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Ben 10: Alien Swarm (2009)
Nice Alien Action Movie for All Ages
I like this movie. It can be viewed by kids and adults alike, easy on the eye with the action, the effects are decent and the performances are good too. Maybe there are some scenes that could look illogical but I'd still prefer movies like these that can be viewed by audience of any age and a simple plot without too many twists.
But what confused or amused me is how a person infested with the alien virus or chip acts like a zombie! And the zombie trait is selective too :p
Anyway it is a timepass movie especially for kids. Among the actors, I especially liked Alyssa Diaz as Elena who searches for her abducted father and Barry Corbin as Grandpa Max.
I'm a fan of alien movies. Alien Swarm is not for those that expect great action, effects or story but it is easy on the eye(for the general audience) and brain(uncomplicated plot unlike the Arrival that released a month ago).
Verdict: Not very impressive but it's still likable and clean entertainment.
It Arrived, It Saw, It Left Me Confused!
Alien movies is one of my fav genres to watch, so I looked forward to Arrival as soon as it released. It's not like the entertainers Independence day or War of the World, it's more like Monsters(2010) that gets more serious with the story.
The effects are marvelous, so are the performances, especially from the lead actors Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner. I love the claustrophobic feel that the movie captures in few scenes especially the intro scenes inside the alien ship. All the visuals or effects of the ship(inside & out) in the movie are wow.
But unlike Monsters or the other flicks above, I found the story in Arrival quite complicated despite the long hours I spent on the movie forum here to understand some of the scenes. I'd have got a A in my diploma with that effort :p The various explanation in the forum as to the alien intention or how Louise deals with some hostile countries that don't welcome them didn't convince me and I was left with my own interpretation. I actually like multiple layers in a story but not which can leave me confused or annoyed for days on end! So how you are mostly gonna like this movie depends on how you figure it all out.
Another aspect that disturbs me is how Hollywood still likes to bash few countries, directly or indirectly, in its movies. Their favorite punch bags over the past many decades seem to be usually China, Russia, Iran or even Pakistan and for reasons best known to them. Why?
Verdict: With some reluctance, I rate it 8/10 and only because the visuals stun and the effects are awesome. And unlike me, try not to think too much about why they arrived :p
Creepy Alien Movie
Altered is quite a creepy alien flick. The movie is mainly about a standoff between a kidnapped alien and a group of humans. There's lot of tense moments, some gore that could leave your hair stand on end and also very good performances from all the actors.
Paul McCarthy-Boyington as a temperamental nut Cody hell-bent on revenge against the martians leaves the most impact.
To mention some flaws, some of the conversations between the characters were a drag and also the movie is visually a bit dull - that could be because most of the scenes happen inside a house(between just one or two rooms).
Verdict - some of the violence is quite graphic but if you're a fan of alien movies, give it a shot..it's worth a watch.
Another 80's Jason Movie that Entertains
I have always liked the Jason movies from the 80's than the current lot - they are fun to watch, not heavy on the eye with the violence and I miss the 80s look & feel. Jason takes Manhattan is another one from the Friday the 13th stable that I liked although the title quite misleads as Manhattan or New York is hardly there in the movie - most of the action is either on a ship or in the sewers lol.
There's good suspense, the violence or sexuality isn't very graphic and the performances are also very decent. But what I found unintentionally funny is how a younger Jason shown at various moments in the movie is a different child actor, even an Asian when the camera zooms close in one particular frame! Maybe they couldn't just use one kid for the role as it was time for them to get back to school :p
Verdict - forget logic in the story and this movie could quite entertain you.
Fantastic Beasts - Fun, Magical Thriller with Fantastic Effects
What stands out in Fantastic Beasts are the visuals and effects, they are awesome. Then comes the performances and my favorites are Eddie Redmayne as a young wizard and Dan Fogler as a factory worker aspiring to run a bakery. Both of them get the most footage in the movie and do justice to their characters. Dan's performance as a stumbling, adorable, non-wizard is an ideal antidote to the seriousness, knowledge and a nerdy whiz portrayed by Eddie. Another performance that stood out for me is Alison Sudol who falls for Dan and can also read minds. The rest of the cast are also commendable including a very impressive Katherine Waterson(as Alison's elder sis and a 'dark wizard catcher').
The 1920s New York which forms the background of the story is shown beautifully and that old world charm adds to the movie's magic.
The movie has it all - visuals, effects, action, performances, nice music, fun moments, bit of romance too..although I did feel some scenes dragged like Eddie chasing some of the creatures that go missing from his suitcase. Some of these chases were a bit too lengthy.
Verdict - a lovely movie watchable with family, entertains both the kid and adult in you.
Chak De! India (2007)
Entertains, Inspires, Good Tribute to Hockey
When I saw Chak de India at the time of its release in 2007, I felt so impressed & inspired by it especially Shimit Amin's direction that I made it a point to see all of his other directorial works. Nine years later, I saw Chak de India again and it still entertains & inspires.
Its strengths are many - the direction, the music, the performances, the suspense, the dialogues and the many funny moments. Shahrukh Khan was refreshingly subtle as an actor and I think good credit for that goes to the director too. The rest of the cast give wonderful support especially all the hockey team girls. Many of them can thank Chak de for turning them into stars overnight.
