Tag Archives: Alejandro González Iñárritu

The Revenant (2015)

The Revenant review

The basic storyline seems pretty ordinary though, but the execution is simply exceptional from all perspectives of filmmaking. 

written by Souranath Banerjee

My Ratings: 4.4/5.

Alejandro González Iñárritu claimed the Oscar last year in the ‘Best Achievement in Directing‘ category for his film Birdman, and winning the ‘Best Motion Picture of the Year‘ and ‘Best Original Screenplay‘ awards as well!

So not surprisingly, there is an immense amount of expectation for revenant-poster1Mr. Iñárritu’s latest film The Revenant, and then again, when the ever-impressive Leonardo DiCaprio is in the lead, tagging with him all that debate about – can this be finally Leonardo’s Oscar moment or not?

And on top of that, the film is shot by ace cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki who has already won two Oscars for his brilliant camera work in films Birdman and Gravity. He should have also won for two of his previous films The Tree of Life and Children of Men but again that’s another debate for another time.

So coming back to The Revenant, a thrilling revenge saga dated way revenant-poster2back in 1823, a dangerous time for the American fur traders and trappers who not only had to survive the treacherous climate but also the Indians for whom they were guests not particularly welcomed.

‘I ain’t afraid to die anymore. I’d done it already.’

Leonardo DiCaprio playing the part of Hugh Glass (the film is inspired by his real life endeavors), who was a frontiersman on a fur trading expedition, an explorer in the true sense of the word, a survivor who came back from dead and most importantly, a man with vengeance on his mind.

‘He’s afraid. He knows how far I came to find him.’

And Tom Hardy on the other hand, playing the intense yet crooked character of John Fitzgerald, who in a way was the real reason of Hugh Glass’s will to survive!

Superlative performances by both DiCaprio (through minimal use of revenant-poster3dialogues) and Tom Hardy; and aptly supported by the likes of Kristoffer JonerLukas HaasDomhnall GleesonWill Poulter and Forrest Goodluck.

Composers Ryuichi Sakamot and Carsten Nicolai does justice to the stunning visuals and Stephen Mirrione does a fair job with the edit.

Often vicious and violent (specially the bear attack scene), The Revenant was shot in twelve different locations and three different countries, chronologically for as long as 80 days and that too almost entirely using natural light!

A 2 hours and 36 minutes of cinematic bliss not to be missed under any circumstances.

P.S. – For the record, Leonardo sleeping in an actual gutted carcass of a horse is not true, the carcass was a prosthetic one. Though Leo did eat a bison liver for real to capture the authenticity of that shot!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.revenantmovie.com

2016 Oscar Predictions: Best Picture

2016 Oscar Predictions: Best Picture

written by Souranath Banerjee

On Sunday, February 28th, it’s that time of the year when they give away those awards!

Yes, on this day, the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences will hand over the most prestigious awards of the entertainment world – the Academy Awards or the Oscars.

On the basis of the ‘preferential voting’ system (democratic and unbiased), all the nominees are chosen each year for the various award categories and then they simply wait, hope and pray to win!

This year Chris Rock will be hosting the award ceremony on ABC.

In total 305 feature films are competing for Best Picture nominations. Though the final and official seven/eight nominated ones will be announced on Thursday, January 14th, it’s always fun to guess, predict and anticipate a little before hand.

So let the predictions for the ‘Best Picture’ category begin!

10. Beasts of No Nation (Netflix)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xb9Ty-1frw

beasts-of-no-nation1An African country at war, where violence is routine and murder is the law.

Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, this is the story of a kid who is forced to join a group of soldiers and take up the gun to fight and kill people.

A raw and deadly film that shows the emotional turmoil of a child soldier. And surely a favorite in the Oscar race.

9. Carol (The Weinstein Company)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4z7Px68ywk

carol-poster1The combination of New York in 1950s and Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, and a perfect love story.

Full of emotions and breathtaking visuals, superb music and brilliant acting – the film is a complete package of aw

Directed by Todd Haynes, this one is a favorite of mine as well as the Oscar nominees. 

8. Youth (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T7CM4di_0c

Youth-poster2Michael CaineHarvey KeitelRachel Weisz and director Paolo Sorrentino cooks up one of the best mouthwatering cinema of this year.

(click for the review)

A film that reflects on the youth and relishes the old age with the same intensity. It deals with friendship, love, marriage, lust, professions, emotions and above all emotions. I bet my

7. The Hateful Eight (The Weinstein Company)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnRbXn4-Yis

hateful-eight-posterQuentin Tarantino is back with his 8th film and along with Samuel L. JacksonKurt RussellJennifer Jason Leigh and Tim Roth among others this one gets as gritty and violent as you can expect it to be.

Powerful performances with awesome visuals and a superbly entertaining story line.

