Archive for English

Finding Fanny

finding_fanny

You’ve got three amazing actors, beautiful visuals, soothing music.. what more do you need for a perfect film?? It seems like you have a winner at hand, right? But…

Scripted and directed by Homi Adajania, Finding Fanny, as the name (and the trailer) suggests, is the story of an old man, Ferdie (NS), who is in search of his long-lost love. Helping this man find his Fanny are his best friend Angie (DP), her mother-in-law Rosie (DK), Angie’s childhood love Savio (AK), and a painter craving for Rosie’s portrait, Don Pedro (PK). Their road trip starts of well, and you are in for some fun in the first half of the movie. But come second half, the movie hits the bump for the script isn’t going anywhere. It’s vague, boring and plain stupid (that’s what I thought). I really don’t understand what the director was trying to showcase. The emotions are perfect, and there are some moments of sheer brilliance and dark humor, however it all yields into nothing. Add to this a mediocre screenplay, and the brilliant movie you were hoping for becomes just average. Why do today’s generation of directors forget that script is the core of any film?

On acting front, I have nothing much to say for you are talking about legends. Naseeruddin Shah is absolutely charming as Ferdie. The opening shot of the movie once again proves how good an actor he is. Pankaj Kapoor, with his expressions and antics, is brilliant as Don Pedro. The best of the lot was Dimple Kapadia, and I’m short of words to put her performance into perspective; she was absolutely mind-blowing. Deepika looked really hot and comes up with a commendable performance, and so did Arjun. These guys actually made their presence felt around legends.

Music and background score by Mathias Duplessy is good. ‘Bootiya’ composed by Sachin-Jigar is alright. Cinematography by Anil Mehta is pretty neat and editing by Sreekar Prasad is perfect.

Is it worth your time and money??: I would have so loved to say yes, but. The acting is brilliant and so is everything else, but the script plays spoil sport. It might probably help if you walk in without any expectations, just for the acting. Or just wait for the DVD.

Worth mention: Performances by Naseeruddin Shah, Pankaj Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia.

Acting: 9/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 5/10
Technical Aspects: 8/10

Verdict: 6.5/10

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Dawn-of-the-Planet-of-the-Apes

In my opinion, Rise of the Planet of the Apes wasn’t a great film. While I enjoyed a couple of episodes, I was left wanting for more. The more is delivered by the sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but…

A little into the near future, when civilization has almost gone extinct because of a virus, Caesar, our beloved ape, leads a new generation of intelligent apes. They soon realize that a bunch of humans with tons of artillery exist in nearby lands and need to access the forests to fix their power source. While most apes do not trust humans, Caesar does, and allows humans into their lands. The rest of the story is about whether his trust is reciprocated. Scripted by Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, the movie has better storyline than its predecessor. There is much substance and better emotions. While direction by Matt Reeves is almost perfect, my only problem was with the pace of the film. Understood that the director was trying to convey emotions and make a point, but I was kinda perturbed with its snail pace. There were times it felt more like drama than an action film. I also quite didn’t understand the human storyline much.

On acting front, Andy Serkis is absolutely brilliant as Caesar. Though it is performance capture, you can actually see his face on-screen. He actually outruns his own performance as Gollum in the LOTR series with this one. Toby Kebbell also comes up with an excellent act as Koba. Jason Clarke is decent as Malcolm, while Gary Oldman is pretty good in his brief appearance.

Music and background score by Michael Giacchino is way better than the predecessor film. Cinematography by Michael Seresin is a definite asset. Editing by William Hoy is decent. While the 3D effects aren’t worth a mention, the visual effects were very good.

Is it worth your time and money??: But for its snail pace, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ain’t a bad film. If that doesn’t bother you much, give it a watch for Andy Serkis and the visual effects.

Worth mention: The climax fight. It was quite spectacular.

Acting: 8.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 6.5/10
Technical Aspects: 7.5/10

Verdict: 7.5/10

Transformers: Age of Extinction

transformers_age_of_extinction

Sometimes you’d never want a movie to end for it’s so good. And then there are times you’d pray for it to get over just to escape from the madness. The latest Transformers film happens to fall in the latter category!

