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Best of World Cinema 2017 (10+1List)

Best of World Cinema 2017

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best of World Cinema 2017: Every year before making this list I have this strange feeling of missing out some good ones, films which I may not have seen or even not know of. And this year is no exception!

And on top of that 2017 has such a variety of good Cinema to choose from, brilliant directors across the globe covering so many genres and what amazing films!

But finally I have made my choices, do let me know if you agree with me (or not). And here is my list of Best of World Cinema 2017. Enjoy!

10. Thelma

Language: Norwegian

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgQMHG9SGlU

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017A strictly raised religious girl explores life on her own for the first time – but little did she know that her subconsciously controlled psychokinetic powers will soon change everything around her!

Directed by Joachim Trier, a unique concept based around a lesbian love affair. Brilliant performance by Eili Harboe, certainly the best fantasy mystery of the year!

9. The Square

Language: Swedish, English.

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

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017

“The Square” – a unique contemporary show that has gained huge popularity but what does it say about our current society?

Swedish director Ruben Östlund (of Force Majeure fame) has made a brilliant satirical drama, absurd and surreal but entertaining!

Along with many other wins the film swept away the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

8. Okja

Language: Korean, English.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Nhz9ctHR0k

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017On the surface a simple story of the friendship between a young girl (Seo-Hyun Ahnand her pet Okja – an oversized pig. But then this movie is so much more complex and layered, and very much socially relevant for today’s world.

Tilda Swinton, Paul DanoJake Gyllenhaal all at their best. From the acclaimed South Korean director Joon-ho Bong, probably the most powerful and important film of this year!

7. The Florida Project

Language: English.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwQ-NH1rRT4

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017

Set up just in the outskirts of Disney World this is the story of a mischievous 6-year old (Brooklynn Prince) and her friends, her mother, her neighborhood – basically the world around her!

Directed by Sean Baker (of Tangerine fame), and also featuring Willem Dafoe and Bria Vinaite, a film that focus on human relations – the innocence and the complexities of it. Absolutely brilliant to watch! 

6. On Body and Soul

Teströl és lélekröl (original title). Language: Hungarian.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gZw6GVf2eY

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017

Is it possible for two people to dream the same dream?

The setting being a slaughter house, this is an exceptional love story between two ordinary people wrapped in identical dreams.

A unique script and such brilliant performances, directed by Ildikó Enyedi, this Hungarian film has won the prestigious FIPRESCI Prize and the Golden Berlin Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival!

5. A Gentle Creature

Krotkaya (original title). Language: Russian.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sun3D8VqkGY

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017

Nominated for Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, this Russian film is the story of a woman who investigates a return of a parcel that she sent to her husband who is serving prison time in an isolated town in Siberia.

Directed by Sergei Loznitsa, this one is an perfect example of superlative acting and brilliant story-telling, a slow yet highly cinematic experience.

4. The Shape of Water

Language: English.

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

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017An amphibious creature in a hidden high-security government laboratory gets to befriend a lonely janitor (Sally Hawkins) but their friendship will be tested soon.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro, emotional and highly engaging, a fantastic story and powerful performances – overall a visually stunning fairy tale like never before!

3. Call Me by Your Name

Language: English, Italian.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rgO_TyyOoU

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017

‘Call me by your name and I’ll call you by mine.’

An erotic love affair between two men, a visiting student and the young son of the American professor.

Premiered at Sundance Film Festival, directed by Luca Guadagnino, the film is a heartfelt yet heartbreaking story of two people in love on a hot summer somewhere in a small town of Italy!

2. The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Language: English.

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

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017The concepts of Revenge and Redemption have always been the favourite themes for movies but this film manages to twist these notions into a whole new level of awesomeness!

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (of The Lobster fame), a dark psychological thriller that takes its unique stand on morality and justice! Highly odd yet satisfying – just like the previous works of the director.

  1. Loveless

Nelyubov (original title). Language: Russian.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLegoO4NdD8

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017

The film that won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the ARRI/OSRAM Award at the Munich Film Festival and was nominated ‘best film’ at the London Film Festival this year!

Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev, this one is about a couple who must team up to find their missing son although they are going through a nasty divorce.

