Category: Movie Review

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

I’m a self-confessed dinosaur nerd so any movie with dinosaurs in them is essentially review proof. It’s been 25 years since the first Jurassic Park was released and one thing we can agree upon is that there will never be a dinosaur movie as spectacular, wondrous and unforgettable as that one. Not even Steven Spielberg could top that one if he tried.

When the first Jurassic World was released in 2015 no one expected that it would break the all-time box office record. It showed us how much pent up demand there was for a Jurassic movie. It also meant fun dinosaur movies could still attracted a sizeable audience other than dinosaur fans like me.

The one time, I was looking forward to watching a movie in 3D, I couldn’t because only the 2D version was released here in India, owing to some issues between the distributors and the multiplex owners. Curse them.

That aside the movie has some decently mounted set pieces. The dinosaurs are awesome as ever with the humans taking away their screen time for not very interesting reasons. The most disappointing aspect of the movie was the ratio of dinosaur deaths to human deaths. Far too many of these magnificent creatures were lost. That aside it also surprised me with the ending and the direction that the trilogy was going to take for its final movie. I thought it was a great setup and I am very much looking forward where they go from here.

Boyhood

You know how everyone’s always saying seize the moment? I don’t know, I’m kinda thinking it’s the other way around. You know, like the moment seizes us.

Richard Linklater is a very different kind of director. If you have seen and liked the Before series of movies you know how heavily focused on dialog they are. Boyhood is different from the those movies because even though it has romantic elements and deals with relationships between people, it is first and foremost a coming of age movie. It also took 12 years to make the film. The reason being that the director wanted to make the movie feel as authentic as possible by using the same actor across the 12 years shown in the movie. To his credit actor Ellar Coltraine who was just 5 when the movie began shooting has done a remarkable job of portraying a boy who is growing up before our eyes over the course of slightly around 3 hrs of film.

The film doesn’t move like a standard drama film like you might expect from it’s premise. It flows naturally from dialog to dialog from one year to the next at a gentle meandering pace. The supporting cast also does a great job and when it reaches it’s conclusion you feel like you have really understood how this particular boy has grown up and all the choices he faced along the way.

While I personally loved the movie it’s also a a difficult movie to recommend. It can be hard to describe what exactly the movie is all about. With the absence of any sort of a traditional plot it might not appeal to those looking for pure entertainment. Then again I had never quite seen a movie like Before Sunrise either and it was one of the most absorbing and unique movies I had the pleasure of watching. Give Boyhood a shot. You might be pleasantly surprised.

The movie also let me discover the song Hero by Family of the Year and it has now become one of my favorites

Oscars 2016 Nominees : The one’s I’ve seen

I’ve always loved watching the Oscar awards. From the moment the nominations are announced up until the final show it’s undeniably an exciting and fun time for movie buffs. It’s a good feeling to have watched some of the stuff on the list. It’s also a chance to catch up on stuff you may have missed during the year. That being said in most cases Oscar worthy films don’t always have blockbuster appeal but you can be assured that all of them do possess a certain degree of quality. Most people go to the movies for different reasons. For some, it’s a great way to pass time and they care little about the entertainment value. For some like me we do take our movie watching experience rather seriously.

Talking during a movie will not be tolerated.

Despite my hope I didn’t have the time and resources to watch many of nominated movies. These are ones that I did get to see.

Bridge of Spies

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This was one of those, what should we do on a Sunday afternoon, let’s go watch a movie thing. I knew little of the movie going in. All we did was check out what’s was playing nearby and book the tickets. Bridge of Spies is about the cold war and spies but it’s not an action movie per se. It still manages to keep you on the edge of the seat throughout. It’s more emotional and resonant than you might think with another star turn by Tom Hanks. By the end of the movie you are left with what can best be described as a warm feeling inside. The revelation for me as the credits began to roll was that the movie was directed by Steven Spielberg, proving once again that he still remains one of Hollywood’s best directors.

The Martian

Matt Damon portrays an astronaut who faces seemingly insurmountable odds as he tries to find a way to subsist on a hostile planet.

The Martian is the story of an astronaut stranded on Mars and about the efforts of both his crew and the people back on earth attempting to save him. It’s a familiar tale with strong echoes of the movie Gravity. Something of a return to form for director Ridley Scott it’s a movie that rests squarely on the performance of the central character played by Matt Damon. Thankfully he does a remarkable job playing a character who is both smart, funny and emotional in equal ways. The comparisons with Gravity will be there just because it’s a space movie. But at the end even though I thought Gravity was stronger on a purely technical level The Martian is still an incredible journey into space and back.

Mad Max: Fury Road

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I had never watched a single Mad Max movie before this one. All I really knew was Mel Gibson was the star of the previous movies and the setting was a post apocalyptic desert wasteland. I went for this one only because I saw the race reviews it was getting from the critics. When the movie starts out it’s a little hard to figure out what’s happening and why, especially if your not familiar with the world of Mad Max. Once the movie starts firing on all cylinders, all that really remains to comprehend is that the entire movie is an extended vehicular, combat chase and escape sequence. The movie contains without doubt some of the most exhilarating, inventive and incredibly shot action sequences I have ever witnessed. Combined with music that blends so well everything you are witnessing on screen I was on the edge of my seat throughout. A rush that stayed with me long after the credits rolled.

Inside Out

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This was the year Pixar released 2 movies in a year. The Good Dinosaur wasn’t the worst movie to come from the studio but it was rather forgettable in comparison to Inside Out.
Inside Out, Pixar’s latest was a brilliantly imaginative movie about the working of the human mind. The one thing they have proven time and again is how good they are at using the power of animation to explore extremely heady concepts that continue to remain relevant and entertaining for years to come. Representing human emotions as characters with their own personalities is an amazing concept to begin with. What Pixar managed to do with that will go down in history as one of the most imaginative and original movies of all time. When the credits rolled I was in awe of how they had managed to pull all this off. Without spoiling too much Inside Out is best described as a journey of a child growing up and dealing with all the complex emotions that it brings to fore. The twist is that majority of the journey is experienced from inside the mind rather than the outside.