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I'm a Product Manager with a focus on Experience. I think there is no better way to understand experiences fully but from a good film.
I'm learning to appreciate and explore, korean, japanese, irani and east european cinema. If you have recommendations I'd love to hear about it.
In Hollywood directors, I love the works of Wes Anderson, Richard Linklater, Coen Brothers and Denis Villeneuve.
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It makes you feel everything a film should make you feel!
It is heavy, it is depressing in bits and clever the other times and it flows. There isn't a dull moment it doesn't pace up or pace doesn't. It only has dialogues where necessary.
What you do see is a man dealing with the death of his wife and understanding his relationship and life. Not the way most of us do, but by destroying everything.
I love jake Gyllenhaal more with every new film of his, no one could have played the better than him.
I went in blindly and absolytely loved it.
It starts off like a rant, like the one you do when someone cuts you in line, drops things at a shelf and not put that back. Those little annoying things. Then it starts to feel like a drama of a depressed woman. Give it 10 minutes hang in there and it's this brilliant dark comedy that reminds you a bit of dirk gently. Until it turns into a revenge film (think blue ruin) and the whole thing is great you enjoy each piece separately.
Melanie Lynskey (two and a half men) and Elijah are really perfect in their roles they always have that relatable in a weird way feel to them.
Really loved it.
Exactly what you expect and want from a mission impossible film
I don't go to see mission impossible films to have a moment of contemplation or 'deep thought'. We don't go to see most of these action film series like james bond or sherlock to have a spiritual experience. We go to see these films because they are fun and they deliver a certain quality & taste. Something we've begun to expect from them.
This film delivers all the mission impossible fun. Has all the bits from the 'should you choose this mission', 3D mask to infiltrating the uninfiltratable building (gosh that's a major tongue twister), a high speed chase, a hot assassin lady to double crossing agents. I quite like that they stuck with an orchestra and did not random pick popular songs as background music. This isn't a reboot or something different this is same old ethan hawk taking same old ethen hawk gambles.
IMF (impossible mission force) has been decommissioned and ethan has to go alone rogue to take down the syndicate. They are recruiting the best of the best to get a new world order going, starts from veinna, jumps to morocco and finally London. And my gosh morocco looks just like rawalpindi.
I quite enjoyed it a solid 7/10
The Maze Runner (2014)
Another teenage thriller wrapped up in a scifi/fantasy package.
Distopian future, good looking people with a likable persona, a love interest, the world to save, losing newly made friends along the way, twists and turns only to find out the reality isn't what it seemed.
BOOM! Welcome to the Summer block buster of this season and every season for the last decade served with a side of explosions and a cake with not enough layers on it.
In a society governed by people whose objective seems logical on a broader scale yet not ethical. But often there is something more selfish behind the what appears to be logical solutions where humans are treated as guinea pigs and the hero questions if the one live sacrificed (usually his love interest) is worth all that and usually ends up saving the girl friend and the world welcome to every dystopia film focused on an teenage audience who wants more something more than the traditional romance or the action flick. Something and I quote 'deeper' , hello call me a sci-fi nerd if you like because I saw all of the 100 million dollar budget sci-fi's with the pretty girl next door persona girls would you guess where oh yes the iMax.
It reminds me of a scene from Black Books
Bernard: You're going on holiday. You want trash. But you want different kinds of trash. (To female customer) You're a woman, you want social themes, believable characters. (To male customer) You, you want plots, suspense. This'll do you both. Female customer: Hmm... Bernard: (holds up another copy of the book) There's this temp, right? She's 29, she can't get a boyfriend, oh my god. Female customer: Sounds great! Male customer: No, no way. Bernard: And she's got 12 hours to stop nuclear war with China. Male customer: Great.
This film is all that is written above and some things more. What I do like about the film is that it has less of a romance that you would expect from others of the same genre which makes it a bit better. Everything else is pretty much the same the chosen one who goes against the rules, breaks them and succeeds. Isn't popular with the older leaders but everyone loves them, because well he is giving them more than the typical good life that they were used to before. Now its exciting there is hope, drama and dead bodies.
