Lucy (2014) Movie Review: Puerile Insipid Fare

Urban legends are meaty material to work with when it comes to making motion pictures. Especially so when it is science fiction one is dealing in, biology at that. Lucy , staring the amazingly sexy Scarlett Johansson, is hinged on one such urban legend; that the human race uses only ten percent of its brain and that once it gets to use the organ to full capacity there is no telling what we can achieve. No really, there is no telling, since no one ever has. Until Lucy did , that is.

Lucy, played by Scarlett, is a student (am guessing since the movie begins at a fervent pace not thinking it prudent to establish characters in time and space) who is pushed into a nasty drug peddling scam by her boy friend of one week. She finds herself becoming a human courier with a synthetic version of a hormone pregnant women produce to induce bone formation in fetuses (yes that is the level of mumbo jumbo thrown around on screen) stuffed inside her and which eventually manages to burst open in her stomach making her a super woman who can now progressively access her brain completely. She is running out of time, needs to settle scores with the mafia that did that to her and meet a professor who researches the idea of such super human beings to tell him of her experience. And not to forget, dole out reels and reels of philosophy.Continue reading “Lucy (2014) Movie Review: Puerile Insipid Fare”

Win Free DVD’S of Stalingrad

Mad About Moviez (MAM) and Home Entertainment Services by Sony DADC bring to you Stalingrad  Contest, wherein you can a win DVD of the film..Here are the details of the contest.

Continue reading “Win Free DVD’S of Stalingrad”

The Shawshank Redemption Movie Review : God Sees The Truth But Waits

Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

There is never a wrong time to watch the right movie. And I am not just saying this because I saw the movieThe Shawshank Redemption a decade and a half after it was made, I am saying it because its a movie that everyone should see. On hindsight, I feel that its a good thing that I saw the movie at a time when I would be able to absorb more of it than I would have been able to, had I seen it when I was 13 yrs old. But at that age, I did read a story by Count Leo Tolstoy, as a part of our ICSE syllabus, called God Sees The Truth But Waits. Although the gist of the story by Tolstoy, Rita Hayworth And Shawshank Redemption story by Stephen King notwithstanding, is the same; but the movie achieves what the story does not. The movie is the ultimate example of hope against reason, happiness against murkiness and victory of the human spirit against all odds.Continue reading “The Shawshank Redemption Movie Review : God Sees The Truth But Waits”

The Shawshank Redemption: 20 years later

The Shawshank Redemption

Written and Directed by Frank Darabont, The Shawshank Redemption is still at the No.1 spot in IMDB’s list of Top 250 Movies Ever, after many years of its release in 1994.  We must wonder, why and how? The film is based on a short story by Stephen King, named ‘Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption‘. Recently, I was fortunate enough to analyze the film for a group of people and would like to share some excerpts here. First up, we look at the premise and theme of the film. Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), a banker, is wrongly convicted of a double murder, and sentenced to a life term at the Shawshank State Prison in Maine, USA.  Even in the face of corrupt and brutal realities of prison life, he keeps his hope alive and spreads it to other inmates. But when he is refused the rightful way to get out of the prison, he manages to escape through the tunnel which he was digging for 19 years. Shawshank Redemption runs on the main theme that hope is eternal and worth striving for, at each instance. Some other themes running across the film are  – friendship, corruption, willpower, futility of prisons, smartness and education never go waste, courage, institutionalization, incompetence of the legal system, survival, brutality etc. But all in all, it is a very well rounded film with fleshed out main and supporting characters and effective usage of many traditional storytelling techniques. In a morally corrupt reign of Norton (Bob Guntun), the warden and Hadley (Clancy Brown), his taskmaster, Andy finds friends in Red (Morgan Freeman) and his crew of people as he adjusts to the life inside. He spends 19 years at Shawshank but manages to escape eventually. The film is an arduous testament of his life over the years but here, we talk about some key incidents and devices that make this prison break film different from a lot of others.Continue reading “The Shawshank Redemption: 20 years later”

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.

The Best of Hollywood: 2013

2013 was a rather mixed affair for Hollywood movies. The summer releases this year were largely underwhelming (Iron man 3, Man Of Steel, Fast and Furious 6 amongst others) if you ask me. Only a few amongst such releases made for enjoyable big screen viewing such as Pacific Rim, Star Trek into Darkness.

However there were also some good  films which emerged out of Hollywood this year.  As always I was able to watch some of them, while a few still remain unseen. Without wasting further time, here is my list of the Hollywood films I loved watching this year.

Kindly note these films are not rated in any particular order.

And yes let the bouquets and brickbats follow 🙂Continue reading “The Best of Hollywood: 2013”

Now You See Me Movie Review : Worth a Watch

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Few months ago when I had gone to watch Django Unchained in a theatre, I happened to see the trailer of Now You See Me and was quite surprised. Because, here was a film that had a rather prominent set of actors top lining the cast. The promo also seemed quite impressive.Continue reading “Now You See Me Movie Review : Worth a Watch”

Now You See Me: Trailer

Now You See Me tells the story of  FBI agents led by Mark Ruffalo who are tracking a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money.

Directed by Lous Leterrier ( The Incredible Hulk, Clash Of The Titans) , the film features an impressive starcast of Jesse Eissenberg., Woody Harrelson, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Mark Ruffalo amongst others.

The film is scheduled to release in May across cinemas.

Meanwhile, check out the official promo of the film which promises to be an interesting watch.Continue reading “Now You See Me: Trailer”

Oblivion: Trailer

Oblivion is a futuristic science fiction thriller based on the Radical Comics graphic novel of the same name by Joseph Kosinski. The film version is directed and co-produced by Kosinski himself. Continue reading “Oblivion: Trailer”