Reviews

148 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
La La Land (I) (2016)
Let your self wander into the world of LA LA LAND. A Must Watch. A Masterpiece.
16 February 2017
Remember the name. Damien Chazelle. Writer and Director, aged 32, without a doubt he is upstaging those in the industry for decades. If he builds on this momentum his reach will certainly be endless. He is 2 for 2 with WHIPLASH and LA LA LAND. Its way too soon to stack him up there with the Allens' and Scoreceses'. But without a doubt Chazelle is "now" noteworthy.

This original screenplay and direction is as inspirational as its beautiful. Its mellow yet potent, its tranquil and flamboyant, it's a motion picture but theatrical in its essence. The simplest of stories unfolded in the most enchanting of ways. The theatrical approach, the balance between the new and revolutionary whilst preserving a semblance of tradition. The last I recall being this engrossed in a movie of this genre is with MOULIN ROUGE.

Nominated for 14 Academy Awards tying the record of TITANIC and ALL ABOUT EVE, LA LA LAND is story of love. A Jazz pianist (Ryan Gosling) and an actress (Emma Stone) find their lives intertwined in a struggle of finding themselves and love. Gosling isn't new at toying with emotions, he does so with a strange aura of simplicity surrounding his performance. Its ethereal. Stone is almost as good as she was in her role in BIRDMAN. Both characters are built blandly from ground which makes it a challenge for the actors. Its magical what Gosling and Stone do with it.

Appreciating LA LA LAND is a test. Losing interest isn't arduous. Musicals are not for everyone. Considering the initial half hour of the movie and its slow start, this title necessitates patience. Further it's a work of art holistically. The mesmerizing soundtrack, the vibrant set, the acute direction and the impeccable acting eventually makes it all worth you while.

Verdict

Let your self wander into the world of LA LA LAND. A Must Watch. A Masterpiece.

TITLE: LA LA LAND DIRECTED BY: DAMIEN CHAZELLE STARRING: RYAN GOSLING & EMMA STONE RATED: PG13 RATING: 09/10 RUNTIME: 120 MINUTES
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Passengers (I) (2016)
5/10
Its good, it almost became great but it doesn't quite get there.
16 February 2017
Two Strangers. Infinite Space. 90 Years on the clock.

PASSENGERS left me feeling is rather flustering. The sci-fi genre has taken a toll over the past few years and I had my reservations moving onto this one. If memory serves me right the last movie of this genre that had me glued to my seat was PROMETHEUS which is nearly half a decade ago.

Directed by Morten Tyldum (THE IMITATION GAME) and written by Jon Spaights (PROMETHEUS), for the more experienced viewer PASSENGERS already is a must see. If this doesn't sell it, then the following name drop may? Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt (Jurassic World) concocts an amicable performance as the Avalon (aka large spaceship) carries 5000 passengers and is en- route to a new planet, Homestead II. Possibly because the earth became too crowded or entirely unlivable (I wouldn't know). A journey of some 120-ish years between them. The entire crew and passengers are in hibernation and is supposed to woken up automatically approximately 4a months before arrival at Homestead II. An unexpected disturbance in the flight path results a sleep-pod to malfunction and awakens Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) 90 years in advance. Now if this does not make you want to watch this, I am not too sure what else about this movie will.

All by your self, in an unknown environment where the only option for survival is falling back into sleep. This is the best part of the movie. PASSENGERS takes off so well and displays bizarre potential from the get-go. Every minutes of the CASTAWAY experience of Jim is intriguing and then it spirals. Everything else here on-down is a slow demise of beautifully introduced movie.

His heart unquestionably is in the right place as Spaights makes the effort to capture the essence of the plot in the script. Just like the Avalon, the plot is lost in an abyss. The plot explored too many avenues that the worthy acting and the above average CGI could not keep the seams stitched together (Should have stuck to one storyline). There is beauty at first, firing the right cylinders in our minds and then swiftly deviates from situation to situation leaving everything behind half baked and eventually losing its potential of being something major.

Verdict

Its good, it almost became great but it doesn't quite get there.

TITLE: PASSENGERS DIRECTED BY: MORTEN TYLDUM STARRING: JENNIFER LAWRENCE AND CHRIS PRATT RATED: PG13 RATING: 05/10 RUNTIME: 120 MINUTES
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Suicide Squad (2016)
6/10
Half Baked
14 August 2016
The DC Universe has only begun its unveiling. Do you think what lies ahead is promising if the 2016 releases are of any indication of what is in store for us?

First it was "The Bat" taking on the "Son of Krypton" in a disputably excessive run time (Although the DC Universe has a lot of groundwork to set up for the 2017 line up).

Second – SUICIDE SQUAD!

Deadshot (Will Smith) wants to be the only villain of Gotham City. Trapped between the greed of power to reign as the Alpha in Gotham, and the tears of his daughter, he is apprehended by Batman and is incarcerated. Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) & Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) employed by a secret government agency are attempting to recruit Deadshot, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and Slipknot (Adam Beach) to run secret black-ops missions as deniable assets for the agency. This team of supervillains are assembled sooner than foreseen when yet another asset escapes and goes rouge creating havoc across the city. The Irony of all this – the asset that goes rouge, is none other than June Moone (Cara Delevingne) the lover of team leader Rick Flag. In terms of a plot, there is absolutely too much going on already and The Joker (Jared Leto) is not even in the picture yet.

Directed & Written by David Ayer SUICIDE SQUAD is a half-baked visual marvel. It has everything that a superhero/supervillain movie should have in the department of its original soundtrack, the CGI, makeup and costuming. What baffles me is the fact of what Warner Bros was thinking when the screenplay was initially approved for production? At least with the Marvel Franchises the backstories were clearly laid for each character prior to the Assembly, The Bat Vs SM too can be excused since Nolan and Snyder told the story before. Unless you grew up reading every single comic book, you will be lost in this debacle of a screenplay.

The writing is in shambles but David Ayer and his cast certainly didn't take a knife to a gun fight. They gear up, cover up most of the loopholes and punch their way through. Even absolutely short-lived, the Jared Leto performance is Gold. Don't bat your eyes or the joker will be gone! If the character was written better, his performance would have made an AA nod in 2017, but with this screenplay its unlikely.

The elephant in the room? Will Smith? Let's agree that he is the money man aka "The Face" for this blockbuster. Would it have been better to star someone else? No, Will Smith does it alright. A noteworthy performance on the other hand, falling behind Leto, is Margot Robbie, every second of her Harley is entertaining, enthusiastic and authentic, seems like she did a lot of research to pull this one off on such a high level. How I hope for a standalone movie of Harley and her pudding.

Fanboys will be excited. New to the genre? Best read up on your comics. You may find a ring tone for your phone too.

TITLE: SUICIDE SQUAD DIRECTED BY: David AYER STARRING: WILL SMITH, VIOLA DAVIS, JOEL KINNAMAN, MARGOT ROBBIE, JAI COURTNEY, JAY HERNANDEZ, ADEWALE AKINNUOYE-AGBAJE, ADAM BEACH, CARA DELVINGNE, KAREN FUKUHARA & JARED LETO RATED: PG13 RATING: 06/10 RUNTIME: 123 MINUTES
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9/10
Profound Beauty! If you appreciate art, this is a masterpiece.
29 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
SCHINDLERS LIST is Jewel.

Evil and indifference we see all around us every day. And there are times when goodness is as rare as lamplight in a howling storm – Michael Wilmington 93'

The brutal realism of WWII, countless crimes against humanity and the darkest journey imaginable is breathed into life in this epic adaptation based on the true story of Oskar Schindler. Directed by renowned veteran director Steven Spielberg this story of morbid ethnic cleansing, is of timeless learning for generations to come. Starring Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler, Ben Kinglsey as Itzhak Stern & Ralph Fiennes as Amon Goeth there isn't a moment of distraction from the matters at hand.

Oskar Schindler an industrialist and an obvious opportunist acquires an enamelware factory in Krakow employing Jews from concentration camps in the region. Hounding prisoners to invest in his industrial venture as he reaps the financial benefits, whilst the Jewish investors are paid their returns in metal ware. As the war comes with the Germany losing, the SS begins moving its prisoners Westward to remaining camps. Oskar Schindler invests heavily on Jewish workforce by bribing the SS for his own interest. As time passes his interests were in-tuned with the well being of his workforce than himself strident towards bankruptcy.