This group of young adults is stuck in a maze. Where they are there is food, shelter and all you need to survive but they are stuck in a maze run by they don't know who. Are they alien? Are they scientists? Does the world exist as they knew it who knows. Anyways so the maze opens its doors everyday and closes them at night if you don't make it by the night, you're dead what kills you is a mystery.
There are different classes, the runners are the Alpha who run the maze memorize it and perhaps find a way out one day. In comes our rebel hero, sacrificing, charming, fast and all. The rest is no mystery.
There are some twists and turns and yes they do leave that Chuky is still alive moment at the end. Since its not in cinemas anymore , you can watch it with some folks over if you want to test out the new big speaker that you just acquired.
Dalkomhan insaeng (2005)
Looking for a good old school gangster film with a hint of love and revenge. Look no further this should be your first pick.
This is how mafia films should be and how I love them. Since its Korean obviously a little raw,sharp Round the edges and leaves you with a sour taste in taste in your mouth. Along with the obligatory oh what did I just watch moment. Haven't seen such a fine mafia film for a while, while Hollywood tries to turn Mafia films in summer block busters Korea is still doing it right. The difference between a modern Hollywood thriller and Korean cinema is that you question yourself is he going to live, is he? And often you are (un) pleasantly surprised.
The film follows a crime boss and his enforcer, who happens to be a man of honor in his own sense and not a big fan of well words. The film is a single story line but branches off, rivalry between different mafia houses, the chiefs girlfriend, the enforcer, love, revenge, a whole lot of kicking ass and broken bones. But simply put its a story about doing what's right and love, more importantly this still is a better love story than twilight. Not a lot of films in this genre leave a big smile on your face when they end this with its irony does.
The other major difference would be feeling empathy, while Sundance and other festival showcase the hard hitting dramas of Hollywood, pick a Korean action film and it still would make you feel something.
The cinematography is phenomenal it doesn't go crazy with color tones and doesn't care much about CGI its all really nicely thought out shots and well done stunts. There are some gorgeous frames that you don't see everyday and the way they show you something happening without explaining the whole thing or body is just beautiful.
Bonus points for gangster film with no nudity and well there is gore lots of it, you don't like blood? This one isn't for you.
The action is paced really nicely there are buildups and then serene moments. If raid is action films headliners done right this is raid without the red bull. Music is a bit of a let down but makes up for it with a great sound mix.
This one definitely goes in my must watch list. Also won't watch it again list just because of the sheer intensity of the film.
The Debt (2010)
A spy film without American spies involved is always a good star but somehow turns out to be not as powerful as it could be.
A spy film without American spies involved is always a good start.
The story revolves around three Mossad agents two men and a woman and the mission they carried out. It's set in two time lines the time of east Germany and present day where the daughter of the woman has written a book about the spy life of her mother and the mission that made them infamous.
I'd recommend this if you enjoyed Munich and tinker tailor soldier and spy. While the two mentioned films focus on more spy double crosses and mysteries. This is more of a drama revolving around the event and the layers of lies it involved. The acting by the two set of actors (different actors on the two different time lines) is brilliant and you feel touched. It is possible to feel or at least understand the circumstances, the risk and above the uncertainty involved undertaking these missions.
The drama does not only show spies as spies but people, something the American's (Show) has able to achieve. It does get slow in parts and predictable in others. If you are looking to see a great spy film, I'd say go for Munich or Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy but if you're looking for a drama where the cast of characters happen to be spies this is a good watch.
The Brothers Bloom (2008)
Guy Ritchie meets Wes Anderson to make a fun adventure with bang bang
Brothers bloom has all the right ingredients for a great action / drama on the lines of oceans 11 or the Italian job. The oh how did they do that moments soon followed by the chop and cut sequence of oh that's how they did it.
What really makes it is the beautiful cinematography and the visual direction, it has the panning angles with the raw jerky camera at times and most of all the framing with focus on the front and something comical on the back, it's really nicely done. The comical bit of the film feels like something from a Ritchie/Anderson film if there was one.
The story follows two brothers turned con men and their adventures rather the classic oh I'm going to quit but wait let's do one last stint bit. The last stint's mark is a odd but beautiful woman and the story follows.So yes the plot isn't particularly original nor are the details. But what is original is the flow of the film and how all the pieces come together to make a good family watch.
