat.

The Full Monty

Cattaneo's film is a big box of chocolates- not to steal any quotes- surprising and delightful the experience is, the humor part of it is just a cherry on top of all the razzle dazzle it sweats for. Drawing on the laughs with physical comedy, body shaming jokes and blatantly stealing and stripping, the film distracts you with equal sincerity on the appealing aspects of the script. This group of broken guys at the brisk of declaring bankruptcy in their professional and personal life, all comes in with a specific characteristic. A stereotypical format of such genre, but the content in here is not to be taken lightly, their own conflicts and solutions they resist and lean towards is what the entire film thrives upon.

The emotional drama is not over chewed or even manipulative, the subtle nuances of the heartwarming relationship of a father and son is something that is ticking throughout the course of the film set in background. Aforementioned, the humor isn't cheap, at times it is swept in smoothly into narration. For instance, when Gerald played by Tom Wilkinson confesses his embarrassing secret to Dave portrayed by Mark Addy.

Speaking of whom, Addy's characters is the strongest of all and his performance makes a powerful impact on the film as he struggles with possibly from all directions; the Rocky themed background score is a pretty nice touch to it. Gaz (Robert Carlyle) the leader of the group is the apt host to follow, since he is uncertain in his own rules and terms, the affection for him comes rushing in as he guides his kid with fair examples in life. Simon Beaufoy has written a smart illuminating script, The Full Monty, as titled, goes on full speed with its gripping layered screenplay that is not provoking but ingenious in its comfort zone.

Vox Lux
Vox Lux(2018)
½

Wrap It Up.

Vox Lux

Corbet has a concept and an avant-garde panache on exploring that concept. The result is surprisingly one big mixed bag of feelings. Unfortunately, "cheated" is one of them. Not for its incompetency or some bourgeois method, but for the hope it offers us. Among so many fumbles and in-congruent long take unedited shots- or so it seems like- there are moments where he steals the show with genuinely moving scenes and just good, fine writing. Also it is hard to summarize this film and not use "over this and over that". It does take the maturity of its concept for granted, the style that has helped us get in on this vision of Brady Corbet; the writer-director, is also the anchor that weighs it down.

It is basically a double edge sword, overstaying its welcoming and overtaxing its audience for their patience, it looses the grasp over them and the film. The narration is separately allotted clips for Willem Dafoe to fill in and then also are other empty shots of locations that feels like an awkward open void that no one took care of. Craving for the stillness in the film is one thing and halting the narration to savor it is another. Often or not, you find yourself to be in a head scratching position in order to reach for the maker's vision.

He isn't delivering anything upfront which is good since it challenges the viewers to up the game but then is also guarding this apparently precious material through excruciating antics of his that is nothing but a chunk of cliched picks of this genre. Aforementioned, the concept makes it all worth exploring, especially since it puts the film itself on trial. Questioning these celebrities and the darker side of the show business, it is lopping off its own branch with an axe.

A fine model to look forward to only if itself wouldn't have been an Oscar bait. Young Celeste and Albertine played by Raffey Cassidy has done a marvelous work on playing these both completely different characters. Jude Law's character is the most juiciest and would be fun to play, and his performance respects that piece of art equally. But as anticipated it would always be Portman's film. Her version of the on camera and off camera behavior of the pop stars is just a delight to watch.

Her sassiness and insults comes in handy, what's fascinating to behold in her performance, is the incapability to pretend in front of the reporters and public. Even her performance has got that uneasiness and also at time cheesiness that mocks these famous personalities from all directions. She is the champagne part of the evening, her bubbled up anger in a calm flashy world that she revolves around, sparks up our night to have one more glass unapologetically. Vox Lux is sort of a new sheriff in town, the vision of Corbet has a big voluptuous heart in it, disappointingly the narration is of seen-this-seen-that conflicts.

Instant Family

Adopt And Adapt.

Instant Family

Anders has methods that are often on trial and questioned at times, but no matter how far away the film is from being perfect, it is undeniably and thoroughly entertaining. The tear jerking acts of the film comes in handy with the concept but what's surprising is the slick humor of the script. The screenwriters Sean Anders (the director) and John Morris tries way too hard on drawing on the laughs between these big wallop of dramatic antics, and even though you can practically see them sweating behind the camera to try and tickle you, for the most part of the film they do succeed.

And primarily, I think this is their major contender- the surprise factor- since it is made with your typical format and textbook structure, one does not presume to have fun time. Does it get you? Yes, it does. And at times the writing does go manipulative but the film has a big heart for you to let few things go by, you wouldn't mind doing so, in fact, you'll love it. The support meetings are genuinely fun, with some cheap shots and repetitive jokes, the energy of that room is something we all connect and nod to.

The kids are allotted few characteristics to stick by; like the boy always gets himself hurt, which shucks away the integrity, but then it also draws in few chuckles. Rose Byrne as the mother of this family is sweet but unfortunately nothing more than that, despite of her irritation or annoyance towards the work that goes into it, barely anything else communicates to you. Mark Wahlberg as the father too looks a bit constrained and not in his A game on this one, although in his hectic last act, his meltdown is definitely powerful. Instant Family is exactly it sounds like, fast, flawed and heartwarming.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
½

One More Lap.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby

McKay drives the energy of the film with his witty improv comic skills and impenetrable confidence in his silliness. I have barely witnessed any other filmmaker speak so effervescently and with conviction on the most bourgeois discussion or detail in a film. And it is that clean crisp goofiness in his film that makes it thoroughly entertaining. He is well aware of each character's background, logistics and actions. Using that very information, he draws in most of the laughs. From pointing out the vibration of the stadium or the corruption of the ticket holders, Adam McKay; the co-writer and director, never loses the grasp over his vision.

And then adding the right ingredient is Will Ferrell- the writing partner of McKay- playing the role of a childish NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby whose uncouth language; something that runs on generation, is the least bit of fun you are about to get. The real laughs are drawn in when Ferrell is set loose to improvise and run the film on his own, stripping down in the middle of a car race, series of monologues that describes inappropriate endorsements and let's face it, the good old trash talk.

Speaking of which, receiving the other end of the trash talk is Sacha Baron Cohen as his rival, is hilarious while racing and also keeping himself busy with other activities at the same time. Completing this dream team is John C. Reilly as the last piece of the puzzle, who with his brotherhood issues convinces you along with Ferrell to be his friend, no matter how rude he grows to him. Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby is exactly what you would expect from these group of guys, McKay's thorough investigation on the lifestyle of these bratty drivers is a satisfying and malleable sketchy ride.

Do the Right Thing

Do It If Spike Says So.

Do The Right Thing

Lee's indie masterpiece that got him recognition and fame like never before, defines the very term "situational comedy" at its best. Building up one big climatic riot- for two whole hours- on which the entire film hinges upon is brimmed with series of hilarious political humor that tickles you throughout the course. Basically, what Spike Lee; the writer-director, has to do and does is create a mundane environment in the street where each character- no matter how much small- factors in on this huge controversial event. And he does it with such flamboyant command over the film, that you are left in awe of its sheer practicality.

Take the sweet flirty relationship between De Mayor (Ossie Davis) and Mother Sister (Ruby Dee), for instance, their trajectory on how their bittersweet equation evolves into an affectionate sentimental moment is enough to carve out the meat of the or the leap of the imagination it shows of Lee's. The other tiny sequences holds up grudges like fascism on admiring the love for celebrities or an invasion of a third party in an ongoing cold war or fighting for the rights to listen and express the views.

These are the provoking notions that charges them and us to reach a cathartic climax. As much as brilliant Lee is off camera, his onscreen investment often comes off as misdirected, since he fails to obliviate his authority off screen. Nevertheless, from support like John Turturro as a hot head Pino and Samuel L. Jackson as a sharp narrator named- or claimed- Love Daddy on a local radio, he is in safe hands. Personally, Danny Aiello as Sal and often the senior among this group, steals the show for me with his brilliant frustrated performance that is ready to burst out any second. Do The Right Thing tosses an unbiased coin, fair and honest in its words, it doesn't ask questions but answers them.

Y Tu Mama Tambien

Hitchhiking On Demand.

Y Tu Mama Tambien

Cuaron's language is so smart that it is practically silly. His quest for the philosophical challenges that life and death pins down in a moment, comes involuntarily. His vision so pure in its reach that he is basically crafting himself on screen, there is a version of him, a piece of him residing on the screen that ignites the forest fire. The conversations between these more than three dimensional characters doesn't seem scripted at all. There is no cinematic arc or an antic in here, maybe that's his home run. His words are simple, easy and adaptive, he starts of smooth and takes everything for granted, all a tomfoolery and yet perfectly balanced on the concept it explores.

He uses his frame wisely, like when Luisa played by Maribel Verd confronts her husband on a phone, in the background Julio (Gael Garcia Bernal) and Tenoch (Diego Luna) are goofing around. Declining to compromise the writing in order to shift the tone into serious hard facts, the co-writer and director, Alfonso Cuaron wisely chooses to pour it all on the narrator, which steals some of the best moments of the film like when it describes a history of the location or the future trajectory of the characters, it helps him project the intensity of that current moment.

Aforementioned, the cast has done an amazing work especially all the long one take shots where there is a lot of content to cover up and is done effortlessly. The Cuaron brothers that wrote this script together has beautifully painted the equation of the brotherhood with a hint of silliness of a young teenage mentality that we all can resonate with easily. Y Tu Mama Tambien works only for its rigid nature of not surrendering itself to the corrupt cinematic aspects, it grows less and less cinema-alike and feels more and more cinematic.

Eastern Promises

An Unfaithful And Broken Asset.

Eastern Promises

Cronenberg has a smart stable method to work his way up on the ladder. His simplicity, and even cliches, has a panache that any filmmaker would die to have for. His lucid flow on storytelling is why it all looks so simple and easy. He doesn't rely much upon antics, but when there are their to work upon, he makes sure he builds them up sincerely and weaves them out sharply on the screen. Take the holy ceremonial or mythological ritual sequence that these gangs go through before claiming their titles or roles in their community. That entire sequence where Mortensen surrenders himself to their religion or the game that they believe in and feed themselves in, says a lot about the integrity of these characters.

These tiny characteristics of the characters is why we care, this attractive nature of theirs makes us root for them from the start. There isn't much action in the film, but only once does Mortensen throws a punch, and that entire sequence is not only well choreographed and shot but also brilliantly performed. Nikolai; the protagonist, played powerfully by Viggo Mortensen is not your average Godfather-like mafia member, he wants to prove himself and he does.

Naomi Watts cloaking as Anna, the sort-of voice of the reason of the film has unfortunately very less to invest. In fact, Vincent Cassel as a spoiled brat has much more threat to convey with his uncertainty. Stephen Knight, the writer, is not overprotective or melodramatic about his content, he gives up easily but wisely, he makes sure that there is another surprising layer attached to it, to ground the emotions and justify these killings. Eastern Promises has a promising premise, scoffing off the usual crime drama rigmarole, David Cronenberg focuses on the heart of these characters.

Ben is Back
Ben is Back(2018)
½

Back For One More Entry.

Ben Is Back

Hedges is not sure about what he wants to say. And it's that uncertainty in his vocab that aches us throughout this day. He has not clearly adapted the version of or the genre of the film he wants to put in front of us. Maybe he is mixing up things a bit or trying to surprise his viewers, anyhoo, the result is a confused dish with plethora of ingredients and no taste to savour it. The script written by the director Peter Hedges himself, is a complete one. There is no extra branch hanging around in it for a distraction or dramatic effects.

It is written with a sense of constructing a crime thriller investigation where at the actual stakes is drama. And this is what it's entire second half is brimmed of, the investigation process carried off by a team of two partners that are trying to overcome their issues and limitations along with solving a burglary. I can imagine the bells ringing enthusiastically in maker's head as this idea illuminated in front of him. And as much as fascinating this topic of discussion is, the weaving and execution of the script is equally banal.

Which now leaves the film on the hand of our two partners in crime, Holly Burns (Julia Roberts) as the mother of a drug addict Ben Burnes played beautifully by Lucas Hedges, and they stay true to their promises till the last act. In fact, I would presume to be script written in a way to be relied upon the performances, pinning down powerful sequences one by one into script that acts like an antic to step upon, the portrayal of this mother-son equation paints this exploration dark theme by bright appealing colors.

Hedges is growing out to be one of the top contenders of current generation actors, from supporting to leading the film all on his merits he has managed to show his skills at its best. His first confessional monologue in a meeting is a fine example of it as he whips you with a big wallop of tear jerking emotions. Roberts on the other hand is an equal threat, she has more of a parallel role than a supporting one and she trying to be rigid and one dimensional when it comes to cure her son, is the ultimate armor of hers that helps her survive this battle.

Other supporting cast merely plays out to be like a pawn, where they can easily be described as those pieces of puzzles that we usually encounter on a crime drama that helps the protagonist to end the investigation sooner. A lot of films this year has chosen this theme to send out a message, each being different and intriguing on their own terms, this one stands alone for the race-against-time nature of it. Ben Is Back is almost titled as if some B grade action film is, there is a levity to it but then it also explains too much and too little of what the film is about.

The Grinch
The Grinch(2018)

Recreating The Weekday Lifestyle.

The Grinch

Illumination may be far from Pixar, but with adorable appealing characters that we all can resonate with, they soar above all for their gregarious tone. This infamous Dr. Suess's novel has had many adaptation but none of them actually quite got its cinematic version right. Maybe it doesn't have enough content to run for an hour long period or maybe simply there isn't anything cinematic about it, either way the result has never bred the sincerity the original tale had. Still, reincarnating this old chestnut of social satire, Illumination has at least managed to make this hostile host more friendly and adaptable to the kids.

Voicing the iconic and titled character of Dr. Suess's visionary world, is Benedict Cumberbatch, for whom, it seems like this grumpy version wasn't difficult to voice. Since his previous egoistic roles has offered him to be easily offended and annoyed by the social rigmarole, it seems almost as if like Cumberbatch was born for this role. And perhaps this is what Cumberbatch's big win is, he makes it look easy as it should. Other voicing actors does their job perfectly with Pharrell Williams narrating and Cameron Seely winning our hearts with her cute voice over on Cindy-Lou Who.

The music being a major part of this film is surprisingly good, not the on screen musical numbers sung by the actors, but the up beating background score. One would have assumed that remaking this fairy tale- almost -would mean that the makers have something new to invest in this storytelling, unfortunately, one mourns at the end of it. Kenan Thompson as the opposite personality to Cumberbatch, steals the show with his uncalled enthusiasm and hilarious one-liners. The Grinch works- sort of- in reverse for us, if the lead character turns from being disappointed to satisfied.

Destroyer
Destroyer(2018)

Style That Kills.

Destroyer

Kusama is overthinking and over chewing the content that apparently she has taken granted for. More or less fumbling on narrating a productive story, the film is one big moot point. This non-linear screenplay barely has something to say let alone be something new. With effortful twists and turns, all the hokum that it sweats for, protrudes an unstable unnerving ride where no one is happy at the beginning of it nor thrilled at the end of it. And the one big revelation that the makers crave for, most probably, disappears amidst provocative tear jerking episodes which writers claims here to be a drama.

This thriller genre feature has barely any thrills to he relied upon. The behemoth antics that it relies upon is a bourgeois attempt of carrying out the rudimentary procedure of "investigation". The storytelling focuses on "who" or "why" of it, while it should have kept its eyes upon "how" of it. Since Kidman is on the driver's seat for the most part of it, the chills of the close calls gets lost into pretentious loud background score.

Take her first invasion for example, Whitford playing DiFranco, catcher her by the nerves and yet it is so bizarrely executed that Kidman's performance brings out nothing but pity from us. Another such antic that it roots for, is the "bank robbery gone wrong" scene. Now, not only is it poorly choreographed but the execution isn't clean enough to map out the entire sequence for us to nod agreeably. Followed by a chase scene, the cat fight between Kidman and Maslany is the only action that you are about to get.

What it majorly lacks on these big moments is confidence to pull it off with conviction, while ironically the rest of the part is over confident about its material it passes on. Nicole Kidman cloaking as Erin Bell with a make-up for transformation that may not make her scarier but surely makes her a grimmy old boxer in a twelfth round that can both take and throw a punch. What's fascinating is the tug of war between the script and Kidman. Everytime the film flies high through cheesy conversations and melodramatic moments, Kidman pins it down to the ground with her gritty practical nuances that makes it more appealing.

The testament of her brilliant performance lies on her body language, the way she drives a car, the way she reloads a gun and the way she pulls her man to kiss, she literally carries off the film all on her own. Sebastian Stan as her love angle doesn't come off impressive or expressive as it was aspired, the energy of their chemistry is all controlled by Kidman. Aforementioned, the non-linear narration does charm you at the end of the line, but with eerie camera work and inessential slow motion shots it shucks away the earned integrity. Plus, after the pockets are emptied, you are left with an unsatisfactory feeling which will always haunt you and on that very note, it probably is a Destroyer.

Blaze
Blaze(2018)

My Mellow Melodies.

Blaze

Hawke, surprisingly doesn't have the Linklater-ness in him. His methods are not illuminating but romantic. He craves for the love and the chemistry that he evidently understands, is often the crux of the game. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the guns to pull it off. The actors doesn't have the caliber to carry it all on their shoulders. In fact, the push, the spark, itself isn't enough for them to boost off for a long marathon. Their fatal sprints and leaps is not a way to be still, to just breathe, on screen. Ben Dickey plays the titled character Blaze Foley and might show some promising talent on the dramatic monologues and musical numbers.

Sybil played by Alia Shawkat is the major upset. She is incredible in their heartwarming moments as a couple sharing some flirty humorous talks, but as soon as the edginess comes in on the equation, the mutterings fades into silence. She fails to push Dickey back and then pull him. One of the most dramatic scene where Shawkat completely loses at drunk Dickey is a fine example of it, as the audience fails to grasp any whatsoever drama projected on screen.

On terms of writing, the script does have antics to rely upon, which may not come off easy to behold it on screen. And yes, Hawke fails to glorify them on screen, and primary reason to that would be him not trying to build up any sequence to that one moment that it hinges upon. The conversations and the cameos stabilizes this over thought out film, where in both the cases you can see a glimpse of Richard Linklater; all the jokes are funny in here. Blaze is anything but blazing, it is warm, but definitely not blazing, it is cozy but not blazing, calculative not blazing.

Looper
Looper(2012)

It Goes On And On And On.

Looper

Johnson might as well be cheating and you wouldn't know the difference. Now, is that good or bad? Definitely good in this case. If the razzle dazzle that he offers comes with a prize to strain your brain and reach for the star, there is very little wrong in that. The brain straining, unfortunately, isn't challenging but a homework. He isn't raising questions, he is answering them, just not briefly, and that meticulous overly-brimmed paper on screen is a double edge sword. It helps him a lot, to get in on your mind but also gets too much inside of it. This frequent fluctuation of the tone could have easily been off putting, but this is where Johnson's skillful vocab comes in and save the day.

His material may not be thoroughly original but is undeniably refreshing, this eerie mixture of sci-fi genre blend in with indie filmmaking is a delight to look at. Joe, (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) the time traveller, is the perfect guide to this journey, he speaks street uncouth language through his deeds that puts him on trial on ethical margin leaving a wondrous arc on the screen. Blunt, Segan and Daniels as the supporting cast delivers decently with creating few good chemistry on screen.

Disappointingly, Willis (Old Joe) isn't justifying his character through his performance, the sequence where Johnson recreates a scene from "The Heat" where, only once in the film, Joe and Old Joe goes head to head on screen and Willis is clearly not helping. Another powerful scene where Willis, after assassinating an innocent being, fails to color his performance with remorse. To be fair, Johnson seems rushed in there, often in the film, the emotional aspects of the characters are skipped over by the adrenaline rush the script contains. Looper does have an end of line, it makes sure that the end was worth the start.

Border (Gräns)

A Love Triangle.

Border

Abbasi asks for a lot; fortunately "please" is not one of it. He gives a lot too. But then what he gives can be too much for sensitive ones. It's just not everyone's cup of tea. Poignancy will have a new definition at the end of it as innocence gets peeled blatantly on screen. To balance the tone, he keeps his film thrive on its beauty. But this ongoing battle might leave the audience scarred for ever. Personally, I felt it challenging to go through this experience. Overwhelming it is, on both sides of the door, this romantic drama is a war that keeps scraping your wound. The only complaint in here could be his fantasy. Yes, it was asked for, but should it have been pathos to that scale?

What's worse above all, is that the mythology that it is set in, itself is gore. One often escapes into such tale to get lost in its unique wonder. But not here, his graphic vision tests you more than it teases you. As anticipated, such characters or content revolving around a bullied persona often fuels itself with fragile eye popping elements to lure you in. For instance, the textbook formula of igniting the spark between the lead couple, is often a series of incredibly adorable and mesmerizing elements that makes us root for them.

Don't get me wrong, it does make us root for them, but the procedure is a wee bit different, it bubbles up the raunchy wilderness among them that might scatter your heart into pieces and fix it back with temporary promises- and this is of the least inedible substance in the film. And now as far as the practicality of the world and society that we revolve around is concerned it is simply cringe worthy. Humanity,- if I dare call it- the exploration of it has been a bless and a curse.

Blessing for how honestly it conveys and a curse for how honestly it conveys. It felt more like documentary than it was cinematic. Tina- our protagonist- played by Eva Melander has done a fabulous work on foliating her performance through tiny meticulous notions of an animalistic nature. The way she keeps herself distant from everyone, the way she sniffs, her understanding of an innocent being afraid of her whether it be then babies or dogs, her performance is her awarenesses of the suit that she is covered under.

Vore, his love angle, portrayed by Eero Milonoff is equally good on supporting her where he doesn't get that wide a range. This chemistry is somewhat equivalent to- if I dare compare-Titanic. As in, a guy of his own set rules and laws enters into her calculative and well bordered lifestyle, invading through exhilarating new schemes ties the knot that she fails to unhook herself with; for a brief period. What was disappointing to me is that those schemes could have been more tantalizing. Border does differentiate the uniqueness of oneself, it asks for you to sit side by side comfortably, for hours, ages and lives.

Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku)

Lift It Higher.

Manbiki Kazoku

Koreeda is a skillful writer weaving out set pieces in his words that are individually captivating in its entirety. And the result is one long satisfying stay. You feel like a guest entering his world and he welcomes you with open arms. He is a host that respects the boundaries and sculpts the antics accordingly. To be honest, his film is split into only two acts. It all starts with Yuri (Muyi Sasaki) accepting the house as a guest and the response she gets from each member of the house. Picking out a string of an equation of each member of the family with her, the act spirals out series of sequences that brick by brick constructs a suave strong bonding in the risky yet overprotective house.

And on the other side, the second act, is completely opposite, it deconstructs those already established rumors, with the help of the clues spread around in its first act, and the fire catches slowly and poetically. The characters start questioning things that we- the audience- have been questioning from the first frame, and this connection has its own merits, it feels incredibly cathartic to dance in sync with the characters. Aki played by Mayu Matsuoka has the strongest role to portray, particularly since she is away from all the razzle dazzle that this family goes through.

And yet spiritually she finds the same mirror to confront herself in. Her bonding with her grandmother that isn't actually explored thoroughly in the film is actually subjected to Sasaki's character that is in her initial stages of this grand welcome of the family; a masterstroke by the writer. Osamu (Lily Franky) and Shota (Jyo Kairi), the core relationship of the film pins down the fragility of the responsibility that a teacher or an idol carries but personally I loved his equation with Aki (Sakura Ando) as it never fully conjures the screen.

There is a lot that they have been through and evidently a lot we have to catch up with, the decision maker and the hard worker and the nature versus nurture, these improvements raised in early stages makes it more shady and juicy. And Ando as a protective guardian to this family has performed majestically, her confessional scenes- and there are plenty- can reason out of the room, the moment when she finally accepts Sasaki as her daughter and burns her clothes, is one of the best scene of the film.

It projects not only her willful right and the command over the spirit but also her confident to be a parent; a powerful scene sincerely fabricated by equally powerful performance. Koreeda's world is actually too diplomatic to be cinematic, yet his meticulous script that glorifies tiny characteristics of the scenario, brings out an exhilarating experience from us. This is a sort of script that thrives upon various elements, collecting them like coins, Koreeda is on a sprint for a marathon where at the end of the line, these Shoplifters are more humans even though less civilized.

Cold Pursuit
Cold Pursuit(2019)

Silent Sirens.

Cold Pursuit

Moland's second take on a quirky revenge based tale is a clear "style over substance" case. This remake fails on both causes, it uproots the essence of the humor that made "In Order Of Disappearance" smooth and flamboyant, and makes it pretentiously commercial. And on the other hand, it comes off short on performance. But there is something in Neeson's eyes that makes you root for the guy. He has always cast that persona on screen over the ages. The brooding voice, slick body language and his panache on the command over the other characters, he gambles the game effortlessly. This is the kind of role that he fits in perfectly for.

His on screen fear over the ages, helps us nod easily on setting up the ruthless background of his. Although, this image of his isn't on run until it's last act scrolls upon. The initial stages where he is investigating- or one might call it killing people like a Domino where each of them will lead him close to end the game- that rage of merciless encounter is poured over on pawns. Also, Moland's way of announcing a death is slick fun. It grows on you and balances the tone on chalky humor, along with being informative.

Dern as Neeson's wife is barely there to invest on anything. She is almost playing a cameo and still she is better than half of the other cast. Another major crisis in here is the antagonist. There is never a real threat experienced by the viewers whenever the antagonists are on screen. Mocking their own profession and investigating poorly by lopping off their own team members, this stereotypical clan is barely capable to make Neeson writhe on screen. Bateman's irritation over Neeson's ruling might communicate but that too is when his wife steps in and a new chain of cycle is introduced on screen that somewhat helps it grows into more hefty.

Another plus point on their side, is the invasion of another gang which is clearly more life threatening than our real "bad guys". Their poised and reserved nature leaves the other characters shaking on their seat as they move slowly but steadily near to their revenge. This is where Moland's script delivers completely, its awareness on the catastrophe that each action spirals out, is what helps him puppeteer multiple characters on screen. Like Rossum's cop character that has its own interesting tale to tell.

The action isn't necessarily gore and the locations beautifully shot that does fool you to expect maturity on the narration. On terms of originality, there is a long way to go, this B grade action drama is unfortunately short on both action and drama. This remake of Moland's own Norwegian film is a big chunk of disappointment, incapable to regain the magic, the star power is your only stable source to work upon and rely upon. Cold Pursuit is definitely a cold pursuit, with none whatsoever threat of emergency, it is on run without looking back.

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part

A Toy Story.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

Mitchell is clearly afraid to try anything new. Looped in the same process that we have already seen before, this installment works on nothing but humor. And as always, the humor has been ironical, pointing out the obvious in each scenario, it mocks down its own flaws and characters from all the sides. The references too helps in a lot, a culmination of all iconic characters, bubbles up the films, TVs, sports and pop cultural references that clearly is kept in mind in order to tickle its younger audience. And mind you, it's not for that younger audience- for them the visual effects and action is enough to blow their minds- it is more armed towards the teenage audience.

The musical sequences are my favorites, especially the way they start. There is always one among them opposing to hum along the tune, usually it's Banks. But personally for me, Arnett's musical numbers makes me tickle the most. In fact, his entire track is the highlight of the film. Not tied into any strings from the actual plot, he is literally there to mock everyone. His attitude of not accepting his mistakes, no matter how many time they ride that joke, comes out hilarious.

His entire image has gone topsy-turvy; he wears white cloak, he is not a bachelor anymore and he sings and dance to all the beats, and Haddish is the one to blame. Her character swoops in with charm and electrifies the whole screen like a concert. The non-animated part of the film is not only poorly performed but also shot with dull camera work that anchors the film. The emotions that it is trying to capture through it, seems in-congruent to its tone, we are so sunk in this tomfoolery world, that sincerity grows into a myth and the makers should have been aware of it and should have toned it down a bit.

Pratt, voicing two characters this time, is pretty much decent in his revisiting role but much more effecting in his newer suit. The endorsement he does of himself with such commitment and a "cool" voice does fool us along with the characters around him. Banks, the voice of the reason, gets to play the mellow part, despite of having a completely different persona than any other characters, she fails to stand out on her own merits, "her character just isn't ready to change."

Unlike the previous one, there aren't lots of things going on in screen, the makers have definitely minimized the plethora of characters version which helps us stay with the narration easily. The comments passed by famous stars every now and then, steals the thunder of the scene, like when everyone rushes down Batman's house, Alfred yells, "No shoes!" or Bruce Willis jumping in or an eerie equation of Superman and Green Lantern, the film keeps us busy through these formulas and we all nod along effervescently. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is a step down for the franchise where it still might be worth playing with but the original essence is clearly missing.

Election
Election(1999)
½

Voting Without Any Care.

Election

Payne writes like a twelve year old boy does in his personal diary. Without any care of the structure or grammar, he just writes, honestly. He blatantly spits out all the emotions in layman terms, so free and so simple in his command over the film, that he moves everyone with it. His knack of projecting the tiniest aspect of the novel that he is adapting from, thrusts the entire film to a busy environment that you cannot help but get engaged in it. Somewhat Scorsese-like in his methods, his film is hilariously smart. The observational comedy is his approach and the result is basically a riot of laughter.

There is sincerity in each scene of the film and there are aplenty in here, he takes care of all the perspective and with a stable pace, he drives smoothly off the town like a sheriff. This illuminating satire of social and political world that we neglect every now and then, is one of the quirkiest and strongest film to set in a college field. Witherspoon, committing in her sassy-ness brings out a gutsy hatred towards her from us every time she speaks and that is her real win. The annoyance and eye scratching body language of hers shows powerful finesse on her acting.

Klein and Campbell- the Metzlers- are completely opposite to Witherspoon, they are adorable and instantly likable on screen, although their performance isn't as convincing as Witherspoon. Broderick is the victim, the character for pity and to be rooted, often fumbling and wrong in his decisions, he humanizes the character through slick humor on being the butt of the joke; something not everyone is able to pull off on a screen. Election is exactly like the real ones, sugar coated in a college life it attracts the viewer to this not-so-absorbing concept with open arms.

Alpha
Alpha(2018)
½

A Walk In A Park.

Alpha

Hughes is utterly confident in his fantasy, he personifies nature in a character that has much more to say than our protagonist. There is a lot of Lee's Life Of Pie in it, but he makes sure he says beyond something than a brief encounter to the nature. He may not explore it thoroughly or dive deep into it, but he surely animates them to a larger scale. But no matter how sharp his vision grow or how skillful the method is, it is still a typical textbook of the genre. Familiar in its version and a theme with elements that we have all encountered before, there is a slow rhythm to it that makes you groove on your feet. The dance and romance between the nature and nurture aspect of those characters oozes and appeals power to us.

Visually, the film is beautifully, bright lit sky at night and single coloured theme on each frame attracts the viewer to these live locations despite of being short handed on visual effects. The rich cultural traditions and rituals along with smart tactics proves the amount of detailing that went through in this process. The screenplay may not be mature but also never loses its cannon of speech, there barely resides any verbal sparring, and it is that amiability of physical sequences that communicates with us the most.

The performance is admirable if not completely outstanding, the lead cast survives progressively and expressively for us and we can filter out the effort easily. The initial tough equation between our protagonist and the wolf is the best of all, afraid of each others skills and behavior, they find a mutual admiration that binds them forever. Alpha is not the lead of this group, it certainly is vital to it, an expected, promised and delivered product.

Million Dollar Baby
½

A Good Bold Deed.

Million Dollar Baby

Eastwood makes it look easy. It's as simple as that, over the years, watching him blend in, in all sorts of genre there never seems any doubt how much he adores the cinema. There is mutual love and respect, if there is sincerity in Eastwood's methods, the response is equally charming. Magnanimous is his vision and is exactly what he gets. But above all what fascinates me the most is how he reserves his persona on both on and off screen, I hardly remember yelling him ever on screen, Freeman had to jump in and point out, "You think she can hear you from here?" The answer is yes. She does; she may not follow it but she does.

The cathartic equation of this trio is the root of the film. With humor as slick as their body language- few lines from Baruchel doesn't fit in appropriately though- and flamboyancy on their rhythm that makes you scream for its awesomeness, it makes you want to warp back to your childhood days, never has someone loved something such unconditionally. It is for all the drama we crave for, we are not aware of where it can take us, but somehow we have been craving for it.

This has never been a sports genre for me, I couldn't care less about those knockout punches, I am waiting for Swank to go back to her corner and tangle more with Eastwood's vision. Haggis- the screenwriter- has written a complete script, swooping in all the drama or even humor- that you might think isn't essential to the storytelling- "forming a circle" gets a whole new definition. With an incredibly intense narration by Freeman, few poetic lines are the least bit of metaphor you are going to get, the real content is hidden beneath those questions that he keeps asking us; a smart move by the writer as it factors a lot on advancing the storytelling.

And mind you, Freeman is not just a narrator, everyone gets one last shot (Eastwood gets Swank's dream and Swank gets her family) in this film and you cannot exclude him from it. Swank, the one that dares to dream, is confidently appealing on her terms, her bizarre fascination of ending a fight within first round, her petty questions and neglecting the orders constantly, is the window which she never lets go of.

Eastwood as her father figure grows more than that you can aspire for. Yes, it was anticipated that their chemistry would be the heart of the film but to extend this friendship on such a scale still melts me down; Mo Cuishle he calls her. The first training that he gives her where he snatches the punching bag and then shuts her down only to regret it later and give her that punching back again; that bit itself says a lot about the film. Call it a trash talk or flirt talk, their conversations are brimmed with humor that makes you weep hard than it makes you tickle, those moments are Million Dollar Baby.

Smallfoot
Smallfoot(2018)

Wrong Key With A Right Note.

Smallfoot

Warner Brother looks like half Illumination and half Disney, and clearly far away from being Pixar. This knack of creating a whole new world and jumping on another perspective to draw in the laughs and humanize the characters- it may sound like a long procedure- is clearly outdated. And addition to that with chalky conversation that raises doubts more than it advances the storyline, it shucks away the integrity within first few minutes. The music too isn't engaging or melodious to convince us to hum along (except for the last track) but what's worse above all is the fact that it isn't an essential part of the narration, it feels like the makers are spending up their time.

The emotional shots that will help you connect instantly are frankly cheap and manipulative, overriding the only piece of content that they have, this predictable storytelling gives away everything in one shot and then is left with nothing but petty laughs and empty music notes. The background tale of blending in the nature of wilderness and social animals, is narrowed down to a better and admirable point but with that comes a great amount of baggage that you ought to lop off and suffer for; not a fair trade.

Aforementioned the humor is quite childish, it is one thing to not explore new territories and draw a line on R rated ones, and another to have a pun that is incompetent to draw in a single laugh. But still with fumbles like this here and there and ironical comedy as it puts us in a different shoes, the film qualifies with good visuals and a happy go lucky tone. Tatum, Zendaya and Corden lifts up few tunes nicely with some good work on voicing their characters. Smallfoot has too big a foot to fit in the shoes, expectations outgrows potential and pretentious inessential melodrama fills in the void.

Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben)
½

She Knew. He Did Not.

Todos Lo Saben

Farhadi's captivating vision is challenging in its own exotic milieu. This who-done-it case is far away from being a mystery- as it claims the title to be known and familiar to everyone- and yet so close to the thrills that you can practically hear the heart pumping faster. His meticulous script and observational humor in early stages spreads the myth around the village stories like you have been here before, you have lived your whole life here and are now about to visit those places once again. This big hash of memory refreshment adapts an apt environment for a marriage, with few bitter equations, sweet memories, humorous locals, a sad untouched and inadequate case that hangs low and above all the old uncomfortable chemistry reincarnated by new easy ones.

Farhadi makes sure that these old testaments are iterated at the most vulnerable state in order to keep the emotions at brisk and audience lost in its malleable characters. And just like people surrounding us, each of them comes with their own baggage, enough to not be easily neglected, but these Sherlock-like vibes of the film gets lost in an eerily beautiful love story.

To pull that out of the bag, after we sink in so deep into it, ought to Farhadi's greatest triumph, the humility among the lead cast that supports them at critical stage is what we want to hold onto. But Farhadi changes the tone once again, and clearly has some other plans for us, this mellow and poignant act shifts completely into a thrilling crime drama without a notice. This is where the film gets juicier when Cruz's husband comes home and silent pitches in the room replaces the petty arguments and even pettier suggestions.

The crisp tension created in those dinner table conversations cuts through all your accusations and questions like never before, once again those big bold question tags pops up as you start to blame each other. Farhadi is clearly fiddling with you subconsciously at this stage where half knowledge does grow dangerous. Cruz as the sobbing, panting victim is much more firm in her voice than she appears, her most of the screen time might be to portray a scattered protective guardian but her background tales are powerful enough to keep her husband shut for the rest of the conversation.

But this has always been Bardem's film, the underdog and the topic of all the gossips, he gets much more wider range to portray, from being suspected to suspecting, from a loser to a winner, his peace will be the only reason to leave us happy after the reel ends. Personally, I prefer them when they are tangling with other characters as they share the screen, those quick glances across the room and a notions to lean towards each other at a point of crisis, speaks enough volume for their characters. Todos Lo Saben is the aftermath of love story, unlike any other equations, this one still hasn't worn down as it pulsates vividly and paints a clean crime on screen.

Apostle
Apostle(2018)
½

Claim Your Voice.

Apostle

Evans has evidently enormous love towards mythology and his fantasy of jotting down those emotions on screen is the only reason why this film stays firmly on the ground in big whirls of winds, it may shake but it survives. The knack of outsmarting our imagination is his another way in, it has impeccably subtle narration dipped in literal bloodbath that is well reasoned and something that doesn't come off, off-putting. Slowly crawling itself for the annihilation this entire island, no matter how pasty and spooky, is something that represents the entire film and the characters revolving around it.

The action drama is a basic 1-0-1, it builds up the characters effervescently, and weaves out antics that at its best is mediocre, for the real drama is hidden somewhere else. In its initial stages it may come off as one big chunk of cliche when Sheen helms the territory, but Evans dives deep into characters and pulls out a three dimensional view in front of us that makes you rethink everything once again. And it is that rebooting of the genre in every act that helps it last long.

What I worry about among all, is Evans fragment of imagination over this world, it is clearly not fair, there comes in a lot of compromise for the viewers to seek solace in this harrowing island, the thrills aren't cheap though, then why should justice be. Stevens is barely in charge of this island, for a fraction of second he gets to reveal his true self while Sheen is blessed with much room to flaunt his persona and overpower others, he seems complicated for he is simple. Apostle has a long way to go to enter the major leagues, but this big wallop of shock cannot go unnoticed.

The Nun
The Nun(2018)
½

Vow To No More Wow.

The Nun

Hardy's drama is, yes, scary, but also comes with a ton of baggage that cannot be negotiated. This is what I have loved and flinched about this franchise, it dares constraint the all mighty power- "God Ends Here" it whispers- but fumbles to prove it. This mixed feeling is what's left in your hand at the end of the exorcism, is it a marketing tease or inadequacy, only God knows; if it is in its territory. The knack for drawing out humor and delivering cliched cinematic dialogues in an extremely tensed environment disenchants the viewers from its dark perilous vision and compromises the quality.

Antics are smart enough to scar you let alone scare you, but as much as gripping as these sequences are, the build up of them aren't weaved out with clean execution, there is a lot of uncertainty in their own laws, the mythology lacks the malleability to blatantly announce or demand their rights. This installment is the most animated of all, and surprisingly the scariest of all, the neat environment and the poised nature of the demons is something to be inspired from.

The real culprit is the predictability of the film, not for the characters, but for the sequences that the maker loves immensely, it aches you to see someone with so much effort working on one big hokum. There is no other room for the cast to invest, it is all Farmiga, from the curse to the blessing. If this is a horror served us by the makers, she comes off as the impenetrable beauty, the kryptonite to the evil, her performance justifies all the work done by her elder sister in previous installments. The Nun is worthy of a vow as far as thrills are concerned, drama has to be searched for and later be disappointed by.

Annabelle
Annabelle(2014)
½

The Weakest Link.

Annabelle

Leonetti's investment to this infamous series weighs it down like an anchor, as the thrills comes in cheap and tears negatively aplenty. The elements that usually such genre dwells upon are spooky enough to lure you in, but the execution is daft with pretentious artsy camera work that rots the somewhat established base of the film. The last act on which the entire film hangs upon, the ultimate culmination of all characters and their tragedies they bring along with, is not only poorly conceived on screen but also amateurishly written on paper. What aches you above all, is their effort of delivering a mature climax to its audience that arms itself intellectually rather than some bourgeois intense chase scene, unfortunately, it isn't polished enough to smoothly go by unnoticed.

The chills and scares is left up to imagination which is always been the signature of the series as it doesn't undermine the threat or antagonist by animating it too much on screen and probably, this is the least animated among all. The performance comes in short in here, with Wallis, the major disappointment as she fails miserably to act even scared let along pour some emotion into it.

Same goes for all the supporting cast, the performance is so unbearably lazy and inexpressive that the doll itself had to factor in, and she is brilliant by the way; those dead eyes. At the end of the circle, the film is a big moot point on all levels, it is questionable and pretentious with no heart to enlighten it up. Even the mythological background tale that they have brought in, isn't explored enough to satisfy the viewers. Annabelle is basically a chess game, pawn for pawn with time slipping out of its hand, this cliched installment in this franchise is not the way to conjure us.

Overlord
Overlord(2018)

For A Pointless War.

Overlord

Avery's battlefield grows more and more as a sham as it tries to be real. The setup is pretty basic, a mix-up of two clearly in-congruent genre that would tease you, which is also the very reason it will be off-putting. A bunch of soldiers; friends; warriors; call them anything, are allotted a parchment of a one-line note that describes their dogmatic characters and they are plastering it with commitment onto the screen. The conversations are chalky and the dialogues cheesy, but above all that physically repels you is the questionable trajectories that it adapts in every step of the structure. You are taught to scoff off few limitations in order to enjoy the film, where the entertainment comes in mediocrity.

Unless, you are a fan of gore vision foliated as a big CGI fight sequence, unfortunately the banal and unnecessarily loud bloodbath will be the least of your concern. What's appreciative among all this, is Avery's execution that is certainly improved, for even though he might not have anything under the covers, he surely convinces you to stay for the big reveal, Adepo invading the troops castle is well shot and is driven without any words on the screen.

Speaking of whom, the performance may not be exceptionally good, but it certainly lives up to the expectations where Russell and Asbaek- no matter how melodramatic- with cliched one liners creates a cinematic environment. One might even lop off all those questions that holds you back, but there seems no definite point that the film attains to reach, in its own reasons or hobby, it wishes to punch its way out of the room. Overlord is a big commercial empty threat, it can be crowd pleasing as it is not challenging you intellectually in any form, but then even the action is not for everyone.

Traitor
Traitor(2008)

A Pretentious Close-Call.

Traitor

Nachmanoff is far from being serious about the sincerity he ought to ooze in such geo-political themed film, the final answer is unbearable. With none whatsoever rhythm, this overly ridden feature relies upon the caliber of the promising cast, which they hold on to it as always. The first act, a sleazy escape that whispers nothing but close calls has a poor build up to expect it to enchant the viewers. Such intense sequences are often and should, enter the film in its latter stages, in order to convey the fear or the stakes among the viewers.

After which, the film digs up into familiar land and pulls out nothing but a bunch of cliches as the so called surprising element, that may be justifying but can be seen far before it even hits the screen. This good cop gone bad and vice versa on the other side of the door, just doesn't work. Often when there is not enough content to drive the stick, the screenplay allows the cast to handle the wheel, unfortunately, the window of allowing Pearce and Cheadle to strike horns on screen is shucked out of the table carelessly.

Cheadle; as the torch bearer, the see-saw of the game, pours his heart into the film and serves us enough reasons to survive this quest. Pearce is equally challenging to Cheadle with Daniels getting few stand out moments. The theme where Cheadle often resists in the film is worth exploring, the preaching on the nobility and fair and unfair trials that is put upfront on the screen, gives enough room for him to stretch his muscles. Traitor cannot be considered as a thriller, there is very little to be thrilled about, and as far as drama is concerned, this already experienced dull venture of right and wrong is getting outdated.

Spy
Spy(2015)

Armed For No Reason.

Spy

Feig's take on the James Bond-s of the genre is impeccably impressive with faulty gadgets, dull mobile, questionable action sequences and slow chase scenes. Who'd have thought that compilation of these disasters is what's going to elevate the film into a hilarious zone. His film shines only when he fumbles- deliberately though- and his commitment on mapping out that entire structure for the sake of a laugh is surprisingly admirable. The plot is his weak point though, whenever the storyline advances further there is a sense of disappointment in the air, as you want to stay on that lane only and enjoy it thoroughly as much as possible.