An Oscar favorite because ‘No one comes up here without a damn good reason’. 

6. Brooklyn (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15syDwC000k

brooklyn-poster11950s Brooklyn as the backdrop, the film is about an Irish immigrant’s life, her love story and her past, and the choices she makes.

Directed by John Crowley, and outstanding performance by Saoirse Ronan, this is a film that breadths perfection.

My personal favorite and I wish it all the luck for the tough Oscar chart ahead.

5. Mad Max: Fury Road (Warner Brothers)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEJnMQG9ev8

mad-max-poster5In the year 1979 Mad Max was established – a drifter, a loner and of course mad as hell. And this is the latest addition to the popular franchise.

(Click for the review)

Powerful, dramatic and full of energy, directed by George Miller, this is undoubtedly the best action flick of 2015 and a leader in the Oscar race for the ‘Best Picture’. 

4. The Revenant (20th Century Fox)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoebZZ8K5N0

revenant-posterDirected by Alejandro González Iñárritu (whose film Birdman won the ‘best director’, ‘best picture’ and ‘best screenplay’ awards last year), has come up with this brilliant tale of an explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio).

A fur trading expedition in the 1820s; inspired by true events this is an epic adventure, a quest for survival and also a sure favorite in this year’s Oscar.

3. The Big Short (Paramount Pictures)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDlYm15ztK4

big-short-posterWhen Christian BaleSteve CarellRyan Gosling and Brad Pitt come together – you know it’s worth it. 

Directed by Adam McKay, this is a biographical account of the time (mid 2000) when there was a financial crisis in the US, and four individuals decided to fight the greedy banks for their lack of foresight.

Looks like a pretty sure thing for the award ceremony. Watch out!

2. Room (A24 Films)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_Ci-pAL4eE

room-posterAdopted from Emma Donoghue‘s famous novel, this is one unique story of a five-year old boy who is told by his loving mother that their 10-by-10 foot ‘room’ is the only world that exists! 

Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, a brilliant film that surely is becoming people’s favorite and a likely contestant for the Oscar.

Brilliant performance by Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay

  1. Spotlight (Open Road Films)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwdCIpbTN5g

spotlight-poster1Probably the most significant cinema on ‘journalism’ made after the epic All the President’s Men (1976).

Directed by Tom McCarthy, this is one film that is considered certainly as the top favorite in this year’s Oscar game.

With Mark RuffaloMichael KeatonRachel McAdams and Liev Schreiber among others this is one safe film to put your money.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most popular one).

+1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Disney)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGbxmsDFVnE

star-wars-posterThe recently released ever popular addition to the Star Wars franchise and a sudden favorite for the Oscars.

Directed by J.J. Abrams, this film with it’s immense fan following has the potential to be a game changer in the race for this years ‘Best Picture’ Academy Awards.

By the way, this film has recreated the U.S. box office record beating James Cameron‘s Avatar!

And now the films though not included in my list but are certainly fair competition for the award: Straight Outta ComptonCreedTrumboSon of SaulBlack MassThe Danish GirlLove & MercyTangerineSicarioSteve JobsThe MartianBridge of Spies and Joy.

And finally – A Thank You to the movies of 2015.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

Best of Hollywood 2014

Best of Hollywood 2014 

written by Souranath Banerjee.

Best of Hollywood 2014 – is not at all an easy list to make. 2014 being an awesome year for film-lovers and thanks to Hollywood for giving us such a balanced dose of entertainment; Thrillers, Hollywood-2014SciFis, Comedies, Love stories War Dramas, Horror flicks and lots of Biographies.

But then again, it’s the time to remember the best performances of this year (no foreign language films included in this list), the awesome directorial ventures, those brilliant visuals and mesmerizing background scores – the films that touched your heart, amazed you and made you fall in love with Cinema (all over again).

But first a few honorable mentions (films that almost made the list) – WildInherent ViceThe Hundred-Foot JourneyPrideAmerican SniperCalvaryStill AliceCamp X-RayPredestinationKill the MessengerCake and Mr. Turner

And now the countdown begins.

10. Selma

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6t7vVTxaic

Hollywood-2014

It was 1965 and Martin Luther King leaded the epic march from Selma to Montgomery (Alabama), a nonviolent protest demanding for the right-to-vote for all black men and women in the country.

(Click for the film review)

Such a powerful film evidently backed by some outstanding performances. A must watch.

9. Gone Girl

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esGn-xKFZdU

Hollywood-2014

Gone Girl is fast paced film that demands your full attention, a superbly crafted thriller that plunges into the depths of a psychologically twisted marital relationship.

(Click for the film review)

Brilliant performance by Ben Affleck but the real stunner is Rosamund Pike; she proves to be the perfect cast possible for the ‘gone girl’ character.

