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A Most Violent Year (2014)
Just above average with the wrong Title!
This is an above average movie with good visuals.Period. Firstly, the title is wrong and misleading. The film is a character driven story of survival of a an executive ala Michael Clayton.This should be made clear to the viewer and there's no relation to the statistically most violent year. This may have been the reason for its failure. Secondly, the story is wafer thin and two hours is too long a time for very little or more of the same thing.Opportunities where the plot could be made more involved or complex are lost.The movie had to retain a sense of dread like Michael Clayton but is unable to hold the attention despite the impressive first 20 minutes. Thirdly, the some story lines did not fit the tone of the movie.The overlong chase by Abel to track the van driver felt like it belonged to a Bond or Bourne movie.Suddenly, our hero is transformed from an ordinary man to something else! Lastly, the suicide in the end does not add anything to the story and simply adds some vague angle to the story. It's an above average movie but basically a missed opportunity!!
Penny Dreadful (2014)
Can we call this just plain 'Dreadful' ?
Penny Dreadful started out as a Period Horror with extreme violence and a great cast. The first two episodes do match the expectations and although literally quite bloody,held your interest. It introduced an amalgamation of literary characters from Frankenstein,Dorian Gray,Van Helsing and so on. The set pieces and cinematography is above average and is actually very similar in mood to Hannibal which is set in a different era altogether. That's the good bit. Since then, it feels as if the director and creator have just got lost in the pursuit of edgy and ultra violent horror and forgot the script.Its a bit like watching a movie with great CGI where you can chomp on your pop corn until the next great set piece.Similarly here, there are many places where you could fast forward missing absolutely nothing.In fact even missing some episodes may not make any difference to viewing. Depiction of bloody, real bloody violence,explicit sex and horror make-up does not make a good engaging horror/thriller. This one is a let down and sadly so.
From Dusk Till Dawn (2014)
This is the Pits! Dare you to find a serial that is worse than this one!
This is the most awfully directed and acted serial this year. It had a good promise - A movie which is well loved by a whole lot of us and a Producer who also takes an interest in its direction in Robert Rodriguez.
But after watching the first five episodes I must say this is the absolute pits among TV dramas this year.The acting is non-existent,the CGI is awful,the story never gets any where and the direction makes you wonder whether anyone is doing any job at all. How can you get it so wrong? For all those who wondered whether it is too late to join in, please do not worry as in five episodes,practically nothing happens! The characters are so badly written you do not care for any of them.The action sequences have a serious flaw - any one with half a brain knows the outcome of the fights even before the prolonged balletic shoot outs! Absolutely no suspense or imagination. The back stories are told repeatedly for whatever reason which the viewers just don't care. This is sad as it had a great promise for those looking for an alternative to the Twilight Vampire series.This is an absolute let down and a torture on the viewers.One can only hope it gets its deserved end soon.
This is so incredibly bad you cannot BELIEVE it!
This is just plain awful.It makes you wonder why the Hollywood Companies pay some of these writers at all.The story has been done to death and in addition just plain boring.The direction is poor and the acting worse.Don't really care about any of the characters and not helped one bit by some really poor writing. You would think at least some writer somewhere must have something new or original to write about. I don't have a lot of belief this one might get more than a season which makes you wonder if it is worth following at all.Lastly can the producers do us a favour and stop the sentimental music run through the scenes? It's hard to relate to it since we really don't care one bit.
Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (2011)
Breathtaking movie but hard to watch!
The movie was suggested to me by a friend and I am glad I took the advice. It is a magnificent movie in portraying real emotions and real people,something that resonates throughout the world. Although made in Iran, the movie could be set almost anywhere and will still have the same impact.The characters are real;not just black or white but always a touch of grey and brilliant at that.It is hard to watch at times as it is a honest portrayal and leaves a lasting impression.So many movies one hardly remembers once you step out of the theatre except for one or two scenes.It also raises the issue of why movies from other countries with similar non-Hollywood budgets aren't focused on story and characters.Admittedly French and Korean movies are exceptions to this rule.This movie is a must see and hopes it makes the list of everyone's list.
Even Bond has to face World Recession!
After the last outing of Bond with quantum of solace, the next Bond has to be better and it is by a long way! But it is possibly unique among all Bond films to look different and almost resembles a Jack Reacher story than a Classic Bond. The director is different and it shows (long pauses ,scenes which are quiet and with just dialogues, more character development for some characters while some seem woefully short, dark and bleak almost like a Harry Potter movie ), the music directors different and it shows as it has none of the classic Bond soundtrack being played in the background except about 3- 4 times,the title soundtrack is hardly used and many scenes are very very quiet). It was rumoured that Bond Franchise had financial problems with MGM,etc and it shows.Except for one chase in Turkey and 20 minutes in Shanghai/Macau there are no exotic locations,sets or for that matter even gadgets. You wouldn't be surprised if this movie is liked by the older generation as it resembles one of those 70s thrillers where one man takes on the system while being forced to go back to basics (ala Charles Bronson,Reynolds,etc). All in all it is a good movie although for me it is not a Bond Movie per se. I have no idea about the need to make Moneypenny black or introduce some gay elements to Bond/Villain exchanges! Naomi as future Miss Moneypenny is actually the brightest spark in a movie where Daniel Craig really looks old for a Bond role however why the need to tamper with something that is rooted with tradition? Regarding gay tendencies,maybe just a reflection of the Directors liberal streak. Lastly whatever the box office receipts of this movie this has to be the last outing in a Bond Movie for both the Director and Daniel Craig.
A buddy cop movie from 1800s! What's wrong with Guy Ritchie?!!
I watched Game of shadows with hope as I enjoyed his earlier outing of Sherlock Holmes even though I am a big fan of the books and TV series. The last movie was different and attempted to modernise the story to keep the interest of the game generation. This one is truly awful! Firstly Both Sherlock and Mycroft are reduced to being clowns at times in the hope of funny lines which just fall flat.The movie is just a buddy cop movie from 1800s and not even a great one at that!Watson played by the directors buddy curiously seems to have more to do than Shelly(yes,that's what his brother Mycroft calls him in the movie!)himself. Whats wrong with British Directors and their obsession with homosexuality! Here there are numerous double entendres and references to gay time with Holmes and Watson! A particularly ugly scene is one where Watson falls between Holmes's legs and they banter!Holmes doesn't wear masks but looks more like a Tranny with his ladies attire with lipstick all over his face.Sadly all these don't even raise a smile which I could have accepted if that was the reason behind everything.The idea that Holmes was a cerebral sleuth is long left behind with the director Guy Ritchie's obsession of slow-motion action scenes. The point is Guy Ritchie had one of the best characters, scripts,etc and didn't need to reduce it to just plain rubbish British crime caper.If the names weren't Sherlock Holmes and Watson, I could have accepted it as a pretty ordinary buddy action movie with some good scenes.This is pathetic!
pirates are back and better for it!
I watched the preview last Thursday.I cannot disagree more with one of the reviews which suggested the latest version is a bit dull.On stranger tides is not only better than the last two instalments but nearly as good as the the original.The storyline is lucid,plenty of jokes which made the first movie good,less use of nonsense CGI and absence of two characters actually gives a new lease of life particularly since Ian McShane is as expected just brilliant.Penelope Cruz appears to be hiding in long dresses to hide her obvious problem at that time.All in all the best movie outing for sheer fun since Inception.Its a popcorn movie and does a good job of what is expected!