And this makes the last act a bit low on humor, for the time was running and Feig had to bring out the news table where the flips and the turns and petty twists are barely the highlight of it. The physical sequences that it thrives upon is carried out brilliantly by McCarthy. She is just delightful to watch, body shaming herself and demoralizing others with her uncouth language, she makes you fall out of your chair as you burst out with a roaring laughter.

Supporting him thoroughly on that very note is Statham as a boasting guy that praises himself with various references that just keeps getting funnier and funnier, personally his amiability to keep himself superior than others steals away the show for me. Law, Byrne and Hart gets few lines to draw in the laughs but another surprising winner is Serafinowicz as a constant flirt in the screen that charms his way out, no matter what McCarthy says, his petty notions might get by unnoticed but his absence plays a much vital role. Spy is the least a spy ever can be or pretend to be, but there is no secret that the laughter comes in handy in here.

Beast
Beast(2018)

And No More Beauty.

Beast

Pearce has captured a real romance between the already explored debate of nature and nurture, with a result so stupendous, that the horror aspect of the film melts away as a cathartic release. There is a lot to admire and little to exhale for, and those bits is where Pearce relies upon old textbook methods, his execution on such dodgy sequences is what stabilizes the film. The first act that flirts wildly on the screen and draws its audience actually denses up the content by using the threat metaphorically and create a tense family drama.

After which the tone shifts into a love story crossing barriers through big antics and elements so clean and sharp that pierces through your heart as these lead characters blend. The last act, which is followed by, the horror drama, that pins down to the last point on mark, this is where Pearce swoops in and saves the day, to fluctuate the tone so fluently is sheer brilliance. Flynn as the beast, or so they say, mirrors the imagination of the outer world of our society, and just like it, the uneasiness and edginess that appeals the viewers is decently fabricated by him.

But he is barely the factor affecting the equation, all the money is on Buckley and no one leaving the screen is going to feel cheated. Her poised falseness plastered by the society and her family is too fake to stand alongside them in the room, so boundless and fearless in her journey, that she grows into one of our worries. Technically, Pearce's world takes much more than it gives to us, but maybe once a while we ought to give it to something, it is surely in safe hands. Beast is every bit of human and every bit of animal there should be, in us and in them.

The Rainmaker

Make It Rain As Promised.

The Rainmaker

Coppola's courtroom drama has managed to engulf the essence of Grisham's novel aptly, a but cheesy, a big edgy, this film reclaims the darkness of the courtroom with a commercial angle. As far as both the novel and the adapted screenplay is concerned, it is dipped in plethora of cliches, a street smart supporter, a stereotypical corrupt lawyer clashing horns against a newbie and an evil antisocial antagonist fabricated as a behemoth untouched firm. And with these familiar elements comes seen-this-seen-that conflicts and solutions, a bug on a phone, a hidden witness, few typical Grisham insights on not-so-popular laws and tricks that are just anticipated and also enjoyed.

But with these uneasiness and easiness, Coppola gets you right where he wants you to be, his execution helps up the stakes, like when Damon's deposition goes wrong and when he fumbles in the courtroom. These are the moments elevated by both the execution and the performance and Damon at charge, he feels more comfortable in this suit than Cruise ever did on "The Firm". Supported by DeVito who is the surprise package that is both delightful and exhilarating to encounter while teaching a new manual to Damon as he steps out to the college door.

Personally, I felt Voight was not stretching his muscles out as expected but felt constrained in his suit to the mere pawn-ness of his game. Among many subplots, Danes's spooky track that teases you for its trajectory adds a more exonerated note to both the characters and the viewers and shines a mature light. As always, the last act often comes off as a cheap but essential shot that preaches on high volume in a podium staged way too above for us to care. The Rainmaker is good as far as it accepts its territories, as soon as it attempts to aviate, the flight grows risky.

Spy Game
Spy Game(2001)

A Bit Louder Than Anticipated.

Spy Game

Scott's game among spies is more thrilling as a desk job than it is on field. Split into two bits, the Redford part undeniably steals the show with a large margin, whilst Pitt's sequences, no matter how hungry for blazing guns or breathtaking chase sequences or big explosions, feels like empty punches. The dull execution is to be blamed along with a cheesy script that has managed to snatch in every good trick from such genre films; and it is people-pleasing, but there is not an inch of art in this commercial cinema. With cheap camera work that notions its existence of a B grade quality with A grade cast, that are totally misused.

Aforementioned, the ticking clock behind Redford and his tactics that never fails to surprise us along with his every posture on the narration, the writers have chiseled him in every step to be an impenetrable stature that is both easily absorbing and lethal, he lives up to his game. The performance of Redford is quite convincing, if not anything extraordinary, his body language and eye does up the ante along with his sarcastic arguments that has a way out of every door. Pitt, on the other hand, has all the physical work to do, in fact, he never shines on screen on his own merit, not only on performance but in character as well.

He barely supports Redford, he is often manipulated, he is a hot head with no character development that comes off as a pawn staged to ooze sexiness on screen; even though Redford overcomes that limitation, a Porsche does boost him though. Spy Game has petty rules that is equally entertaining as it is incongruent, even its last aspect of getting two stars on screen with an incredible chemistry fails poorly; the sunglasses won't be enough.

Sleeping Beauty

Dream Real. Live Real.

Sleeping Beauty

Disney has got all the reasons and recipe now, to make the ultimate childhood dream. This crisp clean environment served in this binary world is a provoking act that stabilizes the reputation of its banner, after a few mediocre fumbles. It has got everything, a beautiful princess, a young prince, spellbinding magic, blessings and curses ridden by a huge evil dragon; enough to endorse itself. The concept no matter how familiar- the good vs evil philosophy- works for bringing back the theme to mythological level and analysed in detail. The blessing and the curse that clashes horns on screen is scrutinized for their purity with one dimensional characters on both sides, that are amiable to this storytelling.

The humor is left to the supporting cast as always, where the three maids does tickle you every time they fight for the color of dress or the method of preparations or coming up with banal ideas. This script feeds itself on supporting cast, no prince or princess will save the castle, these incredible helpers that usually are just giving them a head start has more three dimensional and deeper perspective than any other; they even share the screen the most.

On technical aspects, there is no holding back, from songs to music, to visuals to choreography, every frame whispers the Disney-ness on screen. The antagonist, instead of glorified- literally to a scale of dragon- doesn't invest much in the narration, the conflicts and bickering of those maids along with their soft spot for our lead cast, is enough to keep the threat fresh and neat. The entire love and hate theme that it hangs on resembles a lot with Rowling's Harry Potter books. Sleeping Beauty is everything you're looking for, a rare Disney gem that lives up to the hype of the banner and the praises; even after ages.

Boys Don't Cry
½

Cry Your Heart Out.

Boys Don't Cry

Pierce's heartbreaking biography is an uncompromising quest of finding the truth, and just like it, it is hard to swallow, amazing to experience and leaves you shook at the brisk of your seat. The film feels documented than it feels performed. The wallop of drama it whirls you around with is no entertainment, the sincerity of the material in its mannerism can easily be filtered, it definitely narrows itself down to those hard facts and figures that will question humanity. The entire script is dipped into that very idea and yet is beyond that, and even though Pierce keeps his world surrounded by pathos ideologies, it never grows manipulative. Addition to that, the film feeds itself on elements rather than antics.

These elements breeds the character into their incongruent surrounding instead of the other way around, which is something what the real life based characters went through with their lives. Swank, arguably, at the ignition of her career, snatches away the film from any other. Her riveting performance is testament to her hard work and commitment to such a complex character. The boyishness charm that she adores in front of a mirror or when she flirts blatantly with conviction, is something very vulnerable and mesmerizing to experience.

Supporting her thoroughly is Sevigny in her portrayal that has the potential to challenge her on screen with a half crooked smile and, yes, sanity. Both these figures on screen, creates a fragile emotionally fueled scene around this edgy world, that almost seemed impossible, even a first touch is glorified with high stakes hanging in balance that makes you smile with a cathartic feeling in this not-so-questionable world. Boys Don't Cry will prove you wrong, it still rubbles me down whenever there is a recognition of reality in Swank's eyes, it is a rare cinematic art.

Velvet Buzzsaw
½

So Much Buzzing And No Gossip To Follow.

Velvet Buzzsaw

Gilroy has a daunting task to play, his decision to make majority of people love art by adding an horrifying ingredient into it fails on all levels. Did he stand a chance? Maybe. There was a promising concept and cast in his hands. But, he just wasn't up for it. This quirky comedy rather than a satirical one, comes off a bit eggy, as it imbalances the tone of the film. And also, I would blame the editing, it snaps from a comic scene to a suspenseful death, it ought to lose its grasp then and there. Plus, working on a familiar structure and no antic to follow, this so called horror never scares you. There is very less art to devour in here. For instance, despite of not sharing a definite theme, Gilroy's world is perpetually justifying, from all the scandals to the controversies, he puts each element on trial and there are no bars held on condemning them.

Another thing to explore in detail is Gyllenhaal's sharp three dimensional character. The whole physic of a critic is deconstructed brick by brick in every step which is Gilroy's ace in the game. Now, there is his and your window to draw in and snatch away the laughs. Gyllenhaal's very nature of criticizing every final bit is what factors the most on keeping this light and breezy; even a temporary spectacles given to him is judged without any control over himself. Speaking of whom, his performance is a straight out bullet.

Without any flinching, on writhing with fear or resisting the seduction power, he fabricates his performance with a weary eyes that speaks volumes and a flamboyant body language. He can switch back to that comic tone and jump in on a horrifying snap easily, and it's that commitment of doing so, that makes him help communicate his ideologies fluently. Parallel to him, lies Russo's character who sticks by to her performance with a panache and attitude that only Colette can and does match her on screen (kisses!).

Colette is completely underused or misused, either way she doesn't feel a threat as a character in storytelling to make you love or hate her. Ashten gets a much bigger role and stays true to it for the most part of it where the rest of the cast like Malkovich, Diggs and Dyer joins the Colette club. Surprisingly, for a film about art, there is very little creativity and originality on narration.

Each of those tensed horror staged show whispers nothing but cliched montages that obviously fails to conjure your fears. Is there a deep down message or a layer worth scratching on? No, it is definitely not something that we haven't already seen before. The only thing to be surprised and delighted about would be that it isn't unnecessarily dark or poignant, the chirpiness plastered by these characters as a public figure gets you down to that last station without any definite reason. Velvet Buzzsaw has a slick title and a concept, beyond that, this exhibition ought to be shut down.

Batman Returns

Madness Toned Down.

Batman Returns

Burton's one more take on this dark DC universe can be categorized as our guilty pleasure, similar to its predecessor. And similar to it, the writers are basically shooting in dark, with banal sequences and characteristics- that may or may not work- they are moving with an incredible pace to reach in an also rushed climax. It is big mix bag. It has flaws, it is off putting at times, but then it is also entertaining and smart where it touches few unexpected mature notes, basically the heart is in the right place, no matter where the craft resides. And among many characters, the most avant-garde and unstable is Pfeiffer's Catwoman.

Infamous for her role in this film throughout her career, one can easily spot where the audience go berserk over her performance, it fluctuates frequently from being exceptionally good to eerily questionable. I would blame writers for installing not-so-practical acts on her basket and other multiple odd gatherings and chalky conversations. Still her range of melting down within a snap and then regain power with a maniacal laughter ought to be eye popping. The technical department, obviously, feels short handed since it doesn't hold up with time; the make-up design is really fine though.

DeVito does carry on the passed torch by Nicholson, with a creative and vivid body language that does most of the performance for him and with some good monologues and speeches, he manages to safely board the train. Keaton has always been the weakest link on the franchise, he may ooze the charisma of a billionaire but on terms of merit, there is a long way to go for him. Batman Returns but only for fans, with few awe inducing moments and brilliant supporting cast, the franchise is still gullible in Burton's overly decorative world.

Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens) (Nosferatu the Vampire)

He Shall Be Feared And Loved.

Nosferatu

Murnau has many classic horror films under his sleeves, where this one tops the list for both harrowing images and higher concept. This is a bold choice, a film that is clearly ahead of its time and still leaves us shook even after a century. Joining the fan club a bit late, the hype had gone through the roof and it still managed to live up to the expectations. This mythological horror fiction is an innocent love story more than it is a surviving spirit. That electrifying affection that is expressed without any words shows the excellence of both execution and performance. The cinematography also plays a vital role along with stop motion photography to up the ante in the visual department with bright colors and spooky costume, makeup and production design.

Among so many bits, what comes as a shock is its parallel storytelling, there are characters biding their time struggling against their own nature to reach the aspired destination. The love track seems like a distraction, for as the other character kicks in, the layer by layer exploration of them, undermines it the rest of the bit. Count Orlok, the ace of the game, even though comes on screen for a short while, owns the scrutiny that he comes with, he conjures your fear not by being invincible but by being creepy.

His background tale that is narrated in the film as a book itself is the strongest point of Murnau, the mythological characteristics of his, makes the character more deep and rich for you to enjoy. On terms of performance, the cast has done an amazing work, from the lead actress to the titled character, even his worshipper too casts a major impact on the film. Nosferatu will never be a horror for me, it has lived for decades for its thorough analysation of fear, greed and lust, it has to be more than that.

Brubaker
Brubaker(1980)

Change Comes Involuntarily.

Brubaker

Rosenberg's prison stay is exactly how it should go, an impenetrable fascism writhing against an unbiased force with of course a pinch of madness. This recipe has always worked, not for its procedure, but for the obvious tasty ingredients it is brimmed of. Yes, it overstays its welcome and feels a bit stretch over here and there, but there is a lot to look and ponder about. The meticulous gritty long sequences that it adapts to convey a messages out loud and clear is a double edge sword, since there is barely anything cinematic about it, it can be both unnerving and illuminating. The characters are stereotypical pawns as we usually see in such genre, a big bully, a corrupted cop and a rotten system run by bratty misleading leaders.

But all of it can be forgiven by easily, since our protagonist is equally glorifying and worth rooting for. The whole "one man can change" theory bodes well in this narration, which the makers being aware of, makes sure that the protagonist bubbles up as the ultimate dream hero there ever was and should be. Portraying such a powerful character lies Redford's exceptional performance, where the annoyance and irritation of single minded people is expressed freely through him.

In fairness, the elements of the storytelling too helps him, a few incident where the right and wrong scale is imbalanced and shucked out of the window, to makes you clench your jaw. What makes this experience jarring- and mind you not poignant, which is usually the case- is the buoyancy of the screenplay, it keeps throwing enough reasons back to makes you punch your way out of this. On that very note, Rosenberg triumphs on mapping down that emotion for us to visit blatantly on screen, Brubaker is the leader we want but we cannot get.

Alice in Wonderland

My World. Your Rules.

Alice In Wonderland

Disney's everlasting quest of painting a jaw dropping world on a screen that is snatched away from your dreams or nightmares, is the only reason how and why they come up with these many premises and princesses like such. Evidently it has been working for them, for years, no one dared question and match their game. Personally, Alice feels much more mature to me than other- for starters she build up this amazing world on her own- but also because there is no seeking or working hard for a prince. She creates her own problems and sorts it out by finding out the loophole. This overthinking princess is flawed and not eccentrically brave; necessarily, sure.

It makes her character more humane- despite of all that animation- and with all the fear and worrisome issues comes a sarcastic tone in her language that isn't usually found in others. The film, frankly, doesn't have much to go with, it's a trip gone wrong case. But as always speaking metaphorically and social messages, Disney does bring all things back to the circle and weave out a definite point out of it. One of the best bits of the films are these new characters that pops around every five minutes, that relates a lot with our world but there is a catch to it.

Manipulating their characteristics in order to leave an important message and a satirical comic nature, the film whips you with awe inducing inventive characters. Like a bird that eats other birds but instead of a stomach it has a cage or an army of cards that would be easy to fiddle and rank by or using the food chain phenomenon in a tea party. Alice In Wonderland is pretty much us in our land, a bit quirky, a bit melodious and an overwhelming experience in the end.

The Front Runner

Hiding Under A Sophisticated Lie.

The Front Runner

Reitman's fatal attempts on convincing us to believe the significance of a script can only make you more depressed. This political drama is neither political nor drama, there is very little for it be diplomatic and yet it is diplomatic to the core and frankly that is not how you are supposed to answer the questions raised by yourself; at least not on such larger scale. For what it's worth, the film is executed sharply, with swooping in as much as perspective there can be, but this almost two hour long episode-like film overstays its welcome.

There is barely an idea for it to walk around, and neither does it have any style to reason its way out, it is all textbook procedure boasting in front of a large crowd with none whatsoever flow or rhythm in its vocab. What's worse among all is the scrutiny that is hyped and overridden for the entire film and is yet just skimmed off on terms of its so called exploration. There is no hard figure or fact to prove their ideologies, it feels like a juvenile attempt to win over your heart with pity and few tears- it doesn't even have that. Running short on ideas, Reitman has dipped this film entirely into cliched outdated montages that bores you to death.

It leaps over these from time to time, distracting us from who knows what; a heated debate around a big round table, a controversial scandal, a press conference gone wrong, a stakeout van, a claimed guilty persona being cornered by flashy cameras and press reporters just yelling. You would know when there is no connection between you and a character, when the stakes aren't communicated thoroughly, the most dramatic antic that puts Jackman at his most vulnerable position feels dry and physically distant, the threat never conjures you to nod convincingly when Jackman fumbles or stutters.

Speaking of whom, the only survivor of this sinking ship is Jackman, he comes out good, real good. His performance is the reason why you might want to finish this venture no matter how long. All the public appearance of his whether it be his speech or his temper bursting out behind the alley, is performed majestically and is written with compelling arguments- which is not something to be surprised or excited for since this is what the genre demands.

The supporting cast feels like misused from Simmons to Farmiga, there is basically anything for them to do or invest. The structure of the film is arguably fresh and not definitively productive, since it is always absorbing when a film relies upon one and only one act, but that is only the case when there is an act to follow. This seems like a huge swing and a miss, what should have been a side track, is helmed at the center and the rest of it is scoffed off, maybe there was a lot to pursue, maybe there wasn't, either way, The Front Runner is certainly not going to be elected.

Serenity
Serenity(2019)

A Compromise For Everyone.

Serenity

Knight's ultimate and evident thirst of contributing a jaw dropping thriller to the history of cinema, is admirable; he has attempted few other such genre concepts earlier too, his fascination over that one big moment won't allows him to hover around some other genre. But admiration can get you only so far, for on terms of merit, it wouldn't even qualify as a definite film, in its entirety. After that big horn blows and the curtain drops which Knights has clearly been excited about, the question of its existence starts raising up and piling up, what sounds like a mere discussion is fabricated into a provoking exotic thriller. I can understand the work that Knight poured into the storytelling, it is clearly visible, he has been mature about his secret, he doesn't leave it till the last moment, he attempts to pin down a metaphorical satire of being- among all other possible being- a human.

He has made sure that before the scrutiny hits big on screen, there are enough elements spread around to have a firm grip over his audience and enough quirkiness to make you sit back on your sit. Clearly, using all his guns directed towards these aspects, he lost the practicality among the world or the conversation which let's be honest film relies upon in its early stages. And not that these conversations are chalky but pretentious.

There is one thing to be aware of viewers' expectation on contradicting or questioning the plot and another to voluntarily be blatant about it; too much of anything, especially this, will spoil it. Armed by a brilliant cast, the performance comes off to be the most disappointing experience of all. With none whatsoever commitment or conviction on portraying such edgy characters does any cast comes off even slightly appreciative. Personally, I am amazed by the performance, from both Hathaway and McConaughey.

If these incredibly talented artists has given us some of the best work of their career, they have also managed to give us the worst, without holding back, now this is a range not everyone can cover. Whispering with a smooth voice throughout the film, no matter how irrelevant, McConaughey can and does own that body languages, but Hathaway desperately trying to join in the club, fails so vigorously, that it aches you to go someone through this.

The other supporting cast like Lane, Clarke and Hounsou are mere pawn of a narration that acts accordingly, like a flat rigid chess pieces with no urge to express. What's worse above all, is that we can clearly see what Knight was going for but how is it coming across like and him being not able to scoff off that difference is not at all affordable. Unfortunately, there is nothing to look back and pick out as even comparatively a better part of a film, no matter what we might think, soaking wet McConaughey doesn't count as one. Is there any serenity in Serenity, yes, it will end after an hour and a half, as opposed to what it may feel like.

The Wild Pear Tree (Ahlat agaci)
½

The Old Boy And The Young Man.

Ahlat Agaci

Bilge Ceylan's making of a book is as meticulous as it can get, throbbing arguments that never crosses the line to be a preaching-to-the-choir tone, this drama is more horror than it claims to be. And similar to the summary of the plot- a son returns hometown after graduation and gets sucked into the sleazy schemes of his gambling father- the first act of the film can arguably considered as a bluff. And the journey of surprising us in each steps after the first act, that it promises to deliver us consistently, has its own cathartic release. But mind you, this game is played subconsciously with us, while the real drama on the screen comes like Rosefeldt's Manifesto- of course without sounding like a pretentious robotic monologue.

I would consider this as writers major win among all the others. The writers always had in mind to go deep into hardcore debates of world politics, life changing inspirations and seduce-like negative emotions that grows like cancer as one ages. And their procedure is pure bravura of work, initiating from one of my favorite meetings of our protagonist with his somewhat-like-an-old-lover, the film deals with the social issues that is justified and well crafted out in narration since there was a ticking clock behind them.

Cut to another nail-biting argument with an established writer, breaking the wall of celebrity and fan equation, the heating conversation is used as the primary weapon to start initiating on fabricating the other side of our lead character; this is the turning point of the film. Followed by another major discussion of probably everything, among his friends, the writers calls it a day on the preaching note as the viewers are left both cheated and challenged at the brisk of their seat.

While our so called hero struggles with the rest of the world like such, along with the nagging of his father's debt collectors, there is an entirely different game played in his house. But frankly, I would pity the actor to even show up on screen to share it with Cemcir, not only for his brilliant performance but the power that the character he plays has on the film. That three dimensional persona never fails to amaze us, from his half crooked smile to his ideologies, his character is peeled off layer by layer.

And clearly the makers were most euphoric about him, the way other characters speak about his great deeds and how he is so devoted to his work (in the final act, when his son comes to visit him, he still is keeping an eye on his students) despite of being flawed, just makes him more and more rich. There is a lot to listen and lot to ponder about, but as it was intended, the equation of a father and a son will melt you down in the end and to pull off that scene after implementing the fact that Demirkol leaves him without any help lying on the ground, has got to be the biggest development of the film. The Wild Pear Tree is every bit of wild as it has right to be.

At Eternity's Gate
½

I Love Yellow. I Paint Blue.

At Eternity's Gate

Schnabel's philosophical thinking on the life of an ingenious painter, paints an abstract art on the screen, if not bright enough to shine over all its viewers. Schnabel's work has always been for a selective audience, he breathes pure art in every frame and there is never any doubt about that, his rigidness on uncompromising tales is a double edge sword. His film is never able to perpetually win over you. He takes his time and asks for your patience, but personally I adore his ways of asking that, his methods are productive for me, primarily because his films are immensely personal to each individual.

His, is a film that you cannot share with anyone, he wouldn't let you, and you wouldn't want to. Now, this is a feeling that one rarely encounters while watching a film, often filmmakers in order to present a generic idea or speak to a larger audience, gets lost in their self created vagueness of the nature. But Schnabel has his own rhythm, he doesn't aspire to be metaphorical, his tones hits the apt note on those high pitches that will engulf you for that hour.

The camera work in here is eerily similar to Malick's theme, and just like it, Schnabel puts you into those characters' shoes, that are both warm and comfortable. Nature, being the primary motivation of both the artist Van Gogh and Schnabel in here, plays a vital role, but unlike other usual description of it, the nature is explored on both the sides of it. And balancing the film on that dark and inspiring note of nature, this riveting tale is a delight to watch, mesmerized in its own overwhelming world that it whirls around, it asks you to reach for it and be completely moved by this ride.

Spread across three acts, the first act sketches the methods and routines of the painters along with his body language and mannerism to tiny aspects- this is the strongest act, since it barely contains any words- and has nothing but majestic performance that drives it. On the second one, it deals with his equation with his beloved friend and his yearning for the art that he puts into words. The final harrowing act that leaves you shook in your seat is a bit dark but has an incredible conversation between a priest played Mikkelsen and Dafoe, himself. Despite of tremendous work and detail on cinematography and camera work of Schnabel, this film belongs to Dafoe.

He is completely lost on the figure that he plays, so devoured and so blatantly committing, that notwithstanding on an ideal line, you are drawn towards him. Aforementioned, the entire first act is conjured by him, he and his beautiful nature surrounding him, the wind that his hair floats in, the hard rock he sleeps on and the soil he is covered in, it is a testament of Dafoe's brilliant career. At Eternity's Gate you might not remember the amazing camera angles or a compelling screenplay, what you will take there proudly is Dafoe and his eyes that whispers bright yellow color.

Mary Queen of Scots
½

Pretentious Tug Of War

Mary Queen Of Scots

Rourke's period drama has both, the essence of that era and plethora of drama to fuel the film, what it lacks vigorously is the attitude to own that throne. There is no romance between the audience and the characters; none at all, and hence this repulsive script sets the doom for itself. The storyline is without a doubt, cinematic, dramatic, unlike your usual period drama, it is a script that feeds itself off on the antics. And the filmmakers were aware of them, hence they have directed all their guns on either building up to that peak moment or fill in the blank that would spice up that moment. In order to do so, presumably they have completely lopped off the flamboyancy in narration, there is no flow, it either leaps or skips. The film is incredibly rich in costume, make-up, production design with huge set pieces and jaw dropping location that is clearly appealing.

As mentioned before, the film lacks the poised tone of these characters and storyline, there is not enough ego to boast off in front of anyone or boost off the storytelling furthermore. Set in two different stages, personally I feel there is a lot to peel off in Robbie's section. Her character might be fighting against the entire country or world or her own people, but her greatest fear is herself and that resistance that plays a vital role in this film is the best asset of it.

Unlike Robbie, Ronan gets a character that is completely satisfied with herself and has to fight against the others, but mind you, her track is much more gripping, much more juicy and glorifying. I can see why this has been Ronan's anticipated project for a while, since has got quite a wide range in her character to step in. And respecting the material, the stage, the history and the Queen herself, she is giving her best in each scene.

Among two phases of hers, one of the strongest is in early stages, when she is taking things and people around her lightly and shows every sign of bratty-ness there is. The second half takes over the characters and has too much to say and do to let the actors overpower the storyline. The only time when Ronan and Robbie shares the screen- to which the entire movie is building towards- is well shot, performed and written.

The amount of pressure it has to qualify with good grade on that scene, is well managed on both paper and screen. The other supporting cast doesn't get much to do except for Pearce who has done a decent work. Rourke's world isn't subjective enough to make its audience care for them, it is well aware of its pathos dark world to be appealing, but the content is read off like mere poignant news. Mary Queen Of Scots has everything we have seen in such genre, and its only unique quality which is to create the crisp tense environment between two personalities, is left untouched.

The Kid Who Would Be King

And The Kid Who Would Rule.

The Kid Who Would Be King

Cornish has made a delightful treat for the kids and the adults. This '70s textbook plot breeds the sincerity it had decades ago with a taste of the 21st century humor and ideologies. And this is something that we get fresh right out of the oven, since these teenage kids are dipped into this more practical world where everything has to be mocked and questioned. Filtering out those exact characteristics, Cornish polishes his story more and more as the characters themselves starts putting it into trial. The first act is rudimentary with spiraling out the usual introduction which personally I feel is his biggest bluff. Contradicting you in every step on rest of the film, this adventure that these brave kids have chosen to go through keeps giving you back enough reasons to be giddy up for more.

Aforementioned, the characters are well aware of the assumptions that film might lead you to, hence quoting Lord Of The Rings and Game Of Thrones and plenty other references it keeps the tone light and breezy. Cornish is still aware of the practicality of the storyline or how does it appear as a whole picture. And this is how he makes sure that his film is mythological, through all the exceptions are prophecies or their special characteristic.

For instance, the action is written maturely, it never jumps on a conclusion of the battle, it makes sure that the stakes are always the same and putting up such kids in the battle field requires lots of character insight to be developed. Lopping off all that work, Cornish is speaking behind the screen with notions that actually comes off as mumbo-jumbo in such genre but not in here; the rules set by Stewart plays a vital and probably the best part of the film. This prophecy-like plot kick in its middle act which is the smartest of all for it puts the king on a test that everyone was already in, circling back the humane part of the character.

As far as the performance is concerned the younger cast has done a decent work if not anything extraordinary. Stewart and Ferguson gets a scene to share where probably is the only point where they are completely themselves but the performance is surprisingly disappointing. The script is absorbing and gripping with its main asset being the characters that are three dimensional and are analyzed through and through; even after out team teams up, they still have to go through plenty of issues to fight as one.

Taylor who plays Lance, hence, gets one of the best role to play since it is the one with a complete cinematic arc. The background score and visual effects could have been a lot better but with good sound mixing and action packed sequences, it sails off smoothly on technical aspects. The Kid Who Would Be King has a king that we haven't seen before- at least not for a while- it is a triumph on civilizing that king and then make him rule along with his army or perhaps friends.

John Wick: Chapter 2

Another Brawling Job.

John Wick: Chapter 2

Stahelski's second round of this everlasting boxing match delivers the insight of the mythological world that these criminals reside in. And with it comes rules, contracts, honor, betrayal and blood. Spilling out blood more than ever, this too much of everything still never R rates the screen with bloodbath, it owns that old clean palace and neat clothes that had made it appealing in the beginning. Amping up the charge on action, the accessories comes aplenty which makes fights more lethal and unlike the previous one, more justifiable. The long take action is well choreographed that isn't just confined within oneself but uses the surrounding well enough to keep it more absorbing. The mirror sequence being well shot, personally, I still recommend the battle between Common and Reeves around the stairs.

Similar to previous there is humor every now and then between these fights but what's catchy is that it is drawn from the so called awesomeness of the lead, every character, every guns, every conversation is directed towards him, the hype keeps rising along with our heartbeats. Stahelski's world is always thirsty to know "how" would it be done rather than "who" would do it and being aware of the difference between these two, he makes sure there is still lot to look forward to despite of our host that remains constant.

It adds on new characters and it does it with such smoothness, that you feel their presence before they arrive, the narration has grown far better than the previous one, along with the execution, there will not be any questions raised this time, Stahelski is not going to repeat his mistake. His main armor being Reeves whose training is well paid off, the cowboy quickness, the God-like body language, ferocious pace in action and a tendency to speak very little.

These characteristics that Stahelski keep building deriving from every possible genre, paints a crystal clear picture of a protagonist in our head; Reeves has an easy job to do. The supporting cast falls short this time, although McShane and cameos like Fishburne balances the tone. Scamarcio; the antagonist neither has that uncertainty to scare his viewers nor rudeness to make it more terminal. Rose and Common decently handles the score with few good action sequences.

This installment of the franchise is faster and has a sense of urgency that keeps you at the brisk of your seats, especially its second half, being chased by the entire community, the chase scene never feels like a chase scene, he might be on run, but he never actually does. With a hint of a bit of The French Connection, the feud between Common and Reeves turns into a character itself, the stillness and the style, everything makes you root for them. The reason why it is loved by the fans immensely, is Stahelski's knack of ending it on an unstable note, that gut wrenching finale, that last punch leaves the viewers wolfish for more. John Wick: Chapter 2 is accurately titled it is just another chapter of his life, for when the dust settle, not even a dime has changed.

John Wick
John Wick(2014)
½

A Clear Polished Job.

John Wick

Stahelski's action trilogy is every fan boy's wet dream. He clearly ought to be one of them to justify and glorify the characters like such on screen. His old productive textbook methods are testament to why it works and we nod so effervescently in his every possible scenario even though it raises questions every now and then. This people pleasing entertainment has one and only one reason to communicate it so thoroughly and its tendency to lean towards the mythological aspect of the characters. Despite of being dipped into a pragmatic mafia world, it makes sure that there is one key to every lock, one moon and one sun that shines over these surprisingly loyal and professional businessmen. On that note, the amiability of it to grasp that theme and beam us back to our childhood days, Stahelski is successful in his work.

In fact, personally, I feel the lead to be eerily similar to the comic character He-Man. He too has a pet animal and is incredibly feared by his enemies, something that Stahelski has got it right on the mark. The build up of his presence on a room or even a mention of his that makes others writhe on the spot, is so precious for this storytelling to move forward, that Stahelski has made its priority and with Reaves- a smart casting choice since he already has such a reputation- on the realm, he can sleep peacefully.

And yes, it is for every man himself, Reeves never turns off the switch, he oozes power, chic panache and flamboyancy in his body language to own the surrounding, the car, the gun and the hype. The entire movie hangs on a single moment, that it is built towards, a moment where finally Reeves accepts his fate and claims the title that everyone has been giving him- something that you would encounter in a mythology- and that of course because of brilliant execution is one of the best shot scene.

Stahelski coming from a stunt department, the action leaves you in an awe of it, from imputing humor and bedazzling moments in this gore visual galore of his, the camera work is purely stupendous. And this is probably the only reason why it aches you to encounter a disappointing final act, since the choreography is neither clean nor is it shot perfectly enough to give even a vague idea to map around one's mind. The supporting characters are balanced and well bred, with antics that are derived from their equations, Dafoe, Palicki and Nyqvist stands out alone for their lethal-ness.

Stahelski's theme resonates more like Goddard- the creator of Marvel's Daredevil- than it does with Wachowski Brothers which is surprising since he came from that background. Another appealing aspect of it is the cleanliness, its huge neat production set and props that makes you want to pick up the gun and shoot out wild. John Wick is not pushing any boundary in cinematic world, it respects and accepts its place and delivers the best knockout there is.

Elf
Elf(2003)

A Chaotic Christmas.

Elf

Favreau's take on Christmas does exactly what such feature demands, a lot of magic, a lot of love and a whole lot of innocence flooding across the screen. The first act being of course dipped in irony, as a whole new magical world is projected where most of the jokes are pulled out from the fact that there is a variation in their bodies compared to our protagonist. And this is a theme that never does and would end, from visiting a new city to street, jumping in on new lifestyle, every aspect of it is being mocked at through comparisons.

The rest of the structure is familiar, with antics that helps advance the storyline, the humor is never offered in extreme, there is a broad smile on your face throughout the journey; this is Favreau's big win, gullible in its own world and characters, a film has never been so satisfied with itself. As far as gags are concerned it can easily be left to Ferrell himself. His knack of eating too much sugar, his physical comedy, his way of dancing and picking up the phone by saying, "This is Buddy Help. What is your favourite color?"; it all bodes well.

His commitment of pinning himself down to that amount of childishness is what fuels this film. Favreau has few ideas on his minds that makes him push the boundaries on an emotional level, unfortunately this is where the film gets dodgy, there is very little art for them to draw out the emotions. Favreau should have known better to keep the film light and breezy, for that is where the film shines, a happy go lucky attitude is what it thrives upon. Elf has more human in him, it lops off few taboo subjects, and give you a decent simpler miracle.

RBG
RBG(2018)

Far From Home And Close To Relative.

RBG

West And Cohen's documentary leaves you at a perplexing state, definitely inspired and moved by it, but often questioning. Is it well crafted? Yes. Was there room for improvement? Way too much. And I presume, that is what kept me itching throughout this documentary. It sincerely respects the material is has and it never takes it for granted and neither it grows provocative nor manipulative. What it does fail to do so, is create an impact on its viewers, the stakes are never communicated, the scrutiny never traveled thoroughly.

The makers has a different vision altogether on narration, it was dry and felt mostly like news, there was no build up, no romance to amp up the viewers or at least root for them. The questions asked in interviews too aren't expressive enough to open up the guests or the host itself. The documentary isn't subtle too, it has good intentions on projecting the trajectory with one tactic or habit that would beam the entire path, but it isn't smoothly placed in narration, it feels like a detour, a break that neither the host wanted nor the viewers.

The humor aspect is poured in to the host herself, and whenever she becomes the new version of herself, trying to fit in on a new world, the laughs come easily, from SNL clips to her equation with her granddaughter. Another smart idea was to project all the court appearance without any clips and just write down all the highlights of the debate on screen. The video clips aren't sufficient, they should have either went for more or edited accordingly. RBG is the perfect alarm clock, it shakes you up with eye popping revelations and struggles that the protagonist went through, but then it is just an alarm clock, it cannot be much liked.

A Private War
½

Up Close And Personal.

A Private War

Heineman has made a drama that is at peak of humankind's worst fear and it is a true story. A riveting take of his on the infamous journalist whose social service echos in our generation is for every woman herself. From head to toe, this has and always will be Pike's movie. No matter how sharp Heineman's execution is, or no matter how many big questions it raises the answer is Pike, Pike and Pike. The film thrives upon the war theme and most of the movie is dipped into the field, but personally the film will communicated to me is the repercussion it causes on a civilized person. And it's that aftermath that Heineman scores perpetually with winning figures on screen. Neither the structure is of your typical textbook biography nor does it relies upon the antics of the film. In fact, I would argue there isn't one.

There is no build up to any sequence, it just flows smoothly and consistently giving an absorbing tale with enough reasons to dive deep into this politics. And yes, as far as such genre consists, it is provocative, but the theme demanded it to be. The film oozes power even while it is resisting or is under the shade of a higher power, and it is that feeling of being helpless and still survive with strong willpower and bravery that you have to hold onto; on that note that Heineman has successfully colored his film with, it is a complete triumph.

On terms of performance, as mentioned before, there is no need to look back, Pike is there to be the apt host of this gut wrenching world and she is there for the most part of it. For, if she leaves the screen even for a frame, you can feel that empty void inside you and in the film. To have that amount of command over the viewers and the film is no easy job, that impact is something that is rarely seen, and the last time I felt that was when I was watching Whiplash and no drums could replace Simmons absence.

On her defense, she has an immensely incredible role to portray, and it can all be easily pinned down to her ideologies or perspective towards the guns blazing and bombs booming around her (when Pike teaches other reporter like hers on how to survive this environment). She gets plenty of sequences to drive the film around to her own will and her best side is visible when she is confessing her fears and emotions to Hollander after a heating argument.

Speaking of whom, Hollander and Tucci, the supporting actors, are too on their best behaviors, although Dornan still feels a bit short handed. The film gets damp and dense only when it is switching locations, as soon as you're in, the compelling nail-biting sequences conjures you with harrowing inedible images that may not be everyone's cup of tea. A Private War is as personal as a war should be, fighting her way up against major contenders, Pike gives her career's best performance.

Can You Ever Forgive Me?
½

Write Me And Write Me Well.

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Heller's Scorsese-like invasion on literary world ensues chaos with equal sincerity where the stakes might not be white or black and life or death, but its pragmatic theme surely makes it look like one. The structure follows a typical textbook method, with the first act being the chase of the thrills and the rush of accounting yourself as an outlaw, while the second one challenged equally by the opposite force followed by the last one that dwells on the pitfall of our protagonist. And as often does these biographies ask for, the makers ought to highlight the time period by various montages that helps them fast forward and keep the pace persistent. Among many metaphors that offers a husky layer on the narration, personally I connected the most with the cat. From her down fall to her resisting her way up the ladder, she basically represents the inner soul of our protagonist.

And if considering the supporting characters, Welles that helps and befriends McCarthy from stage one has a powerful character on paper, she emits guilt out of McCarthy and that is one of the strongest emotion that the film has to deliver and with McCarthy's jaw dropping performance, she hits the ball out of the park. McCarthy has never been short on her range, she has delivered the peaks of both ends, and has come back and widen it once again overpowering her own previous work.

She can be the least serious person in the room and also be the most one, she can be intense with those dead eyes and hilarious in her imitations, she colors her face with pity and guilt and she can express sharp cunningness in her body language. She is in one of those elite group of actors, that can do both comedy and drama nonchalantly. And supporting her thoroughly on the screen is Grant in his version of a mean street guy.

To be fair, he has a much more cinematic role than McCarthy. McCarthy might be the brains of all, but she doesn't know how to utilize it at its peak, how to glorify each moment, how to be celebratory and be bratty, boasting her skills without any shame in her bones, this is where Grant comes in. He charges at the screen like never before, he is always the anticipated antic in the script, he has a buoyant and layered character that keeps engulfing us for more chaos.

There is no order in his rhythm, he can be the guilty pleasures of the tale, he is easily seduced and so are we in his realm. Their humorous equation and instant connection in their first encounter is a smartly written act but their last meeting steals all the attention, striking horns of screen, these two high calibered actors are giving one of their best work. Can You Ever Forgive Me? grows more intense as much as the characters takes things lightly, it's that fear that ticks behind the screen, the greatest armor of Heller.

Ransom
Ransom(1996)

No More Negotiations.

Ransom

Howard's thriller drama respects the genre like never before. His focus to create a crisp tense environment is clearly visible and pays off more than enough. This is a more grounded version of such commercial films, it thrives more upon the drama than it does on antics. It also has a script that demands good performance from its cast, it gives them enough room and range to factor in equally. And even though there are few dodgy lumps and questions that can be raised here and there, in order to really enjoy Howard's thrill, it demands few plot points to be scoffed off immediately.

One of the best bits of the film is mapping out the territories of their characters, no matter how obvious or cheesy it may sound like, this is all a big bluff coming from Howard, and they way he puppeteers these characters on screen is his masterful skill. To be fair Howard has a balanced script, that dares explore on either side of the drama, one that challenges the antagonist politically and one that challenges the protagonist emotionally, separating them with clean sharp vocab lies Howard and his execution. Gibson as the devil himself, or so he claims to be, has a very potent but risky play to play.

And with Russo supporting him decently, this parenting part of the drama is in safe hands. Sinise, the antagonist, has a juicy role to play, brimmed with revelations and main antics of the script in his hand, he makes sure that the irritation communicates thoroughly if not the fear. Ransom is a mature if not smart tale of ego clashing head to head on screen, the result is stupendous that brings out a potential contender on both the side of the party, satisfying every last requirements of a weekend night.

Minding the Gap
½

Skate Away And Roll Away.

Minding The Gap

Liu's documentary on a diverse group of people that are connected with one heart pumping passion is not only an essential eye opening subject to explore upon but is also a gripping and compelling family drama. As far as the clips of all the skateboard stunts are concerned, there is no need to look back. But one of the main reason why they work so smoothly on narration, is when the makers need a visual medium while someone is narrating, these clips help immensely for them to link all the parallel tracks perfectly. Divided into three tracks and three lives, the one that connects you with majorly is Johnson's or at least it did to me.

Since his track does not stand exceptionally alone, one can connect on multiple level with his life. On the other hand, the truly dramatic or cinematic of all, is of Liu's which is so sharp and powerfully executed that the emotions may rumble you down to tears. And the rest of the space is taken by Johnson who has his own dodgy issues where the other related to him too gets to factor in effectively, a fair and balanced trial put on by the maker.

Another primary reason it speaks more to the common people, is because they keep them grounded as much as possible, despite of having an exceptional life, the tiny details on their routines and light and breezy equation with someone, is how they easily get under your skin. Liu; the director, himself has done a splendid work on foliating the drama that they went through, it can be really difficult to project your own story with such conviction especially without any manipulation or milking too much of the material. Minding The Gap is the most balanced documentary possible, it sticks by its job, the genre never overtakes the content and the drama communicates with you.

Bao
Bao(2018)

Food For Thoughts.

Bao

Shi's animated short film explores the gap between the subsequent generations and bridges it with the purest of human emotions. As much as intriguing; one might even argue a scary, the concept is, the familiarity of it makes the energy wear off quickly. With highly detailed routines involved in storytelling, that is a major part of both the beginning and the end, such animated features, especially Disney, has perpetually kept its scorecard on mark on such tiny things. The adorable animation, yes, not any other adjective but "adorable" comes to mind, when you first set your eyes on them. It is so rich in technical aspects that it captures the birthmarks and hairs so perfectly on screen that it makes you wonder of its existence.

Personally, I or in fact anyone would connect to the second act of the film. It explores the bittersweet moments between a child and a parent, from loving his parent unequivocally to questioning them after being seduced by the powers of the outside world. These are these moments that are to be projected within few minutes, that means only the highlights of the series of events are to be created and it had to be subtle enough to keep the quality uncompromised, these bits are dodgy and often where filmmakers loses their grasp over the track.

But Shi's elaborative script keeps us tangled in her wise mature notions of suggesting the trajectory of the characters. Unfortunately, the only aspect where one might argue the tale weakens is the gist itself, the metaphorical cloak that it puts on and walks around throughout the film isn't layered enough to push your boundaries. Bao is a well crafted acted, it's major triumph is on swooping in all the steps of a kid's life within few minutes, that is pinned down through a creative concept.