Performances that are brutally surreal and engrossing will break you down, whilst certain artistry of hand held cinematography will place you in the midst of all chaos and tragedy. Shot in black and white with certain exceptions of the odd girl in the red coat for personification, the realism of the morbid drama of the holocaust will never leave the audiences' mind. Up until 1993 Spielberg although is renowned for his creativity behind the camera certainly has not dealt with a screen play with such delicate baggage. A slip of the slightest would have this historical drama crawling, gaping for life at the mercy of its 195 minutes of runtime. Never is it so. With CGI at its minimal and the concentration on the subject, and the subjects' woe within the subject is where Spielbergs' heart is at. Enigmatic is where I am left as the end credits roll up embracing me with its moving score.

What took me so long to watch this? Is something I keep asking my self now.

Profound Beauty! If you appreciate art, this is a masterpiece.

TITLE: SCHINDLERS LIST DIRECTED BY: STEVEN SPIELBERG STARRING: LIAM NEESON, BEN KINGSLEY & RALPH FIENNES RATED:R RATING: 09/10 RUNTIME: 195 Minutes
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7/10
This summer funny is both big and small. Don't Miss out!!
28 June 2016
Does comedy need to essentially have an engaging plot or just the level energy to keep the audience engaged? I have done this long enough to say that keeping the interest irrespective of the genre is a focal factor to the championing of a motion picture. With a juvenile burlesque plot, the prattling Kevin Hart and infamous Dwayne "The Rock" Johnsons', CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE is now here. Months of snapchat teasers, previews and interviews the greedily awaited summer hit CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE does not disappoint.

Kevin Harts – Calvin is the homecoming king, valedictorian and all round good guy who is seemingly the ultimate student to walk through the halls of Central High School and he is expected to go to finer places –possibly governor or maybe even president. Dwayne Johnsons – Bob Stone (He hates bullies! Wonder how that happened!) on the other side of the coin is a largely built student that is bullied all through high school life. While Calvin is praised at his final assembly by the school principal Bob fins himself facedown butt naked (literally) and is never seen in school again. Twenty years later things seem to have panned out differently as Calvin has been sucked into the rat race of life with a desk job as an accountant. A random Facebook friend request changes everything.

The essence of the comedy – Kevin Hart is the todays King of Comedy. He is always at his best when he teams up with screenplays with just one other leading role. RIDE ALONG 1, RIDE ALONG 2, GET HARD & THE WEDDING RINGER are his most noteworthy work so far that has left us with aching sides from laughter. The liveliness that he brings and his motor mouth is right up where it should be. Dwayne Johnson who has featured in more roles in the past years than Hart plays off this energy and is ridiculously entertaining. The ability of the A-Listers to play off against each others energy is what distracts the audience from the weak screenplay. This to me is greatest part of the movie. They are in sync and no one overpowers the other with their performances – This is perfect chemistry.

The director of WE ARE THE MILLERS Rawson Marshall Thurber has done it again. He does justice to the advertising hype created by its campaign leading up to the release of CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE. Hats off to good comedy!

This summer funny is both big and small. Don't Miss out!!

TITLE: CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE STARRING: KEVING HART & DWAYNE "THE ROCK" JOHNSON RATED: PG 13 RATING: 07/10 RUNTIME:107 Minutes
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6/10
Expectation are as high as it will ever be.
24 June 2016
Expectation are as high as it will ever be. The Louis Leterrier redemption movie was exhilarating three years ago. The pressure is on. Can the directory of the Justin Bieber documentaries follow up to the expectations the Four Horsemen set in the first picture? As I sat there watching the late comers take their seats, I thought to myself, I will never understand folks coming in to a movie of this nature late!

Undeniably the strongest narrative voices of our time, the opening Freeman monologue locks you in, everything else is now background noise. The returning cast with the exception of Isla Fisher and the inclusion of Lizzy Caplan makes the new four horsemen. NOW YOU SEE ME 2 picks up a year following the exit of the horsemen. They resurface in a performance to clear their names by exposing the tech goliath Octa. Octa seems to be the least of the problems as the FBI closes in.

Jessie Eisenbergs' eccentricity, Dave Francos' prattle, Woody Harrelsons' comic- relief, Mark Ruffalos poise and Lizzy Caplans charm are all on point. Director Jon M. Chu recognizes that the screenplay is weak (just as in "1"), the characters have no depth and the audience yearning for gimmicks. He delivers. Just like any Bond movie, MI movie, or Fast & Furious movie, its about being flashier than its predecessors. In that category I think "2" isn't all that bad.

Danielle Radcliffe to me always will be Harry Potter (his fame came at a price). He certainly has the range as an actor but the 24-year-old to millions will always be the wizard. Radcliffes' character of Walter Mabry is surprisingly the most versatile. Given more screen time I would chose Radcliffe over Eisenbergs as the most interesting performance. Freeman and Caine need to not even speak, their presence on its own add value.

Did we really need "2"? Well its too late for that question now since "3" is already rumored.

Arguably a parody of the first script? To an extent yes, I prefer to consider it a continuation. Exhilarating? Entertaining? Engaging? Yes. Yes. Yes. Do you need to have watched the first movie? Yes. One of the most thrilling pictures this summer? Absolutely. A must watch? Why not.

TITLE: NOW YOU SEE ME 2 DIRECTED BY: JON M. CHU STARRING: JESSE EISENBERG, MARK RUFFALO, WOODY HARRELSON,DAVE FRANCO, DANIEL RADCLIFFE, LIZZY CAPLAN & MICHAEL CAINE with MORGAN FREEMAN. RATED: PG13 RATING: 06/10 RUNTIME: 129 Minutes
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The Choice (I) (2016)
4/10
If you have seen one, you have seen it all.
5 May 2016
The girl next door and the bad boy on the spot, fall in love and are swept on a dreamy journey of their own through the moon and the stars and the soppy details of a birthing romance that will only be the greatest story ever to unfold just for the two of them. The thing about love is that its only as great as the two of you. Its almost as I have seen this movie before! How different can this one be? Especially considering the fact that this is the 11th Nicolas Spark novel to be made into a movie. His system works for some reason. It brings in the attention of the production houses and his ideas manage to pull in decent dollars. So why mess with a system that works? Lets just go ahead and make the pictures.

Travis (Benjamin Walker); the Casanova, the ladies man, the village veterinarian lives the life we all dream of in terms of a summer holiday. A home by the water, beautiful garden overlooking a crystal blue lake, a BBQ grill, the solitary tree besides which his lawn chair sits, that makes the sunsets just magical to soak in with a beer in hand with his trusty canine to the side. Picturesque! Typical Nicolas Sparks "Bad Boy" Protagonist…. Check! Across the fence a dream catcher chimes in the wind. Introducing the Gabby (Teresa Palmer), short tempered of sorts, beautiful golden hair, alluring eyes, fragile smile, no make up and sweat pants. The picture is complete with this. Here we are given the standard Nicolas Sparks "Girl Next Door" …. Check!

Any guesses on what will happen next? I think you know. A flirtatious, sensual 111 minutes of how Travis and Gabby composes their own little story that has been told one too many times. With no intricacy to the characters of any sorts to build upon Walker and Palmer pull off exceptional acting capturing the innocence of any budding romance. Director Ross Katz indeed is a man with a vision. He knew exactly what he is doing and the leads new how to hit the nail on the head. I was moved – momentarily of course. The screenplay is too disconnected for the rest of the cast to matter on any level except for the character of Steph (Maggie Grace) the sister, who is used as a launching pad for Palmer to find her footing in the picture.

A must-watch if you have not seen any of the Nicolas Sparks adaptations (Only reason being – you need to have watched at least one Nicolas Sparks adaptation- I would recommend A WALK TO REMEMBER). If you have seen one, you have seen it all.

Isolated brilliance in performance and direction based on a texture-less screen play.

TITLE: THE CHOICE DIRECTED BY: ROSS KATZ STARRING: Benjamin Walker, Teresa Palmer, Maggie Grace & Tom Wilkinson RATED:PG13 RATING: 04/10 RUNTIME: 111 Minutes
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7/10
A Visual Marvel
10 April 2016
Who would have assumed that stories said to have been written by Rudyard Kipling to his daughter in 1894 will entertain the generations to come? Over a century has passed and yet another adaptation of a story as old as time is about to sweep the box office world wide.

