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  • Arth 01:33 on September 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Between Two Ferns: The Movie 

    The interviews are good, the host was and is not, this is not how you turn an interview around.

    I don’t want to be that guy that thinks that one should stick to what they do. There is nothing wrong with trying something new. Whether it be physically, changing locations or genres or changing formats. On that note, the co-writer and director Scott Aukerman’s film is a fresh peak behind the camera of a lovable show. This might be the pitch at the Netflix office. It should be it. What’s best and the worst thing about the film, is the admiration they have for the lead character, the interviewer, Zach. They don’t take him for granted. They don’t want to lose him. And in order to do so, they are returning back to those old sitcom sugar coated schemes that gathered crowd like controversy does to media.

    But it doesn’t work. Not the fact that the interviewer Zach and the character Zach are completely different personalities. If anything that should have made it more grounding and fun to watch him play. Watch him juggle the on and off screen face twitch beautifully in the middle of this race against time chaos. And instead what has happened is that the crux, the thrill of those interviews have been snatched away from us.

    Now, despite the insults are audaciously wrong and cuts deep to sensitive parts of the lives of these celebrities, the intention, the motif paints itself like a commercial strategy. A strategy that Will Ferrell explains and has based his empire on. The click bait theory is glorified by them inadvertently. And something that is actually menacingly taking over the authenticity over the data, the enormous amount of data flooded out in the world. Between Two Ferns: The Movie should have been a good weekend night out, instead we’re stuck on Wednesday, a week day, working laboriously to finish what we have started. I don’t need to be reminded that.

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  • Arth 00:39 on September 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Ad Astra 

    A cry for yearning to accept, you either let go then or rattle yourself to stand alone and fly alone.

    Point. And another point. Hopefully another followed by one other. The storytelling of a film- let us stick to that, for now- has been of these various points, stringed strongly by profound characters with profound theories pulsating on that attention grabbing screen. We jump from one to another, float, skip merrily, exhale boringly and criticize ambitiously. These formats have been kept in front of us over the ages in cinematic history. But lately, I found myself with extravagant projects standing against those obligatory notes; that they, the writers, the makers, are told to deliver, and reject the hypothesis, the notion on succumbing to those elements. “That’s the spirit!” is my reaction, and the cinema takes its turn towards new possibilities.

    Almost like a new exploration. Something that is extra terrestrial to us. And I’d be disappointed and not angry, if years, decades later Ad Astra, co-written and directed by James Gray, won’t get a nod for this analysis. The film is set in the future which has got only one thing to bring alive in that fabric and that is the fact that the quality of the filmmaking is higher, mature, than what we receive and might even deserve. We are not ready for this kind of a show. I was not.

    There are themes so pure and alone out there in the space, stripped emotionally by Brad Pitt, that horror seems a by product. A by product that you fall under it, every now and then, amongst this post social media world. This hitchhiking version of the sci-fi adventure that we have never even thought of, has a man single handedly pull up a sun. A star. And it is that pull which Gray feels in Pitt’s friendship over the years and that same pull that has kept Pitt young on the screen; artistically, his performance is still raw and decolorizing.

     
  • Arth 01:07 on September 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Snowpiercer 

    The slow motions should not be taken for granted, only great, great filmmakers know how to shoot it.

    Joon-Ho Bong, the co-writer and the director of this dream project sectioned under sci-fi is constraining your imagination through meticulously crafted set pieces. In a way one can say that this is completely opposite to the Blade Runner world. While both are actually widening your eyes to behold the threat a film can possess on its society and history. The procedure is completely opposite. Now, one can argue that infinity is the final excelsior or that finiteness is the only excelsior. What cannot be ignored, is the fact Bong’s film is a treat. A resource. That can be dug for years to come and still will bless the street with its light.

    As you might know by the logline of the film that it resembles a lot with the Noah’s ark, the film is actually set in the future with the subtext that the history is repeating itself. And it is that irritation, the annoyance of the inevitable partiality; that is not politically motivated, but historically manipulated that stabs you and the characters in their heart. Even at the brink of humanity or arguably a new age ready to give birth, the human nature is told to be slave of the historians and the lessons they came up with.

    This is the commercial line. Incredibly rich. The struggling ones, the artists on the other hand are moving on by collecting what is present in front of their eyes possibly even capturing the moment like a photograph. And hence the reason why our sung hero, Chris Evans, the one, that embarks himself on a journey to move forward at a great price, that once again, his older generation had already paid. Snowpiercer is a many thing, 300 words cannot define it, just as two hours and a train couldn’t; the finiteness lost because of the mole that spoiled the essence.

     
  • Arth 02:20 on September 19, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    World War Z 

    The visual effects isn’t for gathering crowds but is a concern of their own, the storyline, nowadays, that is rare.

    So, poor zombies have been through way too much. By now we have seen them basically every way and everywhere- that’s not true. Back then when they started as a witty and witchy horror spectacle to when they were boiled to a mindless harrowing personality to just simply being mindless. Somehow as time travelled, the numerosity became their identity and the only strength they posses. While this is of course not the reality- in a comic con language obviously- there are few spins that has tested well among the audience. Comic being the major one. And then comes this Marc Foster project or more like Brad Pitt project that takes it seriously.

    For they have a source, Marx Brooks whose book the film is novelizing has managed to come up with a solution that is not a headshot or a parody. And as far as that “novelization” genre is concerned the film aces on all levels. The character gets enough room to spread their legs and walk as slow and act as they wish to. And that is the only section where this summer blockbuster is different from any other punching bag game show.

    And what’s medicinal to the film is the concept itself. What they were endorsing about. Very few times do we get a product that gets the identifying quality of it on the spot. And for that scene- you’ll know which one am I talking about- this war is worth it. Speaking of it, the title is almost too perfectly titled. The zombies were never previously shown so passionately. Their aggression is their hobby and not something that they are slave of. And hence emerges this description of brutal insensitive images that are painted horrifyingly by the CGI artists where they whispers World War Z instead of screaming.

     
  • Arth 00:41 on September 19, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button 

    A rare cinematic art that never romanticizes his protagonist and instead he does, Brad does, with his performance.

    David Fincher is a controversial director in my house. Sophisticatedly picant in his language, his direction matches Steven Soderberg’s capability of three dimensional perspective. And if looked upon, their careers have been similar. They both are known for the direction and not the writing. But David is ahead in popularity. He has captured some catchy stories including mystery novels and even biographies about arguably the most famous face of 21st century. And this is where I trail off. I haven’t always been so giddy up about the material he gets on his table. His direction exceeds the script he gets.

    And among few times when he has been blessed with an awe inspiring content, this would be the Holy Grail. This old style filmmaking that Fincher turns towards is a delightful gift to his fans. There is an unprecedented calmness in this film that makes the audience present in that frame. For three hours you are told to sit beside a death bed in a hospital room and you have never been honored like such in a Fincher set. A major character is of course Eric Roth’s signature element, innocence in the film.

    A film that provides every possible database to be found in this long weekend that we call “life”, it never puts any vice in these characters. Even the bad ones. The ones holding their promises to the other side of the door. And as far as the protagonist, Brad Pitt, Benjamin Button, is concerned, he is written like a wise old soul. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, to me, was exactly that, as in what made them decide to write him as a mature personality affecting these many lives around him, the writers explains it by claiming him the most experienced or oddly experienced.

     
  • Arth 00:39 on September 19, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind 

    The film flows in a reverse direction, the drug loses its effect and every bait comes out.

    Now saying that, for a debutant director George Clooney, this is an excellent achievement. It would be misleading, since this is an excellent achievement. But for any director. And I say that for the film juggles both humor and drama with such ease like even his, Clooney’s crime partners weren’t able to. And I am talking about Coen Brothers whose filmography in these genres never communicated to me. But I think he is deriving more from his old time buddy Steven Soderberg. The way he makes a hustle fun, it is simply inspiring. And Clooney has got that same sense of humor in his bones. From panning out cameras and using them as the gun to shoot jokes repeatedly is the best comic character of the film.

    Just take Brad Pitt and Matt Damon’s cameo for instance. I have never seen a better use of a special appearance or having famous celebrities as friends. And it might not seem in early stages, but it is vital to the plot line. The images, the punch lines, the expression, everything stays with you, just as it should, just as Clooney was hoping for. What film lacks is the commercial structure that builds up towards an antic and ends on the highest pitch it can achieve for a cathartic finale.

    Luckily, Clooney isn’t looking to satisfy the audience but himself. And that’s his big win. Obsession to please everyone didn’t take his film away from him, contrary to what happened to the lead character. Charlie Kauffman’s sharp screenplay and Sam Rockwell’s balanced performance are just another factors elevating the Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind. As an intense drama, the film only fully comes alive when it focuses on individuality, the loneliness strikes a jaggering thunder in those quiet moments.

     
  • Arth 18:38 on September 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The BFG 

    Rylance is an exceptional performer, not the meltdowns, but he makes the “good morning” count.

    I know that there are tons of visual effects studios that throws their fliers every month on your face gloating how far and above has the technology reached. I am not even rummaging around the storytelling and the quality of it yet. Just visual effects. Pushing their own selves, what they had achieved previously. Previous month, actually. Yet there is not that joy. That wow factor. If anything their definition of it has turned into incoherence. Shuffled up only to belittle us both mentally- that’s a pseudo effect though- and physically.

    That scale is the apt term to be used to describe the director Steven Spielberg’s dream project. Since the two main characters are of a completely different scale, the visual effects is honed in a way that this theme doesn’t get deteriorated amidst all the razzle dazzle. And the cinematography is factoring in on this majorly. Just watch the way even the slightest moment flows along with you. Picking someone up from here to there, that sums up the entire film.

    For that very germ of an idea sprouts the car chase game, the dream catching sequence, the recipe making metaphors to a delightful tea party. Not only we are reminded perpetually about the gravitas, the magnitude of the banality that the story moves towards, but also the fact that it is written by two childish characters. And if you won’t be able to filter out the difference. The film will come off a bit presumptuous. While it actually is meant to be. The dots connected are odd and questionable. The plot skips are actually not a narrative decision but a character description. The BFG is an odd cookie, a coffee doesn’t go with it neither does tea, the bubbles go up and a blessing rain is a curse.

     
  • Arth 18:34 on September 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Brothers Bloom 

    No one does it like Johnson, not even the past Johnson, what witheld him previously, is now boosting him calculatively.

    Johnson is my hero. Never has he disappointed me and neither will he- that’s arrogont and stupid. The writer and director Rian Johnson has a meandering plan in his mind. And with an experience like his, he gets it right out of his vision just as it was anticipated. Light hearted summer spectacle that is not only entertaining but immensely witty. And these are big shoes to fill. Plenty have come and gone and tried to balance the good old drama and humor duo. Luckily, Johnson has an excellent duo, enacting as brothers for life, Adrain Brody as the sombre romantic and Mark Ruffalo as the dazzling mastermind are a perfect match to Johnson’s dream. And this is to its most entertaining because he is a smart chap.

    He understands the psychology that a genre of such puts an audience into. That state of mind is just as sharp as it would be when you are say cheating on an exam or actually conning someone- those are the only two things I could come up with. This self appointed police always, always tries to belittle any plot twists and turns. And maybe Johnson being one, being a fan, puts a spin around the whole game and manages to stay two steps ahead of you.

    You can see him make moves, you can see him bluff, but you cannot catch him. The nuanced notions that you observe and speculate everything revolving around it is taken account in narration as well. And hence you get these little euphoric dose every now and then where Johnson discloses the curtains and the tail you think you were following was a practical joke. Back to zero. And it is that do over process that makes The Brothers Bloom a staggering display of proper character study.

     
  • Arth 02:14 on September 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Monos 

    It is a film that is not advised to see at night or day or alone, just stand on your toes.

    Alejandro Landes, the writer and the director of this adventure has a way too explosive nature to be coherent in his speech. And yet, everything is sound and clear by the end of the day. The images shown in the film might be the only balanced thing in his world. If it brags about the beauty, the spectacle that these humans are tested around, then there is also this pompous animosity on jolting down your eyes to the last meticulous dilemma one faces in nature. And it is harrowing frankly. The thriller isn’t thrilling. It is scary. The sadistic approach barrs not just rationality and loyalty but morality and ethical reasons.

    Reasons that helps not only us but the writer itself to structure its set pieces. For if there is no law or rules or any finite boundary, there will be no ecstasy at the end of the line. Yet, the group of characters that we are told about, does so. And not going against each other. It is not you standard slaughter house. But the lease that they keep breaking, from someone who is above them and above them and below them. And it is not just them doing this but someone robs them too.

    And now you are thinking that it is fair in this situation. This phenomenon just broke its first law. And in order to whip you or more accurately corner you, the writer takes a detour just to checkmate you. And now you are back to your position. And this is something that happens in the latter stage of the film. After which you realize that Monos is a hostage film. Not captured by some mercenaries but an idea that has apparently taken hold of everyone like a disease, a parasite that is killing us.

     
  • Arth 20:11 on September 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Gods Must Be Crazy 

    Is it a documentary? Is it a parody? No it is Coco cola.

    Jamie Uys is not particularly a good filmmaker. And he is directing, editing (we’ll get back to this later), producing and writing. But somewhere in between these lines, he makes an amusing storyteller. His film isn’t pitch perfect. It has the capacity to. It is the Airplane of the spoof movies. If you’re going to make a parody you have to go all in. And considering the fact that it can arguably said that it is derived from a documentary style. It would have easily gone far beyond Airplane. It could ground the audience, if necessary. And also it has an incredibly loving, generous, hardworking and more importantly innocent character on lead.

    And his nemesis is an empty glass bottle of “coke”. This unawareness. The innocence that it digs up while exploring that track of the storyline. I think it was misjudged a lot. If the makers had used this innocence, even if with manipulative nature, it would tear up any hard hearted being. But the film wishes to explore a silly love story. Which too works. Its goofiness is the real treat and not the elaborate setting of the jokes that breathes misunderstood chaos.

    And I would draw back to that alienated character- from the world the story is in contrast to- whose equation with every single character is flattering to you. Even his learning ability, he drives good both ways. Good enough to have a successful chase scene. Speaking of chase scene or cars or any wider shot for that matter, the editing is really unearthly. To shorten the runtime of The Gods Must Be Crazy the makers fast forwards the mundane activity instead of editing it out. And what’s baffling is that, I think it is a joke played on us, for by the end of the film we play along to all such debaucheries.

     
  • Arth 12:22 on September 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    One Cut Of The Dead 

    And I thought no one captured the team spirit in a way that Disney does, it’s an honor to be proved wrong.

    The screenwriter and the director Shinichiro Ueda has made a wrong film. It is not odd, but wrong. A film like this should never succeed. It shouldn’t even work. And yet against all odds. All methods. Procedures. Years of experience. History, to learn from. Inspire form. It is a beautiful film. Guillermo del Toro says that within the first ten minutes of the film, you can tell how the film is. And it is rare for a film then to change your mind. And this happens in here. But that was planned. The film is structured in a way to throw you off the hook.

    So when the time comes to grab you with both of its hands, the film never leaves you and your sight. And the makers does this by keeping an audience member, even us, at certain moments, in that shot. We are the uncredited character. And the most valuable one. If the first act, the One Cut Of The Dead, that first shot keeps us behind the camera, in front of the screen, where we are now, the fourth wall then breaks down as we start exploring the “making” of that act.

    And by then, a character is tagged for enacting like the audience, and his or her reaction is captured perpetually and shown to us. It may even drive your feelings as how you might take that scene. And it is satisfying for these characters to hold the film together- both the one in the film and the one itself- convincing us to participate and enjoy. And this is an important fabric of the storyline. For the last shot of the film is them taking a sigh of relief from working hard. That relaxation isn’t something you can achieve, if you don’t care for them or if you have not invested in the process.

     
  • Arth 01:51 on September 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Color Purple 

    By now, you shouldn’t even check your watch or wallet or anything, it always will be a Spielberg classic.

    Spielberg is a kind of filmmaker you can invest on for a longer period. And I don’t just mean it because he makes these long films. But because he can blend into any genre instantly. And it is not that he just qualifies for that project. He excels it. His durability is a dangerous skill that he carries so effortlessly. And usually the director Steven Spielberg is famous for working with props. And I was looking forward to this drama. And see how he binds this thick script with various personified objects. But there isn’t any. This disappointment is the best thing that happened to me. And to even the film.

    This is not your Spielberg film anymore. I think this is more Sergio Leone-isc. The faces are captured. Well, to be precise the emotions are captured. Call it a tensed phase of the film where you see a sweating face or call it an engaging phase where the eyes turn red and insults empower the rage or my personal favourite, a face whispering a peace sign when it was supposed to scream war. These close up shots is what’s decided by the director and is then, these decisions that sweetens the bitter pill.

    For no one is more present then Spielberg, himself on the set. He makes sure that you are there for that action. No matter how mundane an activity is. No matter if it is just shaving. The Color Purple isn’t painted bright by that intense background score or the sheer hatred that ignites the friction between two characters, it is those kids mimicking the actual activity, the shaving, with a leaf as their replica. Something so innocent, scientific and magical can only be present in Spielberg’s house. You better warm up, you have to stay for decades here.

     
  • Arth 01:46 on September 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Bad News Bears 

    Brace yourself for the finale, it is a nail biter, so what if it is rigged.

    Linklater has done it again. You’d think that a guy dedicating all his life to drama would repeat itself. I mean that’s natural. It happens. No one does it intentionally. And neither does he. The director Richard Linklater is iterating his iconic night once again in this sports drama. The get out clause that his signature style brings in, is entertainment. Living the current moment. Enjoying it. As much as you can. And this is how Linklater tackles the cliches of the genre. The endgame doesn’t matter anymore. That is not to say that he doesn’t work on a compelling narration.

    But now I think he invests willingly more for the distraction that it offers us. And if faking with such authenticity is convincing you, the filmmaking is of supreme quality then that you can only hope for. And Linklater knows that drive like a navigator. He knows all the turns. The ticks. The quick glances. The personification of an object. Everything that you see or you think you see is because Linklater stops time. And there is a half grin on your face with a hint of arrogance that you know where this is going.

    Now, this is where, once again, Linklater shows his big heart, generosity, for despite shattering your prediction, he never rubs it out on you. You are not robbed of that opportunity. That joyous moment that you thought you were going to have does come knocking at your door. It is just that it is not in the same face. It is a different face. It is Billy Bob Thornton’s. You are just not looking at him the same way. Bad News Bears isn’t looking at him the same way. Things are not funny nor intense, the light footed environment isn’t just a surprise but a satisfying experience.

     
  • Arth 20:34 on September 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari (The Cabinet Of Dr. Calgari) 

    An exceptional wreckage, if this was a physical destruction, it would have been a Roland Emmerich film.

