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The Others (2001)
A very good horror film with a spectacular conclusion
When I first heard of The Others, I honestly was that not interested in watching it, it's premise seemed like a generic horror flick and the plot about a mother living with her photosensitive children alone in a large house or mansion sounded as generic as it gets. How many horror movies we have seen with families living in an abandoned Haunted mansion? The Others didn't seem that different even if the children were suffering from a rare illness or disease, it became hard for me to distinguish the Others from your average generic horror flick. All that was until I actually watched this great film was absolutely mesmerized with it.
The film starts out slow, as you are introduced to the characters and the new servants are hired to work in the house and you are introduced to the children and find out about the rare disease they suffer from. As the plot unfolds and the film moves on, events start to unfold, some weird incidents and noises start to occur in the house making the mother, the children and the servants realize that they are not alone in the house, making them believe it is haunted. The plot keeps on unfolding when the unforeseen twist occurs in the end, which I honestly did not see coming at all. It was shocking and was so well handled and executed that it is in my opinion one of the best scenes in horror films even though the scene in retrospect is not that scary but it is the shock factor that makes that scene so great to watch.
Performance wise, Nicole plays Grace, the mother of the two children perfectly, she is strict towards her children and tries to discipline them, but is also well protective of them and loves them deeply, she is also depressed about being cut off from the rest of the world due to her children's condition. Bertha Mills who plays the nanny does a fantastic job in her role as a kind old lady but there is something that always remains mysterious about her especially in the later part of the film where she behaves oddly and it seems like that she is up to something with the other servants.
The boy who plays Nicolas was actually good in his role, a kid who is scared, and is a sort of a momma's boy who is deeply attached to his mother, and he is scared about the recent haunting in the house. That brings me to Alakina Mann the girl who play's Ann. She received nominations for her performance in this film and it is very well deserved. It is a one of best performances a child artist has done in a horror film, she can be funny, she can be mysterious and creepy, and can also play a serious role. All of which she does in this film. Ann's character was extremely deep and the actress who played her did her job as perfectly as she can. The rest of the cast also performs well and serve well in their roles.
Overall, before the watched the Others, I was thinking about watching just another horror film but I was so wrong, this is a fantastic film, with several scary parts and creepy scenes, a slow but well developed plot and a spectacular twist which will leave you in awe and leave you talking about it for days, and make you watch the entire film entirely from a different perspective.
Overall Rating: 9/10.
The last act ruins what could have been a good film.
The Identity had a a lot of good things going for it and before I watched it I expected a good suspense/thriller film. First of all John Cusack was in this film and he always puts on good performances in the roles that he is given, he carried the above average horror flick 1408, and made it so much more entertaining and fun to watch with his enthusiastic performance. Identity had John Cusack and also had a large cast of other actors many of which I did not know of. But the basic plot at the premise of the whole film was very appealing. I was expecting something good in the very least.
Movie was going in the right direction, not only Cusack but rest of the cast performed well, and the settings and environments seemed appealing and the film was only getting better by the minute, until the last 1/4 portion of the movie where the big twist was revealed.
Now don't get me wrong twists are not bad, sometimes they up the status of the film and may make you come back for a second viewing, leave you shocked and leave room for interpretations. Another psychological horror/thriller Sixth Sense had a great twist; another suspense/thriller film like Usual Suspects had a great twist. The Others a horror film also had a great twist. But this film goes with the terrible it was all a dream concept which ruins all the interesting characters this film was trying to make us care about throughout most of the it. This Dream concept can work if executed right but here this concept ruins everything. We come to the realization that it all in the head of a mentally unstable serial killer who has multiple personalities in his brain, each of which is portrayed by the characters in the movie, the serial killer personality is the killing off the other characters (personalities) which represent something good in the killer or a softer side to him.