If I were to change anything in the film around the 75% mark in the film, I would end it right there not play the whole thing through it felt like an encore of a comic stand-up but wait there's more, the ending is something you could live with though.
There are great bits in between and the humour is done well and Bang Bang what a cool character. A silent Asian girl with the bloom brothers whose actions speak louder with her addiction to explosives and guns.
A good watch
The Interview (2014)
Forget the hype enjoy the comedy
Reviews of films as hyped up and controversial usually go one way down. The familiar why did I see that? There was nothing in it? Why was it banned, such a bore etc etc. The reason being that we're expecting something to wow us something to send chills down the skin and all. And that's okay too because that's what we were made to believe and well they did win we did see the film hated or loved it we bought the ticket. Just like Spiderman's every new sequel gets more money and everyone hates it more.
But well this is a good film. I've always enjoyed James Franco & Seth Rogen. They always have the perfect amount of cringe and stupidity to go about them unlike curb your enthusiasm which is always please god know to another please god no.
Franco plays a TV host of a celebrity reveals it all show, the character is like a child or Tracy Morgan (30 Rock) and the metro sexual usual franco persona. Seth plays the sensible director stuck in the directors nightmare which pays good money.
The film starts off with setting the characters and some really funny guest star appearances and then the main score of the interview his majesty. The rest is the usual Franco, Seth shenanigans along with the you turns.
If you're not convinced to watch this film there is a scene with Kim John and Franco driving a tank to a Katey perry song and blasting off things. That is all.
I love Jake gyllenhaal more with every film that I watch with him in it. This is no exception.
This is a mood film and can be what you want it to be, its a social commentary about the media giving into ratings and how it forces you to pivot if you want to be in the business. Its a character study of something that can only be characterized as a Entrepreneurial psychopath, if patrick Bateman wasn't in advertising.
Lou Bloom, a desperate man ends up as sort of a journalist essentially selling video footage of news around the city the more sensational the better. Its a story about the spiral he gets into going deeper in the rabbit hole and you discover the character as he changes or rather brings out himself in this misadventure.
I imagine productivity guru's or self help book writers whose only success is motivational speaking being something like this. Its like someones narrating a marketing, motivational bible and its brilliant.The silence in the film is beautiful and powerful its not a haunting feeling but you get time to absorb it in and just at the right time, the character would break into a beautiful monologue and every monologue levels up the character for you. Think of it as reaching a level boss in a video game and every time its a bigger and cooler looking boss.
Its also about relationships and how he Lou Bloom deals with different people in different capacities how compartmentalized he is.
From the trailer I imagined it to be much darker but it turned out just brilliant, it goes right in my must see list in the American psycho category.
I Origins (2014)
Another great indie sci fi drama with a hint of philosophy and a tinge of spiritualism
Brit Marling's involvement in a project for me is an assurance that I'm in for a thriller. From another earth to sound of my voice to I-origins all of these are great films on a smallish budget and pack a whole lot of punch.
A story of an atheist scientist trying to disprove religion once and for all by re creating a human eye from scratch to prove its possible. It's a beautiful journey from pure science to spiritualism and questioning everything in between.
A tale photographed beautifully with the right about of silence. Its a treat for low budget scifi drama lovers who are looking for more than your Hollywood sci fi flick.
I would also recommend another earth, sound of my voice, coherence if you haven't seen those yet.
A good take on law's of robotics
A scifi misadventure set in the future somewhere near the main city of blade runner I would say. Although it borrows the cinematography and the setting from Blade runner it isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Antonio a insurance company claims officer dealing with home robots stumbles across a change that might change the course of humanity, things and courses change while he digs deep to find the root of it.
There is a shift in the film from the middle the shift isn't only in the story but the whole visual aspect of it and the mood changes completely from a dark rainy blade runner it turns into a somewhat steam punk desert.
The film is a decent watch not something that would make you sleepless at night or go what the hell I watched. It's a nicely pased scifi drama with some really good moments.
Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
Open your heart smile and let the film take you places. A Poetic believable fantasy with a whole lot of love
Sometimes films make you think, others make you cringe, some make you laugh and then there are the beasts of the southern wild which leaves you with a wide smile, complete. It is not necessary sometime to fully comprehend things specially the first time around sometime you just need to sit down in the gallery stare at the 20 foot canvas with oil and after a while it will make you cry, perhaps smile after another couple of minutes. But you will be in awe and can't take your eyes off it. This film is precisely that masterpiece.
It is poetic, it is surreal and beautiful.
This quote is pretty much the whole film for me : "I hope you die and after you die I'll go to your grave and eat birthday cake all by myself."
There are a lot of fantasy films coming out specially after special effects are so mature and there are a lot of scifi too but often they don't make you feel something they worry too much about explaining themselves after covering up the loop holes and fixing things adding detail, layers upon layers of detail and in that forgetting the basic reason why we started watching the magic of moving pictures to feel, to fantasize to be in awe. This one just does that, think of it as the wild things are meet one of the projects Brit Marling was involved in (the sound of my voice, another earth, the east) and perhaps the realism fantasy mashup in Neill Blomkamp's district 9.
Hushpuppy is a wild child of the swamp with a hot tempered (now sick) father and his teachings of independence and a community full of hill billies. This is an adventure with the floods, the wild and the quest to keep it all together and okay. The film explores the beautiful and somewhat explosive relationship between hushpuppy and her father still mourning the loss of hushpuppy's mother (who left them) all while he fights his disease, the floods and authority in this beautiful drama often narrated in the voice of hushpuppy.
If anybody deserves an Oscar it's the child star Quvenzhané Wallis. With such a hard character to play full of emotions and swinging emotions for that matter she pulls it off like a piece of cake. Not even once you feel that she is acting it comes so naturally to her, brilliant brilliant performance I can't recall the last time I saw a child star be so brilliant.
Benh Zeitlin for a director does not feel in any way amateurish feels like anything but a feature film debut.
Wish I Was Here (2014)
A beautiful family drama with just enough fantasy and Zach comedy to make it great
Let me first start by saying It ain't no garden state, it was never supposed to be but certainly we did want it to be a spaced out fantasy with Zach's flavor of humor.
And no it is not the film with the crazy surreal setting or the fantasy world scifi adventure as we see in the trailer, do not go in there expecting that waiting for that would just lead it to disappointment.
What it is though is a beautiful comic family drama about responsibility, life and everything in between that sometimes we take for granted other times we're just lazy to respond. It's a wake up call in the life of a father who has been lazy and all of the procasination is starting to fall down like domino's after his father gets cancer.
It is the story of a man picking up the pieces one by one and putting it all together again. The acting is great from the child actors and the guest appearances put a smile on your face.
The soundtrack is indie / post rockish something you'd expect from the genre.
Overall a good treat with something to think about.
The Sunset Limited (2011)
Right up there with the greats like 12 angry men & man from earth
Its often great to cut down all the glamor all Hollywood and just have a raw film with a couple of folks sitting down at the table discussing life and this sir just delivers that and up to the mark.
A professor tries to kill himself and the gentleman who saves him takes him home and their sitting at the table discussing life , God , religion and everything in between.
Unlike the above mentioned films (12 Angry Men, Man from Earth) it doesn't have the twists and turns or tries to run towards a conclusion it's a discussion leading to more discussions perhaps not as jumpy as coffee and cigarettes but more real to life and about life.
One a man of God trying to explain his beliefs while exploring or narrating his life events along the way, the other a read man with his lost hope in humanity and finding the reason of existence explained without the existence of God.
The acting is top notch and nothing less could be expected from the seasoned actors.
The story does not force you to a conclusion nor does it state a right of wrong but leaves you just like it should thinking about the whole thing while you lay in bed that night.
A must watch.
Seth's night out in the west
This was good fun. I didn't expect much out of it and it gave me quite a bit. Its about a nerd in the old west being the hating nerd self with a lot of cool guest appearances and Seth being himself.
It's enjoyable there are laughs not ha ha I can't breathe but ha ha that was clever. There have been comedy takes on western but this is interesting it really made me rethink the romantic tales we've all been watching in westerns growing up. It was a pretty crap place and time to live with to be honest and Seth just explains it as it is.
