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Star Wars Episode VII : A sight for sore eyes
So, all apprehensions aside, there I was like the zillion others on first day and first show in plum seats at an IMAX screen. Eager once again to listen to the swoosh of the light sabres and the bleep bloops of the droids, I was lost in wondering . Brought back I was by the familiar music. Jolts were sent through to the hippocampus and by the time the Epic prologue text started sliding into the abyss, first episode of welling up with goosebumps was all but seen through. As the minutes passed by, I could see Abrams sticking to the stereotypes of the original trilogy. Picking pages off Episode IV, in showing the attack of the villain upfront in a show of might and attitude, followed by introduction of protagonists in some daily routine event. It was all so familiar the making style, with minute hiccups. We all were let know that we are once again in a Star Wars movie. Period. Each of the old characters was being received with cheers and whistles and tears. All in all a very busy half an hour. As the reels went by, the allegories started to become more pronounced, indicating that the film is a part of the original puzzle. The transition to 30 years ahead was decently achieved . Now, since the promotion of the movie, it was being sold as the star wars for the new generation. Even though it is, there is so much adhering to the old storyline that the old fans will find themselves engrossed much and boasting less about star wars of the 70's. The nostalgia was all expected, but I liked that Abrams hasn't played too much off the introduction of the vintage characters and let them reprise the nuances of the characters as they go about exploring the unexpected turn of events as they come. 10 points for the blend in. One of the major possible failure was averted in the tech department. The technological advances in the story were kept to the minimum, since a period of 30 years accounts for little, when it's all happening long ago in a galaxy far far away and almost at the peak of it's technological evolution.
Let's take a dig the character build up(the new ones).Kylo Ren. He's every bit Han would have been had be been in the force club. It's pretty evident that he would be on his way to the dark side. Kylo here provides us with the lawful-evil factor. With the Lawful-good and gray-good characters are being incubated and introduced to their destinies in some far away systems, we are given a glimpse into developmental stages of their evil counterpart. Kylo is pretty advanced and powerful with the ways of the force. He's shown to have built his own lightsabre. Now as you remember, building your own lightsabre is an important step in the training. But he's not an expert yet, so his light sabre is crude, probably malfunctioning at the hilt, a DIY error, could happen to anyone. So enough with the complaints about the leaking light fan boys ! Get over it ! There's so much more to look at in the film. With all the balancing act(pretty evident, actually a little too evident at times, you can literally point the scenes out) Abrams has done before setting sail to the story, there are still places where you feel that he has sacrificed the detailing or build up of a scene, making the subsequent scene a bit hurried. For the cast, Star Wars has been known to spring unknown actors and making them household names. The new set of actors have been probated well through the film. Adam Driver has tried his best in Kylo Ren, but as I said, Abrams left him high and dry by puncturing his character a little, poor him. John boyega, playing the path breaking storm trooper Finn (again , part of the trailer, no spoiler here) is the audience's eyes in the film. Daisy Ridley now, is the female protagonist and Luke Skywalker's counterpart and has done promisingly well. Let's wait for Episode VIII to comment more on her (Yes there is going to be VIII and IX ). And in the supporting cast, along with the old R2 unit D2 and his darling buddy C-3PO (boy was I happy to hear his voice again ), there is a newer, faster running droid. Goes by the name of BB-8. He has definitely saved crunch time in the action scenes ! Each of the older droids and Chewie, with his signature growls , make you reach for tissues at their respective entry scenes, needless to say. Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill are worth mentioning as part of the nostalgia package as well. And last but not the least, the man, the Legend, Harrison Ford. The old Ford never goes out of character. It's just treat to watch him as a more matured Han Solo yet with same old flare ! 8 and a half from me for not messing it up and connecting and starting the new story in a Star Wars Legacy style. With the nostalgia factor gone, it would be real interesting to see if the sequels can withstand the test of time.
P.S. : Despite knowing that she hails from the force family, and the number of Jedi is already down to one, I'm intrigued as to how Leia can sit this one out and become an administrator ! Really Puzzling.
Man of Steel (2013)
The justice league's leader arrives. Stumbles through...but makes it home !
For over a year from whence it was declared that Snyder would direct a Nolan production, I had my reservations about whether Snyder was the right person, Warner chose. And...he has lived up to his reputation of being erratic. With every minute of the movie passing by, a movie buff needs little effort in seeing him huffing and puffing through it. How do I put it, it was like,he had little idea about how to put the story in (the story's extent was a little too much for him to handle or what), and he decides to split it and sow it all over the first half of the movie. It requires enough discretion to extrapolate how it was meant originally when it flowed through Nolan and Goyer duo's ink. It seemed as there are two approaches to the making of the movie,writer's and director's and not quite blending in through the journey. They blended like an alloy, not as compound though.
