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A small-time reviewer on IMDb.com.
An Engrossing Action-Thriller!
Kabir Khan delivers a yet another winner with 'Phantom'. An engrossing, action-thriller, that also has a patriotic touch to it. Though not without its flaws, 'Phantom' still packs a punch!
'Phantom' Synopsis: A disgraced Indian soldier carries out a series of assassinations (the evil heads behind the 26/11 terror attacks) in the hope of restoring his honor.
'Phantom' is an action-packed tale, with a patriotic punch to it. This is a story you indeed wish was true, as justice to served to those who caused a havoc. Khan successfully begins the film & mostly sustains the pace well, as the action is simply superb. The second-hour also engages you, with the final 30-minutes holding your attention completely. You root for the protagonist in his violent journey, which shifts from one country to another. However, Khan & Kausar Munir's Screenplay, which has been Adapted by Hussain Zaidi's book Mumbai Avengers, could've been smarter. The first-hour isn't crisp, as some of the sequences are uneven & even the escapism in this tale, is a bit unbelievable at times. But, otherwise the Writing is solid. The narrative is fast-paced & offers enough scope for some relentless action, which certainly works.
Khan's Direction is stylish. He has handled 'Phantom' with precision. Cinematography is lavish, capturing all the locales with flourish. Editing needed to be sharper in the first-hour, but is good otherwise. Action-Sequences by Sham Kaushal are awe-inspiring. Music by Various Artists is nice. Background Score is well-done, as well.
Performance-Wise: Saif Ali Khan is in terrific form here, enacting the heroic part to perfection. Its so good to see the talented actor in an action-ordinated role after a hiatus. Katrina Kaif is flat. Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub is first-rate, yet again. Sabyasachi Chakrabarty is impressive.
On the whole, 'Phantom' isn't entirely power-packed, but yet it scores higher on pluses. Recommended!
Cameron Crowe's 'Aloha' is strictly an average fare, with a few good moments. But overall, Crowe hasn't delivered a wholesome Romantic-Drama, that one expects from the prolific Writer-Director.
'Aloha' Synopsis: A celebrated military contractor returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs and reconnects with a long-ago love while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watch-dog assigned to him.
'Aloha' is aimed to be a feel-good entertainer, but in reality, it merely offers a few good moments, that leave a mark. The portions involving the protagonist (Bradley Cooper) & his lady watch-dog (Emma Stone), are cute. But otherwise, nothing really arrests. The sub-plots are weak comparatively, especially the one involving the protagonist's ex-flame (Rachel McAdams). Crowe's Screenplay tries to be a lot of things, but only engages in bits & pieces. His Writing isn't bad, but it isn't strong either. Certainly, Crowe can write better! Crowe's Direction is fair. Cinematography & Editing are well-done.
Performance-Wise: Bradley Cooper is awkward all through. Emma Stone is the pick of the lot. She's very natural. Rachel McAdams is sincere. John Krasinski is alright. Bill Murray & Alec Baldwin are wasted. Danny McBride is adequate.
On the whole, 'Aloha' is a so-so fare, at best.
Robin Williams Mesmerises In His Final Dramatic Role!
The Late/Great Robin Williams delivers a dramatic, challenging & ultimately mesmerizing performance in 'Boulevard'. The acting legend, who we tragically lost a year ago, makes us remember once again that he was an actor, who had the range that a very few do.
'Boulevard' Synopsis: A devoted husband in a marriage of convenience is forced to confront his secret life.
'Boulevard' works well as a film too. Its definitely depressing, but there are some confounding moments here too. Its slow-paced for sure, but watching the protagonist's struggle with his sexuality & life, holds your attention. You feel for him & Williams's performance anchors the show.
Douglas Soesbe's Screenplay is quite good. Even the dialogue, are natural. Dito Montiel's Direction is skilled. Cinematography is competently done. Editing is well-done.
Performance-Wise: Its Williams all the way. But even the supporting cast deliver incredibly. Kathy Baker is nothing short of astonishing in her portrayal of Williams's long-suffering wife. Her subtlety leaves you heartbroken. Bob Odenkirk is in good form too. Roberto Aguire is a revelation. He enacts a rather difficult part, with remarkable understanding.
On the whole, 'Boulevard' is a compelling watch, with a towering performance by Williams.
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Beauty On Celluloid!
Rarely comes a film, that only gets better & better as it ages. 'Little Miss Sunshine' is among those films, that stand the test of time & remain unforgettable. This is an astonishing story, told sincerely & effectively.