"The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack"

The law for the wolves is lengthy. You possibly wont recall the entire law for the wolves but, if there is one thing you will carry away from Jon Favreaus' THE JUNGLE BOOK it will be this one line.

Its been 22 years (THE JUNGLE BOOK- 1994) since the story of mowgli has been last told. With emphatic CGI and a breakout performance by Neel Sethi, THE JUNGLE BOOK directed by Jon Favreau tops the list thus far for 2016 for imagery and tips the scales in favor for cinematography with veteran Bill Pope handling the lens.

Mowgli (Neel Sethi) – A man cub, found within the jungles of India by Bhageera (Ben Kingsley) a staid black panther, is handed over to the wolf pack led by Akela (Giancarlo Esposito) and is Raised by Raksha (Lupita Nyong'o) as her own cub. Running across the jungle, swinging from branch to branch, foraging for fruit, rolling in the mud and up to his mischievous tricks is all that mowgli knows. Until his existence along with that of his wolf pack is threatened by the merciless Shere Khan (Idris Elba). Shere Khan who has a scar across his face caused by the red flower (fire) loathes humans and wants Mowgli dead.

Leaving the pack behind Mowgli and Bhageera takes to the most wondrous visual Jungle that you will possibly witness for a long time in the world of CGI. Second thus far only to Cameroons AVATAR I had my jaws dropped as the magic unfold. Jon Favreau tantalizes the mind. If there is one thing about this movie that I could not find a flaw, is in its art of extraction. Every ounce of what THE JUNGLE BOOK meant to me as a child when I read the book literally comes to life. What works best in the Favreau adaptation is possibly the fact that Mowgli is the only human interaction the audience has with during the entirety of the picture. Extracting the true essence of the story in its grandeur.

THE JUNGLE BOOK makes it to the finish line but comes in second. A tad more effort to the screenplay and this will be a near perfect production. The resounding visuals are fast dragged down and the heart warming performance by Neel Sethi is nippily obscured in the struggle to stay afloat in terms of ingenuity. All hope for redemption failed when Kaa (Scarlett Johansson) the python and King Louie the orangutan (Christopher Walken) are not as well used as Baloo (Bill Murray) the bear. There possibly would have been no complaints if they were given more screen time with an extended runtime for a classic remake of this caliber.

A visual marvel, a passionate effort.

I have my money on Andy Serkis and his adaptation of THE JUNGLE BOOK (2018). How about you?

TITLE: THE JUNGLE BOOK DIRECTED BY: JON FAVREAU STARRING: NEEL SETHI, BILL MURRAY, BEN KINGSLEY, IDRIS ELBA, LUPITA NYONG'O, SCARLETTE JOHANSSON, GIANCARLO ESPOSITO & CHRISTOPHER WALKEN RATED: PG RATING: 07/10 RUNTIME: 1HR 45MIN
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Black Mass (2015)
7/10
Illustrious cast, phenomenal display by Johnny Depp but still I lost interest.
19 October 2015
Musing the fact that the 45-year-old director Scott Brooks has only 3 motion pictures to his name, BLACK MASS being the 3rd one, I am lost for words in the effort (please note: I state "the effort") that is involved in the biography of Whitey Bulger. Scott Brooks displayed an extensive creative capacity when he teamed up with Christian Bale in 2013 for OUT OF THE FURNACE. Endeavoring to reach further he perhaps may have crafted his best work up to date in BLACK MASS. This biography that unfolds a smidge of opaque American history is a near masterpiece of story telling if the soundtrack to the picture took a more powerful tone. When tales of turf wars are told and when the word mafia comes into play in any context, and if your experience to cinema stretches further than DC & Marvel, then you are now toying with the name Corleone (Which isn't so – characters fail to grow around Depp as the screenplay stubbornly clings onto him). Set in violent times BLACK MASS is a gruesome memento of the vehemence and goriness of turf squabbles starting in the early 70s. Johnny Depp is no Marlon Brando. However this is arguably one of the finest bit of acting Johnny Depp has done since his Caribbean ventures. Depp who is unequivocally one of the most adaptable actors of today fits the role of Whitey Bulger like a glove. I can only think of Leonardo Dicaprio, Tim Roth, Ray Liotta & Oscar Isaac who could have even attempted this role apart from Depp. The Irish American convicted criminal and murderer (not at the time the movie is based) is brother to Billy Bulger (Benedict Cumberbatch) a senator and friend to John Connolly (Joel Edgerton). Connolly who is an FBI agent brings in Whitey as a top echelon informant to the FBI. Whitey on the other hand goes along with this only in the interest of business. Trading secrets to gain turf over the Italian Mafia of Boston and being the top dog is his only interest.

Somewhere in this saturnine screenplay BLACK MASS loses momentum. Characters fall off weakening the plot and the movie as a whole. Kevin Bacons presence is authoritative and concentrated but is felt ill used just as Benedict Cumberbatch keeps popping in and out of the picture (What a waste of characters). Cinematography is poor and has room beyond it ever-even attempts. Shots of Boston, grim insights to what goes on after sunset are key elements that are overlooked. The audiences demand this. We know Whitey does, we wish we see more. Credit is to be given to Depp for he is the glue that keeps BLACK MASS intact.

Went in hoping this is a contender for the big show in February 2016. It wont be! Johnny Depp may get a nod for his acting but isn't cut out for the win.

Illustrious cast, phenomenal display by Johnny Depp but still I lost interest.

TITLE: BLACK MASS DIRECTED BY: SCOTT BROOKS STARRING: JOHNNY DEPP, BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH, JOEL EDGERTON, PETER SARSGAARD AND KEVIN BACON RATED: R RATING: 07/10
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The Martian (2015)
7/10
Refreshing, unique, inspiring and highly recommended.
7 October 2015
A 6 man crew on Mars is forced to cut all ties to their mission and attempt a quick getaway before all likelihoods of a successful takeoff are completely diminished. Leaving the audience at the edge of their seats within moments following the opening credits the crew led by Commander Lewis (Jessica Chastain) manage to get off the red planet in the nick of time, but one crewmember lighter. Marooned on Mars Mark Watney (Matt Damon) displays the epitome of perseverance and now has to figure out how to survive and make contact with anyone that could come to his aid. Will they be able to bring him home?

Paced fairly slow but never with a missed beat THE MARTIAN gathers pace and flow right from "Go". Well-adjusted with subtle humor, momentary heartfelt banter and an upbeat soundtrack allow the mammoth 132 minutes pass by faster. Ridley Scott once again has resurfaced with a notable project since PROMETHEUS from 2012. This man certainly loves his missions into outer space and he most certainly knows his way around particulars of his Sci-fi. There is never a moment where the audience would question the reality behind his interpretations. The cinematography as always with him is on point. Ridley Scott will in your mind effectively place a man on mars! Ridley Scott isn't the only one who shot back into the spot light with THE MARTIAN. As his Jason Bourne days become a spec in the history of Hollywood Matt Damon hasn't been able to resurface for sometime, not in this magnitude. INTERSTELLAR cannot really be considered a Matt Damon breakthrough although the movie can be spoken of otherwise. With trifling parallels to Tom Hanks in THE CASTAWAY I thoroughly enjoyed watching Damon at work. He was spot on. There isn't anything that will astound the viewer in terms of playing the character, however Damon is adequate and undeniably effective. The poster to the movie makes us feel that Matt Damon is all that is to the movie. Well this isn't the case. Whilst Watney is out there fighting the good fight there is a greater ensemble of people trying to get this astronaut back home. Jeff Daniels stands out in my mind as the director of NASA. His authoritative performance is what made bringing the astronaut back home even more enthralling and I could not stop having flashbacks of Harry.

Is this the best sci-fi of 2015? I think it is. Will it find a spot at the awards in February 2016? Best picture? I think not, however the visual effects are more than worthy of a nomination. While I wouldn't consider THE MARTIAN a must watch and I wouldn't dare to put it up with productions such as GLADIATOR & ALIENS (Both by Ridley Scott), it still is refreshing, unique, inspiring and highly recommended.