The movie started perfectly, the story being told with the needful action. Then came the critical part of introducing people to the man of steel. Every hero in DC world lives with an ideal. It's the choice, the self realization, the compassion, the pillars on which the crux of the superheroes is built. As the leader of the justice league, the man of steel poses no exception, in fact he is the example. They have shown several anecdotes from Clark Kent's childhood and youth trying to stress these points, but they do not cast as much impression as needed for the viewer to be in sync with the activities of his alter ego, which follow. May be I am addicted to the Nolan way, but even then that's where I think the director was just beating around the bush, and did not hit the spot, quite right.
About the actors, Henry Cavill is a mixed bag. He is perfect as superman, jumpy as Clark Kent. Russell Crowe, I don't think needs any direction. He played Jor-El, to the maximum. It was pretty imminent whatever were Jor-El's dialogues were Nolan's words, and they were precious, every syllable. The rest of the cast was mediocre, nothing to remember after 123rd minute. Laurence Fishburne was wasted in his role. In the close proximity of earth shattering fights, he managed to be alive. Just because he is a renowned actor, you keep him alive, that's something Marvel would do. Not for one bit, such things are expected from WB-DC team. Did they run out of budget to ensemble a better cast or what? I don't know .Speaking of budget, it looks like Snyder was given a license to spend the money and he did, all of it, $225m in the technical department. But I must say, it's well spent, every penny of it in making a visual spectacle. For me it was my first IMAX 3D experience, and I enjoyed the 3D every bit. This has to be one of the best non-animated 3D action movies in the superhero genre. Also I love the change they have made to the logo, it gives superman the appropriate makeover.
Hans Zimmer has given an awesome score, that saves the action scenes from becoming high and dry, and brings in the needed intensity. I did miss Wally Pfister with the camera. But he comes in with the Nolan package and not the Snyder package. I would advise goers to not expect for Nolan brilliance in any department. For example there are a few scenes which have no action nor are shot on a wobbly footing, but look like shot with handy-cam, for unfathomable reasons.
The action in the movie has lived up to the expectation. Each action sequence is crafted with enough intricacy. Especially mentionable, the duel with his enemy ,the catch of the falling Lois Lane, which has become one of the famous scenes in comics' story, is re-mastered and modernized, and literally every flight of superman, be it on earth or in space was heart racing and jaw dropping. It really feels like Snyder's heart lies in action, and he doesn't disappoint one bit. .
In all, a booming reboot, must watch.
Iron Man Three (2013)
Prototype Failure: Iron Mark III
There i am on the seat in positive mind ready for the iron man's "toughest battle". The movie starts,the plot is being arranged..the characters are being introduced, and i am totally in the mood. I have the entire cinematic history of Iron man in my mind ready for reference,in case some deep connection to previous movie is implied very subtly worrying i might miss it.The movie is on, the pace is slow, i am busy justifying myself, making plausible connections. An occasional eye catching action sequence makes my palms meet in a clap. But there's some humming noise of misconnection coming from my subconscious, its been past interval and i seem to spend more time shaking it off, as the quantum of solace starts to pile on. And just like some iron man prototype suit, the movie rises, exhausting too much in bursts in short time and makes that sad projectile dive, not so far from where it launched.The movie just did not feel to be happening in marvel's world whatsoever,its so disconnected. Marvel might just feel it a little harsh the way i am putting it,but they had it coming from a fan.
They had made a perfect trailer, they had the success of avengers behind them, and of course, there was this new awesomeness in iron man since avengers,a little different that the first two episodes in the franchise. With expectations rocketing skywards, the movie looked deflected from the projected path. A very important part of making a sequel is you adhere to what you declare earlier. They seem to just have forgotten, the way they built iron man's world in avengers and taken a new route altogether. Whatever connections shown to the avengers seemed more like afterthoughts.Looked Like the makers were there with some action scenes in mind(they were very good, no doubt) and the producers pressurizing them to release the movie NOW, when the iron is hot. It comes out as a skeleton with very strong bones articulated by weak joints("storyline"). Well needless to say, it succeeded in generating some joint pains in the pro movie-goers. The usual iron mannish comedy is good and equispaced but hurtfully misfit in the end sequence. I cant convey it without spoilers.So, i hope you feel it. Some mention-able aspects are 1.the array of new Iron Man Suits 2.Pepper pots in action mode and 3.As always, some new futuristic technology and devices...
Acting wise, i don't find any flaws, the actors were up to the mark. What can i say about Robert Downey. I think Shane Black's role when Downey is giving the shot, is to yell action and stay put. The very little things he does puts immense personality to the character he plays. Man i would love to see him behind the camera someday. The outcome would be truly enjoyable. Ben Kingsley is a surprise package in tho movie and has exceeded high expectations in his role. Enough said, these two have left the rest of the cast at some far away milestone.