I don't see this as an intelligent concept because it's premise is flawed from the start, personalities co-exist in the brain they don't try to kill each other off as portrayed in the movie, neither they are numbered in a specific order as portrayed in the movie. I thought the film was heading somewhere interesting when we found out all characters had the same birth date and had last names of countries or cities, but apparently all this was to present them as a personality in a psychopath's head.
Plus it's laughable who turns out to be the killer/evil personality at the end. We do agree to suspend our disbelief to a point when watching film but this is just unbelievable, I guess they just wanted to SHOCK us by revealing the kid as the killer, they decided to make the whole scenario take place in a psychopath's head to pass off the possibility of the kid as a killer just to SHOCK us. I wrote off the kid as a suspect the second I saw him just like anyone would, because which movie is ridiculous enough to portray a little child as a Serial Killer? I don't see how is this intelligent in anyway, it is nonsensical, ruins the characters and ruins the suspense the movie had. Why should we care Cusack's character left his police job, why should we care about the Detective being a prisoner disguised as a cop, why care about the problems the couple was having , why care about that women's condition after the car accident. Why should we care about a psychopath guy who appears for like 5 minutes in the movie and what happens in his head and why should we care about what is happening in the head of a serial killer in the first place. Why care about anything at all. This twist ruins the whole thing and reveals that caring about anything related to the backstory of the characters is pointless and is not real and represents something in the psychopath's head.
Overall, Identity had a good basic premise, good performances and a good setting , and was only getting better but it will all ruined by the film's twist, which ruins everything this film established in its first half.
Overall Rating: 4/10.
The year 2004 was a great year for Hollywood. As this year brought many brilliant, memorable and big budget movies to Hollywood which were both critically and commercially successful. Saw was one of those films which was actually the wild card. It was an independent film with a low budget and a new entry into the survival horror and suspense/thriller genre of movies, with so many movies of the genre already out during that during time period, Saw was the dark house and it was not known whether it would be successful or not.
Saw turned out to be a such a big success that it spawned 6 sequels. I always wanted to watch this movie as I am a fan of genre, but what put me off was that there was a lot of gore in this movie. I can handle violence but after watching many films with so much pointless gore and bloodshed just for the sake of it, I did not get around to watching this movie until recently.
The film puts you right into the action two men who don't know each other are trapped in a room together with a corpse, with no idea how they got there, they find out that some serial killer coin named the Jigsaw has trapped them there and wants them to play his Game to survive, than several events unfold with the two guys attempting to find out a way out, and also trying to get to know each other knowing that these maybe their final hours. The film also switches back and forth with flashback sequences of both guys that led them to that place which adds to the suspense of the film, we also get a flashback on some of the earlier Games played by the Jigsaw. There is also an interesting side story about a cop named Dupp who is obsessed with Jigsaw.
The films starts out great and will have you hooked to your seats and it adds to the mystery that the film was not told in a chronological order but kept on switching back and forth between the present and past sequences this leaves rooms for more shocking twists and more mysteries to be revealed.
Of course there was a twist at the end and I was not able to figure it out, I was actually shocked and the idea about it did not even cross my mind. But this twist leaves some ambiguity, interpretation and some suspension of disbelief. But the twist delivered in terms of shock value and many did not see it coming as I can tell from forums online.
The film is well shot and well directed, and the violence and gore is there but not to the extreme levels I expected so I did not find it that bad. Acting is fine, Adam and Lawrance do act somewhat naturally for the situation they were put in, Lawrence's character development by the end was also handled well. The Jigsaw did not get screen time a whole a lot but his voice was just menacing and villainous, and the mystery about him just adds to his character makes the character more thrilling and scary. The actor who plays the former detective Tapp also did a fine job. Shawnee Smith as Amanda was great in her cameo she played her traumatized character very well. The acting is not Oscar worthy or anything like that but I thought it was fine and done well.
