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All reviews - Movies (30) - TV Shows (1)

The Book Thief (2013) review

Posted : 4 years, 10 months ago on 27 March 2014 09:04 (A review of The Book Thief (2013))

This movie contained fictional theme , but it was so touching that it completely felt real. Set in 40's and including a small girl it was really heart touching movie. It provides joy at times and sometimes breaks the heart.. Its little slow in beginning but interesting at end. With simple plot its very good. You'll love it!

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Escape Plan review

Posted : 4 years, 10 months ago on 27 March 2014 08:48 (A review of Escape Plan)

well Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger together ! Does it excite you?????
I bet it does !
The duo gave us a great pieece of entertainment. Has a really good twist, very good acting and idea..
It a good movie. Keeps entertained!

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Out of the Furnace review

Posted : 4 years, 10 months ago on 27 March 2014 08:41 (A review of Out of the Furnace)

Expected a masterpiece , as cast was very powerful but it turned down. Even as always the actors have given their great shots , movie is very dull especially in the beginning. All over, its good movie but it could have been alot better. Some scenes are very touching & gives realization of acting power pack, but it won't meet your expectations. Expected totally different and expected alot.... Enjoyable but disappointing when you keep pack of super cast in view.

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The Dark Knight Rises review

Posted : 5 years, 9 months ago on 9 April 2013 12:04 (A review of The Dark Knight Rises)

finally , the end of trilogy - but moulded to invincible perfection! Every single part of this trio is masterpiece ! This is superb end to unmatched direction, acting, n what not !
Its Masterpiece at best by master Nolan :-)

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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter review

Posted : 6 years, 9 months ago on 30 March 2012 06:01 (A review of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter)

WOW , i may not like the movie , but its name is damn awesome . it instantly drags ur attention ,,, this is another must watch movie , seriously lookin forward for it:)

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21 Jump Street (2012) review

Posted : 6 years, 10 months ago on 25 March 2012 02:12 (A review of 21 Jump Street (2012))

21 Jump Street admits from the start, in a nicely timed and very meta joke, that it's really just an attempt to mine the past for nostalgia and ideas-- in this case, adapting a somewhat beloved 80s TV show about undercover cops in high school. But while that might have been Sony's goal when they set up the movie with star and producer Jonah Hill, the movie itself is more of an excuse to combine a surprisingly touching buddy story with wild, absurdist comedy from the directors who also brought you Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Unpredictable and very silly but with real emotional stakes, 21 Jump Street makes up for a shaggy script with a wily, endearing energy that feels like anything but a tired retread.

The movie contains a lot of pleasant surprises, but none bigger than the performance from Channing Tatum, known until now as a hunky but dull romance and action star. He showed a glimmer of comedic potential in Ron Howard's The Dilemma, but it's nothing compared to what he brings to 21 Jump Street as Jenko, the former high school burnout who, as a cop, never quite bothered to learn the Miranda Rights and got through the Academy largely through coaching from his buddy Schmidt (Hill). We meet Jenko and Schmidt briefly in high school as two very different kinds of losers, and a zippy montage gets us to their first weeks on the job as bike cops, ineptly making an arrest in a public park and celebrating as if they've saved the planet. They're immature and not especially good at their jobs, but their unlikely friendship feels believable from the start, as Tatum and Hill make a surprisingly natural comedic duo.

As you know, Jenko and Schmidt are assigned to work undercover at a high school to bust a drug dealing ring, and from there the script by Michael Bacall takes on a very, very loose structure, setting up a romantic interest for Schmidt in hip high-schooler Molly (Brie Larson), a gang of geeky new friends for Jenko, and a weak antagonist in Dave Franco's Eric, a thoroughly modern drug dealer who writes songs about recycling and has plans to attend Berkeley. Schmidt and Jenko are confronting their own lingering demons from high school in very true and very funny ways, to the point that returning to the ostensible plot starts to feel like a drag after a while.

The movie hits a high point early when Jenko and Schmidt are forced to take the drugs they're rounding up and Tatum proves himself as an able physical comedian, but otherwise meanders its way to a big climax set-- where else?-- at prom. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller keep up the film's energy through a Michael Bay-inspired car chase, a genuinely fun party scene and a ridiculous fight taking place during a performance of Peter Pan, but in the rare moments where you're not laughing, it's hard not to notice that the narrative is spinning its wheels.