TITLE: THE MARTIAN DIRECTED BY: RIDLEY SCOTT STARRING: MATT DAMON, JESSICA CHASTAIN, KRISTEN WIIG, SEAN BEAN, Micheal PENA & JEFF DANIELS. RATED: PG13 RATING: 07/10 RUNTIME: 132 MINUTES
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Southpaw (2015)
6/10
A colossal performance by Jake Gyllenhall that should not be missed; a must watch. I didn't want this movie to end!
3 October 2015
Where do you go? Who do you turn to? When everything that you know and stand for comes collapsing down? Sounds a muddle doesn't it? Jake Gyllenhall possibly in the most potent role of his carrier plays Billy Hope a left-handed boxer aka a SOUTHPAW. The lightweight boxing champion is brought to his knees following the sudden and heartrending demise of his wife Maureen (Rachel McAdams) in the most indescribable of occurrences. Hope (no pun intended) is stripped away from everything that defines him, his wealth, his status, his sanity and his daughter Leila (Oona Laurence). Hope needs to find his self back to where he was. His biggest fight ever, a fight with himself.

SOUTHPAW isn't a movie about the sport of boxing. Instead it is an averagely done movie about the story of a boxer. To avoid disappointment this is the best way to sit down for this acting phenomenon. Personally I did not feel much for the entire concept of the movie. If one has watched ROCKY then I need not explain further, if one has not, then it's high time you did. However it is criminal to snub the entire motion picture away as a whole. This is the most powerful and sincere performance I have witnessed for the year 2015 and undoubtedly the best of Gyllenhall. His physical transformation from NIGHTCRAWLER alone parades his commitment. Bluntly stating his stupendous act took me by astonishment, I did not for once know he had that type versatility hidden away. This in my opinion is a promising contender for an Oscar nod come February 2016. Forest Whittaker delivers nothing short than what is expected of him. Now that is a man whom we are accustomed with for delivering powerful interpretations, with passion and sincerity, irrespective of the screenplay he is thrown into.

The hype prior to release and following has been enormous. There isn't anything in the screenplay or direction that would persuade me to dabble on about. It is bland and overrated as a whole in terms of the campaigning leading to the movie. The trailer misleads me to believe that this would be the movie of 2015 that would stagger me. Stagger me it did not. If you consider a screenplay being sad and making you derail emotionally as an outstanding movie then I will not stand in the way of such an opinion (Don't get me wrong, it is a beautiful movie, it just isn't best picture material). I shed a tear my self, only because of the mammoth performance by the cast who did magic with an average script.

A colossal performance by Jake Gyllenhall that should not be missed; a must watch. I didn't want this movie to end!

TITLE: SOUTHPAW DIRECTED BY: ANTOINE FUQUA STARRING: JAKE GYLLENHALL, RACHEL MCADAMS, OONA LAURENECE & FOREST WHITTAKER RATED: R RATING: 06/10 RUNTIME: 124 MINUTES
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5/10
Masterful, genius, sophisticated, gruesome, engaging and wrongly defined.
2 October 2015
Masterful, genius, sophisticated, gruesome, engaging and wrongly defined. GOODNIGHT MOMMY is an Austrian movie that has built up quite the hype to its name. A mother who returns home to her twin boys' following a face reconstructive surgery or something of sorts is acting peculiar. The children; don't take to this well. They are overcome with the notion that this person in the house in their mothers' body isn't really their mother. They want their mommy back. It is clouding to decide whose side the onlooker would be on since I constantly kept on swapping my opinions as the movie progressed. Written unambiguously to generate doubt in the viewers' mind GOODNIGHT MOMMY by far is a slow burner. It is tough to form opinions as the Austrian writers/directors Severina Fiala & Veronica Franz constantly reinvent the flow of direction almost every ten minutes. What really happens in this bizarre foreign motion picture is entirely subjective (as are most productions), however it certainly will be in my books as one of the most unorthodox and perplexing movies for the lovers of thriller for 2015.

What possibly then ruined this movie for me? Easy. I was expecting horror. Solely based on the trailer and the genre specifications it is categorized beside. There isn't anything horrific about GOODNIGHT MOMMY, not even in the faintest of form. In fact this indeed will be utterly disappointing if one expects to be petrified out of their skins, as do most horror junkies. I didn't get my dose of horror high I was seeking for, my nerves failed to crawl under my skin as they do. Instead GOODNIGHT MOMMY was a mind bender, a guessing game, it was concentrated mystery with a slight pinch of thriller as the minutes ran out.

99 minutes of sheer artistry is what this is all about with some profound work done by the two boys (Twins in real life) Lukas Schwarz and Elias Schwarz that will bring to mind a David Dorfman like performance in his early days. Gripping portrayals of the twins is what will entice you. So watch out.

I wouldn't go out of the way for such work but indeed commendable for a debut effort at the directors' seat.

TITLE: GOODNIGHT MOMMY DIRECTED BY: SEVERINA FIALA & VERONICA FRANSZ. STARRING: LUKAS SCHWARZ, ELIAS SCHWARZ & SUSANNE WUEST RATED: R RATING: 05/10 RUNTIME: 99 MINUTES
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The Intern (I) (2015)
6/10
Nancy Meyers best work; one of the better ones of 2015.
28 September 2015
There always has been a certain aura surrounding Robert De Niro. Very few actors to my taste possess the rare ability to be placed in front of the camera and demand almost immediate respect. Eastwood, De Niro, Pacino, Freeman and Walken are to name few. A measly plot, even weaker sub plot twists spells certain death for this Nancy Meyer screenplay. Astute acting and a factitious approach in direction do the trick. Nancy Meyers discovers balance and in that balance she achieves the flow in drama and humor that would get the wheels on THE INTERN rolling. To those that are familiar with some of her work this by far will easily stand out as her best work to date. It isn't a tangled ball of thread when it comes to sentiments although there is evidence of attempts to reach so. Instead it's a work on chemistry of two talented Hollywood A-listers that make this movie entertaining.

Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) is a 70-year-old pensioner. Having lost his wife 3 years ago Ben has now travelled the world but yet seems to have a void in himself that he is seeking out to fill. A senior citizen intern program for an online clothing line catches his eye whilst running his daily errands and he takes up the challenge and enrolls in the selection process. Jules Ortin (Anne Hathaway) the brainchild and the owner of the line is assigned Ben as her intern. Jules instantaneously is overwhelmed with a feeling of violation as the veteran comes across as too calm and too observant – something Jules is unable to neither fathom nor react to. Jules on her own is an individual who most certainly has too much on her plate. She is constantly late for meetings, she is always rushed and often requires to remembered of what is expected of her.

The 120 minute long comedy solely rides on the shoulders of Ben and Jules. Whose on screen chemistry is singular to the audience and is warmer with every passing minute. The weight of the minutes fall daftly on the audience as these two put on an amiable performance with Adam Devin pitching in for humor that ensembles flawlessly.

You will not split your side with laughter but certainly will hold belly with laughter. A good fit for date-night or just for some subtly family humor to get through the weekend. It's a Nancy Meyer movie – so don't worry she doesn't dig deep.

Nancy Meyers best work; one of the better ones of 2015.
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8/10
Precision Precision : Cooper Kills It
22 January 2015
I didn't know the story behind Chris Kyle (the most lethal sniper of U.S history) until that final one liner played across the screen following the last frame of the movie. Undoubtedly the greatest role Bradley Cooper is to have portrayed to this date. The three times Oscar nominee, receiving nominations three years running is now part of an ensemble of ten actors to ever have achieved such; Russel Crowe being the last. American SNIPER is not just another movie of war. Instead it delves into a deeper and more sensitive core of how war challenges and changes those in the hot center of it and the ripple effects on the families left behind. Directed by Clint Eastwood, finally to me THE HURT LOCKER steps down to number two! This is a must watch.

Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) is a Texan lad who grows up and takes up the Texan way of life and aspires to be a cowboy. Kyle and his brother are brought up in a household where his father mans a tight ship. Into his thirties Kyle seeks into a deeper meaning into his life. He enlists himself with the US military as a Navy SEAL and is soon decorated for his 4 tours in Iraq accumulating 160 confirmed kills which earns him the nickname "Legend" amongst his fellow SEALs. American SNIPER unfolds the story of Kyle from the moment he fires his first shot up until that moment he is honorably discharged from the US military. The question that hangs over our head is will he be able to leave his days of the battlefield behind?