Saw is an enjoyable horror/thriller film, It had me hooked from my seat from the beginning to the end and was extremely fun to watch. Although I am a fan of the genre there are films of this genre which I find tiresome and hard to sit through and mostly find myself skipping through the scenes , Saw was the complete opposite of such films it had me glued to my seat and I was anticipated to see what happens next. The end left me in shock and after the ending I am still thinking about this movie and it's story and trying to interpret it's events. This is a great survival horror, suspense, mystery which is recommended to any fan of the genre.
The Truman Show (1998)
Ambitious and a great thought provoking film, which is a great combination of social satire and philosophy.
The Truman Show is a fantastic film, it is about a man whose entire life is a TV show, he has been monitored and been on since the day he was born all the way to his mid thirties. Although he is not aware of this fact all the people around him, his family, his relatives, neighbors and friends are all actors hired by the TV show also to monitor him.
The film starts out pretty basic and simple, you wouldn't think anything extraordinary is happening, you will just be seeing an average man going about his daily routine, things keep on going pretty basic until an unforeseen event unfolds in his life, and he becomes confused about what is going on. Some of Truman's actions do not make sense early on as well, tearing the pictures of girls from magazines. Soon after some events Truman finds out something is wrong and there are people following him and monitoring his moments, and soon after the twist is revealed in it's full form, that Truman is in a TV show only he is not aware of it and everyone he knows in that town is a hired actor and the city he lives in is also a film set.
This was a wonderful plot twist which not only makes the film so much more interesting and makes you want to re-watch the whole film again, from a different perspective, and closely watch the early scenes and listen to the dialog carefully and see how the actors are behaving around Truman. The ending was also great because it leaves it up to interpretation if Truman will be able to survive in the world out there when he has spent his entire life on the film set, the ending is not something i would call a HAPPY ENDING because it leaves it up to interpretation about Truman's future.
Performance wise this film is great, anyone who says Jim Carrey cannot do drama roles should watch this, he plays Truman at his very best, although he does bring humor to some of his scenes he is mostly playing a dramatic character and his antics, dialog delivery is all done well. Ed Harris did not get that much screen time but he played Christof spot on, he was perfect in playing a man who would go as far as he can to make his TV show a success and make sure Truman never leaves. The rest of the actors on the Truman Show did well they were all playing two roles, one of the actors in a TV shows and their characters in the TV show and it was well executed.
The direction is also fantastic there are camera which focus closely on Truman with the screen having a background which is the film's way of showing that Truman is on camera and is being watched by people around the world. The other camera angle is the one we see from out perspective. The setting is also done well, the whole island has been designed well to look like a TV set.
The music is also good, as it suits most of the scenes the film is in, the music that plays in the intro and the conclusion when Truman is talking to Christof specially suits those scenes perfectly.
The only minor issue with Truman Show would be it's slow pacing and slow start and slow development at least during your first watch, by the time the major event start to unfold and the film starts to get interesting and reveal the big twists, you may be kind of bored and may have grown restless. You may want to watch it a second time from a different perspective knowing clearly from the start that Truman is being directed the entire time, but the slow scenes may still put you off.
Regardless Truman Show is a fantastic, ambitious in-depth and thought provoking film about social satire which makes you think deeply. The film's storyline music and performances are all well done, and the fact that it's twist makes you watch it from a different perspective completely also makes this film that much better.
Overall rating: 9/10.
A fantastic, in-depth and though provoking film. One of the best romantic movies of the last decade.
Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind is a love story about two lovers who undergo a procedure to erase each other from one another's memories, but when they meet after their memory is gone, there is something strange still drawing them together and it is also during that memory wipe that they realize how precious their relationship really was.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of those films where you have to pay close attention to the scenes and dialog because even the smallest bit of dialog is important in this film. Because otherwise you will be confused in your initial viewing and will soon be asking yourself what in the world is going on. This film requires close attention in the initial viewing or multiple viewings in order to fully understand it and appreciate it for what it truly is.