Official submission of Russia for the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category of the 90th Academy Awards in 2018.

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

+1. The Other Side of Hope

Toivon tuolla puolen (original title). Language: Finnish

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtiFG6utst8

Best-Of-World-Cinema-2017

A Finnish man who opens his own restaurant and a Syrian guy who comes to Finland in order to start a new life. Two stories finally converge and give us one emotional and often hilarious drama!

Realistic yet with a comic touch, acclaimed filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki won the Silver Berlin Bear at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival in the Best director category!

Similar Interest: Best of 2017 you may have missed!

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com.

Best Time Travel Films ever made (20+1list)

Best Time Travel Films ever made

written by Souranath Banerjee

 

Time-Travel-Films

Best Time Travel Films ever made – We, the mortals have been fascinated with the idea of Time Travel probably ever since the time we have grasped the concept of ‘Time’ itself.

Keeping in mind H. G. Wells‘s epic science fiction novel The Time Machine, numerous books and films have been conceptualized on time travelers who seems to have the magical ability to effortlessly leap through their past, present and future; an unclenched human desire unfortunately impossible in reality (yet).

Be it the recent Christopher Nolan movie Interstellar or the blockbuster Matrix trilogy directed by The Wachowski Time-Travel-FilmsBrothers; though these movies are more focused on the metaphysical angle but somehow the inherent philosophy of time traveling is very much embedded in them. 

And so many other films have taken this concept of jumping in time to such unique levels of imagination!

Basically, we are desperately in search of a world where time machine exists, time travel is possible, and time travelers no longer has to be those mysterious characters of some SiFi cinema.

Well, best of luck but till that time comes, lets enjoy some of the Best Time Travel Films ever made!

20. Donnie Darko (2001)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPeGaos7DB4

Time-Travel-FilmsDonnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal), the troubled unpopular teenager whose imaginary friend (an oversized bunny named Frank) tells him a unique secret – ’28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, 12 seconds. That is when the world will end.’

Now what does Donnie do?

Directed by Richard Kelly, an amazing concept; one of the most popular and brilliant Time Travel Film of all time!

19. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_ULXRMvU7k

Time-Travel-FilmsA school girl learns the unique secret to time travel, and her new ability though at first seems pretty awesome, but later becomes difficult for her to handle.

Directed by Mamoru Hosoda, this artistic young Japanese anime flick tells a well crafted emotional story that points out the few ingenious problems faced only by those who have learnt to travel through time.

18. The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_8WZxHScMk

Time-Travel-FilmsA particular gene causes a man to time travel involuntarily but though it seems fun and magical in the beginning it eventually takes a toll on his married life!

Directed by Robert Schwentke, this is one of the few successful time-travel romantic movies that actually involves you emotionally.

Starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams a film worth your time!

17. Source Code (2011)

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

Time-Travel-FilmsA soldier is set on an experimental government program where his consciousness is being inserted into another human to alter the reality but then he has very less time for his mission – he lives only eight minutes before it restarts!

Directed by Duncan Jones, this is a super-cool time travel flick starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan and Vera Farmiga.

16. Primer (2004)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nj5MMURCm8

Time-Travel-FilmsFour budding entrepreneurs built some device that they soon realize can be also used as a time-machine!

But this film is much more philosophical than any other so called time-travel flicks.

Shane Carruth‘s debut film, he being the lead-actor, writer, director and also the producer of this amazing movie redefines the very concept of independent cinema.

15. The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (2010)

Suzumiya Haruhi no shôshitsu (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFvd94LPU4U

Time-Travel-FilmsOne morning you make up and your world has changed – one of your friend goes missing and the others don’t seem to recognize you at all!

The main characters and the plot of this movie originates from the popular anime TV Series The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2006). But even if you haven’t seen the series the film directed by Tatsuya Ishihara and Yasuhiro Takemoto is a great watch!

14. Mr. Nobody (2009) 

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpi0qsp3v_w

Time-Travel-Films‘You have to make the right choice. As long as you don’t choose, everything remains possible.’

Year 2092, a one hundred eighteen year old man is recounting his strange life story – the choices he made or could have made.

