Usually, biographical films are not most appealing to me, unless they involve murderers or something. So Leonardo DiCaprio was the sole reason I decided to go watch this film. And I must say, I did not regret it in the least. Despite being three hours long, I was not bored for a single instance.
'The Wolf of Wall Street', with its impeccable writing was one of the most brutal, honest and smart films I have seen. Done with a twisted, dark sense of humor, we see the effect money has on people, and its almost impossible to thoroughly dislike any of the characters, despite them being money grubbing, womanizing, cocaine sniffing, deceptive, yet extremely ingenious and dexterous individuals.
With the list of things that were excellent about this film, the one factor that is absolutely worth mentioning is of course, the lead, Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Carrying the film completely on his shoulders, I don't think any actor could have really stepped into the shoes of the person being portrayed and done as much justice to his extremely dense, complicated character.
Overall, employing a variety of filming techniques, it did feel like we were sitting through a movie of an autobiography, and of all the wall street drama's I have come across, 'Wolf on Wall Street' is by far, the best. It is definitely worth a watch, keeping in mind of course, it's high nudity and drug content. And the absolutely exemplary Leonardo DiCaprio.
The horror genre is really still in its toddler stage in Indian cinema. Most horrors made, are either remakes of Hollywood films, or just rather mellow. I understand that people in India can't handle anything too horrible, and like cough syrups served with sweets, its absolutely essential that horrors need to be slow, direct and coated with sweet.
That's exactly what Pizza was, which is why we had all the unnecessary footage of the love story, that really had very little to do with the story. Pizza 2, however is a whole other story. Personally, I was hoping for it to take off with the supernatural twist its predecessor left off with, and in a way it was more to do with a supernatural theme, but I'm not too sure if it was a good one.
This is a classic example of good concept, poor execution. Perhaps the director decided he needed to go extra slow to have people keep up; in fact he went so slow, it just made the film sort of dull and boring. There were no scary moments like in the first film, and the acting was poor. I didn't connect with any of the characters or their emotions, and I feel apart from weak writing, it had more to do with the choice of actors, being specially inefficient, expressionless ones.
The one thing I did appreciate was the twist they end the film with, that I did not expect in the slightest, partly because I was on snooze towards that point. Overall, 'Pizza 2' was better that its predecessor in certain aspects, but could have been done so much better and scarier. It's worth a watch for people who don't watch a lot of the 'horror/thriller' genre, and don't know what they like. But if you didn't like the first one, the second is probably not going to be any different.
What brought me to the film was really just Rainn Wilson playing a rock-star. I kept imaging Dwight having been a failed rock-star and knew that it would be nothing less than epic. 'The Rocker' tells the story of Fish, a failed drummer who joins a band filled with high-school goers and sees his second shot at pursuing his dreams. Halfway into the film, you could tell that it was a bit of chick flick. A funny, enjoyable one, but a chick flick nevertheless.
The acting in the film was good, and they were all likable characters. I almost missed Bradley Cooper in a black wig and a tacky vest with a fake British accent, but in case you wonder watching the film, it is Bradley Cooper. The music was not too bad either, in a Disney sort of way.
Overall, 'The Rocker' was funny and cute and it's worth a watch, but not to be taken too seriously.
Much like the first film, 'Urban Legends 2', is also one of those films that you appreciate more for the idea than the execution. There wasn't anything new in this sequel, there were murders based on urban legends and it was your usual mystery. Though the acting was not too bad, the actual writing and over complications are a perfect example of too many cooks spoiling the broth, with the cooks being all the stupid twists written in.
There was nothing memorable about it, and I watched it in a completely idle mind, not taking it even remotely seriously. It was probably not the worst murder mystery ever taken, but definitely not amongst the best. The only thing that makes this flick watchable is Loretta, playing the lovable, kick-ass campus security guard.
'We're the Millers' follows a drug dealer, a stripper, a runaway and a geek, who come together pretending to be a traditional, all American suburban family to smuggle a whole heap of drugs from Mexico into the US. Fortunately for us, Jennifer Aniston plays a stripper. With all the actors playing surprisingly likable characters, who's opposing chemistry works impeccably when put together.
