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High-Octane and Razor-Sharp. 95 Minutes of Awesome.
Judge Dredd in 1995 came out as a big budget box office romper- stomper...it made more than it's estimated budget and ended as a moderate success and was heavily panned by critics but the movie still ended up as a cult classic. I remember watching it as a 6 yr old when it premiered on cable in '97 and even now makes a fun watch for die-hard 90s fans like myself.When I heard about the development of Dredd back in early 2012..my first reaction was.."Why?". How could somebody take a comic book character who ended up as a flop on the big screen and try churning out something better nearly 17 yrs after one big failed attempt? Initially I was reluctant-as-hell to even think about it..but later I felt I had to give it a shot and trust me....it just blew me a mile away.
This film reaches probably the pinnacle of excellence in the department of simplicity and class and here's why : The director needed an actor who could have a rugged yet soothing presence,Not too much money spent on fancy skyscrapers and high end whiz-bangs,An amazing level of importance towards photography which turned out to be the spine of the film,Hyper-realistic action sequences,some of which will drop your jaw to to the floor if you've actually seen or heard of live combat tactics.These key features make the film an absolute ripper. And as far as the acting's concerned..Karl Urban finally finds his spot when it comes to good roles just when everybody thought that he was probably destined for supporting roles.He brilliantly maintains a calm yet menacing demeanor which turns out to be the perfect character for his role as Judge Dredd. Lena Headey plays the nefarious Mama with such panache and suave making female villains of the past look like soft candy. As far as the action sequences are concerned,the art of CQB(Close Quarters Battle) has been shown to perfection and it's so realistic that for a moment you almost forget that it's a movie and being a movie buff since the age of 4 I can tell you that I have not seen that in many films.
The only flaw I can find is that the photography regarding the intoxication associated with the drug SLO-MO through the film gets too garish and makes it quite stifling..that aside it's a high-octane action thriller which is definitely fresh and worth more than just a mere watch!
The Hunted (2003)
Intense.Surreal.Spectacular.Intellectually enthralling.Brush aside the vapid negative response and dive into this fantastic modern-day thriller !
The first thing that attracted me to this particular film was the plot. It was one of the seasoned plots which has been clichéd due to a sheer adrenaline-thirsty overdose of behind-the-scenes think-tanks to make an action-thriller that meets our thrill-seeking requirements.The second was the fact that it was directed by William Friedkin. Movie buffs would be synonymous with that name as he is often considered to be one of the greatest ever..common if you've been thrilled by movies like the exorcist and the french connection then you'll definitely know what I am talking about.
The plot follows Aaron Hallom(Del Toro),an operator of Delta Force,the U.S.Army's Elite counter-terrorist unit,who's with his unit in kosovo,hunting down war criminals.Post operational success with recognition for valor he suffers from post-war depression because of the horror of the bosnian genocide and countless civilians being killed in front of his eyes and of course the numerous assassinations he carried out during his operations.His horror leads him to insanity as he goes to exile in the American woods living as a hunter/killer.After killing two CIA "Sweepers" in the woods,the F.B.I calls in L.T.Bonham(Tommy Lee Jones) ,a former Special operations survival and mortal combat expert who is now living as a deep woods tracker to investigate into the killing which leads him to Hallam itself where the story reveals that he was one of bonham's very own students during Joint spec ops training.The rest of the plot follows how bonham tries to track hallam down.
The reason why I was thrilled by this movie lies behind friedkin's scope.Over the years we've seen great directors age down to the point where there cinematic vision turns blurry and goes direction-less but friedkin goes about the best possible thing.."stick to basics,swing with the story".The most important of all was the way he captured the essence of the "hunter/killer" to perfection.I mean,the whole point of the movie was to show the mind of a trained killer who has gone uncontrollably insane.
Del toro's performance was brilliantly electrifying as he is an awesome character actor and plays complex roles,such as this,with ease.Tommy lee jones as always looks natural with an awesome screen presence.To top it all friedkin's direction and scope hits the high note as he blends his characters perfectly with the plot requirements and the casting too was brilliant with some other famous supporting stars with the lovely connie nielsen playing the female lead in the role of an FBI detective who's spearheading the investigation.
The icing on the cake is the fight choreography as there is a highly- skilled display of knife-combat techniques like "kali" and the "fillipino" (which are used extensively by the Navy SEALs and Delta Force) turning out to be nothing short of jaw-dropping and electrifying.