Jared Leto at his best, written and directed by Jaco Van Dormael, a brilliantly executed concept that portrays the illusions of life involving the past, the present and the future!

13. Looper (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iQuhsmtfHw

Time-Travel-FilmsA professional “looper” is a hired henchman who use time travel to terminate his targets, men who are sent from the future to the past to be killed by him! But what if his future self becomes the target of his own past?

Directed by Rian Johnson, and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily BluntPaul DanoJeff Daniels – a cool action-packed time-travel drama.

12. The Thirteenth Floor (1999)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XF6etkcJp_c

Time-Travel-FilmsA computer generated parallel world has been created by a group of scientists but then the unexpected murder of the elderly member of this company automatically turns his colleague into a potential suspect!

An underrated time-travel mystery with an innovative story line, directed by Josef Rusnak and starring Craig Bierko, Gretchen Mol, Armin Mueller-Stahl.

11. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1949) 

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

Time-Travel-FilmsFrom 1912 to Arthurian Britain, 528 A.D, a mechanic is teleported back in time – a splendid comedy and one of first movie that popularized the idea of time-travel!

Adopted from Mark Twain‘s popular SiFi novel by the same name, actually there are multiple films based on this novel but this one directed by Tay Garnett and starring Bing Crosby is the most successful one!

10. The Butterfly Effect (2004)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8_dgqfPXFg

Time-Travel-Films

Some people want to forget their past but some people want to change it. But at what cost?

This film is one insane back and forth ride between the past and the present, with some super cool plot twists and thrilling sequences.

With two sequels to follow, this was a well-crafted film directed by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber

The other two sequels though not as popular as the first one: The Butterfly Effect 2 (2006)The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations (2009).

9. Triangle (2009)

Time-Travel-Films

A deserted ship seems to be the best rescue plan for a group of passengers stranded in the ocean. Or is it?

A dangerous outcome of repetitive events that seem to occur no matter what you do to stop it.

Directed by Christopher Smith, a real cool concept where a never ending cycle of events keep haunting you till the end.

8. About Time (2013)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7A810duHvw

Time-Travel-FilmsAt the age 21, a young boy’s father reveals to him that the men in their family can actually time-travel whenever they wish and change their lives accordingly!

And with the help of this unique ability the young boy goes out to fall in love and make his life a better place, but it isn’t as easy as it seems.

Directed by Richard Curtis, a beautiful love story with a time-travel angle.

7. Timecrimes (2007)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvlTcH4KCWk

Time-Travel-Films

Traveling in time can be fun for most people but in this Spanish thriller, things get real messy when a man goes back in time and finds his own life to be in danger!

With several plot twists and intense paranoia, the innovative screenplay keeps you hooked till the very end.

A clever, very well crafted time-travel film by director Nacho Vigalondo

6. The Jacket (2005)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCxQ83Pg1Ko

Time-Travel-Films

A Gulf war veteran wrongly accused of murder ends up in a mental asylum, put in a straight jacket and tortured.

But this gives him the unique ability to visit into his future and see things that will happen and this unusual power changes his life for ever.

Directed by John Maybury, an interesting take on taking a peep into the future.

5. Predestination (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayAt1BZmJH0

Time-Travel-FilmsDirected by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig (as The Spierig Brothers), this is surprisingly one of the most underrated time-travel films in spite of being highly entertaining and a very innovative storyline!

A tale of a time-traveling agent who is set on his final assignment to capture an elusive criminal but there is a unique surprise that awaits him at the end!

4. Twelve Monkeys (1995)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuggl3cZD8A

Time-Travel-FilmsTime machine does exist and a man is sent back to the past to find the cause of an epidemic man-made virus that has wiped out most of the human population.

Can he find the maker of the virus and save the planet?

Directed by Terry Gilliam, this is one unique Si Fi tale that is both thrilling and unpredictable, brilliant performances and great script.  

3. Groundhog Day (1993)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSVeDx9fk60

Time-Travel-Films

A pompous weatherman is stuck in a time loop and he is forced to relive a particular day again and again!