Don't go seeking for SAVING PRIVATE RYAN instead look for some of the deepest acting you will witness in a war hero. Cooper displays passion. Cooper displays determination. Cooper displays nothing but the want to make sure the audience feels and understands the days of Kyle and his unit in Iraq. The explosions did not impress neither did the faint CGI nor the blood. They were by far the weakest links of the picture. Cooper instead pulls a Tom Hanks Cast Away move by actually being the only person on screen that matters. I mean no disrespect but the supporting cast disappears in the background noise of Cooper's ridiculous acting skills. At intervals it is felt as quite parallel to that of LONE SURVIVOR but Wahlberg is left way behind. The man behind the camera in this instance cannot be overlooked. Director Clint Eastwood is no D – League ball player. He is an All Star. I can only imagine how intense his chats with cooper may have been. For a character that speaks and does very little, the depths the character plunges into is astounding. To all you readers, watch out for that moment in the movie when you feel Bradley Cooper and Clint Eastwood has given it all they have………… and then……. "BAM"…… out of nowhere there is more.

132 minutes of intense drama, 6 Nominations at the 87th Academy Awards, the next big question is does it have what it takes to be the name in that envelope on February 22nd 2015? Over to you readers…..

TITLE: American SNIPER DIRECTED BY : CLINT EASTWOOD STARRING: BRADLEY COOPER & SIENNA MILLER RATED: R RATING: 08/10 RUNTIME: 132 MINUTES.
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Interstellar (2014)
8/10
The total experience is more immersive.
8 November 2014
For a man with just ten movies of directorial involvement under his belt and to make the A-List of directors in Hollywood Christopher Nolan surely has his bearings placed right. Known for his anarchic works since his indie days of MEMENTO all the way to blockbuster ring leaders such as the BATMAN trilogy, Christopher Nolan always has proved to be gaining of his game. As the mediocre summer blockbuster season of 2014 sets in the horizon the winter opens to the exhilarating and much anticipated Nolan venture into the genre of Sci-Fi ; INTERSTELLAR.

Starring Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey as Cooper; an ex test pilot for NASA, an engineer and an old fashioned farmer the earth is struggling for survival. Set In the near future, the earth is deteriorating its self. The soil that cultivated our crops is the very thing that is destroying it. Food is scarce and the likelihood of famine and the earth surviving yet another generation on its own seems bleak. Whilst it isn't an instant apocalyptic setting it is a probable slow extinction scenario. Cooper a good father and persistent farmer alongside Donald (John Lithgow) do his best to raise his two children Tom (Timothee Chalamet) and Murph (Mackenzie Foy). Supernatural circumstances much like in Mel Gibson's SIGNS results in Cooper and Murph being lead to specific coordinates that happen to be an area 51 of some sorts. Convenient enough the facility is home for some of the brightest minds on the planet and does happen to house a space ship that is being built for space travel as a final desperate effort of earth's survival. The ingenuity (intended sarcasm) of the screenplay is such that the Nolan brothers also conveniently placed Coopers mentor Professor Brand (Michael Caine) in the board of directors of sorts within the same facility and Cooper without hesitation is offered the job to pilot the ship out into space…….. just like that. A bit rushed this all seems and way way way too convenient in choosing the commanding pilot for the mission one would say. Let me leave that minor detail as it is for spitting into the wind isn't that smart since the rest of the movie is just astounding and McConaughey easily secures a nomination at the 2015 Academy Awards with this stellar (I had to say this) performance.

Christopher and Jonathan Nolan efforts in taking the genre of sci-fi to a new level deserve a nod. Whilst GRAVITY was ridiculously overrated in 2013 it is safe to place bets on INTERSTELLAR as a winter winner this year. Wormholes, Black holes, Time and space relativity theories will shatter your mind in the efforts of trying to draw sensible parallels. Theories of another life, theories of time travel, theories of quantum physics that are blatantly profound to the untrained movie enthusiast will keep you wincing at intervals trying to make sense of the practicality of what is right in front of your eyes. Deciphering the plot may look Childs play to the Sheldon Coopers (I had to say this too) of the audience but still it will mesmerize the penny's just as much through its ethereal CGI and 70mm IMAX (if available). One of the personal favorites of INTERSTELLAR is that never has space in this detail been part of plot. Yes – GRAVITY did sell a cleverly imagined plot that takes place "in" space but INTERSTELLAR details a plot that takes place "inside" of space. For those that cannot fathom the school of thought will surely see what I mean once you're done watching – The total experience is more immersive.

Walking in for a Nolan film sets ones expectations to an auto setting of high. Enthralling and entertaining it is. At nearly three hours there is never a dull moment but just variance in the pace of progress. However it is safe to admit that INTERSTELLAR can never be placed on par with the works of INCEPTION. Still to the fans of Nolan, to the fans of the Genre and most importantly to the fans of good taste in movies this movie will serve you right…. It will surely intrigue.

TITLE: INTERSTELLAR DIRECTED BY: CHRISTOPHER NOLAN STARRING: MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY, ANNA HATHAWAY, JESSICA CHASTAIN, MATT DAMON, JOHN LITHGOW, David OYELOWO & MICHAEL CAIN RATED: PG 13 RATING: 08/10 RUNTIME: 165 MINUTES
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8/10
Tom Cruise is a different light.
19 October 2014
EDGE OF TOMORROW is complete mindfuckery. The kind of mindfuckery that is expected in a Doug Liman movie and the style of fuckery that an audience would accept with arms wide open. Yes – let's admit this, we love a twisted plot or even so any pattern of twist in a movie. Doug Liman is known for his confounding approaches and he in fact has done so and survived without having his name tarnished. EDGE OF TOMORROW is neither as complex nor impenetrable in terms of understanding like INCEPTION. It's a plot that is fathomable. It is a 24 hour loop where action super star Tom Cruise dies over and over and over again. I did lose count but it was a good 100 times minimum. So for those fans that dislike Cruise this probably is a win-win situation. A great movie and Cruise keeps dying.

Alien movies, movies about aliens we have seen so many and now as an audience to us this on its own is a legit sub-genre within the sci- fi genre. My first impression: what sort of intergalactic foe is this? Named the Mimic I preferred the name tentacles. It does look like a dog cross bred with an octopus aka dogtopus. An alien can be whatever Liman thinks of it as and I have no beef with this. Since of late alien movies have been quite disappointing and have been known to reach ridiculous standards. Viewers avoid them. This is all about change and EDGE OF TOMORROW is redemption, it is a revival, it is a must watch.

Lt. Cage (Tom Cruise) pisses off the wrong people and is thrown in the mix of war where the Mimics (Aliens) are taking over all of Europe. Cage is not an action hero. He is the absolute opposite of what we have known Tom Cruise on screen for over decades. Cage is a coward. A weakling in uniform is what he is. This is the first biggest sell in EDGE OF TOMORROW. See Tom Cruise play a role of his life time like you have never seen him before. Cages first mission is a beach invasion. Feels like the opening shot of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. Explosive, Chaotic, Sand in the Camera but less bloody but certain death. Few minutes on the beach and Cage dies taking his own life and the life an Omega. The day restarts again. That's it. Yes that the entire movie. It keeps resetting.

Now what's a sci-fi movie or a war movie without a little bit of romance? The Full Metal Jacket (Emily Blunt) is absolutely military sexy! Whilst Blunt looks ravishing covered in sweat and dirt the steal of the day is Tom Cruises performance by far. (No – I am not a fan of Tom Cruise). Cage and Rita find common ground and Rita herself was able to reset the day until a blood transfusion took away her ability. This fling on its own makes the movie lighter giving it the final touch of its excellence.

Is it a movie about aliens? Is it a movie of war? Is it a movie of Romance? If there is one thing that is certain about EDGE OF TOMORROW it is a movie that MUST BE WATCHED.

TITLE: EDGE OF TOMORROW DIRECTED BY: DOUG LIMAN STARRING: TOM CRUISE & EMILY BLUNT RATED: PG-13 RATING: 08/10 RUNTIME: 113 MINUTES
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Ride Along (2014)
6/10
Harts Hilarious!
10 August 2014
………… Every Second…………. Every Minute……. RIDE ALONG is a full dose of Ice Cube and Kevin Hart with the latter being at one his finest performances that will split you up laughing. Ben Harper (Kevin Hart) a security guard is accepted into the police academy (Which actually carries no further into the plot of this movie). The closest Harper has been ever to hold a gun is in his first person shooter games on Xbox. Harper who is dating the hotness Angela Payton (Tika Sumpter) is seeking for approval of the relationship to take it to the next level from her brother, the Captain of Jump Street aka Ice Cube who portrays James Payton. James is a bad ass cop who has been chasing a ghost suspect by the name of Omar for the past two years with no result. James who trusts no one tags along Ben for ride along for the day. The security guard who cannot talk a 10 year old down maybe the missing link to the great Omar mystery?