William Friedkin has delivered yet another beauty.It will thrill you,stir you up and make you thirsty for more and it's in that category of movies which stay in your mind making you recollect the fine experiences you had for days after watching the film. The sole con of the movie is that the story wavers in between with specific scenarios which I cannot reveal.
Two thumbs up and cheers to a fantastic combination of spectacular direction with terrific acting through a brilliantly-crafted story.
Going with a 9/10.
As an ardent fan of the Alien franchise...this was an year's worth of wait...and I should say I may not have been thoroughly impressed but I wasn't disappointed either.
Well I have been doing a research on this project when it was still under development way back in the summer of 2011. When I saw the fresh stills in late august of the same year...I was thrilled. I have been a Hollywood fanatic since the age of 4 and the first time I caught up with the franchise was when I saw Alien(1979) at the age of 7. Being an equally huge fan of horror or "Real Horror",I should say,the alien franchise was definitely among the best of the best when it came to franchises of this particular genre. Every flicker and frame of the saga(Alien,Aliens,Alien3,Resurrection) was a treat with the last part being a disaster but the franchise still maintained it's class courtesy the clinical brilliance of scott and cameron with the first two films.Throughout the saga,as I grew up,my mind kept pondering about the origin of the xenomorphs..where did they come from,how did they spawn...and of course eerie and iconic image of the space jockey which yielded the maximum of the what's,why's and how's...
Initially when I read the title I thought that it was just another sci-fi box office piece...but when I saw the teaser...I was absolutely ecstatic..and then started the wait..one that was like almost an year..and finally I got my hands on it..and let me tell you throughout those 123 minutes or so..I just didn't let go..
Well the story's about an archaeological find in Scotland that leaves clues about life on the other planets bearing a potential to answer the question about intelligent life beyond...the rest of the story..as you all know courtesy the film's viral campaigning and advertising and pop-up storyboards on movie sites..so I won't elaborate on that part..
For people who have not seen any of the films in the alien franchise..I am sure you would find the movie shallow without soul...which is probably scott's failure because the point of focus was the origin of mankind but I guess scott's desire to stress upon the unknown origin of the xenomorphs clashed with the desire of a sci-fi fan unaware of the alien saga to know and fancy the possible explanation for the origin of mankind...
Well,my first analysis is of the characters...and honestly every character fit right in...the actors were spot on when it came to the portrayal of their characters...you can see the brilliance of scott when you can see the weight age given to the characters with respect to the relevance of the story...
The standout performances are that of noomi rapace and michael fassbender where the former plays an ambitious young scientist while the latter plays an android ,the role which was previously played superbly by Ian Holm and Lance henriksen in the first two films of the saga..
Charlize theron shows her character acting capabilities yet again as she plays a cold and calculative executive of the Weyland Corp. put in charge of the mission..
The weaknesses of the film ,which I would first throw light on,is the way scott tried to show us the origin of mankind...I wouldn't go into specifics as it would spoil the suspense...but you would notice that as the movie tries to boil down to the point where it's going to reveal the true intentions of the "engineers" and why they chose earth..it immediately gathers into a hurried adrenaline rush to get to the point where it wants to show us the origin of the xenomorph..what I am trying to say is that a story that is woven beautifully with the plot moving with the fine bends and fidgets of feather immediately goes into a rash fast-paced sequencing without warning..that may have been scott's surprise but frankly...it didn't work out..
Also a key point to note in the film is that the planet where they land is given the name LV-223 but in the franchise it's LV-426 which you see on a monitor right when they are about to land..well even after watching the movie I thought that it was scott's agenda to make us piece together the puzzle...you will see that there would be no such possibility...And that to me has been the flaw when it comes to scott's scope regarding a few of his films in the past,making movies with a spectacular storyline and direction but not laying enough emphasis on aspects that require a little more detail..
Well the major positive of the movie has to be the visual effects...stunning,awe-inspiring and unbelievably realistic are just few of the words that I can use to describe it...the effects are so realistic that for a moment you would be forced to wipe out the fact that they are all computer graphics..and also scott's desire to stress upon the origin of the xenomorph with a possibility of being linked to our origin...and visualizing the landscape and the setting to perfection...