If Beale Street Could Talk
½

Two Love Birds.

If Beale Street Could Talk

Jenkins has made a romantic film whose drama may fiddle around the borders of racism and inequality but its heart lies on demanding answers from humanity. Initially, one would presume it to be a film about racism, but there is a lot more to explore than social satire, personally the soothing affectionate love that flows throughout the film spoke to me the most. If its first half is gripping family drama, resisting the obvious judgements of the society, the second half grows more head to head and this deep dive of characterization of his characters is where Jenkins steals the show.

With all the chaos going through the film, there is an easiness in storytelling, the still camera, the illuminating thoughts of Layne, the calm sensible approach to the storm is what encourages you to hold on to it. And unlike Coogler or Lee, Jenkins has never been provocative, his confidence on his textbook productive methods speaks vividly on screen, like within the first few minutes, the conflicts between the family gets bubbled up expressively on the screen which shows his brilliant execution skills.

But then this is no Moonlight, for a brief period Jenkins does lose its audience when the script gets damp, that entire middle act falls under the obligation category, it's that part where to offer a better closure Jenkins had to swoop it up on screen. One of the finest bits of the film is when Layne narrates her version of the world. It is so finely detailed and beautiful written that all of it gets in your bones within a snap, her job description is something that will stay with you throughout the course of the film.

Jenkins may highlight each character by casting bigger actors, but he counts them on script with equal sincerity that leaves a long lasting impression, from Franco to Pascal to Rios to Skrein, each of them gets a unique act to play, that becomes into an antic itself. Even Luna's cameo that is barely there for a scene, casts an impression since the way Layne describes how she observes things. James as the victim of both love and hate, never manages to emerge himself ad more than a pity or a mellow case. While, Layne is the real deal, her carefully constructed and calculative performance is what glues all these characters tightly.

Personally I prefer her in the bits where she is alone, on her own, away from James, that is when her real personality is brought out. King, on her supporting role deserves all the hype she comes with, her sharp bitter tongue whips you for its honesty and generosity. The ultimate final punch of hers which the movie was building towards, her compelling scene with Rios defines her excellence on performance. This project of Jenkins is a bit amiable, satisfied in its own term, If Beale Street Could Talk expands the possibility of the outcomes of a definitive case, in here, the romance conjured by him is his big win.

Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo)
½

Follow The Tune.

O Menino E O Mundo

Abreu's sketchy world is the most linear and simplistic take on the current era that we all reside in. His analogy between natural and artificial lifestyle is one of the oldest battle that the artists have been resisting about and he has managed to foliate it into a hand-drawn three dimensional world. And he is so sincere to his concept, that since the entire film takes place from a little kid's perspective, the world is hand-drawn i.e. naturally crafted out. These tiny notions is what the film is entirely brimmed of, speaking thoroughly in a subtle layered vocab, this metaphorical satire flows smooth as a river.

Since there are barely any verbal sparring, the makers speak to us through sound medium and with sharp sound effects and melodious humming tune, this film is soothing to encounter. In its first act, where you are basically trying to create a structure of what is going on, the film explores the emotional aspect of our protagonist that is the most powerful and delicate part of it, since it has to fuel for the journey it is about to embark upon.

And this dutiful son, when wanders into a city; which seems more Metropolis-ish, the emotional tap is kept on hold while the writer whips you with political satire. This is a bit that might not reach to all of its viewers, since it grows tedious and familiar to its own world, nevertheless these intentions gets wiped out instantly as it reaches for its final act. And pinning down the last thought from where it was all ignited, the family drama never lets go off the social message. O Menino E O Mundo gives you an overwhelming experience for nothing but Abreu's passion of storytelling, where at a certain point the story itself doesn't matter.

Glass
Glass(2019)
½

Split Into Disappointments.

Glass

Shyamalan's conclusion to his beloved project is a disappointing loose thread that thoroughly convinces you to hold on to it, but barely is ready to be the host for it. There is too much going behind the screen- his signature move- that when it is reveal it does leave you in an awe of it, but when it comes to show definite figures on screen, the numbers are often mismatching. There is no romance in either the characters or the storytelling. And it is the primary reason why it shatters so vigorously. Without any whatsoever flow, the storytelling often comes off as news, which too frankly isn't intriguing. To be informative is one thing and to be a narrator another.

What it does get right, is the mythology that Shyamalan has constructed in his mind. His sincere respect to the concept itself can easily be filtered out in his mannerism. His film lives on glorifying these characters to their limits. He gives them enough range and room to flaunt in their persona and the impact it creates to the surrounding of it. And clearly he has kept McAvoy at the front of it, the time, space, energy and range he has offered to that character, is all admirable accepted by McAvoy, and the result is stupendous.

His awe-inspiring performance both challenges and mocks his fellow actors, his commitment on the nakedness and innocence of each personality is the soul reason, he emerges as the only survivor from this tale. Challenging him with few good scenes, resides Jackson's thirst for the quest and abomination. With very little to do, he makes sure he leaves a last longing impression on the viewers. Paulson has a bit edgy character to portray, either way, she never is able to enchant us nor overpower us through her schemes.

Willis, as probably the biggest disappointment, is playing a cameo, with very little finesse on his performance. The other supporting cast like Johnson and Treat Clark too falls under the same pit. Shyamalan has always managed to build up the hype like no one else, he aces in it, but when it comes to reveal the cards, they are often disappointing or rushed over. In this case, the physical sequences are not only dull and off putting but annoying, which is mostly mutilated by the eerie camera work that is there to actually enhance the momentum of the scene; irony.

Aforementioned, his last thought on this big war of comic books, is sharp and illuminating, it shifts our perspective to a whole new dimension. But before any of it scrolls open, it is already too late. While its first act maps out the characters in a different state, the second one that ought to be husky and cunning; especially since Jackson is in control of the ride, it isn't thoroughly justified with very little skin in the whole "mastermind" game. Glass aches you more than you would anticipate, the beloved characters over the years, they deserved much more and so did we.

American Gangster

Empty Threats. Empty Guns.

American Gangster

Scott's reign over the mean streets often comes out as a fatal attempt of conjuring Scorsese's richness on uncouth mannerism, either way it's a big old sunken ship from the beginning. Ironically, despite of ticking for more than two hours, it barely offers us the content of half an hour, give or take. The major disappointment is the build up of each sequences, which are perpetually on mark, but unfortunately the high pitched dramatic scene itself falls on mediocrity. Against all odds, the film is cornered by its semantics, since the biggest bombshell would be Zaillian; the writer, who has managed to write the weakest script of his career.

As far as Scott- behind the camera- is concerned, he does utilize the caliber of the cast to the last drop, but there isn't enough concrete material to walk on. Washington, in the bad boy coat, is a threat to watch out for, his rage empowers not only on the characters but on the viewers too. And to balance the tone on the other side is, Crowe as the complex yet better person to root on, frankly his personal life has much more to offer than his professional, no matter how much limited it is.

Spicing up their relationship, lies Brolin's challenging performance that is explored the least among all. Despite of having such an electrifying performances, the conversation aren't zazzy enough to spark up the screen as it was anticipated and the apt example would be when Brolin and Washington goes head to head; the trash talk is just not working. And the rest of the time is spent upon creating the stereotypical montages like the loss of consciousness, the rudimentary investigation process and an imperial party gone wrong. American Gangster neither is Americana nor gangster-ous enough to define it cinematically.

Boy Erased
Boy Erased(2018)

Reviewing The Course.

Boy Erased

Edgerton's vital project is equally admirable, if not energetic, to the voice it raises. This seen-this-seen-that structure of the script may have something new to offers but has stereotypical characters and repetitive concept that is clearly off putting. Still scoffing off the limitations, Edgerton's textbook procedure is effective, it is well crafted and genuinely invested tale. One of the primary reasons, why it works is the inevitability of the antagonist, since there is no physical appearance to it, it gets impossible to eradicate it and the annoyance that our characters goes through, is communicated thoroughly through stellar performance and brilliant execution. Fighting the long lasting battle, that is against narrow minded people, usually the solution is to take the South direction, but before its last act, the makers have managed to offer the simplest of solution.

But this is simply another extra branch of the film, it's core lies on the analysation of a personal relationship which is put on trial in here. The class involves the usual suspects, one who is friendly, one of them a bully and one whose innocence gets snatched away. Soaking all the dripped material from all the tactics ever introduced in this genre, Edgerton has made a qualifying film. He never stretches things, each sequence of the film is an essential development to the storyline.

From meaningful conversations with Kidman on a car to writing down notes on the paper, and just because of this tone of the film, that isn't commercial at all- if anything it is a bit more artsy than it accounts for- it leaves the audience satisfied. Hedges resisting the stupidity of the people surrounding them is a surprising package that keeps giving you back reasons to hold on to him.

Personally I prefer Hedges when he has to swallow all the accusations without any counter arguments, rather than in his last act where he jets his rage around the surrounding and enlightens the tale to a much faster pace. Crowe on the other hand owns his body like never before, he is firm, rigid and too behemoth to be able to move aside by anyone, he is one big wall that Hedges has to climb. Kidman on the other hand plays almost a double agent, the apt host for Hedges to penetrate these narrow minded people and walk past them ahead.

Edgerton, himself, plays the miniature physique of the antagonist, but still a nail biting challenger that amps up the charge and makes us want to punch him, this is his big win. With only little going on, in narration it helps Edgerton immensely to stay on the track and follow protagonist's perspective without leaving his lead and despite of it, the narration never grows dull for ticking for around two hours. Unfortunately, the film isn't layered as it thinks it is, it has a definite layer of essential ingredients, but is also wafer thin. Boy Erased manages to rub off the darker thoughts but also is primarily a mundane work.

The Rider
The Rider(2018)

The Bitter Truth.

The Rider

Zhao's pathos drama that eerily is of an antithetical nature, proposes a much bigger question that every being lives for or has lived for. The theme somewhat resonates with Coen Brothers's Inside Llewyn Davis, only a bit less darker, but equally promising and inspiring. This character driven feature dwells upon the inner resistance of ones- drunken with oneself's attraction or weakness towards a subject and the conscience practical decision towards right and wrong- this is a film that required a narrator or an inner monologue. But Zhao's bold steps on not to keep one favors immensely on her side through her brilliant execution, these silent pitches where she milks out the essential drama remains the highlight of it.

And through brilliant performance and meticulous script that uses enough props to express views and intentions, the message is sound and clear. Another beautiful aspect of the feature is the interaction of our protagonist with horses, the way he tames and communicates with them, it doesn't require any verbal sparring to mesmerize you. And fabricating this drama into a compelling action, is Jandreau, delivering a stellar performance to observe at.

To be fair, his character is much more endearing than our usual protagonist is, he helps his friends even at their worst, he is protective and open to alienated concepts. The only part where he gets to be edgy and depict a darker side of his, is when he wrestles with a friend of his, which too is justified thoroughly. The conversations and the activities going around the room or a house is pretty much mundane and pragmatic that denses up the essence of the stakes stronger and impenetrable, like the usual conflict of his younger sister with her family that is kept burning throughout the course of the film. The Rider rides with an even stable pace to a more cozy state than it begins with.

Burning (Beoning)

Running For A Lost Cause.

Burning

Lee's illuminating thriller lights a havoc on the drama genre. From scene one, the slow pill is the best medicine one can aspire for such a shady tale, and Lee's vision doesn't go off track, even for a split second in this more than two hours of marathon. A perfectly balanced and properly constructed film, that balances characters' perspective and the bones of the storyline on nothing but uncertainty. And it is that element of uncertainty in air, that keeps challenging us to think beyond our imaginations and the responsible driver is Lee armed with a meticulous script and brilliant execution. Probably only once they refer the word "metaphor" which doesn't mean anything, for besides that, it is immensely layered and a mirror of the intentions and deep dark thoughts of these characters.

One might assume that after its first half, the film would drive towards the rudimentary investigation process, but Lee has some other plans for you, he has been building up the entire film for that last trick that leaves its viewers hanging without any clue. And this is where the film gets better, after it ends, it allows you to roll back all the tell tales and innuendos that was driving towards this destination, boy what a ride it is.

Aforementioned, the entire film is dipped into metaphor, Lee is not ready to reveal his secret till the last frame, he holds on to it like his dearest, which makes us hold onto this wider range allegory, never has a tale been so fluctuating and pulsating. From the shadow of a lighthouse to a cow, from well crafted rumors to a cat, it is a buoyant absorbing tale that tests you intellectually and spiritually. And walking that fine line, resides Lee's true intentions of the tale, and as a character quotes once in the film, The Greater Hunger- the meaning of life.

Yoo, the protagonist, has pretty much a similar role to its audience, he too is trying to figure out and analyse the world around him, and fortunately he is at best at his depressive state rather than an overprotective one. Jun as the essential part of the mystery act, has plays an amazing role to cast the spell of hers enough to not let it wear off until the credits rolls. But the show stealer would always be Yeun, in his rich charismatic cloak.

With his stunning portrayal, and the substance of his characters that is most attracting than any others, his ideologies speaks much more than one anticipates. If its first act is spent upon building our protagonist, then the second one is depicting the eerie chemistry of this scary friendship, leaving us with a last act that is basically joining the dots. Hence, personally I prefer when Yeun invades Yoo and Jun's life with a big pack of gusto. Burning burns more than you would think, in fact it leaves us with only ashes for us to investigate, and to survive from that has its own sweet results.

Nixon
Nixon(1995)
½

Guilty Or Not Guilty.

Nixon

Stone's now-a-complete anthology on American politics from '60s to '70s, is a set that may dwell well in contrast to his rest of the installment, but as an individual, in its single entity, it is a "blah" forward pass. This meticulous venture of Stone was clearly not easy to bind it all in one act. Such political films that barely has any concrete material to follow, takes a lot of work to narrate it linearly with a definite structure. And covering all the controversies and debates, Stone has put up a behemoth stature for us to climb, it is a long way up but it is worth all the effort.

Unlike, his other similar features, this one lacks enthralling encounters that leads on electrifying debates, in fact if anything, it is too diplomatic to lose its control and let things flow, Stone is too calculative to make it cinematic. And if there are these many restraints on script, the making of the film, is boost off supremely by its stunning cast. And the titled character is played by Hopkins whose research on Nixon is a testament to his sheer brilliant performance. His best bits are when he shares the screen by his supporting actress Allen, who is equally challenging to him on screen.

The eerie editing and camera work does help Stone to make his point clear, but Hopkins's act has a rhythm of its own, the first time he convinces Allen to not leave him is the apt example for it. These are also tiny packets of firecrackers that we get in this overstretched version of Stone's dive on shady political drama, since the rest of the part is too mellow to demand our attention. Nixon managed to lose even in comparison to Stone's JFK, it is a biography that no one asked for.

Suspiria
Suspiria(2018)

Mother Issues.

Suspiria

Guadagnino's swooping and whooping camera work on the beloved '70s classic horror flick is a head scratching gore vision that conjures you through your curiosity rather than your fear. First of all, this has always been an edgy tale, even back in the Argento's version, it is a concept that asks you to reach out for it. Nevertheless, the narration guides you to it where its abstractness is the double edge sword, for if it gets fixated in its vague nature, not only does it loses its audience but the grip on the characters itself.

Fortunately, Guadagnino is the just the guy that such a script demand, he takes his time, chews on the perspective properly and delivers a thrilling outcome to look forward to. Since one can imagine from the theme of the film, it relies a lot upon technical aspects like choreography, art designing, sound effects and makeup artist. And even though it delivers few jaw dropping scenes, the art designing feels a bit short handed especially in its last act; in their defense it is too colossal to frame it on a screen. Personally, I would choose this comprehensive display of Guadagnino's mythological dance academy than Argento's horror, which now looks like it was just skimming off the surface.

To admire, among various aspects, Guadagnino's acceptance towards tilting the world on a more mythological genre than the horror one is the smartest above all; it doesn't hold back, if it is set loose it is allowed to flow with butter smoothness. There is a general acceptance in the air of the upcoming storm among the characters, that allows the viewers to think beyond just the screams and chills of harrowing visions. Johnson in the lead, of both the act and the storytelling, fails to live up to the lethal sculpting of her character. She is neither poised, nor jaggedly on mark to express in her well choreographed dance.

Her lefts and rights may not match, but the plasterization of a numb and scary face favors majorly on her side. Balancing the incompetency on performance objective lies Swinton's stunning act. From the chaser to being chased by and from the reacher to being reached by, she has foliated the characters with her accurate vision on their role as individual being that will fool you. Despite of ticking for more than two hours, the film never seems overstretched, it's Guadagnino's magic trick of sweeping all the essential points on one big sequence, that keeps you tangled in this pathos world.

Even for the frequent viewers of such a bloodbath film, it can be too much, especially if any of the sequence is considered as a "blah", every step is a part of the act, even the news on the radio or television has a lot to say about his mature vision, it has too much to say and is too much subtle. Make no mistake, this fantasy, takes its rumors seriously, dipping itself deep into the good's and bad's of the world, it is a perpetually engaging drama where the real romance of the film is Johnson and Swinton's mellow chemistry. Suspiria has always been ahead of its time, we weren't ready for The Mothers back in the '70s, neither are we now.

Vice
Vice(2018)
½

Conspired To Doom.

Vice

McKay's avant-garde vision of the controversial political debate may or may not be accurate but scoffing off the strings, the film, the independent project, shows passion and talent blending in for cherishing few laughs. On humor, it is very hard to beat McKay, weaving out the too-much-political jibber-jabber into a nail biting drama is his first and foremost job, that he makes sure he excels at. There are husbandry gags so witty and hilarious that it mocks the genre itself, when felt to divert the shady or speculative part of the plot to a big extravagant of puppet (literally!), he uses a theme of equivalency medium to communicate on layman terms.

Like when Bale schemes his way up with banal theories of puppets in White House or an eerie homage to Shakespeare or a climatic first act that is nailed down to the credits. McKay's ferocious commitment and confident on his script, is what illuminates it on a much larger scale. The political climate which the film is dipped into isn't just left to inspire or create awareness for the current political climate control, but as an individual persona that Bale is cloaked of, fiddles on where to draw the margin of good or bad as a singular being.

As far as the structure is concerned, it is pretty much basics, Bale climbs his way up to the ladder by pushing off one or two and being challenged ethically before he ends up losing not only himself but things much more precious to him. The narration is not only meticulous but also funny and fresh to follow, in fact, it may resemble somewhat to Stone's Any Given Sunday, but fortunately the humorisc editing and direction tactics helps McKay stay on the safer side of the coin. Bale being hyped by the media and fans for his bizarre physical transformation clears out any speculations of his choice in our minds within first few minutes.

His depressed, overly thought out and dodgy character that he maps out on screen, has a perspective of his own. He seems more Chaney than Chaney himself. Plastering a half grin on his face and speaking with less opened mouth as much as possible, he may not be able to melt you down but he sure can ooze power to a point where you might start getting afraid of him. And the characters that writhes around him, including Carell as the sort-of-mentor role has very little do along with Rockwell as the Bush, who too is a victim of a similar infection.

The only challenging and competitive character against Bale is Adams as the backbone of his, has done an amazing work as his supporter. What the film fumbles upon is having the ability to transact from one sequence to another, there is no flow to the storytelling, no matter how hard McKay convinces you with his camera work. One of the best bit of the film is the narrator whose mysterious appearances keeps you intrigued into this one big speech. Vice should have been a general phenomenon, instead it is Bale's film, from head to toe.

Win Win
Win Win(2011)

To Wake Up Without Any Hit.

Win Win

McCarthy's grant that comes along with family's business that is to be dealt with, has too much amount to fulfill your needs. This surprising delightful family drama has the heart in its right place, no matter how much obliged it is to the semantics of the structure or how mechanically complex it grows, McCarthy's schemes to keep a broad smile on your face throughout the journey is an appreciative and successful job. With light humor and breezier conversations, it keeps us at ease with warm cozy chemistry of the characters.

McCarthy's world never takes charge, if there is an option directing towards the south it cannot ignore it and this is his ultimate weapon, for even at its peak there is a sense of maturity or immaturity of the characters to keep a socially pleasant expressions on the face and move accordingly. Addition to that, the unexpected turns and revelations in its trajectory is bewildering enough to bite your nails. The stakes might be immensely high, yet its projection of these imprinted plans, no matter how much less-cinematic is subtle enough to poke you off the edge, there is no need for any push.

Giamatti in his middle aged and no so likeable character, is to be rooted for, from his inadequacy to smile or to clear out his intentions, he is a force to be reckoned with. And challenging him equally, lies Ryan's beautiful performance, as an overprotective mother and a fellow companion of Giamatti, she balance the film on a safer scale. The supporting cast like Tambor, Cannavale, Young and Shaffer are holding onto their parts convincingly. Win Win is a big win as a family drama pulsating across a breathtaking match and McCarthy's bluff of not delivering the last end of the track leaves you a bit wiser in the end.

Step Brothers

Finding The Voice Together

Step Brothers

McKay's daunting task to bring two comic energies on screen that is of such high caliber with an eerie relationship to work on, is an average brawler sparked up by illuminating performances. A gullible world as such of McKay is his core strength, and he makes sure he uses it whenever the script gets damp, lucky for him, there is very little space to do so. The husbandry gags that the film relies upon for the most part of it, ought to have installed by Reilly and Ferrell and is thoroughly steered by them. From banal notions and hilarious illogical one liners, this comic drama, contradictory to popular beliefs, has witty sense of humor.

To pull off your typical dinner-conversation-gone-wrong case with intertwined complicated equations bubbled up by irrevocable actions shines a new light every time. The physical sequences are convincing and flat out hilarious spiced up by irregular yellings of their deepest darkest secrets that tickles you. McKay's clean trial of putting up these two hilarious personas on stand makes us see through and through of their nature which works immensely on dramatic bits no matter how little they are.

Ferrell as the shy Mama's boy, obliged but never to admit sort of stature is sculpted on screen by him where his flamboyancy on melting down and cheering up welcomes you to join this unfathomable emotions. Reilly, on the other hand, the impossible to live with guy, is where the antics move accordingly, and his reach to grasp Ferrell's schemes has merits of its own. These two twinkling stars are the heart of the film, if the camera seeks someone else, the energy wears off quickly. Step Brothers feels like real brothers for their constant bickering and petty fights, with all the crisp from surface to the core, this family is fun.

Robin Hood
Robin Hood(1973)

Rich-Poor Alike.

Robin Hood

Disney's another basket of dull troop of films undermines the capabilities of the banner to animate the tales for better expressions. It is one of those flicks that has tone so lazy and studious for it to convince the viewer for even a unattentive glance. A decision to give the three dimensional character a face to speak to the younger audience without any contempt unequivocally is regretted to death. With no whatsoever flow on narration and filmmaking, on both writing and execution there is very little to hold on to. Neither the characters are impressive nor the script illuminating enough to cut through other low ends of the film.

Usually, when nothing works, one starts to hope for amazing visuals or some good old music, but with uneasy action sequences, and moderate choreography, the music and songs are barely able to factor in on the bigger picture. The supporting characters that are your average sidekicks are literally working on a two liners sticky note, that grows annoying from their first introduction. Brimmed with various subplots, each of them fails to deliver it on their own theme, the love track isn't electrifying, the revenge not communicative and message not inspiring enough to plant the emotions the makers had in mind.

The only good moments to steal away from this big chunk of mess, is the breezy chemistry between the lead friendship that is both slick and mature. Another thing that is hit on mark by the film, is the well thought out angles that allows enough room for the storyline to branch out and make it more dense and spicy. If it works thoroughly for the younger audience then it fails equally for the older viewers, a disappointing advancement on storyline. Unfortunately, Robin Hood is not the savior for Disney, they better wait for someone else.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence
½

No Terms And Conditions.

Artificial Intelligence: AI

Spielberg's innocent plans on a harrowing concept is a breathtaking battle ticking for more than two hours. As always, he walks on a textbook structure, well crafted old methods that speaks their own tales. A perfect example would be of the first act itself, where the series of all intentions gone wrong case is to be projected. And with skillful execution, he foliates the explicit writing on screen as it was anticipated. But unfortunately, there are other forces stopping him to reach his goal, and the primary one is the semantics of the storyline. A track so long and overstuffed that there is very little space for the audience to breathe even though Spielberg allows enough room and space to the audience to chew in.

And with a jarring last act that emotionally fuels the screen with humility and innocence and not for a split second does it grow manipulative. Joel Osment, the highly advanced unique bot which is intended to be emotionally competent, successfully manages to move us with an amazing performance. Law, as the sidekick and literally a supporter of his has a stereotypical role to fill in which doesn't stop him from giving back a sensational performance.

If the first half of the film is spent upon getting kicked and judged by the world for the protagonist, the second one is discovering about his identity and finding his voice, and even though it lands on a pathos world, there is a lot of hope emitting among those mechanical bodies walking around. Frankly, even though there is very little to invest upon in its first act, the efficient procedure of his that are thoroughly convincing and thought provoking is fun on its own. Artificial Intelligence: AI set in future, as it quotes, raises a mythological question and to answer it, has its own merits.

Bambi
Bambi(1942)

Growing Tall And Strong.

Bambi

Disney's palatial tale of a young deer emitting warmth in this cold hard land is a symphony sung over the ages for its ingenuity. A drama so mature and sincere that it challenges its older audience to be at their best end of intellectual state and also is a packet of firecrackers for the younger audience. And it is not that it jubilants the younger viewers through breathtaking visuals, stunning locations and adorable picturization of the animal lifestyle. But draws their attention with speaking their tongue of frailty on terms of knowledge and the newer concept that takes time to sink in, like every time when the Rabbit takes things too far and his mother reminds him of his father's advice.

Tiny notions like such is where this meticulous script grows stronger, from experiencing the first rain to testing the surface of a snow, all these encounters with a nature is a witty way to characterize the characters. As far as animation is concerned, it never has been so powerful and skillful for a vivid storytelling to melt down its viewers on the very right spot. The first act is pretty much the firsts of everything, as mentioned, the thrills of visiting new creatures or speaking or walking for the first time.

And the second act explores the bonding between him and his mother with training and stories that can be traced back to mythology, where the last act offers our protagonist to stretch his muscles and prove his brave persona with a fight against nature whom he has been devouring since he was a kid. Bambi, a tale weaved out so far from now and yet remains so close to all of us, is a testament to the sheer brilliance of the narration that was clearly ahead of its time.

The Graduate
The Graduate(1967)
½

Attraction Or Repulsion.

The Graduate

Nichols's compelling drama of a rift between sexuality and morality is a forward pass on terms of the genre the cinema can and ought to offer. As much as general and diverse the message grows socially, the real raunchy methods up-taken by the writers is bold and vivid enough to leave a long lasting impression. Sweeping of all the perspective, opinions, schemes and what not sort of drama, within around 100 minutes, the anticipated intentions are circled up with an adequate storytelling. If its first act seems humorous and light enough to nail any sort of intensity on the board, the second act adds plethora of spice to the tale with jealousy, politics and selfishness that shows the three dimensional side of these perfectly cooked characters.

And with a jarring last act that gives you goosebumps for its potential to shift the entire tone into an electrifying love story that corners our protagonist to succeed against all odds, the finesse is to aspire from. The nail biting climatic act offers this ethically complex situation a cathartic release which no matter how much crowd pleasing it may seem, is also wisely crafted to be mature. Hoffman as the obedient student and of like-able persona has a completely different identity hidden behind him.

Frankly this is not a pleasant figure and Nichols makes sure he never tries to justify it which would be uncalled for. But justice is to be served, and serving it with an intention to draw out a cinematic arc for the character, there resides a quote that cannot define it all more than enough, "I'll give you 20 dollars for a dime." says Hoffman in his lowest pit. Bancroft and Ross, possibly the combination of the most bizarre triangle love story are holding onto their parts dearly. The Graduate not only qualifies but is undoubtedly a top contender.

The Savages
The Savages(2007)

The Non- Socialite Humans.

The Savages

Jenkins's immortal lifestyle and mortal characters carries heavy words than a sword ever could. And finding an honest persistent voice in this war where there is no opponent, and yet has an engaging battle to keep us at the brisk of our emotions, it gets to reap its inspiring flag. The pragmatic conversation glides along with smart humorous narration that can be as light as a puff of smoke and heavy as the deepest emotion bubbled up with stunning chemistry among the cast. Where it ponders on about the usual textbook structure and the concept of a typical family drama, the theme it digs upon is a head scratching masterpiece.

One of its major strength, the equation of two siblings; a brother and a sister, is so accurately descriptive that you cannot not communicate with it. From tiny bickering intuitions to mocking each other even at the lowest moment, the bonding of them grows stronger and stronger as they manage to stay together in this big chunk of mess. Linney as the emotionally fueled and also challenged sister, is a treat to watch for her gullible nature with strong will power receives an overwhelming response especially set in this world. Hoffman, on the other hand, is playing more of a supportive role than a parallel one.

With annoyance on the surface in his hot headed mind, he is more of a father to her sister, than her actual father is. Complaining their way in, this absorbing tale evolves into supporting and devouring each other for their mistakes and their capabilities. Addition to that, the signature tone of Jenkins of drawing out humor from the awkward silence and social uneasiness, she lightens the mood through the habitual rituals of the characters rather than some big hysterical incident. The Savages is a breath of fresh air with a medication that is just a cherry on top.

28 Weeks Later...
½

The Threat Has Been Wiped Out.

28 Weeks Later

Fresnadillo's torch is unfortunately not illuminating as it was when Boyle passed it on. Although it ironically seems accurately titled, since each second spent in here seems like a big old drag. What it does get right is, the depiction of time driven by fluently that doesn't comes across too much news-y. But this sharp vision of the makers on the execution is barely the major factor in here, the narration that circles around the core material before hitting the point, is way too overridden to be affordable. Ironically, a film with a concept that thrives upon survival instinct and the thrills of the chase, is frankly too dull and slow to makes you sweat.

Let alone bedazzle you, it even fails to grasp your attention, the more the makers try to tighten the grip, the more the sand slips out. On its advantage, the structure is independent of any aspect of commercialism which gives it enough freedom to be fresh and raw. Neither the uncertainty of the antagonist and the threat nor the gore vision of the makers scares you and the primary reason to that is there is very little we care about them, the writers just aren't convincing enough to make us fall in their fairy tale.

And with a solution in his pockets in storyline, Fresnadillo never succeeds on bringing alive those words. Renner and Byrne feels the least of the protagonist themed character which is the ultimate trick that works. But on the other hand, Poots and Muggleton that ought to be the flip or turn of this magic too are left out to rot the viewers. The characters are so undercooked that even the innocence of the kid fails to fabricate the emotion with a bit of poignancy. 28 Weeks Later will definitely take more than weeks to pass by.

Cape Fear
Cape Fear(1991)

To Mourn And To Charge.

Cape Fear

Scorsese's calculatively planned and emotionally influenced revenge is both cheesy and smart. Enfolding layer after layer, the screenplay just keeps giving you back the thrills that were promised. Armed with such a buoyant script Scorsese is surprisingly chalky on terms of execution. With eerie camera work and ear numbing explosions blazing across the screen, the film makes you uncomfortable not significantly, but in its inadequacy to stay true to its tone. Brimmed with smart tricks to overpower each other on screen, Nolte and De Niro may not get a better role than this to go mano-y-mano on screen. From conversations to physical sequences, this meticulous script may have written people pleasing entertainment all over it, but there also resides a layered illuminating concept that is vivid enough to recite Bible and other mythological ideologies.

Mutilating every aspect of Nolte's possession; personal and professional, De Niro is on the podium with a sensational speech on mind and performance on his body language. Among many sharp encounters of his with multiple characters, the most riveting is the one he shares with Lewis. The entire conversation is a build up and the gist of the film itself, his rage that masks the entire screen to honesty is a testament to his majestic performance.

Walking parallel-y Nolte is a convincing flawed human whose family is at risk and even though he never gets to score on De Niro's level, his own resistance towards the concept of life and death is intriguing. Lewis and Lange are too impressive on their supporting role, especially the brattiness of Lewis and her gullible nature that denses up the storytelling. Scorsese fails to picturize the explicit writing on screen that every now and then raises questions. Cape Fear is through and through on clearly depicting the concept, the fear is genuinely felt by us.

Beautiful Boy

More Parenting Advice.

Beautiful Boy

Groeningen's cure for this inevitable generation gap may be separated with mutual hatred, but somehow in its own incapabilities it beats to a toe-tapping rhythm. The decision to narrate the storyline non-linearly is something that still is questionable. Yes, it gives them enough reason to fast forward or highlight the plot points, but then it looks like they were seeking for a reason to connect or communicate. Nevertheless, with heartwarming conversation and accurate description on both beauty and gore, it sails smoothly. The film is set in beautiful locations and is lit up bright and easy, no matter how much then the characters suffers vigorously. This contrast kept it mind by Groeningen is something to enjoy.

But all in all, the film ought to and does dwell upon the core relationship of Carell and Chalamet. A ride so raunchy and rugged that it breathes modesty more than innocence. On that very note, the film is a triumph. If it manages to scrape out last bit of innocence from Chalamet's account, then it breeds humbleness in Carell's. This vision that isn't compromised to glorify the characters or justify through logistics, shows honesty in filmmaking. But still there is a lot left in the court to wander about.

And this uneasy voids or untouched grounds is its primary weakness. The rest of the material is often meaningless and can easily be filtered out as a distraction. Yes, they do get their opinion or perspective in on the narration, but then it seems like either it is too late or inevitably irrelevant. Groeningen sets the scene beautifully, he smartly scatters little points on the screen to work your way up but when it comes to end one, he feels a bit short handed to live up to his excellence as it did on igniting it. Carell is not your overprotective guardian, he is the friends of friends.

He pushes the boundaries by not keeping one between him and his son. A mistake or a masterstroke, the film ping pongs this decision often in the film, diplomacy is appreciated in here. His tendency to keep nagging and poking through his rigid ideologies and also to be open mind enough to grasp the one dimensional nature of anyone, balances the tone to a humane version. Chalamet, the victim or so it may seem like, is frankly more convincing when sober rather than floating around in his imagination.

Their chemistry has a lot of pressure to fill in, which they deliver, it takes a lot of effort from them, but they do. The supporting cast has done a decent work although, Ryan feels a bit underused and surprisingly Tierney gets a big chunk of impressive role which evidently bodes well to both her performance and the track. There is very little mining on terms of the concept, it is happy to surf over it and decorate it with dramatic effects as much it can. Beautiful Boy is far from being a beautiful tale, it is essential for the awareness, but productivity is to be looked over.

Garden State
Garden State(2004)

Happy Reunions.

Garden State

Braff's debut directorial of a major motion picture may not be a home run, but is surely a surprising packet of delight that pleads your to keep a broad smile plastered throughout this sweet mellow journey. Arguably an introvert, revisiting his hometown that mends the broken things, is not a fresh take on drama, but the rudimentary process no matter how gullible, elevates the theme to a bright sunny day. The shady past and social conflicts between friends and family remains mediocre throughout the course, the only overwhelmed experienced to this stay, is Portman in her chirpy persona that keeps her emotions on the surface. Using his strength of the star cast to his best, Braff keeps her on the lead no matter with whom the screen is being shared.

The suave and soothing chemistry of theirs along with smart funny conversation keeps arguing back to all of our complaints. After which, the textbook structure and the overridden concept barely matters, Braff makes sure you too, as an audience, communicate with the gravitas of leaving your hometown. Braff as a performer suits in this low lazy boy costume fabricated for humor with aces held in his pocket. Portman, the trump card of this low budget drama soars above all, shattering the expectations and setting a new benchmark on a rom-com genre for her.

The tightly packed screenplay that flows smoothly in its first act is jaggedly on mark that leaves a long lasting impression, from a hip and happening party to the first meeting with Portman's, each tiny detail factors in majorly on storytelling. Addition to that, the humor never feels stretching the case or even an extra bit of the narration, it all feels like an essential part of the act. Garden State is a merry state, this teenage flick raises the bar to survive as an independent family drama.

Bird Box
Bird Box(2018)
½

To Confront The Demons.

Bird Box

Bier's sci-fi horror is neither fictitious enough to be a sci-fi nor scary enough to be a horror, settling for a qualifying score, it is arguably a decent family drama. As rich and alluring the concept is, its implementation is equally disappointing. Ticking for more than two hours, if lopped off the over chewed material, their barely resides a worthy content of an hour. And it is without a question, the equation between Bullocks and her kids, which no matter how manipulative, rumbles you down with every possible impressive trick. And to balance the gained head start, it shucks down the sincerity for a complex drama by overstuffing it with multiple and eventually meaningless characters, and still the content never grows complex or even husky.

The mythological themed back story where this surviving spirit thrives upon, is left untouched and never is given a thorough explanation. In fact, even that too would have worked, if they would have sculpted the usual "horror" montage clips with an uncertainty kept alive in the screen to draw out the chills and thrills. Addition to that, the primary weakness of it, is the intangible tone which comes from the knack of creating a calculatively created multiple genre film, evidently in order to do so, it doesn't make much sense; the second act where the jealousy and bickering gets in, the admirably attempted thriller isn't just convincing enough to breed the crisp out of it.

The primary relationship of Bullocks and Rhodes is way too chalky to bubble up the tenderness it was aspired to have. With loftiness in conversation and a tiny bit of practicality, there is very less illumination in characters for us to care for them. As mentioned before, the ethical challenges that Bullocks is put upfront to, especially the boat sequences are even though flawed, thoroughly competent and engaging drama.

On terms of performance, Bullock makes sure she is the overprotective mother in every frame. Whether it is to care for someone in a supermarket or in a house shared with a stranger or in a boat sailing blindly over the river. In fact, the story itself offers a lot of "Sophie's Choice" to rumble the viewers and fiddle with them emotionally. Malkovich as the practical and speculative supporter and a skeptical stranger, gets his moment to stand off. With a stereotypical content sized as a sticky note, the other cast is as anticipated, but the disappointment would be Rhodes who as a performer might have potential but as a character, well, not so much.

There are few sequences where the storytelling takes an uncalled detour like an intimate scene between Bullock and Rhodes, straining the threads on the boat sequences and over ridden emotions. On the other hand, the world at a critical stage as such is created with three dimensional perspective where even their too, are encouraging activities for the destruction which is imputed in narration smoothly. Bird Box, the ultimate seesaw of the discussion on where it lies, as an art there is a very little to work upon but as far as entertainment is concerned, it can be categorized as a guilty pleasure.

28 Days Later
½

This Day. This Moment. Now.

28 Days Later

Boyle's thrilling ride is a family drama that seeks stillness and devours it all the way. The infected virus and a lone family surviving the extinction, a concept that has been visited a many times, and a concept that more than often delivers. Fortunately, being on the larger margin, the film's eerie camera work and the uncertainty of the antagonist that even scares the viewers as much as a walk in the dark does. Visiting new locations and meeting new characters, the film never feels like shattered into various chapters, the transactions of one antic as such to another is left on Boyle's brilliant execution that fabricates Garland's explicit script into a documentary like footage.

Among these various so called chapters, one of the best is the sort of semi-government camp of troops that helps our lead characters survive. This is where Garland's vision widens and generalizes to a taunt that cuts deepest into our bones, as a society. His message is so vivid and jaggedly on mark, where he peels the human nature to its worst honest figure that the harrowing images is the least concern of ours on terms of horror.

To weave out a satire as such at a point of crises shows the brilliance of the makers and the zest of sculpting art as delicate and as honest as possible. Murphy as our host to this infected world remains the last one to be on lead and feels less of a protagonist than any other, this ingenious method of Garland keeps the tale grounded in this fiction. Harris as a strongsmart jaw clenching woman and Gleeson as an overprotective supporter helps stabilize the tone aptly. 28 Days Later predicts less of the future world and mirrors more of our current issues of loss and gain.

Superman II
Superman II(1981)

Guests That Takes Us For Granted.

Superman II

Lester's more cheesy and more flawed super-ness is, against all odds, more entertaining. With glorifying characteristics of the characters to its best at the most critical moments to give a jarringly exhilarating, is a way of saying how grand the characters are, just in a loud voice. There was a very easy way to mend the broken in here, but unaware of the lack of lucid narration, the knack for a knockout enthralling punch feels empty. As far as the conversations are concerned, they grow one dimensional and more questionable than its first installment.

If Hackman gets that same over confident and self praising role to portray, the shallowness of Stamp's character, is something that outnumbers it on potential. As it was previously, the only thing charms its way out, no matter how cringe-worthy, is the repartee between Reeve and Kidder that is ought to be cheesy, and hence lands safely to the tone of the storytelling. The creation of the environment of the Moon, the final battle and the logistics of both the physics and character's perspective; all these essential points are poorly crafted out.

On terms of performance, Reeve's plastered non-expressive performance fails to deliver the gravitas of the scene especially the one where out protagonist gets beaten to blood, even then there is none whatsoever genuineness on his portrayal. Kidder on the other hand, as on overly obsessed reporter somehow works, whilst once again, Hackman is misused completely from head to toe. But as much as uncomfortable these flaws makes you, there is a lot to be amazed at, lot to reboot your mind to a kid-like, scoffing the limitations on the visual effects, it surely feels a blockbuster. Superman II is a far better and engaging than its previous one, a rare thing to come across and to pull off.

The General
The General(1927)

Follow The Trail.

The General

Keaton's cunning vision of pulling off the most simplistic task with a whip, is basically a time travelling machine that warps you back to your childhood memories where you are gullible for any animation possible. With installing as many gags as possible, the detailed version of his tale constructs the structure itself on screen. And Keaton doesn't mind taking his time, he digs deep and clears out all our doubts, he himself is an audience, a maker and a performer; it is clearly visible. In initial stages, if the ignition of the plot is a bit narrow-minded and at times a bit chalky, all your complaints are lopped off very quickly as the ideologies grows wider and the methodology efficient.

On terms of antics, it thrives upon the thrills of the chase or more accurately the irony of the sincerity in this chase. There are very few actors who are as fluent in a physical sequence as Keaton is. From falling down right on the spot to leaping from any moving vehicle or from climbing any possible structure to fumbling calculatively on screen, his vocab doesn't need any language.

Unlike the Sherlock Jr., it may not have the emotionally charged material to feed upon, but its satire on patriotism denses up the case as much as possible. Split into two acts, where one is leading towards the so-called trouble and one escaping from it, both of these acts contains long chase scenes that are brimmed with head scratching hilarious gags, and to offer that amount of material with such easiness is a sign of brilliance. A pacifict world as such despite of the theme, is a home run on terms of both irony and the hope it breathes. The General deserves a promotion to lead us in a better future.

Rescue Dawn
Rescue Dawn(2007)
½

Food For Thoughts.

Rescue Dawn

Herzog's surviving spirit may dwell on a rudimentary procedure but the time travelled in this tale is something to aspire from. It is a daunting task to drive an entire film on a single body and display the jump in time with behavior and body language. To his advantage, he has Bale on his side, who fiddles with his structure for a better storytelling every now and then to any extent. And boy does this film strains every possible muscle of his. The images chosen to capture the incompetency of these characters attempting to survive till the last breath, well, takes your breath away. One of the most inedible sequences are the lack of supply of food or the worst possible food given to them, from eating a live snake to filthy insects, it keeps getting worse.

But among all the emotionally fueled moments, the best of it would be when Bale is offered a bar of chocolate and he gets emotional by the idea of it. Another strong point of it, is the chemistry among the held prisoners which communicate thoroughly especially when they wish Bale "happy birthday", these little notions is where the film scores majestically. Bale portraying a real persona makes sure he justifies the granted role with a compelling awe inducing performance.

The crackling laughter and the broad mellow smile, Bale's version of survival is soothing to the eyes and has a heartwarming poignancy to it. Supporting him lies a decent cast like Zahn and other fellow companions where their three dimensional attributes makes it more pragmatic. More to it, the unfamiliar structure too keeps you engage in such a pathos world. Rescue Dawn may not be the apt escapism for the viewers but for the art that the performers suffers for, is worth exploring.

Pocahontas
Pocahontas(1995)

A Traveller But Not A Tourist.

Pocahontas

Disney's short list of mediocre films has this titled in bold and capitals. Raising the issues of diversity and equality, the concept of the film is morally on mark but the narration is far from target. Along with such political and social messages, it also explores the innocence of the nature which is weaved out smoothly with the script. But this is where the wheel of this plethora of various genre gets stuck. The tale never outgrows beyond its concept, from the first frame, the anticipated trajectory is mapped out, which is exactly where the track directs towards. There is no surprise, no fresh perspective nor any new layer of screenplay disclosed for the gravitas.