In the making department,even though considering Shane Black is only one movie old, when at stake is iron man 3, he cannot be shown mercy.It seemed like he had his hands full, and the story unknowingly leaked from his fingers.The 3D was non mention-able, so much so, i would not have noticed save for one scene. You would know which one when u see it.
All in all a good action movie. Fans, i know we cant just stay put when its out. Go watch it, don't expect too much..and you may be rewarded.!
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Deh-shay, bah-sah-rah, bah-sah-rah
The two years of wait bore fruit when once again we got to experience a magnum opus - The Dark Knight Rises, the final chapter in the greatest trilogy at the hands of undoubtedly the best director in the world right now, Christopher Nolan. I was fortunate enough to get to watch it in the opening weekend and without any spoilers.
To start with, the plot is complete, meticulously articulated and succeeds in keeping even the most seasoned movie-buffs guessing. Considering that there were no plans of making a sequel to TDK until Feb 2010, the flawless connections made to the story-line from previous two movies are appreciable. Each and every thread introduced, is tied into some knot in the end leaving the viewer content. After starting with a brilliant action sequence, the movie may seem a little slow, but its where Nolan weaves the web. It later picks up pace in its untangle and ends with a break-neck speed in a sensational and unprecedented climax. The action scenes are planted and carried out exceptionally well with the introduction of some cool new Bat-gadgets, which was one of the major attractions.
As each installment of the series is defined by the foes the Batman faces, this one is no different. The earlier parts were made memorable by a resolute Ra's al Ghul and the cunning Joker. Though the untimely demise of the legendary actor Heath Ledger and his unmatchable portrayal of the Joker in the previous edition had left a daunting task in front of the TDKR team in the villain department, I must say they have come up with an evil enough and certainly the toughest opponent Batman has ever faced, in Bane who, Unlike Joker, is a man with a plan.
The extent of thinking done in making the movie, be it a scene or the set or the background score is just mind-blowing. Nolan has brainstormed some clever usage of conditions bearing analogy with few of the things from earlier movies which make Bruce reprise the heroics he did when he began donning the hood, which was a masterstroke. Hans Zimmer (due to his and Nolan's chemistry, James Newton Howard refused to do scores for this movie, as he felt like a third wheel) has once again dug deep and brought up a complementing score, specially mentionable the chants for ' the rise '(which has thousands of fan voices recorded into it). Also, the IMAX scenes are a visual treat and ensure that the death of the IMAX camera, that Nolan broke in his experimentation, does not go in vain.
Talking of the actor-character chemistry- Christian Bale gives another stunning performance as Batman and far more mature one as Bruce Wayne. He is the new Mr. Dependable who never fails. And never before in the saga or in any other of the superhero movies, is the emotional battle of the hero in handling his alter ego shown as closely as in TDKR . The movie, as my friend points out, kinda resembles Batman Begins in that aspect. Unlike TDK, where we get vibes of watching the movie in third person. Michael Caine's intense and earnest portrayal of his character Alfred Pennyworth is surely worth every penny; Hats off to him! Gary Oldman (Commissioner Gordon), Morgan Freeman(Fox), Marion Cotillard (Miranda Tate) and Gordon-Levitt (Blake) carry out their job with no hiccups. Christopher Nolan certainly has a Midas touch when it comes to actors. Once an actor undergoes the Nolan treatment, he/she just blossoms through his/her career. We have seen that happen to Tom Hardy, Gordon Levitt and now with Hathaway. The best performers of the movie I think are Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy for sure. The cat, I opine, is Hathaway's best performance till date. She has swayed the cat as if she owns it. Not only in using her feminine deceptive emoting but also in the kick-ass fight sequences in her stilettos, she seems so believable.
Last but not the least, Tom Hardy has brought to life another epic villain. Working in Nolan's biggest movie, playing the primary villain, and not having your face to act with is the toughest challenge an actor can face. With the script binding his face he had only eye-brows and voice to make do with, and boy! has he done wonders with it. His thunderous voice needs no background score. His physique rivals that of the masked vigilante and has emoted Bane's inspiration (which is one of the pivotal storyline aspect to lookout for) masterfully.
A standing ovation for this one. Go watch it if you haven't already. Nothing more i can say... Deh-shay, bah-sah-rah, bah-sah-rah !!!
The Avengers (2012)
A new benchmark in action Movies!!!
Action movies will now have a new leader as Avengers assemble by Marvel raises the bar to an entirely new level.
