300: Rise of an Empire | Movie Review

300

300: Rise of an Empire tells a story which runs parallel to the 2006 film 300, where Leonidas (Gerard Butler) leads 300 Spartans into battle. This film showcases the Greek fighting Artemisia (Eva Green), the naval commander of the God King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro). Just like it’s predecessor, this film, directed by Noam Murro, is a visual treat for any action movie lover. While the script and theatricals falter at times, the amazingly choreographed fight sequences and the spectacularly dark cinematography keep you engrossed in this blood shed warfare.

On the acting front, Eva Green is superb and fits the role to the bill as Artemisia. Forget beautiful, she looked as cunning and powerful as required to do justice to the role. On the other hand, I was disappointed with the lead, Sullivan Stapleton. A role of such magnitude needed someone with a better persona, and maybe better acting skills. He created no impact whatsoever.

The background score and sound effects are excellent. Editing by Wyatt Smith David Brenner is decent, while the screenplay by Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad could have been more effective. However, cinematography by Simon Duggan and the action sequences more than make up for other flaws.

Is it worth your time and money??: The film is a visual extravaganza. Barring the gore blood shed and mediocre performance from the lead actor, 300: Rise of an Empire is an entertaining watch.

Worth mention: The amazingly choreographed fight sequences in single shots.

Acting: 6/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 7/10
Technical Aspects: 8/10

Verdict: 7/10

August: Osage County | Movie Review

august_osage_county_ver3

With a brilliant, star-studded cast, I was expecting quite a bit from August: Osage County. Though I was a little perturbed by the end, I wasn’t disappointed.

Based on the award-winning play by Tracie Letts (playwriter and screenplay), August: Osage County is a drama about dysfunctional family trying to find solace by abusing and shattering each other. Honestly, the movie is quite disturbing, for it depicts each member of the family tearing apart the other irrespective of their relations. It’s a movie portraying how ugly things could be if you aren’t up to face your demons within the walls of your home. Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts play out of their skins to bring life to this drama., while Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberback comes up with another fine performance. The rest of the cast is equally brilliant. Direction by John Wells is neat, while the screenplay by Letts is pacy.

Is it worth your time and money??: While it features some spectacular performances, August: Osage County is not a film for everyone. As mentioned, it is very disturbing and makes you think how lucky one is for not having such a screwed up family. Watch it at your own discretion.

Acting: 9.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 6/10
Technical Aspects: 8/10

Verdict: 7/10

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug | Movie Review

hobbit_desolation_of_smaug_poster

Now that you’ve started with the series watching the first one, you can’t miss out on the middle pages of the book can you? But honestly, after watching the trailers, I thought the movie would be a huge disappointment, and I was not really excited about it. However, I ended up liking it better than The Unexpected Journeyfor the second installment of the trilogy has more meat and substance, where the plot unravels slowly yet steadily, and everything seems to start to make sense finally. Peter Jackson does a commendable job with the direction, and an interesting screenplay gets you engrossed in the film.

On the acting front, kudos to Ian McKellin for putting up such a consistent performance in the series. He’s brilliant. I was starting to wonder what all and how much Gandalf had to survive through the books. Uff! The rest of the cast, but for the only female character were good. Though she looked beautiful, I though Evangeline Lilly looked odd and did not exactly fit into the role.

On technical front, the editing is much better than its predecessor. Cinematography is brilliant, and the 3D effects are alright. The graphics looked a little artificial at times though, and the music too seemed too melodramatic and not as great as the LOR score.

Is it worth your time and money??: Yes, it’s a decent watch.

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

Verdict: 8.5/10

Man Of Steel | Movie Review

images

Is it worth your time and money??I’d say NO!! The movie, for me atleast, was a big disappointment. I found Superman Returns way better than this one. Coming from the house of Christopher Nolan (Story and Producer), a lot was expected, but alas! Zach Snyder, taking a page from Nolan’s work, tried non-linear storytelling, which I think failed miserably. Though the direction was decent, it’s the screenplay which kills the film – it was one of the worst screenplays I’ve seen in recent times (David Goyer). Most scenes seemed out of sync, and the fights especially were so fast that I couldn’t figure out a thing! Add to this some terrible graphic work (I’m not sure if it was because of the digital conversion for IMAX, but most scenes were grainy and bad). It seemed more like a sci-fi movie (reminded me of War of the Worlds) than a Superman movie. Acting and music were the only saviors. Overall, a mediocre movie. If given a chance, I’d skip it, and instead maybe watch Spiderman or something!!

Acting: 7/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 
6/10
Technical Aspects: 
5/10

Verdict: 5.5/10

Star Trek Into Darkness | Movie Review

star-trek-into-darkness

Acting: 8/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 8/10
Technical Aspects: 8.5/10
Is it worth your time and money??: 
Oh yes. I loved the movie. Though the script is a little more complicated than the first movie, J.J. Abrams did a decent job with it. The direction is pretty neat, and the screenplay is decent. Chris Pine does a very good as Kirk, while Zachary Quinto does a brilliant job as Spock. Benedict Cumberbatch is equally good as Khan. The rest of the cast did a good job. On technical front, the visuals are excellent. Most of the IMAX shots were graphic works, but good. The rendered 3D work was excellent, but shooting with 3D cameras would have made it even better. Nevertheless, I loved the effects. Music by Michael Giacchino is good, while cinematography by Daniel Mindel is perfect. Overall, a worthwhile film.