And yet, the rambling narrative makes more room for small supporting turns from a whole bunch of funny people, including Ellie Kemper as a science teacher fighting her attraction to Jenko, Jake Johnson as an overwhelmed (but also miscast) principal, Ice Cube as the harsh-talking police commander, and especially Rob Riggle as the track team coach trying to turn Schmidt into a superstar. A lot of these characters don't get as much screentime as they deserve, but they add to 21 Jump Street's weird tapestry of joke after joke after joke, a comedic world constantly teetering on the edge of logic and getting away with way more than you'd think was possible.

If you saw the delightfully weird Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, it's less surprising that 21 Jump Street is as light on its feet and funny as it is. But from Tatum's perfect comedic chops to the gonzo drug-use sequence to the well-timed action beats of the finale, 21 Jump Street never runs out of surprises, compensating for a lack of narrative steam with a wit and enthusiasm unmatched by most modern comedies. Who would have guessed that a 21 Jump Street movie would be not just good, but in its best moments, kind of great?

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The Raid: Redemption review

Posted : 6 years, 10 months ago on 25 March 2012 02:10 (A review of The Raid: Redemption)

The Raid: Redemption, the newest film from writer/director Gareth Evans, isn’t so much an action movie as it is an action experience. Featuring some of the best fight scenes ever put to film, nearly every minute is a pulse pounding, hair raising, piece of awesome.

Set in the slums of Jakarta, Indonesia, the story begins as an elite 20-man SWAT team orchestrates a raid on a 30 floor apartment building. Inside, on the 15th floor, is the man they are going after: a ruthless kingpin and drug lord (Ray Sahetapy) who lords over his tenants, who themselves are some of the most dangerous criminals in the city. While the mission starts off smoothly, when everything goes haywire it’s up to a young cop, Rama (Iko Uwais), to not only survive, but to save as many of his fellow officers as he can.

The actors in this film can simply do things that our actors are not capable of doing. Watching Uwais during a fight scene causes your jaw to unintentionally gape, but even more impressively, just about every other actor is equally talented. Yayan Ruhian and Doni Alamsyah, who play two of the film’s principal bad guys, can do things previously thought incapable with the human body. Not only that, but the characters can sell pain just as well as they sell a punch to the neck. By the end of each fight sequence you feel just as brutalized as the characters in the movie and it’s an incredible sensation.

As skilled as the actors are, what ultimately sells it is Gareth Evans’ brilliant direction during the combat scenes. Rather than pull up so tight that you can’t understand what’s going on or quick cut so that you can’t put movements and events in sequence, Evans actually lets the audience watch the amazing detail of each blow. As a result of the steady camerawork, the audience actually feels like they are a part of the action and the adrenaline goes soaring.

The Raid’s greatest strength contributes to its one problem. Because of the endless energy found in all of the fight sequences, the scenes where people are just walking or talking to each other feel exponentially slowed down. It’s literally a matter of body chemistry, as your heart begins to beat so fast that any kind of immediate dropoff is going to affect you emotionally. It’s no fault to the story, which is gripping and has some solid twists and turns, but there simply is nothing in the film that can outshine the sight of a man leaping backwards over a broken door frame and jamming a piece of wood through a criminal’s neck. It actually says something significant about the quality of the action, as few other movies could get away with this balance. It’s simply that good.

At some point while watching The Raid: Redemption you will likely have a moment where you think to yourself, “How can that man have his head be slammed against the wall that many times and keep standing up?” but it doesn’t matter. Evans’ film plays fast and loose with physics and biology and the end result is a true thrill ride and one hell of an experience.

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The Hunger Games review

Posted : 6 years, 10 months ago on 19 March 2012 02:29 (A review of The Hunger Games)

Too often when it comes to big screen adaptations of beloved best-selling novels, we spend the bulk of a review pointing out all of the places the filmmaker went wrong. With The Hunger Games, it’s a distinct pleasure to sing about all of the places the masterful translation went right.