Directed by Harold Ramis, this is a brilliantly unusual twist that turns the general time-travel film’s pattern upside down. 

My all time favorite, a classic time-travel comedy that guarantees you a good time and enough laughs for weeks!

2. The Terminator (1984)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHz95RYUbik

Time-Travel-FilmsDirected by none other than James Cameron, the first installment of the remarkable idea where a machine is sent from the future to kill one particular girl in the present world who holds the key to the epic man Vs machine future battle!

An indestructible cyborg in the human form who seems to be unstoppable and determined to terminate his victim. A revolutionary film of the time!

The other installments that followed the original: Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)Terminator Salvation (2009)Terminator Genisys (2015).

1. Back to the Future (1985)

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

Time-Travel-FilmsA time machine has been invented by a mad scientist and a teenager is accidentally sent back thirty years to the past.

Now the teenager must make sure that his parents should fall for each other so that he can eventually come into existence!

Directed by Robert Zemeckis, probably the most popular time-travel drama ever made.

The other two installments that followed the original one: Back to the Future Part II (1989), Back to the Future Part III (1990).

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

+1. Les visiteurs (1993)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h23J5YC98FM

Time-Travel-FilmsAn accidental time-travel – a senile sorcerer who teleports a medieval knight and his sidekick from 1123 to the modern-day France – a perfect French comedy, quirky and hilarious!

Underrated and yet a cult classic, directed by Jean-Marie Poiré, with Jean Reno and Christian Clavier in the lead, this is one of the funniest time-travel movies made till date.

A few other films that are not included in the list but are almost as entertaining as any others: The Time Machine (1960)Sleeper (1973), Time After Time (1979), Somewhere in Time (1980), Time Bandits (1981), Blackadder Back & Forth (1999), Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999), Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)Edge of Tomorrow (2014), Time Lapse (2014). 

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

BEST THRILLERS OF 2016 (10+1 LIST)

Best Thrillers of 2016

written by Sriram Sundar

The greatest fascination and thrill for any person is the study of human psychology and behaviour. Such mind-games for survival creates an extraordinary atmosphere of mystery and intrigue! There is no greater thrill than pitting one’s mind with a worthy opponent and staying a step ahead in the psychological war-fare.

Very often, thrillers have complex story lines and can be challenging to follow, so as a viewer you are always guessing what is going to happen next.

So let us begin the list of the Best Thrillers of 2016 where you can experience danger without actually being in danger.

10. The Eyes of My Mother

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp2adx_ScA8

This one is not for the easily queasy audience. It is a stark, dreadful vision – but one that is fascinatingly executed, with a compelling central performance from Kika Magalhaes as a matter-of-fact monster!

Directed by debutant Nicolas Pesce, this is about a young girl exposed to unimaginable tragedy. And then being shot in black and white makes it more intense to watch!

9. Hush

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_P8WCbhC6s

A deaf woman takes on a psychopathic killer in a hugely effective film that recalls the opening of ‘Scream’.

Directed by Mike Flanagan, this film is about a mystery writer Maddie (Kate Siegel) who is unaware of her friend Sarah is being massacred feet away from her — pounding on her back door for help, too desperate to realize her Maddie can’t hear her! And then it’s her turn, to run, to defend herself or to fight it out till the very end.

8. The Boy

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpIbO6HEwr8

Greta (Lauren Cohan) arrives for a nanny job to a storybook mansion deep in the English countryside, to find dark corridors, creaking floors, mysterious owners, and a porcelain doll who is being treated as a person alive!

Director William Brent Bell masters the slow build, making us wonder throughout the film who’s crazy and who’s not!

7. The Girl on the Train

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkoEE1i0CX8

Rachel (Emily Blunt), devastated by her recent divorce, spends her daily commute fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple who live in a house that her train passes every day, until one morning she sees something shocking happen there and becomes entangled in the mystery that unfolds.

A thriller about an alcoholic’s struggle to make sense of a close-to-home murder as well as her own mind. Directed by Tate Taylor, this film is based on Paula Hawkins’ bestselling novel.

6. Nocturnal Animals

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H1Ii1LjyFU

When Susan (Amy Adams) receives a manuscript from her ex-husband, Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal) and as she continues to read she has flashbacks to how her own relationship!