Verdict: 8/10

Iron Man 3 | Movie Review

Iron Man

Acting: 8/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 7.5/10
Technical Aspects: 8.5/10
Is it worth your time and money??: Yes indeed. After disappointing with Iron Man 2, this one is a much better film. It doesn’t do better than The Avengers, but still is a decent film nevertheless. The story and screenplay could have been better though, for it has a number of loopholes. Direction by Shane Black is pretty neat, while the screenplay, co written by Black and Drew Pearce, seemed patchy and out of sorts at times. Things like a ten-year old kid help fix Mark 42 (suit) were quite startling, for its premise wasn’t established, and the antagonist leaving behind Tony Stark tied to a bedpost with two guards was plain stupid.

On acting front, Robert Downey, Jr. is at his usual best, while Gwyneth Paltrow, though good, looked really old. The franchise needs a new Potts in my opinion. Guy Pearce is very good in the negative role, while Rebecca Hall is decent. Ben Kingsley has a brief role, and is effective.

On technical front, music by Brian Tyler is pretty neat, and editing by Jeffrey Ford and Peter Elliot is alright, while cinematography by John Toll is very good. The long shots were well picturized, and the 3D effects on such shots were good.

Overall, it’s a decent watch. Walk in without any expectations and you might enjoy the film.

Verdict: 8/10

Oblivion | Movie Review

Oblivion

Acting: 8/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 7.5/10
Technical Aspects: 9/10
Is it worth your time and money??: From the early rushes and trailers, it looked like one of those sci-fi films you’ve already watched. In fact, it reminded me of Tom Cruise’s War of the Worlds, which I didn’t like so much. Oblivion, thankfully, turned out to be different. Co-written and directed by Joseph Kosinski, it is a decent watch. Direction was good, while the screenplay was a little slow. Few scenes just seemed to drag the film down. A faster narrative would have helped it better. Tom Cruise does well in the lead role, and managed to carry the entire movie on his shoulders. Olga Kurylenkoi and Andrea Riseborough are pretty good, while Morgan Freeman was alright in his brief role. On technical front, the cinematography by Claudio Miranda was of top-notch quality, with the graphics and sound effects being excellent. Overall, Oblivion is an entertaining watch.

Verdict: 8/10

A Good Day To Die Hard

A Good Day To Die Hard

Acting: 5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 3/10
Technical Aspects: 5/10

Is it worth your time and money??: No!! If you’ve watched and enjoyed Die Hard movies, then a bigger NO!! This movie is a disgrace to the franchise, it’s that bad. It looks like Hollywood is now taking inspiration from Bollywood and making films which make no absolute sense. There is absolutely no story, and all the action scenes are stitched together to make a movie. And these action sequences too make no sense. Direction by John Moore is mediocre while the screenplay by Skip Woods is pathetic (It’s the worst I’ve seen in a Hollywood movie till date). Bruce Willis looks old, but still does a commendable job, while Jai Courtney struggles to act. The cinematography is alright, but the action sequences are so fast that you can’t make any sense out of them, thanks to some bad editing. The graphics could have been better, and the entire film looked grainy on a regular screen (I wonder how they plan to release it on Imax with such quality). Overall, it a bad film, so stay away from it!!

Verdict: 4/10

Django Unchained | Movie Review

django-unchained

Acting: 9.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 9/10
Technical Aspects: 9/10
Is it worth your time and money??: After three years of hiatus, Quentin Tarantino is back. Django Unchained is a typical Tarantino movie in all ways; its got the style, and all the blood. The story is simple, and sometimes predictable, yet engrossing. The screenplay, like other Tarantino films, is non linear, but not so much as say Inglorious Basterds. Jamie Foxx is superb as Django, and his body language in certain scenes is excellent. Leonardo DiCaprio is great as the antagonist. But the clear winner in terms of acting, gaining him a much deserved Oscar nomination is Christoph Waltz. He is terrific as Dr. Schultz. The rest of the cast is alright. Cinematography by Robert Richardson is good, but editing by Fred Raskin could have been better. On the whole, for any Tarantino movie lover, Django Unchained is a must watch. You might actually enjoy the movie even if you are not a fan, so go ahead and watch it nevertheless!!

Verdict: 9/10

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey | Movie Review

The Hobbit _scifidrive

Acting: 9/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 8.5/10
Technical Aspects: 9/10
Is it worth your time and money??: Well, if you are expecting something very similar to The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, you might be slightly disappointed. The problem is Peter Jackson (Director) trying too hard to make it similar to the trilogy. The movie starts of pretty slow, at times felt very similar to LOR: The Fellowship of the Ring, but it slowly picks up pace and ends very well. The screenplay was pretty neat, but I thought the editing was shabby. Cinematography, like other LOR movies, is awesome, and the 3D effects just add value. Overall, it’s a good film with its own charm.

Verdict: 8/10