As usual, the film is visually stunning along with catchy songs like "Colors Of The Wind" and "Mine, Mine, Mine". And as much as beautiful the songs are, the musical act or choreography is arguably dull. Another trademark Disney tactic, is to blend in pets as a sidekick that offers a light yet smart tricks and humor to the plot. The voice cast lives up to their role with Gibson and Bedard as the lead couple marks their signature. Bale gets few stand alone moments but that too is overshadowed by Gibson's character.

Aforementioned, one of the best bits of the feature is the makers narrating the actual intentions through sidekicks, like the pets and the wise old tree, the conversations among them is the highlight of it. Consistently, where the film keeps failing, is how the writers are building up the sequence, not only is it done with old cheesy methods but it also makes you uncomfortable to encounter it. Pocahontas may attempt to raise the bar for the mature audience, but all it has to settle for is be the dream among its younger audience.

Rebecca
Rebecca(1940)
½

Marital Issues.

Rebecca

Hitchcock's thriller drama is more drama and less thriller this time. And this fabrication of Du Maurier's infamous novel is the apt projection of her explicit writing. And even though it fumbles a lot in its earlier stage due to its eerie editing and intangible tone that does wear off quickly. This conflict doesn't last for long, Hitchcock's eyes grows wiser and vision sharper, after our protagonist enters the spooky palace. Brimmed with speculations on each steps, the multiple characters are staged skillfully on the screen. On terms of adaptation, there are few bits lopped off to keeps the audience enchanted and at the brisk of their seat, which may shuck the uncertain element out of the park.

Nevertheless, with a gritty and cheesy elements installed to glorify the sequences, the film stays a thrilling art that survives for the rumors rather than its characters mingling in a complicated strings tied for the dramatic effect. Fontaine, the protagonist and also the audience of the storyline, as she too is figuring out the trajectory and the environment of the room by testing the temperature every now and then is brilliant.

Olivier with a dark past and a fret plastered in his face even hidden behind his smile, is convincing. But he fails to challenge Fontaine, as her curiosity and a sudden crumble due to the guilt overpowers any other actors on screen within a snap. One of the most sensitive moments of the tale where Fontaine dresses up for Olivier and it doesn't go as anticipated, the build up of that sequence feels short handed that might itch eerily to the readers of the book. Hitchcock jumping on a different genre train in Rebecca was a wise choice, his calculative and constructive steps to the final punch cannot be and is not less than a knockout.

Fantasia
Fantasia(1940)

Mediums Analyzed And Triumphed Over.

Fantasia

Disney's culmination of the Western classical music, iterated with a metaphorical animated episode is an eye popping delight and a brain scratching concept to thrive upon. As a series of various episodes, that it leaps to, from one symphony to another, it usually grows off putting as there is no flow or a mutual aspect as a lose thread for the audience to hold on to, but not this time, not in here. Among multiple musical acts, the first two focusing on tiny little aspects of the nature that is explored with an awe-struck beauty depicted with suave animation and bright heart pleasing colors is a testament to the fragility and ingenious minds.

And among such animations too, the makers have managed to tell a tale depicting the mundane life of each being contributing equally and thoroughly to the nature itself. Misusing the power achieved or stolen temporarily, Mickey Mouse is on run, salivating to use the magic for his best, finds himself on a self created conflict, circling the arc of a complete tale narrated within few minutes. Personally, the Dance Of The Hours, is something that felt over thought out and naturally didn't buy into it, on the other hand, The Rite Of Spring balances the tone with stunning visuals and fluently depicting the transaction over the time.

The climatic tale featuring the night and day concept through an exhilarating metaphor, ends this film on the highest note possible. Aforementioned, as much as rich the film is visually, the music is jaggedly on mark that elevates the momentum of the chapter discreetly and as a whole. As usually these Disney movies contains, the tale has a range to adore its younger audience and push the mature one, the balance is soothing to encounter. Fantasia is one of the finest classics of Disney that is equally competent to the ears as it is illuminating to our eyes.

All Is Lost
All Is Lost(2013)

Surviving Spirit.

All Is Lost

Chandor's attention seeking concept is a spark only at ignition, for a tale as such that is supposed to grow on you, merely settles for a qualified score. As far as the idea is concerned, it surely is the ultimate dream for any maker to pull off a heist as such without uttering a single word. And lopping off all the hokum of the supportive stems or extra branches cloaked as the background tale or the characterization of the character, the makers are aiming for the root and nothing else. This fragile raw core of the film is through and through, which is also the reason there is no grittiness in the narration.

Addition to that there is very little romance between Redford and the nature, there is a physical distance between them, a void that cannot be filled. Since no matter how much they may not get along and resist each other's existence, the tug of war ought to have a rope as a medium to hold on to. Nevertheless, these few limitations are overcome by brilliant execution and stunning performance. Redford as the only person visible on screen has all the challenge and none the competition.

Evolving on his own terms, Redford is floating in his own bubble, chewing out the material and savoring all the sweetness, his majestic performance is the soul reason this movie survives on communicating the high stakes to its viewers. In such avant-garde concept, the sheer pressure is directed towards the grip of the storytelling in order to hold the audience at its best, and with Chandor's stability and easiness, it manages to check off that item successfully. All Is Lost is everything to be gained from, from Redford's argumentative expressive face to Chandor's busyness in a boat, the film survives.

Hook
Hook(1991)
½

Disappointment Flying Across The Screen.

Hook

Spielberg's eye on the Disney's beloved character fails to live up to the hype on any whatsoever level. Personally, this magical aviated world has always been physically distant with me, due to its various stages it leaps on. From one tone to another, the tale never seem to have a balance or command over its own language, no matter how much synced the theme may be, there is too little to work on such big hokum. Overstuffed from stereotypical characters to cliched subplots, Spielberg's marathon euphoria wears off too quick to reach the first rest station.

And it is not that Spielberg is not in his A game, in fact if anything that convinces you to stay tuned to this blunder other than Williams, is his tactics to glorify tiny aspects of the film. Like, making the production easier, by projecting Roberts's character to be in a doll house in order to make things easier and process faster. Such efficient and impressive tactics are what the entire musical acts are brimmed with, if not contains that anticipated masterful choreography. Aforementioned, Williams's hopeful eyes behind the glasses, pursues you to watch his non-animated Peter Pan take, that is adorable as far as he is playing it.

On the opposite side, Hoffman as the antagonist, is on mark but there is very little to offer on terms of originality, fixated on cheesy humor and lazy sidekicks, it is a big chunk of disappointment. Roberts, Smith and Goodall in their supporting role are too unfortunately a plastered face written for a distraction and manipulating emotions out from the audience. Williams feels vulnerable and hand tied since he is not given any usual gags of his to charm his way out of the dull plot. Hook is the only thing that is to be hooked in this questionable project of Spielberg.

Wildlife
Wildlife(2018)
½

More Pepper. Less Spicy.

Wildlife

Dano's marital advice that keeps poking us until we nod in disbelief or belief, against all odds, works with good score. Without any quirkiness- as the films with such genre usually does- Dano has his vision sharp enough to cut through all the boredom or complaints there ever might be. And the credit has to and does go to Kazan and Dano himself, whose absorbing adaptation offers enough argument to relate to this flawed yet illuminating family.

More to it, the conversations no matter how pragmatic and cinematic, the awkward silence and the stillness pitched for a jarring effect, leaves the audience in awe of it. For obvious reasons, performance factors majorly especially a script written that speaks more from character's perspective. And to be honest, Gyllenhaal seems to feel short handed on filling these empty voids compared to Mulligan. Mulligan, the real deal of the film, the breadwinner of the family, has done a marvelous work on pulling off such a repellant character.

In Gyllenhaal's defense, he too has managed to stay on ground in his eerily not-so-likeable character. But this has always been Mulligan's game, since the first touch. From her make believe attitude to a self obsessed persona, she is offered an immense amount of room to flaunt in her skills which she delivers with a broad scary smile on the face. And stretching her muscles like never before, she can easily be the friendly guardian and the bitter taunting figure that never sees past herself. On the other hand, Gyllenhaal feels more comfortable in his initial stages where the gullible nature of his is cloaked aptly, but when it comes to scratch-to-hurt on screen, he fumbles in front of Mulligan's behemoth scary stature.

Oxenbould bodes well as the audience of this melodramatic act staged by his parents, figuring out the trajectory like us, he is convincingly good on his role of the bridge between this opposite natured stations. The film comes alive after the first act passes by, when Mulligan takes charge on the world with shady seducing intentions of attracting the glossier and flashier city in her life. Wisely, Dano never fabricates the mistakes as a pity on screen, his job to state the figures and facts is what keeps the tale perfectly balanced. The race to win, that our characters sprints for is certainly not against each other but the time itself.

Even though the tale is narrated through their kid, their nature to live once more without any strings is a brilliant idea to leave our host hanging in the mid-air along with our jaws dropped. The detour that the film takes by imputing a love interest from Mulligan could have easily gone wrong as an overstretched routine, but with a crisp tensed environment offered to it with a sense of uncertainty, leaves us wanting for more of the thrill. Dano's world is mundane but lopping off the manners, his arrogance is more than welcome in this Wildlife where the mania of fire is the least of our concerns.

Empire of the Sun
½

Out For A Walk.

Empire Of The Sun

Spielberg's symphony on the disastrous incident has a young heart pulsating among the cold sinister world. To drive an entire more than two hours of a film with a kid on the lead role to speak of a tale that is bizarrely horrendous and gloomy to be palpable. But then this is Spielberg's strongest genre, and the reason why his take on war over the year has created such a jarring effect on the viewers is to his gore yet clean vision. There is undoubtedly inedible sequences as the concept suggests and demands, but his little tactics through which he scales the depth of the water, is to be admired in here.

Barring no restraints on taking the storyline to various places and wider ranges, the consistency is kept alive through familiar faces that shows up every now and then like surfing through different channels. Spielberg's world is not dependent of any medium, as the war should be, and through physical sequences with using less words as possible, he demands attention of the viewers on a much larger scale. Bale, upfront in the field, marching without any flags or troops, is a committed floating bubble that narrates this resistance fluently.

Among all the harrowing images shown, one of the worst ought to be Bale's innocence being ripped off in the field to almost nothing. And it's that journey of nothing to existence, if not meaningful, that arcs up a magnificent moon on the screen; a pure brilliance. But all the good bits aside, there are times where the film sinks too much into the semantics of it to brew the bittersweet essence of the tale. Nevertheless, Spielberg's second World War triumph claimed Empire Of The Sun has a white bright light that Bale sees it and so do we.

The Third Man
½

Trust Or Mistrust.

The Third Man

Reed's impressive tricks on hiding the trump card right under your nose has old magic and familiar structure hidden in there. And even though this uncertain shady streets follows a typical cat and mouse chase, unfortunately there seems to be very little skin in the game on terms of narration. And despite of the fact that the storyline suggests the inseparable chemistry between the lead characters, there is very little romance among the antics. Plummeting downwards by an immense pressure of almost overstuffed material, Reed seems to be in some sort of hurry to catch up the next act. In order to do so, it achieves a ferocious pace but doesn't quite glorifies the thrills and stakes of the circumstances.

The makers could have easily milked out more cinema by savoring the concept and slowing down the procedure for a better effect. Nevertheless these minor complications can easily be leapt over by a gripping thriller that it maps out on screen. Welles as the ultimate flip of the act, has unfortunately a one dimension side of his to portray, and yet with spooky expressive performance, he sticks the landing. Cotten as the leader that we all follow, the victim, the protagonist, has fairly much wider room to factor in along with Valli's love angle.

No matter how thought provoking and absorbing Reed's world is, it certainly is too mechanical to bubble up as a free spirit. There are too many strings tied for it to be independent of the traffic which at times holds it back; the semantics is the double edged sword, both productive and consuming. The donated blood and sweat of Reed pays off for his meticulous execution that still holds up after decades. The Third Man is the pre-war inquisitive concept that is held by an equally opposite competitive action.

Saving Mr. Banks

Metaphor Gone Wrong.

Saving Mr. Banks

Lee Hancock's homage to the one of the finest talents of Hollywood and the film of all generations, fails to live by even to its weakest expectations. And mind you, it is not that there isn't a tale to tell, it is just the lexicon of the makers that makes this intense drama into a tedious family fight is what bites vigorously. Among many tracks, the most delicate one (Farrell's track), that is to blow the soul into the narration is mutilated by the writers in here. The sensitive and emotionally challenged relationship of the protagonist with her father is left out to be dry and numb. The only way it somehow manages to stand on its self-created rickety surface is the innocence and poignancy of the theme it attempts to portray.

As far as the current timeline is concerned, seesaw-ing from humor to drama, it never attains the balance it aspires. Addition to that, each of these characters with their allotted stereotypical subplots breathes an annoying cliched arc and structure to qualify even as a distraction. The conversations are questionable, the editing chalky, with no whatsoever flow to storytelling. Jumping from one act to another, from introduction to revelation, each of these steps contradicts the ambition of the makers.

Thompson as the creator of the process of this show is the only deserved charm brought out by her bitterness rather than the usual merry tone. From her bickering to constant nagging, Thompson pours her soul out on the screen where she even speaks with her body language. Hanks on a much shorter yet equally challenging role is the bright morning of the film, lightening the mood and comforting you in each frame, he is a wonder to look at. Saving Mr. Banks is a fatal rescue attempt of seeking the art with a pretentious note.

District 9
District 9(2009)
½

Hope For A Bigger Score.

District 9

Blomkamp's avant-garde hotchpotch of sci-fi and documentary genre is a smart tale retold with a refreshing accuracy in mind. And with a sharp vision as such, it is surprisingly layered and thoroughly calculated to be considered merely a summer blockbuster, there is too much art to be bent according to someone else's preference. Blomkamp doesn't suffer any fool, he is not ready to compromise and he ought not to. And despite of being plunged into a train of dark brutal images and theories for the dystopian future, his eye on tiny notions and details humanizes the perspective; the side effects caused by the parasite to the lead character like his hair loss or the vital roles that each character plays in the background.

The narration isn't hefty only to the material but to its characters too. The overly populated world is swooped across in this linear storytelling with skillful puppeteering by Blomkamp's execution. And just like the characters, the film keeps you busy with its competent and provocative nature of enfolding the screenplay with a loud ear ringing bang. Copley- both the well mannered obedient blind believer and the reckoning vigilante to the so called guardians of himself- is far more efficient as a follower than a leader.

Nevertheless with a range and power of character like such, his voice reaches individually as a performer. The supporting cast, if not extraordinary, stays to the marked timing as instructed. Blomkamp's world goes far wider than a mere district, taken account of all the possibilities, the script has managed to find its own adequate destination itself. The thrills of the chase and the sense of urgency is easily communicated with breathtaking sound effects and stunning visual effects, that paints quite a picture. District 9 is a forward pass to the sci-fi genre, not so lofty, not so cinematic, it is bitterly practical.

The Old Man & the Gun

To Own That Amount Of Charisma.

The Old Man & The Gun

Lowery's pastel and sunny heist manages to see off the finest talent of Hollywood with a gleeful grin on the face. And the experience is thoroughly persistent of such quality, never for a scene does that smile wears off from your face, it is an overwhelming response to the pressure the genre offers, it just is simply soothing. Surprisingly, this comes as a bit of a shock, Lowery has never been in these funny shoes, and yet he has managed to win this marathon. The humor seems required at a certain point, it isn't forced upon for distraction.

In fact none of the sequence seems like they are stretching it, let alone be a gag, ticking for around ninety minutes, Lowery has captured the farewell bid with a sweetening aroma of laughter. Not only does the storytelling is simple and familiar but so are its stereotypical characters, but all of this when weaved out with excellent execution skills, the film soars above expectations, the perfectly balanced style and substance case shows the superiority of clean finesse over originality.

With your typical "success and fame" montage that most of the robbery is depicted as, wisely Lowery never digs in the mechanics or the methods of the live action. If anything, his guns are directed towards the preparation that goes behind the stage and the aftermath drama that one goes through, no matter how much professional. Redford as the ultimate expert of an "in and out" mission for a handful of greens, has the apt smoothness and comfort in his body language to make it look like easy.

Plastering a mysterious smile on his face for the most part of the film, Redford is expressive at his most vulnerable and his most vibrant day. Driving out a professional and personal equation with his co-stars, he still has the nakedness of the direction this film drives towards. Affleck as the stereotypical cop that connects with Redford in a spiritual tone, manages to keep the chase thrilling with his mediocre yet satisfying life. Waits and Glover as the partners in crime sticks to their job of supporting Redford decently. But among all these characters, Spacek's mellow and vanilla character emerges as the best outcome possible from this crime drama.

Her equation and conversations with Redford is the real deal, the core strength of the film that Lowery doesn't compromise for, these sequences are floating in a different bubble itself, they speak different genre, they ooze humility. No matter how much ethically questionable Redford's deeds are, you do find yourself rooting for him as you usually do for the underdog in such features, but in here there is no justifying reason to it and yet he somehow asks to be dealt liberally, fair but with not-so-tight ropes. Similar to the Heat, this cat and mouse chase halts for a brief period, where the opposite sides of the coin meet and share a laughter with clenched jaws. The Old Man & The Gun is a memorable adieu to that Sundance Kid.

Downhill Racer

To Absorb Humility Over Art.

Downhill Racer

Ritchie's eerie camera work and sharp editing manages to keep the drama enthralling as much as the chills of the race does. And with stunning locations and clean rich production design, the film endorses the quality to its peak. Even though the entire script is directed towards the build up of the nail biting competition, personally, I feel the dramatic bits of the film oozes more energy. With stillness projected like never before, Redford charges you with his cold inhuman looks to fabricate his persona as more human. Frankly, his character isn't likeable. There is very little skin for Redford to sugar top the senses, but his conviction on his deep dark intuitions is something that we all connect to easily.

The first act is undoubtedly one of the wittiest weaved out sequence by the writers in here. Without uttering much verbal sparring, the daily routine and the places our protagonist visits, is depicted with a smoothness of "documentary" in here, it does feel real. After such a boost, the film denses up with multiple complex equations of Redford with others and milks out the three dimensional aspect out of them. The film is way too mature for its genre, or it definitely is the "first" of all, for things never do go as anticipated, and armed with such intentions, Ritchie fiddles with his viewers subconsciously.

There is no doubt on performance level, Redford on the front is a charming flawed ambitious boy that is sculpted as a man over this almost hundred minutes of journey. His persuasion on keeping the stats accurate is what attracts you even though the figures are misleading. And Hackman as the mentor, does not follow your usual arc of sweet and bitter relationship of his, his methods are effective, always. Downhill Racer is Redford surfing over eye popping locations and jaw dropping realizations of nature.

Green Book
Green Book(2018)

No Bookmarks. No Regrets.

Green Book

Farrelly's meticulously planned trip goes every way as it was anticipated; fun, lighthearted and awe-inspiring. This already overridden concept on film-making, narrows down the finite possibilities of the makers where they are cornered in the familiarity, and Farrelly's heartwarming answer to these accusations is simplicity. Carrying out the usual theme with a typical textbook structure, there is an ease, almost impenetrable by any of the weakness, that helps bubble up the best possible outcome from this journey. In fairness, Farrelly is not challenging himself. He is playing way too safe, convincing but never a stranger.

His fear over going an avant-garde vocab wrong is won over by his brilliant execution. His world, no matter how unfair, is perfectly balanced. Raising questions and clearing doubts, the trajectory of all the sub plots is predictable and yet entertaining. These old methods of intertwining two opposite personas in a room and working its way up to an imperishable friendship by accepting the difference of opinion, just works, it flows.

And we may have already encounter the usual, narrow minded and open minded, coy and bold, rich and poor debate over the years in cinema but with a performance as such from the cast, you cannot stop yourself for being giddy up for more. Mortensen as a free spirited Italian-American living at the brisk of his life is the teddy bear of the film. His adorable feature may as well be funny, but a world so tiny and shiny with his eyes is something the viewers connect with instantly.

And balancing the other side of the coin, Ali as a poised artist that quotes "dignity", is the huskier bit of the film. Portraying an infamous persona as such, Ali's performance is a testimony to his marvelous career, from performing an act on stage through resisting the urge to be parental with Mortensen, his performance craves your attention. But nevertheless, Mortenson's buoyant expressive nature is much more three dimensional and cinematic to share the applause, from his body language to his sense of humor, he slaps other artists on screen with an unflinching portrayal. Your usual montage sequences like helping each other with something they are natural with, this half and half team makes a complete ten on screen.

Mortensen preaching on the practicality and ruggedness of the street is hysterical whilst Ali's genuinely moving descriptions over the letters, humbles your opinion as it ages on screen. Clocking at more than two hours, narration flows like a smooth vivid fluid that keeps encouraging you for more of these stops. Has Farrelly managed to make his best film till date? Definitely, but what surprises you, is that it is his funniest too. He is just natural in his comic tone. And the dramatic part is relied upon the performance which never disappoints. The toe-tugging conversations in a car cruising over the locations is the ultimate peak of the film that is delivered at multiple orderly stages. Green Book is an already-read open book, but it never hurts to revisit those pages, the perspective has evolved.

Superman
Superman(1978)

It's A Bird. It's A Plane.

Superman

Donner's one big sloppy kiss on the comic world is both fun and wet. The epitome of a commercial blockbuster with antics that still our superhero features thrive upon, unfortunately fails to stay rosy after decades. The primary reason is it's inadequacy on being through and through of its logistics. Nevertheless, its limited staged wider range reach by glorifying each characteristics of the characters is something that warps you back to your childhood salivating for more. Unlike your usual superhero, the protagonist is explored with a macho-like ruggedness that is drawn from emotions rather than those steely-blue-eyed broad-jaw-line face.

Ticking for more than two hours, it barely offers other characters to factor in, from Brando's cameo to Hackman's barely touched negatively charged character which is annoyingly one dimension to create any depth on the storyline. What it does get right somehow, is to introduce the gravitas of the characters in narration, the build up of these sequences is something to rely upon. Among many humorisc and intriguing conversations, the interview between Kidder and Reeve is definitely the highlight of the show. Reeve charging on the film with his behemoth persona may feel short handed on performance, but as far as picking up a car or rescuing our beloved characters is concerned, he is the right man for the job.

Aforementioned, Brando has very little to do, Hackman lags behind only for its thin material and Kidder, the one with the most involvement on storytelling remains convincing and genuine. As much as this light tone is appreciated in narration, the antagonist's troops bubbling up the humor forcibly on screen shucks out their integrity to breed the essential threat to its audience. Superman works as much as it plays on the "human" field, it is not that the "superness" isn't tenable, it just isn't fun.

Kubo and the Two Strings

A Magical Melodramatic Family.

Kubo And The Two Strings

Knight's animated and magical world is adorable yet powerfully enchanting self inspired journey that is spellbounding for its originality and simplicity. Already been told a familiar concept as such, this savior of ours wins over the family drama than the general political views. Frankly, it is a personal tale conveyed with nightmarish demonic path and powerful undefeated- in fact- swords and magic. As much as mythologically the tale thrives upon, it also doesn't overstays its welcome by dwelling utterly on the past. It keeps refreshing the equation through creating the new equations on screen that leaves a long lasting impression.

Another major contributing factor is humbleness that each of its three dimensional characters works on. Donating their last drop of sweat and blood for the greater good, each supporting character pushes the protagonist up till the hill. It runs on a linear and simpler track that every now and then is funny and action packed, which leaves you in an awe for its layered through provoking concept. Voice cast has managed to stick by their role convincingly. Theron as the overprotective mother or arguably the only guardian, is walking on new terms but is still a soothing compelling performer.

Challenging her parallel-y lies McConaughey's completely opposite light hearted gullible brave warrior that keeps the bed warm and cozy. Fiennes as the ultimate climatic thrill may not have much to do but Mara as evil twins gets healthy amount of time to make it goofy with a still rigid mask. Parkinson, the protagonist, the one, is a fast learner and has the perfect amount of uncertainty in his voice to ignite the curiosity. Kubo And The Two Strings is Knight at his finest, from smoothness in sailing to exploring dark magic, his world is as always human to look at.

Wag the Dog
Wag the Dog(1997)

Vote For Honesty.

Wag The Dog

Levinson's smart and electrifying schemes on conjuring the elections is a work of pure art and not your usual sketchy comic drama. From the first frame the tale generates an exuberant energy on screen with pragmatic conversation that fuels on the environment offered to it that feels honest and real to the core. Similar to your usual mundane office day, this hectic week triumphs on its cutthroat sarcasm and hilarious ideologies. Unlike your usual structure, it is a one big act that feeds on high pitched dramatic antics that the gripping screenplay is brimmed of. The makers aren't hesitating on making big provocative decisions, their genuinely effective feeling towards justifying the characters is a testament to the writers' brilliance.

As much as hilarious the film is, the grasp of it towards practicality grows stronger and stronger that induces eye popping complex drama among the characters that are all at their vulnerable point of their life, either through success or failure. The content revolving around such political crises ought to have a diverse solution, and Levinson's world has managed to be diplomatic yet accurate to its requirements and answers. Hoffman at the realm of it is a delight to watch, he can pull off comic timing as perfect as his dramatic performance is.

In fact arguably, Hoffman is a much better humorisc than De Niro is, his body language speaks for his intentions that are sinister and quirky. De Niro in his underdog character that is often retreated by the makers as a trump card in crisis. And he flaunts majestically on screen especially the first time Macy confronts him for some questioning. Hecke supports convincingly and Harrelson lifts the film to a whole new level through his cynicism. Wag The Dog leaves its audience wagging the tale merrily.

Space Cowboys

Conspiracy For Commercialism.

Space Cowboys

Eastwood's scientific theories on the term entertainment is too dull to even fall under the category of guilty pleasure. It is overridden with a thin slice of content and undercooked characters with questionable agendas and inane work methods. The petty feeble attempts to pull off humor to lighten the mood fails so miserably that it itches the viewers to encounter the makers sweat behind the screen to draw in a chuckle. Based on a textbook structure, that divides the narration into the first act being the cliched training and the other one being the execution of the plan, the only surprising aspect that favours in on storytelling is the flips and turns of the perspective that is kept under the shades by the government agents with our troops.

With an amazing visual effects and ferocious pace, it is undoubtedly a people pleasing summer blockbuster, even though walks a dull cliched surface which isn't still reaching the expected layman terms. The script is so weak, that style over substance case would have saved this loosely placed screenplay, but is unfortunately poked annoyingly until the viewers break. Carrying a cast of caliber like such, the allotted content to them seems like a mere sticky note that they have to hold on to.

Only Eastwood and Jones when sharing the screen feels like stretching their muscles where the rest of the time, they too aren't convincing. Sutherland and Garner as the supporters are not only unexplored but misused as a sidekick to distract the viewers. The first act being the greetings and meetings sweeps off fluently but the second one where the character build up is essential, is so poorly weaved out that even the actors fails to fabricate it convincingly on screen. Space Cowboys is silhouetted as a commercial box office charmer which may be low on craft but has a big enough banner to cover it up.

The Mule
The Mule(2018)
½

Risky Retirement Plans.

The Mule

Eastwood busts an humble and hilarious in and out mission with melodious journey jazz music and household efficient impressive tricks. No matter how dark the theme is and how much ruggedness it appeals, Eastwood's mellow walk and talk amidst the high stakes nail-biting circumstances balances the film on the brisk of mediocrity. The storytelling neither grows compelling nor dull, it is a flat line on a mapped graph that is persistently gullible in its own range. Starting from the scratch, the initiative motive is often projected as a requirement that grows it to sculpt the character as a victim, but this isn't your usual venture of good and evil, this is a unique Eastwood brand.

The protagonist isn't justified or attempted to humanize through extra sequences installed forcibly, all that is left to Eastwood's constant murmuring that draws in the laugh and emotions to connect with him. Almost split into two different tone, the road trips or the so called professional life of Eastwood wins over a large margin compared to his family drama. The road trip life that he enters with baby steps is explicitly written on papers and meticulously executed on screen. With an eye on each tiny detail, from humming to various songs to point out the difference between the subsequent generations, it is a packet of pure delight.

On the other hand, the family drama is left short handed due to the rush that it possesses, somehow. Unable to clarify the reason being, the makers are obliged to cover up a whole lot of time period of the conflicts especially concerning the equation of Eastwood between his daughter. And even though it circles back to a decent convincing symmetry in the end, the inceptive stages are a bit shaky and chalky.

On terms of performance, Eastwood at the driver's seat has a not-so- Eastwood-y role to portray. Rhyming on a sarcastic tone and a real smooth conversationalist, Eastwood has both impressive one liners and cheesy sense of humor that makes you root for him more. Surprisingly, not even for a single frame, does he attempts to ooze power over the opposite actor on screen, he is generous, honest and supportive to others with his old military tactics. Cooper, as the stereotypical cop pursuing the case leading to the illegal activities carried out by Eastwood, is offered very little to chew on.

Although there is a decent conversation in its last act between Cooper and Eastwood, Cooper's character still feels left untouched. Suffering from the similar disease are the victims Pena as Cooper's sidekick and Fishburne as the usual under-cooked narrow minded boss. Armed with an eerie adaptation, Eastwood's world is often dry, confined in its mechanical loop, as much as the procedure is gripping, there is no flamboyancy or grit to the narration. What is appreciative is the pace on the ladder that Eastwood keeps climbing on his new profession and the stillness between him and the road trips of his. The Mule is barely on our side, but what works for the film, is that it neither is against us.

The Italian Job

Stealing Your Attention.

The Italian Job

Collinson's hilarious heist neither takes its audience seriously nor its characters. Infamous concept of his that has driven many of the heist storytelling in future, his intake on brimming his characters and incidents with light humor that helps move the pace with a smoothness that echoes throughout the course of the film, is frankly impressive. Having said that, it doesn't suggest that it is filmmaking at its peak, in fact the execution is too chalky and cheesy to pull off a decent conversation on screen. A conversation between Caine and Vallone that takes place in the middle of the tale, that is crafted out to ooze power and rage among these characters as they go head to head on screen, but unfortunately with corny camera work and questionable pauses, the entire sequence gets damp and soggy to hold on its own.

Overstuffed with multiple characters, Collinson is the apt puppeteer to handle them on screen with ease. Among many highly dosed action sequences with long car chase and the makers boasting off on a larger margin of the production value through projecting jarringly behemoth antics, the bickering among the troop denses the material. And as much as appreciative this hard work is, it also raises skepticism among the viewers. Caine as the finest schemer among his radar speaks and walks with a calculative panache that neither grows shallow nor cheap to be off putting.

With people pleasing one liners and cutthroat sarcasm, he stands along for his comical performance. Contrary to popular belief, amidst all the commercial hokum there lies an ironical and satirical layered concept left as a last knockout punch that undoubtedly comes as a surprise. Collinson's world is broken and mended repetitively, in its own uproarious stage, The Italian Job is a job done with passion if not utter talent.

About Schmidt
½

Accepting The Bitter Medicine.

About Schmidt

Payne's aftermath drama of celebrating more than reminiscing the mistakes is an uplifting enchantment to the youngsters. Sweeping off the mechanical semantic into a coherent vocab that is spoken through reliable and obvious performance by its protagonist. It doesn't suggest that, Nicholson's stardom is over chewed, in fact, Payne's adaptation is entitled to fill in the necessary silent pitches through it. This slow burn well crafted drama works meticulously and silently up the ladder by sculpting Nicholson's thought- however repetitive and a big chunk of contradiction and murmuring- effervescently on screen; it's that euphoric energy that resists against the slow pill.

The build up of the sequences like creating an eerie innocent bond of the protagonist with an unknown entity; N'dugu, may shine the light into the arc of the trajectory but it also is somehow one of the best emotionally fueled arc of the film. Visiting various new intriguing characters while embarking on a fresh journey, the narration manages to hold you on your seat through smooth slick humor. As much as admirable and stable Payne's vision is, the film always succumbs to Nicholson's jarring-ly mellow and soothing portrayal of a not-so-likable character. He is brimmed with flaws and inane attempts to justify his theories, his characters grows three dimensional and more humane as it ages on screen.

Davis and Mulroney in a sort of an ironical supporting role that speculates Nicholson's vision on every steps, Bates that taps on her own beats steals the show among the supporting cast. Aforementioned, the written letters that almost wanders off to abyss, the last speech that holds the sheer pressure of an entire journey is wisely shared by a sensational pragmatic and anti-climatic full stop in the end. About Schmidt is about Nicholson, communicating through expressive exhaustion and tantalizing mistakes, that we all happily relate to.

Mary Poppins Returns
½

Flies Supremely Without Any Strings.

Mary Poppins Returns

Marshall's version of one of the most beloved Disney character is practically advanced and not your usual overprotective confidant. Unlike the previous version, this one is less focused on glorifying Blunt's stardom by putting all the work in her shoulder and instead works marvelously as a teamwork. It surely is a Disney feature from head to toe. First of all, as usual Marshall's visual galore offers you an overwhelming dose of cinema with its meticulous art designing and jaw dropping production design. From choreography to performance, he squeezes out the best from each frame. The visual effects are a bit dodgy, but the animated musical sequence is a pure packet of delight. Frankly, if considered only the musical acts, it is a perfect ten.

From catchy songs to amazing choreography, the film flows smoothly without overstaying its welcome. Among many many musical bits, the one concerning the lanterns at night with Miranda at the helm is the perfect collaboration of everything; song, performance, choreography and visuals. And as far as the rest of the storytelling is concerned, unlike his few previous projects, Marshall has managed to keep it pragmatic. With fluent vocab and a persistent theme of staging each character as the protagonist of the scene, it is palpable to its happy-go-lucky nature.

The writing is quite balanced, all the actors gets their stand out moments. Whishaw as the victim has an amazing voice and sings expressively with Mortimer who might not have enough to invest but has tightly hold on to her role. The younger cast draws attention from the elder ones in musical sequences especially in the lantern musical act. Streep and Firth are merely their to raise the stakes of the table, their part concerns as an introduction to hold the audience whenever the storyline drops down.

Surprisingly, Miranda has a much bigger part to play, almost walking parallel-y to Blunt as a lead, his performance may be put on stand on drama for questioning but on musical acts, he is put upfront by the makers knowingly that he will impress. Blunt under the sheer pressure of filling in the shoes of Andrews, is confident and equally hilarious. One of the best gags of all is devouring her perfect-ness in the mirror that itself grows as a character. Marshall's maturity can be pointed out in here, where he doesn't unnecessarily offers Blunt a wider range to please the viewers, in her own contract-orial margin, she delivers unflinchingly. There is a sense of Disney-ness that saves this before falling into mediocrity lane.

The culminated sub-plots and tactics projected that hits altogether in the last act, amps up our emotions where Marshall manages to craft a live action sequence that is arguably written for an animated one. This merrily merry place does get way too sweet at times for you to swallow. And for their conflict, the very essence of Mary Poppins is it, and hence with an ironic and sarcastic note carried off effervescently by Blunt, it somehow manages to land safely; so what if with an umbrella. Mary Poppins Returns; she does, and she makes sure it matches the expectations, if not exceeds.

The Two Faces of January
½

An Unexpected Detour.

The Two Faces Of January

Amini's mysterious yet one dimensional equation among his three dimensional characters is a calculative risk that works as a madhouse entertainment but is a hollow arthouse merchandise. This film-noir style espionage themed tale is a huge triumph on terms of its linearity and simplicity. Unfortunately, Amini is either unaware of this hidden gold or fails to milk it out in the narration. The adapted screenplay is tightly gripping and far away from being layered, the essence that deepens the gist of the tale in the book, is shucked out by fabricating it into a 60s style cutlery, hairstyle or fashioned clothes.

The brief periods where the morale crisis of good and bad puts our characters into a signified breathtaking drama, is clearly scoffed out to match the pace and clock it at an early hour. Such an unreasonable hurried take on this complex tale ironically bites the makers back to them. The production has earned a cast of such high caliber and it pays off more than enough for them. Mortensen as a rotten millionaire is the ringmaster of this flipping circus, his drunken persona sobers up the film whenever it fumbles on storytelling.

Another similar shady character of Isaac is a challenge to Mortensen, he manages to keep raising the bar till the last frame. Often or not, female character in such genre holds most of the cards, and holding onto all such uncertain maps Dunst is convincingly delivering to the tale. Personally, the first act felt much more enthralling to me than the second one, since the breakfast and dinner table conversations among these three characters keeps you at the brisk of your speculative emotion. The Two Faces Of January in the end turns out to be a familiar face, striking horn to horn on screen for power and emotions, it falls on mediocrity.

Mid90s
Mid90s(2018)

Growing Up And Skating Down.

Mid90s

Hill's first major motion picture is a typical style over substance case. There is very less to chew on and more to run on or skate on. And being judged by his viewers with both the eyes wide open, Hill is a much more smarter and effective director than he is a writer. This uncouth slick street is the perfect stage for its characters. But, clearly this is already something that we have experienced before. And no matter how jaggedly his vision is on mark, he could not crown them on, in his storyline decoratively. The primary reason to that is his stereotypical and undercooked characters that are misguided under the impression of crafting out the practicality in it.

There is no circle, there is no reason, there is no arc to his storytelling. And even as a series of various episodes, Hill struggling behind the camera, obscurely leaping across the narration leaves you into an uncharted territory, he is not the advisable guide to this inadequate story. Nevertheless, the ferocious pace in his narration and shorter runtime clocks your experience to a satisfactory note. His direction eerily resembles with Malick's camera work at times, and gives you a familiar neighborhood environment where we have played aplenty of times. Each character, driven by their parched two liner note can easily be evaluated within the first act.

Hill's world in here is out of control, free from any bound knowledge, it is intriguing but not competent in its own range. Aforementioned, Hill soars on executing the written words on screen; although they are not something to be replied upon in here, surprisingly the performance is a vital theme to this film. It is scripted to be relied upon the performance and milking out the best from the achieved opportunity, both the younger and older cast manages to mark a stamp on this drama.

Hitting themselves brutally in a wall or in a fist fight or falling over while practicing, the physical sequences are meant to create a long lasting awe and it does but unfortunately, it raises questions on its existence itself. Suljic, the protagonist, is a better performer than his character is, and he is the only strong character involved in this over thought out journey. In fact, his friends wins over a large margin than his family. Scraping off the nature and the sluggish memories that they are dipped into, Hill's eye on their emotions gives them an absorbing angle to project.

Waterston and Hedges, the major talents and disappointment of the film, are left untouched to feel their skin in the game. Plodding on a familiar structure, fortunately Hill doesn't thrive upon huge antics, his unswerving content, even though flat line, is something to look upon. If he fumbles on delivering a flamboyant storytelling, his knack of keeping the conversations practical and subtle is a promising element, that lifts up this so called arthouse. Hill's memories of Mid90s may be apt, but similar to it, it has both flawed and grandeur moments.

The Sisters Brothers
½

Remembering The Morality Clause.

The Sisters Brothers

Audiard's cowboy duel is both raunchy and smart. After many numbers of feeble attempts of different makers trying to achieve the perfect western drama, Audiard seems to have got his intentions closest to the perfect one. And mind you, it is not for his gut-wrenching man-ly inedible sequences or an Eastwood-y slickness but his surprising delight of weaving the entire script from a kid's textbook morale tale. Very few of such genre films offers you a soothing final chapter to invest all your chips in. And even though there is a lot of Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid in it, this apotheosis of brotherhood equation has its own rhythm. And is it is entitled to be, the story revolves around two brothers hunting down for their livelihood that is more likely to be ignited not from the necessity but passion.

And the justified background story to their trajectory is a cherry on top of the journey that they go through. Crossing around borders, woods, rivers and mountains, neither the high pitched dramatic sequences nor tiny notorious tactics that their nature is brimmed of, is what gives them a deeper cut. The three dimensional perspective is endeavored by the negative and edgy bits of it. Like when Reilly lies blatantly to Phoenix to get an upper hand on an argument. On the opposite side of the coin, if Reilly and Phoenix are sharing an already cemented bond, Gyllenhaal and Ahmed gets to start from the scratch.

Throughout the course of their role, a genuinely moving procedure through which they connect with each other, is the highlight of it, no matter how much their opinions and agendas keep evolving. Audiard has managed to capture the carefree lifestyle of the people living in that era through humor, like when a spider gets inside Reilly's mouth or the usual gags involving a drunken bar fight; which to be honest is getting too Hollywood. On performance, Gyllenhaal makes sure in initial stages itself, that you feel the attraction and compassion of his towards Ahmed in his first meeting, where he too has kept his promises till the end.

Surprisingly, Phoenix has a comical and a bit straightforward role to portray, stretching his muscles as much as he can in the allotted narrow range, he fails to overpower other actors on screen. And riding at the front is Reilly as a complex and morally challenged elder brother of an irresponsible guy, he portrays a similar overprotective role to the film itself as whenever the storytelling gets damp, he pulls it out right with his bare hands.

If chugging out the last act, it would have been your usual self discovering journey that we have all been through plenty of times in a movie. But for a brief period of time where all these lead characters share a similar interest, something magical sparks out from the screen just like something glossy invaluable material bubbles up from the water. And circling the entire sub-plots of these characters within one strike, is just a fine example of writing that The Sisters Brothers shares with you.

The Exorcist
The Exorcist(1973)
½

Professional Or Personal.

The Exorcist

Friedkin's medicinal procedure is a masterpiece on paper and an arguably a decent one on screen. But this can easily be excused by the limitations of technology and the cheesiness of 70's. Having said that, it doesn't suggest that the concept is a mere old testament read from an infamous book. The concept that it attempts to achieve is ahead of its time, since despite of the horror being animated for the most part of the film, the sinister ideology of it that keeps you at the brisk of your seat, is thought provoking. The various tactics it uses to push the characters surrounding the protagonist to a cornered position is a smart-smart act. The entirety of the sequences brimmed with awe struck violence is the last bit of shock that impresses you, a girl at such an age crossing line on social margin is what amps up the charge.

The literal head spinning remedies that the protagonist's caretakers bring in and the counterargument that she has, feels like a flat out brutal war weaved out with meticulous eye. As anticipated the mythological aspect that denses characters' perspective may feel mechanical but in its latter stages punches its way out with a knockout. Personally, Blair seemed much more convincing in a brutal antagonist's cape than an illuminating adolescent teenage girl.

The irony of her pulling off a grin like a leader of an outlaw group is enough to give you the chills. Von Sydow in his brief period as a supporter elevates the momentum much more than Burstyn, Cobb or Miller ever could. There are few weak moments where the makers do take things too far that shucks away the integrity and raises questions. But, all in all, The Exorcist Friedkin, conjures over the horror genre with a large margin than it does on drama.

Annabelle: Creation
½

A Doll Saves The Day.

Annabelle: Creation

Sandberg's daunting task of connecting the dots is a gleeful win, even though it fails to stand on its own. Shattered brutally by the previous installment Annabelle of the Conjuring franchise, it surely was a difficult task by the makers to wipe out the haunting memory with a satisfying one. And yes, even though this slow pill episode of the series fumbles on its own grounds, it circles back to the origin satisfactorily. The mythological backdrop of this horrifying tale is actually originated from positive emotions that surprisingly casts a more effective spell on you. But we would be rushing ourselves if we think it is what the entire movie fiddles around with.

The series of various events adapted by it to brew a haunted grudge on the characters is skillfully weaved out. In fact, the procedure it follows, the build up of that sequence which is about to hit latter on the film, is more scarier than the actually revealing trick. Like, when a handicapped girl is introduced to a chair that works as an elevator on the stairs. Now the enactment of this scene offer much more sharp and brilliant imaginations to the viewers than the actual chapter shows you.

One of the main reason why it is a far better horror experience is for it is less animated than The Conjuring 2, it hides its heavier cards under the shades. Wilson as the victim and our host of the house (despite of being the guest) has done a marvelous work on foliating the chills on screen where she is supported decently by Bateman, Otto and LaPaglia. If The Conjuring is an alienated version of this series, Annabelle Creation feels much more personal, drawing the screams from our deepest darkest fears, it still remains mediocre on terms of storytelling.

Roma
Roma(2018)
½

To Practice For Perfection.

Roma

Cuaron's jaunting stay is frankly too practical to handle. Mumbling the mundane lifestyle of a maid in a mellow vocab, Cuaron has made his best film to date. First thing's first, the notable and yes loud cinematography of his is hauntingly beautiful. No one ever points out the facts that goes behind the camera on screen like such and even though it eerily resonates with Anderson's symmetric camera work, it is a testament of its own for he himself was never able to speak effervescently like such. Speaking of it, there barely resides a stable conversation in here, the bickerings, the murmurings, the gossip, every bit of narration is piled under such pragmatic state of environment. Cuaron speaks through body language and physical sequences, to a point where they themselves become a character.