As directed by Gary Ross -- with the clear intention of launching a franchise -- Games brings to life Suzanne Collins’ minimalistic sci-fi survival epic by hewing closely to the author’s illustrative text. Dedicated readers won’t need a plot synopsis, yet newcomers should know the basics. In a futuristic society, war has fractured our society. The “Haves” live in The Capitol, a gaudy, hedonistic Gomorrah nestled somewhere in the Rockies. The “Have Nots” congregate in 12 different Districts, each characterized by their environmental region and populace. And every year, as a means of imposing its will on the Districts, the Capitol forces children chosen by lottery to compete in The Hunger Games, a physical battle to the death.

Enter our hero, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), a headstrong and fiercely independent hunter from the impoverished District 12 whose skill with a bow and arrow helps her to provide for her emotionally distraught mother (Paula Malcomson) and younger sister, Prim (Willow Shields). On the day of the Reaping, when contestants are selected to participate in the Games, Katniss hears her sister’s name called by the garish Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) … then boldly steps forward and demands to fight in her sibling’s place.

Ross wins the bulk of his own production battle in the casting department, matching the right talent with Collins’ well-sketched roles. Everything starts with Lawrence, and she is absolutely perfect as Katniss. She is gorgeous enough to flourish during the pageantry stages of the Games, yet naturalistic enough to convince us that this scrappy survivor can do more than persevere in the arena. Early scenes set in the rural District 12 actually call to mind Lawrence’s Oscar-nominated performance as the similarly feisty Ree in Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone. Yet unlike Ree, Katniss is required to undergo several transformations as she struggles to survive the sadistic Truman-Show-meets-The-Running-Man reality competition the Capitol forces on her and the other competitors (known as Tributes). And Lawrence handles each stage with the maturity and versatility we’ve grown to expect from this accomplished performer.

Her dedication spreads throughout the ensemble, which nails each beat as Games marches through Collins’ vivid plot. Josh Hutcherson’s quiet, durable charisma serves him well as Peeta Mellark, District 12’s other Tribute who’s hiding a wealth of secrets. Banks’ gift for broad comedy underlines Effie’s unfortunate grotesqueness, while Woody Harrelson’s hedonistic off-screen reputation brings a needed edge to Haymitch Abernathy, a Games survivor brought in to mentor Katniss and Peeta. And if there could be an Oscar for “Best Scene Stealer,” Stanley Tucci would be the frontrunner after his calculatedly overblown turn as color commentator Caesar Flickerman.

But casting’s only half the story. Ross's decision to film The Hunger Games with docu-drama techniques rite an indie realism for this obvious sci-fi fable that brilliantly plays into the tensions and hostilities of the narrative. I’m convinced this world exists, somewhere, from the ramshackle hovels of District 12 to the dense killing field that is the arena. Solid production values bolster the underlying messages and radical ideas laced through Collins’ work. President Snow (Donald Sutherland, teased for future installments) talks to Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley) about giving the population hope, if only so that they can be beaten and crushed back into submission. But Katniss’ efforts to survive, her strength to endure, are traits that audiences of all ages will find themselves celebrating ... even as they support the bloody overthrowing of a corrupt government.

But that’s for later. Readers know the story continues in Catching Fire, and Lionsgate plans to get the proverbial band back together – and soon – once it’s determined that a broad audience buys into the Games and would like to see more. I don’t think that will be a problem. Ross and crew succeed in converting Collins’ best-selling text to the screen, and fans should reward their efforts. When it comes to The Hunger Games, the odds are ever in this film’s favor.

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Batman Begins review

Posted : 6 years, 10 months ago on 19 March 2012 02:23 (A review of Batman Begins)

Michael Bay takes a lot of flack for his films, but whatever you think of them you have to agree that he’s pretty good at blowing stuff up. Directing an action movie is actually a special skill, and not one that everyone always gets right. Some directors fall prey to the shaky-cam, others use too many wires and end up making their actors look like they’re full of helium. The real trick of helming a superhero franchise is that in the end it’s not enough to fill your movie with nothing but kick ass stunts, nor is it enough simply to nail proper character development. A truly great superhero movie successfully scores with all elements: story, character, atmosphere, and action. The Batman universe’s new entry, Batman Begins, misses being the definitive take on the character precisely because helmer Christopher Nolan is no action director. In spite of that, the movie works because he gets the Dark Knight in a way no one else yet has.