The film is not your basic love story, it is unique and sort of bizarre at the same time, and while it is not a suspense movie, it is filled with several shocking moments and twists, which will only increase your interest in the movie and the more you will be intrigued by it. The narrative part of the love story is also told in a reverse chronological order, which starts from the moment the lovers broke up and ends when they first met. While the present scenes are told in a normal order, the film constantantly switches back and forth between the two which may create some confusion, another one of the reasons that this film requires close attention, at first you will probably be confused about what you are seeing is the present or the past, but as the film will progress you will be able to tell them apart. The way the Narrative is similar to Mememto which also followed a reverse chronological order of storytelling. The storytelling is clever and interesting and only makes the film better and it's twists more shocking and intriguing.
Acting wise, Jim Carrey is in Truman Show mode, or probably the most serious he has ever been in a film, this is probably the most serious role he has ever done, and he shines in his role as Joel Barish and is completely into his character. Kate Winslet also performs excellently well, and her character development in both the dream sequence and the present sequence is done extremely well. The supporting cast did not get that much screen time but they are performed their roles well, Kirsten Durst and Mark Ruffalo are good but the scenes between them in the apartment are kind of drawn out and I could have done without a few of them, but Elijah Wood is really great in his role as Patrick and scenes between him and Clementine are also interesting.
The ending is also great because it leaves it completely up to the viewer to interpret what will happen next and the events that led up to the ending were also very interesting and intriguing. The soundtrack is also great and suits most of the scenes it is being played in, the opening and closing credits song is also fantastic and also wonderfully portrays the relationship between Clementine and Joel. The ice setting was not something i was fond of before watching the film but it is handled extremely well here, with the scene of Clementine and Joel laying on ice being one of the most touching and memorable moments of this film.
Overall, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, is a touching, in-depth and intriguing love story with such great plot, settings, performances and memorable moments that I can watch this film over and over again and never get bored. However you may need to watch this film multiple times to fully understand it's plot and the message it is trying to convey and appreciate it for what it truly is.
Ek Villain (2014)
Ek Villain: A good romantic thriller
This was one of the most anticipated Bollywood movies of 2014. Especially after the success of Aashiqui 2, which was also another great film by Mohit Suri. I am also a fan of Ritiesh Deshmukh, I always thought he had a a lot of talent and I mostly enjoy him in the comedy roles he is in, so I was interested in seeing how he would play the villain of the story. Siddarth did not impress me in Student of the year, but he was actually really good in Hasee toh Phasee. Sharaddha Kapoor was fantastic in Aashiqui 2 and I really liked her performance so I was already hyped up because of the main lead of the film.
First of all, let's not beat around the bush, many people are saying that this film's PLOT is inspired from or copied from 2010 Korean film, I Saw The Devil, and yes several parts are inspired from the said film, but the violence has been toned down to suit Bollywood and half of the story leads to the development of the love story, which was not there in I Saw in The Devil, they also gave the antagonist a family in this movie. And you mix that up with the Bollywood style and songs. So yes the main plot is inspired but it is not a ditto copy of the film.
Now on the movie, the plot overall was good, but was extremely slow in pace, and it took a while to get things movie and there was not a big Major Twist at the climax, perhaps if they had directed this film in a chronological order, suspense would have worked better, but that would have led to another problem, we would have only seen Shraddha in the entire first half and Ritiesh in the entire second, plus the all the action scenes and romance scenes would have been mixed up together, so the movie is broken into segments, it's current events and flashback sequences, the former deals with the suspense, and the latter deals with the love story. Which works well, but it makes the film move at a very very slow pace. Perhaps they could have toned down the number of romance sequences that would have helped the pace.
The film overall is well directed, the action sequences are shot well, the violence is toned down but not to the level of PG audiences, this movie can be really violent and bloody at times, the killing scenes and the fight scenes between the lead actors were brutal. The romantic sequences are also well shot, but very slow in pace, but the song actually complement the scenes, rather than provide a distraction, and the soundtrack overall is really good with some great songs, but in my opinion not as great as Aashiqui 2.