Directed by Michael Bay, this is a complicated as hell storyline. Writer Ehren Kruger should really be commended for writing such an intricate script; boy does he have some imagination. Our beloved Autobots are now being hunted by CIA agents for reasons unknown even by the President of United States. When Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), a wannabe inventor discovers the leader of clan, Optimus Prime, the hunt is on not just for the Autobots, but also Yeager’s family. So what’s the reason you ask? Because one CIA agent is paranoid about the Transformers, and would go to any extent to get rid of them. To what extent?  Help build his own Transformers using Megatron’s mind (Decepticon) to get rid of the originals (Autobots), with the help of a new set of alien Transformers (intergalactic mercenaries). Uff! If the story isn’t bad enough, add an overdose of fights/visual effects/sound effects that you, nevermind. The screenplay is a mess, and so is the direction. I wonder what Bay was thinking!

Thankfully, the humans don’t disappoint much (comparatively). Mark Wahlberg comes up with a decent performance, and so does Stanley Tucci. That’s it. The rest of the cast is absolutely mediocre. Nicola Peltz is as good as a sexy plastic doll and Jack Reynor is a stone with barely any facial expressions. Kelsey Grammer is terrible as the paranoid CIA agent. In a scene, he reasons his doings for the safety of United States (aka the money) without a single emotion; I just wonder how someone can act so good :O .

Music by might have been decent; I’m sorry, I was so lost because of the madness on-screen that I barely paid any attention to the background score. Cinematography by Amir Mokri is nothing special either, and neither are the 3D effects. I wish Paul Rubell, Roger Barton and William Goldenberg (editing) could have done wonders by cutting everything out. More than 150 minutes long, the movie actually gave me a headache.

Is it worth your time and money??: I’d say no. But if you’re a die-hard Transformers fan, and/or can sit through hours watching them battle it out while destroying human life and cities like nobody’s business, then good luck! 

Worth mention: As much as I’d like to say end title credits, there were a couple of episodes involving Tucci which were actually hilarious.

Acting: 5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 5/10
Technical Aspects: 7.5/10

Verdict: 5.5/10

Chef

Chef

A movie based on food; I couldn’t miss it, could I??

Written and directed by Jon Favreau, Chef is a simple film based on a persons love for food. Carl Casper, the chef of a high-end fine dine in Vegas gets into a brawl with a food critic, and the rest of the story is all about how his love for food and cooking takes him places. Jon was able to showcase Carl’s longing to cook delicious food is a very effective manner. He uses the phrase “the way to anyone’s heart is through his stomach” to maximum, actually resulting in the viewers craving for yummy food all through the movie. Though the direction is good, I thought the screenplay could have been a little better.

Jon as an actor is perfect and does a commendable job. His body language is just perfect. Emjay Anthony is brilliant as Casper’s son, and John Leguizamo also comes up with an exceptional performance. The rest of the cast is alright. But the real star of the movie is its food. Be it the yummy Aglio Olio, the Cheese Sandwich oozing with butter, or even the Cuban Sandwich and the red meats (imagine me saying this being a vegetarian), every dish left me craving.

On technical front, music and background score (various artists) is perfect, and the cinematography by Kramer Morgenthau is excellent. The food looks so yummy all thanks to the way he captures it. Editing by Robert Leighton was decent, but felt a little too pacy towards the climax.

Is it worth your time and money??: If you are a foodie, then this is a must watch. It’s also a must watch if you are a food critic like me. Even otherwise, go watch it for a brilliant performance by Jon Favreau, and the food. It’s food porn! 😀

Worth mention: All the cooking episodes, and the beer episode with Percy.

Acting: 9/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 9/10
Technical Aspects: 8.5/10

Verdict: 9/10

How To Train Your Dragon 2

How To Train Your Dragon 2

How To Train Your Dragon was a really cute movie and I really liked the 2010 film, so I was really excited about the sequel. While not as cute as the first, it’s still a good film nevertheless.

Directed by Dean DeBlois who co-directed the first movie, this one has Hiccup all grown up, trying to explore and find new worlds. What awaits him is a big surprise, and towards the end, a challenge against his best companion. Compared to the first, I thought too much was happening on the screen at a given instant in this one. While direction is neat, I thought it could have been better. The emotions towards the climax also could have been handled way better for everything happened so fast.

Music by John Powell is a definite asset to the film apart from the cinematography by Roger Deakins. The colors are brilliant and the 3D effects are good, but could have been better.

