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Honorable Mentions: Gravity Interstellar Saving Private Ryan Fanny and Alexander Ivan's Childhood
Satisfactory end to the middle-earth
Shortest of all but a satisfactory finish to the middle-earth legend. It works as a finale but not as a stand alone film. Thorin being an idiot(dragon sickness) for most part of the film didn't work but when he realizes, the film starts to pick momentum and the last hour is breathtakingly good and this is where it gets the Lord of the Rings vibe.
Battle looked great but ended abruptly(extended cut may be?) with the entrance of Eagles and Beorn and it shifted to Thorin vs Azog. Still it was good but don't expect it to match the likes of Battle of Pelennor fields or Helm's Deep.
Gandalf didn't had much to do. Sauron will be seen in a scene. Aragorn's mention will make some fans happy. Tauriel is surprisingly good this time. Bilbo was okay but he should have got more presence. We don't get to see what happened to some key members(again, extended cut may be?). Earlier half of the film was wasted at Arkenstone subplot. It should have been chopped a bit and that run time might have helped the climax, giving it some depth.
HFR 3D looked different and added depth to the dialog scenes but it looked cartoon-sh in the action sequences.
Will miss these films :( Oh wait , Silmarillion may be ? is it too much to ask Mr. Jackson?
Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)
Wrath of God
The most ancient and epic story about God's revenge. People who have seen 'Ten Commandments' or at least knew the story of Moses will like it (for most of the part). Others can sit through and experience the spectacular battles and plagues. Scott portrayed them as natural causes and depiction of God may not satisfy some believers. I found it better than Ten Commandments version where God is shown as an invisible person, preaching. Red sea partition is also different from the source material and the earlier film.
Bale was good but not his best. The film lacks balance and editing is uneven sometimes. Scott shined at his strengths i.e visuals but we don't feel for anyone, neither the Hebrews nor the Egyptians.
A story of this kind will not satisfy everyone but Scott should have done better at giving some emotional highs. He did well directing the romance angle of Moses and his wife. Of course, the best part is the plagues.
CGI was fantastic. Musical score was good but lacks variety, someone like Hans Zimmer or James Horner would've elevated the film. Still you can enjoy the splendid visuals and larger than life scale of the film provided with some patience. Yes, it is better than Robin Hood but falls short of Gladiator.
Mix of Spielberg's warmth, Kubrick's brain and Malick's beauty
Interstellar is a jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring, beautiful, complex and thrilling adventure.The film is a mix of Spielberg's warmth, Kubrick's brain and Malick's beauty.Visually it is one of the best film ever made if not the best. Totally, is it the best film ever made? i don't know. A film of this scope and ambition is sure to have some narrative flaws here and there but it is beyond my ability to judge a film like this and find flaws in first viewing. May be i need to see it again to find any flaws, hell why should i find flaws while enjoyed it immensely.
Performances were great. Hans Zimmer music was terrific and loud at times. Endurance docking and ghost subplot gave me chills. Some of the stuff is hard to understand like the Gravitational singularity, Relativity and 5 Dimensional space. But Nolan connected the dots between them very efficiently and mixed them with love and humanity. If you are a sucker for these things, the film will transcend you into it or else it feels overly sentimental.
Don't miss it. I recommend you to watch it in IMAX if possible.
Govindudu Andari Vaadele (2014)
A Decent family entertainer with right mix of all emotions.
The main story was simple. The film would have done wonders if the main plot was 'a bit more from the usual' which may have kept the viewers guessing. Still it was okay though and the subplots were interesting.
Ram Charan and Prakash Raj performances, Srikanth Characterization were terrific and the touching Climax lifted the movie to big level.
Gulabi song was well shot. Cinematography was exceptional. Editing should have been better.
An Important film for Ram Charan and a big relief for people who want to escape from mindless heroism and Brahmi comedy.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
Big and Beautiful
Dream works trump card How to train your dragon was one of my favorite animated movies of all time. That one was a charming and heartfelt story. This installment was beautiful (thanks to Roger Deakins), funny at the start, tragic in the middle and heroic at the end.
It just delivered what we want.
Toothless was great and he stole the show in the climax. Not a great story but it has enough elements to keep the viewers intrigued till the climax which all of a sudden delivers a power packed punch and then you can't help but to cheer for Hiccup and Toothless.
The treatment was little predictable but the 'chief has come home'.
Music score, Animation and 3D were great too.
Best film of the year so far. Cheers !
A well crafted Family fantasy
A story that fits only to Akkineni family and a film that only looks plausible with Telugu viewers.
When time and misfortune separates, love and re-incarnation brings and ties them together.
Performances were decent but nothing outstanding. Samantha looked more comfortable out of them all. ANR has less screen time but he did enough justice even at that age.
