Martin Scorsese’s “Silence”: Trailer

silence-posterSilence is an upcoming American historical drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Jay Cocks and Scorsese, based upon the 1966 novel of the same name by Shūsaku Endō. Shot entirely in Taipei, Taiwan, the film features Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano, and Ciarán Hinds. After a World premiere at the Vatican on November 29th Silence is expected to release in U.S on December 23rd and expand to the rest of the World in January 2017. Continue reading “Martin Scorsese’s “Silence”: Trailer”

Third Person : Official Trailer

3rd perosnTaking a break from acting in action films, Liam Neeson stars in Third Person directed by Paul Haggis (Crash).  Third Person narrates three interrelated love stories set in three different cities – Rome, New York and Paris.

Besides Neeson , the film also features Mila Kunis, Adrien Brody, James Franco and Kim Basinger. Third Person is scheduled for a June release.Continue reading “Third Person : Official Trailer”

Non Stop Movie Review : A Bumpy Ride

A protagonist (Liam Neeson) with a drinking problem, estranged from his wife and mourning over the death of his daughter and trying to overcome other such unpleasant memories is in the midst of a flight, wherein a random caller threatens him to arrange for a huge sum of cash lest he will blow up the plane. A standard one liner premise for an action film which sounds rather exciting. So does it make for a good film? Maybe not.Continue reading “Non Stop Movie Review : A Bumpy Ride”

The LEGO Movie (2014) Review: Brick loads of fun!

Cast:  Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie

Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller

Studio:  Warner Bros Pictures

The Lego Movie PosterA cheap money-grab scheme is what they called it when it was announced years back that a LEGO movie was in the works. Many had put their arms up in the air asking what exactly good can come out with a feature film with nothing but blocks and bricks. And we all know how earlier attempts to make money out of inanimate toys and games have turned out on the big screen. 

However,  knowing that they have got the talented duo of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller on board, I was assured that it would at least be a decent effort. These two did a surprisingly great job with Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs even when I thought I would not have the appetite for something with a title like that. And they even followed it up impressively with 21 Jump Street. And if the trailers of this film were anything to go by, I was certain that I would not be completely disappointed.

Forget disappointment, but ninety minutes later, after the screening of The Lego Movie, I instantly knew that I just walked out one of the most entertaining, enthralling piece of ingenious movie magic witnessed not just this year, but in recent times.

Yes, you heard that right!

Because, with THE LEGO MOVIE, the duo of Lord and Miller has not only come up with a smart, witty script but also has gone the extra mile to ensure that everything about the movie is simply awesome. Yes, even with a fitting song in there titled, er.., “Everything is Awesome”.

Boasting of some fascinating visual splendour besides the above mentioned brilliant script, the movie also is rooted with a lot of heart. When you get all these combinations clicking and gelling away so fine, you know you are in for something special. And let us not get into the nostalgic elements, because that is, after all, is the very foundation of this entire build up.

Inspirations of the movie can be found scattered all across your memory. You have all seen it, felt it and experienced it numerous times earlier, and here the makers just bring them all together to take you on this unforgettable ride of cops, wild west, spaceships, batmobiles, submarines, you name it! It is exactly what you would get if you let a child and his imaginations run wild with an unlimited supply of Lego bricks.

The LEGO movie is set in a world of ‘followers’ – set of standard people who lives life according to the instructions and guidelines upon which they are supposed to function.  Emmet (Chris Pratt) is one such construction worker who is pretty much an average joe, helplessly low on confidence and self-belief of any kind.  The story kicks into gear when he stumbles upon a strange other-worldly item called the ‘piece of resistance’, something that he discovers would stop the evil President Business (Will Ferrel) from carrying out his evil destruction plans.

At this point, Emmet is also mistaken to be ‘ The Special One’ fulfilling the prophecy, and before you know it, he is in more or less a Matrix style Neo situation, except for Trinity you have a punk gal Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) and for Morpheus we got the blind sage Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman).  These two show Emmet a world beyond these  instructions, that of the ‘Master Builders’. These are the non-conformist rebels who love to create and build upon new ideas but have hard time following rules.

And now Emmet , from a nobody has to lead this group and save the Lego world from its doom.

Pretty formulaic stuff, you claim this is.  Yes, it may appear so. But certainly NOT if the adventure is going to involve “Batman”. And if that is not enough, then throw in a bunch of cameos from the DC Universe, The Simpsons, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars etc. That is right; you can find something of everything out here in the world of LEGO. Of course, saying more of these and several other pop-cultural references would be ruining the timing of these cameos and the jokes around it. But do trust me, these jokes come thick and fast. You really need to get a second viewing just to get all the jokes, because probably you or the rest were laughing away the last time around.

The film then goes onto hit a home run with the third act, where you will discover a lot of yourself and your childhood somewhere amidst all that chaos and brick-load of fun, guns and puns.

The Lego Movie-BatmanDid I tell you how awesome the voice casting is?  Chris Pratt puts in a spirited show as Emmet, while Elizabeth Banks surprises with her edgy turn. Liam Neeson is a riot in the bad cop/ good cop routine and Will Ferrell is devilishly appealing as Lord Business.   Will Arnett does a fab job as Batman which is more like a spoof on the Bale version, while Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill have some fun of their own, voicing the DC heroes Superman and Green Lantern. And then of course, above all,  you have “the voice”- Morgan Freeman. Need I say more?

The creativity in the animation department is another praiseworthy factor. It is no small task to bring alive a world of Lego bricks but they have managed to impress you in jaw dropping fashion. And here they painstakingly come up with landscapes, oceans, skies and fires, all of which seem built out of nothing but Lego pieces. Though computer generated, it does not not the stop motion oddity which makes it all the more appealing.