Performance wise, Riteish Deshmukh steals the show, he was fantastic as a villain and his acting was spot on, hopefully this opens hims up for more serious roles, comedy isn't his only talent, he can do serious roles and he proved it here by playing the deranged, frustrated and borderline psychotic serial killer. Siddarth Malhotra impresses once again in his Role as Guru, he played his part well and his character development was also well done. Shraddha Kappor is also great in her role and is the charm of the movie, yes she sort behaves like a child but that's the point she is enjoying her life because life is too short. The rest of the supporting cast was good. The actors who played Caesar and the Police Inspector did commendable jobs. Aamna Shariff was also very good in her role as the wife of Ritiesh Deshmukh, and the boy who plays Riteish's son also does a fine job.
Story wise the back-story or background of the characters was handled really well, much better than the basic plot, specially Siddarth and Riteish back-story and character development. However there are several unanswered plot points, like how Riteish's character finds his victim's places, it can be left to the interpretation of the audience but some sort of an explanation in the movie should have been provided as it only causes confusion. Additionally how long did he take to kill his victims he seemed to kill them at random what if they had a family member that showed up, that was never revealed, plus did the police not have a photograph of him once they found out he was the killer, and how did they find out he was the killer. Like I said many unexplained plot points which hurt the overall plot.
Overall Ek Villain is good Bollywood Romance-Thriller film which would be a solid one or two time watch, but it's extremely slow pace may hurt it's replay value. But if anything this movie is worth watching for the performance of the main cast, especially Riteish Deshmukh who delivers a fantastic performance and steals the show.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Great Sci-Fi movie and good performance from Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt
Edge of Tomorrow is a really fun Sci-Fi flick, which offers both excitement, it will have you hooked to your seat from the beginning to the end and it also has good humor and many funny scenes. But that is not all this film also has some really good action sequences, along with an interesting and intriguing storyline. A guy is reliving 24 hours of his life again, again and again, because when he dies the day the resets, and he wakes up in the camp where he was 24 hours earlier having already witnessed everything before.
I am always fascinated by Sci-Fi movies which are based on around time travel, Back to the Future I is one of my favorite films ever, its sequels while not living up to the original were still fun to watch, there are also many other good films based on time travel like Groundhog Day, Source Code and Looper. There are others in which the time travel concept existed but grew tiresome or was just not that interesting, films like Peggy Sue got married, Time Machine (2002) and Midnight in Paris are films based on time travel that failed to hold my interest. Fortunately Edge of tomorrow ranks among the former not the latter and is one of the best films released in 2014 so far.
Many actions scenes are brilliantly shot, the fight scenes between the army and the mimics are really well done, the dialog has humor and also carries the plot forward. Tom Cruise is fantastic as Officer Cage, he performs many great action sequences, provides humor to the film and also helps carry the film, Blunt serving as the female lead and his Love Interest also does an excellent job. Blunt's role as Sergeant Vrataski is that of hardened female soldier, who single handedly killed many many mimics in the battle of Verdun she is not your typical female in action films who needs the hero to protect her, she is fighting soldier, Blunt also trained hard for this role and she delivered. The supporting cast is good, it was awesome to see Bill Paxton in this film and the scenes between him and Cruise were really good. The actors who played the J Squad also do a great job.
The film's premise about Cruise knowing all of his friends for hundreds of days and them barely knowing him ads a lot to the film and also made the angle between Cage and Rita Vrataski more than your average love angle and also made for some interesting interactions between them. I also applaud the attention to the detail in this movie, many scenes that are repeated are 100% accurate to the last dialog, watching these scenes unfold again and again also makes this film more intriguing. The sound effect and music is also good and suits the film.
My minor problems would be that the film starts to drag a little in the middle before Rita and Cage make it to farmhouse, the movie then once again picks up after the farmhouse scene, also seems like by the end the film started skipping many important loops, for example, Cage having already been at the farmhouse before many times, when we first saw him there, he had already been at the General's office many times, when we saw him go there with Rita. This kind of creates some ambiguity and confusion and I feel this film should have at least added some quick scenes of Page's earlier visits to the general's office and the farmhouse rather than just showing the scenes in which he actually succeeds, it would have added to the movie in my opinion.