Well, in this review I didn't throw light on the plot because I'm sure by the time you are reading this you would already know what would the plot probably be like..it's not your average clichéd plot but it's something which we have seen over the years in the sci-fi genre.I hope this review was clear and convincing enough..I was disappointed with the inexplicable bend of the plot being a true fan of the franchise but if you have seen the films in the franchise or if you are an ardent fan..it would still be a delight..
I am giving this an 8/10 because my understanding regarding the origin of mankind might still be blurred...but my curiosity regarding the dreaded grim reaper which terrorized all of us through the saga has finally come to an end..and trust me that particular part has been shown brilliantly..
At the risk of a clichéd plot, Neil Marshall shows Paul W.S. and Len Wiseman how it's done.
Well,in the past decade or so we have seen a wave of films based on an "apocalypse" or a "world ridden by virus with the lone survivors fighting it" genres. Series like Underworld and Resident Evil have consistently kept going right at it and spoiling the flavor which was once regarded as unique and imaginative,at the same time raking big-time box office successes.But when I came across this film and read the plot,the first reaction was "Aw,another clichéd storyline just with a little more zest and action,though the rating was good". I still had my eye on the fact that it was Neil Marshall who made it. Then when I was slowly becoming a fanatic of his work,I decided to give it a try.Common,we have to give it to him..the guy showed us that action isn't just big blokes with big guns meeting big fiends..he spun a new web on it creating another genre called "Action,electrified". What I am trying to say is that if you have seen Dog Soldiers or The Descent,you will clearly say that it takes a sheer genius to make a clichéd and stereotyped story still look good. But that's the thing about Neil Marshall...simplicity with some added zest..
So I decided to watch Doomsday and let me tell you I had my money's worth.It follows the same old plot about a virus which has broken loose,the only difference is that the isle of Scotland is the victim, there's a cure out of nowhere in the form of immune humans,while the rest have turned into psychopathic cannibals. And here we have the sensual , action-pumping Rhona Mitra who does the job...brilliantly. To start with,the soundtrack is nothing short of electrifying...the direction is actually,flawless...like we've seen in Marshall's previous flicks...and the icing on the cake is the action sequencing and direction with Marshall's fast-motion action sequencing which floored us in dog soldiers and the descent...I mean some of the scenes just blew me far away...and some scenes drew a smile of admiration..I won't throw more light on the plot because it,like you all must be knowing by now,is thin but with some twists here and there which would actually elongate the story but it made the movie even more fun. The star of the movie had to be Rhona Mitra who charms you with her awesome screen presence and was truly a terminator with a better balance of emotion. She meets her character requirements brilliantly and in her fight sequences makes our underworld's very own Selene look like soft candy. Darren Morfitt ,star from Dog Soldiers,is in this movie too adding the good old quirkiness that he entertained us with in Dog Soldiers.
Three cheers to Neil Marshall for delivering yet another gem of a movie. I hope this review is convincing enough and trust me when you watch this movie you'll have your money's worth.Would have given it a 9 or a 10,but for the plot.Still is a fantastic must-not-miss flick and a thriller-mimic ride.
Green Zone (2010)
Body of lies 2.0 ? No, a brilliant high-octane thriller that gets you a clear picture of what is actually going on.
Green zone is not your conventional counter-terrorism film I should say.We have seen the movie 'Body of Lies' which had a lot of expectations,but that particular movie had emotions overrunning the cold-blooded nature of counter-terrorism.I expected this one to turn out like that but let me tell you...it delivered.Two-thumbs up for Greengrass ,who brilliantly crafted Jason Bourne on screen through a trilogy so far,for capturing the essence of what it actually is to look for what is right in counter-terrorism. Matt Damon plays the role of a US Army Warrant Officer who is given intel on a WMD site but finds nothing when he reaches the spot that he is led to by the intel.This forces him to question the credibility of the source and go way ahead of what his duty calls for..As he goes through this he gets entangled in a web of deceit involving a pentagon intel official(Kinnear),a CIA bureau chief(Gleeson),a story-hunting journalist(Ryan), an iraqi general on the run and a Delta Force special ops unit led by Jason Issacs which picks out high-value targets mentioned in the "Deck of Cards".
The movie goes by a really strong script with all the characters brilliantly portrayed by some fine actors.The only weakness that I felt left quite a gaping hole in the film..emphasis on certain characters.Meaning that some characters were literally the anchors of the story and should have been given more time on screen which you will feel as you watch the film.