I usually find that most of the time, films that parade around claiming to be comedies, usually with one famous face to show, are often just not funny. But 'We're The Millers' was actually a good comedy; probably not in a witty sophisticated way, but it made me laugh. This film also has its emotions, in their own little unconventional ways, considering the leads were not exactly your average person.
If I had to think of the one thing that I found extremely obnoxious, it would have to be Ed Helms. Everything about his character and his acting, was just annoying, which is probably why the ending made me quite happy.
Worth watching if you need a no-brainer to spike your mood. And if not for the laughs, I'm sure Jennifer Aniston stripping would do the trick.
Extremely interesting, but not as much gore as you might expect
I find horror remakes absolutely fascinating; and it's usually the case that when it comes to the splatter fest horrors, the remakes are usually just a lot more blood, that looks less like ketchup. The Wizard of Gore, I thought focused more on the story and less on the gore. In a way, as a film by itself, it was fairly interesting. But when you call a film 'Wizard of Gore' and don't have a lot of gore in there, its kind of a let down.
I find it hard to comment on my 'liking' of this film, but I found almost every aspect of it absolutely interesting. It created a vibe for itself, that I appreciated. The acting, especially that of Kip Pardue and Cripsin Glover was excellent. As the leads, they both capture the audience's attentions and don't let it waver for a second. As the wizard says in the film, 'The trick is me'.
Filled with substance and captivating technique, 'Wizard of Gore' is worth a watch for fans of horror or psychological thrillers. It had a few loop holes, but the feel it creates and the aftertaste it leaves you with, make it an exciting ride.
Horror, I find is the one genre, where the bad films are more popular than the good ones. Something about people wanting to hate that they love them or something. So while they're busy spending hours on end watching brain-eating zombies and giant insects, good ones like 'Husk' are often neglected. I'm a huge fan of the genre and hadn't even heard of this flick, until it appeared on my suggestions column.
'Husk' is a film that mixes elements of monster horror and ghost horror, that I appreciated for a change. Because on their own, they often tend to become a little predictable and ultimately, not scary at all. 'Husk', however had it's spine chilling moments, and few that made me jump. Clearly not a very high budget film, it makes good use of it's resources. There were no major effects on screen and no real gore either. It was done tastefully.
The characters were quite one dimensional, but I appreciated that the underdog was given the main focus, rather than the hot chick or the jock. In addition to this, Husk successfully maintains a level of mystery throughout the flick and it wasn't a very obvious twist. However, the one issue I had with the film was the climax. Compared to the rest of film that explained every little detail and left no loose ends, the ending was a huge question mark. If it was meant to be one of those 'you decide' kinda moments, then it was done poorly. It felt abrupt and was a little disappointing compared to how well executed the rest was.
Overall, it was a good flick, especially if you're someone who misses old school horror and good old scary scarecrows and mass murderer ghosts!
Patiently sitting through the film proves to be quite rewarding at the end
Noomi Repace, who in my opinion is one of the most interesting actors out there, brought me to this Swedish thriller. Let me just say before anything, that this isn't one of those in-your face thrillers, or even particularly fast paced and racy. It's one of those films that have the really dense stories, that most people can't guess the end to.
'The Monitor' shows Noomi Repace playing Anna, a overprotective, paranoid mother, coming out of a traumatic experience with her husband. Her primal instinct is to protect her son, but there's something unusual going on around her, and the disturbed Anna can't quite wrap her finger around it.
The acting in this film is extremely natural, and its well written. The suspense is worth the final reveal, and is quite rewarding to those who patiently sit through the entire film. If you're a fan of story-oriented thrillers, this film is worth watching once.
So when I watched 'The Expendables 2' in the cinema, that I walked into with sky high expectations, I came out so excited, almost ready to do a flip or something; and I thought then, that nothing could ever compete with that. It has got to be the coolest thing all these now-old action heroes, that made my childhood worth getting through could have done. And boy was I wrong!