(Click for review)

A violent thriller directed by Tom Ford, Michael Shannon being Oscar nominated for his performance in the Best Actor Supporting Role category. 

5. 10 Cloverfield Lane

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saHzng8fxLs

After getting in a car accident, a woman is held in a shelter with two men, who claim the outside world is affected by a widespread chemical attack.

(Click for review)

Directed by Dan Trachtenberg, this film does a spectacular job of capturing nightmare logic. You sense danger even if you can’t explain it.

4. Don’t Breathe

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76yBTNDB6vU

What can $300,000 make you do? Three teenage thieves – Rocky (Jane Levy), Money (Daniel Zovatto) and Alex (Dylan Minnette) – desperate to make enough money and leave for a better life in California, break into the house of a blind Army veteran Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang).

(Click for review)

Directed by Fede Alvarez, this isn’t just any old home invasion thriller but it understands the limitations of the genre and works wonders within them!

3. Hounds of Love

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tddlYXhgFoo

Ben Young‘s first feature is an unflinching immersion into the nightmare of a teenage girl Vicki (Ashleigh Cummings), abducted and tortured by a serial-killer couple. But it doesn’t end there!

The strange dynamics between the couple Evelyn (Emma Booth) and John (Stephen Curry) as seen from the eyes of their captive is the essence of the film. A raw tensed thriller indeed!

2. Hell or High Water

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQoqsKoJVDw

Toby (Chris Pine) and ex-con loose cannon Tanner (Ben Foster) stage a series of heists against various branches of the bank, all the while pursued by Jeff Bridges, on deliciously crusty form as a Texas ranger nearing the end of his career.

Directed by David Mackenzie, this film is highly recommended not only for those who like bank robberies and persecutions, but also those who enjoy a good, well narrated film with a clever script and good direction.

1. Elle

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-iBBgcp7PY

Michèle (Isabelle Huppert) when attacked in her home by an unknown assailant vows to track the man down, but soon they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game – a game that may, at any moment, spiral out of control and destroy them.

(Click for review)

Directed by Paul Verhoeven, this film is one hell of a erotic thriller!

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

+1. The Neon Demon

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cipOTUO0CmU

 Sixteen-year-old Jesse (Elle Fanning) arrives in Los Angeles with dreams of being a model. She struggles to assert herself, making it a necessity for Dean, and concerned make-up artist Ruby (Jena Malone) to become more than just foils.

(Click for review)

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, the women in this movie are all impossibly beautiful and incredibly shallow at the same time. Stellar performances, amazing visuals and a unique storyline will cement this as a cult classic.

Similar Interest: Best Psychological Thrillers

Similar InterestBest Spanish Thrillers of Recent Times

Similar Interest: Best French Thrillers of Recent Times

Similar Interest: Best French Suspense Thrillers of all time

Similar Interest: Best South Korean Thrillers of recent times

Similar Interest: Best Italian Erotic Thrillers

Similar Interest: Best Conspiracy Thrillers ever made

 

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood Thrillers of recent times

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Nocturnal Animals (2016)

Nocturnal Animals review

written by Souranath Banerjee

A film entirely based on performances and awesome editing!   

My Ratings: 3.9/5

There’s a very interesting dialogue in the film that says ‘When someone loves you, you have to be careful with it!’ I think it applies to Cinema as well!

I mean when a film starts good, interesting characters and situations that quickly grab our attention, and a certain level of anticipation Nocturnal Animals reviewbuilds up – but at this point the director has to be ‘careful’ with his film. The ending if not delivered as per expectation can hurt the feelings of the audience.

Nocturnal Animals is one such crime drama that grips you right away with it’s unique nonlinear story telling but then by the end, the film tends to loose it’s excitement.

A woman reads a book manuscript written by her ex-husband while she ponders upon her relationships. Often brutal and painful, the script adopted from Austin Wright‘s novel is very real and told in style.