    Robert Weine is often accused of blessing the cinema life with this first horror. And it is scary. Probably because it gives us very little time to breathe. Not in the sense that the film is compact or zooms out in front of us with a great pace. If anything it settles in just fine. Just fine enough to let the debates brew in your head. And it is a sci-fi in that very perspective. If it leaves our head spinning then also encourages to scratch it. And this does not follow an ethical dilemma. It is neither a scale of what happened or the aftermath of what has happened and instead is more like why it happened.

    And that’s why I am scared. That revelation haunts you. It is not actually the information revealed in the plot- well it actually is- but it shows you what it has been basing all these events on. And that measurement is jarring. For it does not, it never did follow a character but an idea. And when an idea is kept above the humans either coming up with it or passing on, then the world grows scary.

    Things get out of control and your fighting back reflection gets cornered into a survival instinct. Where if everything goes according to your plan, you live, not succeed but are just able to breathe. Remember, Weine doesn’t let you breathe. For an entire hour, this idea, the myth consumes you destructively. The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari is surprisingly visually aesthetic. Maybe, it is the version I saw, but the way the night and the sun is colored it honors the concept it has to breathe fear in, in each and every character along with you, the audience.

     
  • Arth 17:55 on September 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Man Who Laughs 

    A political satire done well, done so well that it haunts us even now, the truth is not afar anymore.

    Paul Leni, the early 20th century’s most ambitious director, creates an iconic figure, unknowingly. And I say unknowingly, for this was the era where Dark Universal had already animated varied creature or mutants or any other beast-alike figurines as a loving protagonist that sold tickets just as Marvel does now. To be fair, this interwoven storytelling was started by them, back then. And is now the hottest idea on a plate, easily a century later. And Leni might be singing along, if looked from above, to those successfully printed films. But there is a major difference in the way, he brings life to this more-than-human character.

    Something you can find in David Lynch’s classic The Elephant Man. And it is that the protagonist is never in charge of the room. The film runs and runs and never do you see him in control of anything or anyone. And this is how Leni draws empathy from you. That and, of course, Conrad Veidt’s sensational performance. And it would stand alone to those aforementioned Dark Universal films.

    For if they have an anti-hero in their driver’s seat, the complexity is right there and then, thickened by the plot setting. For you are with those characters till the last stop and their actions, if inadvertently then inadvertently, casting a chaos on society. And Leni is aware of that nature that his lead, The Man Who Laughs, possess. That duality that Dark Universal walks along all the way, Leni instead ignites it like a time bomb. A time bomb that you are waiting to tick off. No wonder that the comic book artists saw Joker in this potentially powerful character. That suppressed emotion was so powerful that it latter boiled out from the film and poured itself in the comic book, Gotham City and Batman’s radar.

     
  • Arth 15:44 on September 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Blinded By The Light 

    Just as The Boss and his music, the film has a rocking pace, it will surf right past you, smoothly.

    The co-writer and director Gurinder Chadha is only looking for a sweet film. And he makes it. Simple and catchy. The musical isn’t actually a musical and this drama isn’t always a drama and as far as a coming of age genre is concerned, you’d have to jump decades back to inhale it properly with a joyous smile and I don’t just mean plot wise but filmmaking wise too. First of all, let me come out and say that I may not be the person you should be listening to when it comes to this project- or any for that matter.

    Primarily, because there is a lot I can resemble, especially in its lead character. Not to say that I go through those exact series of.. whatever, but if it was 1987, I could easily see myself there. So why was this film buzzed so much other than for political reasons- that’s not a good thing to presume. Well, it is because the characters are three dimensional and the world is fairly balanced.

    These two factors that often film forgets to fill it in with, leads to a disastrous experience for the viewers. No matter how eccentric your concept is and how big a star you have in your pocket or how commercially fulfilling the film is. Basically, what film can actually honk you with, is to show that authenticity gets a much better, louder and loving response than break-a-leg attitude does. Also, there is the Eastern culture you get to explore with a hint of English-ness, not collided but physically separated. Blinded By The Light is an homage to Bruce Springsteen and his impact on every single being, music lover or not, his lyrics cut through all the pretentious trouble we every now and then think we have.

     
  • Arth 02:46 on September 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Hustlers 

    What they think that made it look not sexy, actually did, they needed a better guidance, that’s all.

    Lorene Scafaria, the writer and director, is a hustler. Similar to the film, we, the clients, are robbed shamingly. But what’s interesting is that the film loses at the end of the day. Not even looking at the intentions of the film, the film, as a story, had an extremely solid argument to walk through that Oscars table head held high. And instead the opportunity is not only missed but chucked away for cheap thrills and manipulative emotional blackmail. And this could have been a worthy Oscars contender and is instead just an Oscars contender.

    And I emphasize on how big a mistake they made, on going light on this material. What the film industry, in the last few years, had twisted and turned its way out to address the political correctness, is something that the film has in its pocket all along. So now, all they had to do was carve a compelling drama. And instead they are overcooking those same ingredients, that turns into a preaching to the choir tone, within the first act.

    The film craves for such moments. If anything it goes all the way around, just to create memorable scenarios, to the price of pacing. And it is not the pace I have an issue with, it is the two page script that is told magnanimously within two hours that I can’t just “whoooooo” around. The film is also hard to watch. Not for the justification it attempts to give its characters but also the justification that it doesn’t give to its characters. And it is not the narrative but the visualization of that crime scene that makes it horrible. For if told properly and rummaged around the files, dug deep into their homework, you will find a sweet spot to explore that would balance these Hustlers.

     
  • Arth 02:43 on September 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Downton Abbey 

    It does not happen everyday when a royal family comes knocking at your door, maybe that is why the night was so charming.

    The director Michael Engler is a proud member of the family. Jullian Fellows, the writer’s work can be a daunting task to hone into a linear narration. That, right there, is a success. That is not to say, the film is one. In fact, what you feel before entering the screen is exactly how you feel when you leave. There is no change, no convincing. This two hour special doesn’t change a dime. And the structure is both upsetting and the liberator. Time after time, snippets after snippets, the film bounces back from one character to another, juggling us, to whom (the characters), by the way, the writer feels this unexplainable urgency to weigh them down by a certain spectrum of emotion, which hisses back at him for its radical notion of being edited out as a cry for help.

    So much whining. So much screaming. So much gossip. What helps then is the urgency. There is also this rush. The pace. That has to be maintained. The unstoppable current that helps majorly especially when we, as an audience, are uncomfortable in that situation. The bratty nature breeds this behaviour. And this involuntary reaction does make sense. It is something we can all relate to.

    The theme of Downton Abbey is basically taking over your property, as in what makes you who you are, the comfortness, the homeground to your sport. And the writer is the real trickster. To satisfy the fans of the show, he is taking away everyone’s characteristic, teasing us, begging us to give it, give them back their identity and when he does, you are satisfied with the product. And it is a product. A commercial one. There is no doubt about that. The only “get out” clause, the excuse, the makers have is that it is done with some panache, that same arrogance that helped them build that castle.

     
  • Arth 22:59 on September 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Burnt 

    Plenty of dressing, plenty of sauces to choose from, the main course, though, is undercooked.

    John Wells has a troubling script in his hand. And it is supposed to be shocking. Steven Knight wrote the screenplay. You don’t expect something like this from him. Although, every word of the film is subtexted with his signature all over it. The film takes odd turns and you’d go, “Oh! Yeah. This makes sense.” And that is all the sense you are going to get. The director John Wells’ film is troubling for it never knows what it is. In present. What it breathes and feels. The film is well aware of the trajectory it has to follow. It is mapped out meticulously within the script. What it doesn’t know, is how to behave.

    More importantly, express. Tons of action in the film, the decisions made by the characters or maybe even improvised by the actors are incongruent to.. well, anything. You need double checking on what it just chose to do or be. Is this the storyline are we supposed to follow? Predictable in its entirety and messy in its root. The only one coming off as a winner is Bradley Cooper. He is given one eccentric character to portray.

    And he oozes power exactly how it is written on the paper. That is, once again, not to say that he is perpetually giving his best. In fact, the first act of the film is driven by him and it is in safe hands by then. His name is a myth that anyone would gladly love to listen to and gossip about. And he lives up to his reputation. He uses his celebrity persona, various charming tactics and passionately rude behaviour to overpower others. Burnt is about one character and all they had to do was hold on to him, they took him for granted.

     
  • Arth 22:56 on September 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Gold Rush 

    Always a delight to be face to face with Charlie’s love, I mean it is the foundation of the love stories we grew up loving.

    Chaplin is not obsessed on seamlessly flowing his content in front of your eyes. And there is nothing wrong with it. Maybe he comes from an era like such. Or the history that he has picked up. Not even others but his own. He came from those silent films. Intertitles are a part of a narration that he can never leave behind. Hence, the constant reminder of a story being told, beautifully parted but never a stream of success. Each act is to be set up, the introduction is then reviered into a plot dilemma solved by the characterization of those characters spiraling out the very first act.

    And hence, the writer and director, Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush is split into three acts. The home, the journey and the returning of the home. The film is oddly sketched for the last act is actually humorous. And the first two incredibly intense and moving. While the first one deals with human nature, the second one is a love story that I am gullible for; instead of its known manipulative nature, either way, the affection gets to you.

    And you know it was a milestone then, when almost a century later, now, you are in the hot seat for this couple to make amends as soon as possible. I would like to mention the brilliance of Chaplin’s sense of humor in the first act. He is carrying some big guns and dark sensitive material to post it as a character build up. But what’s captivating is how nuanced his humor is. How much aware should you be of your content to draw out impressive chuckles like these. Between two men fighting, where Chaplin is clearly not the guy with the muscles, all he has to do is get out of that situation and not actually get out of the room, that small section of the film is him dodging all the cliches.

     
  • Arth 03:46 on September 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Game 

    I use the word “bratty” for the way it is endorsed, there is no thrill if there is no empathy.

    Fincher’s bratty film is in no way near the genre it claims for. Not thrilling, nor mysterious, no drama. The only possible way it would fall under the section “crime” is if we arrest it for forging the documents on applying it under those above mentioned genres. That was way too harsh. So I should take some heat off and put someone worthy on the stand. And it is not the director David Fincher. He shouldn’t be blamed at all. I wouldn’t even call it his choice. And instead it is the writer whose desperate pointless venture of creating a mind bending experience for the viewers fails repeatedly in the film.

    And it grows annoying to be honest, after a while. The eye opening revelations are hair pulling disasters where the predictability is just a cherry on top. Where the only thing sad above the fact that Fincher has to keep all this mess togethers, is that someone talented as Michael Douglas has to go through the banal set of rules for The Game.

    Mostly, I find people around me gushing over the nail biting climax and to be honest I don’t mind the old flip and turn show. I couldn’t care less. No matter how much hard Christopher McQuarrie tries in Mission Impossible: Fallout, he could barely draw out a nod from me. But that is only because we know that those fireworks won’t ever glorify your night. The real crux is on how clean and precise you are on spiraling out the web of lies. Especially a film like this that has to keep its audience in the dark all the time. And that is why I love the first act of the film, it is properly polished, beautifully edited and smartly directed. The obvious things never go loud and if they do, they are intended to be.

     
  • Arth 02:27 on September 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Abyss 

    Cameron understands each individual emotion so perfectly, almost humanly, that you have to give in.

    James Cameron’s another sci-fi adventure surprisingly doesn’t resemble with Ridley Scott’s Alien but Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters Of The Third Kind; I know that’s a lot of name drops, but I am going to try and write about the film with as many references as possible. Like how the film also resembles with Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later in the sense that nature doesn’t behave as an evil entity (just as Anne Hathaway whispers it beautifully in Interstellar) but by the humans at the point of crisis.

    And it is simply moving to see a visual galore like such, fit in both socially and politically. Usually you’d have to enter a different screening for that amount of drama. Speaking of drama, Cameron is monetizing the film by doing something impossible even for now, I am not even going over the fact at what year was this released. Perhaps this has always been his style or motto or identity, he has always been ahead of both the technology and expectations of a movie goer.

    If he has kept his arms tied on pushing the boundaries as a narrator, he certainly directs then, all his guns towards the embroidery of that iconic fabric. While making such green screen CGI mashup, Spielberg has always said that he prioritizes his animation on having emotional bond with the audience. And Cameron with his wit is weaving a nail-biting drama from such technical aspects that you wouldn’t expect it to be anything beyond a distraction or a matter of panache. There is celebration with that technology, but surfing for almost three hours, he terrorizes the textual communication that we are told, comes from The Abyss. Now walking in the dark alone is really scary, but someone or something strange present in that darkness is on a whole new level.

     
  • Arth 23:57 on September 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Runaway Bride 

    Even when they slow dance after being with the audience for a while, I didn’t see any spark.

    The director Gary Marshall, I think, didn’t see this coming. And I know no one presumes the film to perform bad. But there is a certain level of expectations, a ballpark figure, a certain range that it would cover. This is a total disaster. And to be honest I can see what could be the birth of this idiosyncratic idea that it plants so proudly in this farm. But as I have always said an idea isn’t everything. At least we can agree in this show business by now is that no idea is stupid. The depiction of a smart idea done poorly comes off stupid.

    And no matter how stupid an idea, if executed carefully, we have seen such films turn classic instantly, take MASH for example- the Donald Sutherland one. But if a stupid idea is project stupidly, it’s a stupid film, in capitals; just as stupid as using this word these many times. Still I’d like to defend the film. And you can only do it with Julia Roberts, its finest asset colored totally lazy in the film. The film’s actual odd and even contradicting nature comes because of her character and still there is a lot to explore there.

    That is of course, not to say that the storyline in any manner justifies the decisions of the film. But for a brief period, her character shows us something profoundly mirroring to what our society whips us with religiously. And when that note, which is either rushed on questionably or the makers were not aware of the magnitude of its brilliance, hits the screen there is a comforting realization and surprise in our face that a film of this genre usually does not offer us. Runaway Bride is still a forgettable date movie, I mean I can’t even promisingly say that there is some chemistry.

     
  • Arth 20:41 on September 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby 

    An intense love story with a selective taste for a selected audience, I’m glad I made it.

    Ned Benson, the writer and director, sings a love song of two stanzas in this trilogy. A love story told from the perspective of both the partners, the film is properly balanced. Going through the script Benson’s most of the time is spent upon just doing that. Balancing it. And as much effortful it would be, it is equally easy on the screen. And that is his biggest achievement and probably compliment too. The film looks easy. It flows smoothly. The supporting characters makes sense, the conversations necessary and the circumstances falls into place naturally. And maybe that’s why the individual chapters speaks more to you. The complex nature of the other side is thrown right at your face which you aren’t expecting, especially in a film like such, of a genre like such.

    The film divided itself visually in two colours. These colors represent the nature of the characters that steers the film. For instance the blue shade that James McAvoy carries is the suppressed emotional background that never makes him decide anything. And if it does, it is not his favourite position to be at. He can’t choose. Jessica Chastain is quite opposite on that note. Her sunny shaded colour signifies the active nature of hers on that relationship, where her good or bad deeds and self-appointed position of choosing things; deliberately or accidentally, lights the fire.

    Him

    McAvoy did choose to be something and everything in every scene, the only common thing would be his moving performance.

    James McAvoy as a definitive, boundary lined, wanna-be-something is a difficult character to portray. Most importantly because I know a person like him and the vulnerability that he has captured is something that I connect with instantly. And adding more to the troubles, he is then, in the film, told to select what kind of a person he wishes to be, that part of this three part story is my favourite.

    Her

    Comparatively, the chapter achieves a higher ideal and why not, it has got some of the best conversation between Chastain and Hurt.

    Jessica Chastain is getting a fair share. And I say this for, Benson didn’t want to get the “her” side of the story wrong. You can see that clearly in the film. She is peeled properly and more sensitively. To be fair, her character has to cross two boundaries and while balancing both of these tracks parallel-y, you can feel Benson trying too hard. For that brief period, the film loses the grasp but it is a knee scratch in this war.

    Them

    Just for the performance and the chemistry, you can go through this therapy again.

    This final chapter- not actually- doesn’t serve a purpose beyond the fact that if you wish to know what actually happened. And as a result, you have to watch the first two chapters. But if you do, then 90 percent of the film is already in your pocket. Yet, with crisp clean editing, you can learn from the film, how a first draft of a script is edited out.

     
  • Arth 18:53 on September 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Ocean’s Thirteen 

    The “always a way out” attitude is saved by a coherent narrative arcs; phew, that was close.

    Soderberg made a fool out of us. All this time he was securing his third act while we were busy laughing at his jokes. The director Steven Soderberg has smartly managed to get out of the red zone of ending a trilogy on a satisfactory note. It doesn’t suggest that he won’t have to make a good film. It’s just that he will have to focus on this very heist. The previous didn’t matter, couldn’t matter, if they tried. These are the benefits of a stand alone films, and Soderberg has managed to carve that piece out for this trilogy. Mostly considered to be an improvement than the previous chapter, to me this one felt more obliged to fulfill certain needs than any other films.

    I know you are thinking that, now I am contradicting myself. But I am not stuck in a loop. The characters that are gifted with a hint of dramatic side takes a toll on the film’s up beating nature. Again, not to say that Soderberg doesn’t balance the drama and humor, if anything, he does it elegantly. But the film after choosing say “THIS” sort of narrative track, can’t just leave it hanging by, for the rest of the film.

    And I think that Al Pacino takes the blame for this phenomenon. His character unfortunately goes undercooked and hence never overpowers anyone, anywhere and anytime in the film. And that is extremely dangerous for the film that spirals out by his terror, when you don’t communicate with his menacing ideologies. The corporate formal world that he is arrogantly a part of, is smartly differentiated by the writers by giving him a blunt voice, but it is a drop in the ocean. It is never loud enough to make it ripple or make the Ocean’s Thirteen writhe.

     
  • Arth 18:50 on September 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Ocean’s Twelve 

    I know I come under a minority section, but I think that this chapter captured the essence of the cast perfectly.

    Soderberg’s second round and personal favourite was never actually shot. Or more actually it was just shot. Not planned, nor choreographed, no script, nothing. In the previous film’s shooting, the things that went out of control is all honed into this two hours of heist. And the dumbness that knowingly this cast, the writer and the director embodies, is the key to enjoy such humor. You have to partake in that groovy background score, half grinned face and annoyingly and irrelevantly prioritized topics that they discuss with deep analyzation and three dimensional perspective. Only if the making of the film was respected as those little things were.

    The director Steven Soderberg though, is bringing his A game on keeping these A list starter in lease, and what you find is similar to Damien Chazelle’s type of direction in every scene. But what I loved the most about the film is why it was criticized majorly. First of all, the myths surrounding these guys deeds in the previous chapter and to top it off, the bonkers ideas executed on screen. Luckily, Soderberg has an eye for framing this larger than screen idea and that is by never actually animating the action.

    After which, it seems easy, the idea seems plausible and for a minute there, you buy into the product. Another thing how it differentiates largely from the other two chapters, is the meta nature. Actually, saying that the trilogy turns meta isn’t enough. That would be understating things. Not only an entire act, the entire plan hinges upon the aspect of pointing out an actor while the film runs but even the jokes landed in the film are not actually for the characters but the actors portraying it. Ocean’s Twelve is a riot of laughter, the joke is not for everyone just as this once-in-a-lifetime of a cast isn’t.