Hollywood-2014A dangerously realistic, gritty tale based on the concept of our unconscious satisfaction in watching other people’s loss and tragedy. Thanks to the news channels.

(Click for the film review)

Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) – is he a scavenger or a survivor, a psychopath or a potential businessman, a cold-hearted predator or an insane professional?

7. The Grand Budapest Hotel

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fg5iWmQjwk

Hollywood-2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel is the most stylish comedy I have seen in years.

(Click for the film review)

Wes Anderson’s obsession for perfect production design, bold color schemes, faultless framing and as always the cheeky humor brings out an unique creation. Simply wonderful to watch, probably his best work till date.

6. Interstellar

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSWdZVtXT7E

Hollywood-2014

A Sci-Fi starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathway and Jessica Chastain, Interstellar is a film about space and black holes, about dimensions and relativity; and then again it’s also about love and betrayal.

(Click for the film review)

By the acclaimed director Christopher Nolan and undoubtedly one of his best films ever.

5. The Theory of Everything

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Salz7uGp72c

Hollywood-2014

The Theory of Everything tells the emotional story of Stephen Hawking and his then wife Jane Wilde.

(Click for the film review)

Eddie Redmayne this year won the Oscar (in the Best Actor category) playing Stephen Hawking’s character with extraordinary authenticity and brilliance. A must watch.

4. Foxcatcher

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8361stZ8n0w

Hollywood-2014

Foxcatcher is a film that tells the tale of two troubled souls, a multimillionaire and a wrestler, both disturbed and consumed by their own ambition and distorted personal lives.

(Click for the film review)

The film doesn’t fit the mainstream, melodramatic sport-movie pattern but after watching i am sure you will be thankful it didn’t.

3. Whiplash

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d_jQycdQGo

whiplash-poster

The intense story of Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), a 19-year-old aspiring jazz drummer and Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), his brutal school music instructor.

(Click for the film review)

Whiplash is a gritty and uncompromising take on ambition and success – it stretches the boundaries of all previous student-mentor relationship based dramas.

2. Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJfLoE6hanc

Hollywood-2014

Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and this year’s Oscar winner.

(Click for the film review)

Michael KeatonEdward NortonNaomi WattsZach GalifianakisEmma Stone and all others are magical in front of the camera.

The whole film is edited to look like one continuous shot, a tremendous effort and brilliantly executed.

1. Boyhood

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys-mbHXyWX4

Hollywood 2014

A film so real and shot through such an unreal time-span that it gives you the feel of being a part of the journey with this boy Mason (Ellar Coltrane), who was 7 years old when Richard Linklater started filming and 18 when he finally felt it’s time to wrap up.

(Click for the film review)

Boyhood is something very special, a daring experiment and totally worth it.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch).

+1. The Imitation Game

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5CjKEFb-sM

Hollywood 2014

Based on the life of an unsung war-hero, a genius mathematician and a troubled soul who never got the recognition he deserved – Alan Turing.

(Click for the film review)

Brilliant performances by Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley The imitation game is one of the best biographies made last year – a perfect combination of history and good cinema.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.imdb.com.

Birdman (2014)

My Ratings: 4/5.

Alejandro González Iñárritu is a name associated with some of the best cinemas made in the last two decades; a director responsible for such unique films like Amores Perros21 GramsBabelBiutiful and now his latest accomplishment – Birdman.

Already won several awards including Golden Globe and BAFTA, Birdman is being nominated in 9 categories for this year’s Oscars!

birdman-poster3The film is based on this once-famous actor Riggan (Michael Keaton) who is still remembered as the popular superhero character ‘Birdman’ he played in the past. Now on one hand he is desperately trying to find his stand as an actor in the broadways, and on the other he is having a tough time controlling his ego and maintaining his family ties.

Clever casting as Michael Keaton in his real life has played such an iconic superhero character himself (in the films Batman and Batman Returns). And his acting in Birdman is truly superlative – i think it’s his performance of a life time.

Even the supporting cast Edward NortonNaomi WattsZach GalifianakisEmma Stone and others are magical in front of the camera.

But then, the speciality of Birdman lies in how the film is shot and executed.  

The whole film is edited to look like one continuous shot. Hats off to the director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki who made the camera move such effortlessly and make it invisible even in the mirrors!

An effort to make a film look continuous (almost in real time), I doubt if any body has attempted such a tremendous feat since after the year 1948 when Alfred Hitchcock made history with his film Rope where he ingeniously cut the whole film in only 10 shots!

birdman-poster1Another special mention is the music of Birdman, the drum score by Antonio Sanchez is simply inseparable from the film; the rhythm and pace of the drum beats perfectly sync with the movements and emotions of the characters. A masterpiece indeed. 