Some directors have a valour for the art of parallel editing, that is telling multiple stories together and ace fashion-designer turned director Tom Ford definitely have set an example of that technique in this film. The way he along with his editor Joan Sobel have played Nocturnal Animals reviewwith the time line of the film – switching back and forth between the fiction and reality, and also the past and present with recurring time jumps and match cuts is definitely commendable. 

Pretty realistic performances by Amy AdamsJake GyllenhaalMichael Shannon and especially by Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the lawless, conscienceless wicked soul.

Abel Korzeniowski‘s music gives the film the needed anchor that connects and binds the multiple stories together.

But I only wish that as an audience I could get as involved as Amy Adams while reading her ex husband’s novel till the very end.

A good one time watch though, specially if you want to learn some cool editing! 

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

Everest (2015)

Everest review.

written by Souranath Banerjee

My Ratings: 4/5.

The film Everest is much more than just another disaster film. It’s about nature, it’s about human empathy, it’s about experiencing the impossible.  

everest-poster2Many people (including me) prefer mountains than the oceans. But only a handful have the courage and the potential to trek 29,029 ft above sea level and conquer the highest peak of the world – Mount Everest!

And this film Everest is about such a group of enthusiastic mountaineers who dared to touch the summit; for them it was a dream come true.

But they must remember the one uncomfortable truth before starting their ambitious climb – ‘The last word belongs to the mountain!’

Everest is based on several books including Jon Krakauer’s ‘Into Thin Air’ and Lou Kasischke’s ‘After the Wind’; these are memoirs inspired from the true story of the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster. Even many survival’s interviews were taken as reference for this film.

everest-posterA film that breathtakingly captures not only the grandeur of nature but also it’s unpredictable monstrosity.

The focus of the film is on a group of professional trekkers teamed up under the supervision of their expedition leader Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) with the sole intention of climbing to the top – Mt.Everest.

The film follows their journey and perfectly captures the dramatic moments (both the joy and the tragedy) and narrates a heart felt humane story of compassion, benevolence and courage.

everest-poster3Director Baltasar Kormákur (known for his earlier films like Contraband and 2 Guns), have managed to gather a very impressive star cast for his latest film.

We have Josh BrolinJake GyllenhaalJohn HawkesEmily WatsonSam WorthingtonNaoko MoriRobin Wright and Keira Knightley just to name a few. 

And each of them have perfectly played their characters and contributed to this thrilling adventurous drama. 

Salvatore Totino have done wonders with the camera and make you experience the majestic Himalayas like never before.

everest-poster4A film that respects nature and also the desire of men/women to conquer it.

The only sad part about Everest is that the film is promoted as a ‘disaster-film’ from the start and that somehow makes you anticipate a tragic ending.

But i still recommend this film to those who are fond of nature and adventure; a good watch for the majority 99.99 % of people who will never get a chance to actually climb Mt.Everest – for us this is the closest experience possible to be on the top of the world.

And for the remaining .01% who are planning to take the big hike, you too watch Everest because at the end of the day the film is all about your passion for trekking the impossibles!

poster curtsey: www.impawards.com and www.broadsheet.

Southpaw (2015)

Southpaw review.

written by Souranath Banerjee

My ratings: 4/5.

‘The more you get hit, the harder you fight’.

Well, that’s more or less the story of boxer Billy Hope’s life, both in and out of the ring.

Director Antoine Fuqua, famous for action films like Training Day (2001) and Shooter (2007) and The Equalizer (2014) comes up with a ‘boxing film’ this time. 

southpaw-poster1Not a biography (as most boxing films are) but i bet you have seen such typical sports-redemption dramas before and there is a good chance that you already have guessed the basic story-line.

An arrogant man who cannot control his rage but life puts him in a tough spot and teaches him to be humble and take control of his destiny. And guess what – he eventually becomes a better man both professionally and personally!

Absolutely nothing unique in the script and regarding the all blood & sweat boxing showdown – we have seen better in films like Raging Bull (1980), Cinderella Man (2005) and even the Sylvester Stallone‘s Rocky versions.

