Avengers: Age of Ultron | Movie Review


The Avengers was one of the best films to come out from Marvel Studios; it was close to epic in terms of super hero films. Avengers: Age of Ultron might not be as epic as the predecessor, but it’s still a good watch.

Joss Whedon kick starts the movie with our superheroes trying to retrieve Loki’s scepter from a fictitious European country. While they do the needful, they realize that Hydra experiments have created the twins – Quick Silver with superhuman speed, the Scarlet Witch with telekinetic powers. Scarlet hypnotizes Stark to see things, because of which he decides to create artificially intelligent Ultron defence program using the scepter’s gem. Things go wrong, as expected, and Ultron revolts against the Avengers; it’s time for some bang-bang! On script and direction front, Whedon does a good job; he brings out the best from all his leads and does justice to the ‘Hulkbuster’ episode. However, he loses steam on screenplay; there are multiple episodes with multiple threads, and all of these weren’t really well-connected. The climax also seemed to be hurried.

While the star/Stark had maximum footage in the first film, this one provides equal opportunity to all the leads. Robert Downey looked stoned at times, but still comes up with a good act; he’s good as long as he’s witty! Chris Evans and Mark Ruffalo are decent while Chris Hemsworth is great; his expressions when people are trying to lift Mjolnir, his hammer, are brilliant. Jeremy Renner has more screen-time than one would expect, and he’s good. Scarlett Johansson is hot, and Elizabeth Olsen is hotter. James Spader brings life to Ultron, but honestly, he’s no Loki/Tom Hiddleston. The rest of the cast is alright.

Music by Brian Tyler and Danny Elfman is decent, but we mostly hear the theme composed by Alan Silvestri on-screen. Cinematography by Ben Davis is perfect, while editing by Jeffrey Ford and Lisa Lassek is neat. 3D effects are good, but not breathtaking.

Is it worth your time and money??: While not as spectacular as its predecessor, Avengers: Age of Ultron is a good film. The action episodes are well canned, and you’re sure to enjoy Iron Man fighting Hulk. My suggestion: don’t expect too much, and you wouldn’t be disappointed!

Worth mention: Iron Man and Hulk’s fist bump!

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

Verdict: 8/10

Fast & Furious 7 | Movie Review

Fast & Furious

Fast & Furious 7 is touted to be the last ride. It probably wasn’t their intention when they started with the production, but circumstances have led Furious 7 to be the one last ride with Paul Walker.

James Wan, who’s directed horror movies like The Conjuring in the past, is in the driver seat for the last, ok, enough of it. There are tons of action episodes and chases, most of which are well canned; but the fast-paced action seemed to have a burden on someone who’s’ done horror his entire life. While you might at times feel a little nauseated, James still does a decent job on direction front. Planning the screenplay must have been a big challenge, because the untimely demise of one of the main characters; nevertheless, Chris Morgan does well.

Vin Diesel barely acts, but he gets the job done, like he’s done in the remaining five films. Paul’s footage is pulled off well by his doubles. Jason Statham is perfect as the antagonist, and gives the lead pair a good fight. Dwayne Johnson has minimal presence, and thank god for that 😛 . Michelle has a dead expression for most part (but why!). The rest of the cast, is just alright.

Music by Brian Tyler could have been better. The sound effects and mixing however, are excellent. So is the cinematography by Stephen Windon and Marc Spicer. While editing (by a bunch of guys) is decent, the film might seem a little too long for most.

Is it worth your time and money?: Forget logic, it’s all about action; it’s Fast & Furious. With well canned stunts, and a decent storyline, you have a good action film yes. And more than that, the montage towards the end will leave you teary. So, what more do you need?

Worth mention: Almost all the action stunts make you go whoa. And the montage!

Acting: 7.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 7/10
Technical Aspects: 7.5/10

Verdict: 7.5/10

Cinderella | Movie Review


The story we grew up with is back on the big screen. It might have been told over and over but still has the magic which can charm you; and this version is no different.

Director Kenneth Branagh doesn’t play around while telling Cinderella’s tale, and that actually what makes this movie work. Direction is good, however, the emotions could have been more powerful. The evil wicked mother wasn’t really evil, and the love story could have been better. Screenplay by Chris Weitz also seemed a little out of sorts, especially in the ball episode. A little more engaging screenplay would have worked wonders.

Lilly James is perfect as Ella; she has the innocence needed to play the character, and does total justice. She looks gorgeously beautiful in the ball gown. Richard Madden is handsome enough to be Prince Charming, and does well. Cate Blanchet could have been more evil. The rest of the cast is alright.

Music by Patrick Doyle is decent, while sound mixing and effects are good. Cinematography by Haris Zambarloukos is excellent, and editing by Martin Walsh could have been crisp. Disney has its stamp all over the movie.