Nolan’s attempt is called Batman Begins and as the title suggests it covers the most boring of superhero genre necessities, the origin story. Next year director Bryan Singer will try to restart the Superman series by picking up where Richard Donner left off, but Nolan is going the opposite war here, he’s giving Batman a total reboot. Behind the cape and cowl (at least when Bruce Wayne finally gets around to putting it on) is British actor Christian Bale who most recently won acclaim for doing a Lindsay Lohan impression in The Machinist.

Begins follows Bruce Wayne’s journey to becoming Batman, from the murder of his parents in a back alley to training in a remote Chinese dojo under the tutelage of a mysterious martial arts master. Batman, unlike most superheroes, isn’t driven so much by a desire to do right as he is by a burning need for vengeance. The screenplay by Chris Nolan and genre veteran David Goyer builds towards that admirably, taking time to languish over Bruce Wayne’s internal conflict for at least an hour before he actually wraps himself in a bat symbol. In that time we’re treated to flashbacks and flash forwards, training montages, and words of wisdom from Bruce’s crime-fighting instructor Ducard as given life by the perfect on-screen mentor, Liam Neeson.

Once Wayne returns to Gotham, we’re thrown still more exposition as the film tries to put a realistic spin on the vigilante character. Batman’s car for instance is an abandoned military tank prototype, a little more plausible than a Rolls Royce that can climb walls. Time for more montage, this time while Bruce paints his costume, sharpens Batarangs, and orders his mask from Taiwan. Yes, Batman’s cape is made in China. Isn’t everything?

By the time Batman takes on his first mission, we’re well and fully primed for some action. It’s here that Nolan really does something different, by first showing us the Batman from a criminal’s perspective. Our dark clad hero lurks unseen in the shadows, luring criminals in and then in the blink of an eye dragging them mercilessly up to a rooftop. Batman’s initial costumed outing plays a lot like a scene from Alien, with the caped crusader hanging from the ceiling as he awaits unsuspecting prey. When he finally attacks it’s in a blur of darkness and pounding kicks, for the first time we fully understand what it is about him that strikes so much fear into the heart of his opponents. This shadowy, obscured introduction to Bale in costume is wonderfully effective, provided that we’re given an opportunity to clearly see the icon at work in costume as the rest of the movie progresses. This is Batman after all, and we’re here for the action as much as the character.

That’s where Nolan’s movie really hits a roadblock, because the action never goes much further. Subsequent fights are shot with extreme close-ups and in overbearing shadow. We don’t get many good looks at Batman in motion, and anything approaching a wide shot is obscured in heavy clouds of steam. The film’s climax features a powerful hand to hand battle between Batman and Ra’s Al Ghul, but with Nolan’s camera three inches away from the Dark Knight’s cowl I’d be hard pressed to tell you who is punching who. I admire Nolan’s reported refusal to over-use computer generated effects on his film, but if this sort of off-screen action is the result perhaps he should have considered throwing in some nice animation. Tim Burton managed to give us a few thrills without computers so I’m not sure that’s a valid excuse.

It isn’t that Batman Begins isn’t visually stunning, it is. Nolan has a distinct visual style that pays off in gorgeous ways when put to work on Bats. Watching him descend from Gotham’s pollution streaked sky into a hive of villainy has never looked quite so eerily beautiful. There’s a great chase sequence involving the new Batmobile too, its new tank-like structure opening up new opportunities for destruction. I also love the way the film uses actual bats, it ads a unique air of significance to Batman’s animal persona that the other movies have never had. Aside from a rather odd scene in which Batman fights the equivalent of hordes of lumbering zombies, sharp believability seems to be the watchword here, in place of Burton’s Gothic influence or Schumacher’s wacky circus act.

For me, the film is at its best when breathing life into the people around Batman. Future police commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) plays a pivotal role in the story, except we’re catching him before he’s even made Lieutenant. You’ll like the way Goyer’s screenplay develops a relationship between Gotham’s last honest cop and the controversial vigilante, it’s the first time that’s been explored on-screen outside of some half-hearted references. Bruce Wayne’s butler/father figure Alfred benefits as well, and of course it doesn’t hurt that he’s played by a venerable actor like Michael Caine. I could have done without newly appointed tabloid centerfold Katie Holmes mucking things up as an obligatory girlfriend, but her role isn’t important enough for a lackluster performance to drag the movie down.

