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Need for Speed (2014)
An Surprisingly Good Watch!
Generally, I'm not a fan of racing movies, because of what they offer - a lot of BOOM-BANG-ZOOOM action and shaky-cam, but not much in terms of character development or making me care AT ALL about the people behind the wheel or putting in a lot of underground or rap music which blend into one another or a whole lot of other things.
There were a lot of technical goofs and inaccuracies in the film, but it did not spoil the movie for me. Yes, it was not as much a "racing" movie like Tokyo Drift, but it had a good cast and story. This was different. Refreshingly different.
The difference starts to show at the beginning itself - that slow music accompanied with Michael Keaton's great voice just set the tone for a very entertaining and engaging movie. Aaron Paul was absolutely fantastic at the protagonist (Toby) - I think he pulls of that "hurt" look extremely well too! Imogen Poots (Julia) also put in a great performance - had never watched her ever but Toby and Julia had an infectious chemistry which really made the road trip very watchable instead of being boring. Dominic Cooper as the villain was good too, as were the supporting cast. Michael Keaton seemed like he REALLY the Monarch - effortless! The background score was also quite good - not teeth-grinding rock-gnashing music - but fitting with the cinematography and mood.
I would definitely recommend this, especially if you're tired of watching racing-action movies - this one is quite different and satisfying.
Inside Out (2015)
A Beautiful Tear-Jerker of a Story
You can read all the reviews here, and get a very good idea of just how awesomely good this movie is.
I just have this to add: if we're ever going to turn understanding of human emotions into a science, PIXAR would be a great place to get it started. They have seldom faltered in that area, and when they are on song, you get absolute masterpieces like Up, Toy Story 3 or Finding Nemo, which make you feel "Oh my god, it's so good" while you're watching, and then you leave the theatre (or your screen) with a slightly heavy heart and a smile on your face.
Inside Out is on a way another level.
The Newsroom (2012)
Possibly one of the best seasons this year
I didn't want to watch the series, but one of my friends goaded me to watch "Just the 5 minutes" of the pilot. It started off, and my interest started to wear off, but then this sorority girl stands up and asks the stupidest question, and BAM!!! I fell in love with Mr. McAvoy's long retort. Those 5 minutes have caused me to be awake for 2 nights to finish off the 10 episodes, and I still long for more.
Aaron Sorkin has created a very tight and riveting plot, some of the characters are very idealistic. The series is filled with many subtle, and some not-so-subtle moments that define the characters. Will tries to reclaim his life and self-respect, and also becomes a little conscious of his image among his team. His idealism is like a flame, and his staff and co-workers feed off it. His idealistic persona and his mission to educate the world to make them better than Sleaze-stories and Justin Biebermania is, for me, very endearing. The way he incessantly tries and spectacularly fails at his mission is hilarious and depressing at the same time.
One of the defining moments of the series comes at the very very end, as Will's efforts to make the people think they deserve better finally come to fruition, as a gossip columnist redeems herself just a little.
Also, when a season has tracks from Radiohead, Coldplay and The Who laid out so perfectly with the on screen drama, it is very hard to NOT see it. The same happened with Entourage, 50/50 and even Smallville ;)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Beautiful. Immense. Spectacular. Perfect. - Part II
Even Better than The Dark Knight.
This is the only the second trilogy, the other being LOTR which has been fantastic throughout the three parts.
The movie is not the comedy-action movie as The Avengers was. This is intensely emotional, and heavily inspiring. The story-arch of "Knightfall" is well written, and Nolan has done a splendid job of showing us how Bruce becomes a recluse, and then retakes his mantle of Batman to defeat the threat of Bane, whom he underestimates.
The performances from Bale, Hardy, Oldman, Freeman has superb. The dialogues are meaningful. The action is breath-taking. The only grouse I had with the movie was that after Bane broke Batman's back, it is not immediately shown how *painful* it is for Bruce. It is only in the second scene in the hell-hole (a well in Jodhpur, India), that it is shown that his back is actually "broken". Well, but screw that... It was great how Nolan showed how much Bruce had been out of touch, with Alfred and even rookie Blake needing to give lectures to Bruce when he is faltering. The cinematography, esp. the missile sequence is very well shot. All this with the background-score thumping "Dududum-Dududummmmmm-Dum-Dum" in your ear, in your heart and in your mind...
For me, this is the best movie ever.
Brilliant Start to June
Just coming home after watching the movie, and I was really really impressed with... Everything. While coming back, I heard some friends say it was boring and not very good, which made me write this review:
Watch It if you are looking for some serious cinema. Definitely Watch It if you have a brain to actually THINK about what the movie is trying to say.
I've been disillusioned with Bollywood for some years now, but every year, there come some movies which are absolutely top class, which actually say something rather than throwing undercooked brainless (un)comic crap at us. Shanghai is one of the former, and nearly everything is well done in this movie.