A day on the force is nothing as what is expected by Ben. Clearly the Xbox FPS guru is no match for the real world of cops and robbers. Hart often does bring to mind the works of Martin Lawrence when he used to be the funny cop on the big screens with BAD BOYS, BLUE STREAK & NATIONAL SECURITY. Much like that Hart will keep you curling up into balls of laughter over and over again with his wordplay. One of the best moments of the movie is when Ben and James take to the shooting range. Whilst I don't want to give the moment away, it's a moment to die for. Ice Cube on the other hand fits the role of James like a glove. It's like Jump Street all over again. For some the performance may come as monotonous and to some his style of acting may seem rigid and Jump Street like. To me it seems an intentional effort so that Harts character is allowed enough space to grow in its right as cowardly brother in law to be. Although a variance in the performance (as a cop) maybe something to consider for RIDE ALONG 2 which is already in production for release in 2016.

Director Tim Story has never been one of my go-to directors when it comes to comedies. In fact his track record has not been the strongest of them all. Whilst BARBERSHOP was watchable, I never was able to connect with THINK LIKE A MAN. RIDE ALONG maybe the turning point for him and indeed he is heading in the proper direction of finally entertaining his audience. Looking forward to his next.

It will keep you engaged and it will keep you entertained. A perfect entertainer for a lazy day.

TITLE: RIDE ALONG DIRECTED BY: TIM STORY STARRING: KEVIN HART & ICE CUBE RATED: PG 13 RATING: 06/10 RUNTIME: 99 MIN
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7/10
The Plot Twist!
5 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
….. Contains Spoilers.

THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN 2 here on mentioned as AMS2 will take one by a great disbelief as the movie wraps up. A brave move some would say that was taken by Marc Webb in writing out the character of Gwen Stacy (Stone) although this may too hurt the franchise that is in the process of rebuilding itself. AMS2 always has been true to the original comics than the Toby Maguire franchise ever was. Marc Webb and his team go further and stay true to the comic issue #121 (June 1973) "The Night that Gwen Stacy Died" by having Gwen (Stone) fall down a tower to her death with the whiplash effect of Spider Mans rescue attempt.

What does this mean for the franchise? This is the most obvious question now. In a time where most superhero movies are being revamped over and over again for its monetary potential many production houses are torn between storytelling vs franchise building. The AMS franchise or any franchise for that matter is not made only for those that once owned the comic. It is for the masses. The previous trilogy saw Mary Jane and Peter Parker all the way through. This time we had Peter Parker and his first serious girlfriends Gwen fall in love. This is what people at times pay to see. So what exactly does Sony have in mind? Looking at how truthful they are to the original story line and also the fact that Mary Jane was in AMS2 but was scrapped off during the last minute only means that we could be looking at Peter and Mary once again sharing the upside down kiss in AMS3? As far as the storytelling aspect of the situation is concerned it seems like Sony has everything under control. In terms of the franchise build it most certainly could have benefited much more had they kept on Emma Stone for the next movie at least. Would you want to watch AMS3 knowing that Gwen Stacey won't be in it?

You will feel that AMS2 roll and toss a bit more than to its liking as it is trying to milk the most out a shabbily written screenplay. The movies were released in quick succession and indeed it is evident that that screenplay is rushed. Frustration and desperation is seen as AMS2 struggles to achieve the height of action as is in the first movie from 2012. Spider Man depends more on humor of Garfield than having to actually work for the Super Hero status during the better half of the movie. In fact Spiderman is often saved by Gwen Stacy than the other way around. Furthermore with numerous villains (Electro, The Rhino, The Green Goblin) introduced within, the spotlight at times is taken off by Electro who is by far the coolest villain to appear on the Spiderman set.

Jamie Foxx is brilliant and the CGI surrounding electro and the entire production is a marvel (Lol). The CGI may seem too ambitious to some but we have to come into terms that it is 2014 and Hollywood has to go with the flow. The first major screen time for Electro at Times Square in the heart of Manhattan is one of the favorite moments in the movie. The cinematography is a whole new level and it's obvious that Marc Webb was reaching out for 3D! This dear reader will blow your mind!

Losing a loved one isn't something new to Superheroes. Killing a wife, mother, sister or girlfriend always has been a tool to spark a certain desire for vengeance in a Superhero. So with Gwen passing Peter Parker burns from within. Marc Webb has announced that AMS3 will be the last movie he will direct of his franchise. AMS was brilliant in its first outing in 2012 whereas AMS2 seems like its spends most of its time setting the stage for AMS3. We are introduced to Harry Osborne and the Green Goblin briefly. This is only to plant the seed of vengeance between the Goblin & Peter. We don't know what happens with The Rhino as the movie ends in a cliff hanger. So in a way the ultimate stage has been set? Peter Angry, The Rhino on the loose and Oscorp have many more villains hidden in its basement.

What can Parker and Webb put together for the fans at the next visit of our friendly neighborhood spider man.

TITLE: THE AMAZING SPIDER MAN DIRECTED BY: MARC WEBB STARRING: ANDREW GARFIELD, EMMA STONE,JAMIE FOXX, DANE DEHAAN & PAUL GIAMATTI RATED: PG 13 RATING: 6.5/10 RUNTIME: 142 MINUTES
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6/10
Some a hit and some a miss. Still a must watch I would say.
4 August 2014
…… Some of my favorite lines in the movie that will surely split you up.

"That went south so fast" "People die at the fair" "Please don't shoot us on sex night" "Dude you really shouldn't drink and horse" "I am about to shoot a full load at your cans" "Mila Kunis"

Written and directed by Seth McFarlane (The Family Guy) A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST is set in Arizona in the year 1882 (arguably the worst time to live in) where everything and everyone that is not you is trying to kill you. Albert (McFarlane) a cowardly farmer is ditched by his girlfriend (Amanda Seyfried) and is replaced by TV's boy-toy Foy (Neil Patrick Harris). The lost lover falls for the new girl in town aka Anna (Charlize Theron) who conveniently happens to be the wife of Clinch (Liam Neeson) aka one of the meanest gunmen in the west.

Seth McFarlane requires no fluffed up intro. He is the gag master. He is well known for crude humor and has proved himself to be quite the successful comedian in his longstanding show THE FAMILY GUY. McFarlane who gave us the hilarious R rated comedy TED is at it again trying to make a farce of the lifestyles of the Wild West. AMWDW can be classified as a lesser funny motion picture with comparison to TED but still has its moments.

The sheepishly written AMWDW reads deep into the characters immediately connecting with audience. Its comedy is slapstick and often revolves around blatant sarcasm. Blatant sarcasm is a tool often used by McFarlane in his work and he indeed executes them to fearless precision as the protagonist. Maybe it's because he feels the screenplay more closely to him as it his own creation or maybe because he is just good at the whole entertaining an audience business. Whilst Neil Patrick Harris and Giovanni Ribisi are the only seasoned stars of the genre, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried and Especially Liam Neeson put on a show that can brighten up your lazy movie weekend.

One of the favorable aspects of the production is the detailed set piece of the movie. The Saloon, the entertainment house and the farm which personifies the sex jokes make the township and Albert's soppy love story bearable. Whilst not all jokes are as crude as one may believe AMWDW survives the near 2 hours. Certain frames with insertions of pieces from BACK TO THE FUTURE and DJANGO UNCHANGED too will entertain those who know their movies.

Seth McFarlane's AMWDW is a concentration of crude joke after joke. Some a hit and some a miss. Still a must watch I would say.

TITLE: A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST DIRECTED BY: SETH MCFARLANE STARRING: SETH MCFARLANE, GIOVANNI RIBISI, CHARLIZE THERON, AMANDA SEYFRIED WITH NEIL PATRICK HARRIS & LIAM NEESON RATED: R RATING: 06/10 RUNTIME: 116 MINUTES
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8/10
Ralph Fiennes at his best
26 July 2014
Ridiculously detailed to every nook right down to very twirls at the end of moustache of Mr.Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL is a must watch for the fans of Wes Anderson. His rather unorthodox animation of FANTASTIC MR.FOX drew attention to quite the number of critical stinkers although personally it was enjoyable to me. Quite similarly TGBH too contains Anderson's eccentricity in the perfection of detailing which is the core pillar of the success of the blisteringly comical motion picture.