     
  • Arth 18:48 on September 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Ocean’s Eleven 

    Start the car at your own risk, the getaway driver has another place to be.

    Soderberg’s smoothest and underappreciated trilogy started from this standard chapter. I’d like to think that this is very much in similar to Rian Johnson’s films. In the sense that the plot is incredibly thick and easily flamboyant in any circumstances it faces, as a result the storyline flips, turns, detours and shoots straight before reaching its destination. Now if a viewers isn’t in sync with the on going gag or banal plans, the final product might come off quite textbook. Now, I don’t know whether the script is written with such reverse engineering in mind or is always up for investing on engaging flim flams.

    The director Steven Soderberg has created history for me while making this trilogy. There have been plenty of multi-starrer films as such but none of them went by as swiftly as this one does. And the trick he uses is not to keep these characters linked scene by scene and instead the object that serves the objective. And then, face changes, agendas changes, plan changes and the team changes but the objective stands tall.

    Despite having an incredible cast, Brad Pitt and George Clooney are mostly standing ahead in the queue. And why wouldn’t they, their repartee, between a huge heist going down, about little thing is what makes it rain in this night. The small talks, the actual talks, the bone and not the meat of the material comes when Pitt and Clooney is waiting for something. Kind of like they are in between reality and fantasy, the past and the future, where they stand in present solving an entirely different solution. Almost as if that window is for you to see, not for the characters or even any other viewers, just for me. Ocean’s Eleven isn’t actually the name they came up with, it should have been called The Benedict Job, I mean they all agreed to it.

     
  • Arth 11:09 on September 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Kill Bill Vol. 2 

    The end of the line, no more circles, no more juggling, this circus show has a speech for its last act.

    Tarantino’s second and final volume of this gore-y tape is a profound quest for balance. I cannot emphasize more on how beautifully does this satisfying sequel carries the first one. If you were a bit squeamish in your first time, you will feel safe and more importantly enjoy this time- I’m talking about the film, The Film- with a neater narration in the driver’s seat. Although I’d say that the writer and director Quentin Tarantino seemed a bit insecure about this volume. For he had kept all the cards hidden for this round. And hence, it could grow hefty for the viewers. But then you should never complain for too much substance.

    For stylizing all the choreography on the other hand is Uma Thurman. By this half, she has sunken her teeth well enough to scare you. Her underrated performance knocks you down not by those one liners- never by them, in fact- or cool action tricks but sorrow and regret in her eyes, in her revenge when she claims it. That baffling response is surprising and human, tricking us into believing her. The film also covers the training of Thurman’s character which focuses on balancing the emotions.

    But I think it is the humble nature, the admiration that these so called “bad guys” have for the protagonist and the situation they find themselves in, is the actual nail in the coffin. Every kill, ever body that Thurman redeems tales something from her and us, and in order to portray that, Tarantino never rushes out the event. The calmness that these characters hold amidst the swooshing and whooshing of the cameras, never makes zero sense. The family in Kill Bill Vol. 2 that she returns to, that she is a part of, is familiar to us.

     
  • Arth 11:06 on September 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Kill Bill Vol. 1 

    Tarantino’s love for the color “yellow” is intriguing; understandable, but equally intriguing.

    Tarantino lyricizes violence in a groovy rhythm. You’d have to have a strong willpower to not cave into his admittedly derived and catchy style. The writer and director Quentin Tarantino is honoring B grade films. In this phase of his filmography, he, with his multiple times collaborator Robert Rodriguez were just goofing around and securing their childhood memories. Tarantino loves those comic book films, not the superhero ones, but the more simple, revenge based commercial cinema that gives its viewers a cathartic release on a weekend after they are pinned down by the entire world. But this “escaping from reality” film and the aficionado puppeteering this bloodbath show shouldn’t be taken lightly.

    Grounding the most elaborative action sequences is Tarantino’s finest mythological speech soldering the entire activity. In fact, Django Unchained, which is also created with keeping these very comic book stories in mind, doesn’t ever fully circles back to that “wham”, “bam” or “pow”. In this note, Kill Bill (Vol. 1) succeeds majorly. For instance, despite having three dimensional characters and complex “he says, she says” storytelling, the narrator keeps us in check and up to date with all the tracks zooming in front of you.

    Also, every single character is given a proper introduction, a stylish survey and slick one liners or quality to boast off. Take Lucy Liu’s storyline for a moment. If she is described, when she is described, the character isn’t bogged down by one emotion and isn’t showcased like a bad guy. If she assassinated a president, then he isn’t portrayed good enough for you to remove yourself apart from her. This is how Tarantino keeps in touch with his audience. He understands what the viewers might feel and would like to feel while going through an array of colorful destruction.

     
  • Arth 11:00 on September 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Amistad 

    I miss those old days and old actors that are ready to just let others take charge, just watch Matthew McConaughey inhale the court room.

    Spielberg has not written a long book. I know that it looks like it. But it is not. What it is, is a throwback to those old filmmaking style. And still it is not that. It still looks like a profound sci-fi space opera told with historical puzzle pieces that are mixed together for educational purposes. I mean I am not the only one saying it, even Anthony Hopkins in his final speech agrees with me. And you know what, for education. I will do it. I will go through it. I will sit by a whole three hour of lecture that is willingly participating on being user friendly.

    Something that my social science book never did. The director Steven Spielberg is easily the only person who can pull this film.. nay, the pace off. The pace or a screentime is something that never bothers me. I have all the time in the world. And more the film takes its time, the more I enjoy it. And a slow steady pace always intrigues me and half way through the film I got the gist of the game.

    The structure of the script is more like a do over process and when the film has to “bong!” the viewers that there is still an hour and a similar procedure to go through. What the characters are actually going through communicates with us instantly. Spielberg is a trickster in these matters. That courage that he asks from these characters and us, is a delightful conversation that is helmed by Anthony Hopkins in his room. And when Amistad starts breaking the fourth wall and looks into our eyes with a sharp wit and warmth that cradles us back to this historic event; I’d take it, I’d gladly take it, no matter how textual.

     
  • Arth 10:57 on September 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    French Kiss 

    It is going to take way too much for them to make me decrown Meg Ryan from being the romcom queen, they did try hard.

    Lawrence Kasdan, the director’s attitude towards this love story isn’t palpable to what it has to say. What gave it away, is the fact that he never sculpts it as a love story. There is your first loss. And like a domino game, all the other pieces fall apart like a joke. And why wouldn’t they. It is a Meg Ryan movie. What were you expecting! Her version of Star Wars would be goofing around Death Star. And you’d like it. No one plays an underdog like her. She carries that same arc of finding her voice, accepting her fate and waking up from the la la land dream in every film.

    And you’re up for it. Watching her go through this revelation with Tom Hanks or Billy Crystal or Tom Hanks, and is still a joy. Now that I feel like I should get off from the “I Love Meg Ryan” podium, I should start stabbing at this dull film that is enlightened only by Meg Ryan’s performance- last one, I promise. This odd film surprisingly gives a sweet “date night movie” feeling, considering the bigger picture. But if we dive in deep, it makes very little sense.

    And I am not even looking at the flaws. In fact I would consider its one dimensional world and its dogmatic approach to its characters a big win. It feels good to meet a simple defined-in-one-line world. What’s disenchanting is the transaction of the plot tracks and more importantly the genre. It claims to be one thing and then precariously jumps on other tone. And it is disillusioned in a sense that it never fools you- I know that, that is the definition. But you are always aware of the outer world, your reality, you are watching a film, French Kiss, which is clearly not worth Meg Ryan’s (somehow it is always her full name) time or yours.

     
  • Arth 10:55 on September 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Brothers Grimsby 

    A completely wrong film on all levels, hey, that’s an achievement.

    Louis Leterrier is an experienced action director. There is no action in this film. None. Usually whenever I dive in on Sacha Baron Cohen’s maniacal film, I try and give him the credit at first. But now that he doesn’t have his home team in his pocket. I could see the effect that it casts him and us, investing in this film. The project is light, lazy and effortful. Light as in the jokes are staged- just as the loud and cheesy elements that might help the characters later- and can actually be seen far before it punches, by then it is not funny. It is disappointing. Lazy, as in you’d think that the humor that he has based his fame on would evolve in say.. I don’t know, a decade!

    Effortful as in, at the end of the day, Sacha is a witty comedian and he understands that it is not working and hence all the sketchy sequences reeks of desperation. Desperation to pull off something inedible, offensive, out of the box and just straight out wrong. Another thing I cannot stop myself from noticing was the cast. Sacha has got a big cast. He is a big name. He has a responsibility under his name and peer pressure to respect his fame.

    And no, it has not made him sober, he is still high on his dark humorous vocab that made him who he is. But there is something definitely missing, that I cannot put my finger on. He is unstable, surely and incredibly dutiful on passing a major theme. Speaking of which, usually the crass jokes are weighed in by a nuanced eye opening message. But in this espionage comic thriller, even that too is missing. The Brothers Grimsby looks like a tell tale of his, Sacha’s, own filmography, I’d rather go back to Borat who was so 2006.

     
  • Arth 10:52 on September 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Mama 

    Chastain has an electrifying guitar in her hand, too bad she never plugs it in.

    Muschetti walks over that beautiful thin line between art and commercial cinema. Now, serving and satisfying everyone’s appetite with “something for everyone” attitude, the co-writer and director Andy Muschetti has managed to please a larger chunk of audience with his method. Personally, I never fall for his tricks or treats. Primarily, because in order to please everyone he isn’t fully accepting any aspect of his fate, his world to be precise. It is a standard issue. His characters are always respected. Ergo, his actors gets a good amount of screentime that might as well be sent out straight to the Academy for their consideration.

    And is also probably why it speaks to the audience the most. If there is a battle between the richness of the world and the complexity of the character, usually the characters that we see ourselves in, wins over by a larger margin. Only few iconic films like Blade Runner has managed to cut right across that theory arrogantly. And the result is evidently bombastic. But we are going off track.

    Mama is the kind of a debut project coming from a filmmaker that puts all his ingredients in one pot. And I found the practical dilemmas, the court case, the family drama and the sincerity of the seriousness through which it shifts the responsibility of a sensitive element much more convincing. The first act is spent upon just introducing the characters and choreographing the subplots into a bigger picture. And that realization of “oh, this is that kind of a film” has its own joy in this horror. And if it nails the dysfunctional family- if we can still call it that- it completely takes the fifth amendment right on justifying the fantasy it is blended with. To add more troubles, it is not scary, the visual effects takes away the heat.

     
  • Arth 10:50 on September 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    It Chapter Two 

    Digging its own hole, the story tries to revisit the same set pieces with a catch that the characters are “new”, unfortunately we are not.

    Muschetti’s second and hopefully final swing at this Stephen King’s classic novel is one big homework. The only advantage in the director Andy Muschetti’s corner is that we love this subject. It was a hot topic and will stay a hot topic. Also not to forget, King is the source here, and for someone who hasn’t gone through that heavy, heavy book, the character arcs and the mythology might fascinate the viewers. But if the novel is taken into account then this looks like a shady commercial rip off of something malevolent that is poorly mimicked into a bad joke. If that was the point of applying the CGI make-up then get ready for an entertaining night.

    Another thing I’d like to mention is the elaborative nature of the script. It is obsessed on giving time and space to each character resulting it into a long separately sketched horror show that is clearly not worth the scare it wishes to forge; call me old fashioned, but I am one of those who doesn’t believe in scaring people with visual effects, nothing gets me like witty practical jumps.

    Now, this also brings out the inadequacies of the assembled pieces that never for a second floats. I stand by it, I still haven’t found the replacement of Steven Soderberg’s smoothness on projecting a multi-starrer not-a-film-but-a-trilogy. The “barbaric” theme pops out every now and then in the film. I mean the grievous behaviour of the film. The cruelty as an excuse for the screams is a good idea. Maybe, even a great one. But it is the irrelevancy in the scene and probably the unfathomable necessity that the makers find to justify the characters’ trauma, is largely off putting that puts it in a trial of questioning of (IT)s existence.

     
  • Arth 10:48 on September 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Primal Fear 

    I was rooting for everyone except for the newcomer and then Norton started taking charge of the energy in the room.

    Hoblit makes an excellent courtroom drama. Surprisingly, none of his films ever contributed anything new to that genre. In fact, I am just gonna come out and say it, it never even delivered what is already out there, well and established. A film that is so textbook and standard in its approach towards the characters and their arcs and their characteristics, you’d hope for it to at least gift you what you expect. The director Gregory Holbit doesn’t throw such parties. His parties are a celebration. Celebrations that are completely misinterpreted and misunderstood, in what makes a celebration.. well, a celebration- I cannot stop using the word, celebration.

    So how does a best selling novel, trending set of genre and an incredible cast prints a messy product out in the market? The answer is the laziness. Take the encounter of Frances McDormand and Laura Linney in the courtroom, later in the film. What should have been a hair pulling and nail biting scene, is instead played like a sloppy exhaustion of some labour work. The makers understands that antic smartly.

    But never thinks of earning that moment in any dimension. It is enjoying too much with its sassy attitude, gloating for that undeserved achievement- at least that is what comes off in the end- to ever cast an impact. Which by the way, also turns out to be the role of Richard Gere as a complex lawyer in the film. He is enjoying too much to make you care for him and to add more into his troubles, he doesn’t particularly have the most empathetic role in this case. Primal Fear will always be a symbol for seizing an opportunity to me, Edward Norton never lets go of his insatiable Joker-alike dual persona on the screen; it didn’t speak to me as well as it did to others, but it definitely marked him on the map.

     
  • Arth 20:24 on September 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Good Time 

    A smart thoroughly thought out heist that goes wrong just as it was expected and planned.

    The Safdie Brothers are smart chaps. In fact, they are very good at conning you. You’d think that it works well with their throwback genre to those neo-noir film, but it has actually got nothing to do with it. I bet that if they made a rom-com with a similar outline, you will be jolted with the pleasures of euphoric experience. There are plenty of heavy themes that sets it all on fire, but considering the sideline political satire that the films excuses its way out in narrative is incredibly poignant and sharp. For instance, Robert Pattinson is cornered in a situation in a park at night and in order to get out, he uses racial tension among the police to walk out safe and sound.

    Now this is how you should actually address an important notice to the society, not to endorse, but frame it as an inseparable purpose of the storytelling. Speaking of Pattinson, his wide eyed sinister-y look captures the essence of the unsustained energy ball wandering or released out in the world by us, is a straight out fascinating pull off, that I will be honest, was not ready for. But we are getting ahead of ourselves, as much as space the film offers to its actors, the film is immensely invested on disenchanting you with its tricks.

    Every step of the way, every act, the script is always contradicting their own and your theories of where to go with whatever they have in hand. And is probably why the title Good Time is an amazing achievement. For this is an exhausting experience. In a sense, that by the time they are done with you and the characters, the deliberately tedious job or duty that they fulfill gives you an unnerving relief when it let goes off the tiny materialistic possessions. We have something promising here and also surprisingly satisfying.

     
  • Arth 16:03 on September 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Lost City Of Z 

    The performance is exceptionally and deliberately messy in contrast to the coherent world; what a great match!

    Gray is a beautiful filmmaker. You know that idea of sipping your warm coffee on a rainy Saturday evening and reading a book, that is romanticized in every frame of the film. And if you thought Quentin Tarantino novelizes his films, you have a whole different animal to confront in this incredible journey. Just like a book, this film has a prologue, an epilogue, a first act, a second and a third act. And what keeps a book vocal and engaging are, of course, the dialogues and these narrative decisions of letting these characters take control of the room is what keeps us invested.

    And this is where the screenwriter and director James Gray scores majestically that delights him and us with little nuanced wins. And in a journey as long as such and character complex as them, you fall in love everytime you are gifted with it. And who’d have thought that what usually is the obligatory part of the storytelling will be crafted as the peak of that act. Which brings me to the next event, something that is already in front of your eyes, but you never capture it.

    The genre that Gray claims so adorably- yes, adorably- is incomprehensible if even thought of. These are the films that should be commercially successful, you feel that grandeur-ness that is touched by art in every imagery, you’d want such projects to helm charges and not a bunch of Halloween costumes wearers. Not to say that they are not worthy, it is just that you shouldn’t be leaving the screen reminiscing that this won’t ever make it to the top. The Lost City Of Z is hopefully justified by me in these words, as I too tried to write it like a book, not some rendezvous point in a circle but an end of a line.

     
  • Arth 13:14 on September 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Bruno 

    Borat was definitely 2006 but this one is much before than that, it is good that Sacha has a get out clause in his pocket.

    Once again I have to- it’s like a rule or something- mention Sacha Baron Cohen’s name at first. This is not just bold filmmaking. It is just brave. That is all. Simple and clear. But watching these films of Sacha’s has made me realize that these films have a surprising comfort in their language. His signature style is famous for the “out of the box” ideas, that he weaves just for the gasps. But there is a lot to that kick that he gets on earning a simultaneous one reaction as such in a room. He is incredibly witty in that very fabric of his vocab. And he has got quite a range. It looks easy but that’s how good he is.

    For instance, take the interview regarding his single parent lifestyle that comes later in the film. Now, it is very easy to go on and offend a group of people. But as Bill Burr puts it so elegantly that the art is to try and offend every single community in just one message. And Sacha is up for that game instantly as you enter his room.

    The reason why I liked this project of his more than The Dictator is because it is one of those films that you don’t know where or how it is going to end. And that excitement is something you don’t get in the films nowadays. That excitement is why and how Marvel films manages to keep you at the end of your seat- in your first time watching- as it wraps up the film in locations, stages and images you don’t know it is to lead or end on. Bruno is a lot like Disney’s Dumbo!- stay with me, please- for what he has been running away from or has been considering as his biggest doom, turns out to be the key for his “salvation show”– it’s a Neil Diamond reference.

     
  • Arth 09:39 on September 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Ready Or Not 

    It is not the game and not the rules, it is just that you are not ready for this, you don’t want to be.

    Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, the director and the creator of the film and this incredibly catchy rituals and traditions are gathering crowd like a social media site. And the sad news is that it stays exactly that and never anything more than that. And the hard pill to swallow is that the entire film runs on an incredibly apt metaphor in this political correctness era and yet it never grows beyond that very fabric of its core nature. There just isn’t enough substance to explore. And they had an incredible amount of space to fill in their blanks with straight sharp bullets and instead they are focusing on the humor.

    The absurdity of the premise is mocked thoroughly in the film. Which now puts us in a dangerous position. The information revealed to the lead character Grace played by Samara Weaving is something unfathomable. And hence her reaction to that circumstance is and will always be a surprise to us. If she finds it terrifying or maddening or humorisc or any other emotions, we would always be new to it.