Is it worth your time and money?: It might not be an excellent film, but it is a decent watch nevertheless.

Worth mention: Cinderella in the ball gown.

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

Verdict: 7.5/10

Birdman | Movie Review


Given that you have a bunch of Oscar nominated films releasing together, it’s tedious to keep track of the one which stands out. While all other nominees are either biographies or dramas, Birdman excels as a dark comedy with some spectacular performances.

It’s very difficult to write about director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman. A Hollywood actor once famous for playing fictional ‘Birdman’ character is trying to establish himself on Broadway; but he is still haunted and tormented by the voice of Birdman, and the story showcases how this conflict affects his Broadway career. While González Iñárritu brings out the best from the entire cast, the screenplay is spectacular and makes the movie a treat to watch. The way the entire film flows seamlessly while giving an impression that it’s all a single shot is brilliantly done. This is how good it gets on script, screenplay and direction front.

Michael Keaton is superb as the struggling actor. He gets into the skin of the character, and his performance is the best I’ve seen this year (thus far). Edward Norton comes up with an equally spectacular act and actually outshines Keaton in some episodes. Emma Stone is perfect in her brief appearance, and so are Naomi Watts, Andrea Riseborough and Zach Galifianakis. The film is an absolute treat in terms of performances.

Music by Antonio Sánchez is haunting and very effective. Cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki and editing by Douglas Crise and Stephen Mirrione are excellent. Again, the way the film flows as a single shot thanks to perfect screenplay, editing and cinematography is worth mention.

Is it worth your time and money?: While all the Oscar nominees are excellent films, Birdman happens to be the clear winner for me. It’s a perfect example of the script, director, actors and technical teams all coming together to churn out a work of art. Don’t miss it!!

Worth mention: The performances and the illusion that entire film is a single shot.

Acting: 9.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 9.5/10
Technical Aspects: 9/10

Verdict: 9.5/10

The Theory of Everything | Movie Review

Theory of Everything Poster

It is not often that you have two biopics releasing together – both British (one about a mathematician and other a physicist), both nominated for the Oscars. While The Imitation Game is a dramatized thriller about Alan Turing and his achievements, The Theory of Everything is a drama about Stephen Hawking’s personal life.

Based upon the book written by Jane Wilde (Hawking’s first wife), the movie happens to be more about the couple’s relationship rather than the physicists achievements. It starts of with a young Hawking meeting Jane a little before he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, and continues with their struggles as a married couple, while Hawking pursued research on quantum mechanics through deteriorating health conditions. While the love story is  well picturized, director James Marsh could not maintain the same zeal for the rest of the story. Beyond a point, the relationship between the couple seemed artificial. The screenplay is neat, but only if the story had much more substance to offer. Even worse, it doesn’t even connect with you emotionally.

Eddie Redmayne is brilliant as Hawking. He resembles Hawking in looks, and portrays the medical condition to perfection. While he has not much to say, he conveys a lot through his facial expressions. Felicity Jones puts up an equally good performance as Jane. David Thewlis and Charlie Cox are good.

Music by Jóhann Jóhannsson is alright. Editing by Jinx Godfrey and cinematography by Benoit Delhomme are good. I actually liked the way the some scenes were presented in retro nostalgic frames.

Is it worth your time and money??: When you compare with the other British biopic, The Theory of Everything lacks enough substance to keep you engrossed for it’s more of a drama than a biopic. While worth a watch for the performances, it really has nothing new to offer.

Acting: 9.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 7/10
Technical Aspects: 8/10

Verdict: 7.5/10

The Imitation Game | Movie Review

The Imitation Game

After a long wait, The Imitation Game has finally released in India. Having read some raving reviews about the movie, I walked in with high expectations. While it did live up to most, I somehow felt something was amiss.

Scripted by Graham Moore, The Imitation Game tells the story of Alan Turing, the mathematician who helped the allies win the Second World War using the Turing Machine (Christopher/Bombe). The script has been modified enough to help director Morten Tydlum make the movie gripping; enough drama has been infused into this biopic to make it interesting. However, I felt that there could have been more emotional content. While direction is good, adding a little more substance to the film would have made it better. Nevertheless, the best part of the movie however is its seamless screenplay which runs through three different time periods. Be it the 1940’s or the 1950’s, every frame is stitched together perfectly.

The movie is near perfect thanks to a brilliant act by Benedict Cumberbatch. His performances in a couple of episodes, when he confesses to his fiancée, and when he’s struggling to solve a Crossword puzzle, are superb. Special shout to Alex Lawther who enacts young Turing’s life to the ‘T’. Keira Knightley is perfect as Joan Clarke. The rest of the cast put up credible performances.

Music by Alexandre Desplat is good, but something more haunting would have been perfect. Editing by William Goldenberg is neat while cinematography by Oscar Faura is excellent.