Is it worth your time and money??: If you loved the first film, you’re sure to love this too, but it just seemed a lot. Still worth a watch!

Worth mention: The scene where Toothless fights Alpha.

Acting: 8.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 7.5/10
Technical Aspects: 9/10

Verdict: 8.5/10

Edge Of Tomorrow

Edge Of Tomorrow

Given that the super hero movies are done for the season, I thought we might get a break with all the action. But Edge of Tomorrow turns out to be the biggest action movie of the year thus far.

Set in the near future where aliens have invaded earth, Major William Cage is put on the front on the front line against his will. He inadvertently kills an Alpha alien, which results him reliving a day from his past, repeating everything. Adapted from a Japanese novel All You Need Is Kill, the plot needed perfect execution, and director Doug Liman makes doesn’t disappoint. The first hour of the movie is brilliantly showcased, especially Cage reliving his past over and over again. Everytime he woke up, there was a buzz in the theater. The screenplay for this kind of film needs to absolutely perfect for it is wafer thin, and one wrong move jeopardizes the entire movie. However, Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth did a wonderful job, and made sure everything is perfectly connected without unnecessarily repeating scenes. The first few relives were amazingly picturized.

Tom Cruise is awesome as William Cage. He puts up great performance as an amateur soldier initially, and builds on confidence with every life. The mild humour her creates during the most critical scenes needs a special mention. Emily Cage is good as Rita Vrataski, but I thought she could have been more expressive. The movie almost entirely relies on Tom and Emily’s characters, and they don’t disappoint.

On technical front, music by Christophe Beck is alright. With a run-time of less than 2 hours, I thought the movie was perfectly edited by James Herbert and Laura Jennings. Cinematography by Dion Beebe is good while visual effects by Nick Davis are excellent. However, the 3D effects could have been better.

Is it worth your time and money??: Absolutely. It’s by far the best movie I’ve watched this year and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The perfect screenplay and acting by Tom Cruise are major plus points. The reason the film works (at least for me) is because the director was able to keep it simple though the script is quite complicated. It’s a movie not to be missed for any movie-holic.

Worth mention: Every time Tom Cruise wakes up. As already mentioned, these episodes have been brilliantly shot.

Acting: 9/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 9/10
Technical Aspects: 8.5/10

Verdict: 9/10

X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men

We finally have a sequel to X-Men: First Class, which combines elements from almost all the X-Men movies. Yay!

After directing the uninspiring Jack the Giant Slayer, Bryan Singer is back with what he does best, directing X-Men movies. Scripted by Simon Kinberg, Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman, there are number of subplots and loose end which needed to be taken care of in this one, and Singer does a great job (while there are still few minor unanswered questions). The screenplay is very impressive, especially during the climax where both the past and future are running in parallel. However, I thought the future episodes could have been better handled.

The movie has a huge casting lineup, and everyone performs their best. After five movies as Wolverine (and a special appearance in the sixth), it’s more of a cakewalk for Hugh Jackman. I sometimes wonder if he’s born to play Wolverine! James McAvoy and Micheal Fassbender carry on from where there left off in First Class, with Fassbender having much stronger screen presence. Jennifer Lawrence looked super hot and did great, while Peter Dinklage is good. The rest of the cast is perfect.

On technical front, music by John Ottman could have been better (I feel so especially after amazing score by Hans Zimmer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2). His editing work is pretty neat though (apparently most of Rogue’s scenes were cut out, I wonder why). Cinematography by Newton Thomas Sigel is good, but the 3D effects and visuals weren’t really upto the mark.

Is it worth your time and money??: This is definitely one of the best movies in the series, but I personally liked First Class better. It’s still a fun film, with a lot happening. While The Amazing Spider-Man 2 relied on visuals to get you engrossed, X-Men: Days of Future Past relies solely on its script, and doesn’t disappoint. It’d be nice if you catch up with other films so that you understand this one better. You’ll be fine otherwise too.

Worth mention: Quick Silver during the pentagon break episode, and the past and the future shots during the climax.

Acting: 8.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 8.5/10
Technical Aspects: 8/10

Verdict: 8.5/10

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

spiderman2

In closing-credits of The Amazing Spider-Man, a man in the shadows asks Dr. Connors if Peter knows the truth about his father. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is all about Peter finding out the truth, in addition to a the arrival of a new nemesis.