I have a mixed opinion about the ending firstly, it kind of leaves you hanging about the relationship between Cage and Rita, leaves you hanging on the edge of the final battle between Mimics and the soldiers in France, it is also one of those cliché endings where nobody really dies, and everybody is happy, but at least they did not go all the way and have Page and Rita reunite share a passionate kiss at the end of the movie that would have been so cliché, instead they just cut to the credits at their final meeting. Perhaps Page sacrificing himself or somehow surviving and waking up in a hospital bed and being declared a hero would have been a better. But maybe thats the point of the movie to leave you hanging and thinking what is going to happen tomorrow and creating some ambiguity, leaving room for interpretations rather than providing a straightforward ending.
Overall Edge of tomorrow is a great action flick, which will keep you on the Edge of your seat from it's start to it's finish, i am shocked to see Cruise in such a great action film at this stage in his career, this is a film which offers humor, entertainment, good acting and storyline, even if you did not read the book, you will find this film entertaining. One of the best films of 2014, and a must watch.
Watch Dogs (2014)
A good open world game that unfortunately did not live up to all the hype
Watch dogs was one of my most anticipated games of this year, I am a huge fan of open world games and am also a fan of Ubisoft's Assassin Creed and Far Cry series, I was really hyped up for this game.
Watch dogs does have unique elements, you can hack everything use that to your advantage which makes for innovative game-play. You can hack grenades, steam pipes, traffic lights, cell phones and find out the names, occupation & income of all the civilians. The civilians are also extremely realistic in the activities they do in this game, and their phone conversations are always fun and interesting. The missions are fun, specially the ones which allow you to play the game anyway you want, MSG style by silent head shooting enemies or taking them them down. Or you do not even have to enter the premises just hack cameras and then hack into the place. Or obviously you can go all guns blazing where you can still make things explode around enemies and blow the grenades that are on them. The gun-play is still pretty basic but mixing it up with hacking makes it unique. And the RDR/GTA V weapon wheel is a welcome addition. Car chases can be fun with you disabling cars through blockers, steam pipes. The upgrade is system is extremely well designed and does change the game-play.
Missions however that force you to go all guns blazing or forcing you to go through it without being detected can get annoying, if you put all your points into hacking and crafting, and you end up in a obligatory gun fight you are screwed why these restrictions during certain missions? Missions overall tend to get repetitive, car chases, hideouts, enemies surrounding the area. Only a few are unique like guiding your friends to stealth past the enemies. Driving in this game is not good, it is hard to make turns and control the car specially at high speed and off-road.
The side missions are even more repetitive. Gang Hideout missions, go to a hideout, knock out the boss, just at different locations, convoys, either knock out the target or kill him. There are 40 fixer contracts with only 4 variations, same goes for crimes, all these activities start out fun but eventually get repetitive & boring. The mini-games like Poker and Chess are fun. Cash Trail and Alien invasion are OK. The Spider Tank digital trip is just fantastic, Alone is also good. The investigations also get repetitive, they had some interesting aspects like human trafficking and murder investigations but it was all squandered by forcing you into another redundant side mission at it's conclusion. For example the final mission of the human trafficking investigation is like any other convoy mission. Poorly handled.
There are also annoying restrictions like why cant you punch anyone in the game but the A.I can, that is just another mind boggling decision along with with No drive-by.
Chicago is a good looking city although some landmarks have been missed but many many hot-spots are highlighted telling you about the history of that place which is actually interesting. The city looks beautiful, attractive but unfortunately it is just too small in size. The graphics are excellent although downgraded from the E3 trailer, the animations are smooth, the character models are extremely detailed although their lip syncing needed more work, the weather environments also look good. Inooor areas have also had detail put into them along with civilians, there are transitions between game-play and cut-scenes but unfortunately there could have been more of them because loading screens really break the immersion.
