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DareDevilKid

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206 reviews in total 
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"Terriers" (2010)
32 out of 34 people found the following review useful:
Revisited Concept With Innovation & Great Potential, 20 September 2010
8/10

Review : Terriers (T.V. Show - Season 1) Genre : Comedy, Mystery.

Type : Humorous buddy detective show with a lot of mystery.

Rating : 8.1/10

'Terriers' is basically a show about two oddball guys coming together to play private detectives. We initially get the picture that they are complete losers who have failed in their respective careers and other odds and ends stuff, and have now hit another brainwave with the pseudo-conviction of attaining success and a quick buck rapidly.

But just 20 mins. into the show, we slowly begin to realize that these guys must have chosen their new venture after much deliberation. They might not have studied the 'Sherlock Holmes' manual or even have read beyond the first two pages of 'The Hound Of Baskervilles', but they do have an acute instinct for the nitty-gritty stuff, and while not following strategies by the book, they do logically manage to investigate the right things at the right places. The beautiful thing is that, some of their most absurd modus operandi, more often than not, easily culminates into an accurate logical move (credit to the writers 'Shawn Ryan', 'Ted Griffin', and others).

The basic traits of a great show are to relentlessly engage its viewers within its plot narration along with adequate twists and turns at the right moments (especially for continuing episodes), and all the while, constantly developing its characters with effortless ease such that the viewer is never distracted from the plot while comprehending the characters' motives, backgrounds, qualities and actions. Just two episodes into the show (I never write a review after a pilot just in case its a fluke) and the creator 'Ted Griffin' has managed this spot on (especially in the character development department).

The premise, definitely the most unique aspect of the show, is of a much larger and very engrossing case interweaving the episodes along with smaller, milder albeit pretty engaging cases interspersed between different episodes. Though the smaller cases have no relevance on the main case, you've got to see the show to know how it all churns out and makes sense. The show itself is very humorous, with the right mix of drama, action and mystery.

The performances, while not being first-rate, are more than competent. Donal Logue (the best of the pack) plays Hank Dolworth, a down and out ex-cop, ex-husband, ex-everything, who's striving for a fresh start and to finally revamp his tarnished reputation. Michael Raymond-James (a perfect foil to Donal Logue, although haven't seen or heard of him before) plays Britt Pollack, a much younger guy committed in a relationship to the beautiful Katie Nichols (Laura Allen), who really trusts Hank despite all the advice of ultimately being let down and is just about warming his heart to their private-eye work along-with looking for some quick cash for the happiness of his home, relationship and himself. The sparkling chemistry between these guys and their casual banter is probably the highpoint of the show, while most of the supporting cast is decent enough.

Technically too, the show is very sound with beautiful cinematography and camera-work and excellent locations. Another strong-point is the opening song along with the credits (another must for good shows).

'Terriers' has already began as a damn good show with a good plot and interesting characters. With wholehearted care and efficient execution it can easily transcend the realm to a great show, possibly three quarters into its first season.

My vote: Hook onto it before it gets a tad intricate to follow, stick with it till the end of the season and then decide whether to dedicate yourself to its forth-coming seasons.

16 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Exciting, Macabre, Gothic Thriller, 2 November 2014
7/10

Reviewed by: Dare Devil Kid (DDK)

Rating: 3.6/5 stars

If you like period pieces, psychopathic characters, excellent actors, and plenty of atmospherics, then "Stonehearst Asylum" should be right up your alley. Between its distinctly modern intelligence and razor-sharp plotting, Director, Brad Anderson's clever contraption almost matches the heights of Gothic grandeur that keep Poe held in high esteem even today.

Anderson clearly takes delight in all the proceedings, which is one of the reasons the film feels fresh. While the film might lack some the macabre drama and dark humor of the original Edgar Allan Poe tale, it still does a fine job of conveying a creepy, engaging thriller with a brilliant Gothic atmosphere and fine performances from its terrific ensemble cast.

There's probably a brilliant, award-worthy film to be made about the inhumane way the medical practice dealt with the mentally ill in the past. This one isn't it, but it is nonetheless a solid, sturdy piece of entertainment. "Stonehearst Asylum" is an insane, Gothic thriller with a lot of chills, thrills, and fun to be had along the way.