'Little Miss Sunshine' Synopsis: A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus.
Michael Arndt's Screenplay is exemplary. It tells a story about a dysfunctional family & how a road-trip makes them realize about their undeniable bond. The Writing is super-strong at all times & the characters, are magnificent. Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris's Direction is simplistic, but beautiful. They have handled this heart-touching tale, most admirably.
'Little Miss Sunshine' has an ensemble, who give their all. Alan Arkin takes the lead, with a cheerful, witty performance. Abigail Breslin is absolutely stunning in her portrayal, melting your heart almost throughout. Greg Kinnear is in some serious scene-stealing mode here, while Toni Collette is natural to the core. Paul Dano & Steve Carell are wonderful, as well.
On the whole, 'Little Miss Sunshine' just keeps getting better & better. Two Big Thumbs Up!
The D Train (2015)
An Affecting Film! Jack Black Is Stupendous!
'The D Train' is An Affecting Film, about a man's journey with his sexuality. And Jack Black is stupendous in the central role, giving us a performance that makes us salute his versatility.
'The D Train' Synopsis: The head of a high school reunion committee travels to Los Angeles to track down the most popular guy from his graduating class and convince him to go to the reunion.
'The D Train' is often funny, but is ultimately, saddening. Watching the protagonist suffer within, leaves you pained, at times. However, Jarrad Paul & Andrew Mogel's Screenplay isn't always engaging. I personally felt, the second-hour, is slightly dull. The first-hour is excellent, but this story deserved a much stronger latter part. Paul & Mogel's Direction, on the other-hand, is nice. Cinematography is quite good. Editing is mostly crisp.
Performance-Wise: Jack Black is truly the show-stealer. The talented actor delivers a richly layered performance, that speaks in volumes. Its a superior performance. James Marsden is competent. Kathryn Hahn is first-rate. Jeffrey Tambor is extraordinary. He slips into his character effortlessly.
On the whole, 'The D Train' works at most times, but when it falters, Black still keeps you going. Watch it for him.
The Holiday (2006)
A Lighthearted Joyride!
Nancy Meyers's 'The Holiday' is a sweet, cute Romantic-Comedy, that charms you. Its A Lighthearted Joyride, with proficient performances.
'The Holiday' Synopsis: Two women troubled with guy-problems swap homes in each other's countries, where they each meet a local guy and fall in love.
'The Holiday' is funny & heartwarming. I enjoyed the characters & their journey, as different as it is, made me smile. The goings-on are consistently lighthearted & the result overall, is precious.
Meyers's Screenplay is top-notch, with some of the dialogue oozing naturalness. Meyers's Direction, on the other-hand, is effective, as always. Cinematography is picture-perfect. Editing is rightly done. Hans Zimmer's Score is wonderful.
Performance-Wise: Cameron Diaz is in terrific form. She delivers a genuinely lovable performance from start to end. Kate Winslet is splendid, yet again! Jude Law is efficient. Jack Black stands out. He's superb. The Late/Great Eli Wallach lends good support.
On the whole, 'The Holiday' is a winner from Meyers.
All Is Well (2015)
A Passable Fare!
Umesh Shukla's 'All Is Well' is a lighthearted family-comedy, with a few entertaining moments, that leave a mark. However, the writing isn't always funny & lags at times.
'All Is Well' Synopsis: An estranged son, Inder (Abhishek Bachchan) returns home to help his father (Rishi Kapoor), who's in debt. But that's not all, Inder's mother has Alzheimer's & his lady-love tags along with him. Chaos follows...
'All Is Well' is passable entertainment. It has some inspiring moments, that provide laughter. The first-hour is breezy & some of the comedic portions work nicely. Its the second-hour, that dips considerably. The humour wears out & the father-son conflict doesn't engage after a point. Even the climax looks hurried. In short, the first-hour is decent, but the second-hour doesn't really work. Sumit Arora & Niren Bhatt's Screenplay is a mixed bag. It begins well & is also funny, but post-interval, it loses pace. Sharper Writing was the need of the day! Umesh Shukla's Direction is ordinary. Sameer Arya's Cinematography is eye-filling. Editing isn't crisp. Music by Various Artists is energetic.