Arnold Schwarzeneggar came back with a bang! Maybe he never really left, but all the terrible comedies he put us through can now be completely forgiven after 'The Last Stand'. Reminiscent of the older actions, with a seemingly simple story, good guy tries to catch the bad guy, this film had a storyline that could probably be narrated in about 5 seconds.
I was a bit apprehensive about Jee-Woon directing an Arnold action, mainly because his previous works didn't quite seem like Arnold's click. But this film was practically tailored to be suited to him. All the main characters did a good job and were all given prominent parts. The action sequences were excellent, and the timely punchlines, made it all the more exciting. The film was extremely fast paced, and as soon as I was done watching it, I just wondered where the time went by.
Packed with a little more than just a punch, 'The Last Stand' is definitely a film that you cannot afford to miss. Especially if you miss old school, in-your-face actions with the typical buff action heroes and kick-ass guns!
With a seemingly simple plot, 'Deadgirl' tells the tale of Rickie and JT, who find a bound girl in an abandoned mental institute who can't be killed. They keep her a secret for the various ulterior motives that the film revolves around.
'Deadgirl' was dark, twisted and disturbing. It explored the hidden cruelty and darkness of human nature. Though it appears to be another teenage torture porn flick, in reality, it's so much more than that. Shiloh Fernandez and Gadi Harel give strong performances and are extremely interesting characters, making the plot revolve around them just. Making a bound girl that frightening takes a fair bit of effort, that this film succeeds at achieving.
If you're a fan of the horror genre, you will find this flick extremely enticing and you're sure to enjoy this nail biter. Provided of course, you watch it with no prior expectations.
It's often the case in Indian cinema, that more than the story or the makers, the audience look forward to films based solely on the actors. So naturally, a film with Jiiva,Trisha and Santhanam, with the lovable Vinay from 'Unnale Unnale' back, I was extremely excited. The promos looked great, and it was going to be a charming comedy, though the concept was a little old.
The film however was the perfect example of why you never go in to watch anything with high expectations. Also an example to show you that even the big directors in India are still making films like amateurs, with absolutely no thought put into them, just truck loads of money. There comes a point when the people making these films have to understand that they cannot just wing these things.
'Enrendum Punnagai' offers you the most hallow characters, if they're even worth that title. They're all poorly written, showing no consistency throughout the film. The comedy is all copied here and there from other works. It's too long and exhausting, the emotion just does not work and there's just no moral depth to it, and no amount of dramatic background music can change that. Amidst all the extremely annoying characters, Trisha was a refreshing sight. She not only played a sweet likable character, but looked extremely gorgeous.
The music was not too bad, but as for the rest of the film, I found myself constantly checking for the time, wondering how much longer I would have to endure that hell. Glad I made it out alive to write this review, I don't think anyone should watch this film. It's a huge waste of time, and it surprises me to no end, that it did well in the box office. If you're a Jiiva fan, don't watch it. I had to a watch a few of his old stuff just so I didn't go to bed that night completely swearing him off.
Good mystery thriller, with an excellent performance from Jiiva
I always thought of Ameer Sultan as one of the more advanced directors in Tamil cinema, who often came up with different kinds of films, often with some sensible, emotional weight. 'Raam' fit perfectly into this category.
With a good, strong story, 'Raam' revolves around a small set of characters. It was a good mystery, employing my favorite methods of telling a mystery story; by swapping from the past to the present, to and fourth, each time getting closer to the big climax. If I had to credit the films success to anyone, I would have to give it to Jiiva. Despite being a relatively new-comer, he performed astoundingly well. He completely justified being the title character and made the film happen.
Sultan did a good job of quickly establishing the characters, without dragging the film at any point. The mystery was successfully maintained throughout, and the music score was good. The mother and son relationship portrayed here was touching, and the emotion was truly created because the characters were so well written, with Saranya and Jiiva playing them just right.
Overall, 'Raam' was a good watch, particularly meant for those few that like a good story oriented mystery thriller.