So now the big question is WHAT exactly is there in this 124 min film Southpaw that still holds our attention? HOW does it still manage to impress us?

southpaw-poster3The combination of Antoine Fuqua‘s direction and the music of James Horner (RIP) – Yes may be. But the real answer lies in the brilliant performance of the entire cast, especially Jake Gyllenhaal

After his outstanding role in Nightcrawler as the skinny psychopathic crime journalist, Jake Gyllenhaal has now transformed himself into this all-muscle, super-fit, left-handed boxing champion Billy Hope.

The rage and the darkness in the character, the helplessness and the self-destruction, the empathy and love for his family and friends, the will to survive – Bill Hope is one complex character and no body could have portrayed him as good as Jake Gyllenhaal.

By the way, Eminem was supposed to play the ‘Southpaw’ and then Ryan GoslingBradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner were all considered for this role!

southpaw-posterAnd then there is the ever-beautiful Rachel McAdams (wife of Billy Hope); their chemistry in the beginning supports the entire film. Forest Whitaker as the teacher-figure gives his best. Even the child actor Oona Laurence belts out a terrific emotional performance. 

50 Cent acts and Eminem sings!

Southpaw is the best redemption drama of this year, specially recommended for the boxing-film lovers.

It’s a perfect example of how you can take the same old concept and shape it into something awesome with sensible direction and sheer brilliant performances.

 

Serial Killer films – based on true stories (10+1list)

Serial Killer films – based on true stories.

written by Souranath Banerjee.

Serial killers are extremely intelligent individuals, most often masked by a superficial friendly and charming personality but deep inside they are sadistic psychopaths who murders randomly without any personal motives.

Cold blooded killers who simply cannot resist the urge to take someone’s life.

But these serial murderers have always been given enough media coverage and some of the most spine chilling films are made, based on their deranged lives (fictions, nonfictions and docu-dramas).

Here is a list of films dramatized on the real lives of some of the most notorious serial killers ever existed!

1. Jack the Ripper (1988)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJSpZT8IjE0

jack-the-ripper-poster

Direccted by David Wickes, in this film Michael Caine is in search of the infamous Jack the ripper

In 1888, in the Whitechapel district of London several prostitutes were ripped open by a vicious serial killer, their throats cut open and internal organs removed.

One of the most gruesome killers of all time, never been caught!

Some other films based on Jack the ripper are From Hell (2001) starring Johnny DeppThe Lodger (1927), Murder by Decree (1979).

2. To Catch a Killer (1992)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tv-j1K4n-4Q

To-Catch-a-Killer-Poster

Directed by Eric TillBrian Dennehy plays the notorious American killer John Wayne Gacy.

He would either lure his victims or kidnap them by force into his Chicago home, then would rape/sexually assault and murder them.

Convicted of 33 murders (all teenage boys and young men) in between a period of 6 years.

3. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IU3P6WXzvXU

Henryportrait-poster

Michael Rooker plays the ruthless serial killer Henry Lee Lucas in this film directed by John McNaughton.

Regarded as one of America’s most prolific murderer, Henry was finally convicted of killing 11 people but it was believe that he killed many others.

At a very young age he murdered his own Mom and went on killing whenever he felt like it!

4. The Stoneman Murders (2009)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNj4SxVqdag

The-Stoneman-Murders-poster

In the year 1985 (Mumbai) and then in1989 (Kolkata) some unidentified Indian serial killer(s) murdered at least 13 homeless people in their sleep.

The killer would crush the head of his victim with a stone weighing as much as 30 kg!

Directed by Manish Gupta, starring Kay Kay Menon and Arbaaz Khan the film dramatizes these killings.

5. Zodiac (2007)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6q_MfcDEEE

zodiac-posterJake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo starring in this tensed mystery-drama directed by David Fincher.

A serial killer from California who named himself ‘zodiac’ and boasted to have killed 37 people in his open letters written to the newspapers!

Confirmed to kill 4 men and 3 women, the killer’s identity still remains unknown.

6. Citizen X (1995)

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

Citizen-X-poster

The infamous Soviet serial killer Andrei Chikatilo, who committed sexual assault, mutilation and murder of 56 women (mostly under the age of 17)! 

Probably the most vicious killer who was convicted to 52 murders.

Directed by Chris Gerolmo, playing Stephen ReaDonald Sutherland and Max von Sydow the film depicts the difficulties of catching a murderer in the-then communist Russia.  