10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
An Undiscovered Gem, 27 June 2013
8/10

Rating: 3.9/5 stars Reviewed by: Dare Devil Kid (DDK)

This came out of nowhere and almost vanished without a trace. But those who caught it, would realize how lucky they were not to miss this unheralded gem of movie. Based on a true story, its a gripping and hard- hitting dram that takes control of your senses from the word go and refuse to let up till the very end. If the medical procedure build up the anticipation and adequately pays fine attention to detail and authenticity, then the engrossing courtroom machinations in the second half are sure to invigorate your pulses and keep you hooked in anticipation of what shall transpire.

The entire cast does a fabulous job, with special mention needing to be bestowed on Tisca Chopra and Paoli Dam. But predictably, its Kay Kay Menon who elevates this already riveting drama to stupendous heights, with his callous, smug, obnoxious, and and delectably mean act. Ultimately, you leave the film with a resonating message, that no amount of success and achievement gives one the right to do and escape with whatever they feel fit.

D-Day (2013/I)
13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
One of Indian Cinema's Best Ever, 31 July 2013
9/10

Reviewed by: Dare Devil Kid (DDK) Rating: 4.9/5 stars

Nikhil Advani has finally come of age and moved out of the shadows of his larger- than-life mentor (read Karan Johar). After promising a lot in previous efforts, which have ranged from decent to below par, he's finally churned out a film that speaks volumes of his until now dormant talent. In "D-Day" we get a gritty action thriller that would put quite a few Hollywood spy films to shame.

The authentic representation of spy operations and the attention to minute details is quite staggering and unprecedented in Indian cinema, at least for a movie of this magnitude. Along with it boasting of quite a few spectacular action scenes and hard-hitting dialogues (dialogue writers Niranjan Iyengar and Ritesh Shah, take a bow), the film is also subtly interwoven with a couple of delicate emotional tracks that literally tear at your heartstrings when their realization is achieved.

The movie might have a first-rate and thoroughly researched script (again credit goes to Advani plus his co-writers Ritesh Shah and Suresh Nair), but it wouldn't have struck such a profound impact almost instantly, if it wasn't for Nikhil Advani's spot-on direction that's replete with realistic action and pulsating suspense. However,equal credit for the movie's suspense and action scenes must go to the editing team (Unnikrishnan Payoor Parameswaran and Aarif Sheikh) and stunt director (John Street) respectively. Another reason why the movie looks so realistic and gritty is because of Tushar Kanti Ray spellbinding cinematography.

Finally, lets come to the performances, and what marvelous performances they are. Rishi Kapoor is literally a replica of India's most wanted man, while Arjun Rampal is the epitome of a hardcore, taciturn action hero. Huma Qureshi surprises us even further with yet another brilliant act, while supporting cast members like Aakash Dahiya, Shruti Haasan, and Nasser lend plenty of gravitas to the narrative.

And finally, its the powerhouse of talent, Irrfan Khan who completely steals the show all the way through, in spite of so many other resounding performances. Whether it be his angst, his emotional trauma, his trepidation, his anguish at not being as skillful as Rampal, his fear and love for his family, his delirious confusion, his patriotic convictions, or his hidden final agenda; the man pulls off one of the most complex characters to ever grace the Indian silver screen with elan and aplomb. Here is an actor who can literally do no wrong.

"D-Day" is the kind of movie that doesn't come very often, - at least in Bollywood - so don't miss up the opportunity of reveling in it on the big screen. Whether you're an action fan, a fan of suspenseful spy films, or a fan of realistic gritty cinema, this movie has ample reason to be visited again and again. This kind of an action-espionage thriller is a first for Indian cinema and a pure joy for action movie fans all over.

19 out of 29 people found the following review useful:
What Transformers Should Have Been, 25 July 2013
8/10

Rating: 4/5 stars Reviewed by: Dare Devil Kid (DDK)

Not since "Jurassic Park" have I had the utmost pleasure of witnessing such a great monster sci-fi mash-up. Like "Jurassic Park", "Them", "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms", and other classics of the genre, "Pacific Rim" too intersperses the plot and back-story succinctly well as the action unfolds. The characters and their journey are given adequate footage as the monsters v/s robots action. More importantly, as the action unfolds, every single shot, each and every sequence is beautifully captured like a ballet reaching its crescendo.