The storyline had potential but it started out so slow that I lost interest, the second act was interesting and felt like that a major twist was going to be revealed, but that major twist was just cliché and poorly handled, putting a mob boss & politician at the center of everything. The characters are all actually good apart from Aiden Pearce, he has a cool look for a protagonist, thats about it, he is a hard guy to like, he just does what he wants, never listens to anyone, hardly showed a lot of emotion, plus I am confused about the moral high ground he stands on, in one mission he knocked out and killed several enemies to save someone he cared about after that he showed remorse, WHAT ABOUT ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE HE KILLED? (In Storyline Alone). That is why the ending choice also seems pointless because sparing someone is not something Aiden would actually do. Tbone is an excellent character and Damien is just a fantastic villain. Unfortunately the plot that surrounds these characters is pretty average. The voice acting is actually good, although I think Aiden's Voice actor just sounds robotic in many scenes.
The OST is good specially during missions, off mission OST is OK but the cop chase music is excellent, but the songs are poorly implemented they are not divided into radio stations like in most open world games and they are a very few of them some are flat out bad, some are repetitive, I only liked around 3-4 songs. Apparently this game hates it owns songs because they wont let you play them during any main or side missions only during free roam, another confusing decision.
Watch dogs overall is a fun open world game but was falsely advertised the the game-play in the E3 trailer is not even there plus the game has been downgraded in some ways and it feels apparent, but the game has many unique aspects going for it and does have a lot of lasting appeal and tons of things to do, even if those things will get repetitive after a while. But it is still a pretty good open world game but it just did not live up to all it's hype.
Grand Theft Auto V (2013)
I have been a huge fanatic of the grand theft auto series and the open world/sandbox genre for a long time. Having played every GTA game since the release of Grand Theft Auto III. Ever since finishing 4 I was already hyped up for GTA V and I am proud to say it lived up to the hype.
There were a few things I was not sure would work,first, the idea of 3 characters was something I was not in favor of because I thought it would make the story more and more confusing and the game-play awkward and tedious. How wrong was I? The storyline works extremely well with the three characters and their relationships also develop throughout and whenever you switch between them it works like a charm.
There are many more mini games and side activities than in GTA IV although they are still less than in San Andreas. The Strangers and Freaks missions from 4 return but have been greatly expanded and there are around 50 Strangers and Freaks missions in total. You also have in- depth mini-games like Tennis and golf. GTA V is also the first game in the series to feature animals that means you can do hunting as an activity, hunting has been greatly borrowed from Red Dead and it is fun and entertaining. Darts are still here. There are also Property missions. Variety of races are there including car races, offroad races, speed jet races and triathlon, a much user friendly and less frustrating flying school also returns after making so many people rage quit in San Andreas. And there are a lot of randomly generated events, such as theft, store robbery, automobile crash, all these give life to the game. Using your phone to answer trivia online, visit fun websites and trading in the stock market are also fun.
The game is set in Los Santos, which is largely based on Los Angeles, with many landmarks bearing strong resemblances to the real LA. The city absolutely looks beautiful.
The game also looks fantastic even though it runs on a 7 year old hardware,it looks absolutely beautiful at times specially during day time, the character moving animations are crisp, the transitions between game-play and cut-scenes are beautiful. The character models are heavily detailed every thing from there face, hands, hair there is tons of details. The game also looks good in night time and far more colorful than GTA IV, my only gripe would be that in dark environments the games color starts looking weird and there are texture pop ins.