Some comedy scenes in first half should have been chopped to move forward to the plot point as fast as it can. But it didn't. So we have to wait till the interval for the main proceedings to happen. Interval and Climax were its strongest points.
Vikram Kumar has a classic taste in direction and i want to see his work more in the future. Cinematography was neat and clean but the color tones should have been changed accordingly to bring the contemporary look to the varied time periods. Background score and Prema Prema song are excellent.
Even some cinematic clichés are sugar coated with feel good factor and then you can't help but to appreciate and enjoy.
Yes. Go, appreciate and enjoy
Godzilla, the King of Monsters returns to the silver screen. Surprisingly , he himself didn't had much screen time to woo the audience. Even when he appears they cut to humans and other things leaving the viewers disappointing. This has been done many times in the film and it had an advantage of creating the tense but a regular fan boy might get disappointed of this style. The final battle was good and the film concluded in a good fashion though.
Gareth Edwards tried to balance the human aspect and the monster-action but he was partly successful. He had put more efforts on the humans but they didn't have much to perform but only there to felt shocked and panicked. He teased the viewers and created the tension till the Big G's arrival which paid well for the initial half. He should have focused more on a compelling narration but he insisted more on creating the environment.
Bryan Cranston performed well as Joe Brody and he carries the first part of the movie on his shoulders. Aaron Taylor-Johnson was good as Naval technician Ford and he performed well. Elizabeth Olsen as Ford's Wife didn't had much screen time. A good actor like Ken Watanabe was there only to stare at the consequences happening let alone performing. It's hard to have compelling characters when the film is based on a Monster but a even in a film like this has to have good characters for the viewers to connect.
The film was good at parts with more tension than action catching some viewers in this aspect but at the same time it leaves others who expect popcorn entertainment. It was good but not as good as we wanted it to be.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Not the Spider-man we deserve
The film had too many villains just like Spider-man 3. Surprisingly Marc Webb didn't cared for them and instead he tend towards his trademark romance. It's understandable because the 'farewell Gwen. Welcome Mary Jane' time has come.
Electro is there for nothing. A very good character like Harry Osborne was wasted with 'I got a disease- i want to destroy everything' phenomenon. Seriously? the villains purpose in this film didn't convince me at all. Vfx and 3D were excellent.
Hans Zimmer did a good job but his music didn't fit a teen hero like Spidey.
Overall, lead pair romance with an emotional ending, one or two action sequences and Vfx were good.. but the villainy was bad.
I didn't get disappointed since these films are just starters and we'll see the real Spidey and some imp characters like Mary Jane, JJ Jameson, Dr. Octopus and Venom are yet to come.
300: Rise of an Empire (2014)
Style and Belligerence
Rise of an Empire shows the Battle of Artemisium where Athens general Themistocles(Sullivan Stapleton) fights with Persian naval commander Artemisia(Eva Green). On the parallel side to this, the Battle of Thermoplyae happens between King Leonidas of Sparta and King Xerxes of Persia which we've seen in the earlier part 300. Rise of an Empire also shows Xerxes past and the events after 300 in parallel with the naval war.
All the graphic violence in the earlier part appears in this one too. Perhaps thats the reason why we flock to theaters. But this installment lacks the 'Act of Valor' of Leonidas and his troops that made 300 a smashing hit. The cult fan base of 300 will be satisfied enough and the people who like graphic violence can give this a shot but for others its just a good looking video game.
Sullivan Stapleton was OK but the film lacks Gerard Butler's presence. Eva Green stole the show as Persian naval commander and she was the highlight of the film. Lena Headey didn't had enough screen time but she did a good job.
Noam Murro honestly imitated the style of first film but Zack Synder would've done a better job. Murro delivered a stylish one but the script didn't allowed him to elevate the film even then it was a mediocre attempt.
Cinematography was good but most of the shots had lens flare which distracts our eyes but its the CGI that stands tall out of the whole film. Original Score was good at times but mostly we hear the loud noise. Editing was crisp.
Just when i thought all this was UN-necessary, they've given a cliffhanger at the ending. May be a 'Return of the King' vibe for a third part? We have to wait for that. For now fans will eventually see this one because ain't bad but ain't that good either for others to run to theaters.
The Monuments Men (2014)
Does History worth saving even at the cost of soldiers' lives? Monuments Men tries to answer by appointing a team of historians, architects who must save stolen art from Nazi thieves during the end of World War 2.
Most of the part its submissive to style and star cast but passive to its premise. Hence only a 30min out of 120min looks intriguing. There were some funny moments which provides some relief.
I was expecting a 'Da Vinci Code in Fuhrer's era but Mr.Clooney tried a historical action which appeals only at times. He made it as stylish as possible but failed to show the meticulous level of the saved art that was shown at the end just as a montage.
Can watch it for the star cast and humour but Monuments Men disappoints if you expect a serious adventure that it had promised.