Unlike most gigantic FX laden pseudo sci-fi blockbusters like the "Transformers" franchise and "Iron Man 3", this films pays immense detail to certain laws of physics and plain simple logic. The action unfolds in a grand spectacle and straps you in for a roller-coaster ride. But it also pays respect to your senses and enables you to minutely follow each aspect of how the fight scenes are choreographed. Wish all gargantuan CGI driven films were like this.

The film stays true to classic monster movies and also to its anime roots. Fans of both, anime and monster movies will be able to detect many subtle references to past classics and popular culture. In the end, "Pacific Rim" is summer blockbuster entertainment at its best and you'll be craving for a second viewing once the experience soaks in.

17 out of 26 people found the following review useful:
A Horror-Comedy Masterpiece - Right up there with "Shaun of the Dead", "Tucker & Dale vs Evil", "Sundown: The Vampire In Retreat", "Cockneys vs Zombies", and , 12 May 2013
9/10

Reviewed by Dare Devil Kid (DDK) Rating: 4.5/5 stars

I must admit that I'm a hardcore fan of the zombie sub-genre in the pantheon horror movies. So it was exhilarating to watch "Go Goa Gone" in which directors Krishna DK and Raj Nidimoru have taken major strides in introducing zombies to the mainstream Indian audience. While baptizing this all important and long overdue initiation, they have also succeeded in hemming an impeccable, gut-busting horror comedy a well.

The film crackles with hilarious dialogs, nail-biting sequences, a fluid plot, a coherent yet energizing narrative arc, zany and madcap encounters ranging from the unpredictable to the completely outrageous, brilliant cinematography, and finally spot-on direction from the first frame to the last. The praiseworthy performances, especially from Saif Ali Khan (surprise, surprise) and Kunal Khemmu, only add to the overall viewing pleasure. Puja Gupta's role definition and her enactment are the perhaps the only minor letdowns in this otherwise brilliantly energizing film, but then again, she does provide great eye-candy. So, perhaps that was how her role was meant to be, so who's complaining.

Thank God, that the producers set out to make an adult oriented film and were contended with the 'A' certificate, cause the expletive words, gore, wicked jokes, sexual references, and mild exposure (still nothing compared to those tasteless item numbers), are vital for a film of this ilk to work.

"Go Goa Gone" will go down in the annals of Indian Cinema as a pioneering film that shall hopefully, allow other filmmakers to explore zanier sub-genres that are already popular in other international film circuits. Not only one of the best Indian horror ever, but one of the best horror comedies ever made, even when compared to its western counterparts. Am absolute delight and complete entertainment for a cognizant adult audience. If you want real entertainment, and want a much-needed break from those myriad nonsensical masala films masquerading in the guise of entertainment, then dash to your nearest movie theater and catch the next show of this delectably wicked gore- fest.

21 out of 34 people found the following review useful:
Might Make the Kids Happy, 15 December 2014
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Reviewed by: Dare Devil Kid (DDK)

Rating: 1.5/5 stars

"Penguins of Madagascar" is fast and brightly colored enough to entertain small children, but too frantically silly to offer real film-going fun for the whole family. The film will probably appease kids with its rambunctious approach and garish setting, but adults will find out the hard way that these waddlers are better in small doses. The "Madagascar" movies have always been way too inane to provide wholesome family fun for adults and kids alike, and in keeping with that tradition, "Penguins of Madagascar" is no different.

However, you do feel a tad disappointed, since these waddlers were undeniably the best thing about the "Madagascar" franchise. But then you steadily begin to realize that since these penguins never had to carry a "Madagascar" movie, it was easier for them to steal one. Now they have their own movie, and who steals it? No one, as it turns out. It all just sort of happens, and then it's over, and does that surprise anyone? There is a direct correlation between certain characters' popularity and their screen time. "Ice Age" mainstay Scrat is hilarious, but can you imagine an entire movie of him? It would be unbearable. And in about a year, Universal is releasing a "Minions" movie. They showed a trailer for it before the "Penguins" screening, and it looks like it has the exact same problems that this movie does. Some characters are simply funnier in limited quantities.