The hype made by Marvel in 2011, by Introducing Thor and Captain America to the audience in quick succession just as a precursor for the Avengers ,is lived up and surpassed with what will be one of the beacons in modern era action movies.
The boasted budget of $220m,is well spent for the movie expectedly satisfies you as a visual treat with what i think,one of the best CG effects.Also,this one does deserve a heads up to be watched in 3D, unlike annoyingly many in the recent past.Though,the first half has a few more than necessary scenes shot in the dark,but it gets better as the movie progresses.
Though the plot is pretty straight-forward,there are so many characters in the movie to keep you entertained in their very own signature fashion.Each and every character is given nearly equal importance and nobody is left out,which is an effort to appreciate. They have really put a lot of efforts in the new Hulk to bring him up to join the party with others,and Boy! it does pay off exceptionally well.Iron Man's powers are tested to a very new level and being the most skilled avenger,they had to be.He has got some new moves, watch out for them!.I am really starting to like Captain America and the way he handles the situation. The time transitioned character of his, adjusts surprisingly quickly to the new scenario.Black Widow and Hawk-Eye who had brushing references in previous movies are full fledged avengers now, but i wish marvel to bring them up in singles.There are a few much needed subtle humorous moments exercising your jaws sideways in between a lot of fantastically choreographed action scenes keeping them dropped down for most of the time.
Bout the cast, Downey Jr. undoubtedly stands out as an actor, with his amazing comic timing and the way he carries the arrogance of Iron-Man. The search for Bruce Banner has ended up giving the most subtle hulk yet,with Mark Ruffalo.The Rest of the cast looks just supportive. Cobie Smulders was supposed to be the eye candy,but Scarlett Johansson steals the show in that aspect, not to mention in her alter-ego superhero moves too.
All in all, an awesome summer blockbuster with wholesome entertainment. The Avengers is surely one of the best action movies to watch before you leave this dimension.
Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia (2012)
Spellbound!!!.! Absolute masterpiece...
A scandal in Belgravia: One of the best Plots written in the decade...and equally well essayed...The Sleuth just keeps raising the bar . The intricacy of the plot keeps you roped in till the very end.The episode is one big jigsaw which fits right in the end. The Score is used nicely too.. I also find the allusions,rather mentionable and that they have been cleverly carved from the original cases mentioned in the book by Sir Conan Doyle. Benedict has started to remind me of Jeremy Brett..having had taken a few pages off JB's book already,which is really,quite pleasing in itself.. :) In the end.. Superb! I will give it 9.5 out of 10.. Looking forward to great adventures with the modern Sherlock..!
Very good.a Must watch..epic! but, could have been better,,,
This was my first preview experience of a movie.My first reaction? Very Good.best among David Yates'. SPOILER ALERT !!!. Well, its fast paced, unlike previous one.The movie starts on a high.(SPOILER)The Gringotts Bank scene,excellently coordinated,pulls you in the movie instantly.All the scenes are absolute visual treat. Few scenes are worth 3D viewing, but most are not.The movie has many scenes already in dark and the 3D glasses make them look even less bright. Watch it in 3D only if you have to,but I would recommend to watch in 2D. Harry, voldemort and severus are deservedly given ample screenspace,but other characters(even important ones)are felt to have only a cameo.Even Nagini has longer role.(SPOILER)The ron-hermione kiss is aptly placed.Severus Snape's character has finally been done justice with!The wand-fight scenes are not as abysmal as in 6th movie but also not the best in the franchise, They craved for some background score! Silence works Yates,but too much use of it takes out its intensity.(SPOILER) It was great to see Molly and McGonagall in action.It intensifies the importance of the whole fight.Couldn't even spot Kingsley,Lupin,Fred-George,Arthur,Tonks . Neville is perfect! Excellent performances by Ralph Fiennes,Dan, Watson and Alan Rickman.
(SPOILER)The movie has excellent flow until harry's death scene.It rises expectations very high,feels epic till then .But the later part does not live upto expectations. I don't fathom what was the hurry to start wrapping it up so quickly.Bad Editing! (SPOILER)The only admirable part in the last half hour is the king's cross station scene .That will help up the rating for sure.(SPOILER)The deserved ado about Elder wand snaps as Harry is shown to break it like a twig.Hurtful for the book fans! The much fussed epilogue scene is good,but again felt wapped up.Ron really looks like a 36 yr old.The goodbye didn't go into the heart. The Cinematography is good.Few innovative camera angles. Art direction also deserves praise.The backdrop keeps you always in a HarryPotter mood,nicely achieved. All in all a very good movie,action packed,emotional roller-coaster,musst watch for Potter fans,and others too. A movie to clap for sure, not to stand though.A little more background score, little less meddling with story and 1/2 hour more would have given the movie one more star.