Screw the story have a few giggles with the awkward Bryan hinting self of Seth. Would watch it again with the guys.
Million Dollar Arm (2014)
A decent sports flick without being too overly dramatic and over the top
American sports film and specially with sports like American Football, Baseball are hard to relate to a non American. But some films rise above the sport itself and it becomes more than the sport a human drama perhaps the last film to achieve this was brad pitt's money ball and Jerry McGuire before it.
John Ham does justice to the roll of a recruiter trying to get a buck to save his agency and as films go rises above his dreams of fortune to do something greater than that. . If you're looking for an exciting drama which grips you or something that makes you go whoa this is not it and nor does it give you the kick after watching the super bowl. But it definitely is a decent feel good film about a recruiter who gambles to get out of the grunts and the story of two young Indian boys who find their dream which they don't know was there's.
Worth a watch on lazy Sunday afternoon.
The Judge (2014)
After Zombeaver's the second film, I could not even go through this year.
I enjoy dramas specially family dramas. Mostly dysfunctional because that's what sells and that's what Hollywood makes. With such brilliant actors and great cinematography and settings the movie still sucked pretty bad.
The plot was predictive and to a little too Hollywood and cheesy for my liking. The actors well they're brilliant and they did the best they could with the script but if the script is cheese filled what are you going to do.
Robert Downy Jr is a rockstar lawyer who doesn't play by the books (surprise, surprise) with a family he doesn't meet anymore he goes home on the death of her mother and has to deal with his uptight judge dad whose being presiding the chair for the last 40 years. Meets his old girlfriend (gasp!) some funny lines said, some of that court showdown and you've lost me by now.
If you like that sort of a thing and every second sentence you say while on the internet is awww. A definite watch
The silliness everyone in the family enjoys deserves more than a 5 rating
We're too harsh on comedy titles, we want them to be perfect and epic. It is okay for comedies to be silly, stupid and out there at times. We never hold the same standard for thrillers we watch the same formula plots over and over again and still be okay with it. But with comedies oh no why did they do that , its stupid. As apposed to the 1 min hacker of pentagon in every film.
It's a genuinely funny the story of two life long friends and magicians who share a magical act and are threatened by the modern chris angelisc magician played by Jim Carrey. I cannot think of another person playing the role.
A story of a long lost love for magic dusted by fame and money over the years. Steve carrel is his awkward a bit toned down 'The Office' self trying to get back on his feet and getting a little help along the way.
A great Sunday watch with the family.
Denis Villeneuve is a cruel man without a single forgiving bone in his body
You need to plan our Denis Villeneuve's films, be in a good mood be alright if you go in late the next day at work because you were up all night wondering what the hell just did you experience.
You keep on clinching on to your chair the whole time because there is no other way to watch a Denis Villeneuve. They are hard to watch not for the squeamish at all but at the same time one of the most memorable experiences in cinema of the last decade. Prisoners is no exception I cannot say for sure if you will be able to watch any of his films the second time but I can assure you they will stick with you and be memorable.
This is taking revenge thrillers up a notch and the pacing is beautiful the puzzles fall into place never before time just at the right moment. But you forget the puzzle at times and just want to stop feeling what's going on through your body while watching it.
The story revolves around the kidnapping of two little girls and the struggle of the parents to find them to get them home safely with the help of the detective (jake) . That is pretty much what you need to go with watching the film.
Jake after zodiac gives his most memorable performance and a moment doesn't go buy when you don't understand Jackman's pain.
A must watch for cinema lovers with a less squeamish heart.
Some films are best enjoyed without knowing much about them.
This was a pleasant surprise it opens up like a big budget scifi film where something major is going to go down, an explosion to stop, lives and worlds to save but it gets better than that turning into a beautiful, mysterious, tricky drama one of the films where you have to pause for a bit and get your timelines right and think about what exactly is going on. It's like going to see cloverfield and thinking its a film about a party and how it unfolds is brilliant.
Keeps you hooked till the last minute you can make out whats happening but you're never sure. Then there are the time hooks like Shane's Primer or Jaco Van Dormael's Mr. Nobody.
Worth a watch one of the best scifi's of the year