Certainly one cannot fault the movie for a lack of energy or action. "Penguins of Madagascar" has these qualities in abundance and to a fault, in what feels like an almost desperate attempt to mask its thin, familiar storyline and lack of thematic or emotional depth. The plot, such as it is, concerns the penguin adventurers getting themselves into jam after jam, most of them part of a campaign to thwart evil octopus mastermind Dr. Octavius Brine, a.k.a. Dave (John Malkovich). Brash, reckless leader Skipper (Tom McGrath, working a mock-suave voice) - brains of the operation - Kowalski (Chris Miller) - demolition expert - Rico (Conrad Vernon), and cute and cuddly rookie, Private (Christopher Knights), make a good if haphazard team, but Private longs to be viewed as "a meaningful and valued member" rather than a prospect.

Dave's plot to de-cute all penguins is motivated by being jealous of penguin love, but none of this coalesces enough to make Penguins of Madagascar truly about anything, despite feints at making a statement about appearances not mattering. What this DreamWorks Animation picture really lacks is Pixar's patient pursuit of heart. The spin-off plays like a sampler of the animated studio's worst creative impulses: sugar-rush pacing, pandering meta-gags, and a slick, flavorless animation style.

These pervasive shortcomings make it impossible to enjoy this desperate-to-please film's two most distinctive assets: voice actors John Malkovich's and Benedict Cumberbatch's comically unhinged performances as the film's wet-blanket antagonists. Malkovich's Octavius Brine - a malevolent octopus - and Cumberbatch's Classified - an uptight wolf-cum-superspy - serve as comic foils for the hyperactive, happy-go-lucky penguin protagonists. But, following these devil-may-care penguins' manic attempts to help Classified stop Brine from kidnapping penguins around the world is like being trapped on a runaway wooden roller coaster for 95 minutes. First Skipper and his group binge on junk food at Fort Knox. Then they flee from evil octopi in a Venetian gondola race. Then they crash- land in Hong Kong, and try to stop Brine from kidnapping local zoo penguins. Not all animation movies can or even need to pull off the perfect amalgamation of frantic pace with lovable characters and memorable moments (a la "Lego Movie" or "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs"). You need to know exactly when to slacken the pace a bit, something I've only seen Directors, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, adept at executing. The cream of animation movies tend to follow a more sedate approach, a trend that is changing with annoying regularity nowadays. Studios and animation Directors need to get their bearing right and realize soon enough that flipping back to convention methods is probably the best way forward.

Though disappointingly monotonous in many ways, "Penguins of Madagascar" will probably divert kids with ease, given its manic exertion and pace. As for their adult minders, the picture is more likely to narcotize them into naps with its nauseatingly flashy CGI detail, and perhaps this is the natural order of things for tired parents seeking a break. However, for all those adults out there who are not being dragged along to the theater by their little ones, and are simply looking for a hilarious little romp, you'll should give this yarn of your feathered Arctic friends a definite miss. Barely bothering to make sense, "Penguins of Madagascar" is fast and furious but also flightless.

Pirates (2014)
6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
What Amazing Fun!, 18 January 2015
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Reviewed by: Dare Devil Kid (DDK)

Rating: 4.1/5 stars

What was thought to be a jiggery-pokery "Pirates of the Caribbean" rip-off, actually ended up being terrific entertainment and quite original to boot, and something the glitzy, insipid sequels of the Depp-led Pirate films should have been more like. On the eve of the founding of the Korean Joseon Dynasty, a gray whale swallows the Emperor's Seal of State being brought to Joseon by envoys from China. With a big reward on whoever brings back the royal seal, mountain bandits led by Jang Sa-jung (Nam-gil Kim) go out to sea to hunt down the whale. But he soon clashes with Yeo-wol (Ye-jin Son), a female pirate captain, and unexpected adventure unfolds.

The direction by Seok-hoon Lee was fantastic; the cinematography by veteran D.O.P., Young-Ho Kim, was brilliant, and integrated with the story beautifully; the special effects were more than decent considering the budget; the acting was above par; the sight gags and some of the dialogues were downright hilarious; Ji-ah Kim's sets and Yoo-jin Kwon's costumes were breathtaking; and above all, the action scenes were nothing short of spellbinding. One of those movies where everything just falls into place and blends neatly together as a one cohesive unit to provide spectacular entertainment.