Though I saw the 2D version, it was obvious that some of the action sequences, especially in the earlier portions of the film, were clearly designed to provide you with a maximum 3D experience. And with the bright and colorful template, the 3D version would be the right option.

However, it is unfortunate that many are shrugging off the film calling it a mere kiddie flick and giving it a miss. And if you are among that lot, then here is my two minutes worth of silence to that lost opportunity. Because this is one of those rare films that promises and delivers 90 minutes of wall to wall fun, talking to kids and adults alike. This is one non-Pixar toy story that is going to find the same kind of adoration and love like the original TOY STORY features over time. And then again, why would you wanna miss even a minute of something where everything about is absolutely awesome?

 So do not be such a brick head about it, and go about and give yourself a treat. You owe that much to the child within you and a lot more of that to the film buff in you.

Movie Review Double Bill – Taken 2 and Maattrraan

 

 

 

 

 

“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you”Continue reading “Movie Review Double Bill – Taken 2 and Maattrraan”

The Dark Knight Rises Movie Review – The Trilogy Falls

The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR) was something which I have been waiting to watch for the past one year.  I am a huge Nolan fan for a very simple reason that I do not think any Hollywood director arrests an audience all over the world including India and takes you to a completely different world visually and then explains everything simply in a meticulous fashion without you feeling confused as to what the hell is going on. He is often called over rated for explaining things too much, which most people said was the case in Inception. But it is due to this explaining, the movie appealed to even the common man and became such a huge hit in India.  He is best commercial director in Hollywood that there is.

Having said that, the expectation from TDKR was immense, but let me make one thing very clear at the start of the review that I did not have the The Dark Knight (TDK) hangover.  TDKR starts off superbly, the first 20 minutes is gripping, has a  good pace and is engaging. After that,  it just meanders through the first half consistently lacking in pace and having a high quotient of drama. I have not seen this much drama even in Nolan’s more emotional film like The PrestigeTDKR is over written and for the first time I felt that the words had overtaken visuals in a Nolan film. Whenever it seemed like the film is picking up the bol bachan ruined it. It lacked the edginess that TDK had and a pure atmospheric grip that Batman Begins provided. TDKR was more similar to Batman Begins than TDK, but not in a good way.

The relationships between the characters seem scattered and not enough to sink your teeth in to, because of which you cannot seem to make a connection or an emotional attachment with anyone throughout the film. Be it Batman & Catwoman, Batman & Blake, Batman & Miranda, Gordon & Blake, so on and so forth. The back story was sketchy and again verbose rather than visual. The characters were underdeveloped which was the biggest problem for me being a Chris Nolan film. It was shocking to see the characters being under developed. All your favourite characters of the first two parts  lacked proper footage on-screen which made it very frustrating. The likes of Fox (Morgan Freeman) and Gordon (Gary Oldman) had very little to do in terms of taking the story forward and were merely used as set pieces. More footage was given to likes of Anne Hathway (Catwoman)  and Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) Catwoman especially seemed undeveloped and really unwanted in terms of story. I still do not clearly know where she came from and why was she supporting Bane so much to let the city be destroyed. Lot of questions were left unanswered.

All this wouldn’t have mattered so much to me, if at least the power that we were supposed to feel when Bane and Batman came face to face for the first time was better executed and felt. There was a pure loss of rivalry, it seemed you can’t really feel strongly about their confrontation and even though the physique and stature of both the guys were huge you don’t really feel that mammothness. The only scene which arrests you is when Bane beats the hell out of Batman  in the underground sequence. Bane was my favourite character in the movie. The way Tom Hardy managed to emote through only his eyes and especially his voice was just A grade. The narration lacked a flow that we are so used in any of Nolan’s films. It doesn’t matter how confusing his films are,  the narration makes it easier to be on the right track and TDKR though not confusing derails us because of the  narration.

The action sequences are edge of the seat especially the Batman entry sequence and best of all the football stadium blowing sequence. The film looks amazing visually and creates the atmosphere that was needed. But, what it lacks is that you just can’t feel the tension that Gotham city is getting destroyed and there is no one to save it, you are just not rooting for Batman to come back and that basically breaks the backbone of the film. The screenplay seems too crowded and going on in different directions, which affects the overall premise of the movie. Like for example, the whole Harvey Dent angle didn’t have anything to do with the overall context of the film. All said and done kudos to the fact that Nolan has not missed an angle in TDKR he has pulled out all the stocks, bringing together all the elements of the previous two movies in to this one and the story comes out full circle making it a proper sequel.  The whole Ra’s Al Ghul’s (Liam Neeson) angle from the first one which led to form the crux of the story and the whole Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) angle from the TDK which kicks off the movie in an interesting fashion.

TDKR had a lot of good potential which went to waste because of sloppy narration, too many characters and an uneven pace. It doesn’t grip you for 2 hrs 45 minutes of its duration , making you  very uninterested on the events unfolding on-screen. So much so that when the final twist of the film * Spoiler Alert* about Miranda being a villain comes out, you are not really in a flow of the narration to be shocked. Every great story deserves a great ending, this one had great ending, the problem was the rest of the film lacked greatness.

'Taken 2' – Trailer

Movie buffs will vouch for the fact that Taken was one of the best action movies ever made with Liam Neeson in superb form. Now four years later here comes the sequel, Taken 2. And this time it is Liam Neeson and his wife who are taken hostages by the father of a kidnapper who was killed by  Neeson in the first part, while rescuing his daughter.Continue reading “'Taken 2' – Trailer”