TGBH isn't snarled, devious or unfathomable to the audience as grandeur as the title wants it to sound. The opulence lies in the minimalism. The ostentatious and foolish escapade of Mr.Gustave (probably the only concierge to reach the Hall of Fame for concierges if ever there was one) and his lobby boy is all what TGBH is about. Mr.Gustave if one may say so is undeniably a "Play-AH" and his type is mature, rich, blonde women (GOLD DIGGER!). As all men he knows how to handle his ladies and still be a hit at the office. Mr.Gustave sails a tight ship. Perfection is something he harps on with daily meetings with the staff which is preposterously entertaining. Although Fiennes has proved his versatility in acting it's hard to see him beyond Lord Voldermort to many in the audience. It further will astonish and amuse the audience since this is by far the best performance of Fiennes one is certain to see. OMG YOU ARE GONNA LOVE HIM!

The lion-share of the credit is indeed deposited under the name of Fiennes. How can one not credit the amazing, rude and at times intentionally mental performances of Bill Murray, Jude Law, William Dafoe, Adrian Brody, Edward Norton, Tony Revolori & Owen Wilson? It is not a surprise if one can be overwhelmed with the overpowering of star- power. On many occasions directors are belittled for having an overabundance of household Hollywood names to cover the drawbacks of the script or the direction – but not this time. Most of the success is seeing the stars portray these eccentric characters. I spurted my soda out when Edward Norton got his first share of screen time; it's just too funny!

Another paradigm to look at TGBH is the vision Wes Anderson may have had for this motion picture. The parallel existence in which everything comes to life is obviously not as realistic as THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL purely because of the colors, but still in hindsight it looked too real not to be true. Anderson seems to have thrown a fit with the costuming and props department. There is finesse in every aspect of every turn. One cannot describe how detailed the production is until witnessed by one's own eyes. Wes Anderson I vouch to watch every other movie you are ever to make! I am your newest fan. Superb work.

Lastly before every reader is misguided, TGBH is mostly word play and isn't slapstick or rude humor as in Bachelor parties in Vegas or Thailand. If that's your game TGBH is her name!

TITLE: THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL DIRECTED BY: WES ANDERSON STARRING: RALPH FIENNES, TONY REVOLORI, WILLIAM DAFOE, ADRIAN BRODY, EDWARD NORTON, OWEN Wilson & BILL MURRAY RATED: R RATING : 08/10 RUNTIME: 100 MINUTES
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Blue Ruin (2013)
7/10
Killer Thriller
26 July 2014
An Indie Film isn't water under the bridge; it isn't just a movie which is construed as a limited budgeted venture without big shot production houses at its helm. When one hears the term "Indie" one is instantaneously thrown off course. Watch BLUE RUIN and it will forever change the way one perceives Indies.

Let me throw a few titles at you. THE DESCENT, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, MEMENTO, THE PASSION OF THE Christ, MEAN STREETS & THE TERMINATOR are some of the most stringent budgeted productions seen in the past decades. BLUE RUIN does not have an A-List director to its name as some of the titles mentioned above. Instead Jeremy Sauliner can be considered an amateur with comparison to Nolan, Scorsese or Cameron. But still BLUE RUIN is one of the most absurdly intense and realistic movies of 2014. Slow oFf the blocks BLUE RUIN progresses at a slow pace focusing on the mysterious growth of the troubled Dwight who is baffled at the news that the murderer of his parents is being released from prison. The psychological imbalance and the struggle with acceptance is too darn realistic that for a moment Dwight isn't Macon Blairs work, instead Dwight is as real as it gets. What happens to a man who holds another man at gunpoint for the first time? He hesitates, he doubts himself, he is afraid of the consequences and most of all he himself is afraid of the situation. This all what BLUE RUIN is at its core eventually? I for one think so. BLUE RUIN gripped me from the very start. Its weak in its screenplay at certain intervals which is intentional I presume. However this may work negatively since this leaves plenty of room for the audience distraction. Jeremy Sauliner is a perfectionist in BLUE RUIN. Each nook is fine tuned to extract the scenes maximum potential within his strained budget. When Dwight bleeds that's all that happens; he bleeds. When Dwight cries that's all that happens; Dwight cries. Unlike Colin Farrell or Tom Hanks in PHONEBOOTH or CASTAWAY there isn't much taking place in the backdrop. There is no police squad, there is no island. Instead its always back seat of a car, a broken chair, a wall or a tree. A winner at the Film festival Circuit BLUE RUIN is vengeance thriller that lets of its steam cautiously but certainly. It's like walking the plank.

TITLE: BLUE RUIN DIRECTED BY: JEREMY SAULINER STARRING: MACON BLAIR RATED : R RATING: 07/10 RUNTIME: 90 MINUTES
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Non-Stop (2014)
7/10
The Suspense is just the right amount!
4 June 2014
Yet another must watch: An early release in 2014 finally has come out on Blu -Ray.

NON-STOP starring Liam Neeson is an action/thriller based on an ordinary day in the life of Air Marshall Bill Marks. On a routine transatlantic trip Agent Marks receives a series of mysterious text messages. Text messages that claim that there will be a death every 20 minutes onboard the aircraft until 150 million dollars is transferred to an unknown bank account. The identity of the sender in unknown. The Air Marshal is certain that the sender is onboard. The only viable clue he has is that sender of the text messages has access to a mobile phone. Everyone onboard is suspect!

Unlike his hit thriller blockbuster TAKEN this mission does not unfold comfortably. The Neeson we see who is very much in control and always with a plan in his famous thrillers struggles onboard. This alone makes NON-STOP even more intriguing. I kept telling myself that one will not expect anything less from a Neeson movie and one would not have expected the change in dynamic in the flow of the plot. Phenomenally written the plot in NON-STOP isn't rocket science, in fact the movie on its own is plain and simple. It's how the flow of suspense and thrills is concocted and put on screen that I find whimsical.

Many movies have been attempted in the confined space of a make believe aircraft. The closest successful parallel that I can draw is to Jodie Fosters FLIGHTPLAN. Starting his career in the Movie scene of Hollywood with HOUSE OF WAX (2005) Spanish Director Jaume Collet-Sera has since been climbing out from the bottom of the barrel leaving the mediocre horror flick behind. He has only become better over time. His first collaboration with Liam Neeson in UNKNOWN was a massive hit and likewise this too will follow? What Sera and Neeson did in UNKNOWN was spectacular and similarly this (NON-STOP) mystery keep building up from the moment Neeson first appears on screen. It is safe to say that Neeson has safely established himself as the go to action/thriller guy since the mega hit TAKEN and he executes this one with great detail; as much detail as the screenplay allows him to.

Indeed there are flaws. As always is the case the scales tend to tip in the positive and the flaws can be overlooked if the damage isn't that obvious. Maybe Juliane Moore's agent felt that she needed work. The 53 year old redhead looks absolutely ravishing but her presence in the movie on the whole is quite questionable since she literally contributed nothing coming from Hollywood royalty. I for one enjoyed seeing her on screen but I kept expecting more. A lesson to be learnt for all female leads is to never star besides Neeson in an action/thriller because Neeson will over power you at every turn.

I reviewed it; now you decide!

TITLE: NON-STOP DIRECTED BY: JUAME COLLET-SERA STARRING: LIAM NEESON & JULIANNE MOORE RATED: PG13 RATING: 07/10 RUNTIME: 106 MINUTES
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Godzilla (2014)
6/10
If you love seeing everything on screen destroyed make a date with this historic beast!
28 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
How many GODZILLA movies has there been? I for one have no clue. Never have I watched one either to draw comparison. What did I feel about this beast unleashed on the wide screen? It's plain and simple; it's entertaining but it's nothing out of the ordinary apart from the fact of the Monsters. It will be forgotten by the end of the summer but while you watch it, it's not that bad.

There is nothing insane in this movie. Frankly to begin with I was quite disappointed when I saw the first monster on screen. Although not having ever watched any of the predecessors I did have an idea of what GODZILLA would look like and that monster most certainly was not it. It looked like a massive cockroach from the first MEN IN BLACK movie. But then I sat there with my jaws open as the CGI and VFX took over and the historical creature rose out of the water. I am impressed!