    Now the only thing comforting in that stage is, if we are convinced to what she is going through. And the performance takes the heat away from it. Resulting into a dry game show for us, that is malleable but is also too loose to stand on its own generic horror elements that it claims to have. Now, going back to the political correctness aspect, what film does nicely is not endorse it and just speak smoothly about the scenario we and the characters are dealing with. And the proof of that is the randomness and the “fate” aspect of the plot that polishes it neatly. Ready Or Not, they are going to play the game and it is going to end up exactly as you’d think it would, not it should.

     
  • Arth 23:12 on September 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Dictator 

    It sets the timer off with its own jokes, it is a self created doom, at least there won’t be any regrets.

    I would like to give the credit to the director, Larry Charles and he should get it, for he is managing this entire project. But I feel like this is his (Sacha Baron Cohen) doing all the way. From start to finish, from low to high points, from head turning away moments to screen shutting moments, he loves zapping you with bizarrely wrong information. That is his kick. That is his humor. Sacha is famous for going against the opinions of.. well, the entire world. He has to be completely wrong. And for that he must know what is actually right. Now, this is where his subtlety and smartness actually pays off.

    For his humor isn’t just crass or offensive or edgy. It understands the day to day issue that each comic writer goes through while dealing with the obligatory aspect of the storytelling. The obligatory section is where you have to mold the structure of the film in a certain way in order to reach the goal. Now, understanding that very equilibrium gives him leverage over the command that he orders to now distract you.

    He is aware of the fact that you are eventually watching a film, a comic one, in particular. And he manages to mock even those elements that not only is just smokes and ashes but is thought provoking and witty. I still don’t know what sign was he looking towards when he made up a fake name in front of the police. Another repeating gag is Anna Faris and the way she is dressed in the film. All those references that he uses to describe her will remain the highlight of the film for me. The Dictator is a good anecdote that would work better in a talk show or as a stand up gig than it doea in or as a film.

     
  • Arth 23:11 on September 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Brick 

    Johnson’s job is so polished, clean and smart, that it takes you a while to understand the ruthlessnees it speaks about.

    Johnson is a fanatic for the action. Mind you, this is not the action that one often misunderstands it for. It doesn’t punch its way out. It doesn’t want to. Unlike Brendan played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the protagonist, who is drunk in his guilt and is ready to take any sort of suffering or punishment in this investigative journey that he calls, salvation. The writer and director Rian Johnson’s action is an action. Any form of activity, physical activity that normally is a heartbeat fastening experience for you in real life and is a “meh” sequence in a cinematic life.

    So now, his priority is to make this crime drama world practical enough for you to believe the hype, agree to those standard rumors and carry the weight of the stakes it actually oozes. How do you pull this off? You would think that Johnson would direct his gun towards empathizing his characters. Instead, he defines the boundaries pretty close to reality. For a film that deals with murder, drug trafficking and Mafia-alike privatized gangs, Johnson doesn’t let go of tiny stuffs like bunking class, detention threat and rep sheet.

    These actual issues that a studying teenager would and does worry about, then elevates the bold decisions of his on say.. chasing a criminal, fighting a bigger, stronger bully, deliberately walk in on a troubling scenario- the way he keeps insisting on fighting despite being brutally beaten, that arresting personality is brilliantly portrayed by Joseph- or the final test, taking someone’s life. That final part grounds the film more than anything considering how pure his revenge based emotions are, in the entire film, it is actually what drives him, more than even the curiosity factor. Brick is a hefty, heavy, bone-y pill to swallow, it is not for everyone, but then it is not made to.

     
  • Arth 23:09 on September 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Carrie 

    It is a short, short tale about big people, heavy message and huge caliber of cast passing on the envelope.

    De Palma fascinates me. I love his fascination over the slow motion shots. For it is easily the most difficult thing to own and it is also the cheesiest cinematic experience you can offer to the audience. Many have come and gone and very few have managed to walk that very fine line. And I think the director Brian De Palma is up there, along with Quentin Tarantino whose old style filmmaking brings it out in him. Take Once Upon A Time In Hollywood or Kill Bill or Django Unchained. Compared to him, De Palma’s decision is safer.

    If Tarantino is just celebrating, gloating, bragging in these shots with volume of his favorite song turned to maximum, De Palma is actually passing meticulous information, justifying his choice and keeping us engage with a spooky background score that takes over the audio. And I feel that just like The Untouchables and Scarface, the entire runtime- it is incredibly short and swift- is building towards the final slow motion showdown. And IT WORKS. You are with him throughout that sequence, biting nails, widening your eyes and shortening your breathe, it is a beautiful experience.

    Now, this also brings up the performance. The choreography, production and all the set pieces ought to be in sync when things are going slow, but the first and foremost priority is the performance. You have to have the best team to pull off this heist and he has got Sissy Spacek bringing this iconic role alive on screen. Flamboyantly rigid in her body language and her facial expression, she is surprisingly pulling this film up to a whole new level. For despite of Stephen King being the source, horror being the genre and tragedy being the case, never for a moment I felt uneasiness or physically distant with Carrie.

     
  • Arth 12:18 on September 2, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Puzzle 

    The compactness is missing, ergo the procedure comes off slow, not the pace but the disclosure of the layer.

    Turtletaub has a whole different problem to solve at first. It is painful to see him work his way out. Probably because he didn’t dig it up. This is coming from the script. Not to say, he isn’t to be blamed. The director Marc Turtletaub ought to and has to place himself as a bridge, productive, helpful, comforting catalyst simplifying the complex themes attempted to score by the writers. And what makes it more sad is that the actors on the other hand are diving deep in their roles, embodying a troubled personality fluently. Kelly Macdonald as a catholic women is something I don’t get completely but am in sync with what she is announcing without a podium.

    Her sweetness, I-am-sorry attitude and easily-influenced personality is what’s essentially grabbing us. Convincing us to stay on the track for when she hits the train and goes rogue, those very behavior darkens the tone in the film. Irrfan Khan is the supporter, her partner and that is what he stays. All the time, all the way. He is the perfect anecdote to the world she has been revolving around.

    She states it clearly when she defines him, he is not like anything, anyone she has ever come in contact with. This is where the film gets stuck into another issue. It desperately needs a narrator. The characters often goes irrelevantly loud, guiding us where, what or in which state they are. Unfortunately, the core equation, between Khan and Macdonal, is the very relationship that never spoke to me. You feel skipped, left out and rushed away from making sense. There is very less justification, in the sense that not everything might line up, smoothly. It shouldn’t be this hard for us to believe in the experience that they share, they go through, it shouldn’t be a Puzzle.

     
  • Arth 09:44 on September 2, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Raising Arizona 

    I don’t get the mixture of these many genres at all, I feel unsatisfied and left out from a whole lot of something.

    Coen Brothers’ joke is not something I get. I like the humor they have. I get the joke. But it cannot just be the joke. At the end of the day, it is a film. And it is not particularly the joke that I have an issue with, but it is framed that way. I cannot help but blame that at all. The writer Joel and Ethan Coen sat down to write a classic. That was in their mind. It is frankly clear. Take the set pieces, for instance, that they have created, going out of their way, for either a laugh or an awe. The prologue that eerily resembles with Pixar’s Up and also has an equally intimate epilogue to finish the circle beautifully.

    But it is the troubling journey that’s not captivating as we’re promised to. No matter how artistically they are flexing their muscles. The stops are the real issues. The narrative is put on hold when the joke is told and we are told to laugh separately before they start resuming, running, chasing and bickering. Speaking of which, the major laughs are drawn from the reaction that the lead couple offers us after a shocking information is revealed.

    Not for us, of course, but for them. Holly Hunter who cries, nay snobs, on demand is the one driving the emotional car. She is doing most of the heavy lifting when it comes to express the views or the state of the couple. Nicolas Cage on the other hand is playing the macho con artist who suppresses his way out of life and walks it off calling it a bad day and bad luck. And blending these two in one room in Raising Arizona, spirals a pretty standard married life oozing the issues that we’ve all known, experienced and agreed or disagreed to.

     
  • Arth 06:42 on September 2, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Poltergeist 

    It is more to be discussed than experienced, if only it had the sassiness that it was building towards.

    Hooper is a messy filmmaker. He makes messy films. Full on. Widen your imagination as much as you can and he has got that too. Blood baths, annoying amount of screeching and screaming and more cringe worthy images than probably necessary. All of this comes under his recipe to make a fine horror film; a classic to be honest. The director Tobe Hooper has Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais and Mark Victor as writers in his backroom and there are no regrets. And Spielberg is going all the way in on his signature emotionally cheap family drama dose that works, as always, all the time in the film.

    In fact, that is the only thing binding this unholy spirited house with one single thread. For daft performance, cheesy visual effects and dogmatic opinionated characters are pushing the film out of the window whenever they get the opportunity. And adding to those teary sketchy scenes is the mythology weaved as a narrative. And even though it’s rigid and arrogant in its views, there is enough room for you to rest comfortably.

    Just the whole portal and the other dimension and the way it functions, every bit of that aspect of the storytelling is squeezed properly for a satisfying experience. The horror, the humor and the drama, it checks off this list boldly whenever it faces its demons. It also concerns for the generation gap, property investment, gullibility, misuse of resources and taking it all for granted, into account to ground the film with deeper resonant themes. The supporting characters are also saving this illegal activity surprisingly and smartly. I mean, the guests entering this haunted house are more comfortable than the ghosts, the Poltergeist, demanding not equal, but all the rights to the land that they supposedly own- talk about a bad investment and a bad day.

     
  • Arth 02:59 on August 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Taxi Driver 

    Scorsese’s film is hauntingly beautiful, there are few scenes that I don’t understand, maybe, I am not ready for it.

    Scorsese is a filmmaker that is ready to get his hands dirty. Who else will be a better contender then, than him, to sculpt this street life into a thorough character study. And it is exactly that. You can describe it as an exemplary political satire or the essential whipping of the tiring social conduct that we are daily told to go through. To me, it will always be a good character study. For a guy who spends easily half his day alone, confined within the four walls of my room, I can say I am really impressed by the way how Paul Schrader has explained him (Travis Bickle) on the paper, the director Martin Scorsese has executed him on the screen and Robert De Niro has played him in that room.

    You can see the entire cast and crew excited to explore the darker side of the streets, giving it justice to what has led this here. And it is not just the present form of these scenarios that Scorsese wants to focus on. There is a road ahead (the future), De Niro present in the driver’s seat and the mirror (the past) that he gazes upon every now and then.

    What I love the most about this film is how spontaneous it is. The second half, the last hour of the film feels like a one big climax ready to roll its credit any minute now. De Niro has no endgame in his mind and he is taking big life changing decisions, every day, leaving us at the brisk of our emotions, teasing us to scream out loud. The actual plot, the so-called evidence of a thread of narration that Taxi Driver offers us as a compensation, is something I don’t even need. The film had won me over far before all the redemption, salvation, sacrifice and nobility theme, the conversation between his fellow drivers is a circle I happily merry-go-round around.

     
  • Arth 01:57 on August 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Ladykillers 

    It is sad to see Tom Hanks do that and that and also that, everything in fact.

    Coen Brothers love comedy. They have easily made almost the same amount of comedy as they have printed dark gritty action drama. And here comes the sad confession. I have never understood their joke. Ergo I could never respond to their comedy drama in their entire filmography. Adapted from William Rose’s novel of the same name, the writer and director Joel and Ethan Coen are barely able to draw a nod from us. In fact, I am going to say that they never do. Not for a frame, not for a joke, not for an element and not for a character.

    The film is a compilation of dull scenes stitched together and dressed for representing the cartoonish element in their behavior. Oh, the film is also flat emotionally. So there’s that to mourn too. I don’t even know where to start from. The structure of the script is textbook. In addition to that it is brimming with overstuffed and overstretched cliches. It breathes, nay.. it screams every bit of heist genre as there ever was or is.

    Different characters from different ethnicities representing or holding onto a specific set of skills or more precisely filling up the necessary details of the plot. And then comes the plan. The planning of the plan, the execution of the plan and all the things that are obviously to go wrong in that flawed plan. Another disadvantage is empathy in characters. Each character has the tendency to bring humor on the table by praising himself or herself. Now there is nothing wrong with that. It’s just that there isn’t enough room for the other side of the argument to fill in on the joke, i.e. the characters are left one dimensional and hence impossible to connect with, not to forget the title of this team too, The Ladykillers.

     
  • Arth 23:24 on August 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Sixth Sense 

    Among very few filmmakers, Shyamalan marks his name on succeeding in his very first film.

    Shyamalan has a definite language. Like all filmmaker should. But I think his is so particularly specific that he cannot help carve that piece of pie in a slow sensual way. That delicate touch. It is important to him. Important for exploring a sensitive subject as such. Accepting your fate. What you are. And it is something that everyone finds it difficult to go through. And it is also something everyone has to go through. Now the reason why people find the experience difficult or horrifying, if I may, is for the obvious element of surprise. Ergo, the writer and director, M. Night Shyamalan’s debut horror film isn’t just a drama or a horror but also mysterious.

    The suspense is exhaustingly intense. You’ll be sweating. And a huge amount of credit goes to the emotion that shadows each characters and the performance that overshadows that very content. And in lead, Haley Joel Osment is the surprise package whose empowering bursts are nuanced and jaw dropping. For instance, when he runs away from the situation or the condition he is trapped in, a kid is to, has to express his fear.

    And mixed with his fear, the pseudo effect is him tearing down, sobbing with the expected fear, the awareness of the tragedy he is doomed to live with. Maybe that is why he is the hero of this tale. He has already accepted his fate. He is ahead of other characters. All he is doing, is waiting for them to catch up, along with us, the audience. And is also why he is sensible and mature considering his age. The Sixth Sense has all five senses heightened up for the cinematic experience, awareness, fear, acceptance, medicinal help and communication. A key for a good socially functional family that our protagonist is about to start.

     
  • Arth 18:41 on August 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Raging Bull 

    Bless the time, the passion and the boldness, it is a scary 11th round, it is vulnerable.

    Scorsese’s career defining fight is as brutal and impressive as it sounds. Often referred as a classic by the critics, this gritty drama signifies the director Martin Scorsese’s genius on filmmaking and his power on the pop culture world. Calling this film or particularly the character dark, wouldn’t be enough. The range or the scale that it grasps in that department effortlessly is what’s scary. And that is what the film does for the most part of its time. Surprisingly not in the ring against his opponents but in the house with his family.

    The fights are just setting up the state of mind, just preparing him for the actual fight that he is going to start so effervescently back in real life. And it is an ugly, ugly game that they fight for. It is not everyone’s cup of tea. I might be one of them. I admire the rich visual storytelling gift that Scorsese has. Just take the way he plants the premise of the plot in your head. The love track of Jake (Robert De Niro) and Vicky La Motta (Cathy Moriarty).

    Now, it is based on an outrageously wrong theme, but we aren’t told to go there at all throughout the course of the film. And then when it comes for devil’s due, every single wrong deed haunts him back. Which is cathartic for the people loving this genre. While me. I am tired of seeing some con artist or a morally bad person excelling in his or her field only to collapse with his or her built empire. By the way, that sums up half of Scorsese’s filmography. Maybe that’s why I never connected emotionally with Raging Bull or any of his films, it’s not that it is bad, it is exceptional filmmaking, but it’s definitely not for me.

     
  • Arth 12:17 on August 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    New York, New York 

    The mixing of genre isn’t confusing, it’s just not palpable for either of the soundtrack.

    Scorsese’s take on the musical genre is so Scorsese that I find it amusing at first rather than impressed. For almost three hours, each frame, characters and elements are yelling proudly that they are in the director Martin Scorsese’s film. Yet, with his signature method and skillful techniques, this is a troubling and unsettling film. In a way, it is orchestrated to be. But then it is also orchestrated to be a delightfully eye opening adventure. This is how he treats this love story as. An adventure. Thrilling. Conning his way out, Jimmy Doyle played Robert De Niro is told to be up front on the stage as the manager who controls the energy of the room.

    He holds an incredible amount of energy in him, and is bouncing across the frame like an energy ball ready to rock, roll and burst. And if he is holding that impressively attracting part of the argument. Francine Evans played by Liza Minnelli gets a better deal. Whatever Jimmy is doing to himself, others and the film, it is affecting majorly to her just like an audience. The only difference is that she gets to speak up.

    Which then creates this intensely throbbing and stereotypical couple’s fight keeping us at the end of our seats, satisfied. To pack a gusto, in his work, Scorsese has embedded issues like personally or physically unstable and professionally vulnerable situations to checkmate his characters as much as he can. And it works. The only thing that we forget in that moment, is that it is a musical. And every now and then, it has to groove, either with a sad air in the room or a celebratory champagne in the hand. New York, New York is probably titled for the best, it couldn’t have craved for more drama and got away with it, by any other name.

     
  • Arth 03:17 on August 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The King Of Comedy 

    I should be worried, all I do, all day, is picture myself being interviewed by Conan and pampered by the audience.

    Scorsese has once again got hold of a people pleasing concept. The film endorses itself, comically tragic and famously opinionated, in the sense that the film speaks the inner voice of the common man. And it is a timeless classic. Perhaps this is why, even decades later when Todd Phillips commands the very subject in Joker, the topic feels fresh and is trending like any other hip and happening theme in this post social media era. But what’s to note here, is that the fame has always been this cryptic mythical entity that everyone wishes to crack in a night. The hangover is too heavy to be shaken off by someone or something from the outside.

    And this is what the first half of the director Martin Scorsese’s ambitious and controversial project runs on. And it is a very slow and steady procedure that he wants us to go through, almost like a therapy. Even the dream like sequences where Rupert Pupkin played by Robert De Niro assumes only the ideal situation. In those scenarios too, that are actually installed to speak more about the characters and its ideologies, De Niro is repetitively whipped by the dose of reality to see the line differentiating right and wrong.

    And his entire character is based on that blurred factor that he is incapable of recognizing. Even in his stand up bits, the one-liners and the stories he mocks is just showcasing the sadistic outward look that he has towards his own life. And that is why we feel empathetic towards The King Of Comedy. For he is self obsessed. He doesn’t account other’s life and hence also doesn’t have a sadistic approach towards their priorities or importance. This thrown penny that is seen in De Niro’s panache is hungrily grabbed by us, it represents that tiny part of our life that we all dream of.

     
  • Arth 02:13 on August 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Crawl 

    It is a money well spent expenditure, for the makers not exactly for the viewers.

    Aja understands the script better than anyone. As he should. The director Alexandre Aja is aware of the trajectory that leads these characters and us towards the climax. And it is that ammo of his that he uses at the sign of danger. If the film walks a toddler walk, Aja is pulling tricks left and right to not let it fall or fumble. And it doesn’t. The film maintains its productive sensible pace as the elements topple one over another, scaring us using the game of numbers. Yes, it is good to see math involved in a commercial horror film. Let’s take the basic setting for example.