Directed by Marc Webb, I thought this film was much better than it’s prequel for it has an improved storyline. Scripted again by James Vanderbilt (and a few others), this one has more structure to it. Though our Spidey still seemed like a boy with a new toy, there is some maturity to his role. He’s torn between his love and responsibilities, and this has been very well conceived. While the direction is pretty good, and the screenplay (Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Jeff Pinkner) is much improved, I felt the film was too long and had too many characters. Given that the movie was this long anyways, it would have been nice to establish Harry and Peter’s friendship in a better manner as it all seemed very contrived. At close to 150 minutes, I kinda lost track on how the movie had started for there was so much happening!

Andrew Garfield has a more meaty role in this film, and he does not disappoint. I thought he performed well during the climax. However, I believe he makes Spider-Man more cheeky than required, and does not carry the innocence Tobey Maguire brought to plate. Emma Stone is pretty good as Spidey’s love interest, and so is Jamie Foxx as the main antagonist Electro. Dane DeHaan (Harry/Green Goblin) was just ok.

One of the major plus points of this film is some excellent background score by Hans Zimmer. Add to that some amazing sound-mixing, and we have a winner. I really enjoyed the sound effects along with some amazing visuals and 3D effects. Cinematography by Daniel Mindel is of top-notch quality. Editing by Pietro Scalia and Elliot Graham could have been better, but then the script had too much to offer, so I’m guessing there was little they could do.

Is it worth your time and money??: Definitely. It’s a fun film with a lot happening. You can give it a watch just for its grand visuals, but the story is equally good. The only negative aspect is the length, and maybe (at times) heavy fight sequences. Nevertheless, if you can sit through for 142 minutes and love action, you are in for some Amazing entertainment!

Worth mention: The climax fight between Spider-Man and Electro was quite a scene. And also the final fight with Rhino.

Acting: 8.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 8/10
Technical Aspects: 8.5/10

Verdict: 8.5/10

PS: X-Men fans are in for some goodies during closing-credits, so stay put.

It was disappointing not to watch the movie in IMAX 3D (Prasads, you…).  

And ya, it’s a Sony!   😀

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

CA

So Captain America kicks off the season of superhero movies this year, and it ain’t a bad start.

Scripted by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, CA: The Winter Soldier relies more or less on the premise set in the CA: The First Avenger, that of Project Hydra (for those who have no idea what that is, I’d suggest you watch the first part). The Russo brothers (Directors) did a commendable job with the given storyline, but for the mediocre screenplay. At two quarter hours, the movie seemed really long because of the slow screenplay, especially during the first half. However, the innumerable number of fight sequences and action episodes keep you glued to your seats.

Chris Rogers is good, while Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) looked odd at times. Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson are decent in their respective roles. On technical front, music/score by Henry Jackman could have been more gripping. The action sequences are very well choreographed, and cinematography by Trent Opaloch is pretty neat. The 3D effects are just alright, nothing spectacular. Editing by Jeffrey Ford could have been sharp. The production values are pretty neat.

Is it worth your time and money??: It’s a decent film, and I liked it better than CA: The First Avenger. While the first film didn’t really establish Captain America as a superhero (not for me at least; he absolutely did nothing in the movie, even the climax fight with Red Skull was so boring!), this film has a lot of potential for him to make his mark, and he does. But for the slow screenplay, it works on every other front. Give it a watch (not necessarily in 3D or IMAX though).

Worth mention: Nick Fury’s car chase sequence. It’s funny though that the roads are absolutely empty and there’s not a single soul in sight when so much is happening.

Acting: 8/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 7/10
Technical Aspects: 8/10

Verdict: 7/10

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The-Grand-Budapest-Hotel-UK-Quad-Poster

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a well scripted, hilarious comedy from Wes Anderson. The story is simple, but the effective screenplay makes the movie work. The narration is brilliant. Acting is spot on, with Ralph Fiennes putting up and exceptional performance. Music by Alexandre Desplat is subtle, and cinematography by Robert Yeoman is brilliant.

Is it worth your time and money??: Overall, it’s a brilliant fun film, and a joy ride. I’d suggest you give this a watch!

Worth mention: The swift screenplay, and some smart acting from Fiennes and his accomplice, Tony Revolori.

Acting: 9/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 8.5/10
Technical Aspects: 8/10

Verdict: 8.5/10