Iñárritu through his dark comedy has managed to explore many important issues of our present age – the values of family bondings, the necessity to control our ego, the importance of propaganda in social media, the role of critics and also the eternal question of our human existence and the true meaning behind it.

After watching Birdman one has to admit that beyond the superficial good/bad remarks the film has a certain deeper impact on the audience – an exclusive experience completely different from any other films recently seen.

So as a quote says in the film Birdman – “Have a real experience!” . Please go watch it.

Most anticipated world films of 2014 (Part 1)

Most anticipated world films of 2014 yet to release. The trailers are convincing enough to make us impatient but all in good time.

Here follows a list of Ten films that promises awesome entertainment. Do enjoy the trailers for now and make sure you don’t miss any of these on the big screen.

Let the fun begin.

1. Sin City: A dame to kill for (releasing on 22nd Aug)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zhu32sdAGbo

Sin_city a dame to kill for

Finally Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez teams up again for the second installment of a tour of the city where it’s permissible to sin.

Sexy and stylized as usual, adopted from the famous graphic novel, and guaranteed out-of-the-world action.

Jessica Alba, Eva Green, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis just to name a few. A must watch.

2. Exodus: Gods and Kings (releasing on 12th Dec)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6G1vRbvgiU

Exodus-Gods-and-Kings

Christian Bale and Aaron Paul together in Ridley Scott‘s next – a historic drama.

Seems like the film is based in Egypt, the grandeur of the sets and the detailing of the period looks amazing in the trailer.

It’s the story of Mosses, how he was responsible to lead the Israelite slaves from Egypt. A film to check out for sure.

3. Fury (releasing on 14th Nov)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OGvZoIrXpg

fury

World War 2 as the backdrop, Brad Pitt in his army-crew-cut hairstyle leads his small team of men to attack Germany against incredible odds.

Focused on tanks as the weapon of choice i am sure this is going to be the best war film of the year.

Directed by David Ayer of ‘End of Watch’ fame – also starring  Shia LaBeouf and Logan Lerman.  

4. Birdman (releasing on 10th Oct)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-umj5cxtgBA

birdman

The name Alejandro González Iñárritu as a director should be enough to stir up curiosity for a film.

And with a star cast of Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts this film is probably the most awaited release this year.

It’s about how an actor who played the part of a superhero controls his ego in his real life.

5. Horible bosses 2 (releasing on 26th Nov)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B45XU3v9sPw

Horribel bosses 2

Remember the first time you met the most horrible bosses and what fun you had!

Well, here is an opportunity to meet them again – Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey and a especial addition of Christoph Waltz.

The trailer is hilarious and hopefully the director Sean Anders has done a great job. I am sure it will be an enjoyable laugh riot.

6. Gone girl (releasing on 3rd Oct)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym3LB0lOJ0o

gone girl

After ‘The Social Network‘ and ‘The girl with the dragon tattoo‘ my favorite director David Fincher‘s next – a suspense thriller about a girl who’s gone missing.

Ben Affleck, the husband who is also a suspect tries his best to prove his innocence but no body knows what really happened.

Unless of course you watch the film – so wait till it’s released.

7. The Interview (releasing on 10th Oct)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnalZzJ-XS4

The Interview

A deadly plan to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un but unfortunately the least qualified men are chosen by the CIA for the mission.  

Who else but Seth Rogen and James Franco. The more they try to be serious the more they look funny.

The plot seems to be hilarious, I am sure this film will be a perfect political satire to look forward.

8. The Judge (releasing on 10th Oct)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBvK6ni97W8

the judge

A mystery to be unsolved, a family drama to experience and a father-son relationship to be revived.

Robert Downey JR, a big shot lawyer find his father (Robert Duvall) a judge to be suspected of murder.

The plot sounds interesting enough to become curious and with actors of such caliber it does raises our hopes.

9. Magic in the moonlight (releasing on 25th July)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG71z-AP524

magic in the moonlight

Woody Allen is back and this time it’s a romantic comedy casting  Emma StoneColin FirthMarcia Gay Harden.

A girl’s authenticity who seems to possess some special power needs to be verified by an English magician.

The trailer looks as funny and quick-witted as any Woody Allen film promises to be.

10. Guardians of the galaxy (releasing on 1st Aug)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89q_HH-3ghk

guardians of the galaxy

Bradley Copper, John C. Reilly, Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Zoe Saldana – all are part of this entertaining space movie.

Directed by James Gunn; the trailer looks cool and funny, high in visual effects and packed with action.

They call themselves the guardians of the galaxy – now lets wait and watch if they can really keep their words and protect our planets.

For Most anticipated world films of 2014 (Part 2) click the link below: http://www.cinemaforensic.com/most-anticipated-world-films-of-2014-2/