The sequence of a car being parked is so absorbing to encounter it on screen, which then enfolds into another layer of perspective to its intention and then another and then another. Cuaron keeps giving you reason- nay- he challenges you to get disengaged from this humble imbalanced world. And the host that he has selected to narrate this saga is a pure delight on terms of character development. Surprisingly, to write such a character is a daunting task. For its persistency ought to be justified and he does it in here as a mere distraction; kudos to him.

Each time the protagonist is helping the younger ones or her employers, Cuaron subconsciously maps out another milestone in your mind. The stillness of a scene staged in a room puts you right there on the spot among the actors, where you have to work your way through to concentrate the gossip or sort out the primary activity in a frame. Amongst many steps that constructs this ingenious behemoth monument called drama, personally that speaks to you is the sort-of-training-camp where Cuaron speaks honestly of his theme without any strings attached.

The cast has done a fabulous work, from the lead Aparicio as a humble supporter of this family and Tavira as the real supporter of Aparicio, along with the young cast which may resemble to the younger cast of Malick's The Tree Of Life. But Cuaron's dish is not spiced up with plethora of ingredients like Malick's, his sweetness is competent enough to tick for its course. Cuaron's span spent upon screen is a mesmerizing poem weaved out to clean and scrub a house properly.

And boy what a poem it is, dipped into a metaphorical tone, it soars just like those planes hovering around in the background. For the most part of it, Cuaron keeps the frame under the shades, teasing us to seek for the action going on and similar to it the storytelling too feeds on our imagination that is at brisk all the time, especially the last act that scares you with the closure that you are trying to achieve. Roma narrows down cinema to a better quality, Cuaron makes sure it isn't compromised for any reason whatsoever, not even for him.

Analyze This
Analyze This(1999)
½

Family Over Fear.

Analyze This

Ramis's fired jokes are much more of a threat to the protagonist than the gun itself. Drawing out the most simplest concept of fear, the movie soars as much as it dives deep into this eerie relationship. Representing opposite side of the emotions, the chemistry between the lead cast is surprisingly good. Walking entirely on the arena of irony, this blatantly honest tale has all its conversation spoken with hesitation, whether it be then Crystal because of fear or De Niro for his narrow minded enclosed persona. Another major factor that elevates the effervescence of the plot is its ferocious pace and layered screenplay that is peeled on with light humor and caring nature.

And it is that caring nature of those characters that absorbs you into their hilarious sessions. The makers also uses the reputation of the cast wisely in order to squeeze out as much as laugh as they can, like the enactment of the infamous scene of The Godfather. There aren't much gags to carry on, as it is kept to the point, but the sort-of-assistants of De Niro when are ordered to recruit Crystal is a gag that stays similar and still works throughout the course.

De Niro can also be a comic player with brilliant comic timing. Not every actor can pull of such roles especially when their teeth are sink in, on drama like such. But De Niro is still able to challenge his opponent Crystal, though he is no match in front of him. Frankly, Crystal has got an upper hand on this tale, his character evolves much more than any other with three dimensional perspective and cut throat sarcasm, he steals the show; especially the last speech. Analyze This surfs more on a merryland and the makers make sure you have got no right to object that.

The Judge
The Judge(2014)

Winning For Family.

The Judge

Dobkin's courtroom drama might be dull but the root of its family drama is worth going on stand for. And mind you, you'd be condemned guilty, but then you ought to have few of those guilty pleasure movies. The art-sy essence that it was created as, is the only form of art in here. The script is poorly weaved out. The big chuck of dramatic antics that it aspires to pitch in on the screen might be appreciative but its procedure to reach those big figures is purely dull. It is not polished properly or supervised with a good guidance for the material comes out often chalky that makes you uncomfortable on screen.

Fortunately for the makers, the tale relies a lot upon the performance and boy what a show these huge caliber of cast has put up for you. Downey Jr.'s complex sucker-for-a-compliment hardcore attitude holds your finger from the first frame and makes sure that this overstretched more than two hours of your life was worth going in for. And still, he is not the best thing of the feature, winning with a larger margin lies Duvall's head spinning performance as his father whose rigid popular figure of his community is just impenetrable.

Both of these performers going head to head with plenty of dramatic sequences, one of the best one that gives both of them enough range and room to flaunt in their talent is "the bathroom sequence." The scene itself is so beautifully written that it melts you down, factoring Downey Jr.'s daughter into an intimate moment between him and Duvall, the writers creates a few circle that draws in a precious smile in your face rather than few tears. The Judge is far from a perfect movie, even a good one, what it is, is a testament to the power that both these actors can ooze with panache.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
½

Web Of Parallel Lies.

Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse

Marvel's sci-fi diverse superhero flick is more than a flung news, infinitely stretched over the narrow streets, it is set in a known universe; home, New York. Endorsing its ownself into a comical idea that jumpstarts this cat and mouse chase is less promising and more exciting. The first act involves your usual teenage drama that feels like an indie film, a surprising take by Marvel. But all this trickery is shattered pretty much in its first few minutes, as this visual galore swings you like a toddler and you are beames back into your childhood memories.

This vision of yours is too shattered by the makers by complicating the linear humane tale into a labyrinthe of dual identities that keeps multiplying like an algorithm which keeps you at the brisk of your seat and challenges you to stay with the storytelling. And this is where the makers shine, despite of being gifted a plethora of tracks or ideas and being free of all logistics, they have sticked to an arguably a simpler one that is constructed well enough for the audience to nod along. Similar to any other animated feature, it makes it more juicy due to its tied hands, the conflicts that the lead characters are piled upon is what makes it electrifying.

But this is Lord's world at some point. And his pacing vocab can easily be pointed out in here. Similar to The Lego Movie, there are too many characters to adore on screen and each of them trying to whirl you around with their hilarious innuendos or their own sub-plots or pointing out the obvious on the stage. It is the Lego phase all over again. You are too overwhelmed at times, to enjoy it thoroughly. You are too busy to catch up with what's going on that you do feel left out.

There is a sense of incompetency in the air, ironically due to overstuffed material. And this is something that can itch to few viewers as you feel being cheated. Personally, I enjoy such narration, it challenges me to push my boundaries and snaps at me on every frame for my attention. The action is more "cool" than it is smart, the artists are stealing the awe struck moments as much as they can. And with a new smooth visual effects like such, they do add the literal transcript on screen and the infamous comic sound effects written out aloud in front of you.

The voice cast has done a decent work but there isn't much for them to factor than few show stealing one liners that stay with you, even after the curtains are dropped for long; the Spider-Man Noir learning the colors on cube still cracks me up. But amidst all these glossy distraction there is, the theme, the gist, is still the same old drama, no matter what Peter says in here, I am going to complete the sentence, "With great powers comes great responsibilities." Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse is a family drama that swings its way out to create that arc into a full circle.

In & Out
In & Out(1997)

To Come Out Of A Closet With A Laugh.

In & Out

Oz's light hearted concept that grows into heavy intense dramatic showdown is latter a wakeup call for the society but first a beautifully crafted comic delight. What seems at first as a mere joke and gives away its intention of not taking it seriously proves you wrong later in every frame of the screen. It is calculatively constructed with a fresh to-the-point structure that never takes its material for granted. The emotional aspect of the feature is left upon the concept to fill it in, it just communicates with you, the benign idea that boost off this film has its heart in the right place. On humor, Oz never lets you feel that the gag is forcibly imputed, each well timed punchline makes sense, even the pop culture references, you are practically wolfish for more and more.

Out of many sketches that follows the idea of the protagonist wrestling itself on his identity, the best one would be the sort of guide manual tape recording that teaches the protagonist to be a man. Now this part is one big sloppy kiss for both the actors and the writers, the writers hitting all the notes they can on mocking themselves in a spoof and satirical tone while the actor has to draw out as much as laugh he can with physical sequences where he doesn't have to share the screen.

I think it gives away the surf on performance record, Kilne as a juggling ball that is juggled by the narrow ideologies of the societies holds up for his role along with Selleck as his supporter. And supporting her is Cusack as the real victim of this entire case- or at least that is what she feels- is a pure delight while delivering her frustration over petty things. In & Out is aptly titled, it doesn't ponder over the usual semantics, it couldn't care less.

The Conjuring 2
½

Wan's another swing at this supernatural world is short on thrills and humane emotions and more on the glory of the dark gloomy skin

The Conjuring 2

Wan's another swing at this supernatural world is short on thrills and humane emotions and more on the glory of the dark gloomy skin. And armed with that thought in mind, Wan has somehow managed to shuck out the heat from the shady spirits hovering in the house. The structure of the script is familiar, in fact it is arguable a mirror to its predecessor. And just like its first installment, the first half of the act survives upon the smart tricks of Wan's that builds up to the complete breakdown of the haunted family, cornering themselves for desperate measures. But in here unlike the first one, their barely resides an innovating trick for you to be enchanted upon- a little boy playing with his toy is slick though- but what grabs your attention this time is Wan's brilliant camera work that moves with ferocious pace and sensational eye popping perspective that does scare you.

And as far as the other half is concerned, the plot being more personal and emotionally driven for the lead characters, somehow seems physically distant to the case. The perfect host they were in the previous one by being the perfect guest, there is an empty void on that section that no performance could fill in. Speaking of which, as far as Wilson is concerned on being the noble caring protagonist, he is walking the thin line with confidence.

But once again, Farmiga soars above for her underdog character that is brilliantly fabricated as a three dimensional humane character. What is persistently absorbing about this franchise is its malleable mythical tale that it never holds back to dive deep into and plus, this time the procedure it adapts to narrate the case is immensely impressive. The Conjuring 2 is Wan stepping on to his shoes after a long while, just with the lens of superficial eyes.

Creed II
Creed II(2018)
½

Caple Jr.'s persuasive anthology on this boxing match to prove it is essential, makes it less essential.

Creed II

Caple Jr.'s persuasive anthology on this boxing match to prove it is essential, makes it less essential. You can practically see him sweat behind the screen like Jordan sweats in front of you, to grab your attention, and once you give it to him, he doesn't have anything new to say. It is old book testimony and in fact the film itself confesses it once, "the history might repeat itself" and unfortunately it does. The entire structure of the script is similar to the previous Drago chapter in Rocky series.

The boxing matches, the songs, the routines, the mistakes, the family drama and rebirthing itself once again, all the antics installed in here is a seen-this-seen-that conflict and also the solution. It merely feels like an episode of a series, and neither is this the middle chapter where everything gets flipped, nor is this the grand season finale, no one's wiser after the dust settles. Still there is something gutsy about Jordan's looks that makes you want to stay in this fight till the last round.

His work is more than admirable, primarily because along with all those hokum strategies, irrelevant slow motion shots and at times impressive tactics, he can also act. And that's very hard to find. He makes sure you are looking in his eyes when he is on screen. And he does what he couldn't do in the previous Creed chapter and that is to make you choose him over Stallone. On Stallone's defense, he doesn't have much to invest in this one. Reminiscing the repetitive melodrama of his personal life, Stallone is completely out of this ring. He is underused for the most part of it.

The peak moment of the film does allow both of these heavyweight championship to play the higher cards. A genuinely moving showdown of Stallone and Jordan in the middle act does makes your heart pump faster. In that hospital room, where Jordan's idol has fallen in front of him, somewhat and somehow the film promises you to take this into newer territories with justified reasonings. But as soon as you raise your hopes high, it beats you down to the ground with a knockout punch. What was Coogler's head spinning punch in the previous installment, it is left out dry and numb by Caple Jr.

Arguably, the execution isn't bad, it is weak at times, but it also has its moment, the real culprit though is the script, confined in its own bubble no one is ready to pop it out. Thompson, Rashad and Lundgren as the supporting cast isn't impressive enough to hold on to their own ground, they are handed over a stereotypical space to fill in. As far as the action is concerned, both Jordan and Munteanu has done a bravura of work, it is surely a more gritty fight than the previous one but then these are empty punches. Creed II is another Monday on this training boxing match, the tactics or methods may change but it still is a regular physical training.

Nanny McPhee Returns

Probably, Nanny McPhee Returns because we don't need her but then also we don't even want her.

Nanny McPhee Returns

White's babysitting is less caring and more parodical than the previous ones. From the concept to the frame by frame screenplay, each scene of this sequel is extracted from the original one, on terms of creativity it is a big joke and unfortunately it is not even funny. And the new elements that are theirs, is actually weaved out from the first one and is spoofed by the makers whose agenda for people pleasing theory is to draw as much as laughter as you can. What was considered magical in its first installment, in here it is converted in a big powerful wand that defies logic and sense.

Wherever and whenever the writers were cornered by themselves in their self created situation, they either laugh their way out of it or use magic to get out of it. The undercooked characters feeding themselves on over chewed emotions pretty much gives away the integrity of this wholesome family melodrama in its initial stages. But despite of all these cons, it is still supremely watchable as a family popcorn time and the reason is the obvious silliness that is pointed out in here. Surprisingly, the antagonist Ifans is flat out hilarious along with Smith whose comic timing is bang on your bucks.

Unfortunately Thompson as McPhee- small "c", capital "P" -is enjoying too much of herself to breed the sincerity out of her role. Gyllenhaal, as always, holds onto her role tightly is the surprise package that stays true to her role thoroughly. One of the best bits of the film is Fiennes in his strict ironed army suit that elevates the momentum of the drama for a brief period. Probably, Nanny McPhee Returns because we don't need her but then also we don't even want her.

Outbreak
Outbreak(1995)
½

Peterson's empty threats fails to scare its characters revolving around it let alone put an entire world on the verge of annihilation.

Outbreak

Peterson's empty threats fails to scare its characters revolving around it let alone put an entire world on the verge of annihilation. Driven with similar concept, years later Soderbergh itself took charge over such a tale and he too failed on delivering this cautionary tale with any whatsoever flow. Ironically, carrying the tracks of the disease they didn't have much of a big challenge to be fluent but what sticks this wheel from spinning are the characters that it was supposed to map out. Whenever dealing with such a script that takes you over different territories, the characters that comes in to pass the torch forward, ought to have an arc or at least have the potential to leave an impression, but this seems a far fetched concept in here.

Amidst all these disappointments, surprisingly its middle act is a nail biting enthralling drama, from flipping the courts to close calls and from unexpected revelations to an exhilarating chase sequences. And before you know it, that stage is overridden by spoiled dull thrills that are taken for granted along with numb emotions that clearly doesn't go as anticipated. Hoffman as the savior that cracks every pattern and codes is convincing along with Spacey as surprisingly a positive character that still is somehow difficult to digest.

Freeman and Sutherland as the powerful selfish antagonist are your stereotypical one dimensional character alongwith Russo as a sort of love interest. But Cuba is the one that stands alone among all that cries, laughs, fears and rage of his in this crisis. His moving character and his impressive brotherhood equation with Hoffman is both heartwarming and charming. Outbreak, if anything, is a threat to the makers on their investment, to the actors on their talent that goes waste by, and audience that just can't spare the time for its mediocrity.

The Conjuring

Wan's exorcism on your fears will leave you screeching for more and for less of its thrills.

The Conjuring

Wan's exorcism on your fears will leave you screeching for more and for less of its thrills. It is basically a culmination of all the horrors that you have been went to and more. And even though it isn't perpetually on its mark, it gives you enough room and range to finds your own taste in this completely stuffed meal. The first act of it is just series of different close calls that builds up to a one big nightmare that ignites the tale when it reaches its middle stage. And then the close calls that have been giving you goosebumps in its first act feels like mere tomfoolery compared to the harrowing images it shows you.

One of the primary strength of this haunted house is its illuminating characters that are brimmed with intriguing characteristics that are emerged fluently in narration by strong background tale that makes it more gritty and dark. There is a lot that makes sense, in its malleable mythology, Wan has managed to create logistics that can easily be expressed in a form of mathematics, a straight out home run by the writers. It also has a strong cast to blend it on screen and with exceptional execution by Wan and his puppeteering nature, he fiddles with them efficiently on screen. Wilson troubled with his past and guilt in his body language is committed to his act thoroughly.

Livingston and Taylor as uncertain of the reality are convincing on their roles along with the younger cast that casts equally the aspired magic spell. But the show stealer is undoubtedly Farmiga in her easily influenced and supremely powerful persona than any other character in here. The Conjuring does conjure you, its supernatural thesis is much more scary than any killer hunting you or any mentally unstable past stalking you.

The Guilty (Den skyldige)
½

Miller's skilled mannerism on verbally melting you down on your very right spot through speculative display of antics is frankly just plain impressive.

Den Skyldige

Miller's skilled mannerism on verbally melting you down on your very right spot through speculative display of antics is frankly just plain impressive. It is a concept that has been overridden aplenty in the past despite of its uniqueness, but somehow Moller has seems to have decoded it. At a brisk of ninety minutes of showdown, his stage is busy and compelling enough to bedazzle you with one face. In his defense, that face is expressive. Narrowed down into a brief period of husky content, the concept is gripping enough to boost the makers for a much longer time, arguably the entire film. With an infomercial ground as such, there is very little space for the writers to weave out a genuine emotion out of such a confined place that is crowded to its full.

Smartly, the writers has a backstory that they are not ready to reveal until the very last moment, they are waiting for the iron to be at its weakest stage in order to strike the hammer. And sharing that mutual thought or emotion, the only reason they took this much time is to create that arc, kudos to the writers to pull it off. Armed with such a brutal script, co-written by Moller himself alongside Albertsen, it is also a difficult subject to execute upon.

Since there is not much room for Moller to satisfy the itch of using the camera work to its creativity, he has few tricks up his sleeve. And he is not a guy that quits at round one, he uses the tense environment on the script to foliate it by making Cedergren fumble on actions and words. He also uses props and surrounding of the office like shutting down the drapes, switching to a highly functional and efficient computer or table to increase the stakes.

In order to depict the day to day issues that they go through with, he imputed various other cases as a phone call that sends a vital message out there. Another major aspect he uses for the audience to visualize the off screen action is by using sharp sound effects and clear cut audio on phone to makes thing easier. Aforementioned, Cedergren is the apt choice for such a role, his chiseled jawline should not be judged upfront, his vocabulary is generous, his words firm and his eyes speaks the guilt that the film has been endorsing about.

Despite of various emotions he goes through the one that gets to you, is where there is a silent pitch on screen and there is nothing but him breathing is what's left between you and him. The primary reason why Moller's world is adaptive and the tale absorbing, is how humble it is, each character is dipped on their sorrow and is yet ready to shred the last inch of their life for the betterment of others, and on that beautiful note, it is hauntingly poignant. Den Skyldige is more theatrical act than it is cinematic, all the cards are not won over by it, but then not all of it were dealt.

Westworld
Westworld(1973)
½

Crichton's western take isn't Leone's tobacco-consuming and hat-tilting explosion, but a meticulous tour to a tamed arena.
9
Westworld

Crichton's western take isn't Leone's tobacco-consuming and hat-tilting explosion, but a meticulous tour to a tamed arena. And as much as layered and head scratching this journey is, it is also loosely placed especially in its initial stages. Despite of having various ingredients to bedazzle us and keep us tangled in its overjoyed tour, it fails to proceed its way up to the arc as anticipated. After this arc, which takes place in its middle act, it is basically a surviving nature of human that keeps us going. And with threats at every corner, the sincerity to the crisp is added through meaningful narration. With parallel tracks brimmed with complications that are piled upon each track, Crichton keeps you at the brisk of your seat in its last act.

Not only the Westworld, but the two other similar world of it, suffers through similar apocalypse that is set in storytelling as a ticking bomb. Unfortunately what it fails to land on, is enough material to feed off its audience for its runtime, for either it could been edited better or should have added another compelling scene to match it. For no matter what, there was very little reasoning to stretch a bar fight that is shot in slow motion.

Unfortunately, Benjamin and Brolin are no match for Brynner's lethal body language, the performance objective is "out of control". Aforementioned, the first half dwells on an exciting entertaining time of our characters' lives which unfortunately isn't shared by the audience in here. Its weak beginning is something that haunts the makers throughout the course. On terms of technical department, the art designing and sharp sound effects is definitely worth taking this tour. Westworld is an another taunt on human's luxurious needs, it is a well crafted caution tale that scares the bejesus out of us.

The Unknown
The Unknown(1927)
½

Browning's version of the opposite side of the coins on emotions i.e. love and hate, is able to justify both of it thoroughly with unbiased perspective.

The Unknown

Browning's version of the opposite sides of the coin on emotions i.e. love and hate, is able to justify both of it thoroughly with unbiased perspective. Very few tales justify the agendas or logistics of the antagonist let along narrate through it. This clearly suggests how ahead of time Browning's vision is. And now to have an idea is one thing and to project it on screen is another, and with gripping screenplay and adaptive concept the story enfolds each puzzle layer by layer that puts you in a tight spot before jumping on any conclusion. And it is that parallel track that it chooses to venture that fuels this film to the thrill it possess.

Now as far as the triangle love story, that it has weaved, is concerned, there is no doubt on whose side you are supposed to be, but with Chaney's majestic performance, for a brief period he will lure you in, in his webs of lies and deceits. It also has a strong illuminating background story that factors in effectively along with even the props and the backdrop of the set pieces that joins in majorly on the storytelling. Aforementioned, Chaney's performance elevates the film's drama to a whole new level, from being overprotective to be overpowered by obsession and rage.

Crawford as the love interest and Kerry as a gullible good boy are convincing enough to drive this melodrama. The primary reason why we fall for Chaney's character, along with his performance, is his hardworking nature and his relationship with his friend that shows us the softer humane side of his. The Unknown would surely be an unknown tale for the audience at that stage, not because of the trajectory that it takes you to but the enthralling procedure that it has for you, it is and will be Chaney's journey.

Mean Streets
Mean Streets(1973)

Scorsese's equations for raunchy narrow minded brother is an awe inspiring formula that works magically as a family drama rather than your usual street boys feud.

Mean Streets

Scorsese's equations for raunchy narrow minded brother is an awe inspiring formula that works magically as a family drama rather than your usual street boys feud. He has created a dysfunctional family drama that is explored in an ironic tone that leans towards intense life changing dram as it ages on screen. In here, the money making business, the mob mentality, cutthroat politics and guns blazing all over the street is mere distraction. And boy what a distraction it is, his well placed and edited antics leaves your eyes popped and jaws dropped. Prepare to be amazed to this ultimate grounded tale of friends and foes.

Especially all these long sequences that Scorsese creates, like a petty fight sequence in a pool hub or couple of hot heads fighting over a moot point, such genre has always been his forte and it is at its peak in here. Amongst these huge melodrama fiction, lies an honest and moving brotherhood relationship between De Niro and Keitel, where they play with heavy machinery as a joke or bicker over nonsense topics or negotiate finance as a ten years old. These are the moments that steals the show. Keitel as the arguably responsible and mature guy trying to hold this scattered surrounding of his with one direction is both funny and impressive.

But of course the show stealer is De Niro in his mischievous cloak where he defies to take any situation seriously and as a storyteller Scorsese makes it the most essential bit; he is the trickster after all. Set over the course of multiple characters and different episodes, the narration has the heart in its right place with fair justifying trial where everyone is put on a stand. Mean Streets is not that mean, as in it's not the darkest tale to come out of Scorsese's basket although it is one of the best.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Craven's imaginative mythological world is the apt wake up call for the legacy we pass on.

A Nightmare On Elm Street

Craven's imaginative mythological world is the apt wake up call for the legacy we pass on. The concept is admirable since it fiddles with relationship between subsequent generations and the torch that is passed on by the elders to the young ones. And as much as beautifully it is weaved out, the procedure that it follows is raw horror extracted from old school textbook genre that still works. It is a smartly crafted conflict whose solution, which seems impossible to eradicate, is simply smart and on that note of closure that it achieves by making a full circle, lies the real trick.

The structure of the script too is familiar with a series of unnerving death sequences followed by going deep into the root and analyse a thesis out for a loud finale. And yes, the final act is loud but until then you have bought Craven's theories and are being whirled around this chaotic and literal bloodbath. Another major strength of it, is tricky camera work. The narration keeps the surrounding under the shades in order to easily fabricate this hallucinating dream or nightmare on screen with decent editing. Unfortunately, the performance objective is short handed and is a friction to this smooth narration.

It also lacks creativity on displaying the death sequences with innovative and intriguing ideas especially its execution, it could have been more practical along with the art designing. Despite of such setbacks, Craven's passion on making alive this and his dream is what drives this film to the end with a satisfying and enthralling experience where even the thrills aren't taken for granted. A Nightmare On Elm Street may not be the ultimate horror experience but its three dimensional characters are undeniably immortal for their moving and effective background track that is inspiring.

Escape from the Planet of the Apes

Taylor's take on this advanced species may not be perpetually competent, but is a pedigree to mature entertainment itself.

Escape From The Planet Of The Apes

Taylor's take on this advanced species may not be perpetually competent, but is a pedigree to mature entertainment itself. The concept is a mature taken on human nature peeled skin by skin with a sci-fi twist of time travelling ingredient that spices things up. The first half of the tale is intriguing and gripping that moves fluently with adaptive and absorbing narration with both humor and fascinating characteristics displayed about characters in order to lure the audience in. And if first half is taken lightly, the second half is equally intense, with slow pace, mature conversation and revelations and nail biting close calls.

And it is one of those things where you are worried about these extremely likeable characters that something will go wrong. And the makers being aware of it, uses that crisp tense environment to keep us at the brisk of our emotions. And on that uncertainty of the trajectory that the makers are about to follow, it is a complete triumph. And as usually such new species does, the innocence is what draws out most of the emotions and with a compelling storytelling and moving characters, the objective is jaggedly on mark. McDowall as a mature overprotective and more grounded to the practicality is convincing but Hunter's more human and emotionally fueled character steals the show.

With a heartbreaking final act, the franchise manages to answer the big and essential questions raised in here, that shows the surrender of a species to fear, thirst and unawareness of the horror that it can capture and project. Taylor's vision has a certain tone that is soothing and poignant at the same time which he has managed to keep it balanced. Escape From The Planet Of The Apes is a forward pass to this franchise on a more similar direction but it is also pushing its boundaries.

The Red Shoes
½

The Red Shoes is a symphony that can only be hymned to the razzle dazzle that Hollywood does on large scale, for the plot has very little skin in the game.

The Red Shoes

Pressburger and Powell's musical number has the least gooey romance methodology which ups the ante of the game for its maturity clause. First and foremost, all the musical numbers are purely elegant. The choreography is beautifully weaved out into the narration fluently. Along with that, it too is performed lethally with co ordination like mirrors not only to the fellow performers but to the background score too. Dipped entirely into the abstractness of the fame and unquenching thirst for the art, these "red shoes" puts you into the spot as the concept of the feature itself is the host that welcomes you with open arms.

But as far as storytelling is concerned, this slow pill is definitely effective as the final product, but as the procedure ages on screen, the sloppy writing fails to withhold the audience with its voice. The primary reason why the drama is left out dry and numb and fails to create the anticipated impact is due to its inability to project a wider range allegory. Since whenever it attempts to be poised, mellow and extra sweetening, the makers have its tactics right under their sleeves on demand. But when the storyline gets dark and dirty and it requires a bit ruggedness, the makers seems to hesitate and are afraid to get their hands dirty.

Unfortunately, it also is short handed on performance, neither the lead cast nor the supporting ones are good enough to stand on merit. As much as plausible Shearer's talent as a dancer is, she fails to fabricate the affection and guilt expressively. Walbrook and Goring to falls under the same trap due to a non-effective portrayals especially at the peak of their moments. The Red Shoes is a symphony that can only be hymned to the razzle dazzle that Hollywood does on large scale, for the plot has very little skin in the game.

North by Northwest

Hitchcock's risky and briskly adventure is the apt catalyst to this complex espionage thriller

North By Northwest

Hitchcock's risky and briskly adventure is the apt catalyst to this complex espionage thriller. As much as simply enthralling its first half is, that follows a linear singular path collecting its plot points like a reward the film moves with ferocious pace and nail biting close calls. But the second half is the one with the real meat. Its complex and at times overstuffed characters with their own agendas and schemes does work since the man behind the camera is Hitchcock. He never lets the content go damp which often happens in such husky script. There is a sense of similarity in here to Polanski's Chinatown, starring Nicholson. And similar to it, the uncertainty is the key to its success.

The makers are consistently revealing cards in order to keep the audience tangled in the whirls of these flips and turns that can be difficult to swallow. It is a mature script that always chooses over leaving the room with a cutthroat message rather than an explosion. The euphoric energy of the ping pong that the writers play of who is with whom theories, with Hitchcock's sharp execution it never wears off. Also, there is real ruggedness in here, the characters have the range to look elegant and also pull out the most sinister deed of all.

Grant as the real victim proving his innocence isn't always in his A game, his performance isn't persistent in its tone. But what saves the day is both Saint's performance and her character, her alluring suave nature and guns blazing unflinchingly puts her on top of the list. Armed with a smart and meticulous adaptation, Hitchcock takes his time, he is milking out the best from each moment. North By Northwest is less Hitchcock-ish than usual, and it is certainly refreshing.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
½

Hooper's adaptive gore vision is frankly too much even for the the audience of this genre.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Hooper's adaptive gore vision is frankly too much even for the the audience of this genre. There is one thing to exaggerate in order to leave a scaring harrowing impression on you to communicate the magnitude of the stakes and another to just mess with you. And yes, that is probably the reason why no matter how much you keep yourself reserved from it, this tale does get you and it is because Hooper is enjoying himself. His clear and- contrary to popular belief- clean vision is what amps up the ante of this ambitious project. This indie low budget cinema is actually an inspiring case for the newcomers out there to choose both style and substance through brilliant execution.

Now coming down to the cons, it is annoyingly loud and not just the screaming but its repetitive nature that it is fixated on. It makes sure everything is double checked, it is productive but also at times irrelevant, few deaths could have been lopped off. It is more mano-y-mano than your usual horror drama, it also resembles eerily with Halloween, the concept may be shared by Hooper, but his pathos cynicism cannot be matched. To add more to its troubles, the solution of the antagonist doesn't even exist. It gets so brutally loud and poignant that you feel paralyzed to its circumstances and leaves you floating in its abyss.

The performance is another weakness of it, that itches you throughout the course. Neither the frightened actors are able to express the fear nor the people on the other side of the door are dogmatic enough to give you the chills. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a mind numbing tour gone wrong case, it has its moments that stays with you, but it surely isn't something you'd be able to trade with for its unnerving psychology.

Alien
Alien(1979)
½

Scott's traumatic taunting exploration of other beings leaves out a long lasting impression on its shook audience.

Alien

Scott's traumatic taunting exploration of other beings leaves out a long lasting impression on its shook audience. This classic horror drama is smart and mature on its sharp screenplay. And since the concept allows it to rely upon physical sequences, the tactics and methods used in to make a best out of a crisis, is pure genius. Despite of being short handed on visual effects, this sci-fi venture leads you to a darker and sinister path through your own imaginations. Scott uses sound and light effects to scare his viewers. This horror isn't based on any mythological or spiritual tales to create horrifying environment or on building a backstory for its cynicism.

This is a human surviving out in the nature that it fails to understand or connect with. One of the major apprentice of Scott is the uncertainty of the characteristics of the antagonist depicted in here. Among many, many deaths, one of the best sequence is the one that follows a guy chasing a cat and water dripping over him, not only does this sequence gives you goosebump audibly but the way it is shot, the visuals too are jaw dropping. The structure of the script isn't your usual in and out mission, the first half executed with sweat drop precision adds more thrill to the last breathtaking act.

Weaver as the fittest survival of all, is the real deal. Her three dimensional character is aptly cooked. The range offered to her by the writers is wide enough to flaunt her talent and she milks out the best she can from it, she is vulnerable and flawed yet brave and bold enough to stand against the impossible, the arc that takes place in front of her molds for a better illuminating character. Alien was and is definitely ahead of its time, the future is clearly visible in here.

Sherlock Jr.
Sherlock Jr.(1924)

Keaton's mime art defines the genre at its best, innocently poignant and genuinely heartwarming.

Sherlock Jr.

Keaton's mime art defines the genre at its best, innocently poignant and genuinely heartwarming. This masterpiece has a certain knack for creating a long lasting impression on you with its humbleness and gullible nature which from the first frame you start to adore. This is not you usual good over evil triumph natured script. It is another Monday on this sketchy comic world. The first sequence itself is so tightly packed and flows fluently with mature narration that you are hooked within this first few minutes and you have achieved a thorough insight on these three dimensional characters. Naturally it's a sort of writing that depends completely upon the physical sequences.

And the first one consisting the protagonist gathering up money for his love interest shows you the humble and kind nature of it. And after you have hold on to his ideologies the bizarre shadow walking and leaping from a building to another one just feels natural due to his fluent body language. The chase scene with him riding a bike blindly, crossing forests and rivers is pure genius, something that cannot ever be recreated like such. But among all these gags the best is Keaton trying to play the pool, it is flat out hilarious from the way it is weaved out and is executed, each notion of that trick is magic.

To get a much free and wider range to flaunt his ludicrous theories, the concept he adapted is fascinating and creative. As a performer too, he is jaggedly on mark on foliating the emotions and the perfect example is the last act where you sink deeply in its mellow and sweet love track. Sherlock Jr. is one of those rare silent films that shocked the viewers then as much as it does now, it is an overwhelming experience to watch these characters come alive on screen.

Metropolis
Metropolis(1927)
½

Lang's time traveling to the dystopian future is the evergreen masterpiece that is still impenetrable, after a century later.

Metropolis

Lang's time traveling to the dystopian future is the evergreen masterpiece that is still impenetrable, after a century later. Let's work our way up to the gist or the concept of the feature starting from the details. Such rich details is something that is only seen on rare gem-like Disney animation where an entire new imaginative world is created that is much more hip and happening than ours. And in here the concept being simply a head or tail case, the details are immensely impressive. Now to write these words is one thing and to implement it on set is another. But Lang's set pieces are equally large as its concept is.

And with huge crew, beautiful large set pieces and stunning production design, Lang gives you the time of your life. And with a head start like such from the concept, the expectations of the film increases to a whole new level, and with a layered narrative and a buoyant script, the characters keeps giving us back the reasons and material to not even spare a time to blink. Especially the second half of this symphony, that keeps you at the brisk of your emotions through exhilarating chase sequences, cut throat politics, morality conflicts, family drama and electrifying attraction towards each other. It surely is a cinema for life.

Abel as the puppeteer losing its control is a force to be reckoned with that is challenged by his son Frohlich itself. But the real game changer and heart of this cold mechanical world is Helm (she is splendid as both the evil twin and the heartwarming love interest) in command, from her looks to her body language, the entire feature is dependent on her vocab. Metropolis is an awe-inspiring civilised stable city that preaches its choirs, from the viewers to the makers itself.

The Wife
The Wife(2018)
½

Runge's complicated couple is divine to look at, flawed and failing miserably on their relationship, they do smile on their words.

The Wife

Runge's complicated couple is divine to look at, flawed and failing miserably on their relationship, they do smile on their words. This is a film set behind the screen. The narration follows the people that supports the pioneers or the leaders that may be changing the world around them but are actually struggling for a written paper in here. And honoring those people, it is fabricated with a social message wrapped in a glossy yet elegant paper that smells maturity. Among many characters, the one that brings insight to the core of the movie is Slater's where whenever it shines onto it, the movie grows into an enthralling compelling drama.

Even though the concept is something that has been out there for a while, the simplicity to which these complex relationship are narrowed down to, is the real win for the writers. The concept that it lands on, on its final note of this symphony is breathtaking. Close on the lead role is flexing her muscles like never before. She is given an amazing character to portray and it is never taken granted for, by her. And it easily stands out since whenever the script grows damp, her portrayal is what pulls it out of the void.

Pryce, Iron and Slater are decently handling the supporting characters and offer the appropriate boost especially in the middle section that focuses on the family falling apart like a fragile glass. Another reason why these characters speak to us a lot is due to the layered version that is foliated on the screen, it genuinely reflects all the sides of human within an hour for us to judge, the background tale is the real deal. The Wife is post apocalyptic world, the solution is much more ravishing than the piles of conflicts.

The Last Detail
½

The Last Detail is a big pack of gusto, amiable in terms of sanity and insanity, this pack has Nicholson as the leader and there are no regrets.

The Last Detail

Ashby is easy to work with and amidst all the hokums he aspires to pull off, the reasoning for us to involve in it tend to lose its grip every now and then. From the first frame, the concept kicks off with a ferocious pace that you feel like you are having a time of your life. But this euphoric energy is toned down by the semantics of the structure. After a certain point for a brief period, it leans towards mediocrity especially before the last act hits. The chemistry among the cast is palpable to the tone, a bit pasty but a protective caring nature that soothes the nature, no matter how raunchy and chaotic it grows.

The methods that is adapted to reach its final goal is much more mesmerizing than the final kick itself. And these tiny rich notions is what fuels this brotherhood, from demanding the melted cheese to the interference in love interest, the writers have managed to draw out the real essence of a partner, out of this eerie tale. Nicholson on the lead is brilliant in his portrayal of a sassy and bold character that is provocative and three dimensional. But Quaid as the learner and the victim of this show, steals the spotlight not just because of his performance but his incredibly likeable character that is both flawed and sensitive.

The storytelling is adaptive and gripping even though not compelling, the route takes a longer detour that shucks away the earned momentum and lower the bar for a brief period as mentioned before. But with a sensational heartwarming last act, the feature lands on accurately where it started off from. The Last Detail is a big pack of gusto, amiable in terms of sanity and insanity, this pack has Nicholson as the leader and there are no regrets.

The French Connection

The French Connection "is" connected, speaking effervescently and unapologetically the romance between the characters.

The French Connection

Friedkin's cop and con analysis protrudes the thirst that drives it and the hunger that it feeds off. The concept itself suggests the cat and mouse chase but this is not your usual in and out mission. It stays there along with it. No matter how hard and sweat inducing this labour gets. And since it is based on a true story Friedkin's hands are tied but his methods aren't tied to any whatsoever promise. He seeks for an opportunity to stretch its way out through a bang for a more cinematic experience. If there ought to be a simple man to man marking on following a guy, he does it with such panache that you are left with you jaws dropped in the air. He milks out something from these scenes that you have never felt before.

In fact, what he does in here, MacQuarie in Mission Impossible Fallout has managed to do so in the Paris sequence. I have never felt the thrills and exhilaration that a chase scene can offer like such. The feature barely resides upon verbal sparrings it is basically all physical sequences performed lethally and for the most part of it, in one shot, that adds a cherry on top of it. One of the primary strength of the feature, is its uncertainty, the makers keeps us under the shades and reveals it at the point of crisis where before that the storyline is just setting up the antics just like the characters are chasing each other blindly with all the dedication and sweat and blood there is.

Hackman as a frustrated underappreciated protagonist makes sure you feel the need for him to succeed as much as he does and on that note of vulnerability that is projected, it is a complete triumph. The French Connection "is" connected, speaking effervescently and unapologetically the romance between the characters.

Rope
Rope(1948)

Rope is a bittersweet experience, confined in its own loop, the tale never evolves nor has the maturity to question the existence and reason out of it.

Rope

Hitchcock's breathtaking party unfortunately isn't able to keep up with the euphoric energy it starts with. And the energy wears off due to its inessential and frankly dull detour that it takes in order to fill the content up till the real times goes off that ticks on the back off the screen. And even though the ticking bomb goes off quite early to keep the audience tangled in its if-i-must "rope". But it still isn't out of its self-created damp surface. The concept itself is a double edge sword. Since both the crime and the investigation of it taken place on screen with live time screenplay the audience finds itself waiting for the writers to achieve their closure that starts to feel like a homework after a while.

The adapted screenplay is from a play which explains the continuity and the flow of the film that is played smartly by the camera work and cinematography in here. The side characters are unfortunately undercooked and are explored only on surface only where the actors are handed over a post it note showing their characteristics which they have managed to hold on to throughout the course. The backstory of the professor and his students who throws the party does help a lot on connecting the dots.

Stewart as the analyser and resolver of the drama is the best support that the two lead actors can aspire for. Grander gets a more unimpressive role to portray hence fails to overpower Dall on his scenes. Whilst Dall is the creator of all, the real convincer, the schemer that tries to bind it all no matter how much it scatters. Rope is a bittersweet experience, confined in its own loop, the tale never evolves nor has the maturity to question the existence and reason out of it.

Strangers on a Train

Strangers On A Train is actually quite familiar on Hitchcock's world, a quirky brutal era that breathes for inanity.

Strangers On A Train

Hitchcock's another perfect plan for a perfect crime is wisely not a gut wrenching bloodbath but a poised and reserved act of trauma. And just like its opening sequence, Hitchcock has you hooked from the first footage and similar to it, the storytelling is fluent and gripping. The conversations are pragmatic and are brimmed with humor and ironic drama that is imputed smoothly without any compromise on the track. The concept is very amusing and yet convincing through brilliant execution, and has the potential to boost off the film for the entire feature. Hitchcock uses the props and creates an arc out of them like a character where the entire feature ends up hanging on it.

Wisely, the makers aren't confined on delivering the rudimentary process of investigation along with the usual cat and mouse chase. Instead, the screenplay is quite fast paced and is always ready to evolve with a smarter script that keeps the audience on the brisk, with its gritty ideology and metaphorical cinematography that helps view this tale with a more brighter and clearer lens. The performance isn't extraordinary or eye popping but as far as cynicism is concerned Walker's body language does give you the chills.

And on the other hand the victim of the film, Granger unfortunately doesn't have much range to factor in effectively especially since his character is basically a scaredy cat for the most part of it. This meticulous novel is adapted with smart editing and crispy cinematic sequences bubbled up (especially the followed up or the aftermath of the crime that is wound up in one big scene) from it that remains the highlight of it and stays with you even after you leave the screen. Strangers On A Train is actually quite familiar on Hitchcock's world, a quirky brutal era that breathes for inanity.

Nanny McPhee
Nanny McPhee(2006)

Jones's fatal attempts of creating a magical music number as Mary Poppins unfortunately fails on all levels in here.

Nanny McPhee

Jones's fatal attempts of creating a magical music number as Mary Poppins unfortunately fails on all levels in here. To what was supposed to play on props and create awestruck delightful moments with the kids, is instead left out dry and unexplored in here. This overly rotten out formulaic structure of the script is not only outdated but is so poorly conceived that it doesn't stand on its own grounds, it contradicts its own nature. The mythical aspects of the storyline that was supposed to attract the viewers, seems like is pretentious and a metaphor gone wrong case.

The reasons and concept may have a heart but that heart isn't pumping at all for either the viewers or the characters. The result is pure Sunday morning venture, you have seen this morning before too and the plans that it has for you is something that you are not looking forward to. Having said that, it doesn't suggest that there aren't any good bits in here. The usual sketchy sequences between the kids and a nanny, the tactics used by bratty mischievous kids and the gags that leads to the bonding of the kids to a newer member of the family, somehow in its giddy nature works like a charm.

Thomson as the nanny herself who also co-wrote the script, is a delight to watch, her caring nature with productive methods and impressive tricks up her sleeve, elevates the momentum and raises the bar of the feature. On the supporting cast, the younger cast has decently managed to stay on the track along with Firth as the man in charge and Macdonald as the driver, who are convincing on their roles. Nanny McPhee is the perfect gift for your kids but only up till its first half, the second half is a big old sobbing mess.

On the Waterfront
½

Kazan's one-more-round attitude for this fist to fist challenge is blatantly grant.

On The Waterfront

Kazan's one-more-round attitude for this fist to fist challenge is blatantly grant. It defines cinema at its finest. All the genres, from drama to thriller and from romance to politics, the tone fluctuates like never before and still remains persistent like always before. The conversations between Brando and Marie Saint does spark romance. The anticipated qualifications for the equations to move forward as the story enfolds ought to be convincing and is delivered thoroughly in here with gripping screenplay. One of the primary strength of the feature is its ferocious pace, leaping from one sequence to another, each moment is a pure delight.

Blending it all in, the huge cast, high pitched dramatic sequences, complex relationship, morality conflicts and a vital message, all wrapped up in an envelope, this is as cinematic as the cinema can be. And since it fiddles with multiple characters, it has to and does offer each of them a moment to stand alone and factor in effectively. The priest, the antagonist and the protagonist, each of them has something to say and Kazan gives them the stage an actor always aspires for. Brando as a troubled complex guy seeking his voice fabricates his performance with power and vulnerability to appear more human and welcoming host to its audience.

It is definitely one of the best performance of his life and supporting him all the way is a great cast like Malden as a bratty king with the crown and Marie Saint as the love affair and the inner voice of Brando. Kazan's neat and clean vision of street gangster's is more lethal than Scorsese's in here. On The Waterfront is clearly a film ahead of its time and it has managed to keep us busy and electrified even after decades.

Mrs. Miniver
Mrs. Miniver(1942)
½

Wyler's tantalizing close calls may not be fabricated with sharp finesse but is undeniably brimmed with chilling horrors.