    The plot kicks in after the characters gather up in one location. Now, the makers to elevate the fear of our hosts uses the outnumbered logic to corner them. Being aware of the fact that you are to be drowned by a series of creatures, he isn’t revealing this information all at once. That discovery is itself scary. And it is not just that measurement but the amount of water that they are fiddled by like a toy or even various insects crawling over them.

    These tiny aspects of the genre keeps us engaged and entertained. But now this is where the film gets stuck. For beyond the B grade pop cultural theme, there is no other layer to look for. The crux of the emotional punches is the father and daughter relationship that never communicated with me. When something so vital as this fails to hold on to its promises, the drive or the dive that makes these characters keep jumping or sacrificing or saving is like an empty gun fired across the room for attention. Crawl doesn’t crawl literally but it surely does crawl metaphorically; I know that’s a cheap shot.

     
  • Arth 03:42 on August 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    What If 

    To me, it started as a date movie, and then ended up being entirely different, something more.

    Dowse does not seem like a complete fanatic for the mushy gushy romance that Hollywood is infamous and criticized for. He doesn’t particularly love the idea of a rainy Saturday evening with warm coffee in bed and Meg Ryan on TV. And maybe that’s why, that’s the only reason why this film works. I am going to skip way ahead now and give you an example of a scene that basically comes at the end of the film. No spoilers, but there is a scenario in the film where even someone “outsider” as the director Michael Dowse from this world, has to drop all his guards and give in to that ultimate date movie scene.

    And even though he tries with incredible slow camera work and other parlor tricks, he fails to conjure the audience as any other Hugh Grant film would and does. Danielle Radcliff as Wallace and Zoe Kazan as Chantry are the only ones driving the scene to home for us. Another reason why the film succeeds is the safe and secure fall of the film, after Dowse pushes it away from being starry eyed.

    And this push lands on a pillow whose origin is from that very awkward feeling of running away and bumping into crass slapstick humor. And holding that side of the line is Adam Driver and Mackenzie Davis as a raunchy couple outdoing themselves in each scenario leading our lead couple into trouble- that silence in the car is the highlight of the film. They are the textbook supporting cast of the romcom genre, their goofiness sculpts into a deep prosperous enlightening theme. What If is the most spookiest name I have ever heard of a film especially considering the fact that, to this day, I don’t get the title, at all.

     
  • Arth 03:04 on August 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Luce 

    Not for a single moment does the film turns into a preaching-to-the-choir tone, and that is its biggest achievement.

    Onah’s political film isn’t exactly political. If anything it is a thriller. And that’s what I loved the most about the film than any other theme or twist or trick it showcases. The co-writer and director Juilius Onah and the play by J.C. Lee- who also co-wrote the screenplay- from which it is adapted, eventually has a political film to endorse about. But that’s as far as it would go. The debates, the ideologies or the profound theories are definitely circling around these sensitive subjects, but for the most part of the film, it is all a distraction. The actual heart of these arguments lie on the arrogance of these incredibly smart character on not bowing down to each other’s theories.

    And from this spirals out a tug-of-war where step after step both of them (Octavia Spencer and Kelvin Harrison Jr.) are trying to outsmart each other. I cannot help myself but compare these throbbing philosophical and provoking arguments to Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige and its take on fame, art and sacrifice. Spence and Harrison Jr. from the very beginning are tangled into unfathomable circumstances giving them an excuse of a specific perspective that acts as a double edged sword for both of them.

    Their denial isn’t what’s lagging or stretching this juicy case but is what’s making it fun, entertaining and engaging. And this is the brilliance of the narration, What could have easily comes off as a pretentious or tedious detour, is instead smoothly spicing up this political drama. Tim Roth and Naomi Watts too are integrating the performance scale to a whole new level. Just watch them all sit in a room and greet each other, in the last act of the film, the tension cuts across their ability to harness a single good intention in this meeting where they gather to talk about Luce.

     
  • Arth 02:23 on August 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Good Boys 

    These kids are incredibly mature and smart, don’t be fooled by their presence, language, behaviour or their entire vibe.

    Stupnitsky is a good sitcom director. You would think that a film that has a script like an hour long special finale of the season, the co-writer and director Gene Stupnitsky would play safe on delivering this content with the promise and expectations he comes with. For, I think his confidence on directing this film is extraordinary. As a proof, you can see all the slow motion shots that he has installed in here. It is natural to take such scenes for granted or find it difficult to pull off, but his decisions doesn’t go waste by, especially because his shots aren’t bloating or exaggerating or celebrating, and instead is just mocking the seriousness and the priorities of these characters.

    And that remains to be their sense of humor towards.. well, everything. Their tendency to lean towards unintentional edgy humor whose birth is actually coming from the know-it-all attitude that every student ought to and does breathe in that stage of their life. Now, saying that or showing that isn’t enough. Their definite knowledge or incompetency to grasp the adult social rigmarole is never enough for us to care about them.

    And hence every single character is given that kryptonite, no matter how hypothetical, that they collapse within a snap after coming in contact with. We, as an audience, too connect instantly with it. Not because it is a metaphor to something we can dot across the frame, but that very piece of information that they carry. There is no need to dig so deep or read between the lines in that aspect of the narration. For when it comes to ground this celebration into a- might I say shocking- vibrant message, the film holds on to our weakest nerve– or should I say mine– and it is, these Good Boys saying goodbye.

     
  • Arth 02:20 on August 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Midsommar 

    It is another home run by Aster with his unique filmmaking style, the misinterpreted celebration is the key to this film.

    Aster makes horror real. While other filmmakers, other films are desperately trying to fantasize about this beloved concept, Aster is never into that make-believe attitude while dealing with his content. It could be a documentary and you wouldn’t know the difference. And this concept, the bizarrely head spinning idea that the writer and director, Ari Aster has dug out is something he values above all. And you can see that easily on both of his films. Even in his debut film Hereditary, Aster keeps the philosophized idea of his above any other character or the world they live in. And if you think about it, THAT is scary.

    For an audience responds to characters. They are constantly looking for an image of themselves within these array of characters listed in the film. They are ready to give in, on even the least amount of empathy oozed by any of those bodies floating around. Aster understands this completely and hence hands over that box of chocolate within the first act of the film. Then, the sadistic language of his starts running soon after you get comfortable.

    For this host that you are investing in, the box of chocolate that you have just received, is never given any opportunity to redeem itself. You are left not only dissatisfied but vulnerable. The movie experience that you went out to have is what actually is terrifying, now. All you can do is just experience it. And that very dissatisfaction is satisfying. He brings alive the horror genre that he claims. No 3d, no special effects, pure visual storytelling at its best. Aster also makes annoyance his ammo to torture us. Little things like a cry or a scream, sung in unison or in high pitches, in the middle of the day, in Midsommar, contradicting the environment, the behavior is rude and non-social, not particularly odd.

     
  • Arth 12:08 on August 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Live By Night 

    A swing and a miss, maybe the precision should have taken into account rather than power.

    Affleck’s homage to Brian De Palme-isc late ’80s gangster genre is admirable. And that is it. Appreciation draws out a nod here and never anything else. The emotions are bland and too belittled by the hip and happening of the nature it so desperately wants to be. The set rules, that Ben Affleck, the writer, director and starrer, so proudly claims to have, have boundaries visible barely on the horizon and yet we are told repetitively to care for the daily formal business or personal conflicts that is resulting into textbook character arcs.

    And what Affleck actually cares about and is actually looking forward for the entire film, which is dodging the generic bullets of shock and awe therapy, is never romanticized enough to create the raw crisp moment when he asks for. In those last moments, where up till now the film was reserved, had to amp up now for a final cathartic punch, finds itself immensely immersed into a tedious procedure to offer you a sigh of relief. That peace after the storm comes with a price. A price too heavy to retract from that point.

    On the other hand, the film looks ravishing. Affleck’s love for the genre, a wee bit cartoonish, but still utterly understandable, colors each frame with a poised respect in this sensitive world. Which can also be interpreted as his doom. For instance, take the trajectory of Sienna Miller’s character in the film. She carries incredible weight, power among these characters, hence she is given a seperate fast and runny first act. Now, Affleck is taking this opportunity to brim his film with stereotypical montages of some street boy or “outlaw”- as he calls himself- making into a big shot as an excuse to value her presence. Scoffing at this particular character and evaluating her into a resonating memory, Live By Night could have easily been a shorter special night.

     
  • Arth 12:05 on August 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Flags Of Our Fathers 

    Eastwood lacks Spielberg’s emotional punch, I’m glad he is not fighting for it.

    Eastwood is the hero. I know I am going against the film. But this is not just about the film. Well, particularly this film. The director, Clint Eastwood honors the “war” like no one. And not just how he decolorizes- actually they are just toned down a bit, the colors- it in his picturization. But also how sensible his approach is. Both sides of perspective are humanized. And this is just those clips, the part where the war is enacted, is what I am talking about. There is this another political unsung not-cold-but-hot war boiled throughout the film as an aftermath to the major event that the film spins around.

    And this is how William Broyles Jr. and Paul Haggis, the screenwriters who adapted the storyline from Ron Powers and John Bradley’s books- separate- keeps us engaged in this formal white collar (or uniform, to be precise) compelling drama. For often in such war based films, the audience tends to trail away from a polished non-controversial content. But here the premise cuts across that very issue and the subtlety is bombarded by a viscous glance shared or a cut-throat passed comment or the hostile body language.

    Another reason why the drama connects with us instantly, is yes the obvious poignancy of these facts, but also the antics placed specifically by these writers to draw in long lasting teary moments. Almost as if they are going the other way around just for the emotional dosage that Eastwood hands it over with such ease. In terms of performance, John Slattery armed with a complex three dimensional character connected with me the most. His attitude in the Flags Of Our Fathers might be wrong but it is staged in a way that might even remind you of someone you know or a part inside of you.

     
  • Arth 12:03 on August 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Dark City 

    Give this authentic old style car to run something solid on, it will go miles, MILES!

    Proyas has got the style that fits right in for a comic book film. Definitely not for this current generation, although I’d love to see a throwback every now and then, that warps me back to the late 80s Tim Burton era. And as far as breathing that essense is concerned, Alex Proyas, the co-writer and director, has got that particular style written all over these gorgeous rich images shared in this film. But just like any style would, it only has legs to run so far. Just the first act, in this case. For after the tone sets in and the demand kicks in, the substance grows necessary and the luxury (style, as mentioned) feels like famished into that bank, which the makers feel free to use as an excuse of narrative.

    What actually the film feeds on other than glamour is how it romanticizes a secret, a rumor. Everything is hyped up to the perfect amount, teasing us, preparing us for a dazzling show that ends up only in the been-here-seen-that acts. Also it’s not just the predictability but also its inadequacy to satisfy us with that very expected product. And I don’t just mean the film in its entirety.

    But also, what is part of it. Characters, disappoints. Relationship disappoints. World, disappoints. Arcs, is what we are left with, generically mystic; which by the way could also be interpreted as commercially or irrelevantly. And among these disappointments, the star cast holds on to their reputation, from Jennifer Connelly as a fishy seductress to Kiefer Sutherland as the know-it-all messenger to William Hurt as the uncompromised hunky detective to Rufus Sewell as our empathetic protagonist sharing our views, viewer’s views, for the most part of the film. Dark City is dark, undoubtedly, but it is not bright enough to prove why is it so dark, it’s just dark- I cannot say dark enough.

     
  • Arth 23:14 on August 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    It 

    If not for the casual, improved humorous bickering, I wouldn’t have cared.

    Muschetti’s adaptation of the classic Stephen King novel does its best on being “how” it wants to be. For the attempts to reach the higher ideal might be missed repetitively but the procedure it follows and the tricks it plays, fails to hide its true side. And those sleazy parlor tricks are actually attention grabbing. Hence, the co-writer and director, Andy Muschetti’s film trends top on the wall of its younger audience. Because this is how it was intended to be. Using safe, scientifically approved(!)- maybe that’s a bit much- and successful methods, they are delivering the anticipated result on the table.

    It isn’t informative, innovative or bombastic, as it claims to be. And yes, those standard scenarios are painted all over the pages in King’s book, but those colors are brightened by deep themes exploring single pure emotions of daily lifestyle that gets by unnoticed. Which, by the way, is completely neglected and also negotiated for an easier and lazier theory to reach its larger audience. Muschetti also fails to scare the audience on any levels.

    Only few moments, when he catches you off guard, which too comes off utterly cheap in the form of narrative. Let’s take an antic that comes in the middle of the film, where the Losers’ Club enters the haunted house. Now, in that scenario, Bill (Jaeden Martell) and Richie (Finn Wolfhard) are stuck in a room where a poisonous blood is about to reach and bury or poison them. Agreeing to the fact that it is hokum, a bluff, intended to distract the characters, but I cannot help on defining the entire film in that scenario. For that very scene sums up the film for me. Since, knowing what it is, the film still remains lazy. As it never tries to convince the threat to you, to the audience. IT lacked the splashy, speedy, maniacal, maddening camera work that usually breathes life into a horror.

     
  • Arth 23:13 on August 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Warhorse 

    Spielberg could have surfed and cruised, instead he is diving deep.

    Spielberg always makes me cry. And I am happy to. Back when I was a kid and now that I am a kid. The adapted screenplay by Lee Hall and Richard Curtis walks the standard reliable route with an incredibly engaging pace that is actually boosted by the premise itself. Covering multiple short stories that packs an emotional punch in every single one of them, the makers found it easy and helpful to place these shuffled cards into narration with rich details and overview perspective to the bigger and the smaller picture. Yet, I didn’t find myself buying to any of those tourist spots genuinely up till Steven Spielberg, the director, came in and added his final magic touch.

    And it is not his selection of the cinematographer, background scorer or the choreographer of the film, but the awareness that he invests in each scenario. This story was also told in a theater as a play and Spielberg’s translation of that play into the screen that makes it look like a play is the unsung triumph of all. Watch how carefully in all the stages, he makes us, the audience, a witness of that part of the storytelling.

    You start feeling like you were present the whole time when it went down. Tom Hiddleston giddy up about Benedict Cumberbatch’s views on the horse, Eddie Marsen’s secondary concern fabricated as the first one and Niels Arestrup’s weather debate with his granddaughter, not only these elements help move forward the storyline nice and smooth but puts some personal weight and unfathomable price to it. For a film to jump from one character to another, I was looking forward to see how Spielberg is going to make us fall into this world, he moved towards his best asset, he personified, he animated the common factor, the Warhorse.

     
  • Arth 22:07 on August 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Flying Fish 

    Brace yourself for a more controlled roller coaster ride, the beat, the choreography, is spectacular.

    Sayginer loves color. He loves them. More than he would even care for the sketch that binds or defines those colors in. The creator Murat Sayginer beautifies the purity of the elements in the nature with vivid metaphors expressing the ins and outs of the living and the dead. And his world is balanced by focusing on the other side of the realm. As much as beautiful these scenarios are, the clear abhorrence is communicated through materialistic possessions that we crave over the natural bodies. This post-internet world fits right in. Sayginer insists on contrasting these things to their exaggerated levels, in order to mark a better and powerful impact.

    But what I personally love about the film is that if you are slow like me, the abstract storytelling doesn’t come off as hindrance. It is an experience. And Sayginer clearly has worked hard on that, covering content like mortality, immortality, The Golden Age, Kaleidoscopic images, Zodiac signs and many other themes, the film flows following The Flying Fish whose presence isn’t always mentioned.

    I felt that this behavior that acts or works as a perspective returning back to the world it comes from is how the film settles a major debate. Debate being, how and where this is going. And I imagine how difficult it might be to end on a note, after literally visiting different ages that passed by. I can promise you that the end is not only an eye opener and a mind clearer but also is thoroughly satisfying. Another thing to mention in here is how smooth and effective the background score is, along with the visual effects that serves the purpose to its fullest, almost like the elements of the universe depicted in the film.

     
  • Arth 03:27 on August 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Gisaengchung (Parasite) 

    I thought maybe, a teamwork or a satire or some historical metaphor, it was just bonkers!

    Joon Ho-Bong might be the only filmmaker to pull this off with a clean job. But this is one of those 21st century crime thrillers, that gets dark as much as it gets clean. I think it is the artificial-ness of the world that wraps these characters which makes us suspicious and scared about where this is or has been leading towards. And that is probably why a film that takes its time and ticks for more than 2 hours, calls you deep into the filthy mud it is so unapologetically a part of. And frankly I loved the plot setting then the close calls or the teasing game.

    For in its first half, the film is going exactly how you have been expecting and hoping for it to go. You are loving it. There is a huge smile plastered on your face throughout the first half as you see a schemer gets his scheme into the customers head and voluntarily lets it shake the salesman’s hand. Now, this is something I’d like to point out, which shows Ho-Bong’s experience in this cinematic lifestyle.

    What usually happens, is that the schemers starts taking things for granted when the film is about to take turn, but even in its early stages Ho-Bong persists on pointing out the flaw in their plan; a behavior that they are inadvertently putting out on the table which might not be the doom of them in this very case, but whips them brutally in the “morality” aspect of the storytelling. Is this a fair world? No. Not for me. But the madness is honed as a quality and hard work as a result comes off shockingly dangerous. This lunacy is neither encouraged nor put on trial, it is acknowledged by self-awareness, this sort of malleability, present in Parasite, is something that I recently discovered in Christopher Nolan’s films, a wonderful experience.

     
  • Arth 03:26 on August 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Circus 

    A classic love track, sound track, gag reel and simply smart filmmaking.

    I think I can go ahead and say that this is my favourite Chaplin feature. I wish I knew why and I don’t either. The writer, director, actor and composer Charlie Chaplin has struck gold in this adventure. The germ of the idea was definitely the change in location and spreading still the same humor, humility and belief. And yet, it remains unfiltered for its sweetness. No matter how accurate and magnanimous your vision is on pulling off a dark gritty drama, it would rarely add to the “I wish..” list for its “beware” and “wit” tingling sensation in you. While this sweet love story like this has legs that goes for decades and even centuries for it catches you with big fluffy pillows as you fall down with gullible likeness in mind.

    A bread and an egg, the story starts from and it is where it ends. And yes, I get that some might even find this heartbreaking, but Chaplin’s genius in the last act of the film, was that he satisfies you with such absorbing themes, that by the end you don’t really care how The Circus will finish the show. The product is gift wrapped and delivered to your doors as soon as the last act begins.

    The key is to never go beyond anyone’s perspective other than Chaplin’s. And this was all drama. The rest of the fill in, are fabulous gags that looks like Chaplin has installed to test himself as an actor, a performer. From enacting like a robotic puppet to multiplying himself on screen to bossing around his opposing co-star like a mentor. Over the years, the only issue I had was with the do over process of the interview of his job, until I realized this time that those mandatory gags were not actually for the laughs, but a showcase of his commitment on the hard work that he inadvertently cares for.

     
  • Arth 03:25 on August 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Light Of My Life 

    I am sorry I couldn’t see anything past Affleck’s jarring performance, actually I don’t regret it.