The storyline is not amazing, but it is still very good and feels like you are watching a high budget AAA Hollywood movie the way it is told. All three playable characters are great, Michael is a retired criminal who has become rich and miserable and has issue with his family, Franklin is a former gang-banger looking for opportunities and Trevor well, he is a borderline psychopath. All three guy represent a GTA player, Michael represents the player who already finished the game, Trevor represent the player who kills everyone and goes on rampages to take out his frustration. Franklin represents the player who started the game. But that is not all there is to it as the story unfold you find out more about these guys and what is their true intention what is inside their heads. The antagonists on the other hand could have been more developed and could have had a major role specially Devin Weston, additionally Franklin is left out of a lot of story. There are also 3 endings, two of which seem rushed. The third one is really good and ties up all loose ends, but the endings overall could have been better.
The missions are all fantastic and have a lot of variety unlike the repetitive missions like the ones in GTA IV there are about 69 main story missions, there are a very few that don't stand out and are kind of simple or boring, but many missions share a lot of variety and are fun to do so fun that you may want to replay them right away, in one mission your are destroying a house in the hills literally, in another mission you are infiltrating a private air strip and stealing a Jet, in another mission you are walking in a deal wrong situation, in another you are going a premiere of a movie and someone orders a hit on your family. So much variety. But it does not end there there are heist missions are of which are well laid out and you have to do set up missions for them,there are 6 heists in total,out of which three have two options,which make the missions completely different, the approaches are obvious or subtle, you can either infiltrate a bank posing as workers with forged IDs and steal,or you can steal the money upfront by shooting up the place, just wish there were more of these heists. The dialog in missions has always been the charm of GTA and it is absolutely fantastic here, the voice acting by everyone is just brilliant.
The soundtrack also has a original soundtrack which has some really good music, the radio stations are also good and in my opinion better than GTA IV's soundtrack, a lot of good songs on Radio Mirror Park, LS Rock Radio, Pop Fm, Rebel Radio etc. I honestly love the music in this game.
Overall GTA V is a fantastic game which in my opinion lived up to most of it's hype, there were a few things holding it back though, but regardless a lot of hard work dedication and thought have been put into this brilliant game, if there is any company that know top to bottom what an open world should be like it is Rockstar.
Overall Rating: 10/10
Goodfellas - A Very slow paced film that has not aged well.
Goodfellas is based on a book which in turn is based on a real life story of Henry Hill, a person who always wanted to be a mobster and this film tells his story about he went from being a criminal to finally turning into a rat and leaving his whole mafia life behind.
I think the overall storyline is very good, it is just the way it is told, too many filler scenes that are extremely, slow, boring and do nothing for the overall plot. In particular the Heist sequence was done so terribly, they introduce members of the heist and minutes later the heist ended and members started spending money, moments later they all end up dead. This whole angle was rushed and so poorly handled. . The love story between Henry and Karen was also slow and took too long to develop and the affair angle was so fast you blinked you misses it. When Henry was arrested the second time, they handled it with a series of jumbled up scenes, that could have been handled in half the time.
Add to that the constant and annoying narration. Scorsose likes that style of storytelling, the one with narration but it is way too much here, and occasionally they would pause certain scenes and Liotta would narrate which breaks the flow of the movie, many scenes are events are explained with narration.
Ray Liotta is decent in his protagonist but the other two protagonists De Niro and Joe Pesci. Pesci is fantastic and extremely charismatic as Tommy, his scenes are fun to watch and whenever he is on the screen he demands your attention, his lines are also pretty funny. De Niro does great with the amount of screen time he gets but he does not get a lot of it and allow his character to properly develop from a rationale person to a paranoid man who thinks everybody is going to get him arrested. Liotta was not bad he gave a decent performance but there are others who could have done better in his role, he is really good in some scenes, but in emotional scenes and even the funny scenes his poor acting clearly shows, his laugh is terrible and looks fake. Some great sequences regardless. The Tommy death scene and him killing a made man was one of the interesting parts.
Overall I don't see what is so special about Goodfellas, it is an average movie, which had a great story with potential but was told in a very average and slow manner, the narrative had tons of filler and was not handled well, the main protagonist was decent at best, leaving the other two main actors to make the most of it and carry the film and steal the show. It is definitely no Godfather.