Green Zone is a brilliant film I should say for the way Greengrass picturized the situation in the middle east and also for the cast of the film which fit their respective roles perfectly.It packs some high-octane action sequences and bears an edge of the seat suspense. Two-thumbs up for Damon,Greengrass and the cast for delivering a well made action-thriller and also a movie of substance.
Return to Paradise (1998)
A superbly-splendid, well-crafted and unimaginably touching story of choice, life and sacrifice.A rare gem.
This review ,as the summary suggests,might seem like just another review from a Hollywood buff who just fell in love with a movie,every minute of which he is cherishing.. but I hope this review convinces you to see this movie as soon as your done reading it because,trust me,you will rate it as one of your finest.
Joseph Ruben has delivered an Oscar-worthy film which is brilliantly made making you empathize with the characters portrayed in the film.
The story revolves around 3 men lewis(jaoquim phoenix),tony(David conrad) and sheriff(vince vaughn) holidaying in Panang,Malaysia where it's all fun with drinks,drugs and women after which lewis stays back to fight for animal rights when tony and sheriff call it a day and head back to their lives in new york.Two years later beth eastern(anne heche) shows up at their doors telling them that lewis has been imprisoned for possession of hash and is awaiting death by the noose but can be saved from being hanged if both of them share the responsibility of the crime with him and spend 3 yrs each together or 6 years if only one of them chooses to go back..
The rest of the story revolves around how beth tries to convince the two to "return to paradise" to serve their time fighting their own personal barriers,tony:convincing his lovely fiancé played by vira farmiga to let him go and sheriff:the reluctance to loose 3 years of his life in a third-world prison,while trying to fend off a story-hungry reporter played by jada pinkett.
The movie is not as simple as the plot suggests and has a lot of twists making it a gripping story.All the main cast members portrayed their roles with elegance,vaughn and heche in particular,and brought a certain empathy to the screen which is the key ingredient in such a film.
This movie is certainly one of the best films I have seen and definitely one of the greatest.
I would,without doubt,go with a 10/10.Bravo!
An unbelievably cold and strange sci-fi flick which makes the cut because of it's sheer originality and well-crafted story
Well,I was amazed to be honest,literally amazed when I saw the trailer because it's been a while since I saw a movie made on the same lines as the cronenberg classics.The "man creates rare specimen-turned frankenstein" type of films was widely used in the 70's and most importantly the 80's and I kinda liked that category of sci-fi thrillers so it took me almost 8 months till I finally got my hands on it and thought I was gonna see a typical sci-fi thriller which takes you all the way,but I did'nt see what I expected...
The plot revolves around two scientists,a couple,with a taste for doing the extraordinary and finally go for it when the try to splice human with animal DNA against the orders of their superiors which proves a touch costly when the result turns out to be an animal-human hybrid which looks all but friendly,initially it turns out to be friendly but as it grows...things change.
My heart tells me to tell you more about the unexpected twists and turns the story takes but I just don't wanna spoil the thrills which I experienced and trust me it's something like never before...
When I was seeing this movie I kinda had that perpetual deja vu maybe because it gave me that lurch in the stomach,that kind of feeling you had when you saw classics like "The Fly"..
Well ,the reason why I am not giving it an 8 or a 9 is mainly because of the casting..
Sarah Polley was anything but impressive in her role,she lacked that energy or enthusiasm of a rogue scientist and was mostly irritating,Adrien Brody did'nt look like a circumspect rogue-scientist,in fact he had that Mr. Nice guy look all through the film but still impresses and I still feel that the role of adrein brody's brother in the film could have been given more screen time to add that moral edge to the movie..
Splice is a highly absorbing,engaging and even thrilling sci-fi flick which packs a good punch and carries a rare originality through it's story and screenplay.I could have given it an 8 or a 9 but for the casting.I still give it a decent 7/10.
An underrated horrifying thriller which stirs you up in suspense and sends an eerie chill up your spine even after you're done seeing it.
Well,when I heard of this film and read the synopsis,I felt that I really have to see this film because the concept was extremely different from regular horror-thriller's and when I saw this film I was not only shaken and awestruck but also disappointed because such a rare work of art has gone completely unrecognized and severely underrated.