Mrs. Miniver

Wyler's tantalizing close calls may not be fabricated with sharp finesse but is undeniably brimmed with chilling horrors. Such an apotheosis of the emotions that each character goes through due to an incident like war that is arguably far from the field, ought to be a proof of witty satirical writing. But mind you, above all, it always will be a family drama. A drama whirling around three dimensional characters that keeps giving us reasons to be attracted to them despite of flaws and mistakes. These characters has an absorbing tale to tell. As much as eye opening message this envelope contains, the script never grows manipulative or provocative to lure the audience in and draw our the emotions through it.

What it relies upon is the performance of the cast. And they have hold on to their end of the promise throughout the course. Garson as the protagonist and titled character, is honest to her portrayal, she is convincing on each frame. On the other hand, surprisingly Pidgeon doesn't have enough to factor in, in fact Wright as a supporting cast has much more to offer to the film and the audience. It has a very meticulous script. It focuses on weaving out an enclosed circle of short stories that are imputed between this big picture.

Especially the sequence where a wounded soldier follows Garson to her house and has an intriguing encounter in there. It is definitely the highlight of the feature and personally it resonates to me a lot like a scene from Frankenstein where, he is gifted a flower by a child. Creating an accurately humane emotions out of a story within a story marks out as a brilliant filmmaker in Wyler's basket. Mrs. Miniver is rich in bits and pieces but often fumbling and sloppy as a whole chunk of art piece.

Wings
Wings(1927)
½

Wellman's troup of aviators are armed of emotions that recharges this war epic messenger into a personal venture of vendetta and love.

Wings

Wellman's troup of aviators are armed of emotions that recharges this war epic messenger into a personal venture of vendetta and love. To create a tightly packed nail biting action sequence on such a large scale in a silent film, is itself a testament to the finest filmmaking of all. Wellman's visual galore is so neat and clean that even the infomercial charts won't set you off the track. The thrills keeps us on the edge of the seat without any sound effects. Speaking of charts, they are so brilliantly edited and wisely imputed that they too become an important character. Every time, before taking off a plane, the characters double checks everything and the makers have decided to write that down on screen that creates an amazing arc on the storytelling.

These little things is what the entire physical sequences are brimmed off, Wellman never fails to impress us. And addition to that, creating a triangle love story and egoistic rivalry between guns blazing and winds whirling stage, the experience of the audience is elevated to a jaw dropping amazement. Surprisingly, it has humor too in it but it is smoothly installed to lighten up the mood using the visual effects like depicting emerging bubble for a drunk guy; a witty trick among aplenty others.

Rogers sticks to his sweet and often hot headed natured portrayal as a protagonist and so does Bow that walks on a similar path as a supporting character. But Arlen on the parallel role has much wider range to factor in. His character is three dimensional underdog, generous and definitely layered but Arlen fails to hit a home run with it; a swing and a miss to such a brilliant opportunity. Wings is a rare cinematic art not only for the silent films but as a general aspect of it, the passion hasn't worn off even after a century.

The King's Speech

Hooper's melodrama between the teacher and student is the real on screen romance that we have encountered in years.

The King's Speech

Hooper's melodrama between the teacher and student is the real on screen romance that we have encountered in years. Hooper's wit is on fabricating a conversation compelling enough to be determined as an argument. And it cannot be best described other than a debate. A debate that keeps you on the edge of the seat with inspiring performance, direction, writing and choreography. Yes, choreography. Each sequence is a dance number between these high calibered cast. The camera work is persistently moving along with these characters that creates a ferocious environment within a conversation which a car chase normally does. Seidler's characters are welcomed with open arms by Hooper. His execution is much more impressive than the script itself.

Creating such an intense sequence among such fragile equations that discovering the reality and realizing the intentions that we have been aware of all along, itself gives you the chills. The exhilaration and fear of facing your ghosts residing within you on such a larger scale is a testament to the stakes depicted in here and to project it on the screen is purely a work of a performer and no one else. And Hooper has his ace of hearts up front from the first frame. Firth's devotion and work towards the character stays up till the camera is about to roll and after that just as his character, he sings with flamboyancy.

Firth makes the speech his definition, he prepares on and off screen for it that marks his talent like never before. Rush and Bonham Carter as his supporting cast are splendid on their portrayal of the boost that everyone aspires to have especially at such delicate times. The King's Speech is every bit of Hooper's speech as it is Firth's, merging both of their career's best work, it manages to star royal and elegant.

Escape From Alcatraz

Siegel's brooding nature and almost household methods is the only way out of this strictly confined prison.

Escape From Alcatraz

Siegel's brooding nature and almost household methods is the only way out of this strictly confined prison. And boy what a work he has put through in here to narrate the sweat and blood inducing hard work that these character goes through. Siegel has always used the set and the environment where the storytelling revolves around, into the narration so smoothly that you are practically escaping along with these characters. And using such body language and a three dimensional perspective on how such a process and plan is implemented the second act completely thrives upon the performance and execution where their barely resides any verbal sparrings.

This doesn't suggest that it is better than the first half. Contrary to popular belief, the first half is what molds the movie into a more human nature. It resonates mistakes and flawed characters that is celebrated into the narration through driving and sharing emotions among the cell mates. It is not also your typical head to head rivalry script that is of scoreboard nature, all scores are settled in the last swing by Eastwood's home run. Aforementioned, the performance relies upon the narration and vice versa and portraying such a gritty bold character has always been Eastwood's charm.

And this time following the instructions and leading the instructions into unanticipated trajectories, he soars above all from his group in both the physical and emotional aspects of it. The second half of the film is basically a series of close calls and it is upto Siegel to not let that euphoric energy wear off which he does hold up to. Escape From Alcatraz has managed to live up to the expectations from the collaboration of Eastwood and Siegel and even though it fumbles on the dodgy surface, it manages to escape.

Colette
Colette(2018)
½

Westmoreland's quirky world is bubbled up by this sharp old book style script that layer after layer manages to keep its engulfing essence constant.

Colette

Westmoreland's quirky world is bubbled up by this sharp old book style script that layer after layer manages to keep its engulfing essence constant. For, for once, both the source and the adaptation is cinematic enough to bang its way out of the room. It does best what Burton's Big Eyes unfortunately failed to do so. Working on a similar case, Westmoreland never gives you an opportunity to argue back. The annoyance level that the character goes through ought to communicate on such a script and it does in here. And even though it relies upon that tensed awkward empty moments, throughout the course, the emotions never grows shallow and the energy never wears off.

As once a character mentions "the lease", Westmoreland has managed to get hold of it. He strains the characters and stretches the lease up till it is about to break and burst out the door. And just when the film reaches that peak moment, he lets go of all and increases the range of the lease. Resuming the clock from zero once again, this ping pong of the viewers' emotion and makers' puppeteering nature is continued till the last frame. It is free from the your usual structure despite of having familiar textbook tale.

And emerging as an essential emblem to the current society as well as of the era that the tale revolves around, the maker takes you to different places with a message that bodes well as a metaphor for the entire movie. Focusing on almost a marital issue by imputing fame, art and legacy, it elevates the emotion and the gist of the issues on a much higher and louder scale. So, fiddling with arguably a family drama as such, the storyline demands the performance to a point, that it relies a lot upon it.

Especially, when the couple gazes each other across the room with envy and rage or when there is an awkward silence in the room. And Knightly as a free spirited ahead-of-her-time artist dissolves into the persona of Colette. Her resisting force is much stronger than the West's man-ly dark abhorrent force. Her performance as an independent avant-garde open minded character breathes life into the movie everytime it loses its grip in order to foliate the screen with bright colors and stunning visuals. But challenging such a performance on screen, demands much more grittiness which is brought in by West in his suit of armor that is held as a shield for his dogmatic opinions.

He makes you clench your jaw and pop your nerves every time he appears on screen. The injustice in his character is justified aptly by his devilish performance. Westmoreland has made a balanced movie. If the emotions aren't shared then the opinions are and if the credit isn't shared then the choices are. Smuggling the emotions like such the film may be mechanical at times but is never chalky. Colette is a fine devoured art, fabricated in a period set pieces it still manages to show us the current state of the society.

M*A*S*H
M*A*S*H(1970)
½

Altman's satirical war drama depicting the inner non-mentioned exaggerated fumbles of a camp is a long effective whip whose intentions to aid the war memories does work.

MASH

Altman's satirical war drama depicting the inner non-mentioned exaggerated fumbles of a camp is a long effective whip whose intentions to aid the war memories does work. And even though it exaggerates and is a goofy version of a camp, it is a smart comedy. It doesn't necessarily rely upon verbal sparrings but also uses the entire frame of the screen and physical sequences to draw in most of the laughs. It mocks each aspect of the storyline and characters with such sincerity that you do invest in these long sketchy sequences, you do feel like a part of this camp, you do wish to quote the punch line, you do wish to pull the string of the prank, and on that note where the Altman's world is the perfect host for such a tale, it is a trumpet harmonizing triumph.

Having said that, with all the cheats and tricks that are taken lightly, the core of the movie, the professional life of the characters in here are eerily taken seriously and grows intense both politically and emotionally that creates a long lasting impression. Sutherland as the convincer that is easily influenced scores majestically on both physical and verbal comic timing that goes through the roof, his body language itself tickles you.

Gould on the parallel role is much more confident and is in his A game throughout the course with his alluring schemes that always works. It is basically a series of various gags culminated into one big season of camping gone right and wrong, both with goofy characters and sleazy jokes that surprisingly bodes well to the light hearted tone of this armored world. MASH is not a sweeter, soothing or a mellower aid to the war genre, it is blatantly a raunchy expressive experience of a group civilising their way up to the ladder in the least civilized place.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles
½

Planes, Trains And Automobiles is not looking for a home run, it doesn't need it to win its viewers, this family holiday card has got the traditional sweet recipe.

Planes, Trains And Automobiles

Hughes's humorous adventure is a one big gag that thrives upon nothing but the good old brotherhood of the lead cast. A sketch after sketch, this is basically a culmination of a Saturday Night Live episode where the characters are the only constant aspect of it. Unfortunately, not every gag works as the makers anticipated. Few are either outdated or over chewed to keep the crisp alive. But what steals the show are the tiny notions of Candy's eerie methods and habits that are undeniably irritating which with the help of the performance does communicate to the viewers, at a certain point you too are annoyed.

The nights spend by these two stereotypical characters are the best among all the bits of the feature. The first night is flat out hilarious and immensely entertaining where it sets the bar pretty high that it never is able to touch after that. And the other night is a bit mellow and low on humor, but it is a bit dramatic and depicts the bonding of these completely opposite characters, in fact it has an uncanny resemblance with one of the clips of Tom And Jerry. And similar to them, they fight and bicker with each other on both rational and irrational topics that genuinely is effective and funny. Aforementioned, the goofy performance is what the feature walks on.

Martin's job is to walk parallel-y along the line of "normal" civilized businessman who waits for none, not the lifts, not the business meetings, not a long line of queue. Whilst Candy taps on his own beats and is thoroughly satisfied in his light merry bubble that is intolerable as much as fun he is. Planes, Trains And Automobiles is not looking for a home run, it doesn't need it to win its viewers, this family holiday card has got the traditional sweet recipe.

Crimson Tide
Crimson Tide(1995)
½

Crimson Tide is surely a wave that comes and goes but as far as it keeps hitting the surface, it gives you a one big wallop of sweat and war inducing debate.

Crimson Tide

Scott's bull fight of the lead actors going head to head on screen for a better, stronger, smarter punch is persistently convincing us to invest in their ideologies despite of having a non-gripping screenplay. It is surely a mature script. A well balanced and calculative that grims behind the screen for judging you as per the decisions you land upon. Surprisingly, the tense environment that is created which you fret upon will wear down at some point, proves you wrong as the feature ages on screen. And it is not because of its often fumbling script but because of the persona, charisma, and the performance of the cast.

Seeking the power for their own reasonings and strong beliefs, Washington and Hackman steals your breath away everytime they share the screen. Washington's merrier and self-righteous portrayal is a straight bullet fired that demands attention. On the other hand, Hackman's provocative and the most human of all role amongst its cast is the apt challenge for Washington to overpower. This well constructed script maybe your textbook thriller drama, but the source from which it extracts the potential to drive this vehicle on both the direction is pure pop chase fun.

It depicts nature of each character at its best. And since the source or threat that fuels their decision is mutual, the perspective that varies couldn't be more clear. Having said that, it doesn't suggest that it doesn't have any weak moments. Often or not, it takes its time and over chews stuff for a cinematic purpose. But the fabrication of this submarine is too authentic and grounded for you to fall for such distractions. Crimson Tide is surely a wave that comes and goes but as far as it keeps hitting the surface, it gives you a one big wallop of sweat and war inducing debate.

Happy Feet Two

Miller's another swing at this cold hard land is too squashy to stand on its dodgy ground and make the voice heard.

Happy Feet Two

Miller's another swing at this cold hard land is too squashy to stand on its dodgy ground and make the voice heard. As often does, these animated characters are created in order to glorify their characteristics and stand against the nature of their selves for the better part of the environment. But this well thought out concept is overridden in here till it grows numb, after a while you stop caring for them since you are no longer afraid for them. And what was once willfully and beautifully structured, is somewhat of a mirror in here to the previous installment and even though it reaches to its concept with a big heart, it also is arguably repetitive. Having said that, it doesn't suggest that it isn't entertaining or gripping storytelling.

Tapping on its own feet and singing on its own rhythm it still is a delight to watch these characters go banana over each other. Aforementioned, Miller fiddles with the nature of their beings, and chooses a higher moral ground after tangling them into a whirl of a huge disastrous experience. Each subplot of different characters are also a lesson to be learned, most likely to be a good will hunting. Like two animals sharing a bridge on the opposite side of it, trying to cross it safely. These little details on the plot is what makes it rich and juicier.

The returning voice cast is doing their best considering the opportunity they have got, and of course Williams stands along for his comic voice that echoes throughout the course of the feature. Damon and Pitt arguing philosophically are one of the best bits of this sort-of-inspiring tale. Happy Feet Two's fatal attempts on reaching for something beyond its grasp is both admirable and disappointing, this time they failed to save the world within a tap dancing number.

How Green Was My Valley

Ford's family drama is a force majeure that resists and binds their relationship with aces.

How Green Was My Valley

Ford's family drama is a force majeure that resists and binds their relationship with aces. And these aces aren't just drawn from the uncertainty and discreteness of the script. This wallop of drama is justified to the core. It lops off any whatsoever commercial aspect of cinema and still remains crispy on the surface and husky to the core. Brimmed with three dimensional characters whose perspective aren't just kept on the table but factors majorly on the trajectory of the storyline, the tracks never overlaps with each others with buoyant gripping screenplay that keeps giving back. Llewellyn's novel is adapted by Dunne who has kept the heart and the spark of the family alive in his narration.

This is not your usual family drama that mourns the mistakes or bends the rules or plead for amendment, it is gut wrenching honest relationship between the subsequent generations holding on to their ideologies. And with an inevitable antagonist such as the coal mine which is essentially a part of evolution of the village. Hence, binding such major change on the lifestyle and the mob mentality, it squeezes out the best of drama once and for all. The performance of the cast speaks within first few minutes of the feature.

The dinner table conversations, bickerings and drifting apart for the ego, the exhilaration and the chills does communicate through it. Crisp and Allgood as the root and the head of the family aptly fabricates the genre into a much more grounded persona. The younger cast too has hold onto their performance decently and are convincing for the most part of it. How Green Was My Valley is not only one of the best titled tale but also soars above all in its genre for its nature to keep rejuvenating the old thoughts.

Grand Hotel
Grand Hotel(1932)

Grand Hotel is a juxtaposition of life and death in its uncertainty, for no matter how brief the period is, one lives.

Grand Hotel

Goulding's romance of the tale is between the ingenuity of the essential points and the reach for the characters through it. It is a very well originally written tale whose adaptation might not be gripping but its layered thought provoking tale is too good to reminisce about the loopholes. And mind you, there are no such inedible clause in the original play by Drake but it's the execution that falls short handed in here. It is calculative and frequently aware of the trajectory in each frame. But neither the makers nor the actors are enjoying it. The high pitched dramatic sequences to which the movie relies upon, even those aren't glorified properly. They are good at doing their homework, but it shouldn't feel like a homework in the first place.

Considering the intensity of the concept, the sloppy writing that focuses on lightening the mood, often shucks away the integrity. Nevertheless with such sharp abhorrent depiction of the society, fame and ignorance, the feature not only soars but lifts up the audience to its higher concept. The performance is decently acted out by the cast if not excellent, since it lacks the spark that should boost us and the storyline forward. Especially the first time, when both the lead characters comes on screen together. The first act of the storyline actually builds up to that moment.

And it is on that moment, where the Barrymore and Garbo were supposed to portray the kissing-the-ring infatuation that they feel for each other and instead misses a golden opportunity. The supporting characters are more illuminating in here than the lead ones, they possess the cutthroat politics, morale conflicts and depiction of both the sides of the coin that rattles and calms the nature of a human. Grand Hotel is a juxtaposition of life and death in its uncertainty, for no matter how brief the period is, one lives.

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Ralph Breaks The Internet is an easier script than the previous one and without any polishing around the edges, the material is often chalky.

Ralph Breaks The Internet

Johnston and Moore's surf through the internet is free but definitely time consuming. Picking up from where we left these two characters, they had to create an almost newer dimension to fill in. And boy, did the writers came up with one. To capture an internet into a physical dimension itself scares you. It is a double edge sword though. It can be really easy as much as you are distracting the viewers. And since the glossy distraction in here is something that the audience is familiar- or in fact lives in it- it gets immensely effortless for them to hold us. Having said that, if not taken proper care of, and not worked on the details, it might come off as a one big hocum, which is what exactly happens in here.

The script is definitely gripping and thoroughly entertaining. But the rich details that such animated feature usually contains, it lacks in aplenty. Aforementioned, the narration just surfs through the storyline and never digs deep, either the writers were afraid to open the vortex or just couldn't grasp it all in. Nevertheless, it still would have worked, if had better conversations, compelling arguments and genuine morale conflicts to bedazzle us.

But what was once explored by Disney movies is left untouched in here. And with very little surface to walk on, it is still a smooth ride. In fact the concept has so much heart and potential in it, that the first hour of the narration is boost off by just visiting characters only. The structure of the script too is familiar to your usual Disney features. The performance cast though, ups the ante of the game. Revisiting their characters, Reilly and Silverman both are equally challenging on the screen. Their duo is a force to be reckoned with.

His overprotective nature and her rebellious carefree attitude bodes well for the equation. And once again, the visual effects are jaw dropping, the artists do work a lot into it and it does pay off; this internet world projected in here is much more welcoming than the internet itself. Silverman's deep dive on mocking or updating the Disney princesses' sequence, is definitely the show stealer. One of the best bits of the storytelling is how it depicts both side of the range that this internet goes to. It shows you all the power there is by offering all the "heart" there is, within a snap. And it can also take all of it away with that snap itself.

On that note, on that very message that is conveyed in here, the movie is a sure shot win. It also has possibly the least enthralling final acts of all. Where it was supposed to fiddle intellectually with the viewers, it instead puts up a behemoth physical stature to climb upon. It is not the most mature script ever to come across in a Disney world, but it surely is an entertaining one. Ralph Breaks The Internet is an easier script than the previous one and without any polishing around the edges, the material is often chalky.

We the Animals
½

Zagar's exploring drama about the right and wrong thrives on surprisingly being diplomatic and complicated to the core.

We The Animals

Zagar's exploring drama about the right and wrong thrives on surprisingly being diplomatic and complicated to the core. As much as simple and linear the narration is, its sensibility to be fair, and not feeling obliged to be self-righteous, is what marks this tale in a map. One of the primary strength of the feature is the relationship and equations of the characters. It is balanced. If a husband hits his wife, then so does she. It is not a perfect relationship. And that is what makes it more human. The apt depiction of the current society that we live in is put upfront on the screen which also makes it inedible to watch at times.

The fatal attempts of going towards the storyline is a classic textbook procedure that is adapted in here. The execution is genuinely effective and the work done by the maker foliates it onto the screen with bright colors. Speaking of which, the animation is an essential part of the tale. It speaks a lot that cannot be either shown or acted out. And amidst all the structure of the script, the voids are filled in by the clips of children playing on a field or river or forests. These little tactics of how they run their households on and how they feed themselves is well researched by the team and brilliantly installed in the narration.

In fact, such bits often reminds you of Malick's masterpiece "The Tree Of Life". Aforementioned, the ongoing thoughts of a child like such, that is exploring newer things with the most one dimensional simple thinking, ought to be hard for the writers to write, and it is handled marvelously in here. Ticking for around ninety minutes, the storytelling could have been edited out but considering the time it takes to chew its content and the additional inputs to justify each action, is done with so ingenuity, that in the end it pays off.

With jaw dropping visuals, stunning live locations, caressing the nature with the lens and metaphorical cinematography, this visual galore is a delight to watch. And having said that, it doesn't suggest that it is always easy to watch this family grow. The storyline does wander off into places that scares you with its harrowing innuendos that makes your heart skip a bit. And to make you feel that, Zagar takes you with its lead characters to an emotional journey that fluctuates and depicts all of its sides. The performance by the cast is convincing throughout the course of the feature especially the younger cast that are equally challenging to the elder ones.

Personally I prefer it when the characters in here realizes the fundamental concept and are about to take bold decisions against all odds rather than exploring their options. For actually, whilst writing such an "easy" part of the storytelling, often or not, the writers gets distracted and either misses or skips a few beat or over chews its substance. We The Animals is not groundbreaking on concept, structure or narration, what it gets right is conveying a good old message with a good old tale.

The Motorcycle Diaries
½

better late than never..

The Motorcycle Diaries

Salles's two wheeler ride may be uncomfortable but it is a success on reaching its destination, maybe not on time, but better late than never. Ticking for two hours, the journey does get hectic. But just as such long trip consists, it is brimmed with essential stops that juices up the track if it gets dry and weary. The concept calls for the storyline to be a series of different events and stops, but the performance holds you on your seat and gives you enough reason to stay till the last station arrives. As much as adaptive and layered the narration is, it isn't sharp, it doesn't speak to you a lot.

You have to search for it, nothing is served up front in here which is often good but only if it teases you to look for it and keep things intriguing. The rich cultures, beautiful live locations, real earthiness and a grounded dusty or cold roads does travel to you and on that tour-guide note it is a triumph. Aforementioned, the performance is what the feature thrives on. The passion wearing down and rebirthing itself from the ashes like a phoenix, Bernal is the apt companion to have for this trip. He is not confident, he is reserved, simple and more importantly makes mistake; a non provocative three dimensional character.

Serna as his supporting character holds onto his part convincingly. This over thought out philosophical medicine is admirable but certainly not cinematic enough to balance the husky and crispy bits alongside. The characteristics of the protagonist keeps surprising you throughout the course, his ideologies, his stubborn nature, everything opens big arms for the audience. The Motorcycle Diaries is like a ride and a diary-writing-habit, it can be sweat inducing but in the end it's worth every drop of it.

10 Cloverfield Lane

compelling and generous, if sinister..

10 Cloverfield Lane

Trachtenberg's smart horror drama is compelling and generous, if sinister. As it was in previous installment, this franchise thrives on the uncertrainity aspect of it. And this is something that Trachtenberg has extracted that piece of Reeves's idea and foliated it into a thrilling ride that gives you the chills of a free falling roller coaster. And just like that experience the characters in here too are not in control of their life. It puts three chess pieces on the board that is trapped with spooky things, on that note this is a challenging plot to pull off.

And even though it circles back to the origin, the middle section, the root, the core of the feature is what's genuinely inspiring. It somehow resembles with Garland's Ex Machina, since the politics it plays with the characters that it fiddles like puppets, is a nail-biting intense drama. There is also a bit of ease on the narration and even though it is confined in basically a room, it definitely expands its idea beyond that. Elizabeth Winstead; the protagonist, lives up to her character with her convincing portrayal of a scared and a lost girl trying to figure out her environment.

But the character to look up to, is Goodman, his stellar performance of a complex and more importantly three dimensional survivor is worth hoping in on this ride. His ideologies are drawn from the war he has seen and tactics challenging to its current generation, a masterstroke by the writers. Ticking for around hundred minutes, it fluctuates a lot from being grounded and practical to being profoundly mediocre and amateur. 10 Cloverfield Lane is a win-win for the writers to live up to its franchise hype, but in terms of horror it falls short handed at times.

An Officer and a Gentleman
½

the result is stupendous and inspiring..

An Officer And A Gentleman

Hackford's romance has more drama than emotions. And armed with such a meticulous script, the feature keeps impressing you as the screenplay enfolds layer by layer onto the screen. What starts in here as a goofy romantic mishap grows intense and dark and it's that build up that leaves you shook on your seat. It is also not a familiar structure that it thrives on. Each character is essential on the storyline and there is no monkey business in here. It is fairly to the point and clearly expressive of the message it attempts to convey. The narration is eerie yet thoroughly effective.

It respects each characters and plot points and tries to blend it in, on the bigger picture. The final act itself is so bizarrely genius and honest that it leaves your head spinning. To makes its mark and prove its point on the table, it serves the storyline through its supporting three dimensional characters that amps up the charge for the primary ones. The performance of the supporting cast is much more congruent to the lead one. Gere gets way too many opportunities to shine the light but he misses it every time; he just isn't convincing, especially when the melt down sequence.

Winger on the other hand is in for a winning run, her portrayal outsmart every other cast. Gossett Jr. whose character is one of the strongest one has held on to its gritty cold attitude brimmed with warmth that redefines this tale into a much mature form. Hackford's execution is loose at times and feels amature-ly handled as far as delivering a decent conversation is concerned. An Officer And A Gentleman is not what imperative questions are raised but how they are raised, the result is stupendous and inspiring.

Thirteen
Thirteen(2003)

this wallop of family drama..

Thirteen

Hardwicke's peeling of the nature in front of the screen shows much more skin than the audience has a habit to swallow. It is honest, perpetually generous in this gut wrenching dark drama where the storytelling is thoroughly compelling and electrifying. This wallop of family drama keeps you busy in its pop culture bubble whose every aspect is displayed in here. The narration fiddles with the characters aptly for you to feel the heat in the room. In fact, each tiny character is mapped accordingly for it to flow and be aware of the trajectory throughout the course. The camera work is a bit eerie, and it is steady in its own shaky way and on its entire run it can get hectic at times.

But with such a sharp and meticulous script, the execution is sincerely unapologetic and jaggedly on mark. It is also a sort of tale that demands performance since at certain point in the feature, the narration relies upon the silent pitches where nothing but performance speaks. Wood and Reed on their parallel role as opposite sides of the coin acting like one with various agendas, both of them controls the environment on the screen appropriately. But the real game changer would be Hunter at the realm of it.

Her performance makes you fall deep and deep in her bravura of work. She gazes with purity that cuts through all the hoax and distraction of the this flashy and blingy pop culture world. In fact her character too is the strongest of all in here, it oozes warmth and more importantly humane mistakes against all the bickerings and rifts. Thirteen is an every bit of cinema as far as the problems are concerned but piling up those in front of you creates an enormous amount of pressure for the solution to be equally challenging, and it is breathtaking.

The Sea Inside (Mar Adentro) (The Sea Within)
½

smart negotiations and impressive tactics..

The Sea Inside

Amenabar's resistance force is much more powerful than the opposing one that tries to penetrate it. Without overridden the complex issues like dwelling on the past and the backstory of the protagonist, it is pretty much what's up front. And dealing it with smart negotiations and impressive tactics, Amenabar keeps the storyline on the edge and the emotions on the surface. And despite of it being dipped entirely into a pathos bubble, it never grows manipulative, it succumbs a bit to express on a large scale similar to its characters, but the message finally reaches adequately to the audience. The fascinating substance in here is not the concept, but where the storyline which drives that little piece of idea.

Also, personal story aside, the debate that it ping pongs throughout the movie about the life and death is worth pondering about. Obviously the characters are humble and caring on both the sides but they are also gritty and honest. The conversations are pragmatic and layered monologues echos between those silent pitches. It is a tale that relies a lot upon the performance and the cast is giving their best and are thoroughly convincing. Bardem once again proves that he is the real deal. He chokes up at essential moments whilst breaking down that melts you down.

His emotions paints this darker picture into a brighter one with an inspiring tone of fighting back for one more round. The supporting cast too has done a tremendous work on delivering the magnitude of the situation and serve it up front. The dramatic sequences are weaved out to be cinematic where each step of the structure is glorified to keep the audience tangled. The Sea Inside is more of what's inside Bardem's gift basket that he keeps offering, a tremendous work on portraying such a role.

Going My Way
Going My Way(1944)

barely misleading or off the track..

Going My Way

McCarey's in-and-out mission on stabilizing the messed up civilization is undoubtedly impressive and charming. His drama is much more responsive with the audience than the humor is, and fortunately he is well aware of it and doesn't uses it unnecessarily. The narration flows and is kept to-the-point without any monkey business. Butler and Cavett's screenplay is not provocative but adaptive and gripping. It doesn't over chew the concept it has hold on to, the material isn't taken for granted. And even though it falls deeper and deeper into the semantics of it, it never fails to flaunt in his high pitched dramatic sequences. The characters are well taken care of. All of them gets to invest equally onto the biggest picture.

The storytelling doesn't grab onto the lead characters, the supporting characters have their own tales to tell. And amongst all such sub-plots the best bit would be James's love track that is beautifully crafted and has a fresh perspective to offer to its audience. The musical acts are kept mellow yet at a certain point, that is what the feature thrives upon, especially Crosby's character. The concept is genuinely moving in context to the reflection of the society and the structure of the script that is barely misleading or off the track. Crosby has done a fine job on depicting various equations with different range of characters.

But the best one would be the primary relationship of his with Fitzgerald whose stellar performance elevates the equation much more. James's track may not be inspiring as anticipated, but it surely is soothing to encounter it on screen. McCarey's world was awaiting for an angel and they didn't know about it, similar to all the sub-plot that is carried out in here. Going My Way is an amalgamation of generation gap with strains and sweat until there isn't left any, that bridge is performed brilliantly by Crosby.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
½

leaping from one character to another..

The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs

Coen Brothers' western ride on the tell tale narration is much more layered than Leone's grimy cowboy attitude. With a storytelling like such, that is a compilation of various tales, often tends to lose the grip and fails to make you root for the track despite of leaping from one character to another. But this shear passion of Coen Brothers cuts all these rumored hoax of cinema and soars above all with an adaptive and layered script. As always, the storytelling is often brimmed with humoristic tone which is aptly balanced and never shucks away the intensity of the gunpowder.

The first act pretty much works like your textbook structure, that shows you the brief description of what is about to come; not to mention it is the funniest bit of all. Franco takes in the second chapter, that gives you a more Eastwood-y feeling like wooden boards creaking, wind howling and gunshots puffing smoke, it characterizes the western world, the best. Neeson's act is the one that haunts you the most, for both the reasons; its beauty and sadism.

It has the range to soothe you and give you the goosebumps, that harrowing silent pitch on screen cannot be toned down by even the beautiful live location it wanders through. Gait's sort-of-a-diary-version has the thirst for seeking the truth out, hardwork and patience, combining all this, it is certainly the most glorifying segment of all. Kazan's personal venture is complex to the core where the uncertainty of the trajectory easily helps Coen Brothers to fiddle with your emotions. And the last section of the segment is so bizarrely ingenious that you are left with your head spinning on the edge of the seat.

The final act on the cart is more scary than it is funny, you can practically see each step of the structure leaning towards a darker path, no matter how ironical the stories keep getting, and on that note where Coen Brothers are messing with you subconsciously, this is a complete triumph on the western drama. Now, having these many plots and ergo these many characters, each actor gets a stand out moment to impress the viewers with their expressive performance. But the ones that do among this caliber of cast, are Kazan, Gaits, Gleeson and Neeson.

Unlike such stories usually does, there is no mutual theme to it, it may feel coequal, but each tale has a rare soul that emits a newer version, a fresher version of itself. The execution is undoubtedly on the mark, and armed with such meticulous script, its grittiness is what's bubbled up by the Coen Brothers. Aforementioned, there are few fluctuations on the nature of the layered segments, it still bodes well to the flow of the movie and never comes across any bumps. The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs is, yes, your typical Coen Brothers adventure that is crafted out with a sensational cast, but personally I'd choose True Grit version vocab of theirs.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

this drama deserves the emotions it goes through..

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

Spielberg's head scratching sci-fi milestone accounts in the most humane emotion over this two hours of Williams's symphony. Driven by an obsessive vision, the characters float around an honest mundane life in this Spielberg's sci-fi. Not for a split second, he gives away his true intentions of the tone of the feature. It is as much as a family movie, as it is about mankind exploring beyond the boundaries. Your usual household activities, government policies, the means of communication, thirst for knowledge and a self driven persona that it brings out, all these elements polishes this drama into an honest one. The ingenious procedure of Spielberg's fiddling with the props and utilizing the entire frame for the narration, amps up this visual galore that makes you think more than twice.

The stunning background score of Williams, meticulous art designing and decent visual effects decorates the tale into an alluring one. Dreyfuss is at charge in here. His obsession communicates widely but what you will take away the most, is his equation with his family and the emotions he goes through in that house. Truffant is literally the supporter and Dillion is a survivor. Tagging each other the plot tracks, this character driven tale passes on the torch with nothing kept prior than the storyline itself.

Personally, I'd prefer Dreyfuss obsessing over the uncertainty and the horror that he goes through in its initial stages over the latter stages. Just as he asks for Truffant for some answers, Spielberg makes sure that you too will leave the screen with that amount of thirst. Despite of raising general life changing questions, it delivers a much more personal bold tale of confrontation. Close Encounters Of The Third Kind is a real deal on terms of the maturity it contains, this drama deserves the emotions it goes through.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

the spells are mere tomfoolery..

Fantastic Beasts : The Crimes Of Grindelwald

Yates's glossy magic is clearly outdated and ineffective. This overstuffed people-pleaser is no way, Rowling is supposed to get her mojo back. What was explored in Potter franchise, is reminisced till it grows numb in here; the spells are mere tomfoolery. The patterns are getting more and more clear and the structure is getting worn out. Both the installments of Fantastic Beasts, feasts itself with a rolled dice here and there in its first half, and then amps up the charge for a loud finale, which it actually isn't.

The plot is complex but infomercial, their barely resides any flow. The first act is spent upon chattering and mapping the characters about their current state. And just when it was supposed to get thick, it gets more dump, Rowling keeps adding more characters to confuse you; it is ultimately pure magic, she is distracting you. But this distraction isn't feasible to either the makers or the viewers. And all these characters with their hidden secret, walking parallel-y to the story-line ends up in a showdown where Depp is at the throne of it; on that rendezvous point, Rowling's spell casts upon us.

The characters mingle around with political agenda that helps them catch you, and once you are in hold of them, they won't leave you until you nod along to their schemes. Rowling's perspicacious knowledge of the trajectory is what this franchise still thrives on. The narration is discreet and each character gets a voice. Depp gets to overpower others on screen and he loves it as much as we do. Redmayne seems to have found an apt shoes to fill in, his not-so-smooth-talk is way too smooth. Law doesn't have much to offer, but he makes sure that there isn't any regret on casting him.

Miller is underused and works as a pawn for the most part of it. Waterston and Fogler are convincing on revisiting their role whilst Sudol still is looking for something, and on additional cast, Kravitz gets a big chunk of bite. The lethargic over thought-out and ineffective conversations itches you like lumps which is surprising coming from Rowling, especially at the initial stages; she seems in a rush to give you even a compelling argument. The background score is decent if not anything extraordinary, the sound effects are sharp and the visual effects does make your eye pop.

Unfortunately, all of that seems moot if considered the final outcome of the plot. With so much to say, with so many voices, there probably will be one or two that you might wish to take home with you. Ticking for more than two hours, Yates's visual galore tricks are getting predictable, there is no grip, just empty cat and mouse chase that are following wrong tracks. Undoubtedly, Fantastic Beasts : The Crimes Of Grindelwald is the weakest link of this magical world, that once dared question the big questions of life, is now unfortunately settled on the thrills of "stupefy" spells.

The Great Escape

clearly ahead of its time..

The Great Escape

Sturges's nail biting escape from the war, is a symphony that soars among all the best outcome that the genre has given us. Sturges means business in here, from the first frame till the curtain drops. He doesn't have any time to go waste by, he cares for the quality offered to the viewers. And the standard is kept persistent. The story called for your usual supporting characters with allotted characteristics that keeps the viewers tangled onto them. But this is no fiction, each characters might be given a signature name, but they are more to what they seem and Sturges proves that in nearly three hours that feels like seconds passing by.

The primary strength of the feature is how the makers fiddle with the geography, environment and the set pieces that every now and then elevates the momentum as the gripping screenplay enfolds onto the screen. The narration is gripping and adoptive with a fascinating structure that builds up the base with equal sincerity and mannerism. It relies a lot upon the physical sequences and yet it never grows dull for it is brimmed with tiny notions and tactics that are pure delights. McQueen stands out from the first act and still he remains of the similar palpable tone like the rest of his cast.

Garner gets a much stronger parallel role but Bronson's few compelling sequences steals the show. The cunning ways to cheat their way out and the surveillance team still figuring out their tricks, these sew saw are the best bits of the feature and they are in plethora of it; it is thoroughly entertaining. Armed with such a sharp adaptation, Sturges's execution is plausible and is worth every drop of the sweat that went into it. The Great Escape confronts the reality with a language that was clearly ahead of its time.

Batman
Batman(1989)

there is real ruggedness in here..

Batman

Burton's taken on the cape crusader of the Gotham city is much more practical and grounded than it claims to be. Don't get it wrong, it has its weak moments and it gets cheesy at times with its cheap gadgets and tacky physical sequences that is clearly off putting, but amidst all these outdated thrills lies a stunning performances, a performance so mesmerizing that it has the potential to carry off the entire movie. There is real ruggedness in here, mano-y-mano as Nicholson calls it, and it's that humane emotion that makes it more gritty and smart. The screenplay is tightly packed that keeps offering twists and turns in this cat and mouse chase until it grows mature and fiddles with character's emotions.

The conversations are pragmatic but the dialogues are cinematic, they demand attention through it especially Nicholson's ideologies that are expressed through monologues and one liners that may or may not crack you up but it surely is palpable to the bold decisions the character makes. It might be gullible, but it also keeps you thoroughly busy in its crime world, from fake advertisement to press news and from cutthroat politics to slick agendas that keeps flipping like a coin, it is immensely enthralling to encounter a good old protagonist-antagonist striking their horns on screen.

Aforementioned, Nicholson is the heartbeat of this case, he is hilarious, intriguing, impressive, at times predictable but not scary as he should have been. Keaton as Batman is over chewing stuff and other supporting cast fades away in front of Nicholson's cynical laugh. Burton needs to up his game whilst pulling off heist and explosions, the fighting sequences could have easily been convincing. Batman works as far as it is a political drama as soon as it starts paying its due to the comic book fans, it dips vigorously down.

The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep
½

it never can foliate into a storyline..

The Water Horse

Russell's petty attempt to make you care for an innocent creature grows on you, if you reach out for the material that it never can foliate into a storyline. The metaphor that it circles upto at the end of the line is undeniably fascinating but that is all King-Smith whose novel, The Water Horse from which it is adapted. As far as the execution is concerned, Russell fumbles a lot and isn't convincing enough to make us fall into this magical tale. His tactics that he uses to depict the relationship of the creature with each character is never the issue, it's those pawns on the plot that dresses up as a soldier and doesn't act like one, they are the real threat.

They are unfortunately not taken seriously. And as far as the gags that builds up the bond between the creature and the protagonist too, at times is taken afar, especially all the scenes with the dog. The characters aren't expressive either, their tone is unstable and dull, either their maturity and subtlety surprises you or the loudness, there is no balance. It has few good husky bits that keeps you hooked, like the Morrissey's evolved character, Chaplin's uncertain past and Water Horse's mythological tale. Watson is the only stunning performer in this cast.

Her stereotypical overprotective nature welcomes you into this house with ease. Chaplin and Morrissey fails to deliver like required and the young cast holds on to their part decently if not anything extraordinary. The visual effects could have been a lot better along with the editing and logistics that raises the question against the story and not with. The Water Horse is an essential movie that is apt for the political situation that represents society but frankly this material is piled upon the hoax of commercialism.

Big Fish
Big Fish(2003)
½

a stretch of an undercooked script..

Big Fish

Burton's another avant-garde fictional bubble unfortunately backfires vigorously and the primary reason to that is his commitment to the practicality which he never fails to hold on to completely. Wallace's novel has enough room for the tale to be both practical and fictional, his characters can fly and still be grounded. And frankly August's adaptation doesn't have that. And it itches the picture throughout the course and is why Burton keeps leaning on to practicality, he somehow feels obliged to keep it true and on track. As far as all the tactics that paints the fantasy world on screen, it is Burton's home ground.

That half of the tale is not only intriguing but exhilarating to encounter, it is also emotionally fueled. The emotions, in fact are real, the giant, the red car, the daffodils and the witch, these are the facts. And Burton never feels short handed in such genre. Ticking for two hours, the overkill sets in early. And that somehow fortunately follows up to be McGregor's strength. He gets enough time and range on screen for us to fall in love with him, when he does, and laugh at him when he is having fun. But personally, I prefer, Ed Bloom when Finney plays it.

He is more mature and overprotective as much as stubborn he is. His last act with his son is what the entire movie thrives on. The supporting cast like Cotillard, Crudup and Carter fails to live up to the lead ones. Burton emerges the emotions aptly on screen, it's the mechanism that it follows needs some polishing. Merely as a concept wise, it can be an intriguing discussion for a dinner table conversation but as far as major motion picture is concerned, Big Fish is frankly a stretch of an undercooked script that should have broken up a long time ago.

The Claim
The Claim(2000)
½

there is actually no romance..

The Claim

Winterbottom's poignant western venture is not only depressing but also is demotivating on terms of the gut wrenching darkness it consists. A sloppy adaptation of Hardy's novel The Mayor Of Casterbridge is still not the primary weakness of this feature. It is undeniably stable and the tone is persistent whose credit goes to the sincerity of the makers that they depict each sequence with and clearly they haven't taken the material for granted. But unfortunately, mannerism isn't everything, especially in here. There is actually no romance between the viewers and the movie and even though there are stunning rich visuals that lures the audience and demand attention from the first frame.

There doesn't rely a genuine reason for you to keep rooting for this world, characters or tale. And the characters are well constructed, just like the storyline, but presumably all of that is Hardy and not Winterbottom. As far as Winterbottom's work is concerned, there is no fluidity and reasoning to tell such a dry tale. Bentley doesn't hold up to the character's range that he is allotted, he seems awfully distracted and aiming for the wrong viewers. Unfortunately, Jovovich too feels short handed on supporting him.

The only savior of this on-screen-host is Mullan in his ethically challenged role that puts him in a bitter spot of regret and mourne. And he with his rage and reserved act expresses it beautifully on screen; also his track is much more compelling than others. Armed with such a potential script, Winterbottom misses an opportunity to create an emotionally driven complex western drama and instead ends up on a mellow note which actually should have been thrilling and exuberant for the viewers. The Claim is apt description of a good intention gone wrong, what it could have been is never explored and what it has to be doesn't have a concrete ground to stand on.

The Negotiator
½

and who-done-it case..
8 November 2018
The Negotiator

Gray's surf and turf towards this thrilling ride may not be impeccably competent on the maturity but is thoroughly entertaining in its self-created hostage environment. Ticking for almost two and a half hours, the feature keeps you on the edge of the seat despite of being thick and thin in its methodology. Aforementioned, it may not be as mature as you might think, but it certainly is smarter than we usually get in such hostage situation and who-done-it case. The screenplay is tightly packed over the course of time that enfolds in a balanced pace making you fall in love all over again in this nail biting circumstance. There is no commercial hoax in it, there is no monkey business going on in this building, all the romance is between Spacey and Jackson.

And boy, do they hold up to their reputations. Their conversations are sharp and cunningly weaved out where both of them stand alone for their superpowers amidst the other hungry corrupt characters. The narration is polished with such finesse and flamboyancy that it flows fluently with gripping sequences and your usual satisfying twists and turns. The performance stands up to the caliber of the cast. Jackson as the innocent lead victim of this money-transaction-gone-wrong-case is so comfortable in his suit that he oozes warmth on the screen that makes you ease up on your seat.

Spacey, on his parallel role is equally challenging as both the character and performer, his uncertainty over each tiny detail is enthralling to encounter. The structure of the script maybe familiarly textbook but Gary's vision is much more lucid and perpetually on mark. The Negotiator is definitely diplomatic and exhilarating as a negotiation usually is, but at times this diplomacy tend to lean towards expectancy which can easily be off putting and an anchor to this genre.