With the best possible team ever behind the scenes it's an uncontested argument to say that visually we are in for a treat. Seamus McGarvey (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE - Cinematography), Jim Rygiel (LOTR, THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN – VFX), Owen Patterson (THE MATRIX TRILOGY – Production Supervisor) Alexander Desplat (ZERO DARK THIRTY – Composer) serves it out in A-List Hollywood fashion. You don't need to know your movies to know the above titles. They are by far some of the most popular household names in Hollywood history. So hold on to your seats and get ready to be swept away with this visual extravaganza as everything you see is obliterated (literally).

As for the more core elements of the movie, the direction, the acting and the screenplay not much can be said. Let me start with the screenplay. Nothing is written in detail and no one is given enough room to grow intentionally. The focus as the title rightly says is on GODZILLA. But still a bit more detail into the characters and plot could have made it more thrilling. Remember LAKE PLACID? I cannot take a jab at the acting since they were given didly squat to work with and Aaron Taylor Johnson who plays Ford does the best that he can with what he is given. As for the BREAKING BAD star Bryan Cranston I am certain the fans would have preferred for him to stay along (Spoiler Alert). Lastly Gareth Edwards who is new to the Directors chair does justice and gives you nothing but GODZILLA.

The thrill in GODZILLA is not what is taking place in front of you. It is the chaos and carnage that happens in the background. Not the common movie enthusiasts cup of tea. If you love seeing everything on screen destroyed make a date with this historic beast!

TITLE: GODZILLA DIRECTED BY: GARETH EDWARDS STARRING: AARON TAYLOR JOHNSONN, ELIZABETH OLSEN, KEN WATANABE & BRYAN CRANSTON RATING: 06/10 RATED: PG13 RUNTIME: 133 MINUTES
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8/10
Wall Street Never Looked More Real
27 February 2014
I myself I jerk off at least twice a day!! The moment Matthew McConaughey delivered that line I was all ears and hooked on to THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. Coming directly of DALLAS BUYERS CLUB still clearly many a pounds lighter Matthew McConaughey plays a cameo in the Martin Scorsese bio-pic lashing out some of the best advice I am yet to hear on the wide screen. Condensed with Voluptuous beauties, Sex, Drugs and Alcohol THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is based on the true story of Jordan Belfort who was born in the Bronx and grew up on Bayside, Queens. Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) starts his career as a broker at L.F. Rothschild. 19th October 1987 Belfort finally becomes a licensed broker and the market crashes taking Rothschild down with it. Belfort reach out for jobs with his thoughts of ever being a broker hastily diminishing until his wife circles out an advert in the papers calling out for salesmen. Belfort's transformation from a cub to a wolf thus begins as he enters through those doors signing up employment with a penny-stocks firm in Long Island. Along with the contract his habits, his personality and his motivation takes a turn and story worth watching is born. Veteran Director Scorsese and DiCaprio collaborate for the 5th time and indeed have concocted what I will probably rate as one of the captivating movies of the year 2013. The race to the Oscars indeed is neck on neck and each one has the pedal to the metal with the finish line just yards ahead. DiCaprio having won the Golden Globe for the Best Actor in a Leading Role still falls at number 2 in my books for two reasons. First being that although he is indeed in a role of a life time and in pristine form of acting, he falls short of his own feat of J.EDGAR (DiCaprio can do better –He has proved so) and secondly his efforts does not have enough momentum to oust Matthew McConaughey who is my number one contender at the Oscars. Turning back to the faultless performance of DiCaprio, was he in reality on drugs or is he just that good? Seated in the audience the rush of the cocaine and whiskey and the sheer adrenaline of having everything in life literally at your fingertips is captured right from the core. Going to the movies is all about the experience and DiCaprio delivers a front row seat experience to Belfort's life, his work, his absolutely stunning wife, his women, his drugs, his cars, his mansions and his craftiness. Without discussing Jonah Hill I cannot sum this review up it just does not feel right. DiCaprio maybe the spliff for the high. Jonah Hill is the fire that lights it up. I could not stop laughing every second of Jonah Hill on screen. Let me just say that you will love his teeth and his 21 Jumpstreet attitude. I chuckle as I write this and so will you enjoy the Hill madness indeed. 2 time Oscar Nominee Jonah Hill has reached his career high thus far this time surpassing his performance in MONEYBALL from 2012. Mr.Hill you have clearly outdone yourself and your fans are clearly overwhelmed with this performance but sadly we think it does not have enough punch to surpass a certain Somali Pirate who is eyeing the same prize as you. Better luck next time. Lastly Mr. Scorsese; Oscar winner or not his caliber of directors is a rare breed. In Fact in my times and in my eyes and in my limited exposure he is indeed The God Father with his mafia of Spielberg, Allen and Cameron to name a few. Wouldn't it be the perfect night if he bags all the awards come Oscar night. Sadly I am certain it wouldn't be so. The entire best sir!

Verdict This could not have been done any better. Front Row Seat to a DiCaprio and Hill Massacre of the Wall Street. Wall street never looked more real!! TITLE: THE WOLF OF WALL STREET DIRECTED BY: MARTIN SCORSESE STARRING: LEONARDO DICAPRIO & JONAH HILL RATED: R RATING: 08/10 RUNTIME: 180 MINUTES
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7/10
Matthew McConaughey is MAGNIFICENT
16 February 2014
I have felt this before, this feel of being taken aback seated speechless for a moment after witnessing something epic. It took me a while but then it dawned upon me that this is what I felt when I first watched Daniel Day-Lewis portray the Academy Award Winning role in LINCOLN. Undoubtedly in the most outstanding performances of their careers Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto are my favorites thus far for bringing home the goods at the Oscars for the nominations of Best Performance of an Actor in a Leading role and supporting roles respectively in the bio-drama DALLAS BUYERS CLUB.

If you had suddenly being told that you have only 30 days to live and that you have to make peace with this information how would you react? Rodeo bull rider Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) wakes up in hospital to this news which is shared with him by his attending physician. Woodroof who has been diagnosed positive of the HIV virus reacts to this revelation in anger. In fact it is this anger that fuels him to the distances that he reaches out for survival. Woodroof who was initially treated with the drug stated AZT did not respond positively to them. Instead the needle happy bull rider tried experimenting with medications and drugs to concoct his own special brew of HIV anti bodies, Strangely these events did lead him to certain discoveries that attracted the attention of the legal system whose waking wish was to shut him down. May it be money, may it be his human instinct to live, Woodroof along with Rayon (Jared Leto) did not give up which invariably resulted in the opening of the DALLAS BUYERS CLUB ; a business that dealt the FDA unapproved medication to HIV patients.

Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallee has difficulty in controlling the rhythm of the screenplay and is wobbly at first. Trailer trash sex scenes and orgies and drugs engross the first hour of the movie which although has relevance to what Woodroof is all about did not contribute much to what the movie is entirely discussing about. Once Jean gets his feet firmly on the ground for a good 45 minutes with the actual matter the screenplay derails yet again when the battle between life and death becomes a political tussle in between Woodroof and the government. For starters the entire political involvement is abruptly handled with I would say less than 5 minutes of screen time and top of that to the audience it breaks rhythm and direction of the true struggle of Woodroof and Rayon.

What keep this loosely driven motion picture in balance are its two lead performers. The weight losses alone show the commitment and the help of makeup and hairstyling simple accentuates the entire performance even further. It's been sometime since a movie of this caliber has been in our midst. There is no room for excessive CGI. No room for artificial imagery and what we see is pretty much what goes on in front of the lens.

Verdict

Exquisite work on the part of the leading men. McConaughey and Leto are on a whole new level. It's a slow paced bio-pic so don't expect intensity instead expect detailing and finesse. A movie only for the lovers of the genre. I repeat only for the lovers of the genre.

Nominations

-Best Motion Picture of the Year -Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role -Best Performance by and Actor in a Supporting Role -Best Achievement in Film Editing -Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling -Best Writing, Original Screenplay

Did you also know?

-It is said Matthew McConaughey was on a diet of Chicken, 2 Egg Whites, a Small Pudding and 2 Diet Cokes daily for 4 months. - McConaughey and Leto respectively won the awards for Best Actor/ Supporting Actor at the 2014 Golden Globe Awards.

TITLE: DALLAS BUYERS CLUB DIRECTED BY: JEAN-MARC VALLÉÉ STARRING: MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY, JARED LETO &JENNIFER GARNER RATED: R RATING:07/10 RUNTIME: 117 MINUTES
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