I'll even go as far as stating that it's quite possibly, among the top five most pulsating, adrenaline-pumping, humor-laden, adventure- riddled, fun-filled, action-bonanza romp I've had in years. This Korean film simply titled, "The Pirates" is the real deal as far as action-adventurers go.

In the Blood (2014/I)
10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Bloody Good Action, 6 April 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Reviewed by: Dare Devil Kid (DDK)

Rating: 3.8/5 stars

A terrific action vehicle for MMA and Muay Thai star Gina Carano to show off her amazing fight skills. But hey, the lady can even act and displays a decent effort in some of the movie's emotional and dramatic scenes, before the real mayhem is unleashed – not that it really matters, but it's always welcome to see an action star with some acting chops.

Basically, Ms. Carano plays Ava, a newlywed on her honeymoon in a Caribbean island and for some reason – revealed only towards the end of the film – her husband gets kidnapped. Now she has to rely on everything on everything she learnt from a dark chapter in her life many years ago if she has any hope to see her husband again; a past she thought was well and truly buried once she had decided to change her life around for a simple, straightforward existence.

The Director does a competent job in presenting a simple, recycled plot – the elements of which are easily noticed by staple action fans – in a gripping, gritty manner, which keeps the narrative raw, visceral, and engaging enough to hook our attention till the very end. Yes, a few plot points may seem far-fetched, but that's pardonable in an action vehicle, which delivers on its main points of entertainment, good fight scenes, a believable script, and most importantly, a no-nonsense, tough-as-nails protagonist. Director, John Stockwell, merits special mention for presenting Gina Carano in the way she should – with beauty, sex appeal, tenacity, courage, and loads of kick-ass scenes smartly weaved into the plot to showcase her phenomenal fight skills. Along the way, we get a stupendously exciting, adrenaline-pumping, gritty action film that's sure to be remembered for some time to come. As far as the rest of the cast goes, Cam Gigandet and Ismael Cruz Cordova lend good support to the proceedings.

It's safe to say that there's a stunningly gorgeous woman who's all set to kick some serious butt in the future, as the new action star on the horizon.

10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Silly Fun That Thankfully Doesn't Take Itself Seriously, 15 August 2013
7/10

Reviewed by:Dare Devil Kid (DDK) Rating: 3.4/5 stars

Say what you want about Rohit Shetty, but the man sure does know to mindlessly entertain you, unlike many of his clones spawned over the past few years, who just numb your senses with their weak endeavors in trying to ape his brand of easygoing, risk-free cinema. "Chennai Express" is actually his best work since "All The Best" (though nothing compared to "All The Best"), and does have a semblance of plot and even some heart, which is usually not the case with most of his projects. The film exceeds expectations for the mere fact that it entertains you for most its duration.

Let's not even try and get into the other technical and creative aspects (or flaws) of the film, because if any of you'll went into a Rohit Shetty movie looking for a coherent plot narration or solid character development, then you'll need a serious reality check, or rather a surgical extraction of your prudish natures. The songs (barring the "1 2 3 4" number), editing, and production design are admittedly all over the place, but then again you should be well prepared to ignore these parameters. However, the background score and cinematography are surprisingly quite decent.

For his part, SRK necessarily hams it up delightfully to the hilt and renders a slightly tweaked and caricatured version of his now famous "Rahul" persona. And Deepika's acting is finally showing signs of real improvement. She literally shines in some scenes of the movie. What adds some required chutzpah to this potboiler, is the sizzling chemistry between the two. Their second film together gives sufficient indication that we might have the next hot jodi in Bollywood.

"Chennai Express" is melodramatic and over-the-top, but it certainly isn't tedious and long-drawn like most other wannabe masala films. You'll gladly lap it up over the disoriented "Bodyguards", "Ek Tha Tigers", "Singhams", "Himmatwalas", "Son Of Sardars" and "Rowdy Rathores" anyday. Most of the dialogues and gags are actually humorous and the action at the end at least makes the hero feel human (something that can't be said for the other staple masala heroes like Salman and Ajay). At the end of the day, if you don't analyze "Chennai Express" too much, you'll actually end up having quite an entertaining 140-minute ride.


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