    Affleck’s sincerity is a dangerous animal. I fear it. He shakes you and rattles your most delicate source of emotional history. Or maybe it is the emotional history that I carry and hence easily find myself in his shoes. Ergo I find this story inspirationally and creatively beautiful. In fact, there have been such films in recent years like The Road, Captain Fantastic and Leave No Trace. But none of them worked for me like this eccentrically standard film did. It is shot with familiar steady camera work. Cassey Affleck, the writer, director and actor, was aware of how and where things should go.

    And it is not just a reminder of how good his execution is, it is also that as an artist, he isn’t leaning towards any particular aspect, his generality seems like a generosity towards his work. And if his monologues or manifesto or speech or call it whatever cuts through all the fear then it is his final voice breaking spell, is what tears me down. So strong and so proud he marches on, in the entire film and so humbling his fall is in front of his daughter.

    These metaphors of being a parent, political correctness and the madness of wildlife carries heavy themes. Compared to the previous films mentions, the reason why this one last a longer impact on us, is for it goes all in when it comes to reveal its true nature. The film isn’t afraid on wandering in a cringe worthy zone, it is meticulously on mark to what it has to say. Just watch Affleck have the “birds and bees” talk with an unapologetic honest tone. Elizabeth Miss flashes in front of her eyes repeatedly whipping him whenever he trails off, when his vision goes blur from the Light Of My Life.

     
  • Arth 03:24 on August 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Kid 

    I am going to put this under the “drama” section, Chaplin’s love for the characters exceeds the laugh he is always looking for.

    Charlie Chaplin with this classic project inadvertently embedded a concept so vivid, rich and timeless, that we are still repeatedly showcased different version of the journey, buying it every day, every time. Often a film of this much empathy could easily catch on a manipulative nature in its language. Hence, you see filmmakers holding back on expressing the blood of the relationship and instead keeps it nuanced with various metaphors. Whilst, Chaplin here isn’t holding back at all. But what he does so brilliantly is balance this see-saw game by giving enough weight on the other side of the seat. That being of course its off putting raw ruffian western world that it breathes and lives in. And this is what baffles me the most.

    How effortlessly these characters are abusive, edgy and dark on their deeds. Take just the kid for instance. He is pushed off, pulled down, beaten- I mean there is a whole act of him having a hilarious boxing match parody where he is going town onto his opponent- cradled like a non-human being even at times for the humor. And this physical love comes off beautiful when that same mannerism is used to show the dry irrational behavior towards him.

    In terms of gags, the scenario where Chaplin dreams a La La Land didn’t work for me entirety, no matter how much it reminded me of Tom’s dreams and nightmares from the Tom and Jerry; in fact there is a resemblance on how Chaplin is snapped out of that zone back into reality. The household husbandry tricks and gags on how he takes care of the kid is simply spectacular, those details helps us immensely to jump in time and play the assumption card. The Kid is a passionate experimental film, it was back then and is even now.

     
  • Arth 03:23 on August 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    A Monster Calls 

    Not only all the stories are messy and dark but they are awfully clean as well, this will tuck you right into sleep.

    Bayona is so focused, so invested in his characters that he might not even consider where they reside in. And frankly, he shouldn’t, definitely not if this self-centered vision of his pitches a good assumption land for us to flex our muscles. The writer and director J.A. Bayona is famous for creating his views on the horror genre. Yet, I never felt him scare me. Yes, he does keep the camera up close to the events occuring, no matter how cringe worthy. And on that note what I think he does best is blend the practicality of a situation along with his fictional innuendos, that then pushes to a train of scary thoughts.

    For neither in this film, nor in Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom, could he water me down with his brilliant camera work. But in Lo Imposible, his silent pitches on the screen are impeccable. Hence, all the cliched emotional impact that we are spinning in, actually works more than the monstrous therapy sessions; which by the way is more engaging and fun to go through. And this is where you know Bayona’s tricks are working. Just watch Sigourey Weaver take in all the damage done by Lewis MacDougall.

    Your heart starts skipping as you are unaware of where all this has been or is leading towards. And after that act, the film grows clear. Similar to all the tales narrated and all different tracks going parallel-y this one remains the crux of the theme, and whispers everything in that bubble. More to it, the close up shot works also on amplifying the performance and their ticks to get us completely immersed in this fantasy world. A Monster Calls and you have to answer, that part has always been the subtextual gist of all the horrors, in here it is a loud- like in bold and in capitals- metaphor.

     
  • Arth 03:22 on August 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Police Story 2 

    The choreography and the dance was never enough, you can see it yourself.

    Chan’s second case may be light on feet- compared to the previous one- but it surely is heavy on humor. Almost as if they were trying to add it religiously. Maybe that’s why I didn’t find this funny at all. But this was never his priority. It takes you awhile to understand that, in fact if you are slow like me, you wouldn’t get it until the final act arrives. Jackie Chan, the writer, director and actor, has a completely different idea in his mind. To be honest it is simple, but it is also not something that one would dare to go towards.

    Usually such a sequel collapses by honoring what made the first one brilliant and delivering the formula that worked in this world. Obviously what this leads to is annoying amount of doubling and too much intertextuality; not to say there isn’t any, but that is never considered the base of the act. You cannot let a scene work on just that recall of some great moment. And Chan doesn’t make that mistake for a second here.

    In fact, the scenes between him with Maggie Cheung is arguably just that, but it is intentionally accounting those events and deriving a newer, evolving equation between those two. As far as the real case is concerned. The crime is pretty standard and the eye for an eye theory is a delight to watch if not be impressed with. And again, that very zest of surprising you is why the last act saves the day for the film. Not just the way the characters are treated and how everything latter makes sense, but also the maturity of it. Police Story 2 can actually be passed upon for the way it questions the genre “action” especially since it is Chan’s bread and butter.

     
  • Arth 03:20 on August 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Legion 

    A brand new world with a freshly addictive style, it is beautiful to see a comic book fan make a show.

    Marvel’s psychological thriller created by Noah Hawley is unearthly. But is that saying much? We have had such spooky stories told plenty of times before too. For instance, Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal dealt with similar genre, but the narration was- in its own way- easily adaptive and linear enough to follow and root for.. well, something. And this is the double edged sword that the series is obliged to lift up every time it finds itself under any threat. Now, the con is of course, very little romance is left between the characters and the audience to be moved by any of the razzle dazzle that they go through. While the advantage, is catching us off guard. For the absurdity is celebrated by going so deep that viewers are left with nothing but ambiguity in their hands.

    Is it an endorsement strategy or personal kinks? It definitely is passion. For nothing so detailed and glamorous can be projected on the screen without having utter confidence in your world. The filmmaking is far more superior than the writing itself. The choreography is so mesmerizing that if it lacks room or time or space, the creator starts breaking the rules and flaunt majestically- the action might remind you of Bryan Singer’s version of X-Men; the puppeteering of the characters and splashy uses of their characteristics in narration.

    But let’s be honest, the series does coax and cajole on investing with equal sincerity to each element, which in return leads this bizarre train of events where characters both, physically and mentally travels in order to extract a piece of information that will lead us further, and actually them, backwards. In terms of performance, Aubrey Plaza is milking all she can- worried whether she will get a juicy role as such ever again- and comes out as the only host worth to be rooted for, among this Legion.

     
  • Arth 02:44 on August 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Dunkirk 

    Masked or unmasked, I love the idea of a higher power looking out for us, and this time he has no humor.

    Why do we end up here? Always? Revisiting the dreadful history. That we started, ended, celebrated and mourned for. It cannot just be a “quick” recall. And it shouldn’t be that. I may not know the real pulp behind all this passion and necessity but Christopher Nolan, the writer and director, surely tells you, it shouldn’t just be a recall. Quick one, surely compared to his other films, but more than an experience and a moral lesson. Poem, it sings and poetic is its run. To me the film felt like a marathon. A sprint, to be precise. “The mole” tries to run away from the enemy, the air support towards the enemy but the real heroes, the common man, are kept in hault.

    Mid way. They are stretched and strained from the responsibilities of both the kind, the personal and towards the nation. And that is exactly how Nolan pitches this incredibly noble deed by these brave hearts in one lap. Setting the parameters, he never breaks any boundaries for obvious reasons, but hovers very close to the red zone marked in this film. And that is another way how he elevates a most simplistic act or a decision that lives up to the clean soundtrack of Hans Zimmer.

    The same year, Steven Spielberg’s The Post released which dealt with the similar highly tensed close up shots. But the tension never communicates for no one actually points out or marginalizes the “normal” behavior. And in here, Nolan keeps Cilian Murphy to strike fear, a simple meter to explain the stakes of Tom Hardy and a know-it-all Harry Styles to guide Fionn Whitehead. Dunkirk is still at the end of the day comes under the catalogue of Nolan’s filmography. He cannot help but whisper secrets if he can in a storyline, I mean he even packs a humorous punch as a big reveal for that scene.

     
  • Arth 02:43 on August 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Interstellar 

    Maybe Nolan misfired it, still potentially, the film reaches to places where our usual space opera doesn’t.

    Nolan’s long lasting project to explore the space goes safe. That’s as much as you can do, for a film so heavy and personally touched. The writer and director Christopher Nolan is a believer of doing your homework properly. Simple as that. And working with Kip Thorne, a theoretical physicist, he has embodied the actual laws of physics in the film to a certain degree that it, itself started to create storylines of its own. Deciding to go towards the call, Nolan jam-packs this three hour of film with a whole lot of science and maths.

    And just as it happened previously in Inception- not in this scale, of course- the science took over the emotional impact of these incredibly empathetic characters. Now, the only reason why this one comes off a bit slow in that department, compared to the Inception, is because it over-explains the narrative arcs more than the theories and philosophies of this science expenditure. Just walk through the jolting revelation placed later in the film, which spirals out an informative; yet not actually informative, conversation between Mathew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Matt Damon discussing Michael Caine’s character.

    Once again, these are just minor flaws in this touching love story, where my personal favorite aspect of it is how mythological the equation between a father and a daughter comes off, especially in the final moments of the film. That very piece of note resembles beautifully with Steven Spielberg’s AI: Artificial Intelligence. Another thing to note here, is how simple Nolan’s direction and choices in the film are. In a complex dystopian future, he has kept things elemental- for instance the planets are often painted as one key, like water, rocks, dust and even love(!)- in order to mark the events occurred in this long Interstellar travel clearly.

     
  • Arth 02:42 on August 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Dark Knight Rises 

    The film is split into two parts, not the training and the war, but in the he said, she said, way.

    Pressure and price. We’ve all been in this situation for ages now. We’ve seen greater, more ambitious and potential franchises fumbling in its last chapter. So, how do you top or even match a film that made Academy double the nods in the Best Film category just because they, despite all the hype, failed to justify the momentum it deserved and the weight it carried? You leave them happy. Not sugar coated but a satisfying experience. And this linear- and I emphasize on that since it feels extremely simple and coherent to go through- calm ride is not obsessed on swooping up the Easter eggs but returning home.

    Batman faces a new threat along with allies and cheats, as he is stripped down to zero on his resources. Nolan treats this film in a manner that could be said, Kevin Feige treats Endgame. The only difference is that Endgame carries a boost coming from 22 films and this one has to start from the inception; not that one. Yes, it could be argued that this film also carries the love of its previous two chapters, but Nolan rubs off the entire board before we could note down any thing.

    And in fact if there are any previous references to be accounted for, they come in a bit lazy and pretty standard in contrast to the rest of the material. So this is how Nolan satisfies you with a product. He visits locations, antics, dialogues, characters, everything twice in the film. And in the first visit he sets the boundaries and in the second breaks it with style. And this remains the theme in all the big plot events or tiny elements or punchlines, it is almost as if the film goes through a longer route just to amplify the grounded work established by The Dark Knight (Rises).

     
  • Arth 02:40 on August 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Post 

    The film was rushed and feels a bit slow, in the sense that it is over explaining things.

    Spielberg’s, often accused to be an Oscar bait, isn’t actually an Oscar bait. But then, it is so magnanimously a cliched of textbook genre, that it’s perks comes with a price that we, as an audience, are never able to retain it. And yes, then there is the argument of the importance of the film, especially considering the sensitive time when it was released- I mean they wrapped up the film in production within a few months just to exemplify the notorious “fake news” era that the media was going through. But is that enough. Does having a bigger or crucial theme exceed all the limitations of the film? I mean it still comes down to filmmaking. And as far as the father of our generation, Steven Spielberg, the director is concerned, he is babysitting us safely, but it is the screenplay that doesn’t pamper us to sleep. The Post is about a revolutionized event in the history of democracy that hands over the power to have your voice heard, against anyone, by anyone, for anyone.

    Recreating the technology of those old times, the phone booth, the newspaper, the typewriter, the suitcases and the glasses. Infamous for speaking through objects and props in order to express the environment, the state, Spielberg uses those with excellent conditional clauses that he sets free by releasing emotion, winning emotions. A call being successful or a call finally accepted, those close up shots is not earned by the script but by the performance and the execution.

    Which brings us to a major asset of the film, the star cast. And giving these megadoms a manager and an intern position to work on. Meryl Streep goes through an emotional trauma for obvious reasons, but those examples are what I love, especially how nuanced they are. No one points to the elephant in the room, Spielberg just populates a room full of men which Streep is about to enter, passing by a group of ladies standing outside the very room, not allowed, not accepted. Tom Hanks on the other hand is doing the heavy work and is probably the one who is least emotionally attached- the supporting characters like Bob Odenkirk and Mattew Rhys too go through emotional traumas- and yet claims to be; it is one of the best scene in the film where Sarah Paulson and he discovers this together.

     
  • Arth 02:39 on August 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Inception 

    All the over-the-top images; more like a painting, are justified by reasoning, science and a little bit of imagination.

    Nolan is a filmmaker to be afraid of. What P.T. Anderson did for straight three hours in Magnolia, you are going to have that same exhausting experience in this visual galore. Inception deals with a metaphor heist commanded by an expert extractor named Cobb whose only dream is to go home. Away from the action and the skills he masters at, and in order to reach home, he goes through the final test by embracing and learning the first thought entering his mind.

    I remember I was ahead of Nolan- or so I thought. I claimed to know his method of decoding a subject and then he coded this cinematic marvel in front of me. So here’s how he goes through a script. He treats them like a sketch show. Simple as that. And just like in a sketch show there are plenty of sketches- duh!- surfing around it. Now, a sketch is actually a double edged sword. In the sense that it needs a start, a middle act and a final act, in every three minutes. And once you get over it- which is usually engaging for its compactness- you have to come up with an entire new idea. But this is why it favours majorly on Nolan’s side. Since, he has to deal with the same world, he creates, celebrates and destroys the world in each act that also contributes to the bigger picture completing the circle and leaving us satisfied. Another thing to note here is, how he celebrates. In an “action” espionage thriller, you would expect some punches and bullets and explosives. But the way he celebrates- or in layman terms exaggerate or gloats- is by envisioning his germ of the idea on different set pieces and locations. Ergo, his action is never your typical luxurious action. Just watch Joseph Gorden Lewitt surviving on that hotel without or under influenced gravity.

    Science over emotions. Yes, I think as much as brilliant the subconscious play and the contingent unknown backup plans work on the film, I found myself cheated on the emotional background that our protagonist Cobb, played remorsefully by Leonardo DiCaprio, goes through. Don’t get me wrong, the back story is incredibly rich, it’s just the way it is treated. It is like after every- thrice to be precise- major event, Ellen Page and DiCaprio are told to reveal little by little information about the past in order to manipulate us. But this is just a minor flaw in this Nolan’s masterpiece that not only subjugates but even belittles writers like us.

     
  • Arth 02:37 on August 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Dark Knight 

    The laugh rolls down a tear and tear, a satisfying shock, a film attempting to reach all the levels of the emotions, succeeds on all of them; that has got to be rare.

    Nolan’s Hamlet-alike Batman is a wise old soul that has reached a place and places a stone so deep and so illuminating that it almost feels unfathomable to be touched or even seen. Continuing the legacy of The Dark Knight comics, Nolan explored the aftermath of a vigilante marking justice with his bare hands in the previous chapter. Ergo, this season is politically influenced, challenged and correct. Above all the intricacies of the plots suggested in this crime saga, my personal favorite, is how human this said-superhero is treated.

    With clean crime comes a clean film. Compared to the previous adventure of the Batman, the action is crisp, smart and a complete fanatic of itself. Take the characters, for instance. On what stage and state they are in. The reason I’d like to think, they all fail and never were ever going to reach the salvation they hope for, is because they barely are thinking about others. And here comes the final Nolan touch. All the “bad guys” of the film are actually thinking about others. Their ideologies hence remains above our heroes and their deeds not so much.

    And hence emerges, one of the finest and sensible villains, the history of cinema has ever encountered. The Joker played hungrily by Heath Ledger will stay timeless for both its performance and what it leaves and breathes for. And they are the questions, his cheats and lies, are actually vital questions that whips us now, just as they did then and they will in the future. For there is no definite answer or any answer that Nolan is throwing out in the world, it can float untouched in a bubble as much as you like. Personally, I felt Harvey Dent played like a bad boyfriend by Aaron Echart, has a last act that exceeds the Joker’s final bluff in the game. Probably because the Joker’s is a question- which comes in early- and Dent has a cold answer that no one wants to hear. And since his crux of the trick feeds on the last moment, watching those three wrong-doers play a game of chance feels like the best note to end a film on.

     
  • Arth 02:35 on August 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Prestige 

    The magician endorses it to be split into three acts, but Nolan whispers, one and it is monstrously beautiful.

    Prestige is probably the most shrewdest adaptation that nothing but serves the “wow” factor on our face, it feels plastered. Adapted from Christopher Priest’s novel of the same name, by the Nolan brothers, this remains about a magic in that very sense. That you are hooked and wowed at the end of the show, till it’s big reveal. The film is about a two friends-turned-rival magicians who loses themselves and their loved ones in order to prove the superiority over each other.

    And the film walks for that unsaid scoreboard mentality for the most part of the film. Grabbing points by excelling or cheating, this mano-y-mano aspect of the storyline deteriorates very quickly when bigger themes like art, science, philosophy and ethics dive in. The clash between art and science is what fascinated me the most, especially after the film started accounting in, the infamous feud between Tesla and Edison.

    Often in a film that deals with parallel characters going awry and coming home, the film cheapens its content in latter stages by manipulating the audience emotionally. But the film dodges this bullet by wisely never revealing the hand that helps us in surviving this film. Empathy is never installed forcibly and even when for a brief period in its last act, you feel the film going soft on the characters, it actually turns the tables by revealing information that is always said to be hidden and not reversing the roles of any elements. This underrated genius often goes unmentioned, but it requires a closer and a second look. Nolan’s film’s malleability has been arctic over the ages. Not stiff, nor cold, but moody. To a degree that you will bow down to its celebratory behavior and PG-13 language. Something you don’t see nowadays.

     
  • Arth 02:33 on August 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Batman Begins 

    A raw 12 round boxing match, that is engaging throughout the night.

