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Note: I will keep on adding names as and when I remember them.
Perfect Summer movie
Captain America is directed by Joe Johnston and stars Chris Evans and Hugo Weaving. On the outside it looks like a fun summer movie with all the right dialog and action pieces with it. But when you watch it, you will realize it is about a boy who wont give up. And that's why this might be one of my favorite movies of this year. Chris Evans is cast perfectly as a 1940s young man who wants to serve his country. Stanley Tucci is a German scientist who wants to correct the mistakes of his past and Tommy Lee Jones is a colonel who along with Tucci is responsible for selecting one cadet who might become the strongest soldier of all. Hugo Weaving looks menacing as Johann Schmidt. When he says he wants it all, you almost believe him.
Most importantly Joe Johnston and the writers know what makes Captain America so endearing and its commendable that they don't over do it.
Before watching this movie, I was a bit worried about how Chris Evans would stand up to Robert Downey Jr and Samuel L Jackson in the Avengers. Now I think he might be able look at them in the eye and get away with it.
Best movie of Summer 2011
I didn't want to watch Rise of the Planets of the Apes. First of all because of the title and secondly because it was another Planets of the ape movie. The last try at rebooting this franchise was a disaster even with Tim Burton directing it. As such, I didn't have high hopes with the movie.
Directed by Rupert Wyatt, the movie feels like it was directed with tight lease. Caesar and his actions and reactions to the world are the best part of the movie. I think you are not going to see CGI at its best again until James Cameron comes up with Avatar 2 and 3. The story is tight and makes you sit on your toes even though you know whats going to happen in the end. Acting wise, James Franco leads the charge as a son who won't let go of his father. Frieda Pinto is adequate.
If you are in two minds about going to this movie, take a chance and watch it. The worst that will happen is you will watch another unsatisfying movie this summer. But what if this is one of the best summer movies made this year??? Check this out and let me know.
Would have been something with a little bit of story in it.......
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is Michael Bay's third time handling the world of Autobots and Decepticons with some humans thrown around in there. Once again, the story revolves around Decepticons trying to bring life to their barren planet Cybertron and guess what they need - cheap labor. I guess if pondered on, this film might bring a new meaning to the word Outsourced.
Anyways, once again Michael Bay tries to make a movie which could have been good and satisfying. Unfortunately, it's not.
Overall, the movie is not good and this time there no attempts to hide it. Sentinel Prime is a good guy and somehow turns bad when he wakes up (he made a deal with Megatron some centuries ago). This was such a good plot that Michael couldn't wait to flaunt it and let everybody know that in the first half itself. Sometimes, I imagine what the result would have been if Sentinel had turned out evil in the last half. It would have been awesome. (of course the story would have been different but the idea is so enticing).
The direction is average. Michael has already proved that he is the Roland Emmerich equivalent - only he can direct much better fights. Shia LeBouf is okay and guess what this time Michael gave him a gun. Finally. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is Megan Fox' replacement but just not that good (Can anyone tell me if they were convinced of her having the guts and luck to talk to Megatron alone and walk away unhurt?). The robots as always were awesome and fight bigger than anything you can imagine.
Well, thats my take. The last thing I can say is whoever directs the next Transformers - Please let Michael Bay create the trailers because they are the only reason why this movie is said to be so awesome and good (in some cases).
Green Lantern (2011)
A big waste
If you look at the team behind Green Lantern, you will find the actors and behind the camera crew are the best possible fit anybody could ever find. Ryan Reynolds can bring any role to life with his charm and wit. Blake Lively was perfectly cast as Carol. Peter Saarsgard as the villain (watch for his scenes. They were for me the highlights of the film). Mark Strong as Sinestro is pitch perfect. And Martin Campbell (the man who brought James Bond to life twice in the last 2 decades) in the director's chair was the best possible decision taken by the producers.
The question you should be asking right now is what went wrong then? THE SCRIPT. I don't think the writers have been following the comic book movies since 2008. Otherwise, they would have known that Dark Knight / Iron-man changed everything. People now expect more from movies inspired by comics. No wonder it took 3 people to write the story and 4 to write the screenplay. One single person cant be this dumb.
The story of Green Lantern as most of you know by now is about Hal Jordan a fearless pilot who is give a ring of power and asked to protect earth (sector 2814). And then they have the part where he learns how to use the new found power and the part where he tries to save the girl and an eccentric evil genius and a threat to the earth and many other side-plots. If you read the last sentence again, you will notice that it was the story of Superman (Also, the editor of GL is from Superman itself). Kilowog and Tomar-Re are just props and not that impressive.
On the whole, Green Lantern is going to leave you wanting for more and not in a good way. I still cant believe Martin Campbell was involved in this. Also, I call for Ryan Reynolds not to be involved in DEADPOOL - Just coz he killed Green Lantern.