As someone who watches a lot of what Hollywood has to offer, I often find myself complaining about most of the Indian films I watch. Often its about the unreal elements, hallow characters, superficiality, lack of depth in the story, and just the overall quality. But then there are often films like 'Ko' that come around and shut me right up.
'Ko' is one of the best political thrillers Tamil Cinema has had to offer since Mudhalvan. Every element of this film, starting from the opening credits is high end and shows the director's sensibility. Anand gives us a complete film done to perfection. 'Ko' has a great story, that is very eventful and the screenplay is perfect, and well-suited. Jiiva does an amazing job and is very convincing, as is Ameer, which allows for one of the best twists.
The music is well scored, and Karthika is not too bad as the new-comer. But the character we all truly fall in love with is that played by Piaa Bajpai, who's adorable and charming and does complete justice to her purpose in the film. I don't have a single complaint about this film, and feel like films like these, that are smart and sophisticated, pave way for a new era of Indian cinema. This time, truly making it an art rather than a money collector.
If you're someone who's sick of mainstream films stuck in their loop for decades now, then don't miss this film. It's sure to leave you satisfied and wanting more.
If you decide to watch this little number, you're in for a fun ride
To find an all around entertainer, that has elements of horror, action and fantasy, and has a great cast and has a good story, and leaves you excited and on the edge of your seat, is probably not too easy. So there comes 'Constantine'.
This is one of those films that doesn't give you, what I call a 'bathroom interval', which is basically those few scenes that you can afford to miss, because its just a little extra and not much really happens. The whole way through Constantine, we meet characters who are likable and believable, supposedly in the world we share, except there are demons, and angels and there's God and hell and heaven and psychics and half-breeds. They also give us a young dorky Shia LeBeouf driving cabs and speaking in Latin.
This is a fun, no-brainer that needs to be completely enjoyed and not given too much thought. Reeves and Weisz share excellent on-screen chemistry and the fantasy element is sure to excite. It's definitely worth watching if in mood for some fun.
If you liked the original, you're going to love this one!
The idea of horror remakes have been something that have been heavily debated over the past few years with so many of the classics being remade. As a massive horror fan myself, I do like the remakes. Particularly because I wasn't around when the originals were a big thing. Nevertheless I don't miss the originals either. Having said that, Evil Dead was one series that I just could not imagine them remaking. It just didn't make sense to me, because I thought the whole gross and gore era was over and done with in the 80s.
I loved the original Evil Dead and thought it was the best the horror genre could possibly have, because it fits perfectly into what people expect when they go to watch a horror. And Sam Raimi's dark sense of humor is unmatchable. With all this in mind, I decided to give this film a chance. And it is the single greatest thing I did.
Glad I caught it in the last week of its run in the cinema, I can't say I've enjoyed a horror movie as much. It far surpasses the original in so many ways, and not just because of the cool new features the advanced technology allowed it. The characters are so much more likable. The actors, most of whom don't have too many movies to their name, do an excellent job.
Every single element of this remake is relived by not once forgetting the original. It's gory, it has its irk factor, it gives the audience pure evil, and yes they did remake the rape of the woods, and it does not disappoint. It takes the original to a whole new level and the sense of humor is just so much darker. Having said that, they did accept that Ash (Bruce Campbell) could never be replaced, though David (Shiloh Fernandez), in his blue shirt sure tries.
I watched the film once, and after a long shower, decided to watch it again, as I'm sure anyone who loved the original would. I definitely recommend watching this gem, because its an experience you just wouldn't want to miss!
A classy, gripping thriller that leaves you satisfied at the end. 'Where The Truth Lies' goes through its many twists and turns and ultimately leaves you content, especially if you particularly paid attention to the dialog, or rather the narration.
Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon, as always, do not disappoint, but what grabs the attention is Lohman who gives a stunning performance in addition to looking absolutely gorgeous. The film is sexy, but in a tasteful way that doesn't leave you feeling grossed out and dirty, like a few other films around us today that bombard us with nudity and vulgarity. Atom Egoyan does an excellent job with the screenplay and makes sure he doesn't lose the interest of his audience at a single instance.