    Christopher Nolan, as reported, plans to take over the DC universe to get funded for his larger than life films like Inception and Interstellar. But this plan itself is packed with an enormous amount of love for this caped crusader. And exerting that love by going through his homework through and through, you can easily see Nolan swooping in every fanboy moment on the screen. And as much as the film goes to an incredible amount of length just to punch you with that awe gasping scene, the plot moves swift, smooth and for once linearly. The plot is textbook origin tale of Bruce Wayne discovering the inner Batman in him.

    Joining Nolan on script writing is David S. Goyer, a familiar face in the gothic comic world whose, as reported, lofty plot devices are grounded with signature writing style by him. And this screenplay is often considered to be a literary example for the newcomers in screenwriting, since it, despite being dipped in superhero world, treats its characters like a crime drama genre, the punches doesn’t come off empty, but in bleak honesty and in black(!)

    For a film that easily runs over 3 hours- or it definitely looks like it- the editing deserves a mention for its sharpness that is elevated by a whisky cinematography and exhilarating background score. Nolan has been upfront about staging Batman as a horror rather than a beloved superhero with everything sunny in the background. And that is why the themes and storylines adapted from the comic books deals with the same messy head-spinning images. There are some gruesome special effects in here that will not be seen later in the trilogy. This visual storytelling treat is something that will later in Nolan’s filmography is going to expand and even take over the cinematic life of its own; you can see the hints here, how Nolan and Batman Begins.

     
  • Arth 02:32 on August 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Insomnia 

    I’d lean towards the supporting characters that aren’t just filling in for the leads, they have got some gunpowder in their pocket.

    Nolan tases you with a sassy outlook on a crime thriller that flips the priorities and expectations of the viewers. But hold onto your hats, for unlike the textbook Nolan phenomenon, we are in awe with the journey rather than the big reveal of the film. In the sense that it is more fascinating to see who is what then who-dun-it case. And on that note the plot takes a major turn on making the detective a criminal. And it is not until in later stage you find that road taken by him, when you see Will Dormer played by Al Pacino panting and worried sick about getting caught from the police of his very own department. Will, a hardcore successful detective, finds himself on a new case that haunts him back to his own self.

    The only feature, as of now, to mark in Nolan’s filmography where he contributes only as a director and not a writer. Although it is said that he did write a rough draft of the screenplay. And I was really excited to see him pull off someone else’s material and quite early in the film I was assured that this heavy yet sensitive responsibility couldn’t have gotten a better caretaker. And it is that fog crime scene in its first act that shows you, how precise Nolan is on projecting himself exquisitely to what is told in the paper.

    You cannot not mention the interrogation scene between Robin Williams and Al Pacino when talking about this film. And yes, I get that it has much more juicy whistleblowing information revealed where the entire film hinges upon. But it is also a testament on how to “look” in an act. How to gaze at each other, Pacino, and not gaze at each other, Williams, and play cards with higher stakes. P.S. it is a joy to watch Pacino evolve into a person suffering from Insomnia step by step, frame by frame, just with the way he handles his eyes and how they hung low with his brow as the film ages on screen.

     
  • Arth 02:30 on August 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Memento 

    If I could remember it, I’d call it the most malleable mythology I ever faced.

    Nolan’s career defining and signature marking neo noir film is a bold statement on not just filmmaking but entertainment industry too. And he does it by raising a simple question. How far should you go as a storyteller to express yourself and communicate coherently to your viewers? In this case, it is evidently reported for 8 years to put all this puzzled work in one big crime scene. Leanord (Guy Pearce) is suffering from short term memory loss and for a guy who can barely survive going through his own routine, he has embarked himself to cross a big revengeful mountain.

    To be honest, the film does most of its magic on paper. What’s to wonder about is, Nolan who used props and elements for the style in Following, has now cornered himself into being obliged to use those same props. But this is Nolan, he doesn’t bow down to such limitations in the script. He has simply jumbled up the events for some levity and uses it to give you enough reason to hang on to this trippy ride. Once again, the editing gets a shout out, But I’d also like to mention Nolan’s choice of picturization of those abstract yet contextual repetitive part of the act. He hides the facts by acknowledging the fact that he is hiding it. Nolan has confessed that he loved using the similar picturization of both the flashbacks and real time screenplay that he learned from Terrence Malick’s style, especially from The Thin Red Line.

    Let’s follow the lead character Leonard and Pearce embodying a tattooed (scarred) personality as such. The bluff of Nolan is how to make him sympathetic that goes unnoticed in the film. His handicapped part of the personality is abused over and over by the other characters that actually mirrors their own figure, and as a result you are worried sick and exhausted by this experience. And Pearce plays it simply as Nolan reveals it in the “guilty” section of the storytelling, later in the film. The assumption is what leads us into this misunderstanding. Not the props, not the Memento.

     
  • Arth 02:28 on August 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Following 

    A compact peek of an on-and-off show that attracts madness and audience.

    This is the first outing of Christopher Nolan as a filmmaker and he has decided to follow! The film focuses on an aspiring writer, who as an excuse to get influenced with some material, follows- in layman terms, stalking- people out in the daylight. This goes on only further when he; The Young Man played by Jeremy Theobald meets someone like him named Cobb; it has no resemblance with the Inception, trust me, played by Alex Haw.

    Often considered to be the master of non-linear narrative skill, Nolan’s first project has been called out by many a hardcore fan of his, a journey to understand his working procedure. But to be honest, I have felt like he has always been open and expressive in his filmography. For instance, there is no irreplaceable joy in this world to go through Dunkirk knowing that it is HIS film. He accounts that element in the factor, that his fans are aware of his work and they know every beat of this song that he has been playing for ages. And he plays them accordingly, surprising little delights are left as trail to follow his style in every location.

    I am more impressed by the editing than any aspect of the filmmaking here. Since, for a film that cuts plenty of shots in one scene, the reaction that Nolan captures between scenes among the characters could easily go loud and cheesy. And instead it feels like a punch pulled in the air. And this is exactly how he stages those steely cold looks and flirty sinister eyes. This nonlinear narration has to and does feed itself on props. And Nolan uses those props to pass out the unsaid information to his viewers giving them the luxury to think that they are ahead of the characters and the game they are in. And then he backstabs you with a different perspective which feels not manipulated or cheated, but justified and earned since he has pampered you all along the road; leading you, not Following.

     
  • Arth 02:27 on August 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    School Of Rock 

    A shining proof of Linklater’s brilliance, even something known and outdated feels so fresh.

    Linklater’s love for music is something that cannot be beaten. But I think someone is challenging him in this project. In fact, I’d say Jack Black wins this round by a marginal merit. And I know that he is the one in front of us, expressing his love, oozing the pulsating sound of electric guitar and screaming voices of rock gods, so he is ought to have larger section of the rope on his side in this tug of war. But I’d still lean towards him for he himself is a passionate musician and getting the opportunity to hone a character as mad as such, he has embodied the people loving personality with goofiness and spectacular flamboyancy.

    The writer Mike White isn’t putting anything new on the paper and neither is the director Richard Linklater. We’ve had plenty of such teacher tutoring the outer zonal students and in this process the teacher itself finds salvation at the end of the song. And it is not that Linklater doesn’t acknowledge that fact, if anything he has brimmed his entire film with such scenarios, the cliched montage sequences, the structure, the detour, the issues, the rat in the house and every beat of the film that you would expect before going on in this genre.

    Yet, with nuanced practical humor that borders around the lunacy factor in an upbeating track, you are nodding to all the theories Black proves here as a teacher, “E = mc^2” he concludes his lecture to little kids. There are plenty of long one take shots that leaves us mesmerized especially the first hilarious pitch of Black’s still underproduction song and in fact any of his explanations are just pure joy; it feels like the actor him and not the character him, humming in the School Of Rock.

     
  • Arth 02:20 on August 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Superman 3 

    Lester has broken so many rules by now, that he doesn’t have any ground to stand on, flying doesn’t help in this world.

    Lester is a victim of the textbook trilogy syndrome. And when I say syndrome, we’ve had plenty of acclaimed makers fall down this road unwillingly and brutally in this final lap of the race. The director Richard Lester arguably should not be blamed. I mean, I would rather put the Newmans, the writers on the stand. For most of the time, the off-putting characteristic of the film is not the execution of the flim-flam hokum but the very incoherent punches that is told to emerge every now and then as an excuse of a crime world. But none of these crimes are actually sinister, probably because none of them communicates with us, the audience.

    Also what’s at stake here is either a formal day to day white collar lawbreaking activity or a misunderstood opportunity seized by someone trying to make it big, none of it actually is a threat that can challenge who arguably is the all mighty powerful in contrast to the very super society of his. Addition to that, the unconventional and irrelevant humor is what tips over this already hanging-by-the-thread film.

    I mean it starts with a childish humor where a choreographed physical accidents is supposed to be funny along with anecdotes in the film like old marriage jokes, slapstick humor between irritated colleagues and cheap laughs coming from a lazy worker. Other major thing that film lacks is “logic”. To be honest, the entire series has never seen the face of the base of the physics law, but at least the previous adventures were fun, in big bold capital letters FUN. And this always, always overpowered the limitations of the early installments, but here not only that liberty is taken for granted but is also just not juicy enough for you to eradicate a big priority as such, not for anyone, not even for Superman.

     
  • Arth 02:15 on August 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Four Weddings And A Funeral 

    Very few times does an intention gets the reaction that the core of the positive star expects, this is one of those times.

    Newell is creating history. What I find fascinating and funny is that he does it with cream filled cookies and goody shakes. Richard Curtis, the writer and Mike Newell, the director’s film is a textbook cliche in rom com genre. What he does in here is all familiar, seen-this-seen-that and frankly ordinary. Inadvertently, what they are doing is raising a vital question in this filmmaking process and it is that what should be kept above all. The way of storytelling or the story itself.

    And the answer that the film screams in love is the style and the authenticity through which a story is told. If you have a better version to be told of those same characters and the same storyline, it should not only be accepted but encouraged. And that very, a boy meets a girl, they fall in love, the situation sets them apart, another ingredient is added to spice up the dish, boy and girl finally realizes their mistake and they claim their love under the sun and the rain, is told here. But it is fun. It is a film that stays with you.

    You can always ring the bell among a crowd with a feel good film, but the only way to make it last longer is by never sugar coating the charmness it consists. And it never for a frame takes that for granted. The jokes are kept in smooth, the one liners are pinned down by the pragmatic environment and the levity that grounds the game changing confessions, just watch Kristen Scott Thomas and Hugh Grant play the awkwardness between them, their body language is far superior than what they speak. Four Weddings And A Funeral overcomes its conceptual issues with spontaneity something that our usual love track lacks.

     
  • Arth 02:14 on August 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Annie Hall 

    Allen and Keaton are easy on the eyes, I can say that from looking at their body language for verbally they are just bickering.

    Allen has written a “how to” book. And coming from a guy who never liked or fell for such “how to” genre, it is incredibly beautiful to see someone break down a genre and place it in front of you with expressive wonder that they feel and are also able to communicate so effortlessly and effervescently. There are so many things and themes to learn and inspire from that the writer and director, Woody Allen has to inhale deep long breathes separately along with us, for in order for him to exert an enormous amount of energy in one monologue, in one scene and us, simply to consume it all.

    And I love this film for it speaks through a language that I find myself familiar with. And over the years, I always thought that the crux in Allen’s art is how to place jokes in a narrative sensibly and smoothly. But now that I saw it today, I feel like it is the other way around. And yes, you can clearly see that in both, his epilogue and prologue speeches, where he derives the meaning of life from pretty standard jokes. But it is not just that.

    The film often jumps back and forth in timeline for the sake of the joke. And usually in a film so big, with bigger ambitions, bigger themes, the film couldn’t just point out to that funky looking graffiti in a royale-ish art museum as such. But this is Allen’s genius. He has left out the trails for you to search for the jokes and the context it scoops up from those punchlines, it is a charmingly flirty stand up act. Annie Hall is a “how to” film, how to break the fourth wall, how to picturize flashbacks, how to mock your own absurd values, how to tell a joke and how to romanticize a love story.

     
  • Arth 02:12 on August 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Good Dinosaur 

    The dinosaur IS good, empathetic and every bit of heroic as it has rights to be; maybe that’s why it doesn’t fit in this era.

    Pixar is humanized and humbled by this project. And I love that part. For a production house, that perpetually prints out good quality game changing products, it is good to see them fumble or slow down a bit; am not a sadist. Peter Sohn, the director with his excellent execution skills is cornered by the intention of his very own way of storytelling. A film that surfs so unapologetically from one life event to another, it is extremely difficult to cope up with any of the ongoing incidents occurring in this La La Land that despite of being coloured with so many bright and attractive colors, never appeals to you.

    And the primary reason why we don’t settle down on any event or more precisely, act of the film is because you don’t ever really feel these characters present around the environment that we are told so repetitively that they are. And this grows urgently important as the film starts to age. Since for the first half of the film that basically follows a train of textbook montages scraped off from various animated fairy tales that is just retold with an unfunny final punch line that tells you it is a joke and that it is a bad one.

    And then when it comes to have their feet running on the ground and accept any surrounding for that matter, the location, set pieces, agendas, priorities and even characters change for us to nod to any of this alternative universe hokum. The idea isn’t everything, it never is. Probably for an endorsement, but even at this day and age we are incredibly passionate about the style and substance. And all of this, the current reality, and all of that, the film and what it revolves around, just proves the unchanging fact and that is not even The Good Dinosaur could survive this; extinction seems inevitable.

     
  • Arth 02:10 on August 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    No Country For Old Men 

    Bardem seizes the attention grabbing opportunity like no one.

    Coen Brothers’ magic is actually, literally a magic act in here. In every sense, this gritty mirroring drama of the western genre set in the 80s is purposefully and profoundly unfathomable. To be fair, most of the time it seems unfathomable, is because you are not revealed to what has happened or happening in that crime scene. And that’s your exhibit A. This shocking therapy may not be advised but is evidently one of it’s best element, where Coen Brothers are also using the game of thought provoking assumptions along with flabbergasting treats.

    Exhibit B. The physical sequences. The awe inspiring aspect of the film is not only a challenge for the writer but also the director. Since not only it has to be an engaging but also crisp clean when it maps and runs on that track. There is very little the film expresses verbally and when it does, the monologues are usually whispering the gist of the action or describing the terror or emotional state of these characters. Now, in order to use these actions creatively and deeply resonating they have to use props, behavior and even the actions as an evolving arc.

    And in order to do so effectively and effortlessly- unlike these thoughts of mine about the film that are annoyingly filled with adjectives- they are using these elements with different perspective which leads to our final exhibit C. The props. Juggling with these three key elements and unearthly- or probably the most earthly- mortality wins, Coen Brothers marks their maturity on filmmaking and storytelling skills, especially in contrast to The Fargo who has more levity in its language then this thrilling horror. No Country For Old Men concerns for a common man tangled in an uncalled war, surviving, breathing and dreaming.

     
  • Arth 02:08 on August 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    One Fine Day 

    Clooney and Pfeiffer goes hand in hand for a good night’s sleep, the audience meets half way for them.

    Hoffman has energy that this script needs and the film lacks. The script by Terrel Seltzer and Ellen Simon is contradicting the premise and the procedure perpetually creating, placing hurdles in front of the sugar coated lead couple of the film to overcome. And they do. And the actors, George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer, has received the love they deserve from all the corners. Their charming chemistry couldn’t go unnoticed. But I want to work on the hard matter on why a film led, carried by these two stars fails and fumbles to make it through even a day. And I’d like to think maybe Michael Hoffman, the director, is adding trouble to an already lazy script. The premise is actually not what goes on the film but how the audience will and should react to the film.

    And with an aim of delivering a rainy feel good date movie, the film is beautiful and calm. Something that can easily be seen when any of these characters are left alone on screen or are given a close up shot. But this mellow subject or state of life that these characters are in, is rushed with a sense of urgency and a time bomb ticking behind their minds that creates an unsettling feeling for the viewers to go through.

    For a film that basically is on a run for most of the time, Hoffman insists on us to understand the gravitas of the decisions that these characters are making. As a result this mixture of dirty fights and sloppy kisses, never makes sense as you dive deep into their plans. One Fine Day, to be fair, is also cornered majorly by the title and its premise, it feels obliged to go through most of the mundane dull events of their life to reach to the end of the clock it wishes to, the day is longer and the night hopefully left for assumption.

     
  • Arth 01:55 on August 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Birdcage 

    What could have been another mixture of an exaggerated dysfunctional family sketch, instead ends up being real.

    Nichols dramatizes the joke with utmost sincerity. Something that we lack in this day and generation. It is always advised to completely dive and commit yourself to the absurdity of the comical world that you represent. One of the finest examples is Will Ferrell in Jon Favreau’s Elf. The silliness is the usual, call it a baggage or an armor, thing that you carry in your body language but the sheer childish madness that Ferrell has conjured is what makes the film and the character so iconic. And it is not that the director Mike Nichols doesn’t have someone as enthusiastically committing as Ferrell, if anything, he has the king of all, he has Robin Williams in his film.

    Yet, only for once does Williams get to showcase his comic skills which too is a part of act that he channels to mock Albert his hyper emotional partner played mesmerizingly by Nathan Lane. And the film stays reserved till the credits starts rolling, it is one of its best assets. Hence, this dramatic version of a comical situation is what keeps you awake in a what could be a riot of laughter; which by the way there aren’t any. Not to say it isn’t funny, the jokes are smart, the one liners follows a slapstick humor which then is followed by a plenty of medicinal talk.

    Aforementioned, Nathan Lane comes off as a rise and shine hero in this pragmatic world since he is on your face the whole time. In a good way. His character has to be and is over-the-top. An actor wouldn’t miss a chance to let go off such a golden opportunity and you can see Lane holding tight to it dearly. The Birdcage is defined to me in that montage sequence of Williams preparing Lane for a ruffian John Wayne role, but that definition is only completed when Lane, after the training, walks out in front of us, sits and looks right at us, an actor.

     
  • Arth 00:14 on August 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Inherent Vice 

    The mythological vocabulary of Anderson wonders me more than it intrigues me, the case might as well be a dead end.

    Anderson makes me happy. And Thomas Pynchon, a novelist whose book of the same name is adapted from, makes me frown, provokes me to think. What should a result be when these two sources rain in one project? The result is deliberately dubious, perilous and dazzling. Paul Thomas Anderson, the director, works as a catalyst in the film. For Pynchon is famous for his hefty complex material, Anderson is helping enormously to swallow this pill with as much as style and ease as possible. And this agenda clears his major dilemma of placing the vital plot elements into a coherent narrative arcs. For instance, Aaron Sorkin who writes in a similar heavy language, found difficult to picturize his own script on screen when he decided to direct Molly’s Game. Previously he had worked with Martin Scorsese, David Fincher and Rob Reiner whose methods he had to adapt to go through a thick binder of script in around 2 hours.