And what would you do????
Trust me when I say this - You have watched Limitless in one way or another in the last 20 years. The idea is not new. You have seen it before where a common man gets his hand on something which changes his world but he forgets that you have to pay for what you take (Not every movie is Alladin). What makes this move different is the execution which will earn you your money.
Limitless stars Bradley Cooper as a writer whose last book wasn't a success and he hasn't written a word since then. Then he meets one of his old acquaintances and gets what's essentially a high IQ drug and everything changes. As he becomes more successful his path cross with Robert De Niro and Anna Friel. Both have their reasons to be in his life. And then there is Abbie Cornish who tries to be the ideal girlfriend. All in all, Limitless has a very decent cast who deliver what you expect (to an extent).
What makes this movie different is the execution. 10 out of 10 to the writer and the Director for the treatment. The mood of the movie literally changes every time Bradley is taking his drugs. The ending is abrupt. I wish they would have paid more attention to it.
All in all, Limitless is decent fun movie. You will enjoy it as long as you don't have high expectations (again not every movie is Alladin).
Stake Land (2010)
A low budget gem
I saw this movie because I love post-apocalyptic movies. The idea of a world with less human beings meddling with it always looks enticing. Its the same reason why we take vacations in remote locations.
First thing you will notice about Stake Land is it looks great. I am not much familiar with the cast except Connor Paolo. The actors act naturally which looks great in a film such as this. The plot is simple. It is a story of survivors of a vampire epidemic. But its the execution of the plot which is why this movie is so good. The director knows what he can and cant do. 10 out of 10 for the director's efforts.
Lastly, I wont say its a different movie than the rest of vampire movies coming out these days. But Stake Land should be watched because it has the ability to suck you in its environment within the first 10 minutes. And trust me it never lets it go.
A Failed Attempt
This review is my opinion and reaction of how I felt after watching the movie, so please don't expect a chronological or rather a logical review.
Predators starring Adrien Brody and Alice Braga wasn't a movie I was looking forward to watch. It starts and it ends. Once the movie ends you don't have anything to say about it. Neither good nor bad. Its not going to change anything and the director Nimród Antal knows that. I have read that it was based on an idea by Robert Rodriguez. Well, now that I have seen it, I can say it wasn't much of an idea. I am numb after watching it. I just didn't feel anything.
The storyline has a bunch of humans face off two different Predators on a distant planet. Now these two different Predators are supposed to be in fight with each other as well (Don't know why). There are the smaller Predators seen in the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie and the new one who are taller than them. I think the reason Robert came with this idea of Predators abducting humans and hunting them on a distant planet is because then he wont have to explain why are there two different predators now. The movie starts and people start dying every 10 minutes or so. That's all there is to this movie. 20 minutes before the movie ends, there is a scene where Adrien says "I am fast" in a husky voice which everyone in this movie has except Topher Grace. At that very moment, I knew how the movie was going to end. And I don't know how much it says for the movie but it ended exactly the way I imagined it.
Actor/Character Reviews: Predators: They come and see your heat signature and you die. To be truthful, it has been the same since Predator. Nobody ever came close to the way a Predator was portrayed in that movie.
Adrien Brody: The only reason I saw this movie. Unfortunately Adrien lost one more fan because of this movie. (Its not his fault. People expect more after they have seen Pianist).
Alice Braga: She looks nice. I think now is her time to do something more romantic (Maybe she already has done it and I haven't watched it. Let me know.).
Topher Grace: I cant say anything without watching the movie second time. Sadly, the only way I will watch it again is at gunpoint.
Lawrence Fishburne: As always, he brought his A-game to the movie. But it doesn't mean it was good.
Now you know what I think of Predators. Please let me know what you think about it.
Yôgisha X no kenshin (2008)
A new twist on an old story
I am not a big fan of movies which are based on books. Just look at what they did with Harry Potter and others (LOTR is an exception). So I wasn't much excited when my friend told me it was based on a book and I tried not to watch it. He practically had to make me sit through the first 15 minutes of the movie to make sure I was intrigued. Well, I am glad he made me watch it because Suspect X is one the best mystery thriller movies I've watched in the last couple of years.
Suspect X is a story of a murdered husband, a wife, a daughter and two geniuses. Manabu Yukawa is a scientist who helps out the police once in a while. And Tetsuya Ishigami is Mathematician who lives next door to the wife of the murdered man. Both have their reasons to be involved. The story is written tightly. The cinematography is hauntingly beautiful.
The strongest point of the movie is the interactions of the two geniuses. When they are there talking, you don't want to miss a second of their conversation. They are not conniving and trying to out do each other. They are just old friends talking. And that's what makes this movie so special.
I highly recommend it to those who love Hitchcock movies.
Note: I don't know Japanese and watched this movie with English Subtitles. It in no way affected the mood of the movie.