Outlaw King
Outlaw King(2018)

a fluent vocab..

Outlaw King

Mackenzie's fight against these historical events has a quick and ferocious pace that demands attention from you from its first act itself. One can easily see the eye that Mackenzie has had to create a period piece with all the dedication there is. He knows that the detailings can lure the audience in, since the tactics, language, ceremonies and rituals, everything can be amaze the viewers to experience it on screen. Surprisingly, it is a well choreographed movie. Not only the fight sequences, the conversations, the long one-take sequences and the structure too.

The script has a fluent vocab. The speech is researched well enough to clearly be able to speak about it. Also, the physical sequences are clean and visually comfortable to see, except for brutal blood splash on the floor that can be too much at times. But as far as the war scenes are concerned, unlike any other features, you never get confused or too busy amongst the clashes of swords, horse riding, man slaughtering burnt palaces and suffocated environment. His update on the piece, is that he had managed to make it more gripping and emotionally fueled for us to keep rooting for these characters.

The camera work itself is immensely fascinating and well handled for you to be invested in this intriguing storyline. Mackenzie uses the set pieces and locations wisely and foliates through the cinematography and camera work that offers you a much more personal experience. Aforementioned, the narration is buoyant natured, it keeps giving you back through a tightly packed screenplay and enthralling horn fights. The conversations doesn't go as anticipated, these are the most non-historical ones that I have encountered on screen. With a brisky and gritty script, the characters are aptly developed and cooked.

A King, A Knight, with a potential to wipe out the entire battlefield, at a certain point in this tale, feels vulnerable for never given the opportunity to even swing a sword and lose these many men, on that note Mackenzie and Pine both succeeds on drawing that emotion out from the screen. Pine is much more evolved in his portrayal. His protective instincts are more expressive than the rage. And with such a track that follows up the glorious life of Robert The Bruce, his performance bodes well, you do care for him and not because of the circumstances he is put on but the performances. But this wheel gets stuck more than once.

The storytelling isn't layered or thought provoking enough to push your boundaries, it doesn't make you think twice. Mackenzie isn't over chewing stuff like he did on Hell Or High Water. He doesn't take the material for granted. And even though the previous one was much more layered and poetic, personally I prefer Outlaw King over it, for all the razzle dazzle it goes through to be honest and genuinely moving. Addition to that, Outlaw King is more Pine's tale than it is Mackenzie's, he rules unequivocally with firm affirmative decisions that you can rely upon.

Three Colors: Red (Trois couleurs: Rouge)
½

a survival instinct..

Trois Couleurs: Red

Kieslowski's final step to its dramatic trilogy is more soothing and lighter than any of its installment. If the previous ones depicted the ideologies of the aftermath of catastrophic events and a subjective procedure of how to survive them, this one at least grabs your attention with a lighter perspective. Nevertheless, the gist remains the same, the method is more subtle and complex than the previous ones. This one is made to make you sweat on your seat. It demands you to be on the edge of your seat. It is a tale that makes you think. The argumentative conversation, morally complex situation and ethically challenged solutions, this one is much more talkative and yet is still inexpressive than any of its chapter.

It is way too layered and mature than we usually get. This final death sentence of the trilogy, is a remarkable revelations on terms of storytelling. Kieslowski has much more Shakespeare in him than it comes off. He takes those same emotion and impute them at different situations and different characters, and projects the range and parallel nature of that single emotion. The narrative is adaptive and layered with sharp conversations that amps up the charge to a whole new level. There is more ruggedness in here, despite of it not being that sinister and dark than its previous chapters.

It stands alone in the entire trilogy. This one is brighter and sweeter, it doesn't demand attention, it just keeps pulling you back in with its unstoppable force. Trintignant is a threat on screen, he can be mean as a street but his nurturing is quite mellow. His ideologies are off track and yet sane than most of the characters. But personally, I prefer, Jacob's simpler and honest character. The innocence of hers that is latter filtered by the outer perspective, is just one of the best bits of the feature. Trois Couleurs: Red is the perfect conclusion to the trilogy, it has a survival instinct.

Three Colors: White (Trois Couleurs: Blanc)
½

with good intentions..

Trois Couleurs: White

Kieslowski's bittersweet love track is probably the most apt description of the ups and downs that a marriage goes through retold in a metaphorical satire. And the exaggeration that is captured in here is equally practical as much as cinematic it is. With essential husky bits and unexpected thrills, this is the most balanced and bold tale walking on a thin wire that is purely provocative with a scoreboard mentality. From a penny to a palace, this tale has multiple tales resided within where the actual overall arc is projected in the backdrop of all this distraction, where Kieslowski discloses his intentions in its last frame and shows you how he has been fiddling with you subconsciously.

And the best part is, you'd want him to play with your feelings in here. Driving such plethora of emotions on one seat, one perspective, similar to its predecessor, this is an ace in the hole. The narration is gripping and busier than the previous one. It has so much to tell within 90 minutes, that it has to play the rules smartly and calculatively, for the makers wouldn't want the audience to grow hectic. Hence, wisely the cinematography is sensible accordingly and the camera work is stable for the most time. Zamachowski, the protagonist, is being played at, and does play by.

His evolution is tremendously breathtaking. The work and the detail went by, in its first act itself tells you that you are in a ride of your life. And fortunately, he has got a range to be funny and adorable, to be scare and sinister, and with those big eyes he is clearly expressive in his role. Delpy on the other hand doesn't get much to do, yet she holds on to her part convincingly. Trois Couleurs: White is as pale as it can be and is least diplomatic as it can be, it is a bullet fired from the gun, with good intentions.

Three Colors: Blue (Trois Couleurs: Bleu)
½

the emotions a person goes through..

Trois Couleurs: Bleu

Kieslowski's heartbreaking reminiscing venture is pious and naked on terms of the route it follows. The aftermath of such a major upheaval, the repercussions that it costs and the emotions a person goes through, is what's this tale about. But don't jump on the conclusions yet, Kieslowski is a real trickster when it comes to storytelling. His range is so vast and detailed, that you find yourself floating in its bubble staring at the abyss beauty of it. Armed with jaw dropping score and eye popping cinematography, this is certainly a cinema at its peak. The narration follows the protagonist from the first frame till the curtain drops.

This is something that isn't often seen. And addition to that, to keep the audience still tangled in its pathos bubble and rooting for the characters is what sweetens this layered cake. The screenplay is tightly packed with gripping plot and adaptive metaphorical tone that is beautifully poetic. Even though the entire concept is dipped in brimful of poignancy, the language of the picture is utterly soothing and hopeful to the core. Kieslowski keeps giving you back at each definite interval, he genuinely cares about the quality of his story. Binoche is literally the soul survivor of the movie.

She has the potential to melt you down within the first few minutes of her screentime. And when she is offered such a three dimensional character, she soars against all the hokum of your expectations and stunningly fabricates her portrayal onto the screen, this is arguably the best work of her career. Chugging down all the viscous material and loping it up on the screenplay, Kieslowski pushes the boundaries of cinema to newer territories and builds a safe home for the script. Trois Couleurs: Bleu is fairly one color foliated into many, and it is that transition that the makers succeed at.

Unbreakable
Unbreakable(2000)
½

much more appealing than they have ever been..

Unbreakable

Shyamalan's take on the comic book is much more appealing than they have ever been. And even though it is immensely practical and more human than any of such "superhero" tales, it still has an exuberant enthralling act to follow. It is much more compelling and satisfying than your usual thriller. The characteristics of the characters might be simple but the procedure of how they are projected, is a brilliant example of storytelling. The magnitude when such a case comes across your life, is depicted with fine details and explicit writing that keeps you busy through glorifying tiny little aspects of the narration.

The structure of the script isn't familiar at all, it isn't divided into various parts, it flows fluently. It might be a slow pill but it doesn't overchew stuff, in fact if anything it respects each piece of material with equal sincerity. It isn't your usual comic book feature. It is more talkative, it is weaved out to be completely crafty to the core. As once a character quips too, it isn't commercial at all. Willis is reserved and takes his time like he usually does. And since his character is confused and calculating for the most part of it, it dwells well for the character too.

Jackson on the other hand, is the convincer. He has to be more vocal and sensible. His well thought out theories lures you in on his viscous web. He is the mastermind and the puppeteer. Wright and Clark, the supporting cast, gets their own stand out moments and they hold on to it decently. Shyamalan's vision is sharp and jaggedly on mark, he is well aware of the trajectory of the storyline, and he works his way up accordingly. Unbreakable shatters your expectation about the comic book bubble, the perspective is perpetually fresh.

Private Life
Private Life(2018)

with equal sincerity..

Private Life

Jenkins's journey is quite out there, it doesn't flinch on exploring such a delicate subject, the honesty and the nakedness of it is what's poetic about this unusual family drama. Jenkins accounts in each character with equal sincerity. Her mannerism is to respect the entire tale, no matter how small the character factors in on the bigger picture, she justifies their action by conveying their entire tale into a conversation. And the conversations are pragmatic, sharp on the point and is smartly weaved out from the narration.

The bickerings are the best part. They elevate the momentum and Jenkins has captured the real essence of how a couple argues, and after picking you up and dropping you from the peak of this soothing tale, it melts down into an emotional moment that lets you float down the road rather than have a free fall. This subjective procedure of hers is carried on throughout the course of the feature by her, the quality is persistent. The magnitude of the exhilaration that this couple feels on taking such bold new steps is communicated clearly with the audience.

The movie, television and pop culture references imputed on the conversations works like a charm, it eases off the viewers and draws out the humor through it with fluidity. It has a buoyant script. Jenkins keeps giving it back as soon as you finish up your little packets of appetite. The emotionally fueled middle act leaves a long lasting impact on you where each explicitly written word on script foliates aptly into the screen. The guards of the characters are straight away down from the first frame of the feature. The awkwardness, pointing out the elephant in the room, the humbleness, these are the real gem of the feature.

The feelings that this complex family share is immensely pleasing to encounter. Giamatti brings out that typical "guy" from a couple especially when there is an argument. Actually, his character is much smarter and mature than we usually gets. And he fabricates it aptly on the screen. Hahn on the other hand is more moody and emotionally driven as she should be. Her portrayal is heartwarming and grows more and more on you as it ages on screen. Carter, Lynch and Shannon, the supporting cast are convincing too in their roles. It is accurately suffice. Jenkins is very well aware of each character's perspective.

She lets them put their points on table and gives the actors enough range and space to steal the moments on the screen. The narration is adaptive and gripping and even though it may not be metaphorical or poetic, it is certainly layered and competent enough to keep you hooked for its runtime. It keeps you busy with its screenplay that keeps enfolding into a much more juicier content than we ever expect it to be. Private Life might be private, but is still general, only the topic of discussion is different, the soul reasoning is meticulous and deeply gritty in this practical world.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

by contradicting its own methods..

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Stone's after apocalyptic world of the previously played characters which was ought to work like an epilogue, instead shucks away the integrity through it. What was once an ethically challenged world, what was once three dimensional, has now narrowed down to more simplicity that it claims to be a sensibility. Stone lops off the soul of this brutal corporate world and makes it your usual revenge based script. On terms of execution and editing, Stone, as always, doesn't hold back on trying new stuffs, but unfortunately in here it backfires vigorously, he fails to keep the tone persistent.

There are few bits well crafted. Few conversation that lures you in, few dialogues that holds you tightly onto your seat, but before you know it, it starts the clock back to zero by contradicting its own methods. The narration is neither adaptive nor gripping, and ticking for more than two hours, the overkill sets in early. It stretches its somewhat good moments to a point where the audience breaks. The emotions are overridden and the characters are undercooked. Its thoughts are platitudes and the turns predictable, it is practically a weaker version of its predecessor, personally I prefer the good old 80's familiar methods.

Douglas is back on the throne and this time he has evolved into a much more mature character. But unfortunately, none of the other characters has the potential to ping-pong back his ace. LaBeouf, the protagonist, doesn't have what it takes to get your hands dirty in this cold and dry profession. The one who has the guts to do so, is underused and that is Brolin in his leather jacket. Mulligan gets a more safe and mellow role to portray Douglas's daughter which she is convincing in. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a huge swing and a miss, it should have actually slept its way through.

Wall Street
Wall Street(1987)
½

to dive into this professional building..

Wall Street

Stone's mean corporate world is unfortunately way too mechanical for it to be cinematic. But within these mundane textbook formula, he does manage to install tiny bits of delightful packets for us to enjoy. These are the bits that survives upon performance. It isn't independently a good movie. It relies a lot upon other factor, which often or not, aren't in its favor. And then, to fill in that void grows impossible even by a skillful filmmaker like Stone. It cannot be completely crafty. It does and ought to be commercial; the script is weaved out accordingly. Wieser and Stone, the writers, fails to keep the crisp alive. It isn't complex as the writers think.

In fact, the structure of the script is something that we have seen earlier too. But the only thing that makes it stand alone, is its characters. The characters are immensely intriguing and are three dimensional. The perspective may stay on a single point, but the way the makers fiddle with the characters is what helps them keeps the audience tangled in its world. The performance is the soul reason why is it worth to dive into this professional building.

And holding the crown at the center of the stage, Douglas is at his best in here. His monologues, speeches, ideologies and the way he looks at the black and white's of the world; every tiny aspect of it is appealing. His body language and dialogue delivery is what amps up this electrifying tale to a whole new level. Sheen has a parallel role to fill in, but he fails to live up to the power that Douglas oozes in front of him on the screen. Wall Street is a one way street, it doesn't care for the outcome of its methods, similar to its character, unfortunately the repercussions are catastrophic and inevitable.

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

is surprisingly a heartbreaking tale..

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou

Anderson's, probably, the first asymmetric and a bit "street" world runs on pathos ideology and is surprisingly a heartbreaking tale. It doesn't suggest in any way that it isn't funny. The awkward silent pitches are more hilarious than the conversations itself. As always Anderson dives into the details like no other, he informs you everything about everyone, from characteristics of the characters to the geographic tour that he is about to take through the entire feature, from the mood set in an environment to what the characters are thinking, everything favors in on his side. With plethora of characters at helm, he charges at you from the first frame with complete awareness and control over them. Despite of having these many characters, their sub-plots are still eerily fresh and ironical to the core.

Anderson is unflinchingly delivering smart and competent storytelling along with Baumbach, his co-writer. The screenplay is gripping and adaptive with a layered thought-provoking metaphorical concept residing amidst all one-liners. None of the gags in here are sketchy, the makers aren't trying too hard to draw out a chuckle from the viewers. Murray on the throne, is firm and convincing, no matter what his character might suggest, he cracks you up and he melt you down, his range is too wide to fit in the frame. Wilson in his parallel role is hilarious and eerily calm, as he always is.

Blanchett on the other hand, seems like is underused, still she is aptly on mark. Goldblum and Gambon aren't that impressive in here, they fail to cast their anticipated spell. Fortunately, the real game changer is Dafoe, he is flat out charming in his role. He is comfortable, he makes you comfortable, his emotionally driven character is perfectly filled in by him. His sub-plot is the strongest among all. The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou is the least Anderson movie, and yet scream his presence on screen from head to toe.

Days of Thunder

a big chunk of mess..

Days of Thunder

Scott's race track leads to nothing but a brutal accident that is occurred because of the driver itself. It had a linear lane to follow and yet it still somehow managed to go off the track for the most part of the feature. It is a misconceived act. This is a big chunk of mess. And it's not that it couldn't have been repaired, it's just that the storyline itself was dull enough to rot out the emotions, it never had the chance. Despite of being an exhilarating and nail biting sport, the feature isn't cinematic at all. The chills and thrills that you hope that you are about to receive, even that too is in shortage.

It is eerily shot with confused amateur cheesy camera work that looks like a cheap television movie that wasn't funded properly. As far as narration is concerned, it is poorly crafted and loosely constructed for it to stand on any whatsoever ground. On terms of performance, the actors aren't given that much room and the ones that are given, aren't sensible enough for them to be convincing. Cruise that as usual loves to be on the driver's seat, this time feels weak since he isn't focused on his own track. The supporting cast like Kidman, Duvall and Rooker, too fails miserably on holding on to their characters.

Daft editing and Towne's benign and questionable screenplay works like anchor and undermines the somewhat decent, even though familiar, concept. Scott's execution also deserve to be put on stand in here, his fatal attempts of delivering a highly pitched dramatic concept seems obvious since he fails to shot even a normal conversation, it is inedible and uncomfortable. Days Of Thunder is long, hard and hectic days, these are the days that not only audience wishes it to go away, but by the end, makers and actors too are on the same boat.

Scent of a Woman
½

grows like a family..

Scent Of A Woman

Brest's big wallop of drama is a triumph on the exploration of a single relationship that is weaved out with such eerie ingredients, that it doesn't some fictitious at all. This is an elaborated script and not a stretchy one, it knows the difference between two. Ticking for more than two and a half hours, it is a delight to watch it reach its destination. By the time it hits the last act, these two characters grows like a family to you. And just like them, they are flawed, morally challenged, emotionally driven and more human than any other.

The structure of the script is your typical textbook one, even the process too is rudimentary but the journey is what sweetens the last victory. Brest is looking for glorifying tiny moments between the transition of the sequences and this is where he sweeps away the charm. Whether then be it to test drive a car or enjoy a dinner or stage a dance, his awareness and tactics of keeping the audience tangled in this aftermath bubble is sensational. The story itself follows like an epilogue of these characters and despite of being pathos, its evolution of growing out to be hopeful, is the actual trump card of the makers.

Speaking of which, Pacino the real gem of the feature is a force to be reckoned with. His eyes, his dialogue delivery, his body language, his ho-ah, everything redefines acting. His performance alone has the potential to pull off this tale with fluidity. Supporting him on a parallel role O'Donnell is decent if not anything extraordinary. Brest never lets the emotions dry out, he keeps them on the surface and the audience on the edge of the seat through his brilliant execution skills. Scent Of A Woman manages to capture all your senses and keep it drawn towards the storytelling.

The Recruit
The Recruit(2003)
½

a big cry for help..

The Recruit

Donaldson's spy thriller is a big question to the genre it claims to be. This is a no go from the first frame itself. No matter how alluring and intriguing the concept may sound like, it is completely shallow and empty to the core. It is a tale extracted from a chapter of a textbook, which too was unfortunately mediocre. It has the same old storyline that we have been listening to over the years, even the surprises are so bizarrely installed, that you can see the station far before it arrives. On terms of script, it is a big cry for help. It needed the polishing aplenty and better supervision on both editing and execution. This meaningless chase of cat and mouse, is clearly outdated.

The foggy roads, the shady deals, finite set of characters and involuntary sacrifices, every aspect of the plot shucks away its integrity. It doesn't take itself seriously. What it has got right, is the cast. Pacino is the perfect riddler for the role, his promising commitment itself is convincing enough to be the apt host to take a tour of this world. Farrell, on his parallel role, gets overpowered by Pacino at times and since his role demands such a position, he holds onto that piece of thread till the last frame. The other supporting cast like Moynahan and Macht fails to reap the flag as anticipated.

The dialogues or more accurately, monologues allotted to actors are performed lethally especially by Pacino on latter stages. But this is a drop in the ocean. Even an actor with a caliber like such cannot save this sinking ship that the screenplay is. Donaldson's vision is frankly blurred and undercooked to create the anticipated impact. The Recruit literally recruits you through its concept but this job calls for a labour work and not your promised white collar job.

My Cousin Vinny
½

your gullibility towards this sweet tale won't end up..

My Cousin Vinny

Lynn's mockery over the judicial system and the lower mentality of the society works like a charm that sweeps away its runtime in front of your eyes and your gullibility towards this sweet tale won't end up. It is not flat out hilarious. Maybe, because it doesn't try too hard. It is happy in its convenience. And it's that flow that makers doesn't wish to stop and neither do we. Satisfied within its range, this soothing feature endorses your textbook comic sequence with a bit of drama imputed in it that helps it make it more grounded and practical. And giving the script a hand, is the performance that makes it more pragmatic and believable. This hilarious casting is apt for this sort of storyline.

Pesci on the driver's seat has been allotted basically his home ground. This is his forte. Whether then be it to argue without any knowledge or do physical comedy, his range never fails to surprise you. His comic timing is off the roof. But this isn't a one man army war. The story demands a better guide to this protagonist and Tomei is just the actor to portray this character. Her accent, her whining over little things and a vital "witness" to this case, she is a competition to Pesci. Their bittersweet relationship is the trump card of the feature.

The narration though, is mediocre throughout the course. It's that flat line that is off putting. Even the courtroom drama offers you the expected chills and nothing extraordinary. Lynn manages to keep a big smile on your face thoroughly with Launer's simple and sensible script and his decent execution. There are no surprising elements, nothing to be mesmerized about. My Cousin Vinny is just like your cousin, you wouldn't leave your ears off when it has to say something, but you wouldn't miss it too, after the curtain drops.

Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh

every lyric of it..

Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh

Sandler's long awaiting stand up is worth the wait, every second of it, every word of it, and every lyric of it. This is "Sandman", as he calls himself, at his best. Similar to his movies, it doesn't consist of few big chunks of tales. It is brimmed with goofy jokes that has the range from being childish to a filthy one. But in its own uproarious stage act, it is a triumph on all levels. His thirst, his euphoric energy, and him enjoying himself on each punchline, everything works on his favor. It never seems calculative, he goes with the flow, probably that's part of the act, but as far as audience is concerned, they are having a time of their life by mocking around the innocence of it.

Sandler's everlasting dream of being a musician is crystal clear in here. And he has squeezed out all his fantasies to the last drop. From a rap song, to your good old country music, surprisingly Sandler's musical bits are the strength of the show that cannot be penetrated by any whatsoever joke. He is lethal when he is singing. His songs are, contrary to popular belief, adaptive, layered and thoroughly competent. They are flat out hilarious. They make you cry. They make you fall in love with him all over again. His specificity on each lyric that is fueled by observational comedy, tears down the roof.

As he claims his age at a certain point on the show, going 51 and strong, Sandler's experience up till now, from Saturday Night Live to the last animated movie, is explored in here. It has its weak moments to. He does take few thing far away. It can get dirty and cheap at times which is clearly not for everyone, especially all the animation and stuff; that is where they should have drawn the line. He mocks himself, his family, his work and his reputation, and he does it with such finesse that you genuinely feel that it is accurately titled, Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh.

Larry Crowne
Larry Crowne(2011)

rotten from the core..

Larry Crowne

Hanks's rom-com berries dipped more in your typical textbook formula than simplicity, is unfortunately rotten from the core. This is a case of utter misconception. It is conceived with such non-lucid supervision that it scatters before even it stands on its own ground. This romantic tale lacks every bit of freshness and electricity that is actually essential to at least fuel for a head start. It is a complete mess from top to bottom. And as far as humor is concerned, it barely draws out a chuckle from the audience. The sketchy sequences, your usual gags, illogical comments and the aftermath of those one-liners, everything fails so miserably in here that you start questioning its existence.

What it does succeed on, is keeping a straight smile on your face throughout the course of the feature. And the credit goes to the beloved stars and their charm that we have been encountering over the years. Hanks chooses style over substance and he regrets it, he has to. As far as performance is concerned, Hanks and Roberts in the lead are giving their all in, but unfortunately it has so sloppy writing, that it is hard to create an impact through mere performance. The characters are one-dimensional and daft at times, and these are just the primary ones, the supporting ones are pawns from head to toe.

Their allotted characteristics that they hold on to, is not only predictable but dull too. The conversations are cheesy and are brimmed with corny lines that may not even work for the couples going out on a date for the movie. Armed with benign script, Hanks's execution is comparatively appreciative if nothing outstanding. Larry Crowne is accurately titled, on terms of the incorrect spelling that it contains; it does seem like a big mistake.

The Place Beyond The Pines

with effective intense performance..

The Place Beyond The Pines

Cianfrance's eerie character driven formula is something that actually doesn't circle around the characters but completely follows storyline. And within that primary track, it takes its time and tells multiple other tales through it, all in all blending in the almost perfect crime drama one could hope for. It is brilliantly executed and went into production with sheer passion and enthusiasm that never wears off, you can practically see the hard work that went by on each day of the shooting. And as much as dedication is involved in this feature, the concept that it focuses on is quite familiar.

If the primary characters are three dimensional and perfectly cooked, the side characters on the other hand are left out as mere pawns that follows up certain allotted characteristics. It's stereotypical narration isn't its weakness since it is a safe play by the writers. Such gripping script is usually thoroughly entertaining and competent for the viewers. And in here, even though the slow pill in the script is not for everyone, it keeps you busy in its drama more than the crimes and bullets and stunts does. Gosling opens up this world for the viewers with effective intense performance whose impact never wears out.

Carrying on the passed torch, Cooper soars through this entire feature as an underdog that may be vulnerable at times but not weak. Mendes, Ali, Byrne and Liotta are decently supporting the cast if not anything exceptionally brilliant. Cianfrance's excellence is making this escapist movie about a confronting one, and on that note of evolution, it is a triumph. The Place Beyond The Pines is actually quite near to you, you have to look for it and in this battlefield Cianfrance helps you observe it by imputing a twist of family drama into it.

The Hate U Give
½

updated their way of conveying a message..

The Hate U Give

Tillman Jr.'s familiar version on racism is a desperate call for attention but it is also drawn out with such finesse that you cannot not fall into its gut-wrenching honest bubble. The questions raised in here are rhetoric and doesn't make you think twice. Yes, it is ethically unstable and has morale conflicts for you to ponder about, but again that too are filled in on the usual shoes. And addition to that, what's intriguing is how fair it is. The perspective is three dimensional, the limelight spots on both the stage and the audience.

It has captured the apt depiction of the current generation's lifestyle. The references, the vocab, the music, the slangs and the abbreviations, the research done by the makers is undoubtedly plausible. Even the preachings among the subsequent generations passing their legacies have updated their way of conveying the message. The stories that a father tells his children to get their attention, the route itself has changed and these are the real gems of the feature.

This is the place where the writers are completely honest with you and they have given themselves this space at each aspects to keep the audience tangled and the story more grounded and practical. The performance is another strong aspect of the tale. Not only does it demand it, but is delivered aplenty in here especially by the protagonist Stenberg who is the trump card of this tale that carries it off all on her shoulder. She is surprisingly good on melting down and sparkling up, but the silent pitches that are essential is where she sweeps away the charm. Supporting her thoroughly lies a great cast like Hall, Hornsby and Mackie whose underdog character often steals the show.

It is a sensitive subject to explore upon and the narration is very well aware of that. The structure of the script and the editing of the feature allows you to walk the balanced line. The aftermath or the repercussions that such an incident cause is calculated in detail and the magnitude of it communicates fluently with the audience because of the brilliant execution by Tillman Jr. Each emotion creates a long lasting impact because it has an essence of grit and intolerability that elevates as the clock ticks. Despite of having such a taboo subject the makers never manipulates the viewers to draw out the emotions, the storyline is kept prior to any other thing.

By the last act arrives, you are put on a stand by the makers to judge upon it and stand on a definite answer and this is the kind of storytelling we need more; unbiased and non-provocative. The argumentative conversations, both sides of the points kept on the table, narrative monologues, jaggedly projected humane nature and stellar performances, is what fuels this tale for two hours. The Hate U Give is the infomercial that the makers gives us, and fortunately this endorsement isn't sponsored by anyone; it has a stamp credible like the law itself.

Office Space
Office Space(1999)

tons of mutual things to connect with the audience..

Office Space

Judge's mockery on the mundane life is frankly not that funny as he might think. It is loosely placed and poorly edited with awkward silences in mid sequences that just doesn't fit. The concept is something to ponder about but beyond that it barely moves forward on terms of storytelling. And as far as the irritation and the frustration that it has to communicate, it does that easily and smoothly and the primary reason to that is that there are tons of mutual things to connect with the audience. And since it practically depicts, your mundane life and mocks over it, there are tiny notions and typical sketchy gags that you can thoroughly enjoy.

The narration is sloppy and not at all gripping, it has a lot to say but it probably found itself obliged to draw a laugh out of each scene that resulted into a big misconceived misconception about corporate world. Livingston isn't hilarious, his eyes doesn't speak the laziness that its character demands and neither is Aniston in her A game on supporting him. The other cast holds on to their one-dimensional acts and draws out few chuckles every now and then. It doesn't take itself seriously in its initial stages and when it wants you to take things seriously in the final act, it gets kind of difficult to shift the tone.

Judge has the heart in the right place and that enthusiasm is what fuels this somewhat dim witted script and makes it worth the while. The conversations are pragmatic but the execution of it could have been a lot better. Judge feels vulnerable behind the screen and you can practically see him sweat, there is no ease in storytelling, it makes you uncomfortable at times. Office Space has a good satirical message to convey to its audience, buy personally I prefer the meal perfectly cooked and not just contain mouthwatering ingredients.

Bohemian Rhapsody

it drags, leaps and skips..

Bohemian Rhapsody

Singer's adaptation of the ups and downs of Freddie Mercury and the infamous Queens, is barely of the quality that their music was. This is an unstable feature. Fumbling down the road, it drags, leaps and skips out all the crispy and husky bits that actually makes it appetizing. There are only few genuine moments that gives you the electrifying feeling of the stage and that too can only be achieved if the audience reaches out for the makers. It doesn't serve you its thrills and chills like it should.

It makes you work hard for it. It makes you earn its sweet and juicy moments. It is a very difficult feature to watch. The uncomfortable in the uncertainty that the entire trajectory is covered under, itches you till the last frame of the feature. It is so bizarrely confined in its world that it never grows beyond its frizzy bubble. Even the last act, to which the entire feature builds up to, is so under pressure that it collapse before it even builds itself up.

Singer is working so hard to make your feet groove that you can practically watch him sweat behind the screen. And that is so not a delightful sight to encounter. And in that ten to twelve minutes of a sequence, he barely draws out a nod from the viewers. The rest of the personal experiences of Freddie Mercury that is depicted in here, is so non cinematic that none of the drama conveys the message clearly. Again, it is so poorly constructed and written with such dull skills, that it comes off as two guys sharing the moments by reminiscing about it and they neither care nor feels to share the actual momentum of that chapter.

The first act is your usual rise and fame dipped with mistakes and hints imputed by tiny innuendos that would give away the rest of the act. And the middle one, are just series of events that you have already predicted, being performed and projected with none whatsoever energy or enthusiasm from the makers. The editing is the major conundrum of the feature. It is not well shot or molded out. It is benign and juvenile at times, that it looks like it is mocking its own concept. It takes its material for granted and fails to communicate the gravitas of that feeling or moment. Malek is investing all his chips in. And you can point that out easily. His study on the lead singer of the Queen is plausible and way too technical.

It is so mechanical that it is left out a bit dry. There is no depth in his eyes, it is always calculative. He doesn't go with the flow. He is measuring the crust of his performance which makes it less and less shallow. He has given enough range by the writers, McCarten and Morgan, to flaunt his skills and create a powerful impact on the viewers, but at those times the feature grows weak. Bohemian Rhapsody should have had the performance of the year and should have been the musical of the year, at least it had the potential to, but it's nothing more than a swing and a miss.

Thank You for Smoking

to walk over that fine line between humor and drama..

Thank You For Smoking

Reitman's comedy satire about smoke and ashes is a home run for him since it achieves to walk over that fine line between humor and drama, something that great filmmakers have failed to do so. And he has done it in here with such fluidity that it leaves you in an awe of it. The story itself demands lots of monologues, arguments and logistics that are not statistical but social. And to write dialogues and conversations whilst delivering all of that is like climbing a slope against the wind. But Reitman has done it, and that sweetens his victory more.

One of the best bits of the feature is of course the relationship of the protagonist with his son. Since he has to explain all his higher ideal concepts in the most literal and simple way, this is the window where the writer is basically speaking with the audience in Layman's terms to advance the storyline. And yes it does get mechanical very quickly along with the structure of the script, but this corporate world that you are about to explore endorses it before you even go in, hence it is mandatory to feel like such.

And with bits of humor, one liners and sensational point of view through which Reitman argues with you, it is literally hard to argue back. Now amidst all these superness of the feature, the plot gets rusty within first few minutes as it practically screams the entire trajectory out on a podium before it even hits the screen that extracts the heat from the soul. Eckhart is convincing just as his logics are and along with him rides an amazing supporting cast like Simmons, Macy, Holmes, Elliot and Duvall and they all stand up to their caliber and deliver unflinchingly. Thank You For Smoking feels more like a sitcom than a picture, but hey, it works either way.

Searching
Searching(2018)
½

social media satire that it whips you with..

Searching

Chaganty's nail-biting thriller is a real gem on delivering the crisp and the current social media satire that it whips you with. Considering it is his first major motion picture, Chaganty is a force to be reckoned with. His obvious gravels that are hard to chew, in its initial stages, is so flamboyant in the latter ones, that you are happy to let them go by, as you are practically giddy up for more of the sweat drop precision that amps up the charge. It is very well and calculatively constructed structure that despite of having a newer territory to explore, still follows one's familiar textbook formula; Chaganty went safe on that section. To create an entire picture that is fixated on a screen and tell a story through it, as much as that idea is appealing, it also is immensely difficult to pull off, since even though the technology has come far enough to give you quite a range to explore in it, Chaganty does feel short handed at times, and finds himself straining a bit on screen which is something that should not have been visible to the viewers but unfortunately it actually is.

The subjective procedure of the investigation might be rudimentary but is immensely entertaining and thoroughly enthralling to encounter. The real romance of Chaganty's is how he weaves out a character out of tiny notions and objects, to an extent that you start caring for that object or a piece of message that it is carrying. The antics installed in this crime drama is something to be learned from, not only are they a huge supportive base of the plotline but also essentially the heat of the soul.

The narration is not only gripping and adaptive but layered and thought provoking, no matter how itchy the short stories might feel like, they are crucial to the plot points. Obviously, there isn't much range offered to the actors to factor in, still Cho is delivering all he can from his guts; he makes you care for him. The supporting cast is a similar victim of the concept as Cho is, there is very little and in bits and pieces for them to do in so much time. The crust of the feature that it surfs through which is also its distraction, is thoroughly gripping and the makers have equally invested their time and sweat into it to be as convincing as possible.

So these little notions or piece of informations keep giving us hope whilst the real trick is happening somewhere else entirely. The makers also plays with you subconsciously where they impute various ideas and innuendos on the screen for us to look at it as clues while actually all it does is throw us back from the real game. It is a very smart tale retold with a fresher perspective than we usually get, it keeps you tangled in its search. Searching may not be path breaking on terms of storytelling but as far as technology and cinema is concerned they are walking in parallel in here.

Halloween
Halloween(2018)

isn't that sinister as the original one..

Halloween

Green's take on Carpenter's scariest night, is plausible but is certainly not palpable to the tone and nor is equally scary as it should have been. And the primary reason to that is the uncertainty that was kept alive in the original installment, that is clearly the missing puzzle in here. Although, Green does get few gigs right. And by right, I mean, bang on bucks. There are few jaw dropping revelations that can leave you shook and make you think twice before moving ahead. But that's as much as thinking you are about to get in here. It takes steps that are more harrowing then the previous one even ever dared to do so. And yet it still isn't that sinister as the original one. Probably, because of the innocence and the rawness that is left untouched in this one.

The narration is gripping and adaptive but isn't layered or thought provoking as it was anticipated. And as far as answers are concerned you are still left under the shades, all the ones that were essential, were given in the '78 version of Carpenter's. The editing and the conversations, at times makes it a bit spooky and sketchy and not on terms of the genre but on terms of the practicality that it attempts to achieve. The silent pitches that used to create the glass cutting tense environment on the screen, is a big void waiting to be filled. The horrors and screams seems manipulative and most of the time is spent upon creating obvious close calls that aren't going as expected. Green is a good filmmaker and there are clear signs of that.

But it takes a much more evil mind to create the perfect horror, and that is something that can neither be learnt or taught, it comes natural and unfortunately Green doesn't have it in him. Curtis is back on the suit except this time it is armored with guns blazing on both the shoulder. She is hurt and evolved with starry eyes that can kill anyone. She oozes power to a point where it creates catastrophe on others lives too, and mind you, this character that may look bad and rough on the outer surface and is actually soft on the inner side, doesn't actually go as one might think. Greer is convincing but the rest of the supporting cast doesn't get anything beyond your stereotypical pawns of a horror genre.

The sound effects are sharp and also at times a but loud, but since Green uses it as a tool in a narration especially when he has to transition from one scene to another, it works for the most part of it. The upgraded background score on the original version by Carpenter himself, is astonishing and breathtaking that creates a dreadful impact among the viewers. Halloween is a decent feature as both an individual and a sequel, but its existence is somewhat questionable and to listen to Green for around two hours for him to convince you for its reasons that are justified, seems a bit of a stretch.

Roman J. Israel, Esq.

grows out to be a dragger..

Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Gilroy's crime drama is a susceptible victim of its own case. Bound in its own mechanical formula, the feature finds itself piled up on, on fulfilling the necessities more than its luxury. And hence that results into lesser free range for it to completely open up its hands and welcome the concept or material; it seems like it is taken for granted in here. The narrative is adaptive and layered if not gripping and competent as the makers might suggest. Another major conundrum, is the reminiscence nature script that is on loop, which was intended to create a dramatic impact and instead grows out to be a dragger.

Washington is in his A game. He is vulnerable but not weak, he celebrates and mourns, and he teaches and preaches and in the end most importantly, he learns. Ferrell is supporting him decently but there isn't much material for him to factor in effectively, it is all Washington. The conversations are pragmatic and the dialogues are jaw-dropping-good and with a deliver like Washington, the emotions convey the message crystal clear. Somehow, the tale doesn't feel completely honest, it keeps striking you as a testimony that is polished and filtered and not an honest one; it seems more justified and it makes more sense.

The peak point of the feature itself is mediocre which is something the viewers assumes that it will come in handy considering the plot track, and yet there is very little aspect of cinematic thrills in here. After Nightcrawler, it definitely is a huge step down for Gilroy, the writer-director, whose vision is clearly misplaced and blurred. Roman J. Israel, Esq. is more of a tribute that works only for the makers passion of delivering a cut-throat crime drama, the only issue is, that there is no slicing, no drama and only a bit of a crime involved in it.

Halloween
Halloween(1978)
½

makes you sweat and even bleed..

The Halloween

Carpenter's psycho thriller is a festive of nothing but purely gripping screenplay that is weaved in for the screen and utterly utilizes its frame for the chills and thrills. Unless any other horror picture, it doesn't rely upon art designing gore, loud sound effects and manipulative screams, but takes the ticking clock that is slow yet effective to the core. And it's that ticking clock, that makes you care for the characters that revolves around this tensed bubble that makes you sweat and even bleed. It is quick as a snap and lethal as its weapon, it hits hard and fast that leaves you in an awe of it.

The narration isn't that layered, but is surely adaptive and gripping in its simplicity where its linear script is an advantage as it always is, that helps reap the essential crisp and sincerity of the horror that it hopes to impute within the viewers. Carpenter and Hill's screenplay is just like any good recipe, it is created from home made ingredients which is what helps makers connect with the viewers instantly. Curtis may not be a revelation but she is definitely convincing in her stereotypical role that is offered to her in here.

And yes, it's a scream, it's a cry for help and it is all basically escaping with few close calls, but all of it's of good quality in here. There aren't much verbal sparring but when there is one, it is pragmatic and equally nail biting as the breathing sound of the antagonist and all the physical sequences. It isn't scary as much as it accounts for. It definitely is a story worth listening or a case worth listening to. Halloween is Carpenter's romance to the thriller genre, it's not worth sliding by nor is it redefining.

Guilty by Suspicion

to search under the sheets..

Guilty By Suspicion

Winkler's scattered vision and fatal attempts of creating an art-sy factory, is a vicious circle that is self-obsessed on its husky bits that clearly isn't concrete enough to stand on the grounds, and fails to focus or even sincerely respect its crispiness. It is well made, the execution too is right on mark, but the script isn't gripping enough to withhold its audience for the runtime. The subject explored is taken granted for the most of the part of it, where the poignancy is manipulated to make you feel for the characters who are frankly undercooked and one-dimensionally displayed.

Aforementioned, the narration is neither gripping nor layered enough to search under the sheets, it is flat on emotional level that unfortunately grows shallow as it ages on screen. The final act, that actually is what Winkler has been building up to, is undoubtedly exhilarating and compelling but to suffer for art and that too to this extent, has never been the medium that the audience spoke to. De Niro is hands down, still delivering unflinchingly whether then be its blatant one liners that echos in your mind throughout the course or the tiny notions that his act is brimmed with that speaks more volume than the storytelling itself.

He is coy and humble, he is hardworking and firm on his beliefs which is all acted out in its last argument at which every hand of the clock comes down to. Benning, Cooper and Wendt (he is good but fails to steal the show despite of being offered a much stronger role) are supporting him convincingly although surprisingly Benning is underused and isn't given the appropriated range and space to factor in on the bigger picture. Guilty By Suspicion is actually guilty for keeping things mellow, no matter how loud and affirmative Winkler may sound, it certainly isn't that cinematic.

Erin Brockovich

a breath of fresh air in this hectic mechanical world..

Erin Brockovich

Soderbergh's unflinching reply to the misogynistic mentality is a real timeless gem. Ticking for more than two hours, it follows one and only one track that keeps us tangled in this traffic of mediocrity through which the protagonist soars as an obvious clear winner. It is not believable because it is real but is real because it is believable. This insanely sane character of Roberts is just a breath of fresh air in this hectic mechanical world. And despite of the fact that she is dipped into one, she is surprisingly calm, smart and hard worker than the ones surrounding her.

She stands alone not only on these characteristics but the tiny notions that shows her humbleness. And amidst all these fine qualities, she is also flawed and blatant about few fragile things which actually sculpts her to a more effective and humane that makes its easier to connect. Aforementioned, the narration is adaptive and layered if not gripping and is also too much mechanic that is unfortunately imputed with unfiltered storytelling of it. And this is where Soderbergh swoops in, he takes his time, he glorifies each moments through his brilliant finesse on execution that keeps the thrills alive.

The dialogues aren't just mere a medium to converse but has their own characters, especially the way they are delivered by Roberts. The eerie buoyant natured script is what keeps us thriving and wolfish for the behemoth exposure that this case is, since the revelations are enfolded with equal sincerity that keeps us giving back and back. And to justify these reasons is what Soderbergh's job is and he is well aware of it. Erin Brockovich is a force to be reckoned with and not because of all the prowess that it possess but the line drawn on its ideal state.

Bad Times at the El Royale
½

the lies and deceits are more chilling than the confession itself..

Bad Times At The El Royale

Goddard's crime drama is more Tarantino-isc than it is Polanski-ish. In its initial stages it may come off as "The Hateful Eight", but the euphoric energy quickly wears off as the amateurly edited sub-plots interfere poorly. The sweet moments where it sweeps away the charm is when the scene is about to transition. It somehow feels obliged to gut punch the viewers everytime before doing so, and in those moments, the makers create their long lasting impact. This revealing natured script is more shady and edgy than it is disclosing. The writing is gripping since it focuses only on astoundingly high pitched dramatic sequences that is written with fluid conversations.

Now these well choreographed conversations is aware of the final vision and hence is a borderline risk throughout the course which is how Goddard keeps its thrill alive. The characteristics of each characters and the props or the set pieces, everything is utilized to its best on the narration, they hold you much more than the trick itself, since the silence that builds up to the scare is comparing more intense. The camera work is manually handled and is up close to the viewers that offers it the aspired personal touch especially when Hamm in the beginning discovers the entire structure of the hotel.

Bridges is the real deal in this snidy hotel. Not only his character has the range to fuel this entire more than two hours of journey, but his riveting performance is jaw dropping and moving at times. The lies and deceits are more chilling than the confession itself. Erivo's performance unfortunately doesn't justify the strength that the character is given, she seems distracted and at times amateur too. Similarly, Johnson too falls short on delivering the anticipated uncertainty that her character is brimmed with. And as much as slick and easy Hemsworth is on putting on this character and literally taking off his clothes, he fails on giving the scares to his actors and the audience.

Supporting Bridges thoroughly, is Hamm in his blatant and firm portrayal. Goddard's core strength that was this mixture of plethora of emotions and opinionated hot heads floating around, also evolves to be its weakness by the end. The adaptive grippiness that he had achieved by ping-ponging the ball from one room to the other, makes him obliged to follow the semantics throughout the course for the sake of the closure. And it backfires vigorously since the obviousness overpowers its potential to be a compelling storyteller.