7. Summer of Sam (1999)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0a-E4Q9CHSk

summer-of-sam-poster

David Richard Berkowitz also nown as the ‘Son of Sam’ and the ‘.44 Caliber Killer’ who began a shooting spree in New York on the summer of 1977.

He killed 6 victims and wounded 7 and also used to sent mocking letters to the police boasting about his misdeeds. 

Spike Lee‘s thriller is a superb dramatization of that era.

8. M (1931)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIj3Bk0bhL8

M-poster

Fritz Lang directed film starring Peter Lorre as the notorious child murderer (probably the first film shot on such a sensitive topic).

The film is based on the 1920’s German serial killer named Peter Kürten (also known as ‘The Vampire of Düsseldorf’) who molested and murdered young children.

Confessed of 79 offenses, Kürten also admitted to drinking blood of at least one of his victims!

9. The Deliberate Stranger (1986)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaoBDMyo98M

deliberate-stranger-poster

Ted Bundy, the most charismatic serial killer ever! A kidnapper, rapist, and necrophile who assaulted and murdered more than 30 young women in America. 

He would gain trust of his young female victims, trick them to his car and then kidnap them for his sadistic motives.

Directed by Marvin J. ChomskyMark Harmon plays the deceptive Bundy in the film. 

10. Vengeance is Mine (1979)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kk81j7Sm5IY

Vengeance-is-Mine-poster

Directed by Shôhei Imamura, the film is based on the life of Akira Nishiguchi, the legendary Japanese serial killer played by Ken Ogata.

A middle-aged man who was a clever con artist and a cold blooded murderer.

He killed 2 people and became the most wanted criminal, then he murdered another 3 while escaping from the police!

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

+1. Psycho (1960)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NG3-GlvKPcg

psycho-posterAlfred Hitchcock‘s most talked-about film starring Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh was developed on serial killer Ed Gein‘s mysterious life.

The secluded man who not only murdered woman but also kept their skulls, bones and skins as trophies and made bowls, lamp-sheds, belts, baskets and masks out of them.

After his mother’s death, Gein began to create a ‘woman suit’ (stitching dead woman’s skin) so that he could become his mother!

Some other films based on Ed Gein are The Silence of the Lambs (1991), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), Ed Gein (2000) and Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile (1974).

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.

Nightcrawler (2014)

My Ratings: 4/5.

Interstellar is no doubt the most anticipated release of this week; Nolan ready to take control of our imagination and lead us somewhere awesome far beyond our planet, our reality.

But Nightcrawler on the other hand is very much based on our own planet, a 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.

Recently Gone Girl has depicted the hyper-realistic approach of media and to what extent these people can go to sell their story.

Now Nightcrawler pushes the envelope further and explores how these TV network channels are selling fear by showcasing violence and blood, stories of accidents, murders and gory deaths.

And to increase their TRP they want exclusive video footage, the more bloody and morbid the better the shock value.

And Louis Bloom (Lou) is their man.

The film revolves around Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) who wants to make a name for him in the media racket, so he gets a camera and start selling footage. For him this is business and in business there is no ethics and morals.

Who is really this Louis Bloom – a scavenger or a survivor, a psychopath or a potential businessman, a cold-hearted predator or an insane professional?

Well, all I can say is Lou is Jake Gyllenhaal’s best performance till date.

nightcrawler-posterJake Gyllenhaal, if you remember him as Donnie Darko has come a long way since then, been part of films like The Day after Tomorrow, Brokeback Mountain, Jarhead, Zodiac, Brothers, Prince of Persia, End of watch, Prisoners.

But as the lean and ruthless night-crawler, his overall body language, his business talk and especially the way he communicates, his cool and calculative gaze is enough to give you the creeps.

Rene Russo as the channel producer and Riz Ahmed as Lou’s partner/employee have been impressive enough.

Written and directed by Dan Gilroy (his first film as a director), Nightcrawler is a film that will engulf you into its corrupt, sadistic world but the real problem is that you will enjoy the experience and eventually feel guilty about it.

It’s something special, don’t you miss it.