Is it worth your time and money??: It might not be a perfect biopic for it lacks enough emotional quotient, but Benedict Cumberbatch adds so much life to the movie that you can’t afford to miss it. Forget homosexuality and everything else, The Imitation Game is a beautiful story of a man who helped save close to 18 million lives. Must watch.

Acting: 9.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 8.5/10
Technical Aspects: 8.5/10

Verdict: 8.5/10

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies | Movie Review

The Hobbit -The Battle of the Five Armies

While the first instalment, An Unexpected Journey, of the series wasn’t great, the second part, The Desolation of Smaug, was a better movie. While I was hoping for an excellent end to the series (like the third movie in the LOR series), The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies ended up being more like the first movie – ordinary.

The movie continues from where it left off, with Smaug attacking Lake Town. The Dragon Slayer saves the day and the town, but the battle has just began with every army converging and fighting for the Lonely Mountain. This battle seemed a little too long and at times artificial. Nevetheless, things pic up towards the latter half with Thorin’s battle against Azog and Legolas fighting Blog piquing your interest. Direction by Peter Jackson is neat but the screenplay wasn’t as interesting as the second film.

On acting front, this movie provides every character to showcase their talent and almost everyone performs to their best. Ian McKellen does a good job as expected, while Luke Evans is impressive. Evangeline Lilly still looked odd as Tauriel but comes up with a decent act. The Hobbit (Martin Freeman) puts up a fine performance.

Music and background score by Howard Shore is alright, and so is editing by Jabez Olssen. While the graphics still seemed artificial at times, they were better than the previous two films. Cinematography by Andrew Lesnie is pretty good.

Is it worth your time and money??: While not as engrossing as The Desolation of SmaugThe Battle of the Five Armies is a decent watch. Let’s hope it all ends here.

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

Verdict: 8/10

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 | Movie Review


The first movie of the franchise The Hunger Games set the context, and the second movie The Hunger Games: Catching Fire doubled the expectations thanks to some amazing action sequences and great performances from it’s leads. Come the third movie, the expectations were high, but unfortunately, while the acting still stands out, the movie doesn’t!

Scripted by Danny Strong and Peter Craig, and directed by Francis Lawrence, the problem with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is it’s snail paced narration. Right from the word go, almost all the scenes seemed a drag and some of them were in fact repetitive. There’s enough emotion, with Jennifer Lawrence putting up a great act, but there nothing on the action front to substantiate the expectations of a Hunger Games movie. The slow screenplay plays a big time spoil sport.

Music by James Newton Howard is decent, with pretty good sound mixing and design. Cinematography by Jo Willems is alright while editing by Mark Yoshikawa could have been better. It probably would have been best if the producers didn’t break the third book of the instalment into two parts.

Is it worth your time and money??: Compared to the first two films of the series, this one is more or less a bore. But that doesn’t mean you can skip it, especially if you’re following the series. So unless you happen to be a fan, wait for the DVD.

Worth mention: Jennifer Lawrence is close to brilliant on acting front.

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

Verdict: 7/10

John Wick | Movie Review

John Wick

Keanu Reeves is an actor with great talent. Be it Speed or The Matrix, he’s had this ability to emote with the straightest face possible. And his performance in John Wick is no different.

Directed by debutant Chad Stahelski, John Wick is a simple revenge action thriller. In all honesty, the storyline is plain vanilla. But Chad does a great job thanks to some amazing screenplay. The sleek shots are fun to watch on-screen, and though the movie is very predictable, it keeps you engrossed till the end.

Keanu is great in the title role, and totally lives up to the expectations created in the first few minutes of the movie. Michael Nyqvist is perfect as the antagonist who knows he’s gonna lose everything fighting John Wick. Willem Dafoe and others are alright.

Music and background score by Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard is pretty neat. The sound effects were really good. Editing by Elísabet Ronalds and cinematography by Jonathan Sela are both effective.

Is it worth your time and money??: John Wick is a sleek and stylish thriller with some good acting and crisp screenplay. If you like action films, then this one is a must watch.

Worth mention: The build up to John Wick’s character, simply superb!

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

Verdict: 8/10

Big Hero 6 | Movie Review


You’ve watched superheroes save the day in The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. While Big Hero 6 comes from the same studio which gave us these blockbusters (Marvel), it’s very different from them. While the former two build on action, Big Hero 6 is a cute little movie with its heart at the right place.

Is it worth your time and money??: Absolutely! It’s probably the cutest movie you’ll watch this year. It’s perfect not just for the kids, but families can enjoy it too. Don’t miss it 🙂

Worth mention: The animation and the bonding between Baymax and Hiro. Baymax is the cutest robot ever!

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

Verdict: 9/10