The direction is very good and tight, the background score is very apt, the cinematography is fantastic, as is the editing. And although the story is actually not very new, revolving around the general hopelessness we associate with Indian politics and law, the way Dibakar Banerjee presents it, and the (un)happy-ending really makes it shine...
I think that the movie may probably not do extremely well in theaters because "most" Indians go for mindless comedies these days, but those who want to see a GOOD movie, This is definitely one for them.
All-Star Superman (2011)
One of the worst Superman movies !
Ill-planned, Poorly Written, Disjoint, Doomed.
That is all I have to say about this animation movie. I have so many Superman movies, some better than others, while some failed on one front or another, but this one has to take the proverbial "CAKE" of being the worst one ever.
Okay, It is based on a comic which has a different continuity than the main one, and maybe Superman version 1 does die in this comic book, but the movie is pure ****.
The story is absolute rubbish, taking 3 or 4 or 5 or ? disjointed stories and pushing them all together without even a simple 1-line explanation. Why do the Kryptonians come? why do Samson and the other guy come? How they come? why does Solaris (or whatever its name was) started eating the sun on making a deal with Lex? This all seems just too retarded to be woven into a single movie...
If you are planning on watching this movie because you are a Supes fan, or even if you want to watch all the Supes-movies, I'd advise you to stay away... Even the lure of watching the Man of Steel die will pale in comparison to the disappointment you will face 5 minutes into the movie...
You have been warned !
The Damned United (2009)
Leed-ing by Example
This is definitely one of the BEST sports movies I have seen yet. Goal series does not stand even close to this one... Chronicling the rise to fame and glory of one Mr. Brian Howard Clough at Derby County, and his burning desire to 'defeat' Don Revie, who was the manager of Leeds United then, this film has all the elements of a great movie. It shows how a desire can fuel one to great success, and even overboard...
Yes, there are anachronisms and false facts, even misplaced footages, but that does not make the film any less interesting. If one whines for complete factual accuracy in a film, it may as well become a stoic documentary...
and, best of all, here is the last words from the movie :
Brian Clough remains the greatest manager the England team never had.
Now, you'll surely want to see this... wont you now ??
The episode is more or less the same as the rest of the season, but there are some really different things :
1. Someone actually dies on screen in this one... and it is hilarious to an extent how the character dies, and what happens next
2. **SPOILER** For me, this is the most emotionally charged episode, when Ari tells Vince that he may be taking up the job of Studio Head, and thus leaving Vince without an agent. You can feel the pain in Ari's eyes, even when his face tells a completely different story. Vince is stunned for a moment, and then you can see how much he loved Ari, as he stammers for words and then later looks out of the window at Ari leaving for Geneva. And accompanying it all is the very touching soundtrack "Fake Plastic Trees" by Radiohead.
It is one of the most memorable scenes from the seasons i have seen yet... (and i have seen enough... :D)
Extraordinary... Quite Extraordinary
It seems the Britons make it much much better than their American counterparts, as this 3-episode mini-series is way better than the Movie. The treatment of the characters is absolutely new, but retains the old charm, which makes you relate to them even after a gap of over a century years... Sir A.C. Doyls would surely have been amused by this kind of treatment of his character. The soundtrack also sounds really good. And the way Sherlock dismantles the defences of the witnesses/criminals is something you just can't marvel about.
From the makers of Jekyll and Dr. Who, this is seriously one of the best TV serials right now.
Hope they make more episodes after the original 3.
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Love @ First Sight
Life is all about moving on... and leaving behind the sweet inanimacies of our childhood in a box somewhere in the attic or given away or, worst of all, trashed. These are exactly the choices Andy faces when he packs up for college, and is given the responsibility of disposing his toys.
The toys, in spite of being the same ones with which the trilogy kick started in 1995, have become more and more funny. Woody, his fellow deuteragonist Buzz Lightyear, and the "others" get ragged and tagged all over the city as they fight for another chance to be played with and loved.
If you think that this is just another overrated movie, and the hype is not worth it, then you stand to lose out on one of the best movies you can watch in a theatre... :-P The laptops and those 'big' 22" screens just wont cut it. Go watch it on the "BIG" screen. Its worth every paisa or penny or whatever currency you fancy.
I'd like to congratulate PIXAR for producing excellence, yet again, and at the right time too, as we, who grew up with Andy, are nearly the same age as Andy, and may have moved over ToyStory if it were a bit late. Then there was another fear, fear of the film "choking" like most of the sequels "choke", and like Spain and South Africa "choke". Well... not only did it not "choke", but it flourished, and may manage to choke "A-Team" and likes.
Funny, Insipiring, out-right hilarious, emotional and poignant. This film did justice to the trilogy, and was the PERFEKT way to pen an end to this wonderful saga... adiós Buzz... My Rating : *********** (11/10)