Batman Begins is a solid re-entry into the comic book hero’s crime riddled world. Missing is some of the exhilaration and fun of its predecessors, in its place is a closer examination into the nature of the character. If there’s fault to be laid, put it at the feet of Nolan who seems to understand the character, but not his karate chops. You won’t see a lot of good “Pow!”, “Bang!”, “Boom!”, or “Zowie!” in this version of Batman, Nolan appears incapable of making that sort of movie. Luckily, the film otherwise captures the Batman so well that any missing excitement can be forgiven.

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The Shawshank Redemption review

Posted : 6 years, 10 months ago on 19 March 2012 02:16 (A review of The Shawshank Redemption)

With a legion of titles like Pet Sematary, Firewalker, Sleepwalkers, Maximum Overdrive, and Children of the Corn, it's reasonable not to expect much from Stephen King-inspired motion pictures. Adaptations of the prolific author's work typically vary from mildly entertaining to virtually unwatchable. There are a few notable exceptions, however; two of which (Stand by Me, Misery) were crafted by widely-respected director Rob Reiner. While The Shawshank Redemption is not a Reiner movie per se, it is a production of Castle Rock Pictures (Reiner's film company), and ranks among the best filmed versions of any King stories to date. (This statement has not changed since I first wrote it in 1994.)

Spanning the years from 1947 through 1966, The Shawshank Redemption takes the "innocent man in prison" theme and bends it at a different angle. Instead of focusing on crusades for freedom, the movie ventures down a less-traveled road, concentrating on the personal cost of adapting to prison life and how some convicts, once they conform, lose the ability to survive beyond the barbed wire and iron bars. As one of the characters puts it: "These [prison] walls are funny. First you hate them, then you get used to them, then you start to depend on them."

Filmed on location in a disused Ohio prison, The Shawshank Redemption is set in a place of perpetual dreariness. What little color there is, is drab and lifeless (lots of grays and muted greens and blues), and there are times when the film is a shade away from black-and-white (give credit to cinematographer Roger Deakins, a longtime Cohen brothers collaborator). It's ironic, therefore, that the central messages are of hope, redemption, and salvation.

First time feature director Frank Darabont helms a fleet of impressive performances. Tim Robbins, as Andrew Dufresne, plays the wrongly convicted man with quiet dignity. Andy's ire is internal; he doesn't rant about his situation or the corruptness of the system that has imprisoned him. His unwillingness to surrender hope wins him the admiration of some and the contempt of others, and allows the audience to identify with him that much more strongly.

Ellis Boyd Redding (Morgan Freeman), or "Red" as his friends call him, is the self-proclaimed "Sears and Roebuck" of the Shawshank Prison (for a price, he can get just about anything from the outside). His is the narrative voice and, for once, the disembodied words aid, rather than intrude upon, the story. Serving a life sentence for murder, Red is a mixture of cynicism and sincerity - a man with a good soul who has done a vile deed. His friendship with Andy is one of The Shawshank Redemption's highlights.

William Sadler (as a fellow prisoner), Clancy Brown (as a sadistic guard), and Bob Gunton (as the corrupt warden) all give fine supporting performances. Newcomer Gil Bellows, in a small but crucial role (that was originally intended for Brad Pitt), brings the poise of a veteran to his portrayal of Tommy Williams, Andy's protege.

Ultimately, the standout actor is the venerable James Whitmore, doing his finest work in years. Whitmore's Brooks is a brilliantly realized character, and the scenes with him attempting to cope with life outside of Shawshank represents one of the film's most moving - and effective - sequences.

Unfortunately, following a solid two hours of thought-provoking drama, the movie deflates like a punctured balloon during its overlong denouement. The too-predictable final twenty minutes move a little slowly, and writer/director Darabont exposes a distressing need to wrap up everything into a tidy little package.

"Salvation lies within," advises Warden Norton at one point. It is the presentation of this theme that makes The Shawshank Redemption unique. Prison movies often focus on the violence and hopelessness of a life behind bars. While this film includes those elements, it makes them peripheral. The Shawshank Redemption is all about hope and, because of that, watching it is both uplifting and cathartic.

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