    Fortunately, Anderson too, is the best one out there. And with a steady camera he allows you, as a viewer, to sensibly observe from a definite viewpoint. So that the passed on information, the gossip, the whispered secret is consumed properly. In fact, most of the direction follows similar camera work, usually it is panned towards the action with a straight path and a pace similar to the way the story develops. Also, he is focusing on just the heads of these characters that is analysed so thoroughly here. Since he never gives you a wider shot, despite creating a ’70s Los Angeles- usually a wider shot is expected and normal to get when a film has created set pieces from a different era- and worked so hard and beautifully on the production and costume design, the cinematography follows close-up shots to direct the narrator, who then directs us. The film has plenty of scenes to cover, from one incident to another and another, I find this method unsettling and irresponsibly in rush for a film.

    Yet, when Anderson does it, there is awe in his work. Primarily because he threads all these crime scenes with painting like picturization and a sketch like formation- that is to say that each of the scene has an introduction, middle section and a final act to follow- that offers you little wins in every situation. He is also speaking with color and using not just the appealing neon light nature of it, but the contrast and the way it shadows a character. For example, take the first scene itself, where Sashta Fay Hepworth played by Katherine Waterston visits Joaquin Phoenix embodying “The Doc Sportello!” There is never an infusion of the neon blue and dying red color, the line that it meets on remain crisp and clean just like the film’s humor. Inherent Vice has a satisfying poignancy that a rare classic offers you.

     
  • Arth 23:16 on August 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Wild Rose 

    Harper is not serving anything new in the table, but this family recipe is a reaffirmation of the good old days.

    Harper is a hardworking common man. Or that’s at least how he crafts his film like. In his defence Nicole Taylor’s script calls for it, but it is not just that. He could have treated the film like a soaring crowd pleasing commercial film that would maybe marginally reach out to a larger scale. The director Tom Harper instead has a mild balanced therapy that he channels to evolve a wild a character as such. And as much as preposterous it may sound, the journey is equally profound. This, often considered to be eerily resembling with the theme of A Star Is Born, is actually quite sober to ever groove on that dance floor.

    Not that it cannot or lacks the potential or even opportunity, for a brief period you can see it easily land on that same note. But aforementioned, Taylor’s world is more suburban-y and more importantly satisfied in the world it surrounds itself with. As a result, it focuses on the day to day issues of a common man- in its own way of course- residing in a society juggling the social rigmaroles that everyone tells it to follow dutifully.

    And usually, especially in an era that is taken by a storm of coming-of-age genre, the answer would be to break all the bridges and promises to pursue the dream. But what if all of this is a big hallucination, fortunately we have Harper’s version the catches the film’s criticism with fluffy pillows and country music. Julie Walters is holding that side of the argument and with two empathetic entities playing around the house, she warms the stirred drink of Wild Rose played by Jessie Buckley whose transformation in the film as it ages on the screen reminds you of the old style rehab process where the cage is rattled outside, out in the public, in fact, a crowd.

     
  • Arth 15:45 on August 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Borat: The Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan 

    Sacha’s skills on questioning as an interviewer are no match to his answers that he voluntarily whispers.

    Sacha Baron Cohen remains the raunchiest witty comic personality to this day and his work couldn’t define him better than this political comedy. This political agenda that it pursues or lives and dies for, isn’t actually political. Very early in the film, the premise gets lost and you are left with an outdated man in an out-of-comfort territory trying to fit in. This cultural difference that Sacha has created remains mythical. In the sense that whenever he compares, and he does compare a lot, to all the new things he, as entitled to and is keen towards, insists on learning is often mashed on your face with absurd level of wrong-ness that leaves long gasping of air in the room rather than a riot of laughter.

    And this is what it looks forward to. Not that it doesn’t consist of belly aching laughs, there are plenty of ongoing gags like Cohen’s jealous neighbor, his way of greeting, him describing his family and his love for a TV star actress that he found out just last night. Addition to that, his political incorrectness, social incompetence, communication problems, gender inequality, hygiene issues and unflinching honest confessions are just a few other things that adds up to the laughter.

    And crafting this very unearthly character Sacha never persists on us to get manipulated or fall for his views. It is not later on, until you feel this. For, for the time being you do feel sorry for him, that empathy is what Sacha inadvertently works on and can’t help himself but make his audience fell normalized by his behavior, his language, something that would be off putting and maniacally dangerous, if peeled off and observed individually. Borat remains a genius authentic comic adventure for its effortless procedure, it is so simple that no one could come up with it.

     
  • Arth 02:03 on August 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Great Dictator 

    The infamous speech is appealing because Chaplin is stating the obvious, something that no one did at that time, no one dared.

    Chaplin is a bold filmmaker. But saying that, just that, would it be enough. I mean Seth Rogen and James Franco made and released a film that was accused of being an act of war. Maybe that was a bold move- MAYBE! This bravery is beyond limit, to a certain degree that it loses the wit and noble intentions and innocence and just hangs on the wall as a piece of art, alone, without any strings attached. And yet this cannot be considered or enjoyed or even understood instead of accounting the subtext that it actually reads on, no matter what the disclaimer might say at the beginning of the film.

    Everything, from writing to directing to acting, Charlie Chaplin is, instead of exerting, absorbing an enormous amount of energy for owning the rights of having an upper hand. And it works every time. Playing two characters, the hardworking empathetic barber with an incredibly moving from-penny-to-palace trajectory that emphasises to be of cinematic level. I am perpetually attracted towards his dictator figure that he so meticulously and passionately portrays. Not for what or who he represents, not the jokes, not the irony of it, but the enigma that Chaplin encodes that goes unnoticed.

    What he basically does and did at that time and day is, maybe deliberately or inadvertently, humanize the god-like-powerful persona. He has lavishly portrayed him, dipped and literally covered around gold, yet his dissatisfaction and inadequacies is what gives depth to this classic. Not the physical fumbles for the laugh but a sensible decision of his lifestyle that covers up his professional, personal, love and social life- the iconic scene of Chaplin playing with a globe, yes could be and should be considered as one of the best moments of cinematic history. The Great Dictator is great, simply great, and so is the crowd he wishes to nurture.

     
  • Arth 21:47 on August 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    A Mighty Heart 

    Surf whatever channel you wish to, the day you see this film you are going to hear only one news.

    Winterbottom has a daunting task, to make an unfathomable true case into a compelling drama. And the primary reason why it doesn’t speak to the larger audience, is that it focuses on the aspects of the world that people often tend to ignore. Addition to that, as an excuse for drama, it is obliged to and does focuses on the reminiscing emotions along with guilt, unknown terror and lack of opportunity. And packed hastily with these horrifying elements the adapted screenplay of John Orloff from a book by Mariane Pearl, threads this sobering journey with formal paperwork and vital social rigmarole that it has cornered itself to go through.

    The director Michael Winterbottom against these many odds is still delivering a gritty political drama that befriends the humanitarian nature in the workplace. And that very brief period, that comes late in the film remains my favorite part and the gist of the film. Despite being dipped in a series of pathos information revealed subsequently, the troops in the middle of this cold war manages to find some quality time to share and endear. A film of such rigid posture and it feels good to see it dance absentminded; a slow dance but I’ll take anything.

    And supporting cast is a major boost in this film. There are plenty of guest appearances in here and each of them casts quite an impression on us and Angelina Jolie in lead. Her part, to be fair, is difficult to portray. Consistently and entirely covering the film with a reserved depressed emotional ride, Jolie gets very few moments to fully exaggerate and express her emotions. A Mighty Heart has a big upbeating and surprisingly even optimistic heart, but all of that remains to be the aftermath that is to and does come after the storm leaves the sea.

     
  • Arth 18:29 on August 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Ultimo Tango A Parigi (Last Tango In Paris) 

    The chase scene, the last run, the rush that it gives me, that adrenaline is what drives me to cinema every single time.

    Bertolucci’s vision is above most filmmakers. At least in that era. I can imagine him being drooled over by the actors let alone viewers. For his magnetic characters calls for much more attention than his world ever did. And this can easily be pointed out by the way he picturizes his characters, i.e. he mostly uses close-up shots, especially when they are expressing themselves. And if the writer and director Bernardo Bertolucci does focus on the world his characters hover around, he usually portrays it as a map. And as a viewer you are told to find out, look for the faces when he distances you from them.

    And this is his genius, this is the part where you and he knows that his story is getting in your head, his characters are taking charge over you. And who else will be a better contender to invest your chips on then Marlon Brando who at that prime stage was the hottest, reliable ticket to tear up on screen. The expectations that he comes up with is exceeded by just the way, as an individual entity, in this romantic drama, he is painted, it is simply brilliant.

    And I am not just saying that being his fan or the power he is given in his hand or the mystery that shadows him throughout the film, it is actually the way his character is romanticized. The dark drunken aspect of his love track is what impresses and inspires me the most. And it is not this his love is grounded or barred within a particular character, no matter who he shares his screen with, he remains a powerful imbalanced force and if he is not, he just leaves the room. Last Tango In Paris has the best dance in the film, it is between a cat and a mouse.

     
  • Arth 01:13 on August 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Ging Chaat Goo Si (Police Story) 

    This time travelling machine is Chan’s detailed and affectionate piece of work, it beams me back to childhood days with a mature perspective.

    Chan is obsessed on delivering an engaging story. And when I say obsessed, I mean he has crafted every scene, every frame of the film as a compelling and challenging sequence to reel you in. And boy does it work. Against all odds, all fumbles, all the absurdity and the cliched element of the script, the film stays at the tip of its feet convincing you to be at that very same posture, totally thrilled and enthusiastic about a regular case of an oh-so-non regular cop. But this super cop is never revealing his intentions or the trick of what makes him so absorbing and empathetic towards us.

    For it’s not that he is a good guy or particularly a bad one. His three dimensional character is what holds up against time, for a film so advanced in the mid ’80s, it feels refreshing to know that we are in safe hands, and that guy (Jackie Chan) is the lead actor of the film along with being a writer and director. And for someone who often writes his part, as in the choreography of the action sequences which has always been him figuring out how much and where he can push himself, he knows what and where to flaunt his dancing and comic skills and where to work on simply the merit of the storyline.

    Also I’d like to mention the amazingly crisp editing that makes the action look clean for the most part of the film. The loud and cheesy background score that goes for the cheap shot works surprisingly in its favour, especially when the jokes are lost in Chan’s innocent eyes and his body that writhes from pain and rage which elevates the mediocre part of the film into a nail biting gritty Police Story.

     
  • Arth 21:55 on August 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    A Bug’s Life 

    Pixar is on a strike, would be understanding things they have never seen a fall remains the truth.

    Pixar is covering another part of the world as an excuse of educating and entertaining the children whose pseudo effect is serving a compelling drama for adults. Or at least that’s what it feels like. And this is their genius. Replacing the throne of Disney in this current generation, Pixar is actually has smart filmmakers and storytellers in its pocket. And carrying out the similar formulas used back in the old days in the name of fairy tales, the banner has pressed plenty of adorable animal friendly anecdotes to woo the younger audience in. And with baffling premises and witty strategies, they have stayed toe to toe with the social and filmmaking changes.

    As in they have matured wisely for the hip and happening culture that they have wished to be a part of. Checking off another territory, this time the writer and director John Lasseter is focusing on a smaller and hard working kingdom. Ergo emerges his lead character, contradicting the nature and the world he revolves around, his laziness is smart and curiosity efficiently effective.

    But as most of the game changers goes through, he is bogged down by the slow minded wrong doers and fear lovers and is cornered to go through a journey of rethinking and evaluation. But this is why I love these Pixar movies the most, even at its peak of necessary dramatic elements, they tend to carve a big piece of levity in the narration that is always attention grabbing and easily nuanced. But this goes unnoticed, usually because they are not afraid of using new almost-guest-alike characters introduced and surfed every now and then for a quality situational comedy and not just one liners. In A Bug’s Life the most fascinating and thrilling scenario is their version of a city life, such metaphors come easy and a lot in this wonderful inspirational tale.

     
  • Arth 14:59 on August 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Aliens 

    Cameron’s not looking for that shocking moment of catching-you-by-surprise, he’d rather cook you with the 20 seconds of anticipation of the known fear.

    Cameron is born for the sci-fi genre and he doesn’t take this talent and aspiration for granted. As a result, what he has pulled off in here is almost impossible, living up to the expectation of an already cultural phenomenon, and for me, it exceeds the previous venture by Ridley Scott. And I only feel that it exceeds the expectations, is because it is incredibly difficult for the writer and director James Cameron to fill in on already infomercial pamphlet. And if you look at it properly, actually there is nothing new that he brings out plot wise in this chapter, it is another same adventure, they name it so unenthusiastically.

    But it is the hypnotizing procedure of Cameron and self-realization of what it is. He is addressing the absurdity of the plot by not mocking it but acknowledging it seriously. And after the guns are loaded, premise set, his manipulation as a visual storyteller is extremely inspiring. Take the set pieces for instance. He has already painted these missions like some war invasion and with it he has drawn out the obligation over necessary elements.

    Literally, unloading those responsibilities on his characters, he is stretching the claustrophobic and exhausting aspect of the job by confiding them in tiny set pieces. Most of the time, the set pieces are really small or are either have multiple characters roaming about, giving them less room to full flex their muscles and fight at their will. And even if he puts them on big pieces, he is focusing on their close up, where they are sweating and worn out by this whole fiasco. Mind you, Cameron hasn’t even touched the fictional part of his storyline and you are already vulnerable. Aliens remains a classic, for no one after this focused on the day to day issues that human behavior exerts on each other; which is more horrifying than anything.

     
  • Arth 19:07 on August 2, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    J. Edgar 

    DiCaprio and Eastwood, a dream collaboration that stays a dream for the most part of the film.

    Eastwood’s magic touch won’t be able to enlighten the intricacies of white collar politics. But then I wouldn’t blame the director Clint Eastwood and instead would blame the self-contradicting script of Dustin Lance Black. A script that works backwards has a tediously hard job to pull off the plug when it comes to leave you on anything. And this remains the theme, in each scene you always feel like you should have left a few notes before. To really savor what was pitched so drastically on screen. It covers the life of a political figure like a news and news it feels throughout the course of the feature.

    It is extremely dry and formal to romanticize any idea or character or emotion, As a result you are never immersed in the storytelling of this controversial being. And that’s much more disappointing when you see someone as Leonardo DiCaprio pouring his heart out in his scenes with Armie Hammer. And even though I felt Hammer not succeeding completely to ping pong back to DiCaprio with equal sincerity and force, Eastwood has wisely carved out this film around the crux of this relationship.

    As a result the film showcases them dancing amidst the judgy eyes and pointing fingers beautifully with no music at all. And this is why I feel Eastwood enlightens his part of the world as much as he could, knowing what the audience would remember at the end of the day. But aforementioned this is a drop in the ocean, the script has very little crisp for the audience to look forward to it. Caring about whether the eyes would fall asleep or not suddenly becomes more vital than the authenticity through which they speak about J. Edgar; it is an upset because it fails to work on merit let alone live up to the expectations coming from the cast and crew.

     
  • Arth 02:04 on August 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw 

    It is satisfyingly funny, for they are technically making fun of the actors and not the characters, the film itself and not the situation.

    Leitch and his unflinching promise to the world on breaking down the middle ground between a B grade premise to good filmmaking has left me amazed and happy. And challenging himself, he isn’t just diving in on an outdated formula but also on the most frowned upon franchise and to add more troubles, a spin-off. But by now, we should face the facts and acknowledge that he had not just been winging on his luck up till now. The director David Leitch is famous for his signature over-the-top procedure on… basically everything. But is he really stretching things though? I mean we’ve encountered some pretty obnoxious overflowing embroidery before too, but none of it felt so coherent. None of it made sense. Yes, he is really going over-the-top, the only difference is that he accepts his near madness of spiced up screen with genuinity and frivolity.

    Plus, he calculates the characteristics of the characters in numbers. Something that might sound like a head turning idea, but when he jumbles those same things onto the screen, it works. Against all odds, all accusations and flaws, it works. And this is the note where the film leaves me on. Is that it worked. I bought it. All of it. I shouldn’t be surprised considering that the franchise, despite it’s ups and downs, has managed to stay toe to toe with the political correctness- one of the few films in recent years, that gets the message passed on with a nuanced and effective expression- and expectations of its fandom.

    And yet with the same characters, same concept, same world and the same structure of the script, Hobbs And Shaw is unlike the root of the franchise. As in, for a franchise that has evidently and proudly worked so hard on the choreography of the antics- which often is a big stunt or a change in location- Hobbs And Shaw perpetually rejects to nod on those hyped up moments. To be fair, there is tons of pressure to let an entire quarter of a film hinge upon one moment.

    And it is also not that they don’t try, but knowing that they end up coming with often derivative set pieces, they are leaving the answers blank on the sheet. And as a result the surprise catches you where the film should have actually failed. Justifying the title of the film, they have worked properly on the lead equation of the film. After a thorough homework on what made their relationship so special in The Fate Of The Furious, the makers have given enough reason for the fans to discuss their fights, their stunts, their bickering, their trash talks, their empty threats, and their unsung boyish comfort level that they share.

    This film, in fact, the franchise has proved again and again, bringing a new dimension on filmmaking, how and what sort of potential information should they pass on. If a film is art, and commercial film serving the audience that very art wrapped with attractive blingy wallpaper, it is not only safe but smart to know then, what audience really wants; Bravo!

     
  • Arth 20:30 on July 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The Hateful Eight 

    Probably Tarantino’s smoothest and most affectionate filmmaking style, almost as if he didn’t make it for anyone but himself.

    Tarantino’s idea of novelization is getting its feet on, firm and deep, no matter how familiar and even outdated the arena might feel like. This, often considered as derivative, formula coming from his very own project Reservoir Dogs, breathes this time a heavy western warm air in this cold land and among cold characters. But the entire quickness of the western genre is melted down to racial slurs when the writer-director Quentin Tarantino decides to slowly kill you off with a poisonous theme. His methods are tricky and even deliberately deceiving, thinning the crowd, he wishes to give the time of their lives for the viewers of his own taste.

    And filmed in two 65 mm Ultra Panavision, the viewers are tamed to absorb the presence of the screen much more than the assumption skills. As in the film is not thought provoking, it doesn’t mean that the film isn’t smart, it’s just that it is shot with an intention of reading the lines, the screen with a warm tea on a rainy morning; ergo it feels like a book. And boy, is it a page turner! From chapter after chapter, Tarantino is giving you exactly what you are looking for with a predictable outcome, playing not a safe ground but a going-out-of-its-way rule.

    Tarantino has matured the most as a director, speaking most of the story visually, he is probably underrated for this project of his, on not being layered enough. But if you see his characterization and mythical rumorization of the props you’ll feel like that element growing into a character, smooth and nice. For instance, if a film covers a flashback scene, and we are returning to the first shot of the film, Tarantino gives us a different angle, signifying the other side of the storyline that we are about to focus; not The Hateful Eight but the unsung one.

     
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