So now, when he wishes to be focused on one and only one track, the missing traffic on the other lane isn't feasible. The ruggedness of the gunpowder, the smell of the forsaken money and the taste of the innocent blood, this essence of the early 70's crime drama is what amps up the charge. Bad Times At The El Royale actually comes with a good time guarantee card, but if flipped and searched under the layers, you better book some other hotel.

Sorry to Bother You
½

circles up that current moment with a certified meaning..

Sorry To Bother You

Riley's debut major motion picture mocks over the society with such humor and panache that you are laughing equally as much as you are moved by it. It is a flood of every bit of long lasting emotions that he aspired to fill in, into a metaphorical tale. This blatant venture of an incoming and outgoing psychology of the current society gets the busyness of the lifestyle aptly on screen. It is so busy that you might feel hectic and nauseated to get into it.

The exaggeration of making a point loud and clear may not work for everyone here. It undoubtedly takes few things too far, but Riley's grip on his sharp vision never loses this tale even though it fumbles. The disturbingly murky world created by him is much more scary than it accounts for, it may take things lightly but you better not. And the primary reason to that is, how it makes our usual worries and care for the world so little that it gives you the chill of abyss-ness.

It is a well thought out script, each tiny notion projected in here may or may not be a major factor in latter stages but surely circles up that current moment with a certified meaning. It is also flat out hilarious with your typical gags of repetitive pointlessness and difference of opinions and aforementioned, the exaggeration. It puts you right in the spot when it wishes to tickle you and pulls you back right when it wants you to take things seriously. The frame of references used are also at times out of this pathos world, like Glover quoting, "I'm too old for this s***."

The pace also helps a lot on boosting off the tale along with its less than two hours of runtime, it doesn't take its concept for granted. The cameos, the rules, the pop culture, the mob mentality and the thirst for climbing up through every pros and cons, everything basically drools the knack for keeping it slick and attractive for the younger audience. But it still doesn't suggest that it is a tale for one, it is equally complex as much as simple the storytelling is. The protagonist soaring higher and higher with a graph that is always off the charts, it is a very busy feature similar to the job he does.

And filling such shoes, is Stanfield that is funny and wounded at the same time, he makes use of that clock as much as he can, the camera has to be attentive to him because he is to it. Thompson as a voice of reason, is convincing along with Yeun as a competitor and Hammer as a sinister leader trying to change the law of nature and control the world surrounding him, has done a decent work. Armed with a gripping and layered narration, Riley's execution is brilliant considering, he is a debutant. Sorry To Bother You may bother you but after analysing it, you'd want to be bothered by it once again.

The Kindergarten Teacher
½

resisting it and not fighting it..

The Kindergarten Teacher

Colangelo has a very tricky and hard (hard isn't something we usually get) tale to tell. The focused subject isn't aware of the potential and the one (the kindergarten teacher) setting up the stage does. The rawness that subject has, has to be kept alive and yet should be explained the "yes" and "no"s of the world. Now, the teacher has to walk a thin line on elaborating and sculpting this entire phenomenon to the subject, which she does in a very subtle way.

And Colangelo has a much more thinner line where she has to explain this entire communication in the most simplistic way. And on that note, it is a triumph on a cinematic level. But what drags down this magical act, is the cultural semantics that it feels somehow obliged to follow. If we sweep of that semantics, there lies a sensational and moving poem ready to change our views. Amidst all those poems recited by the student, wait for Gyllenhaal's rhymes; you are mesmerized and in awe of the specificity of it.

It undoubtedly is utterly metaphorical to the core. The side characters are mere pawn and the primary ones are bots that we revolve around. Colangelo has got one more thing aptly on mark. Her characters are three dimensional. They are more humane, they are flawed, they are ethically wrong and they are brooding mistakes and reminiscing about the already made ones. The narration is layered and adaptive, but it isn't gripping since it finds itself busy on building up for the upcoming sequences to a point where you may think that she forget that it is being watched.

Nevertheless, the pragmatic conversation, higher concept that it fiddles with, riveting poems and Colangelo's passion keeps you tangled in this innocent bubble. The supporting cast has done a decent work, although nothing outstanding. Gyllenhaal's stellar performance is what purely the feature relies upon on terms of execution. She fuels this entire act by resisting it and not fighting it. She understands the repercussion, she understands the obviousness, and writes an honest poem on screen to be read. The way she looks at his student can be iterated as a gist of the tale. That overwhelming dose that she is going through is what's foliated by Colangelo through her direction, which she does succeed on.

The process is rudimentary, the structure is familiar and the lucid interpretation of the intentions in its initial stage, shucks away the concept's integrity; it may feel like such a brilliant idea is taken for granted in here. The range of the script is surprisingly wider, it soothes and heals you with its poem and fabrication of it but it also keeps you on the edge of the seat where you are immensely worried about the characters; we are practically scared. The Kindergarten Teacher is a lesson to be learnt by the viewers and by the makers, this edgy tale should not be pushed, not the characters, not the semantics.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
½

the inherited strength..

The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants

Kwapis's teenage drama might be your typical textbook with the same chapters, but it still is worth reading in a summer breeze. There is a perfect balance of character development and compelling storytelling in here. But unfortunately it still isn't enough to bedazzle the viewers since they are somehow not reliable on each other, in fact at certain points it looks like forcibly imputed and overridden until the emotions grows shallow. The inherited strength that comes in with such a concept is the grippiness and pace that keeps the audience invested since the tale is divided into four different tracks that can have fifteen minutes of busy and competent storyline.

And as much as easy it grows to depict these tracks, it is equally difficult to blend them and keep a lose thread for the audience to follow whose credit goes to Kwapis as he has done a tremendous work on that note along with the editing that is sharp and well filtered. Aforementioned, the narration is gripping and adaptive if not subtly layered as it might think. Tamblyn's track is not only fresh and stronger than any others but her performance too is convincing. Bledel's typical formulaic love track is elevated with her decent performance and stunning visuals.

Ferrera's three dimensional and a bit faulty character is what helps keep this magical tale more grounded. Lively has possibly the simplest track but her impact due to the performance and the procedure that digs deep into characterization is why it comes up, compared to any others, like a bubble. The procedure also is stretched a bit by Kwapis that shucks away the somewhat potential it had to enter the major league. The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants is just like a summer week, it has its moments and it has its flaws.

The Simpsons Movie
½

as long as you are with this sane family..

The Simpsons Movie

Silverman's 90 minutes of practically a flood of sharp humor is too much to handle. It literally is a flat out hilarious with gags like you have never seen and jokes like you have never heard. The stupidity, the cunningness, the slick one liners and the sarcasm, everything blends in with such flamboyancy in one whole act that it warps you back to your childhood days. You find yourself rooting for a more troubled and extreme sadistic version of the society that it mocks on such large scale. And it is that feeling that rarely does a comedy genre offers you, which is in plethora of.

It teases you and satisfies you with its dumbness and ludicrous ideologies that keeps you giggling throughout the course of the feature. On terms of storytelling, it is basically a textbook satirical track that meddles with powers and responsibility. But with all the loud distractions and references that is drawing your attention through humor, you couldn't care less about where it takes you. You are just happy as long as you are with this sane family. The voice cast does a tremendous work as usual and cracks us up on each line possible, their comic timing is obviously off the hook.

Homer's wise words are just pure gem, his quick ideas that backfires vigorously and his lazy notions that always brings trouble, he is a genuinely moving character that grounds this sketchy world. It also takes few things a bit too far that can be off putting, but the hard work of sketch artists is clearly visible in here where they use the entire frame on the screen to keep you attentive towards it. The Simpsons Movie is basically a two part episode stretched over by better material, it won't change a dime but then it doesn't have to when it is this funny.

Chinatown
Chinatown(1974)

in awe of its sheer intensity..

Chinatown

Polanski's mysterious case is a nail biting chase that makes you sweat and wolfish for it, where being manipulated by the writers is all you will wish for. And the writers does, they do fiddle with you like puppets just as they do with their characters. It redefines the genre thriller with nothing but a single lose thread that keeps you on the hook throughout its more than two hours of journey. Unlike any other mystery drama, it follows a single track only, which has the potential to keep you tangled in this world of cheat and death. The weaving of the structure that builds up to a clue or newer perspective on the case, is how Polanski keeps the audience in awe of its sheer intensity.

The narration is not only gripping and adaptive but layered with thought provoking dialogues and pragmatic conversations along with raising sensitive issues. Nicholson's portrayal is smarter and mature than his usual acts are and the credit also goes to the writers that has allotted him a much wider range of persona that easily overpowers others. His hat, his suit, his notions of lighting a cigarette and arranging his hairs, he is calculating and observing on each steps. His methods are brimmed with such cunning intuitions that he fuels the entire feature that drives it into a whole new brighter town.

Supporting him thoroughly, Dunaway is fishy enough to keep the uncertainty alive through the sincerity of her performance. Polanski keeps the jagged script on the edge throughout the course and it is that awareness of the hidden Trump card that makes you bleed and sweat. Chinatown is less of the usual mechanical town than the one that bounce on its own rhythm, it is a sharp diagnosis of a complex troubled case to which you ought to be obliged to explore into.

Cloverfield
Cloverfield(2008)

a hectic subway ride that lasts for more than an hour..

Cloverfield

Reeves's field of horror is so fixated on the crisp of the thrills, that it fails to stand on its structure let along impute a heat on the soul. It is as cold as the world depicted in here, it is basically a razzle dazzle that usual alien invaded tale follows. The only thing it has draw in its viewers is through its perspective which unfortunately is exciting in its initial stage but grows questionable as it ages on screen. The camera work keeps us so busy that you are always attentive towards it, which unfortunately wears down quickly and is then just a hectic subway ride that lasts for more than an hour; you might leave the screen with a headache. It is awfully loud and unnecessarily brimmed with explosives that is clearly mind-numbing.

The narration is fast and gripping but it certainly isn't layered or thought provoking and takes its genre sci-fi for granted. Forcibly installed humor shucks away the somewhat earned intensity on each step. The entire feature is imbalanced on its self-created ground that it fails to walk on and just ends up fumbling down the road for attaining its moot closure. There isn't much range offered to the actors to flaunt in aptly but it is not that the allotted acts are on the mark by these performers; they need a better boost.

Aforementioned, the sound effects are loud and blunt and the visual effects aren't convincing enough to terrify the audience as it was anticipated. Reeves's efforts are clearly visible but it also isn't enough to float this sinking script whose ironically, the strength of the concept itself weighs it down like an anchor. Cloverfield is a wiped out field before it even habitats itself, it only works as a dinner table discussion, clearly not as a major motion picture.

First Man
First Man(2018)
½

it shows numbers and facts..

First Man

Chazelle's biopic walk on Neil Armstrong is for every man himself, losing itself in its spatial bubble, it is free from and as Foy once quotes, "..out of this world.." This sci-fi venture stands alone on depicting the actual vulnerability that one feels in such circumstances. Chazelle wanted to capture that exogenous experience on screen, and he does with such bravura and honesty that for the most part of it, it works like a horror. This horrifying feeling is something that Cuaron captured in "Gravity" few years back, but in here Chazelle's job is comparatively harder since the plot track doesn't demand it. And hence, he literally directs his guns to the mechanics of it, where nuts and bolts squeaking and weak metals that won't be able to save them from nature's strength, easily gives you the chills.

It also portrays how mankind is and has always been ahead of its time where the theory outweighs the potential of the practicality. Through smaller technology, less accurate numbers, communication gap, narrow minded ideologies surrounding the society and the uncertainty of any piece of the knowledge, Chazelle keeps reminding you how painful was it to take such bold decisions with clock ticking behind them like a time bomb. He glorifies this entire journey through these moments and not its final steps.

Singer's adaptation of the novel and Chazelle's execution of that adaptive and layered narration has certainly come with expectations, which is clearly surpassed in here. Ticking for more than two hours, the storytelling is thoroughly busy and competent with entire tale told with Gosling's perspective; it was a smart move to keep a pov shot in order to give the audience the experience of the thrills and horror by putting them in his shoes or even suit.

The background score is mellow and beautiful and the sound effects are sharp and jaggerdly on mark from the spark that ignites a fire to a regulator being operated. Gosling has never been this good. He is just good. Within first few minutes, he melts you down and not with the pathos circumstances that he goes through, but the caring and responsible nature he has. He looks at his kids and there is a sense of awe in the air for his commitment and humbleness. Foy on the other hand, oozes power through her ashes, she mourns by getting back what's rightfully hers. She is a match to Gosling's reserved performance.

Despite of all the polished finesse, the ruggedness is what stays with you and Chazelle encourages it, he repetitively shows the failures by obviously following the track but also reminiscing about the lost. And since he is aware of keeping these things on tightropes, the message never grows manipulative, it shows numbers and facts. Its structure is unlike any of the other biographies, it has only one act, that it tries to build up through its cunning conversations and layered dialogues. As much as Chazelle's accuracy and passion is plausible, First Man is Gosling's tale that he tells through his eyes under a space suit and inside that suit lies the reason why cinema exists.

A Single Man
A Single Man(2009)
½

aptly horrifying and tender at the same time..

A Single Man

Ford's debut major motion picture is more beautiful in its own poem then it accounts for its sinister nature. Yes, it has a bit sadistic tone but it somehow how is contradictory to what it pretends to be, which is something rare and mesmerizing that we do not usually get. As much as simple the tale is, the narration is equally twisted where the editing plays a major role in here. And since the tale is simply sensible, all the big guns are directed towards the characters. And boy, what a character projection it has. It goes in deep, it shows you newer and more naked territories than you have ever seen. Just the trajectory of the entire thinking of a character's each move itself is pure brilliance.

Addition to that, taking only around an hour and a half to convey this message it is thoroughly competent and heartbreaking to encounter this feature. With a perpetually sane background score that is aptly horrifying and tender at the same time, Ford's vision is just as sharp as those musical notes. On the screen to foliate all these words into an act, Firth has never been much more armed than he is in this complex English professor's suit. He reads and he speaks, he consumes and he then roars, it is a sensational portrayal of his that demands attention of the viewers.

And supporting him convincingly, Moore stands on her ground where even the fumbling is all part of an act. The emotions transferred from ones to the others through their action, is one of the best thing that Ford fiddles with, he keeps the road so shady and under an unknown supervision that you ought to be careful and attentive towards each details. A Single Man is actually the work of both Ford and Firth, both of them makes a lethal duo on screen, a force to be reckoned with.

Hidden Figures

these are big shoes to be filled..

Hidden Figures

Melfi's adaptation of Shetterly's book fails to grasp the stakes and magnitude of the content that the entire feature orbits around. And it can easily be filtered out from all the running sequences it executes since it could have been a bit more intense than it actually pretends to be. The narration is not only adaptive and gripping but contains layered dialogues that strikes well on your mind that highlights the entire sequence through it. If Henson; the protagonist, fails to live up to the potential of the role offered to her and mind that these are big shoes to be filled, she is blessed with an incredible supporting cast that helps elevate the momentum in each frame.

No matter how stereotypical Costner's character gets, he still delivers thoroughly and on the other hand Spencer too leaves a long lasting impression through her performance. Although, Monae, Dunst and Parsons are surprisingly not convincing enough to blend in aptly into these numbers along with a bit amateur editing and lazy background score. The theme of the tale is genuinely fascinating as the three lead characters resonates their persona with such impactful notions in the storytelling that you cannot not be moved by it.

They swoop in as their savior with such subtilty that you are practically wolfish rooting for more and more. And with the conflicts like such and the rivalries that anchors and holds them down, these moments glorify them itself. Melfi is undoubtedly a better writer than the director, his nature to weave out a gripping structure is much more powerful than convincingly projecting one. A tale fragile and powerful as Hidden Figures probably required better methodology and treatment in order to draw out more than a nod from the viewers, but the work that went in here is still plausible enough to explore these figures.

The Infiltrator
½

and the guilty pleasures of encountering those close calls..

The Infiltrator

Furham's close call philosophy may not wear down but it surely isn't a brighter picture if accounted the entire venture. It thrives on intensity that makes you and the characters sweat but it's the performance that makes you recall the stakes and not the writing or execution. But it also doesn't suggest that it isn't worth exploring the world, it's just that the actors deserved much more like we did. Ticking for more than two hours, it also fails to differentiate the terms of an elaborative script and an overstretched one.

The narration is gripping and adaptive but is also repetitive especially if considered the entire first half that resonates eerily with the second one. The conversations are pragmatic but the writing isn't as layered as the writers might suggest. It just floats on the surface and scraps off the thrills and chills by focusing entirely on the crispy part while neglecting the husky essential bits.

Cranston at the heart of it, is what makes the entire two hours worth diving into as he delivers in each frame with a more reserved yet expressive emotions. He is way too cunning, he can be lethally cruel (the birthday cake sequence is one of its finest) and unequivocally generous. But between that, he gets caught multiple times and it's that resistance of not giving in, is what makes him stand alone. Kruger is decently convincing along with Leguizamo and Ryan.

Fruham's execution is appropriately up to the mark and nothing above the line, its mediocrity fails to elevate few flat moments on the script which could have factored a lot in here. Cranston and the guilty pleasures of encountering those close calls are the peak moments of The Infiltrator, if a goer for either of it, it is then thoroughly entertaining as it is in plethora.

Eighth Grade
Eighth Grade(2018)

deserves much higher grade..

Eighth Grade

Burnham's candid version of the current generations that chisels out art through commercialism, is the tap that not only they, but we all need. Holding no bars, this venture is definitely not for everyone. And not because of the gut-wrenching and bold decisions that it takes while exploring the characters, but the peeling of the nature in front of the audience which is cringeworthy to encounter. And it's that nakedness that Burnham isn't and shouldn't be shy about. Conveying the aspired message through a teenage psychology and no other perspective above it, it is a sweet home run on terms of getting that message written on banners that is loud and clear for all generations.

The characters are three dimensional and genuinely real to a point, where you feel embarrassed on observing their day to day life since it feels like we are unnecessarily poking our nose in, on someone's life; YES, it is that real. It is often presumed, that too much accuracy and practical approach may extract out the cinematic experience, but if kept alive on screen in each frame with such ninja-like awareness, the euphoric energy never fades away. And this dose of exhilaration is in plethora and yet still it doesn't grow flat.

The primary key to it, would be to foliate each emotion through its own tone, so that if there are ups and downs, it should sound reasonable and not mere compromise. Fisher is natural. She holds back emotions and expresses that with such buoyant nature, that it keeps giving you back what you expect it from, no matter what they say, she is "cool". The narration is neither elaborative nor adaptive, it is gripping and undoubtedly correct, now "correct" sort of script isn't something that is easily available, but we have a gold mine over here.

And Burnham is well aware of it, he never takes his potential of the concept for granted, his execution is much more powerful than the script. His off screen presence can be felt by his sensational work with the help of an amazing cinematography. Not only the conversations written are pragmatic, but they are performed too with such accuracy that it can leave your head spinning. Overlapping of arguments, petty ideologies, different priorities among kids and the frame of reference that is bizarrely genius in here, are these tiny notions that amps up this 90 minute act.

Burnham narrows down higher concepts to such simple terms, that you can feel the stakes with equal emotions that the character might be going through with, like when Fisher is about to open the door and join the pool party. This humane analysis of glorifying each tiny moments is what makes this non-crispy tale into a highly pitched cinematic experience. It is a much, much mature idea that Burnham has taken in hand, and his grip is firm and fair to the storytelling. Eighth Grade deserves much higher grade than it claims to be in, strike off the walls, this is not an indie film.

Dreamgirls
Dreamgirls(2006)

isn't zazzy as its sharp music..

Dreamgirls

Condon's lazy musical drama might contain genuine husky moments but it surely isn't zazzy as its sharp music. Speaking of which, not all the songs are catchy or valuable enough to leave you bewildered but there are few that makes you tap your feet on the seat. The nature of fame and successful careers that it depicts through surfing the time zone, isn't as impactful as it was anticipated. But the drama in between these shots or sequences that builds up the gut-wrenching turns of the trajectory is what the entire feature thrives upon. Foxx can and does scare you with the viscous power that he oozes upon his supporting characters. But the surprising package that explodes on the screen is Hudson and her wider range performance that does make you groove and leave you shook.

Murphy's eye is often on stealing the moment which he does so easily with a sensational performance. The narration is basically a extraction of the first chapter from the textbook, all the plans and its execution is merely a rookie step. Either the writers were afraid to go bold or an attempt to make something simple and sensible didn't go as planned. And this is where Condon comes in, his execution should have elevated and instead keep things flat, even at its peak the feature wanders on mediocrity lane.

The musical sequences through which it demands your attention is actually the hard work of the actors that are giving their all in, in their portrayals. Condon's way of making a truce with the crispiest bit of the feature, is what makes the feature more forgettable; it is definitely good, but it can easily be piled upon by its competition. Dreamgirls has a structure that calculates its steps wisely, it is professional but it can be boring too.

Hairspray
Hairspray(2007)
½

it bounces back to the top..

Hairspray

Shankman's lurid take on the stage play, is by far his best work up till now, no matter how vague his execution grows. And the credit goes undoubtedly to the tale itself, that is so presumptuous and narrow that it could have gone wrong within a snap, and yet is so deeply effective and layered that it bounces back to the top. This entire small town satirical metaphor town could not be more attention grabbing from its bright lights and light colors to the teenage world of as the title suggests, a world of bling and glitter fashion. Shankman's vision works because it celebrates its corny and one dimensional bubble and with that acceptance, he soars on glorifying each of these moments with a beat that makes you tap your feet and choreography that makes you groove.

This teenage dream tale raises appropriate questions and widens its vision on simplistic terms that can definitely draw a genuine nod out of each viewer. The songs, the music, the lyrics, the dance, the glamour, the fame and the fashion each aspect is foliated into a narration which not only makes it adaptive and gripping but also efficient and layered. The performance unfortunately isn't upto the mark since there is not much range to factor in effectively by the cast where even talents like Pfeiffer, Walkmen and Travolta feels vulnerable.

But since it's the "Grease" of the "Grease" movies, the point is to have fun without any guilt and on that terms the performance is aptly on the mark. Shankman's flamboyancy comes from the tale and not his passion of storytelling and it can and does get in between the flow of the feature at times. Hairspray may not be essential or a game changer, but what it is, is a Friday night club experience, that is just pure fun.

Trumbo
Trumbo(2015)

drunk in its sober and dry mannerism..

Trumbo

Roach's biographical drama is drunk in its sober and dry mannerism that never appreciates its own mythology. The set of characters that the plot and concept fiddles with, is immensely electrifying especially in its latter stages but Roach seems distracted in here and his eye is on a blurred out vision of accuracy. And this is what's disappointing since the accuracy isn't cinematic or glorifying enough to chisel out the final anticipated product. The narration is undoubtedly gripping and adaptive but it isn't as layered as they might think. But all these issues are piled upon the sensational performance that Cranston oozes in each frame. His raging, complex and logical expressive nature might be subtle on Layman's terms but is actually a melody to encounter it.

The major issue holding it back, would be the continuity. Each event or episode may or may not attain its closure in its allotted span, but it surely changes up the tone that makes it shatter into bits and pieces where the responsible person is the director in charge who fails to blend the entire tale into one big act. The supporting characters are well crafted in here i.e. from Lane to Fanning or Louis C.K. to Mirren, each of them gets their stand alone moments with three dimensional perspective and aptly cooked vision for them.

The dialogues are layered and the conversations are pragmatic that can stay with you for a longer time and with a delivery like Cranston's it definitely elevates the momentum. And it's every man for himself at the end, that drags this somewhat sloppy script to as his character does to the script, "make it better". Trumbo is a triumph on terms of performance but Cranston was not the only one that was on the stand, the rest of the work might be contempt for being guilty.

A Star Is Born
½

to keep the tone persistent..

A Star Is Born

Cooper's humble adaptation of the infamous love saga is pure passion cutting through all the hoax of unfiltered cinema, breathing perpetually a genuine emotion. This musical drama is created in a way to be relied upon each other, so that the musical acts won't pause the ticking clock behind the screen. And clocking at around 136 minutes, it has so much to say with equally detailed version, that not only is the music a major character in here, but so is the editing (the editing was a borderline risk since it could have gone either way) in here. Cooper's awareness on each scene (and mind you, there are plenty) is what boosts this too-much-mechanical material through which he keeps the crisp alive and the audience attentive towards it.

He is a real trickster as far as execution is concerned. His first act had the flamboyancy to drag the line without any essential stops but since the latter stages are mere series of various events, he shatters the entire first act into bits and pieces to keep the tone persistent. The strongest act of all has to be the background tale of Elliot and Cooper whose brotherhood conveys their entire trajectory of their character. Unfortunately, other side characters are left to be pawns where they hold on to their characteristics till the end.

Cooper's portrayal of his three dimensional underdog character is jaggerdly on mark with tiny notions that he has brimmed his entire act that stays with you through his every now and then fumbles. Gaga gets to hit the last home run and she is surprisingly convincing in each frame on her portrayal of an uprising yet lost musician. The middle act of the feature is the real deal. It fiddles with emotions between these two lead characters in a way that allows you to put your shoes in both the characters and Cooper lets only the expressions speak volume at such moments.

The exchange of bittersweet opinions, the electrifying attraction, outstanding music, sharp sound effects, pragmatic conversations and thoroughly competent and layered dialogues, easily gives you the anticipated chills. The ruggedness of Cooper's character and fame is somehow turned mythological and natural whilst Gaga's is left efficient and pre-planned that makes it dry and numb. And it is that weighing down of the mixture of fame and art, that Cooper wants you to hold on to. His vision is so bizarrely fascinating that it is independent of the semantics.

The method isn't safe but productive. Cooper's last thoughts are narrowed down to such innocence within a snap, that it melts you down easily and not because of its manipulative nature but the peeling of the artwork that it does through hard work. Amidst all the uncouth language and darker themes projected unflinchingly in here, the relationships are immensely humble along with the words in the lyrics. A Star Is Born is the amalgamation of wider range allegory that analysis nature and emotions within a three minute song, listen to it, this isn't a familiar tune.

It
It(2017)
½

the ride is often bumpy..

It

Muschietti's scattered vision for Stephen King's novel It might have enough potential to run or make one root for a longer period, but as far as persistence of the quality is concerned, the ride is often bumpy. The writers' attempt is appreciative in here to brim each character with emotional drama and morale conflicts but unfortunately each of the track breathes cliched hypothesis. So even though writers offer a culmination of good old 80's adventure thriller, it also is wanders a lot in a familiar territory where every step is based upon seen-this-seen-that structure. It has its moments and lives up to the hype when it soars gut-wrenching visuals, but what it fails on is being the thriller that it is.

There is very little tension to be tensed about, there is very little connection to care about and there is very little thrill to be thrilled about. The reasonings and flaws that were always questioned upon, is eradicated in here to be at ease and uncertainty is its key that opens up this colossal passion of the makers. The metaphorical satire that it hits on each note, is one of the best bits withdrawn from the novel by the writers.

Unfortunately, it gets piled upon at times over-stretched narration that might be gripping and entertaining, but also raises the question whether it should have made the cut or not. Skarsgard's portrayal is appreciative and so is his works that he attempt to mold it into craft whilst the younger cast is convincing on their roles with Lillis emerging alone from the cast with potential talent that is waiting to be explored. Muschietti's It focuses on the subjective procedure than its final objective, which often results into a triumph, but when it is misconceived like such it just drools out and loses its appetite.

Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot

to know better than the sweet tooth..

Don't Worry He Won't Get Far On Foot

Van Sant's diagnosis to Callahan's biography is too brittle to stand on its own ground. The structure itself isn't palpable to the tone of the track. It either skips a bit or two or goes into inessential details that never should have made the cut. Ticking for around two hours, it sure makes you sweat especially in its last half.

But it also doesn't suggest that it is in it's A game in the first one, in fact the first act is spent upon just introducing characters and setting their sub-plots and characteristics for further development. Just like the sessions Phoenix has as an alcoholic with his group, the entire feature is a series of pathos ideology or tales that is if not eradicated but surely mended with a sweeter tooth. And Van Sant is experienced enough to know better than the sweet tooth, his methods aren't general as the tale demands.

Even his execution at times, seems daft along with editing whose attempt to go bolder and "raunchy" backfires vigorously (the first time Phoenix meets Mara could have been shot in a lots of better ways). Then, amidst all this, what is it that makes one thrive for this sometimes uneven and unstable venture. The answer is simply heartbreaking performance delivered by each cast member. Mara may not get any stand alone moment but she is thoroughly competent in her role just as Black is, in his complex one.

The show stealer in here is undoubtedly Hill, whose not only character is aptly cooked and has three dimensional perspective resided within, but his each line quoted is justified thoroughly by his expressive portrayal; the meltdown in the end genuinely communicates with the viewers. The phenomenon Phoenix, at the heart of it, keeps it pumping harder and faster than ever despite of all the ups and downs. Not only he is physically challenged and constraint in its acts, but is also emotionally complex and on the extreme side of being of expressive and inexpressive nature.

Fortunately, Phoenix has the potential to pull it off easily where he dances to his own beats and this time his partner is an empty bottle; it's a well choreographed act on terms of character analysation. Van Sant's project can be represented as its self-created sequence of Phoenix trying to reach for the bottle for the entire night; he is never going to get it but it surely can be a lesson to be learned from. The narration is elaborative but is also over-stretched and loses viewers' attention when it over chews few stuffs and takes its material for granted.

The conversations are pragmatic and dialogues are layered that makes you think twice. In fact, there is a line that Phoenix quotes multiple times and it changes the gist or meaning of the line each time as it draws out various emotions from him. Don't Worry He Won't Get Far On Foot can actually be the guarantee or warranty card for this pathos bubble, it definitely pops, but its impact isn't wide enough to cover up the aspired range.

Leave No Trace

these chess pieces are real..

Leave No Trace

Granik's version of the book, "The Abandonment" written by Peter Rock, has the finiteness that makes you sink in its abyss. The finite number of characters, the finite amount of segments and its that repetitiveness that weaves out a poem that requires spatial of a larger margin, hence what she does in here is, tugs out all the mechanics for it to float freely without any strings tied. This father and daughter exploration is cathartic to the core and communicates neatly, not for its positive emotions but the negative, that it doesn't flinch to project.

Since, if Foster has all the tactics to survive that he teaches to Mackenzie, he also has plethora of emotional burden of his forsaken and untouched past and that is not something which is supposed to be passed upon. It tells an honest tale of Foster and Mackenzie and their journey across the woods where the zeal to live by nature, costs each other unfeasible terms.

No matter how artificial it gets at times, the touch of nature is imputed in each frame. And Granik does it by keeping both her lead character together even when they are separated; either their notions can be filtered out or their vocab. The characters in here doesn't need the element of surprise to scare, its their looks, their habits, their stillness, that leaves us shook.

The primary reason why we are afraid of these simple characters, is because we start to care for them; if someone gets wounded, he or she will be taken care of with a first aid kit. There is very little skin in the telltale, it wants you to scrape off and feel the blood and sweat of the game; these chess pieces are real. Foster hesitates to look Mackenzie in the eye while she gazes deep into his, this is a performance of life for both of the actors screaming through the entire feature.

If those buzzing of the bees weren't loud enough for you, listen to it again, Granik has a story to tell you. She is not here to convince you to look closely and listen carefully, she demands it with her apt finesse on executing such a behemoth concept. Mackenzie's character is bred out of raw woods, hence her nature is to reside and breathe in the current moment, she is ready to take what's hers if be needed, she will earn for it and she will take it.

On the other hand, Foster is chiseled with experience and lives in the past, which allows him to spend the entire breathe of his on preparing the trajectory of the future. Combining these two, the makers leave them around greenery (it is beautifully shot and has supremely appealing bright colors that grabs your attention since the beginning) and observes the retaliation that their chemistry spreads.

This is a work of nothing but sheer passion that ought to fuel such a fragile concept and Leave No Trace will leave no opportunity whatsoever to heal your wounds.

Suburbicon
Suburbicon(2017)

its birth isn't luxury but a co-operative necessity..

Suburbicon

Suburbicon is a character driven drama about a family that faces an unfortunate event and the trauma that it goes through it later. The perspective is the queen of Clooney's chess board in here and he plays it well enough to keep the craft and crisp parallel among the storytelling. But this is the sort of crisp that makes you nod at best twice, not the cinematic level, it's not glorifying enough to claim its own cards; no matter what does that background score suggest.

Also its repetitiveness shucks away the scared element out of it and leaves it the baffled and bourgeois attempts of, literally, failure. As mentioned, the background score is exhilarating and calming equally, the cinematography is impressive and so is its editing and camera work that helps give this feature all the boost it can; its a drop in the ocean, though.

Damon's performance is appreciative, if not his best and so is the case of Moore which comes off more disappointing, unfortunately. The relationships that ought to create impact goes down the drain vigorously and the one that ought to make amends, shatters the expectations; it's a misconceived act.

The structure of the script is undoubtedly fresh and doesn't follow any textbook logistics and so does its narrative, but as much as gripping it is, it is also off putting on its sadistic terms. The finiteness of the moot point it thrives on never had the potential to make it in the first place after which no matter how much effort Clooney, has to offer. The uniqueness of its bubble is questionable since its birth isn't luxury but a co-operative necessity.

Suburbicon is what happens when a colony is left to run on merit of the basis of the foundation agendas, if to err is to human, then so is to evolve.

Marshall
Marshall(2017)

the anticipated thrills and chills..

Marshall

Marshall is a plot driven courtroom drama about a man being wrongly accused and finds a challenging lawyer enough to fight back. It is surprisingly fast and gripping and fortunately doesn't spend much time on other things besides the case, which is the core strength of it.

But it is also eerily unstable and uneven for it to be congruent in its own tone and the primary reason why it itches throughout the course is because it is a tale sculpted to rely upon the performance and unfortunately it is on short in here. The script has substance and it puts all its big guns on the table with panache that makes you root for these undercooked characters. The background score isn't impressive neither is cinematography or camera work but is aptly edited.

As mentioned, the performance objective is under a lot of pressure and the major player like Boseman and Hudson fails to live up to the expectations while Gad's range steals the show that is from being uncomfortably amusing to intensely attacking with a decent support from Brown whose reserved act is plausible in here. The chemistry between the lead cast fuels this thriller where most of the work is done by Gad, he not only serves well but ping pongs it back too.

The anticipated thrills and chills that a courtroom ought to deliver is in plethora in here, and it isn't twisted and turned to make it crispy or draw in the attention of the viewers but is kept simple and sensible and justified to the core. Gad's screen presence that enlightens this dark drama, a tightly packed screenplay that enfolds and reveals newer perspective on each step and Huldlin's brilliant execution are the high points of the feature.

Marshall might have the heart for the betterment of the society and political reasonings but is actually much more than that, it is an example of good cinema that this genre could offer.

The Score
The Score(2001)
½

may not sore perpetually..

The Score

The Score is a plot driven crime thriller about a heist that bonds in two major players of this game, one is about to retire and one is much younger in this chase. It gets few sequences correctly and even though the incongruent and loud background score tugs out the heat from the soul, the effort is always plausible.

Addition to that, what it does get right, are the steps of the structure that it takes, it is sensible and is calculative to all the possibilities, hence that allows it to dig deep and get into a detailed analysis of a simple heist. Now just like the mission projected in feature, another problem bounces back for the makers, amidst all these carefully formed husky material, there lies very thin crisp for it to offer the cinematic experience to the viewers.

As mentioned earlier, the background score isn't impressive, the cinematography isn't creative and neither is something extraordinary in its editing; it's a mediocrity lane. De Niro's act is more reserved and buried under the hatch of the so called experience for it to be expressive enough and on the other side Norton gets quite a wide range to fill it in and he does it convincingly.

Oz's execution might be old school but it works, if it's ought to be slow then let it be slow since the script is gripping enough to keep the audience invested in it. The narration is lucrative and adaptive with surprisingly not of vivid nature that costs the makers a great deal in its latter stages. The actual mission that undergoes various variations is what makes it stand alone than your usual crime genre.

The Score may not sore perpetually but its pragmatic dose of thrills that it keeps hitting on our face makes it a challenging score if not the winning one.

Seven Pounds
Seven Pounds(2008)

fabrication is pointless and inessential to the gist itself..

Seven Pounds

Seven Pounds is a character driven drama about a guy aspiring to help seven strangers, finds himself stuck in his past. Such premise that divides itself into various acts often falls apart vigorously and if taken care with such mannerism, it almost questions its existence as it fails to stand on its self-created weak surface.

This is a typical style over substance case, and unfortunately its style is to take things slowly and reminiscence in its pathos ideology with an artsy camera work to make it look more valuable. The last thing that this feature needed is the first and the foremost things that shucks away its credibility and it is the flawed script that makes less and less sense as it ages, since it skips few steps while mending the sequences.

The background score is decently scored, the cinematography is daft, the editing is amatuer and the camera work is redundantly busy and handled manually in order to give the personal touch to the viewers. Smith is the only reason to survive this blunder, his looks are impactful and his eyes convey poems but even a performance like such could never save this sinking ship.

This ill formed structure is equally to be blamed as the premise where the heart may be at the right place but that is never enough to attain a closure out of all these hokum formulas. The narration by Nieporte is unappealing and incongruent to its tone, to a point that even Muccino's execution couldn't save this forsaken and untouched land that this tale resides on. It overcooks its potential substance and overrides the emotions until it grows numb, its fabrication is pointless and inessential to the gist itself.

Seven Pounds costs more than that it accounts for, to the makers, actors and the viewers.

A Simple Favor

to walk that thin line between sinister ideology and sketchy sequences..

A Simple Favor

A Simple Favor is a plot driven dark comic thriller about two newly befriended eerie mothers through their kids, whose chemistry results into explosion of cheats and tricks and even death. The chemistry is off the hook, it is almost like a dream team waiting to be allotted in a project, Kendrick and Lively are electrifying whenever they are on screen, they are funny and equally scary.

This deeply sinister genre fuels on nothing but perspective, with a twisted mind set, it not only sets all the chess pieces accordingly, but draws in the most unexpected cards under its sleeves with justification and of course slick panache that makes you nod, in its self-created web of lies, on beat. Somehow, the combination of music and references to all the recipes goes well, Kendrick has the range to act like a typical overprotecting mom and obviously to rap with a mic-drop attitude that she has been carrying since Pitch Perfect.

If actually taken into consideration, she sticks by on each frame of the feature and pulls it off all on her shoulder without even flinching for a split second. She learns fast, she takes time, she argues on petty thing and she cracks lame jokes, Kendrick is in her A game and this time she has got this three dimensional character that she is drunk on. On the other hand, Lively feels shadowed in Kendrick's footsteps, no matter how much power her character must possess, she somehow never feels the one in charge.

The conversations are pragmatic, even the murmurings and tiny notions creates an everlasting impression, especially in its initial stages. The narration often surfs through various periods and is almost busy in itself to wait and breathe it all in, and this is where Feig comes in, his finesse on weaving out a nail-biting confrontation or close calls amps up this somewhat scattered script.

Fieg has always had the potential to walk that thin line between sinister ideology and sketchy sequences, and this time he is armed with too much content to handle. His actual job in here is to extract all the crispy material and offer it a more personal touch to connect with the viewers, and he has brimmed the entire feature with such husky bits. The songs are up beating, the sound editing is impressive if not the background score, the cinematography is decent along with the editing and has calm and soothing camera work with stunning bright visuals.

The narrative is gripping, adaptive and can be inedible at times, but the correct advice would be to nod along since most of the skipped steps are later closed in by accounting it into a circle. The tightly packed screenplay that keeps enfolding newer perspective and revealing and appealing characters as it ages on screen, Kendrick at the heart of it whose range never disappoints us and, Feig's long lasting passion whose euphoric energy never wears off in any frame, are the high points of the feature.

A Simple Favor is neither simple nor a favor, it is convoluted to the core and a generous gift by Feig to these genre lovers.

The Others
The Others(2001)

too sincere to its mannerism..

The Others

The Others is a character driven horror drama about a mysterious house that reveals horrifying truth to a slightly superstitious and a bit deranged family. Amenabar's execution is brimmed with such panache that it uses concepts of mirage and lightings and such other tricky camera work to scare the bejesus out of the audience rather than relying upon typical hokum equations like creatures or benign art designing to enhance its intensity.

The malleable mythological tale with an updated version that actually warps us back to ancient times, is the key and the theme that fuels this poised and reserved tale that is too sincere to its mannerism. The background score is brilliant along with the jaw dropping cinematography, sharp sound effects and fine editing. The narrative is way too sharp than it seems and the primary reason to that is the awareness of the writer of the chemistry and the equation and each tiny characteristic of the characters.

This is not your average scoreboard mentality natured script, it runs on merit of bratty and rebellious kids against the overprotective emotions which will leave you shook on your seats. Kidman is the only performer in here that makes it all work and flaunts her potential to make you writhe on your seat by being on the same side of the coin as yours.

Each mirror on screen, each ray of candlelight, each shady room and each painting, everything that Amenabar places on screen, he is fiddling with you subconsciously while we sit nervously and our fingers half eaten off as he narrates it. Kidman's stellar performance and Amenabar's finesse on execution and his jagged script are the high points of the feature.

The Others is a lot about us and that is how we are able to easily communicate with them, you'd want to find out who is singing.

Mrs. Doubtfire

and logistics thin as wafer..

Mrs. Doubtfire

Mrs. Doubtfire is a plot driven comic drama about a guy pushing his boundaries in order to mend his broken marriage.

If the jokes are funny it's because of the comic timing of the cast, it's dramatic because of the performance and it works throughout the course of it despite of having plenty of ups and downs, because of Williams's charm that enlightens each frame. It hits few notes so correct that one gets its hopes high only to fall flatly on face so badly that it strikes down all the earned integrity up till then. In fact, its last act is so sloppy and blunt that it aches you to watch such a talent go waste by on something so redundant and juvenile.

The writing gets frizzy, daft and cheesy as it ages on screen, with emotions shallow and logistics thin as wafer. The makeup designing is finely detailed, but it is short on technical aspects like typical background score, cinematography and amatuer editing. Williams is a revelation in here, his electrifying performance makes the heart pump faster and harder than ever where he is decently supported by Field.

Columbus's execution still needs few better ticks and notions to nurture such a concept, either you go all sketchy and wait for the thrills and laughs or you go pragmatic and breed it sensibly and slowly to create the anticipated impact. All the husbandry gags that it is brimmed with no matter how sketchy and animated, the laughs pours out from the screen and the responsible man to contact in here is no one but Williams who is delivering some of his finest work of his career.

Mrs. Doubtfire has the heart in the right place, but there factors lots of aspects in a feature than a mere concept and it is that puzzle that the makers fail to solve.

Ghosts of Mississippi

jumps through time every now and then..

Ghosts Of Mississippi

Ghosts Of Mississippi is a plot driven crime drama about a case that represents the fight against racism where a guy stands against all odds to straighten out the broken rules and injustice. It is probably one of the toughest job to keep the audience tangled in its eerie bubble when it depicts series of various episodes that jumps through time every now and then.

But this is where Reiner enters the picture, his finesse on each frame claiming his throne on a compelling and honest storytelling. The investigation doesn't follow a rudimentary process, it is fresh with a newer structure that makes it intriguing and electrifying despite of having a sloppy writing around the edges, it is surprisingly gripping and adaptive.

The background score isn't that impressive along with the cinematography and camera work, but has a tremendous awareness on the sound department and the surrounding offered which is palpable to the tone and the editing which plays a vital role considering it has to capture various incidents in a brief period of time. The performance is equally enthralling especially by Baldwin who is given quite a range to factor in effectively, Goldberg is given a bit chalky role which holds her performance quite few times and Woods with an aptly reserved act that stands alone above all.

Reiner's execution is bang on his bucks and armed with such a sharp script where he decided to take a mellow approach about such fragile concept and walks perfectly balanced on its self-created thin line. And with a slam dunk on the last act, the courtroom drama takes care of the closure that every maker aspires for it go like.

Ghosts Of Mississippi fiddles with an issues that has already been raised and analysed many a time, but from Reiner's lens, he has few points worth listening to.

Only God Forgives

such grittiness that nothing but blood comes out of it..

Only God Forgives

Only God Forgives is a character driven action thriller about a guy seeking revenge for the death of his elder brother and ends up finding out inedible revelations about his past. Ironically, in a world where each character thrives on their emotions with such grittiness that nothing but blood comes out of it, the emotions depicted in the feature is exhaustingly shallow and at points juvenile.

And the primary reason to that is their one dimensional perspective and the wafer thin characteristics handed over to each characters that they are supposed to override for the entire tale. Whenever such slow pill natured feature is to be projected, it inherently demands keen attention on details and a mature bubble that it all resides in it, unfortunately none of these aspects are in existence in here.

With a incongruent background score, overly enhanced sound effects that are frankly way too loud and grows annoying, redundan