And what a tribute this movie is to the game of hockey! Many girls or boys in India would have got some motivation to join hockey or generally sports for that matter after seeing this movie. I see Chak de as a benchmark against which I compare any other sports movies made in Indian cinema. When I saw Bhaag Milkha Bhaag which felt more "bollywoodish" than a tribute to Milkha Singh, I kept telling myself, 'If only Shimit Amin had directed this...'.
I don't see much flaws but there were scenes where one or two states of the county were portrayed in a manner that could have felt offensive to those who hail from there. Such scenes were unnecessary. Yet I say that the makers can be forgiven for this flaw as the movie is otherwise excellent.
Verdict - watchable for all ages and one of my all-time favorite Bollywood movies.
Alien Hunter (2003)
Weak Thriller But Still Watchable
Alien Hunter is a movie with a simple storyline, good performances and nice effects but there's some confusion or lack of clarity in few scenes that involves the alien and the humans, in particular a scene where it or whatever it carries kills few of the characters and not others. I wasn't convinced how these survivors got lucky, the explanation provided felt quite simplistic. Besides that, I found the movie kinda dull, especially the drama or suspense in the later half. James Spader in the lead role of an "alien hunter" gives an above average performance. The rest of the cast are all fine actors but I was surprised to see the sprinter Carl Lewis! He acted quite well, wish he'd more screen time. Overall, it's a decent timepass and if any aspect of the story nags you, the message board here can be of some help.
Verdict: okey dokey.
The Accountant (2016)
Excellent Ben Affleck Action, Disappointed with the Story
The Accountant is a very good action movie. The hand to hand combat scenes seemed better than those that I saw in the dull Jack Reacher released recently. The sound effects especially when Ben Affleck fires his weapon is wow, best experienced in a theatre. The performances are also very impressive, what caught my attention the most is Jon Bernthal's(in a dark role) act - very expressive. He switches from mean to vulnerable with ease. Ben Affleck also gives a sincere performance within the limitations of his role - an understated actor who can also be quite funny without overdoing it. I'm also pleasantly stunned by J.K. Simmons as the Treasury department head. The moment when he gets emotionally overcome after barely escaping with his life is one of the powerful scenes in the movie.
So, although I'm impressed by the action, the sound effects and also all the actors(lead & support roles), it's certain aspects of the story that put me off in a major way. Unintentionally perhaps, there is one or two scenes(potential spoiler, so best not to reveal more) that show autism negatively which can leave those who have this condition in the real world feel uncomfortable or offended. I saw this movie few days ago and I'm yet to come out of my annoyance of those few scenes - they felt like a tear in an otherwise beautiful art.
My 8/10 is for the entertainment & action but with disappointment I must say I don't recommend it due to some prejudiced portrayal of autism. Sorry.
Jurassic World (2015)
Children Will Love It!
Jurassic World is a fun ride, yes it has horror but not quite graphic that you can't show the movie to children. In fact, I think they'll love it..it has many moments where they could go ooh, aah or even get spooked, in a way that'd entertain them more than adults. The effects are cool and the performances are also equally good. I'm a Bryce Dallas Howard fan but I felt what she wore didn't gel with the role, she looked almost like a princess in a jungle! Her appearance, not performance, felt odd. Chriss Pratt was convincing, and Irrfan Khan(another of my fav actors) did a neat job too. Although this movie has enough action, the fear factor still pales to the earlier dino works like Jurassic Park or the Lost World which is why I think adult viewers may not enjoy it as much as kids. Also, the scenes that involve the young raptors towards the climax felt a bit too unbelievable, done just so our lead characters can finally triumph and end the movie than make some sense.
Verdict: It has flaws, but still a thumbs up fun & action for kids and adults alike.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)
Run of the Mill Action Movie
The movie is just another decent action flick, what could disappoint the viewers is the expectation because it's a Tom Cruise starrer and Edward Zwick direction. At the end of it all, I felt if there's any hope that the movie may make reasonable profit, it can be only on Tom Cruise's name or else the chances are slim. There is lot of suspense, yes and all the actors are good like Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Danika Yarosh(excellent as Jack Reacher's "daughter") and Patrick Heusinger(a hit-man). Even today, Tom Cruise's body language or the physicality he brings to fight scenes is commendable. But comparatively, the action he gets to do is dull and so are the dialogues. The dialogues especially felt quite ordinary, one would expect more effort to make the lines interesting because the expectations are bigger when you go to a cinema. Some of the action too left me in disbelief, like how Tom Cruise shoots an oil drum conveniently kept where the bad guys stand reminding me of the old video games I played! Why didn't they think of something new or different? And that's what one would repeatedly think of many scenes or even the dialogues in the movie. And when I saw Edward Zwick's name in the credits initially, my heart jumped a bit in anticipation as he directed some of my all-time favorite movies like The Siege(Denzel Washington) but I was in for a major upset here. It almost made me wonder if he did Jack Reacher just for the money.
Verdict: strictly for Tom Cruise fans.