Well,the film revolves around Captain Boyd played by the charismatic Guy Pearce who is transferred to a rusty military outpost and stumbles upon this drifter played by Robert Carlyle and shares a story of brutal cannibalism,the outpost team is highly intrigued by this and immediately rushes to the spot where it all happened,now I am not gonna reveal more because here starts the blood-chilling suspense and horror which will almost you alive.It shows cannibalism at its best and what I like more about the movie is the way the native-American myth of the Wendigo is covered.Kudos to Carlyle who has the rare gift of portraying roles of savagery with ease and pearce's charm sizzles throughout the length of the film.
For horror/thriller fanatics I rate this as an absolute ripper which would haunt you even after you're done seeing this.It's an absolute must-not-miss for horror lovers bearing a very apt tagline: You are who you eat.
A well made action film but as far as the series is concerned,it's a mockery of Cameron's legacy
Terminator 3: Rise of the machines is a good big-budget action.Shot in wonderful locations in and around LA,breath-taking stunts and cutting edge visual effects.But as a huge fan and admirer of the franchise,I should say I was disappointed on watching this one.
There are many reasons why I was disappointed on watching this one,the first being that it lacked the surreal edge that the first two films had giving you that scare as well as a fine thrill.Nick Stahl showed promise playing the role of john Connor but he had innocence written all over his face.I would have been really happy if furlong had reprised the role himself.Well,Arnie...looked way out of shape,guys who are reading this might disagree with me on this but I will elaborate it fairly..In the first two movie he was a towering 6'1-6'2 demolition man who had that grizzly killer look but here he has shrunk beyond imagination to a 5'11 and appears really odd and you can make out some sort of a difference.Plus the comical one-liners make him seem more like a clown.Even the specifics of the story have been badly altered for example,when Arnie is re-programmed by the T-X,he is about to kill Connor but Connor reminds him about his mission and that he was about to fail which gives Arnie a reminder and he shuts himself down.I found this absolute crap,because Michael biehn who brilliantly portrayed Kyle Reese in the first installment clearly stated that "It cant be bargained with,It cant be be reasoned with!".
Well the saving grace of the movie has to be without doubt,the T-X,kristanna loken beautifully played out the role and she looked just the way she had to : A crafty,censual and deadly female terminator.If there is one thing that I respect the production crew for,it would definitely be their idea of choosing a female opponent.Because it was perfect to see a female to kick some action into it.And it was amazing to see Arnie go up against a female opponent who was taller than he is and certainly looked much more deadlier than he was and it was simply amazing to see the T-X take Arnie to town and for me the best scene of the movie other than the car chase was the scene where she decapitates Arnie.
Well fans of this movie will definitely hate this review but as an ardent fan of the franchise I deeply felt Cameron's legacy had a much better thing in store.Its a well-made action film but not a true-blue terminator flick
The Dark Knight (2008)
Simply Fantastic. Beats the hype.
I was waiting for this film since September '07 and on July 18 '08 I found out why.The words that I can use to describe this masterpiece are sensational,scintillating,exhilarating,thrilling and entertaining.Nolan gets better by the film and has delivered a cinematic gem with the Dark Knight.All parameters of good film-making have been covered in this masterpiece.The direction:flawless,the visual effects and stunt sequences:stunning,the cast:star-studded.I'm unable to find words to describe this piece of art.Christian Bale was as magnificent as ever in the role of the caped crusader,maggie impressed me though I did not expect much from her,Aaron Eckart was brilliant as harvey dent,morgan freeman was charismatic as usual,michael caine shone with grace.But the standout performance was of Heath Ledger in the role of the Joker who fit into the role perfectly and played it as no one could.In the first Batman Jack Nicholson was comical in the role of the joker but heath added a tinge viciousness.Heath also timed comedy to perfection even in scenes which involved high-voltage action and explosion.Credit to him for playing his last role marvelously.He definitely deserves an Oscar for it.
Dark Knight is a masterpiece,a movie like this does'nt come out often.It has everything packed into it making it a splendid experience.Unlike the old ones which involved childish fighting,Jonathan and Christopher Nolan added a bit of emotion and philosophy to make the experience more splendid.Full credit to the nolans who transformed the films from silly fighting into a thrilling,entertaining and emotional experience.I am not surprised that it is #1 on the top 250 and I am sure it will enter the record books.