Performance-Wise: Abhishek Bachchan does a fine job. He enacts his part sincerely. Rishi Kapoor is loud, but that's the demand of the character. Asin is limited to a few expressions. The Wonderful Supriya Pathak is wasted in an insignificant role. Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub is first-rate. The talented actor plays the bumbling villain with terrific timing. Jameel Khan is adequate. Sonakshi Sinha sizzles in an item number.
On the whole, 'All Is Well' works in parts. At best, a one-time watch!
Game 6 (2005)
Michael Keaton At His Finest!
'Game 6' is a yet another reminder of how GREAT Michael Keaton is as an actor. Delivering his best performance after Birdman & Clean and Sober, Keaton pitches in an unforgettable turn, thus proving to be at his finest!
'Game 6' Synopsis: Combining real and fictional events, Game 6 centers around the historic 1986 World Series and a day in the life of a playwright who skips opening night to watch the momentous game.
'Game 6', as a film, also is attention-grabbing. It has an interesting storyline, that has been translated into a fine film. It nicely blends its script, with the 1986 World Series as its wallpaper. Don DeLillo's Screenplay is a mix of drama & madness, but it makes good use of both the sides. I was intrigued by its characters, particularly the protagonist, portrayed by Keaton. Michael Hoffman's Direction is very good. Cinematography is accurate. Editing is razor-sharp, culminating the film within 84-minutes.
Performance-Wise: Its Keaton all the way. Its a performance, purely dominated by sheer talent & commitment. Robert Downey Jr. is effective in his bit. Catherine O'Hara is impressive, as always. The Late/Great Roger Rees lends support.
On the whole, 'Game 6' is a well-made film, with a strong performance by Keaton. Heavily Recommended!
Hamari Adhuri Kahaani (2015)
An Inconsistent, Yet Watchable Tragic Love-Story!
Mohit Suri's 'Hamari Adhuri Kahaani' is An Inconsistent, Yet Watchable Tragic Love-Story! Its brooding with sadness & although its never entirely convincing, this story still has a few moments, that evoke a certain emotion within you. Its flawed, but not without its pluses!
'Hamari Adhuri Kahaani' Synopsis: Five years after the mysterious disappearance of her husband, a woman becomes romantically involved with a wealthy hotelier and together they confront her past.
'Hamari Adhuri Kahaani' is a tragedy & hence the film mostly deals with the downs of life. The main characters are finely written, but they are so sad beneath, that after a point, you're exhausted. No, this isn't a depressing story, but at its heart, its an incomplete love saga about 2 people who just can't be one.
Mahesh Bhatt & Shagufta Rafiq's Screenplay is impressive in parts, but lags otherwise. While the first-hour moves a slow-pace, the second-hour slips into full on tragedy mode. However, the final act is unconvincing. The culmination, especially, doesn't work. The Writing isn't bad, but it could've been stronger & more convincing. Mohit Suri's Direction is decent. Cinematography is alright. Editing is loose at times. Mithoon, Jeet Ganguly & Ami Mishra's Songs are wonderful. Raju Singh's Background Score is excellent, as well.
Performance-Wise: Vidya Balan is earnest in her portrayal of a women torn between a broken marriage & a relationship she can't accept due to her morales. Though her character is regressive, Balan makes her believable, despite the Script's loopholes. Emraan Hashmi is brilliant & also the scene-stealer. He is mature, subdued & absolutely perfect as the sympathetic hero. Rajkumar Rao has a small role, but he leaves a mark as the hard-to-love husband. Namit Das is passable. Prabal Panjabi & Narendra Jha are adequate. Suhasini Mulay is terrific a cameo.
On the whole, 'Hamari Adhuri Kahaani' is a so-so fare.
Cop Car (2015)
'Cop Car' is a tense road thriller, that engrosses you. It rides on a terrific premise & the crisp narrative, just add to its advantage.
'Cop Car' Synopsis: A small town sheriff sets out to find the two kids who have taken his car on a joy ride.
'Cop Car' is engaging, unpredictable & also darkly funny. Its interesting to watch the kids embark on a dangerous journey. Jon Watts & Christopher Ford's Screenplay is well-done. Its sharp & furious. Jon Watts's Direction is excellent. He has directed the film very well. Cinematography & Editing are super.
Performance-Wise: Kevin Bacon is extraordinary. His portrayal of a wicked cop, is haunting. Bacon nails the part & how! James Freedson-Jackson & Hays Wellford are very good. Camryn Manheim is first-rate. Shea Whigham is efficient.
On the whole, 'Cop Car' is one good watch!