Overall, its definitely worth a watch, especially if you're into the crime/thriller genre. That or if you miss the 60s or 70s, that the film delightfully relives.
Smart twist on the usual 21st century boy-meets-girl RomCom
With so many films being made under the comedy/romance genre, all being so repetitive, the emotion really seized to get me the way it used to at once. So with my expectation not so high, I decided to watch this delightful number, and its probably the best film I have watched in 2012.
Every element of this film is done to perfection; well cast, well acted, well written, well directed. 'Silver Linings Playbook' is not only heart warming and funny, but it gives the audience a different kind of story line. Here the crazy characters don't just come in to be made fun of, but instead, are what make the story happen. This is a boy meets girl scenario, but it's not really.
It might sound insane, but I was able to actually relate to the characters, who were cleverly written to be exaggerated versions of people we often find around us today, or perhaps are just like us.
I would absolutely recommend this film to anyone who is bored of the usual clichés and just want to watch something that would put a smile on their faces. If that isn't reason enough, then Jennifer Lawrence's brilliant performance and not-too-bad appearance should do the trick.
I turned on this film wanting to watch something leaving my senses behind, just focusing on the eye candy, John Duhamel. But a few minutes into the film, though it was your typical tourist's and their dream holiday turned nightmare situation, there was a kind of realistic feel to the film.
All the characters were likable, and as an audience, we could feel the fear and unrest caused by the scenario all the characters were placed in. Never boring at any instance, it was quick paced, well acted and they had settings that were as beautiful as some grubby and irksome.
A fun ride, with a refreshing ending that gave us closure, unlike most of its kind with the clichéd 'twist' ending that would usually then pave way for a second terrible installment. Overall worth one watch.
Despite being a huge fan of the horror genre, there have been several Stephan King's 'classics' that I never quite got the appeal of. I feel like he has the ideas, but gets a little lost with the writing, and ends up quickly wrapping it all up at the end. The original 'Carrie' gave me this vibe when I first watched it.
Carrie is a one woman (or rather a newly-turned-woman') show. The focus always remains on our main character, Carrie. At first I did think that Chloe Grace Moretz might be a little too adorable and normal to pull off the weird, awkward Carrie, but she did an excellent job. If any aspect of the film had to be given any credit, it would be her. She completely carried the film on her shoulders. As much as Peirce also played her part in getting the audience to sympathize and empathize with Carrie, just as soon as she needed us to be threatened by her.
Other than Moretz who was just excellent and once again proved after her 'Let Me In' (2010) that she can be an excellent spooky horror actress as quickly as she can slip into a skin-tight leather outfit and kick-ass, 'Carrie' was an average flick. Worth watching once if you were a fan of the original or horror in general.
And I do realize I did not mention Julianne Moore, and I did so for good reason. She had absolutely no impact on anything in the film whatsoever, and her face doesn't even come to mind when recollecting the film.
Specifically meant for the loyal audience of the franchise
When the news of a new entry in the series came to my attention, the idea exhausted me; especially given the previous entries and their deteriorating quality. Nevertheless staying true to the reason these films are still being made, and fans of real horror, like myself continue to watch them, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, rewards its loyal audience with a fairly sensible connection with the previous films and characters.
In a way, the film does show some maturity, and they seem to have graduated from chicken feet on the floor and utensils and sheets flying around the place...at least for the most part. Here to begin with the lead character, Jesse was given just enough footage to get the audience to like him. We begin to instantly empathize with his family and friends and unlike the previous movies, none of them are extremely annoying. The actors, all do justice to their parts, and if not extremely strong performances, are convincing enough to keep us watching
This entry does give the audience more action than the prequels, however they divert themselves into satanic rituals, rather than pay any focus to the actual demon they are to be dealing with. There are just enough scares to justify one watch, and enough back story to make sense of a few huge question marks the previous films leave us with.
With the exception of these, the film has not much else to offer, and it is best to be watched as a part of this series and not compared to several of the other strong demonic possession films we've had in the past few years.