Best English Films Of 2014

As the year comes to an end, movie buffs every year are tempted to come out with their different best movie lists and we are no different. Every year we publish a couple of such posts written by individual authors which talk about some of the best films from India and globally, leading to several intense and passionate debates, discussions and arguments among fellow movie buffs.

But this year we decided to do something different. We asked some of our authors to individually list down English films they enjoyed watching this year.

While Boyhood and Gone Girl seem to be the universal favourites with Nightcrawler coming a close second, there are quite a few interesting recommendations by our authors that deserve to be seen by all and warrant a debate.

So which are the English films our authors enjoyed watching this year the most? Scroll down to know more.Continue reading “Best English Films Of 2014”

22 Jump Street (2014) Movie Review : An Enjoyable Follow Up

Much before Johnny Depp came to be known as a movie star who did a number of quirky and diverse roles, Depp found early fame as a TV star thanks to the hit series 21 Jump Street. The show also was one of the earliest successful TV shows for Fox studios. Given the immense popularity of the television show, the temptation to adapt it into a movie was hard to resist. And thus directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Lego Movie) came up with 21 Jump Street – the movie adaptation of the above mentioned TV Series starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill in the lead roles.Continue reading “22 Jump Street (2014) Movie Review : An Enjoyable Follow Up”

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.

10 Most Anticipated Hollywood Movies Of 2014

Most Anticipated Movies Of 2014

Without wasting further time, let me write about the most anticipated movies of the year 2014.

22_jump_street_movie_poster_1Kindly note that this list is purely compiled on the basis of my personal choices and preferences.

10. 22 Jump Street : Co-Written by the multi-talented actor/writer Jonah ”Superbad, MoneyBall” Hill  he teams up once again with Channing ”G.I Joe”Tatum in 22 Jump Street. 22 Jump Street is a story of 2 undercover cops who are so good at being incapable that in the 1st film they had to let go of a criminal because they couldn’t read him his rights. The film which is directed by  Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs) is a sequel to the hilarious 21 Jump Street. This time they are going undercover in a local college, so expect some more funny one liners and insane gags.

9. A Million Ways to Die in the West : Written & directed by an absolute mental Seth”Family Guy, Ted” MacFarlene, this film promises to push the limits of  comedy which range from  gross to the most creative gags. See the fight scene between Mark Wahlberg and Ted in the movie Ted to know what am talking about. A Million Ways To Die In The West tells the  story of a cowardly farmer who seeks the help of a gunslinger’s wife to win back the woman who left him. It sounds serious but trust me it’s going to be madness and knowing Seth’s work it maybe something out of the box.Continue reading “10 Most Anticipated Hollywood Movies Of 2014”